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Plaid march for People’s Vote

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MEMBERS of Plaid Cymru Llanelli attended the People’s Vote March in London on Saturday (Oct 20), in support of a vote on the Government’s final Brexit deal.

The event was attended by an estimated 700,000 people, highlighting the growing feeling of discontent that exists towards the Brexit negotiations and their consequences.

Plaid Cymru’s 2017 Westminster candidate, Mari Arthur, was one of those members who attended. She said: “Brexit was the issue that propelled me into getting involved more actively with Plaid Cymru. I could not trust our current politicians to represent Llanelli at Westminster through the Brexit process, our current MP’s voting record shows she repeatedly does not put Wales first. I can’t accept seeing my hometown suffer because of the deception of the Leave campaign.

“While Brexiteers said an extra £350 million would be given to the NHS, they have since said they’d like to see private firms running hospitals in the UK. While Brexiteers said Brexit would provide an economic boost, businesses are leaving the UK and there’s no sight of a trade deal with the EU. While Brexiteers said Brexit would be a chance to “take back control”, powers have been taken away from Wales in an attempt to rebuild Westminster’s dominance post-Brexit.

“There’s no doubt that many people voted for Brexit as a backlash against the status-quo, but every day, it’s becoming more and more clear that Brexit isn’t what it was hyped up to be. It is not going to deliver for Wales!”

The same frustration regarding the EU referendum was expressed by Plaid Cymru regional AM, Helen Mary Jones, during a motion calling for a People’s Vote in the National Assembly for Wales. In her speech, she said: “I remember campaigning with Lee Waters in Llanelli and two young men saying to me, ‘I can’t get into this at all. This is posh English blokes shouting at each other. This doesn’t feel as if it’s anything to do with me.

“I am convinced that none of those voters who voted for Brexit voted for drug shortages, unemployment, a hard border in Northern Ireland, visa requirements to visit our nearest neighbours and threats to environmental protection and our human rights. And all of those are real risks of a hard ‘no deal’ Brexit.”

Lee Waters and his Labour colleagues went on to vote against Plaid Cymru’s motion for a people’s vote that night, despite many of them saying publically that they support the Vote. Currently, it is Labour’s preference to have a general election before a people’s vote if Theresa May’s deal fails to meet their six Brexit tests. But how can we trust a Government that is telling the people one thing and, on the same day, voting against a different way?

In reference to Labour’s ambiguity over a people’s vote, Mari Arthur said: “Now is not the time to be playing political games. This is by far the most important issue in our generation and we cannot put our own party’s interests above the nation’s. I call on both our AM and our MP to join me in supporting a people’s vote.

“With only weeks to go for a deal to be reached, a no-deal Brexit is becoming increasingly likely. The consequences of this will be catastrophic for Wales. Plaid Cymru believes that it is only right to go back to the people at the end of this process and ask if this is the Brexit that they wanted.

“I have just emailed Nia Griffith to reconsider and support the People’s Vote, I urge you to do the same.”

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Tip off leads to pensioner’s drug stash

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A BRIEFCASE full of drugs has been recovered during a raid in Swansea suburb.
Police acting on information provided by a member of the public executed a warrant in Gorseinon and recovered a large quantity of cannabis.
A man was arrested on suspicion of possession of the class B drug, with intent to supply.
A South Wales Police spokesman said: “At around 5.40pm on Wednesday, January 6, following an intelligence led operation, a 68 year-old man from Gorseinon was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis.
“He was taken to Swansea central police station for questioning. He has been released under investigation”.

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New Year – new start – for two seals released back into the wild

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Two grey seal pups have been returned to the wild for the New Year following months of RSPCA rehabilitation.

They were released at Port Eynon, Gower, Swansea, on 3 January as the sun rose – just days into 2021 – by  RSPCA animal rescue officer Ellie West and RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben – who caught the beautiful event on camera. One seal had been originally rescued from Abereiddy in Pembrokeshire – the other from Trevone in Cornwall. They were both found in distress, underweight and with injuries.

Ellie said: “This was such a lovely release – to see them both enter the sea happily where they belong with the sun rising in the distance was just glorious. It was a lovely way to start the new year.”

The seals had been transferred to the Welsh coast from RSPCA Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre in Hastings the previous day and had spent the night at the RSPCA Llys Nini Branch seal unit.

“These two pups – nicknamed BB8 and Luke Skywaker – have been in the fantastic care of RSPCA Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre who have given them the best rehabilitation over the past few months. It’s always fantastic to hear when they have put on the appropriate weight and can be released back into the wild,” added Ellie.

