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Labour candidates’ Facebook slurs slammed

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Surprised at level of public support: Helen Mary Jones

Surprised at level of public support: Helen Mary Jones

PLAID CYMRU’S AM candidate for Llanelli, Helen Mary Jones has expressed dismay at comments made about her character which have been made on the Facebook page of the Llanelli Labour candidate, Lee Waters by two other Labour AM Candidates.

Helen Mary Jones told The Herald that comments suggesting that she had made Facebook posts while under the influence of alcohol were upsetting and untrue.

The posts were made by Marc Tierney Labour candidate for Carmarthen West and South Pembs and Vikki Howells the Labour AM candidate for the Cynon Valley.

Ms Jones said that she did not have a screenshot of the comments and that she has now blocked Mr Waters.

The Plaid Cymru candidate told The Herald: “Marc Tierney’s comment was a pun on my misspelling of the word ‘campaign’, when I inadvertently typed ‘campaign’. Mr Tierney pulling out the word ‘gin’, and made a suggestion about how much had clearly been consumed, in his view. “The other person was Vikki Howells. She said something agreeing and saying that she had got her red pen out. Basically they were mocking the spelling and suggesting it was caused by alcohol.”

The Plaid candidate continued: “I don’t want to make too much of a deal out of this. My Labour opponent Lee Waters shared one of my posts. I have been doing a campaign diary after I return home after campaigning. I wrote this post at around 11.30 pm on Friday evening as that is the time I got back home. I had some comments on it from the usual people.

“I came home late afternoon on Saturday and saw that two of Lee’s fellow candidates had made comments on my post suggesting that I must have been drinking when the status had been put up because the spelling was so poor.”

Helen Mary continued: “I am dyslexic. I don’t make a big deal out of it, but I don’t hide it either. It is important for people to see it is something you live with and something that doesn’t hold you back.

“Obviously I couldn’t have people suggesting in that public place that I would be posting on Facebook under the influence. It wasn’t acceptable.

“I went back to both of those people who made the posts and said, actually I am dyslexic. What I expected them to do was to apologise and remove the comments. They didn’t. One of them didn’t reply and one of them came back to me with a sarcastic comment.

I then had to post a status to Lee saying: ‘this has been said, it is not true, I have dyslexia, as we all know Facebook doesn’t have an auto correct’.”

Helen Mary Jones expressed surprise at the strength of the public response to the online abuse she had suffered: “What happened next really took me back. I had hundreds of messages saying that this was not fair and lots of messages from families and people with dyslexia and who face challenges more serious than mine. I have been really touched by those comments.

“What this has highlighted for me is the number of people living with difficulties we cannot always see. Perhaps we should all be a bit careful before we judge people. There are many people out there living successful lives suffering from mental health problems.”

The Plaid candidate concluded: “I wish those people had chosen to apologise. They didn’t. As far as I am concerned that is the end of it now. I am very grateful to the people who expressed their sympathy and it has reminded me how important it is that if I am elected how important it is to speak up for people who find it difficult to speak up for themselves.”

Labour candidate Lee Waters declined to off any form of apology for the comments posted on his Facebook page by other Labour candidates:“It is a fuss about nothing.”

Lee went on to claim: “A misunderstanding by Helen has now been blown out of all proportion. People are getting very stressed and tired during the campaign and this sort of thing happens. She left a message on Facebook late at night about her day. Someone left a teasing ‘jokey’ message about her spelling mistake. She wrote in reply, ‘I have dyslexia’.”

The Labour candidate explained: “I meant to like that comment as a show of solidarity for her. Somehow I managed to share the post rather than like.”

He continued: “I went to bed and woke up to find that all hell had broken loose. Helen had sent a subsequent message saying I had shared the post and people were making fun of her. “People have over reacted and there are some very unfair comments being made about me. He said he had not seen the comment referring to alcohol and that by the time he had checked it had been deleted.”

We contacted the Labour AM Candidate Marc Tierney to ask for an explanation of his comments.

Marc Tierney: No apology

Marc Tierney: No apology

Marc Tierney said: “This whole episode appears to be a misunderstanding. My comment was simply about the technology we take for granted playing up. It’s wrong to suggest now that it was personal or abusive.

