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Llanedi Council under scrutiny

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Llanedi: Damning report into financial irregularities

Llanedi: Damning report into financial irregularities

WHEN WAYNE ERASMUS raised the competence of a community council at a meeting of Carmarthenshire County Council in January he ended up in a spat with the Chair and was asked to leave.

Wayne now claims that the point he was making about the lack of resources and skills at some community councils to take on assets from the County Council has been borne out.

He says that recent developments at Llanedi demonstrate that its community council is not fit for purpose.

He has suggested that because Llanedi Council is Plaid Cymrudominated, his concerns are not being taken seriously.

He has now claimed to The Herald that a damning report compiled by independent auditors, BDO is being withheld from councillors and the public ahead of next week’s Assembly elections.

Mr. Erasmus told The Herald: “Questions remain over a substantial amount of money, which is unaccounted for, which was raised by the community for a swimming pool at Hendy.

“£18,000 was collected for the pool and Hendy Pool committee gave that in Trust to Llanedi Community Council. After it was decided to use the money for some other projects a residual amount of money was left but cannot be accounted for.”

Wayne Erasmus also said: “Minutes have gone missing. The precept was raised by 39% illegally. It was not minuted and not signed off. Labour councillors have asked for the original minutes and have said they would not accept fabricated minutes.”

The Herald can confirm that Llanedi Community Council were told that they had to complete an audit by (Sept 30) 2015 following the discovery of a number of irregularities.

That Audit followed a finding that an action plan put in place following the previous year’s external audit was not discussed at a meeting of the council. Budgets were not properly monitored. The financial statements provided to meetings did not show comparisons to the budget.

The budget also did not show a breakdown of reserves between general, specific and earmarked fund and the movements against these headings.

Specific statutory breaches took place in relation to the failure of the Council to approve its annual accounts; there was a failure to discuss the auditor’s report at a public meeting (or any meeting at all); the Council budget and precept was not approved at a meeting of the Council, which begs the question: ‘where and was it set, and by whom?’

Llanedi Council’s financial management was so poor, it had failed to claim VAT on expenditure for two years.

The latest report from BDO is believed to be another damning indictment on the way the council has managed its affairs.

The Herald has received copies of emails from BDO from November that suggested that a police investigation into the dealings of Llanedi Community Council was considered.

One email reads: ‘I have contacted the police to obtain confirmation of if there is an on-going investigation into the Council – if there is this will delay us as we will be unable to issue our audit report’.

However, requests made to examine the latest BDO report have been kicked into the long grass until May 19. The Herald has, however, established that the report WAS discussed by Llanedi Council in secret on April 6. According to Wayne Erasmus, in view of the impending Assembly elections, the delay in making the report public is for electoral reasons.

A request made to Llanedi Council for the report or a response to the allegations was rejected.

We asked former Llanelli AM Keith Davies whether the BDO report should be made public. He told us: “If there is a report from BDO, which raises serious concerns regarding serving councillors, be they Community Councillors or County Councillors, then that report must be made public immediately.”

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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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