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Pen Rhos pupils give Wellness Centre thumbs up

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PUPILS and staff at Llanelli’s newest school have given the plans for a Life Science and Well-being Village in Llanelli a resounding thumbs-up.

Following a consultation exercise, the pupils of Ysgol Pen Rhos said the £200 million Delta Lakes development will boost local young people’s aspirations because of the high-quality jobs that will be created.

A state-of-the-art leisure centre is among the plans for the Village, which will be located very close to new Ysgol Pen Rhos building which is nearing completion at the former Draka site on Copperworks Road.

Due to replace Lakefield Primary School and the Copperworks Infant and Nursery School, the new school building is being delivered through Carmarthenshire Council’s Modernising Education Programme, with funding via the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools initiative.

Helen Morgans, Ysgol Pen Rhos Deputy Head Teacher,  said: “This is an exciting time for Ysgol Pen Rhos. Our new school building will give current and future pupils a 21st Century learning environment and experience, with the Life Science and Well-being Village set to develop very close by.

“As a school, we’re 100% behind the Village because it will improve Llanelli, create more local employment and raise young people’s aspirations. We’re also an Attachment Aware School where nurturing groups are in place to support children who have experienced trauma, so we’re very supportive of the project’s focus on well-being.

“Many children from years five and six took part in a consultation exercise about the project late last year, where they were able to give feedback on what they’d like to see included on the site.”

The Village scheme is being led by Carmarthenshire Council, in partnership with Swansea University, the Hywel Dda University Health Board and the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.

The development is also part of the £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal programme, which includes 11 major projects across Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire. Work is progressing with the Welsh and UK Governments to develop the bid to secure a £40 million investment for the Life Science and Well-being Village as part of this programme.

Ysgol Pen Rhos will be a new dual stream, bilingual primary, offering education through English or Welsh to children between three and 11.

Among the pupils’ ideas for the Village site were a swimming pool, health services for the elderly and vulnerable, and landscaped spaces for recreation and activities. These features will all be included, along with business and research opportunities, education and assisted living accommodation.

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Carmarthenshire Council Leader, said: “It’s extremely encouraging that the children and staff at Ysgol Pen Rhos are so enthused about the Life Science and Well-being Village. This project will give the local economy a £467 million boost and create up to 2,000 well-paid jobs over 15 years, so it’s important not just to Llanelli, but to Carmarthenshire and the Swansea Bay City Region as a whole.

“Subject to planning approvals, work on the project is anticipated to start at the end of 2018, with the first phase earmarked for opening in 2021. Sustainability will be at the heart of the scheme, with an emphasis on ensuring the development is in keeping with the character of the nearby area.”

Like all projects being part-funded by the Swansea Bay City Deal, the Village will benefit from a skills and talent initiative that will give local people opportunities to access the high-value jobs that will be created.

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Council appoints demolition contractor ahead of exciting changes for Tyisha, Llanelli

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CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has appointed a contractor to demolish housing blocks in Tyisha commonly known as ‘the Four Tys’.

The demolition work, which is set to begin at the end of November, will enable the build of a modern, mixed-use housing development which meets the needs of the community, as well as improvements to existing homes and the creation of community facilities and green spaces for everyone to enjoy.

Cllr Linda Davies Evans, chair of the Transforming Tyisha steering group and cabinet member for housing said: “I am delighted that we have reached this important milestone in the Transforming Tyisha project. The demolition of the ‘Four Tys’ will evoke powerful memories for many people who have lived and worked in Tyisha, but will mean that we can develop the housing and facilities that the community wants, needs and deserves.Local residents and businesses who may be impacted by the demolition process will be contacted  before any work begins and throughout the process to ensure minimum disruption.”

This forms a part of the council’s ambitious plans to regenerate the Tyisha ward and the wider Llanelli town centre area which is undergoing massive investment.

The council is also seeking a partner to develop new housing and create a vibrant community. An early market engagement exercise is currently live which gives potential partners the opportunity to express their interest in working with the council to transform the area.

Fresh and innovative ideas for this exciting project can be submitted to the council until December 7.

