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Are you missing out on a Council Tax reduction?

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IF YOU’RE struggling to pay your Council Tax bill, then help could be available for you through the Welsh Government’s flagship Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS).

The scheme, which will continue to support vulnerable households in 2020-21, currently benefits one in five of all households in Wales. In the last year almost 280,000 low-income households have received help from the scheme, with 220,000 paying no council tax at all. Many more receive other discounts or exemptions.

You may be entitled to pay less council tax if:

• you believe you live on a low income
• you live alone, or with people/children who do not pay council tax
• you are a student
• you are disabled
• you are severely mentally impaired

Understanding why there are still vulnerable households not benefitting from the help they are entitled to is a priority for the Welsh Government. Last year we commissioned research to understand the circumstances of households in Wales and the effects of the UK Government’s Universal Credit on the CTRS.

The interim report out today shows that for many households, the move to Universal Credit can have a significant impact on council tax reduction awards. Whilst many households currently receiving a 100% reduction will continue to do so, for others, the move to Universal Credit is shown to have an adverse impact, particularly for employed households, self-employed households, and working households in receipt of a Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

Full findings of the interim report are available on the Welsh Government website. These findings will now be considered in more detail to inform the next stages of the research and policy development in this area.

Encouraging people to make sure they are not missing out on help they could be entitled to, Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said:

“Ensuring every household in Wales receives the council tax support they are entitled to is an important part of our commitment to making council tax fairer.

“Our scheme is already helping hundreds of thousands of households across Wales, but we know that there are still many missing out on the discounts, reductions and exemptions they are entitled to. I encourage everyone to check the Welsh Government website to find out if they could be paying less.”

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Dumped rubbish cost Llanelli man hundreds of pounds

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A Llanelli man has been ordered to pay over £600 after his household waste was found dumped in a quarry in Llwynhendy.

Robin Adam Collins of Pottery St, Llanelli, admitted failing to ensure his waste was deposited legally when he appeared at Llanelli Magistrates Court.

The court heard that Carmarthenshire County Council enforcement officers visited Genwen Quarry following a complaint from the public of waste being dumped there.

Officers found a large pile of household waste including black and blue bags, plastic and cardboard.

After recovering items, the rubbish was traced back to a property in Pottery Street.

When officers visited the property the 43-year-old admitted the waste had belonged to him and his partner but claimed that he had paid a man named Alex who he found on Facebook to take his rubbish away. Collins was unable to provide any further information as to the identity of the person who he claimed had transported his waste. He was issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). After failing to pay Carmarthenshire Council took the matter to court.

Collins was fined £120 and was ordered to pay £458.36. He must also pay £32 victim surcharge.

Carmarthenshire Council’s Executive Board Member for Public Protection, Philip Hughes said: “Every householder has a responsibility to ensure their waste is disposed of in the proper manner. It is also their responsibility to ensure that whoever they choose to engage the services of to remove any waste is a licenced waste carrier. If not, and your waste is found dumped then we will not hesitate to take action and if necessary go to court.”

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Commissioner proud of ‘Seaside Kicks’ project

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POLICE and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn proud of new youth initiative in Llanelli area – Seaside Kicks.

Following funding from the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office, a new youth initiative has been set up in partnership with Swansea City Football Club Community Trust. Seaside Kicks was launched in Llanelli in January 2020 to engage the youth of the Glanymor and Tyisha area in positive activities.

Having only begun in January, already more than 150 young people in the area participate on a weekly basis. They take part in various practical activities with the Seaside Kicks, such as football coaching sessions, as well as informal sessions that addressing crime issues.

Whilst visiting one of the sessions that are being held on Ysgol Penrhos’ 3G field, Llanelli on 25 February 2020, Dafydd Llywelyn said “I am privileged to be here to see for myself the positive influence an initiative such as Seaside Kicks is having on the youth here, and the wider community. As a sports enthusiast, and having played football at many levels in my youth, I am fully aware of the influence that sport and exercise have on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities in general.”

The initiative is run through the English Premier League’s ‘Kicks’ national program, and is delivered locally by Swansea City Football Club Community Trust. The program aims to use football and sport in general to inspire youth living in deprived areas.

Craig Richards from the Swansea City FC Community Trust, said “Premier League Kicks provides free weekly football sessions and educational workshops to young people, giving them opportunities, support and pathways to reach their full potential and divert them away from crime or criminals. It was a pleasure to welcome the Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn to Seaside Kicks session to see so many young people having great fun in a safe environment”.

Sean Rees, Llanelli Town Councillor for the Glanymor Ward added, “We were delighted to welcome the Commissioner to ‘Seaside Kicks’ whose funding has helped to make this happen.  This is partnership work at its best.  It is a pleasure to link up with the Swansea City Football Community Trust, Police and Crime Commissioner, our PCs and PCSO’s, Ysgol PenRhos, Seaside AFC, Llanelli Town Council and the Community Safety Partnership in bringing forward such an exciting project.

“My thanks go to all the young people who are really enjoying and their parents who continue to turn out in such great numbers to support these sessions. 

“Given its overwhelming success, the next step now should be to make ‘Kicks’ a permanent project in Glanymor Community.”

The investment in Seaside Kicks is part of a wider investment by the Commissioner in the Glanymor and Tyisha areas. Both areas have been identified as some of the most deprived areas in Wales. The Commissioner has allocated funds of £50,000 towards community projects and initiatives in these areas.

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Burglary in Burry Port Marine Services

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POLICE are investigating a burglary in Burry Port in which more than £3,000 worth of equipment was stolen.

Overnight between 6pm on February 3 and 6am on February 4 a perimeter fence at Burry Port Marine Services was cut to gain access to the compound.

A window was also smashed.

Among the items taken were Suzuki, Johnson and Mariner outboard motors, screwdrivers, spanners, power tools and fishing equipment.

These items would have required numerous people to help remove them.

If you were in the area and saw anything suspicious, have been offered these items for sale or have been approached to transport or store them please contact Dyfed-Powys Police online at http://bit.ly/DPPReportOnline, via email at contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk or by phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired you can also text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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