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Contamination debate kicks up a stink

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Bill Thomas: The asker of awkward questions

COUNCIL LEADER Emlyn Dole used a debate on the Council’s strategy on contaminated land to slam the Welsh Government for introducing regulatory obligations on local authorities without coming up with the money to perform or fund them.
Cllr Dole asked: “Where is the Welsh Government’s funding for this? It seems to have hit a brick wall. The Government issues guidance but does not provide funding to match the guidance it hands down.”
Cllr Sian Caiach (Hengoed) asked how many contaminated land sites there were across the County, especially in respect of those residential areas where residents are advised not to grow vegetables or eat those they have grown in their back gardens.
Responding, Council officer Sue Watts said that the Council had identified contaminated land in an extensive survey in 2001 and had identified some of them before the Welsh Government withdrew funding for the exercise. With regard to residential areas, Ms Watts was unable to say whether the Council had advised residents other than in 2001, and was uncertain whether the warning was contained in their deeds. No ongoing information had been provided to residents.
Cllr Sian Thomas (Penygroes) pointed out that there were significant dangers following on from illegal dumping that had taken place at some sites in the County. Highlighting an incident at the former Emlyn Colliery in her ward, she told councillors that late night dumping of almost certainly illegal waste in the colliery had been a problem. She noted that if the environmental report on the Emlyn site was taken at face value, then the existing village would need to be demolished.
Cllr Thomas told councillors: “Any developer must ensure us that the land upon which they wish to build is safe, not only for garden but also for digging out foundations.”
There was a dispute between Cllr Bill Thomas (Lliedi) and Chair Peter Griffiths as to whether Cllr Dole would take note of the European Union proceedings against the UK regarding the pollution of the Burry Inlet and the Loughor Estuary. Alongside the Chair, Council Chief Executive Mark James appeared agitated and eager to curtail Cllr Thomas’ intervention in the discussion.
To widespread groans from Plaid Cymru and Independent members, Cllr Thomas suggested that the Chief Executive had told the Chair to deny him the opportunity of asking questions. Cllr Griffiths continued to prevent Cllr Thomas from asking the officer questions about the Burry Inlet and the Loughor Estuary.
Finally the officer confirmed that the Council was aware of the case and its potential impact upon the Council as a potential contributor to the payment of any fine levied by the EU.

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Lottery win for local neighbours

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Two people in Ferryside are celebrating today after winning £1,000 each thanks to their lucky postcode.

The  neighbours netted the windfall when SA17 5YP was announced as a Daily Prize winner with People’s Postcode Lottery on Wednesday 8th April 2020.

People’s Postcode Lottery ambassador Judie McCourt sent her well-wishes to the winners. She said: “Congratulations to our winners! What a great surprise for them, I hope they enjoy their winnings.”

A minimum of 32% of ticket sales goes directly to charities and players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised over £500 million to date for thousands of good causes in Britain and beyond.

This draw was promoted by Maggie’s which has received over £16.1 million in funding from the players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Maggie’s runs a network of cancer support centres across the country. These centres bring people together to help combat the isolation and distress that often accompanies a cancer diagnosis.

Many good causes close to the winners have also benefitted from players’ support, and local charities can next apply for funding in August.

For more information onPeople’s Postcode Lottery, please visit www.postcodelottery.co.uk or Facebook  and Twitter.

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Scarlets’ grassroots clubs show community spirit in delivering vital food packages

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Scarlets community clubs have been working together to help deliver vital food packages across the region.


Volunteers from grassroots clubs and WRU girls hubs across Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire have been helping take the food packages to vulnerable members of society who are self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic.


The clubs have teamed up with the Scarlets Community Foundation — the charity arm of the Scarlets — and Carmarthen-based food wholesaler Castell Howell, while Scarlets players Osian Knott, Kieran Hardy, Ryan Conbeer and Jac Morgan have also lent their hand to the operation.


More than 300 packages were due to be delivered on Monday and Tuesday (April 6 & April 7), with the initiative highlighting that even without any action on the field, rugby clubs remain at the heart of their community.
Scarlets Community Foundation manager Caroline Newman said:  “We have been overwhelmed with the support that we have received from local clubs, the number of people prepared to volunteer to help the most vulnerable in our communities has been touching.


“People’s reasons for requesting packs have often been heart-wrenching and it really has made us appreciate what we have.


“The foundation has worked closely with Castell Howell to make sure the packages are ready to go to those whose need is greatest, managing to turn things around pretty quickly and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making this happen, our funder, Castell Howell, all the clubs, our helpline volunteer and the foundation members.
“Great teamwork which has made me proud to be part of the fantastic community that rugby creates.”

Here are the rugby clubs and WRU girls rugby hubs taking part in the initiative

Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Amman Utd, Ammanford, Burry Port, Betws, Bynea, Cardigan, Cefneithin, Felinfoel, Fishguard & Goodwick, Furnace Utd, Haverfordwest, Kidwelly, Llandeilo, Llandovery, Llandybie, Llanelli Wanderers, Llangennech, Llangwm, Merched Mynydd Mawr, Milford Haven, Narberth, New Dock Stars, Newcastle Emlyn, Neyland, Penybanc, Pontyates, St Clears, Stradey Sospans, Tenby Utd, Tumble, Tycroes, Whitland, Yr Hendy.

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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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