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More questions about Parc Howard

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350px-Parc_Howard_museum_-_geograph.org.uk_-_143410A MYSTERY BUSINESSMAN who claimed to be behind the scheme to take Parc Howard off the Council’s hands but was neither a director, nor shareholder, nor officer of the company named as behind the venture, has claimed that he has shelved an attempt to acquire the Llanelli landmark.

The Herald was able to exclusively reveal the background to the takeover bid and placed significant material in the public domain, which included an email in which a purported ‘introducer’ for the scheme appeared to suggest that remunerated positions would be offered to members of the board of the Park Howard Association if they backed the plan.

Nick Spysznyk has claimed in an interview in other media which did not investigate the tainted deal, that ‘the plans were being put on the back-burner for the time being because of the public backlash, said his company, Atlas Hill, was now focussing on improved plans for a hotel on the site at Four Winds, Ffos Las’.

The Herald can confirm that Mr Spysznyk offered to meet to discuss Parc Howard with it but was not prepared to speak to us on the record about his involvement or have anything to do with ‘that journalism crap’. He spoke to the Llanelli Star instead.

Instead of uncritically reporting that assertion, The Herald has looked at ‘Atlas Hill’ in order to establish Mr Spysznyk’s involvement in it. There are several listings for Mr Spysznyk under a number of different names, including Nicholas James Spysznyk, Nicholas James Yvan Spysznyk, and Nicholas Spysznyk.

Even the most cursory of examinations shows that however his name is construed, Mr Spysznyk is neither a director nor an officer of a limited company called ‘Atlas Hill’.

In addition a search against  Atlas Hill’ at Companies House two companies bearing that name: the first of those, Atlas Hill Ltd is listed as a financial intermediary with a sole director who owns 100% of the share capital. The director’s name is Mr Ahmed El Bouchikhi. While the company appears to have been active since 2012, its website has virtually no information on it and seems to have been recently created. The second company, Atlas Hill Ventures Ltd was incorporated in 2014 and is owned by the same person.

The Herald can confirm that at all times when dealing with the local authority regarding Parc Howard, Mr Spysznyk made no reference to the involvement in the deal of a company called ‘Atlas Hill’. In fact, having a copy of the information provided by the company concerned in that bid, Loca Ventures Ltd, we can confirm no such reference is made.

Mr Spysznyk now claims to be moving on to a project to build a 120 room hotel with fitness spa at Ffos Las.

Plans to build a hotel at Ffos Las have been a feature of news stories for several years.

None of those stories mention the involvement of Nicholas Spysznyk or ‘Atlas Hill’ at any time.

While Mr Spysznyk seems eager to outline multi-million pound plans, provided they are not too closely questioned, the strength of public feeling in Llanelli about his designs on Parc Howard appears to signal that a suggestion his plans are on ‘the back-burner’ is bravado in the face of the inevitable.

Keith Davies AM told The Herald: “Parc Howard is crucial for the people of this constituency. Parc Howard has been given as a gift to the children of Llanelli. It is important that we keep that for the people of Llanelli. I’m afraid there is a question to be asked on who is responsible for running the county council. Is it officers or the elected members?”

Questioning how events concerning Parc Howard unfolded, the Llanelli representative told us: “It looks as if meetings have taken place behind closed doors with officers. The majority of elected members including those who represent Llanelli were not involved at all.”

Mr Davies concluded by pointing out: “There was a report from the WLGA on Carmarthenshire and Carmarthenshire County Council discussed it recently. The WLGA interviewed people about Carmarthenshire and it says in the report that there is a feeling that officers not elected members run Carmarthen and that does seriously effect democracy. If elected members are not allowed to speak out, I think they must refer it to the Ombudsman.”

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Police officer punched and spat at minutes after aggressive man held knife to his own throat

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A POLICE officer was punched in the face and spat at as he responded to a report of a violent man with a knife.

The Dyfed-Powys Police PC was left with swelling and bruising following the incident in Carmarthen on Saturday, October 17.

He also attended A&E for his eye to be cleaned after being spat at by Michael Ivan Priestly, who has since been charged and sentenced for assaulting an officer.

The force received a report of a disturbance at a house in Glanffynnon at around 9.40am, where it was said the 43-year-old was in possession of a knife.

Sergeant Darren Morgan said: “We positioned ourselves outside the property, and the defendant came out in a raging state, shouting, swearing and throwing his arms about.

“His behaviour was so alarming that we feared for our safety until he went back inside.”

Further units attended to provide support, but once inside the house, the defendant’s behaviour became more concerning.

“Through the back window we could clearly see him in possession of a knife, which he pointed at us several times in a threatening manner,” Sgt Morgan said.

“He then put the knife to his throat. We weren’t sure if he was threatening to harm himself or us.

“We attempted to engage with him, but he came outside again, shouting aggressively and swearing.”

