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Council backs reduced free parking trial

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Llanelli town centre: Scheme trialled after long delay

Llanelli town centre: Scheme trialled after long delay

PLANNED INCREASES in parking fees and the introduction of charges in the evenings have been deferred. Environment executive board member Cllr Hazel Evans has put a halt on bringing them in. The decision to put up parking fees by 20p per charge band and bring in charging during the evenings was taken by Council earlier this year. However, Cllr Evans said a number of people had made representations regarding the charges and she wanted to consider their views. Cllr Evans is taking a report to the next Executive Board following a review of parking, which will include the planned increase and evening charges. She said: “I want to discuss this issue with my Executive Board colleagues as part of a wider parking review.

“I have stopped the charges being introduced in the meantime because I want to be better informed before we take any final decisions. “Clearly, any decision will have budget implications for us at a time when we are facing particularly severe cuts, so we have to ensure, for the sake of council taxpayers, that the decisions we take are right, not just financially but also considering the impact they would have on the people we serve.”

The details of a free parking scheme for Llanelli’s town centre are also to be discussed by the Council’s Executive Board shortly before the scheme comes into operation. Executive Board Portfolio Holder for Technical Services, Hazel Evans said: “Myself, and my colleagues on the Executive Board, are fully committed to Llanelli town centre, this is evident in the huge investment which has been made in recent years, and which continues to be made.

“However, a number of people believe that providing free parking would help bring more footfall into the town centre. “I will be recommending a month’s trial for this, with monitoring, so that evidence can be provided of its effectiveness.” Back in April, Carmarthenshire Council approved a motion for a six month, two hour free parking period in Llanelli in an attempt to improve town centre trade. That proposal was remitted to the Executive Board, who appear poised to approve a much-reduced plan than that passed overwhelmingly by members almost six months ago. The then Plaid opposition was particularly vocal in lobbying for an extended free parking trial in Llanelli, and it coincidentally formed a key plank of their General Election candidate’s platform in the town. Increased charges imposed by the local authority have been blamed for a decline in town trade, as customer head to out of town retail developments with free parking; a situation unlikely to be much improved as the Council considers plans to sell off further land for large-scale retail developments. The Council has made record profits from charging for car parking in the last twelve months.

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Criminal damage at a caravan park in Kidwelly.

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POLICE are investigating reports of thefts and criminal damage at a caravan park in Kidwelly.

Two reports have been made, with a number of items stolen from two caravans at Tanylan Caravan Park.

The first incident took place between September 23 and October 12.

A number of items – including fishing equipment, computer consoles and £300 cash – were stolen, and an awning window was smashed.

The second report was made on October 13, with the crime taking place sometime after August 25.

Scooters, camping equipment, TVs, DVD players, Amazon fire sticks, a Wii U console, and several other items were taken.

Anyone with information about the burglaries is asked to contact PC 810 at Carmarthen Police Station.

You can report information by calling 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Abandoned property fire in Burry Port probed

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POLICE are investigating a fire at an abandoned property in Burry Port.

A call was made at around 1.20am today (Tuesday, November 19) reporting that a detached house in Graig was well alight.

The house is not lived in, and has sustained substantial fire damage.

There were no witnesses to indicate who has started the fire, but two people were seen running away from the scene.

Due to the temperature inside the building remaining high today, it has been unsafe for investigators to enter the building.

Anyone with information, or who saw a person or people acting suspiciously in the area between 12.30am and 1.30am is urged to contact the joint investigation unit at Llanelli Police Station.

You can report information by calling 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Man ‘fit for work’ collapses and dies at job centre

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A 65-YEAR-OLD man has collapsed while waiting for an appointment in a job centre in south Wales. He was found slumped in his chair at 9.30am on Friday in Llanelli.

The DWP said: “Our thoughts and those of the staff at Llanelli Jobcentre are with the family and friends at this time.”

The Llanelli Herald understands that he was waiting for an appointment to discuss Jobseeker’s Allowance after being declared fit for work earlier this year.

Staff and customers rushed to help, but they were unable to get a response so lay him on the floor.

They started CPR and an ambulance was called while the job centre was evacuated, but paramedics declared him dead at the scene. A witness told The Metro newspaper: “I didn’t know him myself, but the man who was sat next to me told me that he had grown up with the guy.

“The man next to me told me that the poor guy had diabetes and had been declared fit for work by the job centre earlier in the year but he was obviously ill.

“The ambulance came but he sadly died and they had to take his body out of the job centre, it was awful.

“We were all very shook up; it was a horrible situation that should have never happened. The job centre is all shut down now.’

The Welsh Ambulance Service confirmed to The Herald: “We were called on Friday November 15 at approximately 9.33am to reports of a person needing urgent medical attention on Stepney Street in central Llanelli. ‘We responded with one rapid response vehicle, one specialised medical vehicle and one emergency ambulance.’

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