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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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Community

Tesco grant boost for Llanelli children.

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An organisation working with children in Llanelli has received a £2,000 grant from a special costal voting round of Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme.

The grant for Clybiau Plant Cymru will go towards delivering workshops and out-of-school childcare clubs that encourage children to play outdoors and connect with nature in coastal areas.

Naomi Evans, the Regional Manager for Clybiau Plant Cymru, said the funding will help combat issues of childhood obesity in Wales, giving children the opportunity to play freely and get active away from distractions such as social media.

“We’re truly grateful to Tesco for its support and funding through the Bags of Help scheme,” she said. “We aim to promote health, wellbeing and environmental awareness through fun, outdoor activities, so every donation has a huge impact on kids’ lives.

“The clubs provide valuable play and learning opportunities outside of the school day, enabling parents to work and train, which in turn drives economic growth, tackles poverty and reduces inequalities.”

“Through the funding we are delivering 12 workshops within four clubs in the Llanelli area to children and our staff.” She added. “It will engage up to 200 individuals, as well as providing skills and knowledge which staff can apply on an ongoing basis to provide quality childcare for years to come.”

Tesco shoppers in Llanelli cast their votes using blue tokens handed out at checkouts as part of the special voting round supporting groups in 42 coastal communities across the UK. More than 100 projects working to improve Britain’s coastline shared the combined funding pot worth £300,000.

Bags of Help, run in partnership with the charity Groundwork, sees funding awarded to thousands of local community projects every year. To date £80m has been awarded through the scheme, with more than £5m awarded to projects in Wales.

Claire de Silva, Tesco’s Head of Community, said: “Bags of Help has been a huge success since we introduced the scheme and we are glad to be able to support great projects, including this scheme to support children in Llanelli.

“We saw a fantastic mix of projects shortlisted and I’d like to thank customers for casting their votes and supporting these important initiatives in their community.”

The scheme is ran in partnership with community charity Groundwork. Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “Bags of Help continues to enable local communities up and down Britain to improve their local spaces and the places that matter to them. We’re pleased to be able to be a part of the journey and provide support and encouragement to groups enjoying, protecting and improving Britain’s coastlines.”

Full details of the Bags of Help scheme can be found at www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp

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Concerns raised to police over burglaries in Llanelli

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CONCERNS are being raised regarding burglaries reported to Dyfed-Powys Police in the Llanelli and Rural areas over the last week.  I want to reassure the community that patrols have been increased to target vulnerable areas and deter criminal activity.  I also want to take the opportunity to ask the community to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police in order to prevent crimes of this nature from taking place.   

Officers from the Neighbourhood Police Teams are conducting patrols in the community and providing support to victims of crime.  If members of the community have concerns or want to provide information please get in touch with us on 101 by telephone or email on LlanelliRuralNPT@Dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk.  In an emergency or if an incident is on-going the public should phone 999.

Taking just a few steps can make a big difference in keeping your home safe from burglary. Here are a few tips:

•Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you’re just out in the garden, remembering to double-lock UPVC doors (lift handle and turn key)


•Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox (remember a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox)


•Install a visual burglar alarm (as part of a suite of prevention measures – a burglar alarm on its own will not prevent entry to your home)


•Install good outside lighting


•Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property


•Leave radios or lights in your house on a timer to make the property appear occupied


•Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition


•Secure bikes at home by locking them to an immoveable object inside a locked shed or garage


•Keep ladders and tools stored away; don’t leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home


•Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property


•Ensure rear fencing is in good repair


•Improve natural surveillance at the front of your property i.e. trim high hedges


•Mark your property with postcode and house number and register your property for free with Immobilise


•Consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme


•Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows


•Store any high value items (i.e. jewellery, passports) in a properly secured safe or bank vault.

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Appeal follows fatal road traffic collision in Llanelli

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating a fatal road traffic collision that happened in Llanelli last night. At approx. 8.15pm on Saturday 22 February the collision happened between a white Suzuki Swift car and a male pedestrian, at Church Street, Llanelli, near the Magistrates Court. Emergency services attended, but sadly the 53 year old pedestrian had sustained fatal injuries.

The Serious Collision Investigation Unit is appealing for any witnesses to the collision to get in touch, but they are also appealing to anyone who may have Dashcam footage of the incident to contact them. You can get in touch by phoning 101. Please quote reference DP-20200222-347, so our busy call handers can marry your information to the correct incident as quickly as possible. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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