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Launch of new movement to eradicate litter and waste across West Wales

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ONE of Wales’ leading environmental charities has launched its biggest ever initiative to eradicate litter and waste across West Wales. 

Caru Cymru, led by Keep Wales Tidy in partnership with all Local Authorities in Wales, aims to inspire everyone to take action and care for the environment. The charity is calling on people in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion to take responsibility for the litter and waste they produce in a drive to create a cleaner, safer Wales.

While Keep Wales Tidy is renowned for working with an army of volunteers to pick up litter, the charity’s new movement will not just focus on cleaning up, but stopping litter from happening in the first place. The vision for Caru Cymru (a Welsh phrase meaning ‘Love Wales’) is that it will become second nature for people to do the right thing, from taking litter home and cleaning up after their dog, to recycling on the go, re-using and repairing. 

As the driving force behind Caru Cymru, each council area is putting on a range of programmes and activities responding to the area’s needs, enabling everyone in Wales to get involved. In Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, the local authorities have set out plans to raise awareness of marine litter and dog fouling to protect the regions’ beaches. Meanwhile in Carmarthenshire, the local authority will be tackling known fly-tipping ‘hotspots’ across the county.

Speaking about the campaign, Lesley Jones, chief executive of Keep Wales Tidy said: “Every person in Wales has a part to play in eradicating litter and waste which can cause so much damage to our communities and to our natural environment. I’m proud to be part of an initiative which brings people together, and provides the tools, innovation and support needed to make a positive difference.

“Caru Cymru is not an exclusive club – everyone can join in.”

Keep Wales tidy launches Caru Cymru

Litter has a significant and far-reaching impact on communities. Keep Wales Tidy has identified that when areas are uncared for it makes people feel unsafe, it affects social cohesion, the sense of pride in communities, stifles economic growth and tourism, and spoils people’s enjoyment of nature.  Litter can also cause huge damage to wildlife, green spaces, hedgerows, rivers and oceans. 

Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs said: “People in Wales have already proven they care about our country by adopting important recycling habits that now sees us third best in the world for recycling. But there is always more we can do, we must go beyond recycling, and Caru Cymru is about exactly that. Our attitude towards waste needs to stretch beyond not only our homes but to the spaces that make up the villages, towns and cities we live in. By doing so, we can tackle long term litter and waste issues head on and all benefit from a cleaner Wales.”

Caru Cymru’s launch marks the start of a series of projects ranging from large-scale national campaigns to smaller local projects created in conjunction with local authorities, Cardiff University’s behaviour change team and other partners.

Over the coming months, Caru Cymru will be trialing a range of new and innovative solutions to tackle roadside, fast-food and marine related litter, improve air quality and eliminate single use plastic.

People in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion, and across Wales, are being encouraged to join the new movement and can visit Keep Wales Tidy’s website to find out more: www.keepwalestidy.cymru/caru-cymru 

Caru Cymru has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

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Have your say on the future of housing in Carmarthenshire

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RESIDENTS and businesses are being urged to have their say on the future of housing in Carmarthenshire.

Carmarthenshire County Council is developing a new 10-year Housing and Regeneration Masterplan and residents are being asked for their views.

Providing quality, affordable homes is a key priority for the council and it is investing millions of pounds in new housing stock; creating much-needed jobs and helping to grow the local economy and regenerate communities.

In 2015, the council became the first in Wales to suspend the Right to Buy to retain its declining housing stock, and built a number of bungalows – the first local authority housing to be built in Wales since the 1980s.

A year later, in 2016, it launched its affordable homes plan to deliver 1,000 additional affordable homes in the county by 2021 by building new, buying from the market and converting empty buildings.

Now the council is shaping its plans for the next 10 years which includes building over 900 new council homes and investing nearly £150million across the county by 2029.

It is important that the new homes are of the right type, size and tenure, and in the right places to build strong sustainable communities where people want to live and work.

The Housing and Regeneration Masterplan will also recognise the role of housing development and investment in stimulating the overall economic growth of the county – which is now even more critical as we recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents are being encouraged to take part in our online consultation which starts on Monday, June 14.

Cllr Linda Evans, Executive Board Member for Housing, said: “We are proud to be leading the way here in Carmarthenshire to deliver new, affordable, high quality and much-needed homes for local people.

“We have already achieved so much during the last few years, but we must now plan for the next 10 years and we need the views of our residents to help tell us where they think these homes should be developed, who should have them, and what type and size they should be.

