Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

Labour challenged on £20m investment

Published

on

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 13.22.20

Taking the fight to Labour: Plaid Motorcyclists should Cymru’s David Jenkins

PLAID CYMRU has reacted strongly to criticism mounted by Labour politicians, both local and national, on its plans to use Council reserves for investment in new projects.

As The Herald reported in our New Year’s edition, with uncertainty surrounding the future make-up of local authorities across Wales including possible mergers between Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion into the old Dyfed Authority it appears that Plaid Cymru is determined to ensure that money earmarked for the benefit of Carmarthenshire residents is used to deliver improvements for Carmarthenshire residents.

At the time, Executive Board member for Resources, David Jenkins, said: “It is only right and proper that Carmarthenshire people should benefit from that money (i.e. the reserves).” However, Labour politicians have now been accused by Plaid Cymru of putting jobs and public welfare schemes at risk by trying to spike plans to invest an extra £20m in new projects in Carmarthenshire. The allegation follows a veiled threat by Labour Welsh Government minister Leighton Andrews to intervene in county council spending. When Plaid announced its plans, the Welsh Government – which has told Councils to use reserves to subsidise Council Tax and plans to raid the reserves to fund its own policy on mergers – said it would act to prevent Councils engaging in what it called ‘irresponsible spending’. “This is a reckless ploy by Labour, who seem perfectly happy to jeopardise these projects out of pure political spite. It just shows how desperate they have become,”

Council Deputy Leader Cllr. David Jenkins told a meeting of the Plaid group on Monday (Jan 11). Plaid councillors were told that the £20m was found by the new Plaid-led administration after detailed research into the council’s extensive reserves. The view was expressed that Labour were too lazy, incompetent or lacking in vision to seek out this sum themselves when they were in power in Carmarthenshire. It was their lack of political leadership that allowed the authority to become officer-led, by default and necessity. “Having been totally outflanked by Plaid Cymru, Labour now challenge the plans to invest this extra £20m in capital projects – projects which will benefit the people of Carmarthenshire across the board in all kinds of services: from social care and job creation to heritage and leisure,” said Cllr Jenkins. “It is quite staggering that, even by Labour’s usual cynical standards, they have the temerity to complain about this valuable investment. It appears they don’t want jobs and prosperity for our people.”

Responding subsequently to a strong attack on Labour’s position made at full Council on Wednesday (Jan 13), Llanelli Labour candidate Lee Waters said: “I’m not criticising Plaid for the cuts, the Tories are forcing Councils to slash spending and take the blame for it. I haven’t criticised Plaid for doing things that whoever was in charge would have been faced with.”

Lee Waters continued to claim that Llanelli was in some way being dealt with unfairly by the authority and the Plaid-led coalition: “I’m pointing out that Plaid have made a political choice – they have raided reserves designed for a rainy day to fund pet projects in their own wards, whilst pressuring Llanelli to put up our Council Tax to keep Parc Howard public – which he keeps saying he has promised to do. Carmarthen is to get a velodrome, Llanelli isn’t; Carmarthen gets a new £2M Archive and Llanelli is told to find our own way to fund a park that has been bequeathed to the people of the town.”

An examination by The Herald of the spending pledges made by Plaid Cymru in December have revealed a pledge to invest £12.5m in a care home in Llanelli, £500,000 in works on a new cycle path at Pembrey, and the £300,000 renovation of Llanelli market. The £12.5m funding for a new care home in Llanelli is the single largest pledge made by Cllr Jenkins in his December statement.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News

Aberglasney Gardens delighted to win 2022 Trip advisor Travellers’ Choice Award

Published

on

ABERGLASNEY Gardens is thrilled to have been recognised by Tripadvisor as a 2022 Travellers’ Choice Award winner for being in the top 10% of attractions worldwide.

The Award recognises businesses that consistently deliver great service with the Gardens being rated ‘Excellent’ by 342 visitors.

The award celebrates businesses that have received great traveller reviews from around the globe on Tripadvisor over the last 12 months. As challenging as the past year has been, Aberglasney stood out by consistently delivering positive experiences to visitors.

