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Burry Port masterplan delayed yet again

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I’M disappointed to read that the development of the 1.93 Hectare Grillo site, adjacent to Burry Port Harbour, purchased by Carmarthenshire County Council, is going to be put on hold for up to another four years. This site was a part of the Burry Port Harbour Regeneration Masterplan. The Grillo Factory was demolished some 12 years ago and the site remained dormant ever since. It’s now littered with mounds of earth and rubble, making it an unsightly eyesore on the main approach to the Harbour’s popular Eastside.

Those with long memories will clearly remember images of the Masterplan released by Carmarthenshire County Council 15 years ago. Wonderful and exciting news at the time, its highly ambitious regeneration project promised to transform our Harbour’s Eastside into a commercial Leisure Waterfront with opportunities for retail shops, hotel, pub/restaurant and housing. In turn, it was supposed to give a welcome boost to our local economy and bring much-needed jobs to the community.

After all these years of raising our hopes, this Masterplan has still not materialised, but occasionally it does see the light of day when it’s brought out from County Hall’s bottom drawer and presented with a big splash in our local press to show it’s still alive and kicking. Reminding us all of what’s coming and how lucky we are going to be in the future. Then, the Masterplan is returned to the County’s bottom drawer once again and forgotten about until the next time it’s needed to keep our communities’ hopes and spirits up yet again!

It seems this Regeneration promise for our Harbour has sadly been nothing but a pipe dream. For over 15 years our community has been pacified with nothing more than empty promises, excuses and spin. The ugly reality is now stagnation, Town centre eyesores, neglect and under-investment that is now blatant for all to see. Burry Port seems to be in a time warp. How many more years is this going to be allowed to go on for? The town needs to wake up to this sad predicament before it’s too late. Burry Port has so much potential but there doesn’t appear to be the motivation, drive or enthusiasm from our local County Council leaders to realise this and get things done. Nothing ever seems to come to fruition in Burry Port. Promises now need to be turned into action, the sooner this happens the better for our communities long term future.

Near the Grillo site is the Fair Field site, which is another example of unutilized development land, owned by Carmarthenshire County Council, where Tesco was to have built a supermarket creating 150 jobs in the community some 12 years ago. Surely, after all this time another investor could have been found for this prime parcel of land? What about a Garden Centre that would bring a different type of business into the town? These are very popular in other areas. Fortunately there now seems to be a glimmer of hope for the town as we see new businesses opening up. This shows they have confidence in Burry Port’s future and good luck to them in their endeavours.

The Windsor Club is also an eyesore in the town centre. This could be a golden opportunity for Carmarthenshire County Council to purchase this site for housing accommodation for senior citizens with easy access to shops/Doctors and transport hubs conveniently nearby.

Not forgetting the land formerly known as ‘Scotts Yard’, which is another abandoned site in the town centre, adjacent to the bus interchange again owned by Carmarthenshire County Council. Some ten years ago it was earmarked for an activity centre with accommodation for young people to learn and enjoy Kayaking and Canoeing with easy access to the Harbours. This project was suddenly dropped and never heard of again, hence the empty derelict site. This town centre parcel of land was originally gifted to Burry Port by British Rail back in 1968, with the intention of it being used for the good of our community. This town centre site should be returned to Burry Port using an asset transfer from Carmarthenshire County Council to the town council so that they can decide on its future use.

The County Council have already sold and leased off some of our town’s valuable assets without even consulting the community nor the town council, with decisions being made secretly behind closed doors. In future, our community and the Town Council should be consulted in any major decision making and not be left out or sidelined, as has been the case in the past. This is disrespectful and undemocratic and there needs to be far more accountability from our County representatives from now on.

It’s very disappointing that Burry Port has been overlooked in Carmarthenshire’s £143 Million Council House building programme to construct 900 new homes across the county over the next 10 years. Our town desperately needs traditionally built Council houses for local families and should, most definitely, be included in this much welcomed new building scheme.

As one of Carmarthenshire’s largest towns, Burry Port taxpayers pay a considerable amount of money into the County Council’s coffers. Why are other areas in the county receiving substantial investment in facilities and regeneration? Do their elected representatives have stronger and louder voices? Has Burry Port been abandoned and forgotten by Carmarthenshire County Council? Or are we just out of favour? Whatever the problem is, Burry Port expects and deserves better.

