Showing posts from October 25, 2009

Tindle on newspapers . . .

'Sir Ray Tindle: harbinger of good news in industry hit by recession'
Interesting piece in the Telegraph today.
Sir Ray is one of the few executives remaining positive about the struggling regional and local newspaper sector, still buying titles and saving jobs where possible in the belief that a mix of "names, faces and places" sells local titles.
Hooray! Nice to see someone recognises a simple truth.
See full story -

Another pic from the Star Ball

This one is of all the surviving editors of the Llanelli Star -
Robert Lloyd, Charles Braham, Cathryn Ings, Bede MacGowan (the current editor), Spencer Feeney and Andrew Pearson.

See earlier post -

Quote of the day

"If you make John Major's voice a bit more camp, you get Julian Clary. But if you make him more forceful, you get Michael Caine" - Impressionist Jon Culshaw.

Strange but true . . .

A pet parrot called Houdini has been give the green light to travel on buses - providing its owner keeps it on a lead.
Bosses at bus firm Stagecoach were worried that Michael Burdette-Deakin's bird might fly off his shoulder and distract drivers or upset passengers.
But they agreed to the parrot getting on board as long as Mr Burdette-Deakin, of Newmarket, Suffolk, fitted it with a harness and lead.

Star Centenary Ball pictures

The pictures have landed from the Llanelli Star Centenary Ball staged at the Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli -

Carol Lloyd, Robert Lloyd and celebrity chef Anna Brown.

Councillor Hugh Richards, Carol Lloyd and Robert Lloyd.
See earlier post -

Carmarthenshire schools get a lift

Guy Fawkes celebrations will start off with a bang at Carmarthenshire schools on Thursday.
The county’s catering service is gearing up for a rocket in sales as they introduce a special themed menu to celebrate November 5.
Pupils will be tucking in to a low fat sausage in a roll, with bonfire potato bites and baked beans, followed by homemade treason toffee apple crumble and custard.
The meals will provide a nutritionally balanced lunch as an alternative to the current winter menu.
Catering services manager Sandra Weigel said: “It’s nice to be able to offer the children an alternative to the usual three-weekly menu.
“All our meals are put together using a computer system which ensures meals are nutritionally balanced, even down to their mineral content.
“The Guy Fawkes menu is a bit of fun, which the children can enjoy ahead of their evening celebrations.”
Carmarthenshire’s catering service serves up 19,000 school meals to children in 138 schools every day, as part of its commitment to provid…

Japan firm hope for Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire County Council is in discussions with a large Japanese manufacturing firm with a view to them establishing their UK base in the county.
The business is well respected and is the largest manufacturer of its product in the world.
If they decide to invest in Carmarthenshire, the company will create around 20 jobs straight away, with further jobs down the line as part of the firm’s plans for developing a state of the art factory in South West Wales.
Through lengthy discussions between the firm, West Wales Chamber of Commerce and Carmarthenshire County Council the project could see a 10-year plan being implemented locally, possibly in the Amman Gwendraeth area.
Deputy leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, Cllr Kevin Madge, said: “The lure of Carmarthenshire for a company such as this is clear for all to see.
“We’ve offered a superb property deal to the company and will assist with securing funding for the inward investor too.
“Carmarthenshire offers a genuine hook for a com…

Llanelli debt advice day success

A Communities First event to offer advice and support on debts and benefits has been well received by members of the public.
The event, held in Llanelli, brought together service providers offering employment support services, debt and benefit support and legal aid advice, with the aim of providing people with a network of support to help ease financial pressures.
The event was arranged as part of the Llanelli Communities First Debt and Benefit Volunteering Demonstration Project, which has been funded by the Welsh Assembly Governments Outcomes Fund and Carmarthenshire County Council to deliver debt and benefit support services run by volunteers throughout the Tyisha, Glanymor, Llwynhendy, Felinfoel and Bigyn areas.
The project also supports general volunteering to up-skill and re-train residents of the wards with a view to finding employment.
Volunteers have been recruited over a number of months, and have received training to enable them to support and advise members of the public.
The vo…

New Dock workshop success

Children have been getting creative during the school half-term at a wood craft workshop in New Dock, Llanelli.
Children were joined by woodcraft artists from Artscare who helped them join in with activities including willow structure and bench making.
It was organised by the New Dock Residents and Tenants Association, which meets every second Monday of the month, 5.15pm at Emmanuel Baptist Chapel.
The event was assisted by Glanymor and Tyisha Communities First, a Welsh Assembly initiative run locally by Carmarthenshire County Council.

