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Showing posts from November 28, 2010

Trainer Thorpe off to Wolverhampton

Carmarthen racehorse trainer Alison Thorpe has two runners at Wolverhampton this evening - Pearl and Special Cuvee. May be worth a few each-way pennies.

Carmarthen Town football off tonight

The Welsh Premier League match between Haverfordwest and Carmarthen Town AFC, scheduled for tonight, has been postponed because of the weather.
There will be a fund-raising evening for the Carmarthen Town youth teams in the clubhouse at Richmond Park, Carmarthen, starting at 7pm tonight.

Dyfed-Powys launch drink-drive campaign

Dyfed-Powys police force is asking motorists to give alcohol a wide berth this Christmas, and play it safe not sorry.
For some drivers, the temptation may be to have one or two drinks in the belief that you won’t fall foul of the law.
But police say this is a dangerous game to play, and that the don’t drink and drive message does not only apply to those who are ‘drunk’.
“Everybody’s metabolism is different and people will process alcohol differently,” said Dyfed Powys Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Nick Ingram.
“What we’re saying this year is that even one drink is too much, and could affect your judgement and driving capability. We cannot calculate how much we can drink safely and then drive – the only safe way is to either drink OR drive.
“We’d also like to remind motorists that they could still be over the limit right though the following day depending on how much alcohol has been consumed. A conviction for drink driving can ruin your life, and can lead to imprisonment or a criminal…

Chill out with music at The Cricketers

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It promises to be the perfect antidote to the stresses and strains of the Christmas shopping rush.
Instead of the sound of shopping tills, you can chill at The Cricketers in Cathedral Road, Cardiff, to the sound of Swing, Latin and Lounge music.
Taking centre stage for an evening of live music on Sunday, December 12, will be Sarah & H (pictured above), a vocal and guitar duo from the superior end of the musical shelf.
“The idea is simple,” said Cricketers manager Michelle Francis. “It’s the perfect way to unwind after the madness of the Christmas shopping rush. Come to The Cricketers, enjoy a great Sunday roast dinner and relax with a pint and some good music.”
Music promoter David Brockwell agreed and said he was sure a 5pm start to the musical evening would be just what the doctor ordered for tired shoppers.
He said: “Sarah & H perform with the much-loved Mike Harries' Root Doctors, the renowned jazz and R'n'B band who perform annually at festivals such as Brecon Jazz…

Carmarthen Town match doubtful

The Welsh Premier League football match between Haverfordwest and Carmarthen Town AFC tomorrow night is doubtful. There is a pitch inspection at 12 noon on Friday.

Craft and food fair for Botanic Garden

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If you can’t find that perfect present at the National Botanic Garden’s popular Christmas Craft and Food fair, you are simply not trying hard enough.
There is certainly something for everyone among the festive offerings in the Great Glasshouse, next weekend (Dec 11-12): from beef, bread, beer; chilli, chocolate, chutney; cup cakes and cowpots ice cream, as well as painting, pottery; scarves, silver jewellery; leatherwork and lovespoons.
There will be a stunning array of stalls groaning with tempting treats and there is also the attraction of Santa in his Garden Grotto.
The Santa Spectacular shows start at 11.30am – and you can book your seat now by calling 01558 668768, tickets are £2 each.
Back in the Great Glasshouse, there will be fabulous festive music from Ammanford’s Cor Persain (on the Saturday the 11th) and Cor Meibion Dyffryn Tywi (Sunday the 12th).

100 emergencies a day for council teams!

