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Llanelli has now become a “thriving market for drugs” court hears

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LLANELLI has now become a “thriving market for drugs” due to a surge in “county lines” gangs, Swansea Crown Court heard last week.
Locals are being targeted by gangs from Birmingham and Liverpool selling Class A drugs such as crack and heroin.

Organised crime groups have been sending dealers – often youngsters with no criminal records to avoid suspicion to Carmarthenshire to set up shop.

The details emerged at the sentencing of a teenager last week who was sent to Llanelli to sell crack cocaine by a criminal gang.
Cameron Davy, 18, of Duncumb Road, Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham was found in a block of flats at Clos Dewi Medi in Morfa, Llanelli with 29 wraps of the class A drug and £1,132 in cash on 10 January.

Swansea Crown Court heard that police knew the teenager was from the Midlands and believed he may have been linked to a ‘county lines’ operation.

Jim Davis, prosecuting, told the court that when police were able to analyse the defendant’s phone they found numerous texts relating to drug deals over the preceding weeks and messages that showed he had regular contact with a criminal drugs gang known to police as “The Marco Line.”

Davy pleaded guilty to possession of crack cocaine with intent to supply and to possessing criminal property. The court heard he had no previous convictions.

Kate Williams, for Davy, said her client’s dealing had lasted a “couple of weeks” and he had been due to be paid £300 for his trip to Llanelli.

She said the defendant was very much at the bottom of the chain of command of the gang and had declined to name those who had sent him to west Wales. The barrister said when Davy’s mother had received the phone call to say her son was in custody she had no idea where Llanelli was, let alone why he was there.
Williams added that gangs tended to use people with no previous convictions to do their work because they were less likely to come to the attention of police.

Recorder Simon Mills told Davy custody was inevitable for those who dealt in Class A drugs.
Giving the defendant a one-third discount for his guilty pleas he sentenced the teenager to two years four months for the drugs charge, and to eight months for the money laundering charge – the sentences will run concurrently making an overall sentence of two years and four months in youth detention.

Davy will serve half that sentence in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.

The judge said the defendant would still be 19 when he was released from the custodial element of the sentence and he then faced a stark choice.
He told the defendant he would still be “a young man with your whole life ahead of you” and could either stay involved in drugs – becoming “a broken addict looking old beyond your years” or a “hardened thug in a gang facing prison sentences in double figures” – or he could turn his back on that lifestyle and lead a “decent life”.

As he sent him down, Recorder Mills added: “I urge him to think about that moment his mother got the phone call from him.”

Speaking after the sentencing Dyfed-Powys Police detective inspector Andrew Griffiths told The Llanelli Herald that tackling the trade in drugs was a priority for the force.
He said: “Illegal drugs cause misery and they need to be taken off the streets.
“Tackling the issue is a top priority, and I encourage anyone with any information or concerns about drug misuse to contact us. As the sentencing of Cameron Davy shows, we will take action.”

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Plaid’s pro-EU Saturday push in Trimsaran

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DUBBED Pro-EU Saturday, the 30th November in Trimsaran saw the local girl and MP candidate Mari Arthur, descend on her home village of Trimsaran, to draw attention to the £680million of European Union (EU) funds that Wales receives every single year.


The only Remain candidate in Llanelli, Mari Arthur was proudly joined by Plaid Cymru regional AM Helen Mary Jones, Wales MEP Jill Evans, County Councillor Kim Broom, and a whole host of supporters, to speak with as many people as possible in the community ahead of the General Election on 12th December.


Plaid Cymru candidate Mari Arthur said: “I was thrilled to be joined in Trimsaran by so many people to talk about why EU funds have been vital for the area. We are a net beneficiary, which means that, as a nation, we get £245milion more than we pay into the EU.


“Trimsaran Leisure Centre itself is a building that received £180k from EU funds and is now the beating heart of the community. It’s great to see how this is still having a positive impact on people living in the village and further afield.”


West Wales and the Valleys is a “less developed region”, which means it is one of the “poorest regions” in Europe, as its GDP is less than 75% of the EU average. This means that £680million of EU funds comes to Wales, in the form of:


Structural Funds which amounts to just over £4 billion in extra funds to Wales since 2000, including £180,000 towards the build of Trimsaran Leisure Centre Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) with £200million a year – almost a third of all EU funding in Wales – providing vital support to 16,0000 farms in Wales.


Other Funds that help support everything else, like the arts and biodiversity. Speaking from Trimsaran, Jill Evans MEP, said: “It’s wonderful to be here today in Trimsaran and to see the fantastic support on the doorstep for Plaid Cymru, and the only local candidate on the Llanelli ticket: Mari Arthur. It’s very heartening!


