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Llanelli: Large fire destroys derelict church

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Park United Reform Church burns in Llanelli on August 13. (PIC: Jonathan Smith)

Park United Reform Church burns in Llanelli on August 13. (PIC: Jonathan Smith)

HOMES were evacuated in Llanelli on Thursday (Aug 13) as firefighters tackled a large blaze at a derelict church in the town.

Fire crews were called to Park Congregational Church on Murray Street at about 19:00 HRS on Thursday evening after reports of smoke in the tower.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said twenty firefighters would remain at the scene to dampen down.

Residents living close to the church were evacuated to Llanelli Leisure Centre and the Vista Lounge restaurant. Murray Street and the surrounding roads were closed for safety reasons but no casualties were reported.

Dyfed-Powys Police Inspector James Davies told The Herald: “Emergency services were alerted to a large fire in Park Church, Murray Street, Llanelli at approx. 7pm this evening. The church is well alight and has sustained substantial damage.”

“Due to concerns for safety, a large number of properties in the surrounding area have been evacuated and a cordon is in place.”

The cause of the fire is being investigated and if anyone witnessed the fire or has any information related to it they are asked to call police on 101.

Park United Reform Church was sold for £100,000 in 2005. The company who bought it, Topaz properties were twice prosecuted for their management of the building.

The owners of the property were given twelve weeks to clean up the outside of the building in July – or face prosecution from Carmarthenshire County Council.

 

UPDATE 23:22 HRS 13.08.2015

Inspector James Davies told The Llanelli Herald: “Emergency services remain at the scene of a large fire in Park Church, Murray Street, Llanelli. Due to concerns for safety, properties in Murray Street, Cowell Street and Inkerman Street have been evacuated, and a rest centre established in Llanelli Leisure Centre for those affected. Carmarthenshire County Council Social Care Staff are on hand to assist.  Officers are also maintaining cordons. I would like to thank all those affected for their co-operation so far, but for their own safety urge that no one crosses the cordons as the incident progresses. It has not been possible to assess the structural safety of what remains of the Church, therefore the cordons and evacuation are vital to minimise risk to anyone in the area.

“There are no reported casualties at this stage. The cause of the fire is being investigated, and if anyone witnessed the fire or has any information related to it they are asked to call police on 101.”

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager Andy Francis said: “Our crews have worked to prevent the spread of the fire to neighbouring properties, which we are pleased to confirm has been successful. We are now damping down at the scene and ensuring that there is no re-ignition overnight.”

 

Images Taken By: Johnathon smith and Adrian Shades

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How Wales created 19 new field hospitals in less than 8 weeks…

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Across Wales the Welsh Government is supporting the NHS to create new field hospitals and rapidly increase bed capacity.
Health boards have repurposed existing buildings, including the Principality Stadium, a holiday park and even a television studio to provide an additional 6,000 beds.Field hospitals are designed to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic by providing extra bed capacity but they will also help normal hospital services be restarted and support social care services.Last month, the first patients were admitted to Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig at the Principality Stadium, in Cardiff.

Four to six weeks

Here is how Wales almost doubled its bed capacity in less than eight weeks…The time it has taken to nearly double hospital bed capacity in Wales, creating field hospitals across the nation.

19 field hospitals in Wales
This includes the repurposing of Bluestone Holiday Park and Parc y Scarlets in west Wales and Venue Cymru in north Wales.

1,500 beds at the Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig
Making it one of the largest field hospitals in the UK.

Five days
The length of time it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig, which overlapped with the build phase.

3,000
The number of planning hours, involving more than 20 different disciplines, it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig.

£166m
Welsh Government funding for the set up, construction and equipment for field hospitals in Wales.

138,000
The number of pieces of equipment have been provided to help support field hospitals, including beds, imaging equipment, syringe drivers and medicines.

Three North Wales field hospitals have the name Enfys
Meaning rainbow – the symbol of hope and thank you to the NHS during the pandemic.
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7-year-old Mattie from Pembrey takes on home Pen y Fan-tastic challenge for Action for Children

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Plucky Mattie Denman will climb the equivalent of Pen y Fan in the drive at her family home in Pembrey on Friday 22nd May to raise funds for Action for Children.

Mattie (7), has always wanted to climb the highest mountain in South Wales and is unable to currently because of the coronavirus pandemic.  As the family exercise at home every day, she decided she wanted to do the 6-mile equivalent journey there while she waits for the chance to do it for real.  Mattie chose Action for Children as her mother, Sian, works for the charity in Carmarthenshire.

Mattie said: ‘My Mammy works for Action for Children and I want to help as well because lots of families need help.  My older brother and sister help Action for Children, so I asked Mammy if I could do something. We exercise everyday walking up and down the drive and I have always wanted to climb Pen y Fan, but we have never done it.

‘Mammy said I could pretend I am walking it and people will give money to the charity. I said brilliant, that is what I am going to do and I am super excited to do it. I will use mammy’s step counter and I hope I can help children that need support especially because it is so hard for some families because of coronavirus.’

Proud mum and family support practitioner for Action for Children, Sian, added: ‘Mattie has a lovely heart and really wanted to do something and I’m very proud she chose Pen y Fan as her home challenge.  Action for Children has been going the extra mile during the coronavirus pandemic continuing to support vulnerable families through phone and video sessions as well as food and help with the basics from our Emergency Appeal Fund. 

‘It is a tremendously challenging time for our families and every bit of money will directly help those in our communities who need it most.  I hope as many people as possible will donate to Mattie’s brilliant fundraising effort, it’ll make it even more special when we finally get to climb Pen y Fan for real.’

If you want to support Mattie’s Pen y Fan challenge please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mattiesclimb

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Housebuilder launches Coronavirus move in package

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A South Wales housebuilder has launched new incentives which mean homes are ‘ready to move into’ during the Covid-19 crisis – without the need for tradespeople or delivery people.

People in Wales are allowed to move into new build houses during the lockdown – and many people have successfully done so.

However, the limitations of social distancing can add extra stress when it comes to having things like dishwashers, washing machines and turf installed in the new property.

That’s why Persimmon Homes West Wales has launched a new incentive package which gives purchasers the chance to buy a house with white goods and flooring already in place.

Sharon Bouhali, sales director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “Our sales advisors have done a terrific job in talking with customers and guiding them through the buying process remotely, without the need of face-to-face meetings.

“It’s been a huge challenge, but we’ve risen to it – and Persimmon has sold more than 120 properties in South Wales during the lockdown period. We have customers moving into their new homes every week.

“But, understandably, some people are cautious about having too many tradespeople and contractors enter their home, even if they are doing their utmost to abide by social distancing rules.

“That’s why we have launched these new packages which mean people can turn the key, unpack and get on with enjoying their new home.”

The package includes carpets and vinyl throughout, turf in the back garden, sliding wardrobes, integrated fridge freezer, integrated washer/dryer, integrated dishwasher and £500 discount towards removal fees.

The deal is on offer at Glas Y Felin in Bridgend, Parc Yr Onnen in Carmarthen, The Bridles in Llanelli, Peterson Park in Pontyclun, Parc Brynderi in Llanelli and Allt Y Celyn in Rhos.

Persimmon’s marketing suites in Wales remain closed for the time being. Visit www.persimmonhomes.com or call 01792 229800 for details of homes available.

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