Showing posts from October 4, 2009

Quote of the day

"It's called compliance. Compliance with what? Stupidity? It makes me want to explode" - Stephen Fry on the BBC's new guidelines on comedy, outlawing scenes of "intimidation, humiliation, intrusion, aggression and derogatory remarks".
Nice one, Mr Fry, National Treasure.

Believe it or not . . .

A church said its congregation has dwindled since a council imposed a noise abatement notice.
The Immanuel International Christian Centre, in Walthamstow, east London, was forced to turn down its amplified music at Sunday services following a complaint from a neighbour.
Waltham Forest Council said it took action against the church in May as a "last resort". Since the notice was imposed, pastor Dunni Odetoyinbo said the congregation has dropped from 100 to 30.
I'm about to turn Victor Meldrew again . . .

Adelina Patti next for author

Fresh from seeing her first book in print, Josephine (Jo) Hammond has her sights set writing a new biography of the legendary opera star Adelina Patti.
The Pembrokeshire-based author is a former student of the MA creative writing class at Trinity University, Carmarthen, and confesses she is fascinated by the life of one of the most highly-regarded singers of the 19th century.
“Until I moved to Wales, I hadn’t heard of Madame Patti. But when I did I just found the whole story fascinating,” said Mrs Hammond
“Why did she choose to tuck herself away in Craig-y-Nos (Adelina Patti’s estate in the Swansea Valley)? I just developed a huge curiosity about her life and had to find out more.
“Yes, there have been biographies of Adelina Patti before, but they have been pretty dry. My intention is to create something livelier with wider appeal.”

Mrs Hammond’s debut book, called Battle in Iraq: Letters and Diaries of the First World War, focuses on the life of her grandfather.
It is a moving and unusual …

Carmarthenshire doorstep warning

Carmarthenshire Trading Standards Service is again advising residents to be on their guard against rogue traders who call uninvited to look for work.
This follows a recent spate of incidents where elderly people have been targeted by unscrupulous traders offering services such as roof cleaning, painting and decorating and other repairs.
In some cases, large amounts of cash have been requested before work starts and in some incidents the consumer, usually elderly, has been taken to a bank to withdraw money.
Trading Standards Manager Roger Edmunds said: “We have noticed a significant increase in such incidents recently and it may be down to the current economic climate.
“We would urge residents not to agree on their doorstep to have work done, especially if the trader is asking for a large deposit.
“If your property is in need of maintenance then Trading Standards does maintain a register of general builders and other related trades. We would always recommend taking some time to think about…

Llansteffan cash boost

Young people in Llansteffan are to benefit from a £25,000 cash boost for a multi-use sports facility under the Community Cashback Scheme.
Dyfed Powys Criminal Justice Board awarded the money after the Neighbourhood Policing Team, the local youth club and sports association identified the need for more facilities for youngsters in the area,
The Community Cashback Scheme uses money received from the recovery of criminal assets to plough back into the community.
Dyfed Powys Criminal Justice Board business manager Linda Fox said: “Young people will soon have a great new sports facility that will benefit the community in Llansteffan and the surrounding villages.”
For further information on the Community Cashback Scheme call 01256 242156 or email

PCSOs Jamie Fleig and Bryany Phillips with Llansteffan Sports Association secretary Carys Jones, volunteer youth worker Cath Wilson, Llansteffan Sports Association vice chairman Arwyn Howells and local youngsters at the site tha…

More powers for Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire council’s Social Justice Scrutiny Committee is to get greater powers to deal with crime and disorder in Carmarthenshire.
New legislation comes into force on October 1 2009 which requires all local authorities in Wales to establish a committee to review or scrutinise crime and disorder functions.
As a result, the council is proposing to expand the terms of reference of its existing Social Justice Scrutiny Committee.
It means that any member of the council will be able to put a local crime and disorder matter on the committee’s agenda to be discussed at a meeting, for example, anti-social behaviour or other behaviour adversely affecting the local environment, or the misuse of drugs or alcohol.
The committee will then have the power to make a report or recommendations to the county council or executive board.
Under the new legislation Dyfed-Powys Police and Dyfed-Powys Police Authority; as well as Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Authority and Carmarthenshire Local Health Bo…

Carmarthenshire recession-busters!

