Showing posts from December 5, 2010

Hicks saves the day for Carmarthen

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

Carmarthen team today

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

Carmarthen Town game on

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

Arts Care Gofal Celf charity day

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

Warning to Carmarthenshire troublemakers

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

Warning on frozen lakes

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

£9m is the Carmarthenshire bill for free school transport

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

Whitland Job Club opens doors

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

Christmas treat from Cor Meibion Llanelli

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

Newcastle Emlyn pupils win iPods

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

Carmarthenshire feedback on service charges

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

Handy Van scheme launched in Carmarthenshire

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

Carmarthenshire household waste boost

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

Garnant dog owner fined

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

Carpets and matresses on reycling list

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

Carmarthenshire presses on with education programme

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

Tess enjoying the frosty mornings!

Tess Lloyd is 'Queen of the Castle' at the Gorsedd Eisteddfod stones at Sandy Water Park, Llanelli.

Taxi marshalls return for festive period

Taxi marshals will again be helping revellers in Llanelli and Carmarthen to get home safely this Christmas.
The marshals will be based at Island Place in Llanelli and Blue Street in Carmarthen between 11pm and 4am during the busy festive run-up.
It is hoped the marshals, funded by the Community Safety Partnership, will help to cut anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related crime in the town centres as well as protect the public and reduce the fear of crime.
This is the third year running the taxi marshals have been employed by the partnership. They will be working on the following nights:
• Saturday, December 11
• Friday, December 17
• Saturday December 18
• Boxing Day (Sunday, December 26)
• Bank Holiday Monday (December 27)
• New Year’s Eve (December 31)
The marshals are registered with the Security Industry Authority and will be wearing high visibility jackets. They will also be carrying radios so they will have direct contact with the police.
The marshals have been extremely successful since …

Crime prevention roadshows for Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire's community safety team is hitting the road this Christmas to spread some festive crime prevention advice.
A number of roadshows are being held across the county and residents are being urged to go along and meet their local Neighbourhood Policing Team as well as pick up essential safety advice and crime prevention tips.
The roadshows are being held on/at:
• Tuesday, December 14 – Co-op, Llandovery
• Tuesday, December 14 – Co-op. Llandeilo
• Wednesday. December 15 - Co-op, Cross Hands
• Thursday, December 15 – CKs, Pontyberem
Community Safety Inspector Tony Ward said: “Carmarthenshire is one of the safest places to live in the UK and we want to keep it that way. We want to remind the public that by following some simple steps we can all reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime this Christmas.”
The Community Safety Partnership is made up of representatives from the county council, police, fire service and other agencies and aims to make the county a safer place …

£2m boost for Coleshill Social Centre

A £2million refurbishment of Llanelli’s Coleshill Social Centre will get underway in next summer, following a successful bid for European funding.
Jointly funded through the Carmarthenshire County Council’s capital grant programme and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the transformation will create a Centre for Economic Inclusion to provide a wide range of support services for people who are economically inactive.
Currently, Coleshill predominantly supports adults with physical disabilities and older people. On completion, it will attract younger physically disabled people, and a wider group of disadvantaged people including people with learning disabilities and others.
The new Coleshill will continue to provide social, networking and peer support, but will also provide training facilities, such as IT, catering and woodwork; support for people who want to create small businesses; an ‘independent living’ information hub; and health improvement and rehabilitation support with …

Latest Simon Buckley column from the Journal

The latest Simon Buckley 'Iechyd Da' column from the Carmarthen Journal -
Diolch Santa!
If Father Christmas were to bring me a very special present this Christmas, it would be a selection of the very best of Welsh bottled beers , some mature Cenarth Cheese , and chutneys made by my dear friend ‘Chutney Jeff’ in Llandeilo.
Christmas comes for us brewers after what should be four of the busiest weeks of the year. Well, that certainly was the case before the supermarkets high jacked Christmas.
If you want to buy gallons of English beer, brewed using additives, preservatives and sugars, then, fine, descend to your supermarkets and buy the 10 bottles of national-branded coloured liquid for nothing . . .
And then sit in misery while you drink it. Flavourless, and lacking the care and skill of your local brewers, and the dedication they show to the great art of brewing.
Enough humbug; I’m here to help you find the best five beers in Wales, and to make sure that you look beyond the nation…

