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Over 250 jobs created in Carmarthenshire to boost economy

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MORE than 250 jobs have been created in Carmarthenshire as part of the county council’s efforts to boost the area’s economy.

The local authority’s annual report for 2016-17 shows that through economic development the council has been able to create 253.5 jobs, safeguard 192.5 jobs, accommodate 28 jobs, place 1,598 people into volunteering, 344 into jobs and 3,127 into training.

The council has supported the creation of 33 new enterprises and secured over £23.5m in investment/funding.
It launched two development fund schemes during the summer – the £2m Carmarthenshire Rural Enterprise Fund Scheme (CREF) and the £3m Transformation Commercial Property Development Fund Scheme.

The CREF has awarded grants totalling over £475,000, and construction has commenced on a number of those projects. Those helped include Sauro Architectural Design which was awarded £60,000 from CREF towards transforming a derelict building in Elliston Terrace, Carmarthen, into its new headquarters creating three jobs.

The Transformation Commercial Property Development Fund Scheme also had several applicants invited to proceed to detailed application stage, with two projects having received formal grant offers awarded and a further six projects progressing with their applications.

The council has developed a Tackling Poverty Policy statement and Advisory Panel to oversee the Tackling Poverty Action Plan, and has been working with rural communities through the LEADER programme to identify innovative ways to address rural poverty.

Employment in Carmarthenshire is up by nearly5% (increased from 69.1% to 74%) and gross weekly pay is up by 6.2% (from £464.8 to £495.5). Out of work benefits have reduced to 11.4% of the working-age population (down from 11.8% in 2015). There has been a 9% increase in people achieving NVQ level 4+, up from 34,200 to 37,600 people.

Council leader Cllr Emlyn Dole, who also heads regeneration in the county, said: “The report shows that the county’s economic regeneration efforts are bearing fruit, bringing in millions in investment and funding, creating new jobs and safeguarding existing ones.”

Executive board member for resources Cllr David Jenkins said: “I’m pleased with the statistics that relate to employment being up by nearly5%, fewer people on out of work benefits and the fact that pay is up. I think this is symptomatic of our regeneration policy. Long may it continue.”

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Baby died an hour after birth following ‘failings’ by Health Board

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A BABY died just minutes after being born following failings by Hywel Dda Health Board, a damning report by the Public Services Ombudsman has found.

Callum James was born at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen on May 5, 2016, but died less than an hour later despite attempts to resuscitate him.

His parents, Ellie and Christopher James from Haverfordwest, complained that there had been a failure to monitor Callum’s development during pregnancy and to provide a birthing plan.

Mrs James also complained that the Health Board failed to respond to unusual pains during labour and to conduct necessary tests.

The report states there were also delays in Callum receiving treatment after he was born due to the First Consultant being sent to the wrong ward, delaying emergency treatment by 12 minutes.

The Health Board said that, in its view, there were no unnecessary delays in the attempts to resuscitate Callum, as the midwives in attendance had been trained in neonatal resuscitation.

In addition, the Ombudsman found that Callum’s death was also incorrectly registered as a stillbirth rather than neonatal death.

The report says Callum was ‘pale’ and ‘floppy’ at birth and immediately transferred to a resuscitation table where a team of medics worked for over half an hour to save his life.

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint that there had been a failure to monitor Callum’s development during pregnancy and labour and to provide a birthing plan.

Hywel Dda agreed to implement all of the Ombudsman’s recommendations, including providing Callum’s parents with an apology and £4,500 for the distress caused.

The Board also agreed to change Callum’s cause of death from ‘stillborn’ to ‘neonatal death’.

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3,000 Welsh landlords still unregistered

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JANET FINCH-SAUNDERS AM has called on the Welsh Government to urgently work to improve landlord registration under Rent Smart Wales, as estimates released indicate around 3,000 remain unregistered.

Ms Finch-Saunders said: “Rent Smart Wales estimates that still 3,000 landlords are unregistered here in Wales.

“Whilst that makes up a small percentage of our total landlords, it is most concerning for those living in properties leased to them by those who have not yet registered.

“The Welsh Government has confirmed that a landlord who is not registered with Rent Smart Wales is unable to serve a valid Section 21 eviction notice – so where unregistered landlords do indicate that they want tenants to vacate a property, this is not recognised by local housing associations, which can cause stress to tenants who may not be aware of their full rights under the law.

“By focusing on ensuring that all landlords are properly registered, the Welsh Government can alleviate such concerns, and I will be urging the Cabinet Secretary to act to ensure all landlords are abiding by this legislation in full.”

The Minister for Housing and Regeneration told Ms Finch-Saunders that the latest figures released by Rent Smart Wales show that 90,812 landlords are now registered. Rent Smart Wales’ latest estimate for the number of unregistered landlords is approximately 3,000.

This is based on the dwelling stock estimates recently published by StatsWales, and an estimation of the average number of properties owned by each landlord.

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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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