Showing posts from December 6, 2009

Welsh Premier Leagues votes for 44 games

Welsh Premier football clubs have voted narrowly for a 44-match programme next season when the new 12-team super league is formed.
See thisissouthwales website -

Clamp on Carmarthen pub music

A Carmarthen pub has been stopped from playing music until measures have been put in place to prevent neighbours being disturbed.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s licensing committee reviewed the licence of the Three Salmons in Water Street following complaints about noise disturbance.
The committee also removed the pub’s designated premises supervisor because of problems, including under age drinking.
This week’s meeting of the licensing committee was told that the grounds of the review are based on the Prevention of Public Nuisance licensing objective.
Following complaints of overly loud music, Public Health undertook an investigation which involved officer visits and installation of noise monitors. Monitoring found that music could regularly be heard in neighbouring houses.
Noise Abatement Notices were served upon the tenant of the pub and also the manager of the pub. The Public Health Section continued to receive complaints and it was decided that a review of the premises licence was n…

Welsh interest at the races today . . .

Welsh trainers with runners include -
Peter Bowen
13:25 Doncaster Mayor Of Kilcock D Devereux
14:35 Doncaster Quattrocento (FR) R Johnson
15:00 Cheltenham Souffleur S E Durack
Dai Burchell
15:10 Doncaster Thehonourablelady Christian Williams
20:50 Wolverhampton Feeling (IRE) David Probert
Tim Vaughan
13:25 Doncaster Winterwood (IRE) R Johnson
I have a soft spot for Quattrocento. Once won nicely for me at Ffos Las!

Llanelli apartments win praise

Cwrt y Wern, a development of apartments in Llanelli, came runner up at the National Home Improvement Council awards in London.
Built by Grŵp Gwalia in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council, Cwrt y Wern was shortlisted for the ‘Best brownfield or recycled building project’ category.
The award recognises outstanding developments that use recycled urban buildings or land.
Cwrt y Wern, previously known as Davies Square, was built by Carmarthenshire County Council in the early 1980s, as a block of flats for social housing rent.
The building was emptied in 2002, it became vandalised, derelict and an eyesore, attracting anti-social behaviour and creating problems for neighbours in close proximity.
As part of a partnership with Carmarthenshire Council, whereby the council gifts land to Gwalia, the building was refurbished and remodelled to provide more affordable homes in the county.
Stuart Davies, Director of Social and Affordable Housing Development at Gwalia attended the awards cere…

'Duke of Ed' delight for Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire Council’s Youth Service is celebrating yet another achievement in its delivery of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Thanks to the hard work of schools, youth service staff and volunteers, Carmarthenshire has topped the charts in the Wales Annual Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Review.
Out of Wales’s 22 Local Authorities, Carmarthenshire has the highest number of young people achieving, with 503 young people in the County holding Duke of Edinburgh’s qualification
In the past year, Carmarthenshire has also delivered 10.4% of all Welsh Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards.
Councillor Gwynne Wooldridge, Executive Board Member for Children and Educations Services said:
“Yet again the County is being recognised for its outstanding contributions to young people. This is a great achievement for Carmarthenshire and the hard work by all involved is greatly appreciated.
“We are very fortunate as a County that our young people have access to such fantastic lifelong learning programmes.
“The Carmarthenshi…

Carmarthenshire Youth Council wins award

Carmarthenshire Youth Council has won a Carmarthenshire’s Association Voluntary Services (CAVS) Award for their commitment in ensuring that young people across the County have a voice on decisions which affect their lives.
Since it was established in 2003 by young people for young people, Carmarthenshire Youth Council has been successful in providing opportunities for young people to be involved in youth participation; workshops have included awareness campaigns on the Rights of the Child, Democracy and Votes at 16.
The Council has also been in consultation with key decision makers in the county to help improve facilities for young people.
To date, one of their most successful achievement has been the Speak Up Project which
has captured the views of many young people across the county on services that are provided to them, such as health, environment, education and policing.
Peter Morgan, Carmarthenshire Youth Council member said:“It’s fantastic to have recognition for the work we do f…

Trinity role for Marian

Mrs Marian Thomas has been appointed as the new head of Initial Teacher Education and Training (ITET) at Trinity University College.
A graduate of the University of Aberystwyth, Mrs Thomas is an experienced teacher of Welsh and Welsh as a Second Language who has worked within schools across Wales, including as a Departmental Head at Sir Thomas Picton School, Haverfordwest, Ysgol Gyfun Aberteifi and Ysgol Gyfun y Strade, Llanelli.
She has been an Advisory Teacher for the County of Dyfed and a Schools Advisor for Pembrokeshire between 2000 and 2007 before joining the staff at Trinity as a Welsh Education Advisor.
During her time at Trinity she has been responsible for updating the scheme used by ITET departments across Wales, to develop the Welsh language skills of second language primary pupils.
The scheme, which is funded through the Centre for Welsh Medium Higher Education, will be launched in the New Year.
Marian said of her appointment, "I feel privileged to lead such a progressive…

Quote of the day

"I don't listen to him. He says everything is common. I think it's common to say things are common" - Outfitter Jeremy Hackett hits out at society designer Nicky Haslam, who described cufflinks as common.

Believe it or not . . .

