Council explores independence bid
CIVIC leaders in Llanelli are preparing to explore the consequences of breaking free from Carmarthenshire Council's control.
Mayor Winston Lemon urged the town council to vote for independence from Carmarthenshire, with more powers, responsibility and a greater budget at last week's meeting.
Such a move could end with most major decisions affecting Llanelli being made by the town council and Mr Lemon hoped it would lead to the voice of the people being "properly heard".
He criticised the county council's move of staff from Ty Elwyn to the East Gate development at "tremendous cost to the taxpayer", the demolition of listed buildings over the years, and the "popping up" of facilities for ex-offenders and people with drug and alcohol misuse problems.
Mr Lemon claimed there had been a running down of industry in Llanelli over the years, and also criticised the decision to move the Scarlets out of Stradey Park, which he said impacted on the town centre.
Fellow Plaid councillor Mike Burns spoke up to criticise the "plethora of licences" granted in the East Gate scheme.
He asked if the town council could expect help over the rundown of Prince Philip Hospital and added: "Possibly not, health services under Hywel Dda are expected to be centralised in Carmarthen."
Council leader Carl Lucas, of Labour, said: "I don't think anyone can disagree with what you say and I certainly welcome this coming on the agenda simply because I do believe local services should be determined by local people.
"We are currently being served and directed by people from outside this council."
He added: "Whilst I support the call for Llanelli to be given greater duties, this certainly cannot come without a budgetary transfer from the bigger authority."
He said the motion didn't give a lot of detail about the consequences of the proposed move and felt their case for more powers would need strengthening.
Mr Lemon said: "I will bring it back with more detail and more concrete financial information to back up the motion."
It was unanimously agreed that the matter would come before the next town council meeting.