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Llanelli: Break-in leaves Bigyn Primary School unsafe for pupils

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BIGYN Primary School in Llanelli was closed to pupils today after a break-in (Feb 9).

Parents received a message from the school via text message saying: “Bigyn will be closed to all pupils today as we have had a break in and the site is unsafe.”

The police have been contacted for a comment

 

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Business

Welsh construction sector fares better than UK average

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THE PERCENTAGE of Welsh construction firms at heightened risk of insolvency sits comfortably below the UK average, according to the latest research by insolvency and restructuring trade body R3.

With 37.6% of firms at increased risk, the sector sits just over 2% below the UK average of 39.7%.

Only the construction sectors in the North West, London, and Northern Ireland fare better, at 37.4%, 37%, and 34.8% respectively.

However, the March research shows that the percentage of construction firms at heightened risk of insolvency increased by 3.8% from February’s figures, closely matching the construction sector’s UK-wide increase of 3.9%.

Commenting on the research, Louise Durkan, Chair of R3 in Wales and a director at Deloitte, told The Llanelli Herald: “Resting just below the UK average, while rising at the same rate, will come as encouraging news for many Welsh construction firms, and signals a hopeful outlook for the region after a challenging start to the year.

“According to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics, January saw the UK’s construction sector contract for the ninth month in a row, fuelled in part by increases to the cost of imports, a fall in the number of new homes being built, and the strain on the sector’s supply chains.

“However, for Wales at least, a number of new projects in the pipeline, and a rapidly rising Cardiff skyline, look to be helping the construction sector weather the storm.

The wider Welsh picture

Of all 10 key industry sectors monitored by R3 in Wales, construction had the 7th highest percentage of firms at heightened risk of insolvency, followed by agriculture (43.2%), technology and IT (47.7%), and the professional services sector (49.5%).

The restaurant sector saw the lowest percentage of firms at heightened risk of insolvency of all sectors in Wales at 31.9%.

However, the sector remains notably above the UK average of 30.2%, and is only surpassed by the East of England and the South West, at 32.1% and 33.8%, respectively.

Louise continues: “It is unfortunate but unsurprising to see the restaurant sector struggling. Consumer habits are shifting, and while there is a trend for increasing ‘leisure’ spending, this is coming at the expense of eating out in restaurants. Poor real wage growth is limiting what people can spend overall, so more spending in one area means less in another.”

Louise adds: “For any businesses in Wales who are starting to feel financial pressure, as always, R3 suggest seeking professional and qualified advice at the earliest possible opportunity, as this will only increase the chances of successful business rescue.”

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Police say safeguarding children is ‘everybody’s business’

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is urging people to speak out if they spot signs of adults developing inappropriate relationships with children in their community.

Sunday, March 18, is the national awareness day for Child Sexual Exploitation led by the charity National Working Group.

Safeguarding children is everybody’s business. Any child can be sexually exploited no matter what culture, ethnicity, religion, background or gender.

To support this day, all this week officers and staff from the force’s child sexual exploitation investigators team, Police On-Line Investigation Team (POLIT), school officers and frontline officers have been targeting suspects and children identified as potential victims as well as visiting hotspot areas, schools and groups to encourage the public to think, spot and speak out about child sexual exploitation.

Dyfed-Powys police will be supporting the campaign through social media. Look out for the hashtags on Twitter: #CSE #CSEDay18 #HelpingHands.

Child Sexual Exploitation Coordinator for Dyfed-Powys Police, Linda Elias, said: “Child sexual exploitation is everybody’s business and is happening in our communities. This is not an issue isolated to more urban areas of the UK, we know it is happening locally and we are working hard to identify and protect those children who are vulnerable and also deal with the adults who are taking advantage of children.

“We have police officers trained to recognise the early signs of CSE that can identify children at risk, but we all have a role to play in ensuring our children are safe. Please, if you suspect someone in your family, social group of wider community is being exploited by any adult report it immediately to police by calling 101.

“Exploited children are almost always too frightened or ashamed to ask for help themselves, and members of the community including hoteliers, restaurant owners, community shops or youth facility leaders, are urged to speak out if they see when someone or something suspicious.

“By passing their concerns on to the police they could potentially save a child from the nightmare of CSE.”

Regional Dyfed-Powys SchoolBeat Programme Manager, Bethan James, said: “It is vital that we raise awareness of CSE with our children and the staff working in our schools. Designated school officers have been trained to deliver these sessions. School Community Police are delivering targeted age appropriate CSE sessions in schools as part of the wider SchoolBeat Cymru Programme.

They have the current, up to date knowledge and understanding in order to inform, prevent and protect our children.”

Detective Sergeant at the Police On-Line Investigation Team (POLIT), Mathew Davies, said: “Our team of specialist staff and officers, consisting of  Detectives, Digital Media Investigators, Forensic Examiners and analytical staff, are targeting those who exploit children, carrying out warrants across the whole Dyfed-Powys force area. The work of POLIT is helping to speed up the investigation of offences and bring more offenders to justice.”

Nichola Rance, Coordinator for witness and victim service Goleudy, said: “Sadly, it is a fact that CSE is occurring in the counties of Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Powys. I fully support the national CSE awareness day as it helps to raise awareness of abuse of children that should not be ignored. I would urge anyone who has witnessed CSE or is a victim of CSE to contact Goleudy for support. We are an independent service for victims and witnesses of crime and we have highly skilled advisors who can listen and support people through distressing times in their lives.”

Spot the signs of CSE:

  • Being secretive
  • He or she stops engaging with their usual friends
  • Associating with older men or women
  • Going missing
  • Being defensive about where they are and what they are doing
  • Receiving odd calls or messages
  • Possessing new, expensive items that they may have received as gifts

To report CSE in your community call 101 today.

For support from Goleudy, call  0300 1232996, email goleudy@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or visit www.goleudyvictimandwitnessservice.org.uk.

For more information on CSE Awareness Day visit: www.stop-cse.org.

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News

Biker with toddler on the tank was over drug-drive limit

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A MOTORCYCLIST caught riding his bike with a toddler sitting on the petrol tank was over the prescribed limit for cannabis at the time, it was later revealed.

In October, 26-year-old Christopher Haslam, of Ynys Las, was fined £200 and disqualified from driving for a year for carrying a two-year-old child a short distance on his motorbike – which he was not licenced to do.

Appearing in court on Thursday (Dec 28) he admitted one charge of drug-driving.

Prosecuting, Sian Vaughan told the court that after police noticed him turning sharply down a lane in what looked like an attempt to avoid them on September 28, he was stopped, and following a positive drug-wipe test gave a sample of blood, which showed almost double the prescribed limit of 2mcg.

Following some confusion with the date of the offence Haslam, who was representing himself, clarified that all charges had arisen from one incident.

“I have no idea how it was still in my system – I hadn’t smoked cannabis within 10 days,” he added.

Haslam was disqualified from driving for 12 months, fined £120, and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge.

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