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Showing posts from June 6, 2010

Cheap bus travel for Carmarthenshire teens

Teenagers in Carmarthenshire can access cheap bus travel this summer by making sure they have a Validate card.
Carmarthenshire County Council, Validate have joined forces with First Cymru to promote the proof of age cards as the only way of taking up the company’s 16-18 tickets.
The £3.75 FirstDay and £15 FirstWeek tickets offer unlimited travel on First local bus services throughout South and West Wales except the Swansea to Cardiff Shuttle 100.
Tony McNiff, Managing Director of First Cymru Buses said: "Our 16-18 tickets offer a great opportunity to visit attractions and events across South and West Wales.
“We are delighted to be working alongside Validate UK to bring significant reductions on the cost of daily and weekly bus travel to holders of Validate cards."
Carol Brodie of Validate UK said: "I'm delighted that First Cymru Buses and Carmarthenshire Trading Standards have got together to promote this brilliant offer especially during the summer when it gives great o…

It's maintenance time on Carmarthenshire roads

Essential maintenance works are underway on roads across Carmarthenshire.
The equivalent length of about 54 miles of a standard two-way carriageway will be treated – the distance from Carmarthen to Bridgend!
The resurfacing works are carried out annually by the county council to help prevent potholes and make the roads safer and better to use.
It involves applying a coating of hot bitumen onto the road surface followed by layers of hard stone chippings. A mechanical sweeper then removes the excess chippings after a day or so.
Some 8,000 tonnes of aggregate and 233,000 gallons of bitumen emulsion will be used covering an area of 663,000 square metres.
Head of street scene David Hughes said although it caused some inconvenience for drivers, it was an essential maintenance operation.
“This work prevents water seeping into the road foundation and weakening it, thus reducing the chances of potholes developing, and prolongs the life expectancy of the road,” he said.
“It is the most cost effective …

Big trim for Carmarthenshire verges

More than 6,000km of grass verges throughout Carmarthenshire are getting their annual trim.
Carmarthenshire County Council has a statutory duty to maintain the highway in a safe condition for motorists and pedestrians.
The council carries out one cut a year, however, a second cut may be carried out in some areas in early September, depending on weather and growing conditions throughout the season.
Head of street scene David Hughes said: “The maintenance of road verges is an important service provided by the council.
“In the interests of safety, vegetation on verges is kept trimmed to avoid obscuring of signs and visibility splays.
“It is unavoidable, however, that on some stretches of minor roads, the growth of verge vegetation will occasionally reduce visibility, and so we would advise motorists to drive carefully.”
The importance of the road verge network for nature conservation must also be considered and is reflected in the council’s verge maintenance policy.
The county’s roadside verges…

Group to study Carmarthenshire public toilets

A Task and Finish Group has been set up to investigate the options for the future provision of public toilets in Carmarthenshire.
There are currently 33 public toilets in the county operated by the Street Scene division as well as nine Superloos, managed on behalf of the council by Danfo.
Various options are being considered by the group including the closure of some facilities, for example, where toilets are subject to continued vandalism or anti-social behaviour or where there are other public toilets nearby.
Another option being looked at is to transfer the facilities to town and community councils to manage.
The group is made up of members of the Environment Scrutiny Committee with cross-party representation including the chair Councillor Jim Jones, the vice-chair Councillor Peter Cooper, Councillor Tom Theophilus, Councillor David Jenkins and Councillor Malcolm Davies.
Councillor Jones said: “We are looking at various issues such as budget, location and condition of facilities, as wel…

Burry Port flats plan approved

Plans to replace a Burry Port eyesore with seven retirement flats have been approved by Carmarthenshire county councillors.
The planning committee yesterday discussed plans to replace the fire-damaged property at Sandhurst, The Harbour, Burry Port, with seven retirement flats/apartments and garages.
The application site is to the immediate south of the new Chandler’s Yard residential development at Burry Port Harbour. The harbour itself is to the east of the application site.
The proposed accommodation is six two-bedroom apartment/flats, three on the ground floor and three on the first floor. There will also be an additional two bedroom apartment in the roof void of the property to be used by the applicant.
An officers’ report to the committee said: “It is considered that the size, scale and design of the proposed development is of a high quality and uses a pallet of materials vernacular to the area as a whole, and will improve the visual appearance of the area by removing a fire damaged …

Carmarthen pub landlady fined

The landlady of a Carmarthen pub has been prosecuted for passing off cheap drinks as branded ones.
Susan Mary Ede pleaded guilty at Ammanford Magistrates Court on May 17 to three offences under the Food Safety Act of substituting spirits.
The court heard that Ede, premises licence holder at the Ceffyl Du pub in Water Street, had been putting inferior spirits into better bottles.
Ede was fined a total of £900 and ordered to pay £100 prosecution costs.
The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council Trading Standards.

