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Air quality ‘puts children at risk’

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A MEETING of the County Council’s Environmental & Public Protection Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday April 8, received a report on poor air quality in the centre of Llanelli.

The Environment Act 1995 places a duty on local authorities to assess and manage air quality in its area. This is achieved through the Local Air Quality Management work. There are various pollutants that can be assessed but local authorities are only required to monitor for those that have a potential to breach the Air Quality Objectives. For Carmarthenshire, the main pollutant of concern is nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

While NO2 levels are not sufficiently high to cause immediate health effects, the current levels could cause adverse health effects over the long term, particularly in people suffering from respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The Environment Act 1995 specifies how local authorities deal with areas that fail to comply with the national air quality objectives.

The town of Llanelli has experienced increasing levels of NO2 over the last few years, to the extent that the air quality objective for NO2 has been breached. The Welsh Assembly Government has required the authority to carry out a Detailed Assessment to ascertain the extent and level of breach of the Air Quality Objective.

It is now proposed to designate part of Llanelli as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).

The Policy Guidance for which states: ‘The legal imperative to protect air quality should not be displaced with political imperative if this means the local authority is not working towards compliance with the Air Quality (Wales) Regulations 2000, as amended’.

The proposed designated area incorporates the Sandy Road roundabout and follows an easterly direction along the A484 Pembrey Road before turning north up New Road as far as the mini roundabout in Furnace, and then travels back south along Old Road as far as the junction with Thomas Street on the A476.

The boundary then travels north east along the A476 through Felinfoel Road and Panteg, as far as the mini roundabout joining Farmers Row. The boundary travels back south west along the A476 right down to Thomas Street bearing left along the A484 continuing on to the roundabout and bearing right following the A4214 along Stepney Place.

The boundary continues along the series of mini roundabouts going through Upper Robinson Street and Murray Street before turning right at the junction with Station Road. The boundary continues along the A4214 through Church Street, Hall Street, West End on to Pembrey Road before reaching Sandy Road roundabout to complete the boundary.

The committee remitted the matter to May’s Executive Board meeting and a meeting of the full council in June.

Public health services manager Sue Watts: “The first step in improving air quality in the affected areas is to declare an AQMA, which the council is now preparing to do.”

She continued: “The declaration of the AQMA by Carmarthenshire Council is a legal process and will include areas that are considered as being part of the solution, not just those areas affected.

“Carmarthenshire Council, working with identified stakeholders, will formulate an action plan which will aim to reduce levels of NO2 back within the objective levels again.”

Attempting to reassure members of the public about the council’s commitment to maintaining better air quality, Ms Watts concluded: “Air quality will continue to be monitored throughout the process to fully assess the impact and to help engage in consultations.”

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Logic festival is back with a bigger and better line up

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FANS of dance music in South Wales are in for a real treat this year as Logic Festival is returnins to Swansea on Saturday September 7.

The festival is now in its fourth year, and this time its bigger and better with bigger name DJs, more arenas and three licenced bars to keep you refreshed and ready to party. New for 2019 there are also six arenas of which one is a chill out area and the bigger name DJ’s make this the best event that Wales has to offer, without a doubt.

For those of you that know the Logic Festival history it will come as no surprise that the owners have gone all out for 2019 to bring a diverse line up of world class DJs playing alongside the best that Wales has to offer in DJ talent, with some returning names that had such a great time in 2018 that they just had to come again and witness the legendary Logic Festival atmosphere for themselves, first hand.

Returning this year are headliners in the both the Trance and Hard Dance arena’s, Judge Jules and Darren Styles. Making first appearances in the Trance Arena are Dance Anthems legend Dave Pearce, German superstar Scot Project and all the way from Israel is BLiSS the DJ/ guitarist who jams along to his own tracks! Not to be outdone the Hard Dance arena features sets from UK hard dance legend Andy Whitby and flying in from Germany is the infamous Uberdruck. He will be playing alongside two Italian Hardstyle titans Technoboy and Francesco Zeta who again have flown in specially for Logic Festival 4.

And completely new for 2019 is the Clubland Classix arena where revellers can hear some of the biggest and best dance anthems ever made being played by the likes of: Ian Van Dahl who will be performing a live PA, and DJ sets from N – Trance, 4 Strings, Flip and Fill, Breeze and Scott Brown. This is a welsh festival exclusive so don’t miss out on the only chance you will get in 2019 to see so many heroes of Clubland all under one roof.

With a bigger line up, comes a higher capacity and more amenities for the public like two extra bars that have been custom built to stop the bottleneck effect that the extra numbers will bring with the event, more toilets on site so that queuing can be avoided and for the first time ever, a proper chill out arena has been added playing laid back vibes all day which has been inspired by the Balearic sound of ibiza, the party capital of Europe.

