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Calls for Carmarthenshire County Council to close all schools early for Christmas



CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY UNISON BRANCH, GMB and other education unions have called on Carmarthenshire County Council to close all its schools on the 11th December closing them a week early due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the county (224 per 100,000)and particularly due to the rising infection rates in schools.

In a letter to the leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, the groups wrote: “We were informed at the Education and Children’s Forum held on the 3rd December that last week was the highest number of cases ever in Carmarthenshire schools 26 cases in primary and 17 in secondary schools with far greater number self-isolating. We have been informed that 50% of schools have been affected by Covid-19 in Carmarthenshire and that 90% of Head teachers want schools to close and have distanced learning for the last week of term.

“While the Director of Education acknowledges (at least in words) that school staff are exhausted (as are other employees of the local authority) and frightened the council’s Gold command have decided in their wisdom to support the Director’s decision to keep schools open in the run up to Christmas.

“As you will be aware pupils and staff are being asked to take the increasing risk of being infected and the possible serious consequences of this for them and their families when there is likely to be very little learning activity going on in schools in the last week of term. Our branch previously warned that unless the conditions of the trade unions were met in regard to safety measures being place before schools fully reopened that schools would be in effect be petri dishes for Covid-19 putting pupils and staff at risk, unfortunately and predictably we have been proven correct. Schools despite the best of intentions are not able to maintain social distancing and as a consequence they significantly contribute the spread of Covid-19. The Director of Education informed the trade unions that he had made the final decision to keep schools open in consultation and with the agreement of gold.

“We assume that you as council leader are in agreement with the decision of the Director of Education who stated that he made his ‘tough’ decision after considering’ the pros and cons’. We ask that you and the council urgently review and reverse this decision while we appreciate that closing the schools early will cause problems for parents with childcare etc surely the overriding and most important issue is the safety of staff and pupils and they and their families are being put at increased risk of infection.

“We ask that the local authority considers its duty of care to pupils and staff and take the responsibility for closing the schools early otherwise it’s likely that many parents will take the responsibility themselves and not send the children to school after the 11th and staff may also vote with their feet.”

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Police launch public appeal following Carmarthenshire burglary



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:, by emailing, 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

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



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 

Writing Slope
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White Ribbon campaign supported by Carmarthenshire County Council



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; Calan DVS (Ammanford) on 01269 597 474 or; Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Service on 01267 238 410 or and Goleudy on 0300 123 2996 or or call the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800 or visit for free advice and support 24/7

For more information on the White Ribbon campaign visit

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