Ellie had been involved in the initial care of the seal rescued from Abereiddy Beach back in October.

“He was a weaned pup that had pretty much moulted out all his baby white lanugo coat, so he was fully weaned, but he was found quite underweight, lethargic and had the snotty face of a sickly pup,” she said. “He also had a lump on the top of his neck.

“He was reported to myself and Keith and we asked Welsh Marine Life Rescue (WMLR) to attend who very kindly collected him and cared for him for a few days until we were able to transfer him to the wildlife centre.

“Once again we want to thank WMLR for all their assistance, expertise and all their hard work this past season. We could not do what we do without them.”

At RSPCA Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre the seal had the lump removed under anaesthetic by the vet team.

The second seal from Cornwall came into RSPCA care in November and weighed just 16.3kg. The seal had suffered a few small wounds and was a bit wheezy, with centre staff treating him for lungworm and administering antibiotics. When he left the centre the seal – who was named Luke Skywalker – weighed a healthy 40kg.

Before release, the seals were given identification tags in their hind flippers for ID purposes. The RSPCA often receives good feedback from sightings – and the scientific results received reveal that seals that go on from rehabilitation survive in the wild.

The RSPCA advises that if members of the public spot a seal on a beach that they think might need help, the best thing is to observe them from a distance and do not approach them.

Seals are wild animals and have a nasty bite. Never try to return a seal to water yourself, as you may put yourselves and the seal at risk by doing this. It is also advised they keep dogs away from any seal and keep them on leads on beaches that have seal colonies too.

It’s not unusual for a seal pup to be alone, as seal mums leave their pups very early on in life. So if the seal pup looks fit and healthy and shows no signs of distress, it should firstly be monitored from a safe distance for 24 hours.

If you see a pup whose mother hasn’t returned within 24 hours, is on a busy public beach, or if you think the seal may be sick or injured, please stay at a safe distance and call the RSPCA’s advice and cruelty line on 0300 1234 999. An unhealthy seal pup looks thin (but not bony) with a visible neck, like a dog.

There is more information on the RSPCA website about what to do if you see a seal or pup on the beach alone.

If you have an animal welfare concern or find an animal in distress please call 0300 1234 999.

This winter, the RSPCA expects to rescue thousands of animals from neglect, cruelty and suffering. Already this Christmas we received more than 44,000 calls to our cruelty line but the calls to our rescue line are not stopping so neither will we. To help our rescue teams continue to reach the animals who desperately need us this winter, visit www.rspca.org.uk/xmas and Join the Winter Rescue #JoinTheRescue

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Community Midwife home for Christmas after 85 day battle with COVID-19

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SHARON GEGGUS, a community midwife from Llanelli is home for the holidays after a three month battle with coronavirus.
Sharon began to feel unwell in September, experiencing shortness of breath and a high temperature.
As these symptoms persisted and her condition began to worsen, she was admitted to Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli on 16 September, with a temperature of 41°C.During her stay, she credits the support of her family and the staff at Prince Philip Hospital for helping her get through the ordeal. Speaking of her experience in hospital, Sharon says: “I was sedated for about five weeks, but I was told that the staff were playing music for me. They had contacted my family to find out what my favourite songs were, and they would play those.
“It was really hard but the hardest times I didn’t really know about – my family were the people going through it. I can’t stress how well the staff looked after me. I used the iPads provided through the hospital to keep in contact with my family and the staff would also help me phone and communicate with my family.  
“The ITU staff and the staff on Ward 9 where I went for rehabilitation were amazing. I’m a community midwife myself and I would obviously treat someone how I wanted to be treated – but they really went above and beyond.
They would sit and chat with me when I was feeling down and they made sure I was in contact with my family all the time, even letting me hang up pictures of my family on my wall.”
Sharon was clapped out of the hospital on 10 December, 85 days after being admitted. Even though she is home, the road to recovery isn’t over.
She says: “There’s still a long way to go but I’m getting there. I can get around using a walking frame and only need oxygen when I’m really moving about. It’s so nice to be home, I think you just sort of relax a bit and move around more and just feel better for being back with your family.”
Reflecting on her experience, Sharon offered this advice to others with COVID-19: “Keep in touch with your family as much as you possibly can, it’s what got me through. I wouldn’t really know what else to say, just keep positive and keep in touch with your loved ones, that’s what really helps.”
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