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Council accused of tree neglect

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screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-12-08-36A LLANELLI man has spoken out over what he says is a waste of ratepayer’s money through the neglect of expensive trees planted on council land.

Carl Gower from Llanelli contacted The Herald to express his frustration, claiming that he has been trying to get Carmarthenshire County Council to do something about fallen and neglected trees in Llanelli, as well as issues with rubbish mounting up in back lanes.

Mr Gower told The Herald: “For the past six months, I have been complaining to Carmarthenshire County Council with regard to a very expensive fallen tree at the North Dock, near the Sospan restaurant. I have had no replies, no action and I have been totally ignored by the council.”

Mr Gower, of Old Castle Road, said that he had approached his local County Councillor, John Jenkins, and also that he had approached his AM and MP, but that nothing had been done to date.

Speaking about the fallen tree, he said: “It is a total waste of ratepayers’ money and it is arrogance on the part of the Director Ms Mullins. This tree is worth at least £600 and it is sad to see such a fine tree being left to die through neglect by the council.”

Mr Gower alleges that there are many fine trees in the council remit that are planted and then left to die: “The trees on the Star roundabout are dying, as are many on the Llanelli link road.”

Speaking about what he says is a growing problem with rubbish in the back lanes of Llanelli, he said: “I have also tried in vain to get the Director to give me the council policy on cleaning back lanes. The council are spending large amounts of money on new refuse lorries, which are now unable to take garden waste, and ratepayers are expected to buy a container from the council.

“How are elderly people expected to move the large bins for collection?

“There has been no consultation. The council Directors have a total disrespect for rate payers who fund their large, bloated salaries.”

The Herald contacted Cllr John Jenkins and he gave the following statement: “Carl has highlighted several areas where the County Council have been, at best, slow to respond to his concerns. I have seen the council’s promises to see to his concerns but action is often not forthcoming.

“The case of the uprooted tree in North Dock has been reported as far up the chain as the Director and I agree with Carl that it is a waste of money and a huge frustration that nothing has been done to date.”

The Lliedi Ward councillor went on: “It may seem like a small matter to others but the waste of ratepayers’ money and inaction by the council demonstrates why so many people in Llanelli get frustrated by the council. The Director needs to make good on her promises to my constituent and see to his concerns.”

Cllr Jenkins told The Herald that he was thinking of carrying out some remedial work himself unless something was done.

He said: “I’m half tempted to replace the tree and invoice the council. Carl first brought the tree to the attention of County Council in December 2015. He contacted me in April this year. Short of replacing the tree myself, I don’t know what to do. It’s like hitting your head against a wall with some cases. Why don’t they just see to the tree? I’ve submitted a formal complaint to the council about this tree.”

The Herald contacted Carmarthenshire County Council for a comment.

Environment Director Ruth Mullen told The Herald: “I have arranged to meet with the resident to discuss his concerns. He has also received replies in relation to specific issues he has previously raised regarding street cleansing and trees. Officers are also carrying out an investigation on the tree referred to in his latest email.

“In relation to street cleansing in Llanelli, this is an important priority and we are taking forward a number of actions to develop solutions to some of the long-standing issues, particularly in relation to the back lanes, and also working closely with representatives of the community to resolve some of these issues.

“Our cleansing and enforcement teams will be working more closely together so that rubbish bags and other fly-tipping can be dealt with more quickly and efficiently. We are setting up ‘cleansing zones’ so that officers can take ownership of specific areas and allocate resources based on need; and looking at specific streets/areas with continual litter and fly-tipping problems to carry out a ‘task force day’ approach involving colleagues from other departments, such as public protection and housing. Officers are engaging with the community, and are also looking at the powers available to ensure landlords meet all their responsibilities. We are also working with the police to tackle anti-social behaviour, in particular street drinking.”

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Public Services Board seeks views to improve local well-being

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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.

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Llanelli prepares for Sunday’s Remembrance Day parade

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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 llanlva2009@aol.com.

While community organisations are to contact Llanelli Town Council at enquiries@llanellitowncouncil.gov.uk.

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.

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Llanelli choir launches fundraising naked calendar

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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.”

One of the calendar photos (Images: Graham Harries Photography)
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