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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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Aberystwyth: Driver on drugs hits lorry and causes ‘road chaos’

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A DRIVER high on drugs caused 15 miles of chaos as he approached Aberystwyth on the A44.

Brian Pitts hit an oncoming lorry and road signs as he drove on the wrong side of the road.

A car passenger filmed him because she was sure a serious accident was about to happen.

Pitts, aged 57, of Delmont Close, Tipton, west Midlands, admitted dangerous driving and driving while unfit through drugs he had taken.

Dean Pulling, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that on June 16 last year Pitts had been driving his Rover MGZR, towing a trailer full of wooden fencing posts, towards Aberystwyth from his home.

Richard Brooks followed the car through Llangurig and became so concerned he telephoned the police while his wife Victoria filmed Pitts on her mobile.

The Rover collided with a 13 tonne lorry driven by Andrew Paxton but failed to stop.

Pitts failed to take a roundabout and hit road signs and an embankment but still carried on.

During the 15 miles, said Mr Pulling, oncoming traffic had to swerve off the carriageway to avoid a collision.

Several motorists telephoned the police to report what they were witnessing, he added.

Pitts came to a stop in the middle of the road and another motorist snatched the keys out of the ignition–and noticed that Pitts had been driving with a dog on his lap.

Mr Pulling said police officers could tell there was something wrong with Pitts, but an alcohol text showed he was below the limit.

“He was clearly unfit,” said Mr Pulling, although it was still unclear what drugs he had taken.

Pitts was taken to Aberystwyth police station and then to Bronglais hospital, where he appeared to recover after treatment. But he soon deteriorated and had to be taken back to the hospital.

Pitts developed pneumonia and had to be kept in for nine days.

His barrister, Tom Scapens, said when Pitts had been shown the mobile telephone footage he felt physically sick.

Judge T Mervyn Hughes jailed Pitts for 10 months and banned him from driving for four years.

He told him, “If you had not been stopped I am quite sure you would have caused serious injury if not death.”

Pitts was told to pass an extended driving test before getting his licence back.

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Motion to support the reduction of plastic use in Ceredigion approved

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In a Full Council meeting on 22 February 2018, the Council unanimously supported a motion to reduce the use of plastic and to support plastic reduction initiatives in Ceredigion.

The motion was proposed by Councillor Mark Strong and was seconded by Councillor Gethin Davies. The motion calls on Ceredigion County Council to support the various ‘Plastic Free’ campaigns throughout the county by reducing single-use plastics within Council facilities and offices and to promote the use of sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics at all Council supported events.

Councillor Mark Strong said, “I’m delighted that the Council unanimously supported the motion. This is an important step for the Council but we must carry on to reduce plastic use. Everyone has a responsibility to reduce the environmental damage caused by plastic. Carrying out small acts such as buying milk from your local milkman supports the local economy but in turn also supports our environment by using reusable glass bottles.”

The motion also calls on the Council to encourage local businesses, organisations, schools and communities to move away from single-use plastics and use sustainable alternatives as well as to support beach cleans and other events which aim to raise awareness of the issues of single-use plastics under the “Plastic Free”, Caru Ceredigion, Tidy Towns or any similar initiative.

The motion was amended in the meeting to include the establishment of a Members’ Task and Finish group to support measures to reduce the Council’s use of plastic and to support initiatives in the county that reduce plastic use.

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Richards-Keegan cleared of sending underage girl nude pictures

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A BOW STREET man has been cleared of charges that he sent an underage girl photographs of his penis.

Paul Robert Morgan Richards-Keegan, aged 21, had denied two allegations of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Richards-Keegan, of Tregerddan, said the only messages he sent her via the internet were in response to approaches from her and did not include photographs of his private parts.

Catherine Richards, prosecuting, had told a jury at Swansea Crown Court that the 14-year-old girl had shared messages with Richards-Keegan via Snapchat.

At one stage police issued to him a child abduction notice, which he signed, instructing him not to contact the girl

In 2016 she told her mother that he was again sending her unwanted photographs of his penis attached to messages.

Richards-Keegan was arrested, and told police he had obeyed the order apart from messages he had sent after being contacted by the complainant.

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