Shopping centre bosses have apologised after an 84-year-old woman was told to lower the hood of her anorak because she was in breach of a 'no hood policy'.
Bosses at the Grand Arcade in Cambridge said sorry for 'any stress' Peggy Harden, who walks with a stick, may have suffered when chastised by a security guard.
The arcade - which uses photographs of models wearing hooded tops in its advertising blurb - said it operated a 'no hood policy' to 'ensure a safe and enjoyable shopping experience for everyone'.

Guardian has a pop at Carmarthenshire Council

Interesting 'Opinion' piece in the South Wales Guardian in Ammanford this week -
First it was their own newspaper, then it was an Internet TV channel. Carmarthenshire Council are certainly not slow in thinking up seemingly limitless ways of frittering away their budgets.
Now County Hall seems hell-bent on pursuing legal action against a retired Llandybie builder.
Contrary to what the rest of us have been led to believe, they really must have boundless funds.
Nigel Humphreys, readers will recall, was recently acquitted of all charges relating to legal action launched by the council, which left the taxpayer with an estimated bill of around £28,000.
Although that appeared to be the end of the matter, the local authority has now been granted leave to appeal.
Heaven knows what this new High Court action is going to cost.
At the end of the day, this is public money being used to take members of the public to court.
It has been a dreadful year and each and every one of us has had to tighten …

Brynamman riverside plan gets go-ahead

Plans to create a riverside walk and seated area in Upper Brynamman have been approved by Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning committee today.
The local authority has plans for an environmental enhancement scheme to include car parking, hard and soft landscaping and the creation of a riverside garden and seating area close to the Post Office on Mountain Road.
An officers’ report to the committee said that the site is on top of the long straight Station Road in Upper Brynamman where it bends around to the east to start Mountain Road, whilst the junction to the west leads to Llandeilo Road.
The site is in a prominent location, where previously there was a row of three terraced buildings which have been demolished because of safety concerns.
The report adds: “The proposed environmental improvement scheme serves to remedy an existing eyesore in the area following the demolition of the unsafe buildings.
“The proposed scheme is also situated at the end of a well travelled vista and it is i…

Cycle plan gets the go-ahead

Carmarthenshire County Council is encouraging visitors to Prince Philip Hospital to cycle there.
The local authority has been granted planning permission to put up a new cycle shelter on land in front of the hospital in Dafen as part of its Safe Routes in the Community initiative promoted by the Welsh Assembly Government.
The scheme involves a new shelter over part of the existing cycle storage facility to the front of the hospital and the provision of a temporary staff changing facility and associated cycle lockers behind the hospital.
The new shelter is to provide a covered storage facility for visitors to the hospital with the existing facility being open to the elements and offering no weather protection to cyclists.
An officers’ report to today’s meeting of the county planning committee says: “Shelters of this nature are now becoming common place within the grounds of schools and colleges in the county and are reflective of the authority’s policy of encouraging more sustainable modes…

Llanelli benefit man prosecuted

A Llanelli man has been prosecuted for claiming more than £3,000 in benefit and income support while receiving an occupational pension.
Llanelli Magistrates Court was told that Malcolm Davies, of Heol Dderwen, Llanelli, claimed housing and council tax benefit on the basis that he was a single man in receipt of income support.
In November 2007 a joint investigation was conducted between Carmarthenshire County Council and the Department for Work and Pensions into his claims for benefit and income support after information was received that he was receiving an occupational pension and also held capital which he had failed to declare.
Davies admitted at interview that he was in receiving an occupational pension from February 2007 and that he had received a substantial lump sum payment.
The court was told that Davies admitting failing to declare this to the housing benefit section. He said he had phoned the Job Centre to advise them of the change in his circumstances, however his benefit had n…

Monday date for Reds boys

The Llanelli Reds Under 16s Academy Team will play Swansea Schoolboys at Stebonheath Park on Monday 14th December. KO 7.15pm

Take a stake in Carmarthen Town AFC

Carmarthen Town AFC is gearing up for changes to the Welsh Premier League by giving businesses and individuals a chance to take a stake in the club.
The club is launching a share issue aimed at building on the club’s strong community links.
Club chairman Jeff Thomas said: “Carmarthen has always been one of the more progressive clubs in the Welsh Premier League.
“Changes to the league, with the formation of a smaller elite division next year, mean that we are looking to make changes to the way the club is structured.
“We have always been a community club. Unlike other teams in the Welsh Premier League, we do not rely on individual cash backers.
“There are some teams in the Welsh Premier League who stay competitive by relying on massive six figure donations from key individuals.
“This is a club which prides itself on being firmly founded on a widespread community footing.
“A new elite league will bring fresh challenges for Carmarthen Town AFC with potentially great rewards including qualificat…

Trinity student makes a splash!

