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Does Parc Trostre need a railway station?

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A PETITION has been launched to encourage the creation of a railway station at Parc Trostre – something which it is claimed could help everything from match-day congestion to pollution on Sandy Road.

Parc Trostre, home to a large retail park and near the Scarlets’ ground, can at present only be accessed by road. On match days there have been numerous complaints from residents in the surrounding area about fans parking their cars in residential streets and causing traffic chaos.

The petition, which already has almost 200 signatures, says that Wales has a ‘truly enormous’ transport network which has not moved with the times, and changed to suit the rapid demand and increased population growth.

“We feel there should be changes made not only to the rail network, but to the bus, and road systems to ease congestion and enable safer, simpler commutes for passengers,” it adds.

“We propose to come up with different ways and suggestions to change the transport network in Carmarthenshire – be it the bus, road or rail network. We the people use the network, so we the people should have our say. The lack of busses and trains often leaves communities isolated and closed off for those who don’t drive.

“This petition aims to look at creating a Parc Trostre Railway Station, which would assist in solving the already apparent problem with parking and congestion, enabling staff and employees to commute easier and from further afield and encourage growth and stability to a massively popular retail park. Rugby and sport fans can also make use of the railway station, by travelling in from afar for games and matches at the iconic Parc y Scarlets Stadium.

“Llanelli is Carmarthenshire’s Largest town with a rapidly growing population of over 49,000 people! Parc Trostre Retail park is a bustling modern retail park with an already apparent parking and congestion problem. The bus network to the park is poor, and really only serves Llanelli and Swansea directions.

“We feel, a railway station at track level underneath the Piano Bridge on Lower Trostre Road would be a real tangible suggestion to serve the retail park and Morfa areas of Llanelli. It’s a 30 minute walk from Llanelli Train Station to Trostre. Imagine that for employees, walking in the dark, in the winter to catch a train to Kidwelly, Burry Port, Carmarthen etc (busses after about 18:30 are non existent in that direction)… The current rail station does NOT cater for the out of town shopping areas and sports stadium.

“Our Rail timetable is already relatively good, with some of the earliest of trains starting at 04:55 (Carmarthen to Llanelli) and the latest of trains at around 23:35 (Llanelli to Carmarthen) The busses just don’t do this – and don’t operate at these times! This makes employees who don’t drive in Trostre’s life’s impossible – unless there willing to brave the walk from the existing train station to Trostre, or finish around the time of a bus!

“This would be a safer, simpler way of travel for employees, punters and sports fans, who could walk over to piano bridge, down steps, and onto the platform. It doesn’t need to be anything special – just a concrete platform, some shelters and some lights! The line already runs past Trostre, so why not make the most of it!

“We are confident this would somewhat aid congestion on the Sandy Road, as commuters could be encouraged to catch the train too.

“We call on isolated employees, frustrated drivers, sports fans and anyone interested in the economic growth of Llanelli to sign this petition. We are confident this would be a relatively low investment for the rail operating companies with a high return on passenger journeys.”

The petition coincides with increased interest in public transport provision in the area, following the launch of Professor Barry’s proposal for a Swansea Bay Metro last year. A map of these plans shows that Trostre would be considered as a stop on two of the lines.

However, it is worth noting that even if the £1bn plans were approved, it would be at least a decade before work were completed.

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Llanelli fundraiser boycotts her bed for Action for Children

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A LLANELLI woman is boycotting her bed for 24 hours this month in order to raise funds for Action for Children, the charity that runs the Carmarthenshire REFLECT project, based in the town.  REFLECT offers support to women whose children are in foster care or have been adopted. 

Helen Antoniazzi felt that this year it was particularly important to raise money to help Action for Children mitigate the impact of the pandemic.  Over the course of 24 days, Helen has committed to giving up an hour of sleep and to swap it for some physical activity.  She is asking her supporters to support her in this by donating money.  Helen’s efforts will culminate on the 9th July which is the official #BoycottYourBed night, Action for Children’s flagship annual fundraising event. 

Speaking about why she decided to take on this fundraising challenge, Helen said:

“I’ve long supported the crucial work that Action for Children do to support children, young people and families, but this year it felt even more important than ever to do what I could to raise money.  That’s why I decided to give up an hour’s sleep a night for 24 days as part of Action for Children’s Boycott your Bed campaign.  For each of these hours I’ll be swapping my sleep for physical activity.

“Life was difficult for vulnerable children and their families before the pandemic. Now things are even harder. Action for Children’s frontline, key workers have kept 99% of services open throughout the pandemic, continuing to support vulnerable children, young people and families who were already in desperate need.

“The number of families relying on Universal Credit has doubled. Households with children are twice as likely to have suffered financial hardship – like falling behind on bills or borrowing to pay for basics – because of coronavirus. At the start of the pandemic, Action for Children launched a Coronavirus Emergency appeal which has provided essentials, like food and warm clothes, to around 20,000 children and young people. But more needs to be done. 4.3 million children in the UK are living in poverty. That’s 9 children in every school class of 30.”

