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Council contractors ‘contaminate’ pitches

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‘Substandard soil’: Or a load of old rubbish?

‘Substandard soil’: Or a load of old rubbish?

FOOTBALLERS across Llanelli had a rude awakening on Friday (Aug 5) when they discovered that waste material had been used to patch up some of Llanelli’s football pitches.

The Herald received several telephone calls from irate club representatives requesting that we visit the football pitches and record their pitches’ condition.

We accompanied some club representatives to a number of football pitches including Dafen, Trallwm, Penyfan, Seaside and Penygaer.

At each and every site we photographed and filmed the waste material which contained glass, sharp stones, wood and plastic. The material had been used to patch up bare areas of land and to plant grass seeds.

Unfortunately the material’s growing properties were akin to tarmac and very little grass had grown. When we analysed the sample, we could clearly identify oil and the odour of creosote.

In contrast, some club members had actually done their own work at their own expense and either used top quality topsoil or turf to repair the worn areas only to find that the same material had been dumped on top of that.

Meanwhile, discussions remain ongoing for the transfer of sports pitches to Town and Community Councils and sporting associations in Carmarthenshire.

Pitches in parks in Kidwelly and Pontyberem have already been taken over and the transfer of a number of other facilities are almost complete.

Council officers recently met with representatives of Carmarthenshire Unified Sports Committee (CUSC) and Carmarthenshire Association Football League (CAFL) to discuss their concerns regarding the asset transfer and maintenance costs.

A financial package has been agreed by the council’s Executive Board for the transfer of sports pitches (as well as parks and playgrounds) currently maintained by the council.

It includes a one-off contribution to future maintenance based on two years’ maintenance costs if the transfer is completed before March 31, 2017, dropping down to a single payment if the transfer is completed before March 31 , 2018. There will be no contribution after that date.

In addition, funding of up to £10,000 per organisation will be available either to improve facilities, or to be used as match funding for grants.

Concerns were also raised by members of CUSC regarding the standard of the soil used in recent works carried out on pitches in Burry Port, Trallwm, Dafen, Penygaer, Penyfan and Crown Park in Seaside in Llanelli.

The council’s grounds maintenance team has investigated and agreed the soil provided was sub-standard. The contractor has been instructed to carry out remedial works as a priority and has agreed to replace the affected areas with turf this week.

We sent a photograph of the sample we found and once more asked the council if they thought that the materials used were contaminated or not. Not only were there waste materials in the sample but the waste contains traces of oil and creosote. We have sent the sample to the leader of Carmarthenshire County Council by Royal Mail.

A Council spokesperson said: “The council has not dumped contaminated waste at any site. As part of improvement work , contractors have been applying top soil dressing to the football pitches.

“Council officers are aware of the recent concerns raised about the quality of the soil that was supplied at six locations in and around Llanelli . This has been treated as a priority, with remedial works being undertaken as a matter of urgency. The contractor concerned is due to complete works this week with soil being replaced with turf at the contractor’s expense.”

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Deliveroo launches in Llanelli ahead of planned date

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FOOD delivery company Deliveroo has announced its early launch in Llanelli this week. According to Deliveroo, the company has brought forward the launch by weeks in order to help restaurants and customers through lockdown. This means that locals can now order food from a range of restaurants and grocery retailers in the local area. 

Deliveroo is an app and website that enables Brits to check out the very best local food in their area. The British company has seen great success and is now available in 12 different markets across the world. Deliveroo works with both the best independent restaurants like Best Pizza and Kebab House, Harry Watkins and Tinworks Brewery, well-known high street favourites like KFC, Burger King and Pizza Hut as well as grocery retailers and convenience stores such as Co-op (see Editor’s Notes below for full list available on Deliveroo in Llanelli).

The food delivery company will continue to add new local restaurants, takeaways and convenience stores to the platform over the coming months, with the likes of Nando’s joining Deliveroo as lockdown eases. Apply here to become a Deliveroo partner. 

 The food delivery company is also giving customers 20% off orders for the next four weeks with code: LLANELLI10

The launch will be a major boost to small restaurant businesses across Llanelli who will be able to reach new customers and grow their restaurant businesses through offering delivery.  

Working with Deliveroo increases restaurants’ sales as they can reach a wider range of customers. This enables restaurants to expand their businesses, often employing more staff, broadening their menus and lengthening opening times as a result. 

Deliveroo will be looking for up to 50 people in Llanelli to become riders. Those who work as riders will be able to work when they want and where they want, delivering food and groceries to customers’ doors in as little as 20 minutes. 

This comes as Deliveroo will also be extending further into the suburbs of existing cities or towns that it currently operates in. The drive behind the rapid expansion is underpinned by the company’s belief that people in every part of the UK should have access to amazing meals wherever and whenever they want them.

