Showing posts from October 31, 2010

Cor Meibion blazers going for a song!

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen . . . maroon blazers, more than 60 very careful users – and they’re all going for a song!
Cor Meibion Llanelli (Llanelli Male Voice Choir) members are making a massive wardrobe change.
And they are looking for a home for their old blazers.
“We are making changes to our ‘uniform’,” choir secretary Fred Elias said.
“The maroon blazers have served us well over the years, but it is time for a change. So they are on their way out of our wardrobe.
“The blazers, which bear the choir crest, are still in good condition, however, and it seems a shame to see them going to the bin or recycling centre
“So we wondered whether there were any other groups or organisations out there who might be able to make good use of them?
“In total, we have more than 60 blazers and they still have plenty of years use left in them.
“They do, of course, come in varying sizes – from the smallest first tenor to the biggest second bass!
“We are quite happy to give them free of charge to a goo…

Tribute to boxer Robert Dickie

THE close knit village of Cefneithin is trying to come to terms with the loss of one of its favourite sons.
Former champion boxer Robert Dickie, who won Scottish and British featherweight titles and went on to become a World Super Featherweight champion, suffered a suspected heart attack at his home in Llanelli last week.
He was just 46 years old. The funeral takes place on Monday
Story from Llanelli Star -
Here is the tribute I gave to the Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star -
Former Carmarthen Journal andLlanelli Star editor Robert Lloyd said: “I was lucky enough to be the boxing correspondent of the South Wales Evening Post during the latter part of Robert Dickie’s career.
“He was, without a doubt, one of the most talented boxers Wales has produced.
“In the Top 10 in the world at his peak, he was a class act in the ring. If he had a flaw, it was that he lacked the ruthless ambition needed…

Latest 'View from Richmond Park' column

The latest 'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen Town AFC column from the Carmarthen Journal -
It’s been quite a year for Carmarthen Town AFC, with plenty of changes in the backroom to go with a new-look team on the pitch.
The most notable of those changes has seen club stalwart Jeff Thomas retire from his stint as chairman.
Jeff has now also moved off the executive committee, but has pledged to continue some of the fund-raising work which proved so crucial during his 14 years as chairman.
His achievements in the ‘chair’ are notable –
• Welsh Cup: three Welsh Cup Finals, winning once
• League Cup Final – twice – winning once
• Consistently finishing in top six of League
• 10 European Cup appearances.
• Ground brought up to UEFA European standard with European games held at Richmond Park. Capacity of 2,500 including 1056 seats in their Grandstand
• State of the art Community Centre, completed at a cost of £400K incorporating Social Club, Match Hospitality Suites with conference facilities…

Chris Needs to star in Cor Meibion Llanelli show

The radio star who runs the biggest ‘Garden’ in Wales will be centre stage at Cor Meibion Llanelli’s annual Christmas concert.
Chris Needs is to compere the evening at Theatr Elli, Llanelli, on Saturday, December 18.
“It’s a major coup for Cor Meibion Llanelli,” said choir secretary Fred Elias.
“Chris Needs is in great demand as a performer, particularly over the Christmas period.
“But he was delighted to seize the opportunity of sharing a stage with Cor Meibion Llanelli.
“And I am sure the army of people who follow his radio show will be equally delighted to seize the chance of seeing a real hero of Radio Wales here in Llanelli.”
The weeknight Chris Needs show goes out in Radio Wales between 10pm and 1am. One of the key features of the show is the ‘Garden’, an on-air club of listeners.
Chris was born in Cwmafan near Port Talbot in 1954. Before joining Radio Wales, he was a star presenter for six years for independent Welsh radio. He built up a large and loyal following with his cheerful one…

