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Residents worried by works at park



RESIDENTS around Parc Howard have expressed their concerns regarding construction work being carried out in the park.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, told The Herald that the new structure would be overlooking their bedroom windows and that they would have expected there to be a planning application in order for them to have their concerns considered.

Another resident showed The Herald a site survey they had commissioned for their own property, which clearly shows a mine shaft very close to the site of the new play area.

The Herald was told that some residents have asked a number of questions regarding the planning permission and the location of the new play area but that they have not had any answers. We were told that the first they knew of the plans was seeing an artist’s impression in the paper.

“I have not seen any plans for this work,” said one resident, “apart from one artist’s drawing in a paper, which is not a scale drawing. Do any plans exist? If so, we would like to see them.”

The Herald visited the park on Wednesday (Jul 27) and where construction work has ceased and areas where work was being undertaken have been fenced off.

Residents told us that there was a Council enforcement notice for work to stop.

The Herald also understands that an email has been circulated from Council Leader Emlyn Dole to a number of Councillors and associates of the park stating that planning permission was required and is currently underway. If this is the case then the Council have begun work without any planning permission and it appears are now applying for retrospective planning permission.

We asked Carmarthenshire County Council about the residents’ concerns.

Jonathan Fearn, Head of Corporate Property, told The Herald: “We started implementing work to improve the facilities at Parc Howard. It became apparent that an element of this would require planning permission, therefore work on this part was halted whilst the planning process was underway. Work continues on the other play area where planning permission is not required.”

Responding to a question regarding a disabled resident who was marooned in her home after building materials were left outside, Mr Fearn said: “The Council was not aware of this issue and we apologise on behalf of our contractor for any inconvenience caused.”

We asked Mr Fearn regarding the NCB survey showing a mine shaft near a play area and were told that: “Surveys have been undertaken and will form part of the planning application.”

On the question of authorisation and consultation, Mr Fearn told The Herald: “The improvements have been discussed at several meetings with the Parc Howard Association, Friends of Parc Howard, Llanelli Community Heritage and Llanelli Town Council. The work was approved by Executive Board Members.

“Following receipt of an email from the owners of a property adjoining the space net on July 26, the Head of Property and the Parks and Grounds Manager visited the site to meet with them to discuss their concerns on July 27.”

Mr Fearn also clarified that the date the Council entered into the contract with the construction company was June 13.

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Those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster should get jabbed by end of June



ALL those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster are being urged to take up their offer of the vaccine before the end of next month.

A deadline of 30 June has been introduced to ensure all those eligible for the spring booster will have a long-enough interval between this and the autumn 2022 booster, if they are also eligible.

An announcement by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) about which groups will be eligible for the autumn booster is due to be published shortly.

The JCVI has advised that people over-75, older care home residents and all those aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed are eligible for the spring booster.

Those who are 75 on or before 30 June, can get their booster at any point up to the deadline.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “It is important we continue our very high take up levels of the vaccine to help protect us against the risk of serious illness from Covid-19. I would urge everyone who is offered a spring booster vaccination takes up the invitation.”

If someone eligible for a spring booster has had a Covid infection recently, they will need to wait 28 days from the date they tested positive before they can be vaccinated. They will still be able to get vaccinated after 30 June as part of this campaign if they have to postpone their appointment.

All those eligible for spring boosters will be invited by their health board or GP.

It is not too late for anyone who needs a primary dose (first, second or third) to be vaccinated.

Please check for local arrangements.

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Young people in Wales being failed when moving from child to adult mental health services



MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES are failing young people when they move from child to adult services, says a mental health charity.

Mind Cymru is calling for Welsh Government to make urgent changes to improve the system.

Nia Evans, Children and Young People Manager at Mind Cymru, said: “Young people have told us that their needs, thoughts, and feelings about moving to adult services are often unheard, or ignored.

“Welsh Government must support Local Health Boards to make sure this doesn’t happen, change the way services are run and make sure our young people are being heard and properly cared for.”

Mind Cymru has published a report, in ate the result of interviews with young people about their experiences of moving from Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – (SCAMHS) to AMHS.

They highlighted five key areas where services are failing young people:
– Poor information offered to young people, particularly on their rights
– Inconsistent use and follow through of care and treatment plans
– High thresholds for SCAMHS and AMHS referrals to be accepted
– Feeling abandoned / cut off from SCAMHS
– Age still dominates decision making process for moving from SCAMHS to AMHS

Nia Evans said: “Any one of these issues could make the process of moving from children’s services to adult services difficult for our young people. But often, more than one is happening at any one time.”

“Our young people have a right to care and support from a mental health system that has been put in place to help them recover. Action must be taken immediately to make sure support systems are robust and doing the job they were designed to do.”

Mind Cymru is asking people to email their Member of the Senedd (MS) and amplify the voices of these young people whose experiences are often unheard, and use the #SortTheSwitch hashtag on social media.

The full report is available here, including what a good move from SCAMHS to AMHS would look like for young people, and where the current system could improve.

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Average UK price of diesel hits record of more than £1.80 a litre



LESS than two months after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 5p a litre cut on the average price of fuel – diesel prices have reached a record high price of 180.29p a litre.
The previous high of 179.90p was recorded on March 23rd 2022 – the day of the Spring Statement from Sunak.

In recent weeks, the UK government has tried to move away from its reliance on importing Russian oil, following President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Worryingly for drivers of petrol cars, the price per litre is fast approaching the record levels of 167.3p per litre set on March 22nd.

This latest price rise adds another challenge to UK households, as the cost of living crisis continues to impact families across the country.

RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: “Sadly, despite the Chancellor’s 5p a litre duty cut the average price of a litre of diesel has hit a new record high at 180.29p.”

“Efforts to move away from importing Russian diesel have led to a tightening of supply and pushed up the price retailers pay for diesel.”

“While the wholesale price has eased in the last few days this is likely to be temporary, especially if the EU agrees to ban imports of Russian oil.”

“Unfortunately, drivers with diesel vehicles need to brace themselves for yet more pain at the pumps. Had Mr Sunak reduced VAT to 15% as we call on him to do instead of cutting duty by 5p, drivers of diesel vehicles would be around 2p a litre better off, or £1 for every full tank.”

“As it is, drivers are still paying 27p VAT on petrol and 29p on diesel, which is just the same as before the Spring Statement.”

“The average price of petrol is also on the rise having gone up nearly 3p a litre since the start of the month to 166.65p which means it’s less than a penny away from the all-time high of 167.30p set on 22 March.”

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