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Burry Port store manager celebrates local heroes during coronavirus

Thomas Sinclair

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A Burry Port store manager from community retailer, Co-op is shining a light on the 60 local volunteers who are helping the busy team to deliver food and essentials to those that are most in need during this unprecedented time.

Volunteers from the local rugby club, Burry Port RFC and the local community have been helping Nathan Evans and his team at the Co-op on Station Road to make hundreds of trips to vulnerable customers in the region to deliver the food and essentials they need. 

Colleagues at the store initially began making the trips to customers themselves but knew they needed help to reach more people in the community. The team set up a community volunteer board in store to connect vulnerable customers with willing volunteers from the local area. Along with the enlisted help of volunteers from the local rugby club, the store can now reach the goal of helping 100 houses a week. 

Nathan Evans, store manager at Co-op, said: “We wanted to find a way to help our vulnerable customers to get the things they need at this unprecedented time. These shoppers support the store all year round so this is our way to thank them. We couldn’t do it without the support of the community volunteers, and with their help we can deliver more food and essentials to those that need it the most. The volunteers and my team are local heroes and I couldn’t thank them enough.”

The Co-op store team have not stopped there though and have been performing little acts of kindness to lift the spirits of other frontline key workers from across the region. From working with Co-op Funeralcare to donate bottled water to staff at Prince Philip Hospital, donating treats to staff at the local Primary school to dropping off Easter eggs to children at Burry Port Primary School on Good Friday. The store even teamed up with local businesses, Jenkins Bakery & Caffi Lolfa to make 70 sandwiches for the residents at the Plas Y Mor residential home to bring a little happiness to those not able to see loved ones.

Jo Whitfield, Co-op Food CEO said: “Every day we are seeing outstanding acts of kindness as communities pull together to support those who are struggling, and our amazing Co-op members and customers tell us they want to help to support their communities and do right by those in greatest need.”

In partnership with FareShare, Co-op has created a new charity TV ad which is a tribute to the local heroes who are playing their part in feeding the nation during the Coronavirus crisis. The advert highlights the new scheme which helps and encourages customers to support food banks by either donating in-store or via a text to a dedicated number, both of which will boost the £1.5million of food Co-op has already pledged to FareShare.

Anyone can be a local hero by offering support to FareShare and making a donation today. Donate online, from your mobile by simply texting MEALS to 70490 to give £10 or at the till in store when you’re shopping for your essentials to donate either 50p, £1, £2 or £5 to FareShare – the UK’s largest hunger fighting charity supporting over 11,000 charities and community groups.

Jo adds: “I’m delighted we can make it easy for them to donate what they can to help FareShare and its very own band of local heroes. If we all co-operate together, we can make a huge difference.”

Jo adds: “I’m delighted we can make it easy for them to donate what they can to help FareShare and its very own band of local heroes. If we all co-operate together, we can make a huge difference.”

Co-op has also allowing its 4.6 million members to donate their unspent member rewards to a Coronavirus Fund which will be supporting food banks, a funeral bereavement fund established for those in financial hardship and local causes. Co-op Members receive a 5 per cent reward every time they buy an own-brand product or service which is held in an online wallet which can be redeemed on future purchases and now can be donated instead to Co-op Members’ Coronavirus Fund.

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Four charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs

Carli Newell

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FOUR people have been arrested and charged as part of an investigation into an organised crime gang supplying class A drugs from London to Aberystwyth, Llanelli and Swansea.

Dyfed-Powys Police, with support from The Met Police, carried out warrants at four addresses on July 21, resulting in four arrests.

Mohammed Osman, aged 23, Yonis Mohammed, aged 20, Salman Mohamoud, aged 23 – all from Islington – and Amy Simmons, aged 21, from Dulwich were charged with a total of 12 offences:

  • Mohammed Osman: Two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine,
  • Yonis Mohammed: Two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine.
  • Salman Mohamoud: Conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine
  • Amy Simmons: Conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine.

All four appeared at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Friday, July 23, where they were remanded in custody. They are due to appear at Swansea Crown Court for their next hearing on August 20.

