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Schools and courts disrupted by bad weather

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 19, 2013

SCHOOLS and courts were badly affected by the bad weather, but while many schools had to close their doors, judges got stuck in at the deep end answering phones to help make sure courts could deal with cases.

Judges at Swansea Crown Court joined in the team effort and took to the phones in the office yesterday morning after some listings staff were unable to make it into work.

They spoke to defendants contacting the court about the weather affecting their traffic plans.

Swansea Crown Court remained open, but not all cases could take place because it deals with cases from across Swansea, Carmarthen, Neath, Port Talbot, Brecon as well as Haverfordwest and Mid Wales.

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Some defendants could not make it to their hearings.

Cases involving defendants from Aberdulais, St Davids and Aberystwyth were adjourned.

Prisoners held at Swansea central police station were walked over to the magistrates court after prison vans normally used were stuck in Bridgend.

Barristers were also affected, with some travelling from London, Cardiff and remote areas unable to attend and some solicitors took to their feet to make sure they arrived at court.

Prisoners could not be brought from nearby Swansea prison because reduced staffing levels meant prisoners could not be transported.

While most of us made it into work, thousands of school children took advantage of the early weekend.

In Neath Port Talbot every single school was closed as was every primary in Carmarthenshire.

It was a similar situation in Swansea but Bishop Gore, Gowerton, Morriston Comprehensive, Bishop Vaughan, and Olchfa opened only to pupils sitting their exams.

At Swansea University exams scheduled for Friday were postponed until Monday. Exams due to be held at the university today are scheduled to go ahead as planned.

Dad-of-two Paul Turner said it was helpful for parents if schools made the decision as early as possible.

He said: "It's better that they take the decision early rather than dithering, or calling the kids in and then having to send them home, with parents having to leave work to pick them up.

"We get snow so infrequently in Swansea, it's nice that the kids get to play in it, but it is difficult for people whose kids are younger and they can not get child care."

Swansea Metropolitan University was also closed. And the Trinity St David's campuses in Carmarthen and Lampeter shut their doors at 1pm.

A spokeswoman said it had closed due to adverse weather conditions.

"It will reopen on Monday morning as normal," she added.

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