2006 - LAMPPOST REPLACEMENT SCHEME
I really had a bee in my bonnet about the state of road signs and lampposts. Shortly after being elected I sought a replacement program. Hundreds were replaced over the coming years. Some were in a dreadful state.
2004 - FIRST ELECTION
Way back in June 2004 we went to the polls in Swiss Valley and elected 2 new councillors. I was lucky enough to be chosen by you having been secretary of your residents association since 2002. In 2002 the residents association was reformed to fight for our sewer adoption. The 10 years really have flown and in that time I have enjoyed getting to know and helping many people in our community.
2007 - BUS SERVICES
As we are today, we were battling with the bus company to keep the 181 service stopping at the hospital Rumours were abound of impending route closures. The route changed after this to leave out Prince Phillip hospital (182 stayed the same!) but we still had 2 buses an hour going to town…unlike now!
2008 - POST OFFICE CLOSURE
A lot of people still feel very aggrieved at our Post Office closure, myself included. I try not to be political on this website but I cannot describe my anger at a Labour administration’s decision to close massive numbers of post offices, and we in Swiss Valley suffered as a consequence. I believe the Labour party has a lot to answer for on this issue. Many elderly people now have to go to Dafen and beyond to use the Royal Mail. I remember in the elections of 2008 loads of people were fuming at the 10p in pound tax band scrapped by Labour, and then our Post Office went too!
2008 - VEHICLE ACTIVATED SIGNS
Vehicle activated signs were placed on the A476 as you come from Llannon into Swiss Valley, warning you to slow down. This was in response to residents concerns of speeding cars. This was the first things tried, but subsequently we had to do more. None the less, I like these signs, and there is a role for them.
2008 - SEWER ADOPTION
Probably the biggest victory we have achieved was getting Welsh Water to adopt our sewerage system . After decades of battling and through the efforts of numerous people we achieved this in 2008.
2006 - OUR FIRST CHRISTMAS TREE
We had never had a tree before and other areas were doing them, so why not us. In December 2006 we had our first lights countdown…10, 9, 8…………. We had Father Christmas, School Choir, Salvation Army…and a PTA (Parent Teachers Association) stall. Other areas had them so why not us! And now we owned the land so there was nothing to stop us.
2015 - NEW PARK
In 2015 we celebrated getting a newly overhauled park and children's play area. The winning design was picked after consultation with the public and was transformed from a tired play area into a family hotspot. This is a prime example of being both your County and Llanelli Rural councillor. Each council played its part and I was working in both camps to drive it through.
2016 - COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS TREE
Working in conjunction with your Residents Association we celebrated 10 years of a festive tree last year. Introduced way back in 2006 we’ve had a small but friendly lights switch on every December since then. I think we all agree that last years was the best yet, the lights, the tree…everything!! The choir from Swiss Valley school is always a hit and they are the stars of the show.
2014 - SPEED MEASURES
The main road in Swiss Valley (A476) had speed measures introduced following rigorous monitoring and consultation with local residents. The measures have been very successful, and with the agreement of local residents.
We also introduced a general 20mph zone throughout the main Swiss Valley estate.
2014 - 5 YEARS OF YOUTH CLUB
In 2009 we tentatively setup a new Youth Club. Operating every Friday evening from between 6:30 and 8 it gradually grew in numbers. Finding volunteers to work on Friday evenings is always difficult but we decided this was the best night for a Youth Club.
5 years later in 2014 we celebrated our 5th Anniversary!!
2013 - PRINCE PHILIP HOSPITAL
We were all involved in the fight to save our hospital services. As your local councillor I challenged the Labour A.M. at the time, branding him a train wreck, and as leader of Llanelli Rural Council we engaged in our HOOHF campaign (Hands Off Our Hospital Forever). I and others along with our friends in Sosppan (Save Our Services Prince Philip Action Network) were able to act as a strong local voice in safeguarding a vital community service, otherwise Prince Philip Hospital may well have become a scaled down minor injuries unit. NOT WHAT WE WANTED!
2009 - YOUTH CLUB AWARDS
In 2007 I distributed questionnaires around Swiss Valley asking residents and parents if they would use a Youth Club. Numerous responses were received back and we decided to give it a go. We needed funding and with the help of CYCA we applied for an Awards for All grant. We were successful in receiving £5000 back in 2009. This meant the club could restart, and in June 2009 we opened the Friday night Youth Club. My ongoing thanks go to Sarah Fry and Sian Mussleweight
2012 - SWISS VALLEY NEWS
I am still your Llanelli Star community correspondent but over the years I’ve got a bit cheesed off with their reporting of local issues. Some things get missed altogether so I decided to do my own community website.
Swissvalleynews.co.uk was born in 2012, and has been a regular source of information since then. I tend to update it about once a month with all things relevant to us, and it lets you know what I’m up to too!!
2011 - LLANELLI CARE HOMES
With a packed gallery and many conversations with Swiss Valley constituents I went into one of the biggest votes as your councillor. There was no doubt that the reasoning to close caemaen was flawed and I voted against closing this council run service. It was a huge and satisfying victory. It was a recorded vote and the Llanelli Star reported the event as per the articles below. Click on them to read. I was branded a rebel, well a rebel with a “cause”, a very important Llanelli issue!!
2010 - LLANELLI RURAL COUNCIL - LEADER
In 2010 I was honoured when chosen to be leader of your Community Council. The youngest leader they have had. It gave me a platform to ensure that County Council asset transfers, and the fight for PPH services were first and foremost on that Council’s agenda.
2007 - SHOPS AREA
Complaints of rats, complaints that it was an eye-sore, it was called a concrete jungle, all to describe the patch of land that was around our shops. From 2002 I worked and sent many letters between the landholders and the residents association to get this sorted. We eventually took over the land and got it transferred to Llanelli Rural Council, at very little cost. Today it is a much brighter experience than it was before.
2005 - SWISS VALLEY SIGNS
I wanted to reinforce our community identity and whilst everyone in Llanelli knew Swiss Valley existed (or as some called it mortgage mountain!) There were no signs to say so! I requested 3 signs at each entrance to our community. These were erected in 2005. I’ve asked for them to be power washed too, as some of them look a bit green now (March 2017).
2005 - GRANT FOR RAVINE PATH
Alongside your residents association we secured £5000 from Llanelli Rural Council for a nature walk through the top ravine in Swiss Valley.
2005 - CALSONIC
Calsonic factory workers were asked to take a pay cut in order to help the factory through difficult times. I attended some meetings in the factory during this time.
2004 - TSUNAMI RELIEF
At the end of 2004 on December 26th a massive Tsunami hit Thailand. Swiss Valley as a community pulled together and donated all sorts of things to help with the Tsunami relief. Owens sent a lorry up to collect the thousands of things we had collected.