All major organisations within Carmarthenshire are working together to help beat the recession.
Members of the Local Service Board (LSB) – Hywel Dda Health Board, Carmarthenshire County Council, Dyfed Powys Police, Trinity University, Coleg Sir Gar, Carmarthenshire Association of Voluntary Services, Environment Agency and others – have pledged to work in partnership to put the county on a firm footing.
The top level LSB, which meets every two months, discussed the recession at their latest meeting this week.
Members heard how the recession had hit the county, with the number of redundancies up, number of young people unemployed rising and investment opportunities down.
They also discussed the impact it had on crime, education, jobs, housing and businesses.
A workshop was held to look at how the recession was affecting services, what has already been done in response, and what other things the partners could do to reduce the impact.
They heard that the impact of the recession in Carmarthensh…

Ruth Jones launches competition

Gavin and Stacey star Ruth Jones has officially launched the first ever Welsh libraries competition.
Ruth, in her role as Welsh Libraries Champion, joined Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones at Cardiff’s new flagship library to launch ‘Express Yourself’ - the Welsh libraries arts competition.
People are invited to write a poem, create a work of art or perform a play that would inspire people to visit their local library, with prizes of up to £500 on offer.
Ruth 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 achi…

Rural Carmarthenshire gets a boost

Rural villages across Carmarthenshire are in line for a facelift thanks to a new Village Enhancement Scheme being funded by the EU Rural Development Plan.
The project, being led by Carmarthenshire County Council, will consist of three elements.
The first will focus on major environmental improvements in Pendine, where nearly £500,000 will be spent over the next couple of years. The scheme has been identified following a period of intensive consultation with the local community.
The second element will involve undertaking feasibility work in other key rural towns, and the final element will see a new pot of funding set up to encourage improvements to commercial properties and environmental enhancements throughout the county’s rural villages.
Further scoping studies will be carried out in key rural towns to identify priority physical regeneration works to improve public areas.
The scoping studies will involve initial town and site assessments, identification of priority projects, public con…

Quote of the day

"When you stop eating them, you get a strange feeling in your mouth that can only be cured by eating another one. I am sure they were invented by an evil genius" - Broadcaster Nicky Campbell on his self-confessed addiction to wine gums.
I have to agree!

Believe it or not . . .

Dedicated poetry fans showed off a vast verse after having the needle for months - but the words were a bit woolly.
More than 1,000 people have given up their time to create knitted squares which were joined up to make a huge 40ft by 40ft version of Dylan Thomas's In My Craft Or Sullen Art.
The finished product was unveiled outside The British Library in London's St Pancras to mark the Poetry Society's centenary.
Wonder what Dylan would have said about it all?

Classic intro . . .

Students of journalism take note.
Examine this classi intro par -
A gay man tried to poison his lesbian neighbours by putting slug pellets into their curry after he was accused of kidnapping their three-legged cat.
See the full story -

Cash boost for new university

The University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College Carmarthen have welcomed the news that Education Minister Jane Hutt has approved a £14.3 million funding package in support of the creation of a brand new university in South West Wales.
The University of Wales Trinity Saint David will build upon the heritage and strengths of Wales’s two oldest institutions, and will go towards providing enhanced facilities and resources for students and communities in the region.
The £14.3 million funding award from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) will ensure that the new university can respond to the economic and social needs of Wales.
In particular the funding will enable the University to address skills needs through the creation of a number of initiatives and will enhance and strengthen existing academic areas. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David will build upon existing partnerships with key agencies including further education colleges and schools t…

Trinity Festival high hopes

“How do you follow that?” That’s a question to wrestle with for the director of the annual Trinity Festival, Eilir Owen Griffiths.
The 2009 festival produced a host of memorable moments, including the world premiere of a Karl Jenkins composition.
“It was a quite outstanding festival and one which will live long in the memory,” said Mr Griffiths.
“Every year we seem to raise the bar higher, but the great thing is that we are starting to win greater recognition for the festival throughout Wales and Britain.
“Yes, the challenge always has to be to work out ways to improve the festival and make it an even bigger cultural attraction for next year. But we have a good team behind the festival and we are confident next year’s event will make its mark in its own unique way.”
Mr Griffiths said he had many personal highlights from 2009’s festival.
“The final concert featuring ‘O Beata Trinitas’, a choral work by someone recognised as Britain’s most famous composer, Karl Jenkins, was an obvious highspo…

