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Llangennech court fight looms

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Threatened by judicial review: Council will fight

Threatened by judicial review:
Council will fight

SOLICITORS acting for an unnamed disabled child are threatening to derail the Council’s plans to change the language category of Ysgol Llangennech from dual stream to Welsh medium education.

Sinclairlaw claim to be ‘leading experts in dealing with all aspects of Education Law’.

On a news release on its website, the firm states it has been instructed to act ‘on behalf of a Welsh-speaking parent’.

The letter asserts that a consultation exercise undertaken by the council was improper , as it was progressed despite having already implemented its proposals. It goes on to claim that changing the language of instruction of the school would discriminate on grounds of race and disability.

It also alleges that the Council’s approach will effect an exclusion of the English language.

Finally, the letter claims the Council’s approach is a violation of the Human Rights Act and its duty to pay proper regard to parental wishes and philosophical convictions.

However, the Council has not yet made a final decision about the change of language category to Ysgol Llangennech. The letter therefore amounts to a pre-emptive strike that seeks to prevent the Council making a decision that it would otherwise be entitled to make following a consultation.

In addition, if the arguments advanced hold any water at all, then the whole of the Welsh Government’s approach to language categorisation and school reorganisation will be in disarray.

The whole approach bears a striking resemblance to the approach of Education First, a campaign in the days of Dyfed County Council by a tiny minority of parents who wanted to avoid any Welsh-medium education that would go anywhere near to making their children bilingual by the age of 11. It may also suggest a lack of familiarity with dual stream schooling, in which it is normal for reception class children to receive tuition in the medium of Welsh as part of an approach to ensuring they are ready for bilingual or Welsh-medium instruction later in the school careers.

Certainly , the relatively small number of Llangennech residents who actually have children in Ysgol Llangennech and have been campaigning vociferously against the change of language category, affected surprise on the ‘discovery’ that their children had been receiving tuition in Welsh in reception classes for around five years.

Perhaps most startling is the much broader claim on the issue’s significance made by a spokesperson for Sinclairlaw, who averred: “During a time when the Union of the United Kingdom is a major concern for many people, the C ouncil should think again before promoting an approach which may be considered unnecessarily divisive.”

With the argument pitched in such cataclysmic terms, we asked Carmarthenshire County Council for its observations.

Education Executive Board Member , Cllr Gareth Jones , said: “Carmarthenshire County Council does not consider that its proposal to change the language category of schools in Llangennech contravenes any law. The County Council will contest any Judicial Review lodged against its proposal.

“Carmarthenshire County Council prides itself on the success of its inclusion programmes within its education service and schools. Any child with a disability will benefit from a full and proper assessment of need and provision will be made according to the needs of the individual child.”

That assessment has not yet taken place in relation to any proposed change of language category and cannot take place unless until such a change takes place. Not least as if it had already carried out such an assessment, the Council would be faced with a claim that carrying it out was an indication that the authority had predetermined the outcome of the consultation.

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Scrub removal at Pembrey to improve dunes for biodiversity

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If scrub growth is not controlled, it will cause species like lizards, orchids and dune pansies to suffer and disappear from our sand dunes.

SCRUB provides a splash of greenery in our sandy spaces, but too much scrub smothers the sand dunes and has a devastating effect on the specialist plants and invertebrates which live there. 

This winter Natural Resources Wales will be removing non-native, invasive plant species from areas of dune at Pembrey to help wildlife thrive.

The coast around Pembrey is home to 20% of all the plants in Wales and features a large sand dune system. Sand dunes are listed as the habitat type most at risk of biodiversity loss in Europe.

The Dynamic Dunescapes project, funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund and delivered in Wales by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), is working at Pembrey with Carmarthenshire County Council’s Outdoor Recreation Service to improve the condition of these dunes for wildlife.

Some non-native plant species, like the dense scrub plant sea buckthorn, are invasive and they are growing quickly in this dune system – spreading further across large areas of dune each year. 

Many of the dunes’ rare and specialist wildlife needs bare sand or low grassland habitat to survive and gets lost under or outcompeted by scrub. 

