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Sheep farmer ‘simply couldn’t cope’

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couldnt copeA NARBERTH man has been ordered to complete 240 hours of unpaid work after being found guilty of 25 charges of animal neglect. Lyn Williams, aged 32, previously of Hill Farm, Ludchurch, pleaded guilty to 25 charges of animal neglect towards his sheep.

A video containing footage of dead and neglected sheep was shown in the court.

Prosecutor, Simon Morgan said: “Some sheep were showing loss of wool and were lame. On January 29 a visit was conducted by Mrs Lucy Thomas from the Animal Welfare, who found several dead sheep around the barns. Some were decomposing and others were still warm.”

Mrs Thomas stated that the lamb’s condition scores were marked at 0.5, with 0 being razor thin and 5 being well fed and nutritioned. The animals had not received any care or treatment, and even though food and water had been placed, they were able to get to the food and water because they were too weak to stand. Sheep were being forced to walk on their knees due to untrimmed and overgrown hooves, some of which had split, therefore causing extreme pain.

“Some sheep had glazed and sunken eyes, others with unusual head posture called ‘Stargazing’. Sheep that had been shot were laid out side by side, and no effort was made to treat the sheep before being destroyed”. Mr Morgan said: “Pregnant ewes had been aborting due to the distress and others had had their eyes pecked out by birds. Skeletons of sheep were found near the stream on the edge of the farm who had tried to reach water, though were too weak to return. Williams did not pick up dead animals that were clearly visible. “One dead lamb had become entangled in bale wrap and another that was still alive was entwined in the wrap, which was around its neck and foreleg. It was only found from its feeble cries.

“The farm seriously over stocked on sheep and failed to provide nutrition for pregnant lambs. Many sheep were traumatised from being pecked by birds resulting in eye loss. Williams claims that a wild animal could have caused some of the deaths, but does not stand by that completely as no deaths were caused by attacks”. Defence solicitor, Mark Layton said: “Williams is a man of clean character and has been a father all of his adult life. The basis of plea is that it falls between short and medium in terms of neglect, which could be dealt with by a high level community order.

“I have to accept that there are a number of aggravating features, but consider the question of why things went wrong. There are three reasons for this: up until February, Williams was in partnership with his father who passed away. Williams was then left on his own, and he also had issues with his neighbours.

“He had applied to have wind turbines on his land, which his neighbours opposed. We also had a very harsh winter between December 2012 and March 2013. It was severely cold, and with 2000 sheep on a farm, it’s not unusual for sheep to die.

“In terms of the removal of the sheep, Williams used an external firm, therefore the pellets that had gone through the heads were not his fault and he did not have control over that. A letter from Tom Goddard and Sons shows regular visits were made to the farm, and although getting contractors to come out can sometimes be difficult, he was getting them there. “Invoices of food stocks and welfare material that exceeded £10,000 and vets bills had all been paid. Williams is not a man who was just ignoring his obligations, he just simply couldn’t cope. “He has lost his name and reputation and will have to live and come to terms with this. But please remember that during a 12 week period, things got bad and then better. The worst part was smack bang in the middle of the 12 weeks”.

Magistrates told the court: “We have listened carefully to what has been said and accept that managing livestock in winter is hard, and the percentage of dead stock was low. You were given a chance to tidy up, which you ignored. We are aware of the loss of your father and are going to sentence on the basis of plea.”

Magistrates ordered Williams to complete 240 hours of unpaid work within 12 months, and he was disqualified from keeping sheep for two years. He was also subject to fines and court costs, totalling at £7,774.

After the hearing, Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Environmental and Regulatory Services, Councillor Huw George, said: “Mr Williams failed to act on advice offered to him from the Animal Health and Welfare Inspectors. The farm was found to be seriously overstocked during the winter of 2012.

“He failed to take prompt action to control a lameness and parasite problem within the flock resulting in dire consequences for the entire flock during a prolonged wet and cold winter.”

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Mark Drakeford says: ‘Thank you Wales for going red’

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LABOUR is staying in power in Wales after matching its best-ever Senedd election result. It won exactly half of the 60 seats in the Welsh Parliament with all results now declared

Labour has 30 seats, with the Conservatives on 16, Plaid Cymru on 13 and the Liberal Democrats one.
Mark Drakeford thanked Wales for “going red” and has vowed to be “radical” and “ambitious” in government, as Labour looks to solidify its leadership in Wales.

Labour’s Vaughan Gething, health minister in the Welsh government, told the media that the party didn’t “have to look at a formal coalition” because they had done so well.

“We do, however, have to talk to other groups within the Senedd,” he said.

Mr Gething said Labour had a “strong mandate to govern” with 30 of the Senedd’s 60 seats.

The Wales Green Party failed to win a seat in the Senedd elections but they say they recorded their highest-ever result in Wales. Leader Anthony Slaughter said the “results demonstrate the appetite for change” across Wales.

A very happy Mark Drakeford on Saturday, May 8 (Photo Welsh Labour/Twitter)

Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party, said: “We seem to be getting votes from all of the parties and support on that regional list as people increase their knowledge of the voting system.”

Adam Price, who held Carmarthen East and Dinefwr with a reduced majority, said he would not stand down as Plaid Cymru leader.

Despite no gains, Mr Price said the party had increased its share of the vote and its stance on independence had been a “net positive”.

“I’m not walking away from anything, because this is the moment when Wales needs leadership,” he said.

“This is a historic challenge, because of the way that the politics is moving in this island, but it’s also a historic opportunity for us.

On the campaign trail, Plaid leader Adam Price (Pic Plaid Cymru)

“We can move our nation forward and I’m looking forward to playing my part, it’s not something that anyone can do on their own.

