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Who’s who at Parc Howard

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350px-Parc_Howard_museum_-_geograph.org.uk_-_143410THE FORMER leader of Lewisham Council has had an interesting – not to say, chequered – business career.

At one time, Mr Sullivan hoped to become the first directly-elected mayor ‘of a London borough and was pretty much at the forefront of the then burgeoning market in public private partnerships.

In the mid-1990s, he founded Serviceteam which specialised in outsourcing council services and is now part of the multinational Veolia Group.

After ending his association with Serviceteam, Mr Sullivan was reportedly involved in setting up a series of recruitment companies, several of which were liquidated having failed to submit accounts to Companies House.

In more recent times, Mr Sullivan has been a director of Place Leisure Developments, Weston Bay Ltd, Place at Weston Bay Ltd, Place Energy Ltd, and Place Advisory Ltd. All of those companies have been struck off the register of Companies House, while a sixth – Hexham Place Ltd – was voluntarily wound up.

A petition to wind up Loca Ventures Ltd was dismissed in December 2014.

Listed as a former director of Loca Ventures Ltd, he remains very much involved with another former board member of Loca Ventures, Nick Spysznyk, with whom he has also been a director in a number of companies, including some of those listed as wound up above.

Nick Spysznyk

M r Spysznyk appears to be very much the person negotiating with the council and setting out the details of Loca Ventures offer to take Parc Howard off its hands. Despite not being a director, Mr Spysznyk appears to speak on the company’s behalf on a number of t opics.

We have seen an email sent to members of the tenants’ association at a South Devon holiday park purporting to be from Mr Spysznyk in which he threatens to call in the police to investigate allegations, which are denied absolutely, that Loca Ventures and its shareholder SIB Global are somehow concerned in the sale of unregulated investments by a third party. While the email address for that correspondence is the same as that used to communicate with this newspaper, the postal return address is Valiant House, 2nd floor, 4 -10 Heneage Lane, London EC3A 5DQ. Among the host of businesses registered at that address, not one is shown as associated with Mr Spynsznyk. Included in those businesses’ number is the Insolvency Practitioners Association.

In an email to Llanelli Town Council’s clerk dated May 20, Mr Spysznyk writes: ‘We have held discussions with Jonathan Fearn and Wendy Walters in relation to an offer made to Carmarthenshire County Council. Initially we presented a larger regeneration proposal that we have now scaled down… Our proposal has stalled based on the offer to the Town Council to take over management and maintenance’.

Evidence that negotiations have been ongoing for some time is given by the way a document relating to Parc Howard and showing Loca Select Villages and Carmarthenshire County Council as parties to a proposed agreement has been framed by reference to a second development at Ffos Las.

‘Based on the above Parc Howard proposal being accepted by the Council a modern contemporary four star hotel at Ffoslas (sic.) would be constructed commencing in May 2015’.

No hotel construction has begun at Ffos Las.

The same document details a further company, KMS, as being an ‘integral part of the Loca Group’.

An extensive search of companies records and linked companies to Loca Ventures within the same group reveals no company called KMS listed as part ‘a group’ of companies under the Loca brand.

In fact Loca Ventures itself is shown as majority owned by a company registered in the British Virgin Islands, SIB Global Inc, while other Loca companies at the same registered address were incorporated last year and show only one director, a Miss Rifat Mukhtar.

Loca Ventures Ltd shows a net worth of – £39,730 and cash at the bank under £1,000. Its registered office is wholly owned by a company based in the Cayman Islands.

Tony Rees

Described as ‘an introducer’ by Mr Spysznyk to this newspaper’s editor, former journalist Tony Rees was formerly involved in a consortium that sought to take over Birmingham City FC.

Mr Rees attended the public meeting of the Parc Howard Association and described himself as an associate of those interested in taking Parc Howard off the County Council’s hands.

However, our reporter has seen an email dated March 26, which contains some hair-raising comments by Mr Rees.

Firstly, the email states that the Executive Board meeting in April was scheduled to discuss the proposal by Loca Ventures in relation to its proposed takeover of Parc Howard. No record of such discussion exists and the item does not appear on the Executive Board agenda for any meeting after March 26.

Secondly, the email goes on to read: ‘Should you or specific Park Association members require a remunerated role in the project going forward, I am certain this could be organised’.

The Herald makes no suggestion that any Park Association committee members have been swayed by that apparent offer.

Mr Rees appears as a 50% shareholder, with former Swansea City Director Peter Day, in Keep Right On Ltd and also as David Anthony Rees as concerned with Mr Day in a company called Blu Chip Ltd. Both companies list their field of activities as ‘93199: Other Sports Activities (not Inc Activities Of Racehorse Owners)’

Ken Rees

‘Working with all to maintain and improve Parc Howard’s facilities in accordance with the spirit of the or iginal gift’.

That is what the Parc Howard Association website says is the Association’s aim.

UKIP’s General Election candidate, Mr Rees is Chair of the Parc Howard Association. In his electoral address, the would-be MP wrote: ‘Local Government needs to listen to the people in giving local people the final say on major planning decisions in their ar eas’.

Mr Rees might want to reflect on how far his interaction with Tony Rees has thus far furthered that noblest of aims .

Council Officers

Head of Economic Development, Carmarthenshire County Council. Ms Walters appears to have been closely involved alongside Head of Corporate Property Jonathan Fearn

This being a major development, it would be unusual if their dealings with Loca Ventures and its representatives had not been approved at the highest level. It is not clear whether either Ms Walters or Mr Fearn are the officers who met with representatives of Loca Ventures at The Diplomat Hotel, Felinfoel.