Action for Children supported more than 27,000 children, young people, parents and carers in Wales last year with Nina Rice, the charity’s fundraising Regional Manager for Bristol, Bath and South Wales, adding: “Helen is showing tremendous commitment by swapping her bed for an hour’s exercise every day for 24 days.  It is great to see such passion for an event that will improve the lives of the children, young people and families we proudly support in our communities and that have been stretched to the limit during the pandemic.

“We love Helen’s unique take on Boycott your Bed, which is all about sleeping somewhere extraordinary on 9 July (Action for Children’s birthday) whilst raising awareness and funds for our charity.  I hope she inspires others to do something equally challenging as we approach the big night as this is a remote event, where anyone can take part, wherever they are based. Helen will join everyone and come together virtually on the night, to enjoy an evening of virtual entertainment.”

Anyone wishing to support Helen in her bid to raise money can donate at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/helen-antoniazzi

 If you want to spend the night in the most unusual place you can think of while enjoying a star-studded evening of virtual entertainment you can register here: https://boycottyourbed.actionforchildren.org.uk/community-registration/

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NHS Wales announce first and second dose vaccination walk-in clinics

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Hywel Dda UHB is running walk-in vaccination clinics this week. There is no need to contact the health board to book an appointment and if you have already registered using the health board’s online form, you are still welcome to attend the walk-in clinic.

If you have a scheduled appointment, please keep your appointment time. 

With the rise in cases across the UK it is important that as many people come forward for their first and second vaccines.

First vaccine walk-in clinics for anyone aged 18 and over who hasn’t had their first COVID-19 vaccine yet:

  • Aberystwyth (Thomas Parry Library, SY23 3FL): Thursday 24 and Friday 25 June, 10am to 8pm.
  • Cardigan (Teifi Leisure Centre SA43 1HG): Friday 25 June, 9.30am to 5pm.
  • Carmarthen (Halliwell Conference Centre, UWTSD, SA31 3EP): Monday 21, Tuesday 22, Wednesday 23, Thursday 24 and Friday 25 June, 10am to 8pm. 
  • Llanelli (Ffwrnes Theatre SA15 3YE): Thursday 24 and Friday 25 June, 10am to 8pm. 
  • Tenby (Tenby Leisure Centre, SA70 8EJ): Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 June, 10am to 8pm

Second vaccine walk-in clinics (please only attend if the centre is giving the same vaccine that you had for your first dose. This information can be found on your vaccine card.)

  • Aberystwyth (Thomas Parry Library, SY23 3FL): Monday 21, Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 June, 10am to 8pm. Second dose Moderna vaccine only if you had your first dose on or before 11 April.
  • Llanelli (Ffwrnes Theatre SA15 3YE): Monday 21, Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 June, 10am to 8pm. Second dose Moderna vaccine only if you had your first dose on or before 11 April.
  • Tenby (Tenby Leisure Centre, SA70 8EJ): Friday 25 June, 10am to 8pm. Second dose Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine only if you had your first dose on or before 25 April.

If you are unable to attend a walk-in clinic, you can still request your first vaccine by completing this form

To request your second dose please use this request form.

If you or someone you know is unable to use an online form, please contact our booking team on 0300 303 8322.

Important: By travelling to a centre, you accept there is a risk that all vaccines will be allocated before you arrive. If you arrive after all the vaccines are allocated, we will take your contact details and add you to our reserve list.

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Chairman Announces her chosen charities for her year in office

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CHAIRMAN, Cllr Tegwen Devichand has chosen the following four charities to support during her term of office.

Alzheimer’s Society is a care and research charity within the UK for people with dementia and their carers. They provide information and support, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by dementia.

Links Llanelli is a unique Llanelli Mental Health Charity, providing support and learning opportunities to those within our community who have or are experiencing mental ill-health. 

Links aims to support people experiencing mental health issues to build confidence, self-esteem and skills.

Links also provides support for veterans and blue light teams living in Carmarthenshire. Veterans are able to access all the activities available at Links. Additionally, for those who live in rural areas or are socially isolated, can be provided with befriending buddy telephone calls and outreach NAAFI mornings which are held in various locations throughout Carmarthenshire on a monthly basis.

Ty Bryngwyn Llanelli Hospice is a Designated Centre of Excellence providing specialist palliative care for the community of Carmarthenshire. It is the only Hospice in the area with inpatient facilities.

Llanelli Hospice provides specialist palliative care both in the community and in its seven inpatient beds.

Wales Air Ambulance is an all Wales charity providing emergency air cover 365 days a year for those who face life-threatening illness or injury. The Dafen airbase, which covers South Wales, is one of four airbases in Wales and this coverage means that an air ambulance is  only 20 minutes away. 

Chairman, Cllr Tegwen Devichand said, “As a Council we like to financially assist worthwhile causes and I am delighted to be supporting such worthy charities. I believe that these charities touch us all in one way or another. I will be as supportive as I possibly can be under the current difficult times when charities need that ‘little bit extra’ financial support. The people in the area are always very generous in their support of such worthy causes. I was chairman in 2012 and I have been a councillor both on County and Community level for over 17 years and know how important lending our support can be.”

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