IT WAS confirmed this week that a 10p daily rise in the price of school meals will not be implemented this financial year, following what opposition councillors have described as a ‘U-turn’.
At Monday’s meeting of the Executive Board (Mar 26) Cllr Glynog Davies the executive member for education said that following pledges made at previous Full Council meetings he had met with officers to see if there were other alternative savings which could be identified.
“There is a concern that another increase would be detrimental to the service, leading to less children having school meals,” he explained.
The price hike – which would have been the fourth in as many years – would have seen CCC’s school meals become among the most expensive in Wales.
Cllr Davies explained that officers had identified other areas to compensate for the £190,000 that the 10p increase would have brought in. These were: £50k from a reduction in the responsive maintenance budget within the Catering Service; £50k from allocated funding for budget ‘growth’ areas, and £90k from a number of smaller savings including a reduction in senior management & back office costs.
Cllr Davies told the Executive Board that he was ‘proud’ of the school meals service offered by CCC. “I am assured that the standard of food is excellent, healthy and nutritious which our young people in the schools need,” he added, explaining that the next step would be an advertising campaign to inform parents of the benefits of school meals.
The original rise was criticised by several councillors on the Labour benches, and Shadow Executive Member for Education and
Children Cllr Bill Thomas said that the group were ‘pleased with the decision:
Pupils and parents in Carmarthenshire will be relieved that the Plaid/Independent Coalition’s latest U-turn will mean that there will not be an increase in the cost of school meals when they return from their Easter break,” he told The Herald.
“Last year’s price increase has already led to fewer children taking school meals.
“Labour Councillors have been speaking against the increase since it was first announced as part of the draft budget. Therefore we are pleased that good sense has prevailed and the planned above inflation increase has been stopped.
“After the U-turn on using Welsh Government funding to buy new car parking machines instead of making parking free, this is the second U-turn by the Plaid/Independent Coalition in a few weeks. Labour Councillors are calling for a “hat-trick of U-turns “ to be completed by giving schools fair funding and not expect them to make £2.3 million of cuts. The £500,000 fund for schools to apply for is of course welcomed, but that is not going to go far between the 122 schools in the county.
“By funding schools fairly, Labour Councillors think this would go towards giving children in our county the best foundation.”
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.”