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Showing posts from September 27, 2009

Aussies test Rupert Moon

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It was a test for Rupert Moon’s ambassadorial skills – being confronted with five touring Australians who shook hands and promptly explained they didn’t know anything about rugby!
But the verbal side-step didn’t throw the Scarlets commercial director off-balance and he was quickly into his stride with a welcoming VIP tour of the Parc y Scarlets stadium for the visitors from Adelaide in South Australia.
The visiting Australians were members of a Rotary International group study exchange project, spending four weeks finding out what makes South Wales tick.
“Everyone we meet in South Wales seems to think that every Australian is a rugby fan,” said team leader Philip Johns, who farms 9,500 acres in the Port Pirie area of South Australia.
“But - and we had to whisper this when visiting Parc y Scarlets - South Australia is one of the areas of Australia where rugby is very much a minority sport. Aussie Rules Football is what dominates where we live.”
Mr Johns added: “Even though we were off the p…

Quote of the day

"I might get my kneecaps made into ashtrays" - Artist Damien Hirst on his skull collection.

Believe it or not . . .

A boy of 11 led police on a high-speed car chase reaching up to 100mph for 50 miles across Wyoming.
Officers eventually managed to corner the car and driver then tried to run off, jumped into a lake and began swimming but was caught.
The boy was taken into custody. Police said alcohol was involved.
Whatever next?

Carmarthenshire performance improving

Figures released by the Local Government Data Unit show that performance in Carmarthenshire is continuing to improve.
The county had the very best performance indicator results in three categories and joint top in another 20.
Top scoring were:
• The number of publicly accessible computers per 10,000 people (15)
• The percentage of new businesses which received a food hygiene questionnaire (21)
• The percentage of children who had their teeth checked by a dentist (96.1)
The county also came top of the class for not having any key stage two primary school classes with more than 30 pupils, jointly with 10 other authorities; for 100 per cent of first placements of looked after children that began with a care plan in place, along with seven other councils.
Carmarthenshire’s trading standards, food hygiene, animal health and health and safety departments all performed well achieving joint first places with other councils.
Children’s Services again performed highly scoring top marks in a number of c…

Spy challenge at Llanelli Library

Budding James Bonds are invited to take up the spy challenge at Llanelli Children’s Library.
Youngsters can win a spy kit if they read or listen to four spy books or audiobooks borrowed from the library.
Children can sign up for their mission from today (Saturday, October 3) and complete the challenge by Saturday, November 14, to claim their prize.
The spy challenge is just one of a number of activities taking place at the Children’s Library, run by Carmarthenshire County Council, in Vaughan Street.
Education executive board member Cllr Gwynne Wooldridge said: “This is yet another exciting event for children which will encourage reading and visiting the library and help make reading fun.”
Contact the Children's Library on 01554 773538 for more information.

Open door at Lakefield Hall, Llanelli

People who would like guidance over benefits and help about debt issues, are being invited to an ‘open door’ event in Llanelli.
The event, being held at Lakefield Hall, Lakefield Road, Llanelli, on Monday, October 19, will offer support to anyone who wants access to information to ease them through financial hardship.
It has been organised by Tyisha and Glanymor Communities First, an Assembly-funded organisation which is overseen by Carmarthenshire County Council.
It forms part of the organisation’s commitment to creating a network of support for those suffering with debt problems, helping them to access benefits and providing them with opportunities to train for new skills.
The Communities First Debt and Benefit Support Service will be joined by over 20 service providers offering advice at the event.
They include the council’s Housing and Council Tax Benefit Visiting Team and colleagues from Trading Standards; Welsh Water Re-start Scheme which will offer water arrears support; Christians …

