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Showing posts from 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all readers of this blog.

Carmarthenshire 'Yes for Wales' campaign to launch

The Steering Committee of the Carmarthenshire Yes Campaign for greater powers for the Welsh Assembly have announced that their Campaign will be launched on Saturday 8 January 2011.
The Steering Committee was elected at the open public meeting held in Carmarthen on 15 December. It is a cross political party committee headed by the Rev. John Gillibrand the vicar of Llangeler, with Dafydd Tomos Representing Plaid Cymru, Philip Grice for Labour and Selwyn Runnett for the Lib Dems.
Henry Jones-Davies has also joined the committee to help with publicity and promotion – Henry was a leading member of the successful 1997 Yes campaign leading up to the referendum which saw the birth of the National Assembly for Wales.
John Gillibrand said; “We are looking for a representative from the Conservatives, and naturally we would welcome membership from other political parties in Wales”.
There will be a grand launch of the Carmarthenshire Yes Campaign from the Guildhall steps in Carmarthen Town Centre on …

Grim result for Carmarthen Town

Bad night for Carmarthen Town. Lost 3-2 to bottom side Haverfordwest County in the Welsh Premier League.

Healing The Wounds charity marks first anniversary

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The Healing The Wounds charity - which aims to help Armed Forces Personnel, Veterans and their families – is marking its first anniversary.
“And it has been an amazing year,” said Healing the Wounds Executive Director Kevin Richards.
“We have come a very long way since the charity was first set up in the second week of December last year.
“We initially started with The Golden Grove Appeal and an inspirational idea to turn the historic Tywi Valley mansion into a convalescent home and PTSD treatment facility.
“Since then, we have made massive strides and have already raised £120,000 towards our PTSD treatment facility for Wales.
Mr Richards said none of this would have been possible without a huge amount of public support.
“Our aim is always to provide services within Wales to help members of the armed services and those connected to the services.
“This has struck a powerful emotional chord with the people of Wales, who appreciate the fact that the money they raise will be spent in Wales and…

The Grapes hotel makes The Guardian

The Grapes in Maentwrog in the Vale of Ffestiniog gets a mention in The Guardian - http://ning.it/hhFst6

Happy New Year from Welsh Cooperative

Happy New Year from the Welsh Christmas Trees Cooperative - http://welshchristmastrees.co.uk/

The Met in Llanelli in big lights!

See The Met in Llanelli are chancing their arm - massive Batman style lights wallpapered on the side of Theatr Elli. Council boyos on alert!

Latest 'View from Richmond Park' column

It’s a fair bet that many young sports fans found a copy the Guinness Book of Records in their Christmas stockings.
And, unlikely as it sounds, Carmarthen Town AFC could once have figured in the ever-popular reference book.
Carmarthen Town stalwart Alan Latham still recalls the time, more than 30 years ago, when he admits he missed a glorious opportunity of getting Carmarthen Town Football Club in the Guinness Book of Records.
It was January, 1979, and Mr Latham was acting as press officer for the club.
The record could have been for having the greatest number of brothers in the same football side.
Carmarthen Town actually fielded two sets of brothers, who accounted for no less than eight of the 11 players in the side. The brothers involved were the Turner and the Goldsmith brothers.
The Turners featured Nicky, Peter, Gary and Johnny.
The Goldsmiths were Christopher, Nicky, Jeffrey and Martin (as an aside, another brother, Kenny, also played for Carmarthen but at a much earlier time).
The fou…

M&S drive me nuts!

You can shop at M&S (Marks and Spencer, Trostre, Llanelli) -but can't use the changing rooms. Bit like a pub where you can walk in but can't try the beer!

Game on at Haverfordwest today

Game on - Haverfordwest v Carmarthen. See - http://haverfordwestcounty.co.uk/

Twilight Service wins praise

Menter Cwm Gwendraeth has been praised for its Twilight Service to help patients leave hospital and return to the community.
A team of Bangor University researchers has hailed the hospital transport service as a beacon of good practice.
The service operates from 2pm-10pm Thursday to Monday, offering free car transport home from accident and emergency departments at Prince Philip and Glangwili hospitals to vulnerable patients.
Researchers have estimated that the service saves a minimum of 20 bed days per month at a saving of £363 per day.
The service helps to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions by providing social care support to help people settle back at home – patients that would otherwise be admitted on to a ward without any real medical need.
As well as seeing people safely home from hospital, Twilight Service volunteers also help people settle by turning on lights and heating, making them refreshments, getting in food supplies and carrying out basic home safety checks.
They also refe…

Racing on at Ffos Las today

It looks like game on at Ffos Las racing today - even through the fog!
Fun bets of the day at - Betabob, Our Bob and Mr Robert!

