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Who is to blame for rat ‘infestation’?

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Rat infestation: Should CCC have in-house pest control?

A QUESTION relating to ‘a number’ of rat infestations in Llanelli was raised at Wednesday’s (Jan 13) full council meeting.

Former Executive Member for Housing Tegwen Devichand told the current holder of the portfolio Linda Evans that she had received ‘a number of complaints’ from tenants and residents relating to rat infestations in their properties. “Although continued baiting has been carried out, rats are still invading a number of homes,” Cllr Devichand added. “They are destroying the personal effects of the residents and tenants and also chewing electric wires etc. One lady told me she was afraid to get out of bed in the night to use the bathroom in case she was attacked by one of these vermin.”

Cllr Devichand suggested that the rats were entering the properties via outside drains, and that this had become more of an issue since Dwr Cymru had stopped baiting their drains, and asked whether Cllr Evans could contact the water board and other agencies to look for a solution to this problem. Shortly before Cllr Devichand asked this question, Council Chair Peter Hughes-Griffiths asked councillors raising questions at a full council meeting whether or not they could, in some instances, be addressed privately to officers and members of the Executive Board to get a ‘fuller answer’. Whether or not this was aimed at Cllr Devichand’s query, she responded by stating that her question was ‘very important for tenants and the population’ of the county. Cllr Evans began her response by suggesting that the issue, which related to the health, wellbeing and belongings of residents, should have been addressed to Executive Member for Environment and Public Protection Jim Jones. However, she added, as it had been addressed to her, she would answer.

The council was informed that across Carmarthenshire CCC had received 255 requests for assistance with vermin in the last year, 77 of which were related to council-owned properties: “Having received the complaint, officers will offer advice,” she added, mentioning that the disposal of waste food was frequently an issue. “In extreme circumstances, enforcement action will be taken,” she added. Apparently this had happened 27 times, though it was unclear whether the action had been taken against the complainant or a third party. In relation to the ‘number of complaints’ from Cllr Devichand’s Dafen ward, Cllr Evans said that they could only find one instance of a complaint being made – an incident where rats had damaged electrical wiring – and that council officers had visited the property in December. She asked Cllr Devichand to provide details of the other cases in order for investigations to begin.

Cllr Evans and Cllr Jones would also write to Dwr Cymru and other agencies for information about the methods they used, she added. Cllr Devichand responded by saying that the complaints had come to her, not in her capacity as a county councillor, but because she had formerly held the post of Executive Member for Housing for three years, and still received complaints. In a supplementary question, Cllr Devichand claimed that the public had been ‘more confident’ in their pest control when the local authority had an in-house pest control department, and asked whether it could be re-instated. This service was abolished under the Labour-Independent coalition in 2011 – something Cllr Evans wasted no time in pointing out, although, as is becoming traditional, the role of their new coalition partners in this was not mentioned. The question of whether pest control services should be brought in-house again was also avoided.

This is far from the first time that residents have raised complaints about the council’s lack of pest control, with one woman even going as far as leaving a live rat with receptionists at County Hall with instructions to pass it on to Chief Executive Mark James. As is still the case today, a council spokesperson said that they would have offered advice to the person about how they could deal with the problem themselves.

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  1. Avatar

    Kevin R

    May 9, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Pest control should be handled by whoever is responsible. In this case, the rats have been using Dwr Cymru outside drains to enter the properties. They’ve been baiting their drains so they also know it’s their responsibility, but I don’t understand why they suddenly stopped.

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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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