“I have a role to play, we all have a role to play and that’s what’s exciting about politics at the moment. Wales is on the move Wales is on the march. I’m going to be part of that.”

Later, on social media, Adam Price said: ” I extend my congratulations to Mark Drakeford on securing a mandate to lead the next government. Although disappointed not to be returning more Members to the Senedd, I am proud that we ran a positive campaign based on a transformational programme.

“Our Senedd group will bring renewed energy and fresh ideas and I look forward to working with all my colleagues as we continue to build the case for independence. We will be a constructive but forensic opposition as we enter a crucial period of pandemic recovery.

“However, the sixth Senedd will be poorer without one of Wales’s most remarkable politicians. No one has given more to the party or to her community than Leanne Wood – an inspiring role model for so many.

“Leanne’s commitment to the Rhondda is unparalleled and I know she will continue to make an important contribution to the future of our nation and the pursuit of social justice which always has and always will drive her politics.

“Westminster’s attack on devolution is only just beginning and Wales needs a plan – that plan must focus on taking our own future into our own hands so we can build a nation that is fair and free.

TORYS CLAIM BEST RESULT EVER

The Welsh Conservatives say that they have secured the party’s best ever result in a Senedd election, winning 16 seats in the Welsh Parliament.

In a statement to the press the party said: “Today’s final election results have seen the Welsh Conservatives secure two regional list seats in both South Wales Central and South Wales East.

“Welsh Conservatives polled 289,802 votes (share up 5.0) across 40 constituencies – 26.1% of the vote – winning eight seats including gains in both the Vale of Clwyd and Brecon and Radnorshire.

“On the five regional lists, Welsh Conservatives secured 278,560 votes (share up 6.3), winning eight seats. The result will see the Senedd return its first ever female from a BAME background, with Welsh Conservatives’ Natasha Asghar making history with election in South Wales East.

Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies with Joel Williams on election day (Pic RT Davies/Twitter)

Commenting, Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies said: “Firstly, I’d like to say a huge thank you to our outstanding set of Welsh Conservative candidates, activists and staff who’ve worked incredibly hard throughout this campaign and secured the party’s best ever Senedd result.

“The team has gone above and beyond and deserve great credit for the positive campaign we’ve run right across Wales, and I am thrilled to see Natasha Asghar make history in South Wales East by becoming the first female from a BAME background to be elected to the Senedd.

Newly elected Conservative member of Senedd, Sam Kurtz, talking to BBC reporter Aled Scourfield (Pic J Coles/Herald)

“As a party we are also delighted to have secured constituency seats in the Vale of Clwyd and Brecon and Radnorshire, and increased seats on the regional lists, resulting in our highest ever representation in the Senedd with 16 members.

“It’s been an unconventional campaign and it’s clear incumbency and continuity has played a significant part. To that end, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Mark Drakeford and Welsh Labour on a successful campaign.

“The election has been fought in good spirit by political parties in Wales and I would like to pay a final word of thanks to the many officials across the country who’ve allowed this election to take place in a safe and effective manner.”

IMPACT OF PANDEMIC

Ian Price, director of CBI Wales, congratulated Labour. He said: “This is a critical time for the Welsh economy and the new parliament must have a laser-like focus on rebuilding from the devastating impact of the pandemic,” he said.
“That means all parties pulling together and working with business to protect jobs, rebuild livelihoods and create a fair and sustainable recovery that addresses the longstanding structural challenges our economy faces.”

Royal Town Planning Institute, largest professional body for town planners in the UK and Europe, commented on the election result saying: “The Welsh Labour Manifesto meets many of the issues raised by the RTPI, including tackling climate action, investing in public transport and active travel, and the delivery of quality affordable homes, including a focus on strengthening Welsh language communities.

“The manifesto commits to strengthening the autonomy and effectiveness of local government to make them more successful in delivering services. We have highlighted the need to invest in planning services to enable the delivery of Welsh Labour’s priorities.”

LABOUR “RESILIENT”

Speaking to the BBC, political commentator Prof Roger Awan-Scully said: “I think it’s been an astonishingly resilient performance by the Welsh Labour Party, amidst disasters for Labour elsewhere in the UK.

“The Conservatives are also performing strongly, but not quite bringing it home in terms of the number of constituency victories that they might have expected.

“For Plaid Cymru I think this has to be said to be a deeply disappointing election.”

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Conservatives hold on to Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat

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THE CONSERVATIVES have held on to their Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat despite Labour closing the gap.

Sam Kurtz will take over the seat from the outgoing Angela Burns who held a majority of 3,400 at the last election.

This time, the gap was just 936 to Labour’s Hassan Riaz who picked up 10,304 votes.

Plaid Cymru’s Cefin Campbell picked up 6,615 votes.

The turnout in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire was slightly up to 52.12% from 51.2% in 2016.

However, with a larger electorate thanks to votes for 16/17-year-olds, the number of votes cast went up by almost 3,000.

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Paul Davies re-elected as Conservatives hold Preseli Pembrokeshire

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PAUL DAVIES has been re-elected to represent the Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency.

He won with 12,295 votes, while there were 10,895 votes for Labour’s Jackie Jones.

Plaid Cymru candidate Cris Tomos gained just over 6,000 votes and there were also 1,239 for Reform UK candidate Alan Dennison.

There were over 3000 more votes cast in 2016, down largely in part to the fact that 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote in this election.

Both the Conservatives and Labour received more votes than before while the gap to Labour closed to just 1,400.

After being elected, Paul Davies said he would continue to ‘fight for Pembrokeshire’ and thanked those who had been involved in his campaign.

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