Trinity University College student Rhys Green knows how to make a splash.
The 21-year-old outdoor education student and kayak specialist was named Young Volunteer of the Year in the Carmarthenshire Sports Personality of the Year awards announced earlier this year.
“It was a great achievement and one which brought justifiable pride to us here at Trinity,” his course tutor Bill Beynon said.
Rhys was nominated through Llandysul paddlers for his commitment to supporting others through pool and river sessions at Llandysul Outdoor Education centre and at Trinity University.
Rhys has also been a leading light in the university canoe club and has helped at Camp America.
In addition, Rhys marked the year by winning the John Rowlands special achievement award with Llandysul Paddlers.
“It has been a year of great achievement for Rhys and he thoroughly deserves all the success which has come his way,” said Mr Beynon.
Rhys is a part-time Year 3 student in outdoor education and is plainly at home on the w…

Carmarthenshire advice for Christmas

Carmarthenshire Trading Standards is issuing consumer advice as the Christmas shopping rush approaches.
With many people rushing to buy the latest must-have gadgets and toys or looking forward to the sales, the county council’s Trading Standards Service wants to ensure shoppers do not get ripped off.
The Know Your Consumer Rights campaign, launched earlier this year, is reminding people not to forget their rights through the festive period.
The key rules highlighted by the campaign are: goods must fit the description given; goods must be of satisfactory quality and goods must be fit for purpose.
Some common festive queries:
Do I have the same rights if I buy something in the sales?
Yes. If something is faulty, mis-described or not fit for purpose then it doesn’t matter if it was full price or in the sale – you are entitled to your money back. However, it is up to an individual retailer whether they want to take back an item because you have changed your mind.
What about unwanted gifts?

Pembrokeshire pupils stay awake for charity

Members of a Pembrokeshire Youth Club gave up a night's sleep recently in aid of charity.
Thirty three young people and six staff from Pembroke Dock Youth Club staged a sponsored stay-awake in aid of Children In Need.
Members played games and competitions and kept their spirits up until the early hours with disco and Karaoke.
The sponsored stay awake raised a total of £762.25 for charity.
Youth Worker Matt Done of Pembrokeshire Youth - Pembrokeshire County Council's youth service - said they were very grateful for all the support and help they received in keeping awake through the night.
"We'd like to thank local people and businesses for their kind donations of prizes for the competitions - along with donations of food and drink to keep us going - as well as a special thank you to our Police Community Support Worker Nadia Sullivan for all her hard work," he said.
"And a big thank you too to all the young people for making it such an enjoyable event."

Pembrokeshire old buildings in spotlight

Schoolchildren across the county have been researching Pembrokeshire's medieval sites.
Buildings, towns and monastic communities came under the spotlight in a competition run by the Pembrokeshire Historic Buildings Trust.
Pupils examined several different sites throughout the County including Pembroke Castle and the castles at Carew, Cilgerran, Manorbier and Haverfordwest.
Tenby's town walls were also researched as were churches at Rudbaxton and St Dogmaels and the Cathedral and Bishops Palace at St David's.
The competition culminated in a presentation ceremony last month at County Hall in Haverfordwest, where the winners were awarded their prizes and others received certificates.
The event was organised by the Pembrokeshire Historic Buildings Trust and hosted by Pembrokeshire County Council.
Council Chairman, Councillor Anne Hughes said it was wonderful to see pupils involved in such worthwhile and fascinating work.
"I congratulate all the winners and all those who took pa…

Girls star at Llandovery tag finals

Ysgol Dewi Sant girls excelled at a national tag rugby tournament.
Two teams from the St David's School represented Pembrokeshire at the national tag rugby finals in Llandovery.
Following a tough pool the Under 18s reached the semi finals and came third overall, while the Under 14's won three of their five matches only narrowly missing out on a semi final place.
However, team member Kayleigh Salmon was named as one of the four players of the tournament.
Tag rugby sessions have been organised at the school as part of Sport Pembrokeshire's 5x60 programme and are run by PE teacher Neil Davies - assisted by sixth former Scott Candler.
Over 50 girls between 11 and 16 attended at least one lunch time session this autumn.
Amanda John 5x60 Officer said it was great to see so many girls taking part in the sport and going onto represent Pembrokeshire in a national tournament.
"It just goes to show what a small school can achieve with the hard work of players and coaches," she …

Tavernspite school create splash

Tavernspite School created a splash at a recent swimming gala.
The primary school's swimming team won the overall trophy at the annual Narberth Inter Schools Swimming Gala.
It's the fourth year running that the school's team has won the competition.
Runners up were the young team from Narberth CP School.
Over 100 pupils from six school - Tavernspite, Narberth, Templeton, Brynconin, Bro Brynach and Whitland - took part in the three-day gala at Narberth swimming pool earlier this month.
Councillor Wynne Evans presented ribbons to the First, Second, Third and Fourth placed swimmers along with shields for the winning relay teams.
All race winners will now go through to the Pembrokeshire Juniors Schools Gala.

Stage army brings in expert help

When a local primary school was looking for specialists to help train its stage army they called in the experts...
Neyland Community School called up some Pembrokeshire squaddies to help put on its Christmas nativity play.
Army recruitment staff based in Haverfordwest put the young soldiers through their paces ... and even stayed to watch the dress rehearsal.
"The kids were really enthusiastic and responded incredibly well," said Sgt Barry John, of the Royal Welsh Second Battalion and a former pupil.
"I used to go to the school and it was wonderful to be able to help out a school which had helped me so much when I was younger," he said.
Organised by the school's English Coordinator Mary Evans, A Tale of Two Birthdays features the massed ranks of Herod's army - along with sand girls and entertainers as well as the more traditional nativity play cast.
"Herod's army play a key role in the play and we wanted the children to look like real soldiers," sa…