“Obviously, like elsewhere in Wales, there’s a real feeling of frustration on the doorstep in relation to Brexit – among those who voted to leave AND those who voted to remain three years ago. Plaid Cymru is proudly Remain, because we believe Brexit – particularly a No Deal Brexit – would be catastrophic for Wales.


“Ask yourselves this: will Westminster Government honour this level of funding, post-Brexit? It is almost certainly a No. Vote Plaid.”


Helen Mary Jones AM, also at Trimsaran Leisure Centre, said: “It was wonderful to be at Trimsaran and to have a glimpse into what the future could be like: with Kim Broom speaking up for the community at Plaid Cymru-led Carmarthenshire Council, myself at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, Jill in Brussels and then Mari at Westminster. It would be wonderful to have a team in place that could deliver comprehensive support to the community.”
The Pro-EU day highlighted the positive impact that EU funding has had on the lives of people and communities across the Llanelli constituency.

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Glan-y-Môr conduct its annual sponsored walk

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Despite being foiled multiple times by the weather,  Glan-y-Môr has finally conducted its annual sponsored walk to raise money for our community.

We were rewarded with a wonderful afternoon and a great experience for all involved on our annual whole school Sponsored Walk in aid of RNLI and other local charities.

In total by completing the walk of almost 5 miles the school managed to raise £2000, on a trek that took pupils through Burry Port, past the RNLI boathouse and then along the seafront and back. 

The moneys raised will be donated to charities close to the school’s heart, such as the RNLI and Cancer Research. 

Head of School John Jones said “We have always been a proud community school, and the walk has always been a focal point for this, a way of everyone coming together to contribute to our local community, and in particular our links with the RNLI that keep so many of our young people safe in their time outside of school.

In a time where so many communities are fractured and at loggerheads with each other, we are a very proud part of a close knit community here in Pembrey and Burry Port, and always look to fulfil our part in that important relationship. 

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Llanelli’s big night is back with a bang

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THE annual Llanelli Christmas Carnival takes place on Friday November 22, sponsored by Rainscape, Dwr Cymru.

Market stalls full of festive eats, treats and gift ideas will line Stepney Street from 9am, building up the atmosphere ready for the biggest night of the year.

Street entertainment and fairground rides will begin at 4pm with live stage acts starting at 5.45pm. Radio DJ Tommo will compere the evening, with performances by local singers.

The carnival procession will leave Festival Fields, Pwll, at 6.15pm, arriving in town shortly after the Christmas lights switch-on at 6.45pm.

The road closure of Station Road and Church Street, Llanelli, from its junction with Murray Street to its junction with Gelli Onn, will start at 5.45pm until 8pm.

This year, for the first time, Gelli Onn will be closed to westbound traffic only, from its junction with Thomas Street.

Fireworks will mark the finale of the entertainment at 7.40pm. The funfair will remain open until 9pm.

This year, the town’s Christmas lights will be switched on by Llanelli Chamber of Trade and Commerce competition winners Farah Asada of Ysgol Brynteg and Weronika Szafran-Drafc of Ysgol Penrhos, whose winning designs will be illuminated as part of the Stepney Street decorations.

Chris Jones, Dwr Cymru’s Programme Delivery Manager, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Llanelli Christmas Carnival again this year. It was great to see the winners’ Christmas light designs converted into the real size thing which will be a focal point for the carnival. Well done to Weronika and Farah.”

Timetable

9am: Llanelli Outdoor Market situated on Stepney Street

12pm: Cowell Street closed

4pm: Big, small and scary funfair rides open with lots of side stalls plus selection of hot and cold refreshments (kindly supported by South Wales Showman’s Guild). Street entertainment (various locations)

5.45pm: Road closures in place for Gelli Onn westbound, Church Street and side streets.

5.45pm: Live entertainment and music begins on the stage located outside Town Hall including with compére Tommo.

6.15pm: Carnival parade leaves Festival Fields, Sandy Road*

6.40pm: Presentation to Christmas lights design winners (Main Stage). Kindly supported by Llanelli Chamber of Trade and Llanelli BID

6.45pm: Christmas lights switch-on by the Mayor of Llanelli Town Council, the Chair of Llanelli Rural Council and the Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council

7pm: Arrival of carnival parade in Town Hall area*. Kindly organised by Llanelli Round Table

7.40pm: Spectacular Firework Display ** (Town Hall Gardens)

8.15pm: Carnival parade prize presentation (Main Stage)

9pm: Fun fair closes

*Please note all times and activities are subject to change. Road closures will start to take effect from 12noon, effecting town centre to traffic until around 8pm.

** Timings subject to change due to Carnival Parade

For more up to date information on the day, check Discover Carmarthenshire’s Facebook page fb.me/DiscoverCarmarthenshire

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