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Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service attend 98 flooding related incidents

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OVER the past 24 hours, 08:00 am 20/01/2021 to 08:00 am 21/01/2021, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) have received 233 calls through its Joint Fire Control.

Of the 233 calls, Joint Fire Control received 140 flood-related calls. 71 calls of external flooding, 57 calls of internal flooding and 12 calls where the flooding posed a risk to life.*

Amongst the busiest station areas during this period were Abercrave, with 11 incidents, Llandeilo 8, Ammanford 8, Carmarthen 7 and Welshpool 7.

MAWWFRS activity at these incidents included deploying Swift Water Rescue Teams to rescue a total of 13 people from vehicles in floodwater, winching vehicles from water and pumping water from properties.

This was in addition to responding to road traffic collisions and property fires in our service area.

During this period, crews from Llanelli and Tumble also attended two property fires in Bryncoch, Llanelli at 04:16pm and in Felinfoel, Llanelli at 06:07pm.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Roger Thomas, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said “Over the past 24 hours our crews have been extremely busy, having attended 98 flood-related incidents in harsh and treacherous conditions. This is in addition to attending house fires, road traffic collisions and mitigating the damage to people’s properties from the effects of Storm Christoph. This was all done whilst operating within the current COVID-19 restrictions.

“Whilst our incident activity has returned to normal, for now, there are weather warnings still in place and colder conditions are expected to continue through the next few days. I would urge all drivers to carefully consider if their journey is an essential one to take. If you must drive, please, do not drive through floodwater as it only takes one foot, or 30cm, of moving water to float your car and as little as an eggcup-full of water, entering your engine, is enough to cause significant mechanical damage.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our operational crews and staff at the Joint Fire Control for their outstanding and tireless work in what has been a very busy and challenging 24 hours period.”

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Carmarthenshire residents are keeping in touch with friends & family to help their mental health during Pandemic

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JANUARY might be deemed as the most depressing month of the year – and that’s without lockdown restrictions – but residents in Carmarthenshire are staying positive by keeping in touch with friends and family to help improve their mental health.

According to a recent YouGov survey a third of those living in mid and west Wales said keeping in touch with friends and family has helped sustain or improve their mental health since the start of the pandemic.

It comes as the Welsh Government is encouraging people to ‘help us, help you’ by practicing self-care and adopting small changes to help improve mental well-being, particularly at this time when levels of anxiety are higher than usual.

Alun Thomas, Chief Executive of Welsh mental health charity Hafal, said: “Hafal’s advice is to stay connected to others as much as you can, within the guidelines, look after your physical health and reach out and support others who you think may be in need. To overcome feelings of loneliness, isolation and anxiety it’s important to make use of our own support systems, whether that be our friends, families, schools, employers, etc.

“People who already receive assistance from mental health services should seek the support they know they can call on during these times. It is essential that they maintain contact with services, have an up-to-date care plan and access to the medication they need.

“At Hafal we continue to provide vital support every day to thousands of people with a mental illness across Wales. With the help of Welsh Government funding we are also delivering our Promise that no one in Wales affected by a mental illness need be alone; this is achieved by providing a range of flexible support either in person, on the phone, by email or via our online community Clic.”

With more than £700m invested annually, The Welsh Government spends more on mental health than on any other aspect of the NHS.

If you are concerned about your mental health and would like confidential help and advice then you can call the mental health listening and emotional support line which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0800 132 737. Alternatively, you can text ‘help’ to 81066 or visit: callhelpline.org.uk/

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Two Royal Mail post boxes stolen in Pencader

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating the theft of Royal Mail post boxes from the Pencader area of Carmarthenshire.

The thefts occurred sometime between Tuesday 5th January and Monday 11th January.

One was situated in the village of Llanfihangel yr Arth and one on the A475 Prengwyn to Rhydowen Road.

The police said in a statement: “If you believe you posted mail in these boxes during the dates specified please contact Royal Mail quoting reference DPP/0043/11/01/2021/01/C.

“Anyone who has information which could help the police investigation is asked to contact PC 1003 Wayne Clarke, either online at: bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101.

“If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Please quote reference DPP/0043/11/01/2021/01/C.”

Two boxes have been stolen and not four.

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