ARSONIST teenage hell fire raisers on Llanelli’s coast are being hounded out.
Report by Ron Cant, photos Alan Evans ©Wales News Online
With four nights successive grass blazes on the wildlife Lliedi Haven over the Bank Holiday there has been a Community Safety Mayday sent out for information and an appeal to shop the arsonists.
Signs have appeared at Llanelli North Dock car park posted by Mid and West Wales Fire and rescue Service warning “Arson is a crime” and “Fires in this area are being deliberately set. Can you help us.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Arson Reduction Team on 01792 705130 or CrimeStoppers 0800 555 111.
Last week Wales News Online reported the fires being set by teenage gangs lighting rival barbecue areas and one blaze that almost led to the evacuation of the North Dock Flats and the Ice Cream Kiosk because of choking clouds of white smoke.
Delighted to see the signs up, regular dog walker Bob Wilks said the fires were an annual problem but this year he claimed they seemed worse than ever.
“We are looking so down at heel here we are attracting more rabble in the early evening and drunken binges in the dunes.
“Before the hurricane blew in the sand I counted 27 separate fires. Sparks from some had ripped through the dunes and destroyed nesting areas of rare of birds already breeding.
“This area has got signs declaring it a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Sadly there is no policing.
“The maurading teenagers in gangs of up to 20 brazenly stand and stare as you walk by their encampments in the dunes encouraging you to move on quickly. They defiantly set the smoke fires to make sure you do move on. It is such a shame because the beach and dunes are used by lots of young families.
“The Millennium Coastal Park Rangers used to have a permanent presence here in the Discovery Centre and at Pontrillais Works where they still have a sign on the gates declaring “Ranger Project Office – what a laugh! Since the retirement of the MCP’s facilities officer at the North Dock all the rangers have been switched to Pembrey Country Park and we never see them here now.
“In those six-seven years sand has built up over the promenade and disable carriages can no longer travel along it from the Discovery Centre. If someone had an accident on this part of the prom the claim culture fallout would be substantial. They should either clean it up or fence it off.
“The sand has built up so high in front of the Discovery Centre the new owners have made the mistake of switch the restaurant to the ground floor from where there will be no sea views because of a 10-foot bank of sand.
“Amazingly they are planning to build 200-plus houses round the corner yet the dock is looking very sorry for itself. Any potential house buyers need to have a look around before they buy to see what they will be letting themselves in for. The place is a vandal’s paradise.
“The once brilliant red capstans round the dock that brightened the environment the rangers used to paint annually have faded to pink. Stones walls on the prom are disintegrating and the wonderfully crafted walls destroyed.
“Thousands flock here is fine weather but the council do nothing. Wooden bollards to prevent car intrusion on the sensitive dune areas have been ripped up by the yobs to fuel their barbecues.
“Two volunteer litter pickers turn up now again. They do a valiant job but they are fighting a losing battle. The drinks bottles and cans along with other debris builds up every weekend.
“At least with the new managers the slowly greening Discovery Centre is getting a lick of white paint again. There is so much more to do. Who is going to wan to visit a restaurant set in this playground for lager louts?”
Seaside resident and prospective county councillor Amanda Carter said she drew many of these concerns to the park manager Neil Thomas at the time of the last local elections when they featured in her manifesto and he promised they would be addressed.
“The elections came and went and we are still waiting. We are a forgotten and neglected community.
“I said back then we needed to ‘Put the pride back in Seaside.’ Let’s pressure the council to support us,” she said.
Ian Jones, Head of Leisure, said: “Work is underway on removing sand build-up and to improve the vicinity around the building that will soon open with new tenants as a bistro on the beachfront.
“The Local Nature Reserve is patrolled regularly with any necessary conservation management work undertaken and to deter anti-social behaviour. Recent work carried out has included strengthening works for the beach defences and sea buckthorn removal from the dunes, which is ongoing. We also work with local charities and organisations to carry out regular beach cleans including the entire length of the North Dock Dunes Local Nature Reserve.
“Arson incidents are fortunately very rare but something we are working with relevant authorities to monitor.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792 – 1822
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”