A COMMUNITY project which has helped over 2000 people in Carmarthenshire who are struggling to pay their energy bills was recognised at the Feel the Heat Awards 2016.
The Carmarthenshire Fuel Clubs project run by the Housing Services Department of Carmarthenshire County Council, has helped tenants to purchase their oil collectively in bulk purchases, thereby enabling them to obtain the cheapest possible price.
The scheme has achieved savings of over £10,000 a year across all the clubs.
The project was announced as a runner up along with Speakeasy Advice Centre based in Cardiff. Grŵp Cynefin was announced as the overall winner. The winners of the awards are being announced on Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, a day which aims to raise awareness of the 1 in 3 households in Wales struggling to afford to heat their homes.
The Awards, run by fuel poverty charity National Energy Action and supported by UK energy company SSE SWALEC, recognise and showcase projects which are actively championing local efforts to promote affordable warmth. Carmarthenshire County Council was awarded £1000 which will be used to further develop the project.
After the awards, Carole Morgan- Jones, Director, NEA Cymru, said: “Fuel poverty is a problem that affects all parts of Wales, but one of the factors that distinguish fuel poverty from other types of poverty in Wales is its concentration in rural areas.
One of the contributing factors is a result of mains gas not being available in many rural areas, leaving households reliant on more expensive sources of fuel to heat their homes.
That is why projects like the Carmarthenshire oil clubs are so important and the money they are saving residents is money which can be better spent in their local communities.”
The council’s Executive Board Member for Housing Linda Evans said she was ‘delighted’ that the council had won the award: “I am really pleased that the achievements of all the staff and oil club coordinators involved in the project at Carmarthenshire County Council have been recognised,”
Cllr Evans added: “This is just part of a range of initiatives we are progressing to help our local residents.”
The Chair of the Cross Party Group on Fuel Poverty, Mark Isherwood AM, said: “I want to offer my congratulations to Carmarthenshire County Council on the excellent work they are doing to tackle fuel poverty across the county.
“Schemes like these are having a real impact on people’s lives.”
Ascona Group announces new Car and Truck wash facilities
ASCONA GROUP, one of the UK’s fastest-growing forecourt operators, is pleased to announce two new vehicle washing partnerships as part of improvements to its unique roadside retail proposition across its forecourt estate.
As part of a new partnership with the American based PDQ Manufacturing, a leader for in-bay automatic vehicle washing facilities, Ascona Group will be the first in the UK to install the ‘Laserwash 360 Plus’, a touchless car wash system for its customers.
The partnership will initially expand the wash options at the Hinton Service Station, with a view to roll out the system to other sites under the Ascona Group’s brand, ‘Charlie’s Express Car Wash’ later this year. The partnership is a significant investment for Ascona and demonstrates its commitment to ever improving the experience for customers.
Ascona Group is also delighted to announce a strategic partnership with WashTec UK that will see Ascona introduce a ‘First of its Kind’ truck washing facility at the Tenby Road site on the A40 Eastbound in Carmarthenshire, which offers the very best technology available to HGV drivers.
The truck wash employs a fully ‘closed loop’ total water recycling system, the first of its kind in Wales, which recovers all water used within the wash process, filtering it for reuse with little or no water entering the mains drainage system. This system ensures Ascona not only has the best commercial wash in South Wales, but also offers customers one of the more environmentally friendly approaches in operation.
Commenting on the announcement, CEO Darren Briggs said: “From the very beginning, we knew that our sites must present our customers with a unique and compelling offer which is why we are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to improve our roadside retail facilities.
“These two new partnerships further demonstrate our focus on creating industry-leading propositions and we are really excited to be working with PDQ Manufacturing USA and WashTec UK. Together, we are keen to continue to build on the success of these new operations and we are actively reviewing multiple opportunities across the Ascona portfolio to roll out more units such as these.”
Nearly £50,000 of National Lottery funding for community groups in Carmarthenshire
Family of power station worker calls on former colleagues to help with asbestos claim
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 email@example.com.
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