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Tywi Valley Path welcomed by tourism businesses

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Left to right: Board Member for Regeneration and Leisure Cllr Meryl Gravell, Director of Environment Ruth Mullen, Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Hazel Evans and Head of Transport & Highways Stephen Pilliner.

AMBTIOUS plans to create a 16-mile walking and cycling path through the scenic Tywi Valley have been welcomed by tourism businesses in Carmarthenshire.

Local accommodation providers, food and drink establishments and tourist attraction operators attended an event at The Plough Inn in Rhosmaen, Llandeilo, organised by Carmarthenshire Tourism Association and Carmarthenshire County Council and funded through the Welsh Government’s Regional Tourism Engagement Fund.

The aim was for businesses to find out how they can benefit from the county’s expanding cycling market and make the most of the opportunities these large-scale cycling events bring to the area.

They had an update on the council’s cycling strategy which will soon be going out to consultation and heard from cycling industry experts including Matt Page who runs A Cycling and organises big cycling events in the county, Colin Porter from luggage transfer service company Walkalongway and Paul Smith who runs cycle-hire business Towy Valley Cycles.

They also had a presentation on the proposed multi-million-pound Tywi Valley Path which will follow an almost adjacent route to that of the River Tywi, linking in with major tourist attractions between Carmarthen and Llandeilo.

It is estimated the project could attract 15,000 visitors a year, generating between £860,000 and £2million in the local economy and create and support up to 41 full-time jobs.

Former pro cyclist Matt Page said he was very supportive of the project: “I think it is going to bring cycling to a different type of people, the hard-core road cyclist won’t use it, but it will be perfect for families and it will also show people the fantastic countryside we have got, which is great.”

Christoph Fischer, organiser of Hwyl Llandeilo Litfest, said: “I think it is fantastic, I am a keen cyclist and this ticks all the boxes. Some people do not want to cycle on the roads, so this will cater for them. I think it will attract more people to come here on cycling holidays and show them how beautiful the Tywi Valley is, it is a great way of seeing it.”

George Rashbrook, who runs the Forest Arms in Brechfa, described it as “not just a cycle path” but “route to discovery”. He said: “I think it is awesome and not just for cyclists. It will educate people about the landscape, the history of the route, the wildlife, the possibilities are endless.”

The path is being developed in phases and initial works have already taken place near the concrete works in Abergwili. Negotiations with landowners are ongoing, and various grant applications are being prepared / submitted.

Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Hazel Evans added: “It was great to see so many people at the event who were very positive about the project and could see the opportunities it could bring. We believe it will provide a huge boost for tourism in the area linking the tourist attractions along the route as well as local cafes, pubs and restaurants not to mention the accommodation providers and how they can add value to their business.

“Carmarthenshire wishes to become the cycling capital of Wales and the Tywi Valley Path is just one of a number of projects the council is working on; the refurbishment of the velodrome at Carmarthen Park is well underway and we have just recently allocated £500,000 from our capital programme to build a new closed road cycling circuit at Pembrey Country Park.”

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‘Knife attacker’ remanded into custody

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A CARMARTHEN man accused of ‘repeatedly’ stabbing another man in Bridge Street on Friday (Dec 8) was remanded into custody until January.

Gareth George Edwards, 44, of Priory Street, indicated two guilty pleas to charges of maliciously wounding Michael Byard with the intent of causing grievous bodily harm and possessing a bladed article in a public place, namely a kitchen knife.

Representing Edwards, David Williams made no submissions at this stage.

No application for bail was made, and Edwards was remanded into custody until he appears at Swansea Crown Court on January 8.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “Following an incident in Bridge St, Carmarthen on Friday afternoon, Dec 8, at around 4.30pm, three people have been charged.

“A 44 year old man has been charged with Section 18 Assault and Possession of an Offensive Weapon and is due appear at Llanelli Magistrates court today, Dec 11.

“A 50 year old man has been charged with Common Assault and bailed to appear at Llanelli Magistrates Court on Thursday, Dec 28.

“A 43 year old woman has been charged with Assault and bailed to appear at Llanelli Magistrates Court on Thursday, Dec 28.”

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Snow causes school closures across county

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SEVERAL snows across Carmarthenshire are closed today (Dec 11) as heavy snowfall overnight has caused hazardous conditions.

The current list of schools closed in Carmarthenshire this morning consists of:

  • Beca
  • Brynasaron (Llangeler)
  • Cae’r Felin
  • Carreg Hirfaen
  • Llanllwni
  • Llanybydder
  • Rhys Prichard Llandovery
  • Talley / Talyllychau

All of the closures cite snow as the reason.

The council’s website states for Talley / Talyllychau: “The majority of staff are unable to make it in, plus the taxi service have informed us that they are unable to collect the children from the most rural areas.”

Over the weekend a weather warning was issues for the majority of the UK as snow fell and temperatures dropped.

You can check the status of your child’s school on the Carmarthenshire County Council website: http://www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/home/residents/education-schools/emergency-school-closures#.Wi5Sokpl_IU

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Christmas parcel delivered to Glangwilli Hospital

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BLISS, the UK’s leading premature and sick baby charity, has donated Christmas parcels to every neonatal unit in Wales – including Glangwilli Hospital – to make sure that babies and their parents know that they are not alone this Christmas.

The Christmas gifts will arrive at the neonatal units this week and will be distributed by unit staff and volunteers.

The parcels, which also contain gifts for parents, comprise of: a Bliss teddy bear, dungarees, photo frame, children’s book, snacks and toiletries. The parcel includes additional information about the support parents can receive from Bliss. The majority of these gifts have been donated by Bliss’ corporate partners including Pampers, Mothercare, Barnack Confectionary and Mush.

Caroline Lee-Davey, Chief Executive at Bliss said: “Having a baby on the neonatal unit can be an isolating experience for parents – especially at Christmas. We hope through this small gesture, we can let parents know that they aren’t alone.

“Bliss would like to thank all of our corporate partners who helped to make this project possible. We hope that if the scheme is successful we will be able to roll the Christmas parcels out nationwide in future to reach all parents with a baby in neonatal care at Christmas.”

Head of Nursing for Children’s Services for NHS Wales Eirlys Thomas said: “On behalf of all the parents and babies we would like to thank Bliss for their kind donations. They will certainly cheer up all the parents who will need to spend Christmas in hospital with their babies.”

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