Showing posts from January 31, 2010

Pembrokeshire pupils help the blind

Teachers at Stackpole School in Pembrokeshire could be forgiven for seeing spots in front of their eyes last week.
It was a day when pupils came to school dressed in clothes covered in dots and spots to raise money for the Royal National Institute for the Blind.
This was inspired by their theme this term where Foundation Phase pupils have been learning about eyesight. They have transformed a section of their classroom into an optician's room courtesy of Rayners of Pembroke Dock who loaned some of its equipment.
Pupils have been reading eyesight charts and matching each other with the most attractive spectacle frames while class teacher, Sandra Bryant, contacted Mrs Eva Rich from Saundersfoot and asked her to visit with her guide dog, Angie.
The children were fascinated to meet both of them and afterwards decided they wanted to do something to help other blind people.
Recently they have been painting and carrying out simple tasks blindfolded and this has helped them to realise the many …

Two big dates for the Reds

The Llanelli Reds play two important away fixtures in the space of four days as they visit Newtown today and then travel to Airbus UK Broughton on Tuesday. The Reds manager, Andy Legg, will have an almost full strength squad to pick from as only Owain Warlow is doubtful through injury. With the fixture list piling up, Legg will be looking for maxium points to maintain The Reds challenge at the top of the Welsh Premier League table.
The Reds main rivals for the Welsh Premier League title, THE NEW SAINTS, lost 1-0 at Gap Connah's Quay on Friday night. This defeat now gives the momentum to Llanelli, who will go top of the table with a win at Newtown.
In the other Friday night game, Port Talbot beat Haverfordwest 1-0.

Carmarthen home to Welshpool

Carmarthen Town host Technogroup Welshpool in the Welsh Premier League at Richmond Park at 2.30pm this afternoon.
Last week, Carmarthen earned a 0-0 draw away at Newtown.
Full credit to Newtown for their hard work in getting the game on following overnight snow and frost. But with both sides fielding new signings, Paul Roberts for the Robins and defender Dale Griffiths for Town, the game was stifled somewhat by the difficult surface.
Despite plenty of energy and endeavour quality was in short supply but both sides will be pleased not to have conceded and Town remain undefeated away from home since the end of August.
Town's Assistant Manager Mattie Davies summed up the day - "We kept a clean sheet which is always a positive to take out of any game. But it was just the quality in the final third that was disappointing more than anything. We got into good positions to deliver the ball into the box but unfortunately they didn't pay off and clear cut chances were not created.

Welsh interest at the races today

The following trainers with Welsh connections have runners today -
Peter Bowen
14:20 Wetherby Yes Sir (IRE) D Devereux
14:50 Wetherby Mumbles Head (IRE) D Devereux
15:55 Wetherby Take The Stand (IRE) Mr M Byrne
16:25 Wetherby Marshall May (IRE) Mr M Byrne
Rebecca Curtis
13:30 Sandown Marodima (FR) Mr A Conlon
David Evans
13:25 Lingfield Goodbye Cash (IRE) A Heffernan
14:30 Lingfield Ravi River (IRE) J-P Guillambert
16:10 Lingfield Full Toss A Heffernan
16:45 Lingfield Transfixed (IRE) Richard Evans
Alison Thorpe
14:05 Sandown Diktalina J W Farrelly
14:55 Doncaster Treaty Flyer (IRE) R Johnson
Tim Vaughan
13:15 Wetherby Am I Blue Dean Coleman
Evan Williams
15:20 Wetherby Romping Home (IRE) P J Brennan
Ian Williams
12:50 Doncaster Marwan (IRE) J M Maguire
14:50 Wetherby Weird Al (IRE) P J Brennan
16:35 Doncaster Wayward Prince D C Costello

Reds host anti-racism event

Llanelli Reds hosted a SHOW RACISM THE RED CARD Event at the Stebonheath, Llanelli. The Event was hosted by former QPR, Fulham, West Ham and Bristol City player, Leroy Rosenior (pictured above), whose son Liam, now plays for Ipswich Town. The event was held in association with the FAW and was attended by local school children from Bryngwyn Comprehensive, Glan Y Mor in Burry Port and Swiss Valley.
First Team squad players Jordan Follows and Gary Lloyd also attended the event along with Reds Commercial Manager, former Manchester City and Swansea City legend, Vic Gomersall and Reds General Manager, Nigel Richards.

Carmarthenshire families programme launched

More than 40 people attended the launch of the Strengthening Families Programme in Carmarthenshire.
Carmarthenshire County Council has been selected as one of six local authorities to deliver the programme, based on strengthening families by addressing key areas such as family functioning and parenting skills, with the aim of preventing young people from misusing alcohol and drugs.
The service will be delivered in partnership between Carmarthenshire County Council’s Substance Misuse Team and Education and Children’s Services department, and Action for Children.
For further information contact Fran Dixon, Strengthening Families Coordinator, on 01554 744377, or email

Pictured at the launch are, back row, from left, Grahame Howard of Cardiff’s Strengthening Families Programme; Gareth John, Head of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities; Cllr Gwynne Wooldrige, Executive Board Member for Education and Children’s Services; Kelvin Barlow, Team Manager Sub…