Llandovery foodstore plans turned down

Plans for a foodstore in Llandovery have been turned down because of concerns about the risk of the site flooding.
Aldi Stores had applied for consent to demolish old buildings and construct a new store at Castle Garage, High Street.
The application was discussed at yesterday’s meeting of Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning committee.
Senior development control officer Graham Noakes said the Trunks Road Agency could not support the application because of concerns over access.
He said that the Environment Agency was recommending refusal because the system used to assess the flooding risk did not provide an accurate picture of the risk. The applicants had been asked to carry out a more accurate assessment but had wanted the council to go ahead and decide the application.
Local member Cllr Ivor Jackson, who is a member of the planning committee, said that it was a great opportunity to develop the site, and Llandovery needed the development.
The committee voted to refuse planning permissi…

Carmarthenshire project in running for national award

A Carmarthenshire project which is helping people overcome chronic alcohol problems by supporting them to gain confidence and life skills is through to the semi finals of the National Lottery Awards 2010.
Turning Point, with the support of partners including Carmarthenshire County Council, has been successfully shortlisted for the awards for its innovative Carmarthenshire Life Skills Project under the Best Health Project category.
The winning project in each category will receive national recognition on a star-studded BBC 1 show later this year and will receive a £2,000 cash prize to spend on their project.
The prize will be in addition to the £997,927 the project has already received from The Big Lottery, which has been received over the last four years.
People are being encouraged to vote for the CLSP project which will help local people to rebuild their lives and put their alcohol problems behind them.
Andrew Soroka, Carmarthenshire Life Skills Project Service Manager said: “Without the…

Carmarthen Listed building offence

The owner of a Carmarthen Listed building has lost his appeal against his sentence for failing to comply with an enforcement notice issued because of unauthorised works.
An appeal by the owner of 51, King Street, Carmarthen, Michael Makin of Arbont, Llanarthne, against his sentence for offences contrary to Section 43 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservations Areas) Act 1990, was dismissed at Swansea Crown Court, Swansea on May 14.
At the initial Magistrates Court hearing Mr Makin had pleaded guilty to failing to comply with an enforcement order issued by Carmarthenshire County Council with regard to unauthorised works at the Grade II* listed building. The magistrates fined him £6,300 plus £737.38 costs.
Mr Makin appealed to the Crown Court against the level of fine imposed. At the first appeal hearing in the Crown Court on the April 14 the case was adjourned until the 14th May 14 to allow the county council to reply to a skeleton argument for mitigation put forward by Mr. Makin…

Girl Guides clean cycle path

Green-thinking Girl Guides from Carmarthen rolled up their sleeves to clean up the town’s cycle path.
The Nantgaredig Guides organised a litter pick along the cycle path between Abergwili and Carmarthen town.
Armed with litter pickers, the Guides filled 15 bags in just a couple of hours.
Guider Alison James said: “The Guides have to do some community service and chose to litter-pick. They all enjoyed themselves, even having a competition to see who could find the most, but they did agree that it was terrible that they had to do it at all, especially as there are bins at either end of the path.”
Carmarthenshire County Council is encouraging people to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible as well as to clean up their community and take pride in where they live as part of the ‘Go Green and Keep it Clean’ campaign. Schools and community groups can sign up for free clean-up kits.
Council sustainability officer Tina Brice said: “Litter not only spoils our quality of life and enjoyment of…

Amman Valley drinks licence suspended - for a day!

The owner of an Amman valley filling station has had his licence suspended for a day after staff sold alcohol to youngsters under the age of 18.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s licensing sub-committee carried out a review of the premises licence of Glanamman Service Station in Cwmamman Road, Glanamman.
The hearing was told that on October 28, 2009, Trading Standards officers carried out an underage alcohol test purchasing exercise at the service station due to previous problems and anti-social behaviour problems in the area. This exercise resulted in alcohol, Smirnoff Ice, being sold to a person under the age of 18.
On July 16 and 17 and August 13 and 20, 2008, Trading Standards Officers carried out underage alcohol test purchasing exercises at the premises. These resulted in alcohol being sold on four occasions out of four to youngsters under the age of 18. Such sales had also previously occurred in September 2007 and in 2003.
The premises' licence was reviewed by the county council…

Jenkins the bakers featured in Carmarthenshire Life

Nice piece about Jenkins the bakers from Llanelli in the latest issue of Carmarthenshire Life magazine.
http://www.carmarthenshirelife.org.uk

Just loved this one . . .

