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AM attacks government over ambulance times



ambulance2RHODRI GLYN THOMAS has accused the Labour Government of over-centralising health services in Wales after figures released showed that ambulance response times in Carmarthenshire were on the decline.

Only 48% of Category A calls were reached within eight minutes in May. This is in contrast to the Labour Government’s target of 65%. Carmarthenshire also showed the worst response times in Wales over the period.

Not since September 2013 has the ambulance service met that response time in the county, and the worst ever performance was recorded in December 2014 when only 42% met the eight minute target.

Carmarthenshire’s ambulance response times clearly demonstrate that whilst there is a marginal 0.7% improvement in response times across Wales, response times are actually worsening at a local level.

Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Rhodri Glyn Thomas said his party had repeatedly warned that increased centralisation of health services and a withdrawal of support for social healthcare and community hospitals would dramatically increase pressure on already strained ambulance services to meet the targets.

The Carmarthen East and Dinefwr AM said: “It goes without saying that ambulance staff work in incredibly difficult circumstances and continue to do us proud despite the maladies of austerity. However, I am very concerned with the overall decline in performance at a local level here in Carmarthenshire. Performance times are worsening dramatically and we need answers as to why this continues to be the case. In circumstances where every moment counts, a situation where ambulances are failing to reach the people who need them most with an eight minute period is a serious cause for concern. Plaid Cymru has repeatedly warned the Labour government about the dangers of centralising our health services away from the communities that need them most. Additionally, our policy of introducing 1,000 extra doctors into the Welsh Health Service will ease pressures on our A&Es and, in turn, stop the ludicrous situation of ambulances queuing up outside casualty departments when they need to be ready to save the next life. Looking more broadly, I believe that moving healthcare back into the community with health and social services aligned more closely is a more suitable and sustainable solution compared to what we’re seeing under this Labour government which is forcing communities to become dependent upon distant, over-burdened hospitals and their ancillary services.

“I want to see healthcare meet the needs of the people of Carmarthenshire, rather than forcing patients to be dependent upon a strained and under-funded service. I believe in equipping rather than condemning our ambulance service to do the job that our ambulance crews want and need to do. The Labour Welsh Government must urgently enable them to do that.”

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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 (

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.

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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

While community organisations are to contact Llanelli Town Council at

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.

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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.”

One of the calendar photos (Images: Graham Harries Photography)
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