Latest 'View from Richmond Park' column

The latest 'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen Town AFC column from the Carmarthen Journal -
Carmarthen Town AFC is working hard to strengthen its Academy for young players.
“The Academy is where we expect to develop the Welsh Premier League players of the future,” club chairman and secretary Gareth (GO) Jones said.
“We pride ourselves on being a great community club at Carmarthen and we want to make sure that young players have every opportunity to fulfil their potential with Carmarthen Town.
“We have teams at Under-19s, Under-16s, Under-14s and even Under-13s level and we have an excellent coaching team and training structure in place.”
The Under-19s have been looking to strengthen their current squad.
Any new players would be very welcome and, for further details, you can contact Peter Fearn 07954 337106 or Ryan Stephens 07518 430077.
The next matches (weather permitting) for the Under-19s are -
December 12 Cambrian & Clydach at Llanelli in the FAW Youth Cup, round three.

Ammanford Christmas Carnival a success

Bad weather didn’t deter a good turnout for the Ammanford Christmas Carnival and Parade.
The event last Friday night proved to be a success when a large crowd enjoyed the Parade, Carnival, switching on of the Christmas lights and firework display.
Radio Carmarthenshire provided fantastic entertainment with local groups and performers on the stage.
The lantern parade, as part of the carnival, was a big success and carnival organiser want to thank local artist Emma Stuart for organising it. The winners of the lantern parade were Ella Lewis, Alex Jones and Finn Stuart.
The Ammanford Christmas Carnival is organised in partnership between Carmarthenshire County Council, Ammanford Town Council, and Radio Carmarthenshire and is sponsored by national housebuilder Taylor Wimpey.
Cllr Clive Scourfield, Carmarthenshire County Council executive board member for leisure and regeneration, said: “I’m delighted that the Carnival proved to be such a success. It was a great way to herald the start of Christ…

Carmarthenshire fury over bungalows plan

Carmarthenshire's housing scrutiny committee will formally express its dismay to the Welsh Assembly for stalling on a decision to allow almost 40 affordable bungalows to be built in the county.
The committee unanimously voted to put on record its disappointment that the Assembly has not yet responded to the council’s proposals to build 39 bungalows in Llanelli and Kidwelly.
Full council agreed to the development of new-build bungalows for older people in February.
The housing department proceeded to give its plans for the £3.6million scheme to Deputy Minister for Housing, Jocelyn Davies, in May.
Planning permission will be applied for if WAG gives the go ahead, and - if approved – work would start immediately and take around 36 months to complete.
On hearing a report on the local housing market, with a rising population and increased pressure on accommodation, the committee agreed to pressurise the Assembly for a decision.
Chair, Cllr Merlin Jones, said: “This council should press as h…

In the news today . . .

Latest 'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen Town AFC column is in the Carmarthen Journal today.
Brewer Simon Buckley's latest Iechyd Da column is in the Carmarthen Journal today.
Cor Meibion Llanelli Llangain concert review in the South Wales Evening Post today.
Spotlight on Rob Morgan, the biggest Christmas Tree farmer in Wales, in the South Wales Evening Post today.

Carmarthenshire retains Fairtrade status

Carmarthenshire has retained its Fairtrade status.
The county was awarded the accolade in June 2009 and the Fairtrade Foundation has renewed the status for another two years.
The Carmarthenshire’s Fairtrade Streering Group had to submit an application for renewal showing the progress made during the last year.
The group has been working to raise the awareness and availability of Fairtrade in the county in various ways.
There are now 37 retail outlets and 22 catering outlets selling/using two or more Fairtrade products throughout the county. Furthermore, Llanelli, Ammanford and Carmarthen now have their own Fairtrade groups.
The council also has a corporate sustainable procurement policy which includes a strong commitment to purchasing ethical and Fairtrade goods.
Work has been ongoing with schools, colleges, community organisations and businesses including a focus on tourism.
Two of the county’s schools have also achieved Fairtrade status – Ysgol Dyffryn Taf in Whitland and Ysgol Gynradd Lla…

