Showing posts from March 20, 2011

Fujitsu press release on HPC partnership

Fujitsu is re-entering the high performance computing (HPC) market in the UK after 10 years, with an ambition to be a leading player in this exciting field.
The company believes that the HPC market is changing dramatically and that the time is now right to capitalise on its heritage and breadth of capability, ie research, network infrastructure and data centres, to enable a wider set of organisations to benefit from the commercial opportunities realised through high performance computing.
As the first step to fulfil its ambitions, Fujitsu today announced it has won a four-year £15m project to provide a distributed grid for HPC Wales with the two primary hubs being Cardiff and Pembroke Dock. HPC Wales is an initiative announced in July 2010 which will enable Wales to be at the forefront of supercomputing. It has the full backing of the Welsh Assembly Government as a vehicle to improve the economic development and use of technology in the region. Fujitsu was chosen as the technology par…

Careline investment pays dividends

A handful of small change could be all it takes to save the life of a loved one.
For only 35p per day, your family could have peace of mind knowing that a vulnerable relative is being looked after by Careline.
Careline is a service provided by Carmarthenshire County Council.
Using an alarm system, service users are able to call for help 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year.
Alarms can be fitted within the home, and a ‘lifeline’ pendant can also be worn by the service user, which, when triggered, connects them to a team of Careline staff.
As each alarm is unique, from the moment a call is made, the Careline team instantly know the name and address of the service user, and can contact neighbours or relatives, as well as the emergency services if needed.
Cllr Kevin Madge, Champion for Older People, said: “I have lost count of the number of times I have heard ordinary families telling me that Careline has helped saved the life of their mum, dad, or grandparent.
“The cost of …

Care option pays off for Johnny

Johnny James had worked in a telephone manufacturer’s warehouse for several years before becoming unemployed for 24 months.
In the hope of finding full-time work, Johnny was referred to Llanelli Rural Council) LRC Training by the Job Centre.
Following consultation with his Field Officer at LRC Training and exploring all the options open to him, Johnny decided to go down the ‘Care’ route. This, he said, was a career path that had “always been of interest” to him.
Johnny gained valuable first-hand experience while on placement at a local care home, named Hafan-Y-Coed. Through the Government funded programme, Johnny received training covering all key areas required to work in the care sector, including Manual Handling, Health & Safety, First Aid and Food and Hygiene.
Within a one month time period, Johnny passed all the aspects of the programme and gained the required knowledge and skills to become a qualified Carer. Johnny not only impressed the staff at LRC Training but also the ma…

Evan-Evans brewery puts its money where its mouth is!

Chancellor George Osborne wielded the final blow for the brewing industry with yet another 10p price increase as a result of a rise in Duty, handing the drinks market on a plate to the supermarkets.
Evan-Evans, Wales’s internationally award winning brewer, has decided to help licensees through these difficult times and to price its beers so that licensees do not have to increase their beer prices.
Evan-Evans chief executive Simon Buckley said:
“We have brewed beer here in Wales since 1767 and the current crisis in the pub sector is going to see hundreds, if not thousands, of pubs close across the UK. Rural pubs are now under great threat of closure.
“We as a brewery are determined to support our licensees through these difficult times and to make sure that they can compete by using our brands to offer customers beer at pre-Duty price increases for the summer and autumn. They will not need to increase prices on our beers.
“We have brought out a new pricing structure that will allow licensee…

Latest 'View from Richmond Park' column

The latest 'View from Richmond Park' column from the Carmarthen Journal -
Carmarthen Town AFC will hold their annual celebrity dinner on Friday, May 20, at the Ivy Bush Royal Hotel Carmarthen.
This year's principal guest speaker will be Jan Molby, a superb football pundit and after-dinner speaker.
Molby became manager of Swansea City in February 1996, but was sacked in October 1997, along with his assistant, Billy Ayre. He had taken Swansea to the Division Three play-off final five months earlier, but they lost to a last-minute goal by Northampton's John Frain.
Molby was a Danish international and played in the Mexico World Cup. He signed for Liverpool from Ajax in 1984, becoming popular on and off the field, quickly becoming a fluent “scouser”.
He played 292 games for Liverpool, scoring 61 goals and winning two League Championships and two FA Cups.
The celebrity dinner has become a firm favourite on the sporting calendar and is always a sell-out. The funds raised will go d…

Carmarthenshire car fleet goes electric

Carmarthenshire County Council will be the first authority in Wales to unveil the inclusion of new electric cars into its vehicle fleet next week.
The council will unveil its Carmarthenshire Electric Vehicles (CEV) in Carmarthen, on Thursday, March 31.
They will be used by council staff as part of its co-ordinated pool car system.
The fully electric vehicles are manufactured by Mitsubishi.
Named i-MiEV, they boast zero running emissions, can be plugged in to any UK three-pin 13A socket, and cost just 96p for a full charge.
They have a range of 90 miles and can be charged from flat to full in six hours, and to 80 per cent in just 30 minutes.
Two cars were funded as part of a £500,000 sustainable transport improvement in Carmarthen, paid for by Welsh Assembly Sustainable Travel Centres funding.
Carmarthen was one of only four areas in Wales to secure the funding, which has paid for a series of improvements including walking, cycling and public transport infrastructure.
The council’s transport …

