Tighter se­cu­rity as Nos Galan num­bers in­crease

Less than half of pre-school chil­dren have flu vac­ci­na­tion

Cynon Valley - - YOUR VIEWS - TOM HOUGHTON tom.houghton@waleson­line.co.uk

tHErE will be ex­tra se­cu­rity, in­creased po­lice pres­ence and more con­crete bar­ri­ers in place for this year’s Nos galan road races event.

The New Year’s Eve show­case, which is ex­pected to see more than 10,000 spec­ta­tors and 1,700 com­peti­tors flood the streets of moun­tain Ash in rhondda Cynon taf, will also see sev­eral road clo­sures.

Ac­cord­ing to rhondda Cynon taf coun­cil, be­cause the event, which was founded in 1958, has in­creased in pop­u­lar­ity in re­cent years, they are work­ing closely with south Wales Po­lice through­out the plan­ning stages.

Coun­cil­lor Ann Crim­mings, chair­woman of the Nos galan com­mit­tee, said: “With events of this mag­ni­tude, there will in­evitably be some dis­rup­tion, but we ask mo­torists and res­i­dents to bear with us and, if nec­es­sary, to make al­ter­na­tive travel ar­range­ments for the du­ra­tion of the Nos galan road races.

“safety is, as al­ways, of para­mount con­cern and we con­tinue to work with south Wales Po­lice to en­sure LEss than half of two and three­year-old chil­dren have been given a free vac­ci­na­tion to pro­tect them from flu this win­ter, it has been re­vealed.

Pub­lic Health Wales has con­firmed that just 40% of chil­dren in this age group have been given the nasal spray vac­cine from their gP.

Chil­dren aged two to eight that ad­di­tional will be in place.”

she also said it will mean more po­lice and se­cu­rity staff, as well as ex­tra con­crete bar­ri­ers around the town cen­tre.

mo­torists are ad­vised to al­low ex­tra times for their jour­neys in and around moun­tain Ash on New Year’s Eve and com­peti­tors are ad­vised to ar­rive well in ad­vance of race start times.

The first of the chil­dren’s races are set to get un­der way at 5.15pm, fol­lowed by the ar­rival of the Nos galan mys­tery run­ner at 6.20pm, which was last year the then-Wales foot­ball team boss, Chris Cole­man.

The elite race will start at 7pm, fol­lowed by the adult 5k fun run at 7.30pm.

The coun­cil also said a free Nos galan park and ride ser­vice will once again op­er­ate this year.

A shut­tle bus will run ev­ery 10-15 min­utes, from 3.30pm un­til 9.30pm se­cu­rity mea­sures years old on Au­gust 31, 2017, are also el­i­gi­ble for a free flu vac­cine in Wales.

Pupils in re­cep­tion and years 1, 2 and 3 should be of­fered the vac­ci­na­tion by their school’s nurs­ing ser­vice – and en­cour­ag­ingly, 68.7% of this age group have been pro­tected.

But health ex­perts say there needs to be a sub­stan­tial in­crease from moun­tain Ash Com­pre­hen­sive school, with race-go­ers dropped off op­po­site the Aber­dare Ho­tel.

Coun Crim­mings, who is also the coun­cil’s cabi­net mem­ber for en­vi­ron­ment and leisure, added: “We are look­ing forward to an­other fan­tas­tic night, with thou­sands of res­i­dents and visi­tors in the town to cheer on the run­ners and en­joy what is al­ways a mem­o­rable oc­ca­sion for all.”

The road clo­sures will see ox­ford street shut from 3.30pm on­wards, as well as Llan­wonno road, Cil­haul ter­race, High street, Pryce street and sur­round­ing ar­eas. These will be rolling road clo­sures, man­aged on the night by south Wales Po­lice.

tem­po­rary di­ver­sions will also be in place due to the in­creased num­ber of peo­ple who line the route to wel­come the Nos galan mys­tery run­ner from st gwynno’s Church, Llan­wonno, to the town cen­tre.

Coun Crim­mings added that all race cat­e­gories are now full, and that there will be no op­por­tu­nity to regis­ter on the day. in the up­take in preschool-aged chil­dren.

Con­sul­tant pae­di­a­tri­cian Dr sian owen, at the Chil­dren’s Cen­tre in Dol­gel­lau, said: “This vac­ci­na­tion is re­ally im­por­tant. Young chil­dren are par­tic­u­larly at risk of se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions of in­fluenza be­cause their im­mune sys­tems are not yet fully de­vel­oped so they can’t fight off in­fec­tions like in­fluenza as well as older chil­dren and adults can.

“in­fluenza is eas­ily spread within groups and can be even more of an is­sue over Christ­mas as fam­i­lies and friends come to­gether.”

Last win­ter in Wales, 671 chil­dren and adults were di­ag­nosed with in­fluenza in hospi­tal, with 74 ad­mit­ted to in­ten­sive care.

WAYNE HANK­INS

Last year’s Nos Galan race had a help­ing hand from for­mer Wales boss Chris Cole­man, be­low right

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