Carmarthenshire old people delight

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Carmarthenshire's 50+ Champion has welcomed the enthusiastic public response to Older People’s Day last Thursday.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s 50+ Forum teamed up with the authority’s leisure services to provide a host of exclusive offers for people aged 50 and over.
They included a free film screening, £5 discount on parking at Pembrey Country Park, 40 per cent discount through the Young at Heart Saver Scheme in the county’s leisure centres, and free swimming sessions. There is also an ongoing offer of free golf for a month at Garnant Golf Course.
The authority helped to celebrate Older People’s Day by focusing on the fact that we are all living longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives.
Carmarthenshire County Council has a thousand-strong forum of people aged 50 and over, who help shape services in the county by contributing their views via a survey they answer three times a year.
Deputy council leader, Cllr Kevin Madge, is 50+ Champion, and has set an ambitious target of doubl…

Blitz on zigzag parkers

Drivers have been warned to stop the dangerous practice of parking on zigzag markings outside Carmarthenshire schools.
The initiative was launched by Carmarthenshire Safety Partnership after consultation with resident groups in Community First areas.
The partnership’s road safety team have presented banners to scores of schools throughout the county to drive home the message to motorists, especially those on the school run. All schools who have requested the banners have displayed them.
The colourful banners graphically show a serpent turning on a driver trapped on his zigzag body form with the bilingual message for drivers “Don’t park on the zigzags!” A lollipop man on the banner reinforces the message to “keep clear” of zigzags.
County highways operations manager John McEvoy said: “In meetings we have had with parent teachers’ associations and residents’ groups one of the major concerns has been the safety of children outside schools.
“These banners draw attention of drivers to the dange…

Towy Valley centre open day

Towy Valley residents are in for a day packed full of fun, as the Tywi Afon Yr Oesoedd project team thrown open the doors of its new centre.
An Open Day is being held in celebration of the opening at Dinefwr Farm, Llandeilo, between 11am and 3pm on Saturday, October 10.
Tywi Afon Yr Oesoedd (Tywi a River Through Time) is a £2.4million project, led by Carmarthenshire County Council, which is aimed at conserving the area’s landscape, biodiversity and history; and creating a legacy for future generations.
The Tywi Centre for Traditional and Sustainable Building, is based in a renovated building at Dinefwr Farm, and will offer a comprehensive range of traditional and sustainable building information services.
It will also offer a range of subsidised courses for builders, building professionals and homeowners, in a bid to help locals conserve the area’s historic homes and buildings.
A range of activities have been planned for the open day on October 10.
They include cultural activities such as s…

Carmarthenshire approves £237,000 in grants

Carmarthenshire County Council is pumping almost a quarter of a million pound in to local communities.
Grants worth £237,874.96 have been approved by the executive board, and will be shared amongst 11 organisations across the county on specific regeneration projects.
The funding has been granted as part of the County Collaboration Fund, which pools a variety of funding sources to benefit community regeneration projects.
Those getting a share of the funds include Ammanford’s ABC Church which is planning a community centre extension; Aman United RFC which is using the money towards a community grandstand, and Aman Valley Dementia Carer’s Support Group which is refurbishing the Hafen Croeso Respite Home. Each of these three projects have been awarded £25,000.
Others in Ammanford to benefit include Capel Hendre Village Forum which has been granted £19,395 towards a play area and skateboard park on the Bancyddraenen estate, and Pantyffynnon Communities First, in partnership with Carmarthenshir…

Quote of the day

"I had worked so hard for so long, not like a coal miner works hard, but doing what I do, and I had amassed a sizeable fortune and I had several opportunities I never thought I would encounter, and I thought 'I'm going to have a bit of a party now'. But I forgot to go home, that was the problem" - DJ Chris Evans.

Believe it or not . . .

The University of Florida's emergency contingency plans include one for if the campus is overrun by flesh-eating zombies.
Tactics for responding to the undead are posted on its website among outlines for dealing with hurricanes and pandemics.
The exercise lays out how university officials would respond to attacks by "flesh-eating, apparently life impaired individuals".
It notes that a zombie outbreak might include "documentation of lots of strange moaning".
Only in America . . .