Clay Shaw Butler view on PBR

Carmarthen accountants Clay Shaw Butler have published their summary of Chancellor Alistair Darling's Pre-Budget Report.
Mr Darling spoke of the Report taking place at 'a critical time for our economy' and that the task was 'to secure the recovery and promote long-term growth'.
This summary concentrates on the main tax measures which are being introduced:
• a 1% increase in the NIC rates payable by employers, employees and the self-employed from April 2011
• freezing the personal allowances and tax bands at the 2009/10 amounts for most taxpayers
• the introduction of a 50% additional rate of tax for those with the highest income levels
• changes to the complex rules for the Special Annual Allowance charge which affect those with substantial income, making significantly higher pension contributions in anticipation of the removal of higher rate tax relief which will occur in 2011
• the deferral for a further year of the planned increase in the small companies corporation ta…

Haverfordwest stages carers day

More than 50 carers and their supporters attended a Carers Rights Day in Haverfordwest.
Organised by Pembrokeshire County Council, Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services (PAVS) and other voluntary groups, the event highlighted the benefits and services available to Carers in the County.
The event also saw the launch of a new Carers Pack, which has been developed by the County Council and voluntary organisations.
Speeches and workshops throughout the day focused on ways in which Carers can look after their health as well as learn about their pensions and benefits entitlements.
In the afternoon they were able to relax with taster sessions of complementary therapies.
There are estimated to be over 14,000 Carers in Pembrokeshire who provide support to their chronically ill, disabled or frail partners, relatives and friends.
The care they provide is unpaid and estimated to save the UK £87billion every year.

Early present for Milford's Amy

Amy Barrett from Milford Haven had an early present on the eve of her birthday - she discovered she had won a competition to design a Christmas card.
Amy - who was 22 on Tuesday - won a £25 shopping voucher when her design was chosen to adorn the front of a Christmas card for Pembrokeshire County Council's Director of Social Care and Housing, Jon Skone.
Amy was presented with her prize - plus of box of cards bearing her design - at the Christmas party of the Pembrokeshire Voices for Choices forum which gives disabled children and young people a chance to air their views.

Rhod Gilbert on TV again next weekend

TV preview for Saturday, December 19
Name: Rhod Gilbert
Image: Comic from the Valleys
Best Known For: His brilliant performances on Live at the Apollo
Early Life: Gilbert was born in Carmarthen, Wales in 1968 and studied languages at Exeter University. On graduation he worked as a qualitative researcher for a number of different market research agencies in London. Gilbert got into professional comedy in 2002, after taking a comedy course. Within 18 months, Gilbert had already won several different talent competitions.
Career: Rhod was nominated for the Perrier Newcomer award for his first solo show in 2005 at Edinburgh entitled 1984. He has since performed worldwide, and was the first western comedian ever to perform in Taiwan. He has appeared several times on the BBC Two shows Mock The Week, and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, even presenting one show in the programme's 23rd series, which aired in October 2009. He has also appeared as a guest on Channel 4's 8 Out of Ten Cats, and has us…

Believe it or not . . .

A prison inmate passed off what is thought to be a 4ft cannabis bush as a tomato plant for months before decorating it as a Christmas tree.
The convicted drug dealer grew the alleged class B pot plant at Verne Prison in Portland, Dorset, before staff became suspicious and sent it off for testing.
Other inmates at the category C training jail, which holds 595 prisoners, also made two models out of matchsticks to hide items like mobile phones and these were found during a routine search.

Quote of the day

"All original thinkers have a quality you can recognise. All architects wear ties with horizontal stripes. Or no ties at all" - The Duke of Edinburgh.

Welsh trainers with runners today

Peter Bowen -
12:30 Huntingdon Bob Mountain (IRE) D Devereux
15:00 Huntingdon Particle (IRE) W Marston
Tim Vaughan -
12:50 Taunton Raider of The East (IRE) B Wharfe
13:30 Huntingdon Picaroon L Stephens
13:40 Ludlow Dabaratsa (FR) T Scudamore
14:10 Ludlow Little Shilling (IRE) Dean Coleman
Rebecca Curtis -
16:30 Kempton New World Order (IRE) Not Specified
17:00 Kempton La Toya J (IRE) Dane O'Neill
The great John Jenkins offers the following advice -
"Albertas Run in the 2.00 Huntingdon. Romped home ahead of Planet of Sound and the mighty Voy Por Ustedes in the 1965 Chase at Ascot last month. Gold Cup runner. Second to Kauto Star in the '08 King George and only beaten by Madison Du Berlais and Denman in the Levy Board Chase last Feb. Only quality horses seem to beat this one (none in this race) and at 5/1 2nd Fav is a great bet, even e/w."

New group looks at homes for elderly

Members of Carmarthenshire County Council’s joint housing and health and social care committees have recommended the establishment of a Task and Finish Group to look at flexible care and housing choices for older people.
Their recommendation followed the rejection of a recommended consultation on proposals to remodel care services for older people in the county, as part of a recorded vote.
The proposals for consultation, and the proposed options for change, were discussed at length by the joint committee, which was held at County Hall.
Executive Board Member for Health and Social Care, Cllr Pat Jones, spoke during the meeting to voice her feelings on the subject, and made the suggestion that members consider setting up a Task and Finish Group.
The joint committee’s recommendation will now go before the next meeting of the Executive Board, members of which will be asked to decide whether to accept the recommendation, or to go ahead with consultation.
As part of their investigative role, Scr…

