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Rumble in the jungle

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Eyesore: Rubbish strewn in neighbouring gardens

Eyesore:
Rubbish strewn in
neighbouring gardens

PENSIONER Alex Jones is no stranger to hard work. At 77 years of age , he rises to the challenge of controlling the grass and hedges of his substantial back garden.

The problem he faces is that the neighbouring properties in Pwll receive no such love, attention or work and have become a thicket where rats thrive amongst the rubbish.

Alex contacted The Herald in 2015 complaining that the County Council were not acting on their own policies of forcing landlords and owners of abandoned properties to maintain them.

Carmarthenshire County Council are keen to reduce the number of empty properties in Carmarthenshire and they are offering as much help as possible to bring them back into use in order to address the County’s housing shortage. These empty or abandoned homes could present a real solution – if they can be brought back into use.

The council’s own literature is very clear on the impact that empty properties can have on a neighbourhood, listing ‘anti-social activity, including crime, vandalism and arson, resulting in an increased fear of crime for neighbours ; blight the surroundings and create environmental problems ; decrease adjacent property values by as much as 18 ; discourage further investment in the area leading to neighbourhood decline’.

The County Council even employs a dedicated Empty Property Officer to co-ordinate efforts to bring empty properties back in to use and the achievements of bringing these properties back is one of which the Council is proud.

Mr Jones is having none of it.

In the area around his home , we counted at least six empty abandoned properties. Mr Jones claims that at least one of his neighbouring properties was subject to grant funding but has long since been abandoned.

When we asked what steps had been taken to rectify matters, he said that someone had been along and knocked one of the sheds down but that had only exposed a heap of old tyres and rubbish , making it even more of an eyesore.

Alex told The Herald: “All I want is for someone to come and see the mess we have to put up with. Why should these people get away with leaving the properties get into such a state after having grant funding? We have a big problem with rats and it is becoming a health hazard.”

We contacted Nia Griffith MP, who said that she would be looking into the matter on Mr Jones’s behalf.

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Police appeal for information following alleged assault on a child

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POLICE are appealing for information after an alleged sexual assault on a child in Pembrey Country Park.

The police statement is as follows: “Dyfed-Powys Police is investigating an allegation of sexual assault by touching on a child, aged 6 years old, which occurred on Saturday afternoon, July 11, at a location in Pembrey Country Park, Carmarthenshire.  

“Officers immediately attended and searched the area.

“The suspect, who was unknown to the victim, is described as a white male with a tan, approximately 6ft tall, in his 40’s-50’s with short messy grey hair. He is described as wearing a blue t-shirt and a hat and carrying a black rucksack.  

“Officers are continuing to patrol the area and anniversary checks will be carried out.

“Anyone who has seen a male matching the description or anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: http://bit.ly/DPPReportOnline, by email at: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, 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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Local bus firms in protest drive over uncertainty

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HONK for hope is being backed by the coach operators surrounding the South West Wales area. 

They took to the roads around Haverfordwest, Carmarthen, and Cardigan in peaceful protest to support the call for help by coach operators during the corona virus pandemic.

Honk for hope is a national campaign to draw the public’s attention to the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the industry. It seeks to draw Governments attention to the dangerous position the coach and travel industry has fallen under, asking for them to take action.

Local coach companies, including Midway Motors, took to the roads to show their support to the campaign and to highlight the impact the pandemic has had on the industry and to ask for more support from the Government. 

The coaches and supporters met at the Carmarthen Park and Ride on July 14 at 11am to begin the drive. On the trip they visited Carmarthen at around 11.15am then headed to Haverfordwest for noon, finally reaching cardigan at 1.30pm.

Midway Motors spoke on their social media page: ‘Amazing to see so many local companies turning up to travel around Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion. Nice to see so many people along the roadsides as well. Let’s hope for some good news from the Government in Westminster tomorrow.”

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Waters tells Welsh Tories to “Get Serious” in Senedd debate

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LLANELLI’S Member of the Senedd Lee Waters has criticised the Welsh Conservatives for trying to score points from the coronavirus crisis.

In a debate about transport in Wales, the Tories argued that the Welsh Government had failed to provide adequate support for bus operators during the pandemic, and were disappointed by the discouragement of flights from Cardiff airport due to the recently relaxed travel restrictions.

Lee Waters said: “These are serious times, but I am afraid this motion is not a serious response from the Tories. The honourable project to create the Welsh Conservatives appears to be dead. Week after week the WG has faced calls by the Tories to copy the latest back of the envelope announcement from Downing Street. Public health policy driven by press conference is not the approach of this government”

“While passengers have understandably stepped away from public transport, the WG has not. The Tories claim that the 95% drop in passengers is due to the “cruel five mile rule”, but the drops been the same in England. What’s the logic of that?”

The Member of the Welsh Parliament for Llanelli added “When we commit Welsh tax payers money to help distressed bus companies, that’s money not being spent in care homes, or on schools. So when we do use these limited resources, we expect something in return. A commitment to keep down fares and a commitment to keep the services passengers want.”

“We will make extra funding available for increased services when passengers are ready to come back, not when it suits bus company shareholders, who’ve clearly been lobbying the Welsh Conservatives” Lee said.

Discussing Cardiff airport, Mr Waters remarked that it was “An airport the Conservatives wanted us to let fail in private ownership. An airport that we rescued and revived, yet opposed each step of the way by the Tories. Our calls for the UK Government to help regional airports like Cardiff have been ignored, and that’s where the Welsh Conservatives should be focusing their firepower.”

In his closing remarks, Lee said “The Conservatives are criticising us for the recently lifted travel restrictions, despite voting for it.  So we’ve seen the true colours of the Tories today; prepared to put short term profit above public health, and again, we make no apologies for wanting to keep people safe.”

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