Axe hands over Carmarthenshire lunch clubs

Members of Carmarthenshire’s Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee have supported a review of the county council’s luncheon clubs which recommends the authority discontinues its provision.
Six recommendations were put before the committee as part of a final report compiled by a Task and Finish Group, established to review luncheon club provision across Carmarthenshire.
The politically-balanced Task and Finish Group considered a wide range of evidence between October 2008 and June 2009 before compiling their report.
Its key recommendation is that the council works with independent and voluntary sector providers to expand the provision of luncheon clubs, thus allowing the council to divert resources to meet priority care services and their statutory responsibilities.
The committee sought assurance that before the closure of any local authority luncheon clubs alternative provision would be identified.
Chair of the Task and Finish Group, Cllr Jane Tremlett, said: “The authority does not ha…

Estyn gives Carmarthenshire service a good report

Carmarthenshire’s Workstep service has received a glowing report from Estyn, the inspectorate for education and training in Wales.
The service, run by Carmarthenshire County Council, provides tailored support to find, secure and retain jobs for people who face barriers because of disability.
In six out of seven key areas, Workstep achieved inspection grade one for displaying outstanding features.
Among the areas that stood out to inspectors was the overall quality of training and assessment - described as outstanding - and the quality and range of support for Workstep clients - described as exceptional.
Leadership and management was also described as excellent, with clients and employers receiving a consistently high quality of service from staff.
All-in-all, the report found Workstep provides outstanding value for money.
Gareth John, Head of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, said: “We are very proud of the Workstep service, and are delighted that Estyn has recognised our commitment…

Quote of the day

"We all seek love and passion but we don't want to have to catch two buses. When John Terry got the urge, he didn't even get to Burger King. It had to be someone whose number was already in his phone" - Entertainer Frank Skinner.

Strange but true . . .

A New York City junior high student has been arrested for doodling on her desk.
Alexa Gonzalez, who is 12, scribbled "Lex was here 2/1/10" on her desk. She also wrote "I love my friends Abby and Faith."
Moraima Tamacho said her daughter was released several hours after she was taken in handcuffs to a police station. Education department spokesman David Cantor said the incident should not have happened, and that common sense should prevail.

Busy weekend for junior Reds

The Llanelli Reds Under-19s complete their League Cup (Group D) fixtures when they visit Pontardawe Town on Sunday (KO 2pm). Included in the Reds line up could be Josh Doyle, Daniel Smale, Daniel Wilks and Aaron Houlihan, who have just joined the Reds after recently being released by Swansea City. The Under-18s play a top of the table clash at Bryntirion Athletic in the South Wales FA Youth League.
The Reds Mini Football Section have a RED LETTER day when they play against Liverpool FC's Welsh Development squad at Aberystwyth on Sunday. The U8 U9 U10 U11 & U12 Reds teams will kick off against the boy's aspiring to join the Anfield ranks in future years at 12 noon.

New name for merged Gorseinon and Swansea colleges

Tycroes school improvements get OK

Proposals for improvements to Tycroes CP School have been approved at yesterday’s meeting of Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning committee.
The local education authority submitted an application for full planning permission to remodel and extend the school in Pontarddulais Road, Tycroes.
The scheme includes including improvement work to roof of the existing building, site access and car parking facilities, erection of security fencing and additional playground areas.
See earlier post -

Nantgaredig house wins approval

Carmarthnshire councillors have approved plans for a house in the countryside at Nantgaredig under local needs.
Yesterday’s meeting of the planning committee discussed an outline application for a house in a field near a row of houses at Tanybanc between Nantgaredig and Felingwm Isaf.
An officers’ report said: “The application is submitted as a local needs dwelling to support a local worker linked to agriculture and his young family.
“Evidence of available houses in the area along with their prices has been submitted with the application, along with details of the mortgage the applicant could realistically achieve based on the income of his business. It is clear that there is a large discrepancy between the money available and the much higher cost of dwellings in the area.
“As a result this application has been submitted on land already owned by the applicant under the Local Needs Policy.”
The applicant will have to sign a Section 106 agreement to keep the house as affordable housing for a…

Site visit for St Clears plan

Carmarthenshire councillors are going to visit the site of a proposed mixed commercial and residential development in St Clears.
Yesterday’s meeting of the county planning committee voted to go on a site visit to Station Road on February 16 following a request to look at the site because of concerns over highway safety.
The outline application is for a mixed use redevelopment including employment, community, retail and specialist residential uses on land at Station Road.
If the application is granted the developer must enter into a Section 106 planning agreement to provide £35,000 towards a pedestrian crossing facility and raised plateau on Station Road and £5,000 towards the upgrading of the existing zebra crossing on Pentre Road.
See earlier post -

Scarlets' sponsor in administration

Foelgastell housing plan gets green light

Carmarthenshire councillors have approved detailed plans for housing in Foelgastell.
Yesterday’s meeting of the planning committee looked at a reserved matters application by Tai Developments Ltd for residential development on land alongside Heol y Foel, Foelgastell. Outline planning permission was granted last November.
The reserved matters application is to build 40 dwellings with access to the site from Heol y Foel with traffic calming measures.
The developer has confirmed that the four apartment units at the north of the site will be allocated for affordable housing, and has agreed to make financial contributions towards the improvement of recreation provision and educational facilities within the local community.

