RESIDENTS of Salem in Carmarthenshire were either kept in or out of their village on Wednesday (Mar 2).
Visitors to the village were also hard-pressed to reach the village by road.
That is, if they could find it after road signs were taken down to make way for a test run for a new wind turbine.
One local resident Lynne Hillier told The Herald that the roads to Salem were closed off without any notice from Carmarthenshire County Council or Dyfed Powys- Police as a massive lorry meant for carrying the wind turbine was doing a dry run.
Mrs Hiller who spoke to The Herald by phone while the lorry was making its way through Salem said that it was ‘chaotic’.
She questioned the cost involved and asked: “How much money has been spent on digging up miles of roads, digging out ancient hedgerows and filling in roadside ditches to allow this company to site a wind turbine in an area of outstanding natural beauty?”
The Herald contacted Carmarthenshire County Council and we were told that the work had nothing to do with the local authority and its involvement was limited to its role as the planning authority.
The Herald visited the site and we noticed that County Council road signs had been taken down and left in the roadway.
Lynne said she was stopped by the police and told that she could not get back to her home.
She complained: “The Council must have spent thousands of pounds preparing the roads for this lorry and turbine. Nobody wants the turbine there other than the council and the land owner.”
Mrs Hillier further explained that she had to make a twenty minute detour and that she suffers with a condition whereby she will be affected by the resonance from the turbine. Mrs. Hillier claims that a footpath has been moved by the company despite the fact that when a local land owner applied to move the footpath it was turned down by the council.
She told us: “It looks like the council have literally moved heaven and Earth for this turbine to be sited for someone to get £45,000 per year. All the road signs have been taken down. They have made a huge mess of the roadways leaving trenches of mud. Because we have had all this rain and they have filled in the ditches, the water has been flooding down the roads.”
Local resident Mr. John Johnson told us that he watched the lorry attempting to turn onto the access road for the turbine site. He said, “The lorry could not make the turn even though they have dug out the banks on each side of the crossroads and taken the road signs down. This huge lorry had to go across the crossroads and then reverse around a 90 degree junction onto another road before facing the right way for the access road.
“The road sign telling people where to go is still on the floor and the give way sign, which should be firmly fixed has just been placed into a plastic pipe and can be lifted out easily. I suspect that is because they know that the lorry will have to do that each time it comes here.”
Road chaos, a village cut off, removeable road signs, nobody taking responsibility for the disruption: for the foreseeable future, that appears to be Salem’s lot.
Lifeline for cockle-gathers could be on the way after Llangennech rail crash
Plaid Cymru MS Helen Mary Jones has raised the impact on cockle-gathers of the Llangennech derailment last year.
She received an assurance from the First Minister that the Welsh Government was looking at way to help the cockle industry.
Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Economy, Transport and Tackling Poverty Minister, Helen Mary Jones MS said:
“In the Senedd I congratulated the public services for the way they co-operated around the clean-up after the Llangennech derailment, which, so far, has been very successful. I demanded a life-line scheme to help the cockle gathers.
“I raised with the First Minister issues for two groups of businesses particularly badly affected in the short-term by the derailment.
“One of those was the very important cockle-gathering industry, the other, of course, were farmers who graze animals on those low-lying banks by the river.
“There has been a request for the Welsh Government to consider whether some interim financial support might be made available to the cockle gatherers and the grazers while responsibility for the derailment and long-term compensation becomes a possibility. Many of these are small businesses; they operate on quite low margins and currently in difficult circumstances.
“The First Minister emphasised he was aware of the impact on cockle gatherers and particularly that they were unable to carry out their normal activities while the level of environmental contaminants in the estuary were being surveyed.
“Plaid Cymru believes it must be the polluter in the end that must pay for the damage that has been caused, but the rail accident investigation branch work is not coming to a conclusion quickly.
“The Welsh Government is expecting to receive advice in the next few days whether or not it is possible to devise a scheme through the Welsh Government in which some interim assistance to those industries could be supplied.
“The Welsh Government is keen to obtain that advice from officials in case it is possible, before the rail accident investigation is completed, so they can offer some assistance to those who have been most directly affected.”
The environmental impact of the Llangennech derailment last year was amongst the most significant in Wales since the Sea Empress disaster of 25 years ago.
Monitoring of the site and surrounding area, which includes four sites of special scientific interest and a special area of conservation will continue for many years to come.
UK Budget must take crucial steps to help recovery
LLANELLI Labour representatives are urging the UK Government to take the necessary steps to begin recovery and secure prosperity across all parts of the UK.
Llanelli’s MP Nia Griffith and MS Lee Waters set out Wales’ priorities ahead of the UK Budget on Wednesday March 3 2021.
They are urging the UK Government to make a series of commitments to Wales, including:
• sustaining UK-wide business support
• delivering welfare and taxation measures to support the most vulnerable
• redressing the historical under investment in Wales on research and development and rail infrastructure
• providing an injection of funding to support the transition to Net Zero carbon emissions
• providing guarantees for Wales’ specific funding pressures
Speaking ahead of the UK Budget announcement, Nia Griffith MP reiterated her calls for continued business support for those on the lowest of incomes. She said:
“It is vital that the Job Retention Scheme and Self Employed Income Support Scheme are retained – not threatened with being removed at the eleventh hour and putting livelihoods at risk. A delay to repayments should also be introduced for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme with recognition given to the self-employed who are facing deferred bills.”
“It is also vital that the £20 per week increase to Universal Credit is maintained and put on a permanent basis, making it available to people in receipt of legacy means-tested benefits. More than 300,000 families in Wales have benefitted from an extra £1,000 a year as a result of the uplift and removing this now would have a detrimental and long-lasting effect on thousands of households across Wales.”
Lee Waters MS said:
“The UK Government should continue to take advantage of historically low interest rates to invest in Wales’ infrastructure and public services. Particularly on rail, where we have been underfunded to the tune of billions since the start of devolution, this is the moment where Rishi Sunak can demonstrate his commitment to ‘levelling up’ all four nations of the UK.”
“This budget is a chance to hardwire a greener, fairer way of doing things into our recovery from Coronavirus. We are ambitious about our target of being Net Zero carbon by 2050, and averting the climate crisis which is increasingly affecting Wales through flooding. But to make that transition, we need a step change from the UK Government’s budget that allows us to invest in renewable energy and green jobs.”
Search for Susan Smith continues
THE search for missing Susan Smith is now in it’s third day. She was last seen on Saturday (Feb 27), walking in the Kidwelly area.
Speaking to The Herald, a police spokesperson said: “We are continuing to search for Susan Smith who has been reported missing.”
“The search is continuing today with specialist police officers making house to house enquiries in the Kidwelly, St Ishamels, Ferryside and surrounding areas.
Sergeant Fiona Phillips said: “It is important that we build a picture of Susan’s movements after she was last seen on Saturday and I would appeal to anyone who believes they may have seen her to contact police.”
Susan was last seen 1.30pm Saturday, February 27 2021, walking in the Carmarthen Bay Holiday Village, Kidwelly area. She is known to walk along the beach to St Ishmaels and Ferryside.
She is described as approximately 5ft2 inches tall, petite with shoulder length blonde hair and believed to be wearing black jeans, a black fleece type jacket and navy and grey walking boots.
Any who has seen Susan or anyone who may have information that could help the search is asked to contact Dyfed-Powys Police, quoting reference 285 of Saturday 27th February.
Police can be contacted either online at bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing email@example.com, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908
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