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Carmarthenshire

Work on transforming former Llanelli YMCA underway

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Expressions of interest are being sought for units at a key empty Llanelli building currently undergoing transformation.

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

The building will retain much of its character whilst providing high quality living space and commercial units.

Work is fully underway with 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. The rest of the building will 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.

A section of the Spring Gardens is being used as a compound until the work is completed  next year.

Carmarthenshire County Council leader Cllr Emlyn Dole said: “We are proud to be leading on this scheme and to breathe new life into it once again. I’m sure the people of Llanelli will be thrilled to see this iconic building brought back into use.”

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

Anyone who is interested in applying to occupy the commercial units can highlight an early interest by contacting semathias@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

(All images: Carmarthenshire Council)


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Pembrey & Burry Port

Pembrey Country Park most awarded Blue Flags in Wales

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Pembrey Country Park has won more Blue Flags than anywhere else in Wales.

Cefn Sidan has secured the prestigious Blue Flag status once again making it the most awarded Blue Flag site in Wales since 1988.

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It has won on consecutive years since 2009, apart from 2020 when the awards were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cefn Sidan was also the first Welsh beach to win the international accolade.

The Blue Flag award is only given to beaches, marinas and harbours that have the highest quality of water, environmental education and management, safety and services. It is an is an indication of a world class visiting experience and attraction site for local people and visitors to Carmarthenshire.

The popular tourist attraction has also won the Green Flag award for the last four years for its inspiring green space, having the highest possible standards, being beautifully maintained and boasting excellent visitor facilities.

Carmarthenshire County Council Cabinet Member Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, Cllr Gareth John said: “I am delighted and proud that we continue to achieve these standards year on year. Pembrey Country Park and Cefn Sidan Beach is one of Wales’ top tourist attractions and has something to offer everyone. This award symbolises quality and provides assurances to visitors and tourists when looking for a place to visit.”

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(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Plaid Cymru

New leader of Carmarthenshire Council formally welcomed as part of Plaid-Independent coalition

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Carmarthenshire County Council has formally welcomed its new leader as part of a Plaid-Independent alliance.

Cllr Darren Price has been named as the Leader of the Council and Chair of the Cabinet after Plaid Cymru secured the majority of votes with 38 seats out of 75 at the Local Government Elections earlier this month.

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Cllr Price is a member of the Plaid Cymru group and has served Carmarthenshire County Council as a councillor for the Gorslas Ward since 2012.

He replaces former leader Cllr Emlyn Dole who failed to retain his Pontyberem seat at the May council elections.

At the council’s Annual General Meeting today, Cllr Price’s appointment was confirmed along with his new Cabinet team which is made up of 10 council members including the Leader of the Council.

Cabinet is responsible for the overall business of the council and meet every two weeks to make decisions and recommendations to Full Council. It can also make decisions individually on certain matters.

Five members of the previous administration have retained their seat with five new members announced today:

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  • Deputy and Cabinet Member for Homes – Cllr Linda Evans (Plaid Cymru)
  • Cabinet Member for Workforce – Cllr Philip Hughes (Independent)
  • Cabinet Member for Resources – Cllr Alun Lenny (Plaid Cymru)
  • Cabinet Member for Rural Affairs and Planning Policy – Cllr Ann Davies (Plaid Cymru)
  • Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Decarbonisation and Sustainability – Cllr Aled Vaughan Owen (Plaid Cymru)
  • Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste and Infrastructure Services – Cllr Edward Thomas (Independent)
  • Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure Culture and Tourism – Cllr Gareth John (Plaid Cymru)
  • Cabinet Member for Education and the Welsh Language – Cllr Glynog Davies (Plaid Cymru)
  • Cabinet Member for Health and Social Services – Cllr Jane Tremlett (Independent)

Carmarthenshire County Council Leader, Cllr Darren Price said: “Over the next few years I am really keen to engage with members from across the chamber, on a regular basis, to discuss their ideas and concerns and to work together for the common good.

“As an Administration we want to tackle Climate change, the cost of living crisis, regenerate our county’s economy and town centres, provide quality housing, raise educational standards, ensure social care support to our most vulnerable, improve public transport, see cleaner streets and deliver quality and effective council services.

“The council has already been doing a tremendous amount of work in these areas and our task now is to build on those firm foundations and realise our ambitions for Carmarthenshire.”

Neath Port Talbot Council also recently announced a new Plaid-Independent coalition after the incumbent Labour party failed to win a majority.

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Driver jailed for head-on crash that caused life-changing injuries

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A driver who caused a head-on collision with a car being driven by a pregnant woman told police officers at the scene he had drunk 13 cans of strong lager the night before.

Rhodri Rees, aged 36, of Llandysul, admitted his drinking had gone into the early hours before he got behind the wheel and caused the crash on the A476 in Llannon, near Llanelli, by overtaking another car on a bend at around 7.40am on December 11, 2020.

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The severe impact meant both drivers were trapped in their cars and had to be cut free by firefighters.

Thankfully the baby was unharmed in the collision, however, its mother suffered serious, life-changing injuries. She had a number of operations to repair the damage and was unable to walk for a year and still suffers the effects of the accident today.

Dyfed-Powys Police Sgt Nicholas Brookes said: “When Rees was spoken to by our officers at the scene he told them he had drunk 13 cans of Stella Artois and that he had gone to bed after midnight.

“He failed a breath test at the scene and was arrested on suspicion of drink driving before being allowed to go to hospital for treatment.”

The following day he was interviewed at Carmarthen Police Station where he told officers he had consumed eight or nine cans of Foster’s before going to bed around 2am, before getting up at around 6.45am and setting off.

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A sample of blood was taken just before 1pm on December 11 showed Rees had 39mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood – the legal limit being 80. A blood alcohol expert had calculated that at the time of the collision the level of alcohol would have been no less than 113mg and more likely 129mg.

PS Brookes added: “This was a serious case that could have been so much worse.

“Rees admitted drinking a considerable amount of alcohol and getting little sleep before getting behind the wheel. He was lucky no-one was killed.

“I would like to commend the officer in the case, PC Benjamin Stevenson, who conducted a thorough and meticulous investigation for the offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.”

On Tuesday, 17th May, Rees appeared before Swansea Crown Court, having pleaded guilty at a previous hearing, and was sentenced to 18-months in prison.

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He was also disqualified from driving for three years and 9 months, with a requirement for an extended test to regain his license.

(Lead image: Geograph)

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