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Hospital campaigners to address public meeting

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HOSPTIAL campaigners are urging Llanelli residents to attend a public meeting tomorrow (May 12) about Hywel Dda’s hospital consultation. They aim to send a strong message to the Health Board that the option of downgrading Prince Philip Hospital is a non-starter.

The meeting, which is open to all and will be held in the Selwyn Samuel Centre at 3.30pm, is being organised by Save Our Services Prince Philip Action Network (SOSPPAN).

Shaun Greaney, who with Adrian Morgan founded a petition to save Llanelli’s hospital that has gathered over 4,700 signatures, will be addressing the meeting, alongside Llanelli’s MP and AM and other hospital campaigners. The Health Board has also promised to send representatives to the meeting.

Mr Greaney said: “I think it is ridiculous that the health board aims to decide the future of health services with just a handful of drop-in sessions and only one in the Llanelli area.

“I would urge everyone to attend the meeting tomorrow to send a clear message to the health board: hands off our hospital.”

Nia Griffith MP said: “You only need to be in Llanelli town centre for a few minutes to know that there is such strong feeling here in Llanelli about keeping services at Prince Philip Hospital and about the real need to make services accessible to people, not take them miles away.

“But we need that strength of feeling to translate into a strong message to the Hywel Dda Health Board, so I would urge everyone to attend the meeting tomorrow when representatives of the local health board will be present.

“We also need to submit hard evidence by feeding in our comments on the consultation, either online or by sending the paper document back FREEPOST – copies available from my office. We need to work together and speak up as strongly as possible for Llanelli.”

Lee Waters AM added: “I’m looking forward to addressing the SOSPPAN meeting tomorrow. We must make it clear to the Health Board that there is no way we will accept a downgrade of Prince Philip Hospital.

“There are huge demands on the NHS across the UK, and here in Hywel Dda, we do need to confront change – but it’s how we do it that’s key and downgrading Prince Philip Hospital, which I’m dead against, cannot be part of that change.

“Nia and I will be out in and around Llanelli every week with consultation documents, and you can fill them in online. I’ve been told by the Chief Executive that nothing is ‘off the table’, so it’s vital that everyone has their say.”

Campaigners will be handing out consultation forms near the EE shop in the town centre on Thursdays and Saturdays from 10.30am to 12.30pm in the next few weeks.

Copies of the consultation document, petition forms and leaflets can be collected from the SOSPPAN events organiser Suzy Curry (0756 1566 456).

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Cold temperatures likely to lead to icy conditions

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A YELLOW weather warning is in place over Wales from 10pm tonight (Jan 16) and 11am tomorrow morning (Jan 17).

As temperatures drop, there is a strong chance of ice patches causing dangerous conditions for motorists.

Icy patches developing with wintry showers also affecting some areas.

What to expect

  • Some injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces
  • Probably some ice on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths
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Police target burglary suspects in dawn raids

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SIXTEEN addresses have been raided by police in an operation responding to a spate of high-value burglaries in the south Wales area.

Officers targeted locations in Fforest-Fach, Clase, Morrison, Brynhyfryd and Bonymaen following a year of thefts in the city and Neath Port Talbot.

Operation Timmia also saw locations in Swansea citry centre targeted by South Wales Police.

Six people have been arrested and remain in custody, The Llanelli Herald has been told.

The large scale operation used the police helicopter, forensics teams, financial investigators and cash-detecting dogs.

Police seized three caravans, a cannabis cultivation, large amounts of cash and jewellery, and a number of other items believed to be linked to crimes.

Detectives said those arrested are being held on suspicion of several offences, including conspiracy to commit burglary.

They have also issued an appeal to trace a further four suspects: Daniel Casey, 27; Terrence Casey, 19; Michael Casey, 18; and Patrick Joyce, 20.

All four men have links with the travelling community and are known to travel throughout the UK, said police.

“We know the recent spates of burglaries and car thefts across the division has been of real concern in our local communities and I hope the scale of this morning’s enforcement action reassures the public that we do take the matter seriously and that we are fully committed to bringing those responsible to justice,” said Det Insp Dave Peart.

“We now have a number of individuals in custody and enquiries are ongoing to locate a number of outstanding suspects.”

As part of the raids, officers searched an industrial unit in the Fforestfach area of the city, and nine caravans on Millstream Way traveller site.

The force said the investigation follow what has been described as a “high number of burglaries and aggravated burglaries in the past year”.

In some instances, homeowners were confronted by armed gangs who either threatened or inflicted violence.

Supt Cath Larkman added: “During some of the recent burglaries we’ve seen an increasing use of, or willingness to use, violence, so today’s action was absolutely proportionate and necessary to protect the public from further criminality and potential harm.”

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Band leader sexually assaulted 14-year-old cadet

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THE LEADER of an Army cadet band turned a kitchen into a sauna and sexually assaulted a naked teenage boy.

And Philip Pryor, now 65, used a British Legion computer to download child pornography.

Pryor, of Llys y Llyfgell, Burry Port, has been jailed for two and a half years.

Swansea Crown Court heard how Pryor had been the leader of an Army cadet band in Burry Port, which attracted members from across west Wales, as well as being a branch secretary for the British Legion.

Robin Rouch, prosecuting, said the Army had a hut in Burry Port which the band used for rehearsals and some cadets slept there, as did Pryor, before a concert.

A man who was a 14-year-old cadet at the time told police how Pryor would boil pans of water and place towels around doors and windows and turn the kitchen into a sauna.

Boys were encouraged to take off their clothes, as did Pryor.

On at least three occasions he touched the boy indecently, said Mr Rouch.

The victim did not complain until many years later after he had seen a television news item about young footballers being abused and confided in a friend about what had happened to him.

He later told police that at the time Pryor, who had played in a military band while serving in the Army, had told him that because of his standing in the community there was no point in complaining as no-one would believe him.

Mr Rouch said a police investigation began and officers removed a British Legion computer used by Pryor and found he had downloaded a small number of indecent images of schoolboys.

Pryor admitted three offences of indecent assault and one of possessing child pornography.

His barrister, Frank Phillips, said Pryor was now remorseful and ashamed and had lived as a recluse since his arrest.

Judge Geraint Walters told Pryor he had been in a position of trust.

“You targeted him and abused him more than once.

“The fact that he went to the police so many years later demonstrates the long lasting effect of what you did to him. It has never left him.

“It shows the wickedness of an adult taking advantage of a youngster.

“There was some grooming here in that you allowed him to have alcohol and cigarette.

“I accept you have led a blameless life since the offending but it is not possible for me to pass a sentence that could be suspended,” he added.

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