New bus for Teifi Valley

Residents of north Carmarthenshire will soon benefit from a new community transport service being launched in the county.
Bws Ni will provide pre-planned transport for community groups in the north Teifi Valley area to help them access services and to complement existing public transport links.
It will be the first community transport initiative of its kind in rural Carmarthenshire, and will benefit almost 90 community groups by offering reduced transport rates.
Funding for the minibus has been approved by Carmarthenshire County Council under the Rural Development Plan (RDP).
The service will be run by the Teifi Community Transport Association, and groups will have a central booking number.
It will be supported by Carmarthenshire County Council, the Community Transport Association, Pembrokeshire’s Preseli Rural Transport Association and the Carmarthenshire Association for Voluntary Services.
Craig Thomas, Carmarthenshire County Council community regeneration officer, said: “This pro…

Brechfa puts stamp on Christmas

A Carmarthenshire village is putting a new stamp on Christmas this year, with a range of services helping people to stay in touch.
Residents of Brechfa are now able to access online payment services and courier services – and more importantly they can now post their Christmas cards and parcels without having to leave the village.
The community shop and Post Office has benefitted from Rural Development Plan funding, approved through Carmarthenshire County Council.
Villagers have worked with council regeneration officers to apply for funding under the RDP Axis 3 Access to Services scheme, which aims to improve the quality of life in rural areas by supporting the delivery of basic services.
With the funding, the community has been able to purchase a Netbook, postal scales, broadband services, a router and antennae to transmit a signal up to one kilometre from the shop.
This has allowed them to provide postal services in the shop again, as well as providing additional benefits such as online p…

Lollipop man Barrie collects award

Wales's favourite lollipop man Barrie Glover, from Spring Gardens, Whitland, has collected his second award in a week and is in the running to become Britain’s Kwik Fit Insurance Lollipop Person of the Year.
Barrie was the first of Carmarthenshire’s 80 schools crossing patrol officer to take the Welsh title and capped an astonishing week being awarded with a special recognition award at the Authority’s Transport Award at Parc y Scarlets, Pemberton.
The national title will be decided next week.
As well as helping children at Whitland Primary School to cross the road for the last three years, Barrie, a sprightly 73, goes beyond the call of duty, helping with school dinners and lending a hand on class trips which he has done for more than 10 years.
Barrie beat cancer to return to school, after the children at the school wrote to him while he was receiving chemotherapy.
Further still, he is a talented artist and as well as painting stunning murals inside the school, he has also run an a…

Abergwili pupils impress shoppers

Young people have impressed Carmarthen shoppers with a range of products they have hand-crafted as part of a youth business market.
Pupils from Ysgol Abergwili, who sold occasion cards, and young people from Carmarthen’s Dr Mz project, who sold jewellery, were among the groups to present their business ideas to shoppers at the town’s Greyfriars shopping centre.
They were taking part in a business development scheme being run jointly by Carmarthenshire County Council and Careers Wales.
Officers visit schools and youth organisations throughout the county 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 growth.
It is hoped this will help create a strong and prosperous economy for Carmarthenshire’s future.
Angharad Harding, business…

Carmarthenshire service working wonders

Carmarthenshire's Enablement Service is benefitting people across the county.
This free service is provided in people’s own homes to support those who need help to regain independence, confidence and skills following a period of illness, disability, or loss of self-confidence.
Community enablement helps by supporting a return home from hospital or care home, and prevents unnecessary admissions to hospital or care.
Sheila Porter, Head of Integrated Services, said: “The service has been designed to support people to remain living safely in their own homes. It promotes choice and quality of life by helping people to do as much as they can for themselves.
“We are constantly looking for feedback about how our care services are run, and are consistently told that people prefer to be supported in their own homes where they feel most comfortable.”
Two people have been singing the praises of the service for helping them to be more confident and independent.
Here are their stories:
Mr Charles Ma…

Carmarthenshire schools go bananas!

Carmarthenshire Catering Service is continuing its commitment to supporting Fairtrade by introducing Fairtrade bananas in all schools and social care establishments across the county.
The service has worked closely with Carmarthenshire County Council’s fruit and vegetable supplier, Jones and Davies (Fruit) Ltd, based in Llandysul, to source Fairtrade produce wherever possible.
And the catering team is delighted that Robert Williams, director of Jones and Davies, has been able to source the bananas for the same price as the normal bananas.
Executive Board Member Cllr Pam Palmer, the county’s sustainability champion, said: “Usually Fairtrade branded items come with an increased cost, so we are delighted that our suppliers have been able to source these at no extra cost to the authority.
“We are now serving Fairtrade bananas in all our schools and social care establishments including residential homes and day centres.
“We are very grateful to Jones and Davies and are very proud to continue ou…

Llandovery pupils on crest of a wave!

