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Another month of free town centre parking agreed



ANOTHER month of free parking is being offered in Carmarthenshire town centres.

Carmarthenshire County Council has agreed to extend the current free parking period, brought in at the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown, throughout August to provide a summer of free parking in town centre car parks.

The council’s Executive Board said it was prepared to forego the significant loss of income – over £1.1million which would normally contribute towards the provision of essential highway and transportation services – to support town centre businesses as they recover from the pandemic.

Their decision also supports the changes being introduced in Carmarthen, Llanelli and Ammanford town centres from August 3 to allow safe social distancing and new outside trading opportunities.

From September 1, the council will revert to its ongoing pilot which offers free parking on dedicated days for each town centre, based on feedback from town centre traders and business forums.

Visitors will still be able to park for free at county council car parks until further notice on:

  • Monday-Wednesday, 10am to 2pm, at town centre car parks in St Clears, Newcastle Emlyn, Llandovery, Llandeilo and Ammanford
  • Mondays and Tuesdays, 10am-4pm, in Llanelli town centre (plus Saturday and Sunday at Coleshill car park behind Llanelli Town Hall)
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3.30pm-6pm, in Carmarthen town centre

Executive Board has also agreed to defer a planned 20p increase in car parking charges until the New Year.

Cllr Hazel Evans, Executive Board Member for Environment, said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic Carmarthenshire County Council decided not to charge for car parking. We have continued to offer free car parking for four months – I propose that we continue the free parking until September 1, throughout the whole of August, to draw in visitors and help parents wanting to shop for the new academic year, and to support the regeneration of our towns.

“Whilst this will have an effect on our budget, it’s important that we support regeneration whilst appreciating that funds from our car parks support public transport routes. We’ll continue to offer the free periods currently available to all towns.”

Watch the webcast for the Executive Board meeting, see the full report and other items on the agenda, visit the Council and Democracy section at

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Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service attend 98 flooding related incidents



OVER the past 24 hours, 08:00 am 20/01/2021 to 08:00 am 21/01/2021, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) have received 233 calls through its Joint Fire Control.

Of the 233 calls, Joint Fire Control received 140 flood-related calls. 71 calls of external flooding, 57 calls of internal flooding and 12 calls where the flooding posed a risk to life.*

Amongst the busiest station areas during this period were Abercrave, with 11 incidents, Llandeilo 8, Ammanford 8, Carmarthen 7 and Welshpool 7.

MAWWFRS activity at these incidents included deploying Swift Water Rescue Teams to rescue a total of 13 people from vehicles in floodwater, winching vehicles from water and pumping water from properties.

This was in addition to responding to road traffic collisions and property fires in our service area.

During this period, crews from Llanelli and Tumble also attended two property fires in Bryncoch, Llanelli at 04:16pm and in Felinfoel, Llanelli at 06:07pm.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Roger Thomas, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said “Over the past 24 hours our crews have been extremely busy, having attended 98 flood-related incidents in harsh and treacherous conditions. This is in addition to attending house fires, road traffic collisions and mitigating the damage to people’s properties from the effects of Storm Christoph. This was all done whilst operating within the current COVID-19 restrictions.

“Whilst our incident activity has returned to normal, for now, there are weather warnings still in place and colder conditions are expected to continue through the next few days. I would urge all drivers to carefully consider if their journey is an essential one to take. If you must drive, please, do not drive through floodwater as it only takes one foot, or 30cm, of moving water to float your car and as little as an eggcup-full of water, entering your engine, is enough to cause significant mechanical damage.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our operational crews and staff at the Joint Fire Control for their outstanding and tireless work in what has been a very busy and challenging 24 hours period.”

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Carmarthenshire residents are keeping in touch with friends & family to help their mental health during Pandemic



JANUARY might be deemed as the most depressing month of the year – and that’s without lockdown restrictions – but residents in Carmarthenshire are staying positive by keeping in touch with friends and family to help improve their mental health.

According to a recent YouGov survey a third of those living in mid and west Wales said keeping in touch with friends and family has helped sustain or improve their mental health since the start of the pandemic.

It comes as the Welsh Government is encouraging people to ‘help us, help you’ by practicing self-care and adopting small changes to help improve mental well-being, particularly at this time when levels of anxiety are higher than usual.

Alun Thomas, Chief Executive of Welsh mental health charity Hafal, said: “Hafal’s advice is to stay connected to others as much as you can, within the guidelines, look after your physical health and reach out and support others who you think may be in need. To overcome feelings of loneliness, isolation and anxiety it’s important to make use of our own support systems, whether that be our friends, families, schools, employers, etc.

“People who already receive assistance from mental health services should seek the support they know they can call on during these times. It is essential that they maintain contact with services, have an up-to-date care plan and access to the medication they need.

“At Hafal we continue to provide vital support every day to thousands of people with a mental illness across Wales. With the help of Welsh Government funding we are also delivering our Promise that no one in Wales affected by a mental illness need be alone; this is achieved by providing a range of flexible support either in person, on the phone, by email or via our online community Clic.”

With more than £700m invested annually, The Welsh Government spends more on mental health than on any other aspect of the NHS.

If you are concerned about your mental health and would like confidential help and advice then you can call the mental health listening and emotional support line which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0800 132 737. Alternatively, you can text ‘help’ to 81066 or visit:

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Two Royal Mail post boxes stolen in Pencader



DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating the theft of Royal Mail post boxes from the Pencader area of Carmarthenshire.

The thefts occurred sometime between Tuesday 5th January and Monday 11th January.

One was situated in the village of Llanfihangel yr Arth and one on the A475 Prengwyn to Rhydowen Road.

The police said in a statement: “If you believe you posted mail in these boxes during the dates specified please contact Royal Mail quoting reference DPP/0043/11/01/2021/01/C.

“Anyone who has information which could help the police investigation is asked to contact PC 1003 Wayne Clarke, either online at:, by emailing, or by calling 101.

“If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Please quote reference DPP/0043/11/01/2021/01/C.”

Two boxes have been stolen and not four.

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