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Carmarthenshire County Council appoints new Chief Executive



CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council’s new Chief Executive has been appointed.
Wendy Walters will take up the mantle following the retirement of current Chief Executive Mark James, who been the Council’s CEO for the past 17 years.
The current Director of Regeneration and Policy was appointed today by the 74 councillors of the Full Council following a rigorous and objective recruitment process involving external senior recruitment specialists, and supported by Appointments Committee ‘A’.
There were three internal applicants for the post and one external applicant among the final four candidates. The external candidate, Michelle Morris, formerly worked for the authority as Head of Communications and is currently the Chief Executive of Blaenau Gwent.
Council Leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole, led the council’s congratulations to the new Chief Executive, saying she will be a positive and inspirational lead officer.
“I want to be the first to congratulate Wendy on her appointment,” he said.
“The three-day recruitment process has been challenging and demanding, and all shortlisted applicants have shown strength and ambition.
“We were clear that we wanted a chief officer who would play an integral role in shaping the authority, and strengthening our profile as an ambitious, forward-thinking council that delivers for our residents, businesses and partners.
“In Wendy, I am confident that we will do just that, with new vigour and a tenacity to drive our ambitions, motivate our workforce and deliver for our communities.
“As we move through a period of transition in the coming months, we will work closely together, alongside our retiring Chief Executive, to plan and ensure a smooth change of hands.
“These are exciting times, and I am sure that Wendy will help steer the county onwards and upwards.”
Wendy Walters has worked in local government for 16 years and in senior management positions across the public, private and voluntary sector for over 24 years.
The council’s current Director of Regeneration and Policy, she has previously served the council as Assistant Chief Executive and Head of Economic Development.
Wendy has played a key role in several regional collaborations, securing and delivering EU and external funding programmes and multi-million-pound regeneration developments for Carmarthenshire.
She is the current Deputy Returning Officer for elections.
Significantly, she is not only the first woman to be appointed as Chief Executive of the local authority, but is also fluent in Welsh.
“Both born and raised in Carmarthenshire, I am honoured and privileged to have been given this opportunity so close to home, family and friends,” said Wendy. “I am truly humbled to have gained the confidence of the Council to lead as its new Chief Executive and look forward to the challenges that lay ahead.
“As a local authority, Carmarthenshire County Council is not afraid to be bold and ambitious, and that is something that will drive me as I work with our dedicated team of officers and members to deliver quality services for our communities and exciting regeneration initiatives to forge a strong future for Carmarthenshire.”
Wendy will work alongside Mark James until his retirement on June 9.
Labour Leader and Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Rob James, stated “I wish to congratulate Wendy on her appointment as Chief Executive of our Authority.
“It has been a gruelling process for the four shortlisted candidates and it is a testament to the talent within the authority that three of our Directors were considered for the role.
“This appointment marks a new chapter in the history of this authority and we look forward to working with the new Chief Executive to ensure that the aspirations of our residents are met by this Council. We have been clear in the last year on the direction we believe this authority needs to take and we will continue to carry to hold officers, under new leadership, and this administration to account.”
The appointment of an internal candidate, particularly one who has worked so closely with her predecessor, suggests there will be no change in administrative direction for the authority. It will, however, take Ms Walters some time to detoxify the Council’s brand following the calamitous last few years of Mr James’ period in charge, during which it lurched from one public relations disaster to another. In addition, there will be significant pressure to move forward swiftly with ensuring the Council moves towards fulfilling the promise to be the most open and transparent in Wales.
In selecting a ‘continuity candidate’, councillors appear to have indicated that what they most want is, however, more of the same.


Cruise Culture returns to Carmarthen this Sunday



WALES’ biggest modified and performance car show is returning to the Carmarthen Showground this Sunday, August 25.

Cruise Culture is a static car show with modified, performance, classic and standard cars. The annual show attracts thousands of visitors each year.

On Sunday August 25, the ultimate indoor show hall will have some of the best modified cars from all over the UK on display, as well as an outdoor show and shine section.

Growing year on year, Cruise Culture now welcomes over 40 club stands. The entertainment stage will have DJs playing all day. Competitions throughout the day will include: Club of the Show; Car of the Show; Show and Shine Winner; Best Club Stand Car; Best Show Hall Car; Best Wheels of the Show and Best Install.

Prizes and awards will be handed out for each of the various competitions. There will also be inflatables and fair attractions, meaning Cruise Culture is a great family day out.

