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Plaid’s vision for Carmarthenshire

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Cllr Dai Jenkins: Plaid will invest in Carmarthenshire

Cllr Dai Jenkins: Plaid will invest in Carmarthenshire

PLAID CYMRU have decided to use some of the County Council’s nine-figure reserves to invest in a strategy to create jobs and improve the standard of living in Carmarthenshire.

That’s according to a press release from Plaid Cymru received by The Herald this morning.

The release reveals that since taking over the leadership of the county council from Labour in May, Plaid has been analysing the council’s substantial capital reserves and is not prepared to just sit on them.

As a result, almost £20m will be released from those reserves towards projects right across the county.

The £20m committed, together with grant aid and match funding, will enable expenditure over the next five years on a number of major projects which will create jobs and improve the quality of life of people in Carmarthenshire.

The projects include:

  • The much-needed renovation of Carmarthenshire Museum at Abergwili
  • Provide a new archive for the county (in possible partnership): £2m
  • Extend Oriel Myrddin Art Gallery as focal point of King Street ‘cultural quarter’: £750k
  • New circular cycle track at Pembrey Country Park : £500k
  • Contribution towards restoring Carmarthen park Velodrome as a major cycling venue: £286k
  • Carmarthen-Llandeilo cycling and walking track: £5.75m
  • Cross Hands economic Link Road – Phase 2: £12.3m
  • Upgrade and new attractions at Pembrey Country Park: £1m
  • New care home in Llanelli: £12.5m
  • Disabled Facility Grants to help older and vulnerable people to live in their own homes: £10m
  • Glanaman Industrial Estate refurbishment: £1m
  • Renovate Llanelli Market: £300k
  • Rural Enterprise Fund to help enterprises create jobs and economic growth: £2m

Plaid says the above are IN ADDITION to tens of millions of pounds to be spent on new schools and a large number of other capital projects.

“Since taking over control of the council in May, in alliance with the Independent group, we’ve been analysing the reserves in detail and have established that almost £20m could be released for much-needed capital projects,” said Cllr Dai Jenkins, Plaid Cymru’s deputy-leader of council and Executive Board Member for Resources (pictured).

“People may ask why we don’t use these reserves to offset cuts in services – a course of action advocated by Plaid last year. But the truth is, at that time, due to lack of vision by the Labour-led administration, it was unclear why there was so much money in reserves and what use could be made of it. Some of it may be spent on off-setting cuts to services, but most of the money will be invested in a detailed strategy to create jobs and improve standards of living.

“With council reorganisation on the horizon, it’s imperative that we spend the money raised in our county for the future benefit of Carmarthenshire,” said Cllr Jenkins. “Plaid has a clear vision for our county’s future – and the means to deliver it.”

Earlier this year, Council Chief Executive Mark James was controversially given editorial space in one newspaper to slate Plaid Cymru’s plans to use the Council’s capital reserves to alleviate the impact of cuts on Carmarthenshire’s population. That intervention caused widespread disquiet about the appropriateness of Mr James’s intervention in political debate.

It appears that members of the Plaid Cymru group, after a difficult first few months in power with the Independent group, have flexed their own political muscles in an attempt to deliver the sort of improvements they favoured while in opposition.

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Antisocial behaviour falls as police operation continues

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POLICE said that they saw a reduction in antisocial behaviour involving young people in Carmarthenshire over the weekend, following weeks of increased activity.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers proactively patrolled areas which have recently become hot spots for teenagers to gather and drink alcohol as part of an ongoing operation.

A police presence was also maintained on trains between Llanelli and Carmarthen to identify how many youngsters were travelling in the area and where they were getting off.

Sergeant Gemma Davies said: “Over the weekend we continued our work to target, deter and deal with antisocial behaviour and underage drinking in hot spots identified primarily in Llanelli and Burry Port.

“Section 34 dispersal orders had been put in place ahead of the weekend, meaning we could move on anyone likely to cause antisocial behaviour, but thankfully they were not required. This is an improvement on previous weekends when we have had to exercise these powers.

“A significant number of young people were spoken to, with the vast majority being pleasant, not under the influence of alcohol, and not causing any trouble.