Carmarthen schools get security OK

Plans to put up security fencing at the site of two Carmarthen schools have been approved by Carmarthenshire councillors.
The county council had applied for permission to put up fencing at Ysgol y Dderwen and Myrddin CP Schools at Heol Spurrell.
The application was for full planning permission for the installation of a secure boundary fence around the entire perimeter of both schools.
The applicant said there have been a number of incidents of anti-social behaviour, vandalism, a failed attempt of arson and one of substance abuse on land adjoining the schools and following discussion with the ‘Secure by Design’ Community Safety Police Officer there was an urgent need to secure the whole site to ensure the safety of pupils and staff at the schools through the provision of a secure boundary fence.
A council spokesman said: “Both schools have recorded incidents of arson attacks, vandalism as well as incidents of unauthorised individuals traversing the school sites during school hours. Action …

The snowdrops have arrived

Lovely displays of snowdrops on the roadside on Llanelli to Carmarthen (via
Five Roads) stretch.

Trinity Going for Gold presentations

The first graduation ceremony was held recently for the Going for Gold Programme at Trinity University College during which certificates were presented to successful pupils from Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Myrddin, Ysgol y Preseli and Ysgol Gyfun Dyffryn Teifi.
Going for Gold is the Associate Faculty of Trinity’s University College which was established to provide opportunities for secondary school pupils to study at university level. Going for Gold was launched last March and already 34 schools across South Wales have shown an interest in joining the programme.
Faculty Director Vaughan Salisbury said: “The response from the schools has been very encouraging. A pilot scheme was held with the pupils who received their awards in the ceremony and by the end of the academic year 500 pupils will have studied at least one module with us.
"The modules include study skills, curriculum based studies that contribute to the Welsh Baccalaureate as well as other courses related to the A Level c…

Trinity students off to Gregynog

For the first time, Religious Studies students who are following their courses in the Welsh language at Trinity University in Carmarthen will meet at a special conference to be held in the beauty and grandeur of Gregynog.
The conference has been organised jointly by the School of Theology and Religious Studies, Bangor University, and the School of Theology and Religious Studies, Trinity University College, Carmarthen.
The conference theme is ‘Aspects of World Religions’, and there will be three full presentations followed by discussion: ‘The Jew through the eyes of the Christian’ by Professor Gareth Lloyd Jones (Bangor University), ‘World-wide Christianity: A Glance Backwards and Forwards’ by Dr Noel Davies (Trinity University College) and ‘Jesus, Women and the Jewish Context’ by Dr Catrin Williams (Bangor University).
There will also be an opportunity for students to discuss their needs and to express their views on Welsh medium provision.
The conference will begin after supper on Thursd…

Ammanford youngsters get boxing chance

Young people from the Ammanford Smart Project are taking part in a demanding boxing programme to help improve fitness, discipline and self esteem.
The group meet on Thursdays at Prizefighter’s Gym, Carmarthen, and are trained by Commonwealth Silver medallist, Kevin Evans.
The project is supported by Carmarthenshire Council’s Youth Service and the Amman Neighbourhood Policing Team; the aim of the partnership working is to break down any barriers between young people and the police.
Ammanford's Smart Coordinator said: “The young people are getting a lot out of these sessions and we’ve seen a difference in their attitudes already.
“The sessions at Prizefighter’s Gym have helped motivate the young people and during the sessions they are able to deal with their aggression.”
Police community officer Sharee Treharne added:“It’s great to work with the young people and to show them that our aim isn’t to keep penalising them but to work together and help with any issues that might be affectin…

Trinity students on awards shortlist

Students from Trinity University College in Carmarthen are in the running for top awards at the prestigious Welsh ‘Oscars’ for student film-makers.
The annual Ffresh awards ceremony for student moving images takes place at Aberystwyth Arts Centre next Thursday and Friday (February 11 and 12).
And Trinity students have been successful in securing five places on the awards shortlist.
In the TV category, Drew Hill has been nominated for Fiends, a cheeky horror tracking the life of a recovering addict.
In the same category, Catrin Newman has been nominated for Gwenwyn y Geiriau, a powerful documentary which investigates the well-publicised cluster of young suicides in the Bridgend area.
Catrin’s film has also been nominated in the Welsh Language Category, a section which also features two other films from Trinity students.
Lucky Nymbyr Nain is a short film by Gareth Wyn Roberts which takes in fighting, kidnap and drugs - and a special lottery ticket!
Bwrw Gwreiddiau is a documentary by Nia Medi …

Grey Cardigan on Planet Guardian

Grey Cardigan: Welcome to the Planet Guardian | Grey Cardigan (
Grey Cardigan strikes again in his UK Press Gazette column.

Friday Funnies from the news world

Journalism jobs and news from
Friday Funnies from Hold The Front Page

Reds Under-19s win through

The Llanelli Reds Under-19s won through to the quarter finals of the FAW Youth Cup last night with a fine all round performance at Afan Lido. The Reds won 4-0 with the goals coming from Rikki Evans (3) and Declan John. They are now home to Ely Rangers from Cardiff in the quarter finals.

Legg expecting stern test at Newtown

Legg expecting stern test at Latham Park
Llanelli Reds off to Mid Wales.

Welsh interest at the races today

The following trainers with Welsh connections have runners today -
David Evans
15:30 Lingfield Transfixed (IRE) P Doe
16:40 Lingfield Nawamees (IRE) Miss H Jones
18:35 Wolverhampton Benedict Spirit (IRE) Richard Evans
Derek Haydn Jones
19:35 Wolverhampton Princess Valerina J F McDonald
Tim Vaughan
15:35 Bangor Hayes Princess (IRE) Dean Coleman
Evan Williams
13:05 Catterick Minella For Food (IRE) Jody McGarvey
14:45 Catterick The Snail Paul Moloney

Quote of the day

"No, darling. I don't make supper. I make reservations" - Nancy Dell'Olio, former girlfriend of Sven-Goran Eriksson, when asked if there was anything she could cook.

