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Carmarthenshire MP regrets loss of dedicated police helicopter



Police chopper X99 (Pic: Mike Hillen/Herald)

Police chopper X99 (Pic: Mike Hillen/Herald)

THOSE responsible for the loss of the dedicated police helicopter for Dyfed Powys should “hang their heads in shame” – that was the comment of Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards who has spoken on the day the Dyfed Powys police helicopter ceased operations.

Taking to Twitter on New Year’s Eve, the official account of helicopter support unit tweeted “After 20+ illustrious years it is now time for X99 to bow out, can we thank everyone for their support and we wish you all a Happy New Year.”

Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards

In November the Police and Crime Commissioner, Christopher Salmon, confirmed he would be signing-up the force to the centralised National Police Air Service (NPAS) which will see the force helicopter sold off, the Pembrey base used as a refuelling site, and response times for most of Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion significantly increased.

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Jonathan Edwards, who has spearheaded the campaign to protect the helicopter, thanked crews past and present for their work in policing the skies of Dyfed Powys and said the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner would “feel the profound anger” of residents if there is a single problem with the new centralised service in future.
Jonathan Edwards MP said: “The previous UK Conservative and Lib Dem coalition government brought in the legislation that instructed police forces to share air support operations.  It’s hardly surprising that Westminster’s dead hand of centralisation ignited the process by which our helicopter was lost.
“But the final nail in the coffin, as we all now know, was that the local Police Commissioner did not oppose the loss of our dedicated service.  For the helicopter to have any chance of continuing it needed a Commissioner that was prepared to stand up to his own party colleagues and fight for it.

“All of those responsible for the helicopter hanger closing its doors for the last time should hang their heads in shame.

“On behalf of those who have opposed the helicopter loss I wish to state my heartfelt thanks to the crew and former crews for their sterling work in our skies.

“The last thing I want is for this to become a ‘lessons will be learnt’ or an ‘I told you so’ situation.  I sincerely hope the new service will deliver the same level of support and operation we’ve experienced over the last 20 years.

“If it doesn’t, if there is a single problem, if just one request for helicopter cover is refused as has already been experienced in England, then the Police Commissioner will undoubtedly feel the profound anger of Dyfed Powys residents.”

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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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