PLANS for how the health service can contribute to a multi-million pound health and wellbeing village in Llanelli have been discussed by West Wales’ leading health bosses. Hywel Dda University Health Board hosted an event in Carmarthen to discuss the plans, which form part of the ambitious ARCH Programme. The £60 m Llanelli Wellness Village, led by Carmarthenshire Council, would be the first of its kind in Wales and unique to Llanelli. The scope that the health service and transformational ARCH Programme could play in the development was discussed by Hywel Dda chief executive Steve Moore and senior health staff at a workshop held in Carmarthen Leisure Centre workshop discuss the Board’s involvement in ARCH.
The proposed Llanelli Wellness Centre is just one element of the ARCH project and aims to see a new leisure centre built which will also a wellness education centre, a health and wellbeing academy, out of hours GP services, therapies centre, hotel and conferencing and business facilities. Swansea University senior lecturer and ARCH Project Manager Bjorn Rodde spoke to Hywel Dda staff members about the potential benefit, not only to Llanelli, but the entire region of South West Wales. He said: “All of these services help people live longer and enjoy a better quality of life while providing sustainable jobs for the future.” The Llanelli Wellness community in Delta Lakes, could also see the development of ILS@Hywel Dda.
The Institute of Life Science (ILS) is Wales’s premier purpose-built medical research facility and is based at Swansea University. It is hoped Carmarthenshire will benefit from the same innovation and research which benefits all our health with the creation of the Hywel Dda facility in Llanelli. Funding could come from the EU but also from private investment and match funding in various forms. Carmarthenshire Council has said it would supply the land for the project. Hywel Dda chief executive Steve Moore told the invited audience that the health board is committed to the ARCH Programme but urged his senior managers to make the most of what ARCH can offer. He said: “ARCH will be everything to everyone, but as a health board we must be clear about what we want to get out of the project for our communities “This programme really does offer us the chance to improve the services we deliver across the Hywel Dda area and to transform the way we operate as an organisation.
“We are committed to ARCH, but now is the time to work with our partners and be specific about what it can bring to us.” He emphasised that working effectively as a region is in the hands of the Hywel Dda team He added: “Collaboration is a choice.” Another of the guest speakers at the Carmarthenshire event was Dr Phil Kloer, Medical Director & Director of Clinical Strategy for Hywel Dda, also praised the ARCH Programme and encouraged his colleagues to support the scheme. He said: “This will break new ground. By linking ARCH’s ambitions with our local clinical strategy we can be a leader in rural health services and even possibly repatriate certain services to Hywel Dda. “We do have some fragile service models, we need to work together now and everyone needs to be a part of it.”
He added: “Now is the moment to connect to ARCH as an organisation.” An ARCH spokeswoman said: “Our emotional wellbeing is a key part to living a healthier and happier life. It is one of the key aims of the programme. ARCH will be a vehicle to help the partners deliver improved health services across the region. But in order for this innovative project to be completely effective we must all start to understand how taking care of our own wellbeing will create a healthier region. “We are working together to develop healthier values locally which focus on health and wellbeing for all our communities. Carmarthenshire Council’s plans for the Wellness and Wellbeing Village in Llanelli’s Delta Lakes are a key foundation stone in ARCH’s aims.”
Chair of the ARCH Wellness and Wellbeing group is Carmarthenshire councillor Meryl Gravell. Councillor Gravell said: “We want to help our communities be more active, feel supported and be curious to learn new skills and take on new challenges. This will all contribute to improving not only our wellbeing but our overall health.” Councillor Gravell added: “The ARCH Wellness and Wellbeing group is leading the way to find ways of helping the entire region stay well. “I am particularly excited about the proposed plans for the Wellness Village in Delta Lakes. This Carmarthenshire Council-led project will be a huge win for our community and is a great way to show what the ARCH Programme partners can deliver. We also want to improve the economic health of the area, so we are also looking to work with the private sector to create good quality, well-paid jobs.”
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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