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New development site at Cross Hands East

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Welsh Government Leader of the House Jane Hutt AM and Carmarthenshire County Council Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole at the unveiling of the new development site at Cross Hands East.

Welsh Government Leader of the House Jane Hutt AM and Carmarthenshire County Council Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole: At the unveiling of the new development site at Cross Hands East.

CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNCIL have unveiled a brand new 22 acre ‘prime development’ site at Cross Hands East.

Welsh Government Leader of the House Jane Hutt AM was amongst the first to see phase one of the Cross Hands East strategic employment site – 22 acres of prime development space set out over nine plots with potential for major employment.

The development site is being marketed to the private sector, particularly those in the field of advanced manufacturing, financial/professional, creative agri-technology and environmental services, with opportunities to build high quality commercial premises right next to the A48/M4 road network.

The £14.5million strategic employment site was funded by Carmarthenshire County Council, Welsh Government and European Regional Development Fund. The council is contributing a further £1million to encourage development at the Cross Hands East site in the form of property development grants.

Jane Hutt met with Carmarthenshire County Council’s economic development and marketing teams, and representatives from contractors Alun Griffiths Ltd, on site yesterday morning (Thursday, October 6).

“Cross Hands East is a major infrastructure project that will bring business growth and job creation to Carmarthenshire, so I’m delighted that Welsh Government and EU funds have supported this development,” she said.

“EU funds, in particular, have been a vital source of investment and this project is a clear example of how EU funding is supporting economic development in Wales.

“This site can accommodate 1,000 jobs – this is great news for this area, for the communities that live here, businesses and the economy. The Welsh Government is pleased to be a partner.”

Also being unveiled today (Oct 7) was prime development land in Dafen, Llanelli.

Businesses specialising in life sciences, professional and commercial services, and special projects, were amongst the first to discover opportunities to develop new business premises situated alongside The Beacon.

An audience of potential property developers and industry influencers gathered at The Beacon to learn about both development sites and speak with officers about their long-term business options in Carmarthenshire.

Cllr Meryl Gravell, the council’s Executive Board Member for Regeneration, said: “We were delighted to take the wraps off these two high-potential development sites in Carmarthenshire, both of which are ideally situated close to the main transport links in the county and the Swansea Bay City Region.

“Carmarthenshire has an enviable track record in business and property development, and today was an opportunity to reinforce this as a place to invest and develop.

“We’ve had lots of positive discussions today and our team will work hard with developers and industry professionals to bring forward any plans to develop on these two sites.”

Speaking at the Cross Hands launch, council Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole said Carmarthenshire is ‘open for business’.

“When I became Leader of this authority it was my ambition to create good quality jobs,” he said. “This growth zone, strategically located within Carmarthenshire and the Swansea Bay City Region, offers businesses great opportunity to expand and develop. This site alone has major employment potential.

“It shows what can be achieved by working together – phase one has been a real partnership effort, and phase two is on the horizon.”

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Llanelli bus depot to close after 100 years

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THE LLANELLI HERALD understands that the Llanelli Bus Depot at Inkermans Street will be closing its gates for good. 

The Bus Depot has served the local community for approximately 100 years, Drivers will now be sent to work from depots in Carmarthen, Swansea and Tycroes. 

All services will remain in the the town, this newspaper can confirm, and our reporter was told that there will not be any redundancies. 

One bus driver told us that he and he co-workers were “not completely happy”, but the unnamed source added “At least we still have jobs to go to.” 

Further updates are expected on this developing story.

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Two week national ‘Firebreak Lockdown’ announced for Wales from 6pm on Friday

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MARK DRAKEFORD, The First Minister of Wales has announced a two week ‘fire break’ lockdown from Friday October 23 at 18:00 HRS, to last until Monday November 9 at 00:01 HRS

Mr Drakeford said: “This firebreak is the shortest we can make it. It must be sharp and deep in order to have the impact we need it to have on the virus.”

All non essential businesses, including tourism businesses will be told to close.

Businesses have been told that they will be given £1000 each automatically to help with the economic impact of the shutdown.