The investigation is being carried out by the Ceredigion Serious and Organised Crime Team, Aberystwyth CID and the Operation Orochi command of the Met Police.

Detective Sergeant Steve Jones said: “These four arrests and charges are the result of a coordinated approach to target an organised crime gang we believe is running a county lines operation into the Dyfed-Powys Police force area.

“We will continue to work diligently to disrupt gangs of this kind, to prevent the supply of illegal substances into our community.

“I would like to thank all officers involved, as well as the Met Police for their part in the operation.”

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New children’s play area in Bryn as part of new council housing development

Carli Newell

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A NEW children’s play area has opened in time for the summer holidays in Bryn, Llanelli as part of a new £5.9million council housing development.

Carmarthenshire County Council is building 32 new homes on land close to the Dylan housing estate in Bryn.

The scheme will be made up of 22 two-bedroom homes, four two-bedroom bungalows and six four-bedroom homes and is part of the council’s ongoing drive to deliver more affordable homes across the county. It has been part funded through the Welsh Government’s Affordable Housing Grant.

The development also includes a new children’s play area, funded by the council in partnership with Llanelli Rural Council, which will take over the running and maintenance of the play area on completion.

Executive Board Member for Housing Cllr Linda Evans said: “I am delighted the park has been completed in time for the summer holidays for the local children to enjoy.

“We are committed to delivering more affordable housing across Carmarthenshire and this development will benefit dozens of families in Llanelli, as well as proving much needed facilities for the local community.

“I would like to thank the rural council for collaborating with this us on this and I hope the children are thrilled with it.”

Before designing the play area, the rural council liaised with local schoolchildren to find out what play equipment they wanted at their new park.

Llanelli Rural Council Chairman Cllr Tegwen Devichand said: “The council is delighted to be working in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council to provide this wonderful new play area for the community.

“The opening of the play area couldn’t have been better timed to coincide with the school holidays. I hope the local children will enjoy the range of challenging play equipment on offer and that they have lots of fun using it over the summer.”

The housing development is due to be completed by the beginning of 2022.

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Burry Port Harbour lighthouse overhaul tops council’s £2million investment

Carli Newell

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A £2MILLION investment in Burry Port Harbour is nearing completion, topped off with the iconic lighthouse getting a fresh lick of paint.

Carmarthenshire County Council is behind a range of improvements to maintain and restore the historic harbour which is one of the county’s most loved and well visited beauty spots.

Restoration of the Grade II listed harbour walls, undertaken under the guidance of CADW, will conclude within the next few weeks.

The council has also been working alongside The Marine Group, which operates the harbour, to improve mooring facilities. They are working closely with fishermen to bid for funding for new commercial pontoon infrastructure.

It will add to investment made over previous years which saw the council spend almost £1.5million on new pontoons, and over £300,000 in maintaining the harbour railings and bridge.

A local operator has agreed a lease for a cafe and public toilets on east side of Harbour, and the refurbishment of the old RNLI harbour office has recently started by The Marine Group (TMG) to create a harbour-side coffee house.

TMG has also invested in a state-of-the-art dredger which arrived at the harbour last autumn. Dredging is well underway and will continue until targeted depths are reached.

Boat lifting equipment and new fuelling points are also planned.

The council has introduced community safety officers to patrol the harbour assisting tourists and local people during the summer months, especially to advise around Covid regulations, as part of a tourism hotspot plan to take care of issues such as parking, litter, street cleansing, enforcement and signage.

Temporary car parking surfacing has also been laid on the east side along with new pay and display facilities ahead of a wider multi-million regeneration plan that will transform the harbour with a mix of housing, commercial and leisure space covering around 13 acres of prime development site.

Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “We are proud of our continued investment in Burry Port Harbour. We are spending millions restoring and maintaining historic features that are much-loved by local people and visitors who come from far and wide to enjoy what the harbour has to offer.

“We continue to work closely alongside The Marine Group and Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council to plan and prioritise works and ongoing maintenance. We are as keen as everyone else to ensure it is well-maintained and continues to be a place people can enjoy.

“We appreciate that there has been some upheaval during these improvement works but we ask people to understand that our investment will make Burry Port Harbour an even better place for the future.”

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