Llandovery school pupils are riding high on the crest of a wave after raising over £750 for Children in Need by rowing around the world – twice!
Children from years seven and eight at Ysgol Pantycelyn clocked up an impressive 108,036 meters - that’s twice the circumference of the globe - by using rowing machines in their lunch hours.
They were supported in their feat by Carmarthenshire County Council 5x60 sports development officers, who work with young people to encourage them to take part in extra curricular physical activities.
5x60 is a Sports Council for Wales initiative funded by the Welsh Assembly and delivered by local authorities.
Since September 2008, all of Carmarthenshire’s 14 mainstream secondary schools have been introduced to the scheme, which aims to give pupils ownership of the sporting opportunities available to them.
Lyn Broderick, 5x60 officer for Carmarthenshire, said: “The pupils did a fantastic job, and tackled the rowing attempt with huge enthusiasm.
“They had planne…

Consultation on bovine TB

Rural Affairs Minster Elin Jones has launched an eight week consultation on legislation aimed at strengthening Wales’s programme to eradicate bovine TB.
The Tuberculosis and Brucellosis (Wales) Order 2010 would allow Welsh Ministers to amend existing legislation around pre-movement testing of cattle.
The measures proposed would help to strengthen Wales’ comprehensive TB Eradication programme which aims to tackle all sources of the disease.
The Minister explained that she had updated policies and tightened up on their delivery in an effort to eradicate Bovine TB. Measures so far had included reducing the number of overdue TB tests by 99%, removing infected cattle quickly and introducing the TB Health Check Wales which aimed to test all cattle in Wales by 31 December 2009 in order to get a better understanding of the scale and location of the disease in Wales.
The Minister said:"TB Health Check Wales comes to an end on 31 December 2009. The programme has been crucial in identifying …

Pembrokeshire sports project kicks-off

A new project aimed at introducing children to sport has got off to a flying start.
The Sportstart scheme attracted over 25 five to seven year-olds to its Saturday morning activity sessions at Haverfordwest Leisure Centre.
Organised by Sport Pembrokeshire - Pembrokeshire County Council's sports development arm - and funded by the Sports Council for Wales, the pilot project is now likely to be extended to other leisure centres across the County.
"Sportstart is a new fun way of introducing an often overlooked age group to sport and activity," said Councillor Rob Lewis, Cabinet Member for Sport and Leisure.
"The project aims to help develop movement skills such as agility balance and co-ordination so that youngsters have the basic skills necessary to take up the many different sports on offer in the County."
The project, which was run by qualified teachers and learning support assistants, also showed youngsters the connection between sport and healthy living - as well …

Cleddau Warriors star as hosts

Pembrokeshire's Cleddau Warriors played host to the South Wales disability league recently.
Twenty two teams from across south Wales played a series of football matches at Fishguard Leisure Centre.
Players competed in under 12, under 16 Premiership, under 16 Championship, over 16 Premiership and over 16 Championship matches.
The results will now be collated by the FAW Trust and a league table drawn up.
Games were refereed by Bernie Armstrong, Huw Bevan, Delwyn Lewis, Steve Brown, Jack Sullivan and Huw George.
Angela Miles, Disability Sport Development Officer for Pembrokeshire said although it was only the second year of the league's existence, the level of football was improving greatly.
"The Warriors put in teams for the Under 12,s Under 16's Championship and the Over 16s Premiership and Championship categories and although they lost more matches than they won they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were proud to host the event," she said.

Pembrokeshire praised by RSPCA

Pembrokeshire County Council has won a national RSPCA award for its pioneering work in combating rogue puppy farms.
The Council was crowned winner of the Wales Local Authority Innovator award in this year's RSPCA Community Animal Welfare Footprints scheme.
Principal officer Nigel Watts, accepted the award from Welsh Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones on behalf of the Public Protection Division's animal welfare team.
The award was presented at the Companion Animal Welfare Conference in Cardiff earlier this month.
The animal charity praised the Council's animal welfare team for its work in raising the welfare standards of licensed dog breeding and for cracking down on rogue puppy farms in what the charity described as the "puppy farming centre of the UK."
The animal welfare team has used funding available from the Welsh Assembly Government to produce a report recommending how dog breeding can be improved in Wales.
The report includes a Best Practice Guide for other author…

Quote of the day

"I asked Tiger Woods to come along but somehow the idea of 1,300 men didn't seem to be very appealing to him, although he did express a keen interest in my all-women shortlists" - Tory leader David Cameron addressing a virtually male-only lunch party.

Believe it or not . . .

Serbian president Boris Tadic has been fined 400 euros (£360) for toasting Serbia's football team with champagne after it qualified for the World Cup.
Judge Zoran Pasalic said Mr Tadic, his sports minister and another Belgrade official were found guilty of drinking alcohol at a sports venue after Serbia's 5-0 victory over Romania in October.
Drinking alcohol in and around sports stadiums is illegal in Serbia and attracts fines of 100 euros (£90) to 1,000 euros (£900).

Congratulations to Arthur Jones

Arthur Jones, 79, from Llanelli won BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2009 Unsung Hero award. He is secretary of Carmarthenshire junior, senior and mini football leagues and has been involved in football in Carmarthenshire as a player, manager and club secretary for almost 60 years. He now goes forward to the UK BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2009 awards at Sheffield Arena on Sunday, 13 December where the overall winner will be chosen.
See more on the BBC site and look at iplayer for Tuesday's BBC Wales evening news.

