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Carmarthenshire

More COVID-19 vaccinations on their way to Hywel Dda areas

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More people in the Hywel Dda area will start to be called in for COVID-19 vaccinations as a result of recent news that the new Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). 

Thus far, Hywel Dda University Health Board has been provided more than 7,000 first vaccine doses, using the Pfizer vaccine since its approval earlier in December 2020.

Due to logistical constraints of the Pfizer vaccine, including storage, transportation and administration, this has been primarily provided to care home staff, and patient-facing NHS and care workers across the three counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

From next week the health board will receive, initially limited supplies of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, but building up to far greater volumes through January.

The priority next week will be through a small number initially of GP practices, to call in the over 80s for vaccination locally, as well as continuing to vaccinate care home staff and NHS and care workers with the Pfizer vaccine supplies.

Work is ongoing in conjunction with primary care colleagues, so that by mid-January a growing number of GP practices across the three counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire will be calling patients in for the vaccine, as well as providing vaccination for more care home residents.

Health and care staff will continue to also be called in for vaccination in the mass centres in Carmarthen and Cardigan.

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The health board is also working on setting up more community based vaccination centres to support health board and primary care delivery in Aberystwyth, Llanelli and Haverfordwest, as more vaccine doses are provided. Announcements will be made when details are finalised and the sites will be phased in according to logistical arrangements.

Chief Executive Steve Moore said: “This pandemic has been such a frightening time for our patients, communities and our NHS and care staff. We acknowledge there has been challenge also in starting what is the biggest mass vaccination programme the NHS has ever seen. But we are really pleased to have already vaccinated thousands of people in the Hywel Dda area. We are so grateful for the new hope the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine offers our communities. It is a far easier vaccine for us to take into our communities and we are grateful to all the teams working together to achieve and expand this programme.

“We would ask our communities to bear with us. Please don’t phone your GP or hospital to find out when your vaccine will be, but be reassured that they will call you in at the appropriate time. But also please get ready to accept the vaccine when you are offered it. It will offer you great protection from the disease that has so drastically affected all our lives.”

Dr Sion James, Deputy Medical Director for Primary Care and Community Services added: “This is an exciting time for Primary Care Contractors to be part of a historical vaccination programme, working collaboratively with our colleagues in the health board. 

“We ask that patients wait until they are called to be vaccinated as we will be working through the JCVI priority groups to ensure fair and equitable access to the vaccine.”

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The health board added in a statement: “Understandably, there will be a lot of questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccines would not have been approved and released if it was not safe. Please visit http://phw.nhs.wales/covid-19-vaccination for more information regarding eligibility and safety of the vaccines.”


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Ammanford

Man who filmed rape on Ammanford victim’s phone changes plea mid trial

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A man who filmed himself raping an Ammanford woman on his victim’s phone has changed his plea to guilty midway through his trial.

Cameron Hassan, aged 31, of no fixed abode, attacked the woman, raping her as she slept on 21 August 2021.

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Hassan had been on trial at Swansea Crown Court after denying any wrongdoing. However, after the jury was shown the video of the attack and hearing the victim was going to give evidence yesterday (Tuesday, 10 May), Hassan changed his plea to guilty.

Investigating Officer DC Sophie Lambert from Dyfed Powys Police said the victim had shown great strength and determination throughout the investigation.

“I must commend her tremendous courage in coming forward and the tenacity shown throughout the investigation,” she said.

“We hope this case demonstrates that Dyfed-Powys Police acts on serious allegations such as rape and sexual assault with officers working tirelessly to secure justice for victims.

“If you are suffering because of similar abuse, please contact the police, or if you would rather speak to someone in confidence, New Pathways are an independent charity that will support you through every step of the investigation.”

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New Pathways can be contacted at 01685 379 310 or email enquiries@newpathways.org.uk

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Carmarthenshire

Women’s Tour of Britain returns to Carmarthenshire

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The countdown is on before the world’s top women riders will race through Carmarthenshire as part of the Women’s Tour of Britain.

Some 108 cyclists will race through the County to the finishing line on top of the Black Mountain between Llangadog and Brynamman as part of the stage five event on Friday, June 10.

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The route will be starting from Pembrey Country Park at 10.45am and riders competing for the title will go through Pinged, Carway, Pontyberem, Horeb, Llansawel, and Llangadog.

A rolling road closure will take place along the 65-mile route which will come into action at 10.45am until 1.50pm.

Roads will be re-opened once the cyclists have passed through. A full road closure will be in place over the Black Mountain from 5am-5pm.

The event will be broadcast on ITV4 and across Europe with a helicopter camera crew following the race.

The Women’s Tour departs on Monday, June 6, and coincides with the final day of a four-day Bank Holiday weekend in the UK to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. The race will culminate with a prestigious finale six days later on Saturday, June 11.

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Pembrey Country Park previously hosted the Grand Départ of the men’s Tour of Britain as well as the overall finish of the Women’s Tour in 2019.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Chief Executive, Wendy Walters said: “We are thrilled that we have again been chosen to host this top cycling event. Previous years have brought an immediate economic boost to the tourism sector as well as providing a great deal of positive media coverage.”

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Man banned from driving for 12 months for fishing offence

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A man from Merthyr Tydfil who travelled to the River Loughor, near Llanelli to fish using a barbaric and illegal method, has been banned from driving for 12 months as part of his sentence.

Vu Quang Tien pleaded guilty to an illegal fishing charge and also to a charge of obstruction of a Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Fisheries Enforcement Officer on 26 April at Swansea Magistrates Court.

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Mr Tien and two other anglers were witnessed by NRW Fisheries Enforcement Officers deliberately using the illegal foul hooking method of fishing – also known as snatching – at the river Loughor on 15 August 2021. NRW officers attended the site after several reports of illegal fishing were made to NRW’s 24/7 incident call centre by concerned members of the community.

When approached and questioned by NRW officers, Mr Tien and his accomplices showed significant hostility and reluctance to share identification documents which eventually had to be extracted by use of reasonable force.

All of Mr Tien’s fishing tackle and fish, along with his associates’ fishing tackle was seized by NRW Officers at the time of the incident. The district judge on the day at Swansea Magistrates Court gave permission to NRW to confiscate these items permanently from each of them.

The District Judge disqualified Mr Tien from driving for 12 months due to seriousness of the incident, and the premeditated and deliberate action of travelling such a distance to commit the offence.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £2,334 in fines, NRW costs and a victim surcharge.

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Mark Thomas, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “We would like to again thank Dyfed Powys Police, the local communities and also the law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities.

“Foul hooking is a truly barbaric form of fishing carried out by a small minority of anglers in Wales, who have no regard for fish welfare.

“NRW and the Police take these incidents seriously as do the courts.

“Hopefully, the small minority of anglers who may in future, think of using any illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines and driving ban in this case issued by the courts.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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