Strange but true . . .

Residents accused the Royal Mail of health and safety "madness" after it refused to deliver post along their cobbled street because it is too dangerous.
The regular postman on Bilton Terrace, in Bideford, Devon, initially refused to deliver mail after he slipped before Christmas.
A Royal Mail manager visited and told residents deliveries would be suspended because the lane is too slippery and uneven for the postman to do his rounds.

True Taste market for London

The True Taste Welsh produce market is set to take London by storm for the second year running.
The market will be held on Friday 26 February 2010 between 11am and 7pm at Golden Square, London, W1 (just off Regent’s Street).
This year the market has moved to a larger location to allow Londoners to be able to sample and buy produce from double the number of stall holders.
Golden Square in the heart of London’s West End will host up to 24 True Taste award-winning producers selling a plethora of food and drink.
For more information about this year’s event please visit:

Carmarthen teacher's appeal fails

Carmarthen drugs misery

'Drugs are making our lives a misery', Cwrt y Berllan, Carmarthen,
Drugs misery story from Carmarthen Journal.

Red Lion, Llangadog, in spotlight

New labels guide on the blog

Have inserted a new labels cloud at the bottom of this blog to help searches.

Welcome to Croatia

First visitor from Croatia today on this blog.
Current country totals are -
United Kingdom (GB) 283
United States (US) 30
Germany (DE) 2
France (FR) 2
Australia (AU) 2
United Arab Emirates (AE) 2
India (IN) 2
Denmark (DK) 1
Hungary (HU) 1
Europe (EU) 1
Ireland (IE) 1
Israel (IL) 1
Pakistan (PK) 1
Malaysia (MY) 1
Egypt (EG) 1
New Zealand (NZ) 1
Singapore (SG) 1
Croatia (HR) 1

4,000 chalked up for this blog!

4,000 page visits chalked up today. That's a 1000 since December 19. Many thanks to you all for visiting.
See earlier post -

Welsh beekeepers conference date

The Welsh Assembly Government is holding its third annual beekeepers conference in Llandrindod Wells on 16th February 2010 (postponed from the 11th January 2010 due to weather conditions).
The Assembly Government has been working closely with the Welsh Beekeepers Association on delivering the outcomes of the Healthy Bees Plan and an update on progress will be provided. The National Bee Unit will also be delivering a training workshop on Varroa control and good husbandry.
If you would like to attend, please call Amy Byrne on 01267 245007, or contact us:

Welsh regional news bidders line up

Llanelli schools review published

A review has been carried out into catchment areas for schools in the Llanelli town area.
It follows increasing demand for Welsh-medium and denominational education, and significant changes in the population of certain areas.
The county council needs to ensure there are sufficient places in its schools for all children and that the places available match the needs.
A report, which went before the executive board on Monday, February 1 showed that at the moment, only 46 per cent of primary pupils are attending their local catchment school.
As a result, the catchment areas have now been revised in keeping with current and future need.
Consultation has taken place with all the schools involved, and new maps have been agreed with them.
The aim is to ensure enough places are available for those wanting either a Welsh first language, Welsh second language or denominational provision locally.
Executive board member for education Councillor Gwynne Wooldridge said: “The Education and Children’s Servi…

Full list of Welsh MPs' expenses repayments

Reds v Rhyl now on a Saturday

The Llanelli Reds Welsh Premier League home game with Rhyl has been brought forward a day and will now be played on Saturday 20th March (KO 2.30pm) instead of Sunday 21st March.

Llanelli Reds lads off to Lido

The Llanelli Reds Under 19s travel to Afan Lido tonight (7.30pm) for their delayed FAW Youth Cup 3rd Round tie with the Port Talbot based club. The Under 19s had to forfeit their home advantage as the tie has twice been postponed at Stebo due to the recent bad weather. The first tie was calle off on Monnday 21st December due to the snow and last Sunday the pitch was unplayable after the previous day's Welsh Cup game with Holyhead Hotspur.

Half-term fun in Llanelli

A range of activities are available to young people in the Llanelli area during February half term.
The team at Bwlch Rangers Youth Centre has put together a programme of activities from Monday February 15- Friday February 20. Young people can get involved in dance workshops, mountain biking, motor biking, art workshops and boxing fitness classes.
Huw Thomas, Senior Youth Worker for the Llanelli area said:
“The activities on offer will help encourage young people to participate in worth while projects and to steer them away from anti social behaviour that can occur due to boredom.
“Activities are free of charge and young people between the ages of 11-17 are welcome to attend.”
Young people can also get involved in youth clubs, Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards and various other projects at Bwlch Rangers Youth Centre all of which operate throughout the year. Drop in sessions are also available for young people to discuss any issues affecting them with the youth workers at the Centre.
For further …

Radio Cymru at The Grapes

The Blas show from Radio Cymru is at The Grapes in Maentwrog today. Will keep you posted when I know what date the show airs!

Quote of the day

"I'd love to interview her - but she hasn't got where she is by giving random interviews" - Broadcaster Andrew Marr on the Queen.

Strange but true . . .

