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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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Detectives ask for help following an assault outside a Llanelli bar

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DETECTIVES from Dyfed-Powys Police are looking to speak to several men to help with its enquiries following an assault outside a Llanelli bar.

At around 3am on Monday, 29 August, a man was attacked outside the Met Bar in Station Road. He was left with a fractured eye socket, cuts and bite marks.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.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. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org. Quote reference: DP-20220829-062.

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Prince and Princess of Wales to visit Wales

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THE PRINCE and Princess of Wales have planned a trip to Wales to visit a variety of communities across the nation and learn about the work of key charitable organisations. 

The Prince and Princess have a deep affection for Wales, having made their first family home in Anglesey, and have thoroughly enjoyed their previous visits and the warmth and kindness shown by the Welsh people. 

Their Royal Highnesses are looking forward to spending more time in Wales over the next few years, they hope to strengthen their relationship with communities in all parts of Wales. 

During their first engagement, Their Royal Highnesses will visit the RNLI Holyhead Lifeboat Station, where they will meet crew, volunteers and some people who have been supported by their local unit.

Holyhead is one of the three oldest lifeboat stations on the Welsh coast and has a remarkable history of bravery, having received 70 awards for gallantry. 

Their Royal Highnesses will then take a short walk to the Holyhead Marine and Cafe Bar, where they will meet local people, including representatives of small businesses and organisations, including the Coastguard and Sea Cadets. 

In their second engagement, the Prince and Princess of Wales are expected to visit Swansea. 

Their Royal Highnesses will visit St Thomas Church, a re-developed church in Swansea which supports people in the local area and across the City and County of Swansea. 

Over the last two years the church has been transformed into a thriving community hub and is home to a vast array of services, including:

  • A foodbank which supports over 200 people per week
  • Swansea Baby Basics which distributes essential items for vulnerable mothers across the city, such as toiletries and clothes
  • Facilities for the homeless including food, showers and toilets
  • A not-for-profit cafe and community training kitchen
  • A surplus food distribution network which collects food from supermarkets at the end of each day and distributes it from the church to prevent food waste and to help end food poverty

As part of their visit, Their Royal Highnesses will meet those volunteering at the church across different initiatives including Baby Basics and the foodbank. Their Royal Highnesses will also spend some time meeting members of the public gathered outside the church. 

The Princess of Wales has previously worked with Baby Banks and the in summer of 2020 brought together 19 British brands and retailers to donate over 10,000 new items to more than 40 baby banks nationwide, operated by Baby Basics, Little Village and AberNecessities. 

Her Royal Highness has visited a number of baby banks across the UK, including in London, Sheffield and West Norfolk where she has spent time speaking with families about their experiences of using their local baby bank services, as well as helping unload donations. 

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Road closed after man suffers serious injury in Burry Port

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OFFICERS from Dyfed-Powys Police are investigating after a man suffered a serious injury in Station Road, Burry Port.

Officers were called to a report that the man had suffered an injury at around 10.45pm on Saturday, 24 September. He has been taken to hospital.

A 39-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of assault. He remains in police custody.

A road closure is in place for scene preservation and is likely to remain for a number of hours.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.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. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org. Quote reference: DP-20220924-360.

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