Llanelli Star centenary

Just finished scribbling something re the Llanelli Star's Centenary, coming up this month.
There’s a character in the classic Orson Welles movie, Citizen Kane, who declares, “I think it would be fun to run a newspaper!”
Well, take it from me, it was fun running a newspaper.
So much fun, in fact, that I ended up doing two stints in the editor’s chair at the Llanelli Star.
It was an honour and a privilege to do the job – on both occasions.
Believe it or not, my first spell in the editor’s chair actually started on April 1, 1989 –April Fool’s Day. And my second spell started on April Fool’s Day 2006.
Over the years, various councillors and chief executives may have got the impression that the joke was on them.
Not everyone saw the funny side of an editor who enjoyed tilting at a few windmills and running a column called Lloyd At Large.
Along with the fun came the serious business of running a newspaper which can proudly hold its head up high as one of the finest and most progressive weeklies…

Carmarthenshire support for new book

Carmarthenshire County Council is pleased to support a new book being launched on World Mental Health Day.
The book, Footsteps Without Prints, has been created by a group of writers, poets and artists, all of who have at some time been users of mental health services.
It will be launched at the Thomas Arms Hotel, Llanelli, at 11am on Thursday, October 8.
It has been produced by the Carmarthenshire Mental Health Forum - a network of voluntary organisations, carers and services with an interest in mental health.
The book was funded by a mental health promotion grant from Carmarthenshire Local Health Board.
It’s aim is to showcase the talent of the writers and artists, and to illustrate the importance of tackling stigma around mental health.
And it promises to be a challenging and rewarding read, with both autobiographical and fictional articles and poems, presented alongside inspirational artwork and photographs.
It has been published by the Ferryside-based publishing house, Iconau.
Publisher D…

Carmarthenshire's Platinum delight

Carmarthenshire County Council has another trophy in its cabinet following its successful bid for a Platinum Corporate Health Standard Award.
The Corporate Health Standard, run by the Welsh Assembly Government, is the quality-mark for workplace health promotion in Wales.
It is presented in bronze, silver, gold and platinum categories to public and private sector-organisations implementing practices to promote the health and well-being of their employees and the local community.
Organisations are re-assessed every three years - Carmarthenshire won a bronze award in 2003 and skipped silver to clinch gold in 2006.
To achieve the platinum award, the council had to demonstrate business excellence and sustainable development as an integral part of business practice and culture.
Elin Cullen, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Head of Business and Specialist Services, said: “The assessors were impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm of all the people they met during the assessment visit, and they…

Carmarthenshire advice on funding

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Community groups and individuals have been learning about the various sources of funding to help regenerate towns and villages across Carmarthenshire.
A round of regeneration road shows have been held to let people know how they can get their hands on some cash community regeneration funding, calling in on the Llanelli, Teifi, Gwendraeth, Aman, Taf, Myrddin and Tywi areas of Carmarthenshire.
The events have been well attended, with many community groups gathering information about various grant support schemes, ranging from culture and arts to leisure and sport.
Carmarthenshire County Council regeneration officers have been on hand to explain the kind of grants available as well as eligibility requirements.
There are many types of grant available in Carmarthenshire, many of which are administered by the county council.
They include the County Collaboration Fund which supports voluntary community groups, registered charities, and town, rural and community councils, on projects to improve co…

Assurance on Llandovery pool

Carmarthenshire County Council is assuring parents in Llandovery that there has never been any intention to stop free school swimming lessons at the local pool.
Contrary to a recent press report which suggests that the authority has banned schools from using the pool, the council wishes to make clear that no such plans have ever been made.
Head of leisure, Ian Jones, said some misunderstanding may have arisen following discussions with Pantycelyn and Llanwrda schools regarding service improvements at Llandovery Swimming Pool.
However, he said the confusion would have been quickly cleared up if the schools had aired any concerns.
He said: “There is no intention to stop any schools from using Llandovery Swimming Pool.
“We are in discussions with these schools about service improvement, and some confusion may have arisen from that - however we are confident this matter will be resolved quickly.
“All schools are entitled to use of our facilities in order to deliver the base minimum of the Physi…