“Members of the public acknowledged the high police presence, as did the young people, and this might have deterred underage drinking.

“We are very pleased to have seen the change in attitudes and behaviour this weekend.”

The force received just one call reporting youngsters gathering at Burry Port harbour, with no offences or antisocial behaviour identified by attending officers.

Of the young people spoken two over the weekend, two were found with alcohol which was seized. Follow-up antisocial behaviour letters will be issued, and home visits will take place shortly.

Groups were also reminded of the dangers of swimming near the harbour and were encouraged to take their rubbish home.

Officers on the rail network removed one drunk adult from a train.

Sgt Davies said: “I would like to thank all officers involved in the operation over the weekend, as well as the young people who made sure they stayed within the law while enjoying the weather.

“We will be out and about again next weekend and throughout the summer, making sure the area is enjoyable for all who visit.”

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Lord Lieutenant visits Mass Vaccination Centre

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Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sarah Edwards, has paid tribute to all those involved in the COVID-19 vaccination programme during a visit to the Y Ffwrness Mass Vaccination Centre in Llanelli.

During the visit on Wednesday 9th June she was joined by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Lt Col David Mathias, and the High Sheriff of Dyfed, Mr.Jonathan Gravell. They met and spoke to the centre’s vaccinators, NHS staff, security staff and volunteers.

To date, the collective efforts of mass vaccination centres, GP practices and community pharmacies in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, have resulted in the Hywel Dda University Health Board delivering over 431,850 vaccinations. This means 266,785 of the eligible population have now received a first vaccine, and 165,056 have received both doses.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed said: “It was wonderful to see first-hand the incredible work being undertaken by the vaccinators, NHS staff and volunteers. They have played a crucial role in the success of the vaccine rollout programme. I would also pay tribute to the public for their overwhelmingly positive response to getting vaccinated.”

Maria Battle, Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board, added: “On behalf of the health board, I was delighted to welcome Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sara Edwards, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Lt Col David Mathias, and the High Sheriff of Dyfed, Mr Jonathan Gravell. I am deeply proud of everyone involved in the vaccination programme and I’m glad they got to see for themselves the incredibly work being undertaken to help get us through this pandemic.”

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Alcohol seized and teenager arrested as police deal with antisocial behaviour

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POLICE seized large amounts of alcohol and arrested a teenager as they continued to deal with antisocial behaviour over the weekend.

Dyfed-Powys Police had proactive plans in place to deal with ongoing issues of groups of youngsters gathering in Carmarthenshire following rising reports of alcohol-related antisocial behaviour over the past two months.

Dispersal orders were in place across Llanelli and Burry Port, giving police the powers to move anyone believed to be causing a nuisance, harassment or distress out of the area.

Officers patrolling the rail network in Carmarthenshire on Saturday noticed a large amount of young people getting off the train at Ferryside, where an additional dispersal order was put in place and alcohol was seized.

Officers were also required to deal with children trespassing on the railway tracks.

Sergeant Gemma Davies said: “We had received reports of children with alcohol running across the tracks, which posed a huge danger to themselves and others, and had to be stopped as a priority.

“One boy who was detained became abusive towards officers and could not be reasoned with. Officers had no choice but to arrest him for his own safety and to prevent further offences from being committed.

“This incident goes to show that the kind of behaviour we are dealing with goes beyond groups of young people meeting to have a good time, and is putting people in highly dangerous situations.”

A 17-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of trespassing on the railway and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

He has been released under investigation pending further enquiries by British Transport Police.

Early intervention was taken in the Trostre area of Llanelli, where officers noticed groups of children meeting on Saturday.

Sgt Davies said: “More than 60 young people were moved on from both locations and a large amount of alcohol was seized.

“Out of these groups, four notices were issued to those causing the most trouble in the Trostre area which prevented them from returning, and each of these youngsters were taken home.

“This swift action was a deterrent to other young people who were planning on joining the groups and were still travelling to the area.”

“We will continue to put plans in place each weekend and over the summer holidays to deal with antisocial behaviour, using all powers available to us to put a stop to it.”

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