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County Council unanimously backs WASPI campaign



THE CAMPAIGN for fair pensions for women was well and truly on the agenda last week as women and elected representatives stepped up their campaign.

The pace of change to women’s State Pension Age has been branded ‘unfair’ and ‘unjust’, leading to the creation of the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign across Wales and the UK. Around 10,000 women in Carmarthenshire are affected by the pension changes.

On Wednesday, a motion by Plaid Cymru Councillor Carl Harris was debated in County Hall. The motion, which called on the local authority to support the WASPI campaign and make appropriate representations to the UK Government, was unanimously supported by County Councillors.

To mark International Women’s Day on Thursday, local WASPI campaigners joined women from across Wales on a march in Cardiff in protest against the pension changes. They were joined by local Assembly Member Adam Price and Plaid Cymru Leader, Leanne Wood AM who also addressed the rally.

On Saturday, around 100 Carmarthenshire women attended a drop-in advice session in Ammanford Library jointly hosted by Jonathan Edwards MP and the WASPI Amman Valley group.

Jonathan Edwards MP said: “If there was any doubt as to why the WASPI campaign was so important then our advice session on Saturday epitomised exactly why we should all support women born in the 1950’s.

“Many of those who came were not informed of the change to their pension age, or received a short letter from the Department for Work and Pensions when they were just a year or two out from retirement, telling them they would now need to wait an extra 6 years.

“It cannot be right that after 40 years of hard graft the government can move the goal posts, sometime twice, without little or no notice, leaving a woman’s future plans shattered.

“Around 100 women attended our drop-in session on Saturday, where they got information on the WASPI campaign and what they can do to make a formal complaint to the DWP.

“As the campaign continues, I want to place on record my personal thanks to the members of the local WASPI group who are working tirelessly to assist Carmarthenshire women fight this injustice.”

Adam Price AM added: “It is 100 years since some women got the right to vote, and it’s in the spirit of the suffragettes that the WASPI campaign is being fought.

“I was delighted to join local campaigners at their march in Cardiff on International Women’s Day this week.
“We’re all so pleased to also get the unanimous support of Carmarthenshire County Council which also recognises the unfairness of these pension changes.

“Jonathan Edwards and I fully support the efforts of local campaigners. I have no doubt that their determination will see the campaign go from strength to strength.”

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Armed Forces members receive ‘highest honour’



THE QUEEN’S representative for Dyfed has given the ‘highest honour’ to members of the Armed Forces community from across the county and encouraged them to use it as an ‘instrument of good.’

Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed Miss Sara Edwards held an event at Picton Barracks in Carmarthen and was joined by more than 70 guests.

“This is a very important evening for the Lieutenancy calendar,” said Miss Edwards.

“I have the honour of being Her Majesty’s personally appointed Lord-Lieutenant in the county of Dyfed and I am well aware of the significance of this occasion.”

Six teenagers were appointed as HM Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets for Dyfed in 2018, which will see them represent their peers and respective organisations at local and national level occasions.

The group included; 17-year-old Leading Cadet Courtney Jones from Llanelli Sea Cadet Corps (SCC), 16-year-old Able Cadet Duncan Parry from Milford Haven SCC, 17-year-old Cadet Sergeant Natasha Schoeman from Burry Port Army Cadet Force (ACF), Cadet Warrant Officer Daniel Ramsbottom and Cadet Flight Sergeant Carwyn Lloyd-Jones from No 3 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets, as well Cadet Warrant Officer 2nd Class Oliver Trigg fom Llandovery College Combined Cadet Force (CCF).

Miss Edwards said: “To be appointed a Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet is among the highest honours a Cadet can receive. Whether on parade with me for Royal visits, Church services or accompanying me to a hospital or a care home, you will be ambassadors not just for your organisation or indeed the Lieutenancy but, may I say, for all of the young people in your region.

“It is a role to relish, be proud of and to use for an instrument of good. I look forward to being supported and assisted by you at every opportunity. As Her Majesty The Queen herself has said, with enough training, you can do anything.”

They were selected for their outstanding extra-curricular achievements and will now accompany HM Lord-Lieutenant at official engagements. It will include playing an active role at ceremonial events, such as Royal visits and Remembrance services held in Dyfed.

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed’s Cadets for 2017 received a badge and certificate for their year of service. The group included; Leading Cadet Huw Jenkins from Fishguard SCC, Mr Niall Hooper formerly of Milford Haven SCC, Cadet Company Sergeant Major Sion Jones from Dyfed and Glamorgan ACF, Cadet Warrant Officer Holly Powell from Llandovery College CCF and Cadet Warrant Officers Abigail Beckett and Daniel Clements from No 3 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets.

There are more than 4,400 Cadets in Wales who come from the Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force and RAF Air Cadets. There are 1,200 youth volunteers who provide opportunities for Cadets to grow through life changing experiences, gain new skills and achieve qualifications as they enjoy fun with friends.

The group included; Captain Christopher Burge from Fishguard SCC, Squadron Leader Mark Rosser and Civilian Instructor Andrew Lewis from 621 (Carmarthen) Squadron RAF Air Cadets.

The event was organised by RFCA for Wales – an organisation that has supported the Armed Forces for over 100 years. RFCA for Wales is the enabling voice for Reserves and Cadets in Wales.

The Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate of Merit was awarded to Major Wynne Jones MBE. The Llanelli Reservist joined the Army in 1983 and retires later this month. During this time, he has served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Reservists as vital and valued members of the Defence family. They enhance their everyday lives through adventurous and challenging experiences, learning transferable skills useful for their civilian lives and employment.

To learn more about opportunities available, visit:

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Carmarthen: Police want help following calls about a 11-year-old girl



POLICE officers are in King Street, Carmarthen are following reports of a young female, approximately 11-years-old, in a distressed state.

Police said she is wearing a black hooded coat, and black shoes.

The appeal was launched on Sunday afternoon (Mar 18).

A spokesman said: “If anyone has any information, please contact the force on 101 reference 206”

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Cross Hands: Firearms officers arrest ‘distressed man’ following weapon claim



ARMED officers have arrested a man described by a 999 caller as distressed and in possession of a weapon in Cross Hands, Carmarthenshire.

The incident took place at a residential property at around lunch time.

A spokesman for Dyfed-Powys Police said: “We received a report at approximately 12.10pm this afternoon (Mar 17) of a distressed man, possibly in possession of a weapon at an address in Cross Hands.

“There were serious concerns for the safety of all at the scene, and officers attended supported by firearms officers as a precaution.

“The man was safely detained, arrested for a criminal damage offence and conveyed to custody, where he remains.


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