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Storm Callum flooding report makes 55 recommendations for action

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AN INVESTIGATION into the flooding incidents in Carmarthenshire caused by Storm Callum has put forward 55 separate recommendations for action.

Hundreds of homes and businesses across the county were affected by one of the worst flooding to hit South Wales in the last 50 years.

Storm Callum is the biggest flood event on record for the River Teifi and the biggest for the River Towy since 1987 and resulted in a massive clean-up operation running into millions of pounds.

As a Lead Local Flood Authority, Carmarthenshire County Council has a statutory requirement under section 19 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 to carry out an investigation and publish its findings.

In particular, reports should be carried out for flooding incidents where 20 or more properties in a locality are affected by flooding internally. As a result, full reports have been carried out on the flooding that affected communities in Johnstown, Carmarthen; Pensarn, Carmarthen; Llanybydder and Llandysul / Pont Tyweli. Major flooding also occurred in Newcastle Emlyn on the county boundary, however Ceredigion County Council is taking the lead on this.

A multi-agency Storm Callum flood group has been meeting monthly since October to oversee the investigation and delivery of the recommendations and will continue on a quarterly basis to discuss the progress on the various actions. Many of the actions have already been completed, some are for the local authority to undertake; others are for various partner agencies such as Natural Resources Wales, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water and Network Rail to take forward.

Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Hazel Evans said: “Storm Callum had a devastating effect on many of our communities and a real effect on people’s lives. We cannot underestimate the damage caused by this type of flooding and it is important a full investigation is carried out so that we can try and understand what happened and why, and what we can try to do to in terms of flood alleviation in the future.”

Director of Environment Ruth Mullen, who chairs the multi-agency flood group, said: “Going forward I think the report makes it clear that there is a need for us all to better understand and manage flood risk; and we also need to fill in some gaps in relation to the current information and knowledge we hold, for example, in relation to the surface water drainage network.

“There are also further surveys and investigations that can be carried out in some areas so that we can better understand if there are any additional measures that can be put in place to lessen the risk of flooding in the future. Of course, this will cost money and will be reliant on further funding and / or grants. We have already received £3.1m from Welsh Government to carry out repairs to the road network due to damage as a result of Storm Callum and we have also been successful in budding for £30k of Welsh Government capital funding to undertake a feasibility study / outline business case to evaluate the flood risk and mitigation at Pensarn.”

The report will go before the Environmental and Public Protection Scrutiny Committee for discussion on Friday, July 5.

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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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