Top quotes from the Labour Party Conference

"Together we'll fight for a prosperous and fair Britain. And most
importantly, we'll fight to win"- Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman
tries to rally delegates as the conference ends.
"We mended the roof when the sun shone - the Tory plans would be like
a wrecking ball which would demolish the recovery" - Ms Harman.
"When members of this party, even MPs, say that nothing much has
changed, that we could use a spell in Opposition - tell them: don't do
the Tories' dirty work for them" - Foreign Secretary David Miliband
warns Labour critics within the party.
"Don't believe that we have run out of steam. We haven't. So let's
show the country that we've still got the energy, the ideas, the hunger,
the commitment" - Mr Miliband.
"Let's start with one simple, undeniable fact. The earth does revolve
around the sun - but not the one printed in Wapping" - Mr Miliband takes
a dig at The Sun after it dropped its support for L…

Strange but true . . .

Parents have stopped swearing in a school playground after being warned that they could be banned for using bad language, a headteacher has said.
Martin Henderson issued the ultimatum following complaints about the way some adults spoke to each other and their children on its premises.
In a letter to parents of the 430 pupils at Westmorland Primary School in Stockport, Manchester, he said legal action would be taken to keep them out of the school gates if they carried on swearing.
And quite right, too!

Classic Rhodri Morgan quotes

Farewell First Minister . . . but do you remember what he said?
Some, much-loved, classics here from the great man.
"Do one-legged ducks swim in a circle?" he asked Jeremy Paxman when
the Newsnight presenter inquired if he wanted to be First Minister.
Paying tribute to Tony Blair: "It's very strange for me to be
standing here today talking about a person who shafted me on one
occasion but on the other hand, compared to what has happened with Iraq,
I think that's pretty small beer to be honest with you. Life is far too
short to be bearing grudges of that sort."
Contributing to a debate on police reform, for which he won a second
Foot in Mouth award for gobbledegook: "The only thing which isn't up for
grabs is no change and I think it's fair to say it's all to play for,
except for no change."
Castigating Tory AM Jonathan Morgan after he criticised the quality
of Assembly debates in 2003: "It's like a child shooting both its
parents and then co…

Quote of the day

"I never feared growing old, because I was always very conscious that I was bad at being young" - TV's Clive James.
Nice one, Sir Clive!

Carmarthenshire finds new partners

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Pen has been put to paper creating a commitment to partnership working between Carmarthenshire County Council and partner funders who together deliver a range of community regeneration projects across the county.
A ‘memorandum of understanding’ has been signed by council Chief Executive Mark James and the management teams of Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN), CWM Environmental and the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.
The aim of the partnership is to develop the existing working relationship between the partners, who each contribute funding to eligible community groups and regeneration projects in Carmarthenshire.
This agreement will now enable all eligible community groups or voluntary organisations within the county to apply for a source of community project funding no matter where they are situated.
Several objectives are in place, including working in partnership to make the best of funding opportunities for communities in the county.
Carmarthenshire County Council Chief Executive Mark…

Carmarthen motor trader pleads guilty

A Carmarthen trader has appeared before Ammanford Magistrates Court on Monday charged with selling a second-hand vehicle in a dangerous condition.
Donato Antonio Ozzati, who trades as Carmarthen Car Centre, Penguin Court Garage, Cwmffrwd, Carmarthen, pleaded guilty on Monday to an offence under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.
The court heard that a customer had negotiated the purchase of a Kia Sedona vehicle in November 2008, on the basis of a description of an ‘outstanding vehicle with service history’.
A new MOT was carried out before supply, but immediately afterwards the customer discovered problems with the steering and braking system on the vehicle. Having returned the vehicle to the garage under complaint the faults seemed to remain, which led to an independent expert examination of the vehicle which concluded that it was in a dangerous condition. Repairs totalling £1,229.45 were necessary to make the vehicle roadworthy.
A subsequent investigation by Carmarthenshire Tr…