Looking good for Haverfordwest match

Whisper it - but it could be Game On tomorrow night for Haverfordwest v Carmarthen in the Welsh Premier League!

How to look after your Christmas Tree

Advice on looking after your Christmas Tree? See - http://welshchristmastrees.co.uk/

Clwb Iechyd Da celebrate Christmas

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Members of Clwb Iechyd Da, held at Pontyberem’s Nant Y Glo Sheltered Housing Complex, have got themselves in the mood for the Christmas.
The complex, run by Carmarthenshire County Council, provides safe, secure accommodation for many older tenants and is a place to socialise for many more older people living in the community.
Along with other health and wellbeing services, Clwb Iechyd Da includes a lively luncheon club, which provides low-cost meals and entertainment for people aged over 60.
This week saw the club hold its annual Christmas dinner – and there was plenty of fun and games.
Amanda Wheelhouse, sheltered scheme officer, said: “Everyone had a great time.”

Peter Harrison and Brenda Stubbs pulling Christmas crackers at Nant Y Glo, Pontyberem. Pic Jeff Connell

Latest 'View from Richmond Park' column

The latest 'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen Town AFC column from the Carmarthen Journal -
Carmarthen Town AFC is a club with connections everywhere – as we showed last week in this column when we recited the history of former player Robert ‘Bobby’ Jones, uncle to Hollywood star Catherine Zeta Jones.
Believe it or not, but it’s possible to link the club to the winner of this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, the great AP McCoy.
AP is, of course, the best jump jockey of his generation, and has ridden on many occasions for Carmarthen racehorse trainer Alison Thorpe.
Alison, meanwhile, is better known to everyone at Richmond Park as the daughter of Don Jenkins, of our most loyal supporters, home and away.
Don retired many moons ago as a superintendent with the Dyfed-Powys Police force, but he keeps himself busy in his retirement as a full-time football fan and part-time racehorse owner.
For many years after his retirement from the force he was chief steward at Swansea…

Amman Valley woman wins hamper

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An Amman Valley woman has won a Christmas hamper of locally-produced food and drink in a competition run by the council’s waste/recycling section.
Catherine Brettle, from Betws, entered the ‘Don’t have a rubbish Christmas competition’ in the Llanelli Star and Carmarthen Journal newspapers.
Drawn at random, she correctly answered that the average family waste £12 on food each week.

Phoebe wins prize for litter idea

A Carmarthen schoolgirl has won a prize after coming up with a suggestion to tackle litter at her school.
Year 8 pupil Phoebe May Roberts wants to see more litter bins in the grounds of QE High School – and detention for pupils that don’t use them!
Phoebe took part in a competition organised by Carmarthenshire County Council after a ‘green day’ was held at the school during Wales Sustainability Week.
The aim was to encourage pupils to put their litter in the bin and recycle as much of their waste as possible.
The day began with a special assembly and a short film on climate change followed by litter-related activities in lessons throughout the day.
Council officers also went into the classroom to speak to pupils about litter and its consequences along with the local Neighbourhood Policing Team and litter-picks were held within the school grounds.
As part of the day, pupils were asked to come up with ideas on how best to tackle litter at the school - with all suggestions entered into a pri…

Merry Christmas to you all

Before the typing gets erratic, a very Merry Christmas to everyone!

Diamond Day couple help charity

Gorseinon Diamond Day couple help Healing The Wounds charity - story in Llanelli Star this week.

View from Richmond Park in Journal

'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen Town AFC column in the Carmarthen Journal this week.

Nigel Roberts in the Western Mail

Catching up on work - story and pic, Nigel Roberts joins Clay Shaw Butler team in the Western Mail on Wednesday.

Llanelli v Carmarthen derby off

Llanelli v Carmarthen Town match at Stebonheath, Llanelli 26 December 2010 has been postponed due to a frozen pitch. No Welsh League action again!

Scandinavian Redwings arrive at Gelli Aur

The Scandinavian Redwing has found a snow-locked undisturbed home from home at Gelli Aur Country Park.
The 60-acre 600-year-old parkland managed by Carmarthenshire County Council has become a snow-bound winter wonderland for more than a week only accessible by 4x4 park rangers because of more than a foot of snow that is blocking entrance roads and park trails.
The redwings, just a little smaller than the song thrush, have been arriving in flocks to escape their Scandinavian homeland winter but have found the conditions at the Llandeilo park not much better.
Senior park ranger Mike Smith, one of only three rangers who have been able to access the park in their 4x4’s, said it had been quite amazing to see how the wildlife, birds and animals had adapted to the weather conditions where humans had failed.
He said: “The woodlands are a maze of animal tracks including fox, rabbit and deer and bird prints with on the odd ranger boot treads in contrast. It is a privilege to look after this 600-ye…

