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MP helps open doors for guide dogs

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SIMON HART MP is helping to raise awareness of discrimination against guide dog owners.

The MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire heard that three quarters of assistance dog owners have been turned away from businesses because of their dog – despite it being against the law.

He said: “I was shocked to hear about cases of guide dog owners being turned away by businesses. This isn’t just poor customer service; it’s discrimination and it’s unacceptable. Disabled people have the same rights as anyone else to shop, take a taxi or visit their local pub.”

It is illegal to refuse access to a disabled person accompanied by an assistance dog except in the most exceptional circumstances. But the businesses that closed their doors to assistance dog owners included shops, supermarkets, gyms, campsites, places of worship, public transport, taxis and minicabs, pubs and hotels.

James White, Senior Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs, said: “It’s against the law for a business to close their doors to someone because of their assistance dog, but it’s still a daily concern for many guide dog owners going about their lives.

“When you rely on your guide dog to get around, leaving the dog outside is not an option. Businesses shouldn’t be allowed to make guide dog owners feel like second-class citizens. That’s why we’re calling for better enforcement of the law, and better staff training in some sectors to stop this discrimination from happening in the first place.”

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New all-inclusive cycling facility at Pembrey Country Park opens

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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

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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

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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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