Showing posts from April 3, 2011

Nappy changing challenge in Llanelli

Mums and dads in Carmarthenshire with babies in nappies are being urged to help set a world record.
A Guinness World Record Nappy Changing Challenge is being held at the St Elli Shopping Centre in Llanelli on Saturday, April 23.
Carmarthenshire County Council is hosting the event and is appealing to mums and dads to come along and join in the fun.
As well as hopefully setting a new world record on the number of real cloth nappies changed simultaneously around the world, there will be fun and games for all the family.
Children’s entertainers ‘Entertainment Explosion’ will be leading the fun, kids can get arty with Trysordy, and there will be stalls including Mothercare and Nappy Go Lucky, as well as lots of information and advice.
Council waste minimisation/recycling officer Karen Fulham said: “The aim of the event is to raise awareness of the benefits of using real nappies instead of disposables, not only are they better for the environment but they are better for baby and cheaper in the l…

Business seminar postponed

Business seminar (see below) postponed.
New date and details will be posted here when we get confirmation.

Business seminar date for Carmarthen

A free business seminar is being held at the Halliwell Centre at the Carmarthen campus of the University of Wales Trinity St David on Thursday April 14.
The seminar is being organised by chartered accountants and business consultants Clay Shaw Butler and Lowless and Lowless solicitors.
“It promises to be an informative get-together for local businesses,” said Nigel Roberts, the finance and banking specialist with Clay Shaw Butler.
“In these difficult economic times, it pays to make sure you are fully up-to-speed with the latest news from the accounting and legal worlds.
“The seminar runs from 4-6pm and will feature a presentation from Lowless and Lowless on employment law. In addition, the team from Clay Shaw Butler will be presenting on a range of topical accounting matters.
“It’s free, so it only costs you your time to attend. But we are confident the West Wales business community will be able to reap benefits from attending.”
Mr Roberts, the former head of HSBC’s commercial banking arm i…

Gorseinon Food festival next weekend

The Gorseinon Food Festival is being held next Saturday, April 16, 10-5pm @ Canolfan Centre Millers Drive, Gorseinon.
There will be more than 125 stands of food, arts and crafts.
Some of the "True taste of Wales" winners will be showcasing their products.
True Taste of Wales ambassador Simon Wright (food writer and co-owner of the celebrated Y Polyn restaurant) is the Patron of the event.
Swansea Sound presenter and celebrity Kevin Johns will be opening event.
There will be a schools competition, cookery demonstrations, Disney volunteers, bouncy castle, face painting and free tasters.
Joel Duffy, the Warburtons Young Baker of the Year winner, will be demonstrating his leek and potato loaf.
Admission is £2.50, children free. There is a park and ride service available.

Smashing day in sunny Carmarthen

In meetings in the fair town of Carmarthen today. What a glorious day!

Recycling blue bags delivered on request

Blue bags for recycling will be delivered to householders on request.
Residents can either phone Carmarthenshire Direct on 01267 234567 or request more bags online at
The decision will save the council money by not making a blanket delivery across the county. Some residents have stockpiles of blue bags that are not being used.
It is believed the move will improve the service for residents as bags will be delivered on demand.
Director of Technical Services Richard Workman said: “We encourage householders to recycle as much of their waste as possible in blue bags. There is no limit as to how many blue bags householders can put out for collection, but naturally depending on the size of the household, some will use more bags than others.
“We have been told that some residents have accumulated unneeded blue bags over the years and therefore it makes sense that we deliver to residents on demand. As soon as they come to the end of their roll they can just phone in or go…

Wales v Turkey pics from last night

Wales 1 Turkey 0 in the women's under-19 international staged at Richmond Park, Carmarthen, last night.
Wales v Turkey

Himalayan mission for Healing The Wounds fund-raisers

Mark Brown and his son Edward are men on a mission when it comes to the Healing The Wounds charity.
And they have their sights set on a fund-raising job of truly Himalayan proportions.
Mark and Edward plan to trek to the 21,240ft (6476m) Mera Peak in the Himalayas.
“It’s a big task, but we are up for the challenge and we aim to use the trek to put the Healing The Wounds charity on the map,” said Mark Brown, 51.
The charity works to help sufferers of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).
“I never really appreciated the fact that there isn’t a mechanism in place to treat the brave men and women who serve in our armed forces,” said Mark.
“The same also goes for those who work in the civilian services and may suffer from PTSD because of the work they have to carry out.
“Healing The Wounds is a marvellous charity with a great mission in life to help those suffering from PTSD.”
Mark, until recently an aircraft technician at RAF St Athan, and his son Edward, 18, a HND sports coaching student at Pen…

In the news today . . .