A man has been refused entry to Tesco after attempting to shop barefoot in its stores.
Video artist Dave Richards, 47, who has gone without shoes for the past seven years, was turned away by several branches of the supermarket chain.
Mr Richards, from Castle Donington, Derbyshire, said he had written to Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy to ask him why he could not shop barefoot.

Three men in night-time rescue on Towy

Ideas for all-time best Reds team

Great idea in the Llanelli Reds match programme. In a new series of match day articles, former players,staff and supporters give their personal views on what they consider to be the best all-time Reds team.
The first of the articles appeared in the Bangor City programme when Reds legend and now regular supporter Peter Johns (Bachi) picked his all-time team.
An all-time Llanelli team to win the Welsh Premier League -
The best keeper that I played with! He came from Cardiff City and was a Welsh under 23 International. Won us at least 15 points in the Championship season of 1970/1971
Quick, solid, reliable. Good tackler and good going forward.
Good left peg. Nobody got past him. A cracking player.
Great in the air. Took no prisoners. Solid and reliable every game.
Played over 500 consecutive games fro the Reds. Also captained the side at times. Very dominant at the back. A …

Reds v Neath game rearranged

The Llanelli Reds home game with Neath Athletic scheduled for Friday 26th February has been rearranged for Tuesday 20th April 2010.KO 7.30pm. This is due to the Reds visiting Bangor City on Saturday 27th February in the Quarter Finals of the Welsh Cup.

Reds youngsters win at Llandarcy

The Llanelli Reds Under 12s won 7-6 against Afan Lido at the Indoor Barn at Llandarcy last night. The Reds scorers were Ashley Birdsall (2) Robert Miles (2) Ben Williams Theo Davies Lewis and Nathan Lewis.

Scarlets full-back needs operation

Art and breakfast in Carmarthenshire

Children across Carmarthenshire have been creating works of art while tucking in to their breakfast.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Catering Service has been running a colouring competition in its 105 primary school breakfast clubs, in conjunction with Farmhouse Breakfast Week (January 25-29).
Infant pupils were provided with a breakfast colouring sheet, and junior pupils were asked to design a poster highlighting the importance of a healthy breakfast before the school day.
The winning entries will be displayed in the county’s breakfast clubs, and prizes are being offered for the most imaginative and colourful pictures.
Sandra Weigel, Catering Services Manager, said: “Breakfast Farmhouse Week is all about promoting a good wholesome start to the day. By organising a colouring competition we were able to encourage pupils to have a healthy breakfast while undertaking an enjoyable activity and keeping them entertained.”
Carmarthenshire County Council has one of the highest uptakes of breakf…

St Clears woman praises life-saving Careline

A St Clears resident has praised the Careline staff she has credited for saving her life.
Jeanne Walsop, aged 85, suffered a fall at home during the freezing weather conditions in January.
Thankfully, Mrs Walsop was wearing her Careline pendant and was able to raise the alarm – and within seconds help was on its way.
“I was putting out bread for the birds when I slipped on the step, landed on my back and banged my head. I was wearing my Careline pendant, and I thought ‘Thank Heavens for that’!
“Within seconds I had a response – I heard a voice come over and the gentleman on the other side said ‘hang on Mrs Walsop – we are sending someone to help’. Within minutes my neighbour came around, followed quite quickly by an ambulance.
“I was taken to West Wales General Hospital and they treated me to a few X-Rays, but thankfully all I came away with was some pretty colourful bruises!
“Everybody has been so wonderful - if I had not had such a quick response it could have been a very difference outco…

Schools review after Welsh demand in Llanelli

Pembrokeshire man's Haiti help mission

A Pembrokeshire County Council contact centre assistant is taking the plunge for charity - out of an aeroplane.
Roger Jenkins of Haverfordwest is doing his first ever skydive in April, with all proceeds going to the Haiti earthquake appeal.
He says his aim is to raise as much money as possible to help the relief fund.
"We've all been moved by the images from Haiti," he said. "I want to raise a worthwhile sum, several thousand pounds if possible."
The skydive package was generously donated by his colleague Donna Thomas, in response to a request for fundraising ideas from customer contact manager Michael Henderson.
Like everyone, he was appalled by the scale of the disaster in Haiti.
"The Contact Centre regularly raises money for charity by holding raffles or bring and buy events within the centre," he said.
"We have raised over £1000 in the last year alone."
"We were all appalled at what happened in Haiti and felt that we should do something…

New-look Wales lose injured Matthew Rees versus England

Dyfed-Powys Police helicopter lay-off cost stays secret

Bont band can blow their own trumpets

Carmarthenshire Blue Bags message

Blue bag collections are continuing as normal on refuse collections about Carmarthenshire on the nominated collection days in specific areas.
Refuse collections have returned to normal after the bad weather.
It is important, however, for those who take refuse or waste to recycling centres to understand that the centres do not accept blue bags.
For further information or to establish if it is a blue or black bag collection week in your areas visit www, or call Carmarthenshire Direct on 01267 234567

Quote of the day

"A guy came up to me in a bookshop and said 'Are you who you think you are?'" - Comedian Paul Merton recalls a visit to Ireland.

Strange but true . . .

A council warned taxi drivers they faced suspension if they put up St George stickers and signs saying they speak English in their cars.
A minority of licensed cabs in Southampton have put the signs up because they claim passengers have complained to them that some drivers cannot speak English.
Now the city council has said any cab that has the sign or a St George flag put up will have their licence suspended if they do not take them down within seven days. This is because they need the permission of the authority to put up any sign.