Harrison Foster, Regional Director in the UK: “Launching in Llanelli is a key milestone for Deliveroo. Llanelli has a thriving foodie community and a wide range of restaurants and retailers, so we’re excited to connect them. We look forward to working with our new partners to reach a new customer base and expand their businesses.”

Deliveroo is focused on providing the ultimate food delivery experience. Customers have the option to schedule orders via the Deliveroo app up to one day in advance or receive food as soon as possible between 11.30am and 11pm on weekdays and 11.30am and 11pm on weekends, from a variety of independent eateries, traditional takeaways, high-quality chain restaurants as well as grocery retailers.   

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Lifeline for cockle-gathers could be on the way after Llangennech rail crash

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Plaid Cymru MS Helen Mary Jones has raised the impact on cockle-gathers of the Llangennech derailment last year.

She received an assurance from the First Minister that the Welsh Government was looking at way to help the cockle industry.

Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Economy, Transport and Tackling Poverty Minister, Helen Mary Jones MS said:

“In the Senedd I congratulated the public services for the way they co-operated around the clean-up after the Llangennech derailment, which, so far, has been very successful. I demanded a life-line scheme to help the cockle gathers.

“I raised with the First Minister issues for two groups of businesses particularly badly affected in the short-term by the derailment. 

“One of those was the very important cockle-gathering industry, the other, of course, were farmers who graze animals on those low-lying banks by the river. 

“There has been a request for the Welsh Government to consider whether some interim financial support might be made available to the cockle gatherers and the grazers while responsibility for the derailment and long-term compensation becomes a possibility. Many of these are small businesses; they operate on quite low margins and currently in difficult circumstances.

“The First Minister emphasised he was aware of the impact on cockle gatherers and particularly that they were unable to carry out their normal activities while the level of environmental contaminants in the estuary were being surveyed.

“Plaid Cymru believes it must be the polluter in the end that must pay for the damage that has been caused, but the rail accident investigation branch work is not coming to a conclusion quickly.

“The Welsh Government is expecting to receive advice in the next few days whether or not it is possible to devise a scheme through the Welsh Government in which some interim assistance to those industries could be supplied.

“The Welsh Government is keen to obtain that advice from officials in case it is possible, before the rail accident investigation is completed, so they can offer some assistance to those who have been most directly affected.”

The environmental impact of the Llangennech derailment last year was amongst the most significant in Wales since the Sea Empress disaster of 25 years ago. 

Monitoring of the site and surrounding area, which includes four sites of special scientific interest and a special area of conservation will continue for many years to come.

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UK Budget must take crucial steps to help recovery

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LLANELLI Labour representatives are urging the UK Government to take the necessary steps to begin recovery and secure prosperity across all parts of the UK.

Llanelli’s MP Nia Griffith and MS Lee Waters set out Wales’ priorities ahead of the UK Budget on Wednesday March 3 2021.

They are urging the UK Government to make a series of commitments to Wales, including:

• sustaining UK-wide business support
• delivering welfare and taxation measures to support the most vulnerable
• redressing the historical under investment in Wales on research and development and rail infrastructure
• providing an injection of funding to support the transition to Net Zero carbon emissions
• providing guarantees for Wales’ specific funding pressures

Speaking ahead of the UK Budget announcement, Nia Griffith MP reiterated her calls for continued business support for those on the lowest of incomes. She said:  

“It is vital that the Job Retention Scheme and Self Employed Income Support Scheme are retained – not threatened with being removed at the eleventh hour and putting livelihoods at risk. A delay to repayments should also be introduced for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme with recognition given to the self-employed who are facing deferred bills.”

“It is also vital that the £20 per week increase to Universal Credit is maintained and put on a permanent basis, making it available to people in receipt of legacy means-tested benefits. More than 300,000 families in Wales have benefitted from an extra £1,000 a year as a result of the uplift and removing this now would have a detrimental and long-lasting effect on thousands of households across Wales.”

Lee Waters MS said:

“The UK Government should continue to take advantage of historically low interest rates to invest in Wales’ infrastructure and public services. Particularly on rail, where we have been underfunded to the tune of billions since the start of devolution, this is the moment where Rishi Sunak can demonstrate his commitment to ‘levelling up’ all four nations of the UK.”

“This budget is a chance to hardwire a greener, fairer way of doing things into our recovery from Coronavirus. We are ambitious about our target of being Net Zero carbon by 2050, and averting the climate crisis which is increasingly affecting Wales through flooding. But to make that transition, we need a step change from the UK Government’s budget that allows us to invest in renewable energy and green jobs.”

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