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Ponytyates businessman dies

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ONE OF Carmarthenshire’s most prominent businessmen and entrepreneurs has passed away after a short battle with illness. 

Clive Hughes from Pontyates passed away on Sunday (Jul 24) at Prince Phillip Hospital in Llanelli.

He was the owner of Hughes Haulage and a number of other businesses he had established in other countries including Australia and South Africa.

His haulage and logistics companies were massive and established him amongst one of the most successful Welsh businessmen during 60s, 70s and 80s. He could often be seen mixing with some of the world’s most successful and , often, most notorious men, including Alan Bond and Jeffrey Archer.

Clive returned to Wales after having retired in the Caribbean with the aim of creating jobs in his home county. He was passionate about Wales and trying to create employment for young people.

At one time, Clive was embroiled in a planning battle with Carmarthenshire County Council over a proposed biomass power plant, which he said would have created 600 construction and permanent jobs. The plants at Coedbach, near Kidwelly, and in Swansea never got the go ahead and Clive fought until his last days to try and find out who was behind the funding of the Coed Bach Action Group who successfully thwarted his plans.

At the time, Mr Hughes said: “I do feel that enough is enough – I’ve endured years of harassment and lies against my character and businesses, which is not what I expected when I came back to Carmarthenshire. My land has been blighted, I am obstructed at every stage and at every level by the local authority and local members. My businesses have been at the receiving end of Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning department. It’s a planning system which has allowed ‘nimbyism’ to flourish. I have been fortunate to have enjoyed successful multi-million pound businesses all over the world. However, I have never been treated so badly as in my home county. I’ve had excellent business relationships all around the world and for over 30 years.”

Clive Hughes was a prominent figure at the Scarlets as the Vice Chairman of the club for many years. He was also seen regularly at the Liberty Stadium mixing with the VIps, including his friend, leader of Swansea Council, Chris Hollie and Leo Lyons of Lyons Glass. He was a member of Moriah Chapel in Meinciau.

Clive’s wife Meirwen told The Herald: “He was always chasing a new business venture. Clive was a restless soul and never afraid of speaking the truth. In recent months, he challenged the First Minister Carwyn Jones as to why he was awarding contracts to China when he had the ideas and the plans to produce energy through Welsh funded and Welsh based business. Clive never got any answers to the many questions he asked of both the local authority or the Welsh Assembly Government.”

Mr Hughes is reputed to have invested over £3.5 million in Carmarthenshire in attempts to get his renewable energy business off the ground and a substantial amount of money was paid in planning fees.

Both Dutch and South African companies were in talks with Clive shortly before his death regarding the prospect of his plants opening up in those countries.

Clive Hughes died without realising the potential of his renewable energy scheme, which he claimed could have powered homes in Carmarthenshire at a fraction of the cost of the big companies, while creating local jobs.

Carmarthenshire County Council leader Emlyn Dole provided his own personal tribute to Clive Hughes: “I’m part time minister in Meinciau, and it was through that he met both me and my wife, separately at first. Gwenda and I went with him to Australia three times, He was always nagging us to go out and take the service for Western Australian Welsh community, who met monthly and hired a chapel. Gwenda would sing, I would play guitar – I got to know Clive from that time on.

“He introduced me to two of the great pleasures of my life, golf and red wine. He started me off with some very nice Chilean Shiraz at Hong Kong Airport. In fact, he tried to drink his minister under the table and ended up with a bout of gout that lasted three weeks!

“We were opposites, both fascinated with each other. If the main quality of an entrepreneur is taking a risk, he was an entrepreneur. He owned business across the world. It was an education to be with him, and I got that opportunity.”

Cllr Dole concluded: “He was great company and a great friend and it is as a friend that I have the most respect for him. My condolences to his wife, Meirwen, and family. He was a great guy.”

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Scrub removal at Pembrey to improve dunes for biodiversity

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If scrub growth is not controlled, it will cause species like lizards, orchids and dune pansies to suffer and disappear from our sand dunes.

SCRUB provides a splash of greenery in our sandy spaces, but too much scrub smothers the sand dunes and has a devastating effect on the specialist plants and invertebrates which live there. 

This winter Natural Resources Wales will be removing non-native, invasive plant species from areas of dune at Pembrey to help wildlife thrive.

The coast around Pembrey is home to 20% of all the plants in Wales and features a large sand dune system. Sand dunes are listed as the habitat type most at risk of biodiversity loss in Europe.

