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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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Cadno’s General Election message

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NO AMOUNT of lies told by politicians will change the fact that poorer and/or fewer public services in Carmarthenshire are a direct result of budgetary decisions reached in London.

For the last nine and a half years, the Party pulling the budgetary strings has been the Conservatives. Choices made by the Conservative Party in Westminster to cut welfare benefits, target the most vulnerable in society to bear the burden of austerity, strip out funding for public services, to reduce access to criminal justice through cuts to the police and courts – underpin many of the issues affecting Carmarthenshire. If you look around Carmarthenshire and see the number of people dependent on food banks, people in work reliant on charity for food, you must realise how much their use has climbed in the last decade.

Austerity was a political choice made by the Conservative Party. It placed the burden for baling out banks on those with the least. The bankers kept their money, the people with least to give ended up giving the most. Even George Osborne acknowledges – now – Labour wasn’t responsible for the financial crisis.

When you’re angry at the Council, at the Health Board, the persistent ‘they’ who never listen ‘to the likes of you and me’, you should be angry at the people ultimately responsible. Central Government has been very good at shuffling the blame for cuts down the line – but it is ultimately responsible. No jiggery-pokery with spending promises that just reshuffle the same old money or apply only to England will change that.

One Conservative PM called a referendum to hold his party together; a second tried to reach a deal that appeased the head-bangers in her party and failed accordingly; the current PM – one of the head-bangers who blocked Brexit in favour of moving the UK to Narnia – is a proven serial liar and blustering bully whose idea of research is reading back issues of The Beezer.

This column isn’t about Brexit. Quite frankly, most minds are made up on the issue in a way that tolerates no rational debate. For all the difference one fat fox will make to his readers’ thinking on that subject, he may as well pee in the sea at Pembrey.

All Cadno can do is state the facts: every industry which contributes to Carmarthenshire’s economy will be affected adversely by tariffs between the UK and the EU. And the magic lifebelt to help relieve the fall will be a City Deal funded directly and indirectly by EU funding.

But Cadno wants to turn to those of you who either have not decided HOW to vote or those who have decided NOT to vote.

To the first of those, Cadno says the following: take a good look around you. If you are happy with what you see, you know where you can stick your cross. If you are unhappy that Carmarthenshire has become measurably poorer and worse off in the same period, you won’t want more of the same. Not unless you’re some sort of masochist.

To those who have decided not to vote: if you can’t be bothered you waive the right to complain afterwards.

Whatever happens, you couldn’t be bothered to try and influence it beforehand, so stop chirping with the benefit of ignorant hindsight. There is certain nobility in going to a polling station and spoiling your vote or writing in ‘none of the above’. If enough of you do it, even by casting a spoiled ballot your voice will be noticed. It takes ten minutes to vote. It’s better than five years of moaning when you couldn’t make the effort to write the letter ‘x’ on a scrap of paper.

Voting is a right and it is also a duty.

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Your Candidates: Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire

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THE CARMARTHENSHIRE HERALD invited each of Pembrokeshire’s General Election candidates to provide us with a statement asking them to complete the following in 300 words:

Voting for [candidate name] is best for [this constituency] because…
Seven out of eight candidates answered our request.
We present them below in alphabetical order and by constituency contested.

CARMARTHEN WEST AND SOUTH PEMBROKESHIRE:

ALISTAIR CAMERON

VOTING for Alistair Cameron is best for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire because he wants to remain within the European Union, tackle the underfunding in our public services and work for new jobs for our area.

Alistair grew up in South Pembrokeshire and he has a positive vision for our area with a stronger economy, better job opportunities, a cleaner environment and better funded public services.

This depends on staying in the European Union which is vital for farming, tourism and future job opportunities. EU membership benefits our Irish ferries and our oil refinery. Staying in will secure a £50 billion Remain Bonus, with the economy 2% larger by 2024-25. This can be invested in our schools, and in tackling in-work poverty and inequality. Staying in allows British citizens to live and work throughout Europe and EU workers to work in our NHS, care homes, farms and tourist attractions. EU action forced us to clean up our beaches and seas.