Christmas Tree amnesty in Carmarthenshire

If you decide to get a real Christmas tree this year, make sure you recycle it!
Carmarthenshire County Council is holding a Christmas Tree Amnesty so that residents can take along their real trees to be recycled after the festive season.
This is the first time the council has organised a Christmas Tree Amnesty. The trees will be taken to the In-Vessel Composting Unit at Nantycaws where they will be turned into compost/soil conditioner.
Collection points will be set up between 8am and 10.30am on Saturday, January 8 at the following locations:
• Kidwelly, Co-op
• Tumble, Heol Y Neuadd Car Park
• Pencader School
• Llanybydder Main Car Park
• Llandovery Castle Car Park
• Llandeilo, Carmarthen Road Car Park
Executive board member for the environment Councillor Philip Hughes said: “We produce more rubbish at Christmas than during any other time of the year, but Christmas tree recycling is an eco-friendly, convenient way of getting rid of your real Christmas tree and doing your bit for the environment…

Smaller councils asked to take over toilets

A letter has been sent to some town and community councils in Carmarthenshire asking if they would like to take over the public toilets in their areas.
It follows a review of public conveniences in Carmarthenshire carried out by a Task and Finish Group from the county council's Environment Scrutiny Committee.
The group looked at a range of options for future provision and concluded that the cost of operating 33 grade 2 public facilities – currently £226,000 a year – was not sustainable.
The move – which was backed by the council’s Executive Board - will help to improve the quality of the service and provide it in a more cost-effective way.
Town and community councils which agree to take over facilities will be given a one-off payment of £500 to assist with any minor upgrades.
Director of Technical Services Richard Workman said: “Over the last 10 years there has been an increasing trend for local communities to take on a greater responsibility for the delivery of local services, such as…

Better prospects for Llanelli v Carmarthen derby

Hopes for Llanelli v Carmarthen Welsh Premier League match - http://www.carmarthentownafc.net/

Eco-friendly Christmas tree challenge

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Youngsters from across South and West Wales took part in a very eco-friendly Christmas tree decorating competition at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.
More than 450 pupils from 24 schools – from as far afield as Merlin’s Bridge, Newcastle Emlyn and Pontarddulais – took part in the challenge to decorate a tree using remade, reused or recycled materials.
The competition was jointly organised by the Garden and Careers Wales West and sponsored by Carmarthenshire County Council, Cwm Environmental Ltd and Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru.
Environmental workshops were held throughout the day by various community groups and there were prizes for the best dressed trees.
Council sustainability officers Tina Brice and Sharon Griffiths led a workshop entitled ‘Our World’ and Executive Board Member for the Environment Councillor Philip Hughes was one of the judges.
Councillor Hughes said: “This was an excellent opportunity for schools, particularly those in the Eco Schools Programme, to take part in a recy…

Last chance for Christmas trees

Last chance for Christmas Trees. One day to go. See Welsh Christmas Trees website at - http://welshchristmastrees.co.uk/

West Carmarthen plans up for consultation

Carmarthenshire County Council is to consult on proposals to develop West Carmarthen.
The local authority approved the Carmarthen West Planning and Development for public consultation on October 20. The consultation period will run from January 4 until the 28th February 2011.
An exhibition will be held at St Peters Civic Hall, Carmarthen, and will be manned for the first three days.
The principle of development at West Carmarthen was established in the Unitary Development Plan adopted in 2006.
Given the scale of the proposal and the need to ensure a comprehensive and integrated development scheme, the Unitary Development Plan designated the area as being subject to the preparation of a Planning and Development Brief.
The Brief would set out a coordinated approach to the development to successfully incorporate the various elements of the scheme including a new link road, housing developments, employment sites, community facilities and landscaping and open space.
The Planning and Development…

Big Bang or Micro Chip?

Don't agree with Robert Winston re Big Bang. I'm a Micro Chip man! - http://ning.it/dVVDot

What I want for Christmas: Sport!

What chance me seeing some live sport this Christmas? Suffering from withdrawal symptoms. The Trivial Pursuit may even have to come out!

Thanks go to Gravells Garage

Grateful thanks to the wonderful team at Gravells in Kidwelly. They fixed my little 'Megan' in time for Christmas!

