Members of the Trust Martin Doe, Richard Roper, Ken Jones and Nia Griffith MP celebrate the listing of the signal box.
Nia Griffith MP, who chairs the Llanelli Railway Goods Shed Trust, has praised Ken Jones, the Trust’s heritage officer for his deft work which has resulted in the Llanelli West Signal Box being granted listed building status by CADW.
“Ken has done a fantastic job. On hearing about Network Rail’s plans to demolish the signal box -as they modernise their signalling system – Ken set to work to make a strong case to CADW for listing. He enlisted the support of well-known local historians such as Michael Denman, author of “Railways Around Llanelli”; John Edwards, author of “Remembrance of a Riot – the story of the Llanelli Railway Strike Riots of 1911”; Byron Davies, author of the “Glanmor Foundry and Engineering Company Ltd, ” – and Benita Afan Rees, William Rees and Alwyn Jones of the Glanymor and Tyisha History Group.
Now that it has been listed, we need to find out the risks, practicalities and costs of either keeping it or moving it to a suitable location in the Llanelli area. The recent feasibility study for the Goods Shed, which is also listed, has identified the potential future use of the building as a community arts hub, arts in the broadest sense, and we on the Goods Shed Trust are very anxious that the project should include a heritage area. The Signal Box is only a short distance from the Goods Shed and could be incorporated within our plans. “
Ken added: -
“I would like to thank all those who wrote letters of support or provided me with information to help me make the case to CADW for listing. The fact of the matter is that only 50 or 60 years ago, there were 5 signal boxes in the Llanelli area, but this is now the only one left, which just goes to show how easy it is to let our heritage disappear before our very eyes. Llanelli West Signal Box, which was built in 1877 on the South Wales Railway line connecting Chepstow with Fishguard, is the only surviving example of a Great Western Railway type 2 signal box in Wales, and it is believed to be the fourth oldest surviving signal box in Wales. This listing is a very important safeguard for the signal box because it means that nothing can be done to the building without seeking all the necessary consents.”
As Vice Chair of the All-Party Group on Weapons and the Protection of civilians, Nia is seeking urgent action to ban lethal ‘Killer Robots’ that would be able to select and attack targets without any human intervention.
The All- Party group recently hosted the parliamentary launch of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, which is calling for a comprehensive ban on the development, production and use of fully autonomous weapons, also called ‘Killer Robots’.
Speaking at the launch, Steve Goose, Arms Division director at Human Rights Watch, said, “Lethal armed robots that could target and kill without any human intervention should never be built. A human should always be “in the loop” when decisions are made on the battlefield. Killer robots would cross moral and legal boundaries.”
“It was very significant that such an influential figure as Admiral Lord West joined us at the launch and condemned fully autonomous weapons as “abhorrent and extremely dangerous.” We need an urgent ban now, before further technological development and investment make a race towards killer robots impossible to stop. We are calling for a pre-emptive and comprehensive ban, achieved through international treaty. We are expecting recommendations for government action in a UN report on 27th May. ”
Nia Griffith MP is calling on the government to respond to recommendations made by The Centre for Social Justice on fighting modern day slavery.
The Human Trafficking Foundation believes that there could be up to 20,000 modern day slaves hidden away in the UK. Many victims of human trafficking remain invisible to police and immigration officials, fearing that they will be arrested or deported if they draw attention to their situation.
Victims who do come to the attention of the authorities receive a minimum of 45 days shelter and support. Once the 45 days have elapsed, many victims disappear and it is not known what happens to them.
The number of convictions for human trafficking in the UK is remarkably low in comparison to many other EU countries. Britain appears a ‘soft touch’ to traffickers who know they are unlikely to be prosecuted.
The Centre for Social Justice, an independent think-tank, has conducted a thorough investigation into modern day slavery and has made several clear recommendations. It recommends that an Anti-Slavery Commissioner should be established to monitor and report on the UK’s response to modern slavery, so proposes that a Modern Day Slavery Act should be passed to make prosecuting traffickers easier and to prevent cases of modern day slavery being confused with immigration offences.
