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Expressions of interest sought for cycle track

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The Tour of Britain: CCC has expressed an interest in hosting the depart in 2018

The Tour of Britain: CCC has expressed an interest in hosting the depart in 2018

CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council will consider advertising for expressions of interest from landowners for a new closed route cycle track in the county, following a meeting of the Executive Board on Monday (May 9).

Introducing the report, Director of Community Services Jake Morgan said that the proposed development, which will hopefully be completed within the next two years, fitted within the council’s developing cycling strategy, building on the popularity of the sport.

“Our intention is that this proposal will be a catalyst for a further development of visitors as well as linking in to our physical activity strategy,” he added.

Although a number of sites, some of which are council-owned, have already been considered, Mr Morgan said: “The advice given was that it was appropriate that we go and seek open opportunities for people to come forward in a transparent way to offer a suitable site.

“What we would do, simply, is advertise to give the opportunity for any landowner to enter initially into a discussion. This is the most transparent and clearest way we could do it.

“Although we did an interim options appraisal of a number of sites, which include public and private sector, it is felt that a complete trawl is appropriate.

“It would be a long term lease. We are looking at in excess of 20 years with Welsh Cycling, and they would be responsible for the on-going maintenance.

“It would need to be that long, simply because it will need replacement in that time, and without a longer-term lease they wouldn’t be able to invest money in it.

“This would also ensure that local cycling clubs would have regular access to it.”

Deputy Leader Cllr Pam Palmer said that the project had her ‘100% support.’ However, she questioned whether the site would be returned to the council in a good condition at the end of the lease: “The last thing we want is for at the end of 20 years to have something returned to us in quite a poor condition – I won’t be here, but I will be watching you from above or below!” Cllr Palmer added.

She also asked whether schools would be able to use the facility. “I’m not quite certain exactly, because they are a cycling association who obviously deal with professionals and semi-professionals, I’m just wondering how our youngsters will get access to it? Has that been looked at?” she added.

Mr Morgan pointed out that the facility provided was basically ‘a tarmacked private road for people to cycle on.’

“In terms of specification and maintenance it isn’t any more complicated than that, so it would have a maintenance level parallel to that of any equivalent pavement but will have less because it doesn’t have cars or weight on it. The lifetime of it would be pretty good,” he remarked.

In terms of local participation, Mr Morgan said: “The specification would make it suitable for schools to access at a suitable time, through to professional circuit road racers.

“The way Welsh Cycling is currently operating is engaging in mass-participation events, and they would be linked with extensive engagements with the local cycling clubs as well.

“If it was possible for schools to be involved – there are all sorts of logistics that surround how you get children with bikes to a cycle track – but there would certainly be enormous potential,” he added, suggesting that inter-school competitions could be possible.

Cllr Mair Stephens also pressed for further detail on the ‘regular access’ locals would enjoy. “That implies some sort of booking, is that how it is envisaged? For a community, you can’t just turn up and go?” she asked.

Cllr Stephens also questioned what impact the development would have in Carmarthenshire’s bid to host the depart stage of the Tour of Britain in 2018, and whether the development would be tied in with this.

“One would lead to the other… we have got to capitalise on that opportunity to advertise,” she added.

Ian Jones agreed that the closed circuit track would help in terms of the bid, because ‘it makes a statement of how serious we are about developing cycling.’

However, Mr Jones said that the track ‘may or may not form part of that stage of the race, but it will certainly help in terms of our profile.’

“Having said that, it’s not critical to it either – if we were to advertise, we would probably be looking in terms of 18 months for getting the circuit completed, which would tie in well with 2018, but the two aren’t essential for either to progress,” he added.

Cllr Stephens remarked that: “in other words it is touch and go as far as the timescales are concerned.”

Mr Jones also pointed out that as regards future bookings and use, everything was speculative at this stage, but he emphasised that grassroots participation was intended to form a major part of the track’s use. He suggested that one solution could be managing this through the local cycling clubs, to cover insurance.

Cllr Stephens said that she hoped this ethos would be embedded into the project: “We have in the past had promises that we would allow community use by others, and that has not perhaps been as obvious or as easy as we would have hoped, and that then puts people off using things,” she added.

It was clarified that the track would be 1.5km in length, which is the requirement for a national standard facility, and that based on other schemes across the UK this would be achievable using the £580,000 set aside in the capital programme for the project.

Council Leader Emlyn Dole welcomed the report and the intention: “It’s a dual thing, a local amenity and a national asset as well, and it opens up all sorts of possibilities,” he added.

The Executive Board voted unanimously to accept the recommendations of the report.

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Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities

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WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or Facebook.com/WWUtilities.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands

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OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Witness appeal after car is stolen and burnt out

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating the theft of a car from a property in Lando Road, Burry Port, which was later found burnt out in Pembrey Country Park.

Officers are appealing for witnesses to the theft of the blue Ssangyong Rexton, which took place sometime between 5pm on Friday, 11th November, and 9am on Saturday, 12th November, and would like to speak to anyone who may have information or CCTV or dashcam footage.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Quote reference: DP-20221112-109

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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