04 Jan 2016 10 Things We Want To See Happen in West Wales in 2016
1. Some Sunshine!
Do you remember that big yellow thing in the sky? No we don’t either – and we don't need it to shine all day, every day. But once in a while would be nice. Put your hat back on Mr Sun!
2. A Velodrome in Carmarthen
Carmarthen could become a beacon of national cycling competition if ambitious town council plans get on track for a half a million pound upgrade of the park velodrome. Improvements of £500,000 to bring the cycle track up to a national standard could see the town become a central hub — with spokes connecting to cycling facilities in Brechfa and across the region. Carmarthen Town Council has already secured a £296,000 grant from Sport Wales so we could see work on this start in 2016!
3. Fewer road accidents
We all remember the spate of tragic road accidents in West Wales over the summer, which saw the deaths of a young Carmarthen dad on the A48, near Cross Hands, in August and motorcyclist Owen Gwynfryn Nurse on the A40, half a mile north of Llanwrda, just two days later followed by a series of collisions across Carmarthenshire which resulted in 13 people being rushed to hospital over a 10-day period. More road traffic collisions took place in 2015 across Carmarthenshire than in previous years — with a 14 per cent rise. Let’s all remember the police’s Fatal Five advice in 201 and stay safe.
4. ARCH health plans
South West Wales’s two university health boards of Hywel Dda and ABMU along with Swansea University are pushing a £600million plan known as the ARCH Programme (ARCH stands for A Regional Collaboration for Health). The project which got up and running last year aims to create a healthcare system fit for the 21st Century, drive investment, create jobs, and train tomorrow's clinicians, NHS staff, academics and researchers. Not short of ambition, then. The ARCH area covers one million people and spans 6 county councils – so everyone will benefit from these plans. Expect to hear more in 2016 with some big announcements which will change the way health is delivered in West Wales.
5. A Giant Water Slide!
We were all looking forward to the Giant Water Slide event which was due to be held in Pembrey Country Park last summer. Due to late applications it never happened. We will be first in the queue if the organisers can make it happen or us in 2016. Bristol’s water slide was huge community event, so it would be great to see Carmarthenshire pull off something similar!
6. Boost to Llanelli Town Centre
It was revealed at the end of 2015 that almost £1million is being invested in Llanelli Market and its precincts in a move the council believes will "secure the long-term future" of the building.
This is significant investment which includes plans for public wifi, improvements to the fire alarm, ventilation system and mains electrics within the Market Hall and Stepney and Cowell precincts, which are owned by Carmarthenshire Council. This is good news for the town as we really hope to see these improvements taking place as soon as possible in 2016.
7. More people speaking Welsh
The opening of Carmarthen’s Yr Atom Welsh language centre in 2015, aimed to help turn Carmarthen into a bilingual town. There will be several centres like Yr Atom due to l open across Wales, including one in Cardigan. With the decision to site S4C’s HQ in Carmarthen it would be great to see people in West Wales either improve their existing Welsh or even start to learn a few greetings.
8. No water deaths
It was a dark time for Carmarthenshire, when Carmarthen schoolboy missing Cameron Comey went missing in the River Towy in February last year. After shock and an outpouring of grief the community rallied to raise money for the Cameron Comey Memorial Fund. The fund has now been turned into a Trust which aims to educate people about the dangers of water. The Carmarthenshire Water Safety Partnership has worked hard over the past months to warn youngsters of the dangers of swimming in rivers, quarries, lakes and the sea. Keep up the good work guys!
9. Work starting on Llanelli’s £60 million Wellness Village
We hope we will see more progress on the exciting plans for Llanelli’s Delta Lakes site. A £60 million Wellness Village, a project being led by Carmarthenshire Council under the ARCH Programme umbrella, would be the first of its kind in Wales and unique to Llanelli. The planned Village could see a new leisure centre built which will also house a wellness education centre, a health and wellbeing academy, out of hours GP services, hydrotherapy pool and therapies centre, hotel and conferencing and business facilities. We are all looking to get fitter and healthier in 2016 so helping Carmarthenshire develop healthier values can only be a good thing for the region. Why not ditch the left-over Christmas chocolates and grab those trainers to start looking after yourself a bit more today!
10. Wales winning the Six Nations!
Come on boys! We know you can do it! After a whirlwind of passion and excitement in the Rugby World Cup last year we would all love to see the boys in red lift the trophy this spring.
Let’s hope Rhys Priestland does become available for Wales since his move to Bath. His experience could be very important. But it is a bonus that centre Jonathan Davies is back playing. Wales begin in Dublin where they struggled two years ago, but, if they win there - they could well win the tournament! We believe in you boys!
For further information:
ARCH Communications Manager
Tel: 01639 683672