Carmarthen lads raise charity cash

Four Carmarthen school pupils have raised £1,250 for Children in Need by cycling from the town centre to Cardiff.
Joe Parfitt and his friends Ieuan Parry, Max Boothby and Orion Cotton, built up their stamina for their marathon ride by training at Carmarthen Leisure Centre.
Local member Cllr Steve Dunn approached Carmarthenshire County Council Chief Executive Mark James who gave the boys special dispensation to train for free at the leisure centre gym.
The boys, all Year 10 pupils at QE High School, trained for about a month before their ride.
Joe’s mum Sandy said: “The boys had a brilliant trainer in Richard Cheney, who is a fitness instructor at the leisure centre, and he gave them lots of tips and inspired them.
“It was great that they had free use of the leisure centre because they were indoors and safe rather than cycling on the roads after dark.
“They set out for Cardiff at 8am and arrived there just after 6pm which was a fantastic time. They only stopped for 10 minutes at a time. The …

Plans for Upper Brynamman

Plans to create a riverside walk and seated area in Upper Brynamman have been approved by Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning committee.
The local authority has plans for an environmental enhancement scheme to include car parking, hard and soft landscaping and the creation of a riverside garden and seating area close to the Post Office on Mountain Road.
An officers’ report to the committee said that the site is on top of the long straight Station Road in Upper Brynamman where it bends around to the east to start Mountain Road, whilst the junction to the west leads to Llandeilo Road.
The site is in a prominent location, where previously there was a row of three terraced buildings which have been demolished because of safety concerns.
The report adds: “The proposed environmental improvement scheme serves to remedy an existing eyesore in the area following the demolition of the unsafe buildings.
“The proposed scheme is also situated at the end of a well travelled vista and it is importa…

Monkton Primary School praised

The staff and governing body of Monkton Priory Community Primary School are delighted with the findings of their recent Estyn Inspection report.
The school was inspected in October as part of a national programme of school inspection. A copy of the summary report is available from the school.
The report highlights many outstanding features. The school was judged as a ‘very inclusive school, where pupils make good progress'. Outstanding features include the learning experiences provided for pupils and the care, support and guidance available to pupils.
The progress that the vast majority of learners make in their personal, spiritual, moral, social and wider development is outstanding. Pupils' behaviour is also an outstanding feature of the school.
The report also states that ‘the school's partnership with parents and the local community are highly successful and have outstanding features that enrich the life and work of the school and enhance children's experiences'.

Pembrokeshire updates disability scheme

Pembrokeshire County Council has published an updated Disability Equality Scheme.
The revised document helps to identify specific actions to be taken to improve the delivery of Council services to tackle disability inequality.
It also provides a clear picture about how the Authority considers the impact of the work it does for disabled people.
Copies of the scheme are available from the Council's contact centre on 01437 764551 or on the Council's website:

Festive markets in Pembrokeshire

Three special Christmas farmers' markets will be held in Haverfordwest over the festive season.
The markets will be held at Riverside Shopping on Friday 11th and 18th of December (9am to 3pm) and on Wednesday, 23rd December (9am to 1pm).
Shoppers can also place Christmas orders on 11th or 18th December and pick up their orders at the market on the 23rd - fresh for Christmas Day.
Stalls will be jam-packed with all sorts of Christmas produce, from farm-reared turkeys to free-range geese, winter vegetables, preserves, farmhouse cheeses, home-made Christmas cakes, mince pies and much more. For a special festive treat, why not try wild boar, pheasant and cranberry sausages, home-made black pudding and boar meatballs (baubles), gingerbread houses, or rum and coconut truffles?
If you're looking for presents, there's a great selection of Christmas hampers and winter planted baskets - or put together your own hamper filled with local produce.
Helping shoppers get into the festive spir…

Free tickets for Llanelli Reds

Hundreds of free tickets have been distributed to local primary and secondary schools in the Llanelli area in an effort to boost the attendance at this Sunday's Llanelli Reds Welsh Premier League home game with Prestatyn Town. Kick-off is at the usual afternoon time of 2.30pm. If any school has not received their tickets, they are asked to contact the Reds main office on 01554 758018.

Trinity venture scores goal in Carmarthen

An innovative new community venture run by Trinity University College has scored a major goal with Carmarthen’s soccer community.
Trinity has formed a partnership with Welsh Premier League side Carmarthen Town AFC under its Widening Access scheme.
The scheme’s aims are to forge community links and provide young people with inspiration to make further strides in higher education.
“It really is a ‘Win-Win’ project,” said Ryan Evans, deputy head of the Students’ Union at the university.
“Trinity gets great benefit and satisfaction in setting up community links through Widening Access and clubs like Carmarthen Town feel the benefit of our support.”
Mr Evans’s job with the Students Union is to focus on the world of sport.
“Trinity has been very pleased to support one of the youth teams at Carmarthen Town AFC with sponsored kit.
“In return, the Reserves of Carmarthen Town are able to use our playing facilities at Johnstown on either Saturday or Sunday.
“We also get the services of one of their coac…

Trinity leads way on benchmarks

Trinity University College in Carmarthen leads the way in Wales in two major educational benchmarks.
The benchmarks focus on what a student does after completing a course and also judges success in providing graduate opportunities.
“Trinity chalked up the high scores in Wales in both sectors – and that is something we are very proud of here at the university,” said a delighted Nesta James, careers adviser at Trinity.
The benchmarks where Trinity scored so well are based on the latest available figures.
The first examined the destinations of 2008 graduates.
The Higher Education Statistics Agency instructed all institutions in Wales to make initial contact with former students in November 2008.
Trinity followed up with a series of telephone calls between January and March 2009 and contacted every student who had completed a course at Trinity University College, including part-time and ‘flexi’ students.
The final response rate from students obtaining a first degree from full time courses was 81…

