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Council tax to go up by 4.45%

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CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has approved a Council Tax increase of 4.45%, or £50.99 a year, for the average band D property – that’s roughly an extra 98p a week.

When combined with the precepts for the Dyfed Powys Police Commissioner and Town and Community Councils, the average band D property will now pay £1,500.35 a year before any discounts or exemptions are applied.

Next year, Carmarthenshire County Council will spend around £560million providing services to residents and businesses in Carmarthenshire.

Council Tax contributes to around £86million, just 15% of this budget. The remaining £474million is funded by government grants and fees and charges.

The biggest share of residents’ Council Tax is spent on education and children’s services (£570.43), followed by housing and adult social care (£292.37).

The remainder is shared between economic development, cultural, environmental and planning services (£142.18), other council services for example Council Tax benefit, ICT, property and democratic services (£101.62), and roads and transport (£56.84).

Council Tax also funds the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (£33.16).

Cllr David Jenkins, Carmarthenshire County Council’s executive board member for resources, said: “Council Tax contributes to just over 15 per cent of the council’s £560million annual budget, helping us pay for vital services such as education, housing and social care.”

Many people, such as single occupants and people with special circumstances, have discounted Council Tax, and this week council also agreed to exempt care leavers from Council Tax payment until they reach the age of 25.

More information about discounts and exemptions is available on the council’s website www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales

People can also visit the website to set up a Direct Debit payment – the easiest way to pay, with a choice of three payment dates a month and automatic annual renewal.

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New First Minister announces his cabinet

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HE FIRST MINISTER FOR WALES, Mark Drakeford, has today announced his new look cabinet to lead Wales. The First Minister said: “It is an enormous privilege for me to be appointed First Minister of Wales. Every leader needs a strong team around them, and I am delighted to introduce my new cabinet which is a strong mix of experience, talent and passion.

“Brexit is our greatest challenge.  In the extraordinary and regrettable circumstances created by the UK Government, it is vital that we prepare for all outcomes. I have retained Ministers in posts where their experience of Brexit preparation is key, while creating a new post to reflect the priority I attach to international relationships and trade.

“As a government we will continue to speak up for Wales, to fight our country’s corner and make sure the government in London is never in any doubt at all of what matters to the people of Wales.”

Cabinet and Deputy Ministers

Vaughan Gething
Minister for Health and Social Services  – Y Gweinidog Iechyd a Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol

Julie Morgan
Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services – Y Dirprwy Weinidog Iechyd a Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol

Eluned Morgan
Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language – Gweinidog y Gymraeg a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol

Dafydd Elis-Thomas
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism – Y Dirprwy Weinidog Diwylliant, Chwaraeon a Thwristiaeth

Ken Skates
Minister for Economy and Transport – Gweinidog yr Economi a Thrafnidiaeth

Lee Waters
Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport – Dirprwy Weinidog yr Economi a Thrafnidiaeth

Julie James
Minister for Housing and Local Government – Y Gweinidog Tai a Llywodraeth Leol

Hannah Blythyn
Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government – Y Dirprwy Weinidog Tai a Llywodraeth Leol

Rebecca Evans
Minister for Finance and Trefnydd – Y Gweinidog Cyllid a’r Trefnydd

Kirsty Williams
Minister for Education – Y Gweinidog Addysg

Lesley Griffiths
Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs – Gweinidog yr Amgylchedd, Ynni a Materion Gwledig

Jeremy Miles
Counsel General Designate and Brexit Minister – Y Darpar Gwnsler Cyffredinol a’r Gweinidog Brexit

Jane Hutt
Deputy Minister and Chief Whip – Y Dirprwy Weinidog a’r Prif Chwip

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Man steals 50 tools worth £6000 from B&Q

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating a burglary at B&Q, Carmarthen, which happened at around 8.25pm on Wednesday, December 5.

Around 50 items were stolen – Dewalt and Makita branded power tools and batteries – which are valued at nearly £6,000.

Officers are keen to speak to the man pictured, who may have information that could help them with their enquiries.

If you recognise the man in the photograph, believe it is you, or have any information that could help officers with their investigation contact PC Christopher Day by calling 101.

If you are approached to buy cheap tools, or see cheap tools for sale, report it to Dyfed-Powys Police by calling 101.

If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DPP/2066/05/12/2018/02/C

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Huge RAF plane lands on Pembrey Beach

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PEMBREY BEACH turned into a runway on Wednesday (Dec 12) when a gigantic RAF plane landed on it.

The A400M Atlas plane, piloted from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, was being tested on the Carmarthenshire beach.

A spokesperson for the RAF said: “Beaches are routinely used by the RAF for training operations with other tactical airlifters.

“The A400M showcased its superb tactical capabilities on natural surfaces by performing take-off, landing and taxiing manoeuvres.”

Capable of flying over 2,000 miles, with room for 66 patients on stretchers on the board, and can carry a 37-tonne payload.

Despite weighing 120 tonnes it can reach 485mph.

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