AN ELDERLY couple, one of whom has dementia, recently contacted The Herald to express concern regarding a number of problems in the bungalow they rent from the County Council.
Dorothy McDonald of Waun Sidan in Llanelli began by telling The Herald:
“We have had problems with rats since November 2015. We had a flood in our kitchen caused by workmen climbing onto the roof to see where the rats were coming in and dislodging four slates.
“We were unable to use our kitchen for over four weeks while they put in a new ceiling and we had to go out to buy meals during that time.”
Dorothy continued: “Four weeks ago when we came back from a few days with our daughter in London , the smell in the bungalow was terrible. We traced it to coming from the attic. We rang the housing department in Llanelli and they said they would send someone out.
“For four weeks, I kept being told that someone would come out. Nobody ever did. My husband, who is 88 -years-old and has dementia, climbed the ladders and had a look but he couldn’t see and he couldn’t climb across the boards.”
Dorothy said: “I got up on Sunday , August 19 , at 5am to go to the bathroom and it was covered in maggots. I killed them all and washed the floor with bleach. I went and bought some spray for maggots and put that down. I got up early on the Sunday morning to find the bathroom crawling with hundreds of maggots again.”
Speaking about her frustration at not being helped , Dorothy said: “That was the final straw. I just broke down into tears. It was awful.
“I cleaned them all up again. At nine o’clock , I telephoned our local Town Councillor , Ken Edwards. He was great and he came round to the bungalow with his wife.
“I told him we had seen some coming from behind the bath . We pulled the side of the bath away to find under the bath was full of builders ‘ rubble.”
With the help of Councillor Ken Edwards , they contacted Carmarthenshire County Council. Dorothy said : “Someone called me straight away and he was really helpful. He said he could hear I was upset and he would get some one out as soon as he could. By 11 o’clock , a contractor arrived and he went up in the attic and at the very far side was what he described as a very large rat which had been dead for some time and it was crawling with maggots.
“He cleared all the area and he said that the workmen who did the ceiling had not finished the job there was also problems with the wiring. He said the rats were coming in under the eaves at the far corner.
Dorothy expressed her disgust at having to pay the full rent and community charge for a bungalow that is not fit to live in. She said : “If the bungalow had been rented out by a private landlord , they would be prosecuted.”
Dorothy says she is now seeking compensation for the distress and inconvenience as well as the money she has spent herself : “I have gone through the press because I want to show the manner in which Carmarthenshire County Council treat their elderly tenants.”
The Herald visited Dorothy’s bungalow on Wednesday (Aug 31). It was difficult to remain inside the bungalow for more than couple of minutes due to the overpowering smell of what can only be described as a rotting corpse. We saw for ourselves the pile of rubble left under the bath by contractors.
Dorothy told us : “The council workmen were supposed to come out at 8am yesterday. They did not arrive. After spending hours on the phone to them , they told me some one would be here in the next seven days. I told them I had enough ; I am near breaking point and was going to the press.”
We asked the Council to comment, but no response to our request was received in time for inclusion.
Head of Housing and Public Protection, Robin Staines, said: “An issue with rats at 13 Waun Sidan and neighbouring properties was resolved in April this year. Mrs McDonald reported this latest problem to us last week and a contractor has visited and laid bait. The drains have also been surveyed and no defects found. The contractor has reported that there may be a new access point to the loft at the properties, and as such, scaffolding will now be erected for roofers to seal off these points. “On the matter in the bathroom, rubble has been removed from behind the bath and works will be carried out to amend any damage. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and will be agreeing recompense.”
Public Services Board seeks views to improve local well-being
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.
Llanelli prepares for Sunday’s Remembrance Day parade
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
While community organisations are to contact Llanelli Town Council at email@example.com.
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.
Llanelli choir launches fundraising naked calendar
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.”