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Snap general election called

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PRIME MINISTER Theresa May has announced that she plans to hold a snap general election on June 8.

This decision, which will need the backing of Parliament to go ahead, is intended to allow for security and stability following the EU referendum and the recent triggering of Article 50.

Ms May said: “I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet, where we agreed that the Government should call a general election, to be held on June 8.

“I want to explain the reasons for that decision, what will happen next and the choice facing the British people when you come to vote in this election.

“Last summer, after the country voted to leave the European Union, Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership, and since I became Prime Minister the Government has delivered precisely that.

“Despite predictions of immediate financial and economic danger, since the referendum we have seen consumer confidence remain high, record numbers of jobs, and economic growth that has exceeded all expectations.

“We have also delivered on the mandate that we were handed by the referendum result.”

Speaking to BBC news a few moments ago Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn MP said:

“I welcome the opportunity to stand up against this government and its failed economic agenda. We want to put a case out there to the people of Britain for a society and economy and a Brexit that works for all.

“We’re going out there to put the case of how this county could be run, how it could be different, how we can have a fairer society for all. That is what we are doing.

“It’s about an economy that works for all.

“We’re challenging the economic narrative which says there needs to be huge cut in public expenditure to pay for the banking crisis of 2008. We say we need to invest. We have massive inequalities between the rich minority and sadly too many people living at the other end of the scale.

“We will take our message to every part of this country. We are campaigning to win this election this is the only thing that matters now. We will give real hope to everyone, and above all give a principle of justice and economic opportunity for everybody.”

Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire’s Conservative MP Simon Hart welcomed Ms May’s decision: “As the PM has said the time is now right to provide voters a chance to express a view about a whole range of subjects and to give her the mandate she needs to negotiate the best possible deal for Wales and the UK,” he added.

“I have loved very moment of my time as MP for my local area and will be fighting this election as positively and enthusiastically as ever.”

 

However, the announcement has been met with caution by the Farmers’ Union of Wales.

FUW President Glyn Roberts commented: “We have long been calling for the creation of a post-Brexit UK agricultural framework and we know discussions between UK and Welsh Government  have been frustratingly slow.

“The timing of this election will do nothing to aid progress in establishing a UK framework for agriculture and we therefore urge the Westminster Government not to ignore the critical issues at hand.

“As the independent voice for Welsh farming, the FUW we will of course continue to remind all parties about the importance of the rural economy and why #FarmingMatters and is actively going to engage with candidates about the future of agriculture in the coming weeks.

“The Union will shortly release its own general election manifesto outlining our expectations and will work throughout the campaign to ensure MPs understand that the future of the rural economy must be a national priority, now and in the years to come.”

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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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