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St John Lloyd pupil tragically passes away

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POLICE have confirmed that a pupil of St John Lloyd School has tragically passed away this afternoon (Sept 12).

The family of the child have been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers.

Police are not treating the death as suspicious and stress that parents have no need to worry about their children at the school.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police is in attendance at St John Lloyd School in Llanelli after concerns were raised for the wellbeing of a pupil.

“Tragically, we can confirm that the child has passed away in hospital. His family has been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.

“The incident is not being treated as suspicious and there is no need for other parents to be concerned for the welfare of their children.

“Our thoughts are with the family and the school at this sad time.

“St John Lloyd is working with the local authority, the diocese and Dyfed-Powys Police in order to ensure pupils and staff are supported.”

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  1. Avatar

    Jeremy Hywel

    September 13, 2018 at 7:06 am

    A personal reflection…

    SUICIDE DOESN’T KILL PEOPLE. SADNESS DOES.

    Earlier this week was World Suicide Prevention Day and probably passed with minimal awareness by most of us and most never even paid a glimpsing thought to the subject of suicide or even the more painful subject of child suicide.

    The tragedy of the saddest of news from St. John Lloyd School has sadly brought this unthinkable topic to front of mind.

    And the rise in child suicides is worrying. In the last 12 months, the number of children and teenagers who are taking their own lives has hit its highest rate in 14 years with more than four suicides a week. This summer has seen child suicides in London rise 107% in the last three years, four times the national rate. In many places around the world, suicide is the leading non-natural cause of death for children. All these statistics are growing.

    An unthinkable topic. A needless waste of young lives.

    The lives of children and young people these days have changed versus previous generations.
    The number of likes on Instagram and how many followers on social media define popularity. Traditional classroom arguments amongst a small pupil group traditionally may have cooled off overnight but today is fuelled by exponential public sharing and shaming via social media channels.
    Students’ academic life and college chances are determined by numbers, various scores and ranks. In the early 1960s, only 4% of school leavers went to university, rising to around 14% by the end of the 1970s. Nowadays, more than 40% of young people start undergraduate degrees – but it comes at a cost. Today’s students leave with debts of £40,000 and upwards to pay back over their working lives.

    When the current generation of parents was young, we had few worries about social media, cyber bullying, student loans, drug/alcohol abuse or violence in schools.

    All this adds pressures and painful strain on our young people. The very recent NHS state of health in England shows that mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, along with substance abuse, now account for a third of all ill health.

    What can we do about it? On the macro level, the greater awareness of the problem and solutions must be driven. On a local and personal level, we can help as individuals. Don’t assume it’s a problem which won’t impact us. Today, a local family in our community, friends in our own schools, wake up to a nightmare which will never go away – the heart breaking tragedy of a teen suicide. And with suicides come the ever-circling vultures of guilt, blame, shame and the insanity of the words ‘what if…’.

    When suicidal thoughts are so common to all generations, how come society is so blind to the 6,600+ people who died of suicide in the UK alone each year? That’s twice the number of victims of the tragedy of the 9-11 Twin Towers?

    So, what can we do? Appreciate the added pressures facing our youngster in today’s society. Shame and spotlight the social media trolls and bullies. Extend a friendly hand to those who are lonely or disconnected. Speak up about those being bullied or experiencing abuse. Show support and care to those living with mental illness. Embrace those facing bereavement. Be a friend to those having low self-worth.

    Don’t cross the street to avoid these individuals nor turn a blind eye in the school corridors.

    No one, especially a child or a teen, should face the feeling of no hope or no purpose to life when life can be so beautiful. There are far, far better things ahead than what we leave behind.

    Jeremy Hywel

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    Anna Ernsting

    September 13, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    Well said. I am disappointed the report says that parents at the school need not be concerned. The parents should be very concerned that bullying is taking place at their children’s school.I hope all steps are taken to identify the children concerned and their parents to ensure this is NEVER allowed to happen again. RIP Bradley. Thoughts are with ALL his family at this sad time.

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The latest increase in coronavirus in Wales is ‘sobering’ says First Minister

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THE FIRST MINISTER, Mark Drakeford has criticised the lack of communication with the UK government as he gave a briefing on what he described as the “sobering” increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalisation in Wales.

The infection rate in Wales has risen to 23.6 infections for every 100k people as cases have spiked in areas including Merthyr, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Caerphilly and Newport.

Hospitalisations remain low but are rising, with five people currently in intensive care with Covid-19 and and 53 Covid patients on all hospital wards, according to the latest data from Public Health Wales from Sunday, September 13.

Mr Drakeford said that the number of people in hospital with coronavirus had risen to 41 with four people in intensive care.

He also said that the R number in Wales was almost certainly now above one – meaning the virus is spreading exponentially again. The latest estimate, he said, was between 0.7 and 1.2.

Mr Drakeford said: “In this most difficult week, there has been no meeting offered to First Ministers of any sort. Since the 28 May, there has been just one brief telephone call from the Prime Minister.

“This is simply unacceptable to anyone who believes that we ought to be facing the coronavirus crisis together.

“We need a regular, reliable, rhythm of engagement: a reliable meeting even once a week would be a start. I make this argument not because we should all do the same things, but because being round the same table allows each of us to make the best decisions for the nations we represent.

