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Hospital campaigners to address public meeting

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HOSPTIAL campaigners are urging Llanelli residents to attend a public meeting tomorrow (May 12) about Hywel Dda’s hospital consultation. They aim to send a strong message to the Health Board that the option of downgrading Prince Philip Hospital is a non-starter.

The meeting, which is open to all and will be held in the Selwyn Samuel Centre at 3.30pm, is being organised by Save Our Services Prince Philip Action Network (SOSPPAN).

Shaun Greaney, who with Adrian Morgan founded a petition to save Llanelli’s hospital that has gathered over 4,700 signatures, will be addressing the meeting, alongside Llanelli’s MP and AM and other hospital campaigners. The Health Board has also promised to send representatives to the meeting.

Mr Greaney said: “I think it is ridiculous that the health board aims to decide the future of health services with just a handful of drop-in sessions and only one in the Llanelli area.

“I would urge everyone to attend the meeting tomorrow to send a clear message to the health board: hands off our hospital.”

Nia Griffith MP said: “You only need to be in Llanelli town centre for a few minutes to know that there is such strong feeling here in Llanelli about keeping services at Prince Philip Hospital and about the real need to make services accessible to people, not take them miles away.

“But we need that strength of feeling to translate into a strong message to the Hywel Dda Health Board, so I would urge everyone to attend the meeting tomorrow when representatives of the local health board will be present.

“We also need to submit hard evidence by feeding in our comments on the consultation, either online or by sending the paper document back FREEPOST – copies available from my office. We need to work together and speak up as strongly as possible for Llanelli.”

Lee Waters AM added: “I’m looking forward to addressing the SOSPPAN meeting tomorrow. We must make it clear to the Health Board that there is no way we will accept a downgrade of Prince Philip Hospital.

“There are huge demands on the NHS across the UK, and here in Hywel Dda, we do need to confront change – but it’s how we do it that’s key and downgrading Prince Philip Hospital, which I’m dead against, cannot be part of that change.

“Nia and I will be out in and around Llanelli every week with consultation documents, and you can fill them in online. I’ve been told by the Chief Executive that nothing is ‘off the table’, so it’s vital that everyone has their say.”

Campaigners will be handing out consultation forms near the EE shop in the town centre on Thursdays and Saturdays from 10.30am to 12.30pm in the next few weeks.

Copies of the consultation document, petition forms and leaflets can be collected from the SOSPPAN events organiser Suzy Curry (0756 1566 456).

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Scrub removal at Pembrey to improve dunes for biodiversity

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If scrub growth is not controlled, it will cause species like lizards, orchids and dune pansies to suffer and disappear from our sand dunes.

SCRUB provides a splash of greenery in our sandy spaces, but too much scrub smothers the sand dunes and has a devastating effect on the specialist plants and invertebrates which live there. 

This winter Natural Resources Wales will be removing non-native, invasive plant species from areas of dune at Pembrey to help wildlife thrive.

The coast around Pembrey is home to 20% of all the plants in Wales and features a large sand dune system. Sand dunes are listed as the habitat type most at risk of biodiversity loss in Europe.

The Dynamic Dunescapes project, funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund and delivered in Wales by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), is working at Pembrey with Carmarthenshire County Council’s Outdoor Recreation Service to improve the condition of these dunes for wildlife.

Some non-native plant species, like the dense scrub plant sea buckthorn, are invasive and they are growing quickly in this dune system – spreading further across large areas of dune each year. 

Many of the dunes’ rare and specialist wildlife needs bare sand or low grassland habitat to survive and gets lost under or outcompeted by scrub. 

If scrub growth is not controlled, it will cause species like lizards, orchids and dune pansies to suffer and disappear from our sand dunes.

Scrub removal in specifically chosen locations will help to restore the habitat types that these species need, and this work will play a part in ensuring the dunes at Pembrey have a healthy, biodiverse future. 

Improving the ecological condition here will increase this coastal landscape’s resilience to other threats, such as extreme weather events and changing conditions brought on by climate change in the future.

The first phase of this work is to take place in Pembrey Country Park around Car Park 8 and the second will take place on the foredunes in front of the Welsh Government Woodland Estate which is managed by NRW. 

It is scheduled to begin in the last week of November and will last for two weeks. There will be a temporary closure of Factory Road outside the Country Park for one week – reopening on 5th December.

Ruth Harding, Senior Environment Officer at Natural Resources Wales, said:

“Sea Buckthorn control is important to improve the dune grassland habitats at Pembrey. Carmarthenshire County Council and Natural Resources Wales have carried out this type of habitat management over a number of years which has resulted in restoring the area to a dune grassland rich with different species of plants. 

You can best enjoy this during the summer months within the Pembrey Burrows and Saltings Local Nature Reserve. As part of Dynamic Dunescapes, we are now continuing this work, which will result in an overall increase in dune grassland habitat.”

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for leisure, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths said:

“Whilst scrub is a valuable habitat it does need management to maintain it in good condition for wildlife. Cutting back the scrub will ensure it does not spread into areas where it is not wanted and or where it can destroy other habitat.”

Dynamic Dunescapes is not the only project working to restore Pembrey’s important sand dunes. The EU LIFE-funded Sands of LIFE project, managed by (NRW), has also been undertaking sand dune management to improve conditions for wildlife in recent years. The two projects work closely to build on and support each other’s work.

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Demolition of 4 Tys begins in Tyisha, Llanelli

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Four Tys

WORK to demolish the Four Tys housing blocks in Tyisha, Llanelli has started, marking the next exciting step in Carmarthenshire County Council’s plans to Transform the area. 

The demolition work is set to be completed by civil engineering contractor Walters over the next 20 weeks and will enable the build of modern, mixed-use housing which meets the needs of the community.

Improvements to existing homes and the creation of community facilities and green spaces will also form part of changes on the horizon for Tyisha. 

Cllr Linda Davies Evans, chair of the Transforming Tyisha steering group and cabinet member for housing said: “The demolition of the Four Tys marks an important step in the Transforming Tyisha project. Although this process will evoke powerful memories for many of the people who have lived and worked in Tyisha since the Four Tys were built in the 1960s, their demolition will enable us to provide the housing and facilities that the community needs.

Local residents and businesses who may be impacted by the demolition process will be contacted throughout 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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Serious assault in Ruby’s Bar Llanelli being investigated by police

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POLICE are investigating a serious assault which occurred in Ruby’s Bar, Llanelli, between 10:40pm and 11pm on Saturday, November 20.

A 35-year-old man received injuries which required hospital treatment.

A 31-year-old female and a 36-year-old male have  been arrested on suspicion of assault. Both have been released on bail pending further police enquiries.

Anyone who witnessed, or took footage of, the incident, or anyone who has any information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DP-20211120-336.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.’

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