Showing posts from July 5, 2009

Islamic centre boost for Cardiff - press release for Welsh Assembly

All good project managers should have a vision – and Dr Munir Ashi has one for the most popular mosque and Islamic centre in South Wales.
There is a wide smile and a happy sparkle in his eye as he surveys the Dar ul-Isra centre in Wyverne Road, Cathays.
What he sees is very much a work in progress – a building site with a roof attached!
But, together with his colleagues at the Dar ul-Isra Islamic and community centre, he knows that a few months from now the scene will be very different.
“This is the busiest and most popular mosque and Islamic centre in the area and we often get a 1,000 people through the doors,” Dr Ashi said.
“Looking around the centre now, it is little more than a shell. But our ambition to transform the place into something special is very great and the centre will be a wonderful place when it is completed.”
The work at Dar ul-Isra has been made possible by a grant of £120,000 from CFAP – the Welsh Assembly Government’s Community Facilities and Activities Programme.
“That …

Your chance to have your say on planning

Latest news from Carmarthenshire Council’s press office - Local Development Plan
Town and community councils are being consulted on how they want to see Carmarthenshire develop in the future.
The Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan (LDP), which is currently being prepared, will govern the way in which the county develops over the next 15 years.
The LDP covers issues such as how development will be distributed across the county and which settlements will be identified as the main ones for development; projected future population trends to 2021; the main issues affecting residents of the county regionally, nationally and locally, and their vision of Carmarthenshire in 2021; and how sites put forward are considered for inclusion in the LDP as appropriate for development.
The county council is carrying out a lengthy process of consultation and preparation of the plan, involving an LDP Preferred Strategy and then Deposit Draft Plan, which will lead to the LDP being adopted in 2012 in place …

Help for the over 50s

Latest news from Carmarthenshire Council’s press office - 50+ Forum Steering Group
Carmarthenshire’s 50+ Champion has set an ambitious target to double the current membership of the thousand-strong 50+ Forum.
50+ Champion Cllr Kevin Madge has started a busy programme of visiting older people’s organisations throughout the county to promote the Forum and encourage new members to join.
The Forum asks members to contribute their views by sending out surveys three times a year, together with a newsletter.
The 50+ Forum Steering Group, set up to develop the Forum, held its second meeting yesterday (Thursday) afternoon when members discussed the council’s kerbside recycling scheme and public toilets including improving publicity on how to obtain radar keys for disabled toilets.
Members offered to help publicise the scheme in their communities and were keen to find out what happened to food waste collected for recycling.
Waste minimisation recycling officer Karen McNeil said: “It goes to the compo…

What happened to a sense of humour?

A shop owner has said he was threatened with prosecution after displaying joke billboards at his store in Horsham, Sussex.
John O'Sullivan, who owns the Candy Box, put up spoof news headlines outside his store for 10 weeks in an attempt to entertain his customers.
The spoof headlines included "Crawley Girl Gives Birth to Pitbull" and "Local Youths Abduct UFO".
Read all about it

Gloomy times at Adelaide Street

The news is gloomy at South West Wales Media Ltd HQ in Adelaide Street. Am I glad I decided to leave SWWM Ltd last October? You bet!
This is from the Socialist Party website today -
Union members at South West Wales Media - the parent company of the Evening Post, Llanelli Star and Carmarthen Journal newspapers - are considering taking action in response to a management restructuring plan that will see jobs axed, workload increased by 25 per cent, and shift times for some staff substantially changed.
Staff at the company are being balloted on industrial action, as part of a campaign of opposition and protest at the cuts, which has won the backing of local AMs, MPs, council leaders and other trade unionists.
The cuts, if they were to go ahead, are not only an attempt to seriously undermine staff working conditions but they are also designed to try and break the growing strength of the recently recognised National Union of Journalists (NUJ) chapel at the company.
The company is undertaking a…

Plan for dog control orders

Latest news from Carmarthenshire Council’s press office - Council to consult on Dog Control Orders
New Dog Control Orders proposed for Carmarthenshire will go out for further public consultation before any final decision is reached.
Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, local authorities now have greater powers to control dogs in public places.
As a result, the council has been consulting with town and community councils as well as members of the public on proposals for Carmarthenshire.
A working group has also been established involving various council departments such as street scene, education, leisure with representatives from the country parks and Millennium Coastal Park, housing and public protection to help decide the way forward.
A report is due to go before the council’s executive board on Friday, July 24.
Executive board member for the environment Councillor Haydn Jones said: “In drafting these proposals, we have tried to balance the interests of dog owners who …

Bronwydd caravans man prosecuted

Latest news from Carmarthenshire Council’s press office – Caravans man prosecuted
Carmarthenshire County Council has prosecuted a Birmingham man for failing to remove three caravans from land at Bronwydd Arms.
Gene Barry Beards was convicted at Swansea Crown Court of failing to comply with the requirements of an enforcement notice issued in March 2008 for the removal of two static caravans and one touring caravan from land south of Blaen Gors Farm.
Beards of Berkeley Road, Birmingham, was given a 12 month conditional discharge but was ordered to pay £3,500 for prosecution costs within six months.
The local planning authority has confirmed that the caravans still need to be removed from the land and will write to Mr Beards reiterating this fact. If this removal work is not carried out then further legal action will be instigated.
The council’s head of planning Eifion Bowen said: “The enforcement of planning control is a difficult and detailed process but failure to carry out specific works …

