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Parc Howard plans published

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Parc Howard plans publishedA PRESS release to local media outlets has unveiled a series of exciting developments at Llanelli’s Parc Howard.

Underlining the council’s ongoing commitment to the future of the park, the leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, Councillor Emlyn Dole, said the sensitive development of the play areas and mansion house will lead Parc Howard into a new era.

Amongst the plans he has unveiled are proposals to transform the historic mansion house, with potential uses including a wedding and banqueting venue, conferencing suites and an outdoor marquee.

The former cafe, which adjoins the mansion, could also be brought back to life selling refreshments and afternoon tea.

There are also plans to utilise the building as a regional centre for genealogy – tying in to Llanelli Town Centre’s Heritage Six scheme, which involves the library and Llanelly House.

Children are also being catered for, with brand new sections added to the park’s two existing play areas – including a giant four-mast space net with trampoline that will be the first in the world , and has been especially commissioned for Parc Howard.

Cllr Dole said: “This is a new era for Parc Howard. I have always voiced my full commitment to the future of Parc Howard and I have worked with my team to secure a range of investments and improvements that will encourage more people to use and enjoy this wonderful park.

“The park still is, and always will be, owned by the people of Llanelli but we want to make the most of it – there is a lot of value to heritage and culture.

“We have allocated funding to kick -start development with exciting new playground equipment to improve the offer for young children and families, and have committed further funding to the ongoing maintenance of the mansion house.

“We are also proposing the sensitive commercialisation of the mansion house with potential uses including a wedding, banqueting, conferencing and private event venue, and reintroducing the cafe that was once so popular.

“We also plan to house a genealogy centre at the mansion which will tie in perfectly with Llanelli’s Heritage Six and our plans to improve the county’s archive services in Carmarthen.

“We have worked with the Parc Howard Association and Friends of Parc Howard who are keen to support our proposals as a way of benefitting the park going forward with private investment that will create profits for the ongoing maintenance and development of the park.

The playgrounds

Children visiting Parc Howard will be the first in the world to play on an especially-commissioned giant space net – a huge four-mast rope climbing frame with a trampoline at its centre.

Carmarthenshire County Council has commissioned a number of leading play equipment designers to come up with a series of new play equipment designs to improve the provision currently available at both playgrounds.

The preferred design includes a crawling pyramid, wobble-bridge, wizard’s tower fortress and forest shop with slides connecting the upper playground to the existing equipment on the lower level.

Existing equipment will be refurbished and updated as part of the work, including the ship and castle in the toddler area and new swing sets.

The work will be carried out in phases to ensure children still have equipment to play on as work gets underway and the first phase – the new equipment on the upper level of the toddler’s area – is anticipated to be complete d by the end of July.

The giant space net will be in place by the end of September to take the junior playground into the autumn season.

“We would of course like to have it all complete d in time for the school holidays, but the giant space net will be worth waiting for,” said Cllr Dole.

“Our teams will work hard to get the rest of the new equipment in place as quickly as possible so that children can use it during their summer break – we will be sectioning off parts of the playground whilst work is underway so that there is always something they can play on.”

The Mansion House

Carmarthenshire County Council will be seeking private investors to put money into the sensitive development of the mansion house, with potential uses including a wedding, banqueting and conference venue.

Proposals will centre around allowing the building to generate income with profits that will benefit the whole park.

It is hoped that the mansion house will become the home for Heritage Six , which will enable community access to provide artefacts, images and oral histories of Carmarthenshire for hosting on an online heritage website for the region.

The council has already committed additional funding to the maintenance of the building which costs around £100,000 a year to keep, with £250,000 being spent on the roof alone this year.

“We have fantastic plans to develop the mansion but will be very sensitive in the choice of commercial operations given its unique history and location within the park and surrounding residential area,” said Cllr Dole.

“We plan to advertise opportunities for private firms to propose uses and then run it, with potential for uses such as a wedding, banqueting and conferencing venue with a percentage of profits going back to the park. Planning permission may be needed for certain aspects, which would be submitted later in the year.

“With the support of the Parc Howard Association and Friends of Parc Howard , we hope to move these plans forward in the very near future.”

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Police appeal for witnesses after 20-year-old pedestrian tragically killed on A40

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is appealing for witnesses to a fatal road traffic collision on the A40 west of Carmarthen on Saturday (Sept 26) in which a 20-year-old man, a pedestrian, lost his life.

The police have asked The Pembrokeshire Herald to publicise this appeal.

A spokesman for the police told this newspaper: “At around 9.40pm, a white VW Transporter was in collision with a pedestrian on the A40 westbound, near the junction of Llangynog, Carmarthen.

“The pedestrian, a 20-year-old male, died as a result of his injuries.

“It appears the pedestrian had left his vehicle, a black Seat, following a single-vehicle collision further along the westbound carriageway shortly before.

The police have asked that if anyone has any information on either or both collisions, or may have been travelling along the A40 at the relevant time, please contact the serious collision investigation unit, quoting reference DPP-20200926-339.

This can be done by email: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, by phone on 101 or by text: If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Llanelli becomes a Covid-19 ‘health protection zone’

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RESIDENTS in a large part of Llanelli are being put under new local restrictions in a ‘health protection zone’ following a rapid increase in Covid-19 cases in the area.

The town is seeing a concentrated spread of cases compared with other parts of Carmarthenshire – in the last seven days, 85 positive cases have been identified in Llanelli (151.6 per 100,000 of the population) compared to 24 cases in the rest of Carmarthenshire (18.1 per 100,000 of the population).*

Public Health Wales officials are expecting numbers to continue rising over the coming week.