Festive treat for Cross Hands shoppers

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TV chef Hazel Thomas cooked up a festive feast to tantalise the tastebuds of shoppers in Cross Hands.
The ‘Food for Thought’ event at Cross Hands Co-op was organised by Carmarthenshire County Council’s waste awareness team.
Hazel, who is a regular face on S4C, showed shoppers how our Christmas leftovers can be used to make another meal.
Dishes included turkey noodle soup, turkey mango and lime salad, quick tomato and lentil soup, Spanish omelette and fruit skewers with a toffee sauce.
Waste officers gave lots of hints and tips on how residents could cut down on their food waste and Radio Carmarthenshire were also there to broadcast the event to the rest of the county.
Figures show that a family of four throws away £50 worth of food every month. But given the size of the typical Christmas shopping trolley, the amount of money we waste during December is likely to be much more. A few simple changes however can make a big difference to your festive food bills and the environment.
Council waste…

Carpenters help Halfway School

Halfway School is the proud owner of two child-friendly picnic table and bench sets, thanks to a group of budding carpenters.
Men and women who have been taking part in a unique construction taster project visited the school to hand over the furniture sets for the school playground.
The bench sets were built as part of a carpentry session on the Building Your Own Future In Sir Gar project, which is currently being rolled out to Communities First areas in the county.
The project aims to give people living in deprived areas the chance to learn some basic DIY skills, build confidence and to encourage them in to further college-based training.
Over a period of four weeks they are taught the basics of carpentry, plumbing, tiling, plastering, and painting and decorating.
Members taking part with Felinfoel and Glanymor and Tyisha Communities First groups have been amongst the first to complete the course, which culminated in the presentation of their hand-made bench sets to the local school, as w…

Make it a recycling Christmas

Residents in Carmarthenshire are being reminded to use their green bins and blue bags this Christmas.
As Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on a Saturday this year, there are no changes to refuse/recycling collections. This means your waste will be collected on its usual day throughout the festive period.
With all the eating, drinking and merry-making we tend to produce a lot more rubbish at this time of the year which is why it’s more important than ever to recycle our waste properly.
Unavoidable Christmas food waste such as turkey bones, nutshells and tangerine peel should go in your green bin so that it can be treated and made into compost, rather than mixed up with black bag rubbish which is then sent to landfill causing harm to the environment.
Remember paper, including Christmas cards and wrapping paper (although not foil wrapping paper) can go in your blue bag along with cardboard, cans and plastic. From the second week of January you can also take your Christmas cards along to …

Cor Meibion Llanelli concert is off

Cor Meibion Llanelli Christmas Concert (due to be held tomorrow night at Theatr Elli) has been cancelled because of the weather.

Fined for dog fouling offence

A man has been fined £75 for failing to clean up after his dog at Ammanford Park.
The fixed penalty notice was issued by the council’s environmental enforcement officers who were on patrol in the area.
Failure to pay could lead to prosecution in the magistrates court and a maximum fine of £1,000.
Carmarthenshire County Council is working hard to tackle the problem of dog fouling and enforcement officers regularly carry out patrols across the county.
Executive board member for the environment Councillor Philip Hughes said: “Dog mess left anywhere is a serious health risk. Ammanford Park is used by families with young children and this type of anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.
“The majority of residents take their responsibilities seriously but there is still a small minority who do not listen. Hopefully this will act as a warning that those caught flouting the law will be prosecuted.”
The council is appealing to the public to help identify those responsible. Anyone with any inform…

Enjoyable gig at Llanelli Probus Club

Enjoyable gig at Llanelli Probus Club at the Stradey Park Hotel yesterday. It was their Christmas Party and I gave the after-dinner speech on the theme 'Does Father Christmas exist?' The answer was, Yes.

Llanelli woman fined for rubbish offence

A Llanelli woman has been fined by the courts after her rubbish was found fly-tipped.
Samantha Jayne Smith, aged 36, of Heol Ffynnon, Penyfan, pleaded guilty to an offence contrary to Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 at Ammanford Magistrates Court.
The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The court heard that the council’s environmental enforcement officers were called to a fly-tipping incident at Genwen Road, Penygraig. They found two black bags of rubbish with waste strewn across the road. Amongst it was documentation with names and addresses on it including that of Smith.
The officers called at the address and spoke to Smith who confirmed she had paid someone £30 to remove some waste from her property. She said she believed her waste was being taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre in Trostre. She said she did not know if they had a Waste Carriers Licence and she did not receive a Waste Transfer Note. She was also unable to give the offic…

Llanelli shop owner fined

A Llanelli shop owner has been fined for failing to remove building materials and overflowing bins that were causing an obstruction to a rear lane.
Kuldip Singh, aged 31, who runs Lifestyle Express in Station Road, pleaded guilty to offences contrary to Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Section 137 Highways Act 1980 at Ammanford Magistrates Court.
The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The court heard that the council’s environmental enforcement officers were on patrol in the Station Road area when they saw building materials on the lane to the rear of Lifestyle Express which were causing an obstruction to traffic. The problem was further exacerbated by overflowing trade refuse bins.
The officers visited the shop and were told by an employee that some scaffolding to the front of the shop had collapsed, causing a halt to building work on the property, and resulting in the building materials being left in the lane. The officers explained it was …

In the news today . . .