Regional news is focus of meeting

BBC News - Regional news is focus of meeting
Big pow-wow on local TV news. But not a lot of emphasis on print media.

Lee Byrne cleared of ban and free for England v Wales

DVD release for The Proud Valley starring Paul Robeson

Honours for Haverfordwest pupils

Top honours for pupils (From Milford Mercury)
Link with Trinity University, Carmarthen, here.

Pembrokeshire vocational project wins praise

The Welsh Assembly Government’s Deputy Minister for Science, Innovation and Skills, Lesley Griffiths, has praised an innovative vocational scheme for 14 to 16 year olds, based in Haverfordwest.
Twenty-three students from Sir Thomas Picton and Tasker Milward schools are undertaking a Work Based Learning Pathway (WBLP) in Sports Management, Leadership and Coaching.
The two-year programme allows them to combine their normal school lessons with a blend of vocational qualifications and work experience at Haverfordwest Leisure Centre.
Students are assessed and mentored in their Sports Leaders Award and NVQ in Sport and Recreation by Wayne Hoyland, WBLP Scheme Co-ordinator.
The Deputy Minister was welcomed to the centre on Thursday (January 28th) by Councillor Huw George, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People, Learning and the Welsh Language.
She enjoyed presentations from students Chelsea Kendall, Heather Lewis, and Robin Ellis on their work placements and assignments, as well as a demonstrat…

Pembrokeshire bikes booster

A project which enables people of all abilities to get on their bike is holding another taster day this month.
Bike Ability Wales provides everyone with the opportunity of riding a bike by offering a variety of specially designed machines.
First set up in Swansea some years ago the scheme’s organisers now hope to expand into Pembrokeshire.
A first taster day was held in December at the Withybush County Showground in Haverfordwest and was so successful that another day will now be held on Tuesday 16th.
Organised by Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Greenways and funded by Health Challenge Pembrokeshire, the sessions offer people the chance to try out handcycles, trikes, quadcycles, tandems and wheelchair bikes.
Two sessions will be held on February 16th in Brithdir Hall at the County Showground from 11am to 1pm and from 2pm to 4pm.
The sessions will be informal and give participants the chance to talk to the project officers from Swansea, as well as try out the bikes on offer.

Historic Assembly powers vote - date set

Carmarthen Town AFC squad photo

No games on, so you'll have to be content with the latest Carmarthen Town AFC squad picture. Rear: Neil Thomas, Nicky Palmer, Richard Hughes, Sean Cronin, Chris Thomas (Cpt), Paul Fowler, Neil Smothers, Dale Griffiths
Front: Danny Thomas, Nathan Cotterrall, Tim Hicks, Mark Pritchard, Craig Hughes, Dyfan Pierce, Gary Morris (Physio).

Llanelli bar owner fined

The owner of a listed Llanelli bar has been fined £3,400 for making unauthorised alterations to the building.
Douglas Andrew Lewis was prosecuted by Carmarthenshire County Council for making changes to Stamps, the former Post Office, in Station Road, Llanelli without listed building consent.
He pleaded guilty at Llanelli Magistrates Court to an offence contrary to sections 7 and 9 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.
The court heard that the work involved construction of a rear extension, replacement of timber sliding sash windows with casement uPVC windows, cutting off the lower part of double panelled gates, and construction of timber decking.
Lewis of Lewitha Villa, Swansea Road, Fforestfach, was fined £3,400 and ordered to pay £2,000 prosecution costs.
This is the second prosecution by the county council in recent months regarding unauthorized works to listed buildings in Llanelli.
In October at Carmarthen Magistrates Court, Topaz Property Services Ltd, of…

Never mind the bollards - it's public art

Reds v Carmarthen off tonight

Tonight's Welsh Premier League Game against Carmarthen Town has been postponed tonight due to the waterlogged state of the pitch. Despite the heroic efforts of Llanelli Reds Groundsman Eddie Donne and his staff in getting the pitch repaired and in a decent condition after last Saturday's Welsh Cup match, the heavy overnight rain has left the pitch heavily waterlogged.
See earlier posts today.

Carmarthenshire bus company fined

A bus company has been prosecuted and fined £3,000 for building a commercial bus repair/service facility without Building Regulations.
Davies Coaches pleaded guilty at Llanelli Magistrates Court to the offence which related to development at the former Cwmgwili Colliery site.
The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council under sections 12, 14 and 15 of the Building Regulations 2000.
The owner failed to make an application or notify the local authority of his intentions, failed to make a Full Plans Building Regulations Application and failed to notify the local authority building control department of statutory inspections required during the construction process and at completion of the works.
The owners Davies Coaches Ltd were ordered to pay the courts £1,000 for each offence which totalled £3,000 together with costs of £336.
Executive board member for regeneration and leisure Cllr Clive Scourfield said: “It is important that Building Regulations are applied for and the co…

Carmarthenshire poverty probe

Pockets of deprivation and a lack of access to services in rural areas have been a major finding of a countywide investigation into poverty in Carmarthenshire.
The county council’s social justice scrutiny committee ordered a Review of Poverty in Carmarthenshire. The move was sparked by the credit crunch and global recession.
Councillors and council have worked closely with the voluntary sector and faith groups and the National Energy Association on issues such as fuel poverty.
The scrutiny committee met to discuss the task and finish group Review which will go to the council’s executive board in the next few weeks.
Research shows that while some areas of Llanelli are among the most deprived in the whole of Wales, and so receive Welsh Assembly Government Communities First funding, there are serious problems of poverty and social exclusion in more prosperous areas and in rural areas.
The Review states: “Evidence exists in respect of access to services by bus or walking that a number of our r…

