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Flat fire in Llywnhendy

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EMERGENCY services attended a serious flat fire that took place this afternoon (August 12) in Llwynhendy.

A spokesman for the Welsh Ambulance Service said: “We were called on Monday, August 12, at approximately 12:03pm to reports of a fire in a residential area in Llanelli. We responded with one emergency ambulance and crews from our Hazardous Area Response Team.”

Smoke was pouring from the windows of the property, with the ground floor window now gone and dark black smoke stains visible across the front of the house.

A crowd of onlookers gathered as firefighters dealt with the blaze.

It is not yet known how the blaze began, or whether anyone was seriously hurt. However, police investigations are currently taking place at the scene.

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Miraculous transformation of a rescued horse

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THE ‘miraculous transformation’ horses can achieve after being rescued by the RSPCA. It is perfectly highlighted by Jack. Jack is a veteran 15-hand chestnut gelding who is proving a perfect companion to animals and humans alike at his new premises in North Shropshire.


However, he looked a very different horse when he first came to the attention of the RSPCA in May 2018.


Jack had been abandoned with serious welfare concerns at stables in Furnace near Llanelli without the consent of the land-owner.


RSPCA inspectors Rohan Barker and Nigel Duguid arrived and found the horse to be emaciated, and in urgent need of help.


Inspector Barker said: “This poor horse had been mysteriously dumped at stables in Furnace in Llanelli, in a really bad way. His ribs and spine were visible, and he was badly emaciated. The veterinary examination confirmed he was suffering, and it was just miserable to witness.”


The horse was seized by Dyfed-Powys Police and taken into the care of the RSPCA – before heading to a boarding establishment in the Swansea area.
Poor Jack underwent many months of rehabilitation and care; including time under the stewardship of equine expert Juls de Smet, who looked after Jack for around 10 weeks as part of his recovery.


Ms De Smet said: “He’s such a friendly, easy horse who was no trouble at all. He appreciated us tending to him and helping him get better.


We found Jack to be such a sweet, genuine horse who was easy to treat and medicate. Such a gorgeous boy. It’s just such a great shame he had been left in such a horrendous state. It looks to me that as poor Jack was getting older, someone thought he wasn’t good enough anymore and just dumped him. It’s just so cruel.”


Jack was eventually adopted by Tina, at her yard in North Shropshire. Her family had recently been struck by great sadness – but Jack helped turned their fortunes around, as well as his own.


Sadly, the family saw two of their horses die within ten weeks in 2018, leaving the third horse on her own and without companionship.


However, Jack has proven the perfect addition to their family, and Tina was full of praise for both the work of the RSPCA and the role that rescue horses can play as companions.


She said: “Tragically, we lost two of our horses within just 10 weeks. It was an awful situation, and we were left with one horse, suddenly all on her own and lonely – having lost both her mother and friend within weeks. We were all so upset.


We were desperate to get some new company for our mare – initially moving three sheep in next door to stave off our lonely horse’s unhappiness. That’s when we called the RSPCA – and they were so helpful.
They soon found Jack, who’d they rescued some months earlier in South Wales. Jack initially moved in with us on a trial basis, and immediately was an amazing companion. He was a fantastic addition at such a stressful time when we were under real pressure to find another suitable horse.


His rehabilitation has continued with us – and the weight he’s put on, his beautiful shiny coat and his fantastic personality are a far cry from how the RSPCA found him in Llanelli.


“I’m so grateful to the RSPCA, who were just brilliant. I’d say to anyone – if you’ve got the right facilities, wherewithal, experience and space, rescue horses can make the most fantastic companions. After what they’ve so often been through, they deserve happiness, security and comfort.


“We completed the formal, final adoption of Jack a couple of weeks ago – and it was one of the best decisions we have made.”

Dozens of rescue horses are available for rehoming in or around Wales at any one time, and the RSPCA hopes to continue to transform the lives of horses rescued from incredibly difficult situations and finds them loving new families.


RSPCA equine welfare manager for Wales and the Midlands Gareth Johnson said: “Jack’s story shows the miraculous transformation rescue horses can go through.


