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Building work re-starts at two major school projects

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BUILDING work is re-starting at two major school projects in Carmarthenshire after it was temporarily put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After careful consideration and in line with Welsh Government guidance, the council has agreed with contractor Lloyd and Gravell to recommence works at the new school site for Ysgol Rhys Prichard and Ysgol Gorslas.

Ysgol Rhys Prichard is relocating to the former Ysgol Pantycelyn secondary school site and will have an increased capacity of 240 pupils with an integrated Cylch Meithrin and separate play area. Costing £4.3million, the new school will accommodate a large hall which can be shared with the community, a rugby pitch, multi-use games area and hard and soft play areas. It is hoped that the project can still be completed by Spring 2021.

A total of £6.8million is also being invested at Ysgol Gorslas to provide a new, 210 pupil capacity school building on land at Gorslas park, kindly gifted by Gorslas Community Council. The scheme will provide space to accommodate nursery provision and facilities which can be shared by the community such as a large hall, school field and a multi-use games area. It is hoped the new school building can still be completed by Autumn 2021.

Both projects have been part-funded between the council and the Welsh Government through the 21st Century Schools initiative.

Executive Board Member for Education Cllr Glynog Davies said: “Recommencing works will protect valuable jobs in the construction sector and lay the foundation for Carmarthenshire’s economic recovery from this crisis.

“It is also important that work starts back so that we can complete these projects as soon as possible to provide the high-quality learning facilities which meets the needs of both pupils and teachers. We are committed to investing in our children’s future and with everything that our children and teaching staff are enduring at present it is great to have some good news which will hopefully give everyone a boost.

“Please be assured this decision has been made following careful consideration and only because we are satisfied that works can be undertaken safely and in compliance with all the relevant guidance.”

Lloyd and Gravell were one of the contractors involved in the field hospital projects in Carmarthenshire which saw Llanelli and Carmarthen Leisure Centres, the Selwyn Samuel Centre and Parc y Scarlets converted into temporary hospitals to provide additional bed space for the NHS.

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Carmarthenshire towns win two prestigious awards

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has congratulated two local town councils for their success in the One Voice Wales Awards.

Pembrey and Burry Port Council won the Best Community Engagement category for the multi channels of communication it has set up which enables the community to participate in any decisions the council takes. It was also recognised for the shadow forums set up in both primary and secondary schools to ensure the younger generation have a voice.

Kidwelly Town Council won the Best Devolution of Service or Asset Project category for acquiring ownership of Parc Stephens play area from Carmarthenshire County Council in 2019 as part of the asset transfer process. Since then it has increased accessibility and inclusivity for a wide age range of children and includes a sensory garden.

Carmarthen Town Council was highly commended in the Best Annual Report category.

One Voice Wales is recognised by Welsh Government as the national representative body for Community and Town Councils in Wales, providing a wide range of services to our 634 member councils representing approximately 8000 councillors.

This year’s awards ceremony has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths who is responsible for liasing with town and community councils said: “I’d like to congratulate Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council and Kidwelly Town Council on winning the awards. It just goes to show the great work being done across Carmarthenshire and more importantly how we are working with the communities to meet their needs. I’d also like to congratulate Carmarthen Town Council on the commendation.”

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Woman arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply

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AN AMMANFORD woman has been arrested on suspicion of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers were on patrol in the Glanamman area on when they saw the woman driving a silver Peugeot away from them.

They were aware that the driver had no driver’s licence, and that she was suspected of being involved in supplying class A drugs in and around Ammanford.

Additional units made their way to her home, where the car was stopped. A search of the vehicle resulted in class A drugs being found, and she was arrested.

Further searches were carried out by the response team and dog unit. Around 16g of cocaine, some amphetamine, and some cannabis were found.

A 42-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply, possession and driving offences. The vehicle was also seized.

She has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Sergeant Walters said: “This was a very swift response to information relayed by colleagues who recognised the woman and were aware that she should not have been driving.

“Ammanford Neighbourhood Policing Team, response teams and the dog unit worked closely together to achieve a positive outcome.”

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Play equipment gifted to children with disabilities

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CHILDREN with disabilities in Carmarthenshire have been gifted play equipment by the county council during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some 26 children are already making use of new play materials and outdoor equipment which are helping to maintain their health and well-being during the lockdown.

Items such as garden swing seats, paddling pools, tablets, sensory black out tents, trampolines are making a huge difference to them whilst staying at home.

It comes after funding was set aside for those identified by the council’s social workers or disability intervention staff as needing extra support, and subject to an assessment.

Anna Martin, whose son Finlay has benefited from a garden swing said: “Finlay has spent many an hour calmly swinging in the garden. It has been great for him to spend time with the family outdoors. Fin is like a ‘toddler’ and enjoys a cwtch and a nap so the fact that this turns into a bed has been a big hit! It has certainly perked him up during lockdown.”

Funds are still available and anyone who is supported by the council’s disability service can ask their support worker for an assessment.

The council’s executive board member for children’s services, Cllr Glynog Davies said: “The restrictions of the current lockdown have been a huge challenge for all families, but particularly for those with a child who is disabled or has autism. Our teams identified that for some families having extra play materials or outdoor play equipment could make a massive difference to children’s wellbeing. We established a process where staff from our specialist teams could assess if families would benefit from this type of help. We have been able to purchase and arrange delivery of a number of items so far and we’re delighted to see what a difference it has made.”

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