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No blank cheques for Tata, Llanelli AM warns

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Tata: Am expresses disappointment

Tata: Am expresses disappointment

LLANELLI AM, Lee Waters, has welcomed the progress being made by the Welsh Government’s Tata Steel Task Force to support those affected by the steel crisis, but has urged Minister to be smart in the way they engage with the steel giant.

After receiving a briefing from the new Cabinet Secretary for Economy & Infrastructure, Ken Skates, following his first meeting of the Steel Task Force, the Llanelli AM said “It is clear that Tata is no longer losing money in the UK so the short-term threat to the steel works appears to have lifted.

But that’s in part because of the fall of the pound after the EU referendum and is no guarantee of future success. Major issues still need to be addressed by the company and the UK Government”.

The taskforce meeting, which was attended by the Unite and Community unions, Tata Steel, and the Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns, heard that the business performance of the steelworks continues to show a turnaround. However, Ken Skates emphasised after the meeting “Action on pensions and energy by the UK Government are central to helping move the steel industry in Wales onto a sustainable long term footing”.

In his briefing to the Llanelli AM the Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for the Economy praised the efforts of the local workforce in helping to make the works viable, especially against the backdrop of an ongoing redundancy process that has been taking place since January and is now nearing completion.

“Support has been made available to Tata workers and to employees o f businesses in the supply chain. The Money Advice Service, UK Steel Enterprise, local voluntary organisations and HMRC have all helped, and there has been an on-site presence by Job Centre Plus and Careers Wales” Ken Skates said. In addition the Welsh Government’s Business Support arm, Business Wales, have been working with 24 companies in the supply chain across Wales to help them with challenges that have arisen through the steel crisis.

“The Taskforce seems to be working well, and the Unions have strongly praised the flexible and sensitive support that has been provided to date by all agencies” Lee Waters said.

“But what we need now is certainty from Tata that they are committed to staying engaged in the UK. After announcing the plants were for sale, only to abandon the sale process in favour a merger with its rival ThyssenKrupp, there is suspicion that they are game playing and may be secretly planning to close some of the plants in a few years after getting as many concessions as possible from the Government to boost their profit in the shortterm. I’m very disappointed that the Welsh-led management buy-out did not proceed and we now to be smart in how we deal with Tata. There must be no blank cheques and any financial aid must be tied to guarantees about the future of the plants, and the warning that they’ll be made fully liable for the costs of closure and all environmental cleanups if they decide to pull out after all” the Llanelli AM added.

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Antisocial behaviour falls as police operation continues

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POLICE said that they saw a reduction in antisocial behaviour involving young people in Carmarthenshire over the weekend, following weeks of increased activity.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers proactively patrolled areas which have recently become hot spots for teenagers to gather and drink alcohol as part of an ongoing operation.

A police presence was also maintained on trains between Llanelli and Carmarthen to identify how many youngsters were travelling in the area and where they were getting off.

Sergeant Gemma Davies said: “Over the weekend we continued our work to target, deter and deal with antisocial behaviour and underage drinking in hot spots identified primarily in Llanelli and Burry Port.

“Section 34 dispersal orders had been put in place ahead of the weekend, meaning we could move on anyone likely to cause antisocial behaviour, but thankfully they were not required. This is an improvement on previous weekends when we have had to exercise these powers.

“A significant number of young people were spoken to, with the vast majority being pleasant, not under the influence of alcohol, and not causing any trouble.

“Members of the public acknowledged the high police presence, as did the young people, and this might have deterred underage drinking.

“We are very pleased to have seen the change in attitudes and behaviour this weekend.”

The force received just one call reporting youngsters gathering at Burry Port harbour, with no offences or antisocial behaviour identified by attending officers.

Of the young people spoken two over the weekend, two were found with alcohol which was seized. Follow-up antisocial behaviour letters will be issued, and home visits will take place shortly.

Groups were also reminded of the dangers of swimming near the harbour and were encouraged to take their rubbish home.

Officers on the rail network removed one drunk adult from a train.

Sgt Davies said: “I would like to thank all officers involved in the operation over the weekend, as well as the young people who made sure they stayed within the law while enjoying the weather.

“We will be out and about again next weekend and throughout the summer, making sure the area is enjoyable for all who visit.”

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Lord Lieutenant visits Mass Vaccination Centre

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Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sarah Edwards, has paid tribute to all those involved in the COVID-19 vaccination programme during a visit to the Y Ffwrness Mass Vaccination Centre in Llanelli.

During the visit on Wednesday 9th June she was joined by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Lt Col David Mathias, and the High Sheriff of Dyfed, Mr.Jonathan Gravell. They met and spoke to the centre’s vaccinators, NHS staff, security staff and volunteers.

To date, the collective efforts of mass vaccination centres, GP practices and community pharmacies in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, have resulted in the Hywel Dda University Health Board delivering over 431,850 vaccinations. This means 266,785 of the eligible population have now received a first vaccine, and 165,056 have received both doses.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed said: “It was wonderful to see first-hand the incredible work being undertaken by the vaccinators, NHS staff and volunteers. They have played a crucial role in the success of the vaccine rollout programme. I would also pay tribute to the public for their overwhelmingly positive response to getting vaccinated.”

Maria Battle, Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board, added: “On behalf of the health board, I was delighted to welcome Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sara Edwards, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Lt Col David Mathias, and the High Sheriff of Dyfed, Mr Jonathan Gravell. I am deeply proud of everyone involved in the vaccination programme and I’m glad they got to see for themselves the incredibly work being undertaken to help get us through this pandemic.”

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Alcohol seized and teenager arrested as police deal with antisocial behaviour

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POLICE seized large amounts of alcohol and arrested a teenager as they continued to deal with antisocial behaviour over the weekend.

Dyfed-Powys Police had proactive plans in place to deal with ongoing issues of groups of youngsters gathering in Carmarthenshire following rising reports of alcohol-related antisocial behaviour over the past two months.

Dispersal orders were in place across Llanelli and Burry Port, giving police the powers to move anyone believed to be causing a nuisance, harassment or distress out of the area.

Officers patrolling the rail network in Carmarthenshire on Saturday noticed a large amount of young people getting off the train at Ferryside, where an additional dispersal order was put in place and alcohol was seized.

Officers were also required to deal with children trespassing on the railway tracks.

Sergeant Gemma Davies said: “We had received reports of children with alcohol running across the tracks, which posed a huge danger to themselves and others, and had to be stopped as a priority.

“One boy who was detained became abusive towards officers and could not be reasoned with. Officers had no choice but to arrest him for his own safety and to prevent further offences from being committed.

“This incident goes to show that the kind of behaviour we are dealing with goes beyond groups of young people meeting to have a good time, and is putting people in highly dangerous situations.”

A 17-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of trespassing on the railway and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

He has been released under investigation pending further enquiries by British Transport Police.

Early intervention was taken in the Trostre area of Llanelli, where officers noticed groups of children meeting on Saturday.

Sgt Davies said: “More than 60 young people were moved on from both locations and a large amount of alcohol was seized.

“Out of these groups, four notices were issued to those causing the most trouble in the Trostre area which prevented them from returning, and each of these youngsters were taken home.

“This swift action was a deterrent to other young people who were planning on joining the groups and were still travelling to the area.”

“We will continue to put plans in place each weekend and over the summer holidays to deal with antisocial behaviour, using all powers available to us to put a stop to it.”

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