THE GROWTH OF AMMANFORD FIRE FIGHTING SERVICE.
Carmarthenshire and Cardiganshire Joint Fire Brigade plan to employ more whole-time firemen in Ammanford.
In September a sub-officer will be appointed, and the committee asked Ammanford Council if they could allocate him a council house.
Mr. Tom Bevan led a body of opinion which favoured the request.
“If we are to progress and develop as a town, then we must have adequate fire protection,” he said.
But he maintained the sub officer should pay the economic rent for the house.
Downright opposition came form Mr. E. E. Williams, who claimed it was the obligation of the county to house their men.
He was supported by Mr. Jack Davies, who said that the dozens of people who had been on the council's list for many years would feel a sense of frustration if a person from outside the town came in and got a house.
Replying to Mr. Davies's claim that a man filling this post should be in a position to buy a house Ald. Haydn Lewis said “He is not one of the highups.”
Ald. Lewis reminded Mr. Williams that the county were not a housing authority.
Mr. Myrddin Evans took the side of Mr. Williams. Describing the housing conditions under which some people lived in Ammanford, Mr. Evans said that in one house four people slept in one bedroom.
“Surely this man is not going to take precedence over these people?” Mr. Evans said.
Was the sub-officer a key-worker? Mr. W. L. Hitchings made it clear where he stood with – “If it can be substantiated that he is a key-worker, I support Mr. Tom Bevan. If the sub-officer is not a key-worker then I cannot support him.”
Opposing the request by the fire committee, Dr Davies said it was more important to alleviate the existing housing needs in Ammanford.
Mrs. Catherine Walters's reaction was influenced by her view that the fire service must be maintained at its highest level.
But Mr. Jack Davies claimed that cutting coal was as important as fighting fires. And he mentioned that railwaymen for instance had never been preference regarding housing.
When replying to the debate, Mr. Tom Bevan criticised Mr. Davies's argument and referred to the fact that Mr. Davies' son-in-law, a key-worker, occupied a council house.
Mr. Davies protested against Mr. Bevan introducing personalities into the debate and later during a discussion on another subject, Mr. Bevan apologised.
By a majority the council agreed to grant the sub-officer a council house on condition that he pays the economic rent. Four members voted against granting this.