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Bonfire warning after 7 hectare blaze

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firfighterMID AND WEST WALES Fire Service has warned about the dangers of controlled burning after a garden bonfi re in Burry Port spread out of control and set light to 7 hectares of gorse. 

Fire crews from Gorseinon, Carmarthen, Llanelli and Ammanford were called on Monday evening (Apr 27) at around 6.15pm. Up to 26 fi refi ghters helped tackle the blaze, which happened to the rear of Gwscwm Road. Firefi ghters used hose reel jets, knapsacks and beaters to extinguish the fi re. Residents living nearby were evacuated by Police as a precaution.

Firefi ghters left the scene at 8.20pm, and re-attended the following morning to dampen down some hotspots. Fire Service Control dealt with over 70 repeat emergency calls about this incident as the fire was visible over a wide area and close to a main road. The cause of the fi e was identified as a garden bonfire which had spread out of control.

Arson Reduction Manager, Steve Richards said: “People need to be aware that fi res are unpredictable. Controlled burnings, such as a garden bonfi re should be small, adequately supervised, and at least 5 metres away from the property. A means of extinguishing the fi re should be immediately available, such as a hose pipe or buckets of water. “Accelerants such as petrol should never be used on a bonfi re. The fumes given off produce a cloud of explosive vapour that can’t be seen. The resulting explosion can cause serious injury.

“Controlled burning should only be undertaken between sunrise and sunset, and frequent controlled burning can lead to prosecution, due to the smoke being classed as a nuisance. “During sustained periods of dry weather, as we have been experiencing in recent weeks, it is inadvisable to set fi res at all.” There are more environmentally friendly ways of disposing garden waste or rubbish. However if you do have to carry out a controlled burn then the Fire Service should be contacted before lighting a fire and again once the fire has been extinguished on 0370 60 60 699 to ensure that a fire appliance is not sent to the address.

Keith Davies AM told The Herald: “After receiving high volumes of calls from witnesses and residents, the fire service were able to efficiently bring the fire under control; with police officers assisting in diverting people and cars. Along with Burry Port residents and everyone who witnessed or read about the fire, my thoughts are with local residents and I am very glad that nobody was hurt.

It does appear that this fi re was accidental. Burning rubbish in a garden quickly got out of control. We must bear the accidental nature in mind, especially considering the deliberate grass fi res lately across South Wales.” The AM added: “There is a wider public safety message here. We need to highlight the dangers of burning – it can quickly get out of control in dry weather and windy conditions.

Homeowners need to be vigilant when burning any garden waste or doing anything that can reasonably result in fires. Regulations must be followed and equipment on standby to bring unintended blaze consequences under control, especially when close to residential areas.The fire service do a good job of engaging local communities of fire risks and precautions like checking smoke alarms.

We could benefit as a community from increased community engagement – between the fire service, local schools and residents for example – raising awareness of the risks of home burning or otherwise.” Keith Davies AM continued: “On the wider point of grass fi res across South Wales – there have been instances of fi res on the mountains around the constituency and neighbouring areas. I re-iterate comments made by the Public Services Minister – those who deliberately start fi res are committing a criminal offence.

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Cllr Kevin Madge elected as new county council Chairman

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THE new chair of Carmarthenshire County Council said he will work tirelessly during his term of office.

Cllr Kevin Madge, member for Garnant, takes the chain of office whilst celebrating 40 years as a councillor.

Taking the chair, Cllr Madge paid tribute to outgoing chairman Cllr Mansel Charles, member for Llanegwad, saying he had fulfilled his duties with passion.

Cllr Madge will chair the council for the next 12 months, with Cllr Ieuan Davies, member for Llanybydder, as his vice chair, and his wife Catrin as his consort.

“I’m very much looking forward to the year ahead, I will do my best for everyone. I will work tirelessly,” he said.

Cllr Madge has chosen the Trussell Trust, which supports a nationwide network of food banks and emergency food provision for people in crisis, as his Chairman’s Charity of the Year.

The Chair is the first citizen of Carmarthenshire County Council, and is elected at the Annual General Meeting.

Duties include chairing full meetings of the council, representing the council at formal and ceremonial occasions, welcoming visitors to the county, and attending and supporting events organised by local people and organisations.

Cllr Madge has been a county councillor since 1996, and a member of Cwmaman Town Council since 1979.

He also serves as chairman of the Royal British Legion Garnant branch, Garnant Family Centre and Cwmaman Meals on Wheels, and is a member of Amman Valley League of Friends.

