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Police station ‘past its sell-by date’

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Past sell-by date: Llanelli Police Station

Past sell-by date: Llanelli Police Station

A PLANNED upgrade for Llanelli Police Station has been abandoned, and the main custody centre will move to Dafen, while a base is retained in the town centre, the Police and Crime Commissioner has announced. The changes will form part of a £15m ‘estate modernisation programme’ announced earlier this week. Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon said: “I want the public to access local policing as easily as possible and I want to spend their money as wisely as possible.

“Llanelli’s current main police station, in Waunlanyrafon, is well past its sell-by date; it’s not a welcoming place for the public and it’s not a good place for officers to work. “We’d have liked to build a new base there – and had planned a £7.5m upgrade – but research has found it wouldn’t be cost effective, partly due to flood risk.” Other sites such as North Dock and Delta Lakes were considered but dismissed as not being cost effective.

Additionally, plans are being made to build a new base in Dafen, with Carmarthenshire’s main custody centre being moved there from Waunlanyrafon along with improved support facilities. Llanelli currently has 10 cells. Now a key focus is on identifying a prominent town centre location for use by the public and as a base for local policing teams. Mr Salmon has stressed that police accessibility in the town centre will be maintained, along with emergency response capability for the town as a whole. During the new development work the current station and custody suite will continue to support the existing levels of policing.

Mr Salmon said: “Llanelli’s police facilities must meet the public’s expectations of modern policing. This is a major investment which will result in modern, effective and efficient police bases. “I analysed what’s needed and the options for providing it. With the Chief Constable, I considered all options and we agreed to explore this one. I’m determined to spend public money wisely and to deliver accessible and responsive policing focused on our communities.

“I invite the Llanelli public to let me know where they’d like to see their new town centre police base.” The cost of the new work is accounted for in the force’s capital budget. Llanelli Police Station is base to around 150 police officers, PCSOs and staff. It is one of five custody locations across Dyfed-Powys. The others are Aberystwyth, Brecon, Haverfordwest and Newtown police stations.

Overflow facilities are available at Ammanford and Cardigan. Chief Constable Simon Prince said: “This level of investment in Llanelli’s police bases clearly demonstrates our commitment to keeping a local base in the town and our desire to ensure our custody facilities are fit for operational use for the future. “The police officers and staff there will together continue to keep the public safe from new, improved locations.

The work will ensure that we are able to provide the highest standards of service to our communities in the Llanelli area.” A review of the Dafen plan’s cost and environmental implications is expected later this month. Other Llanelli-area police stations, including Llwynhendy, Burry Port, Kidwelly and Cross Hands remain open.

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Conservatives in disarray over alleged Christmas party lockdown breach

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THE CONSERVATIVE Party is investigating the attendance of senior Senedd members and staff at a Christmas party held during December’s lockdown.

Lockdown restrictions prohibit mixing with people outside your own household.

The Welsh restrictions barring such gatherings follow the basic outline of those imposed by the Conservative UK Government in December.

Those attending the drinks party included Paul Smith, the Conservative Chief of Staff at the Senedd, Darren Millar, the Party’s Chief Whip and campaign coordinator, and Preseli Pembrokeshire MS and Conservative Senedd Group Leader Paul Davies.

The Herald understands that a Labour Senedd Member who attended the Party has been suspended by the Labour Senedd Group pending its own investigation.

The Conservatives’ embarrassment at talking the talk but not walking the walk is intensified by Darren Millar’s presence at the shindig.

In May, Mr Millar led calls for Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething to be sacked for eating a bag of chips in a park with one of his own children.

If the Conservative Party follows the logic of their previously stated positions, Mr Millar’s and Mr Davies’ futures look bleak indeed.

With a Senedd election only months away, the revelations have thrown the Conservatives into disarray.

If they do nothing, the Conservatives will – at the very least – face claims they are hypocrites.

If the Conservative Party acts decisively, it faces massive internal problems.

The Conservatives responded to our request for a response to our story.

Those involved stressed they did not host a Christmas Party.

The incident happened on December 8, when the above met in the members’ tea room to discuss legislation for possible inclusion in the Welsh Conservative manifesto with a Labour backbencher.

During the evening they did drink a glass or two of wine.

They stress that at no point were there more than four people in the room at any one time and that they maintained social distancing.

A joint statement from Paul Davies, Darren Millar, and Paul Smith said: “We are profoundly sorry for our actions.

“While we did not break the rules, we recognise that what was part of a day’s work would not be seen to be following the spirit of them, especially given the tough time the country has been going through.”

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Family tribute to Carole Patricia Fowler

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Carole was a teacher for 30 years at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Llanelli. She loved children and they loved her. 

As one of her past colleagues said: “I know she made such a difference to every child she taught.” She was very popular with staff and well respected and loved by parents. She was dedicated and conscientious, always 100% for the children. She led the music there and was always popular with her guitar accompaniments for services and concerts. 

Likewise, she was a valued member of the choir at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, Gendros, Swansea, where she would often accompany hymns with her guitar and gave guitar lessons to the children in the church’s Saturday Music Club. She was also a keen member of Côr Persain, Ammanford. 

She was talented, loved and in demand. A convicted and devout Catholic all her life, through good and bad.

Carole was an avid and very gifted crocheter and was always crocheting or knitting something for someone. She had been spending her time recently, during the Covid crisis, crocheting NHS teddies in scrubs and rainbows, with many given to practising nurses. Carole had recently started learning to make bobbin lace. She was also capable of some very decent sewing, too. 

She was also learning Welsh, doing ‘pilates’ and was considering taking up yoga lessons as well.

She was a busy lady! As one of her work colleagues said of her: “She was wise, strong, beautiful, generous, devout and feisty. And I loved her for all those qualities.”

Above all, she was an immeasurably loved Mam, daughter, sister and a doting Mamgu and so much loved by her fiancé. Having been together for 14 years, they would have been married last July 20th had covid allowed! 

Her premature passing at 61 is tragic and she is already sorely, painfully missed. She leaves behind a huge chasm in so many hearts that cannot be filled.

“Eternal rest grant unto her, o Lord, may perpetual light shine about her, may she rest in peace.”

If anyone witnessed the collision or may have been travelling on the M4 at the relevant time, please contact the Serious Collision Unit quoting police reference DPP-20210113-317

Police can be contacted either online at: bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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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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