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‘It’s down to us to make a difference’, says Council

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WITH a new set of national Covid-19 regulations coming into force on Monday, people in Carmarthenshire are being asked to think about what they can do to help stop the spread of the virus.

Cases in the county are still rising but Carmarthenshire County Council hopes people will make a difference by continuing to limit their contact with other people and staying at home.

The cases currently stand at 184.9 per 100,000 of the population – up from 139.9 in the previous week*.

With just a few days before the fire-break is lifted and new regulations coming in, Leader of the Council Cllr Emlyn Dole is urging everyone to think of the steps they can take to protect themselves and others.

“It’s important to reiterate that we are still in the fire-break – we have to remember that and continue abiding by these rules,” he said. “We look forward to welcoming back our businesses and services from Monday, but we have to mindful that this virus has not gone away.

“Worryingly, cases in Carmarthenshire continue to rise and it’s clear that we all need to do more to prevent the spread.

“We are supporting our businesses to do everything possible to create a safe environment for people – limiting numbers in places like shops, gyms and licensed venues, social distancing, strict hygiene protocols and contact tracing procedures. We should be confident visiting our local businesses and give them our support, but when we are meeting people outside of these strictly controlled environments we need to exercise our own caution.

“We need to think about how our actions impact on others – the effect on our hardworking NHS and emergency services, the effect on people who are more vulnerable than us, the effect on people who cannot spend quality time with loved ones in our care homes because this virus is still spreading.

“The more we do to limit our contacts, the easier it will be for us to fight this awful virus. These new regulations will help us to do that, but it’s down to all of us to really make a difference.

“We’re all fed up, having lived with Covid-19 since March, and I truly sympathise with everyone – but we’re all in this together. If we work together, we can protect each other.”

When the current fire-break ends on Monday, new Covid-19 measures in Wales will come in to effect.

We can form an extended household ‘bubble’ with one other household, and can meet in places like pubs and restaurants with up to four other people (not including any children aged under 11).

We can travel to other areas in Wales, but we should limit the distance and time spent away from home as much as we can.

We should limit our contact with other people as much as possible – meeting the same one or two people regularly is better than meeting lots of different people, for example – and it’s better to meet them outdoors instead of indoors.

We should still maintain good hygiene by washing our hands regularly, keep our distance from others, wear a face covering indoors in public places and provide details to NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect.

People who can work from home are still required to do so, and businesses are being supported to maintain safe working environments for those who have to leave home to work.

Most importantly, anyone who starts experiencing any of the Covid-19 symptoms – a new or continuous cough, high temperature or loss of taste or smell – must self-isolate immediately and book a test.

It’s also important to self-isolate and follow instructions if asked to by a contact tracer.

Self-isolation guidance and advice, as well as a range of other information and Covid-19 updates, can be found at www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales    

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More support for West Wales carers

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A NEW strategy has been launched to improve life for more than 47,000 unpaid carers in west Wales.

Coinciding with Carers Rights Day, the West Wales Care Partnership has launched a five-year plan focused on four key areas to improve the support available for people caring for family or friends.

A carer is anyone, of any age, who provides unpaid care to someone who couldn’t otherwise manage, either because they are ill, frail, disabled, have mental health concerns or have substance misuse issues.

The strategy outlines how support will be provided to help carers maintain education, training and employment opportunities, and support to help them take advantage of digital services.

There will be greater focus on early intervention to identify people as carers and ensuring a range of services are available to support their well-being.

Judith Hardisty Chair of the West Wales Regional Partnership Board and Vice-Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “I’m delighted to be formally launching this regional strategy on Carers Rights Day. Improving lives for Carers is a priority for all members of the Regional Partnership Board as we strive to ensure that everyone lives longer healthier and happier lives and are supported to remain active and independent in their own homes for as long as possible. Our vision is to ensure that Carers are recognised, valued as expert partners in care and supported in their caring role.”

The West Wales Care Partnership covers the counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire and supports transformation and integration of care and support in the region.

Carmarthenshire Council’s executive board member for social care, Cllr Jane Tremlett said: “Caring for someone can be both challenging and rewarding. Some carers provide around the clock care which can be a huge struggle, exhausting and very demanding. Others have the added hardship of working whilst caring for a loved one. Many carers experience isolation, physical health problems and emotional issues such as anxiety and stress and balancing the caring role whilst juggling other commitments can be extremely hard. Thousands of unpaid carers in West Wales are helping to look after relatives, friends or neighbours, and without their dedication the burden on our health and social care services would be huge. This Strategy will put greater focus on what can be done to support them in as many ways as possible.”

