Great to see lots of progress

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS - You can fol­low Phil Evans on Twit­ter @phil­e­van­swales or visit www.phil­e­

ONE of the big­gest pri­or­i­ties in my role as port­fo­lio holder for re­gen­er­a­tion is the cre­ation of jobs – to sup­port lo­cal peo­ple and fam­i­lies, lo­cal busi­nesses, and the lo­cal econ­omy.

It’s al­ways one of my greatest plea­sures to grant fi­nan­cial sup­port for busi­nesses that want to start-up or ex­pand, and to see lo­cal peo­ple put their busi­ness ac­u­men, hopes and dreams into ac­tion by open­ing up new ven­tures.

In Car­marthen right now, I’ve seen two new in­de­pen­dent shops open up in the heart of the town cen­tre, one a book­shop and the other an eco-friendly shop help­ing peo­ple buy food and pro­duce with­out the need of plas­tic pack­ag­ing.

I was also pleased this week to meet the de­vel­oper be­hind the £1 mil­lion re­fur­bish­ment of the Guild­hall, which is due to open in Septem­ber with re­cruit­ment for around 30 jobs get­ting un­der­way dur­ing the sum­mer.

In Llanelli, the team be­hind St Elli’s Bay café and bistro is crack­ing on with the re-fit of the for­mer Dis­cov­ery Cen­tre on the beach­front, and they’ve been in­un­dated with peo­ple af­ter the jobs that they’ve got on of­fer.

And in Am­man­ford, I con­tinue to be in awe of what Coal­town Cof­fee has achieved with a very real sense of lo­cal pride through­out the busi­nesses – it’s pro­vided both jobs for lo­cal peo­ple, and a fan­tas­tic place for peo­ple to meet and en­joy.

Our plan as an ex­ec­u­tive board is to con­tinue sup­port­ing and driv­ing the cre­ation of new jobs to en­sure fu­ture pros­per­ity for the peo­ple of Car­marthen­shire.

CHAVING once failed to place an “envy wedge” be­tween the old and the young, I read that cer­tain politi­cians have again been crit­i­cis­ing the el­derly for hav­ing a reg­u­lar pen­sion and own­ing their home. Damned cheek! Pen­sion­ers are only in that for­tu­nate po­si­tion be­cause they worked all their lives to put a roof over their heads, fore­go­ing foreign hol­i­days and many lux­u­ries that to­day’s young­sters take for granted.

A while back, some “stir­rers” in high of­fice main­tained that se­nior cit­i­zens were bet­ter off than the un­der-35s.

Fact. One in six pen­sion­ers is liv­ing in poverty.

Some “stir­rers” are now call­ing the state pen­sion a “ben­e­fit” and sug­gest­ing that se­nior cit­i­zens are be­com­ing a strain on the econ­omy.

Well, par­don us all for grow­ing old!

Let’s get this straight.

The state pen­sion (the low­est in Europe by the way) is not, and has never been, a “ben­e­fit”.

To­day’s re­tirees are en­ti­tled to their pen­sion be­cause they’ve paid into the sys­tem for 40 years or more.

Here’s an­other fact. While it’s not easy to get a mortgage these days, the night­time econ­omy – mil­lions spent ev­ery week in bars and night­clubs – re­lies on the un­der-35s’ dis­pos­able in­come.

You can’t go out ev­ery week­end, knock­ing back pints, shots and prosecco col­lapso un­til

dawn and save up for a large de­posit on a house.

It’s ba­sic maths . . . in­nit? It was once com­mon­place for cou­ples – now to­day’s pen­sion­ers – to live with their in­laws for the first few years of their marriage, which of­ten led to ten­sions. But it was the only way the new­ly­weds could save a de­posit for their own place.

While sav­ing up, their idea of a wild night out was go­ing to the pic­tures, a bag of chips on the way home and fall­ing asleep in front of the telly be­fore midnight – which is now the time when many of to­day’s young­sters are just go­ing out!

And next time you see a queue wait­ing out­side a mo­bile phone shop, ea­ger to buy the lat­est £500 model, there won’t be many pen­sion­ers stand­ing in the line.

Stir­rers . . . I’m on to you!

Co­me­dian Phil Evans from Am­man­ford is known as the man who puts the “cwtsh” into com­edy

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