NATURAL RESOURCES WALES (NRW) is urging people living near the Welsh coast to be prepared for possible flooding this weekend as Storm Ciara reaches the UK.
Current forecasts indicate that strong winds could cause a tidal surge and large waves hitting the coast.
Combined with heavy rainfall which is likely to see rivers rise quickly, NRW expects to issue flood alerts and possibly warnings across the country from Saturday afternoon through to Monday.
With the worst of the conditions expected on Sunday, NRW advises people to keep a safe distance from coastal paths, promenades, piers, and from river banks.
Emergency response workers from NRW are already making preparations ahead of the storm, checking defences are in good working order and making sure any drainage grids and screens are clear, to reduce the risk to people and their homes.
Richard Preece, from Natural Resources Wales said: “Our teams are keeping a close eye on forecasts and predicted river and sea levels this weekend, and if necessary, will issue flood warnings to registered properties in those areas at risk.
“We have already been speaking with our partners from the emergency services and the local authorities so they can put their plans into action.
“We are also warning people to avoid visiting the sea front due to the risk of being swept away by large waves or hit by wave and wind-blown debris.
“Flood water can also be extremely dangerous, and people should not attempt to walk or drive through it unless instructed by the emergency services.”
Network Rail and Transport for Wales have issued joint information ahead of Storm Ciara, which is expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain to the Wales and Borders route this weekend.
The Met Office has issued a yellow wind warning for the whole of the UK and two yellow rain warnings on Sunday.
Transport for Wales Operations Director Martyn Brennan and Amanda Newton, Senior Incident Officer at Network Rail said: “With Storm Ciara set to bring gale force winds of up to 90mph on Sunday, Transport for Wales and Network Rail wish to urge all customers to check their journeys prior to travel.
“We’re expecting very stormy conditions, high tides and winds that have the potential to uproot trees and damage infrastructure.
“The safety of our customers and colleagues is our absolute priority and as such there are likely to be a number of speed restrictions in place around our network, while some other lines may be forced to close entirely. We are working closely together to minimise any disruption and will do all we can to keep our customers moving and informed.”
Work underway to tackle ash dieback disease
WORK is underway in Carmarthenshire to tackle a serious fungal disease which is affecting ash trees across the country.
It is estimated that 90% of ash trees could die from ash dieback disease for which there is currently no known treatment.
The fungus infects the leaves and spreads through to the branches, causing the tree to eventually die. Dead branches and the trunk of the tree can become very brittle causing it to fall, posing a serious risk to both people and property.
The council is taking a risk-based approach to tackling the issue and ash trees along all Class 1 and 2 roads, the county’s busiest roads which make up 17% of the total highway network, have been surveyed.
Trees showing at least 50% of ash dieback in their crowns and which pose a risk to road users will have to be felled. A total of 2,512 trees have been identified.
Felling work will start later this month in Llanelli along the A4138 between Trostre and Llangennech where 215 trees along the stretch will be felled. This is the busiest road in the county for which the council is responsible.
The works are scheduled to start at Penprys roundabout on Wednesday, February 26 and are expected to take eight days to complete with the final phase taking place at the Talyclun junction on Sunday, March 1. The majority of works will be carried out from the cycle path to maintain traffic flow as much as possible and between 9am and 3pm to avoid rush hours.
The council will be writing to private landowners with trees alongside Class 1 and 2 roads offering guidance and advice on how to deal with ash dieback.
Surveys are also being carried out on ash trees on other council-owned land such as schools, car parks, council housing areas, safe routes and cycle paths. Surveys on ash trees alongside Class 3 and 4 roads will follow.
Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Hazel Evans said: “This is a very sad situation, but unfortunately we have no choice but to remove the trees if they have the disease and are in a location which poses a risk to public safety. We will try to minimise the disruption to road users as much as possible.
“It is a serious problem for both councils and other landowners across the UK and a lot of work is being carried out. It is important we raise awareness of the disease, particularly with landowners to offer guidance and advice, as well as the public in general.
“There will be a need for new trees to be planted to compensate for the loss of ash trees in the county, and we will be actively seeking funding to support re-planting projects.”
Symptoms of ash dieback disease are usually first apparent in the crown of the tree, with leaves turning black and falling in late summer rather than autumn, there can also be visible lesions above and below the point where the branches join the trunk of the tree.
For further information including frequently asked questions and advice please visit the website carmarthenshire.gov.wales/ashdieback
Council’s plans to invest quarter of a billion in county
CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council is set to invest almost £255million in capital projects to boost the economy, create jobs and enhance residents’ quality of life.
