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Community Rail Partnership launched for South West Wales

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SOUTH West Wales now has its very own Community Rail Partnership, designed to help
communities get the most benefit from their existing railway lines.

The new Community Rail Partnership, South West Wales Connected, will engage with communities
across Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire to maximise the role the
railway can play in fulfilling the goals of the Welsh Government’s Well-Being of Future Generations
Act.

SWW Connected has been established by Transport for Wales and is hosted by 4theRegion, a
membership alliance working to bring about positive change across the region. It is based in a
dedicated community facility at Swansea Railway Station in a previously empty area that has been
redeveloped as part of Transport for Wales’ Station Improvement Vision.

The overall aim of SWW Connected is to connect local communities with their railway, delivering
social and economic benefit and increasing rail use within the region. Among other things it will
promote rail as a sustainable, accessible and healthy means of travel, encourage rail use by locals
and tourists, and help local communities and businesses engage with the rail network.

New Community Rail Partnership Officer Jennifer Barfoot, who will be leading the initiative, said it
will bring the communities and the railway closer together to promote and celebrate everything the
region has to offer.

“I am very excited to be joining South West Wales Connected,” she said. “We are distinctly aware of
the challenges that Covid-19 has brought to our communities and we have the opportunity to help
communities overcome those challenges.

“By connecting and encouraging collaboration among businesses and organisations in local
communities, we can empower those communities to work better together on a whole range of
social, economic, cultural and environmental issues. I am very much looking forward to working with
communities across South West Wales.”

Jennifer has a background in education and has been delivering regional initiatives for the past nine
years, including My Train Wales, an initiative to educate school pupils about rail safety.
“We welcome Jennifer to this new role, for which she is perfectly suited,” said 4theRegion founder
and chair Dawn Lyle. “South West Wales Connected will play an important part in helping
4theRegion achieve its aims of creating positive change in the region in areas such as wellbeing,
sustainability, tourism and economic development. Our rail network is a hugely valuable resource
that connects and unites the region, and we want to help people get the most out of it. We very
much look forward to working with Jennifer and SWW Connected on this project.”

Transport for Wales is part funding South West Wales Connected to deliver its wider vision for
community rail. South West Wales Connected will work collaboratively with Transport for Wales and
other local partners to identify and develop opportunities to help individuals, groups and
communities make the most of the advantages the rail network can deliver.

Head of Community Rail at Transport for Wales Hugh Evans said: “Community Rail can drive real
change for the better across our network, helping make rail travel more accessible and inclusive,
which in turn creates a real economic benefit and an opportunity, during these difficult times, to
support the health and mental wellbeing of people in these communities.

“We’re delighted that South West Wales Connected have become the first new Community Rail
Partnership since Transport for Wales took over the Wales and Borders network. Their ideas and
ambitions are incredibly exciting and we look forward to working with them over the coming years.”
Community Rail Network Chief Executive, Jools Townsend said: “As the umbrella body representing
community rail partnerships and groups across Wales and beyond, we’re thrilled to welcome South
West Wales Connected on board. Community rail plays an incredibly important role in helping
communities get the most benefit from their local railways, including promoting sustainable travel
and tourism by rail, and developing accessibility and inclusion. They also help local people to have a
voice in rail development, making the railway more inclusive, community-minded and future-
focused. This is doubly important right now in helping our communities and railways recover and
build back better from Covid-19. We’re looking forward to supporting South West Wales Connected
to engage and empower their local communities, connecting them with their railways.”
Transport for Wales Rail Services also works with five other community rail partnerships around its
network. Its wider Community Rail Vision also includes an active and successful station adoption
scheme. The eventual aim is to have Community Rail Partnerships to cover its entire network of 247
stations across almost 30 local authority areas.

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Community

Carmarthenshire Archives’ new building officially opened

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ON MONDAY, November 28, Cllr Rob Evans, Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council, unveiled a specially designed plaque to commemorate the official opening of the brand new Carmarthenshire Archives building.

The official opening was attended by year 6 pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, along with their Headteacher Mr Dylan Evans, who designed the plaque by compiling various artwork and sketches that are housed at the Archives.

Established in 1959, Carmarthenshire Archives is the local authority archive service for the County of Carmarthenshire and the new building is located at St Peter’s Street, Carmarthen. 

The service is home to our extensive collection of historic documents that date from the 13th century to the present day. The collection includes archives, maps, books, photographs, videos and sound recordings. It is the Archives’ mission to preserve and make its documents available for general study and research.

Admission to Carmarthenshire Archives is free and open to anyone who wishes to use the Council’s records. Most of its services are free, but we do charge for some extra services and help.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Cllr Gareth John commented:

“Congratulations to the pupils of Ysgol Y Dderwen, they have designed an excellent and appropriate plaque that is inspired by the treasure troves of our archives. It was wonderful to welcome them to the official opening so that they can see their work take pride of place at a building that holds great significance to us in Carmarthenshire. 

“This is a brand new and modern building that is fit to keep and protect our county’s most precious historical documents. 

“But of course, these documents are meant to be viewed and studied by school children, students, academics and anybody who has an interest in Carmarthenshire’s rich history; and this excellent facility provides the perfect space for people to come and view these treasures.”

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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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