Trinity plays key role in tourism awards

Trinity University College in Carmarthen played a key role in the first Carmarthenshire Tourism Awards.
The university helped sponsor the glittering awards and also saw its students scoop major prizes.
The awards took place in spectacular style. A ‘who's who’ of the tourism industry gathered at the Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli for an evening to celebrate and raise the profile of the importance of the industry in the county.
The event was organised by the Carmarthenshire Tourist Association (CTA) with partners the Carmarthen Journal, Llanelli Star and Carmarthenshire Council.
The categories of interest to Trinity were as follows –
Unsung hero award, sponsored by Trinity University College
Winner: Lowri Jones, Carmarthen Tourist Information Centre.
The finalists were: Delyth Lynch, Angel Hotel and Heavenly, Llandeilo; Lowri Jones, Carmarthen Tourist Information Centre, and Margaret Juster, Abermarlais Caravan Park, Llangadog.
Nominated by owners of bed and breakfasts. Lowri, who works in …

Stepaside Christmas tree success

Pupils from Stepaside CP School have won first prize in the annual Christmas Tree Decorating Competition at the National Botanic Garden of Wales near Carmarthen.
The 15 children from Class 3 were the winners in the primary sector, and were awarded £100 for their school.
They were among 24 schools and 500 pupils taking part from across South and West Wales.
The pupils made all the decorations themselves in their school craft sessions, from recycled, reused or natural objects. This year's theme was ‘Christmas Around the World' and the class based their designs on local woodland from their Nature Detectives Project.
Some of the decorations included butterflies made out of cellophane, an owl made from CDs, and stars made from lightbulbs. The class teachers were Jo Pullen and Teresa Williams, who accompanied the pupils to the Garden.
Head of Learning at the Garden, Jane Richmond, was one of the judges. She said: "Apart from being a really pleasing tree to look at, we thought that…

New look for Kidwelly centre

Kidwelly Youth Centre will soon have a fresh, youthful look thanks to the work carried out by young people.
Members of the Youth Club wanted to revamp the centre to make it a more welcoming environment for young people aged 11-25 to develop their skills.
The Cabin-in-the-park is home to the youth club and a drop-in information service on Mondays and Thursdays.
To achieve the new look, the young people gave up their free time to work on various fundraising events to raise money for materials.
With the support of Carmarthenshire Youth Service and the Youth Offending Team, the young people are well underway to achieving their goal.
Youth Leader, Roger Wilson said:“The young people have been very motivated and have committed to every aspect of the fundraising process to get to where they are now.
“They now have a sense of ownership over the establishment and we look forward to welcoming new members to the centre.”
The Centre initiates a wide range of projects and activities that include art, dra…

Carway's Charlene wins award

Charlene Davies, Chairperson of Carmarthenshire Youth Council (CYC), has won a prestigious Volunteer of the Year Award for her hard work, commitment and dedication to the work of the Youth Council.
The award, presented by Carmarthenshire Association of Voluntary Services (CAVS), recognizes the outstanding voluntary work of young people in the County.
Since being nominated as Chairperson in April 2008, Charlene, of Carway, has ensured that the voices of young people in the County have been listened to and has brought about positive change for young people.
Charlene has been instrumental in organizing and running successful events such as Councillor Speed Dating events, Residentials and Youth Conferences that have given young people the opportunity to express their concerns and to have a say on issues affecting them.
Charlene is busy representing young people in a variety of different meetings as well as working closely with the Carmarthenshire Children and Young People’s Partnership (CYP…

Boxing boost for Carmarthenshire pupils

School-based Youth Workers are encouraging pupils to improve their fitness and deal with aggression by involving them in boxing sessions.
Pupils from Glan Y Môr and Coedcae School have reaped the benefits of boxing sessions where they’ve learnt to handle stress in a more constructive, self promoting fashion.
The young people have been coached by Kevin Evans at Kev’s Gym, Carmarthen; workshops at the Gym have included developing individuals’ self esteem and fitness levels.
Huw Thomas, Senior Youth Worker for the Llanelli area said:
“Boxing has had a very positive impact amid the young people and we’re beginning to see a difference in their attitudes.
“The sessions aim to promote a level of discipline, fitness, concentration and respect.
“By participating in boxing it will help the young people get rid of any unwanted aggression, and give them something positive to aim for.
“By motivating young people to spend their spare time in the gym, rather than on the streets, we'll be using sports…

Sports awards joy in Pembrokeshire

More than 700 people turned up to this year's Sport Pembrokeshire Awards.
The popular awards event, which is hosted by Sport Pembrokeshire - Pembrokeshire County Council's sports development arm - attracted more nominations this year than ever before across a wide range of sports.
Held on Friday evening at Folly Farm, the annual award ceremony celebrated the efforts of sportsmen and women across the County - as well as the volunteers and sponsors that keep grass roots sport growing.
Awards were presented in a wide variety of categories.
Among those recognised were athlete Lauren Bell from Fishguard and Badmington player Jordan Hart from Pembroke Dock, who won the Chairman's Special Achievement Award.
Former Welsh international rugby player John Davies from Crymych was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Councillor Rob Lewis, Cabinet Member for Sport and Leisure said the event recognised the hard work and effort that went into sport in Pembrokeshire.
"We have a ver…