“We’ve all had times when the spell-checker auto corrects something in error. In haste, it’s easy not to notice it. It looks like that happened with the word ‘campaign’ being replaced with something else.

“I don’t follow Ms Jones on Facebook, but when she later asked my advice on how to use the spell check function, I politely and respectfully explained how to do so.”

“So I’m at a loss as to why she might now believe there was some malice or personal attack behind what was, in reality, a swipe at modern technology letting us down.”

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Global Litter Charity has announced the date of its next Welsh litter picking event

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Uocean project Carmarthenshire weekend clean up taking place on Saturday 25th September 21 at Pembrey Country Park

THE UOCEAN Project, part of the Vayyu Foundation, which has set itself the target of removing 1 billion kilos of waste from the world’s oceans by 2030, will be holding its next litter collection taskforce event at Pembrey Country Park  in Carmarthenshire.

Everyone is invited to join The UOcean Project volunteers and to make a difference by collecting litter, especially plastics, which are polluting our environment and ending up in the world’s oceans.  The UOcean Project has highlighted the dramatic increase in litter from plastic bags to face masks since lockdown restrictions were lifted, making it even more important to clean-up and reduce waste pollution. 

Chris Desai, head of The UOcean Project commented. “Picking up one plastic bottle or single use face mask may not appear to be significant, but at each event we are collecting many kilos of plastic because more and more individuals are joining our litter picking teams.

RSVP TO JOIN WWW.THEUOCEANPROJECT.COM

The combined collections here and overseas are the only way to make a difference and start fighting back against pollution.” 

The UOcean Project organises litter pick-up teams who work across the UK, especially around coastlines, as well as internationally.  By organising volunteers into Chapters and providing them with the tools and equipment to pick up litter, they have already collected 53,000 kilos of waste which would have ended up in the seas.  

All volunteers are provided with the equipment needed to safely pick up litter so that it can be disposed of in the right way.  For more information about The UOcean Project please go to the website www.theuoceanproject.com

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Warning! Dangerous Valium circulating in Llanelli

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the drugs being distributed and used in the Llanelli area at present could be extremely dangerous

Warning! Dangerous Valium circulating in

POLICE are warning drug users in Llanelli to take extra care following information received that dangerous valium is circulating in the area.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “We have reasons to believe that the drugs being distributed and used in the Llanelli area at present could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately should they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone that you believe could come into contact with these drugs.”

To seek advice and support, visit https://barod.cymru/where-to-get-help/west-wales-services/ddas-dyfed-drug-and-alcohol-service/

Please be aware that some services may operate an automated service outside office hours.

In an emergency, or if you think someone’s life is at risk, always dial 999.

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Parents warned to look out for respiratory illness in children

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RSV is a common respiratory illness which is usually picked up by children during the winter season

RESPIRATORY Syncytial Virus (RSV) is circulating amongst children and toddlers in the Hywel Dda area (Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire)  

Hywel Dda UHB Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive Dr Philip Kloer said: “Because of the COVID restrictions, there have been few cases of RSV during the pandemic, but this virus has returned and in higher numbers now people are mixing more.

“RSV is a common respiratory illness which is usually picked up by children during the winter season, and causes very few problems to the majority of children.  However, very young babies, particularly those born prematurely, and children with heart or lung conditions, can be seriously affected and it’s important that parents are aware of the actions to take.”

Parents are being encouraged to look out for symptoms of severe infection in at-risk children, including:

*a high temperature of 37.8°C or above (fever)

*a dry and persistent cough, difficulty feeding, rapid or noisy breathing (wheezing).

The best way to prevent RSV is to wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser regularly, dispose of used tissues correctly, and to keep surfaces clean and sanitised.

Most cases of bronchiolitis are not serious and clear up within 2 to 3 weeks, but you should contact your GP or call NHS 111 if:

  • You are worried about your child.
  • Your child has taken less than half their usual amount during the last two or three feeds, or they have had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more.
  • Your child has a persistent high temperature of 37.8C or above.
  • Your child seems very tired or irritable.

Dial 999 for an ambulance if:

  • your baby is having difficulty breathing
  • your baby’s tongue or lips are blue
  • there are long pauses in your baby’s breathing
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