The Liberal Democrats will tackle the health and social care crises through an extra £7 billion funded through putting 1p on the basic rate of income tax. In the longer term, we support a dedicated, progressive Health and Care Tax, offset by other tax reductions.

We will be carbon-neutral by 2045 through insulating all of Britain’s homes by 2030, ensuring 80% of UK electricity is from renewables by 2030 and planting 60 million trees a year. We will electrify Britain’s railways and ensure all new cars are electric by 2030.

We will provide free childcare for all children with parents in work from nine months and for all children from two years up to starting school.

Contact Alistair on facebook: AlistairCameronPembs, Twitter: AlistairPembs or email: alistairc@traseweb.co.

SIMON HART

Voting for Simon Hart is best for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire because leavers and remainers alike share a desire to get Brexit done and get on with the important business of improving the NHS, law and order and sustaining the livelihoods and jobs of those who live and work here.

In my experience though there are plenty of non-Brexit topics that keep us awake at night – our house, our health, our job and our schools. The environment has rocketed up the list of concerns too which is why our new Environment Bill has become a flagship issue.

On top of this we are going to recruit 20,000 extra police officers (50 of them in Dyfed-Powys) invest £34 billion in the NHS (which translates into £1.4 billion for Wales) make major improvements to broadband and mobile phone coverage and invest in schools, housing and jobs – something our Labour colleagues running the Assembly will also receive the funds necessary.

We will increase the national living wage from £8.20 to £10.50 and increase the threshold for National Insurance payments to £12,500 – lifting thousands more people out of paying NI altogether.

I am lobbying strongly against the plans to reopen a Waste Transfer Station in Royal Dockyard in Pembroke Dock and fighting to retain vital services at Withybush Hospital.

I have spent years taking on BT to improve the rollout of superfast broadband and still battle with the Welsh Assembly to improve dangerous junctions such as Nash near Cosheston and Red Roses.

I have now been your MP for almost a decade during which time my local office has helped well over 10,000 local people with a whole range of different issues. Our area is special because we have such a wide range of jobs, from oil to agriculture and such a diverse community. We like to get on, to succeed, to aspire and to look after each other. My ambition is to see that continue.

RHYS THOMAS

Voting for Dr Rhys Thomas, Plaid Cymru, is best for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire because we need an MP who’s lived life: a man with a proven track record of serving his country and saving lives. After 17 years as a front-line army medical officer in war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan, Dr Rhys co-led on setting up the Wales Air Ambulance service after retiring as a Lt. Colonel to run the family farm and work as a Consultant Anaesthetist in local hospitals.

“The Wales Air Ambulance service is the best in the world and we should also work towards making our NHS the best in the world,” he said.

“While Labour, which runs the NHS in Wales, is dragging its feet, Plaid sees integrating health and social care as the only sustainable future for both services. Meanwhile, at a time of huge staffing shortage and financial cuts due to the Tory UK government’s failed austerity project, front line NHS staff are doing a heroic job,” said Dr Rhys.

“People are fed up with Tory lies and Labour false promises. Westminster is a toxic mess. This election won’t change that. ‘Let’s get Brexit done’ is a misleading lie. Brexit isn’t an event but a process – a long and hazardous process which will take several years. Wales will badly need a powerful voice to get fair play for our nation in a post-Brexit Britain. Here in west Wales, that means ensuring continuing support for agriculture, fishing and small businesses; investing to create jobs in sustainable energy to boost our economy, mitigate climate change and provide future generations with a clean and safe country to live in.

“Plaid Cymru is the only party that exists to fight Wales’ corner. Wales needs Plaid MPs more than ever before,” said Dr Rhys Thomas.

MARC TIERNEY

Voting for Marc Tierney is best for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire because Marc is totally committed to getting things properly done. Unlike the Tory MP we have had for the last decade, he will get the support we need for jobs, the environment, hospitals and surgeries, social care, schools, training and infrastructure.

