South West Wales

Thieves and vandals threaten Llanelli mansion's future

Repeated attacks by thieves and vandals are threatening the future of one of Llanelli's grandest buildings.

Lead has been stripped from the roof of Parc Howard mansion and damage caused within the grounds.

The Grade I listed building is home to the town's museum and is a popular park with many.

Carmarthenshire council is appealing to people to report any incidents to police warning it cannot continue to foot the bill for repairs.

Built by the Buckley brewing family on the outskirts of the town in the late 1880s it was bequeathed to the people of Llanelli by Sir Stafford and Lady Howard a century ago.

It is home to an exhibition about the town's industrial heyday and also the largest collection of Llanelli pottery.

Carmarthenshire council's executive board member for regeneration Clive Scourfield said: "Unfortunately lead has been stolen from the roof for the third or fourth time.

"The council will claim off our insurance but at the end of the day the insurance companies may well turn around and say they are no longer prepared to indemnify the council for thefts any longer.

"Eventually in these times when cash is so short we will have to seriously look at what we spend and how we can prevent these thefts."

Almost £200,000 has been spent on the site recently maintaining the building and improving disabled access.

Mr Scourfield said thieves had used scaffolding associated with the work to access the roof.

"The price of scrap is so high at the moment it's a huge lure for people to steal it," he added.

"The park itself is surrounded by houses and I would ask local residents to keep an eye on it an see what is going on, especially in the evenings."

He said if they saw anything suspicious they should contact the police immediately.

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