Local children join Teresa Armstrong, Secretary of New Dock Residents and Tenants Association, woodcraft artist Scott Blytt Jordens of Artscare, and Cllr John Jones. Pic Jeff Connell
See earlier post -

Cash windfall for Burry Port

Burry Port is celebrating a £25,000 cash windfall to develop community facilities at the town’s St Mary’s Church.
The grant has been awarded by Carmarthenshire County Council as part of its County Collaboration Fund.
The grant money, along with match funding secured by the church - including over £100,000 of community fundraising - will mean the second phase of the redevelopment of St Mary’s Church can go ahead.
The project, called Narthex@St.Marys, will create a community facility capable of seating 500 people.
It will provide a centre for music and arts as well as a place for social gathering.
The County Collaboration Fund supports voluntary community groups, registered charities, and town, rural and community councils, on projects to improve community facilities, physical environments, parks and play areas.
Funds are being made available through a partnership approach with a selection of other significant funding providers within the county.
Rev Paul Davies, Vicar of Burry Port, said: “As…

Felinfoel stays healthy and wealthy

A highly successful food co-op in Felinfoel is keeping locals healthy and wealthy.
The co-op, now into its third year, continues to go from strength to strength with over 20 families now on board buying fresh local fruit and vegetables at half the price of those available in supermarkets.
The co-op operates from Felinfoel Community Education Centre and Ysgol y Felin in partnership with Communities First and the Rural Regeneration Unit.
Every Wednesday, co-op volunteers take orders and payment from local families at the Community Education Centre, which go directly to the farmer.
The following Wednesday, the farmer delivers the order in bulk and volunteers divide the produce into equal shares and bag up the goods for customers to collect later in the day.
The bags vary each week, based on what is in season, but vegetable bags will almost always hold potatoes, carrots and onions.
Fruit bags usually consist of apples, bananas and oranges, plus some seasonal crops. Each bag costs just £3.
All pr…

Party time in Ammanford

Ammanford will be partying to the sounds of electropop and the New Romantics with an alternative 80s themed event this weekend.
Organised by the town’s Pantyteen Crew, the event will be held after dark at the Parcyrhun Playing Fields on Saturday, October 31.
Party After Dark will see plenty of fun and games for young and old, including a challenging bungee run, inflatables and a DJ playing some of the 80s biggest hits.
Emma Martin-Jewell, Pantyffynnon Communities First development officer, said: “This event has proved to be a success since it was started just a few years ago.
“It helps to reduce anti-social behaviour and also helps make residents feel safer in the community during an annual festival that sometimes makes people feel a little uneasy.”
The event starts at 5pm, and entry is free.
For further information, contact Pantyffynnon Communities First on 01269 590255.

Scarlets appeal to 'Be a Nice Guy'

The Scarlets are urging us to ‘Be a Nice Guy’ this Halloween and Bonfire Night.
They are supporting Carmarthenshire’s Community Safety Partnership initiative to cut ghoulish behaviour and help young and old stay safe.
This time of year is one of the busiest for the police and the fire service with parties, fireworks, bonfires and trick-or-treating in the streets.
People are being encouraged to have fun but to stay safe and not let celebrations get out of hand.
As a result, a number of activities are taking place in the lead-up to celebrations as part of an all Wales multi-agency campaign called Operation Be a Nice Guy.
Shops and supermarkets throughout the county are being asked not to sell eggs and flour to young people in the lead-up to October 31.
Posters have also been produced for householders to display in their windows to say whether they welcome trick or treaters. The posters will be available from police stations throughout Carmarthenshire as well as the council’s customer service …

Funding fayres for Carmarthenshire

Rural community groups across Carmarthenshire will be able to access information about ways of regenerating their towns and villages at a round of upcoming ‘funding fayres’.
Carmarthenshire County Council officers leading the Rural Development Plan (RDP) in the county are putting on events in a series of venues so that people can gain an insight in to the scheme.
The fayres will visit Llanybydder, Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthen, Whitland and Llandeilo.
The projects have received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
Carmarthenshire has been successful in attracting over £8.7million from the fund, which is currently being invested in a number of projects designed to support the regeneration of rural areas.
They include a rural conversion grant programme which seeks to help small businesses to convert redundant rural buildings into business use; community regenerat…

Carmarthenshire adoption appeal

As National Adoption Week 2009 kicks off (November 9-15), the West Wales Adoption Agency, responsible for providing adoption services to Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion,says the need for permanent families for children in their area is as great as ever.
The West Wales Adoption Service is particularly looking for families for older sibling groups of two or more. These children will have experienced severe trauma and neglect, may have a disability and will require resilient and committed families able to provide permanent and secure care. They welcome applications for all sectors of the community.
Norry Hutchison, Manager of the West Wales Adoption Service says: “There are no blanket bans in adoption, so please don’t think we’ll turn you down because you’re over 40, single, or don’t own your own home. What we really need are people who can offer a child or sibling group a loving and supportive family for life. Indiv…

Carmarthenshire a conference hotspot

Carmarthenshire is set to become a hotspot for business conferences.
A campaign highlighting unique venues will be launched and will be promoted to companies all over Britain.
Local companies that rely on the business trade are being given the chance to feature in the new campaign.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s tourism and marketing team is confident the launch of Conference and Corporate Activity Venues will boost business tourism in the county.
The comprehensive listings will include everything a company would need to know when choosing where to hold a conference, team building exercise or combination of the two.
It highlights several quality venues that can accommodate a range of conference needs for groups of up to 1,500 people.
It aims to show how Carmarthenshire is a perfect setting for business conferences – from formal gatherings to fun team building exercises.
It lists conference facilities such as the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthne, where guests can dine in the lar…

