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Plenty of questions for Executive Board

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Carmarthenshire County Council: Executive board will discuss Llangennech school

Carmarthenshire County Council:
Executive board will discuss Llangennech school

THE MONDAY (Jun 20) meeting of Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board promises to be a lively affair, with an unprecedented number of questions from members of the public.

30 questions, including 11 referred to the Executive Board by the Education Scrutiny Committee, with 19 questions addressed directly to Executive Board Member for Education Councillor Gareth Jones.

The questions all concern plans to discontinue Llangennech Primary and Junior Schools, replace them with a Community Primary School, and change from dual stream to Welsh medium education – a topic The Herald has covered extensively in the past.

The questions themselves are fairly evenly split between those in favour of the change and those who oppose it. A number of points are raised, including the perceived difficulty children with special educational need have in learning more than one language, the safety issues involved in transporting children to an English medium school out of the village, and a lingering belief on the part of those opposed to Welsh medium education in Llangennech that the transition is ‘a done deal’.

There are also queries about what is regarded as a ‘surplus’ of Welsh medium school places in the area – something The Herald has also previously discussed in greater depth.

However, those who are more supportive of the change include one non-Welsh speaking parent who expresses her pride that her Welsh medium-educated children have grown up bilingual, while others express concern over declining Welsh usage in Llangennech over the past 20 years and point out that support is available for non-Welsh speaking parents whose children attend Welsh medium schools.

It is also pointed out that research has shown children who grow up speaking two languages have higher IQs than their monolingual counterparts, and that educational outcomes in the core subjects in schools, including Llangennech, are better in the Welsh medium stream at present.

The campaign against the change to Welsh medium education in Llangennech has received widespread media coverage, with the story being covered by national news outlets including BBC Wales.

One of the objectors, South African-born Anglican vicar John Plessis, memorably compared the proposals to apartheid, while leading protestor Michaela Beddows said that the village ‘would be divided’ as a result.

Llangennech is 39% Welsh-speaking.

It was also claimed by protestors that Carmarthenshire County Council had somehow been acting illegally in educating their children in Welsh – something that had been happening for five years before anyone brought it up.

This led to a response from Cllr Gareth Jones which described the allegation as ‘completely untrue’.

Cllr Jones also expressed concern that ‘some people have taken to naming individual members of school staff on social media and are making unfounded personal criticisms of them.’

“It is important that the debate is conducted objectively, fairly and with respect for others,” he added.

The Executive Board is due to make their recommendation on the proposal at Monday’s meeting.

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Three men arrested over charity box and cafe thefts

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THREE men are being questioned by police in connection with a burglary in Llanelli this weekend.

A cash register containing around £1,500, a charity collection box, and approximately £1,000 worth of stock were stolen from Marzano’s Café Bar in Cowell Street in the early hours of Sunday, February 16.

Today (Tuesday) three men aged 35, 39 and 27 were arrested on suspicion of burglary.

Chief Inspector Chris Neve said property searches were also being conducted in the Llanelli area as part of the investigation.

“I would like to reassure the community of Llanelli that we take incidents like this extremely seriously,” said Chief Inspector Neve.

“I would also like to thank everyone who has come forward with information so far.”

Café owner Andrew Marzano said: “I am extremely grateful to Dyfed-Powys Police for their efforts since we reported the incident to them. 

“I am also extremely grateful and humbled to the local community as we have had hundreds of messages of support from far and wide.”

Anyone with further information that could help police should contact 101, quoting reference DPP/0005/17/02/2020/01/C.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired you can also text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Dyfed-Powys Police appeal following Llanelli road traffic collision

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Dyfed-Powys Police is appealing for information following a road traffic collision which occurred at approximately 12.15am, this morning, Tuesday 18th February, 2020.

A black Audi A4 estate and a pedestrian were involved in the collision on Station Rd, Llanelli. The pedestrian was taken to hospital with what are described as serious injuries.

Anyone who witnessed the collision, anyone who has information regarding the collision or information relating to the occupant of the vehicle is urged to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit quoting reference DP-20200218-006.

Police can be contacted by phoning 101, online at http://bit.ly/DPPReportOnline, or by email. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.”

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Lee Waters AM meets with prize winning students

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LOCAL Member of the Senedd Lee Waters visited Coleg Sir Gar to meet with prize winning students on Friday.

Three students from the college have won prestigious medals in the UK leg of the World Skills championship. WorldSkills UK Live is the UK national final for vocational skills competitions and brings together apprentices and young people from across the four nations to compete to world class standards in their chosen fields.

Llanelli’s Kieran Davies won a gold medal in the IT Support Technician category. Anwen Evans won a bronze in the health and social care category after being judged for how well she dealt with a patient with autism in a mock flat, and Lewis Hall won a Gold for woodworking.

Lee Waters MS said:“I was very impressed by the achievements of these award winning Coleg Sir Gar students beating off stiff competition from across the UK to win medals at the UK leg of the world-wide WorldSkills championship.

“It’s huge credit to them and their tutors for these real achievements.”

Pictured are Kieran Davies (wearing Red), Lewis Hall (wearing chequered shirt), Anwen Evans, Lee Waters MS and Andrew Cornish of Coleg Sir Gar

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