Aberglasney’s Director of Operations Jim Stribling said: “We are delighted to have once again won an award from Tripadvisor. It is fantastic recognition for the team’s hard work and dedication. To rank among the top ten percent of those listed on Trip Advisor as one of the best places to visit is outstanding.

“We are grateful to all those who take the time to leave us a review after visiting. It is no cliché when I say all the team, be it in the gift shop, the gardeners, the tearooms and the administrative team, all take the reviews on board to help make a visit to Aberglasney the best possible experience for everyone.”

Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel guidance platform, helps hundreds of millions of people each month become better travellers, from planning, to booking, to taking a trip. Travelers across the globe use the Tripadvisor site and app to discover where to stay, what to do and where to eat based on guidance from those who have been there before.

With more than 988 million reviews and opinions of nearly eight million businesses, travellers turn to Tripadvisor to find deals on accommodation, book experiences, reserve tables at restaurants and discover great places nearby.

As a travel guidance company available in 43 markets and 22 languages, Tripadvisor makes planning easy no matter the trip type.

“Congratulations to the 2022 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Winners,” said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. “The Travellers’ Choice Awards recognise the best in tourism and hospitality, according to those who matter most: your guests.

“Ranking among the Travellers’ Choice winners is always tough – but never more so than this year as we emerge from the pandemic. Whether it’s using new technology, implementing safety measures, or hiring outstanding staff, I’m impressed by the steps you’ve taken to meet travellers’ new demands. You’ve adapted brilliantly in the face of adversity.”

Continue Reading

Education

Council’s plan to expand bilingual education will be a gradual journey over 10 years

Published

on

Carmarthenshire County Council

CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council’s vision to increase bilingual education in Carmarthenshire will be a gradual journey over 10 years.

The Cabinet met yesterday (Monday, July 4) to discuss the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP), and emphasised that it was important to give all children and young people the opportunity to develop their Welsh language skills.

However, members stressed that families will still have a choice on the language in which their children will be taught over the next decade and after 2032.

The plan sets out how the council will develop Welsh language provision in schools based on the outcomes and targets set by the Welsh Government.

All councils across Wales have to submit 10-year Welsh language education plans to the Welsh Government in order to meet its target of one million Welsh speakers by 2050.

The outcomes include more nursery and reception children being taught through the medium of Welsh; more young people studying for qualifications in Welsh as a subject, and subjects through the medium of Welsh; increasing provision for learners with Additional Learning Needs; and increasing the number of teachers able to teach Welsh and through the medium of Welsh – with continuing support to develop staff through a comprehensive and flexible training programme.

The Cabinet said it was important for the council to provide more opportunities to be bilingual and referred to the various benefits it brings – from educational attainment to employability and health.

Cabinet Member for Education and Welsh Language, Cllr Glynog Davies said the aim was to meet and exceed the target set by Welsh Government on the percentage of Carmarthenshire pupils receiving their education through the medium of Welsh by 3032 (10-14%).

It included changing the language provision at 10 schools over the next 10 years creating an opportunity for a further 300 learners to be educated in Welsh.

He said: “We want to build on the progress made in early years education provision, and my ambition is clear – equal opportunities across the county.

“It is worth noting that we have the largest percentage 57.5 percent of nursery age children taught through the medium of Welsh. Immersion education is key to the strategy, and it is important that we continue to see an increase in the percentage of children transferring from the Meithrin groups to Welsh-medium education in the Foundation Phase.

“These early years are so important, the children are like sponges, absorbing information and absorbing a new language.

“We must then continue to see an increase in numbers in our reception classes, we say this even though we are the authority with the largest percentage (62.5 percent) of children receiving their education through the medium of Welsh.

“Children must continue to improve their Welsh when going from one school phase to another, and we need to make sure all children have the opportunity to pursue their secondary education through the medium of Welsh.

“At the same time, we need to give children and young people the confidence to use Welsh, in school and in the community. That’s what we want to see isn’t it, more and more using Welsh, hearing Welsh on the street. We need to develop and build on skills and confidence.”

