Teenagers say sorry to council after reign of 'chaos' in Gwendraeth Valley village
THREE members of a group dubbed "the Pontyberem Four" have apologised to councillors after they were said to have caused chaos in a Gwendraeth Valley village last month.
The group of troublemakers were given their nickname by members of the community council at a Pact meeting two weeks ago.
Now three of them, who allegedly took part in a series of incidents in the village in September, have met with council members to explain themselves.
The trio are alleged to have climbed up onto the stage lighting at the memorial hall and damaged Christmas bulbs outside. They also tampered with an electricity box in the village, council members claimed.
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Escorted by PC Tony Davies of Cross Hands Police Station, the trio sat in front of council members who questioned them on why they had decided to cause trouble in the village.
They told councillors they were "bored", but added they were sorry and "wouldn't do it again".
Chairwoman Dorothy Jones said: "Do you like making your mam and dad unhappy?"
The teens — who cannot be named for legal reasons — said they did not, and it was then that members suggested the group of teenagers could get involved in the village environmental group, in an attempt to cure them of their boredom.
A previous council meeting heard some of the parents had been to the hall to apologise — but it was not until this week that the youths themselves had apologised.
Mrs Jones said this was now the time for the teenagers to turn their lives around.
"We've all got or had children of your age," she said.
Councillor Alban Rees added that the council was "very supportive" to help members of the community of all ages, and would support the youngsters if they decided to get involved in future community clean-ups.
Keith Towler, Children's Commissioner for Wales, welcomed what had happened in Pontyberem.
"I think very often, we talk about young people taking responsibility for their actions, and sometimes one of the hardest things to do is to apologise.
"But with the support of the police to make an apology to the community council, I think is really important.
"It helps young people to understand the issues in relation to action and consequences, and taking full responsibility.
"It also builds respect between young people and older people.