The Dynamic Dunescapes project, funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund and delivered in Wales by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), is working at Pembrey with Carmarthenshire County Council’s Outdoor Recreation Service to improve the condition of these dunes for wildlife.

Some non-native plant species, like the dense scrub plant sea buckthorn, are invasive and they are growing quickly in this dune system – spreading further across large areas of dune each year. 

Many of the dunes’ rare and specialist wildlife needs bare sand or low grassland habitat to survive and gets lost under or outcompeted by scrub. 

If scrub growth is not controlled, it will cause species like lizards, orchids and dune pansies to suffer and disappear from our sand dunes.

Scrub removal in specifically chosen locations will help to restore the habitat types that these species need, and this work will play a part in ensuring the dunes at Pembrey have a healthy, biodiverse future. 

Improving the ecological condition here will increase this coastal landscape’s resilience to other threats, such as extreme weather events and changing conditions brought on by climate change in the future.

The first phase of this work is to take place in Pembrey Country Park around Car Park 8 and the second will take place on the foredunes in front of the Welsh Government Woodland Estate which is managed by NRW. 

It is scheduled to begin in the last week of November and will last for two weeks. There will be a temporary closure of Factory Road outside the Country Park for one week – reopening on 5th December.

Ruth Harding, Senior Environment Officer at Natural Resources Wales, said:

“Sea Buckthorn control is important to improve the dune grassland habitats at Pembrey. Carmarthenshire County Council and Natural Resources Wales have carried out this type of habitat management over a number of years which has resulted in restoring the area to a dune grassland rich with different species of plants. 

You can best enjoy this during the summer months within the Pembrey Burrows and Saltings Local Nature Reserve. As part of Dynamic Dunescapes, we are now continuing this work, which will result in an overall increase in dune grassland habitat.”

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for leisure, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths said:

“Whilst scrub is a valuable habitat it does need management to maintain it in good condition for wildlife. Cutting back the scrub will ensure it does not spread into areas where it is not wanted and or where it can destroy other habitat.”

Dynamic Dunescapes is not the only project working to restore Pembrey’s important sand dunes. The EU LIFE-funded Sands of LIFE project, managed by (NRW), has also been undertaking sand dune management to improve conditions for wildlife in recent years. The two projects work closely to build on and support each other’s work.

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Demolition of 4 Tys begins in Tyisha, Llanelli

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Four Tys

WORK to demolish the Four Tys housing blocks in Tyisha, Llanelli has started, marking the next exciting step in Carmarthenshire County Council’s plans to Transform the area. 

The demolition work is set to be completed by civil engineering contractor Walters over the next 20 weeks and will enable the build of modern, mixed-use housing which meets the needs of the community.

Improvements to existing homes and the creation of community facilities and green spaces will also form part of changes on the horizon for Tyisha. 

Cllr Linda Davies Evans, chair of the Transforming Tyisha steering group and cabinet member for housing said: “The demolition of the Four Tys marks an important step in the Transforming Tyisha project. Although this process will evoke powerful memories for many of the people who have lived and worked in Tyisha since the Four Tys were built in the 1960s, their demolition will enable us to provide the housing and facilities that the community needs.

Local residents and businesses who may be impacted by the demolition process will be contacted throughout to ensure minimum disruption.”

This forms a part of the council’s ambitious plans to regenerate the Tyisha ward and the wider Llanelli town centre area which is undergoing massive investment.

The council is also seeking a partner to develop new housing and create a vibrant community. An early market engagement exercise is currently live which gives potential partners the opportunity to express their interest in working with the council to transform the area.

Fresh and innovative ideas for this exciting project can be submitted to the council until December 7.

For more information on the early market engagement process or the council’s Transforming Tyisha regeneration project please visit www.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/tyisha

The demolition of the ‘Four Tys’ forms part of the council’s ambitious Transforming Tyisha project which looks to regenerate the area through increasing community safety, developing housing and community facilities and improving the environment.

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Serious assault in Ruby’s Bar Llanelli being investigated by police

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POLICE are investigating a serious assault which occurred in Ruby’s Bar, Llanelli, between 10:40pm and 11pm on Saturday, November 20.

A 35-year-old man received injuries which required hospital treatment.

A 31-year-old female and a 36-year-old male have  been arrested on suspicion of assault. Both have been released on bail pending further police enquiries.

Anyone who witnessed, or took footage of, the incident, or anyone who has any information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://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. Quote reference: DP-20211120-336.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.’

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