Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

Llanelli ‘must fight’ for parks and playgrounds

Avatar

Published

on

St Clears County Councillor P M Hughes: Opening a children's play area in 2009

St Clears County Councillor P M Hughes: Opening a children’s play
area in 2009

MANY OF Carmarthenshire’s sports clubs find themselves in a dire situation in as a result of the increases in pitch fees, says Secretary of the Carmarthenshire Unified Sports Committee (CUSC), Michael Barrett.

Launching a campaign to save parks and playgrounds in Carmarthenshire, Mr Bassett told us that he was also concerned that further rises in fees are imminent and that many of the parks may find their way into private ownership if community councils decide they cannot take them over.

Mike told The Herald, “We want these parks under ownership of the county council because they have the expertise to manage them. We are very concerned that these parks and playgrounds could come into private ownership. We have consulted with the council over the last 18 months and save them over £240,000 by paying for the full maintenance of the parks and pitches and increasing the size of the leagues.

“Apart from the bowls clubs, all the fees have gone up. £49 to £60 for Senior football fees have gone up from £49 per game to £60 per game. Junior football has risen from £23.50 per game to £30 per game. If the council had had their way they would have made us pay £235 for a senior game of football and £72.50 for a game of junior football. If we hadn’t fought agains this the clubs would have gone out of business.”

Criticising a press claim that only 4% of the county’s council tax comes from the Llanelli area, Mike expressed considerable scorn: “A report in one Llanelli paper this week suggested that 4% of council taxes come from the Llanelli area. It is in fact 43% of the County’s Council Tax which comes from the Llanelli area

“We have been told that East Carmarthenshire is subsidising Llanelli it is the other way around.”

In relation to parks and recreation facilities, Mike told us: “CUSC’s understanding is that most community councils cannot take them over because they cannot afford them and they would have to raise the precept. Why are they on the asset transfer programme when they are not costing them money?

“Parc Howard would have been a prime example. What happens to these people, the clubs if the parks are taken over by third parties? They will hike up fees. If we became a stand alone authority they wouldn’t be having as much as they do at the moment. We deserve these parks and playgrounds.”

Mr Bassett also raised concerns about the future disposal of assets and his worry that the parks may end up as sites for new housing developments and be lost to the community forever.

He said, “The main multi use area in Llanelli is Penygaer. That is a prime site for building houses. Our concern is that a private company takes over it, prices us out and then gets planning for new homes on those spaces. We need reassurances that this will not happen.”

If you take these green areas away where are the kids going to play?

“They say there is investment for a wellness centre. I would have thought the parks and playgrounds were the essence for well being. If we lose these clubs the income from leisure centres will take a hit. We have asked head of leisure for a response asking what he meant by his comment that he can’t afford to keep these places. We were told by Ian Jones that we could play on ‘4 G’ pitches and that houses built on the spaces would pay for those new pitches in schools.”

Mike continued: “We have been to see Ken Skates Head of Sport at the Welsh Assembly Government. He said they give councils grants and it is up to the councils where they make cuts. Why are they making the cuts when we have such a problem with obesity?”

We asked Mr Bassett if he was aware of any places in Carmarthenshire, which were receiving help and which might not be making any money in the long term.

He told us: “There is the boathouse in Laugharne costing upwards of £80,000 per year, the craft centre in St Clears is losing upwards of £50,00 per year. They have just given over £250,000 for the velodrome in Carmarthen. They are not consulting the public,. They are misinformed when they are spending this money.

“We don’t even get much from the Section 106 agreements.”

When asked about the County Council’s Executive Board and their role in the process Mr. Bassett said, “Seven out of ten of the councillors on the executive board live in rural areas. Their lifestyles have nothing in common with the people in an industrial town like Llanelli. We have been short changed.”

“The people of Llanelli need to stand up and fight. The whole town needs to come together and tell these people that we are not happy with stone walls and that we want to keep these areas. We paid and we still pay enough money for them.”

