POLICE OFFICERS have executed search warrants at properties in Carmarthenshire, Swansea, and Kent. Their actions are part of an investigation into allegations of corruption involving the
Wellness Village project at Delta Lakes, Llanelli.
On Thursday, Aug 8, The Herald received a tip-off which identified three properties in Carmarthenshire at which officers from Tarian, the Regional Organised Crime Unit, executed those warrants.
The tip-off was anonymous. As is usual with such tip-offs, we sought to verify it by reference to independent and reliable sources.
As a result of our further enquiries, we can confirm that Police executed a search warrant at the home of controversial former Carmarthenshire County Council CEO Mark James.
The use of a search warrant in such circumstances is not unusual. The use of one is not a sign of any criminality or dishonesty on Mr James’ part. It is possible the warrant was procured routinely to preserve material which might assist an ongoing investigation.
Police executed a further warrant at County Hall, Carmarthen.
Again, the use of a warrant is not a sign of any criminality. Police acted to obtain documentary evidence and computer material, including email trails, to help with their investigation.
It is entirely possible that Police learned a lesson from a separate probe of Pembrokeshire County Council. In that case, officers failed to secure evidence which was subsequently either lost or destroyed.
A separate Council press release states the local authority is ready and willing to help the Police in any way they can and is already offering any assistance it can to investigators.
That statement points out that a review by the WAO and an internal probe by a firm of solicitors found no administrative or compliance issues affecting the tender processes for the Wellness Village.
The Herald has been given a further address at which a search warrant was executed. That third address has not been confirmed by all of our sources and, accordingly, we do not report it here.
As we went to press, Carmarthenshire County Council exclusively confirmed to us that a search warrant was executed at County Hall last week.
Plaid’s pro-EU Saturday push in Trimsaran
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.
Glan-y-Môr conduct its annual sponsored walk
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.
Llanelli’s big night is back with a bang
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.”
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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