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A-level students reap rewards of hard work

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Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 12.06.39STUDENTS across Carmarthenshire have once again continued to demonstrate great success at both A and AS Levels. 

The overall Carmarthenshire pass rate at A Level was 98.3% compared with the national Welsh average of 97.3%.

In the combined top grades of A* and A, Carmarthenshire students achieved 26.4% in comparison with the Welsh average of 22.7%.

With a performance at 79% at A* to C, the county’s students surpassed the Welsh average of 73.8%.

The overall Carmarthenshire pass rate at AS level reached 87.2% in comparison with the Welsh average of 88.3%.

Executive Board Member for Education, Cllr Gareth Jones, said: “On behalf of Carmarthenshire County Council, I warmly congratulate all of our students on their achievements this year.

“Standards gained in this year’s examinations are excellent. As a council, we gratefully acknowledge the dedication and support provided by their families and schools for whom today will be a very proud day.

“The continued high standards achieved this year reflect the commitment of the authority through its schools, colleges and support services to all of our young people in providing them with every opportunity to achieve their full potential. We wish them all well for the future.”

At A level, 1,282 students sat the exams and 1,324 students at AS level. At A level, 79% achieved grade C or higher, with 57.7% at grade C or higher for the AS level.

Director for Education and Children’s Services, Rob Sully, added: “Once again, our results this year clearly demonstrate the considerable effort and admirable achievement of all individual students – both they and their families deserve our warmest congratulations.

“These are indeed very pleasing and positive results for Carmarthenshire. I am particularly pleased to see the excellent performance at the highest grades of A* and A and the 100% pass rates across a number of subjects, including Mathematics, Welsh and English.

“They provide strong evidence that our provision is successful in supporting all of our learners to reach their full potential.

“I sincerely congratulate and thank everyone involved in today’s success.”

Students at Coleg Sir Gâr are celebrating another excellent set of A-level results.

The percentage of A* – E grades was again extremely high at 98%, with 22 out of 29 subjects posting a 100% pass rate.

Students on the A-level Academic, Cultural, Excellence (ACE) programme achieved outstanding results with three out of four examination entries yielding either an A* or A grade, enabling them to go to their first choice of university, including those within the Sutton 30 Group.

Head of A-levels and Access, Mrs Vanessa Cashmore, said: “We are delighted at the success of our students and this reflects the hard work and effort of students and staff over the last two years of study at the college.

“On behalf of all staff at the college, we wish our learners every success as they go to the very best universities across the United Kingdom and into employment.”

Matthew Howells, a former Coedcae Comprehensive School student, obtained an A* grade in Mathematics, an A in Further Maths, an A in History and an A in Law. Matthew is hoping to study Maths at Cardiff University.

Former St John Lloyd pupil and Coleg Sir Gâr Student Union President and Corporate Board Member, Siôn Davies, who obtained an A in Welsh, an A in Biology and a B in English Language and Literature is going to Manchester University to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

Coedcae student Patrick Irwin is going to Birmingham University to study Engineering after obtaining an A* grade in Further Mathematics, an A in Maths, an A in Chemistry and an A in Physics.

Budding anthropologist Ella Bailey from Queen Elizabeth High School in Carmarthen obtained an A* in Geography, an A in World Development and a B grade in History and will be going to university to continue her studies.

Sophie Joseph, a former Bryngwyn student, is going to study Law at university after obtaining an A grade in Sociology, an A in History and an A in Law.

Mr Barry Liles, Coleg Sir Gâr Principal, said: “It is great to see our students performing consistently well and to a high standard.

“Performances in A-level Mathematics and Geography are particularly strong this year.

“These A Level results, along with an equally strong performance in the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate qualification, will see our learners continue to progress to the very best universities and their chosen careers.

“High grades on vocational programmes coupled with tremendous success in national skills competitions will enable vocational learners to progress to university, higher level apprenticeships and future employment.

“This year’s excellent performance on academic and vocational courses reflects the progression of students from the strong foundations laid in partner schools in Carmarthenshire and beyond. On behalf of the college, I wish them the very best for the future.”

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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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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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