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Lakefield kids enjoy new water lab

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Pupils from Lakefield School: at the Water Lab

Pupils from Lakefield School: at the Water Lab

PUPILS from Lakefield School had the chance to test out the new water lab at the Llanelli Wetland centre at its official opening.

The children enjoyed watching the rain-powered mug cascade and playing with the giant chaos waterwheel in the innovative new outdoor classroom. The Water Lab is designed to help teachers show the important role of wetlands in the environment.

It’s a very current issue as Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) – specially constructed wetlands – are increasingly used to manage flooding in a natural way in towns and cities. Features like ponds and wet ground can slow down, soak up and store rainwater.

A visit to the Water Lab will be on the itinerary for many of the 3,000 pupils that go on a school trip to WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre each year. And all visitors, young or old, can have a play when it’s not booked for a class.

The building has been funded by HSBC as part of WWT’s Inspiring Generations programme, which each year gives more than 12,000 school children from disadvantaged areas across the UK a free school trip.

The Herald spoke to some of people behind the event. Martin Sprey CBE and CEO of WTT said: “The education of young people is something I feel very passionate about. As a society with the technology we have we are becoming more and more disconnected from the natural world.

“Young people are inheriting some of the problems we are leaving them. This facility is giving them an exciting place where they can come and learn. It is open to any schools, which would like to come.

“We get about 60,000 children through our centres each year. I want them to be excited by what they do, to play, have fun and hopefully remember it. This is one of the best bird watching sites along the whole of the Welsh coastline.”

Sue Alexander, Senior Manager Environmental Programmes at HSBC told the Herald: “We are here today to open a water lab an educational installation, which we have funded. We have a five-year plan funding water projects around the world and we have a partnership with the WTT called inspiring generations.

“We find that this kind of programme fits in very well with what we believe in. We run a number of education programmes where staff can go out and get involved in community activities.

“It is important for our staff to come out and volunteer in the community they are part of. The big take away for me today is the fact that we are helping children who do not usually get an opportunity to come to these centres.”

Pam Styles, Learning Manager at WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre, led the activities. She said that she was ‘delighted’ by the new facility:

“The Water Lab showcases some fantastic SuDS features, demonstrating in a fun and engaging way how we can create buildings in harmony with nature supporting natural processes, preventing flooding and providing homes for wildlife all at the same time,” she added.

Paige Richards, a year 4 pupil involved in the activities thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Paige said, “I thought the Water Lab was great. The glass on the building was cool with all the different colours. The cups were really fun to watch as all the water trickles down. It was good to learn about the water cycle and to find out how water runs off different surfaces.”

 

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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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