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Petition for Pedestrianisation in Llandeilo

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RESIDENTS and businesses in Llandeilo have launched a petition to pedestrianise the lower part of Carmarthen Street.

The road is currently blocked off for the refurbishment of the Shire Hall and has been since the end of last year.

A local resident, Keeley Clarke said: “Cars used to speed down our narrow road, with no pavements to talk off it’s been very dangerous for me and my kids and it forces wheelchair users right onto the road.”

Claudine Barr, a local jeweller on Carmarthen Street said: “I used to be sceptical about blocking the road off, but now that it is, people are strolling the street and footfall for us has increased.”

Creator of the petition and resident, Mered Williams said: “It should fit well with the Ten Towns Regeneration plan, businesses need more footfall and tourists and residents more quiet and peaceful areas to enjoy our beautiful town.”

Despite strong support for the online petition, response from the County Council and Llandeilo Town Council has been discouraging.

The parking at the local school

“My proposal to full-heartedly support the petition was voted down 6:5 in council,” Llandeilo Town Councillor Christoph Fischer reports.

He added: “While this signifies a hesitation and doesn’t mean an eventual rejection of the plan by the town council, to me and the residents it is disappointing that the council didn’t at least in principle, fully support this improvement to our town.”

“Admittedly, there are details to be sorted out,” says Williams, “but a more encouraging or stronger support would have been welcome.”

“Two new developments in the area, the Market Hall and Shire Hall, both on Carmarthen Street, have reduced local parking, but will increase traffic and footfall through the currently blocked off road,” explains Fischer.

“Issues like residents parking have been addressed several months ago and have brought us local residents together. We had little official response for our proposals since we began lobbying,” Keeley Clarke adds.

Meanwhile the traffic and parking situation by the Primary schools on Rhosmaen Street carries on frustrating parents and residents. Lack of dropping bays for parents and removal of the Lollipop lady have stirred up emotions and concerned citizens have created a Facebook page to reinstate the Lollipop lady and bring in safeguarding measures for the children.

“A lot needs to be done, but it’s great that people are showing initiative,” says Fischer.

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Eligible unpaid carers encouraged to register for COVID-19 vaccine

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UNPAID carers in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire who are not already registered as a carer with their GP practice are being asked to complete an online registration form if they wish to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended that unpaid carers are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine as part of priority group 6, subject to certain eligibility criteria.

Revised national guidance from the JCVI describes unpaid carers as those who are eligible for a carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable.

Those clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 include children with severe neuro-disabilities, those who are designated Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV), adults who have underlying health conditions, and those who need care because of advanced age. Eligible carers should be vaccinated in priority group 6.

Anna Bird, Assistant Director of Strategic Partnerships at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Unpaid carers play a vital role offering care and support and it is in everyone’s interest that they are supported. 

“For many years now, the health board has built strong links with unpaid carers across our three counties through initiatives such as our Investors in Carers scheme, designed to help organisations focus on, and improve, their carer awareness and the help and support they give to carers.

“There are over 10,000 unpaid carers registered with GP practices or the local authority across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire but we know there are many more people out there who may not recognise themselves as an unpaid carer and are unaware that support is available for them, including their eligibility for a COVID-19 vaccine.”

If you believe you may be eligible, are aged 16 or over and are not registered as an unpaid carer with your GP, please complete this online form https://hduhb.nhs.wales/healthcare/services-and-teams/carers-information/covid-vaccine-for-unpaid-carers/covid-vaccine-for-unpaid-carers/ to register your details. People without internet access can contact the health board on 0300 303 8322.

Those already registered as an unpaid carer with a GP will be contacted directly to receive a COVID vaccination and do not need to do anything further.

Please wait to be invited for your vaccination and do not contact your GP or health board to ask about your vaccine appointment.  You will be contacted when it is your turn, thank you for your patience and understanding.

To find out more about the support available for unpaid carers in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire please visit https://hduhb.nhs.wales/healthcare/services-and-teams/carers-information/

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Air ambulance assists with medical emergency in Carmarthen

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MEDICAL assistance was provided today by the Wales Air Ambulance today in Carmarthen

A spokesman from Wales Air Ambulance told The Herald: “I can confirm that Wales Air Ambulance attended an incident in Carmarthen on Monday morning (08/03/21).

“Our Dafen-based crew were mobile at 10:32 and arrived at the scene at 10:47.

“Following critical care treatment from our medics, we escorted the patient via a road ambulance to Glangwili General Hospital, Carmarthen.

“Our involvement concluded at 11:52.”

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson added: “We were called to reports of a medical emergency at an address in Carmarthen this morning, Monday 08 March at 10.11am.

“We responded with two emergency ambulances and the Wales Air Ambulance. One patient was taken by road to Glangwili Hospital for further treatment.”

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Smiles as the youngest learners return to school

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THE SMILERS on these children’s faces says it all.

The youngest learners at Ysgol Carreg Hirfaen in Cwmann are happy to be back in school with their friends and teachers.

Like all children, they have been learning from home since before Christmas due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the school has now welcomed back Foundation Phase children aged 3-7 for face-to-face learning.

Headteacher Aled Jones Evans said it was wonderful to see pupils in school again, he added: “Our younger pupils are so happy at being back in school with their friends. Most of them engaged fully in distance learning over the past few months but being back at school, back in class amongst their peers, is so much better for their learning and especially so for their emotional and mental well-being.

“Indeed, the joyful sound of children playing on the school yard echoing around the village once again is a great tonic for all of us within the community and brings us a little bit closer to a sense of normality.”

Like all schools, the safety measures in place have been reviewed in line with Welsh Government’s latest operational guidance.

Staggered start and finish times, classroom bubbles and frequent handwashing/sanitising, social distancing and face coverings are now part of the new normal.

“Of course, pupil and staff safety is still of paramount importance and we go to great lengths to ensure that parents, staff and pupils adhere to our strict guidelines on social distancing, hand sanitising and the use of face coverings,” said Mr Jones Evans.

“All within our school community have embraced these many changes and the school is as covid safe as it possibly can be under the current circumstances.”

Parents are also being reminded on the importance of wearing a face covering and keeping a 2m distance from others when dropping off and collecting their children.

The school is now planning for the safe return of older children from March 15, subject to Welsh Government’s three-week review on Friday, March 12.

Mr Jones Evans said: “We are now looking forward to welcoming back our key stage 2 pupils on March 15 and our aim is to follow a similar strategy to what we used in the foundation phase in getting pupils back into school and re-engaging in quality face to face learning.”

Schools across Carmarthenshire have been welcoming back learners in a phased and flexible way. Attendance figures have increased steadily from 35% on February 23 to over 80% on March 3 as schools bring in more pupils. The aim is for all Foundation Phase children to be back in school full-time by the end of this week.

Executive Board Member for Education and Children’s Services Cllr Glynog Davies said: “I am delighted to see children back in school where they belong, playing with their friends, and in the classroom learning with their teachers.

“It is so important that children are in school for both their physical and mental development, as well as their overall wellbeing.

“Research shows that transmission rates in schools is very low; with transmission more likely in households or in the community, so it is vital we continue to follow the rules to keep our schools safe, and to keep them open so that we can welcome even more children back to the classroom.

“I want to thank all our schools and teaching staff for all their hard work, I know it has been an extremely challenging time but together we can keep our children learning and our communities safe.”

More information on schools carmarthenshire.gov.wales/education

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