Visiting the recent exhibition on modern day slavery put on by the Human Trafficking Foundation in the House of Commons, Nia Griffith MP said
“It is appalling that this is happening in the UK in this day and age. No area is exempt. As a result of what I’ve seen today, I want to ensure that everyone in my constituency is more alert to the signs of modern day slavery, so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice and help can be given to the victims. I am calling on the government to make a swift and meaningful response to the recommendations from their own Centre for Social Justice, in particular legislating to make prosecuting traffickers easier.”
The Masala in Llanelli has been nominated by local MP, Nia Griffith, to take part in the prestigious Tiffin Cup competition to find the best South Asian Restaurant in the country.
Following the success of the Tiffin Cup 2012 MPs have for the 8th year running, been asked to nominate a restaurant in their constituency as the best South Asian restaurant in the UK in this mouth watering competition. Last year a record eighty nine restaurants were nominated from around the country.
The aim is not only to applaud the quality of South Asian food in Britain but also to raise much needed money for charity. This year the competition is in aid of the charity ‘World Vision’. The Grand Final of the Tiffin Cup 2013 is to be held in the House of Commons on Tuesday 2nd July 2013.
Nia Griffith MP said:
“I am delighted that the nomination for Masala has been accepted and will take part in this year’s Tiffin Cup. I very much hope that they will get through to the finals, and that I will have a chance to welcome them to the House of Commons. I am sure everyone in Llanelli will be wishing the Masala the best of luck in their bid to become Tiffin Cup 2013 Champions!”
Local MP Nia Griffith has nominated local pop-punk band ‘Initial Reply’ to take part in the prestigious Rock the House competition to celebrate the brightest and best unsigned British musicians.
The competition involves MPs nominating artists from their constituencies with the aim of raising the profile of the music industry and intellectual property issues. A panel of international music industry experts and musicians will then determine the finalists who will compete in a live battle of the bands. The lucky winners will receive some once in a lifetime prizes, while some will also get the chance to play a live set on the Terrace of the House of Commons on 26th June 2013.
‘Initial Reply’, a five piece band from the Llanelli constituency will now be competing in the Band U/19 category with their rhythmic and passionate track ‘Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost’.
Local MP Nia Griffith said,
“I am thrilled to be able to nominate ‘Initial Reply’ to take part in Rock the House 2013. With patrons like Brian May and Alice Cooper this competition represents a fantastic opportunity for ‘Initial Reply’ to further their ambitions in music. I am sure everyone in Llanelli will join me in wishing them luck, and I hope they get through to perform in the House of Commons.”
Nia Griffith MP with President of the Gower and Llwchwr Estuary Lions and Judith Evans, President of the Ammanford Lions
Nia Griffith MP was delighted to join the Gower and Llwchwr Estuary Lions and the Ammanford Lions to celebrate their 43rd and 42nd anniversaries respectively at a dinner held at the Diplomat Hotel on Saturday evening. The local Lions Club is one of 46,000 clubs across the world who respond to local needs and international disasters by giving the money from the various fundraising events they organise.
In his address David Willoughby, President of the Club, said,
” We are just ordinary people doing amazing things. Through our fundraising, nine-year old Faith Jones is now having treatment in the US and we have seen video clips of her walking. But we also have a lot of fun. We are a very friendly crowd and we would welcome new members, to help us expand our work.”
Nia Griffith MP who was guest speaker at the event said,
” The local Lions group is very energetic, and the list of people and organisations they have helped is very impressive. One of their great strengths is that they can respond quickly to local need, and provide help above and beyond what can by done by existing charities or statutory services. They were amongst the first out collecting for the Gleision Miners’ Appeal, and have helped Heol Goffa Special School and Perthyn Day Centre in Lllwynhendy. There are many individuals in Llanelli who give very generously of their time and money, and I know that if they considered joining the Lions, they would receive a very warm welcome.”