Splendid preview of Cor Meibion Llanelli's Christmas Concert (this Saturday at Theatr Elli, Llanelli) in the Llanelli Star today.
'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen Town AFC column in the Carmarthen Journal today.
12 tips for saving Christmas cash by Ann Thomas of Clay Shaw Butler - story in Carmarthen Journal today.
Specsavers sponsor Carmarthen Town AFC shirt sleeves - story and pic in Carmarthen Journal today.
Cor Meibion Llanelli Llangain concert review in the Carmarthen Journal today.
St Catherine's Walk shopping centre named as top sponsor for 30th Carmarthen Mayor's fun run - story in Carmarthen Journal today.

Charity fundraisers move up a gear!

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Car manufacturers Suzuki and Cross Hands-based J and J Motors are helping to rev-up the fundraising campaign for the Healing The Wounds charity.
The charity, now celebrating its first year of operation, is raising funds for a suitable facility within Wales for the treatment of Armed Forces Personnel, Veterans and their families, who are suffering from stress-related illnesses such as PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).
The charity also aims to provide a convalescent home to allow them to heal and recover from the traumas of conflict. The Healing The Wounds charity wishlist currently has the historic mansion at Golden Grove in the Tywi Valley earmarked as a potential base.
“The charity’s work is moving on very quickly and we have already raised £120,000 towards out initial target of £200,000,” said Healing The Wounds Executive Director Kevin Richards.
“Our fundraising efforts have expanded very quickly in the 12 months since we first set up the charity and we are gathering support from …

Carols in the Garden event on Thursday

The popular ‘Carols in the Garden’ event takes place on Thursday December 16 at the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Llanarthne, near Carmarthen.
Special guests for the evening are the Honorary President of the Garden, Gareth Edwards CBE, and Archdeacon Alun Evans, priest in charge of Llanarthne and Llanddarog.
With the Crwbin Silver Band and Cor Meibion Dyffryn Tywi providing the musical accompaniment in the stunning surrounds of Lord Foster’s Great Glasshouse, it is sure to be a festive treat – whatever the weather!
There will be mulled wine, mince pies and hot turkey and cranberry baguettes on sale from the Med Cafe.
Doors open at 6pm, the singing starts at 7pm. £3 entry; under-16s, free.
For more information call 01558 667149

What a cracking morning

Lovely dawn drive down to Pembrokeshire this morning. Some great winter views as the sun came out.

Latest news on the Christmas Trees front

Spotlight on Welsh Christmas Tree grower Robert Morgan - http://ning.it/fny2Wn
Reindeer calves arrive in time on Welsh Christmas Tree growers farm - http://ning.it/e8iquD

'Think Safe, Drink Safe' this Christmas

Festive revellers in Carmarthenshire are being urged to ‘Think Safe, Drink Safe’ this Christmas.
The Community Safety Partnership wants to ensure residents enjoy a safe and trouble-free bash.
Officers are urging people to drink sensibly this party season - not only to avoid a hangover on Christmas Day – but to make sure a night out doesn’t end with a trip to A&E or a night in the cells!
Police will be stepping up patrols over the Christmas period and visiting licensed premises with council licensing officers in a bid to clamp down on underage drinking and reduce anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related crime.
Community safety and neighbourhood policing officers will also be handing out free bottles of water in Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford on Friday, December 17 and Saturday, December 18 to help keep people hydrated and combat the effects of alcohol.
Taxi marshals will again be based at Island Place in Llanelli and Blue Street in Carmarthen on key nights during the festive period…

Worry over stray horses in Llanelli

Horses are running wild over 14 miles of Llanelli coastline from Bynea to Kidwelly.
Irresponsible horse owners are risking huge claims for damages or causing accidents with the horses running over parks, gardens and roads and putting lives at risk.
Carmarthenshire County Council is photographing the horses to match up identities with known owners.
Thirteen horses were counted at Penclacwydd marshes where one was found dying of hypothermia last week, eight at Pwll Park and another was found roaming on the old Khymer Canal off Kidwelly Quay.
Carmarthenshire council has been fielding scores of complaints but the horses are a moving group and rarely stay in the same place long enough to be caught.
Millennium Coastal Park rangers rounded up eight horses in Pwll Park after complaints from the public (on Thurday) who called the police who in term contacted the council. The horses in the meantime escaped down to Burry Port on the old haul road.
Ownership of the horses has to be established before …

Facelift for Llangadog Post Office

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Llangadog Post Office is being given a facelift thanks to a grant from the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013.
The post office and newsagents in Church Street, Llangadog, has been given a Village Improvement Grant (VIG) of £8,538 towards the estimated £17,471 cost of the project to refurbish the shopfront in a traditional style.
The work will include replacing the aluminium windows and door with hardwood and re-rendering the property.
This grant has been made under the Village Enhancement Project, which has received funding of £940,049 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.
The project aims to enhance the appearance of rural towns and villages and stimulate economic growth.
The VIG itself is aimed to enhance the branding of commercial properties in rural areas.
Project Development Officer Michael Morgan said: “Morgan’s Newsagent and Post Office is in a promin…

Carmarthen Youth match off tonight

The Carmarthen Town v Llanelli youth match scheduled for Richmond Park this evening (see post earlier today) has been postponed. Details of new date to follow later.