I dare say, this is probably all over the interweb thingy, but it was sent to me by my good friend Alan Howarth -
The Philosophy of Ambiguity and Idiosyncrasies of the English Language
One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor
Atheism is a non-prophet organisation
If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?
I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman 'where's the self-help section?' she said it would defeat the purpose if she told me
If a deaf child signs swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap?
Is there another word for synonym?
Would a fly without wings be called a walk?
Why do they lock garage toilets? Are they afraid someone will clean them?
If a turtle does not have a shell, is he homeless or naked?
One nice thing about egotists; they don't talk about other people
Does the little mermaid wear an algebra?
Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?
How is it possible to have a civil war?
If one synchronised swimmer …

Troubled media group gets assembly government help

BBC News - Troubled media group gets assembly government help
Would the WAG do the same for a newspaper company? Think not. Just demonstrates the fixation with the bright lights of TV.

Views wanted on Carmarthenshire school transport

School pupils are being given a final opportunity to express their views on school transport.
Carmarthenshire Youth Council (CYC) is working on a School Transport Campaign to help young people get to school safely.
Research showed that the majority of young people rely on buses to get to school and many are faced with walking up to 3 miles on a daily basis.
The CYC found that young people could be paying up to £7.50 a week for transport and this was a concern for some families with more than one young person at school.
Peter Morgan, CYC member said:“Although the journey to school on foot can only be 5 minutes, for many young people attending Carmarthenshire Secondary Schools they have to walk along narrow pavements that can be dangerous especially in bad weather.
“During the winter months young people have to face walking in the dark, along with rain, ice and snow, all of which make already dangerous journeys even more risky; we don't think it’s fair to simply ignore these pupils.”
The …

Bike safety lesson for Amman Valley youngsters

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Amman Valley youngsters have been learning all about bike safety.
A special workshop has been held for young people in Pantyffynnon.
Demonstrations were given on checking bikes for safety, repairing tyres, and making height adjustments.
Police were on hand to give advice on staying safe on the road and tagging bikes in case of theft.
The event was organised by Communities First Pantyffynnon, as part of an ongoing programme of educational activities.
Development Worker Emma Martin-Jewell said: “This was a very successful workshop and we were pleased by the response from young people in the community.
“As well as learning about bike maintenance and safety, young people were also able to have their bikes tagged by the police.”
Carmarthenshire County Council runs the Communities First programme.
The aim is to improve the living conditions and prospects for people in deprived wards of the county and ensure that funding is targeted at the poorest areas.
A host of events and educational activities a…

New business loans for Carmarthenshire

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New business loans are being offered to Carmarthenshire companies hit hard by the recession.
The county council is behind a new package of support aimed at helping rate-paying businesses to create and safeguard jobs.
Short term loans are being launched to help rate-paying businesses with capital expenditure costs.
Money will be available for purchasing assets and improvements to properties.
The aim is to help firms develop their business and improve productivity.
New and existing businesses will benefit and young entrepreneurs will be targeted to help them realise their dreams.
The measures have been put together by the Business Service team at the council and have been approved by the authority’s Executive Board.
Business Services Manager Simon Richards said: “The economic climate has affected local firms and this new loan will support capital expenditure to all rate paying businesses, both start-up and existing.
“The support will help them to start, expand or improve their business and prod…

Tourism now worth £332m to Carmarthenshire

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Carmarthenshire's tourism industry is worth a massive £332 million to the economy.
Nearly three million people visited the county in 2008 to enjoy the delights of the region.
Latest figures show the sector is booming, with hotels, B&Bs, pubs, restaurants, shops and visitor attractions all reaping the rewards.
Tourism bosses say it is evidence of Carmarthenshire’s growing appeal as a must-see destination.
Research shows that 2.9 million visitors flocked to the county, spending a huge £28.4 million on accommodation, and £62.3 million on food and drink.
A further £21.3 million was spent on recreation and £48.9 million on shopping.
Transport benefited to the tune of £49.6 million and there was a further £85.3 million on indirect expenditure.
The figures are revealed in Carmarthenshire County Council’s annual STEAM report.
The reports, which are compiled for all local authorities in Wales, are based on the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor, which analyses tourism spend and stat…

