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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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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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