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Health Board issues clarification following row over hospital parking charges

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HYWEL DDA UNIVERSITY HEALTH BOARD has put out a press release responding to criticism about its parking enforcement policy at Glangwili Hospital and at Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli.

In August 2019, a new parking enforcement system was implemented to protect parking spaces for both patients and visitors, according to officials.

This enforcement was in the form of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras and the introduction of a four hour stay limit for patients and visitors.

While this has improved parking availability for patients and visitors, the decision has been made to temporarily suspend the parking enforcement following feedback from staff until additional parking improvement schemes have been implemented.

Until these schemes are in place and show improved parking availability for staff, it has been confirmed:

Parking Charge Notices (PCNs) will only be issued to those parked inappropriately i.e. causing an obstruction or to cars parking in zero tolerance zones.
Patients and visitors who need to park for over four hours are asked to input their registration details into one of the validation terminals available across both hospitals. However, during this temporary suspension no PCNs will be issued to unregistered vehicles exceeding the four hour limit
Members of staff with a parking permit who need to park as a patient or visitor should when not on duty must request temporary access to use the public (blue) car parks by contacting the Central Transport Unit on 01267 229620 or use their permit to park in a staff (red) or mixed (purple) car park.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB), said: “The decision to introduce parking enforcement at Glangwili and Prince Philip hospitals was in response to long running difficulties that our patients and visitors have experienced when attending appointments or visiting loved ones. However, the changes made did not have the impact we hoped for so we are having to consider other options.

“I want to reassure members of the public that this is a temporary measure and call on staff to do their very best to refrain from parking in public car parks when on duty while we scope parking improvement schemes as a priority.

“Our choices are limited but I am confident we can find some solutions. We are going to need the help of our staff, however, to make a real difference.

“I’d like to thank all members of staff who have met with me to discuss what these possible solutions could be. We know we did not get this right for staff and we need to work with you to make sure that the decision made improves the parking experience for both staff and visitors.”

PCNs issued to staff parked in public car parks will be cancelled and refunds given. Please note this does not apply to PCNs issued to those parked in zero tolerance zones.

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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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Beware of unlicensed taxi drivers this Christmas party season

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A WARNING has been sounded about rogue taxi drivers as the Christmas party season approaches.
Carmarthenshire County Council licensing officers are urging people to stay safe when they use a cab.
They fear unlicensed drivers will be cashing in as growing numbers of people need taxis over the busy festive period.
Cabbies will be in high demand over the coming weeks as partygoers decide to drink and not drive. More people are also out shopping and the cold and wet weather means less will be inclined to walk home or wait at bus stops.
Licensing officers at Carmarthenshire Council have joined forces with the police to raise awareness of the problem and to carry out joint enforcement across the county during this busy period.
Residents are being warned they are not insured if they travel in an unlicensed cab, and people are being urged to check out cars and their drivers before they get in.
Licensed drivers will have been DBS checked, trained on how to safeguard members of the public, and should always wear identification badges.
Taxis are usually parked at known ranks, or their numbers can be found in various directories online.
Hackney carriages, which can be flagged down by the roadside, always have a roof sign, which is illuminated when they are available for hire.
They also display two identifying white door stickers and a white plate on the back bumper.
Taxis should display a list of fares for passengers and be fitted with meters, which should always begin with an initial charge of £2.20 before 10pm and £2.40 afterwards.
Private hire vehicles can only be pre-booked and not stopped in the street.
They carry two identifying yellow door stickers and a yellow plate on the back bumper.

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People trapped in cars after multi-vehicle accident

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A SERIOUS multi-vehicle crash has caused a Carmarthenshire road to close.

The accident happened at around 6.10pm on Tuesday (Dec 10) on the A476 at Heol Morlais.

The A476 Swiss Valley to Llannon road is currently closed in both directions

Emergency services remain at the scene.

BBC Wwles Today said three people were trapped in their vehicles.

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