Ffrinj event at Laugharne tonight

The Trinity Festival Ffrinj stages the following today -
Tuesday 8 June, 7pm
Shadow Plays behind the Boathouse
The setting summer sun plays with the seascape where the Taf flows into Carmarthen Bay. Students from the MA Creative Writing Programme gather from Canada, Wales, India and England to entertain with readings from their new publication Shadow Plays. The poems and prose contributions all concern the theme after dark. The writers invite you to join them in an experience of what may or may not happen after dark. Supported by Parthian Books.
Venue: Laugharne – Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse
Tickets £3 (£2 concessions)
Box Office 01267 676685
For more on the Ffrinj, see earlier posts -
http://sirgarblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/excitement-building-for-trinity.html

Llanelli Rotary website now up and running

OK, there are a few blips, but the website for Llanelli Rotary is up and running.
Have fun!
See -
http://www.rotary-ribi.org/clubs/homepage.asp?ClubID=936

Funeral today

Off to uncle's funeral in Betws and Llanelli today. John Anthony was the subject of the first story I had published. True gent and great pal.
Funeral notice -
http://www.bmdsonline.co.uk/4106618
Pics of his 90th birthday -
http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/robertapvincent/JohnAnthonyS90thBirthdayParty#

Carmarthenshire hunt for next Branson!

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A major project is underway in Carmarthenshire to find the next Richard Branson.
Work is afoot to help young entrepreneurs in the county.
Business officers are working with young people in rural areas wanting to set up their own businesses.
As part of the Cyf.le scheme, staff identify suitable areas of work to make sure they are ready for the world of employment.
They give management advice to help businesses grow and work to identify new development opportunities.
Strong links have been forged with youth enterprise projects, to encourage young people to stay in Carmarthenshire, rather than seeking work elsewhere.
Officers at the County Council are running the scheme in partnership with Menter Cwm Gwendraeth, Menter Bro Dinefwr and Menter A Busnes.
It has been funded by the European Agricultural Rural Development Fund.
A special ‘Preparing the Way’ event has just been held at Coleg Sir Gar, where officers ran workshops and met with scores of young people looking for business support.
Businesse…

Cash boost for heritage skills

Council chiefs in Carmarthenshire are celebrating a £669,400 Lottery windfall to revive the ancient art of heritage skills.
A huge training programme is to be put in place to teach young people about lime plastering, stone masonry, roofing, carpentry and joinery.
The aim is to ensure that the traditional building skills needed to conserve heritage buildings in the county are not lost.
Carmarthenshire County Council has been awarded the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, under the Skills for the Future Programme.
Under the project, 30 trainees will be given work based training at genuine heritage construction sites.
They will spend a year working towards a heritage qualification under the guidance of a mentor and trainers.
Regeneration bosses say they delighted with the grant for the Foundation in Heritage Bursary Programme.
It follows the success of the council led Tywi Afon Yr Oesoedd Landscape Partnership Project, which has identified the need for more expert heritage tradespeople in th…

Robert Buckland maiden speech

Llanelli lad Robert Buckland, newly-elected MP for Swindon, makes maiden speech in Parliament.
See -
http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=6330
and fast forward to 4.44

Coming up at the Trinity Festival

Coming up at the Trinity Festival this week is the following -
9 - 11 June, 7.30pm
Miss Julie
Living Pictures Productions in association with Trinity University College, Cegin Productions and Sherman Cymru will be performing a new translation of Strindberg’s Miss Julie. Set at the turn of the 19th Century, this classic tale deals with the struggles of class, love and lust. Set on midsummer night on the estate of a Count in Wales, Miss Julie is attempting to escape an existence cramped by the social mores of the time.
Directed by Robert Bowman (Bristol Old Vic, Bath Theatre Royal and RSC); Stars Ragna Weisteen (Joint Artistic Director Bastionen Theatre, Sweden), Rhydian Jones (S4C) and Sian Summers (Sherman Cymru).
Venue: Halliwell Theatre,Trinity University College
Tickets: £7.50 / £5 (concessions)
Box Office: 01267 676685
For more information about the festival, see my earlier post -
http://sirgarblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/trinity-festival-promises-to-be-treat.html

Fine art show now on at Trinity

As part of the Trinity festival, the following is now on -
7 - 18 June (Mon-Fri 10am-4pm)
BA Fine Art
Degree Exhibition
Venue: Parry Building,Trinity University College
Free admission
See previous posts for more news about the festival.