Marc said: “This has become an election about hope for a better future. I’m really excited about Labour’s plans for green jobs – including the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon, an incredible boost for West Wales. I’m proud of our clean seas and our green farming and I’ll be a strong advocate for our food and tourism sector. Better technology, free broadband, and training in high skill industries mean our young people will no longer have to get out to get on.

“This has become an election about empathy. Like you, I love living here but we see every day the struggles local people have, just like in other areas. I will support a compassionate government that supports you and your family, with better-resourced services and fairer social security. Asking the very well off to pay a little more tax so that others don’t have to struggle. I support the fair pension fight for women born in the 1950s. Labour will deliver that justice. As your MP, I will always stand by your side.

“And this has become an election about trust. Throughout the campaign, I have met people right across the constituency who have told me they don’t trust Prime Minister Johnson. They have seen him lie on Brexit, on hospital funding and on nurses. They are frightened that a majority would give him free rein to pursue a trade deal with Mr Trump using our NHS. We can’t let that happen and if I am your Labour MP, trust me–it won’t.

Change only happens when you vote for it. Vote Marc Tierney on Thursday.

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Farmer moved cows illegally

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A WEST Wales farmer has been ordered to pay £5,500 for moving cows without passports from England and abandoning them on a farm near Carmarthen.

Paul Taylor, of Wheel Farm, Worfield in Shropshire, admitted five charges of cattle offences when he appeared before Llanelli Magistrates Court.Carmarthenshire County Council was first made aware of the offences when they were alerted by a farmer who woke up to discover eight cows had appeared on his land.

Council investigations soon established they had belonged to a former owner of the farm who had sold them on.In a prosecution led by Carmarthenshire County Council, the court heard that Taylor had purchased 11 bovines that came from a farm in Carmarthen – only three had passports. It is illegal for cattle to be moved without a passport or licence.He then arranged for HF Pugh and Sons hauliers to transport them from the farm in Llanddarog onto his farm in Shropshire.

Further investigations by animal welfare officers revealed the cows were owned by Taylor. Taylor panicked and moved the cows back to the farm where they came from. He was then approached by council officers and tried to cover up by giving false information claiming the cows were never dropped off at his farm.In mitigation Taylor said he had been duped by a 3rd person and that he bought the cattle in good faith and was told they all had passports. He panicked when he found out they didn’t have passports and should not have been moved off the farm at Llanddarog. He decided it would be best if the animals were returned to the farm from where they had come.

He also accepted that he had lied to the officer in a telephone call and email but he felt he was between a rock and a hard place as the regulatory offences had been committed and he didn’t know what to do. He accepted he should not have lied and was remorseful for this.

He was of clean character and a number of character references were placed before the court for consideration.For moving the eight cows from his farm that was on a six-day stand still period for disease control purposes was fined £300; for moving eight cows without passports to a Llanddarog Farm, and not being tested for TB prior to been moved, £500; providing false information to a council animal health officer, £300; failing to produce registration documents for the eight cows, £300; failing to notify the secretary of state the movement of three bovines on to Wheel farm, Bridgenorth, Shropshire, £300 and failing to notify the secretary of state of the movement of three bovines off Wheel Farm £300. He must also pay £3,418 costs and £50 victim surcharge.John Herbert Pugh, of Wood View, Craven Arms, Newcastle in Shropshire admitted providing a false transport document to a council animal health officer.

He was fined £500 and told to pay £3,418 costs and £15 victim surcharge.

In mitigation, Pugh said he moved the animals as he had been informed by a 3rd party that the bovines had passports. When he found out they hadn’t and shouldn’t have been moved, he panicked and produced a false transport document.

He accepted that he should not have done this and admitted lying after he was asked for a formal statement off a council animal welfare officer.

Pugh had not been before a court previously and had worked in the industry for a number of years.

Character references were also produced on his behalf.

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