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Parc Howard: Meryl’s key role




‘Recommended’ property speculator: EBM Cllr Meryl Gravell

‘Recommended’ property
speculator: EBM Cllr Meryl

A LETTER from the Vice Chair of the Park Howard Association, Mrs Margaret Gimblett, which takes issue with the headline of a story in last week’s Herald, has revealed how property speculator Nick Spysznyk was introduced to the Chair of the Parc Howard Association, former UKIP candidate Ken Rees.

In her letter to this newspaper, Mrs Gimblett discloses that ‘Ken was first approached by Nick Spysznyk, representing a mysterious group of investors, on the recommendation of County Councillor Meryl Gravell’.

Cllr Gravell was conspicuous by her absence from a recent meeting of the council where she was due to be questioned about the council’s attempt to dispose of Parc Howard to private hands. The Executive Board member’s involvement at an early stage in the scheme, indicates that much more was known – and more widely known – than has previously been disclosed.

The fact that an Executive Board member was fully apprised of the scheme in conjunction with senior officers while local councillors were deliberately kept in the dark – if not, misled by omission – suggests that the Council has stumbled over the first of its much-vaunted ’39 Steps’ to become more open, transparent, and democratic.

Mrs Gimblett goes on to confirm that Mr Rees did not invite members of the Parc Howard Association who were councillors to and ‘informal meeting’ at the Diplomat Hotel and a second meeting at the Thomas Arms a fortnight later.

Explaining the background to the Parc Howard Association was formed as a pressure group to ensure the preservation and improvement of the Parc for the people of Llanelli to whom it was given by the Howard Stepney family over 100 years ago, Ms Gimblett said: ‘The committee is made up of volunteers, responsible and concerned individuals who give of their time and energy to lobby the County Council and organise events in the Parc. We have made considerable headway over the last five years, culminating in submitting our ‘Vision’ for the Parc which was included in the council’s bid for a Heritage Lottery fund grant last year, but the bid failed and very little progress has been made since. We intend to fight on’.

Mounting a stout defence of her conduct of a meeting at which she used her casting vote to support the embattled Mr Rees against attempts to unseat him, and describing Catriona Waldron’s conduct in alerting the press to the vote’s outcome as ‘vicious and spiteful’, Mrs Gimblett said: ‘I voted in Ken’s favour because, having known him for about thirty years, I believe him to be well-intentioned and honest, with the interests of Llanelli at heart. I certainly do not believe that he would get involved in any corruption, which Catriona seems to be implying’.

The Herald has already revealed that the Association secretary, Phil Lawler, has requested that should Ken Rees ever attend future meetings with Loca Ventures Ltd, he should not hold himself out as representing the Parc Howard Association.

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How Wales created 19 new field hospitals in less than 8 weeks…




Across Wales the Welsh Government is supporting the NHS to create new field hospitals and rapidly increase bed capacity.
Health boards have repurposed existing buildings, including the Principality Stadium, a holiday park and even a television studio to provide an additional 6,000 beds.Field hospitals are designed to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic by providing extra bed capacity but they will also help normal hospital services be restarted and support social care services.Last month, the first patients were admitted to Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig at the Principality Stadium, in Cardiff.

Four to six weeks

Here is how Wales almost doubled its bed capacity in less than eight weeks…The time it has taken to nearly double hospital bed capacity in Wales, creating field hospitals across the nation.

19 field hospitals in Wales
This includes the repurposing of Bluestone Holiday Park and Parc y Scarlets in west Wales and Venue Cymru in north Wales.

1,500 beds at the Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig
Making it one of the largest field hospitals in the UK.

Five days
The length of time it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig, which overlapped with the build phase.

The number of planning hours, involving more than 20 different disciplines, it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig.

Welsh Government funding for the set up, construction and equipment for field hospitals in Wales.

The number of pieces of equipment have been provided to help support field hospitals, including beds, imaging equipment, syringe drivers and medicines.

Three North Wales field hospitals have the name Enfys
Meaning rainbow – the symbol of hope and thank you to the NHS during the pandemic.
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7-year-old Mattie from Pembrey takes on home Pen y Fan-tastic challenge for Action for Children




Plucky Mattie Denman will climb the equivalent of Pen y Fan in the drive at her family home in Pembrey on Friday 22nd May to raise funds for Action for Children.

Mattie (7), has always wanted to climb the highest mountain in South Wales and is unable to currently because of the coronavirus pandemic.  As the family exercise at home every day, she decided she wanted to do the 6-mile equivalent journey there while she waits for the chance to do it for real.  Mattie chose Action for Children as her mother, Sian, works for the charity in Carmarthenshire.

Mattie said: ‘My Mammy works for Action for Children and I want to help as well because lots of families need help.  My older brother and sister help Action for Children, so I asked Mammy if I could do something. We exercise everyday walking up and down the drive and I have always wanted to climb Pen y Fan, but we have never done it.

‘Mammy said I could pretend I am walking it and people will give money to the charity. I said brilliant, that is what I am going to do and I am super excited to do it. I will use mammy’s step counter and I hope I can help children that need support especially because it is so hard for some families because of coronavirus.’

Proud mum and family support practitioner for Action for Children, Sian, added: ‘Mattie has a lovely heart and really wanted to do something and I’m very proud she chose Pen y Fan as her home challenge.  Action for Children has been going the extra mile during the coronavirus pandemic continuing to support vulnerable families through phone and video sessions as well as food and help with the basics from our Emergency Appeal Fund. 

‘It is a tremendously challenging time for our families and every bit of money will directly help those in our communities who need it most.  I hope as many people as possible will donate to Mattie’s brilliant fundraising effort, it’ll make it even more special when we finally get to climb Pen y Fan for real.’

If you want to support Mattie’s Pen y Fan challenge please go to:

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Housebuilder launches Coronavirus move in package




A South Wales housebuilder has launched new incentives which mean homes are ‘ready to move into’ during the Covid-19 crisis – without the need for tradespeople or delivery people.

People in Wales are allowed to move into new build houses during the lockdown – and many people have successfully done so.

However, the limitations of social distancing can add extra stress when it comes to having things like dishwashers, washing machines and turf installed in the new property.

That’s why Persimmon Homes West Wales has launched a new incentive package which gives purchasers the chance to buy a house with white goods and flooring already in place.

Sharon Bouhali, sales director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “Our sales advisors have done a terrific job in talking with customers and guiding them through the buying process remotely, without the need of face-to-face meetings.

“It’s been a huge challenge, but we’ve risen to it – and Persimmon has sold more than 120 properties in South Wales during the lockdown period. We have customers moving into their new homes every week.

“But, understandably, some people are cautious about having too many tradespeople and contractors enter their home, even if they are doing their utmost to abide by social distancing rules.

“That’s why we have launched these new packages which mean people can turn the key, unpack and get on with enjoying their new home.”

The package includes carpets and vinyl throughout, turf in the back garden, sliding wardrobes, integrated fridge freezer, integrated washer/dryer, integrated dishwasher and £500 discount towards removal fees.

The deal is on offer at Glas Y Felin in Bridgend, Parc Yr Onnen in Carmarthen, The Bridles in Llanelli, Peterson Park in Pontyclun, Parc Brynderi in Llanelli and Allt Y Celyn in Rhos.

Persimmon’s marketing suites in Wales remain closed for the time being. Visit or call 01792 229800 for details of homes available.

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