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Labour challenged on £20m investment

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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.

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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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