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Illegal taxi driver caught giving golfers lift home

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A CARMARTHEN man was caught providing an illegal taxi service to a group of men returning from a golfing trip to Portugal.

Jason Vaughan, of Rydal Mount, Johnstown, was pulled over on the A48 between Pont Abraham and Cross Hands in October 2018, as part of a joint operation between Carmarthenshire County Council licensing officers and Dyfed-Powys Police.

Vaughan was driving a black Peugeot Eurobus emblazoned with taxi markings as a Hackney Carriage, including door stickers, taxi plate and taxi roof sign.

However, known to the licensing officers, it was quickly established that he did not hold a taxi badge authorising him to drive a licensed Hackney Carriage or private hire vehicle – an offence he had been warned about just a few months before.

When questioned by officers about why he had picked up the seven fare-paying passengers from Bristol Airport that evening, he said: “needs must, needed to pick up the boys”.

In interview under caution, Vaughan admitted the offence, saying he thought he would be covered by his insurance.

Carmarthenshire County Council, as a licensing authority, instigated a prosecution against Vaughan as an individual, and against his business JRV Cars Ltd.

The case was heard at Llanelli Magistrates Court on Friday, March 29, where he was convicted in his absence.

For driving a private hire vehicle without a licence he received a £750 fine, with £444.27 costs and £75 victim surcharge.

His company, JRV Cars Ltd, was also fined £750, with £444.27 costs and £75 victim surcharge, for allowing an unlicensed driver to drive a private hire vehicle.

Both offences were committed under section 146 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

Cllr Philip Hughes, Executive Board Member for enforcement, said: “As fare-paying passengers, members of the public should have complete confidence in taxi and private hire services.

Proper licensing ensures that drivers are fully checked, and vehicles are roadworthy – it is not acceptable for someone to take money from people, and potentially put them at risk, just to avoid going through the proper licensing process.”

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Road closed in both directions following collision between car and tractor

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THERE was a collision between a car and a tractor with a trailer at just past 12am today (Friday, June 21).

The road was closed in both directions from St Clears to Carmarthen while emergency services dealt with the incident.

Two men – the driver and passenger of the car – have been taken to hospital. One is in a critical but stable condition.

Anyone who witnessed the collision, who hasn’t already spoken to the police, is asked to contact the serious collision investigation unit at Dyfed-Powys Police on 101.

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Parc Howard shortlisted for national award

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PARC HOWARD has been shortlisted for the prestigious Family Friendly Museum Award.

Charity Kids in Museums awards the prize annually to one museum, gallery, historic home or heritage site in the UK that goes the extra mile to provide a great experience for families.

Throughout April and May, families across the country voted for their favourite heritage attraction on the Kids in Museums website. It is the only museum award to be judged by families.

A panel of museum experts whittled down over 800 nominations to a shortlist of 15.

The museum will now be visited by undercover family judges who will assess the museums against the Kids in Museums Manifesto. Their experiences will decide a winner for each award category and an overall winner, our Family Friendly Museum of the Year 2019.

The council’s executive board member for cultural services, Cllr Peter Hughes-Griffiths said: “It really is exciting times for Parc Howard Museum. To have been nominated for such a prestigious award is just superb and is testament to the family friendly environment we have been working to create within the museum.”

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London in October.

Emmajane Avery, Chair of Kids in Museums, said: “It’s great to see Parc Howard Museum on the shortlist for this year’s Family Friendly Museum Award. To make it to the shortlist in our most competitive year yet is a fantastic achievement and a testament to the hard work staff have put in to create an enjoyable experience for families. We were inspired by how this ambitious museum works with community organisations to bring the museum to families on a low income. We wish the museum the best of luck in the next round of judging.”

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Trimsaran: Man charged with offences relating to explosives and poisons

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57-year-old man who was arrested at an address in Trimsaran, Carmarthenshire on Tuesday 11 June has been charged with offences relating to explosives and poisons.

Russell Wadge of Baglan Farm, Trimsaran will appear before Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Wednesday (Jun 19) charged with one offence contrary to section 4 of the Explosive Substances Act of 1883 and four offences contrary section 3 of the Poisons Act 1972.

A police spokesperson told The Herald: “Officers from the Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit (WECTU) supported by Dyfed Powys Police, West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit and partner agencies executed a search warrant at an address near Trimsaran where a specialist search took place after chemicals were found at the premises.

“There was no risk to neighbouring properties or to the general public. While a search of the property has concluded, a police cordon remains in place.”

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