Cabinet Member for Rural Affairs and Planning Policy, Cllr Ann Davies said: “I am extremely pleased to see this document and have a pleasure in supporting it. Working with young children, that is children under three-years-old, I can say that children pick up language very quickly, they absorb it, and the process is very different to learning a language. As they get older the process in the brain is completely different. I am pleased to see that there is an emphasis on early years, that is when we need to start.”

Cabinet Member for Resources, Cllr Alun Lenny said: “It is very important to state that there are many advantages to learning a language, obviously for careers, especially in health and social care where patients and clients must have a choice of language, it’s important particularly for older people, and young children, and people with dementia.

“The Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police has stated he is keen for all his staff to speak a certain level of Welsh, so we have a duty here to support that.

“The advantages of being bilingual are multiple, socially and in the world of work, and this strategy is very much welcomed.”

The WESP has come back to the cabinet for discussion following feedback from the Welsh Government, mainly to include some additional data and detail. It will now be submitted to the Welsh Government for final approval. A public consultation was held last year.

Continue Reading

News

Warning of serious disruption on M4 and M5 today due to fuel prices protest

Published

on

POLICE have warned of “serious disruption” to drivers using the M4 and M5 on Monday 4 July due to a planned protest.

Protesters intend to block the Prince of Wales Bridge from 7am until 7pm as part of a nationwide campaign against rising fuel prices.

The protest is due to start at the M4 Magor services at junction 23A eastbound and the Clevedon Interchange at junction 20 of the M5 westbound.

It is also expected to cause disruption to the M48 Severn Bridge and the M32.

Drivers are being urged to avoid the area or plan alternative routes.

Bristol Airport has issued a warning urging travellers to allow extra time if heading to or from the airport.

Police said additional officers will be brought in to ensure the protest is carried out legally.

Drivers have been advised by Gwent Police to work from home where possible and avoid the area between 7am and 7pm, with protestors planning to block parts of the road between M4 Magor services, junction 23A eastbound, and Junction 20 of the M4 between those hours.

Chief Superintendent Tom Harding said: “Gwent Police, and Avon and Somerset Police, are working jointly with neighbouring police forces and partner agencies to ensure emergency and critical services continue and to reduce disruption to both road users and local communities, however we are preparing for serious disruption throughout the day.

“I would encourage drivers to reconsider their journey, consider working from home and avoid the area where possible.

“The right to protest under UK law must be balanced with the rights of the wider community who may be affected. We have additional officers and support in place on Monday to ensure the protest is carried out in accordance with the law.”

The planned protest is thought to have been organised by the Facebook group Fuel Price Stand Against Tax, and has attracted both criticism and support online.

The latest travel disruption comes following the closure of the Severn Bridge for a second consecutive weekend, as well as the Severn Tunnel rain line which will be out of use until July 10 due to essential work. Motorists will be unable to cross the M48 Severn Bridge until 6am on Monday as it is undergoing essential work for eight months.

The bridge was first shut last weekend as painstaking work to repair and replace corroded suspension cables began. Traffic on the bridge is likely to be very heavy on Monday due to the fuel protest.

Police have told protesters banners must be tightly secured to vehicles and nobody should be walking around on the bridge during the demonstration. Protesters will stay inside their vehicles or stand beside them.

An organiser said: “We will now only be doing it on the Prince of Wales Bridge. We have to keep in mind everyone’s safety and if we block the bridge totally and there is an emergency there would be hell. Yes it means only one bridge but [due to the amount of traffic caused] there will still be a massive impact.”

Two weeks ago one of the initial M4 bridge protest organisers Ashley Fowler said : “We’re all car enthusiasts and we have all been worried about fuel prices and when I saw the post about blocking the bridges we began talking about it. Then people started asking me to make an event so we could update each other.

“I made the event because I run a car club in Cardiff which I started on social media during the pandemic lockdowns to help people’s mental health. When we can we go out to car parks and just meet up and have a chat but during the pandemic we weren’t able to do it so I made the group.

“Now we can’t meet up so much again because of the cost of fuel. I know some of them can’t drive so much because they need to feed their kids. It’s serious. People are getting really depressed about it. One of the boys in the group has actually sold his car due to fuel price rises.”

Continue Reading

Trending

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK