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Logic Festival returns to Swansea

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THIS SEPTEMBER, Logic Festival returns to Swansea, with Ynysforgan Farm hosting nearly 5,000 people across five arenas and over 70 artists performing.

The Festival can be seen as the spiritual successor to Escape In The Park, and will be headlined by a top name in dance music, Judge Jules, once voted best DJ in the world by DJ Mag.

Escape Into The Park was the biggest dance festival on the Welsh calendar, started by Jonathan Wignall and Danny Slade in July 1995. Mr Wignall owned nightclub Escape at the time, whilst Mr Slade worked there. They decided to launch a festival based on the club at Singleton Park, bringing in both top names in the industry as well as local talent looking to make a name for themselves.

Stars such as Tiësto, Chipmunk and Pendulum all performed over the years, as attendances rose from 5,000 to 25,000 people.

The festival was sold to a company called Angel Music Group in 2009, and continued as before until 2011. But in 2012, the festival was cancelled, releasing a statement saying: “Like many other UK festivals, Escape Into The Park is taking a year off in 2012.

“This year is looking to be very busy for the public with a combination of a summer of Olympic sporting activity and the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations in June.

“Therefore, we believe this is the perfect timing for us to take a year off to sit back and reassess the format of the festival with a view to coming back stronger than ever next year.”

Yet Escape Into The Park didn’t return, with many feeling that its sale changed the festival for the worse, with an influx of commercial acts lessening the event’s appeal.

Slade said: “The company didn’t have their heart in Wales, they were only there for financial gain. They didn’t have a passion for the event.”

Jason Pufal, owner of Rainbow Rooms Bar and Nightclub in Gorseinon, was a circuit DJ in the 1990s. Memories of the event prompted him to do something to fill the void left by Escape Into The Park’s absence. Pufal launched Logic Festival, which started out as a small event held at the end of summer 2016 with a capacity of just 499, and is now expecting nearly 5,000 to attend this year.

“I’ve been in the game for roughly 20 years, as a DJ, club owner and now running a festival is the next stage.” said Pufal.

When asked about the suggestion of Logic acting as spiritual successor to Escape Into The Park, Pufal said: “Escape Into The Park was one of the most talked about events in Wales, and so it is an honour to be compared to it.

“I feel we have helped put dance music in Wales back on the map, as there was a void after Escape Into The Park ended, and there is nothing in Wales doing what we do.”

With regard to ambitions for this year’s event, he said: “It would be nice to sell out this year, and there are other fields nearby we can license, so if things go well we can up the capacity to 10,000 in the future.”

The return of a festival to Swansea is a boost to the Welsh music scene, as Slade said: “It’s positive, as it proves people are interested in going to festivals in Wales, this year we hope for a good turnout and to go on to become bigger and better.”

The arenas will be categorised as Trance, Hardcore and Hard Dance, House, Club Classics and Multi Genre. With direct access to the M4 corridor, Ynysforgan Farm is a prime location, with free on-site parking in an adjacent field, as well as a fully licensed bar and catering concessions.

There will also be a launch party between August 18-19 at the Dillwyn Arms Hotel in Herbert Street, Pontardawe, with N-Trance playing a headlining DJ set.

Logic takes place on Saturday September 8, with standard tickets costing £27.50 and final release tickets costing £32.40.

They are available by visiting www.seetickets.com and www.derricksmusic.co.uk

You can also call 07763 000382 or visit www.logicfestival.wales

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Drink driver was twice the limit

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A 46-YEAR-OLD man appeared before magistrates at Llanelli Law Court on Thursday (Nov 8) to face a charge of drink driving.

Matthew Francis of Gelli Deg, Llanelli, pleaded guilty to driving his Ford Focus in Llanelli on October 19, whilst over the drink drive limit.

Prosecutor, Sharon Anderson, said: “At 10.20pm police received a call from a member of the public. They were directed to his home address and found the vehicle of the driveway with Francis in the driver seat, and the keys in the ignition.

“He had driven back from a wedding and said he had 3-4 cans. He was arrested and later said he had 6-8 cans of lager and had placed the cans in the garden. Police checked the garden but there was nothing there.

“At half past midnight, Francis completed the intoxiliser and was found to have 70mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. He was spoken to in an interview and said the van was his and nobody else was insured.”

