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​​​​Welsh RNLI volunteers aid Carlisle

Thomas Sinclair

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JS78198271RNLI Flood Rescue Team volunteers from Penarth, Porthcawl, Barry Dock, Angle and Port Talbot have joined emergency services from across the country to help people caught up in floods in Cumbria.

RNLI volunteers operating in Carlisle and Cockermouth have evacuated over 300 people over the weekend and are continuing to help in affected areas today.

Two RNLI teams have been wading through flood waters to help people in Workington.

The RNLI’s team of specifically trained flood rescue volunteers arrived in Kendal on Saturday and have been helping the communities affected by flooding ever since.

RNLI volunteers from south Wales helping with rescue operations include Jason Dunlop from Penarth, Chris Missen from Porthcawl, John Perring from Port Talbot, Hugh Davies from Barry Dock and Sarah Lunn from Angle.

Among the tasks undertaken by the Welsh RNLI Flood Rescue Team volunteers was a joint operation to evacuate elderly and vulnerable residents of a care home in Carlisle last night.

About 15 of the home’s residents, and five carers, needed to be taken from the home, which had flood water throughout its ground floor and has lost power and was getting cold.

Working in partnership with fellow emergency services, three RNLI Flood Rescue Team boats were involved in the evacuation, with volunteers carrying the elderly residents down from the first floor to the waiting boats, which transferred them to dry land for further care. All were taken to safety.

Also in Carlisle yesterday, an 80-year-old woman had to be helped out of a first floor window onto a ledge after five foot of water flooded into her home on Sunday. She was transferred safely into an RNLI Flood Rescue Team boat. While in another flooded Carlisle property yesterday RNLI volunteers waded through feet of water to carry another two pensioners out on their shoulders on stretchers and into a rescue boat.

Among the hundreds of people evacuated by RNLI Flood Rescue Team volunteers were children, pensioners, pregnant women and pets – including a Great Dane.

RNLI volunteer Chris Missen, who travelled to Cumbria from Porthcawl, Wales, to help the rescue effort, said the conditions were ‘unprecedented.’

He said:

​”​

We have been working closely with the other emergency services to do what we can to help people, and fortunately the majority of the people we’ve evacuated have been uninjured but are understandably quite distressed. It’s heart-breaking to see what this has done to people’s homes, especially just before Christmas.

​”​

The scale of this incident isn’t like anything I’ve seen before, it’s relentless. I’ve been involved in six other flood rescue operations with the RNLI and this is by far the worst. It’s unprecedented. It has been emotionally and physically challenging for the RNLI volunteers but the teamwork has been excellent and the operations have gone well.

​”​

Flood Rescue Team volunteer, Glen Mallen said:

​”​

We currently have five Flood Rescue Teams on the ground, with four specifically adapted boats for flood rescue. We are working closely with other emergency services on the scene to help those in need. Thankfully most of those helped are uninjured, but understandably distressed. It is so sad to see this kind of devastation, especially so close to Christmas.

​”​

The RNLI Flood Rescue Team is supported by Toolstation.

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Four charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs

Carli Newell

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FOUR people have been arrested and charged as part of an investigation into an organised crime gang supplying class A drugs from London to Aberystwyth, Llanelli and Swansea.

Dyfed-Powys Police, with support from The Met Police, carried out warrants at four addresses on July 21, resulting in four arrests.

Mohammed Osman, aged 23, Yonis Mohammed, aged 20, Salman Mohamoud, aged 23 – all from Islington – and Amy Simmons, aged 21, from Dulwich were charged with a total of 12 offences:

  • Mohammed Osman: Two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine,
  • Yonis Mohammed: Two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine.
  • Salman Mohamoud: Conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine
  • Amy Simmons: Conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine.

All four appeared at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Friday, July 23, where they were remanded in custody. They are due to appear at Swansea Crown Court for their next hearing on August 20.

The investigation is being carried out by the Ceredigion Serious and Organised Crime Team, Aberystwyth CID and the Operation Orochi command of the Met Police.

Detective Sergeant Steve Jones said: “These four arrests and charges are the result of a coordinated approach to target an organised crime gang we believe is running a county lines operation into the Dyfed-Powys Police force area.

“We will continue to work diligently to disrupt gangs of this kind, to prevent the supply of illegal substances into our community.

“I would like to thank all officers involved, as well as the Met Police for their part in the operation.”

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New children’s play area in Bryn as part of new council housing development

Carli Newell

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A NEW children’s play area has opened in time for the summer holidays in Bryn, Llanelli as part of a new £5.9million council housing development.

Carmarthenshire County Council is building 32 new homes on land close to the Dylan housing estate in Bryn.

The scheme will be made up of 22 two-bedroom homes, four two-bedroom bungalows and six four-bedroom homes and is part of the council’s ongoing drive to deliver more affordable homes across the county. It has been part funded through the Welsh Government’s Affordable Housing Grant.

The development also includes a new children’s play area, funded by the council in partnership with Llanelli Rural Council, which will take over the running and maintenance of the play area on completion.

Executive Board Member for Housing Cllr Linda Evans said: “I am delighted the park has been completed in time for the summer holidays for the local children to enjoy.

“We are committed to delivering more affordable housing across Carmarthenshire and this development will benefit dozens of families in Llanelli, as well as proving much needed facilities for the local community.

“I would like to thank the rural council for collaborating with this us on this and I hope the children are thrilled with it.”

Before designing the play area, the rural council liaised with local schoolchildren to find out what play equipment they wanted at their new park.

Llanelli Rural Council Chairman Cllr Tegwen Devichand said: “The council is delighted to be working in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council to provide this wonderful new play area for the community.

“The opening of the play area couldn’t have been better timed to coincide with the school holidays. I hope the local children will enjoy the range of challenging play equipment on offer and that they have lots of fun using it over the summer.”

The housing development is due to be completed by the beginning of 2022.

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Burry Port Harbour lighthouse overhaul tops council’s £2million investment

Carli Newell

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A £2MILLION investment in Burry Port Harbour is nearing completion, topped off with the iconic lighthouse getting a fresh lick of paint.

Carmarthenshire County Council is behind a range of improvements to maintain and restore the historic harbour which is one of the county’s most loved and well visited beauty spots.

Restoration of the Grade II listed harbour walls, undertaken under the guidance of CADW, will conclude within the next few weeks.

The council has also been working alongside The Marine Group, which operates the harbour, to improve mooring facilities. They are working closely with fishermen to bid for funding for new commercial pontoon infrastructure.

It will add to investment made over previous years which saw the council spend almost £1.5million on new pontoons, and over £300,000 in maintaining the harbour railings and bridge.

A local operator has agreed a lease for a cafe and public toilets on east side of Harbour, and the refurbishment of the old RNLI harbour office has recently started by The Marine Group (TMG) to create a harbour-side coffee house.

TMG has also invested in a state-of-the-art dredger which arrived at the harbour last autumn. Dredging is well underway and will continue until targeted depths are reached.

Boat lifting equipment and new fuelling points are also planned.

The council has introduced community safety officers to patrol the harbour assisting tourists and local people during the summer months, especially to advise around Covid regulations, as part of a tourism hotspot plan to take care of issues such as parking, litter, street cleansing, enforcement and signage.

Temporary car parking surfacing has also been laid on the east side along with new pay and display facilities ahead of a wider multi-million regeneration plan that will transform the harbour with a mix of housing, commercial and leisure space covering around 13 acres of prime development site.

Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “We are proud of our continued investment in Burry Port Harbour. We are spending millions restoring and maintaining historic features that are much-loved by local people and visitors who come from far and wide to enjoy what the harbour has to offer.

“We continue to work closely alongside The Marine Group and Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council to plan and prioritise works and ongoing maintenance. We are as keen as everyone else to ensure it is well-maintained and continues to be a place people can enjoy.

“We appreciate that there has been some upheaval during these improvement works but we ask people to understand that our investment will make Burry Port Harbour an even better place for the future.”

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