Carmarthen man's litter fine

A Carmarthen man has been prosecuted for throwing a takeaway food bag from a car.
Scott Gerald Mason was convicted in his absence this week by Ammanford magistrates of an offence under section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
The court was told that on Friday April 24 this year, environmental enforcement officers were on patrol at the McDonalds overflow car park, Carmarthen, when their attention was drawn to a motor vehicle containing four men.
There was a large amount of McDonalds food packaging strewn on the ground adjacent to the near side and off side of the vehicle containing the four men. A short while later, officers saw a plastic bag being thrown out of the vehicle. Officers waited to see if the bag was going to be picked up but the offender, 20-year-old Mason, failed to pick up the litter and was approached by both officers.
He was informed that he would be issued with a £75 Fixed Penalty Notice for the offence of littering but refused to accept the Notice and elected…

Llanelli children get cooking

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Children from Llanelli’s Copperworks School and Llanedi School have learned how to cook up a treat thanks to a visit on board a Cooking Bus.
The children were invited on board by Carmarthenshire’s Healthy Schools scheme which forms an integral part of the county council’s commitment to educating children about the importance of healthy eating.
The Cooking Bus is an initiative funded by the Welsh Assembly.
With fully functional kitchens, the buses travel the country and stop off to show children how to clean, prepare and cook healthy food.
It visits Carmarthenshire twice a year, and priority is given to schools in Communities First areas.
On this occasion it was the turn of Copperworks and Llanedi schools.
They learned how to prepare and cook bruschettas with olives, garlic, tomatoes and peppers, as well as jacket potato meals and a fresh fruit salad.
It was not only the children that got involved though, as teachers and parents were also invited for sessions on board.
Carmarthenshire’s Health…

Christmas is coming . . .

A talking hamster and an electronic kitten are likely to be hits with children this Christmas.
Retailer Argos is tipping Go Go Hamsters - artificially intelligent rodents able to talk and move around their hamster "funhouses" - as one of the top 10 toys for Christmas.
Lu Lu My Cuddlin' Kitten, an interactive pet which purrs, rolls over and responds to her owner, is set to take the place of last year's "top dog", Furreal Biscuit, it said.
So glad the days of following Christmas shopping fads are over for me . . .

Quote of the day

"Clearly bacon butties are not a normal part of a skunk's diet in the wild" - Wildlife park owner Chris Noisier whose skunk, Mr Bumble, has been put on a special diet after its weight ballooned because of its love of bacon sandwiches.
So that's where my weight-loss programme is going wrong - bacon butties!

Poetry book launch at Trinity, Carmarthen

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National Poetry Day on Thursday (October 8) will be marked at Trinity University College, Carmarthen, by the launch of a debut publication by lecturer Jeni Williams.
Being The Famous Ones is being published by Parthian Books and represents a first for creative writing lecturer Dr Williams.
“I have appeared in print before, being the contributing editor on a couple of titles, and I have had academic works published, but this is my first venture into a book of my own poetry.
“I am a little nervous about how well it will be received, but I am delighted to see the book in print – and it is also appropriate to launch it on National Poetry Day.”
The launch promises to be a major cultural event as Jeni will be sharing a platform at Trinity with Portuguese based poet Landeg White, who is making a return visit to his homeland of Wales.
Mr White and Dr Williams will team-up for a four-day poetry reading mini-tour of Wales, taking in Cardiff, Swansea, Aberystwyth and Carmarthen.
Mr White has edited Be…

Top honour for Menna Elfyn

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Award-winning Welsh poet and playwright Menna Elfyn is to receive a top honour from the people of Sardinia, Italy.
Ms Elfyn, director of the MA Creative Writing Programme at Trinity University College, Carmarthen, will fly out to pick up the award on October 21.
“News of the award came as a bit of a shock, but it is warmly welcomed as a great honour from the people of Sardinia,” the Llandysul-based author said.
“It is being given as part of a festival called Amistade (‘Friendship' in the Sardinian language) and, even though I have yet to discover the exact nature of the prize, it is very exciting to be honoured in such a way.”
Festival spokesman Giuseppe 'Pino' Serpillo said the award would recognise Ms Elfyn’s work to defend and promote the Welsh language and also be a reward for the quality of her poetry.
Ms Elfyn, 56, was one of a number of writers who held workshops and readings in Sardinia last year.
Signore Serpillo said last year provided a chance for Welsh writers to get…