Brin Isaac dinner this evening

The annual Brin Isaac Memorial dinner takes place this evening at the Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli.
Tonight's award-winners have already been announced -
European and Commonwealth champion David Greene is the outstanding winner of the 2010 Brin Isaac Llanelli sportsman of the year award.
Greene, one of the leading 400m hurdlers in world athletics, stormed to gold in Barcelona and Delhi to cap an incredible 12 months.
The former Coedcae pupil also won the Continental Cup in Split, running a new personal best of 47.88 to become the second fastest British 400m hurdler of all time.
Runner-up to Greene and the winner of the Walter Hughes Cup is gymnast Alex Rothe.
The 17-year-old was another to wear the Welsh vest in the Commonwealth Games, finishing fifth in the team and individual pommel horse event.
The top junior award goes to triathlete Liam Lloyd, the current British Youth champion. Runner-up is double international Scott Phillips, who has represented Wales at cricket and athletics (jav…

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 can answer queries from members of the public who need to have repairs carried out to their homes.
Head of public protection Philip Davies said: “We are 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 warned of the danger of distraction burglars using freezing weather to access homes.
Executive board member for public protection Cllr Pam Palmer said: “We are keen to ensure that householders are not taken advantage of and the best way to organise repairs is by contacting one of our Registered Traders.”
Members of the Registered Traders’ Scheme agree to abide by the scheme’s code of practice and to trade fairly.
A list of current members ca…

Skip day at Talog has Royal flavour

Memorabilia from the Queen’s Jubilee in 1977 were among some of the items swapped by residents in Talog as part of the European Week for Waste Reduction.
A ‘Bring and Take’ community skip day was organised by Tidy Towns, Keep Wales Tidy and the newly-established Keep Talog Tidy group.
Residents were able to take along any unwanted household items that were in a good condition and swap it for another item that catches their eye. Not only is it a great way of saving money, but it’s good for the environment as it doesn’t get thrown away and end up in landfill.
Some of the items exchanged included memorabilia relating to Prince Charles and Diana's royal wedding in 1981 and also the Queen's Jubilee in 1977 - as well as a petrol lawnmower!
A skip was also made available for residents to dispose of household waste that couldn’t be reused and as much of that as possible was recycled.
Tidy Towns project officer Simon Troake said: “Keep Talog Tidy is a newly-formed group which is trying to …

12 cash tips for Christmas

There are 12 days in Christmas, so Ann Thomas, leading Consultant at West Wales (Carmarthen and Porthcawl) Chartered Accountants and Business Consultants Clay Shaw Butler, has worked out 12 tips for keeping on top of your money this festive season.
1. Supermarkets all have special offers leading up to the Christmas period. Do your research using the media (radio, internet, newspapers, TV, leaflet drops etc) and see if any of them relate to food and drink you need for Christmas. Use any vouchers you find - and if you don’t need them give to someone who could use them. Watch our, however, in case there are any errors in the offers out there. Ensure they are value for money before purchasing.
2. Sit down with your family and agree on what food and drink you need for the holidays. If you are several families getting together for Christmas, decide who buys what on the shopping list to avoid waste and duplication.
3. Make a list of people you’re buying presents for and set a budget for each on…

'SirgarPR' wins public relations prize

SirgarPR is the best in-house council public relations team in Wales – and that’s official!
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Press and Communications section won the gold award at the recent Chartered Institute of Public Relations Pride awards.
The team, which is a one-stop-shop for all PR, has recently rebranded itself as SirgarPR.
Judges said: “The judges considered this was a clear winner and an outstanding entry. The way the team has branded itself and built an impressive client base is very impressive.
“Performance figures are excellent, with high satisfaction levels from all stakeholders. Judges were impressed by the quality and creativity of the work and the value for money offered.”
The team also provides a service for several partner organisations such as Hywel Dda Health Board and CAVS, which includes graphic design, print, web, press and marketing.
SirgarPR is also making its services accessible to other organisations, both locally and in other parts of Wales.
Press Manager Debbi…