“There is a vacancy at the heart of the United Kingdom, and it needs urgently to be filled, so we can talk to each other, share information, pool ideas and demonstrate a determination that the whole of the country can face these challenges together at this most difficult time.”

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Trade deal won’t benefit Wales

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EVERY week, the Herald carries political opinion pieces from across Wales’ principal political parties.

This week, Jonathan Edwards MP casts an eye over the trade deal between the UK and Japan announced this week and wonders ‘What’s in it for Wales?’

Jonathan Edwards writes: THE BUNTING was on full display in Westminster this week as the British Government announced that it had reached the holy grail of signing its first post-Brexit international trade deal.  

The agreement with Japan was described by Secretary of State Liz Truss as a ‘major moment in our national history’.  As major moments go, a casual look at the detail leaves a lot to be desired.  Effectively all the British Government has achieved is to replicate a deal UK business already benefited from as part of the EU-Japan trade deal signed in 2019.

The British Government admit that over a 15-year period the deal will only increase UK economic wealth by 0.07%.  However, under the rules of Brexit political discourse never let the facts get in the way for an excuse to sing Rule Britannia and wave the Union Jack.

During the debate in the Commons, I highlighted that the British Government’s own figures indicate in a best-case scenario it would take 71 deals of this nature to make up for the British Governments strategy for the second phase of Brexit of leaving the EU Single Market and Customs Union.  If we no deal at the end of the year the situation would be considerably worse.

For Wales, the economic benefits are projected to be less than even the negligible UK figures with the deal only expected to benefit the Welsh economy by a measly 0.05%.  The same goes for other trade deals currently being negotiated by the British Government.

Capitulating on chlorinated chicken in the US Trade deal could only benefit the Welsh economy by 0.05% over 15 years according to an excellent Senedd Research paper.  

The New Zealand and Australia deals, according to the same paper, could have a 0% impact on the Welsh economy.  

Never again can the Tories claim to be the party of business: what we are witnessing is economic madness.

The agricultural provisions in the Japan deal further fuels my fears that our farmers will be the proverbial sacrificial lambs in these trade negotiations.  True there was progress on Geographical Indicators, but the British Government failed to secure any tariff rate quotas for food products.  Instead, our farmers will only be able to utilise unused quotas by the European Union.  

Let that sink in.  

In the real world, effectively. EU export policy will determine what can be exported from the UK.

The Secretary of State emphasised that the Japan deal paved the way for entry to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  A free trade area consisting of 11 countries (down from 12 after the US pulled out).  

What the British Government are reluctant to reveal is that the TPP contains strict rules on State Aid and also includes an investor-state dispute resolution mechanism which would supersede UK domestic law.  These are the same two areas, of course, that have led to the breakdown in the second phase Brexit negotiations currently ongoing.

At the end of the day, the two great Brexit era slogans of ‘take back control’ and ‘global Britain’ are completely incompatible and inherently contradictory.

As UK international trade policy develops these inconsistencies will become apparent to all.

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Plans for Llanelli’s first ever virtual Christmas carnival

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LLANELLI Christmas Carnival will not be held this year, for the first time in its 42-year history.

Partners have confirmed that the decision has been made in line with current Welsh Government guidance and increasing concerns about the spread of coronavirus linked to large gatherings.

However, plans are afoot to celebrate Christmases past and present in the town’s first ever virtual carnival.

On what would have been ‘carnival night’ the town’s illuminations will be switched on and an online celebration will be hosted on Carmarthenshire County Council’s social media channels featuring music, opportunity to reminisce over past carnivals and a challenge to businesses and organisations to create a carnival scene for the town’s first ever virtual parade.

The town’s Christmas tree is also being relocated to a more visible location for passers-by, at the busy Gelli-Onn junction near West End.

The largest Christmas carnival in Wales, Llanelli’s festive celebrations are a joint effort by Carmarthenshire County Council, Llanelli Town Council, Llanelli Rural Council and Llanelli Round Table.

Partners have expressed their disappointment at the decision but have vowed to keep Christmas spirit alive.

Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “We have made this decision with a very heavy heart as we know how much the carnival means to the people of Llanelli. This is the first time since it started over 40 years ago that we have had to take a decision like this and we are as disappointed as I’m sure everyone else will be.

“We are determined to do something special to keep the tradition alive and planning is now underway to hold a virtual carnival on what would have been the night of the traditional festivities.”

Cllr Shahana Najmi, Leader of Llanelli Town Council said: “The Llanelli Christmas Carnival is the highlight in the calendar for thousands of people and whilst we’re sorry we can’t hold the traditional carnival this year, we are pleased to be working with partners on an online celebration which we hope people will get involved with and enjoy.”

Cllr Tegwen Devichand, Leader of Llanelli Rural Council, said: “Generations of families have enjoyed Llanelli’s Christmas carnival over the years and we’re disappointed that for this first time in its history we are unable to put on the parade. We hope people will understand the decision and support the plans we’re developing for the town’s first virtual carnival.”

Roger Bowen, of Llanelli Round Table, added: “Llanelli’s carnival night is an important night as it raises a great amount of money for local charities and brings many communities together with such tremendous work on the floats, which really makes the evening such a special event.  We hope that people will find other ways to give generously and support good causes in our communities.”

Further information will be released in the coming weeks about the virtual carnival and how people can get involved.

Keep an eye on Carmarthenshire County Council’s Facebook and Twitter feeds and visit newsroom.carmarthenshire.gov.wales

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