When asked to comment on all of the new improvements, the festival organiser and Logic brand owner Jason Pufal said: “No expense has been spared this year to make Logic Festival 4 the best event it could possibly be, as a thank you to all of the loyal customers who come every year and make the event so special.”

“In preparation for the bigger crowd that we are expecting this year, due to the fact that we have in effect supersized Logic Festival 4, everything about the event will be improved for 2019 and we are greatly looking forward to opening the gates for 12 hours of solid dance music based entertainment.”

So if you want to witness the best in dance music in six fully covered arenas in 2019, there is only one destination to head for and that is: Logic Festival 4, Ynysforgan Farm, Morriston, Swansea on Saturday September 7th, with the gates opening at 11am. We hope to see you there amongst a crowd of thousands!

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Innovative Llanelli school’s quality recognised by major award

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CLOSE to a year after its official opening, a state-of-the-art Llanelli school has been recognised for excellence.

Ysgol Pen Rhos, a £10.2 million primary school in the Seaside area of the town, was highly commended in the school project of the year category at the prestigious Education Buildings Wales Awards.

Officially opened in June 2018, the school features facilities including a flying start nursery, solar panels and classroom terraces for outdoor lessons.

A 3G pitch has also been made available for school and community use, as well as hard and soft landscaping areas. Features including brickwork and pitched roofs have been incorporated to reflect the industrial heritage of a neighbouring terrace of houses, alongside the use of more contemporary features like metal and wooden cladding. The project also delivered community benefits including training and local employment.

Ysgol Pen Rhos was funded by Carmarthenshire County Council’s Modernising Education Programme and the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools initiative.

The school was initially developed and then delivered and project managed by Carmarthenshire County Council’s in-house Property Design Team, working with HLM Architects. Ysggol Pen Rhos was constructed by T Richard Jones (Betws) Ltd.

Created from the merger of the former Copperworks Infant Nursery School and Lakefield Primary School, Ysgol Pen Rhos caters for 420 pupils and 60 nursery children.

Cllr David Jenkins, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Resources, said: “Receiving an award for the quality of the school’s design and build is worthy recognition for an outstanding team effort that involved the council and its partners, as well as staff and pupils.

“The inclusion of environmentally friendly features also means the school will be sustainable for many years to come, with the availability of outdoor learning and landscaped areas sure to inspire pupils now and in future.

“This work has led to a facility that provides a world class learning environment, while celebrating Llanelli’s rich industrial heritage.

“Ysgol Pen Rhos is among many completed or planned projects in Carmarthenshire that show how seriously we take our commitment to providing the county’s children and communities with top quality facilities that meet the needs of the 21st century.”

Joe Cudd, Head Teacher of Ysgol Pen Rhos, said: “This award recognises the hard work of an exceptional team of people. Ysgol Pen Rhos is a wonderful place to learn.

“Our school is at the heart of the Seaside community and a place where we can realise our children’s dreams. We hold 480 futures at Ysgol Pen Rhos in a building that inspires, nurtures and is filled with the voices of the future.”

Ysgol Pen Rhos is located on the regenerated site of the former Copperworks Sport & Social Club and the Draka wire factory.

Other schools in the Llanelli area which are expected to be on the move in future include Ysgol Heol Goffa, which is relocating to a new facility at an adjoining site to Ysgol Pen Rhos.

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Llanelli MP calls for designated parking for horse riders

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LLANELLI’S MP Nia Griffith has joined local horse riders in calling for designated parking for equestrian transport around Pembrey Country Park.

Ms Griffith explained, “Pembrey is a beautiful spot for horse riding, and I know how much locals and tourists alike value the ability to ride here safely.

“The Carmarthenshire Riders Group have raised concerns about the difficulty of transporting horses to the park due to the lack of designated equestrian parking. It can be difficult to reverse horseboxes into the small spaces which are available, and many are getting blocked in by cars parking in front.

“It’s time this issue was addressed, so I’m joining them in calling for some designated parking for horseboxes around Pembrey Country Park. This would make it much safer for horse riders, but also pedestrians and other drivers who can be endangered by long vehicles reversing nearby.

“I know that the County Council are listening to the public on this, so I hope they will take into account the needs of horse owners and address the parking issue in Pembrey.”

Carmarthenshire Labour Leader, Cllr Rob James, added “I wholeheartedly support the equestrian community on their call for designated parking for horse riders and I believe it is a much-needed facility in Pembrey.

“As a Labour Group we will seek to work with our Member of Parliament and Council Officers to make it a reality as soon as possible.”

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