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Humanist minister denied role at remembrance ceremony

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Sian Caiach

LLANELLI TOWN COUNCIL have found themselves in a row over the upcoming remembrance service at the town war memorial.

Humanists UK member and Chair of Llanelli Rural Council Sian Caiach has spoken with The Herald newspaper to express her disappointment at having her request for her Humanist Pastor to participate in a remembrance ceremony denied.

The Town Council together with The Royal British Legion organise the Llanelli Remembrance Service. A request by Cllr Caiach was made for her humanist pastor to say a few words and lay a wreath have been rejected. The denial could force the council and Royal British Legion to update their policy for future events under the Equality Act 2010. The act states you must not be discriminated against because of your religion or lack of faith.

The Town Council has defended their decision.

Speaking to our reporter on the telephone, Gary Jones, the town clerk, said: ‘’A template has been utilised by the Royal British Legion for over 20 years and has worked very well.

“The parade contains veterans of an aging generation which must be taken into consideration. The request was made too late for adaptions to be made. However, we are looking at options for adjusting the timetable for next year’s ceremony.’’

Cllr Caiach an atheist, says she has previously been able to have her pastor join her in an official Rural Council capacity including her own civic ceremony. Accommodations have also previously been made, she argues, for fellow chairs who are without faith.

In an attempt to find a solution Pastor Androw Bennett, who is an experienced and well known humanist pastor has offered to restrict the bilingual remarks to just only one minute. Again this request has been denied, the Herald understands.

The Town Council has, we are told, offered Cllr Caiach and Pastor Bennett a private once the formal ceremony has concluded.

According to the councillor, this is not the first time Llanelli Town Council has appeared to have adopted a ‘Christianity only’ policy.

This is evident in their approach, she says, to their councillors civic ceremonies. She told The Herald: “All Town Mayors are only offered to select a Chaplain of Christian faith.

“Councillor David Darkin who is agnostic, was only offered a Christian chaplain for his Civic Ceremony which was run by the Town Council.

“With the town having its first Muslim Mayor, Councillor Shahana Najmi who is currently the Llanelli Council Leader, the policy is proving outdated.”

She added ‘’I really don’t accept  that in modern times this is appropriate behaviour where we strive to have a liberal and inclusive society which celebrates diversity.’’

The councillor says that she is determined to ensure there is no discrimination will be placing an official request with The Royal British Legion in preparation of next years service for equal recognition of a Humanist Celebrant to be included within the ceremony.

This November will be a celebratory milestone for Welsh humanists, as it marks the first time a leading officiate humanist celebrant Lorraine Barrett has been invited to speak at the official Welsh National Service of Remembrance, on behalf of the non-religious in Wales – with the same status as the Church of Wales and other religious groups.

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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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