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Plan for Cross Hands Health and Well-being Centre submitted to Welsh Government

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Plans for a new Health and Well-being centre in Cross Hands, Carmarthenshire, has been submitted to Welsh Government.

Hywel Dda University Health Board say an integrated health and social care network of services for the Amman Gwendraeth area is being proposed, which includes the construction of a new Health and Well-being Centre.

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If approved, the centre will provide a base for health and care services for the benefit of local communities. The core clinical services will include two local GP practices (Cross Hands and Tumble Medical Partnership and Penygroes Medical Practice), along with a range of Community Health Services such as midwifery, health visiting, community nursing, therapy services, podiatry, and mental health.

These will be complemented with additional supplementary services, such as an Integrated Early Years Centre, which is a community-based service for families with children aged 0-12. There will also be audiology services, a community pharmacy, space for community events, library, as well as a refreshment area.

As part of the health board’s commitment towards to decarbonisation, and achieving net zero carbon by 2030, the design of the building includes a range of low/zero carbon technologies. These include the installation of photovoltaic panels, air source heat pumps, as well as the provision of charging points for electric vehicles.

Rhian Matthews, Hywel Dda UHB’s Integrated System Director for Carmarthenshire, said: “This exciting plan demonstrates the importance of delivering services as close to home as possible.

“This Outline Business Case (OBC) for Cross Hands Health and Well-being Centre is an ambitious plan that will not only be an asset for Cross Hands, but will benefit Carmarthenshire as a whole.

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“This is the first OBC to be presented to Welsh Government since the submission of our Programme Business Case (PBC) earlier this year. Our PBC aims to secure a scale of investment never before seen in west Wales, in order to deliver our long-term health and care strategy ‘A Healthier Mid and West Wales: Our Future Generations Living Well’.”

Subject to Welsh Government approval, planning process and construction phase, the new centre would be built adjacent to the A48 and the new Cross Hands Business Park. It is scheduled to open in autumn 2025.

(Lead image: Hywel Dda University Health Board)

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Cross Hands

Carmarthenshire business Do Goodly Foods crowned Wales Food and Drink Start-Up Business of the Year

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Cross Hands-based plant-based food producer Do Goodly Foods has won Wales Food and Drink Start-Up Business of the Year at the inaugural Wales Food and Drink Awards, celebrating and showcasing the best food and drink producers in Wales, which were held at the Mercure Hotel in Cardiff on May 13.

Do Goodly Dips makes healthy, plant-based dips and in just over 12 months has secured a listing in a major, national supermarket and its products can be found nationally in farm shops, delis and independent stores through key wholesalers and distributors in the food industry.

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Since launching the brand Do Goodly Dips Superstar Salsa has been awarded the highly acclaimed Great Taste Award and all the products in the range have been given Farm Shop & Deli awards.

The company was formed by local businessman Richard Abbey and Michelin-trained chef Scott Davis after they discovered a shared ambition to create a range of healthy, feelgood food. Made with an emphasis on flavour and nutrition, the dips contain no added sugar and nothing artificial.

The current range includes Mighty Beetroot Borani, Smashed Pea Guacamole, Superstar Salsa and Tasty Tomato and Bean Houmous.

Do Goodly Foods co-founder Richard Abbey said: “We’re delighted to have won Wales Food and Drink Start-Up Business of the Year. This kind of recognition is very important for young Welsh businesses. We were getting Do Goodly Foods off the ground during lockdown, which made for an interesting experience, but I’m pleased to say we have gone from strength to strength and achieved listings in major supermarkets.

“It was brilliant to be able to attend the awards ceremony in Cardiff and celebrate with so many outstanding and inspiring Welsh businesses. Wales really does excel when it comes to great food and drink products and these awards perform a vital function in helping to recognise and promote them.”

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Cross Hands

Environmental groups to benefit after Castell Howell pollution incident

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Wildlife and environmental groups are to benefit from a collaborative approach taken by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Castell Howell Foods following a pollution incident caused by a malfunction at a pumping station in Carmarthenshire.