12 days to Christmas!

12 days to Christmas! It says so on the Welsh Christmas Trees Cooperative website -
http://welshchristmastrees.co.uk/

Carmarthen Youth match on tonight

Carmarthen Town's Youth Cup match v Llanelli (due to be held Sunday) has been rearranged for Monday evening 13 December, KO 7:30pm at Richmond Park.

In the news today . . .

Nice story about Carmarthen tenor Wynne Evans and his six-album Warner deal in South Wales Evening Post today.
Splendid preview of Cor Meibion Llanelli Christmas Concert in the Western Mail newspaper today. Rush out and buy a copy now!
Double-page spread on Cor Meibion Llanelli's Christmas concert in the latest issue of Carmarthenshire Life magazine.
Nice letter about the Healing the Wounds charity in the Ammanford-based South Wales Guardian this week (Dec 8 issue).

19,000 visits chalked up

Many thanks, folks. Thanks to you, dear readers and visitors, this blog is continuing to pick up more hits.
It's now hit the 19,000 page views mark.
That's a 1,000 views since November 26.
Keep the hits coming, folks! Much appreciated.
Many thanks.
See earlier blog -
http://sirgarblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/18000-visits-chalked-up.html
Meanwhile, the blog has chalked up its first visitor from Azerbaijan.
The full country by country list (figures from January 6, 2010) is as follows -
United Kingdom (GB) 5,030; United States (US) 548; India (IN) 50; Australia (AU) 40; Germany (DE) 39; Canada (CA) 36; Europe (EU) 34; Qatar (QA) 29; Ireland (IE) 27; Japan (JP) 27; France (FR) 23; Belgium (BE) 21; Italy (IT) 19; Malaysia (MY) 15; Netherlands (NL) 15; New Zealand (NZ) 13; United Arab Emirates (AE) 11; Russian Federation (RU) 11; Spain (ES) 11; Philippines (PH) 9; Singapore (SG) 9; Sweden (SE) 8; Pakistan (PK) 7; Denmark (DK) 7; South Africa (ZA) 6; Austria (AT) 6; Norway (NO) 5; Bahrain (BH) 5…

Hicks saves the day for Carmarthen

A Tim Hicks injury time header gave Carmarthen Town a valuable share of the spoils after Craig Whitfield had put the visitors ahead on 75 minutes.
For match report, see -
http://www.carmarthentownafc.net/

Carmarthen team today

Mike Lewis
Lee Phillips
Steve Evans
Dale Griffiths ©
Lee Bevan
Kieran Howard
Lee Jenkins
Darren Griffiths
Nick Harrhy
Tim Hicks
Sacha Walters

Carmarthen Town game on

Carmarthen v Newtown match in Welsh Premier League is ON today. Pitch has been inspected. 2.30pm kick-off at Richmond Park.

Arts Care Gofal Celf charity day

Arts Care Gofal Celf is holding its 2010 Christmas charity fundraising event next week.
There will be activities, festive refreshments and live dance performances all in the spirit of Christmas. There will also be a variety of donated raffle prizes.
The event will take place on Saturday December 18 at Y Llwyfan, College Road, Carmarthen.
The schedule is : 10am-12pm, rehearsal for all ACGC Community Dancers; 1-2pm, festivities for all the family; 2-3:55pm, community dance sharing (limited seats available), with 23 Community Dance Groups Sharing, children, young people and adults from the ACGC Community Dance Programme 2010; 3:55-4pm, raffle drawing.
ACGC is an organisation dedicated to the enhancement of daily lives by way of artistic expression and development. Individuals of all ages and all abilities are welcome to join any low cost art/dance class of her or his choosing. More information on future dance & arts opportunities will be provided at the event.
The proceeds of the 2010 Chr…

Warning to Carmarthenshire troublemakers

Troublemakers causing chaos in pubs and clubs this Christmas are being warned to Behave or Be Banned.
The BOBB scheme stops people causing bother not just in one pub - but all those in the area that have signed up to ban problem customers.
Supported by the Community Safety Partnership, it sees police working with licensees to combat violence and disorder as well as underage drinking and the use and supply of drugs in licensed premises.
In total, 180 licensed premises across Carmarthenshire have signed up and 98 people are currently banned.
The scheme was initially set up in the three main towns of Carmarthen, Llanelli and Ammanford but has now been rolled out to other areas including Llandeilo, Llandovery, Burry Port, Cross Hands and Llwynhendy/Felinfoel.
The council’s executive board member for community safety Councillor Pam Palmer said: “The BOBB scheme sends out a strong message that this type of unruly behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Council licensing officers will also be visiting l…

