Thursday, 12 January 2012

New Plaid Carmarthenshire website

A new website for Plaid Cymru in Carmarthenshire has just been launched. This blog will not be updated from now on. All of the latest news and information will be posted on the new website.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Yes for Wales - Carmarthenshire

Press Here to visit the website of the all-party group in Carmarthenshire supporting a YES vote in the refferendum on March 3rd...

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Threat to starter farms

The small farms owned by the county council in Carmarthenshire may be under threat of a sell-off according to Plaid Cymru. As part of its review of assets across the county, the council is considering the future of a number of small farms which are intended to help people enter the farming industry. When pressed at a recent council meeting, the county’s leader, Independent Party councillor Meryl Gravell refused to give an assurance that the farms would not be sold.

Speaking for the Plaid Group, Cllr Tyssul Evans said later, “The council has owned a small number of starter farms for very many years. They are a vital element of the help available to people to enter the farming industry, and many farmers have benefited from them over the years. It would be a tragedy for an agricultural county like Carmarthenshire to lose this vital facility. It would be an even bigger tragedy if they were sold off for development.”

Friday, 18 June 2010

Library Closure Mystery

Carmarthenshire County Council has closed Penygroes Library suddenly, with no warning and no consultation according to local councillor Siân Thomas. Cllr Thomas had previously sought reassurances from the council and had been explicitly told that there were no plans to close the library and that it was not even on any list of possible closures. But on Friday 14th May, the council closed it anyway, and has replaced it with a twice monthly mobile service.

Cllr Thomas said, “As the local ward member, I would have expected to be at least advised in advance of the proposal to close the library, especially after having raised the question with the relevant officers on a number of occasions. I was given very clear assurances that the council had no intention of closing this library, and that the library was not even on any list for potential closure.

“When I raised the matter again after the event, I was told that the closure had been effectively agreed when the council’s budget was passed. But having looked at the minutes, they simply state that “6 poor performing small libraries to be replaced with increased mobile provision” and don’t name the affected libraries at all. And having asked my fellow councillors on the Education Scrutiny Committee, they weren’t aware of the list either.

“I am extremely disappointed and angry at the way this has been handled. It is just another example of the undemocratic way that the Labour and Independent Party councillors are running the council.”

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Parking meter cost revealed

The scheme to introduce parking meters in Lammas Street will cost around £24,000, the county council has revealed this week. In a letter to Plaid Cllr Arwel Lloyd, the council quoted this figure as being the total cost, including the legal and advertising costs of making the necessary Orders as well as the cost of purchasing and installing the machines themselves.

Cllr Arwel Lloyd responded by saying, “This is a significant cost to the council, and I wonder how many years it will take before the income has covered the cost of installation, let alone the costs of administering and monitoring the scheme. The whole scheme is unnecessary and unpopular. As we have said on a number of occasions, the current arrangements work well, and there is no need for change, especially a change which is likely to impact on a number of businesses in Lammas Street. We are calling on the council, once again, to abandon this plan.”

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Paying for nothing

Carmarthenshire Council is imposing service charges on tenants for services they do not receive, according to Plaid Cllr Siân Thomas. Cllr Thomas drew attention to the problem last year, pointing out that tenants in Maes y Gors, Penygroes were being charged £2.17 extra each week for services which the council was not providing to them, such as a communal laundry room and a door entry system.

Cllr Thomas said, “I raised this issue with the council’s officers last year, and drew attention to the fact that tenants were being charged for services they were not receiving. I have received further complaints this year, because not only are the tenants still not receiving these services, but the amount which they have to pay for them has been increased. And all they get in communal service is one light bulb in the shared stairwell.

“The council say that they are undertaking a thorough and comprehensive review of the service charges, but it seems that any changes will not come into effect until at least next April – a full two years since I first raised the problem. This really isn’t good enough.”

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Further concern about 'uniformed youth'

Following the provision of further information by the county council, Plaid’s leader on the county council has expressed renewed concern about the nature of the ‘Young Dragons’ organisation. The organisation has been set up at a national level, “to increase the number of young people involved in our uniformed youth organisations and also to increase the number of volunteers who help to run them”. A local steering group has been set up to implement the scheme in Carmarthenshire. Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths initially raised questions about the matter in a council meeting some months ago.

Cllr Hughes Griffiths said this week, “The idea of co-ordinating youth organisations across the county is certainly worthwhile, and I welcome the commitment given by the county council’s officers that they will seek to include other youth groups such as the Urdd and YFCs. I just do not understand, however, why the terms of reference of the group specifically and repeatedly stresses that it is for ‘uniformed’ organisations, and the list of member organisations at national level includes only those youth organisations whose members wear uniforms.

“It seems a completely unnecessary constraint, and I cannot understand why our National Assembly has signed up to such a narrow focus either. As well as including other organisations locally, I believe that the county council should be pressing for changes to the Terms of Reference to make the whole project more inclusive.”