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NEWS ROUNDUP: Caerphilly carers feel forgotten & Denbigh’s plan for new homes


Carers in Caerphilly feel forgotten over new restricting visiting hours.

Carers and parents of those who regularly use the Ystrad Mynach Day Centre say they feel “forgotten” by the council as opening hours remain limited.

The day centre gives adults with learning difficulties the chance to socialise and take part in activities such as gardening and singing.

Before the pandemic, the day centre was open between 9am and 4:30pm. Now, users are allocated a couple of hours a week for one-to-one sessions with a support worker.

Jenna Szalkowski, 36, from Abertridwr, cares for her brother. She said: “The council seem to have forgotten about disabled people.”

Ms Szalkowski believes the council are using Covid as an excuse for not operating the day centre as it would before the pandemic. 

Her brother, Gareth Szalkowski, has autism and a learning disability. He attended the day centre for many years and described the current situation as “very sad” and said he was “missing all my friends”.

In a council cabinet meeting, held on Wednesday, September 1, the council’s Director of Social Services, Dave Street, said the centre can’t operate as normal because it is a public building, therefore under government guidelines it must continue to enforce social distancing rules.


Former Denbigh hospital to be converted into 300 new homes

A former psychiatric hospital in Denbigh which was built in the 1800s could soon be home to over 300 new homes, according to information released by Denbigh County Council.

The hospital catered for Welsh speaking patients who suffered from various mental illnesses. The new development, fronted by Jones Bro, will see multi-million pound plans to rejuvenate the derelict site to create a shopping centre and modern homes on the 50 acre site.

Results of the planning application are due to be released next week.


Some Brains landlords to become self-employed

Landlords of 19 Brains pubs are being asked to become self-employed after a company takeover earlier this year.

Marston’s took over Cardiff-based brewer SA Brain in February, including its pubs which will continue to operate under the Brains brand.

Now the company is making changes to how some of the pubs are run. Instead of directly employing pub staff, Marston’s is asking managers at 19 pubs to sign up to a franchise deal, effectively becoming self-employed.

The company would not answer questions about which of the more than 100 Brains pubs will be affected.

But politicians and campaigners have raised concerns that affected managers claim they only have seven days to decide on becoming self-employed, before the company recruits for a replacement. There are also fears that the switch could mean removing benefits like pensions and sick pay.

Marston’s said the changes were only at underperforming pubs and were needed to keep the venues open. A spokesman added managers are usually given six weeks to make the decision, and denied claims of only offering a week.

Seeking help, several pub general managers contacted Rhys ab Owen, Plaid Cymru MS for South Wales Central, and Kevin Brennan, Labour MP for Cardiff West. Both politicians have raised the problem with company bosses and are pushing for support and answers.




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