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Gritting lorry experience makes teenager’s wish come true



CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council’s highways team have made a Carmarthen teenager’s wish come true, giving her a chance to ride in one of its gritting lorries.

Fifteen-year-old Ashleigh Harrison, of Johnstown, loves to see the gritting crews pass her front room window when they are dispatched from the nearby depot to treat county highways ahead of freezing weather conditions.

Ashleigh, a pupil of QE High School’s Canolfan Elfed inclusion centre for children with additional needs, keeps an eye on weather forecasts and waits to see the crews pass by with their flashing orange lights.

Her older brother Elliott wrote to the council to ask if he could arrange for his sister to visit, saying the experience would be a dream come true.

During her visit to the Cillefwr Depot, Ashleigh had the chance to sit in the cab and ride around the yard, saw the huge mound of salt and grit in the barn, see the equipment used to load the gritters and saw all the lorries parked in the yard ready for action.

She was also presented with giant soft toy bunny, complete with high-visibility jacket, as a memento of her visit.

Ashleigh’s mother Helen said her daughter was ‘over the moon’ and thanked the council for making it happen.

“She was a big gritter fan before – now she is a huge gritter fan,” she said.

“To say she was over the moon is an understatement, she loved every minute of it and loves her rabbit who she has called Gary.”

Her brother Elliott added: “I sent the email but didn’t think it would get anywhere, and we were chuffed when the manager got in touch to say they could arrange a visit.

“She loves seeing the gritters pass our house. This is all she’s going to talk about for months and she’ll tell everyone at school about it.”

Carmarthenshire County Council has a fleet of 21 winter maintenance lorries that treat around a third of the county’s 3,526 kilometres of highway within three hours of a bad weather warning.

Around 14,000 tonnes of salt is kept in stock, used when forecasts show road surface temperatures could drop to freezing point.

Cllr Hazel Evans, Executive Board Member for Environment, said: “We were so pleased to be able to make Ashleigh’s dream come true. Our staff were delighted to meet Ashleigh and her family and had great pleasure showing her around the depot and the gritting lorries. I’d like to thank everyone who helped make this happen.”


New all-inclusive cycling facility at Pembrey Country Park opens



CYCLING for all ages and abilities is now available at Pembrey Country Park.

Some 38 new cycles including wheelchair transporters, wheelchair cycles, adult tricycles, hand cycles, two-seater side by side and four-seater cycles have arrived at the park’s ski and activity centre.

The purchases and new timber clad storage facilities were funded by the Welsh Government through its Integrated Care Fund (ICF) and a Play Sufficiency Grant funded children’s cycles. The project was delivered by Carmarthenshire County Council’s leisure team and learning disability services.

In addition to the cycles, a new fully equipped ‘Changing Places’ disabled changing and shower room which includes a full ceiling track hoist system and electrically operated shower/changing bed has been installed.

The council’s executive board member for leisure services, Cllr Peter Hughes-Griffiths said: “This has been made possible thanks to partnership working between Welsh Government, the council’s learning disability and leisure services. It’s yet another step forward in our plan to provide access to cycling for all abilities and as part of our wider vision to become the Cycling Hub of Wales.”

Already Pembrey Ski and Activity Centre is recognised for its ski for all facilities and regularly holds high profile events for all abilities.

The council’s disability ambassador, Cllr Jane Tremlett said: “We are delighted that we are able to offer a fully inclusive cycling facility at Pembrey Country Park. Already it has been a tremendous success in increasing the number of individuals accessing cycling as well as attracting out of county groups.”

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Road closed in both directions following collision between car and tractor



THERE was a collision between a car and a tractor with a trailer at just past 12am today (Friday, June 21).

The road was closed in both directions from St Clears to Carmarthen while emergency services dealt with the incident.

Two men – the driver and passenger of the car – have been taken to hospital. One is in a critical but stable condition.

Anyone who witnessed the collision, who hasn’t already spoken to the police, is asked to contact the serious collision investigation unit at Dyfed-Powys Police on 101.

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Parc Howard shortlisted for national award



PARC HOWARD has been shortlisted for the prestigious Family Friendly Museum Award.

Charity Kids in Museums awards the prize annually to one museum, gallery, historic home or heritage site in the UK that goes the extra mile to provide a great experience for families.

Throughout April and May, families across the country voted for their favourite heritage attraction on the Kids in Museums website. It is the only museum award to be judged by families.

A panel of museum experts whittled down over 800 nominations to a shortlist of 15.

The museum will now be visited by undercover family judges who will assess the museums against the Kids in Museums Manifesto. Their experiences will decide a winner for each award category and an overall winner, our Family Friendly Museum of the Year 2019.

The council’s executive board member for cultural services, Cllr Peter Hughes-Griffiths said: “It really is exciting times for Parc Howard Museum. To have been nominated for such a prestigious award is just superb and is testament to the family friendly environment we have been working to create within the museum.”

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London in October.

Emmajane Avery, Chair of Kids in Museums, said: “It’s great to see Parc Howard Museum on the shortlist for this year’s Family Friendly Museum Award. To make it to the shortlist in our most competitive year yet is a fantastic achievement and a testament to the hard work staff have put in to create an enjoyable experience for families. We were inspired by how this ambitious museum works with community organisations to bring the museum to families on a low income. We wish the museum the best of luck in the next round of judging.”

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