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Find out how to Be Your Own Boss

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THOSE looking to become their own boss and work on their own business should visit Llanelli Job Centre tomorrow (Sept 13) for help and advice.

The idea of Be Your Own Boss (BYOB) started in Ammanford Job Centre three years ago and is a concept that’s been developed with a variety of partners.

The BYOB project was set up by Prime Cymru and is the Prince’s initiative for mature enterprise in Wales. It is a registered charity and the only organisation in Wales that is dedicated to the provision of practical support to individuals aged 50-years-old and over.

The official launch in Llanelli Job Centre tomorrow (Sept 13) will be officially opened by Mayor Cllr. Jeff Edmunds at 10am. The event lasts until 2.30pm and is open to all members of the public, whatever your age. AM Lee Waters  will also be in attendance to give a speech.

There are three inspirational speakers throughout the day – Carolyn Parry of Career Alchemy, Becca Rosenthal of Rivki Rose Training and Hayley Wheeler of Just the Beginning .

All three ladies have interesting and inspirational stories of how they’ve managed to set up their own businesses and the barriers that they’ve overcome to enable success.

Paolo Piana, Development Officer at PRIME Cymru, said:  “I work for PRIME Cymru which is one of the Prince’s Of Wales Charities. Over the last three years I’ve covered Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, Neath and Port Talbot.

“PRIME Cymru are the only charity that works with mature people who are looking to become economically active again. The idea is to help individuals find opportunities back into employment, self-employment and also for people who want to actively be involved in the community through volunteering. Learning opportunities are also there and we aid anyone who wants to find their way out of social isolation and meet others.

“Be Your Own Boss started three years ago in the Job Centre in Ammanford, we decide to try it in February of this year again in Ammanford and were delighted to attract a large crowd, bearing in mind that Ammanford is one of the smaller towns in Carmarthenshire. I was then approached by the job centre here in Llanelli to see if we could replicate the event and make it bigger and better.

“If we look at the background in Llanelli currently, there’s a lot of people talking about the decline of the town centre with regards to empty units, stalls and shops. Be Your Own Boss is a very positive response to that and a way to encourage people into self-employment, small businesses are an option nowadays. We want to help and highlight all of the free support that is available.

“There are multi-agency groups merging so that we can all bring our own expertise and the contacts that we have to others. We’ve had three planning meetings leading up to this Wednesday’s event to make sure that we’ve covered everything possible. There shall be at least eighteen information stands presented by our guest agencies.

“One agency that’ll be in attendance is the Big Ideas Wales who often find budding entrepreneurs that would like to be in business, but they don’t have a specific idea on how they can achieve this. There’ll be a team of people at hand. There’s varied stalls with oodles of ideas. We encourage anyone also who is trying to turn their hobbies into a business. The biggest step is overcoming confidence and self esteem issues, this is more prevalent with the older generation, although we hear it from younger people also. We encourage all age groups to attend and there shall be a Coleg Sir Gar stand with help at hand which we hope proves popular.

“There are high levels of unemployment in Llanelli and limited job opportunities which we are aware of which is why we want to help and have set this event up. Self employment gives people the opportunity to create their own job just for them. Be Your Own Boss is about shaping your own destiny.

“Fiona Jones who is Head of the DWP here in Wales is very keen to start transforming the perception of job centres. I think it’s fair to say that some people may walk into the job centre and not realise the range of services that are available or all the partner organisations with the job service.”

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Llanelli High Street shortlisted for prize

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LLANELLI HIGH STREET has been shortlisted in the Government’s Great British High Street Awards, in proud partnership with Visa, putting them in the running for up to £15,000.

After a rigorous selection process led by a panel of independent judges, the high street has been shortlisted for the Rising Star category, which celebrates high streets which are taking the lead to adapt and diversify.

The bid by Ymlaen Llanelli follows research commissioned by Visa in April 2019 demonstrating the positive impact that the local high street has on communities. The research found that nearly three quarters of consumers (71%) in Wales say that shopping locally makes them feel happy, with nearly half (45%) citing supporting local shops and knowing where their money is going as the main reason. Spending time with friends and family (25%) and offering a sense of community (18%) were other reasons cited for why high streets make people feel happier. The research also reveals that half of consumers (50%) feel that their high street gives them a sense of pride in their local community.

High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP said: “Congratulations to Llanelli for being shortlisted for the Rising Star Award for this year’s Great British High Street Awards.

“Llanelli high street is a hive of activity, with food festivals, childrens’ days and community get-togethers all part of the local calendar. A great example of how high streets can bring a renewed energy to communities.

“People are happier when they can see their hard-earned cash support local businesses. That is why we are celebrating those that go above and beyond to keep their high streets thriving for generations to come.”

Sundeep Kaur, Head of UK & Ireland Merchant Services at Visa, added: “We’ve seen some fantastic entries for this year’s Great British High Street Awards across both the Champion High Street and Rising Star categories. In particular, the desire to innovate stands out amongst this year’s entries, with high streets adapting to the challenges presented by a rapidly changing retail environment to find ways to thrive at a local level.

