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Carmarthenshire’s future waste strategy scrutinised by councillors

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PLANS to increase Carmarthenshire’s recycling rate have been scrutinised by councillors ahead of a final decision by the county council’s Cabinet later this month.

A future waste strategy has been developed to help the council achieve a 70 per cent recycling rate by 2025 and zero waste by 2050.

The plan would see residents receive weekly blue bag recycling collections instead of fortnightly as at present, together with three-weekly kerbside collections of glass.

The weekly collection of food waste will remain, and anything left over that can’t yet be recycled would then be collected in black bags every three weeks.

By 2024 kerbside recycling will increase further, with weekly glass collections together with collection of textiles, small domestic appliances and batteries.

The plan is geared towards helping people reduce, re-use and recycle as much as possible, with very little or no waste having to go in black bags.

The proposals were discussed by the Environmental and Public Protection Scrutiny Committee which has made recommendations to the council’s Cabinet where a final decision will be made next week (Monday October 11).

Carmarthenshire County Council currently collects waste and recycling from around 91,000 households every week, picking up mixed recycling in blue bags and ‘residual waste’ in black bags every other week, with food waste collected from green bins every week.

Collection of bulky household waste items and garden waste is offered as a paid-for service, in addition to a network of community recycling sites and three main household waste recycling centres.

Whilst the county has a history of exceeding recycling targets, it has struggled to meet stricter targets in recent years and has made several policy changes to respond and react.

The authority has also made a commitment towards tackling climate change, declaring a climate emergency and committing to become net carbon zero by 2030.

Cllr Hazel Evans, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “Our future waste strategy has been developed to help us meet future recycling targets of 70 per cent by 2024/25 and the expected 80 per cent target by 2030.

“But this is not just about meeting targets – we want to support our residents and communities to do more, to reduce their waste and increase what they re-use and recycle. We have carried out an extensive engagement exercise and taken on board many of the suggestions made – including glass collections from the kerbside.

“Sharing this plan with the Environmental and Public Protection Scrutiny Committee is the first step in the process, and I look forward to presenting the report and their recommendations to Cabinet next week.”

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News

Respect, protect and enjoy Halloween safely

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RESPECT, protect, and enjoy. That’s the message from Dyfed-Powys Police as officers urge people to celebrate Halloween safely.

The force has launched Operation Bang 2021, asking people to think differently about the way they mark Halloween this year.

Covid-19 hasn’t gone away, and with some restrictions in place, officers are encouraging people to respect their neighbours, protect emergency services by reducing demand, and enjoy celebrations at home.

Inspector Justin Evans of the Crime and Harm Reduction Unit said: “You might be familiar with Op Bang, which is an annual operation aimed at keeping people safe over Halloween and bonfire night. This year, while our policing focus remains firmly on tackling antisocial behaviour and keeping people safe, for the second year our message is a little bit different given the unusual circumstances we’ve found ourselves in.

“We’re asking people to consider celebrating at home instead of going out and about, respecting that there are people who find Halloween distressing at the best of times, and who might find that the uncertainty of the current situation has heightened these feelings of anxiety.

“We also ask that you do your best to keep yourself and your family safe to prevent adding pressure to the emergency services during already busy times.”

Carving pumpkins, making crafts, and creating a spooky trail around your house or garden are all ways to celebrate Halloween at home with younger children.

While older children and teenagers might still want to meet up with friends, parents are urged to keep track of their plans, remind them to consider the consequences of their actions, and be mindful of lockdown restrictions.

“Fortunately, the majority of communities we police don’t experience a great increase in crime at this time of year, but there can always be one or two people who spoil it for everyone else,” Insp Evans said.

“We don’t want anyone’s enjoyment to get out of hand and cause distress or harm to others.

“By working together we can have a safe and enjoyable Halloween.”

For Halloween craft ideas and ways to celebrate at home, check out the Dyfed-Powys Police Pinterest page.

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Community

Christmas Toy Box Appeal to support families

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Council staff will purchase gifts and toys and distribute them in the run-up to Christmas.

CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has launched its annual Christmas Toybox Appeal.

The appeal, in its 11th year, helps hundreds of children with families who can’t afford to buy toys or gifts.

Last year saw us help more families than ever who were struggling financially with more than 7,500 gifts were distributed to 1,256 children.

The appeal was launched online for the first time in 2020 following the coronavirus pandemic and people were asked to make a financial donation instead of buying gifts and toys. Given the current situation people are asked to donate in the same way.

Gifts will be bought out of the money donated and given to families who, for a range of reasons, are not able to give their children a Christmas that most of us take for granted.

Schools, family centres and youth workers identify those who are in greatest need of support.

Council staff will purchase gifts and toys and distribute them in the run-up to Christmas.

The council’s executive board member responsible for the Toybox Appeal, Cllr Mair Stephens said: “Last year we saw an unprecedented demand from families struggling to buy their children gifts. The appeal ensured that local children, who might otherwise have received nothing or very little, were given a gift at Christmas. We have always had fantastic support from the public and couldn’t do it without their help. Every donation, no matter how big or small, will make a huge difference to those less fortunate families. So please dig deep and donate to the online Christmas appeal.”

You can make a financial donation by visiting their website

If you have a cash or cheque donation please call 01267 234567.

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Education

New Year start date for new state-of-the-art Pembrey primary school

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The new modern purpose-built £8.25million primary school will be built next to the existing school site on Ashburnham Road.

WORK will get underway to build a state-of-the-art primary school in Pembrey in the new year.

Carmarthenshire County Council has unveiled plans for its latest new school, part of its multi-million pound Modernising Education Programme, jointly funded by the Welsh Government through its 21st Century Schools initiative.

The new modern purpose-built £8.25million primary school will be built next to the existing school site on Ashburnham Road.

On completion it will provide high-quality teaching facilities for 270 primary pupils and 30 nursery pupils.

It will also incorporate a Flying Start facility for younger children, located in a mobile classroom on the current school site.

The school has been designed by Carmarthenshire County Council’s own architects and the work will be carried out by Carmarthenshire-based TRJ Construction Ltd, selected from the South West Wales Regional Contractors Framework.

Headteacher Helen Jacob said: “Teaching staff, pupils and families are excited and looking forward to seeing our new school come to life. Our children will benefit from seeing every phase of their new school being built right alongside us – it has been designed to enhance learning and teaching and it is very much deserved.”

Cllr Glynog Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, added: “We are proud to be delivering yet another fantastic new school in Carmarthenshire as part of our Modernising Education Programme.

“The new Ysgol Pen-bre will provide an excellent learning and teaching environment and will also benefit the local community, with many features built into the design that can be used by local people when it opens.

“We look forward to seeing construction start in January.”

By the end of the 2020/21 financial year, Carmarthenshire County Council will have invested £295million in transforming its network of nursery, primary and secondary schools.

Since the programme was launched, 12 new primary schools and two new secondary schools have been built and a number of other schools have been remodelled and refurbished to provide top-class learning and community facilities.

Find out more at www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/education

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