Mari Arthur the Plaid Llanelli Constituency Secretary has accused Labour of presenting fear and fantasy over the future of Ammanford Town Hall and the jobs located within some of the town’s public buildings.
It follows the launching of a petition calling on Carmarthenshire Council to safeguard the future of Ammanford Town Hall and the Old Library, which it is claimed by Labour, has been signed by thousands of people.
The joint petition by Carmarthenshire Labour Group and Unison calls on Carmarthenshire Council to keep Ammanford Town Hall and the Old Library open and retain all 67 jobs in Ammanford, engage in meaningful discussions with the trade unions and the people of Ammanford before future decisions are made and put local people first by fighting the cuts to local services.
Labour’s Rob James wrote: ‘It is clear that the local residents are shocked with this latest development, with many stating that this decision does not chime with the promises being made by Plaid Councillors during May’s election campaign. The closure of the buildings would have an enormous impact on local traders, with fewer Council employees working in our town centres.’
In response Councillor Mair Stephens went on record as saying: “No decision has yet been taken. The principal of the report is to look to ways of working more efficiently, including more efficient use of our buildings, while retaining appropriate local access and retaining council presence in our main centres.
“All the potential properties identified in the report would be subject to further detailed assessment in terms of future use of the buildings and any movement of staff. The report has been deferred for further review, and may be subject to change.
“If Unison would like to discuss any concerns they have over any issues they are welcome to bring them to us. In this instance, they have already been advised that there are no current plans to dispose of these buildings, and that they would be fully involved should any staff movements be proposed at any point in the future. Therefore, we would appeal to them not to cause unnecessary concern to the staff they aim to support.”
Mari Arthur has criticised Labour’s press release. Speaking to Llanelli Online she said: “This is yet another irresponsible Labour attempt at creating fear from fantasy. In a draft report, which was rejected by the Plaid-led executive, there was a suggestion of staff moving to a local site at Parc Amanwy. No job losses were mentioned. There seems to be a lot of embellishment and fabrication in an attempt yo make a story where there isn’t one. Since the Plaid-led executive rejected this DRAFT proposal no further recommendations, as far as I’m aware, have been made. No facts have been presented – only fear and fantasy.”