Why West is Best for food and drink

By Nigel Roberts, finance and banking specialist with Carmarthen-based accountants Clay Shaw Butler
The late, great Ray Gravell always used to say, ‘West is Best!’
Those of us who live in West Wales know it to be true – and always enjoy repeating Grav’s motto.
In fact, those of us who live in Carmarthenshire will always try and go a step further and argue that the best bit in ‘the West’ is what Welsh-speakers love to refer to as Sir Gar.
Carmarthenshire revels in its gateway location at the end of the M4.
Some would argue that it should now be renamed Royal Carmarthenshire, in recognition of the fact that our most famous citizen, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, has a home at Myddfai, near Llandovery.
Others, quite reasonably, argue that Carmarthenshire should be renamed ‘The Garden of Wales’ in view of the fact that we boast two great horticultural tourist attractions – the gardens at Aberglasney in the Tywi Valley and the National Botanic Garden of Wales at Llanarthne, just off the ma…

Dawn at Llanelli beach today

It was a crisp and cold morning down at Llanelli's Millennium Coastal park this morning!

Cor Meibion Llanelli on song

Just back from Cor Meibion Llanelli's rehearsals at Furnace Community Hall. Their version of American Trilogy blew me away!

Hazel cooks up a festive treat

TV chef Hazel Thomas cooked up a festive feast to tantalise the tastebuds of shoppers at Carmarthen market.
Hazel, who is a regular face on S4C, used fresh, local ingredients from the market to make some mouthwatering meals for Christmas
Shoppers enjoyed a number of dishes including a hearty vegetable broth, Welshcakes with a Christmas twist of dates and cranberries and apples with a toffee sauce to die for.
Council waste awareness officers were also there to encourage residents to reduce their food waste as part of the Love Food Hate Waste campaign.
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.
Hazel said: “The market is a great place to do your food shopping, especially at Christmas, it has everything you need all under one …

Cwmamman site gets spring clean

A public space in the Amman Valley has been cleaned up for the benefit of the community.
Tidy Towns cleansing operatives got to work on a civic amenity area in Cwmamman following a request from the town council.
The site had become neglected with overgrown bushes and moss growing between the paving slabs.
“The results have been spectacular and has really brightened the site up with a nice area for the public to enjoy,” said Tidy Towns project officer Simon Troake.
Tidy Towns is a Welsh Assembly Government-funded initiative which is delivered in partnership by Carmarthenshire County Council and Keep Wales Tidy.
The aim is to encourage and support communities to improve the quality of their local environment.
The council’s executive board member for regeneration Councillor Clive Scourfield said: “By working together we can make a real difference to the area in which we live and improve the quality of the local environment for both residents and visitors.”
For further information on Tidy Towns …

Check on Carmarthenshire licensed premises

With Christmas getting closer, Carmarthenshire licensing officers and police are gearing up for the festive period by undertaking enforcement visits to licensed premises.
Officers are reminding licensees and their staff of their responsibilities with regards to the sale of alcohol and its effects on customers.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board’s Business Manager and Member for Public Protection and Youth Services Cllr Pam Palmer said: “We want to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to join the fun without celebrations getting out of hand.”
With the introduction of the new Mandatory conditions in March and October of this year, we are moving towards a safer drinking attitude, with the removal of irresponsible drinks specials and promotional offers that encourage people to drink more, faster or within restricted times.
Free tap water should now be available at licensed premises, and with smaller alcohol measures also being available, licensees can do their bit to ensure …

Future Jobs Fund on last lap

The Future Jobs Fund is entering into its final stage with 101 jobs to be filled by March 2011.
Primarily aimed at 18-24 year olds claiming Jobseekers Allowance for a period of six months or more, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Economic Development’s FJF contract aims to create 291 positions between November 2009 and March 2011.
Since November 2009 190 jobs have been created and filled across the county in the public and voluntary sector across numerous vocational areas.
Out of 82 people who have completed their six months employment on Future Jobs Fund, 39 have moved on and entered further, sustainable employment - a rate of 48 per cent.
Regeneration executive board member Cllr Clive Scourfield said: “The employers involved have embraced the FJF scheme with open arms, Jobcentre Plus have provided first class support to the FJF team and above all the employees on FJF have gained a really positive experience.”

