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Plaid march for People’s Vote

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MEMBERS of Plaid Cymru Llanelli attended the People’s Vote March in London on Saturday (Oct 20), in support of a vote on the Government’s final Brexit deal.

The event was attended by an estimated 700,000 people, highlighting the growing feeling of discontent that exists towards the Brexit negotiations and their consequences.

Plaid Cymru’s 2017 Westminster candidate, Mari Arthur, was one of those members who attended. She said: “Brexit was the issue that propelled me into getting involved more actively with Plaid Cymru. I could not trust our current politicians to represent Llanelli at Westminster through the Brexit process, our current MP’s voting record shows she repeatedly does not put Wales first. I can’t accept seeing my hometown suffer because of the deception of the Leave campaign.

“While Brexiteers said an extra £350 million would be given to the NHS, they have since said they’d like to see private firms running hospitals in the UK. While Brexiteers said Brexit would provide an economic boost, businesses are leaving the UK and there’s no sight of a trade deal with the EU. While Brexiteers said Brexit would be a chance to “take back control”, powers have been taken away from Wales in an attempt to rebuild Westminster’s dominance post-Brexit.

“There’s no doubt that many people voted for Brexit as a backlash against the status-quo, but every day, it’s becoming more and more clear that Brexit isn’t what it was hyped up to be. It is not going to deliver for Wales!”

The same frustration regarding the EU referendum was expressed by Plaid Cymru regional AM, Helen Mary Jones, during a motion calling for a People’s Vote in the National Assembly for Wales. In her speech, she said: “I remember campaigning with Lee Waters in Llanelli and two young men saying to me, ‘I can’t get into this at all. This is posh English blokes shouting at each other. This doesn’t feel as if it’s anything to do with me.

“I am convinced that none of those voters who voted for Brexit voted for drug shortages, unemployment, a hard border in Northern Ireland, visa requirements to visit our nearest neighbours and threats to environmental protection and our human rights. And all of those are real risks of a hard ‘no deal’ Brexit.”

Lee Waters and his Labour colleagues went on to vote against Plaid Cymru’s motion for a people’s vote that night, despite many of them saying publically that they support the Vote. Currently, it is Labour’s preference to have a general election before a people’s vote if Theresa May’s deal fails to meet their six Brexit tests. But how can we trust a Government that is telling the people one thing and, on the same day, voting against a different way?

In reference to Labour’s ambiguity over a people’s vote, Mari Arthur said: “Now is not the time to be playing political games. This is by far the most important issue in our generation and we cannot put our own party’s interests above the nation’s. I call on both our AM and our MP to join me in supporting a people’s vote.

“With only weeks to go for a deal to be reached, a no-deal Brexit is becoming increasingly likely. The consequences of this will be catastrophic for Wales. Plaid Cymru believes that it is only right to go back to the people at the end of this process and ask if this is the Brexit that they wanted.

“I have just emailed Nia Griffith to reconsider and support the People’s Vote, I urge you to do the same.”

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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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