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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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Public Services Board seeks views to improve local well-being

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CARMARTHENSHIRE’S Public Services Board (PSB) is seeking residents’ views to find out what matters to them and their local communities.

The PSB has developed its Well-being Objectives and draft actions to deliver them, based on feedback received on its Well-being Assessment. The results of a survey at that time gathered views and helped shape the PSB’s understanding of the economic, social, environmental, and cultural factors that impact the well-being of individuals and communities within Carmarthenshire.

Once again, residents are being asked to contribute to help public service partners develop Carmarthenshire’s Local Well-being Plan for 2023-28.

To help shape the future of well-being please visit: Current Consultations (gov.wales)

The survey closes on 25 January 2023.

Cllr Darren Price, Chair of the Carmarthenshire PSB and Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “To deliver what is important to our communities, we need to their feedback and input. This survey is an opportunity for our residents to tell us if we, as public services, are on the right track to help create a better future for our children’s generation, and the generations to follow, as we strive to reach this goal.” 

Andrew Cornish, Vice-Chair of the PSB andChief Executive Officer / Principal of Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion said: “Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our work so far. Our Well-being Assessment gives us a strong foundation on which to build our Well-being Plan and I would like to encourage everyone to take part in our involvement work for the preparation of the Plan.”

Carmarthenshire’s Public Services Board is a partnership of public and third sector organisations working together to improve well-being across the county and includes Carmarthenshire County Council, Hywel Dda University Health Board, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Natural Resources Wales and other organisations.

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Llanelli prepares for Sunday’s Remembrance Day parade

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LATER TODAY (Sunday, November 13) the town will honour those who have fallen in service over the decades.

A number of roads will be closed on the day, including Murray Street, Church Street and Vauxhall Road from its junction with the mini roundabout.

These will be shut for the parade between 8.30am and noon, however, pedestrian access for those wishing to reach individual properties in those streets will be maintained where possible throughout the duration of the closure.

Traffic will be diverted to Robinson Street, Arthur Street, Columbia Row, Anne Street, Bigyn Road, Stepney Place, Water Street, Thomas Street and Gelli Onn.

At 10am, police, organisations and others not marching in the parade will take up their respective positions in front of the cenotaph in the town hall grounds, while the civic party will assemble inside Llanelli Town Hall.

At 10.15am the parade leaves Drill Hall for the town hall with the mayor Cllr Philip Warlow proceeding to the Boer War Memorial where he will lay a wreath.

When the parade arrives at the town hall, the civic party will proceed to the cenotaph where the Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed Sara Edwards, will lay a wreath.

This will be followed by the chair of Carmarthenshire Council Cllr Rob Evans, laying a wreath on the Royal Welch War Memorial and then on the town’s cenotaph.

More wreaths will be laid by dignitaries and politicians and ex-servicemen and women A two-minute silence will then be observed at 11am.

Any service groups or individuals who wish to lay a wreath on Remembrance Sunday can contact Paul Wickers via email at llanlva2009@aol.com.

While community organisations are to contact Llanelli Town Council at enquiries@llanellitowncouncil.gov.uk.

Contact should be made by Monday, October 31 at the very latest to confirm arrangements as no additional wreaths will be able to be accommodated on the day.

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Llanelli choir launches fundraising naked calendar

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MEMBERS of a Llanelli female choir have bared all to raise money for the town’s Ty Bryngwyn Hospice.  

Côr Curiad has created a cheeky fundraising calendar for 2023 – the second one they have done.

With around 50 members, photos were taken across Llanelli with strategically placed items to spare their blushes – all in the name of a good cause.

Llanelli photographer Graham Harries was behind the lens for the project.

The choir’s musical director Alex Esney, who is Miss December in the calendar said: “Local businesses sponsored the calendar and so many of the photos were taken at their premises.

“So for example we went to LTC Mobility Ltd and had scooters carefully positioned in front of us, it was a lot of fun.

“I also want to thank Ffwrnes Theatre for opening up especially for me to go and have my photo taken with the piano there.”

Alex said the aim is to raise as much as possible for the hospice, adding: “We did a calendar a few years ago but we now have more members so we thought it was time to do it all again.

“The ladies decided to ‘bare all’ to raise money for the hospice which provides such great care and support for families in their time of need, including two of our own.

“I think we pulled out all the stops this year, getting their clothes off at local businesses in and around Llanelli.”

One of the calendar photos (Images: Graham Harries Photography)
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