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‘Stronger action ‘ needed o ver refugee crisis

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UK must show leadership: Nia Griffith

UK must show leadership: Nia
Griffith

NIA GRIFFITH MP WRITES FOR THE HERALD

MANY of you, will, like me, have been shocked, long before the events of this last week, at the appalling tragedy of refugees dying on the shores of Europe, and very disturbed at the negative attitude of some politicians and some sectors of the press.

It is clear that many people in the UK would want to offer a welcome to refugees after the unimaginable hardship they have suffered, and are already contributing through established charities like Oxfam to the work that they are doing, both in the countries neighbouring the areas of conflict, and on the shores of southern Europe.

Here in Llanelli there has already been a positive response to join in a UK-wide campaign for churches and local organisations to show their support by displaying banners and signs on their buildings, as well as on social media with the simple logo #refugeeswelcome. You can also post pictures of yourselves holding a sign saying #refugeeswelcome. This is a particularly opportune time, as we return to Parliament this week, and European leaders prepare to meet again, as this will help to put pressure on government ministers, and show the refugees themselves that we do want to help, and want the UK to do more.

Together with church and community leaders, we are organising a non-partisan public vigil to take place at 6 pm on Thursday 17th September in Spring Gardens. If anyone wants to participate in the shoebox appeal, they can leave things at my office at 6, Queen Victoria Rd, Llanelli and we will ensure that they are passed on to the correct channels.

I can assure you that I am using my time in Parliament this week to urge government ministers to make sure that the UK lives up to its long tradition of offering help and support to refugees, starting by attending a cross-party vigil in Westminster Hall on Monday morning and following up with parliamentary debate and questions.

Of course we do have people who need help in our own country and we must help them too, but they are largely problems of inequality and the need to redistribute wealth more fairly, and we remain a very rich country—the 20th wealthiest in the world and the sixth biggest economy. We are not only a wealthy country; we are still a very influential country and therefore should be taking a much more positive lead on the refugee crisis on the world stage.

We should be showing leadership on this issue, firstly as MPs here, and then together with our EU partners. In the case of Syria, Turkey has taken in 2 million refugees, Lebanon has 1 million (in a country with only four million people) and Jordan hundreds of thousands likewise. We should be working out there and taking our share of refugees directly, and thus avoiding people falling prey to the most dreadful exploitation and journeys, often ending in tragedy. We also need to help more in southern Europe.

If the UK upped the number of Syrian refugees it has taken from 200 to 10,000, this would mean some 600 for Wales, so 30 – 40 for Carmarthenshire – perhaps 7 or 8 families. These are enterprising people, who would, as soon as they are allowed, be wanting to work hard and contribute to our economy.

Working together with the other 27 EU countries, we could organise similar help on the borders of the handful of other countries where people are fleeing violence (where again it is the neighbouring countries ….. often very poor ones with enough of their own problems …… taking in the majority of refugees and desperately in need of help).

These are problems that are not going to be solved in a week: I can assure you that I will continue to pursue this matter long term.

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News

Family of power station worker calls on former colleagues to help with asbestos claim

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THE WIFE of a Carmarthenshire man, who was just 66 when he died of an asbestos-related cancer, is calling on colleagues who worked with him in the 1970s to help understand where and how he contracted the disease.

Peter Colton, from Llanelli, died in July 2021 after being diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease, mesothelioma.

He worked as a conveyor and weighbridge operator for the CEGB at Carmarthen Bay Power Station. During his time at the power station, his duties included offloading coal wagons and conveying coal to the boilers.

It is possible that Mr Colton was exposed to asbestos during those years and now his family has sought the help of local asbestos specialists J.M Parsons, to investigate a claim for compensation.

Ann Colton, Mr Colton’s wife, wants answers. She said: “Peter was diagnosed with mesothelioma and died just six weeks later. He had been suffering from shortness of breath and just had no quality of life.

“It was devastating to see someone who had been so healthy and active slowly get worse and worse. We just want to know where and how he was exposed to asbestos and hope someone out there can help us.”

According to data from the Health and Safety Executive, annual mesothelioma deaths in Britain increased steeply over the last 50 years, a consequence of mainly occupational asbestos exposures that occurred because of the widespread industrial use of asbestos during 1950-1980.

Amanda Jones is one of the specialists at J.M Parsons, which is owned by Thompsons Solicitors. Thompsons has paved the way for asbestos litigation in the UK ever since it brought about the first successful asbestos disease claim to the House of Lords in 1972, 50 years ago.

She said: “We would be grateful to hear from anyone who remembers working with Peter Colton in Carmarthen Bay Power Station in the 1970s or anyone who worked in the same field as Peter beyond the 1970s.

“Such individuals will be invaluable to Mr Colton’s family as they may be able to add important information that will assist us in building a civil claim. We hope that we will then be able to answer questions about the conditions that Mr Colton worked in during his working life.”

Anyone with information should contact Amanda Jones on 01554 779940, or via email at amanda@jmplaw.co.uk.

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Business

Carmarthenshire cheese maker secures Co-op listing

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Caws Cenarth award

A CHEESEMAKER from Carmarthenshire has secured its first listing with the Co-op as part of the retailer’s continued focus on local and community sourcing.

Family-owned Caws Cenarth, which has cheese making in the family dating back to 1903, will now see two of its cheeses listed in more than 20 Co-op stores across the region.

Made on farm in Glyneithinog, Caws Cenarth will supply Co-op with its Organic Caerffili – which has a light and lemony taste with hints of sea salt – and, one of its best known cheeses the Organic Perl Las Mini – which is described as a blue cheese, golden in colour, with a creamy, gently salty taste that grows stronger with maturity.

Carwyn Adams, whose parents rekindled the family tradition for cheese making in 1987 with the creation of Caws Cenarth, said: “We are absolutely thrilled. I shop in our local Co-op and regularly thought how nice it would be to see our cheese on the shelf and, now that is to become a reality. Working with Co-op will support our business development, and raise awareness of our cheeses, not only across the region, but also further afield as visitors to the area often look for local produce to take back home with them as gifts or to remind them of their stay in the area.”

Jo Wadsworth, Co-op’s Community Buying Manager, said: “We are delighted to welcome Caws Cenarth onto our shelves. We know that our Members and customers value the quality and provenance of locally produced food and drink and, here at the Co-op we are focussed on supporting local suppliers as part of our commitment to creating value and making a difference in our local communities.”

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Education

Carmarthenshire Council offers career opportunities through new Care Academi 

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Cllr Jane Tremlett, Cabinet Member for Social Care

CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has launched a new Care Academi which offers exciting opportunities to those looking for a career in social work or social care.

Open to all ages, the Academi will provide training, support and guidance to successful applicants, enabling them to earn while they learn and choose a career path that suits them best.

With a blend of on-the-job training and education, there are various opportunities to explore the variety of social care and social work roles on offer.

All applicants must have a minimum of two GCSEs (grade A* – D) or equivalent in English, Welsh or Maths.

Cllr Jane Tremlett, Cabinet Member for Social Care said: “Our new Care Academi offers fantastic opportunities to those looking for a career in social work or care.

“Successful applicants could achieve a degree in social work or a level five management qualification, but there are also opportunities throughout the programme to find an alternative role that suits you best if completing a degree isn’t for you.

“If you are motivated, have a positive attitude and are looking for the first exciting step in a new career then we want to hear from you and welcome your application.”

For more information or to apply please visit www.Carmarthenshire.gov.wales/careacademi 

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