MP taking up fight for better miners’ pensions
Llanelli’s MP Nia Griffith is fighting for a fairer pension deal for former miners. She and other Labour MPs from former coalfield areas pledged their support for a review of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme at a meeting they organised with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) last week.
Ms Griffith explained, “Former miners are receiving just £84 a week on average, while the UK Government has raked in over £4 billion from their pension scheme over 25 years – without putting a penny in. This is clearly unfair, leaving former miners short-changed for the contributions they have made.
“We as Labour coalfield MPs facilitated a meeting for NUM reps with our Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell to discuss the urgent need for a much fairer pension arrangement for former miners. The NUM have long called for a review of the scheme’s surplus-sharing arrangements, so I am delighted that the Shadow Chancellor has agreed to include this in Labour’s next manifesto.
“The Government has done far better out of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme than anyone thought at the time it was agreed in 1994. It is only right that the scheme is changed to reflect this fact, so that the former miners get fair returns for their money in bonuses when their pension fund performs well.
“It is vital that this change is made urgently, so that as many people can benefit from it as possible. It is shameful that the Conservative Government is doing nothing to help former miners when they have been making so much money from their pension scheme.
“I will keep working with the NUM and my Labour colleagues to get former miners living in the Llanelli constituency and around the country the fairer pension deal they deserve.”
The Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme (MPS) supports 152,000 former miners and their families. Since 1994, it has been covered by an government guarantee which protects all pensions earned up until privatisation in cash terms should the MPS enter serious financial difficulties. In return, the UK Government receives 50% of any surpluses generated by the scheme, with the remaining 50% going to scheme members in the form of pension bonuses.
The UK Government has received £4.4 billion from the MPS over 25 years despite making no direct payments into it. This amount is far higher than was originally projected. The NUM, Labour and others are campaigning for a review of the scheme to achieve a fairer distribution of surpluses between former miners and government.
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.”