Carmarthenshire new business booster

Budding entrepreneurs are hitting the streets of Carmarthen to try their new businesses ideas out for size.
Pupils from the area’s primary and secondary schools have been busy coming up with innovative products and services that would benefit people in the future.
They will seek the views of Carmarthen shoppers as part of a Young People’s Business Market at the Greyfriar’s Shopping Centre on Thursday, November 19, from 11am-3pm.
There will also be an opportunity for shoppers to purchase some of their new products on the day.
The event is being organised by Carmarthenshire County Council’s business development teams, in partnership with Careers Wales.
It is part of their efforts to encourage young people to venture in to the business world and to explore ways of gaining support and employment opportunities locally.
The aim is to create a pool of skilled and talented young people who don’t feel the need to move away from Carmarthenshire to get the expertise needed to support their business gr…

Quote of the day

"Corruptibility is now the commonplace of politics. And there is no longer any such thing as disgrace. Men do not retire to the shadows like Mr Profumo, they bluster and swagger" - Broadcaster Edward Enfield, father of comedian Harry Enfield.

Strange but true . . .

The BBC has pulled an episode of This Week from the internet amid worries of a race backlash after host Andrew Neil compared Diane Abbott and Michael Portillo to a chocolate HobNob biscuit and a custard cream.
The political show was broadcast on BBC1 on the same night as BNP leader Nick Griffin's controversial appearance as a guest on Question Time.
This Week began with Neil poking fun at Prime Minister Gordon Brown's reluctance to name his favourite biscuit.
Oh dear!

Craft fun at New Dock

Children are being invited to get creative during the school half-term by taking part in a wood craft workshop in New Dock, Llanelli.
The event, being organised by the New Dock Residents and Tenants Association, takes place today (Tuesday) and Wednesday, October 27 and 28, between 10am and 3pm at the park next to the Ali Raj restaurant, Trinity Road.
Activities will include willow structure, bench making and other woodcraft.
All children must be accompanied by their parents with a signed parental consent form.
Children are asked to bring a packed lunch, though soft drinks will be provided free of charge.
To book a place, or for further information, contact Farah Aziz at Glanymor and Tyisha Communities First on 01554 777850, or Teresa on 07894793204.

Carmarthenshire garden project success

A scheme to give older people’s gardens a one-off tidy up has been an outstanding success.
More than 180 people asked for help this year from the Garden Tidy Scheme run by Age Concern Sir Gar.
Age Concern Sir Gar runs the Garden Tidy Scheme which uses young offenders to carry out work supervised by the probation Service on gardens for people aged 70 and over who cannot do it themselves and have no immediate family within 6-10 miles, or aged 50+ on Disability Living Allowance or similar benefit and with no family within 6-10 miles. There is no charge for the service.
The project has been limited to the Llanelli area in recent years as of this year the service can be offered to people anywhere in Carmarthenshire following a £7,200 donation from the county council’s 50+ Strategy.
The funding authorised by 50+ Champion Cllr Kevin Madge has been used to buy new equipment such as mowers and strimmers.
Age Concern Sir Gar chief officer Ann Dymock said: “The Probation Service provides young offend…

Carmarthenshire housing meetings

Carmarthenshire Housing Services will hold its latest round of Tenant Network meetings in late November and early December.
Taf/Myrddin Tenant Network will hold a meeting at Yr Aelwyd communal lounge in Tregynnwr on Wednesday November 25 at 6.30pm.
Teifi Tenant Network’s meeting will be held in Aberduar chapel vestry, Llanybydder, on Wednesday December 2 at 6.30pm, while Tywi Tenant Network will meet in Maes Elfryn communal lounge, Llandeilo, on Wednesday December 9 at 6.30pm.
All tenants and residents on the county council’s sites are welcome to attend. There will be a buffet available. Transport will be provided to the venues or travelling expenses will be reimbursed. There will be crèche facilities if required, but you will need to inform Housing Services beforehand.
There will a guest speaker attending each meeting as well as the area housing manager and area housing officers.
Carmarthenshire County Council tenant participation officer Maria Evans said: “Please take this opportunity to…

Quote of the day

"Aren't those ears great? I just want to grab them. He is like some fabulous little wonderful animal" - Dame Helen Mirren on TV's Andrew Marr.

Strange but true . . .

Guests at a murder mystery party playing detective in the hunt for a "killer" in a church failed to notice a real crime had taken place.
The eight people who took part in the murder mystery dinner party at the Elim Pentecostal church in Yeovil, Somerset, had spent the evening looking for fictional clues, but did not spot the signs of a burglary that had taken place the night before. The church had been broken into and thieves stole a large TV, laptop computer and the contents of a safe.
But it was only as the vicar, the Rev Howard Davenport, came to open the church for the Sunday service that the break-in came to light.

Back from Kosova

Just back from Kosova. More on this trip - an aid mission with Val Newton - later.