Scarlets join drink drive campaign

Llanelli Scarlets joined in the Wales Christmas campaign against drinking and driving launched at Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli.
The campaign is aimed at people of all ages who deceive themselves with the notion that they are safe to drive after consuming what they regard as small amounts of alcohol.
These “responsible” people are likely to cause death and injury on roads.
Carmarthenshire’s campaign will focuses on raising awareness of the consequences of drink-driving using sporting analogies such as ‘Give Drink-Driving the Red Card’, ‘Kick Drink-Driving into Touch’, ‘Blow the Whistle on Drink-Driving.’
Posters, banner-flags, z-cards and radio advertising are being used to support the campaign.
Carmarthenshire council’s road safety unit is launching a campaign to raise awareness of the consequences of drink-driving using sporting analogies.
Figures show that approximately one in seven deaths on Welsh roads involve drivers who are over the legal limit.
And causing death by dangerous driving wh…

Free parking in Carmarthenshire

‘O Come all ye faithful…’ there’s free parking in all Carmarthenshire council car parks this Christmas starting this week.
It’s a festive bonus for Christmas shoppers as from December 10 to Christmas Eve parking will be free from 10am each day.
That helps prevent commuters blocking spaces.
The cost to the authority is £70,000. The executive have taken the decision to help boost business and trade in town centres.
Transport executive board member Cllr Philip Hughes said: “We are helping to encourage vibrancy and vitality of our town centres which provides a valuable contribution to the local economy.”
President of Llanelli Chamber of Trade and Commerce Andrew Stephens said: “This is a levelling of the playfield and real boost for county townships in competition with out of town retail parks.”
Carmarthen also benefits from the Park & Ride service up to Christmas Eve with drivers able to leave their cars at Nantyci and shuttle into the town centre regularly six days a week and there is an …

Carmarthenshire counterfeit goods warning

Carmarthenshire Trading Standards Service is receiving numerous complaints from residents who have purchased fake GHD hair stylers and Ugg boots via the internet in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Consumers end up receiving poor quality counterfeits, and fake GHD electrical products could be potentially lethal given their high heat and lack of proper built-in electrical safety.
The websites themselves are usually based outside the European Union, including from the Far East, which makes it extremely difficult for any consumer to contact the seller if they do have any difficulties.
Carmarthenshire Trading Standards Service advises consumers that if they are buying either of these goods online it is safer to do so only via the official websites of the companies, or their authorised suppliers.
If you think you may have been a victim please contact Trading Standards on 08454 04 05 06 or visit
Carmarthenshire County Council Trading Standards Manager Roger Edmunds sa…

Harry the Heron at Llanelli today

Harry the Heron enjoying the delights of Llanelli's Millennium Coastal Park today.

Social care teams hope for accolades

The search is on for high-performing teams within Carmarthenshire County Council’s social care department.
The authority hopes to take part in the prestigious 2011 Social Care Accolades awards.
Led by the Care Council for Wales, the biennial awards are a national showcase for excellence and celebrate good practice across Wales.
The Accolades are awarded to teams, partnerships and organisations who have transformed social care services by investing in the learning and development of people.
The winning work is then shared with other organisations in learning workshops helping to raise standards in the sector across Wales.
The authority was recognised at last year’s awards as part of its partnership work with Carmarthenshire People First, which reached the award finals for creating a unique training programme known as ‘Keeping Yourself Safe’.
The programme saw four people with learning disabilities taught how to teach a course to other adults with learning disabilities on ways to report abus…

Repairs survey for Carmarthenshire homes

Carmarthenshire housing tenants are being asked to provide feedback on how satisfied they are with repairs to their homes.
The county council’s housing and property services teams have worked together to introduce a new customer repairs survey card for all repair and maintenance work the council undertakes.
The cards have been issued to all in-house tradesmen and partner contractors working on the £200million Carmarthenshire Homes Standard programme.
The freepost cards are being left with the tenant at the end of every repair visit, allowing them to feedback on the standard of work carried out, and the level of customer service they have experienced.
Four key questions are asked, including one which asks how satisfied the tenant is that the operative respected them, and their home.
Among other questions, the card also asks if the operative had produced identification.
It is all part of a drive to ensure complete tenant satisfaction.
All feedback given will be collated and presented to the ho…

