POLICE OFFICERS have executed search warrants at properties in Carmarthenshire, Swansea, and Kent. Their actions are part of an investigation into allegations of corruption involving the
Wellness Village project at Delta Lakes, Llanelli.
On Thursday, Aug 8, The Herald received a tip-off which identified three properties in Carmarthenshire at which officers from Tarian, the Regional Organised Crime Unit, executed those warrants.
The tip-off was anonymous. As is usual with such tip-offs, we sought to verify it by reference to independent and reliable sources.
As a result of our further enquiries, we can confirm that Police executed a search warrant at the home of controversial former Carmarthenshire County Council CEO Mark James.
The use of a search warrant in such circumstances is not unusual. The use of one is not a sign of any criminality or dishonesty on Mr James’ part. It is possible the warrant was procured routinely to preserve material which might assist an ongoing investigation.
Police executed a further warrant at County Hall, Carmarthen.
Again, the use of a warrant is not a sign of any criminality. Police acted to obtain documentary evidence and computer material, including email trails, to help with their investigation.
It is entirely possible that Police learned a lesson from a separate probe of Pembrokeshire County Council. In that case, officers failed to secure evidence which was subsequently either
lost or destroyed.
A separate Council press release states the local authority is ready and willing to help the Police in any way they can and is already offering any assistance it can to investigators.
That statement points out that a review by the WAO and an internal probe by a firm of solicitors found no administrative or compliance issues affecting the tender processes for the Wellness Village.
The Herald has been given a further address at which a search warrant was executed. That third address has not been confirmed by all of our sources and, accordingly, we do not report it here.
As we went to press, Carmarthenshire County Council exclusively confirmed to us that a search warrant was executed at County Hall last week.
Herald publisher ceases operations
HERALD NEWS UK LTD, the company which prints The Pembrokeshire Herald, The Carmarthenshire Herald and The Llanelli Herald has ceased operations.
Editor of Pembrokeshire Herald, Thomas Sinclair said: “After finalising today’s paper to go to print yesterday, a meeting was held last night. It was confirmed that the expected further investor funding would not be made available for the company.
“This meant that operations need be halted as the businesses was not able to pay its ongoing costs.
“At 10am today the 24 members of staff working at the newspaper have today been given notice of redundancy.
“We are absolutely devastated that after nearly 7 years and hundreds of editions of the paper we can no longer continued.”
“I would like to think that over those years, some of the stories we have written have made a difference to Pembrokeshire and beyond.”
Director of Herald News UK Limited, John Hammond said: “The company accountant could be appointing administrators as soon as next week.”
“The Owners of The Pembrokeshire Herald came to the conclusion last night during a finance meeting that the venture is no longer financially viable.
“Whilst every conceivable effort has been made to improve the financial situation of the business, we have to face the fact that there is no way that we can now continue in a solvent position.
“Whilst there has been a slow decline in readership of local newspapers, our costs for wages, printing and transport have substantially increased.”
“We would like to thank all of our loyal readers and staff.”
<img class=”wp-image-51343 size-large” src=”http://pembrokeshire-herald.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/herald2-1024×678.jpg” alt=”” width=”740″ height=”490″ /> Community: Herald titles were campaigning newspapers<img class=”wp-image-51344 size-large” src=”http://pembrokeshire-herald.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/herald3-1024×565.jpg” alt=”” width=”740″ height=”408″ /> Popular: 45,000 people read Herald titles each week in west Wales
Volunteers needed in Carmarthenshire for Christmas food collection.
LEADING charities the Trussell Trust and FareShare are appealing to people in Carmarthenshire to volunteer to help in the UK’s biggest food collection for people in need.
From Thursday, November 21 until Saturday, November 23 the two charities will be collecting food in Tesco stores across the UK and Northern Ireland during the annual Tesco Food Collection. They are looking for local volunteers to encourage shoppers to donate, so that as much food as possible can be collected.
During the collection customers are encouraged to donate long-life food to help food banks and community groups support people in need at Christmas. Tesco will top up customer donations by 20% to further support the two charities in their work.
Last year, 3.5 million meals were collected as part of the Tesco Food Collection, and since its launch in 2012, more than 50 million meals have been donated to the two charities by generous Tesco customers.
To make this year’s collection a success volunteers are needed to hand out shopping lists to customers, so they can see the food items most needed by food banks and community groups in their area, and to encourage people to donate.
Emma Revie, chief executive at The Trussell Trust said: “No one should need a food bank at any time of year – but we know during the lead-up to Christmas our network of food banks see even more people needing help.
“Food banks will be doing all they can to provide vital emergency support so people don’t face hunger this Christmas. But to make sure there are enough donations, we need your support. Having your support in this year’s Tesco Food Collection will make a real difference – the more people who volunteer, the more food will be collected from generous shoppers, and the better prepared food banks will be to help local people.”
Farihah Choudhury volunteered at the last Tesco Food Collection, collecting donations for local groups supported by FareShare.
“I loved volunteering last year – it was great to speak with shoppers donating food. The kindness I saw was wonderful and gave me a lot of hope,” she said.
“I believe everyone should have access to good, healthy food and I’d encourage anyone who can to give some time to help stop people going hungry this Christmas.”
People interested in volunteering can find out more and sign up at www.fareshare/tescofoodcollection
UK’s top skaters and riders drop in on Llanelli youngsters to celebrate a special birthday
THE WORLD’S and the UK’s finest skateboarders, BMX and Wheelchair Motocross stars will drop in on young people at a Carmarthenshire Ramps skatepark on Saturday 19 October 2019 from 11 am till 2 pm. The event was arranged to celebrate the £3 billion National Lottery players have raised for projects which have specifically helped children and young people develop and thrive in the UK over the last 25 years. £2 million of National Lottery funding has specifically been awarded to support and develop over 47 BMX projects in local communities for young people in Wales to enjoy.
At 15 years old, Lily Rice from Manorbier, Pembrokeshire, is a World Champion wheelchair motocross (WCMX) star. She was propelled to fame two years ago when she became the first female in Europe to achieve a wheelchair backflip, and only the second girl in the world to pull off the stunt. Since then, Lily has emerged as one of the global leaders of WCMX – wheelchair motocross.
The National Lottery has inspired millions of people to get active in their local community, as well as supporting individuals and teams from grassroots to elite.
James Jones is a 25-year-old professional BMX rider from Swansea. James, who also celebrated his 25th Birthday this year, is one of six world-class athletes who make up the Freestyle BMX Team GB for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. James honed his skills and practised his tricks at the Ramps skate park in Llanelli when he was growing up and highlights the importance of young people having access to facilities like this on their doorstep.
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