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University septic tank ‘issue’ resolved

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Concerns: Local landlord Mark Chappell (L) with Arthur Davies

Concerns: Local landlord Mark Chappell (L) with Arthur Davies

A LEAK from a septic tank, which residents said was causing pollution and a ‘worrying’ health and safety problem has been resolved, according to the University of Wales Trinity St David.

The leak, which originated from a septic tank attached to the Children’s Crèche at the Carmarthen campus, began in February, according to Mark Chappell, a landlord who owns a property in Ash Grove which backs onto the site.

Mr Chappell told The Herald that works started then to turn a field into extra parking space led to a ditch being dug near the boundary between the back of Ash Grove and the raised area of hard standing.

He said that there was a strong smell of sewage in the garden of his house – something that still lingered when we visited on Saturday (May 14).

The ditch also bore traces of what appeared to be green dye, commonly used to find leaks in tanks and water mains, which indicated that tests had previously been carried out.

Mr Chappell said that he had contacted the National Rivers Authority and UWTSD, but had not received a reply at the time of going to press.

Former Carmarthenshire County Councillor Arthur Davies was told about the problem by another resident: “I find it extraordinary that this sewage pollution from the Children’s Crèche at the University of Wales St. David’s has been allowed to continue since February,” he told us.

“This is important as it is polluting the watercourse which also runs through another adjoining estate, Burgess Meadows where often small children play!

“Not only is this sewage seepage causing water pollution but also it is polluting the surrounding air causing a worrying health and safety problem with the two neighbours who are suffering with ‘unexplainable’ headaches.”

A UWTSD spokesperson said: “There has been an issue with the septic tank serving the creche. Remedial works, which have been agreed with Carmarthenshire Council’s County Environmental Health Officer have been carried out and we believe that the issue has been resolved.

“Sampling has been carried out on the water in the surface water ditch and the analysis results are awaited. These will be shared with the Environmental Health Officer and a decision made in conjunction with him as to whether the work carried out has resolved the issue.

“Should the Environmental Health Officer require further works, these will be carried out within any agreed timescale by the University.

It was stressed that no risk was posed to children attending the Nursery, or to staff there:

“The issue is some 60m away from the Nursery, which is bounded by a boarded fence and at no time was there any chance of any contact with staff or children. The Nursery Manager is aware of the situation,” the spokesperson added.

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Care home honour Armed Forces Day

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PLAS Y DDERWEN in Johnstown will be celebrating Armed Forces Day on Thursday, June 28, with a big brew up supporting SSAFA – the Armed Forces charity.

SSAFA – the Armed Forces charity, formerly known as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, provides lifelong support to serving men and women and veterans from the British Armed Forces and their families. Armed Forces Day is a chance to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community.

Janet Williams, Activities Coordinator, said: “It is very important that we keep the memories of those who fought alive and that we also think about those involved in conflicts around the world today. We welcome anyone that wishes to attend and will have the chance to meet the team and look around the home.”

Plas Y Dderwen is part of Barchester Healthcare, one of the UK’s largest care providers, supporting older people living independent lives over the last 25 years.

Barchester services include residential care and nursing care as well as expert dementia care.

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Huge Brecha Forest West wind turbine project complete

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ALL 28 turbines at Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm are now operational and exporting renewable energy to the National Grid, Innogy Renewables UK Ltd has announced.

With an installed capacity of 57.4MW, Brechfa Forest West can generate enough renewable energy to meet the equivalent energy needs of approximately 38,800 average UK homes, which is almost half of all the households in Carmarthenshire.

Martin Kelly, innogy’s Project Director said: “The last turbines have now been commissioned. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the local community for their patience and support during the construction phase. We will now continue to work with Natural Resource Wales (NRW) to complete all remaining reinstatement activities.

“We are really proud of what has been achieved here as a team with NRW and our Contractors. With all turbine components safely delivered to site and lifted into place, over 20km of tracks within the forest created or upgraded and a new circular walk created to improve visitor’s experience; the construction has been an engineering success and all carried out safely with no lost time due to injury or incident.”

This announcement also marks the launch of the much-anticipated community benefit fund, worth £459,200 a year.

Following a competitive tender, innogy has selected Antur Teifi as the fund administrator and Severn Wye Energy Agency to provide community development support and maximise the benefits of the fund.

Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said: “I am delighted Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm is now operational. It is the most recent example of our approach to using Welsh Government estate to deliver benefits for Welsh people whilst at the same time decarbonising our energy system. I am pleased that the Community fund will be delivered alongside the leisure improvements the development has funded, which are benefiting the local community and future generations.”

Kevin Harrington, Business Development Manager from Antur Teifi said: “We are thrilled to have won this contract and excited by the huge potential and significant opportunities that the Brechfa Forest West Wind Farm Fund can deliver.

“The fund is now inviting applications for funding and for more information please visit our website: www.anturteifi.org.uk”

Onsite, construction and testing activities are drawing to an end. Reinstatement works will continue as well as the implementation of innogy’s habit management plan. innogy will continue to carry out these works in close working partnership with NRW and is delighted to have also recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work towards NRW’s vision of developing Energy Parks fit for our futures.

Gordon Baird, NRW’s Energy Delivery Programme Project Manager said: “This is an exciting moment for the Brechfa Forest Wind Farm Project.

“Our joined-up work with innogy on the NRW Managed Estate has demonstrated that together, we can deliver significant renewable energy and help to build a prosperous and sustainable future for Wales.

“And the recent signing of the MoU signals NRW’s intention to work with all developers who wish to use the Energy Park concept to develop Wales’ renewable energy profile.”

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Contactless donations for Tŷ Hafan

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TŶ HAFAN has introduced an even easier way for the people of Carmarthen to donate much needed funds. The children’s hospice charity has installed a contactless shop window, located at the front of the Tŷ Hafan store on Merlin’s Walk in Carmarthen town centre.

The window is an integral part of the charity’s Summer Appeal, which sees Tŷ Hafan asking for donations so children with life-limited conditions and their families can continue to receive comfort, care and support during short break care that is so vital for them. Carmarthen shoppers can make donations by merely tapping their debit or credit cards on a contactless terminal affixed to the window, donating a fixed fee of £2.

As summer approaches, many families are preparing to pack their cases in readiness for a summer holiday, but for many Tŷ Hafan families, they are packing theirs in preparation for a stay at the hospice – which, for them, is the only family holiday they will ever have.

Beth Morgan, Tŷ Hafan’s Head of Hospice Services, explained that caring for a life limited child turns parents into full-time carers and the previous life they once had is no longer recognisable.

She said: “Some of our families spend every day living in fear for their child. Parents can become exhausted and emotionally drained from sleepless nights, constant worry and guilt towards not spending as much time with their other children, as well as enduring financial stresses and practical difficulties of caring for their child on a daily basis.

“That’s why our short break care service is crucial. We help to temporarily alleviate the stresses by giving the whole family a much needed holiday. They enjoy sessions together in the hydrotherapy pool, day trips to the beach and a good night’s sleep – things that sound so simple to us but for them are impossible in their day to day lives. By the end of their stay, parents are physically and emotionally in a much better place.”

One family to have benefited from Tŷ Hafan’s short break care is the James family from Aberystwyth. Bridget James has been taking her daughters Elain, 8, and Martha, 4, to Tŷ Hafan since Elain was just a one year old. Elain was born with multiple, complicated heart conditions and a rare genetic disorder. Although her condition is currently stable, it could only be a matter of time before it deteriorates.

Bridget said: “It’s so ironic really that we live in a seaside town, yet it’s Tŷ Hafan that is our family holiday.

“I don’t relax at all at home, so for me, the stay at Tŷ Hafan is my only break for what feels like such a long time. When we stay, there are no day-to-day pressures, Martha can just play and enjoy herself and I can feel myself starting to unwind as the days go on. Just like any holiday, when the week is over it’s back to reality, but at least I have found some more strength, ready to go again.

“For my family and the many others that Tŷ Hafan supports, a Tŷ Hafan holiday means making memories and special moments that matter, and having time to properly switch off. It’s just the perfect family holiday.”

The Carmarthen store window is compatible with any contactless credit or debit card. It’ll be displayed from Monday June 18, during shop opening times, for the duration of the Summer appeal, during which time the charity hopes its funds will be boosted by the Carmarthen community tapping for Tŷ Hafan.

For more information on the Summer appeal, visit www.tyhafan.org/elain.

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