June 25, 2021

Newyddion Cymru Ar-Lein : Wales News Online

Newyddion Lleol a Chenedlaethol Cymru – Local and National News for Wales

NO outdoor street furniture to help businesses during Covid restrictions appears to have been put out in Ammanford since the town council was allocated £25,000 for it late last year.

Ammanford, Llanelli and Carmarthen town councils received a £25,000 allocation via the county council to buy tables, chairs and awnings to help businesses like cafes trade under social distancing requirements.

Some new outdoor equipment is being stored outside a compound in Ammanford Park.

Llanelli and Carmarthen town councils began installing their outdoor seating and dining furniture months ago.

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Ammanford Town Council hasn’t said why no furniture seems not to have been put out.

A member of staff at Martin The Butcher, Ammanford, said the town council approached the business a while back to say it was looking to install furniture outside on Quay Street, and did the business think this was a good idea.

“We said yes, but we didn’t hear anything else after that,” said the employee.

The owner of Hasbeanz Coffee Bar and Wellness Centre, College Street, said she had been advised by the town council that there wasn’t sufficient space between her cafe frontage and the road for tables and chairs.

The owner said she then bought tables and chairs herself.

“I seem to have been passed over,” she said.

A member of staff at Jenkins Bakery, Quay Street, said the business hadn’t taken up the offer of small amount of furniture out front as it didn’t seem worth it.

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Towns and cities everywhere have been turning outdoor spaces into seating and eating areas, which has proved particularly beneficial from the early spring onwards when coronavirus restrictions began to ease.

Llanelli Town Council, which topped up its £25,000 allocation with £3,000 of its own money, distributed gazebos, planters, patio heaters, tables and chairs to 16 businesses from last November. Business group Ymlaen Llanelli also provided £3,000.

Carmarthen Town Council, meanwhile, has installed benches, tables and parasols on Nott Square, and has invited businesses in other parts of the town if they were interested in furniture outside their premises.

A Carmarthenshire Council spokeswoman said there were requirements linked to the £25,000 furniture grants, and that businesses which looked after them had to follow certain processes.

She said Ammanford Town Council was awarded £6,661 for new street furniture, with the county council spending the remainder of the £25,000 allocation on furniture which was being held as stock by the town council.

The spokeswoman added that discussions were ongoing between the town councils and businesses with regards to obtaining the necessary permissions and using the equipment.

It is unclear whether planning or other issues may be holding up furniture installation in Ammanford.

The Local Democracy Reporter Service has asked the town council about the furniture and what plans there are for it, but no response was provided at the time of going to press.

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