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BBC Unsung Hero Awards are back!

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BBC Wales is searching for a great volunteer in Wales who’s made a difference in the last 12 months. Nominations are open today (17 September) for the 2019 BBC Wales Unsung Hero award.

The BBC Wales Unsung Hero award celebrates the most inspiring, dynamic and dedicated volunteers driving participation in grassroots sports and fitness activities in Wales.

Last year, volunteer Asa Waite from Newport was named the BBC Wales Unsung Hero. Asa is a basketball coach and runs training sessions and games for young people.

Asa said: “Winning the BBC Wales Unsung Hero award last year was such an honour. The award is something I would never have dreamt of and couldn’t achieve without the support of the participants, parents and guardians. All the other nominees were amazing so I really feel honoured. Winning the award has given me such confidence in what I am doing and made me realise that I am making a real difference to not just local young people but Newport as a whole.”

From volunteer fitness instructors who offer classes in communities, to the person who spends their free time running the social media accounts for dance clubs, or the steward who turns up every week to cheer on the runners in the weekly 5km. BBC Wales is looking for your local sporting superhero who has an inspiring story to tell.

Geoff Williams, Head of Sport at BBC Wales says: “The Unsung Hero award is all about honouring the people who show up, bring people together and really make a difference in their community. Volunteers are a hugely important aspect of any sport and it’s fantastic to give these people the recognition they truly deserve.”

Winner of BBC Wales’ Unsung Hero award will receive the award at the Wales Sport Awards ceremony on Tuesday, 10 December at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.

The winner will then represent Wales in the BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero joining other winners from Scotland, Northern Ireland and English regions. The overall UK winner will receive their award at this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony live on BBC One.

To nominate your BBC Wales Unsung Hero by video, audio, online webform or via email, simply visit www.bbc.co.uk/unsunghero or www.walessportawards.co.uk. Entries close on Sunday 20 October at midnight and the shortlist will be revealed in the days leading up to national BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony in December.

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First two cases of coronavirus in Carmarthenshire confirmed

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THE FIRST two cases of coronavirus have been found in Carmarthenshire, the Welsh Government announced today.

The two patients in the Carmarthenshire local authority area had recently returned together from northern Italy.

It comes as the Hywel Dda Health Board which serves the area opened two centres to test for coronavirus, one in Cardigan and one in Carmarthen.

The health board announced it had opened the testing centres to “help protect the health of our communities”, while also saying that centres could be opened in other areas across the health board.

The Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton, confirmed that a total of nine patients in Wales had tested positive for coronavirus (COVID -19) today, bringing the total to 15.

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Council unveils ambitious housing plan

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has unveiled major plans to build more council homes and further improve its existing housing stock, including an ambition to move towards ‘carbon neutral homes’.

Executive Board approved an impressive Carmarthenshire Homes Standard (CHS+) business plan this week (February 24, 2020) in a commitment to build on a £286million programme it has already delivered to bring council homes in the county above the Welsh standard for social housing.

Pending Full Council approval in March, the council has outlined its intentions to commit £49million to continue the CHS+ programme whilst developing a new standard to further improve the energy efficiency of their homes, aiming to cut and off-set carbon emissions to ensure homes are warm, cheap to run, and easily adapted to cater for people’s changing needs.

As part of this vision, the council is planning to improve the fabric of houses so that they become more energy efficient. It will also harness off-grid sustainable energy solutions, such as wind and water, and has committed to planting 1,000 trees to off-set carbon emissions.

The council has also made a new commitment to invest £52million building more homes over the next three years as it works towards returning its housing stock to levels last seen in the 1990s.

The new programme will link to the council’s wider strategic regeneration initiatives, including developments in the Tyisha area of Llanelli, town centres and key rural towns.

The administration’s previous promise to deliver 1,000 more affordable homes is just 15 homes short of the target it set itself for 2021, including the completion of its first major new-build development since the 1970s in Pembrey, and the phase-one completion of a second development in Bynea.

Cllr Linda Evans, Executive Board Member for Housing, said the investment would not only improve living conditions for existing tenants and provide more quality affordable homes for local people, but will also contribute to providing employment and training opportunities in the local construction industry.

“The plan is very ambitious – we are building new homes and working with tenants and key partners to ensure Carmarthenshire is at the forefront of the decarbonisation agenda,” she said. “Carmarthenshire is one of three authorities working with Welsh Government to look at measures to decarbonise our homes, and this work will start in the next few months.

“The fact that we have been able to invest in our homes, we’ve been able to build suitable homes and adapt homes for people and their families is very impressive – there’s more to do, but we are ready to take the challenge. It’s a very exciting time.”

Delivery of the council’s ambitions depends on an average rent increase of 2.7 per cent, working out at roughly £87 a week for a two-bedroom home – the second lowest rent level for social housing in Wales and significantly lower than private rented accommodation.

The council will also seek £6.1million from the Welsh Government’s major repairs allowance fund.

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Llanelli: Notice of Motion follows school transport concerns

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A NOTICE OF MOTION will be discussed at Llanelli Town Council on Wednesday (Mar 4) following the concern of many parents over the loss of school transport for their children.

The motion will be proposed by Shahana Najmi, Town Council Leader and Councillor for the Lliedi Ward and seconded by Sean Rees, Llanelli Town Councillor for the Glanymor Ward.

The motion reads as follows: “Recent changes to UK legislation have led to the cancellation of many paid-for school transport with the consequence that many Llanelli school children are now expected to walk many miles often along unsuitable routes to get to School.

“This has only highlighted the need for change to how school transport is delivered. We believe that all children whether they pay or not should be able to access safe and effective school transport to enable them to get to and from school to a point safe and a reasonable distance from their home.

“We therefore write to the Ministers for Transport and Education at the Welsh Government to ask them to support a new School Transport Policy here in Wales that complies with UK legislation and ensure that children here in Llanelli are not expected to walk miles to school in often adverse weather conditions and often on unsafe and unsuitable walking routes.

“We also write to Carmarthenshire County Council to ask them to do all in their power to ensure that children in Carmarthenshire have access to appropriate school transport and consider all options available to them to ensure acceptable provision.”

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