MEMBERS of three unions in Carmarthenshire have voted not to grit roads overnight for three consecutive nights between 18 and 20 December.
The action has been timed for maximum impact ahead of forecasted icy weather conditions in parts of the county.
The effect on commuters to Carmarthenshire from Pembrokeshire could be significant, as could the potential for travel chaos if Pembrokeshire shoppers head east to buy Christmas gifts.
As we went to press, a meeting was scheduled between Carmarthenshire County Council and the unions in an attempt to avert industrial action.
The strike vote followed an official dispute between GMB, Unison and Unite unions and CCC over the issue of rates of pay for staff undertaking winter gritting duties.
The council made an offer to staff that was rejected unanimously by members of GMB, the largest union in the depots, with a mandate to ballot for action if negotiations do not progress.
The unions say Carmarthenshire currently has some of the worst terms and conditions for staff under-taking gritting duties in comparison with other local authorities, and staff risking their own insurance when working.
Peter Hill, GMB Regional Organiser said: “We negotiated in good faith over the last year to try and find a deal, but unfortunately we’ve yet to get a fair deal for GMB members.
“Staff are being forced to undertake winter gritting on low rates of pay, after years of real-terms decline in the wages.
“Our members are angry and frustrated.”
The unions have indicated an intention to step up their industrial action in the New Year.
Llanelli Rotary Christmas appeal to be match-funded by Swansea Building Society
THE LLANELLI Rotary Club Christmas appeal, which sees the club raise funds for local charities each year, will see its total donations double thanks to match-funding from Swansea Building Society.
The building society helps its staff raise charitable funds each year as part of its commitment to its members and the local communities it serves. It regards this as a direct part of its mutual status – a status that means it is owned by its members.
The ongoing pandemic and emerging new variant meant that the club arranged for Santa Claus to make Covid-friendly house visits to children prior to Christmas. This was the second year that Santa has made such house visits as an alternative to the Santa’s Grotto previously organised by the Rotary Club.
This year’s appeal visited 295 households in the Llanelli area and met 622 children to confirm the letters they had written to Santa. The funds raised from these visits, coupled with Rotary members collecting at Parc Trostre, Llanelli Carnival and the Llanelli Reindeer Parade, amounted to £5,774.
This amount will be generously match-funded by Swansea Building Society, bringing the total donation to £11,548 and this will be split between the four charities chosen by Llanelli Rotary this year: Ty Hafan, Wales Air Ambulance, Latch and Ysgol Heol Goffa.
Alison Evans, Llanelli Rotary Club Secretary, said: “Despite the ongoing difficulties, the Llanelli Rotary Club Christmas appeal has been a great success again this year. Thanks to Santa, the Rotarians, and the volunteers that helped us, we were able to put a smile on hundreds of children’s faces, whilst raising a considerable sum for four very worthwhile charities. We give great thanks to all those who donated to the appeal in the run-up to Christmas, and special thanks to Swansea Building Society for its generous match funding.”
Ieuan Griffiths, Swansea Building Society Chair and Llanelli Rotary Club member, added: “Our annual Christmas appeal is always a joyful and rewarding experience for all concerned – worth the significant effort involved just to see the childrens’ faces and reactions. We are very pleased that Santa has been able to help whilst checking out chimneys and magic keys. This year the Rotary Club has again raised considerable funds, and, with the help of Swansea Building Society’s match funding, this year’s charities will receive sizable donations. I extend my thanks to everyone who helped and all who donated.”
Domestic abuse victims in Wales to be given more time to report assaults
DOMESTIC abuse victims in Wales and England to be given more time to report assaults.
New measures targeted directly at keeping women and girls safer will be added to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill last week (Jan 4) the UK Government has announced.
Under the changes, victims of domestic abuse will be allowed more time to report incidents of common assault or battery against them. Currently, prosecutions must commence within six months of the offence.
Instead, this requirement will be moved to six months from the date the incident is formally reported to the police – with an overall time limit of two years from the offence to bring a prosecution.Domestic abuse is often reported late relative to other crimes; so this will ensure victims have enough time to seek justice and that perpetrators answer for their actions.
The UK Government says that today’s announcement builds on measures already in the Bill to better protect women such as ending the halfway release of offenders sentenced between four and seven years in prison for serious sexual offences – forcing them to spend two-thirds of their time in prison.
In December, the legislation was amended to make clear that a new legal duty requiring public bodies to work together to tackle serious violence can also include domestic abuse and sexual offences.
It means that these crimes should be taken as seriously as knife crime and homicide, with police, government, and health bodies required to collaborate locally, so that they can develop more holistic strategies to protect people from harm, including through early intervention.
Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said: “My commitment to making our homes, streets and communities safer for women and girls is clear.”
“Every department in government is working to address and tackle all issues relating to violence against women and girls.”
“The Government has a focussed strategy, dedicated to providing essential support for survivors, the prevention of crimes against women and girls and bringing perpetrators to justice with the full force of the law.”
“Our actions include the new Domestic Abuse Act, with important changes to our laws; a newly created national police lead responsible solely on violence against women and girls, and millions of pounds have been invested in direct safety measures through the Safer Streets Fund.”
“These are all important public confidence measures and changes to ensure the safety of women and girls in public spaces.”
The UK Government has also said that taking non-consensual photographs or video recordings of breastfeeding mothers will be made a specific offence punishable by up to two years in prison.
It covers situations where the motive is to obtain sexual gratification, or to cause humiliation, distress or alarm.
Similar legislation introduced by the UK Government in 2019 that criminalised “up skirting” has led to more than 30 prosecutions since it became law.
Club Logic announces last two events as venue plans to diversify in 2022
AFTER latest government advice, Club Logic announces its two last events: the Christmas Party with headliner David Rust, and their closing party, the Ultimate Boxing Day Classics event.
Yesterday the Welsh Government’s complete closure of all Nightclubs for the foreseeable future with effect from midnight December 27th, came as a massive shock to many, and is another massive setback for the already suffering Welsh music and leisure industries sector.
The owner/promoters of Club Logic have hosted some of the most groundbreaking club nights that Wales has ever seen and in the face of great adversity caused by Covid, they reopened the venue, in accordance to government guidelines.
With diversification already in the pipeline for Club Logic, which will transform it into the Gorseinon Entertainments Centre, The venue manager Cheryl Trotman said: “we are looking forward to the launch of our new venture and will be announcing the launch date, as soon as we have clarity from the government. But for now though, we are concentrating on finishing 2021 in true style.”
Their legendary festive Black Friday Christmas Party and Boxing Night Classics event are well known, revered and always well attended. As these will be the two last ever promotions in the venue as you know it, you can guarantee that both will go off with a bang!
Tonight’s Christmas event (Friday 17th December) features Scottish trance stalwart David Rust with support from Billy Gillies, Will Rees and support DJs. Tickets have been flying out and such is the appetite for a proper Christmas cracker, the opening times have been moved forward, and the doors open: 6pm – 4am, and early arrival is advised!
Then on Sunday 26th December, Club Logic’s closing party will be their last ever Boxing Night’s Classics event. The doors open at 5pm and the management, DJ’s and everyone involved, will be closing the club in true Logic style. Supplying the aural delights will be DJ’s: Alan Sykes, Andrew Butty Davies, Ben Saunders, Callan Christie, Rhys Thomas, Rob Rees and Simon Davies. The event will of course finish at the stroke of midnight.
Venue address: Club Logic, 12 High Street, Gorseinon, Swansea SA4 4BX.
For info please visit: https://www.facebook.com/logicmusicevents
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