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Council prosecutes illegal dog breeder

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AN illegal dog breeder in Carmarthenshire has been ordered to pay £13,500 for continuing to breed and sell puppies despite being refused a licence by the local authority.

Sylvia Griffiths, the owner of Glenview Kennels in Llandyfaelog, was prosecuted by Carmarthenshire County Council after animal health officers found she had ignored warnings that she could no longer breed dogs because her premises did not meet licence conditions.

Griffiths has held a breeding licence for Glenview since 1998, originally granted for up to 23 adult dogs.

However, when she applied to renew her licence in July 2016, animal health officers visited and found 74 adult dogs on the premises in overcrowded conditions with no free access to exercise areas.

Griffiths was given time to address conditions and warned that her failure to do so would result in her application being refused.

Officers made an unannounced return visit in December 2016 and found conditions had not been satisfactorily improved.

As a result, her licence renewal was refused, and she was told she could no longer breed and sell dogs.

However, after a concerned customer contacted the council in May 2017 it was discovered she was still breeding puppies and advertising them for sale on Gumtree.

Griffiths was invited for interview by animal health officers where, in a prepared statement, she stated that her dogs were well looked after and was committed to engaging with the authority in respect of the regulatory issues.

However, the council proceeded with a prosecution to prevent further illegal breeding.

The case was heard at Llanelli Magistrates Court on July 20. Griffiths was sentenced in her absence due to ill health, but was fined £3,500, ordered to pay costs of £10,000 and a victim surcharge of £120.

Cllr Philip Hughes, executive board member for enforcement, said: “We were pleased with the outcome of this case which demonstrates how seriously we take illegal breeding.

“We were not satisfied with conditions at Glenview Kennels and refused the licence renewal, however the owner ignored this and continued to trade.

“Taking a case to court is always a last resort, as we would prefer that breeders heeded our advice and acted within the law.”

Anyone who breeds or supplies dogs, including at home, requires a licence. Information is available on the council’s website, www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales

Anyone who is concerned that someone is breeding dogs illegally should contact the council on 01267 234567.

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Recovery efforts underway in aftermath of floods

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A HUGE clean-up operation is underway to deal with the aftermath of the worst flooding Carmarthenshire has seen in decades.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s operational team has now switched its efforts from emergency response to recovery and supporting affected communities and businesses.

Additional resources have been put in place to collect ruined carpets, furniture and other waste, with cages and skips being dispatched to worst hit areas. People are advised to check with their insurers before disposing of any items.

Dehumidifers have been provided to as many homes as possible.

A hardship fund has been established for residents most in need of financial support, and housing officers will be visiting homes and helping people to complete and submit insurance claims.

Business support officers are also making contact with retailers and businesses to support them, and rate relief is also being sought from Welsh Government.

Highways, cleansing and refuse crews continue to sweep and clean debris left by the receding floods, and inspections will take place on all affected road surfaces, verges and bridges.

Specialist teams are being drafted in to support crews, including divers to inspect underwater structures and areas that have experienced land slide.

The council continues to urge people to take extra care and to allow extra time for their journeys as a number of diversions will remain in place.

Carmarthenshire County Council Chief Executive Mark James said: “Our staff have been working hard to respond in extremely difficult conditions. Now that the flood waters have subsided we have shifted our focus from response to recovery and we are doing all we can to support everyone affected.

“A full assessment of the damage is underway, and, as well as working with partner agencies, we are also speaking with Welsh Government to ensure appropriate resources are in place.”

· Follow updates on the council’s Newsroom, Facebook and Twitter

· Anyone in need of assistance should call 01267 234567 or email direct@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

· Apply for support for flooding recovery: https://myaccount.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/en/service/Support_for_flooding_recovery

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Llandysul: Fire service cordoned off gas cylinders

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ON SUNDAY (Oct 14) at 11:45am, firefighters from Llandysul were called to a flood-related incident in Station Road, near the Tyweli River.

On attendance to the incident, firefighters were confronted with a strong smell of gas, where approximately 60 gas cylinders had entered the river and accumulated in a culvert. Western Power were also in attendance to make safe a live electrical wire, from a three-phase electrical pumping station.

The Fire Service evacuated 12 properties from either side of the river and cordoned off Station Road for public safety.

Firefighters retrieved approximately 40 cylinders from the river and monitored the incident until the level of the flood water dropped.

The Police Service were also in attendance.

The cordons have now been lifted and business owners and residents have returned to their properties.

The Fire Service received the stop message at 09:02am this morning (Oct 15).

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Police say ‘stop protecting’ murder suspect Steve Baxter

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JUST over two weeks ago Simon Clark, aged 54, was found dead at Grove Caravan Park in Pendine, Carmarthenshire.

Dyfed-Powys Police is continuing its manhunt for Steve Baxter, who is wanted on suspicion of Simon’s murder.

Baxter also known as Steve Tidy, Steve Rowley, Wayne Tidy or William Tidy, is aged 52, 5’5” (1.65cm) tall and has tattoos on his forearms – the name Chez and entwined circles on his left arm and a serpent on his right arm.

He has connections in the West Wales, South Wales, South West and North England areas of the UK.

Officers and staff are working round the clock to follow all possible lines of enquiry.

The independent charity Crimestoppers is also offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information leading to the arrest of Steve Baxter and he has been added to the Most Wanted section of their website. Information would be taken by the charity anonymously.

Detective Superintendent Huw Davies said: “It’s over two weeks since Simon Clark was murdered at Grove Caravan Park, Pendine.

“The manhunt for Steve Baxter is ongoing and I must stress to the public that officers and staff are working round the clock to investigate all possible lines of enquiry that could lead us to him.

“I urge anyone with information of Baxter’s whereabouts to come forward. If you do not want to speak to police directly, you can speak to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, which is also offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information leading to his arrest.

“Someone knows where he is or has been in the last two weeks. Please stop protecting him. Simon Clark’s family deserve to see all those involved in his death brought to justice.”

Four people have been charged in connection with the murder: Jeffrey Stephen Ward, aged 40, from Pendine, has been charged with murder; Linda Mary Rowley, aged 52, from Pendine, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder); Kirston Macklin, aged 52, from Newport, Gwent, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder) and Julie Louise Harris, aged 46, from Tonypandy, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder).

If you see Steve Baxter call Dyfed-Powys Police on 999. Do not approach him.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Steve Baxter call Dyfed-Powys Police on 101 immediately.

To pass on information anonymously, contact Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the non-traceable anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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