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Llanelli MP speaks out over ISIS schoolgirls

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NIA GRIFFITH, Labour MP for Llanelli, called on the press to stop giving ‘celebrity’ status to British Muslims who join ISIS.

This follows the media saturation surrounding the three London schoolgirls who fled to Turkey last month, and are believed to have entered Syria.

She raised the point during a session in Westminster on Monday (Mar 2), when Home Secretary Theresa May was summoned to the House of Commons to answer an urgent question posed by Yvette Cooper regarding the abolition of control orders.

Mrs May agreed with Mrs Griffith, and said: “A free press is obviously part of what underpins our democracy, but I would expect the media to be responsible in the way in which they deal with these particular issues.”

Speaking to the Herald, Mrs Griffith explained the reasons behind her stance: “I respect the freedom of the press, so obviously I would not ask the Home Secretary to curtail that freedom, but I was seeking her support in appealing to the press for some restraint on the publicity given to individuals who are going off to join heinous terrorist organisations abroad. Seeing their names and pictures in the press can make some of these people feel rewarded, and they revel in what they see as celebrity status. Making a name for themselves might even provide additional motivation to make them go. It is important that we know about people going off like this to these organisations, so that families can be on the alert for any unusual behaviour, but this could be done in a more confidential way, without naming or showing pictures of them. Of course there could be circumstances where giving their identity is justified if, for example, there was a chance that the public could spot them, but otherwise over-exposure of such individuals is likely just to be playing into the hands of the vile organisations that brainwash and recruit them.”

UK anti-terrorism police believe that up to 60 British women, many under the age of 20, have joined with ISIS in Syria in the last year. One of the schoolgirls had been in Twitter contact with a female member of the group who left Edinburgh last year to marry an ISIS fighter. The ease in which extremists can target young British Muslims, many of whom could feel alienated by consistent negative coverage their religion receives in the media, and ‘groom’ them online is also a cause for concern.

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Llanelli: Stop notice issued for school planning application

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A CONTROVERSIAL planning application for a new 480-spaced school in Llanelli has been issued a stop notice by the Welsh Government.
Carmarthenshire County Council is proposing to build a new £9.1m school on Llanerch Fields in Llanelli and were looking to determine the planning application in the coming weeks. Welsh Government will now decide whether to call in the application or not.
The new school would accommodate 420 primary and 60 nursery pupils, set over two floors with larger classrooms with integrated IT facilities, a multi-purpose hall and specialist provision for pupils with additional learning needs.
Over recent years there has been much debate in the area on the choice of site for the new school with campaigners arguing that they support a new school, but object against Llanerch fields being built upon. Last year an attempt to get the land designated as a village green was turned down.
In 2017, Ysgol Dewi Sant as the first Welsh medium primary school to be provided by a local authority celebrated its 70th birthday.
Councillor Rob James, local member for Lliedi, stated “From day one I have raised concerns that the Council’s site choice and planning process opened the Council up to the possibility of the Welsh Government calling in the planning application. It is clear that these concerns were not misplaced and there is now a really chance that it will be. 

“As a local Councillor, a school governor and a parent, I am passionate about the need for a new school for the pupils of Ysgol Dewi Sant and it is important that local pupils get the benefits of a 21st century school.
“I will now be working with Council Officers to ensure that contingency plans are prepared in case the Welsh Government state that the planning application does not comply with national planning policy.
“I will also work with parents, pupils, residents and interested parties are able to engage with the Welsh Government during this process.”

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Third annual Burry Port Raft Race is eagerly awaited

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THE THIRD ANNUAL BURRY PORT RAFT RACE, organised by Burry Port couple, Craig and Isabel Goodman, will be held on Saturday (July 27).

The event which is held in Burry Port Harbour, raises much needed funds for both Burry Port RNLI and a children’s football academy and primary school the couple support in The Gambia.

The day launches at 12pm with stands, food stalls and children’s inflatable games and rides and these will be available until 5pm. You’ll also have a chance to meet the crews, who’ll be busy putting the final touches to their rafts.

Rafts launch at 3pm, followed by a presentation ceremony, including prizes for first raft over the line, first raft to sink and best dressed raft.

Craig said: ” A huge thank you goes to all our sponsors, including overall sponsor Dawsons, along with continued sponsorship from Celtic Couriers, Parker Plant Hire, Burns Pet Nutrition, Burry Port Co-Op, Llanelli Star, LBS Builders Merchants, Burry Port Marina, First Choice Flooring and Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council.

For any further information about the event, please contact 07825 842981.

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Compensation offered after FSCS declares Llanelli firm in default

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CONSUMERS could get back money they have lost as a result of their dealings with a failed regulated firm in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. The firm is Hayden Williams Independent Financial Services Limited formerly Assura Protect, Room 1, 7 Meadows Bridge, Parc Menter, Cross Hands, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales SA14 6RA.

The firm was declared in default in June 2019 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

FSCS is the UK’s statutory compensation scheme that protects customers of authorised financial services firms that carry out certain regulated activities. A declaration of default means FSCS is satisfied a firm is unable to pay claims for compensation made against it. This paves the way for customers of that firm to make a claim for compensation with FSCS.

Alex Kuczynski, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at FSCS, said: “FSCS steps in to protect consumers around the UK when authorised financial services firms go bust. This vital service, which is free to consumers, protects deposits, insurance, investments, home finance and debt management. We want anyone who believes they may be owed money as a result of their dealings with this firm to get in touch, as we may be able to help you.”

Since it began in 2001, FSCS has helped more than 4.5m people, paying out more than £26bn in compensation.

If you wish to make a claim with FSCS against Hayden Williams Independent Financial Services Limited, you may be able to do so using FSCS’s online claims service at https://claims.fscs.org.uk Or you can contact its Customer Services Team on 0800 678 1100 or 020 7741 4100

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