Stuart Cable dead - very sad news

Ammanford drop-in centre praised

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Town leaders have hailed a new community drop-in centre in Ammanford.
The Pantyffynnon Communities First team has moved into a new town centre home.
Officers are based at the new one-stop-shop in Unit 5, Llys Glas, and give support on a whole range of community issues.
They offer help on getting back into work, setting up community organisations, obtaining funding, volunteering, area improvement schemes and debt and benefits.
Meetings rooms are available for evening courses for the community and an IT suite is also available for training purposes.
The move is aimed at making the office more accessible to people in the area.
An official opening has just been held with representatives from the County Council, local councillors and schoolchildren joining together to celebrate the work of Communities First.
Workshops, stalls and information stands were staged for people to attend.
Communities First Co-ordinator Sian Veater said: “We are really excited about the next twelve months.
“Besides the deb…

Carmarthenshire businesses celebrate windfall

Businesses in Carmarthenshire are celebrating a £476,637 cash windfall to help them develop and grow.
More than 130 firms across the county have received grants from the South West Wales Local Investment Fund in the past year.
The support has helped to pull a further £639,956 in private sector investment into the region.
Business leaders say they are delighted to be supporting local companies and helping to regenerate the economy.
Under the scheme grants of up to £5,000 are being offered to small and medium sized companies.
Equipment, premises improvement, one-off marketing costs, website development and specialist software all eligible.
Over a six year period, 1,000 jobs are expected to be created, 1,400 companies supported and 400 new enterprises set up.
The LIF grant scheme is being led by Carmarthenshire County Council in partnership with neighbouring authorities in Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Neath Port Talbot Wales, and the West Wales Chamber of Commerce.
Carmarthenshire’s He…

Hunt for Under-19 players at Carmarthen

Carmarthen Town Under-19s are looking to strengthen their current squad for next season 2011/12.
Due to current players being ineligible because of age or further education requirements, Town wish to recruit additional players.
Players for all positions are welcome.
Any new players would be very welcome at this friendly and thriving club.
Trials will be held on Tuesday 13th July and Thursday 15th July please report to Richmond Park at 6:30pm.
Contact Peter Fearn 07954337106 or Ryan Stephens on 07518430077 for further details.

Lighthouse job shop opens doors in Llanelli

The Lighthouse, the first 'One Stop Shop' for people who are unemployed in the Llanelli area, will open its doors to the public today (Monday 7th June 2010).
The initiative, which is funded by Jobforce Wales with a grant from The Swansea Bay Partnership Deprived Areas Fund (DAF), will see multiple organisations coming together and working in partnership to tackle the areas growing unemployment.
The centre utilises the YWCA Building in Queen Victoria Road, Llanelli and Rob Jenkins, Chief Executive of Jobforce Wales, the community enterprise behind the idea said: "The centre will provide easy access to all the services that are needed to help people into work.
“Anyone will be able to walk in off the street and discuss their needs with a Liaison Officer, who will introduce them to the relevant service within the centre”.
As part of the services provided, customers will be able to take advantage of the Community Café and the ‘One Stop Shop’ Information Centre covering – job vacan…

Spirit of Gwendraeth event at Ffos Las

Arty crafty people in Carmarthenshire are invited to take part in a huge Medieval Festival at Ffos Las next month.
The Spirit of the Gwendraeth Valley event taking place on Saturday, July 3, is expected to attract crowds of thousands of people.
Attractions range from knights jousting and falconry displays to a family funfair, face painting, children’s entertainers and living statues.
Performances by local groups, including Burry Port Male Voice Choir, will also be staged at the event.
Castell Howell is hosting a food fair at the festival, which will take place on the concourse.
A craft fayre will be staged in the restaurant area of the main stand at the racecourse.
A number of tables have already been booked by local organisations. Invitations are now invited from individuals or groups to have a stall at the event.
Tables cost £25 for the day and any goods, apart from food, can be sold.
The aim of the festival is to celebrate the Spirit of the Gwendraeth Valley, bringing communities together …

‘Peter Pan’ laureate Dewi outlines his fun agenda

10 Questions for His Holiness the Dalai Lama

10 Questions for His Holiness the Dalai Lama - TibetCustom
Carmarthen man's question for the Dalai Lama.

Anti-Islam website written and run by schoolboy, 16

Grey Cardigan: Extract from the June column