Letter to South Wales Guardian

Letter sent by Kevin Richards, executive director of the Healing The Wounds charity, to the South Wales Guardian today -
Your letters page last week (December 1) carried an excellent thank-you letter from Melanie Coombes, who has worked very hard in raising cash for the Healing The Wounds (Golden Grove) appeal.
It does, however, require a clarification.
While Melanie and her fundraisers are finishing their charitable endeavours for Healing The Wounds to concentrate on other worthy charities, the work of the Healing The Wounds charity continues at an ever-increasing pace.
A casual glance at Melanie’s letter could mistakenly leave readers with the impression that our appeal is coming to an end. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The work of the Healing The Wounds charity is gathering pace at a rate of knots. In fact, more than £120,000 has been raised towards our initial target of £200,000.
Healing the Wounds has been launched for the purpose of raising the funds needed to enable the pu…

Workways project celebrates first year

A project to help people into work is celebrating a successful first year.
The South West Wales Workways is a regional convergence project, led by Neath Port Talbot Council in collaboration with Carmarthenshire County Council, Pembrokeshire County Council and City and County of Swansea.
The aim of the project is to assist the transition into sustainable employment by overcoming barriers to work, whilst exploring various supporting agencies, training and work opportunities.
Executive board member for regeneration and leisure Cllr Clive Scourfield said: “Partnership working has resulted in almost two thirds of project leavers entering full time employment.
“The Temporary Job Opportunities within the project has secured an additional 57 per cent of leavers securing sustainable employment from newly created jobs.”
During the next year Workways will further address the challenges of economic inactivity by holding multi-agency job clubs in the communities, awareness sessions and linking more clo…

Carmarthenshire assurance on salt stock

Carmarthenshire has used just 25 per cent of its salt stock so far this winter – and further deliveries are on the way.
Council chiefs want to reassure residents that there is no cause for concern despite media reports of gritty supplies disappearing fast.
The council has increased its salt stocks this year to more than 12,000 tonnes – with a further 5,500 tonnes contingency stock expected by the end of the month.
It is recommended that local authorities hold enough salt to carry out six days of continuous gritting – that’s 5,500 tonnes for Carmarthenshire - which means we will have triple the contingency arrangements.
The council also received a delivery of salt - as part of its annual re-stock exercise - just yesterday.
Residents are therefore being urged not to panic.
Director of technical services Richard Workman said: “As a result of further stocks received this week, we have calculated that about 25 per cent of Carmarthenshire's initial salt stock holding has been used to date to …

Carmarthenshire in Top 5 in lofts league table

Carmarthenshire County Council has been revealed as one of the top five performing authorities across England and Wales in terms of the volume of loft and cavity insulation it has helped install in the county’s homes.
New figures from the Energy Saving Trust have placed Carmarthenshire amongst the top five of almost 400 councils, for having seen the highest percentage of their area’s housing stock lagged over the first two years of a new Government target.
The housing department’s drive towards helping people to save energy and keep their homes warm comes as part of the Government’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT).
It has teamed up with a number of insulation companies to offer home owners and private tenants free, or subsidised, loft and cavity wall insulation.
Teams of qualified surveyors have visited the county area by area to survey properties, and where appropriate council housing officers have helped identify whether the work could be carried out for free for people in rece…

Cor Meibion Llanelli's warm welcome at chapel

Christmas Concert at Capel Smyrna, Llangain, near Carmarthen, featuring Cor Meibion Llanelli and soloists Gwawr Edwards (soprano) and Dafydd Edwards (tenor).
It might have been ‘below zero’ outside, but the warmth of the welcome at Capel Smyrna in Llangain ensured that the packed house could bask in a very heartening Christmas glow.
Award-winning Cor Meibion Llanelli braved the icy roads to travel to Llangain for a Christmas concert hosted by Merril Parry.
“On the journey down, the cold was such that I feared chattering teeth would be the biggest problem for the choir,” said Cor Meibion Llanelli musical director Eifion Thomas.
“But we need not have worried because the warmth of the welcome at Capel Smyrna gave all of the singers an inner glow.
“Gwawr Edwards and Dafydd Edwards were two excellent soloists for the evening and I think Cor Meibion Llanelli complemented them perfectly.”
The Cor Meibion Llanelli programme included the Anthem theme from the musical Chess, Yfory and the ever-popula…

Mr Swan enjoying the ice in Llanelli

Mr Swan enjoying the frozen delights of Pond Twym, People's Park, Llanelli, this morning.