The Herald is backing a campaign organised by Mr. Bassett and the chairman of CUSC called ‘Save Our Parks and Playgrounds’ (SOPAP). Details of the campaign can be found on their Facebook page www.facebook. com/SOPAP

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

£121k watersports funding announced for Llanelli beauty spot

Avatar

Published

on

• Welsh Water, Natural Resources Wales, Llanelli Rural Council & Canoe Wales has secured ‘Access to Water’ funding.

• Visitors will be able to enjoy paddlesports (canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding), windsurfing and angling.

• Site expected to attract 90k+ visitors a year.

The recent announcement of the development of the Swiss Valley reservoirs in Carmarthenshire has been given a boost with the confirmation of an ‘Access to Water’ grant from Welsh Government, worth £121k, that will enable visitor access to the Lower Lleidi reservoir for paddle sports and angling.

The funding will realise plans to bring back a range of paddlesports to the reservoir, including stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing and kayaking.  It will also enable bank angling through the creation of recreational zones.  A range of improvements to the surrounding infrastructure are also planned to include a boat wash for biosecurity and the creation of paths and a pontoon that allows easy access to water for people of all abilities, and the refurbishment of toilet facilities.

Developing the Swiss Valley Reservoirs is expected to attract 90k+ visitors a year to the site, in line with Covid19 regulations. The ‘Access to Water’ funding is an important milestone in achieving shared ambitions for the site, and to support the funding application, a survey of local canoe clubs, outdoor activity providers and anglers was conducted which found a strong demand for access to the water for their activities. The feedback was that this is likely to generate a huge amount of interest from clubs and providers given it’s ideal geographical location. The community adoption scheme means that local people are offering to invest their own time to help look after this jewel of a community asset, and care for it into the future.

The project is well placed to support the delivery of The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (Wales) 2015, which requires public bodies in Wales to think about the long-term impact of their decisions, to work better with people, communities and each other, and to prevent persistent problems such as poverty, health inequalities and climate change. Whilst Welsh Water is not a public body, it is committed to working in partnership with Llanelli Rural Council, Natural Resources Wales and Canoe Wales in the spirit of the legislation.

Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said: “This is an excellent example of a scheme which increases opportunities for outdoor recreation and provides safe access to water for people of all abilities.  The development of these reservoirs will enable local people and visitors to gain more enjoyment from this beauty spot in line with covid19 guidelines and help to support a green recovery in Wales.  I hope the success of this project will encourage development of many more similar opportunities over the coming years.”

Welsh Water Chief Executive Peter Perry said, “Access to blue space is proven to be positively associated with health and wellbeing. Swiss Valley is an important asset for the local community and visitors alike. This funding is a major milestone in our efforts to bring this cherished community asset back to its former glory and make it more accessible, for the health and wellbeing of everyone.”

Jen Browning, Chief Executive of Canoe Wales, the national governing body for paddlesport in Wales, added, “Over the past eight months, we have seen an unprecedented amount of demand for canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, but the limited number of venues in Wales suitable for new paddlers has always been a major obstacle. This funding will ensure that Swiss Valley can play an enormously important role in making it possible for people of all abilities to enjoy the water, and for many to discover a passion for paddlesport and develop a deep connection with the outdoors.”

Dave MacCallum, Specialist Advisor for Water Access & Recreation at Natural Resources Wales and Chairman of NAFW Access to Water Sub-Group said: “We are delighted to have been a part of this important collaboration which will open up these new waters for responsible, inclusive recreation in South West Wales. NRW is committed to doing all we can to enable more people to enjoy Wales’ countryside more easily and responsibly – to take advantage of the many health and wellbeing benefits that getting outside can bring. Benefitting from bespoke disabled paddle-sport access facilities and a Biosecurity station promoting and enabling the Check Clean Dry initiative, the Swiss Valley reservoir project paves the way for future access to Welsh still waters so that current and future generations can continue to enjoy their visits to some of Wales’ most spectacular landscapes”