He represents the county council on the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, and the Mynydd y Betws Wind Farm Community Fund, and is on the governing body of Ysgol Y Bedol.

A former pupil of Amman Valley School, Cllr Madge has worked in the Amman Valley throughout his life, most recently as agent and researcher to Dr Alan Williams MP until 2001.

A keen football supporter, he has served as chair and president of Cwmaman Football Club and spent 25 years as a Welsh League and Neath and District football referee.

He is married with two children and three grandchildren.

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‘UK Government should work with the Welsh Labour Government on Tata’

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LOCAL Assembly Member Lee Waters and Nia Griffith MP have called on the UK Government to work with the Welsh Labour Government to come up with a deal to protect steel making at Trostre, and across Wales and the UK.

Lee Waters AM met with representatives from Tata Steel on Wednesday to discuss the future for steel making at the plant following the reported collapse of the proposed joint venture with Thyssenkrupp.

During the meeting he stressed the need to protect the entire steel supply chain in Wales, including the high quality jobs at Trostre, and those that depend on its presence in Llanelli.

Lee Waters AM said “It’s clear that the support Welsh Government provided during the crisis of 2016 has been critical in getting extra investment into Port Talbot which will secure the works for years to come. However, Tata is a company run from India, and we simply don’t know what the board will decide about its future strategy. They may well be looking for a new joint venture partner, so we’ll have to vigilant about the implications for our local plants.”

“Tata has said it intends to continue with its existing business plan, and honor commitments made to the Trade Unions, so Nia and I will be keeping a close eye to make sure that happens.”

Welsh Government has been in active discussions with Tata steel following the collapse of the merger with Thyssenkrupp. In a written statement and during questions on Wednesday, the Welsh Government committed to invest in Welsh steel to protect its future and is looking at a range of measures to assist on energy costs, business rates and procurement of steel for public sector contracts.

Lee Waters AM said “The Welsh Government have given significant support to the steel industry here but it can’t do everything, and we now need the UK Government to work with them to ensure a future for skilled work in the steel industry in Llanelli and elsewhere in Wales.”

Nia Griffith AM said ““This latest news from Tata means yet more uncertainty for steelworkers. Their announcement about keeping Port Talbot is a start, but now we need real commitment from Tata on Trostre.

“We also need close cooperation from the company with the Trade Unions. Lee Waters AM and I will be urging the UK Government to follow Welsh Government in doing everything possible to secure the future of our steel industry.”

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MP and AM call for Trostre certainty after merger fails

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LOCAL ASSEMBLY MEMBER Lee Waters and Nia Griffith MP have called on the UK Government to work with the Welsh Labour Government to come up with a deal to protect steel making at Trostre, and across Wales and the UK.

Lee Waters AM met with representatives from Tata Steel on Wednesday to discuss the future for steel making at the plant following the reported collapse of the proposed joint venture with Thyssenkrupp.

During the meeting he stressed the need to protect the entire steel supply chain in Wales, including the high quality jobs at Trostre, and those that depend on its presence in Llanelli.

Lee Waters AM said “It’s clear that the support Welsh Government provided during the crisis of 2016 has been critical in getting extra investment into Port Talbot which will secure the works for years to come. However, Tata is a company run from India, and we simply don’t know what the board will decide about its future strategy. They may well be looking for a new joint venture partner, so we’ll have to vigilant about the implications for our local plants.”

“Tata has said it intends to continue with its existing business plan, and honor commitments made to the Trade Unions, so Nia and I will be keeping a close eye to make sure that happens.”

Welsh Government has been in active discussions with Tata steel following the collapse of the merger with Thyssenkrupp. In a written statement and during questions on Wednesday, the Welsh Government committed to invest in Welsh steel to protect its future and is looking at a range of measures to assist on energy costs, business rates and procurement of steel for public sector contracts.

Lee Waters AM said “The Welsh Government have given significant support to the steel industry here but it can’t do everything, and we now need the UK Government to work with them to ensure a future for skilled work in the steel industry in Llanelli and elsewhere in Wales.”

Nia Griffith AM said “This latest news from Tata means yet more uncertainty for steelworkers. Their announcement about keeping Port Talbot is a start, but now we need real commitment from Tata on Trostre.

“We also need close cooperation from the company with the Trade Unions. Lee Waters AM and I will be urging the UK Government to follow Welsh Government in doing everything possible to secure the future of our steel industry.”

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