THE OPERATOR of a Swansea water treatment plant has been fined £40,000 at Swansea Magistrates Court after a chemical discharge killed more than 500 fish.
The incident took place at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s (DCWW) Felindre water treatment works, just outside Swansea, in July 2018. Felindre is one of the largest water treatment works in Wales, producing water for up to 400,000 customers in Swansea, Bridgend and Cardiff.
The pollution happened when lime slurry that was being transferred spilled into a surface water drain which led to the River Lliw.
An inspection of the river by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) officers found dead fish including trout, lamprey and bullheads, and invertebrates including 200 freshwater shrimps, mayflies and caddis flies.
In total, three quarters of a mile (1.2 kilometres) of the river was affected. Fish populations in the river are expected to take three to four years to recover.
DCWW admitted causing the pollution at a previous hearing in Swansea Magistrates Court.
Chris Palmer, senior water framework directive officer for NRW, said: “Our rivers are important for our wildlife, our economy and our health and wellbeing and we are committed to preventing pollution incidents whatever their source.
“Despite efforts by DCWW to contain the spill, a significant amount of pollution entered the river and had a devastating impact on fish and other wildlife. It will take years to recover.
“We will continue to work with the company to reduce the risk of this happening again, and to improve its environmental performance to lower the number of pollution incidents in the future.”
The company was also ordered to pay costs of £8,980.99 and a victim surcharge of £170.
Lottery win for local neighbours
Two people in Ferryside are celebrating today after winning £1,000 each thanks to their lucky postcode.
The neighbours netted the windfall when SA17 5YP was announced as a Daily Prize winner with People’s Postcode Lottery on Wednesday 8th April 2020.
People’s Postcode Lottery ambassador Judie McCourt sent her well-wishes to the winners. She said: “Congratulations to our winners! What a great surprise for them, I hope they enjoy their winnings.”
A minimum of 32% of ticket sales goes directly to charities and players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised over £500 million to date for thousands of good causes in Britain and beyond.
This draw was promoted by Maggie’s which has received over £16.1 million in funding from the players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Maggie’s runs a network of cancer support centres across the country. These centres bring people together to help combat the isolation and distress that often accompanies a cancer diagnosis.
Many good causes close to the winners have also benefitted from players’ support, and local charities can next apply for funding in August.
Scarlets’ grassroots clubs show community spirit in delivering vital food packages
Scarlets community clubs have been working together to help deliver vital food packages across the region.
Volunteers from grassroots clubs and WRU girls hubs across Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire have been helping take the food packages to vulnerable members of society who are self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The clubs have teamed up with the Scarlets Community Foundation — the charity arm of the Scarlets — and Carmarthen-based food wholesaler Castell Howell, while Scarlets players Osian Knott, Kieran Hardy, Ryan Conbeer and Jac Morgan have also lent their hand to the operation.
More than 300 packages were due to be delivered on Monday and Tuesday (April 6 & April 7), with the initiative highlighting that even without any action on the field, rugby clubs remain at the heart of their community.
Scarlets Community Foundation manager Caroline Newman said: “We have been overwhelmed with the support that we have received from local clubs, the number of people prepared to volunteer to help the most vulnerable in our communities has been touching.
“People’s reasons for requesting packs have often been heart-wrenching and it really has made us appreciate what we have.
“The foundation has worked closely with Castell Howell to make sure the packages are ready to go to those whose need is greatest, managing to turn things around pretty quickly and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making this happen, our funder, Castell Howell, all the clubs, our helpline volunteer and the foundation members.
“Great teamwork which has made me proud to be part of the fantastic community that rugby creates.”
Here are the rugby clubs and WRU girls rugby hubs taking part in the initiative
Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Amman Utd, Ammanford, Burry Port, Betws, Bynea, Cardigan, Cefneithin, Felinfoel, Fishguard & Goodwick, Furnace Utd, Haverfordwest, Kidwelly, Llandeilo, Llandovery, Llandybie, Llanelli Wanderers, Llangennech, Llangwm, Merched Mynydd Mawr, Milford Haven, Narberth, New Dock Stars, Newcastle Emlyn, Neyland, Penybanc, Pontyates, St Clears, Stradey Sospans, Tenby Utd, Tumble, Tycroes, Whitland, Yr Hendy.
Six year sentence for Llanelli assault
A MAN who left a father-of-six with multiple bleeds on the brain after an unprovoked assault in Llanelli has been jailed for six years.
Connor Scott Jones, aged 21, of Y Fan, caused such serious injuries to Paul Williams on April 29, 2019, that the victim’s wife feared he had been stabbed when he returned from a night out.
Unable to recall what had happened, Mr Williams could only tell police he had woken up in a bush near a chapel and stumbled home. He was unaware that he had been assaulted, leaving police with no description of a suspect to look for, or precise area for forensic enquiries.
Using the tiny pieces of information Mr Williams could provide, the investigation team focussed enquiries on the East Gate area of Llanelli, believing he was describing the former Zion Chapel as near where he regained consciousness.
Officers trawled CCTV footage from several cameras in this area in an attempt to identify potential suspects or witnesses to the incident.
T/Detective Inspector Vicky Oliver, of Dyfed-Powys Police said: “Officers carried out the painstaking task of viewing videos covering a timeframe of five hours, and were successful.
“The incident was captured by a camera in Stepney Place and showed a horrific assault on the victim, who was punched once and fell to the ground while his attacker walked away.
“Determined to cause further injury, the defendant – later identified as Connor Jones – returned to the victim to punch him and stamp on his head.
“He then returned to assault the victim for a third time – kicking him to the head as he laid on the ground.
“The trauma caused to the victim was both physical and mental, and he could not bring himself to view this footage for fear of setting back his recovery.”
Jones was identified from the footage and was arrested. He was later charged with assault causing grievous bodily harm, and admitted the offence at Swansea Crown Court on Friday, March 20 where he was jailed for six years.
Mr Williams, who spoke out as part of Dyfed-Powys Police’s Just Walk Away campaign, focussing on the rise of alcohol-fuelled violence, faces the prospect of a long road to full recovery.
Ten months on, he is still living with the effects of the violent assault. He is unable to work or socialise as he used to, and has lost precious bonding experiences with his baby boy.
Speaking after sentencing, he said: “I’m not recovering very well. I have to have further MRI scans, I’ve been referred to a memory loss specialist as I’m forgetting a lot of things, and also a speech specialist because of the injuries I suffered.
“I’ve had a constant headache that has stayed with me since the assault, and I still can’t smell or taste – this has had a horrible effect on me, as I haven’t been able to smell my son who was born in November. I absolutely hate this.”
In the months before the assault, Mr Williams was working hard on setting up a business as a landscape gardener, which he hoped would support his wife and children. Now, however, he is unable to work.
“It’s had a massive impact on my job as I’m not able to do anything that I’ve done in the past like heavy lifting or heavy work,” he said.
“It’s affected my social life as I still haven’t been out to town as I get flashbacks, and I’ve had to give up the gym, which I used to love for body building.
“I’m no longer allowed to do the things I loved doing before all this happened.”