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Granby Close fire started deliberately

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A FIRE In a block of flats which left one man in hospital and a further four families homeless was started deliberately, it was revealed this week.

In response to a question about fire safety in council-owned blocks of flats, Executive Board Member for Housing Cllr Linda Evans confirmed that the fire in Granby Close on November 23 of last year was ‘intentionally’ started in a stairwell.

Cllr Evans also explained that, while all council properties were compliant with regional and national safety schemes, risk assessments were being carried out on all council-owned communal blocks.

At Wednesday’s meeting of the Full Council in County Hall, Glanymor county councillor Louvain Roberts said that since the fire, she had been made aware that there were no ‘tilt and turn’ windows fitted to the flats.

“I feel that this ​t​ype of ​w​indow is essential for the health and Safety of Residents,” she added, also pointing out that there were no sprinkler systems or communal fire extinguishers at these or similar blocks.

“Some residents are very frail and I realise that some have refused to move to the ground floor, but Carmarthenshire County Council is bound by a Duty of Care to ensure residents’ safety within their place of abode at all times.

“Can you please give assurances that the points I have brought to your, as well as this Council’s, attention will be rectified immediately?” she added.

Cllr Evans replied that since the fire, CCC had been carrying out deterrent work to ensure that communal stairwells were kept clean, taking enforcement action where necessary.

“There will be zero tolerance from now on,” she stressed.

Regarding the ‘tilt and turn’ windows, she explained that these were not required by housing standards for ‘very practical reasons’. Flats were designed so that people would not need to gain entrance from the window in such circumstances, and these windows could also pose ‘a major risk’ to children in upstairs flats.

Cllr Evans pointed out that sprinklers were not required by either Welsh housing standards or Carmarthenshire’s own CHS+ system. However, she added that risk assessments were currently being carried out in all communal blocks, and sprinklers were being retrofitted in sheltered housing complexes.

Fire extinguishers in communal areas could ‘cause problems’, she stated, and tenants were advised that rather than tackling fires themselves they should stay in their homes.

However, in sheltered schemes there were fire extinguishers in communal areas because these were recognised as workplaces.

Cllr Evans added that CCC’s work had been commended by the fire and rescue service.

“We have spent £800,000 of improving fire alarms and emergency lighting,” she added. Members also heard that the fire service had records of tenants registered as disabled who could be unable to leave their home unaided.

Replying, Cllr Roberts claimed that the fire had been ‘exacerbated’ by internal plastic doors which had shrivelled in the heat.

She also pointed out that one person was injured as a result of a window having to be broken, and that the fire service on the scene ‘told me that tilt and turn windows would have helped’.

Cllr Evans reiterated that an assessment of all communal buildings was currently under way.

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Global Litter Charity has announced the date of its next Welsh litter picking event

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Uocean project Carmarthenshire weekend clean up taking place on Saturday 25th September 21 at Pembrey Country Park

THE UOCEAN Project, part of the Vayyu Foundation, which has set itself the target of removing 1 billion kilos of waste from the world’s oceans by 2030, will be holding its next litter collection taskforce event at Pembrey Country Park  in Carmarthenshire.

Everyone is invited to join The UOcean Project volunteers and to make a difference by collecting litter, especially plastics, which are polluting our environment and ending up in the world’s oceans.  The UOcean Project has highlighted the dramatic increase in litter from plastic bags to face masks since lockdown restrictions were lifted, making it even more important to clean-up and reduce waste pollution. 

Chris Desai, head of The UOcean Project commented. “Picking up one plastic bottle or single use face mask may not appear to be significant, but at each event we are collecting many kilos of plastic because more and more individuals are joining our litter picking teams.

RSVP TO JOIN WWW.THEUOCEANPROJECT.COM

The combined collections here and overseas are the only way to make a difference and start fighting back against pollution.” 

The UOcean Project organises litter pick-up teams who work across the UK, especially around coastlines, as well as internationally.  By organising volunteers into Chapters and providing them with the tools and equipment to pick up litter, they have already collected 53,000 kilos of waste which would have ended up in the seas.  

All volunteers are provided with the equipment needed to safely pick up litter so that it can be disposed of in the right way.  For more information about The UOcean Project please go to the website www.theuoceanproject.com

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Warning! Dangerous Valium circulating in Llanelli

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the drugs being distributed and used in the Llanelli area at present could be extremely dangerous

Warning! Dangerous Valium circulating in

POLICE are warning drug users in Llanelli to take extra care following information received that dangerous valium is circulating in the area.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “We have reasons to believe that the drugs being distributed and used in the Llanelli area at present could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately should they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone that you believe could come into contact with these drugs.”

To seek advice and support, visit https://barod.cymru/where-to-get-help/west-wales-services/ddas-dyfed-drug-and-alcohol-service/

Please be aware that some services may operate an automated service outside office hours.

In an emergency, or if you think someone’s life is at risk, always dial 999.

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Parents warned to look out for respiratory illness in children

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RSV is a common respiratory illness which is usually picked up by children during the winter season

RESPIRATORY Syncytial Virus (RSV) is circulating amongst children and toddlers in the Hywel Dda area (Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire)  

Hywel Dda UHB Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive Dr Philip Kloer said: “Because of the COVID restrictions, there have been few cases of RSV during the pandemic, but this virus has returned and in higher numbers now people are mixing more.

“RSV is a common respiratory illness which is usually picked up by children during the winter season, and causes very few problems to the majority of children.  However, very young babies, particularly those born prematurely, and children with heart or lung conditions, can be seriously affected and it’s important that parents are aware of the actions to take.”

Parents are being encouraged to look out for symptoms of severe infection in at-risk children, including:

*a high temperature of 37.8°C or above (fever)

*a dry and persistent cough, difficulty feeding, rapid or noisy breathing (wheezing).

The best way to prevent RSV is to wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser regularly, dispose of used tissues correctly, and to keep surfaces clean and sanitised.

Most cases of bronchiolitis are not serious and clear up within 2 to 3 weeks, but you should contact your GP or call NHS 111 if:

  • You are worried about your child.
  • Your child has taken less than half their usual amount during the last two or three feeds, or they have had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more.
  • Your child has a persistent high temperature of 37.8C or above.
  • Your child seems very tired or irritable.

Dial 999 for an ambulance if:

  • your baby is having difficulty breathing
  • your baby’s tongue or lips are blue
  • there are long pauses in your baby’s breathing
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