There will be a wide variety of food stalls, not just burger vans but hog roasts, BBQ, pizza and much more. The Jamie Squibb Freestyle Motocross Stunt Show will also take place, as the team of riders perform breathtaking jumps and stunts.

Pre-sale tickets have now ended. Tickets are now only available at the gate. Gate price is £7 per person. Under 12’s get in free.

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Rubbish dumped in lane lands woman in court



DUMPING a rubbish bag containing a kitchen mop, a children’s scooter and wood has cost one Kidwelly woman nearly £400.

Sarah Louise Leach-Davies was ordered by Llanelli magistrates to pay the costs after the blue recycling bag belonging to her was found by council enforcement officers in a lane behind her home in Parc Pendre in March this year.

The 32-year-old had already received two previous warnings and a Fixed Penalty Notice for depositing other unsuitable waste in the lane including glass, shoes and a wooden table top.

Leach-Davies was also given a recycling calendar and easy recycling guide following the first incident, but still continued to bag and dump rubbish unsuitable for kerbside collection.

A second FPN was issued on Friday, March 1 after further waste belonging to her was again found in the lane and was unsuitable for kerbside collection.

The notice remained unpaid and the case taken to court by Carmarthenshire County Council.

Leach-Davies did not turn up to court. She was fined £150 in her absence, and must pay £271.21 costs and £30 Victim Surcharge.

The council’s executive board member for public protection, Cllr Phillip Hughes said: “This was a blatant act of total disregard for the environment. It was the third occasion that this woman has been caught dumping rubbish in her lane. She was also well aware of what acceptable waste for kerbside collection was, and what was unacceptable. There are no excuses for what she was doing and we will continue to take action on anyone caught abandoning rubbish illegally in Carmarthenshire.”

If you see someone littering, fly-tipping or abandoning waste you can report it online at (recycling, bins and litter section) or call 01267 234567 during office hours.

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More litter louts left out of pocket



MORE people have been left out of pocket after carelessly or purposely littering our county.

During July 2019, Carmarthenshire County Council enforcement officers handed out more than £1,600 in fixed penalty notices (FPNs).

They were for a range of offences, including larger fines for the worst fly-tipping offences, for failing to clear dog poo and littering at community recycling sites.

· Two £300 FPNs (£600 total) were issued to a Llanelli business owner who tried to dispose of his business waste at the Llanelli Household Waste Recycling Centre. He was also issued with notices requiring him to produce relevant documentation allowing him to transport waste, but he failed to do so within the specified time

· A £350 FPN was issued to a Llanelli resident for dumping several black refuse bags on the ground at a recycling facility in Dylan, Llwynhendy

· A £300 FPN was issued to a Llanelli resident for failing to check that man he’d paid to remove his waste was licenced and authorised to transport waste. The waste was illegally dumped in the Penygraig area of Llanelli. Enforcement officers are still trying to track the illegal waste carrier

· A £100 FPN was issued to a Carmarthen town centre resident for breaching a Section 46 notice requiring her to properly manage the waste she puts out for collection

· A £100 FPN was issued to a Llanelli man for failing to pick up his dog’s poo. He was reported by a member of the public and was tracked down by officers

· A £75 FPN was issued to a Llanelli woman for leaving a black refuse bag on the ground at Cefncaeau recycling facility

· A £75 FPN was issued to a Llanelli resident for a leaving a cardboard box on the ground at Cefncaeau recycling facility

· A £75 FPN was issued to a man for fly-posting in Carmarthen town centre

Cllr Philip Hughes, Executive Board Member for enforcement, said: “There is absolutely no excuse for littering. There are plenty of waste disposal facilities, including weekly kerbside collections, community recycling sites, business waste collections and household waste recycling centres.

“People know it is wrong to litter, or not pick up after their dog, yet there are those who clearly have no regard for our environment and prefer someone else to pick up after them.

“It is simply not acceptable. We all have a part to play in keeping Carmarthenshire clean.”

Residents are reminded to put their waste and recycling out for collection after 6pm on the evening before their collection day, and to ensure they carry out their duty of care by checking they are using a licensed waste carrier to take away any waste on their behalf.

People using community recycling sites are reminded that they should not leave items on the ground, and are asked to report full containers to the council.

Anyone who has witnessed a littering or dog fouling incident, or has information about fly-tipping offences, can contact the council online 24/7 at or during office hours on 01267 234567.

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