Carmarthenshire council’s property services teams have been dealing with around 100 housing emergencies per day since the extreme weather took hold on Friday.
The teams, based at Trostre in Llanelli, Cillefwr in Carmarthen, and Glanamman in Ammanford, have been helping to deal with burst and frozen water pipes, broken down boilers, faulty electrics and ceiling damage, all caused by the extreme sub-zero temperatures.
Almost 400 emergency calls have been attended to at council houses, and around another 40 at local schools (as at lunchtime 01/12/10).
They have also helped colleagues in the council’s Street Scene department to grit icy paths and roadways leading to school entrances where it has been requested.
One of the biggest emergencies they have dealt with was at Five Roads primary school, near Llanelli, which had to close on Monday due to its pipes bursting after an intensely cold weekend, causing water to bring down the ceiling and flood parts of the ground floor.
Phil Lumley, head of …

£7m cash boost for Carmarthenshire roads

Council chiefs in Carmarthenshire have welcomed a £7 million grant from the Welsh Assembly Government to help authorities repair potholes and purchase salt.
The Minister for Social Justice and Local Government Carl Sargeant announced the funding today.
Carmarthenshire County Council will receive a total of £521,429 to spend this financial year.
Mr Sargeant said the money would enable local authorities to take early action to mitigate some of the pressures that another hard winter may present them with.
Since last winter the council has spent approximately £1.5million repairing the county’s roads.
Potholes are caused by severe weather - water in cracks expand into ice, causing the surface of the road to break up and deeper-than-usual potholes.
The council’s executive board member for technical services Councillor Philip Hughes said: “We welcome this extra money from the Welsh Assembly Government, like all local authorities in Wales we already have a substantial highways maintenance backlog a…

TV chef cooking up Christmas treats

TV chef Hazel Thomas will be cooking up some Christmas treats as part of a festive ‘Food for Thought’ event in Cross Hands.
Waste awareness officers from Carmarthenshire County Council have organised the event at Cross Hands Co-op on Friday, December 10, from 11am to 2pm.
Hazel, who is a regular face on S4C, will be showing us how we can use our leftovers to make another meal and there will be lots of other hints and tips on how residents can cut down on their food waste.
In a normal week, a family of four throws away £12 on food. But given the size of the typical Christmas shopping trolley, the amount of money we waste during the last week of December is likely to be much more.
A few simple changes however can make a big difference to your festive food bills and the environment.
Council waste minimisation/recycling officer Karen McNeil said: “Simple measures like writing, and sticking to, food shopping lists, adopting better portion control, and storing food correctly will all help avoid…

Latest 'View from Richmond Park' column

The latest 'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen AFC football column from the Carmarthen Journal -
Carmarthen Town AFC’s programme to help junior soccer at grassroots level has taken another step forward.
The club’s executive committee was given an excellent presentation by Colin Staples, the Carmarthenshire officer for the Football Association of Wales (FAW).
Mr Staples put forward a number of suggestions for Town’s half-time mini-football matches.
These matches, usually held at half-time during Welsh Premier League matches at Richmond Park, will now be seven-a-side.
In addition, Carmarthen Town officials will, at the suggestion of Mr Staples, investigate the possibility of taking on a Fun Football franchise under the wing of the FAW.
The term ‘fun football’ is recognised by UEFA (the European governing body of football) and is endorsed as a grass roots development initiative.
The Fun Football Charter Mark Programme was introduced to provide local authorities, clubs and private orga…

Hannah is the star of Botanic exhibition

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Capturing the magic of imaginary worlds – that’s the aim of artist Hannah Lewis Davies in her new exhibition ‘The Great Escape’ at the National Botanic Garden of Wales at Llanarthne near Carmarthen.
The 23-year-old graduate of the West Wales School for the Arts is on show in the Garden’s Courtyard Gallery from December 2.
Hannah, from Pendine, addresses the recurring theme of “escapism” in her work. She says: “Escapism is the act of retreating from the mundane reality of life and entering into a fantastical place of wonder and contentment; a place which only exists in one’s own imagination.
“I am continually fascinated by the ability I had as a child to disengage with reality and enter into an imaginary world.”
This world is visually exhilarating, full of wonder and unrestricted by logic.
“My work draws heavily on fleeting childhood memories, imagined fantasies and the innocence and contentment found in escaping reality,” says Hannah.
The irrational nature of escapism combined with fragment…