Question time in Carmarthenshire

Children and young people across Carmarthenshire are being invited to attend an event at County Hall on Tuesday October 13 to ask question about their County and issues affecting them direct to Councillors and key decision makers.
An Audience with Carmarthenshire Council coincides with the Local Democracy Week which will take place in the third week of October – from Monday 12 to Sunday 18.
The aim of Local Democracy Week is about getting young people more involved with, and aware of, their local council.
Youth Participation Officer, Sarah Powell said:
“This is a great opportunity for children and young people to voice their concerns and to learn more about the role of the council what our councillors do on our behalf.
“The event is open to all young people and we hope that they go home with most of their questions answered by County Councillors.”
The event runs from 9:30 – 11:30am
For further information, please contact Children’s participation Officer Nia-Wyn John or Youth participation Of…

Fun at half-term in Llanelli

Young people in the Llanelli area can expect to have a fun-filled programme of activities during half term, October 26-30.
The Splash Programme, delivered in partnership by Carmarthenshire Youth Service, the Youth Offending Service and the Community Safety Partnership engages young people in a range of activities during half term holidays.
The activities are open to young people between the ages of 11-17.
Activities during the week include mountain biking, bike maintenance, coasteering, kayaking and climbing.
Huw Thomas, Senior Youth Worker in the Llanelli Area said:
“The Splash Project is a great way for young people to make new friends and a way of introducing them to projects we have on offer at Bwlch throughout the year.
“By engaging young people in worth while activities they are less likely to get involved in anti social behaviour.
“Our activities help young people maintain a healthy lifestyle as well as helping them develop new skills and interests.”
Young people can get involved in Yo…

Quote of the day

"One of the joys of getting old is that you retain the reasons why you're angry, you just don't appear to be angry. Which is great. You get into a lot less trouble" - Actor and hell-raiser Keith Allen.

Strange but true . . .

Revellers caught relieving themselves in public will be told to clean up their own mess with a new device nicknamed the "urinator" or face prosecution, police said.
Officers from Pontefract and Knottingley Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) in West Yorkshire have taken to the streets with the disinfectant spray device, following complaints from local business owners about people urinating in shop doorways.
Anyone caught short who refuses to use the equipment, which consists of a high pressure sanitation washer and brush and is one of only a few being used in the country, will face an £80 fine or prosecution.
No jokes about spending a penny, please.

Wacky Wednesday at Botanic Gardens

Families in Carmarthenshire will have the chance to join in the fun at a special celebration, ‘Wacky Wednesday’, on October 28 to mark this year’s Parents’ Week at the National Botanic Gardens.
Keith Towler, The Children’s Commissioner for Wales, will open the event and will speak about his role as a commissioner and children’s rights.
Building on the success of last year, the event offers a range of activities for children and families including a host of children’s entertainers, Carmarthenshire Children’s Services Play Bus, face painting, balloon modelling, story telling, arts and crafts.
Local organisations including Action for Children, Plant Dewi and Carmarthenshire County Council will be involved. In addition, the consultation on Carmarthenshire’s Family Support Strategy will be opened, where information will be available about local services for Children and Families where members of the public can give feedback on the services and information they need.
During the event, the Carma…

Dream job for Llangennech woman

A Llangennech woman has landed her dream job thanks to the support from Genesis Sir Gâr Project 2.
There are high hopes for mother of three Karen Deacon as she kicks off her new business, Maud’s Baby Show.
The Genesis Project Sir Gâr 2 helped Karen find child care which enabled her to actively attend courses and meetings to set up her own business. In addition to childcare support, Genesis gave Karen personal support, guidance and signposting.
Karen said:
“The support from Genesis was phenomenal; by having childcare support I was able to develop my business plans and undertake necessary research.
“I knew that my children were well looked after so I was able to concentrate fully on my goal.
“When you’re a parent it can be very difficult at times to get child care to concentrate on what you want to do, but thanks to Genesis I have been able to build my own business and make a difference for my family.”
Karen recently held a successful baby show at Carmarthen Showground where parents from all o…

Quote of the day

"The taxes are too high, there aren't enough incentives to work hard, and our politicians have put me off. We're paying through the nose for everything" - Artist Tracey Emin, who is considering leaving Britain for France.
Ta-ta then Tracey. Will we miss you?

Believe it or not . . .

A school lollipop man quit after a complaint from a parent about handing out chocolate treats to pupils.
John Hunter, 69, was advised by council officials not to give sweets and high-fives to children at Corstorphine Primary School in Edinburgh as he helps them cross the road.
Edinburgh City Council confirmed Mr Hunter quit after he was informed of a complaint from a parent about chocolate being handed out to children.
This has just put me in Victor Meldrew mode for the morning!