Cannabis raid at Four Roads

Officers from Dyfed-Powys Police's Priority Policing team executed a search warrant under the misuse of drugs act in a property in the Four Roads area of Kidwelly and discovered a large quantity of cannabis resin and a cannabis factory.
A sophisticated cannabis growing tent containing cannabis plants and equipment were discovered in an outbuilding.
Almost 40 kilos of cannabis resin, with a potential street value of £100,000, was recovered from the garden of the property.
A 27 year-old man, from the Four roads area, was arrested and charged with the production of cannabis, possession with the intent to supply cannabis and two counts of supplying cannabis. He was due to appear before Llanelli Magistrates Court.
Detective Inspector Gary Phillips said:“We are committed to taking positive enforcement action against those engaged in trafficking drugs in Carmarthenshire. Taking this quantity of drugs off the street is an excellent result for the police and I hope that this helps to reassure …

Japanese students at Trinity, Carmarthen

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Students from Shizuoka University of Arts and Culture (SUAC) in Hamamatsu in Japan have spent four weeks enjoying an English Language summer school at Trinity University College.
During their stay the group of 15 students also attended lectures on British and Welsh culture and visited tourist attractions in Swansea, Cardiff, Pembrokeshire, Aberystwyth as well as London.
The link between Trinity and SUAC has been developed over many years. Last semester a Noh Theatre Master from Shizuoka visited the University to lead master classes with BA Acting students in the traditional Japanese theatre genre using masks.
SUAC is based in Hamamatsu City which is overlooked by the snow capped Mount Fuji.
Dr Heita Kawakatsu, former president of SUAC said “Shizuoka University of Art and Culture was established in central Hamamatsu, where it is working closely with the city to encourage cultural development, the promotion of universal design and the realisation of an international city open to the world.”

What a scorcher!

Blimey! So sunny down at Llanelli's Millennium Coastal park this morning that Tess the dog needed a set of shades! I am now searching for the Factor 20 before working in the garden.

Strange but true . . . studentz meanz beanz

Shops near universities see an increase of up to 400% in the sales of baked beans, soup and Pot Noodles as students arrive for the new term, Tesco said.
With hundreds of thousands of youngsters leaving home to fend for themselves, Tesco said its stores near universities and colleges reported a huge surge in student survival essentials.
The highest demand for student food in the UK is at the Tesco Express store in Oxford Road, Manchester. Compared to holiday times, the new term sees a 400% rise in sales of baked beans, a 360% rise in soup and 320% rise in Pot Noodles.

Quote of the day

"Why do you want to go there? There are parts of Reading you haven't seen yet" - Comic actor Ricky Gervais recalls his mother's comment when he, aged 18, said he was going to Paris.
Nice one, Ricky!

Trinity Ffrinj holds great promise

Next year’s ‘fringe’ at the Trinity Arts Festival in Carmarthen promises to be bigger and better.
The event can no longer be treated as a mere sideshow to the university college’s main arts festival.
It proudly boasts its unique ‘Ffrinj’ branding and operates under the direction of the students at Trinity.
“The Ffrinj really is a case of the students having their own stab at running their very own festival,” said Kevin Matherick, head of the faculty of arts and social studies.
“They come up with the ideas, are committed to the organisation of events and make sure it is all such a great success.
“Last year was a wonderful case in point. We had an exceptional group of students who were committed to putting on a varied and very attractive programme of events for the week of the Ffrinj.”
Mr Matherick added: “Last June marked the fourth Ffrinj and I have no doubt that the next one will be an even greater success.
“What is significant is that about half the group responsible for last year’s Ffrinj…

Carmarthenshire goes pink!

