PLAID CYMRU have decided to use some of the County Council’s nine-figure reserves to invest in a strategy to create jobs and improve the standard of living in Carmarthenshire.
That’s according to a press release from Plaid Cymru received by The Herald this morning.
The release reveals that since taking over the leadership of the county council from Labour in May, Plaid has been analysing the council’s substantial capital reserves and is not prepared to just sit on them.
As a result, almost £20m will be released from those reserves towards projects right across the county.
The £20m committed, together with grant aid and match funding, will enable expenditure over the next five years on a number of major projects which will create jobs and improve the quality of life of people in Carmarthenshire.
The projects include:
- The much-needed renovation of Carmarthenshire Museum at Abergwili
- Provide a new archive for the county (in possible partnership): £2m
- Extend Oriel Myrddin Art Gallery as focal point of King Street ‘cultural quarter’: £750k
- New circular cycle track at Pembrey Country Park : £500k
- Contribution towards restoring Carmarthen park Velodrome as a major cycling venue: £286k
- Carmarthen-Llandeilo cycling and walking track: £5.75m
- Cross Hands economic Link Road – Phase 2: £12.3m
- Upgrade and new attractions at Pembrey Country Park: £1m
- New care home in Llanelli: £12.5m
- Disabled Facility Grants to help older and vulnerable people to live in their own homes: £10m
- Glanaman Industrial Estate refurbishment: £1m
- Renovate Llanelli Market: £300k
- Rural Enterprise Fund to help enterprises create jobs and economic growth: £2m
Plaid says the above are IN ADDITION to tens of millions of pounds to be spent on new schools and a large number of other capital projects.
“Since taking over control of the council in May, in alliance with the Independent group, we’ve been analysing the reserves in detail and have established that almost £20m could be released for much-needed capital projects,” said Cllr Dai Jenkins, Plaid Cymru’s deputy-leader of council and Executive Board Member for Resources (pictured).
“People may ask why we don’t use these reserves to offset cuts in services – a course of action advocated by Plaid last year. But the truth is, at that time, due to lack of vision by the Labour-led administration, it was unclear why there was so much money in reserves and what use could be made of it. Some of it may be spent on off-setting cuts to services, but most of the money will be invested in a detailed strategy to create jobs and improve standards of living.
“With council reorganisation on the horizon, it’s imperative that we spend the money raised in our county for the future benefit of Carmarthenshire,” said Cllr Jenkins. “Plaid has a clear vision for our county’s future – and the means to deliver it.”
Earlier this year, Council Chief Executive Mark James was controversially given editorial space in one newspaper to slate Plaid Cymru’s plans to use the Council’s capital reserves to alleviate the impact of cuts on Carmarthenshire’s population. That intervention caused widespread disquiet about the appropriateness of Mr James’s intervention in political debate.
It appears that members of the Plaid Cymru group, after a difficult first few months in power with the Independent group, have flexed their own political muscles in an attempt to deliver the sort of improvements they favoured while in opposition.
Police appeal after river death in Ystradgynlais
DYFED-POWYS POLICE is appealing for witnesses following the death of a man in Ystradgynlais.
At around 10am this morning (16 January 2020), a man aged in his 60s was seen entering the River Tawe near Gorsedd Park.
He was rescued from the water near Trebanos Rugby Club, but despite the best efforts of paramedics, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin and HM Coroner have been informed.
His death is not being treated as suspicious, or linked to the adverse weather.
Our thanks go out to all who assisted in the response to this tragic incident, in very difficult weather conditions.
Anyone with information is urged to contact police in Ystradgynlais online by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Use reference: DP-20200216-217
New Body Cameras for Transport for Wales Staff
Last year alone, saw over 350 reported accounts of physical or verbal abuse against staff on trains in Wales and whilst this is a small number in terms of the overall passenger journeys, TfW are keen to further reduce this number as any incident should not be tolerated.
Antisocial figures in Wales show an improving trend in comparison with the rest of the UK and TfW has previously committed to providing CCTV at every station across the Wales and Borders network and already introduced additional security staff.
This trial is another step forward in reducing this type of behaviour and is being delivered in partnership with the British Transport Police.
The trial will include four different type of cameras, and after a review period, one company will be selected to supplying 300 across the network.
Ken Skates, Welsh Government Transport and North Wales Minister, said:
“Everyone has the right to work or travel on our network without the fear of abuse or threats. The rail staff there to help us are no different to our family and friends. They are working hard to get us from A to B, often in difficult circumstances.
“We must stamp out anti-social behaviour and do everything we can to support staff to do their jobs and let passengers make their journeys in a safe and pleasant environment.”
Daniel Hopkin, a frequent rail passenger on the Neath to Cardiff line added:
“It’s great that Transport for Wales are fitting their staff with cameras. I regularly travel between Neath and Cardiff on the train and I think that any improvements in safety will benefit customers.
“The railway station can be really hectic and the fact that staff will have body cameras should act as a deterrent to some of the occasional bad behaviour. Transport for Wales seem to be considering different ways to improve things for the customer and I find that encouraging as a passenger.”
Marc Clancy, Transport for Wales Conductor said:
“We have to deal with a range of people daily and most of our customers are grateful and polite. We work extremely hard to give our customers the best possible experience when using our services, however at times staff and passengers do experience occasional antisocial behaviour and abuse.
“The introduction of these cameras should act as a deterrent to antisocial behaviour, support assault prosecutions and boost public confidence in safety.
“They will provide our front-line staff with more confidence when dealing with difficult situations and abusive customers.”
BTP Superintendent Andrew Morgan, said:
“The safety of passengers and our rail industry colleagues is our absolute priority and we do everything we can to protect them.
“We fully support the introduction of body worn cameras for Transport for Wales’ frontline staff – we know from experience that body worn video is a fantastic piece of kit that helps us in securing convictions against those who target staff with unnecessary violence or abuse.
“We hope the introduction will deter anti-social behaviour and provide reassurance to rail staff as well as passengers.
Fortunately, these types of incidents are few and far between, however if anyone has any concerns while travelling, they can text us on 61016.”
Police appeal following fatal road traffic collision
“Dyfed-Powys Police is appealing for witnesses to a single vehicle road traffic collision which occurred on an unclassified road eastbound between Afon Dulais and Pantygwyn, Capel Dewi around 3pm on Saturday 8th February 2020.
Sadly the 50-year-old female driver passed away at the scene.
The vehicle involved was a 64 plate Grey Nissan NV200 Acenta.
If anyone has any information on this incident please contact Carmarthenshire serious collision investigation unit on the 101 number quoting reference 185 for the 08th February
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