Newcastle Emlyn school team delight

A team from Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn, Newcastle Emlyn has won this year’s Carmarthenshire Young Consumers of the Year competition, run by Carmarthenshire Trading Standards Services.
The national competition is organised by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI), the national body representing trading standards departments in the UK, and aims to increase consumer awareness amongst young people.
The competition took the form of a quiz between teams of four, all between the ages of 14 and 17, from schools and colleges. The subjects covered included consumer law, money, credit and finance, environmental issues, and food and safety.
This year the Carmarthenshire final, which was sponsored by Brecon Carreg, was contested by four qualifying teams, Amman Valley School, Glan-y-Mor School, Ysgol Gyfun Bro Myrddin and Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn on Thursday January 21 in the Carwyn James Suite at Parc y Scarlets.
The winning Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn team consisted of Katie Barnby, Jack Pullman-Slater, Finn O’Connor, Megan …

Carmarthenshire warning on rogue traders

Carmarthenshire's public protection division is warning householders to beware of rogue traders and distraction burglars taking advantage of emergency repairs following the extreme weather.
The county council’s public protection division has set up a small team of officers to answer queries from members of the public who need to have repairs carried out to their homes.
Head of public protection Philip Davies said: “Our team is able to offer advice to people who are unhappy about the quotes they have been given to carry out work following the snow and ice. We would advise them to use one of our Registered Traders.”
He backed a warning by the Trading Standards Institute of the danger of distraction burglars using freezing weather to access homes.
The TSI said trading standards services have received reports of vulnerable consumers being visited by criminals claiming to be from a water company. Once they have gained access to the home the householder is distracted in the kitchen or bathr…

Nantgaredig home plan on agenda

Carmarthenshire councillors will consider plans for a house in the countryside at Nantgaredig under local needs.
A meeting of the planning committee will discuss the outline application for a house in a field near a row of houses at Tanybanc between Nantgaredig and Felingwm Isaf.
An officers’ report says: “The application is submitted as a local needs dwelling to support a local worker linked to agriculture and his young family.
“Evidence of available houses in the area along with their prices has been submitted with the application, along with details of the mortgage the applicant could realistically achieve based on the income of his business. It is clear that there is a large discrepancy between the money available and the much higher cost of dwellings in the area.
“As a result this application has been submitted on land already owned by the applicant under the Local Needs Policy.”
If planning permission is granted, the applicant would have to sign a Section 106 to keep the house as aff…

St Clears housing plan

Plans for a mixed commercial and residential development in St Clears will be considered by Carmarthenshire councillors.
A meeting of the planning committee will consider an outline application for a mixed use redevelopment including employment, community, retail and specialist residential uses on land at Station Road.
If the application is granted the developer must enter into a Section 106 planning agreement to provide £35,000 towards a pedestrian crossing facility and raised plateau on Station Road and £5,000 towards the upgrading of the existing zebra crossing on Pentre Road.

Carmarthenshire scam mail help

Householders in Carmarthenshire are being offered the opportunity to offload their scam mail this February.
Carmarthenshire Trading Standards Service and the Office of Fair Trading are running a Scamnesty campaign from February 1-26.
They are promoting awareness by encouraging people to drop their scam mail into local Scamnesty collections located around the county such as local libraries.
Mass marketed scams are a problem in Carmarthenshire and across the UK. They can take the form of bogus and fraudulent offers sent by post, telephone or email. Fake lottery and prize draw wins, bogus psychic predictions, get-rich-quick investment cons, membership offers and 'miracle' health cures are just some of the tricks used by scammers.
Nearly half of the UK adult population has been targeted by a scam, and more than three million adults - one in 15 people - fall victim to scams, losing a total of £3.5 billion every year simply because they bought a nonexistent product or disclosed their pe…

Tycroes school improvements plan

Proposals for improvements to Tycroes CP School will be considered at a meeting of the county council’s planning committee.
The local education authority has submitted an application for full planning permission to remodel and extend the school in Pontarddulais Road, Tycroes.
The scheme includes including improvement work to roof of the existing building, site access and car parking facilities, erection of security fencing and additional playground areas.
Officers are recommending approving the scheme.

Top spot target for Llanelli

Top spot target for Llanelli
Pitch inspection now 3pm - see earlier blog today.

England team for the big match!

Some beer blogs to visit . . .

:: The Daily Pull

:: Beervoice: Track and share the beers you drink

:: Beer haiku daily: Just what it says

:: Hopzine, a great British beer blog

:: The Blog o' Beer

:: The Real Ale network

Strange but true . . .

The Co-op said it was correcting an "error" which led to "ambient sausage rolls" going on sale after a group which campaigns against gobbledegook complained that the description took the linguistic biscuit.
The Plain English Campaign said it had no idea what an "ambient sausage roll" was and had never seen food labelled in such a "bizarre" fashion.
Co-op officials said the label was an "administrative error.

Quote of the day

"If there's a woman in leggings eating chips with a fag in her mouth, sterilise her" - Comedian Ricky Gervais, saying there are too many useless people who should not have children.

