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Council passes half-way target on promise of affordable homes

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TWO years in to a promise to deliver 1,000 more affordable homes by 2021, Carmarthenshire County Council is celebrating passing the half-way mark.

More than 500 families have benefitted from the council’s £25million investment to provide more good quality low-cost homes since it made its Affordable Homes Commitment in 2016.

And now, with construction starting soon on up to 50 new-build homes in the Llanelli area, the council says it is looking to provide even more than it initially promised.

Over the next three years, a further 700 affordable homes will be delivered through a range of means – building new, bringing empty homes back in to use, converting redundant premises, and even buying from the open market to grow its housing stock.

It will also continue its work with developers to ensure a proportion of homes on all new developments are available at an affordable rate.

Cartrefi Croeso (Welcome Homes) – the new housing company the council recently created – has its own plans to build around 500 homes over the next five years.

The company will deliver a mix of new affordable homes, for sale and rent, to offer families alternatives to social housing whilst creating new jobs and training opportunities in the building sector. It will also offer housing options across the county, including more rural developments.

Cllr Linda Evans, Executive Board Member for Housing, outlined the progress at a recent meeting of councillors at Carmarthen’s County Hall.

“These are exciting times,” said Cllr Evans. “We are so proud to be delivering on our promise to local families, with the keys for around 550 affordable homes handed over since we made our commitment two years ago. I have been honoured to meet a number of families that have moved in to their new homes.

“We have looked at every option to make more low-cost homes available to rent or buy – only a few months ago I was shown around four new apartments created in an empty space above shops in Llanelli town centre, and met a tenant who has moved into a new flat above office space in Carmarthen. I’ve been on site at the former Buckley’s Brewery in Llanelli where we are working with Pobl Group to create 21 new apartments in a previously redundant building, and am following progress on their work to bring new homes to Ammanford.

“Over the next few weeks, we’ll be cutting the first sod at Garreglwyd in Pembrey where we are building new family homes, and hope to start work in Dylan, Bryn, before Christmas should planning permission be approved.

“Whilst providing homes for people in need, our investment is also helping to create hundreds of jobs and training opportunities in the construction industry.”

She added: “I have likened our Affordable Homes Commitment to a book – a book with an exciting story. We have already been through a few chapters, but there is much more of the story still to come.

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Shock in Carmarthenshire as it’s named as one of the top locations for most reckless young drivers in UK

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CARMARTHENSHIRE has landed some unwanted publicity after being named as home to some of the most reckless young drivers in the UK.

According to comprehensive analysis by Adrian Flux, the county is one of the areas with the speediest teenagers on the road. On average 87.1% of FluxScore users there will receive a serious warning about their speeding compared to less than one in five in Conwy (17%).

The warnings are triggered by a black box that sits in the driver’s car to monitor their performance in the hope of improving safety and saving them money.

“This gamification style approach has helped sensible drivers save up to 60% for year-long safe driving upon renewal,” said Scott Goodliffe at Adrian Flux, one of the UK’s largest specialist motor insurance brokers.

“Unfortunately, some users are less attentive or cautious and their behaviour is a cause for concern because it leaves them more likely to make a claim or hurt themselves or others.

“It’s disappointing when alerts have to be sent but we’re proud that they are helping to change behaviour behind the wheel. We already know FluxScore is reducing the number of speeders across the board by 70% and hopefully this analysis will help address the small number who negatively impact these already impressive figures slightly.”

There are also considerable concerns about how quickly youngsters are travelling in Rhondda Cynon Taf with the area also being named and shamed in the top 10. It’s a much better picture in Conwy though with youngsters there being rated amongst the most careful drivers in the UK.

Adrian Flux’s self-fitting black box sits on the inside of the windscreen and tracks journeys. It helps reward safe driving by providing daily updates on the FluxScore app to show how the previous 24 hours’ driving has affected a driver’s renewal premium.

FluxScore sends alerts to drivers who it deems as driving dangerously or above the speed limit. The findings focus on Alert 2s, which are considered serious speeding events and take into account other factors such as the type of road. If a driver receives three Alert 2s, this will result in their policy being suspended.

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Local specialist contractors needed for countryside works

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CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is seeking local specialist countryside contractors for work on Public Rights of Way and conservation sites throughout the county.

Businesses in Carmarthenshire are being encouraged to tender for the countywide framework, which is for two years, starting in September with an option to extend for a further two years.

The work will include the management of nature reserves, mitigation for development and government funded habitat projects on sites with challenging conditions, ecological constraints, wet land and difficult access.

Examples of the work include path maintenance, installation of countryside furniture (stiles and gates), mowing overgrown fields, chainsaw and strimmer work, excavator work, woodland management, fencing and tree planting.

A proven track record and a good understanding of working in the rural and natural environment and knowledge of conservation is essential, as is an understanding of the way that the land changes in challenging weather conditions.

Applicants will need to make available vehicle inspection documents and maintenance records, certificates of operator competency (in relation to plant hire with operatives), health and safety policy and relevant insurance documents.

Any suppliers interested in tendering for this work need to be registered on the National Procurement Portal Sell2Wales website, where they can express their interest and receive further information.

This is a free online service and allows businesses to promote their organisation not only to the council but to other Welsh public sector bodies, and to receive notifications about contract opportunities suitable to their field of work.

The council also encourages businesses to register on the Business Wales Business Directory – a free resource where businesses can advertise their services.

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Police appeal for information after vehicle collides with two pedestrians

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POLICE say they are appealing for witnesses following a road traffic collision which occurred on College Street, Newcastle Emlyn just after 4pm on Monday 20th June.

A black coloured Honda CRV vehicle collided with two people on the pedestrian crossing.

A 70-year-old female sustained serious injuries and was airlifted to hospital.

A 50-year-old female was taken to hospital by ambulance with what are described as minor injuries

The 64 year old female driver of the vehicle was arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Anyone who witnessed the incident, or has information that could help officers with their investigation, or anyone who was driving in the area at the time and has dashcam footage, 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-20220620-283.”

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