Work has been completed on a new £3.7 million affordable housing development in Carmarthen. Carmarthenshire County Council successfully applied to the Welsh Government for a grant, which helped cover the costs of a 37-house scheme in Priory Street.
Made up of 27 one bedroom flats and ten two-bedroom homes, the development is part of the council’s ongoing drive to deliver 1,000 more affordable homes across the county by 2021.
The scheme, which is being managed by Bro Myrddin Housing Association, also included a contribution to Richmond Park Primary School towards the cost of a defibrillator and helped erect fencing for Carmarthen Town Football Club.
Local schoolchildren also visited the site during the archaeological dig and buried a time capsule in the foundations.
The council is committed to building over 900 new council homes over the next five years in a £150million investment.
This is in addition to the council’s previous commitment to deliver 1,000 affordable homes to rent and buy across the county by 2021 – a commitment that has already been achieved with 1037 homes already delivered.
Carmarthenshire is one of only a few local authorities in Wales with such wide-scale plans for investment in social housing – the biggest since the 1970s.
Cllr Linda Evans, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Housing, said: “We’re delighted that this development has now been finished and it will benefit dozens of families in Carmarthen. This scheme does not only meet the need for more affordable housing but we are building new homes and working with tenants and key partners to ensure Carmarthenshire is at the forefront of the decarbonisation agenda.
“We have already realised our promise we made in our Affordable Homes Commitment back in 2016 to deliver over 1,000 more high quality, affordable homes in Carmarthenshire by 2021. The investment associated with providing these homes has helped stimulate the local economy and created much needed local jobs in the county. We have already delivered 1037 homes and are committed to delivering more to meet housing need and benefit local people.”
Bro Myrddin’s chief executive officer, Hilary Jones said: “We are thrilled the Priory Street development which offers attractive, high quality and affordable homes to both families and individuals has completed and that all homes have now been allocated. It has been a pleasure working with local contractors on this development and to see the benefits this scheme has created for those living within the local community.
“We are committed to providing and increasing the affordable housing stock and will continue to seek and manage new developments in areas of need, working in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council and Welsh Government.”
(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)
Fire Service in search for new Carmarthenshire firefighters
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service has launched a hunt for new firefighters to join its Carmarthenshire fire stations.
It’s looking for people who live within 10 minutes of fire stations in Carmarthen, Llandysul and Newcastle Emlyn to become On-Call firefighters.
On-Call firefighters get paid to respond to emergencies. They do not staff the fire stations 24 hours a day, like full-time firefighters, but get notified of an emergency call via a personal pager, which they carry with them when they are on duty.
Most On-Call Firefighters have other jobs with an agreement from their employers to leave to attend an emergency call if required. Others are available outside typical working hours like evenings, weekends, or between school runs.
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service say they’re looking for people wh consider themselves to be reasonably fit and healthy, who want to be of service to your local community.
They say applicants should be someone who can always be relied on to be somewhere on time, committed to maintaining your physical fitness, maintaining and developing your skills.
You should be someone who has the sensitivity to deal with members of the public when they are distressed, confused, or being obstructive, can get on with people from different backgrounds and cultures and work as part of a close-knit team.
You should also be someone who works well under pressure, think on your feet and solve problems.
In return, if you become an On-Call Firefighter, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service say they will provide all the training and support required to respond to emergency incidents such as property fires, road traffic collisions, and incidents involving flooding, rescues from height, and many other specialist emergency calls. You will also receive training to deliver Community Safety advice that will help keep people safe in their homes and communities.
In addition to having an exciting career, you will earn a salary-based pay and, from your induction day as an On-Call Firefighter, you will be able to contribute to the Firefighters Pension Scheme
The fire service say they work with local employers to release their staff to respond to emergency incidents.
To apply or for more information visit Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s website.
(Lead image: Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service)
Glangwili first hospital in Wales to administer new osteoporosis medication
Glangwili Hospital has become the first in Wales to administer a new medication that will help patients suffering from osteoporosis.
It was approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and it the first new osteoporosis drug treatment of its kind for over a decade.
The new treatment – Romosozumab – is now available in Wales for preventing future fractures in patients suffering from osteoporosis.
