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Ambitious Capital Programme unveiled to boost economy

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Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Members have agreed on an exciting and ambitious programme of capital spending which will see £275m of investment over the next five years including the delivery of two multi-million-pound transformational projects.

Discussing the Five-Year Capital Programme this week, Cllr David Jenkins, the council’s Cabinet Member for Resources, said he hoped Full Council would support the plans which will boost the economy, stimulate growth and create jobs.

Huge investment proposals include the two new transformational projects. The first is a £19.6m hub at the heart of Carmarthen Town Centre which will boost footfall as the county recovers from the pandemic.  The hub would provide a home for the county’s art collection, a health and fitness suite, health and education facilities as well as being the new home to the authority’s Carmarthen hub and retail units. 

The second is a £19m investment to complete the Twyi Valley Path between Carmarthen and Llandeilo which will bring significant benefits to the rural economy and improvements to health and wellbeing of residents.  As part of the project, £366k is made available to upgrade parking provision making it more accessible to a wider number of commuters, families, visitors and walking and cycling enthusiasts of all abilities throughout the county and beyond, making it a truly landmark community resource and tourist destination.

Additional funding is also being made available for Zone 1 of the Pentre Awel development in Llanelli which will transform the landscape and economy of south Llanelli, Carmarthenshire and the wider West Wales region.  It will create five distinct buildings linked with a “street” space, comprising an aquatics centre, sports hall, multipurpose sports and fitness rooms and gym, education and training facilities, clinical delivery and research and innovation and business space. 

Significant investments will be made in schools with funds made available to complete the urgently needed replacement bus bays at Ysgol Dyffryn Taf.  In communities, funding to provide Disability Facilities Grants will be continued bringing the total investment over the 5 years to £10.5m. On top of large investments already made in sport and culture an uplift of £1m in funding is proposed for the upgrade of the 3G pitch at Amman Valley Leisure Centre.

Some £4.7m will be made available for the replacement of refuse and recycling vehicles, together with an additional £1m from reserves as the authority’s match funding contribution to our Waste Strategy which will see the rollout of kerbside sorting for recycling collections.

Cabinet Member for Resources, Cllr David Jenkins says thedelivery of a number of key projects will create jobs and improve the quality of life for the people of Carmarthenshire.

He said: “This Capital Programme is exciting and seeks to maximise opportunities.  It is again comprehensive and ambitious but above all, right, with the focus on economic stimulation and recovery.

County council funding for the programme will be an estimated £141million, with a further £134million of external funding. 

Next year the council will deliver the largest single investment made in recent years of £4.3m in the highway infrastructure. 

Cllr Hazel Evans, Cabinet Member for Environment, said the proposed programme would regenerate the county and its ambitions.

She said: “It doesn’t matter whether you travel on a bus, a car or on a bike you must have safe highways to travel on.”

Additional funding will also be ploughed into flood management and mitigation works, IT and decarbonisation projects.

The proposed Capital Funding Programme will go before Full Council on Wednesday, March 2. 

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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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