If scrub growth is not controlled, it will cause species like lizards, orchids and dune pansies to suffer and disappear from our sand dunes.

Scrub removal in specifically chosen locations will help to restore the habitat types that these species need, and this work will play a part in ensuring the dunes at Pembrey have a healthy, biodiverse future. 

Improving the ecological condition here will increase this coastal landscape’s resilience to other threats, such as extreme weather events and changing conditions brought on by climate change in the future.

The first phase of this work is to take place in Pembrey Country Park around Car Park 8 and the second will take place on the foredunes in front of the Welsh Government Woodland Estate which is managed by NRW. 

It is scheduled to begin in the last week of November and will last for two weeks. There will be a temporary closure of Factory Road outside the Country Park for one week – reopening on 5th December.

Ruth Harding, Senior Environment Officer at Natural Resources Wales, said:

“Sea Buckthorn control is important to improve the dune grassland habitats at Pembrey. Carmarthenshire County Council and Natural Resources Wales have carried out this type of habitat management over a number of years which has resulted in restoring the area to a dune grassland rich with different species of plants. 

You can best enjoy this during the summer months within the Pembrey Burrows and Saltings Local Nature Reserve. As part of Dynamic Dunescapes, we are now continuing this work, which will result in an overall increase in dune grassland habitat.”

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for leisure, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths said:

“Whilst scrub is a valuable habitat it does need management to maintain it in good condition for wildlife. Cutting back the scrub will ensure it does not spread into areas where it is not wanted and or where it can destroy other habitat.”

Dynamic Dunescapes is not the only project working to restore Pembrey’s important sand dunes. The EU LIFE-funded Sands of LIFE project, managed by (NRW), has also been undertaking sand dune management to improve conditions for wildlife in recent years. The two projects work closely to build on and support each other’s work.

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Community

Demolition of 4 Tys begins in Tyisha, Llanelli

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Four Tys

WORK to demolish the Four Tys housing blocks in Tyisha, Llanelli has started, marking the next exciting step in Carmarthenshire County Council’s plans to Transform the area. 

The demolition work is set to be completed by civil engineering contractor Walters over the next 20 weeks and will enable the build of modern, mixed-use housing which meets the needs of the community.

Improvements to existing homes and the creation of community facilities and green spaces will also form part of changes on the horizon for Tyisha. 

Cllr Linda Davies Evans, chair of the Transforming Tyisha steering group and cabinet member for housing said: “The demolition of the Four Tys marks an important step in the Transforming Tyisha project. Although this process will evoke powerful memories for many of the people who have lived and worked in Tyisha since the Four Tys were built in the 1960s, their demolition will enable us to provide the housing and facilities that the community needs.

Local residents and businesses who may be impacted by the demolition process will be contacted throughout to ensure minimum disruption.”

This forms a part of the council’s ambitious plans to regenerate the Tyisha ward and the wider Llanelli town centre area which is undergoing massive investment.

The council is also seeking a partner to develop new housing and create a vibrant community. An early market engagement exercise is currently live which gives potential partners the opportunity to express their interest in working with the council to transform the area.

Fresh and innovative ideas for this exciting project can be submitted to the council until December 7.

For more information on the early market engagement process or the council’s Transforming Tyisha regeneration project please visit www.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/tyisha

The demolition of the ‘Four Tys’ forms part of the council’s ambitious Transforming Tyisha project which looks to regenerate the area through increasing community safety, developing housing and community facilities and improving the environment.

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Serious assault in Ruby’s Bar Llanelli being investigated by police

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POLICE are investigating a serious assault which occurred in Ruby’s Bar, Llanelli, between 10:40pm and 11pm on Saturday, November 20.

A 35-year-old man received injuries which required hospital treatment.

A 31-year-old female and a 36-year-old male have  been arrested on suspicion of assault. Both have been released on bail pending further police enquiries.

Anyone who witnessed, or took footage of, the incident, or anyone who has any information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@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. Quote reference: DP-20211120-336.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.’

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