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AM welcomes Schaeffler taskforce announcement

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LEE WATERS AM has welcomed the First Minister for Wales announcement that of a taskforce being set up to work with Schaeffler to find a future for the Llanelli plant.

The announcement comes after the local AM met with the Welsh Economy Secretary last week to urge him to intervene with Schaeffler to find a future for the old Ena Bearings factory and its workers. Since then Welsh Government officials have been working with the company to get an agreement on setting up a taskforce.

Carwyn Jones told the Senedd this afternoon that the company have now agreed to work with the Welsh Government on a taskforce to support the workforce and to explore finding a future for manufacturing on the site.

“What the support is aimed at doing is to help those who work there at the moment, and to see what beneficial uses for employment the site could be put to in the future” Carwyn Jones said in First Minister’s Questions.

“We have held discussions with Schaeffler and an offer of a two tier package to support the company has been accepted.”

The Government will hold a further meeting with the company in early December to explore all the possibilities for the future. Meanwhile, a package of support will be available to the workforce if they choose to look for new opportunities or are affected by redundancies.

Lee Waters AM said: “The management of Schaeffler has made it clear to me that the workforce in Llanelli is excellent and they have made the decision to close a result of other factors. With such long history in Llanelli, the company owes its workers more than simply abandoning the plant. So I’m pleased the company has agreed to work with Welsh Government to provide a future for manufacturing at the site and security for the workers affected by this announcement.

“Schaeffler’s management must now engage constructively in the consultation process as we all work together to secure future employment at the site.”

Nia Griffith MP said: “We are all extremely concerned about the planned closure of the Schaeffler plant in Llanelli and the 200 plus local jobs that could go with it.

“After meeting Unite rep Gareth Jones on Friday morning, I had a conference call with Schaeffler’s UK managing director Greig Littlefair and Richard Harrington MP, a business minister in the UK Government. We again made the case to keep the plant open and asked the Managing Director if there is anything UK government can do to make them reverse their decision. We also raised concerns about jobs in the supply chain.

“Whilst it does seem that Schaeffler have made up their minds, we will be exploring every avenue to see if anything can be done to keep the factory open and help the workers at the plant.”

Councillor Deryk Cundy added: “We are looking for a way forward during the consultation period. We have to prepare for a number of different scenarios and support from the First Minister and Lee Waters AM in the National Assembly for Wales is most welcome as we move through the negotiations and look to secure the well-being of the workforce at Schaeffler”.

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Llanelli: Stop notice issued for school planning application

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A CONTROVERSIAL planning application for a new 480-spaced school in Llanelli has been issued a stop notice by the Welsh Government.
Carmarthenshire County Council is proposing to build a new £9.1m school on Llanerch Fields in Llanelli and were looking to determine the planning application in the coming weeks. Welsh Government will now decide whether to call in the application or not.
The new school would accommodate 420 primary and 60 nursery pupils, set over two floors with larger classrooms with integrated IT facilities, a multi-purpose hall and specialist provision for pupils with additional learning needs.
Over recent years there has been much debate in the area on the choice of site for the new school with campaigners arguing that they support a new school, but object against Llanerch fields being built upon. Last year an attempt to get the land designated as a village green was turned down.
In 2017, Ysgol Dewi Sant as the first Welsh medium primary school to be provided by a local authority celebrated its 70th birthday.
Councillor Rob James, local member for Lliedi, stated “From day one I have raised concerns that the Council’s site choice and planning process opened the Council up to the possibility of the Welsh Government calling in the planning application. It is clear that these concerns were not misplaced and there is now a really chance that it will be. 

“As a local Councillor, a school governor and a parent, I am passionate about the need for a new school for the pupils of Ysgol Dewi Sant and it is important that local pupils get the benefits of a 21st century school.
“I will now be working with Council Officers to ensure that contingency plans are prepared in case the Welsh Government state that the planning application does not comply with national planning policy.
“I will also work with parents, pupils, residents and interested parties are able to engage with the Welsh Government during this process.”

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Third annual Burry Port Raft Race is eagerly awaited

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THE THIRD ANNUAL BURRY PORT RAFT RACE, organised by Burry Port couple, Craig and Isabel Goodman, will be held on Saturday (July 27).

The event which is held in Burry Port Harbour, raises much needed funds for both Burry Port RNLI and a children’s football academy and primary school the couple support in The Gambia.

The day launches at 12pm with stands, food stalls and children’s inflatable games and rides and these will be available until 5pm. You’ll also have a chance to meet the crews, who’ll be busy putting the final touches to their rafts.

Rafts launch at 3pm, followed by a presentation ceremony, including prizes for first raft over the line, first raft to sink and best dressed raft.

Craig said: ” A huge thank you goes to all our sponsors, including overall sponsor Dawsons, along with continued sponsorship from Celtic Couriers, Parker Plant Hire, Burns Pet Nutrition, Burry Port Co-Op, Llanelli Star, LBS Builders Merchants, Burry Port Marina, First Choice Flooring and Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council.

For any further information about the event, please contact 07825 842981.

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Compensation offered after FSCS declares Llanelli firm in default

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CONSUMERS could get back money they have lost as a result of their dealings with a failed regulated firm in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. The firm is Hayden Williams Independent Financial Services Limited formerly Assura Protect, Room 1, 7 Meadows Bridge, Parc Menter, Cross Hands, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales SA14 6RA.

The firm was declared in default in June 2019 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

FSCS is the UK’s statutory compensation scheme that protects customers of authorised financial services firms that carry out certain regulated activities. A declaration of default means FSCS is satisfied a firm is unable to pay claims for compensation made against it. This paves the way for customers of that firm to make a claim for compensation with FSCS.

Alex Kuczynski, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at FSCS, said: “FSCS steps in to protect consumers around the UK when authorised financial services firms go bust. This vital service, which is free to consumers, protects deposits, insurance, investments, home finance and debt management. We want anyone who believes they may be owed money as a result of their dealings with this firm to get in touch, as we may be able to help you.”

Since it began in 2001, FSCS has helped more than 4.5m people, paying out more than £26bn in compensation.

If you wish to make a claim with FSCS against Hayden Williams Independent Financial Services Limited, you may be able to do so using FSCS’s online claims service at https://claims.fscs.org.uk Or you can contact its Customer Services Team on 0800 678 1100 or 020 7741 4100

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