Meryl Gravell

Former leader of Carmarthenshire Council and current Executive Board Member for Regeneration and Leisure. Cllr Gravell’s portfolio covers Parc Howard.

In a press statement on June 9, Cllr Gravell said: ‘From time to time we are approached by third party organisations who are interested in working with the authority, however, any considerations or such requests have to go through the appropriate democratic process’.

While our attempt to secure an interview or meeting with Cllr Gravell to discuss Parc Howard with her was unsuccessful, the Herald received a statement from her before we went to press. Cllr Gravell told us: “We have always tried to ensure that Parc Howard is available to the people of Llanelli, and that continues to be the case.”

She concluded: “It is too premature to be going into detailed discussions about any potential future developments.”

THE LLANELLI HERALD investigates the Parc Howard story [Alan Evans Reporting] from PEMBS.TV on Vimeo.

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RNIB brings LEGO® Braille Bricks toolkits to children in Carmarthenshire

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CHILDREN with vision impairment in Carmarthenshire are set to benefit from LEGO® Braille Bricks toolkits thanks to the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s (RNIB) work with the LEGO Foundation.

The toolkits have so far been distributed to Ceredigion Council, Swansea Council, Conwy Sensory Support Service, Carmarthenshire Council, Bridgend Council, Neath Port Talbot Council and Rhondda Cynon Taf.

LEGO Braille Bricks introduce a new way to help children with vision impairment develop tactile skills and learn the braille system. The kits are made up of approximately 300 LEGO bricks that are specially moulded so that the studs on top reflect individual letters and numbers in the Braille alphabet. The bricks also feature printed letters, numbers and symbols so that they can be used simultaneously by sighted peers, classmates, and teachers in a collaborative and inclusive way.

The kits are being brought to the UK by RNIB, which worked with the LEGO Foundation to develop and test the Braille Bricks and will distribute toolkits to schools and home-schooled children in Carmarthenshire from September.

RNIB Director of Services, David Clarke said: “We are excited to bring the LEGO Braille Brick toolkits to UK classrooms to help children learn how to read and write braille in a fun and engaging way. Braille is an important tool and these inclusive toolkits will make a real difference to children with vision impairment, allowing them to play and interact with their sighted classmates.”

RNIB has also trained teachers and support staff working with children with vision impairment in the teaching concept. Although the toolkit is intended as a playful introduction to braille for younger children aged from four up, it has also proven to have learning opportunities and benefits for children in secondary school.

Senior Play & Health Specialist at the LEGO Foundation, Stine Storm, said: “We are thrilled to launch the first wave of the LEGO Braille Bricks program and get the toolkits into the hands of children. With LEGO Braille Bricks, students and educators can tailor their activities in countless different ways to meet their needs and learning goals in a fun and inclusive manner. The possibilities for learning through play are endless, and we look forward to seeing how LEGO Braille Bricks can inspire children of all ages along their journey to learn braille.”

The UK is one of several countries that LEGO Braille Bricks will launch in this year. The toolkits, or sets of bricks, are not on general sale and can only be ordered by heads of service from local sensory services. Heads of service can also nominate an education professional from schools for children with vision impairment, or a QTVI (qualified teacher of children and young people with vision impairment), to place an order on behalf of their area. For more information visit www.rnib.org.uk/legobraillebricks

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Police appeal for witnesses after 20-year-old pedestrian tragically killed on A40

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is appealing for witnesses to a fatal road traffic collision on the A40 west of Carmarthen on Saturday (Sept 26) in which a 20-year-old man, a pedestrian, lost his life.

The police have asked The Pembrokeshire Herald to publicise this appeal.

A spokesman for the police told this newspaper: “At around 9.40pm, a white VW Transporter was in collision with a pedestrian on the A40 westbound, near the junction of Llangynog, Carmarthen.

“The pedestrian, a 20-year-old male, died as a result of his injuries.

“It appears the pedestrian had left his vehicle, a black Seat, following a single-vehicle collision further along the westbound carriageway shortly before.

The police have asked that if anyone has any information on either or both collisions, or may have been travelling along the A40 at the relevant time, please contact the serious collision investigation unit, quoting reference DPP-20200926-339.

This can be done by email: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, by phone on 101 or by text: If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Tir Coed build outdoor classroom for Cross Hands Primary

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The local charity Tir Coed teamed up with Cross Hands Primary School to design and install a locally
grown woodland shelter to enable primary school pupils to benefit from outdoor lessons-even when
the rain pours!

Last year Cross Hands Primary School received funding from Carmarthenshire is Kind for their
intergenerational project. The project brought the schoolchildren together with older people in the
community. Through intergenerational activities, everyone involved increases social connectedness,
reduces social isolation, learns from one another and has a great time!

Before the lockdown, Tir Coed was contracted to lead a group mainly made up of parents from the
school on a shelter-building course. The attendees would gain knowledge and skills and the children
and the older people would be able to use the shelter, a third generation now included in this
fantastic project. The plans, however, had to change due to restrictions and in an effort to have it
ready for the children when they returned to school, three intrepid Activity Leaders braved the wet
August weather to build the beautiful shelter .

Studies have shown that being in the outdoors significantly reduces the risk of spreading the Corona
Virus. With this addition to their already impressive outdoor area, it is hoped that more learning can
take place outside the classroom. Deputy Head, Emma Walters said, “It looks amazing! I am very
impressed with the shelter and I cannot thank Tir Coed enough for organising this. Additional
covered space in the outdoors will mean that we can take more learning into our lovely nature
area.”

If you would like to find out more about the work of Tir Coed or have a project you would like our help
with you can contact Nancy, the Carmarthenshire Coordinator: carms@tircoed.org.uk

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