Mr Drakeford added that children will be the priority and that childcare facilities will open as normal. Primary schools will open after half term.

Secondary schools will be closed for a week after half term to help control the virus.

Universities will offer a mixture of face-to-face learning and learning via video link. Students must stay at their university accommodation during the lockdown.

Responding to the Welsh Government’s announcement of a Wales-wide lockdown, Paul Davies MS, the Leader of the Opposition in the Welsh Parliament, has called the lockdown “not-proportionate” and is calling on the Welsh Government to be “open and transparent” on the evidence to support a lockdown and if the First Minister is committing Wales to rolling Wales-wide lockdowns every month.

Paul Davies MS said: “Sadly, the First Minster has failed to get public support for this second Wales-wide lockdown, failing to be open and transparent about the evidence to justify this lockdown and what his actions will entail for the future.

“The Welsh Government also has to be honest that this road they are taking us down is committing Wales to rolling Wales-wide lockdowns. This is not a two-week break to solve the pandemic, it is likely that we will see regular lockdowns across the rest of the year. The Welsh Government must be clear what actions they are taking during the lockdown to prevent further Wales-wide lockdowns which will have a significant impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.

“However, the main concern is that this national lockdown is not proportionate. The impact on businesses in areas such as Powys, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, who have the lowest rate of Covid-19 cases in Wales, will be severe at a time when they are desperately struggling to recover from the pandemic so far this year.

“The First Minister needs to urgently come to the Welsh Parliament and answer these questions, to face effective scrutiny by elected representatives and not run his government by media.”

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP, Stephen Crabb told The Herald: “The evidence to support an all-Wales lockdown is weak and I am sceptical that this so-called ‘fire-break’ will tackle the situation in those parts of Wales where infection rates have been out of control. The key issue for Welsh Government to address is what will be done differently after the firebreak ends in those parts of Wales where infection rates have spiralled out of control. Otherwise the whole of Wales risks being dragged back into a series of rolling lockdowns.

“As we saw earlier in the year, lockdowns come with huge costs in terms of harm to the economy and to people’s emotional and mental wellbeing. With the Welsh Government asking UK Government to fund this lockdown, I hope that as many businesses as possible get support they need quickly. Pembrokeshire’s hospitality businesses will be hit particularly hard by these latest restrictions and I will be fighting hard again to see that they are protected as the lockdown kicks in.”

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Drakeford to make decision on ‘fire-break’ lockdown in Wales by Monday

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WALES is facing a national lockdown lasting at least two weeks in plans described as a “fire-break” by the first minister.

He said a decision was likely to be made on Monday, while talks continue with health officials, scientific advisors and councils over the weekend.
“Doing nothing is not an option,” he said.

Responding to the speculation First Minister, Mark Drakeford, is set to announce a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown in Wales, Welsh Conservative health spokesperson, Andrew RT Davies MS said: “I implore the First Minister to think again before heading down this path.

“The decision to lockdown Wales once again will have devastating consequences – from an economic and public health perspective – and should be the last resort.

“Only yesterday, the former director of communicable diseases at Public Health Wales, Dr Roland Salmon, said a circuit-breaker is likely to fail and the Welsh Labour Government should listen carefully to his warning.

“Earlier this week, Welsh Conservatives called for the urgent resumption of shielding in Wales with a substantial package of support to ensure the financial, physical and mental well-being of those most at risk is protected.

“This should be the immediate action taken by ministers along with prioritising PPE and testing in the problem areas in Wales such as hospitals, care home, universities and meat factories.

“It’s not too late for the Labour Government to reconsider and choose a different approach in Wales.”

Mr Drakeford warned that 2,500 people were now being infected with coronavirus every day in Wales, with critical care units in hospitals full.

“A successful fire-break would re-set the virus at a lower level,” he added.

Together with a new national set of rules for the whole of Wales after the fire-break period we would have slowed the virus down enough to get us through to Christmas.”
Plaid Cymru has been calling on Mr Drakeford to introduce the circuit-breaker without delay, while Labour at Westminster says a similar approach should be adopted in England.

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