County Hall in Carmarthen and Llanelli’s Town Hall will be lit up in pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness.
On Friday, October 30, both buildings will be lit up to raise awareness of the national campaign, and to encourage people to take part.
Two local companies are providing the pink lighting at no charge. In Carmarthen, CB Sams will install pink lamps, and in Llanelli IWEC will use a special gel to give the pink glow.
Council Leader Cllr Meryl Gravell said: “We are delighted to help promote the Breast Cancer Campaign in as many ways as we can, and by lighting up both these prominent buildings it should help to raise awareness, and encourage more people to give donations to this very worthy cause.
“I would like to thank the two companies who are very generously giving their products and their time to light up our buildings, we are very grateful for their support.
“Wear it pink is a fantastic fundraiser which helps improve prospects for the 1 in 9 women diagnosed with breast cancer in t…

Jamboree at Llanelli Library

A jamboree session is taking place at Llanelli Library to celebrate National Bookstart Day.
The free event for under fives will be held in the Children’s Library in Vaughan Street on Friday, October 9, from 11am to 11.45am.
The jamboree session will include fun, songs and dancing, and is one of many events being put on at the Carmarthenshire County Council library for young children.
Education executive board member Cllr Gwynne Wooldridge said: “Events such as these encourage young children to use their local library, and enjoy books and reading.
“Similar previous events have always been popular with children and their parents, and I would urge people to take their youngsters along to have fun while learning.”
For more information call 01554 773538.

Work starts on new Llanelli school

An old Llanelli Welsh medium school building has been demolished to make way for a new one.
The former Ysgol Gymraeg Brynsierfel has been knocked down to make way for a new £5.5 million state-of-the-art school.
Work is now ongoing on clearing the site of the former school and providing the foundations for the new building.
It will provide first class accommodation and facilities for 210 pupils, plus nursery provision to help meet future demand for Welsh medium education in Llanelli.
The new building will be split level and contain many features of architectural interest.
It is anticipated that work will take around 18 months to complete and children should be able to move into their new home in the Spring term 2011.
In the meantime, the school has moved temporarily into the building at Ynys Las. Ysgol Gymraeg Brynsierfel is the latest school to be built through Carmarthenshire County Council’s £180million Modernising Education Provision programme and is part of the authority’s plan to meet …

Photo exhibition at Carmarthenshire Museum

A photograph exhibition charting the story of Welsh chapels is being held at Carmarthenshire County Museum.
The exhibition is a collaborative venture by two Open University tutors, arts tutor and photographer Phil Sky of Cardiff, and social scientist and former chair of the Carmarthenshire Antiquarians, Roy Davies of Llandeilo.
The result is a series of framed photographic images; a slide show with commentary; and an essay ‘Calfaria is Closed’, in reference to Calfaria Baptist Chapel, in Ann Street, Llanelli, which has an uncertain future.
Fifty years ago the Non-conformist chapel occupied a central role in Carmarthenshire life extending far beyond the purely religious.
Since then, the decline in chapel attendance and consequent chapel closures has been dramatic.
Former chapels converted into public houses, nightclubs and restaurants would have been unimaginable 50 years ago.
Yet chapel buildings in both old and new guises tell the story of how Wales was, and the country it has become.
This…

Health fair for Carmarthen

A health fair is taking place in Carmarthen this autumn with a range of activities and guidance to suit everyone.
Demonstrations, advice, information and health testing will be part of the day which aims to help people improve their health and well being.
Dozens of different organisations will be attending the fayre, being organised by Carmarthenshire County Council’s Occupational Health Unit.
Blood pressure testing, calculating the Body Mass Index (BMI), screening for breast, bowel and cervical cancer, cardiovascular and osteoporosis testing are some of the services which will be available.
Fitness demonstrations, alternative therapy taster sessions, Indian head massage, reflexology, shoulder massage and seed potting from the allotment society are amongst the range of activities on offer.
The event, sponsored by Carmarthenshire’s Fusion fitness clubs and Vitality scheme, will be held at St Peter’s Civic Hall on Thursday, November 5, between 11am and 3pm.
Anyone visiting the event will also…