Carmarthenshire alert on loan sharks

Carmarthenshire Trading Standards Service is urging people to be wary of loan sharks, particularly at this time of year.
A Loan Shark is someone who lends money without the appropriate license issued by the Office of Fair Trading.
Loan Sharks rarely, if ever, give any paperwork and if payments are missed they often use intimidation and violence to get money from their clients.
Victims often find they are unable to repay the extortionate interest rates and can face threats of violence unless they pay up.
Carmarthenshire Trading Standards Service Manager Roger Edmunds said: “Loan sharks tend to prey on people in desperate need of financial help. They offer seemingly helpful solutions to money worries in return for unrealistic and unaffordable repayments.”
Carmarthenshire County Council executive board member for public protection Cllr Pam Palmer said: “Loan sharks are dangerous people to get involved with and I urge anyone thinking of borrowing money from them to stay clear.”
Carmarthenshire …

Heritage exhibition in Llangadog

An exhibition to celebrate 10 years of achievement by the Llandovery and Llangadog Townscape Heritage Partnership Committee has been held in Llangadog.
The exhibition at Llangadog Community Centre was intended to build upon the momentum that has seen both towns transformed over the decade, since the introduction of the Townscape Heritage Initiative.
The event was officially opened by Mr Dan Clayton Jones, Deputy Chairman of NHMF and HLF and Chairman of the HLF Committee for Wales, and members of the Partnership, including representatives from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Carmarthenshire County Council, Cadw, Welsh Assembly Government and other conservation organisations and professional bodies offered their expertise and advice on good property maintenance.
Advice was given on the practical steps owners can undertake, to keep their properties in good order and how to prevent possible causes of deterioration in the future. The exhibition was run to coincide with National Maintenance Week,…

50+ Forum success for Carmarthenshire

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Older people had a chance to try their hand at swimming, Pilates, Zumba, bowls and table tennis at Carmarthenshire 50+ Forum’s highly successful annual event.
S4C presenter Elinor Jones and the Welsh Minister for Older People Gwenda Thomas were among the speakers at the 50+ Forum ‘More Than’ Event was held at Carmarthen Leisure Centre in Johnstown.
There were more than 50 information stalls including consumer advice, energy conservation, allotments, community education and entitlements.
The wide range of taster sessions giving a chance to try out new activities for free included swimming, walking, bowls, table tennis, badminton, yoga, Pilates and alternative therapies.
50+ Forum Steering Group member Andy Kurzfeld and Carmarthenshire Public Health Team health promotion practitioner Caroline Nichols were at the event promoting Am Dro am Glonc Sir Gâr (Walk and Talk Carmarthenshire) is a county wide initiative that aims to increase the number of people participating in walking as a regular …

Makeover for Llanelli Leisure Centre changing rooms

Llanelli Leisure centre changing rooms are having a £30,000 makeover for the New Year.
To make sure there is minimum disruption the pool will be closed for this, the quietest usage time of the year, from 6pm on December 16th for two weeks.
The walls of the changing rooms are being renewed in the continuing programme of improvements that has been going on for several years at the centre.
In addition, employee’s time will be utilised for an intense cleaning programme in readiness for re-opening early in January.
All other parts of the centre will remain open and operational over the festive period.
County executive board member for leisure services Cllr Clive Scourfield said: “It is always difficult when work of this nature is required to undertake it without a degree of disruption.
“The impact on this occasion will be minimal with most club usage, swimming lessons finishing on December 17th – that’s two swimming club sessions, one lifesaving and sub aqua session being displaced. Public swims…

Clamp on Newcastle Emlyn school parking

Newcastle Emlyn school run parents have been stopped parking up at the school entrance because of the risk to pupils and pedestrians.
They have been asked to use a nearby car park instead and exercise care near the school.
Cars blocking the school gates have been reversing into the approach road into New Road while pupils, parents and carers are walking into school.
The school, after being advised of the dangers of this practice by the Authority's health and safety officer, have asked all parents dropping pupils off to park in the bottom of the car park which is not used by the mart and is adjacent to the school and then use the designated access gate.
County executive board member for transport services Cllr Philip Hughes said: "We make no excuses for taking action to ensure public and pedestrian safety. The actions proposed would significantly reduce the risk of injury to pedestrians and damage to vehicles whilst allowing unobstructed access for emergency vehicles.
"The dan…

