As 2018 comes to an end, Carmarthenshire County Council have taken a look back over the last 12 months.

The eyes of the world were on Carmarthenshire in September and our County sealed its reputation as a world-class host of major sporting events when we welcomed the Tour of Britain – one of the largest cycling races in the world.

The event saw 120 of the world’s best cyclists, including Tour de France winners Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome. The event, which raced through our county – taking in Kidwelly, Carmarthen, Abergwili, Ffairfach, Bethlehem, Llangadog and Llandovery along the way, saw thousands of spectators out on the streets, and has no doubt left a lasting legacy inspiring many people to take up cycling and using Carmarthenshire’s fantastic cycling routes and trails.

In education, the council has seen more new schools opening including Ysgol Pen Rhos in Llanelli and Parc y Tywyn in Burry Port, and there are plans to deliver a further £129million through our Modernising Education Programme investment with more new schools all around the county in 2019.

Also, making best use of the school facilities to support community activities and engage with more young people.

In social care and housing, Carmarthenshire County Council have already surpassed the halfway target on their commitment to deliver 1,000 more affordable homes, bringing empty homes and buildings back into use and passing plans to build new homes across the county; they have transferred a contract we held with Allied Healthcare in-house, taking on all staff and care packages, when the company got into trouble financially.

The council have also maintained a vibrant and ambitious Capital Programme.

The Five Year Plan plan seeks to drive economic, environmental, social and cultural well-being in Carmarthenshire and by doing this we will ensure that our residents, communities, organisations and businesses are supported and enabled to develop and thrive for the benefit of our county.

This year Carmarthenshire County Council have embarked on a number of very exciting developments, including the new £2.5m County Archive Building in Carmarthen which is due to be completed next autumn; the £1/2m Closed Road Cycle Circuit in Pembrey Country Park which has officially opened, as well as the completion of Yr Egin at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Carmarthen.

The authority have been a key partner in Canolfan S4C Yr Egin, which has already created a significant boost in the county in terms of employment - with 10 companies taking residency in the building, in addition to S4C who moved their headquarters to Carmarthen in September.

Connecting towns and villages across Carmarthenshire has also been a priority, and the council have pushed ahead with three major transport schemes – Carmarthen West, Cross Hands East and the £6m Towy Valley Path.

In Ammanford, the council have just opened our new customer service Hwb in the town, modelled on the successful service in Llanelli which helps bring more footfall in to the town centre and supports neighbouring traders.

The library services were highlighted in the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Kuala Lumpur in August.

The event, which brings together over 3,500 participants from more than 120 countries, highlighted Ammanford Library’s Makerspace project which successfully launched earlier this year.

The social library is the driving idea behind the project, also known as Stordy Creadigiol - where people of all ages will find a flexible, inclusive space in which to read, create, discuss and have new experiences.

It is the first of its kind in Welsh Libraries that offers library users an opportunity to create intellectual and physical materials using resources such as computers, 3D printers, audio and video capture and editing tools, and traditional arts and crafts methods, to name just a few.

In October, the council saw unprecedented flooding hit Carmarthenshire affecting over 200 homes and businesses and tragically claiming the life of a young man in a landslide at Cwmduad.

A spokesperson for Carmarthenshire County Council said: "Our teams pulled together to respond to the emergency and then helped the county recover, both physically and financially.

"Much of this work is still underway and we continue to work with specialists to assess and repair our highway network."