Countdown starts to 30th Carmarthen Mayor's races

The countdown has started for the 30th annual Carmarthen Mayor’s Fun Run.
And the landmark event will see one of the biggest changes in the race’s long history.
It is being moved from the Easter weekend to the May Day Bank Holiday on Monday, May 2.
“The race is one of the highlights of the year in Carmarthen,” Town Mayor Councillor Alan Speake said this week.
“I would urge everyone, young and old, to consider taking part and making the event a great fun occasion for Carmarthen town.”
Race organiser Noelwyn Daniel urged fun run competitors to make a note of the new race date in their diary.
“It is a departure from the past, but we felt that moving the event would give more people a chance to take part in the event – and we might even be guaranteed better weather in May!”
Mr Daniel said: “The event is recognised as a great occasion in Carmarthen. So, if you want to get into shape over the winter months ready for the big race day, then now is the time to start.
“The next fun run will be the 30th…

16,000 visits chalked up

Thanks to you, dear readers and visitors, this blog is continuing to pick up more hits.
It's now hit the 16,000 page views mark.
That's a 1,000 views since October 18.
Keep the hits coming, folks!
Many thanks.
See earlier blog -
Meanwhile, the blog has chalked up its first visitor from Barbados.
The full country by country list (figures from January 6) is as follows -
United Kingdom (GB) 4,093; United States (US) 449; India (IN) 47; Germany (DE) 37; Australia (AU) 35; Europe (EU) 34; Qatar (QA) 29; Canada (CA) 28; Ireland (IE) 24; Japan (JP) 22; France (FR) 18; Italy (IT) 17; Malaysia (MY) 15; Netherlands (NL) 12; New Zealand (NZ) 11; Belgium (BE) 11; United Arab Emirates (AE) 10; Singapore (SG) 9; Russian Federation (RU) 9; Philippines (PH) 9; Spain (ES) 8; Sweden (SE) 7; Denmark (DK) 7; Austria (AT) 5; Greece (GR) 5; Bahrain (BH) 5; South Africa (ZA) 5; Norway (NO) 5; Pakistan (PK) 5; Romania (RO) 4; Bulgaria (BG) 4;…

Healing the Wounds appeal boosted by TV slot

The organisers of the Healing the Wounds Golden Grove Mansion Appeal have been bowled over by the response to a HTV Wales programme featuring their campaign.
“It has made a huge difference to public awareness,” said Kevin Richards, Director of Healing the Wounds, the appeal fund which aims to turn the famous Golden Grove Mansion in the Tywi Valley into a convalescent home for the Armed Forces.
“The appeal is already being talked about within the local community, but the HTV Wales Sharp End programme took us to a whole new, national level,” said Mr Richards.
“The feedback to the programme has been tremendous. A lot of people out there are unaware of the difficulties our servicemen and servicewomen face when they return from the battlefields and when they try to rebuild their lives in the civilian community.”
The programme presented the shock statistic (reported by the Howard League for Penal Reform) that as many as one in 10 of British soldiers who have fought overseas end up in jail after…

Experts help Carmarthenshire folk save money

A team of experts is helping Carmarthenshire residents to save money on their fuel bills.
Roadshows are being held across the county as part of an energy saving campaign.
Carmarthenshire County Council is behind a drive to stamp out fuel poverty and help residents who are hardest hit by rising energy prices.
Officers are visiting groups and organisations across the area to give help and advice on how to make homes more energy efficient.
A programme of events is underway, with tours to luncheon clubs, mothers union meetings and mother and toddler groups.
Officers who run the authority’s Home Energy Advice Service hope the move will lead to savings for residents, as well as making homes warmer and more environmentally friendly.
Advice is given on efficient heating systems, home insulation, maximising benefit uptake and grant funding for energy improvements.
It comes at a time when thousands of people are suffering health and financial difficulties because of high heating costs.
Staff recently a…

