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Carmarthenshire

Shortage of carers cause Carmarthenshire social care delays

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Carmarthenshire’s Director of Social Services has written to people receiving or waiting for care to explain temporary changes and delays caused by a shortage of carers.

The council say that Carmarthenshire, like many other areas of Wales and the UK, is affected by significant challenges in recruiting staff into the social care workforce following the Covid-19 pandemic.

It means many people are either waiting to be released from hospital with a package of care or may see changes to their current care arrangements.

Jake Morgan, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Director for Communities, said: “We are currently managing to provide care to the people most in need but the situation is becoming very difficult.

“This is a national issue not unique to Carmarthenshire, but people deserve to know why there are delays in the system and why we may be asking them to cooperate with temporary changes to ensure we can use our resources to care for as many people as possible.”

People are being asked to be flexible in their requests for care packages – for example carers may visit less frequently, at different times to normal, and the time they spend with people may be reduced.

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People are also being asked if family can support their care needs temporarily.

No changes are being introduced before discussion and agreement with service users and their relatives.

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In the meantime, the council is urgently recruiting carers to join its in-house social care team.

There are opportunities for people to join the team as carers in the community or in the authority’s residential care homes.

Cllr Jane Tremlett, the council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “Like others we are experiencing difficulties in our social care workforce that is having an impact on people who need our support.

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“We are being honest about the situation so that people are aware of the challenges and able to make decisions about temporary changes we may ask them to agree to as part of an existing care package or a new care package.”

She added: “Our carers are the shining light of our service. They do a tremendous job looking after people with care and compassion and I would like to thank our workforce for their continued commitment in what are extremely challenging times.

“We are doing our very best to recruit people to grow our social care workforce so that we can get back to providing the level of care we want to give to our service users.

“We hope these are very short-term measures that will be applied only with agreement – we hope that our services users and their families will understand and be flexible with their care requests so we can continue to meet demand.”

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The council is fast-tracking the recruitment system for people interested in becoming a carer, with a range of permanent posts across Carmarthenshire.

Carers support people with personal care, meal preparation, assist with medication and help them live full and active lives.

Full training and support from senior colleagues is provided along with good rates of pay, access to the local authority pension scheme, paid annual leave and flexible working arrangements.

For further information visit www.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/jobs or email SCRecruitment@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

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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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