Splendid feature on Carmarthen tenor Wynne Evans (written by Rhiannon Jones) in the Carmarthen Journal today.
Calon Cardio (firm with HPC Wales links) and breakthrough heart technology story featured in today's South Wales Evening Post.
South Wales Evening Post has the story of Ammanford businessman Alun Richards suspending his bank protest hunger strike.
Today's Llanelli Star puts the spotlight on the Ammanford charity art auction for the Healing The Wounds charity.
What's so good about Llanelli? Imogen Thomas says, "Jenkins Bakery", in the 20 Questions feature in the Llanelli Star today!
'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen AFC column in the Carmarthen Journal today.
Llandeilo brewer Simon Buckley's pledge to help pubs beat the rise in duty - picture story in the Carmarthen Journal today.
Carmarthen Journal carries the news that Brynaman's Phil Thomas has taken charge at the prestigious Lamphey Court Hotel in Pembrokeshire.
Neat picture story in the Car…

Carmarthenshire in running for building awards

Carmarthenshire County Council is in the running for a hat-trick of national building awards.
Two modernised primary schools and Carmarthen Indoor Market have been shortlisted in the prestigious Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Wales awards.
Ysgol Y Dderwen in Carmarthen, has been shortlisted in two separate categories – sustainability and community benefit.
Llanelli’s Ysgol Maes Y Morfa, joins Y Dderwen in the community benefit category.
Carmarthen Indoor Market has been shortlisted in the restoration category.
All three developments were amongst 28 chosen by an independent judging panel as worthy of site visits, which took place last week.
They have since been named on the shortlist where only four projects from across Wales will compete in each category for the coveted awards, which are seen as the Oscars of the construction industry.
Winners will be announced at a prestigious ceremony in Cardiff on May 13, and those that win a Welsh award will be put forward to a UK-wide fin…

Two women fined for cigarette litter

Two women have each been fined £75 for dropping cigarette ends in McDonalds car park in Carmarthen.
The women, aged 20 and 24, were caught by the council’s environmental enforcement officers in separate incidents.
Failure to pay the fixed penalty notices could result in prosecution in the magistrates court and a maximum fine of up to £2,500.
Carmarthenshire County Council has a launched a campaign to highlight the problem of smoking-related litter and encourage people to put their cigarette butts in the bin.
Officers will be handing out free portable ashtrays at Carmarthen market on Wednesday, April 6, the St Elli Shopping Centre in Llanelli on Thursday, April 7 and Tesco in Ammanford on Friday, April 8 all between 11am and 2pm.
Director of Technical Services Richard Workman said: “Many people do not think of cigarette ends as litter, but they are. They make an area look unsightly and they are difficult and very expensive to clean up - the ends fall into grates and cracks in the pavement …

Dog owner fined for pet's mess

A man who failed to clean up after his dog was traced through his vehicle registration number and fined £75.
The dog owner was seen by two witnesses who took down his car number plate and passed it onto the council’s environmental enforcement officers. They were able to provide details of the incident, which happened at Bynea Gateway car park, which included a description of the dog and the person in charge of the dog.
The officers were able to trace the owner of the vehicle who accepted a fixed penalty notice £75 for the offence. Failure to pay however could lead to prosecution in the magistrates court and a maximum fine of £1,000.
Carmarthenshire County Council is working hard to tackle the problem of dog fouling and enforcement officers regularly carry out patrols across the county.
Director of Technical Services Richard Workman said: “The majority of residents take their responsibilities seriously, but there is a small minority of people who do not listen.
“Dog mess left anywhere is a …

Appeal to Carmarthenshire traders on waste

Traders in Carmarthenshire are being urged to make sure they have the proper arrangements in place for the disposal of their waste.
All businesses have a responsibility to make sure that any waste produced during the course of their business, is stored, transported and disposed of without harming the environment. This is known as their duty of care.
It includes all types of controlled waste including household, commercial and industrial waste – from waste paper and empty ink cartridges to scrap metal and old window frames from building sites.
Failure to comply could lead to prosecution in the magistrates court and a hefty fine of up to £5,000 or more if at crown court.
Director of Technical Services Richard Workman said: “Businesses have a responsibility to ensure reasonable measures are taken to dispose of their waste. The majority of businesses in Carmarthenshire are fully aware and compliant but it is important that we remind people of the legislation.
“Duty of Care is one of the main w…

Off to the Byron Rogers book launch

Off to the Byron Rogers book launch in the Ivy Bush Royal Hotel in Carmarthen later.
You can find out more about Byron on -
Rogers is a historian of the quirky and forgotten. Raised in West Wales, he now lives in Northamptonshire.
He studied at Oxford University before embarking, via Fleet Street, upon a colourful career as a journalist and author.
He has written for the Sunday Telegraph, Saga Magazine and The Guardian and was once speech writer for the Prince of Wales. He was awarded the prestigious James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 2007 for his biography of RS Thomas, The Man who Went into the West.