“From being dumped heartlessly in Llanelli and a woeful condition to making the perfect companion to humans and animals alike many, many miles away in Shropshire – this has been some journey for Jack.


“There are dozens of other rescue horses in our care in and around Wales, and we’d love to introduce the equines in our care to prospective adopters across Wales. From adult ridden and companion horses to youngsters who will need bringing on in their new homes, people can start their search for a rescued horse on the RSPCA website.”


The RSPCA’s Homes for Horse campaign is aiming to find forever homes for horses and ponies by showcasing the versatility and capability of the horses it rescues.

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Water company fined £40,000 in NRW prosecution after 500 fish killed

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THE OPERATOR of a Swansea water treatment plant has been fined £40,000 at Swansea Magistrates Court after a chemical discharge killed more than 500 fish.

The incident took place at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s (DCWW) Felindre water treatment works, just outside Swansea, in July 2018. Felindre is one of the largest water treatment works in Wales, producing water for up to 400,000 customers in Swansea, Bridgend and Cardiff.

The pollution happened when lime slurry that was being transferred spilled into a surface water drain which led to the River Lliw.

An inspection of the river by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) officers found dead fish including trout, lamprey and bullheads, and invertebrates including 200 freshwater shrimps, mayflies and caddis flies.

In total, three quarters of a mile (1.2 kilometres) of the river was affected. Fish populations in the river are expected to take three to four years to recover.

DCWW admitted causing the pollution at a previous hearing in Swansea Magistrates Court.

Chris Palmer, senior water framework directive officer for NRW, said: “Our rivers are important for our wildlife, our economy and our health and wellbeing and we are committed to preventing pollution incidents whatever their source.

“Despite efforts by DCWW to contain the spill, a significant amount of pollution entered the river and had a devastating impact on fish and other wildlife. It will take years to recover.

“We will continue to work with the company to reduce the risk of this happening again, and to improve its environmental performance to lower the number of pollution incidents in the future.”

The company was also ordered to pay costs of £8,980.99 and a victim surcharge of £170.

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Llanelli High Street shortlisted for prize

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LLANELLI HIGH STREET has been shortlisted in the Government’s Great British High Street Awards, in proud partnership with Visa, putting them in the running for up to £15,000.

After a rigorous selection process led by a panel of independent judges, the high street has been shortlisted for the Rising Star category, which celebrates high streets which are taking the lead to adapt and diversify.

The bid by Ymlaen Llanelli follows research commissioned by Visa in April 2019 demonstrating the positive impact that the local high street has on communities. The research found that nearly three quarters of consumers (71%) in Wales say that shopping locally makes them feel happy, with nearly half (45%) citing supporting local shops and knowing where their money is going as the main reason. Spending time with friends and family (25%) and offering a sense of community (18%) were other reasons cited for why high streets make people feel happier. The research also reveals that half of consumers (50%) feel that their high street gives them a sense of pride in their local community.

High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP said: “Congratulations to Llanelli for being shortlisted for the Rising Star Award for this year’s Great British High Street Awards.

“Llanelli high street is a hive of activity, with food festivals, childrens’ days and community get-togethers all part of the local calendar. A great example of how high streets can bring a renewed energy to communities.

“People are happier when they can see their hard-earned cash support local businesses. That is why we are celebrating those that go above and beyond to keep their high streets thriving for generations to come.”

Sundeep Kaur, Head of UK & Ireland Merchant Services at Visa, added: “We’ve seen some fantastic entries for this year’s Great British High Street Awards across both the Champion High Street and Rising Star categories. In particular, the desire to innovate stands out amongst this year’s entries, with high streets adapting to the challenges presented by a rapidly changing retail environment to find ways to thrive at a local level.

“As our research shows, high streets play a vital role at the heart of communities, so this is a great opportunity for those communities with shortlisted high streets to show their support by placing their votes on the Great British High Street website.”

Llanelli High Street is one of the 28 high streets that have been shortlisted for the Rising Star category, identifying high streets which are taking the lead to adapt and diversify. 12 high streets have been shortlisted in the Champion High Street category, which recognises the UK’s best high streets. All 40 high streets are now in the running to win a prize of up to £15,000 to be dedicated to a local high street initiative.

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