Warning on frozen lakes

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Schools and colleges are being contacted to advise pupils to keep clear of frozen lakes and water attractions when icy.
Despite the thaw Carmarthenshire council officials warn it is when conditions are most dangerous and ice more likely to given way.
Over the last week 13 people got into difficulty at parks and facilities managed by the council with people, especially youngsters ignoring signs put up warning of the danger and asking people to keep of the ice.
People are potentially risking their lives by skating on frozen ponds and allowing their dogs to run onto the ice on lakes warns the council.
County park wardens have had to respond to incidents in the last week at Old Castle Pond at People’s Park, Dafen Pond Park and Swiss Valley in Llanelli, and at Cwmoernant in Carmarthen.
Grounds maintenance manager, Paul Murray, said: “Some people have been risking their safety by attempting to walk or skate on the frozen ponds.
“Not only is this a grave risk to themselves but also jeopardises the…

£9m is the Carmarthenshire bill for free school transport

It costs Carmarthenshire County Council more than £9million to provide free school transport annually.
The Authority is currently transporting 426 primary and 5759 secondary pupils along with 474 special needs pupils, a total of 6659 pupils daily.
They travel to 45 primary schools, 19 secondary schools and 21 SEN schools or units.
Contracts are negotiated for 153 buses and 156 taxis and private hire vehicles with 39 bus companies and 66 taxi and private hire operators.
The largest number of pupils from any one school taking advantage of the free transport is Bro Myrddin, nearly 1,000.
This is because the catchment area for the Welsh medium secondary school is greater than other schools.
There are a number of small schools or units receiving transport for only one student, Like Five Roads Primary School, near Llanelli.
County executive board member for transport services Cllr Philip Hughes said: “I have asked people how much they think school transport costs the county and they have varied fr…

Whitland Job Club opens doors

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The Whitland Job Club has opened its doors for the first time to job-seekers and businesses looking to fill short-term and part time vacancies.
As the first of its kind in Wales, the Whitland Job Club aims to match local employment opportunities with local skills using is brand new website at www.whitlandmemorialhall.org.uk where both job seekers and businesses can advertise for free.
Carmarthenshire County Council executive board member for regeneration and leisure Cllr Clive Scourfield officiated this month, which was attended by local employment support groups including Workways, Cyfle, and Go Wales; local businesses and members of the community.
Whitland Job Club has received £6431 from the Sustainable Communities - Improving Access to Services project which is part of a programme of development and regeneration for the Whitland Memorial Hall, a centre for community action in the local area.
This project has received funding of £691,903 through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 200…

Christmas treat from Cor Meibion Llanelli

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It promises to be just what you need to get into the Christmas spirit.
Cor Meibion Llanelli’s annual Christmas Concert is being staged at Theatr Elli, Llanelli, on Saturday, December 18.
The show is being compered by the radio star who runs the biggest ‘Garden’ in Wales, Chris Needs.
It will also feature the Penclawdd Brass Band and soprano soloist Joy Cornock.
“We can promises a feast of Christmas music – and one or two surprises along the way,” said Cor Meibion Llanelli musical director Eifion Thomas.
“For example, we have a big surprise for one of our special guests as we have been rehearsing their favourite song.
“The Christmas Concert is always one of the highlights of the year for Cor Meibion Llanelli and there will be solos from a number of choir members, plenty of festive favourites and the audience gets a chance to get involved with some carol singing.”
The concert will feature the choir's youngest soloist, Nathan Thomas, singing the solo verses in Seren Uwch Bethlehem, a new co…

Newcastle Emlyn pupils win iPods

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Pupils in Newcastle Emlyn have won iPods for their efforts to keep their school clean.
Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn took part in a ‘green day’ with Carmarthenshire County Council back in June as part of Wales Sustainability Week.
The aim was to encourage pupils to put their litter in the bin and recycle as much of their waste as possible.
The day began with a special assembly and a short film on climate change followed by litter-related activities in lessons throughout the day. For example, pupils designed litter posters in art and designed and created a new type of recycling bin for the school in design and technology..
Council officers also went into the classroom to speak to pupils about litter and its consequences and litter-picks were held within the school grounds.
As part of the ‘green day’, pupils were asked to come up with ideas on how best to tackle litter at the school - with all suggestions entered into a prize draw to win an iPod. The winners have now been presented with their prizes b…