Llanelli Rural Council Leader, Cllr Tegwen Devichand said “the funding is marvellous news for the community and will enable the council to develop its plans for the reservoir in earnest. Much of the preliminary work associated with the first phase of infrastructure improvements can now get underway, in fact some work has commenced already. The physical adaptations to refurbish the toilet block, visitor car park and access to the water to facilitate paddle sports and the angling fraternity is scheduled to be completed by March 2021, but work won’t stop there. Moreover, the community response to our plans for the reservoir has been overwhelming; the council has received a great deal of local and regional support and a number of interest groups and individuals have come forward to help us deliver our plans as well as to offer their services. This is greatly appreciated and bodes well for the future.”

Continue Reading

News

Llanelli Yodel colleague celebrates 30-year anniversary

Avatar

Published

on

Beverley Smith, a valued member of the Llanelli depot’s team, is celebrating her 30-year anniversary with UK independent parcel carrier, Yodel.

Beverley joined Yodel in 1990, when it was originally known as Home Shopping Network, as an Inbound Sorter and then moved onto a Customer Service Support role over 28 years ago. Beverly supports the Llanelli Management Team, provides customer service to clients and customers alike and is always on hand to answer any driver queries.

To celebrate her anniversary, Kay Dodd, Service Centre Manager, presented Beverley with £750 of Very vouchers and ordered in a cooked breakfast to celebrate.

Customer Service Support Advisor, Beverley Smith commented: “My time with Yodel has been very fulfilling – constantly challenging – keeping me on my toes. I’ve been with the company so long that I remember having to write with a pen and paper and have to fax documents to the head office daily – I can’t say I miss those days!

“I have made many close friends during the 30 years at the business and I truly have enjoyed the hard working and happy atmosphere at Llanelli every day.”

Kay Dodd, Depot Manager, added: “Bev is a valued member of my team here at Llanelli, she provides excellent customer service to customers, clients and colleagues. She has a courteous and caring attitude and goes beyond her duties to ensure everyone has a positive experience at Yodel Llanelli. Thank you for everything Bev!”

To join Beverley and the team at Yodel’s Llanelli depot, or to find out more about working for Yodel, and the roles and training available, visit www.yodelopportunities.co.uk or text ‘Deliver’ to 84433. 

Continue Reading

News

Preparatory works to start at key Stepney Street Building

Avatar

Published

on

Preparatory works are due to start on a key building in Llanelli Town Centre ahead of formal planning approval.

Number 49 Stepney Street is being redeveloped as part of a significant investment in the town centre to transform, regenerate and connect its key retails and leisure areas.

Carmarthenshire County Council has submitted plans which could see the former YMCA building retain much of its character whilst providing high quality living space and commercial units

The works would include the restoration of the front façade of the building, along with the retention of the perimeter wall, main internal structural walls and bringing back many original features such as the ornate staircase.

Subject to planning approval the rest of the building would be redeveloped to include two floors of commercial space on the ground and first floors, with eight two-bedroomed living spaces on the upper floors.

There will also be residents parking spaces on the ground floor.

The works currently underway will prepare the building for redevelopment and include stripping and clearance of old materials.

Carmarthenshire County Council leader Cllr Emlyn Dole said: “Many generations of people from Llanelli will have special memories of using this fantastic building over the years and it is such a shame to see it lay empty and falling into disrepair – we’re proud to be leading on this scheme to breathe new life into it once again.”

The council has already spent £4.5million buying empty shop units from private ownership, renovating and bringing them back in to use at affordable rental levels – all of them currently occupied by independent businesses

A Local Development Order has been put in place to simplify the planning process for property owners and potential investors

This project is being procured via the South West Wales Regional Contractors Framework. Carmarthenshire County Council has appointed a regional contractor who will develop the project alongside local supply chains.

For further information on this framework, email TSSWWRCF@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

Continue Reading

Trending

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK