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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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Man arrested for illegal fishing in Teifi valley

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A MAN has been arrested after environmental crime officers from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) spotted an illegal net in a mid-Wales river.

The officers were conducting a routine patrol of the River Teifi on Thursday (May 14) when they came across a net in the water.

Following an investigation carried out in partnership with Dyfed Powys Police, a man was arrested on suspicion of illegal fisheries offences in the Teifi valley.

At the scene, officers retrieved the net which contained seven dead sea trout.

David Lee, NRW’s North and Mid Wales Operations Team Leader, said:

“Thanks to the excellent work of our officers and Dyfed Powys Police we were able to prevent further damage to the Teifi sea trout population.

“We take any activity that threatens sea trout and salmon extremely seriously and this is especially true of illegal fishing.

“Nets can potentially capture large numbers of fish and given the current challenges facing stock numbers currently every sea trout or salmon taken represents another blow to our efforts to protect these iconic fish.”

Despite the current Coronavirus lockdown, NRW officers are continuing to patrol Welsh rivers and people are encouraged to check that fish they buy locally – particularly through social media – are from a legitimate source.

If you see any suspicious or illegal activity on our rivers please report it to the NRW incident hotline on 0300 065 3000.

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Mother-daughter foot patrol brings 30 year career to a poignant end for Chief Inspector

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AS Chief Inspector Nicky Carter ended a 30 year career in policing, there was no better way to do it than going out on patrol with her daughter.

And for PCSO Charlotte, taking to the streets of Lampeter with her mum was a fitting way to mark her first six months at Dyfed-Powys Police.

Patrolling together in uniform was something the mother-daughter pair had long imagined, with PCSO Carter wanting to join the police from a young age.

The 19-year-old said: “I joined in September 2019, and have wanted to be a part of Dyfed-Powys Police since I can remember. I was inspired by my mum working in the force, and thought it would be a great career.

“I’m really glad I joined before she retired, as it gave us the opportunity to go out on foot patrol in the town where mum had been the local Inspector. It was really lovely.”

Embarking on a career she’d planned since childhood, PCSO Carter took the chance to gain valuable advice from her mum – whose experiences on the frontline inspired her to join.

“Mum has told me to always treat people as I would wish to be treated,” she said. “That’s something I’ll take forward with me.”

“I’m six months in now, and I enjoy dealing with the public and offering reassurance to people in the communities of Lampeter town and surrounding areas.”

For former CI Carter, the foot patrol drew a 30-year career – starting at North Wales Police – to a poignant close.

She ended her time at Dyfed-Powys Police in her home division of Ceredigion, transferring to Aberystwyth in 2006 to take up an inspector post.

Despite admitting there will be concerns for her only child as policing inevitably comes with risks, it was a career she encouraged.

She said: “I was very proud of Charlotte wishing to join Dyfed-Powys. As I retire I still consider that policing offers tremendous job satisfaction and I know that the organisation looks after and cares for its staff.

“I encouraged her to find out about the PCSO role before she applied, and also encouraged her to attend an open evening in Ceredigion to speak to staff. I wanted her to make an informed decision to join the organisation.

“As a parent and a former officer, it is natural to be concerned about what may occur when Charlotte is at work. However, the training, mentoring and support from staff and supervisors is second to none, so that offers me reassurance.”

Looking back at 30 years in policing, CI Carter has achieved plenty to inspire her daughter – and other women thinking of joining. From being a founding member of female networks in two forces, and a committee member of the British Association of Women in Policing, she has also proudly contributed to local and national work to ensure all staff reach their full potential.

She was humbled to receive a leadership award from Chwarae Teg in 2017, and represented chief officers at the International Association of Women Police awards in Alaska in 2019, where two Ceredigion officers were rewarded for their bravery.

When it comes to passing on her wealth of experience to her daughter, the former CI urged her to always consider her own wellbeing as well as that of the community.

“The most important advice I have given Charlotte is to look after herself and her wellbeing as whilst policing is a very rewarding role, it is one that can be both challenging and stressful at times,” she said.

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Ben Lake MP “disappointed” after Agriculture Bill amendment on the standard of food and agricultural imports is rejected by House of Commons

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The UK’s new Agriculture Bill was put before MPs on Wednesday (13 May) for the final time as it reached the Report Stage and Third Reading.

Alongside farming unions and campaign groups, Ben Lake MP has lobbied for the Bill to include a number of important amendments. One of the amendments sought to introduce a legal requirement that agricultural or food products imported into the UK under future trade agreements would need to be produced or processed according to equivalent animal health, welfare and environmental standards as those required of UK prodcuers.

This amendment, in the form of New Clause 2, and which was tabled by the Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Neil Parish MP, was rejected by the Commons. All Plaid Cymru MPs supported the amendment and Ben Lake MP said he was “disappointed” that the house did not vote in favour of an amendment to prevent the importation of products produced to lower animal health and environmental standards, and which in turn would have supported the high standards of Welsh produce.

Ben Lake MP said:

“Without this amendment there remains no legal requirement for future UK trade agreements to ensure that any agricultural or food imports are produced to the same standards as those required of domestic producers.

“Farmers in Wales strive to produce quality food in a sustainable manner, but the failure to include this amendment to the Agriculture Bill risks undermining these efforts by keeping the door open to imports produced to lower environmental and animal welfare standards.

“I have always argued that in order to protect our own high standards it is crucial that a level playing-field is maintained in relation to imports, and that farmers in Wales are not put at a disadvantage by having to compete with imports that are produced to lower standards. I sincerely hope that this amendment will be adopted by the House of Lords, so that the House of Commons has another opportunity to support it.”

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