Carmarthenshire feedback on service charges

More than 1,500 Carmarthenshire council tenants and leaseholders have had the opportunity to feed in to a new policy on revised service charges.
The authority’s housing department has drafted a new policy in order to make proposed changes to service charges as legible as possible.
Service charges are levied to cover the costs of facilities in communal areas of buildings, such as corridor lighting, heating and security alarms.
As part of a consultation on the new policy and how service charges will be set, a questionnaire was sent out to tenants, asking them to comment on the draft and suggest any changes to make it easier to understand.
Housing officers have also held several public meetings allowing tenants face-to-face contact with officers to discuss the new proposals.
A positive 85 per cent of those who responded to the consultation said that they understood how service charges would be applied in the future, with over half (58 per cent) saying that they felt the document was easy to …

Handy Van scheme launched in Carmarthenshire

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A new Handy Van scheme has been launched in Carmarthenshire to help tenants living in council-run sheltered housing to carry out simple odd jobs around their home.
The authority’s Property Services division has launched the scheme as a preventative and cost-saving measure, as well as providing an extra service to older people.
The Handy Van will initially run as a pilot scheme in the Llanelli area, and if it proves successful will roll out county-wide.
Jobs undertaken include simple preventative maintenance, such as easing doors and windows, securing handles, and checking kitchen unit doors and drawers.
In addition, the Handy Van will undertake minor jobs on behalf of tenants - such as putting up shelves and curtain rails, or assembling flat-pack furniture.
A Welsh-speaking carpentry technician has been seconded from the council’s existing workforce, and there are plans to train him with additional skills in the New Year to deliver an even better service, for example, providing minor plum…

Carmarthenshire household waste boost

More than 50 per cent of household waste in Carmarthenshire is no longer going to landfill.
This is because it is either being recycled or used to produce energy from waste.
We must reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill as not only is space running out fast but it is polluting the environment and losing valuable resources.
Latest figures also show the county is now recycling almost 45 per cent of its rubbish.
The council’s director of technical services Richard Workman said: “We want to encourage residents to use their blue bags and green bins as much as possible to reduce the amount in black bags that end up on landfill sites.
“I am delighted that we are now diverting more than 50 per cent of our waste from landfill, but we must keep it up. The targets are going to get much tougher during the next few years so we must do all we can to recycle as much as possible.”
The council’s kerbside recycling scheme is now serving around 77,000 homes and the number of bring sites througho…

Garnant dog owner fined

A dog seen fouling on a housing estate in Garnant was followed home by council officers and its owner has been fined £290.
Tracey Louise Thornton was convicted in absence of an offence under the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 at Ammanford Magistrates Court.
The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The court heard that environmental enforcement officers were on patrol in the village when they saw the dog roaming unaccompanied. He was seen fouling on a grassed area in the Maes Y Bedol housing estate.
The officers followed the dog home and saw it enter through a rear garden door of a house in Maes Y Hendre. They spoke to the owner and issued her with a fixed penalty notice of £75 for failing to clean up after her pet. However, it was never paid.
As a result Thornton, aged 33, she was fined £175 by magistrates and ordered to pay £100 towards prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
It is now hoped this case will act as a warning to others that anyone caught failing t…

Carpets and matresses on reycling list

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Old or unwanted carpets and mattresses are now being recycled by Carmarthenshire County Council.
Residents can take them along to the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) at Trostre (Llanelli); Nantycaws (Carmarthen); Wernddu (Ammanford) and Whitland.
The council has been working with CWM Environmental Limited – which runs the HWRCs on its behalf - to find a market for carpets and mattresses as previously they were going to landfill.
Carpets are now being shredded and used as bedding for horses while the metal and textiles in mattresses are being separated and then recycled.
The council is also working All Waste Services (AWS), the company that runs the HWRC in Llangadog. Carpets are being recycled and arrangements will hopefully be in place for mattresses to be recycled sometime in the New Year.
The council wants to make it as easy as possible for residents to recycle and dispose of their waste.
Director of technical services Richard Workman said: “I am delighted we are now able to r…

Carmarthenshire presses on with education programme

Carmarthenshire will press ahead with a bid to win Welsh Assembly Government funding to continue its Modernising Education Programme.
The full county council yesterday approved the updated MEP and Strategic Outline Programme prepared in line with WAG guidance under the 21st Century Schools Programme.
The council also approved the submission of the Strategic Outline Programme to WAG as its bid for support under the new national programme.
Executive board member for education and children’s services Cllr Gwynne Wooldridge said: “We have a chance to support education for the next 20 years. We need to have significant spending in many of our schools.
“We have had about £108m in spending over recent years and have been praised by the Welsh Assembly as an example. This is a bid for finance over the next 15 years. It will give the children of Carmarthenshire the best chance of an education of a high standard in the 21st Century.”
Chief Executive Mark James said despite the difficult financial sit…