POLICE AND CRIME Commissioner Christopher Salmon is to use the Dyfed Powys Police reserves to meet ongoing revenue requirements.
In the Budget report, Mr Salmon says: “I have sought to act prudently and reflect the uncertainty which still remains in relation to future financial settlements for policing the Dyfed Powys area, whilst setting a challenging but achievable cost reduction target for the Chief Constable.”
While the reduction in the central government grant to the Police has gone down by 0.6%, the cut to the overall Police budget will be significantly higher following the Commissioner’s decision to freeze the Force’s Council Tax precept and taxation and national insurance changes.
The actual cut, in money terms, the Commissioner proposes is just over £3m out of a budget of £93m: just under three and a quarter percent
The Commissioner acknowledges that the introduction of a new funding formula, due to be introduced in 2017/18, will provide a period of uncertainty.
However, and notwithstanding such uncertainty, the Commissioner plans to use in excess of £24m of reserves over the next three years. That is as one with the Commissioner’s plans to PCC’s to use reserves to fund an element of the revenue budgets for 2015/16 to 2018/19.
At the end of 2015/16 total reserves are expected to be approximately £30.121m. The Police plans anticipate spending of £24.103m over the coming four years. At the end of 2019/20, the general reserve will remain at £4.5m. Other reserves will amount to £1.518m.
Some of that expenditure, £4m, is necessary to extract the Force from the ruinous PFI contract it entered into in respect of Ammanford Police Station. That contract is one for which Mr Salmon is not responsible and upon which he acted swiftly in resolution
It is the use of reserves to fund £4m of revenue expenditure, and effectively bankroll reducing and freezing the Force’s Council Tax precept is one that is unusual, not least as had the Police moderately increased its precept (as it could have done) the amount taken out of the reserves would have been reduced and operational flexibility maintained.
As plans currently stand, the whole of the capital reserve will be depleted by the end of 2019/20.
The Herald understands the position to be that the reserves constitute money the public have paid, and the plan is to spend the majority of it over the coming years, the Commissioner believes wisely, leaving a much more modest but workable reserve at the end of the process.
In view of the coming election, the issue of the financial prudence of such a move is likely to be a significant issue, alongside the vexed issue of the fate of the Force’s helicopter; a subject that still rankles with the public and is a subject all opposing candidates in the forthcoming election for the position of Police and Crime Commissioner seem likely to attempt to exploit.
Council backs campaign against domestic abuse
LEADING members of Carmarthenshire County Council are again backing the White Ribbon Campaign against domestic abuse.
Council Leader Emlyn Dole, Chairman Cllr Irfon Jones, Chief Executive Mark James, Director of Community Services Jake Morgan, Director of Education and Children’s Services Gareth Morgans and Communities and Safeguarding Manager Anthony Maynard have signed the campaign’s pledge not to commit or condone violence against women and girls.
Every week, two women in the UK are murdered by a current or former partner. While the number of incidents tends to be under-reported, the number of high risk cases dealt with locally continues to increase.
The council is supporting the White Ribbon Campaign which focuses on targeting violence against women by men and boys and promoting respectful relationships. It is led by men who are willing to take a stand against violence against women and girls and to be positive role models to other men in their community. White Ribbon Day is on Saturday November 25.
The sixth annual Candlelit Walk to remember women who have lost their lives as a result of male violence will be held in Carmarthen town centre on Thursday November 23. The walk assemble from 5pm at St Catherine’s Walk shopping centre by the Drover’s sculpture where candles will be distributed.
The walk will set off at 5.30pm towards the Guildhall steps, where flowers will be placed to remember women and girls who have been affected by male violence. This will be followed by speeches at St Peter’s Hall where refreshments will be available. Everyone is invited.
Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole said: “I want to give my full backing to this campaign. We must do all we can to prevent all forms of domestic abuse and to change the perception and stigma around it.
“The council is working alongside community safety partners to tackle domestic abuse, in all its forms, against both sexes. While the majority of victims are women and girls, domestic abuse affects both sexes. The council provides and funds services which give help and support for men and women.”
Chair Cllr Irfon Jones said: “This campaign to tackle domestic abuse deserves the support of men and boys in Carmarthenshire and I would urge them to sign this pledge.”
Chief Executive Mark James said: “People must feel confident to speak out about domestic abuse secure in the knowledge that there is support available from local organisations.”
“The Council will be working with partners to seek accreditation for a White Ribbon Campaign award. This demonstrates our ongoing commitment to reduce domestic abuse, raise awareness of this crime and the support available locally for survivors.”
For support and information about local services available to both men and women, contact the free, confidential, 24 hour All Wales telephone helpline, Live Fear Free – contact 0808 80 10 800, www.livefearfree.gov.wales
Local services for both male and female survivors: Amman Valley – Calan 01269 597474/594839; Carmarthen – CDAS 01267 238410; Llanelli – Threshold 01554 752422.
Farmer’s bonfire warning after ‘horrific’ burns
A CARMARTHENSHIRE dairy farmer is urging other agricultural workers to take care when starting bonfires after he suffered horrific burns to his face and hands.