For further information about the lions, visit their website www.glelions.org.uk
Nia Griffith MP and Keith Davies AM have met Welsh Ambulance bosses to discuss concerns about the impact on ambulance services of the changes proposed by the Hywel Dda Health Board which would see more centralisation of hospital services.
“Ambulance bosses told us that across Wales, and indeed across the UK, there has been a significant rise in the number of genuine call-outs to the elderly, which reflects our ageing population. What is of great concern to all of us is seeing patients waiting in ambulances outside hospital A&E departments and the knock-on effect this has on response times to other call -outs, with ambulances often having to come from further away. The existing ambulance service is already over-stretched, and there are clearly very significant implications for the ambulance service if the Hywel Dda health board centralises more services. They need to do a detailed analysis of the cost of the additional vehicles and crews that would be needed to ferry people further to hospital, and they may well find that it could be cheaper to keep services in local hospitals, such as keeping a doctor – led A&E here in Llanelli. I will certainly be making this point to the new health Minister Mark Drakeford AM.”
Following their demonstration outside ORS offices, Nia Griffith MP and Keith Davies AM delivered a letter to the private research company, Opinion Research Service requesting senior management to call off their threat of legal action against members of the Hywel Dda Community Health Council.
The Minister for Health has asked the Community Health Council and the Hywel Dda Local Health Board to enter into a further period of negotiations to try to strike a local deal. Nia Griffith MP and Keith Davies AM believe that the CHC has an important role to play in representing the views of patients across our local area. The Llanelli politicians believe that the threat of legal action against the two volunteer members of the CHC, Chair Tony Wales and Vice-Chair Dr Gabrielle Heathcote, has the potential to undermine those discussions.
Speaking about the issue, Nia Griffith MP said:
“The threat of legal action by ORS is a complete distraction from the very serious work that the Community Health Council is doing in scrutinising the Hywel Dda Health Board’s plans. I know that people in Llanelli would far rather see the Community Health Council speak up about A&E services at PPH, than having to respond to the threat of legal action.”
Following a meeting between The MP, AM and ORS, ORS agreed to put back the deadline for response to their letter until after 19th April, the final day for talks between the CHC and Health Board.
Nia presenting trophies to winner Charlene Jones and runner-up Heulwen Evans.
Thanks to Del and Caryl Phillips of Bynea, the Welsh Amateur Boxing Association held their Elite Championship Finals in the Selwyn Samuel Centre, Llanelli this weekend. This prestigious event brought boxing champions and their followers from all over Wales, and many were impressed by the spacious facilities offered by the Town council-run Selwyn Samuel Centre which accommodated some 250 guests for a sit-down meal, as well as a further 400 spectators.
Speaking about the event, Nia Griffith MP said
“People commented on how you had a good view of the boxing ring from all round the hall; we should be proud of the facilities we can offer in Llanelli and encourage more high profile events to come here. Well done to all the boxers who had trained so hard to reach this standard, and to all the coaches and organisers who give up their time to make this sport accessible to people across Wales. It was a tremendous privilege for me to present the trophies to the winner of the Women’s Elite Championship, Charlene Jones from Merlin’s bridge, Pembrokeshire and to the runner-up, Heulwen Evans form Llwynhendy.”
Speaking at a rally at Llanelli Fire Station to mark the last shift under the old arrangements before the implementation of the new shift patterns, Nia Griffith MP said
“Today was a very sad day for Llanelli because failure to reach agreement on new shift patterns has resulted in a mass relocation of experienced staff away from Llanelli Fire Station.
I have repeatedly called for the Chair of the Fire Authority to listen to both sides and heed the advice of the expert arbitration panel in London. I am very disappointed that in spite of calls by Labour Fire Authority members Calum Higgins and Jan Williams, to hold a special meeting before today, that meeting is not now scheduled until next week.
I am calling on the Fire Authority to hold that special meeting in Llanelli, in a place where the public can observe it. I urge Fire Authority members to attend that meeting and to vote for a re-think - they need to realise that with our population and industry, we do not want to see any reduction in the staffing and expertise at our fire station.”