LLANELLI politicians lent their support to the seventh Neighbourhood Food Collection, which launched in Tesco stores across the country last weekend (Dec 5-6) . The Neighbourhood Food Collection, run by Tesco with partner charities, The Trussell Trust and FareShare, is aiming to provide at least five million meals to people in need this winter as both charities see increased use by families struggling to put food on the table, making it the biggest collection yet. Nia Griffith MP and Keith Davies AM visited the Llanelli Tesco Store to lend their support during the collection of food for one of Llanelli’s food banks.
Nia Griffith said: “It’s a crying shame that in 2015 we need food banks but they have become a lifeline to many people. I would like to thank the hard working volunteers who work tirelessly for the Trussell Trust. “We helped highlight the need for donations on this occasion in Tesco’s, but without the year-long dedication of people like Amber Carpenter, Claire Childs and Miriam Evans (to name but a few) who run the food bank at Myrtle House in Llanelli, organisations like the Trussell Trust would simply not be able to operate successfully and do the good work that they do.”
Keith Davies said: “I have supported the work of all local foodbanks in Llanelli as they support so many people in the Llanelli area who are struggling to make ends meet. I would like to encourage anyone who can afford to, to consider buying some extra items as part of the regular shop to donate to the cause this Christmas. We shouldn’t need to have foodbanks but as times continue to be tough for some , it is up to all of us to come together to support people in need” Since the Neighbourhood Food Collections were launched in 2012, over 27.5 million meals – including a 30% top-up from Tesco – have been donated to people in need by generous Tesco customers.
Tesco is hoping that the latest collection will take the total number of meals donated since the collection began beyond 30 million. As with previous collections, Tesco will add an extra 30% to all customer donations in the form of financial support to the two charities, helping them expand their network and reach more people in need. Examples of how the charities have previously used the Tesco top-up funding include paying for a foodbank warehouse manager, buying essential items in short supply or funding petrol and vehicle costs.
Since 2012 the topup has resulted in combined funding of over £3.6 million to FareShare and The Trussell Trust. Rebecca Shelley, Group Communications Director for Tesco said: “It’s wonderful to see the generosity of our customers every time we run the Neighbourhood Food Collection. “Every little help can make a big difference, and it’s even more important to donate during the winter because our charity partners often see increased demand for their services during the colder months. This is now our seventh collection and we want to keep up the momentum we’ve built throughout the Neighbourhood Food Collections so far.”
Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare, said: “It doesn’t need to take much, sadly, for an individual or a family to start struggling and experience hard times. The Neighbourhood Food Collection really helps us in our work to provide good food to 2,135 amazing frontline organisations which support people who are struggling to feed themselves. Part of that support comes in the way of good nutritious meals, often the first step in helping those vulnerable people back on their feet.” The Neighbourhood Food Collection relies on, and is bolstered by volunteers. During last winter’s collection in November 2014, approximately 20,000 volunteers across the UK were involved.”
David McAuley, CEO of The Trussell Trust said: “The Trussell Trust has seen huge rises in referrals to foodbanks in recent years, and it’s surprising how fast a crisis can strike. We’ve seen professionals like nurses and teachers referred to foodbanks – people who you might not expect to need help. Many households are managing their finances perfectly well on a day-to-day basis, but as soon as an unexpected bill or cost comes in, such as a broken boiler or funeral costs, the impact on finances can be devastating. Often, a referral to the foodbank helps people to bridge the gap when the unexpected hits and gives them the breathing room to break out of crisis. Winter is often the hardest time of year for people in poverty, with many having to choose between heating and eating. That’s why we’re so grateful for the food donations from Tesco shoppers which will help stop hunger this Christmas.”
Station Road: Off-licence refused alcohol licence
AN OFF-LICENCE on Llanelli’s Station Road has been refused an alcohol licence by Carmarthenshire County Council after councillors decided it could add to the area’s crime and disorder problems.
The Licensing Committee’s decision has been upheld after the applicant, who runs the shop Kubus, appealed to the courts.
The applicant, Aram Mahmood, had asked the council for permission to sell alcohol at his shop between 9am and 9pm Monday to Sunday.
However councillors felt that granting the licence would contravene the authority’s Cumulative Impact Policy, which creates a presumption against the granting of premises licences in the Station Road area, due to anti-social behaviour and alcohol-fuelled crime issues.
A Dyfed Powys Police representative said Station Road is still identified as a crime and disorder hot spot, and a Drinking in Public Places Order (DPPO) is in place.
During April 2017 and March 2018, 164 anti-social behaviour incidents were recorded in Station Road, over a quarter having occurred within licensed premises.
A fifth of all related crime and 13 per cent of all alcohol related anti-social behavior incidents recorded in Llanelli town occurred in Station Road.
Over 40 alcohol related violent crimes were also recorded there during the same period.
Although there are now fewer premises selling alcohol in Station Road, statistics show there is still a high level of alcohol related crime and disorder in the area.
The applicant told the committee that his main customers were families wishing to buy Polish and European foods and products.
He told councillors he had ordered a CCTV system and assured them that the management of alcohol would be well controlled by staff, though believed that his customers would not cause problems.
The licensing committee’s decision was upheld following the applicant’s appeal to Llanelli Magistrates Court.
Justices found that there was no evidence of exceptional reasons to justify departing from the Cumulative Impact Policy and were satisfied with the committee’s decision.
Cllr Kevin Madge elected as new county council Chairman
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.
‘UK Government should work with the Welsh Labour Government on Tata’
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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