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Rain, dear, but no washout

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raindeer1REINDEER AND ELVES Day in Llanelli on Saturday (Dec 19) was hit badly by the constant rain and miserable winter conditions. However, there were plenty of events going on in the warmer areas of the town including the town library where Lisa Moore and her pop up prevents came to the rescue of those families with children who would have been soaked otherwise. Lisa’s events attract large numbers largely because she knows just what families want. The library was set out with large tables covered with great ideas for arts and crafts following a Christmas theme.

What Mum, Dad, boy or girl could refuse a table full of Lego, a table full of Play-doh and tables full of glue, paint, glitter and a plethora of arts and crafts materials? The added bonus was that it was safe, dry and warm. Everywhere one looked there were children painting, sticking, building and singing happily as they did so. It must be how Santa’s real grotto looks like with so many little helpers busily making beautiful creations to make people happy! The library appeared to be the main focal point for families with a cosy Santa’s grotto where children could see the old bloke himself and get a gift.

Even the main part of the library had gone that extra mile: Christmas displays and Christmas related books were prominent and the library jukebox may just have been playing Christmas songs. The action wasn’t limited to the library. The St Elli Centre was a festive symphony of light, decorations, another Santa’s grotto and of course jam packed with shoppers making the most of the sheltered areas to sit, eat and rest a while after their shopping extravaganza. Llanelli’s covered market was also the focus of some events including balloon artistry, face painting, buskers, stilt walkers and many other stalls who appeared to have gone bonkers over Christmas.

Even local politician Helen Mary Jones was handing out free Welsh cakes and mince pies, such was the Christmas spirit in the town. Literary genius Robert Lloyd read ‘The Night Before Christmas’ to those hardened fans of the written word who had by now moved closer to the reindeer for heat and shelter or else heading in Jenkins cafe (Kerching! Rob) for some of their wonderful locally-sourced produce. Those brave souls who braved the rain were treated to a host of performances on the main stage in the town centre.

Market stalls lined the streets and two antlered reindeer were on display for all to see complete with their keepers bedecked in what looked like traditional Lapland costumes. Children young and old were in awe of these lovely creatures as they enjoyed their reindeer food in their enclosure. Music drifted from the stage, as Sherilyn form the X Factor staged a singing competition for local children. Those who had not bolted for the shelters were treated to a wonderful performance by Sherilyn herself but she was not allowed to enter for the star prize, which was a party package at the Playking in Dafen not a stone’s throw from where Sherilyn herself works. Throughout the day, elves and pixies some on roller skates performed their mischief and mayhem by descending on unsuspecting shoppers and taking their orders for Christmas.

Stilt walkers mingled with shoppers, balloon sellers and buskers who were joined in song at one point in by members of the public. The town, despite the rain, looked colourful and alive. As the shoppers headed for home some hardened spectators remained to catch outstanding musical performances by local musicians and another of the TV show successes, Ragsy from The Voice. There was something very magical about the town as darkness fell, illuminations twinkled and Ragsy belted out Local Boy In A Photograph. His whole set was not the most jolly in the world but there was something very real about the lyrics and his soulful guitar playing as it wafted along the streets of Llanelli, which were once so full at Christmas that people were walking twelve abreast. There was an element of longing but also hope as Llanelli closed down its shops and prepared for the evening’s revellers; an altogether different form of footfall. With high heels on.

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Llanelli: Stop notice issued for school planning application

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A CONTROVERSIAL planning application for a new 480-spaced school in Llanelli has been issued a stop notice by the Welsh Government.
Carmarthenshire County Council is proposing to build a new £9.1m school on Llanerch Fields in Llanelli and were looking to determine the planning application in the coming weeks. Welsh Government will now decide whether to call in the application or not.
The new school would accommodate 420 primary and 60 nursery pupils, set over two floors with larger classrooms with integrated IT facilities, a multi-purpose hall and specialist provision for pupils with additional learning needs.
Over recent years there has been much debate in the area on the choice of site for the new school with campaigners arguing that they support a new school, but object against Llanerch fields being built upon. Last year an attempt to get the land designated as a village green was turned down.
In 2017, Ysgol Dewi Sant as the first Welsh medium primary school to be provided by a local authority celebrated its 70th birthday.
Councillor Rob James, local member for Lliedi, stated “From day one I have raised concerns that the Council’s site choice and planning process opened the Council up to the possibility of the Welsh Government calling in the planning application. It is clear that these concerns were not misplaced and there is now a really chance that it will be. 

“As a local Councillor, a school governor and a parent, I am passionate about the need for a new school for the pupils of Ysgol Dewi Sant and it is important that local pupils get the benefits of a 21st century school.
“I will now be working with Council Officers to ensure that contingency plans are prepared in case the Welsh Government state that the planning application does not comply with national planning policy.
“I will also work with parents, pupils, residents and interested parties are able to engage with the Welsh Government during this process.”

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Third annual Burry Port Raft Race is eagerly awaited

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THE THIRD ANNUAL BURRY PORT RAFT RACE, organised by Burry Port couple, Craig and Isabel Goodman, will be held on Saturday (July 27).

The event which is held in Burry Port Harbour, raises much needed funds for both Burry Port RNLI and a children’s football academy and primary school the couple support in The Gambia.

The day launches at 12pm with stands, food stalls and children’s inflatable games and rides and these will be available until 5pm. You’ll also have a chance to meet the crews, who’ll be busy putting the final touches to their rafts.

Rafts launch at 3pm, followed by a presentation ceremony, including prizes for first raft over the line, first raft to sink and best dressed raft.

Craig said: ” A huge thank you goes to all our sponsors, including overall sponsor Dawsons, along with continued sponsorship from Celtic Couriers, Parker Plant Hire, Burns Pet Nutrition, Burry Port Co-Op, Llanelli Star, LBS Builders Merchants, Burry Port Marina, First Choice Flooring and Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council.

For any further information about the event, please contact 07825 842981.

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Compensation offered after FSCS declares Llanelli firm in default

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CONSUMERS could get back money they have lost as a result of their dealings with a failed regulated firm in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. The firm is Hayden Williams Independent Financial Services Limited formerly Assura Protect, Room 1, 7 Meadows Bridge, Parc Menter, Cross Hands, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales SA14 6RA.

The firm was declared in default in June 2019 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

FSCS is the UK’s statutory compensation scheme that protects customers of authorised financial services firms that carry out certain regulated activities. A declaration of default means FSCS is satisfied a firm is unable to pay claims for compensation made against it. This paves the way for customers of that firm to make a claim for compensation with FSCS.

Alex Kuczynski, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at FSCS, said: “FSCS steps in to protect consumers around the UK when authorised financial services firms go bust. This vital service, which is free to consumers, protects deposits, insurance, investments, home finance and debt management. We want anyone who believes they may be owed money as a result of their dealings with this firm to get in touch, as we may be able to help you.”

Since it began in 2001, FSCS has helped more than 4.5m people, paying out more than £26bn in compensation.

If you wish to make a claim with FSCS against Hayden Williams Independent Financial Services Limited, you may be able to do so using FSCS’s online claims service at https://claims.fscs.org.uk Or you can contact its Customer Services Team on 0800 678 1100 or 020 7741 4100

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