Trainee reporter wins back confiscated council meeting notes

A Llanelli Star trainee reporter has had his notes from a council meeting returned to him after they were confiscated by a council clerk.

Chad Welch had 45 minutes' worth of notes taken away from him by rural council clerk Mark Galbraith when it was announced a council meeting was private.

But Welch and his editor Bede MacGowan successfull asked for the notes to be returned last week after a meeting with Galbraith and fellow clerk Mel Edwards.

Editor MacGowan said: "The meeting between ourselves, Mr Galbraith and Mr Edwards was amicable and allowed for a frank exchange of views, during which we were pleased to have Chad's notes returned to us.

"I'm confident there won't be a repeat incident of this nature and we can now let the matter rest. 

"Since a number of those present were under the impression they were talking in private, we won't be using the notes to form the direct basis of any article.

"But we will use the information garnered during the meeting to inform further lines of inquiry in the ongoing and vitally important campaign to save services at Llanelli hospital."

The notes were taken at a meeting in which councillors were discussing a campaign to protect local health services. The Star reported that it had been invited to attend.

But 45 minutes into the meeting, when councillors became aware that Welch was a taking notes, the reporter was told to leave without his notes.

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