For further information about the regional Carers Strategy contact the Strategic Partnership, Diversity and Inclusion Team by emailing inclusion.hdd@wales.nhs.uk

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Police and Crime Commissioner to broadcast live conversation with Health Board

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ON WEDNESDAY evening, November 25, Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn will broadcast a live conversation with Hywel Dda University Health Board Chief Executive, Steve Moore on social media.

Steve Moore will be PCC Llywelyn’s fourth guest on his fortnightly Facebook live broadcast series, Commissioner in Conversation following on from previous broadcasts with Dyfed-Powys Chief Constable Mark Collins, Superintendent Ifan Charles, and Deputy Chief Constable Claire Parmenter.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn, said; “It will be a privilege for me to have Steve Moore as a guest on my next Commissioner in Conversation broadcast.  This year has been such a challenging year for our Health Board, and the NHS across the UK, with their staff being at the frontline, working hard to fight the pandemic, and saving lives on the way.

“This broadcast will be an opportunity for me to have an informal conversation with Steve to hear about his personal experiences of recent months, how the Health Board has dealt with all the challenges and the pressure, and to celebrate the fantastic work of his staff.

“We will not only concentrate on the COVID-19 pandemic, we will also discuss some partnership working between the NHS and the Police, how we often support each other, and as usual, I will try to get to know a little more about the person behind the name, his background and his journey to reach the position of Chief Executive at Hywel Dda University Health Board.”

Steve was appointed as Chief Executive at Hywel Dda UHB in 2014 following a career within both the public and private sectors. Like the rest of the UK, the NHS here in Dyfed Powys has seen significant challenges during the past few years but also significant advancements in care and outcomes for patients.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive Hywel Dda Health Board said: “The NHS is an institution that most of us hold very dear as it supports us from cradle to grave and can have a huge impact on our lives.

“I’m really looking forward to my conversation with the Commissioner as so many of our challenges, and indeed opportunities, are shared; and I’m particularly looking forward to receiving questions or input from social media users as well. COVID-19 has made us all look to new ways of connecting and I hope this provides an opportunity for people to find out more and for us to listen to the views of our communities and individuals.”

PCC Dafydd Llywelyn added; “This, again, will be a live broadcast, so please join us on our Facebook page, and feel free to leave your comments and questions, and as usual, we will try to reply best we can during the conversation.

Commissioner in Conversation with Steve Moore will be broadcasted live on www.facebook.com/DPOPCC  at 8pm on November 25, on the eve of Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn’s November virtual Community Engagement Day, where he will be spending the day meeting with several partners and organisations as well as community representatives.

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New ‘world class’ facilities for Carmarthen Leisure Centre

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WORK has been completed at Carmarthen Leisure Centre following a £1.5 million investment by Carmarthenshire County Council.

The improvements works which include a new eight-lane athletics track and a world class 2G astro turf pitch surface have been funded under the council’s capital works programme.

Features of the upgraded competition spec track include two 100m sprint tracks, a 400m track, startrack system and a complete lighting system replacement.

The four tennis courts have also undergone a ground respray with new netting and additional access and exit points.

Additional parking has been provided to meet current demand and a one way system has been introduced which will ease traffic flow.

More fencing and goal storage has been built around the 2G pitch to allow safe use of the facility for multiple sports, along with new light bases, spectator rails and rebound fencing.The council’s executive board member, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, said: “We are pleased that we have been able to make this significant investment available for our leisure centre. 

“More people than ever are using the centres to get more active and healthy, so it is critical that we are able to provide them with modern facilities that compete with a busy private sector market. If we don’t invest we face the possibility of losing our customers which would have a long term effect on the viability of our leisure centres. This investment will benefit our members and the local community and schools.”

Over £3 million has being ploughed into Carmarthen and Ammanford centres to ensure sport facilities are fit for the future.

Cllr Hughes Griffiths added: The new pitch will offer people a world-class facility for people to enjoy in all weathers, throughout the day and evening and will be open for hire by the public, clubs, schools and others for soccer, hockey and a range of sports and activities.”

 

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