The bone-building drug is given as a simple injection under the skin. It is highly effective for preventing fractures by the way it acts on bone cells, particularly in postmenopausal women with severe osteoporosis. It is one of only two treatments that help to promote bone formation, and the first to reduce bone loss at the same time.
On Thursday 21 July, Carole Bevan became the first patient in Wales to receive the medication at Glangwili General Hospital, Carmarthen.
She said: “I am very fortunate to be the first patient in Wales and quite pleased at being considered and offered this treatment. I did not feel the needle at all and I’m happy to self-administer the injection monthly for the next 12 months.”
Dr Abhaya Gupta, Consultant Physician at Glangwili Hospital, added: “The availability of this drug in Wales is an additional option for treating patients with osteoporosis, many of whom suffer devastating consequences from hip fractures, spine and wrist fractures.
“By its novel mechanism of action this treatment has the potential to revolutionise our approach to treating those people with severe disease who are at very high risk of fracture, especially when it is used as their initial treatment.
“With increasing numbers of elderly patients with osteoporosis, this injection is an additional drug available to specialists to treat these patients, helping to reduce disability and health and social care costs in the long term.”
Catrin Beddoe, a pharmacist at Glangwili Hospital, added: “This is a simple injection given once a month for one year to appropriate elderly female patients suffering from the devastating consequences of fractures, and I am pleased to be part of the specialist osteoporosis team involved in this exciting work.”
(Lead image: Hywel Dda NHS)
Carmarthen producer wins best sausage in Wales award
Red Valley Farm in Carmarthen is celebrating coming first in Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales’s ‘Put Your Best Sausage Forward 2022’ competition, with their wild garlic sausages crowned as the very best bangers in Wales.
Business partners Andy Washbourne and Graeme Carter were delighted with the victory, with the high-flying producers taking the coveted award for the second year running. As winners, they will now automatically qualify for the ‘Champion of Champions’ sausage competition at the UK-wide Butcher Shop of the Year 2023 awards.
Speaking after winning the title during a special event at the Royal Welsh Show, Graeme Carter said: “It really is an incredible honour to have our sausages named as the very best in Wales. Winning an award like this really makes all the hard work worthwhile and shows that our ethos of producing quality, small-scale and locally produced pork pays off in the end.
“We were really proud of our wild garlic sausages, but it’s still a pleasant surprise to win the title. We had a really good time at the final judging event and the fact that the standard was so high amongst all the shortlisted finalists just goes to show what a fantastic pork industry we have in Wales.
“Since taking over the farm from my parents a few years ago, specialising in rearing pigs has really turned into a passion for me and Andy. We were gifted one boar to help clear the ground following some tree planting and everything has literally grown from there. We just plan to go from strength to strength and concentrate on what we do best, which is quality, sustainably produced pork.
“We’re now really looking forward to be representing Wales at the ‘Champion of Champions’ sausage competition and hope to be crowned the best across the whole of the UK.”
Chris said: “Nobody likes a banger more than me and the quality of those that made the final meant it was certainly a pleasure to be on the judging panel.
“It’s always really tough to choose a winner when the standard is so high, but right from the off we were impressed with the wild garlic sausages. They looked the part, the consistency was spot on and they just tasted amazing. Having now had a sample of them I’m pretty keen to get my hands on the recipe myself to try and work out the secret of making sausages taste so good!”
Speaking about his delight at the standard of entries to this year’s competition, Rhys Llywelyn, Market Development Manager at Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales, said: “It was fantastic to be back at the Royal Welsh Show to hold the awards and the standard of the three finalists certainly didn’t disappoint. However, in the end Red Valley Farm just about came out on top, so a huge congratulations to them and we wish them the best of luck at the UK ‘Champion of Champions’ finals.
“Our small-scale pork producers in Wales have a fantastic story to tell. They specialise in creating a unique, hand-reared product that is often only available to buy directly from themselves and local independent shops, like butchers. This makes it a more sustainable food product, generating fewer food miles, and I’d urge consumers to seek out their local producer and find out for themselves the fantastic quality that’s on offer.”
For more information on pork produced in Wales, and where you can buy it, visit porcblasus.cymru.
(Lead image: Patrick Olner)
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