Carmarthenshire action on eyesore homes

Owners of eyesore homes in Carmarthenshire could be forced to sell them to repay their council debts.
Housing chiefs are planning to introduce enforced sales in a bid to tackle the problem of empty properties.
The last resort move is aimed at recovering money owed to the County Council and improving communities which are blighted by derelict homes.
The approach is already used in other parts of the UK, including Manchester and Kent, and officers hope it will be just as successful in Carmarthenshire.
There are currently six empty houses in the county which have outstanding charges of around £50,000.
This includes unpaid council tax and money the authority is forced to spend to make the properties safe.
The debts can be difficult to recover through the Magistrates and County Courts because often the owners of empty properties cannot be found.
In these cases the council can use the Law of Property Act 1925 to enforce the sale of a property.
The council’s Head of Housing Services Robin Staines sa…

Social networking helps council vision

Social networking sites are helping to shape a new vision for how council houses are let in Carmarthenshire.
Housing chiefs are changing the way that homes are allocated in the county.
They want to improve the current points system and make it fairer for people who need a home.
A major consultation programme has been carried out on how people access council housing in the county.
In a bid to reach as many people as possible, they have turned to sites like Facebook, and used digital television and text messages to gain people’s views.
Online surveys, focus groups and roadshows have also been held and consultation was carried out at a recent tenant’s fun day.
Carmarthenshire County Council is behind the move as part of a review into its Access to Social Housing Policy.
Officers want to develop a simpler allocation process, reduce anti-social behaviour and prevent homelessness.
They want to ensure that the county’s 9,200 homes and sheltered housing are appropriately let.
The aim is to combat prob…

Carmarthenshire energy saving campaign starts

A major energy saving campaign is underway to help Carmarthenshire families save money this winter.
Housing chiefs are behind a drive to stamp out fuel poverty and help residents who are hardest hit by rising energy prices.
Officers hope the plan will make homes warmer and more environmentally friendly.
Roadshows are being planned to give advice on ways to save money, and targeted promotions will be staged in areas hardest hit by fuel poverty.
A Home Energy Advice Pack is available, which is full of energy saving tips and information on ways to make your home warmer.
A dedicated energy efficiency advisor is on hand to support residents, and help is given on efficient heating systems, home insulation, maximising benefit uptake and grant funding for energy improvements.
Carmarthenshire County Council is leading the campaign, at a time when thousands of people are suffering health and financial difficulties because of high heating costs.
Officers say the moves will help improve the health and w…

Carmarthenshire appeal on energy saving

Residents in Carmarthenshire are being urged to reduce the amount of energy they are using at home and save money on their bills.
Carmarthenshire County Council is supporting Energy Saving Week and the aim is to help householders take action to reduce their carbon footprint and show how they can make big savings.
The council is working hard to cut its energy consumption at all of its buildings and a number of energy efficiency projects are underway across the county.
In County Hall, Carmarthen, the installation of new, more efficient ‘T5’ lighting will result in savings of £12,200 and 74 tonnes of CO2. That’s £244,000 and 1472 tonnes of CO2 over 20 years!
The project is one of many being carried out using almost £1million interest-free funding secured from SALIX finance (a daughter company of the Carbon Trust) and the savings generated by the investment at County Hall will pay for the project within seven years.
Executive board member for sustainability Councillor Pam Palmer said: “We can …

Carmarthenshire ready for Biggest School Lunch!

Forget the Guinness Book of Records – Carmarthenshire’s school meals service is going for the Biggest School Lunch.
On Monday, November 8, the county is aiming to break the record for the number of pupils eating school meals in Carmarthenshire.
Every school has been asked to promote the day and competitions are being run with prizes on offer including PE equipment or craft materials.
Catering Services Manager Sandra Weigel said: “School meals are an important part of the day; a nutritious and fulfilling meal at lunchtime can give a child more energy for afternoon lessons, improve concentration and help to prevent health problems later in life.
“With obesity issues regularly featuring in the news, Carmarthenshire catering service is constantly trying to find new ways to inform parents and pupils about healthy eating lifestyles.
“One of the ways to promote our new healthy primary winter menu is the Carmarthenshire’s Biggest Lunch event where we hope to break the record for the number of pupi…