Magistrates fined Francis £120 and ordered him to pay £30 victim surcharge and £85 prosecution costs. He was also disqualified from driving for 17 months.

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Police operation to get uninsured drivers off the road

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THIS week Dyfed-Powys Police along with other forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be taking part in Operation Drive Insured, in a week of enhanced operations to remove uninsured drivers from UK roads and help protect road users.

Uninsured drivers are often involved in a wide range of criminal activities. Every year the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) Police Helpline records hundreds of incidents where an uninsured driver is found without a valid driving licence or using an untaxed or stolen vehicle. Records also show a number of offenders are caught driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Drivers without insurance are more dangerous than insured drivers and cause a high number of accidents. One contributing factor is because those driving with insurance are encouraged to display safer behaviour and meet road legal requirements to help keep policy costs down.

In 2017 MIB received 11,000 claims from victims of uninsured drivers, with hundreds of people who had suffered catastrophic, life-changing injuries.

MIB supports victims of uninsured and hit and run drivers by providing a last resort for claims and compensation. The annual cost to compensate victims of uninsured drivers comes to over £100 million and is funded by the motor insurance premiums of all law-abiding motorists.

Neil Drane, Head of Enforcement at MIB, said: “A driver with no valid insurance has no legal right to be on the road and removing them undoubtedly makes roads safer. The increased activity during Operation Drive Insured should get more of these drivers off our roads.”

Using data from the Motor Insurance Database (MID) – a central record of all UK motor insurance policies – police are using ANPR cameras to easily identify and stop motorists that appear to be uninsured. MIB’s police helpline supports roadside officers by investigating further and liaising with insurers to confirm whether there is valid insurance in place or not.

Any driver found without insurance during Operation Drive Insured is likely to have their vehicle seized, get six points on their licence, a £300 fine and could face court prosecution. Police also plan to carry out checks for a range of additional road traffic offences.

Simon Hills, Inspector for roads policing operations at Thames Valley Police, said: “In my experience, drivers who willingly use vehicles without insurance are often committing secondary offences. These range in seriousness from minor road traffic offences, to driving whilst disqualified and other crimes such as drug dealing and burglary. The effective enforcement of uninsured vehicles allows us to deny criminals the use of the road and prevent further offending. Operation Drive Insured is a perfect opportunity for us to target our resources.”

If a member of the public suspects a person is driving without insurance, they can report it to their local police force or anonymously to CrimeStoppers.

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Llanelli’s Schaeffler plant in Bynea seems to have been decided says Labour

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THE FATE of Llanelli’s Schaeffler plant in Bynea seems to have been decided, Llanelli’s local Labour representatives concluded after meeting the management of the German manufacturing firm in an early morning meeting in the town on Friday (Nov 9).

Llanelli MP Nia Griffith, Assembly Member Lee Waters and Bynea Councillor Deryk Cundy met with Senior Vice President Dr Thomas Cebulla and Greig Littlefair, Schaeffler’s UK managing director, to discuss this week’s announcement that 220 jobs were under threat at the old INA Bearings plant.

“Very concerningly, in spite of our entreaties, it seems that their minds are made up,” Nia Griffith MP said.

Ms Griffith added: “They stressed to us that the demand for the tappets being made in Llanelli has fallen, and is expected to drop drastically as the product comes to the end of its life and as demand for diesel engines reduces, and the new turbo charged product has not enjoyed the take up that had been hoped for.”

Lee Waters AM said: “The managers told us that Schaeffler is a very big global organisation with 72 factories worldwide and that the Llanelli closure is part of a global consolidation. They said it was no reflection on Llanelli workforce but a reaction to the change in demand for the product made in Bynea”

Deryk Cundy, the Councillor for the Bynea ward of Llanelli where the plant is based, said: “We told them that we will do all we can to work with the Welsh Government and Carmarthenshire Council to offer help if that would make a difference, but we were not encouraged by their response. It seems that their minds are made up.”

The Schaeffler executives stressed that Brexit was a consideration but not the decisive factor in this decision, pointing out that “we are a global business and global businesses want open borders and open trade”. They said Schaeffler had brought forward plans to consolidate their sites because of the uncertainty of the Brexit process.

Llanelli’s MP and AM have both called for the UK Government to prioritise giving business certainty in the Brexit negotiations.

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