Letters from the editor's postbag, December 9, 2015.

Lights explanation

AMMANFORD mayor Andrew Lewis has attempted to explain the situation regarding the town’s “disappointing” Christmas lights this year in an open letter.

I know some people have been complaining about the lights, and to be honest I’m a little disappointed too, but I am part of the sub group that has made the decisions this year.

Firstly, we, the town council, were spending over £17,000 a year renting Christmas lights for the town.

Our contract was up this year where we have spent over £54,000 in the last three years.

Now Llanelli and Carmarthen have a precept of over £1millon. We have a precept of £80,000, which means we were spending almost 25 per cent of our precept on Christmas lights that were up for three weeks of the year.

We have decided to start purchasing lights, and placing trees around the town.

Unfortunately we ran into a problem in the piazza with underground high voltage cables and fibre.

However, we are looking to sort that for next year, and have also now had permission to put a tree at the top of Quay Street by the square for next year.

We did have motifs on the lamp posts three years ago, but South Wales Transport and Road Agency (SWTRA) made us take them down due to weight restrictions on the lamp posts and we were not allowed to use them again.

We are going to talk to businesses next year to see if we can install such motifs on their buildings.

Finally, we wanted to rent lights to go across the square, but we were not able to do so until we knew our expenditure for purchasing and installing the new lights.

We have found that the brackets that hold these lights require maintenance and therefore decided it was too dangerous for this year to go ahead. However, we have a Christmas lights sub group meeting in January to start discussing next year. I know they aren’t quite what we have had in previous years, but I hope you can all understand the decision process that we have reached for this year.

I welcome any comments and advice, good or bad, for us to take into January’s meeting.

Thanks for your understanding.

Councillor Andrew Lewis

Mayor of Ammanford


Event enjoyed by all

I WRITE to thank, and congratulate, Ammanford Town Council on providing an excellent afternoon for the town’s Young at Heart last Thursday.

It was a wonderful afternoon with everyone present enjoying a meal, served by the councillors and clerk, followed by entertainment.

Recently the council has been criticised for the poor quality of this year's festive illuminations, however the explanation given is valid and proves that the council are looking to get best value for the town by buying rather than the more expensive option of renting lights.

It was also pleasing to note that many of the new decorations are solar-powered and will not only reduce energy costs but also be environmentally friendly.

Next year will no doubt bring extra enhancement.

Thank you to all concerned.

Ken Burton



Waiting times woe

IN response to the Guardian’s article on November 18 (Health chief: waiting times unacceptable), I would like to refer to my personal experience of the deterioration in the health service.

When I attended a clinic regarding my ailment at the local hospital on October 15, 2014. Following the examination by the consultant I was informed that I required treatment but unfortunately there could be a six month waiting period, which I duly accepted.

After the expiry date of April 15, 2015, having received no notification, I contacted Llanelli hospital and was advised that June 2016 would be the earliest available date regarding my treatment.

Such was my consternation I decided to contact my Assembly Member, Rhodri Glyn Thomas, who I have been grateful to on more than one occasion in the past.

He subsequently forwarded my correspondence to the Chief Executive of Hywel Dda University Health Board, and from his influential status, I have received notification that my appointment will now be January 6, 2016.

With the continuous increase in our population one can only envisage our future in the NHS.

Dewi H James




Dangerous roundabout

THE planning department at Carmarthenshire County Council has, in my opinion, demonstrated a total lack of professional competence by allowing planning consent for a KFC fast food outlet at Cross Hands roundabout.

This roundabout is officially recognised as the third most dangerous in Wales and has now been made even more dangerous owing to planners’ folly in allowing a further busy entrance/exit within 40 yards of the roundabout.

This planning application should never have been approved in such a dangerous situation, there are plenty of suitable non-risk situations close by on the business park, well away from fast moving traffic.

I very much fear we will soon see increased accidents at Cross Hands due to this badly flawed and ill-considered decision.

These accidents will be the direct result of planners neglecting their professional duty to fully consider road safety when approving the application and the Responsibility for the accidents that will inevitably occur will rest entirely with planners them.

Roy Price


Carmarthen and West Wales Group

Institute of Advanced Motorists