Drop in reoffending in Carmarthenshire

More than a third fewer young people in Carmarthenshire are reoffending, thanks to the work of the Youth Offending and Prevention Service (YOPS).
YOPS is a multi-agency partnership with the aim of reducing offending by children and young people.
It includes the council, police, probation service, health board; court service and representatives from the Community Safety Partnership and the Children and Young People’s Partnership.
The service has approximately 40 staff and 50 volunteers and works with around 100 to 120 young people, at any given time, who are on court orders and up to a further 20 young people who are assessed as being at risk of offending or anti-social behaviour.
Management board chair Chris Burns said: “Our aim is to work with the young people and their families to help them to develop positive aspirations for the future and stay out of trouble.
“The YOPS has a dedicated team who help these young people refocus on getting the best out of school or college, or finding empl…

Carmarthenshire memories needed for project

People in Carmarthenshire are being asked to share their stories or memorabilia from World War 1 for a national project.
Welsh Voices of the Great War Online is a digital community heritage project established and co-ordinated by the School of History, Archaeology & Religion at Cardiff University.
The aim is to gather, catalogue and make public an undiscovered treasure trove of World War 1 artefacts and memorabilia which remain in private hands.
Any and all items related to the experiences of the Welsh in World War 1 are needed.
This might include photographs of men in uniform; letters or postcards from the front; diaries, either from servicemen or from those who remained at home; scrapbooks or newspaper clippings kept by families; and any artefacts or memorabilia.
The project team is also keen to gather memories and stories that have been passed down the generations.
Once gathered, the material will be catalogued and then made available to the public via The People’s Collection web…

Waste recycling centres play key role

Did you know you can recycle around 30 different types of waste at Carmarthenshire’s Household Waste Recycling Centres?
And they are all open seven days a week?
The council has also extended the winter opening hours at four of the sites due to public demand. Trostre (Llanelli); Nantycaws (Carmarthen); Wernddu (Ammanford) and Whitland are now open from 8.30am to 5pm (from November1).
The sites are run on behalf of Carmarthenshire County Council by Cwm Environmental Limited.
The aim is to make it as easy as possible for residents to recycle and dispose of their waste.
There is also a Household Waste Recycling Centre at Llangadog which is open from 9am to 5pm during the winter months.
All five sites are closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
For further information on what materials can be recycled at the HWRCs visit

Work progressing on Carmarthenshire plan

Work is progressing on the Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan (LDP) which will govern the way in which the County develops up to 2021.
Residents are being given further opportunity to see how the local authority intends to take forward its plans for the future and to put forward their views.
A timetable for the preparation of the LDP and the involvement of the public in the process was set out in the LDP Delivery Agreement, which has now been revised.
The public and interested parties can now view the revision to the Delivery Agreement timetable, which has been formally agreed by the Welsh Assembly Government, on the Council’s website at
The revision and is available for inspection Copies can also be viewed at the Council’s Customer Service Centres, Planning Offices and Public Libraries during normal opening hours.
LDP Topic Papers have also been published for consultation as part of the preparation of the LDP and relate to the key policy areas of Minerals, W…

Grab a bargain at Ammanford Library

Bookworms can grab a bargain at Ammanford Library this month.
An autumn sale is taking place at the Carmarthenshire County Council owned facility from Monday, November 15, to Saturday, November 27, during normal library opening hours.
People who visit the book sale between 10am and 12noon on Monday 15 can enjoy a free cup of coffee.
The sale will include books for adults and children, in ordinary and large print, and in Welsh and in English.
There will be also be a selection of DVDs and CDs as well as talking books on cassette and on CDs.
The sale, taking place at the library in Wind Street, is to sell withdrawn stock to create room for new material.
Visitors to the book sale can also take the opportunity to join the library, which is free.
Up to 10 books and talking books are available free, DVDs or CDs can be borrowed for a small charge.
Anyone who would like to read a book which is not available at their local library you can reserve it at no charge if it is held by any other Carmarthe…