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New Llanelli Mayor takes chains

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DAVID DARKIN took over the chains of office as Mayor of Llanelli in a ceremony at the council chamber on Wednesday (May 2).

The councillor for Elli took over from Cllr Jeff Edmunds. His wife Kim is the new Mayoress, and Suzy Curry was elected as Deputy Mayor.

In a speech, Cllr Edmunds told guests and councillors that he had ‘done his utmost to uphold and maintain the standards and traditions set by his predecessors in office’.

Cllr Jeff Edmunds referred to some of the highlights of his year in office, including the asset transfers of Crown park, Havelock Park, Parc Y Dre and Pen Y Fan Park – which are nearing completion. He added that further interest was being expressed in Nightingale Court, Parc Y Morfa, Lon Yr Ysgol and Penyfan Quarry.

His favourite duties and functions included Llanelli’s Christmas Carnival, Remembrance Sunday and a visit from 320 local school pupils to the Mayor’s Parlour.

The relationship between Llanelli and Agen was also discussed, and Cllr Edmunds praised the hospitality of Agen Mayor M. Jean Dionis Du Sejour.

During his year as Mayor, almost £6,500 was raised for Cllr Edmunds’ chosen charities Ty Bryngwyn Hospice, Teenage Cancer Trust and MIND.

The new launch of the venture of the Parc Howard Collaboration Group was mentioned with control now gained over the county council’s budget for the park. The town council has committed a contribution of £100,000 as 50% contribution to the running cost of the park and mansion house during 2018-19.

“I wish my successor David health, happiness and success during the term of office. I do hope I’ve upheld the traditions of my mayoral predecessors and justified the council’s confidence in me. I thank my colleagues on the Town Council for their unstinting support at all times and giving me this unique and memorable opportunity to serve our town of Llanelli,” Cllr Edmunds concluded.

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Llanelli ‘Banksy’: Mayor covers graffiti rat in protective plastic

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LLANELLI Mayor David Darkin believes graffiti found on charity shop wall could potentially be a Banksy.

The piece has been covered with protective plastic by the council while they determine the authenticity of the piece.

David Darkin, Mayor of Llanelli told this newspaper: “I was approached by a local artist Roz Moreton, who believes the artwork is a Banksy in an attempt to preserve the piece.

Roz who studied art in Bristol and lived in London has said she has been exposed to numerous Banksy works including his rats on Westminster Bridge, and spotted the ‘rat’ straight away.

Darkin added “She first spotted the graffiti around ten years ago, but she kept her findings to herself so that she could go back and visit the work.

“It was only after the recent news of the incident in Swansea, where part of a suspected piece of Banksy artwork was stolen, that she decided to approach me to ask for help to protect the piece”.

The art dealer who bought Banksy’s ‘Season’s Greetings’ which appeared on a garage in Port Talbot in December, has met with the mayor in Neath to view images of the artwork.

John Bradner, Essex based gallery owner, paid six figures for the Port Talbot addition, is planning on visiting the site to see the piece for himself.

Mr Darkin added “After showing John Bradner the images he is fairly confident that the piece is Banksy’s work, the fact it was spotted ten years ago ties in with ‘Banksy’s rats’ which was his theme at the time when they appeared across industrial towns.

“Mr Bradner called me yesterday and asked if there was anything else I can do to preserve the piece until he comes to view it in a few weeks to check its authenticity.”

Speaking on the piece Councillor John Jenkins said “Fingers crossed it is a Banksy, but worst-case scenario it isn’t and is still a talking point and people still come and see him.”

Speaking to Mr Darkin he said no attempts have been made yet to contact Banksy to confirm the piece as far as he is aware.

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36 charges relating to chemicals and components for making bombs

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A 33-YEAR-OLD male  is facing 36 charges relating to chemicals and components which can be used to make bombs.

He was remanded in custody at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Friday (Feb 15)

The man, from Port Talbot, was arrested in October 2017 in an operation between counter terrorism officers, South Wales Fire and Rescue and The Welsh Ambulance Service.

Detective Superintendent James Hall said no known links to terrorist offences or groups were found. The man will appear in court again at a date to be fixed.

He has also been charged with possessing a taser and manufacturing and possessing class A drugs.

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University makes formal criminal complaint

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A FORMAL criminal complaint has been by made by Swansea University, as part of the ongoing investigation into the issues surrounding the recent suspension of four members of staff.

South Wales Police said: “Dyfed-Powys Police and South Wales Police can confirm that they have received a complaint which is currently subject of consideration by both forces.”

Last November, the university’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Richard B Davies, Dean of the School of Management Prof Marc Clement, as well as two other members of staff, who have not been named, were suspended.

Prof Davies has been suspended for alleged gross negligence whilst Prof Clement was suspended for alleged gross misconduct. Both individuals have denied any wrongdoing. Registrar Andrew Rhodes confirmed at the time that this action was taken after an internal investigation.

In a statement, the university said: “Swansea University has been in regular dialogue with the authorities since November 2018 based on the findings of our initial investigation. A formal criminal complaint has been made and the matter is with South Wales Police and Dyfed Powys Police. We will of course continue to co-operate fully with them. Our processes, which are being carried out by an independent investigating manager, are ongoing.”

The investigation has looked into the academics’ involvement in both the £200m Life Science and Wellbeing Village project in Llanelli, and a £600m plan for a private medical university and hospital in Kuwait.

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