Executive Board has this week (February 24, 2020) agreed its ambitious five-year capital programme detailing how it aims to spend a quarter of a billion pound in a variety of schemes to deliver strategic priorities and aspirations for the county.
If approved by Full Council in March, the council will commit £126million of its own funding to add to a further £129million it plans to secure from grants.
The programme includes a further commitment of £86million to build or transform even more schools as part of its 21st Century Schools investment programme, which has already seen over £200million invested in new or improved primary and secondary schools over the last ten years.
As well as funding to improve Carmarthenshire’s roads and bridges, the council has some exciting plans to develop a cultural quarter in Carmarthen, with £1.9million committed to the regeneration of the Oriel Myrddin Gallery in King Street, which will complement existing programmes including a purpose-built archive just opposite.
To further enhance people’s leisure opportunities, the council is planning to invest a further £650,000 in Carmarthen Leisure Centre, and has re-committed its promise to deliver a new leisure centre for Llanelli as part of the Wellness Village which is pushing ahead.
£4million will be spent transforming Llandeilo Market Hall, and £847,000 has been earmarked for further investment in Glanamman Industrial Estate.
Half a million has been committed to kick-start the council’s efforts to become net carbon zero within the next 10 years – followings its 2019 climate emergency declaration – alongside new monies of £6.5million to maintain and improve the council’s operational estate, including essential works at County Hall, Carmarthen, and Ty Elwyn in Llanelli.
Money has also been set aside to make good on the council’s promise for a changing places facility for disabled residents and visitors in Llanelli.
Cllr David Jenkins, Executive Board Member for Resources, said: “The proposed capital programme anticipates an estimated spend of nearly £255million over the next five years, optimising funding opportunities and maximising the funding from potential external sources. “It is comprehensive, exciting and ambitious – a combination of existing and new schemes will develop the local economy, create jobs and enhance the quality of life for our citizens.”
Council Leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said the programme reflects the authority’s ambitions, whilst Deputy Leader Cllr Mair Stephens said it ‘sets a path for the future’ with investment in all areas of the county.
The full proposed capital programme, which will now go to Full Council next week, can be found as part of the agenda for the Executive Board meeting at www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales.
Laugharne Resort Creating 110 new jobs after £15million investment
LUXURY Lodges is holding another recruitment day as it seeks to appoint up to 110 new staff
to support the £15million development of its Laugharne Resort and Milkwood House.
The investment will see the current 77 lodges at the resort being expanded to 125, and a
new, state-of-the-art £6million clubhouse, boasting an infinity swimming pool, outside
hydrotherapy pool, a panoramic sauna, and an elevated restaurant and bar.
The recruitment day will be hosted at Laugharne Resort and Milkwood House and is initially
looking to fill a first round of roles, including housekeeping, spa therapists, and food and
Sharon Hurley, founder of Luxury Lodges, said:
“These are extremely exciting plans which will not only be improving the tourism offering in
the local community and South West Wales, but also help the local economy, and we are
proud of what we have created.
“We are delighted to host the recruitment open day and are inviting individuals who are
keen to work in the tourism industry and join our 40-person team. We will be recruiting an
additional 30 new members of staff to join the existing team for the initial opening of
Milkwood House in May 2020.
“As we move forward, with more lodges being built and other areas of the resort being
developed, our staff numbers will grow further, creating plenty of opportunities for local
people who want to be a part of what we do. We expect that will result in the creation of
110 new jobs overall.”
The initial roles Luxury Lodges are recruiting for include the following key staff members:
Head Therapist (full time)
Spa Therapists (full and part time)
Receptionist (full time)
Food & Beverage Supervisor & Assistants (full and part time)
Housekeeping (full and part time)
Anyone interested in finding out more information about the first roles can attend the Open
Day on Tuesday, March 3 at Laugharne Resort, Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, SA33 4SG.
The day will be split into a morning (8.30am check-in) and afternoon (1pm) drop-in session.
Both will include registration, a talk with the Directors and Managers, followed by an
opportunity to have a 1-2-1 with the relevant staff members from the department
individuals are interested in applying for as well as a tour of the resort and clubhouse.
Anyone attending will need to bring a copy of their CV.
For more information contact Luxury Lodges Recruitment Manager Nathan Rowlands at
Luxury Lodges is a collection of hotel-quality, self-catering lodges across the UK, which
include Laugharne, Clowance and Burn in Cornwall, and Whitbarrow in the Lake District, a
UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
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