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Plan to resolve hospital parking chaos

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Delyth Evans: Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire.

Delyth Evans: Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Carmarthen West
and South Pembrokeshire.

A POSSIBLE solution to the ongoing problem of parking at Glangwili Hospital could be one step closer following a question to Hywel Dda University Health Board by Delyth Evans, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire. Ms Evans is urging the Hywel Dda Health Board to set up a park-and-ride scheme using Carmarthenshire County Council’s existing park-and-ride facility on the A40, with an additional pick-up point at Carmarthen railway station.

Ms Evans believes this offers a practical solution to the shortage of parking places at the hospital, which has been made worse since the transfer of some services from Withybush to Glangwili. Ms Evans said: “I am constantly hearing from residents in the Carmarthen area and in Pembrokeshire about the parking nightmare at Glangwili. If you are bringing a sick relative to the hospital for treatment, that is stressful enough without the added worry of being unable to park.

Offering a park-and-ride facility would mean that people could park for free in the park-and-ride and not have to worry about how long they needed to stay at the hospital. If there was a pick-up point at the train station as well it would encourage people to travel by train for routine appointments.”

In response to Ms Evans question, Hywel Dda Health Board’s Director for Strategic Partnerships Sarah Jennings informed those present at the University Health Board Meeting in Lampeter on Thursday (Nov 20) that extending the current park and ride facility run by Carmarthenshire County Council was being considered. Ms Jennings noted that there was spare capacity at the Nant y Ci park and ride site.

A charge of £1 was being considered, similar to the minimum charge to park at Glangwili Hospital but further work on costs would form part of an ongoing discussion with the local authority. Ms Evans has asked Council Leader Kevin Madge to support the proposal which would secure the future of the current park and ride service which runs every 15 minutes between 7am and 7pm. Labour’s Assembly Candidate Marc Tierney has been working closely with Ms Evans on the plan, he said: “Having attended Glangwili, I share the concerns staff, patients and visitors who are very frustrated at the sheer lack of spaces. It simply isn’t that easy to build a multi-story car park on site and I don’t believe ripping up whatever green space is left to create a handful of additional spaces is the best use of health board money given their very difficult financial position at present. I have already spoken to Welsh Health Minister Mark Drakeford about the need to improve transport links to local hospitals – that is it the bus connect must link the bus station, Carmarthen’s railway station and the hospital. It will make getting to the hospital easier especially from the west and free up parking on site for more urgent cases. I hope that the Health Board and the Council can work together now to get this project started as early as next April.”

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Cardigan: Welsh language nursery’s treasurer stole £16,336 from coffers

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A FORMER treasurer of Cylch Meithrin Penparc in Cardigan has been jailed today for a fraud that brought the Welsh language nursery to its knees.
Catrin Davies, a 33 year old single mother of two daughters, cheated the organisation out of £16,336.
After she left the post the nursery struggled to pay debts and at one stage was left with £1.84p in its bank.
Davies, of Bwthyn Lleine, Ferwig, admitted fraud and was jailed for eight months.
Judge Geraint Walters, sitting at Swansea Crown Court, told her the offending was too series for the sentence to be suspended.
Craig Jones, prosecuting, said Davies was appointed treasurer in September, 2015, and left the post in December 2016.
The new treasurer noticed discrepancies in the accounts. Davies tried to cover them up by sticking pieces of paper onto bank statements to blank out figures, photocopying them, and then carefully typing in new and bogus figures.
By then Davies had failed to pay money into the account and withdrawn some herself.
Mr Jones said that at one stage the nursery had to pay a roof repair bill. Davies knew there wasn’t enough money in the account but to keep the fraud going and to avoid detection she actually paid the bill out of her own money.
Mr Jones said after the true financial situation had been established Cylch Meithrin Penparc was at risk of closure. Internet access was cut off because the telephone bill could not be paid and staff found themselves buying essential items out of their own money.
And there was still a fear, he added, that the nursery would struggle to overcome the blow and to recover the confidence of parents.
Janet Gedrych, representing Davies, said she had suffered a devastating fall from grace.
Davies ran the Pink Orchid florists in Priory Street, Cardigan, for nine years and had a good reputation in the town.
But her partner left her and his debts behind and ran up more and she owed £30,000 in personal and business debts. By October, 2015, debt collectors were knocking on her door and she defrauded Cylch Meithrin Penparc to pay them off.
Judge Walters said the nursery provided a hugely valuable service to parents who wanted their children to learn Welsh and Davies had helped herself to money they had paid in.
“Your activity has reduced its ability to operate. It has not closed but it’s hanging by a thread.”
Judge Walters said he accepted that Davies had found herself squeezed financially, but many people struggled under similar circumstances.

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Police appeal for information about Cardigan crash

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CARDIGAN police are appealing for information about an RTC involving two cars, on the A487 Cardigan to Tanygroes, at around 5:45pm on Monday (Nov 13).

A white Mitsubishi Shogun and a blue/silver Fiat Bravo were involved in the collision, on the bypass near Cardigan Tesco. The two drivers were taken to hospital; one has since been released.

Anyone who witnessed the collision, or was driving along the road around the time, is asked to contact Ceredigion Roads Policing Unit by calling 101.

If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908, quoting Ref: 326 of 13 November.

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Police reaffirms commitment to a safe working environment

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE has pledged to maintain its ongoing work to provide a safe working environment for all its staff.

Following the high profile accusations against members of the entertainment industry and reports that have subsequently followed from all corners of society, the force has taken action to ensure its staff and officers are aware of the existing support and mechanisms available to them.

While much work has already been – and continues to be – undertaken to tackle and eliminate unacceptable behaviour within Dyfed-Powys Police, chief officers are actively developing a culture where all members of staff are confident in speaking out.

An open letter has been issued to all employees, in which Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Claire Parmenter has reaffirmed that ensuring all staff can work in a fair and safe environment remains a key priority.

In it, she says: “The chief officer group wants to reassure you all that in Dyfed-Powys Police we hold our staff at the heart of our service and we will do everything we can to provide a safe working environment where everyone has the equal right to respect and dignity.

“The #MeToo Campaign was re-launched in the wake of the early allegations and has since been used by millions of women and men as an instantly recognisable method of removing the stigma that surrounds sexual harassment, by both victims and supporters of the campaign.

“While much work has already been undertaken to tackle and eliminate harassment, bullying and discrimination, work in this area is never done. Therefore, ensuring a fair, safe and equitable working environment for our staff in Dyfed-Powys Police remains an absolute priority.

“I have pledged my support to ongoing work aimed at reminding all officers and staff of the existing support and mechanisms available by which Dyfed-Powys Police encourages the reporting of wrong-doing. We will be reviewing policy, procedure and practice to ensure they remain current and that they are both supportive of victims and alleged perpetrators.

“We will also engage with staff associations and networks, the Police Federation and Unison to better understand staff concerns, embed high standards of conduct and reduce fear experienced by victims.”

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