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Residents oppose RV plans

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Coming to Idole?: An RV

Coming to Idole?: An RV

RESIDENTS of Idole are up in arms about a potential camping site for RVs near the village, which they say will damage an ‘ecologically significant wetland’.

The application, which is for a change of land use from agricultural to an American Recreational Vehicle site with 27 pitches and a new road entrance, has been fiercely opposed by a number of local residents since the original plans were put forward in September last year.

These were withdrawn while certain issues were addressed, including an ecological survey. However, a spokesperson for the Idole Focus Group told The Herald that certain key concerns had not been addressed.

“Serious community concerns include safety issues on this stretch of the A484 highway, which has no lighting or pavements,” they said. “These RV vehicles are 12.8 metres long, approximately the size of a 56 seater coach, frequently towing a small car and primarily left hand drive.

“Manoeuvring these slow moving vehicles into and from the site would require them to straddle both road lanes, with inevitable congestion implications.”

While an ecological survey was completed in December 2015, at the request of the CCC ecologist, residents pointed out that this fell outside the recommended April to September time-frame.

Following multiple objections by residents, and emails and telephone calls from the Focus Group, a second Survey was requested by the County Ecologist and the resultant National Vegetation Classification Survey was submitted by the applicant on June 3.

The report lists the presence of Globally Threatened Species, including Whorled Caraway and Species of County or Local High Significance, including Greater Butterfly Orchids and Marsh Orchids. Devils-bit Scabious, an important food plant for the rare Marsh Fritillary Butterfly was also found, but not in sufficient quantity to support a colony of the rare species, according to the report.

The report concludes that mitigation and translocation of these species are the best options, moving these rare plants to another part of the field to make way for caravans. However, the Focus Group claims that under Government guidelines on protected species mitigation, the movement of plants should be regarded as a last resort.

“An alternative option would be to take this opportunity to preserve and protect one of the diminishing local and national oases of biodiversity for future generations,” they suggest. “The Wildlife Trust champions halting the historical losses, since the 1930s, of 97% of wildflower meadows. Their destruction is irreversible, and it is within Carmarthenshire County Council’s power to fulfil their Biodiversity Policy aspirations.”

Protestors point out that CCC’s Biodiversity Policy states: ‘Proposals for development which have an adverse impact (including through disturbance) on protected species or their habitats, or the integrity of other habitats, sites or features of recognised importance to biodiversity and nature conservation interests will NOT be permitted, EXCEPT where it can be demonstrated that there are exceptional circumstances where the reasons for the development or land use change clearly outweighs the need to safeguard the biodiversity and nature conservation interests of the site and where alternative habitat provision can be made in order to maintain and enhance local biodiversity’.

However, it must be noted that following the release of this report, NRW offered no objection to the development.

The report also claims that the Greater Butterfly Orchids found on the site will ‘benefit from the positive conservation management proposed in mitigation of the development, if it proceeds’. It is also suggested that ‘these plants are unlikely to survive if the site continues to be left to scrub-over or if it were to be sold and subsequently agriculturally improved’.

As yet, no decision has been taken by planning officers. However, more than 130 letters of objection and a petition opposing the development have already been sent to CCC.

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Police launch public appeal following Carmarthenshire burglary

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating a burglary at a property in Ponthenry.

People broke into a shed at a home in Victoria Road at around 8.30pm on Monday, 31 October, before leaving after spotting a CCTV camera.

They returned at around 10.15pm and again at around 10.55pm.

During their raids they tooka green Wolf motocross helmet with a full face with a peak and line green motocross goggles.

Officers are appealing for help to identify two people they would like to speak to over the incident.

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: DPP/0756/01/11/2022/02/C. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Morrisons Foundation supports children’s charity with grant for vital equipment

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The Morrisons Foundation supports registered charities that make a positive difference. They recently awarded national children’s disability charity, Cerebra, based in Carmarthen, a grant of £11,109.

This will fund the creation of writing slopes through the Cerebra Innovation Centre, which is partnered with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and designs wonderful toys and equipment to help children living with a brain condition to learn and play.

The writing slopes are designed to help children who struggle with posture and fine motor skills. They also aid children with writing, drawing and hand control. Ross Head, Product Design Manager at the Cerebra Innovation Centre explains;

‘The slopes include a lovely wipe-clean surface for children to experiment with mark making, their own set of pens and a clever lid-free pen store to remove the challenge of removing lids for some children. We are so lucky to be able to do what we do and funding like this is so important to allow us to push boundaries and provide vital equipment that looks beautiful.’

At the start of 2022, the Cerebra Innovation Centre highlighted that they anticipated the need for an additional 20 writing slopes for children. Cerebra Fundraising Manager, James Hay then worked with the grants team at the Morrisons Foundation, who were delighted to support this project. David Scott, Morrisons Foundation Trustee said:

‘Cerebra is dedicated to helping families who have a child with a brain condition to discover a better life together, that’s why I’m delighted that we’ve been able to provide this support. The specialised writing slopes will make a huge positive impact on children with sensory and mobility issues, providing a great opportunity to develop their skills, which will last a lifetime.’

Grants like this are a vital source of funding for Cerebra so that they are able to continue to support children living with a brain condition and their families who face challenges every day. The Cerebra Innovation Centre is one of the many support services provided by the charity that so many families have come to rely on. James Hay adds;

‘Thank you so much to the Morrisons Foundation for this generous grant! We are over the moon as we know how much this project will change young lives. These are particularly challenging times for charities and so this funding from Morrisons for the creation of 20 writing slopes is warmly welcomed.’

You can find out more about Cerebra and how they help children and families by visiting www.cerebra.org.uk 

Writing Slope
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White Ribbon campaign supported by Carmarthenshire County Council

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CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL says it is again showing its support for the White Ribbon campaign, which takes place on Friday, November 25 and is followed by 16 Days of Action.

White Ribbon is the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls.

While domestic abuse affects both sexes, the largest number of violent incidents involve men against women. But ultimately male violence against women is everyone’s issue, not just women’s.

The council was awarded White Ribbon UK accredited status for the first time in 2018 and is continuing to work to tackle such violence.

White Ribbon flags will be flying at County Hall in Carmarthen and town halls in Llanelli and Ammanford on White Ribbon Day (Friday, November 25). County Hall will also be lit up on the evening to show support.

The council is working alongside partners to raise awareness of the campaign across the county – from sports clubs, joint visits with the Police to licensed premises, our leisure centres and libraries to bus stations.

With this year’s White Ribbon Day falling on the same week as the start of the FIFA men’s World Cup, there has never been a better time to come together and start playing as a team to end violence against women and girls.

The council will be raising awareness of the campaign at special events including a Walking Football session at Amman Valley Leisure Centre on November 30 and at “An Evening with Sam Warburton” at the Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen on White Ribbon Day (November 25).

Cabinet Member responsible for Community Safety, Cllr Philip Hughes, said: “It’s vital that we raise more awareness about domestic abuse so that anyone affected can get help and support from one of our local services.”

Support locally can be found at: Threshold (Llanelli) on 01554 752 422 or www.threshold-das.org.uk; Calan DVS (Ammanford) on 01269 597 474 or www.calandvs.org.uk; Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Service on 01267 238 410 or www.carmdas.org and Goleudy on 0300 123 2996 or www.goleudyvictimandwitnessservice.org.uk or call the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800 or visit https://gov.wales/live-fear-free for free advice and support 24/7

For more information on the White Ribbon campaign visit www.whiteribbon.org.uk

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