Great to see lots of progress
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