Big Lunch plans for Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire residents are being encouraged to invite their neighbours for lunch as part of a national event aimed at building better communities.
The Big Lunch, organised by the Eden Project, will take place on Sunday, June 5, and communities all over the county are being encouraged to join in.
The event aims to bring neighbours together, and to encourage better relations, friendship and trust between people of all ages.
Events could be as simple as a garden picnic, to a Sunday roast, to a huge street party.
Vivienne Kincaid, joint commissioning officer for community services, said: “This will be a fantastic event which could really bring some of Carmarthenshire’s communities together.
“We would love to see groups of people, friends, neighbours and families taking part.
“It would be especially good if people remembered any older people living in their communities – people that would have grown up with street parties and festivities. It would really give them something to smile about.”

It's all go ...

Busy old day today, catching up with clients I haven't seen for a week or two. Stops at Carmarthen, Llanelli and Bridgend. But at least there's a penny off a litre of fuel. My word, what savings today!

Business breakfast club brings home the bacon!

It’s been described as the business breakfast club that really brings home the bacon.
And now the Business Network International (BNI) Chapter in Llanelli is looking for new members.
The busy Thursday morning club meets at The Diplomat Hotel in Llanelli. It’s an early 7am start – but these are men and women who are keen to buck the recession and make the most of their working days.
“Meeting first thing in the morning is great,” said Llanelli chapter (local branch) director Nick Romanello.
“We all have busy days and meeting first thing in the morning means that it doesn’t intrude onto the rest of the working day.
It also means that we start the day energised as there’s a lot of energy and enthusiasm in our meetings. The meetings really have a buzz.
“It’s a place where networking can really pay dividends and it’s a place where people appreciate exchanging ideas and information. And our members also appreciate that we are a great support network. We are there for each other.”
It is estimated th…

Llanelli Choral Society multicultural date

The Llanelli Choral Society will be representing the town and county at this weekend’s Llanelli Multicultural Weekend as organised by Carmarthenshire Association of Voluntary Services.
The Llanelli Choral Society, under the direction of its founder John Hywel Williams, will give a performance to invited guests and dignitaries which will include Wales’ First Minister The Rt. Hon. Carwyn Jones AM.
The Llanelli Choral Society recently gave a performance at the Cardiff Millennium Centre as part of Black History Month and the success of this performance led to the invitation to representing the town at the Multicultural Weekend.
“We are proud and delighted to participate in this exciting community event”, explains Cerith Owen, Chairman. “The Society is founded on the vision to be a music community from the community for the community.”
This weekend’s performance will be yet another exciting event in the Llanelli Choral Society’s ever growing schedule of prestigious of events. Further to a rece…

26,000 visits chalked up

Thank you very much, folks. Thanks to you, dear readers and visitors, this blog is continuing to pick up more hits.
It's now hit the 26,000 page views mark.
That's a 1,000 views since March 12.
Keep the hits coming, folks! Much appreciated.
Many thanks.
See earlier post -
Meanwhile, the blog has chalked up its first visitor from Uruguay.
The full country by country list (figures from January 6, 2010) is as follows -
United Kingdom (GB) 7,445; United States (US) 889; India (IN) 71; Canada (CA) 59; Germany (DE) 50; Australia (AU) 46; Europe (EU) 42; Ireland (IE) 37; France (FR) 34; Belgium (BE) 31; Japan (JP) 31; Qatar (QA) 29; Netherlands (NL) 26; Taiwan (TW) 25; Italy (IT) 24; Spain (ES) 17; Malaysia (MY) 17; Philippines (PH) 16; Pakistan (PK) 15; Russian Federation (RU) 14; New Zealand (NZ) 14; United Arab Emirates (AE) 13; Sweden (SE) 11; Singapore (SG) 10; South Africa (ZA) 9; Denmark (DK) 9; Greece (GR) 9; Thailand…

Countdown on to start of fishing season

The countdown is well and truly on to the start of the fishing season at one of the country’s finest wild brown trout lakes at Talyllyn, near Tywyn in Mid Wales.
“The excitement is building as we gear up to the opening day of the season on April 1,” said Phil Wood, Head Ghillie at the Ty’n y Cornel hotel which sits on the side of the 222-acre Talyllyn Lake.
“The lake is in excellent shape and we are looking forward to another great season at Talyllyn.”
Last season, Talyllyn was one of the venues for fly fishing’s Commonwealth Games.
“It was an action packed year and we had visits from many celebrities. We even had a news team from an American news channel doing a profile of Wales before the Ryder Cup,” said Phil.
“This year we are planning plenty of special treats, including an opening day launch which will feature many of our finest fishing journalists.
“Moc Morgan, George Barron and Tony Bevan (ex-British champion) will be here on April 1.
“Once again, there will be a bottle of Penderyn We…