Christmas boost for King Street, Carmarthen

Traders in King Street Carmarthen are getting a raft of support measures from Carmarthenshire Council to help their Christmas tills ring out.
The good news for traders is that there's 50p hour stop parking at St Peter's car park, a new Park&Ride service for that end of town and new finger post signage all being introduced for the festive period.
County executive board member transport services, Cllr Philip Hughes, pushed through the 50p tariff for an hour's stay in St Peter's car park.
He said: "Officers and members have been working with more than a dozen King Street traders to support and improve the economic viability of the town centre and in particular King Street, Queen Street and Nott Square.
"The one-hour 50p tariff for St Peters car park will have a positive effect on footfall and help with the economic development if the town centre."
The previous shortest stay was £1.10 for up to two hours.
Cllr Hughes said the traders were also keen to cash in …

Secret Santa arrives at coastal park

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The phantom secret Santa has returned spreading goodwill about Llanelli’s award winning Millennium Coastal Park.
Two carrier bags of fluffy toys, some gift wrapped, have been left hanging in trees at Sandy Water Park over the weekend.
And it could be the start of hundreds of the gifts being found.
Last year whole sack fulls - a total of more than 600 items - were found hanging in bags in the Christmas tree like Corsican pines in the park in the two months run up to Christmas.
The first cache of toys last year was discovered by a regular park walker in October who took the toys to charity shops before alerting park rangers to his repeat finds.
After that the toys were found over six-miles of park perched in trees around the Nicklaus designed Machynys Peninsula Golf Course, on the Mabinogion Walk through trees at Sandy Water Park and four miles away in Burry Port Woodlands.
Park Ranger Andrew Jenkins said it was a bit of a shock to see the phantom Santa had returned in the night of Sunday.
“Th…

Santa due at Botanic Gardens

Santa arrives at the National Botanic Garden of Wales at Llanarthne, near Carmarthen, on Saturday December 4.
He will take up residence in his Garden Grotto from 11.30am – and has a present for every child who comes to see him.
The Garden’s special Santa Shows will then be running every weekend until Christmas.
On Saturday and Sunday, December 11 & 12, the Garden’s popular Christmas Craft and Food Fair takes place – in the stunning surroundings of the Great Glasshouse.
The best local produce and top local crafts will be on show and for sale all weekend and there will be special festive musical entertainment provided by Cor Persain (on Saturday) and Cor Meibion Dyffryn Tywi (Sunday).
For more information about Christmas activities at the Garden, call 01558 668768.

Four fined for cigarette ends

Four more people have been fined for dropping cigarette ends in Carmarthen town centre.
They were caught by the council’s environmental enforcement officers who were carrying out targeted patrols in the town
Fixed penalty notices for £75 were issued by the officers all within an hour of each other. Failure to pay however could result in prosecution in the magistrates court and a maximum fine of up to £2,500.
It follows a council campaign to raise highlight the problem of smoking-related litter and encourage people to put their cigarette butts in the bin.
Executive board member for the environment Councillor Philip Hughes said: “The council has received a number of complaints about smoking-related litter in the town centre. Many people do not think that it is litter, but it is. It makes an area look unsightly and it is difficult and very expensive to clean up as the ends fall into grates and cracks in the pavement.
“Only last week we issued 19 fixed penalty notices to people in both Carmart…

Fined for kerbside recyling offences

Three Llanelli residents have each been fined £100 for failing to comply with the council’s kerbside recycling scheme.
Two of the residents had persistently been putting the incorrect bags out on the wrong week.
The other resident had continually been putting the wrong items in their blue recycling bags.
All the residents had been issued with notices under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 by the council’s environmental enforcement officers. However, they continued to breach the notices and as a result were fined £100.
The fines were issued to residents in the New Dock Road, Hick Street and Catherine Street areas.
It is now hoped these fines will act as a warning to other residents.
Director of Technical Services Richard workman said: “It is important people put the correct bags out on the correct weeks otherwise they will be left behind. This potentially could lead to the bags being split open by animals and the contents strewn across the street.
“It is also vitally important that we re…