Projects carried out by the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llyn Llech Owain SSSI Peatlands partnership, the West Wales Rivers Trust, and Wales Federation of Young Farmers Clubs are to benefit from money paid by Castell Howell Foods Ltd, and facilitated by NRW.

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The company paid the money as part of reparations for a pollution incident in July 2019. Following an investigation, and in light of Castell Howell’s rapid response, remediation work, and remorse, NRW identified the incident as suitable for a Civil Sanction – namely an enforcement undertaking.

The incident saw overflow effluent enter the Afon Gwili near Crosshands, caused by a mechanical failure at a sewage pumping station adopted by Castell Howell upon the purchase of adjacent land. The incident, which resulted in the death of fish native to the river was exacerbated by low river flow caused by the hot, dry weather.

When contacted by NRW at the time of the incident, Castell Howell confirmed they had unknowingly discharged effluent via the overflow pipe due to telemetry equipment failure at the pumping station. The company took immediate action by switching to manual pumps and subsequently blocked off the existing permitted emergency overflow.

The following month (August 2019), the company installed a new telemetry system and pump. Daily inspections and an improved maintenance schedule were implemented, and a full drainage CCTV survey was undertaken.

Jane Chapman, Legal Services Manager for NRW, said: “Our role is to ensure businesses can operate without harming people and the environment. This may involve prosecution, but in certain cases it can be in the public interest to look at options other than a court case.

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“The company has spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on this incident, and clearly take the impacts and consequences very seriously.

“The community will benefit from the enforcement undertaking through monetary and volunteer support for local projects financed by the company.

“This approach is an example of NRW fulfilling its key role for the greater good of the wider community.”

Edward Morgan, Group CSR and Training Manager for Castell Howell, said: “As a company that takes environmental matters and our location in the countryside very seriously, the Afon Gwili incident shocked and concerned us.

“We therefore welcome NRW’s view that our immediate remedial action and the swift installation of new equipment and protocols makes the incident suitable for an enforcement undertaking.

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“We are also very pleased that money paid as part of that undertaking is to go to organisations and projects working to protect and enhance wildlife and the Welsh countryside.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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Cross Hands

Cross Hands vehicle charging hub a first of its kind in Wales

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Preparations are underway to open the new first of its kind in Wales electric vehicle charging hub in Cross Hands.

The superfast charging hub which is located off the A48 is due to open later this month and will provide four 50KW rapid chargers and one 150KW super rapid charger.

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The chargers will provide a source of clean energy and help reduce draw from the national grid. The project is funded through the Welsh Government’s Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle Fund.

It comes just weeks after Carmarthenshire County Council launched its ten-year Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy.

The strategy sets out a vision to encourage and promote the development of infrastructure necessary to enable employees, residents, communities, visitors, businesses and other organisations to use EVs as part of their everyday routine.

It also outlines ways in which the council will encourage and support EV use across all sectors.

Cabinet Member for Carmarthenshire County Council Environment, Cllr Hazel Evans said the council is developing and promoting a network of electric charging points so it future proofs the county’s transport network as well as contributing to local and global pollution reduction target.

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She said: “We are delighted to be able to open this first of its kind in Wales superfast charging hub. We are also pleased to launch our Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy. We recognise the opportunities Electric Vehicles provide in supporting our decarbonisation ambitions set out in ‘Prosiect Zero Sir Gâr’ and with the ever-increasing number of electric vehicles on our roads, we need to ensure that drivers have access to a coherent network of EV charging infrastructure across the county.

We are working closely with partners and Welsh Government to identify new areas where extra provision will prove beneficial, not just along the strategic road network, but also inclusive of destination charging and for specific initiatives such as the ‘Ten Towns’. We remain committed to supporting the development of high quality, reliable EV infrastructure to the residents, businesses and visitors of Carmarthenshire.

This strategy supports us in these goals and helps to plan and set targets for the next 10 years.”

The council has already installed 28 fast charging points across the county with a further 15 being added by the end of March.

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