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Festive fun for all at Llanelli’s Christmas carnival

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christmas-lightsLLANELLI’S spectacular Christmas carnival and lights switch-on takes place this Friday (Nov 18) and it promises to be a ‘cracker’ of a night, says the council.

The festive fun includes the largest carnival procession in Wales, a dazzling fireworks display, funfair, live music and a host of entertainment on the main stage at the Spring Gardens with Heart Radio’s Jason Harrold.

Last year more than 20,000 people descended upon the town to join-in the celebrations, organised by Carmarthenshire County Council, Llanelli Rural Council, Llanelli Town Council and Llanelli Round Table; supported by Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water.

Cllr Meryl Gravell, Carmarthenshire County Council’s executive board member for regeneration and leisure, said: “The carnival is the biggest night of the year in Llanelli attracting people from across the county and beyond. We have a packed programme of entertainment planned so wrap up warm, come along and enjoy the festivities for what promises to be yet another fantastic night.”

Llanelli Town Mayor Cllr Bill Thomas said: “The carnival is the highlight of the calendar year in Llanelli with thousands of people descending upon the town to enjoy the festivities. A lot of work goes in to organising the carnival and preparations are well underway. I am looking forward to what promises to be yet another brilliant night.”

Llanelli Rural Council Chairman Cllr Stephen Donoghue said: “Llanelli Rural Council is proud to be a partner in the Llanelli Christmas Carnival. It is one of the highlights of the year for Llanelli and gives residents and visitors an opportunity to not only set themselves up for the festive season, but to see what the town has to offer. The ongoing support of this annual event shows the commitment we have to making Llanelli a better place to live, work and enjoy.”

Steve Wilson, managing director of Wastewater Services at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, said: “We are proud to be part of a Christmas tradition in Llanelli that has been running for almost a decade, and are hoping to add to the festive cheer at this event.

“After working on RainScape projects in the town for several years and investing £60 million, we want to give something back to the community by offering non-profit organisations, such as community groups, schools and charities, the chance to apply for up to £1,000 as part of the RainScape Community Fund.

“RainScape helps to reduce the risk of sewer flooding and pollution by catching, slowing and reducing the amount of rain water which goes into the sewer network.

“Residents can speak to a member of the team every Thursday at The Hub in Stepney Street. Customers can also email or call the team for more information at rainscape@dwrcymru.com or on 0800 085 3968.”

Road closures will affect the town centre from 12pm starting with the closure of Cowell Street, followed by other town centre roads from 5.30pm. Church Street, Town Hall Square and adjoining side streets will close to traffic at around 5.45pm, ahead of the carnival procession.

A rolling road block will be in place along the carnival route from 6.15pm, affecting the route into the town centre from Pwll, through the town centre, along Queen Victoria Road, Erw Road and Waunlanyrafon.

Traffic may be affected until around 8pm. Llanelli’s multi-storey car park will be open until 10pm.

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Llanelli bus depot to close after 100 years

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THE LLANELLI HERALD understands that the Llanelli Bus Depot at Inkermans Street will be closing its gates for good. 

The Bus Depot has served the local community for approximately 100 years, Drivers will now be sent to work from depots in Carmarthen, Swansea and Tycroes. 

All services will remain in the the town, this newspaper can confirm, and our reporter was told that there will not be any redundancies. 

One bus driver told us that he and he co-workers were “not completely happy”, but the unnamed source added “At least we still have jobs to go to.” 

Further updates are expected on this developing story.

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Two week national ‘Firebreak Lockdown’ announced for Wales from 6pm on Friday

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MARK DRAKEFORD, The First Minister of Wales has announced a two week ‘fire break’ lockdown from Friday October 23 at 18:00 HRS, to last until Monday November 9 at 00:01 HRS

Mr Drakeford said: “This firebreak is the shortest we can make it. It must be sharp and deep in order to have the impact we need it to have on the virus.”

All non essential businesses, including tourism businesses will be told to close.

Businesses have been told that they will be given £1000 each automatically to help with the economic impact of the shutdown.

