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Six premises closed down in crackdown over breaches of coronavirus regulations

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SIX premises have been closed down across Carmarthenshire in a crackdown over breach of coronavirus regulations.

Carmarthenshire County Council, supported by Dyfed-Powys Police, have stepped up their enforcement of businesses that are failing to keep their customers safe as the number of positive Covid-19 cases begins to rise again in the county.

There is growing evidence across the country that where there are insufficient controls pubs, clubs and bars increase the risk of Covid-19 spreading in the community.

As well as the Drefach Cricket and Football Club, which was served a 14-day closure following a presentation evening which caused a cluster of positive cases, licensing officers have also served closure notices on Pembrey and Burry Port Bowls Club for 14 days, the Infinity Bar in Carmarthen for seven days, and 48-hour closure notices on The Railway Hotel in Ammanford, the Ammanford and District Miners Welfare Club, and the Golden Lion Hotel in Carmarthen.

Improvement notices are also being served on premises advising them to take action or face similar consequences.

However, the council said it was pleased to see how many businesses are operating well to provide a safe environment for their customers.

Many of those visited in recent weeks have made further improvements following the advice of the council’s public protection team.

Cllr Philip Hughes, Executive Board Member for Public Protection, said: “In taking this action we are seeking to keep our communities safe. We have been visiting businesses across Carmarthenshire for several weeks offering advice and assistance, and we are really pleased to see how many premises have implemented systems that keep people safe.

“However, we are disappointed to see a number of premises failing to take their responsibilities seriously, and only in the worst cases we have taken immediate action to close them down for the protection of our communities and so that the owners can put in place the systems and controls that the majority of premises have successfully implemented.

“Whilst we have highlighted our actions over the weekend, our visits will continue to take place in towns and rural areas and we urge businesses to ensure the correct procedures are in place and properly managed to avoid action being taken.

“We will also revisit the premises that need improvement to check that our advice has been taken on board and put into practice.

“Serving a closure notice is always a last resort – we would much rather turn up at a premises and see them operating safely – but where we have serious concerns, we will not hesitate to put safety first.”

During the compliance visits, officers are checking that businesses are complying with the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions)(No.2) (Wales) Regulations 2020, and have the power to close, force improvements of review the premises licence or club premises certificate.

All pubs and clubs must ensure that:

  • A Test, Trace, Protect system is in place to accurately record all visits to the premises so that customers can be easily contacted in the event of a positive case linked to the venue
  • Social distancing is maintained, with adequate signage, distance between tables and seating, and procedures for managing walkways and toilet areas
  • Customers are not drinking and standing at the bar
  • Customers are not drinking alcohol whilst standing, unless they are standing at a tall table – in all other instances they must be seated
  • There is no live music, and that recorded music is only played at a low background level
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RNIB brings LEGO® Braille Bricks toolkits to children in Carmarthenshire

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CHILDREN with vision impairment in Carmarthenshire are set to benefit from LEGO® Braille Bricks toolkits thanks to the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s (RNIB) work with the LEGO Foundation.

The toolkits have so far been distributed to Ceredigion Council, Swansea Council, Conwy Sensory Support Service, Carmarthenshire Council, Bridgend Council, Neath Port Talbot Council and Rhondda Cynon Taf.

LEGO Braille Bricks introduce a new way to help children with vision impairment develop tactile skills and learn the braille system. The kits are made up of approximately 300 LEGO bricks that are specially moulded so that the studs on top reflect individual letters and numbers in the Braille alphabet. The bricks also feature printed letters, numbers and symbols so that they can be used simultaneously by sighted peers, classmates, and teachers in a collaborative and inclusive way.

The kits are being brought to the UK by RNIB, which worked with the LEGO Foundation to develop and test the Braille Bricks and will distribute toolkits to schools and home-schooled children in Carmarthenshire from September.

RNIB Director of Services, David Clarke said: “We are excited to bring the LEGO Braille Brick toolkits to UK classrooms to help children learn how to read and write braille in a fun and engaging way. Braille is an important tool and these inclusive toolkits will make a real difference to children with vision impairment, allowing them to play and interact with their sighted classmates.”

RNIB has also trained teachers and support staff working with children with vision impairment in the teaching concept. Although the toolkit is intended as a playful introduction to braille for younger children aged from four up, it has also proven to have learning opportunities and benefits for children in secondary school.

Senior Play & Health Specialist at the LEGO Foundation, Stine Storm, said: “We are thrilled to launch the first wave of the LEGO Braille Bricks program and get the toolkits into the hands of children. With LEGO Braille Bricks, students and educators can tailor their activities in countless different ways to meet their needs and learning goals in a fun and inclusive manner. The possibilities for learning through play are endless, and we look forward to seeing how LEGO Braille Bricks can inspire children of all ages along their journey to learn braille.”

The UK is one of several countries that LEGO Braille Bricks will launch in this year. The toolkits, or sets of bricks, are not on general sale and can only be ordered by heads of service from local sensory services. Heads of service can also nominate an education professional from schools for children with vision impairment, or a QTVI (qualified teacher of children and young people with vision impairment), to place an order on behalf of their area. For more information visit www.rnib.org.uk/legobraillebricks

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Police appeal for witnesses after 20-year-old pedestrian tragically killed on A40

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is appealing for witnesses to a fatal road traffic collision on the A40 west of Carmarthen on Saturday (Sept 26) in which a 20-year-old man, a pedestrian, lost his life.

The police have asked The Pembrokeshire Herald to publicise this appeal.

A spokesman for the police told this newspaper: “At around 9.40pm, a white VW Transporter was in collision with a pedestrian on the A40 westbound, near the junction of Llangynog, Carmarthen.

“The pedestrian, a 20-year-old male, died as a result of his injuries.

“It appears the pedestrian had left his vehicle, a black Seat, following a single-vehicle collision further along the westbound carriageway shortly before.

The police have asked that if anyone has any information on either or both collisions, or may have been travelling along the A40 at the relevant time, please contact the serious collision investigation unit, quoting reference DPP-20200926-339.

This can be done by email: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, by phone on 101 or by text: If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Tir Coed build outdoor classroom for Cross Hands Primary

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The local charity Tir Coed teamed up with Cross Hands Primary School to design and install a locally
grown woodland shelter to enable primary school pupils to benefit from outdoor lessons-even when
the rain pours!

Last year Cross Hands Primary School received funding from Carmarthenshire is Kind for their
intergenerational project. The project brought the schoolchildren together with older people in the
community. Through intergenerational activities, everyone involved increases social connectedness,
reduces social isolation, learns from one another and has a great time!

Before the lockdown, Tir Coed was contracted to lead a group mainly made up of parents from the
school on a shelter-building course. The attendees would gain knowledge and skills and the children
and the older people would be able to use the shelter, a third generation now included in this
fantastic project. The plans, however, had to change due to restrictions and in an effort to have it
ready for the children when they returned to school, three intrepid Activity Leaders braved the wet
August weather to build the beautiful shelter .

Studies have shown that being in the outdoors significantly reduces the risk of spreading the Corona
Virus. With this addition to their already impressive outdoor area, it is hoped that more learning can
take place outside the classroom. Deputy Head, Emma Walters said, “It looks amazing! I am very
impressed with the shelter and I cannot thank Tir Coed enough for organising this. Additional
covered space in the outdoors will mean that we can take more learning into our lovely nature
area.”

If you would like to find out more about the work of Tir Coed or have a project you would like our help
with you can contact Nancy, the Carmarthenshire Coordinator: carms@tircoed.org.uk

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