Carmarthenshire art contest

People in Carmarthenshire are being invited to write a poem, create a work of art or perform a play that would inspire people to visit their local library.
The first ever Welsh libraries competition is taking place with prizes of up to £500 on offer.
Gavin and Stacey star Ruth Jones, this year’s Welsh Libraries Champion, is urging people to have a go.
She said: “Whatever you are into – writing, dancing, photography, painting, animation, drama or music – be inspired by your library and enter this exciting competition.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the entries and presenting the awards next February – I’m sure the people of Wales with all their creative talents will take this opportunity to showcase them.”
The theme is simply ‘libraries’, however entrants can focus on one specific topic, for example books, computers, the staff, or on how the library has inspired or helped to achieve personal goals.
The competition is open to everyone including schools, individuals, voluntary or commun…

Carmarthenshire boost for apprentices

Some 110 apprentices are employed in Carmarthenshire through the council and contractors working together.
They are being trained for work in construction which will provide them with skilled trades and better opportunities for employment.
The council is spending millions of pounds on new schools, improving school buildings and council homes, and new developments throughout the county.
A number of contractors are delivering the projects which are supporting their businesses through the recession and helping them to retain staff.
As part of a framework agreement, the contractors are working with the council to provide apprenticeship opportunities for local people.
At the moment, the authority employs 53 apprentices and supports a further 43 through the shared apprenticeship scheme with contractors. This is set to rise next year to 73 on the shared scheme.
The Carmarthenshire Construction Training Association (CCTAL) operates the scheme with contractors.
The apprentices have an opportunity to …

Peniel pupils enjoy new school

Pupils at Peniel, just outside Carmarthen, are enjoying a brand new £3.6million school which opened its doors this term.
The state of the art building has been provided through the county council’s Modernising Education Provision (MEP) programme.
Local county councillor and school governor Cllr Pam Palmer said: “Everyone is really pleased with the new building, it is a first class facility which the children and the staff of Peniel deserve.
“It is very exciting for all concerned with the school, this will give the children more opportunities to fulfil their potential and provide the right kind of learning environment.
“We are very grateful to the MEP programme which has provided this excellent new school for Peniel.”
The school, built on the site of the previous one, caters for 120 pupils and also houses a new community facility.
Peniel Community Association has a community room and kitchen attached to the school which it runs.
A number of eco-friendly features are included in the building s…

Trinity lecturer's exhibition success

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Fresh from a successful month-long exhibition at Cardiff’s St David’s Hall, Trinity University lecturer Iwan Bala has his sights set on further ground-breaking exhibitions over the Christmas holidays.
Iwan, 53, is firmly established as one of the leading creative artists working in Wales.
He works as the senior lecturer at the School of Creative Arts and Humanities at Carmarthen’s Trinity University.
And he cheerfully admits that balancing his own artistic work against the demands of educating his students can be a struggle.
“Having a deadline helps,” he laughed.
“For example, I practically had to lock myself away in the studio this summer to complete a body of work for the St David’s Hall exhibition.
“Trying to fit in my own work alongside teaching at Trinity can be very demanding, but it is a hugely enjoyable challenge.”
Iwan’s St David’s exhibition was entitled Tierra Incognita and the artist was delighted with the reception at the Cardiff arts venue.
“It was a great opportunity to exhibit…

Quote of the day

"I cannot bear the language TV chefs use - they don't seem able to look at a plate of vegetables without accusing it of sexual activity." - Tory MP Ann Widdecombe.
Well said, Ann!

Strange but true . . .

A man dressed as a gorilla for a charity run was stopped by police after calls from motorists who though he was an ape which had escaped from a zoo.
Rory Coleman ran from his home in Nottinghamshire to London in his costume to take part in the event supporting the Gorilla Organisation which works in central Africa to protect the apes' habitat.
Some of the other runners embellished their costumes to become gorilla superheroes, ballerinas, Vikings and pirates.
Monkey business?

Go Compare a classic!

The penny just dropped with me the other day that the star of the great Go Compare advert on telly is one of Carmarthen's finest - Wynne Evans, one of the UK's leading tenors. Wynne is obviously thoroughly enjoying his role as 'Gio Compario'. You can find out more about him on his website.
http://www.wynneevans.co.uk