Carmarthenshire County Council and Hywel Dda University Health Board have worked with the Welsh Government and Public Health Wales to agree the temporary restrictions at sub-county level to try and halt the spread of the virus.

As of 6pm on Saturday September 26, 2020, residents living in defined parts of Llanelli will not be able to visit anyone else’s home, or accept visitors into their home, unless they have a ‘reasonable excuse’ such as providing care for a vulnerable person.

They should not arrange to meet indoors with anyone who they don’t live with, and travel in and out of the ‘health protection zone’ will also be limited – people should not leave the area or travel into the area unless it is essential. Travelling in and out of the zone for a holiday is not considered a reasonable excuse.

People are being asked to wear face coverings anywhere where they cannot maintain a two-metre distance from other people, including collecting children from school, in addition to the rules which already require them to wear a face covering in indoor spaces like shops and on public transport.

All indoor and outdoor visits to residential care homes have also been suspended.

Students may still travel into and out of the ‘health protection zone’ to go to school or college.

People living in the defined area of Llanelli must work from home, and employers must take all reasonable steps to support staff to do so.

Indoor public spaces such as leisure centres should only be used by people living in the defined area.

Shops will remain open, but people living outside the defined area of Llanelli should avoid travelling to visit them and shop in their own locality wherever possible.

The specific wards covered in the defined area of Llanelli are:

  • Bigyn
  • Bynea
  • Dafen
  • Elli
  • Felinfoel
  • Glanymor
  • Hendy
  • Hengoed
  • Llangennech
  • Lliedi
  • Llwynhendy
  • Tyisha
  • Swiss Valley

Although the pattern of increased positive cases is overwhelmingly concentrated in the Llanelli area where the restrictions have been strengthened, the whole of Carmarthenshire has now been put on alert, with a warning that the tighter restrictions may be extended if cases continue to spread.

Everyone – including those in the defined areas of Llanelli – is being urged to follow the national guidance around social distancing, good hygiene, self-isolation, testing and face coverings.

Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said: “It is worrying to see how sharply the number of positive cases has risen in the Llanelli area, and action has had to be taken to help stop the spread and break the chain of infections concentrated in this area to prevent a whole county lockdown.

“We must all do the right thing, follow the advice and protect each other. In parts of Llanelli, we’re asking people and businesses to make even greater sacrifices – we fully appreciate the impact this will have, but there is no other way. We must stop the spread.”

A mobile testing unit has been set up in Llanelli to manage the increased demand by local residents who have any of the Covid-19 symptoms – either a high temperature, a change or loss to taste or smell or a new continuous cough.

Reporting of positive cases in the town is fully expected to rise during the next two weeks with the increase in more targeted testing. But this is a positive indicator that cases are being identified and control measures put in place.

Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board Maria Battle said: “Our local community has given us such tremendous support during the past few months. To protect the health of our people, including the most vulnerable, and to ensure our NHS resources are available to provide people with the care they need; we need the help of our Llanelli population and wider community now more than ever before. Whilst hospital admissions have not yet increased again for COVID cases, we have seen a sharp rise in positive cases in the community, and in time this is likely to have an impact on hospital admissions. The very best way we can support each other and those we love, is to follow local restrictions, minimise our contacts, practice good hygiene and self-isolate and book a test if we have any COVID-19 symptoms.”

Increased testing capacity for residents in Llanelli is available by appointment at the following locations:

  • Parc y Scarlets Car Park B, accessed via Trostre Retail Park, in Llanelli
  • The Ty’r Nant site (next to KFC), Trostre, Llanelli
  • The Carmarthen showground (signposted in both directions off the A40)

There should be no reason for Llanelli residents to travel excessive distances for a test, as there will be tests available in Llanelli and Carmarthen. Tests should be booked via the UK Portal. Any Llanelli residents experiencing difficulty booking a test locally via the UK portal can instead email covidenquiries.hdd@wales.nhs.uk or by calling 0300 333 2222.

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Tir Coed build outdoor classroom for Cross Hands Primary

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The local charity Tir Coed teamed up with Cross Hands Primary School to design and install a locally grown woodland shelter to enable primary school pupils to benefit from outdoor lessons-even when
the rain pours!

Last year Cross Hands Primary School received funding from Carmarthenshire is Kind for their intergenerational project. The project brought the schoolchildren together with older people in the community. Through intergenerational activities, everyone involved increases social connectedness, reduces social isolation, learns from one another and has a great time!

Before the lockdown, Tir Coed was contracted to lead a group mainly made up of parents from the school on a shelter-building course. The attendees would gain knowledge and skills and the children and the older people would be able to use the shelter, a third generation now included in this
fantastic project. The plans, however, had to change due to restrictions and in an effort to have it ready for the children when they returned to school, three intrepid Activity Leaders braved the wet August weather to build the beautiful shelter .

Studies have shown that being in the outdoors significantly reduces the risk of spreading the Corona Virus. With this addition to their already impressive outdoor area, it is hoped that more learning can
take place outside the classroom. Deputy Head, Emma Walters said, “It looks amazing! I am very impressed with the shelter and I cannot thank Tir Coed enough for organising this. Additional covered space in the outdoors will mean that we can take more learning into our lovely nature
area.”

If you would like to find out more about the work of Tir Coed or have a project you would like our help with you can contact Nancy, the Carmarthenshire Coordinator: carms@tircoed.org.uk

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