“We are committed to making more homes available for those in highest need, and aim to deliver a plan that will provide homes in communities where people want to live, with a range of homes to suit specific needs.

“This includes our rural towns and villages, where we must help to make sure that local people are able to afford quality affordable homes and remain in their communities; as well as increasing the residential offer in our town centres, increasing footfall and helping businesses to thrive.

“Aside from providing much needed homes in the county, the investment will also boost the local economy creating jobs, training opportunities and apprenticeships in the construction industry.”

The council is delivering this commitment in a number of ways, including building more council homes and working with housing association partners to deliver more new build schemes, buying stock that suits our needs, working with developers to ensure a range of affordable homes are built as part of private developments and bringing empty homes back into use. 

It is also actively working with landlords to encourage them to make their properties available at affordable rent levels, including bringing more private sector homes into the management of our in-house social lettings agency.

To take part in the survey please visit the consultation pages on the council website carmarthenshire.gov.wales/consultations Paper copies are available from one of our customer service Hwbs. The survey closes on July 26.

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Community wardens hit the streets of Tyisha and Glanymor

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has appointed two new community wardens to patrol the Tyisha and Glanymor areas of Llanelli.

The community wardens will support the local Neighbourhood Policing Team and other agencies to provide a visible presence within the area and will have a varied role which will include:

  • Patrolling hot spot areas to deter crime and anti-social behaviour
  • Tackling vandalism and fly tipping as well as issues relating to communal areas and open spaces/parks
  • Supporting the introduction of a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
  • Organising the installation of crime prevention measures
  • Offering targeted support to vulnerable members of the community
  • Encourage wellbeing activities and community engagement with youth projects, schools and clubs including the promotion of volunteering opportunities.

Linda Evans, chair of the Tyisha steering group and executive board member for housing said: “I am delighted that Tyisha and Glanymor now have community wardens who will work closely with Dyfed Powys Police and other agencies to deliver a multi-agency approach to tackling issues of community concern. In response to community feedback they will prioritise tackling anti-social behaviour issues, reducing crime relating to drug and alcohol misuse and engaging with the community to make positive changes throughout Tyisha and Glanymor.”

Ann Davies, Executive Board Member and vice-chair of the Tyisha Steering Group said: “The work carried out by the community wardens will make a positive difference through helping to reduce fear of crime and incidents of anti-social behaviour as well as improving quality of life for those who live in these communities.”

The introduction of community wardens to the Tyisha area forms part of the council’s ambitious Transforming Tyisha project which looks to regenerate the area through increasing community safety, developing housing and community facilities and improving the environment.

To contact the community wardens or for more information on joining Tyisha and Glanymor’s Neighbourhood Watch Scheme please e-mail tyisha@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

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Pollinators protected during annual grass verge cuts

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council highways crews are starting their annual roadside grass cutting operations this week, but not every verge will be fully cut.

As part of its duty to protect biodiversity, grass will only be cut in one metre swathes in most areas where growth is affecting road visibility and pedestrian safety and several verges will be left until later in the year allowing flowers to set seed before being cut.

Much of Carmarthenshire’s roadside growth of grass and wildflowers will be left untouched to support local wildlife and pollinating insects.

Cuts will only be taken in these areas if there are health and safety concerns, particularly in 30-40mph areas in towns and villages.

Cllr Hazel Evans, the council’s executive Board Member for Environment, said the authority has taken a careful view of grass cutting operations not just for the sake of biodiversity but also to keep costs down.

“We have to carefully balance the needs of local wildlife with our responsibility for highway safety,” she said. “The importance of the road verge network for nature conservation is reflected in our verge maintenance policy. We delay the cutting of some verges in the interests of conservation as long as highway safety for motorists, cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians is not jeopardised.

“This is not only a reflection of our duty to the environment but also follows budget reviews which have identified cost savings by reducing and delaying grass cutting operations.”

Pollinating insects are essential for the maintenance of ecosystems through pollination of the wild plants which form the basis of most habitats. They also play an important role in the production of many crops.

The council works to conserve and enhance biodiversity and has a range of projects to support local species and habitats.

Managing areas for wildlife can provide opportunities for individuals, community groups and schools to get involved, benefiting wildlife and people.

Visit www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/biodiversity for further information and ideas for ways to support local conservation. 

For further information on highways operations, visit the website’s travel, roads and parking pages.

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