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Council boards up Trimsaran RFC changing rooms

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changingroomsboardedTHE CHANGING rooms of Trimaran RFC have been boarded up leaving the club with nowhere to prepare for fixtures over the Christmas period and into the New Year.A concerned club member contacted The Herald to say that council employees were at the changing rooms boarding them up and that he was told that the club had 4 hours to clear out. A club representative who asked not to be named told The Herald: “Three weeks ago we made inquiries about the transfer of asset management. We were confident that we would be able to get a £14,000 grant.

The WRU have over half a million in the pot for improving club facilities like those at Trimaran. “However, Meryl Gravell obviously wants to knock the changing rooms and the Miners Welfare Hall down as part of the council’s plans to build a Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) there. “There used to be a £100,000 from the Sports Council to do this but those grants are no longer available because the Sports Council themselves say that the MUGA’S are not viable. There would be three MUGAS within a few miles of each other if that went ahead. They are not being used and they do not serve the purpose of rugby and football clubs.” The representative told us he was shocked to hear of the closure over the phone: “I got a phone call on Tuesday (Dec 22) and was told that the council were there turning the water and electricity off and boarding it up.

They cant do that. The club’s equipment is in there.” Speaking about the future plans the club had for the changing rooms the representative , “The WRU has now divided rugby up to Carms East West and Central. The WRU are putting money into clubs with playing fields they own. Trimsaran owns their own ground. Trimsaran would have been the venue for women’s rugby in May and June with under 8’s to under 16’s training there. To do that you need four changing rooms. All schoolboys matches are also played there. “We need these facilities but Meryl Gravell is trying to force the club to use the changing rooms in Leisure centre which is council subsidised. If we did that we would just be propping up a white elephant. It appears Wayne Jones of the County Council instructed that the changing rooms should be shut down. There has been no attempt to repair the roof. The club doesn’t have facilities on Saturdays now.” The Herald asked the representative what he believed was behind the decision to board up the changing rooms.

His answer betrayed a deep cynicism about the Council’s motivations: “You have to question whether this is a deliberate attempt to destroy the building. They have not given us any notice. The attempt to transfer the asset is ongoing. Meryl Gravell is away and uncontactable. She is supposed to be our local councillor and said nothing to us about this before she went away on holiday! How are we supposed to use the leisure centre changing rooms if nobody is there?” Richie Powell, who is standing for the County Council against Meryl Gravell in May 2017, commented: “It is a bit of a shock to come and see that it has been boarded up. It is one of the busiest and most exciting times for Trimsaran Rugby Club. The place is run down but there is a grant available to make it better. They can’t go and change in the leisure centre. There is a cafe by the front entrance. At this time of year when the ground is wet it will be filthy within minutes. “To close it down like this is so unprofessional. The club has produced so many great rugby players.

They have screwed the boards into the framework of the door and into the walls. They could have come here and sorted out the rocks on top of the roof, fixed the guttering, cleaned up, but not board it up.” The Miners’ Welfare Club is another example of a neglected community asset. It has so much history and has been host to so many great community events. Why can’t they do it up like they did with the hall in Carwe? I would like to ask Meryl Gravell why she has left this rugby club in the lurch and gone of for Christmas without a thought for anyone. They have no permission to go anywhere else.” “The Council should have contacted the club and talked about this. This is embarrassing for the village. It seems that some councillors are too far removed from their communities.

The people running the show are the pen pushers at County Hall. They don’t care about history, heritage or communities.” International athlete Richie continued: “Where do the players who play for Wales come from? It is here at the grass roots level in clubs like Trimsaran. This would not happen over the border in England. We seem to have allowed this council to ride roughshod over everybody and that is why I am making a stand and putting myself forward. The council should be able to step in here and give the club a little help. They seem to be able to find the money for so many other people and projects, which have often been white elephants.” The Herald contacted Carmarthenshire County Council and asked if they could provide any information on why the changing rooms were boarded up. A spokesperson told us: “The changing rooms have been closed due to health and safety reasons until maintenance repairs have been carried out. In the meantime the club has been advised to use the facilities at the leisure centre.”

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Cllr Kevin Madge elected as new county council Chairman

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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.

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‘UK Government should work with the Welsh Labour Government on Tata’

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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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MP and AM call for Trostre certainty after merger fails

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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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