Priestly removed a six inch knife from the waistband of his trousers, and dropped in on the ground when instructed.

Efforts were made to calm him down, but he became more uncooperative until the point he lashed out and punched a PC, before spitting at him.

Priestly was arrested and taken to custody, where he continued his tirade against officers.

He was charged with assaulting an emergency worker, and appeared at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Monday, October 19.

He was sentenced to a community order, a rehabilitation activity requirement, 100 hours of unpaid work, and must pay a total of £280 in compensation and costs.

Sgt Morgan said: “I would like to commend all officers involved in the incident for their actions in preventing Priestly from potentially harming himself or others.”

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Killer Andrew Jones must spend at least 30 years in jail

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A KILLER from Carmarthen will spend at least 30 years in jail.

Andrew Jones, 53, from Bronwydd Road, denied murdering his long-time friend Michael O’Leary but was convicted by a jury.

Mrs Justice Jefford set a minimum term of 30 years which he must serve before he can be considered for parole. She described the killing as ” a planned ambush”.

She told the killer: “Michael O’Leary did something wrong but he did not deserve to pay for that with his life. All accounts of him is of a man who lit up the room and played a central role in the lives of his family.

“Your family stands by you. You are more than fortunate in that. The impact of your actions in their lives has also been devastating. They feel ostracised from the community from where they live.

“Your wife still talks about you as the love of her life and your children talk about you in glowing terms.”

The judge made an order for the forfeiture and destruction of a rifle but not of the other guns in Jones’ possession.

She added: “This was a remarkable investigation by Dyfed-Powys Police.

“The officers and operatives involved are too numerous to mention but they are all to be commended for their efforts.”

Mr Jones’ barrister Karim Khalil QC is now addressing the court.

He said: “The defendant himself is not a highly educated man. He made the best of the talents he had.

“He worked all hours, not in any sense workshy. He built a family life which is now destroyed.

“He is remorseful for what happened. He is not cold-blooded.

“He acknowledges the pain he has caused.”

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Two week national ‘Firebreak Lockdown’ announced for Wales from 6pm on Friday

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MARK DRAKEFORD, The First Minister of Wales has announced a two week ‘fire break’ lockdown from Friday October 23 at 18:00 HRS, to last until Monday November 9 at 00:01 HRS

Mr Drakeford said: “This firebreak is the shortest we can make it. It must be sharp and deep in order to have the impact we need it to have on the virus.”

All non essential businesses, including tourism businesses will be told to close.

Businesses have been told that they will be given £1000 each automatically to help with the economic impact of the shutdown.

Mr Drakeford added that children will be the priority and that childcare facilities will open as normal. Primary schools will open after half term.

Secondary schools will be closed for a week after half term to help control the virus.

Universities will offer a mixture of face-to-face learning and learning via video link. Students must stay at their university accommodation during the lockdown.

Responding to the Welsh Government’s announcement of a Wales-wide lockdown, Paul Davies MS, the Leader of the Opposition in the Welsh Parliament, has called the lockdown “not-proportionate” and is calling on the Welsh Government to be “open and transparent” on the evidence to support a lockdown and if the First Minister is committing Wales to rolling Wales-wide lockdowns every month.

Paul Davies MS said: “Sadly, the First Minster has failed to get public support for this second Wales-wide lockdown, failing to be open and transparent about the evidence to justify this lockdown and what his actions will entail for the future.

“The Welsh Government also has to be honest that this road they are taking us down is committing Wales to rolling Wales-wide lockdowns. This is not a two-week break to solve the pandemic, it is likely that we will see regular lockdowns across the rest of the year. The Welsh Government must be clear what actions they are taking during the lockdown to prevent further Wales-wide lockdowns which will have a significant impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.

“However, the main concern is that this national lockdown is not proportionate. The impact on businesses in areas such as Powys, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, who have the lowest rate of Covid-19 cases in Wales, will be severe at a time when they are desperately struggling to recover from the pandemic so far this year.

“The First Minister needs to urgently come to the Welsh Parliament and answer these questions, to face effective scrutiny by elected representatives and not run his government by media.”

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP, Stephen Crabb told The Herald: “The evidence to support an all-Wales lockdown is weak and I am sceptical that this so-called ‘fire-break’ will tackle the situation in those parts of Wales where infection rates have been out of control. The key issue for Welsh Government to address is what will be done differently after the firebreak ends in those parts of Wales where infection rates have spiralled out of control. Otherwise the whole of Wales risks being dragged back into a series of rolling lockdowns.

“As we saw earlier in the year, lockdowns come with huge costs in terms of harm to the economy and to people’s emotional and mental wellbeing. With the Welsh Government asking UK Government to fund this lockdown, I hope that as many businesses as possible get support they need quickly. Pembrokeshire’s hospitality businesses will be hit particularly hard by these latest restrictions and I will be fighting hard again to see that they are protected as the lockdown kicks in.”

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