Rheinallt Jones accidentally used petrol on a bonfire at his farm in Llandyfaelog near Kidwelly in August 2016. He needed expert care at the Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery and was so badly hurt he was unable to do manual work for three months.
He was one of 20,000 adults injured by accelerants used on barbecues, garden fires and bonfires last year – this accounted for 11% of hospital admissions for burns in the UK.
Rushing to get a bonfire started, Mr Jones picked up a tin of tractor diesel to use on the fire, not realising it had been contaminated with traces of old petrol.
Mr Jones, 49, explained: “I threw this on the bonfire and lit it, causing a fire ball that went up as quick as a flash.
“My life flashed in front of my eyes as the fire ball knocked me off my feet. It was extremely frightening.”
Mr Jones’s clothes did not ignite but the intense flash of heat was enough to cause 10% superficial flash burns to his face, arms and hands resulting in severe blistering and swelling.
He managed to get himself to a cattle water trough and splashed water on to the burns for 10 minutes before turning a hose pipe on himself for another 10 minutes.
After being taken to Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen he was transferred to the burns centre at Morriston and fortunately his burns healed without requiring surgery.
Menna Davies, clinical specialist physiotherapist at the burns centre, said Mr Jones’s quick thinking straight after the blast had helped his recovery.
She said: “Following the correct procedure by undertaking immediate and appropriate first aid can reduce the chances of scarring or in extreme circumstances save lives.”
“Fortunately the long-term scarring following effective first aid, pain relief, dressings, rehabilitation and scar management was minimal. However, due to the time taken for the skin to heal and become less fragile, he was unable to return to manual work for three months,” she added.
Now Mr Jones is hoping to alert other farmers who legally use bonfires throughout the year to clear brash and plant waste to the dangers.
He said: “I felt foolish at the time as this was an accident that could have easily been prevented.
“I could have avoided this if I had taken more time, used a wick or stick to light the bonfire and used straw, paper and firelighters as recommended by the Health and Safety Executive.”
Many people may not realise just how dangerous using an accelerant can be.
Petrol evaporates quickly when exposed to air which is why petrol and other flammable fuels and chemicals should always be stored in an airtight container in a purpose-built Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) cabinet. This will prevent the build-up of explosive gases and protect the contents from accidental exposure to sources of heat.
Because of the risks of causing serious personal injury if petrol is stored or used in an unsafe way the safe storage of petrol is covered by the Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014.
When you pour petrol on a bonfire the fuel begins to evaporate. As a rule if you can smell it, you are effectively standing in an invisible cloud of potentially flammable gas.
Once the concentration of gas in the air reaches a certain level lighting a match or introducing other sources of heat will cause an explosion, as Mr Jones discovered.
It took around 12 months for Mr Jones’s skin to become robust enough for him to return to heavy manual work.
He said: “I was unable to do any manual farm work for three months as my skin was so fragile and I’d cut myself easily by handling different equipment.
“I have had to wear factor 50 sun cream and gloves in order to perform most jobs. It has taken this long for my skin to harden up to stop using gloves.
“I have learnt from my mistakes the hard way and I would like others to take way the message to stop using accelerants on bonfires and avoid causing harm to yourself and others.”
Cross Hands: Domino’s to open this week
A NEW branch of Domino’s will open on the new Parc Maes Yr Eithin Retail Park, Cross Hands, on Wednesday (Nov 22) delivering a tasty menu of freshly handmade pizza and employment opportunities for the local community.
Pizza fans in Cross Hands and surrounding areas will now be able to order from Domino’s range of freshly handmade to order pizzas using the finest quality ingredients.
In addition to delivering yummy pizza, Domino’s will be serving up 25 local positions including pizza makers, customer service colleagues and delivery drivers, offering a variety of long and fruitful careers to residents of Cross Hands.
Ricky, Store Manager at Cross Hands Domino’s, said: “We’re thrilled to be opening our doors to the people of Cross Hands, and we’re celebrating the opening by offering any size pizza for £9.99 when collected!”
“There’s also plenty of employment opportunity for people living in Cross Hands, so we look forward to welcoming local pizza superstars to join our growing team. In particular we’re searching for delivery drivers, who can provide exceptional customer service, and demonstrate integrity, honesty and reliability, as well as being pepperoni passionate for freshly made pizza.”
As part of its recently launched TeamSkills programme, Domino’s offers colleagues full induction training, complete with all the tools and skills needed to become the leaders of tomorrow. Domino’s recruits on the basis of ability and, as many team members go on to management positions in under two years, this recruitment drive is a fantastic opportunity.
Domino’s in Cross Hands will be sponsoring a Christmas toy appeal in conjunction with local radio station ‘Radio Carmarthenshire’ and the store will be a collection point for donations. In addition, a special deal for the scheme will be running up until Christmas, with £1 from every redemption being donated to the toy appeal.
Domino’s believes in opportunities for all. The company is an Age Positive Employer Champion, which means that it has been recognised for its commitment to welcoming applicants of all ages.
If you are interested in a position at the store, please contact Dave on 07548649634 or email a CV to email@example.com
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