“As our research shows, high streets play a vital role at the heart of communities, so this is a great opportunity for those communities with shortlisted high streets to show their support by placing their votes on the Great British High Street website.”

Llanelli High Street is one of the 28 high streets that have been shortlisted for the Rising Star category, identifying high streets which are taking the lead to adapt and diversify. 12 high streets have been shortlisted in the Champion High Street category, which recognises the UK’s best high streets. All 40 high streets are now in the running to win a prize of up to £15,000 to be dedicated to a local high street initiative.

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Head Teacher at Primary school in Llanelli suspended

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THE HEAD TEACHER of a Welsh primary school has been suspended, it has been confirmed.

Catherine Lloyd-Jenkins, who is head at Ysgol Gymraeg Ffwrnes in Llanelli, has been suspended from her duties at the school with immediate effect.

Governors at the school have been unavailable for comment, but Carmarthenshire Council confirmed the news this morning.

It is understood that the chair of the governing body is currently out of the country, and the council would not comment further on the circumstances surrounding the suspension.

The council’s director of education, Gareth Morgans, said: “School staffing is a matter for the Governing Body, however, we can confirm the headteacher of Ysgol Ffwrnes has been suspended.

“It is not appropriate to comment further.”

Mrs Lloyd-Jenkins has worked at Ysgol Gymraeg Ffwrnes for 23 years, taking up a post at the school in 1996.

She has been the headteacher there for almost 20 years, taking over the role in 2000. She has also worked as a peer inspector at Estyn, the education and training inspectorate for Wales confirmed.

According to one local councillor, ‘serious concerns’ have been raised about the school in recent months.

“Local residents and parents have approached us raising serious concerns about the school in question,” said Carmarthenshire councillor Rob James.

“We are in dialogue with senior council officers to assert whether the allegations are credible and what action the council and governors have taken in response to these allegations.”

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Dyfed-Powys Police numbers at record low, say Labour

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POLICE officers based across the Dyfed-Powys area are now at their lowest levels in the last decade, with over 300 officers being lost across the region, claim Carmarthenshire Labour.

According to a freedom of information request by Carmarthenshire Labour, police officers based across Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion are down 42% and are at record lows in both Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.

The figures published by Dyfed-Powys Police show that Carmarthenshire has lost 160 officers in the last ten years, Pembrokeshire is down 107 officers and Ceredigion has lost 56 bobbies on the beat.

These figures come off the back of a poor report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary that shows the force has gone backwards in the last year, with crime also on the increase.

HMIC’s recent PEEL (Police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) report noted concerns about Dyfed-Powys Police’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime and specifically warned of failures to assess all incidents of domestic abuse.

Carmarthenshire Labour Leader Cllr Rob James claims that the figures show that the current Police and Crime Commissioner is now performing worse than their predecessor.

Rob James stated: “These figures that show a dramatic decrease in police numbers are extremely worrying and reinforce what communities are saying across Dyfed Powys – there are simply not enough police officers in our areas.

“The fact that we now have lower police numbers in the three counties compared to the end of the last Police and Crime Commissioner’s term with crime now on the rise illustrates that the Plaid Cymru Commissioner is failing in his duty to protect our communities.

“We need urgent action to make our communities safe once more, as there is a clear link between the loss of youth provision and cuts to officer numbers, and the rise of crime in our communities.

“There is little evidence that our Commissioner has grasped the nettle over the last three years in tackling this important issue.”

These claims however, have been slapped down by Police and Crime Comissioner, Dafydd Llewellyn. He said that said that Cllr James had misunderstood or misrepresented the information provided to him.
The Carmarthen data have a significant rider attached to them.

The explanatory note reads: ‘It should be noted that the figures for Carmarthenshire police division between 2008 and 2018 are not comparable as the structure of Carmarthenshire division in 2018 has altered to that of 2008 which has impacted upon the figures provided’.

That explanation is expanded upon concerning the Ceredigion data. Regarding them, an explanatory note warns that: ‘[T]he structures between 2008 and 2019 are not comparable as some sections that were recorded divisionally now come under the HQ remit, e.g. the Road Policing Unit, CID, etc.’.

Dafydd Llewelyn pointed out that note in his response to The Herald: “As outlined in the response to the Freedom of Information request, structures between 2008 and 2019 are not comparable as some sections that were recorded as divisionally based are now recorded under the HQ remit, for example, Roads Policing Unit, CID.”

Dafydd Llewelyn continued: “Since taking up my role as the elected person to represent the many communities across the four counties served by the force, I have increased the overall resource available by 4%. I have ploughed funding into dedicated teams to support front line officers and have invested in resources to support the most vulnerable in our communities.

“I have commissioned services specific to their needs – be that as victims of domestic abuse or young people choosing to leave their homes for reasons unknown to authorities. I will continue to do this. I will not be held to account by numbers on paper alone, but by the difference I can make to individuals’ quality of life.

“I will also use the opportunity I have to campaign for services appropriate to the very specific needs an area the size of Dyfed-Powys Police has and will work with the force to adapt according to those needs.”

He concluded by pointing out: “Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys remain the safest counties nationally and I’m proud to be driving a service that is willing and able to flex and respond, despite the financial challenges faced day-in-day-out.”

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