Kitchen boost at Stebonheath School

Latest news from Carmarthenshire Council’s press office – New kitchen cooks up a storm at Stebonheath
School meals are firmly back on the menu for pupils at Llanelli’s Stebonheath School thanks to a £100,000 overhaul of kitchen facilities.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s catering services department has invested in the school to convert its dining centre in to a full production facility, meaning that all schools meals are now cooked on the premises.
And the investment has gone down well with pupils, whose take-up of school meals has shot up from 38% to 76% since the beginning of the summer term.
Previously, school meals were prepared and cooked in a central kitchen facility and transported to the school.
The investment came after pupils on the school council highlighted the lunch service as an area for improvement.
They worked with the school’s deputy head, Julian Littler, to lobby the council for on-site production facilities which would allow a greater range of meals to be offered.

Dragon roars thanks to Welsh Assembly - press release

MUSIC industry talent-scouts will know where to go in their search for the successors to The Manic Street Preachers and The Stereophonics.
An address tucked away on an industrial park north of Pontypool may appear an unlikely destination, but it’s the living, breathing heart of the new music scene in Torfaen.
Thanks to a grant from the Welsh Assembly Government, the Dragon Bands project at the industrial park in Pontnewynydd is proving a major hit.
“It’s where young and old can develop their music talents – and the power of music to bring some good into people’s lives should never be underestimated,” project manager Angela Byrne said.
“It’s wonderful to see how the new facilities we are developing here are helping to bring people to together. Our youngest member is eight and gets up early on a Sunday morning to grab his space and practice his drumming. Our oldest member is 62 and it’s great to see young and old enjoying their music and mixing together.”
The Dragon Bands project has come a …

The Lloyds on way to Buck House

Carol, Kathryn and Robert on their way to Buck House.

Off to Buckingham Palace

Off to a garden party at Buckingham Palace! Pic to follow if this mobile is up to it!

Future's bright at Black Mountain Centre - press release

IT’S something of a ‘Wordsworth moment’ for Mair Thomas every time she walks through the front door of The Black Mountain Centre in Brynaman. “Quite simply, my heart leaps up when I behold what we have achieved here,” a smiling Mrs Thomas admitted as she admired the facilities at the centre. “We have created a new living, breathing heart for the village of Brynaman. This is where it all happens. This is what makes the community spirit of Brynaman tick.” The centre, formerly known as the Brynaman Community Centre, is now well into a rebranding exercise which sees it take on a name which reflects its position at the western gateway to the Brecon Beacons National Park. “The Black Mountain Centre accurately reflects where we are and broadens the appeal for a building which is so much more than a community centre,” Mrs Thomas said. The changes to the former infants school building have been dramatic. The latest developments, including a two-storey extension, have been funded by £29…

Fellows dinner at Trinity University, Carmarthen

Splendid evening at the Fellows Dinner at Trinity University, Carmarthen, last night. The list of guest speakers included the Bishop of St David's.
Best of the speakers was vice-chancellor Medwin Hughes, who began by quoting Lord Mansfield - "A speech is like a love affair. Any fool can start it, but to end it requires considerable skill."
Earlier in the day, we atttended the civic service at Rehoboth Chapel, Five Roads, for the new chairman of Llanelli Rural Council, Councillor Carol Rees. Superb sermon by the Rev David Jones, of Greenfield Baptist Church, Llanelli.

Bethel works live up to their billing

Just like the famous TV advert, a project to redevelop a Barry Baptist Church has done exactly what it said on the tin!
“We billed the scheme to improve our church as ‘Bethel Baptist Access For All’,” said a smiling Yvonne Thomas.
“And we think the project has lived up to its billing. We set ourselves firm targets for what we wanted to achieve and the project has done exactly what we set out to do on the tin!”
“Our aim was to create a Baptist church with access for all and we think we’ve done just that.”
The ‘tin’ in this particular case was the grant application form Mrs Thomas filled out for CFAP – the Welsh Assembly Government’s Community Facilities and Activities Programme.
The application netted the church £240,000 and the money has been used wisely to carry out improvements which will allow the whole building to develop as a multi-purpose community centre. They key element in the improvements has been a new entrance which links the old church with a redeveloped semi-detached house…

New pub for capital city – press release

Welsh brewing and pub entrepreneur Simon Buckley is set to open a new traditional pub in Cardiff. It's the first traditional pub to be built in the city for 25 years.
The £1million development in the former RAFA club in Cathedral Road will open on Friday July 17.
The building has undergone a major redevelopment and represents a significant investment in the capital city for West Wales-based Welsh Estates Ltd and the Evan-Evans Brewery.
Mr Buckley, 51, was responsible for the development of the Cayo Arms in Cardiff in 2000. The pub was voted one of the top 50 pubs in the UK after its launch.
The new pub in Cathedral Road will be called Y Cadno (The Fox).
Mr Buckley said: "Y Cadno has seen the transformation of the former RAFA club into a traditional Victorian-style pub, with modern touches.
"The pub has a unique 'sun trap' garden and will focus on serving the very finest Welsh produce.
"Y Cadno will be the Cardiff home of our award winning Evan-Evans cask ales and w…