Fast Facts about the Fujitsu-HPC Wales link

 £40 million - the total value of the project. High Performance Computing Wales (HPC Wales) is an ambitious £40 million project to give businesses and universities involved in commercially-focussed research across Wales access to the most advanced and evolving computing technology available.
 £15 million - core contract value over four years to Fujitsu.
 £3 million - potential additional funding available through draw down on the Framework Contract.
 150 – estimated number of projects to run on system in first years of operation. Some of these will have involvement with the Fujitsu research teams.
 £4 million– the level of partnership support and funding coming from Fujitsu. This represents significant inward investment
 £1.84 million – the value of the staff Fujitsu will be placing in Wales to deliver the contract. Fujitsu will allocate two researchers and a HPC specialist to Wales, working directly on the project.
 £1.5 million – the value of the PhD fund which would help up to 20 …

Fostering issues promoted in Carmarthenshire

Parents across Carmarthenshire are being encouraged to get clued up on the laws surrounding private fostering arrangements.
Throughout this week – Monday, March 21, to Sunday, March 27 - Carmarthenshire County Council’s fostering teams are helping parents to understand the rules around private foster care, and the arrangements they have to put in place to ensure the safety of their children.
A Private Fostering Arrangement is when a young person aged under 16, or 18 if they are disabled, is placed in the care of another adult who is not a close relative for 28 days or more.
A close relative is an aunt, uncle, step-parent, grandparent or sibling, but not a cousin, grand aunt or uncle, or a family friend.
If such an arrangement is put in place, the parent has a legal obligation to inform the local authority at least six weeks before it is due to start.
Jackie Sloane, Carmarthenshire’s fostering recruitment team manager, said: “Parents have a responsibility to ensure that their child is in a …

Reminder on care home procedures

Relatives of older people that may require residential care are being reminded of the proper procedures to gain information, following an inaccurate article printed in the South Wales Evening Post (Monday, March 21, 2011).
The article printed the contact number of a councillor and a member of the public, encouraging people to call them if they wanted to move in to St Paul’s residential home in Llanelli.
The proper procedure for anyone who wants access to a local authority care home, and who needs funding for that care, is for them to contact the council’s community care teams who will arrange for the person to receive an assessment.
Head of primary, community and social care, Sheila Porter, said: “In most circumstances, we will already have had extensive contact with service users and their families by offering them other forms of support and care services, but those who have had no previous contact with our social care department, and who want further information about residential care,…

Fujitsu wins HPC Wales contract

Global technology giant Fujitsu has today (March 22) been named as the successful bidder to partner with the Universities in Wales to create a unique £40 million world-class super computing network, a research and innovation institute and a skills academy.
The supporting infrastructure will stretch to the four corners of Wales and have a reach across the rest of the globe.
The contract is worth £15 million over four years to Fujitsu, who will provide infrastructure and services.
It represents a quantum leap forward in high performance computing in Wales. It will give Wales the most advanced and evolving computing technology available.
High performance computing technology has the capacity to handle and analyse massive amounts of data at high speed, bringing innovation to the market faster.
The High Performance Computing Wales (HPC Wales) project is of strategic importance to the Welsh economy, creating super computing capability and capacity across Wales, accessible to both universities an…

In The Diff!

Busy 24 hours in Cardiff. Working on a press launch at the Pierhead building in the Bay tomorrow morning.

Ammanford businessman on hunger strike

An Ammanford businessman is starting a hunger strike today (Monday, March 21) in a protest about Lloyds Bank.
“It seems like a radical thing to do, but I am at my wit’s end with Lloyds Bank and can see no other alternative,” said 47-year-old Alun Richards.
Mr Richards built up a multi-million business at the expanding Tycroes Business Park near Ammanford
“But I am being ruined by Lloyds, a giant banking group who seem not to care about individual businessmen.
“As long as the Lloyds big-wigs are collecting their fat cat bonuses and operating in cavalier fashion with no reference to Government supervision, businessmen like me will suffer.
“And this is happening even after taxpayers’ funds were injected into the banking economy.
“I have been battling Lloyds for three years and it has cost me hundreds of thousands of pounds and consequential losses running into millions.
“They are unwilling to deal with my complaint and we are just going around in circles as there seems to be no independent way…

HPC Wales launch website

The HPC Wales supercomputer project has launched its website.
The site is at –
The site is the first ‘brick’ in the construction of the project, which will be fully operational before the end of 2011.
“Strictly speaking, we aren’t ‘open for business’ as yet,” said a spokesman for HPC Wales.
“But the website will give everyone a taste of what HPC Wales is all about, what our mission is and what we hope to achieve in Wales.
“Already, there is quite a buzz about the project and we are opening up the website to capitalise on that.
“Anyone interested in our work and interested in making use of the project will be able to make contact with the HPC team as we build towards the point where we will be fully operational before the end of 2011.”
The website has been designed by the leading Cardiff Bay design and development agency Spindogs.
HPC’s spokesman added: “The team at Spindogs have worked very hard to create a site which offers everyone an initial taste of what HPC Wales is all…