For more information on the early market engagement process or the council’s Transforming Tyisha regeneration project please visit www.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/tyisha

The demolition of the ‘Four Tys’ forms part of the council’s ambitious Transforming Tyisha project which looks to regenerate the area through increasing community safety, developing housing and community facilities and improving the environment.

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Man jailed for assaulting three officers during arrest

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THREE female officers carrying out their duties suffered injuries in an unprovoked attack at the hands of the man they were trying to arrest.

Officers had executed a warrant at the home of John Steven Knight, in Stafford Street, Llanelli, for an unrelated matter. Because the 37-year-old was not home, PC Jaye Blanco-Martin, DC Eleri Owen and colleague who does not want to be named, attended his work in Ammanford.

As officers spoke with Knight he was initially calm and compliant. But then he tried to unlock his phone.

The DC who is not being named said: “In fear that Knight was attempting to delete evidence and frustrate a police investigation I took hold of his left arm to try and seize the phone. 

“Knight’s personality and attitude towards the officers changed instantly.

“He moved his phone to his other hand and immediately started to fight us.  He was pulling away clearly trying to escape.

“Out of nowhere I felt a sudden push from Knight using his full body weight and as a direct result of this blow and I fell to the ground and hit my head. I immediately felt pain and discomfort to my head and it started throbbing.” 

In the struggle, all three officers ended up on the floor having been shoved and thrown into furniture, walls and a door frame.

Despite Knight’s efforts, the officers were able to arrest him, although they were left with the marks to show they had been in a struggle.

One officer suffered a suspected head injury that required a CT scan, while all three suffered cuts and bruising to various parts of their bodies.

The officer added: “I was incredibly worried for mine and my colleagues’ safety.  Knight was a well built and over 6ft and had the strength to take three officers to the ground with him.”

Knight appeared at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on September 29, the day after his arrest, on September 28, when he was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

Following the terrifying ordeal DC Owen said: “During the whole incident I was afraid not just for my safety but also my colleagues.

“That it was only three females with a male who was around 6ft 2ins resisting and assaulting officers made me feel vulnerable.

“I will never forget this, it will be something that stays with me throughout my career. I did not expect to go to work that day to be assaulted. I was just carrying out my duties.”

After a rise in such assaults, Dyfed-Powys Police has linked with Wales’ emergency services to launch the year-long ‘Work With Us, Not Against Us’ campaign.

It came after more than 4,240 assaults were committed against emergency workers, including police, fire and ambulance crews, in the period April 2019 – November 2020, representing a monthly average increase from 202 in 2019 to 222 in 2020, or 10%.

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police, Emma Ackland, said: “Assaults on police officers continues to increase and this is completely unacceptable. No officer should expect to come under any sort of attack when doing their best to serve the public and potentially save lives.

“It is vitally important that sentences given reflect the harm and upset caused to these victims – professionals doing their work.”

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Town centre triumph as food festival returns

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THE people of Llanelli treated themselves on Saturday, October 16 as Llanelli Food and Drink Festival returned for its third stint in the town centre. 

Crowds turned out in droves as hot street food vendors and artisan producers lined the streets in the event organised by Ymlaen Llanelli, the town centre’s Business Improvement District (BID).

Chair of Ymlaen Llanelli, Lesley Richards, was thrilled with the event’s success: “The annual food festival is our biggest event, and it was great to see people excited for it to return after a year away. Our work at Ymlaen Llanelli is all about bringing people together in Llanelli town centre, so we’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone that came along and made the day what it was. We can always rely on the people of Llanelli to bring the party!”

The sun was shining as festival-goers as they tucked into their treats and were entertained as a lineup of acoustic acts took to the stage in Stepney Square. 

Children and adults alike got stuck into the food-themed crafty fun as the vintage pottery bus Annibendod offered Mad Hatter’s Tea Party pottery, while A Taste of Times Past hosted pickling and pasta-making workshops in St Elli Shopping Centre.

BID Manager, Mandy Jenkins, was pleased with the day: “It was brilliant to see town so busy, and we’ve had incredible feedback from our businesses who were choc-a-block on the day. On top of that, the public response has been phenomenal, so we really couldn’t be happier. Thank you Llanelli!”

Ymlaen Llanelli returns for some festive fun with Llanelli Reindeer Parade on Saturday, December 4.

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