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Encouraging signs of Carmarthenshire’s economic recovery

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Carmarthen High Street

POSITIVE signs are emerging as Carmarthenshire continues its recovery from the pandemic and pushes ahead with new ambitions for future development and growth.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet has been updated on the progress of a comprehensive economic recovery plan which outlines 30 targeted actions to help get the county back on its journey of growth and sets out priorities for supporting businesses, people and communities over the next two years.

The update report discussed by councillors reveals the true impact of Covid-19 on the local economy, but also shows the positive signs of a quicker recovery than originally anticipated.

Supported by a recovery group, including key private sector industry leaders, the council said there is real confidence that Carmarthenshire’s economy can recover to become one that is even more productive than before.

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “The picture we are looking at now is somewhat improved to what we envisaged at the start of our recovery plan, and it is hugely encouraging to see positive signs and great progress already.

“Our economic recovery plan is unashamedly ambitious – we are absolutely determined to do everything we can to get Carmarthenshire back on track and continuing its journey of growth. “From the first update report we can already see that our ambitions are achievable, and that we’re well on our way to being where we want to be.

“We recognise, of course, that we can’t do this on our own – this will take the ambitions and commitment of everyone in Carmarthenshire – from public sector partners and organisations, including the private sector, to local businesses and local people. We really hope that we can all work together to develop Carmarthenshire.

“We have made every effort to ensure that people are with us on this journey, and fundamental to that has been the great vision of the economic recovery group which is made up of local independent business leaders that have ensured our response is in tune with the needs of businesses and communities across Carmarthenshire.”

The economic recovery plan focuses on 11 key themes, with emphasis on maximising opportunities for local businesses and growing the economy.

It sets out the authority’s aims to help businesses replace more than 3,000 jobs lost during the pandemic; safeguarding and replacing up to 10,000 at-risk jobs and creating around 1,700 new jobs – as well as supporting thousands of local businesses.

Key to the plan is supporting the county’s foundational economy and supporting local people to grow skills and talent in targeted areas so that there is a strong and resilient local workforce.

More than 830 jobs have already been created and almost 700 jobs safeguarded.

The council’s economic development team has engaged with well over 2,000 local businesses and provided around 250 people with training support.

One of the key areas of targeted intervention is supporting people to improve digital skills so they have better employment prospects, and more than 200 people have received such training.

Next, the council will focus on supporting 3,000 people into work, providing 2,000 additional homes, maximising the community benefit of development schemes and supporting businesses to take advantage of key grants.

The ambitious targets set out in tailored town centre recovery plans for Ammanford, Llanelli and Carmarthen will also be delivered – each of them highlighting key issues, opportunities and specific interventions for the individual towns.

The council has also promised to deliver 13 major projects, investing more than £140million in developing Carmarthenshire as a place to live, visit, work and do business.

It will look to maximise external funding to bring more prosperity to the county, as it has with the recent Levelling Up and Community Renewal Funding which has brought over £23million of UK Government funding.

Cllr Dole added: “We are determined to take advantage of every opportunity to accelerate Carmarthenshire’s growth and enable the economic success that Carmarthenshire can achieve, and deserves.”

More information about the Carmarthenshire economic recovery plan, including details about major projects, town centre recovery plans, development grants and opportunities for businesses to benefit from the council’s spending, can be found at www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales

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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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Witness appeal after car is stolen and burnt out

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating the theft of a car from a property in Lando Road, Burry Port, which was later found burnt out in Pembrey Country Park.

Officers are appealing for witnesses to the theft of the blue Ssangyong Rexton, which took place sometime between 5pm on Friday, 11th November, and 9am on Saturday, 12th November, and would like to speak to anyone who may have information or CCTV or dashcam footage.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, 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: DP-20221112-109

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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