Mr Drakeford added that children will be the priority and that childcare facilities will open as normal. Primary schools will open after half term.

Secondary schools will be closed for a week after half term to help control the virus.

Universities will offer a mixture of face-to-face learning and learning via video link. Students must stay at their university accommodation during the lockdown.

Responding to the Welsh Government’s announcement of a Wales-wide lockdown, Paul Davies MS, the Leader of the Opposition in the Welsh Parliament, has called the lockdown “not-proportionate” and is calling on the Welsh Government to be “open and transparent” on the evidence to support a lockdown and if the First Minister is committing Wales to rolling Wales-wide lockdowns every month.

Paul Davies MS said: “Sadly, the First Minster has failed to get public support for this second Wales-wide lockdown, failing to be open and transparent about the evidence to justify this lockdown and what his actions will entail for the future.

“The Welsh Government also has to be honest that this road they are taking us down is committing Wales to rolling Wales-wide lockdowns. This is not a two-week break to solve the pandemic, it is likely that we will see regular lockdowns across the rest of the year. The Welsh Government must be clear what actions they are taking during the lockdown to prevent further Wales-wide lockdowns which will have a significant impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.

“However, the main concern is that this national lockdown is not proportionate. The impact on businesses in areas such as Powys, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, who have the lowest rate of Covid-19 cases in Wales, will be severe at a time when they are desperately struggling to recover from the pandemic so far this year.

“The First Minister needs to urgently come to the Welsh Parliament and answer these questions, to face effective scrutiny by elected representatives and not run his government by media.”

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP, Stephen Crabb told The Herald: “The evidence to support an all-Wales lockdown is weak and I am sceptical that this so-called ‘fire-break’ will tackle the situation in those parts of Wales where infection rates have been out of control. The key issue for Welsh Government to address is what will be done differently after the firebreak ends in those parts of Wales where infection rates have spiralled out of control. Otherwise the whole of Wales risks being dragged back into a series of rolling lockdowns.

“As we saw earlier in the year, lockdowns come with huge costs in terms of harm to the economy and to people’s emotional and mental wellbeing. With the Welsh Government asking UK Government to fund this lockdown, I hope that as many businesses as possible get support they need quickly. Pembrokeshire’s hospitality businesses will be hit particularly hard by these latest restrictions and I will be fighting hard again to see that they are protected as the lockdown kicks in.”

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Drakeford to make decision on ‘fire-break’ lockdown in Wales by Monday

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WALES is facing a national lockdown lasting at least two weeks in plans described as a “fire-break” by the first minister.

He said a decision was likely to be made on Monday, while talks continue with health officials, scientific advisors and councils over the weekend.
“Doing nothing is not an option,” he said.

Responding to the speculation First Minister, Mark Drakeford, is set to announce a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown in Wales, Welsh Conservative health spokesperson, Andrew RT Davies MS said: “I implore the First Minister to think again before heading down this path.

“The decision to lockdown Wales once again will have devastating consequences – from an economic and public health perspective – and should be the last resort.

“Only yesterday, the former director of communicable diseases at Public Health Wales, Dr Roland Salmon, said a circuit-breaker is likely to fail and the Welsh Labour Government should listen carefully to his warning.

“Earlier this week, Welsh Conservatives called for the urgent resumption of shielding in Wales with a substantial package of support to ensure the financial, physical and mental well-being of those most at risk is protected.

“This should be the immediate action taken by ministers along with prioritising PPE and testing in the problem areas in Wales such as hospitals, care home, universities and meat factories.

“It’s not too late for the Labour Government to reconsider and choose a different approach in Wales.”

Mr Drakeford warned that 2,500 people were now being infected with coronavirus every day in Wales, with critical care units in hospitals full.

“A successful fire-break would re-set the virus at a lower level,” he added.

Together with a new national set of rules for the whole of Wales after the fire-break period we would have slowed the virus down enough to get us through to Christmas.”
Plaid Cymru has been calling on Mr Drakeford to introduce the circuit-breaker without delay, while Labour at Westminster says a similar approach should be adopted in England.

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