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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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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. C Davis

    October 9, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    … and yet 103 hoses are going to be built on the Gwdyg Farm site causing flooding and major disruption – pollution, traffic congestion, more rubbish thrown on our roads, places needed at schools and an already overstretched surgery. Where are the priorities in Burry Port?

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Herald publisher ceases operations

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HERALD NEWS UK LTD, the company which prints The Pembrokeshire Herald, The Carmarthenshire Herald and The Llanelli Herald has ceased operations.

Editor of Pembrokeshire Herald, Thomas Sinclair said: “After finalising today’s paper to go to print yesterday, a meeting was held last night. It was confirmed that the expected further investor funding would not be made available for the company.

“This meant that operations need be halted as the businesses was not able to pay its ongoing costs.

“At 10am today the 24 members of staff working at the newspaper have today been given notice of redundancy.

“We are absolutely devastated that after nearly 7 years and hundreds of editions of the paper we can no longer continued.”

“I would like to think that over those years, some of the stories we have written have made a difference to Pembrokeshire and beyond.”

Director of Herald News UK Limited, John Hammond said: “The company accountant could be appointing administrators as soon as next week.”

“The Owners of The Pembrokeshire Herald came to the conclusion last night during a finance meeting that the venture is no longer financially viable.

“Whilst every conceivable effort has been made to improve the financial situation of the business, we have to face the fact that there is no way that we can now continue in a solvent position.

“Whilst there has been a slow decline in readership of local newspapers, our costs for wages, printing and transport have substantially increased.”

“We would like to thank all of our loyal readers and staff.”

<img class=”wp-image-51343 size-large” src=”http://pembrokeshire-herald.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/herald2-1024×678.jpg” alt=”” width=”740″ height=”490″ /> Community: Herald titles were campaigning newspapers<img class=”wp-image-51344 size-large” src=”http://pembrokeshire-herald.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/herald3-1024×565.jpg” alt=”” width=”740″ height=”408″ /> Popular: 45,000 people read Herald titles each week in west Wales

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Volunteers needed in Carmarthenshire for Christmas food collection.

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LEADING charities the Trussell Trust and FareShare are appealing to people in Carmarthenshire to volunteer to help in the UK’s biggest food collection for people in need.

From Thursday, November 21 until Saturday, November 23 the two charities will be collecting food in Tesco stores across the UK and Northern Ireland during the annual Tesco Food Collection. They are looking for local volunteers to encourage shoppers to donate, so that as much food as possible can be collected.

During the collection customers are encouraged to donate long-life food to help food banks and community groups support people in need at Christmas. Tesco will top up customer donations by 20% to further support the two charities in their work.

Last year, 3.5 million meals were collected as part of the Tesco Food Collection, and since its launch in 2012, more than 50 million meals have been donated to the two charities by generous Tesco customers.

To make this year’s collection a success volunteers are needed to hand out shopping lists to customers, so they can see the food items most needed by food banks and community groups in their area, and to encourage people to donate.

Emma Revie, chief executive at The Trussell Trust said: “No one should need a food bank at any time of year – but we know during the lead-up to Christmas our network of food banks see even more people needing help.

“Food banks will be doing all they can to provide vital emergency support so people don’t face hunger this Christmas. But to make sure there are enough donations, we need your support. Having your support in this year’s Tesco Food Collection will make a real difference – the more people who volunteer, the more food will be collected from generous shoppers, and the better prepared food banks will be to help local people.”

Farihah Choudhury volunteered at the last Tesco Food Collection, collecting donations for local groups supported by FareShare.

“I loved volunteering last year – it was great to speak with shoppers donating food. The kindness I saw was wonderful and gave me a lot of hope,” she said.

“I believe everyone should have access to good, healthy food and I’d encourage anyone who can to give some time to help stop people going hungry this Christmas.”

People interested in volunteering can find out more and sign up at www.fareshare/tescofoodcollection

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UK’s top skaters and riders drop in on Llanelli youngsters to celebrate a special birthday

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THE WORLD’S and the UK’s finest skateboarders, BMX and Wheelchair Motocross stars will drop in on young people at a Carmarthenshire Ramps skatepark on Saturday 19 October 2019 from 11 am till 2 pm. The event was arranged to celebrate the £3 billion National Lottery players have raised for projects which have specifically helped children and young people develop and thrive in the UK over the last 25 years. £2 million of National Lottery funding has specifically been awarded to support and develop over 47 BMX projects in local communities for young people in Wales to enjoy.     

Wales and Pembrokeshire’s own wheelchair sports superstar, Lily Rice; the Olympic BMX freestyler from Swansea, James Jones; Britain’s leading street skateboarder and 2020 Olympic hopeful, Alex Decunha; and YouTube influencer, Jake O’Neill (aka Jake100), visite hundreds of youngsters at Ramps indoor and outdoor skatepark in Llanelli as part of the National Lottery’s celebrations.
More than £340,000 was awarded by the National Lottery in 2013 to develop and build Ramps Skatepark which now provides activities for over 15,000 young people a year.

At 15 years old, Lily Rice from Manorbier, Pembrokeshire, is a World Champion wheelchair motocross (WCMX) star. She was propelled to fame two years ago when she became the first female in Europe to achieve a wheelchair backflip, and only the second girl in the world to pull off the stunt. Since then, Lily has emerged as one of the global leaders of WCMX – wheelchair motocross.
She says: “By contributing towards building amazing facilities such as this indoor and outdoor skate park, National Lottery funding is helping thousands of young people of all abilities to reach their goals and discover new opportunities. I have trained and practised at numerous National Lottery funded skate parks and there is no doubt that the funding has helped wheeled sports, enthusiasts, to become healthier and more active.”

The National Lottery has inspired millions of people to get active in their local community, as well as supporting individuals and teams from grassroots to elite.

James Jones is a 25-year-old professional BMX rider from Swansea. James, who also celebrated his 25th Birthday this year,  is one of six world-class athletes who make up the Freestyle BMX Team GB for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. James honed his skills and practised his tricks at the Ramps skate park in Llanelli when he was growing up and highlights the importance of young people having access to facilities like this on their doorstep.
James Jones said: “I practised a lot here growing up and this facility has played a big part in my development as a professional rider and a person. I probably wouldn’t be where I am now without the support I got here. It’s not just about learning to ride or skate, there’s a real family vibe here, a great social aspect and it’s well supported by the community. The National Lottery must fund parks such as this one so that young people can have a safe space to pursue their hobbies and meet friends.”
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