Pitch inspection at Stebonheath

With more bad weather forecast in the shape of heavy rain,there will be a Tuesday lunchtime pitch inspection at Stebonheath, Llanelli, ahead of the Reds home game with Carmarthen Town.

Amelia Earhart at Burry Port

Spotted this old pic in The Times the other day. Amelia Earhart landing at Burry Port harbour.

Carmarthenshire scam warning

Carmarthenshire Trading Standards Service is warning people to beware of a subscriptions scam that is doing the rounds.
The scam involves people cold calling householders telling them that their satellite TV/Broadband pay-per-view subscription is due for renewal and offering them deals such as a percentage discount.
The person phoning up goes through a description of the offer and then asks for personal including banking details. The customers later find that money has been taken from their account.
Executive board member for housing and public protection Cllr Hugh Evans said: “This scam has even targeted people who do not have satellite subscriptions to renew. People should not give out personal details, particularly financial information such as bank card details, to people that they do not know who have cold called them.”
If consumers need advice they should contact Carmarthenshire Direct on 01267 234567.

Whitland business centre thriving

A Whitland business centre is thriving, with thanks in part to a Rural Conversion Grant, administered by Carmarthenshire County Council.
Landsker Business Centre – a flexible business resource providing networked computers, broadband, hot desking and meeting space – received a grant to further develop a redundant farm building which has been given a new lease of life under the scheme.
It is one of several Carmarthenshire success stories under the RCG scheme, which enables new or existing businesses to convert redundant buildings for business use.
The grant scheme received funding through the Strategic Towns and Villages Fund 2004 -2006, funded by European Objective 1 Fund, and administered locally by Carmarthenshire County Council.
Landsker Business Centre director, Jeremy Bowen Rees, said the grant has meant his plans to develop the facility became more affordable.
“The grant meant I could develop the business centre with a full array of high quality services rather than having to comprom…

Welsh Cup draw for soccer

The Welsh Cup quarter-final draw is as follows -
Games to be played on Sat/Sun 27th/28th February 2010.
This means that the Llanelli Reds v Neath Atletic home game scheduled for Friday 26th February will have to be re arranged.
The Reds beat Holyhead Hotspur by 4 goals to 0 at Stebonheath on Saturday afternoon in the 4th Round of the Welsh Cup.. In a comfortable win, the Reds goals were scored by Chris Venables (26) Jordan Follows (36) Rhys Griffiths (47) and Antonio Corbisiero (52).

Reds Under-18s hit seven again

The Llanelli Reds Under 18s won their latest South Wales FA Youth League game at Cwmavon Boys Club in Port Talbot last Sunday by 7 goals to 1. The Reds goals were scored by Kristian Corbisiero and Lloyd Jenkins who both grabbed hat tricks and James Beckett.

Reds Academy training off

Ice on the astroturf at Coleg Sir Gar, so Llanelli Reds Academy training is off tonight.

So print is dead? Not in Derry Street!

Llanelli photographer wins business support

A Llanelli-based celebrity portrait photographer is hoping to realise one of his career ambitions this year, thanks to the support of the South Wales Local Investment Fund.
Terry Morris, who has photographed the likes of Sir Anthony Hopkins, Dame Shirley Bassey and Sir Tom Jones, is in talks with Tatler magazine about a high profile commission which will see him linking up with one of the UK’s most successful women’s sporting teams.
Details of the shoot are being kept under wraps, but Terry says he would never have been able to pitch for such work if LIF, administered locally by Carmarthenshire County Council, hadn’t financially backed him to upgrade his equipment.
“There is no way I would even be considered for this kind of work if my gear wasn’t up to the job. Thanks to the Local Investment Fund, I have been able to upgrade my kit so that I can produce quality images far superior to that of my older equipment.
“It means that I can compete at the highest level, and if this commission com…

Carmarthenshire gets family project pilot

Carmarthenshire County Council has been selected as one of six local authorities to deliver a scheme based on strengthening families to prevent young people from misusing alcohol and drugs.
The Strengthening Families Programme 10-14 (UK) addresses key areas such as family functioning and parenting skills.
The service will be delivered in partnership between Carmarthenshire County Council’s Substance Misuse Team and Education and Children’s Services department, and Action for Children.
It will be officially launched in the county on February 3, with families being invited to take part from April.
In Carmarthenshire the programme will aim to deliver in the rural north and west of the county to compliment work already underway in Llanelli.
Fran Dixon, Strengthening Families Coordinator, said: “The SFP10-14 seeks to achieve changes in family functioning and parenting as these are recognised as protective factors that can help prevent young people engaging in substance misuse.
“It will also hel…

Amman Youth Forum promotes safety

Members of the Amman Youth Forum attended an event to help promote community safety for older people living in the county.
Youth Forum members gave away free light bulbs as well as offering to help install them.
The group decided to take part in the project in order to help break down the barrier that often exists between young people and older people by positively engaging with them and showing that young people aren't simply yobs in hoodies.
Jade Lewis, chair of Amman Youth Forum said:“I think it's great that we can help older people to reduce their energy consumption, reduce their electricity bills and make a difference to their perception of young people.
“We met a lot of people at this event and were able to show that young people are positive members of the community.”
The group are looking at other projects to help make the community safer for others while allowing young people to break down the negative stereotypes that often surround them.
Councillor Gwynne Wooldridge, E…