Llanelli man fined for rubbish offence

A Llanelli man has been fined for leaving his rubbish outside the Household Waste Recycling Centre at Trostre.
The black bags had been fly-tipped at the entrance to the site.
The council’s environmental enforcement officers found evidence amongst the rubbish linking it to a man living in the Llwynhendy area.
He was issued with a fixed penalty notice of £75 for littering.
It is hoped this fine will now act as a warning to others that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.
Executive board member for the environment Councillor Philip Hughes said: “It is unacceptable to leave rubbish at the entrances of our Household Waste Recycling Centres. I accept that the resident involved may have good intentions but this is fly-tipping and it encourages more people to do the same.
“We are asking residents to please regard the opening times and to act responsibly.”
Fly-tipping not only spoils our quality of life and enjoyment of the environment but can cause serious pollution of the environment and h…

IBERS shows farmers the way forward

A strategy for growing crops can save money and provide feed security.
Prices of cereals are high and increasing but an internationally renowned teaching and research centre has part of the answer for Welsh farmers.
The Farms Manager at IBERS in Aberystwyth University is developing strategies to grow high quality crops and maintain profit margins – it’s a model that other farms can adapt and help save thousands of pounds a year.
It can offer a secure supply and a settled price when the volatility of the market makes it difficult for milk and meat producers to plan their buying, says Dr Huw McConochie.
“Growing cereals and alternative forages is expensive when compared to growing and feeding grass, but a supply of home grown cereals and high protein forage provides essential nutrients at a more realistic and consistent cost when animals are inside,” he explains.
For the past two years the IBERS Farms have grown a range of crops to supply a proportion of the energy and protein needs of thei…

Chewing gum litter campaign success

There has been a 59 per cent reduction in chewing gum litter on the streets of Carmarthenshire.
Carmarthenshire County Council was the only Welsh authority chosen to take part in the Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG) campaign.
Supported by Tidy Towns, the aim was to encourage people to put their chewing gum in the bin and make them aware that if they didn’t they could get fined £75.
Held during August and September, it was launched by Assembly Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing Jane Davidson.
It took place at the Apollo cinema in St Catherine’s Walk where the council’s cinema advert on litter was screened and then there were lots of activities in Guildhall Square. It included singing and dancing from the Gregory Brothers, who had written a song especially for the campaign, along with Eco Eli, the council’s eco-friendly elephant. The Scarlets’ Ken Owens was there to sign autographs, there was face painting and other fun and games, and pupils from Amman Valley Comprehens…

Weather hits community centre

Llandeilo Community Education Centre was closed today due to frozen pipes and thick ice in the car park.
No courses took place today. Staff will make a decision later on whether they can open tomorrow.
Richmond Park Primary School Carmarthen closed to day because of a failure of the school boiler system.
arents are asked to check the County council website which will update the position. The school is expected to be open tomorrow, Tuesday.
Five Roads Primary School was forced to close because of frozen and burst water pipes.

Archive to shut for stocktaking

Carmarthenshire's record office is to close next month for stocktaking.
The archive at Carmarthen’s Parc Myrddin will shut its doors for the essential work to be carried out.
Researchers will be able to use the county council facility up until 4.30pm on Friday, December 3. It will then close and re-open at 9.30am on Tuesday, December 20.
Staff have apologised for any inconvenience caused by the closure.
Thousands of documents about the history, geography and life of Carmarthenshire are contained in the archives. Records date back from the 13th century to the present day.
Visitors came from near and far to trace their family history, look at the history of their property, street, or town, learn about famous Carmarthenshire people, landmarks or events and research work.
Senior archivist David Cooke said: “The role of the archives service is to collect and preserve archives relating to all aspects of the history of Carmarthenshire and make them available.
“It is essential that stock taking …