Councillors keen to retake control
LLANELLI could be set to break free from Carmarthenshire Council to rule itself if councillors vote in favour of a power-shifting move.
With councillors and residents backing the call to separate Llanelli from the unitary authority, mayor Winston Lemon has proposed a motion for the town to regain control of its decision making.
Major powers currently lie with Carmarthenshire Council, but Mr Lemon has put forward a motion ahead of tonight's meeting of the town council which could be the first step to moving away from Carmarthen-based policy- making.
His proposal states that there are smaller, successful unitary authorities in Wales than Llanelli, and the shake-up would allow the voice of the people to be properly heard.
He said: "We are fed up of being ruled by Carmarthen and playing second fiddle.
"The people of Llanelli have the chance to get the town controlled by the people of Llanelli.
"A very high percentage of the people of Llanelli are behind my motion.
"All the things Llanelli had have disappeared.
"I have never seen morale so low in the town and I have lived here all my life." Llanelli Town Council leader Carl Lucas added that he did not believe Carmarthenshire fully represented the interests of the people of the town.
"Matters that affect Llanelli should be determined by people who live, work and breathe in Llanelli," he said.
And Elli ward Councillor John Jenkins said: "What can be done at the local level should be done at the local level.
"The town council and the rural council should work together.
"There would be a lot of support in Llanelli for that."
Members of the public also backed the call for Llanelli to take more control of its own affairs.
Roger Bowen, of Y Gaer, Felinfoel, said: "I think Llanelli has been a second thought to Carmarthen, especially if you look at the investment that went on in Carmarthen starting nearly 10 years ago."
Bob Harragan, 58, of Hilltop, Swiss Valley, added that if the main council was in Llanelli, people would have "better access to the people in high positions than wandering off to Carmarthen all the time".
"Decisions would be taken by people who are more au fait to the needs of Llanelli," he said.
Dilys Hallett, 77, of Llys Newydd, believes that decisions would be better taken in Llanelli because they would be made for the town.
And Helen Charles, 60, of Ilston, said: "I'm a retired nurse and I think Carmarthenshire's input about Prince Philip Hospital has been poor."