CLAIMS that nothing has been decided over the future of Penygroes surgery are cutting no ice with local councillors, who have drawn up a petition to ensure it remains in the village.

Residents fear the surgery is threatened if a new health centre opens in Cross Hands. The county council insists no decision has yet been made.

Llandybie councillor Alun Lewis said the Penygroes surgery had, quite literally, proved a life-saver when he suffered a heart attack last year.

"People with all sorts of disabilities will not be able to travel to Cross Hands," he said.

"If this service is lost in Penygroes, we will also lose the chemist and not be left with anything at all.

"We have always had a surgery in Penygroes and one that is also attended by people from Saron, Capel Hendre, Llandybie and Caerbryn."

His colleague, Cllr Meirion Bowen, commented: "It's hard enough to get to Penygroes on a bus, without having to go to Cross Hands."

MP Adam Price said: "The people of Penygroes are concerned that moving the facility from the village would be detrimental to the health and well-being of the community."

AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas said the petition would be taken around Penygroes.

l Meanwhile, health chiefs are assuring residents they are looking to bring more primary and community health care services to the Upper Gwendraeth Valley - not less.

A panel, including representation from the Local Health Board, NHS Trust, GPs and Community Health Council, has appointed a third-party developer to investigate the possibility of developing a multi-agency centre in the area.

The facility would provide a range of healthcare services for residents.

No decision on the venue for the new centre has been made and the team is still considering several towns and villages.

Residents in the Upper Gwendraeth Valley have been assured that there will continue to be a GPs' surgery in Penygroes, in addition to the resource centre.

Carmarthenshire Local Health Board's director of planning and primary care Claire Jones said: "We understand some members of the community have concerns about the future of their local, existing services.

"We would like to reassure them that this project is about bringing additional resources closer to the Upper Gwendraeth Community."