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CCTV live monitoring to end in Carmarthenshire

Ammanford, Burry Port, Carmarthen and Llanelli have cameras. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Carmarthenshire County Council says live monitoring of CCTV cameras is to stop and the money saved to be used for the Meals on Wheels service.

It says the move was based on the findings of an independent review commissioned by the Police and Crime Commissioner saying there was no case to support active monitoring of public CCTV and that there was little evidence that the cameras deterred violent or alcohol related crime.

Carmarthenshire was the only county in the Dyfed Powys Police area to actively monitor CCTV cameras.

The council says savings of around £100,000 will fund the Meals on Wheels service.

The cameras, which are predominantly sited in town centre areas of Ammanford, Burry Port, Carmarthen and Llanelli, will remain on and continue to record but the reviewing of recorded footage would have to be undertaken by the Police.

We would like to thank members of the public for sharing their views with us, and we do appreciate their feelings regarding this issue.

However, evidence produced by the Police and Crime Commissioner showed that live monitoring was of little or no benefit, and he withdrew his funding for the service.

Further discussions will take place with the Commissioner and the Chief Constable shortly, we will pass on the results of the recent consultation and discuss future arrangements with them at that meeting.

– Councillor Pam Palmer, Carmarthenshire County Council

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Solar panel plan for Carmarthenshire

Credit: John Stillwell/PA Archive/PA Images

Carmarthenshire County Council’s executive board has agreed that solar panels should be installed on the roofs of 2,700 council homes.

An agreement has been reached to adopt a ‘rent a roof’ scheme.

The council thinks tenants could be in line to save around £6.3million on fuel bills over the next 20 years.

It found that around 32 per cent of the housing stock, and all 17 of the council’s sheltered housing schemes, were suitable for solar panels.

The rent a roof model means a third party, which would own the panels, will receive all the income generated from the Feed in Tariff and export tariff for 20 years, but tenants will have reduced fuel bills from the electricity used when the panels are operating.

We are committed to helping our tenants save money by improving their homes and have looked at solar PV systems amongst a wider range of sustainable measures to address fuel poverty as part of our Carmarthenshire Homes Standard Plus (CHS+) business plan.

– Cllr Tegwen Devichand, Executive Board Member for Housing

Police and fire crews work 'to ensure residents' safety'

Police officers and firefighters are working together "to ensure the safety of residents" after a major grass fire in Burry Port this afternoon.

Flames can be seen close to homes on Gwscwm Road in the Carmarthenshire town.

Dyfed-Powys Police says the road has been closed.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service says the blaze is spread over four hectares, and more than 20 firefighters are working to bring it under control.

Photographs show flames close to people's homes. Credit: Twitter @robbarnett1
A significant amount of smoke can be seen over the town of Burry Port. Credit: Twitter @LeeSutts

Major grass fire threatens homes in Carmarthenshire

Fire crews are tackling a major grass fire in Burry Port, Carmarthenshire, which is extremely close to homes.

Photographs show the fire threatening to reach people's homes. Credit: Marc Tierney

'Dramatic' comeback for rare butterfly

Credit: Andy Seeley

Conservationists say one of Wales’ rarest butterflies is making a comeback in Carmarthenshire.

The wildlife charity, Butterfly Conservation, says it's been working to stabilise numbers of the internationally threatened Marsh Fritillary by increasing and improving habitat areas.

The work has paid off with experts reporting a dramatic increase in numbers in Carmarthenshire.

Since the mid 2000’s the Marsh Fritillary has struggled here. But site conservation work by ourselves and partner organisations, combined with improved weather during the butterfly’s flight period, has meant numbers are stabilising and on some sites we have seen a spectacular recovery.

– Russel Hobson, Head of Butterfly Conservation Wales

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Woman fined for not cleaning up after dog on beach

The woman was given a £75 fixed penalty notice Credit: PA

A woman has been fined £75 for failing to clean up after her dog on Pendine beach.

Council environmental enforcement officers were on duty in the area and issued the woman with a fixed penalty notice.

Officers saw a man and woman walking a dog each on a lead. The dog in the woman’s control defecated. Officers then saw the woman kick sand over the faeces and walk away making no attempt to remove it.

This offence happened on a day which was warm and sunny and there were lots of people on the beach including children. Burying dogs mess in the sand does not constitute its removal and I would like to remind the public that this is unacceptable.

– Carmarthenshire County Council

National Botanic Garden receives restoration funding

Artist John Horner painted stunning pictures of the Gardens during the Regency period. Credit: National Botanic Garden of Wales

The first stage of a £6.7 million plan to restore historic Regency landscape at the National Botanic Garden of Wales has been given the go-ahead.

It's been announced that the Garden has received initial financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop it's plans for the Regency Restoration project.

In what will be the biggest project in the Garden's history, it will aim to uncover the origins of Middleton Hall - the grand estate that the Garden now occupies.

The scheme will also involve major archaeological work which will see the restoration of the Regency landscape of the area, including the contemporary planting scheme that formed the heart of its parkland.

The work will involve restoring some of the Regency designs of the Garden. Credit: National Botanic Garden of Wales

"It is an ambitious project and the most significant undertaking since the Garden opened in 2000. It is one which will not only provide enduring value to this part of Wales but is also very much about honouring the original vision of...all the Garden's founders."

– Dr Rosie Plummer, Director of the National Botanic Garden
The Middletons were a wealthy family who settled in Carmarthenshire and helped establish the East India Company. Credit: National Botanic Garden of Wales

Controversial changes to maternity care in west Wales begin

The changes come into effect today Credit: PA

Controversial changes to complex baby care in West Wales begin today.

Health bosses at Hywel Dda local health board are moving consultant led maternity services from Withybush hospital in Pembrokeshire, to Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen.

The plans have sparked protests in the area and on the steps of the Senedd.

The new neonatal unit at Glangwili Hospital will be operational from today.

Isla goes down the aisle - thanks to a Tesco tannoy

A couple will walk down the aisle - after the boyfriend proposed over a supermarket tannoy in Carmarthen.

Anthony popped the question over a supermarket tannoy. Credit: Wales News Service

Isla Gray, 34, was in the Tesco aisles when her boyfriend Anthony Rowlands nipped off to secretly use the supermarket microphone.

And she was standing next to other shoppers when she heard the words: "I love you Isla Gray - will you marry me?"

Other shoppers started clapping and cheering as Isla shouted out: "Yes!"

The surprise proposal happened at the Tesco Metro on Morfa Lane, as the couple did their weekly shop.

One minute I was shopping down the aisles at Tesco - the next I discovered Anthony wanted to take me down the aisle. It was a lovely thing to do - he is full of surprises.

– Isla Gray

Anthony, 35, has been secretly planning the surprise proposal and Tesco staff were happy to help out.

A Tesco spokesman said: "The lady was at the checkout and he went onto our tannoy to ask her to marry him - thankfully she said yes. People were cheering and she was clearly thrilled."

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