Getting under the earth's skin . . .

If you've been reading recent posts on this blog about the HPC Wales high performance computer project, you might be wondering how it all helps researchers at our universities.
Here is one case study from Cardiff -

Tracking the movement of the Earth's tectonic plates is not easy.
As we move further back in time, there are fewer clues about how the plates have moved on the Earth's surface.
Creating a model of the entire planet requires hundreds of millions of calculations for each moment in time.
It's a task Cardiff University's School of Earth and Ocean Sciences has only been able to contemplate with the help of High Performance Computing.
Over the past two years, a PhD project at the School has tried to work out how the Earth has worked as a body for the past 300 Million years.
Supervised by Dr Huw Davies, the Universities of Utrecht and Lausanne are also involved along with a major international company.
The modelling work is based on concepts of mantle convection – mov…

Latest Simon Buckley column from the Journal

The latest Iechyd Da beer column written by Llandeilo brewer Simon Buckley in the Carmarthen Journal -
It is now a year since this column first appeared, and in that short time we have seen a massive change in the marketplace and a change in the levels of tax we have to pay.
Perhaps it is time to reflect on some of the issues of the last year?
Like every other business in the UK we have seen our base costs shoot through the roof, fuel is now a major issue, as are utilities. Were I a sensitive soul, I would probably think that the brewing Armageddon is just round the corner!
It’s not - and now is not a time for turning and giving up.
Quite the opposite, now is the time for the determined and most professional of our industry to decide a course for survival and the development of a plan that sees ‘Local’ become essential.
Since our success in the International Brewing Awards, our phone has been red hot with every national pub company wanting this beer called Cwrw.
Some, I am afraid, are goin…

Kidwelly man fined for littering - again!

A Kidwelly man has been fined by the courts after being caught littering for the second time.
Andrew Lee Thornton, aged 30, of Heol Dyddgen, Crwbin, Kidwelly, was convicted in absence to an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 at Ammanford Magistrates Court.
The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The court heard that the council’s environmental enforcement officers were on duty on November 5 last year in Lammas Street, Carmarthen, when they saw a group of three men walking ahead of them. One was eating a packet of crisps and they saw him scrunch up the packet of crisps and stuff it behind a drainpipe outside a takeaway.
The pair approached the man and explained what they had seen. One of the officers recognised him as she had previously issued him with a fixed penalty notice for littering earlier in the year. She therefore explained that as this was his second offence for littering he would now be summonsed for prosecution.
Thornton was fined £260 by…

Cigarettes head the litter list in Carmarthenshire

Did you know that discarded cigarette ends make up the largest proportion of litter in Carmarthenshire?
In fact, 83 per cent of the streets inspected by Keep Wales Tidy had visible evidence of smoking-related litter.
Now Carmarthenshire County Council, supported by Tidy Towns, needs your help to keep the county clean.
The council is hitting the road with its biggest ever campaign against smoking-related litter and will be handing out free portable ashtrays at Carmarthen market on Wednesday, April 6, the St Elli Shopping Centre in Llanelli on Thursday, April 7 and Tesco in Ammanford on Friday, April 8 all between 11am and 2pm.
The council’s director of technical services Richard Workman said: “Many people do not think of cigarette ends as litter, but they are. They make an area look unsightly and they are difficult and very expensive to clean up - the ends fall into grates and cracks in the pavement which makes them almost impossible to remove by normal cleaning.
“We hope people will take…

Carmarthenshire appeal over dog mess

Householders across Carmarthenshire are being asked to dispose of their dog mess carefully.
Concerns have been raised for the health and safety of the council’s refuse/recycling crews in relation to dog faeces in black bags. It follows a number of incidents when loading black bags into refuse vehicles.
There are fears it could lead to serious health implications as dog faeces can be extremely dangerous. All faeces contains bacteria that can cause stomach upsets if ingested, however, the greatest risk from dog faeces is toxocariasis which can cause epilepsy, asthma and even blindness.
Householders are now being urged to take care when disposing of their dog mess. If out walking, please use the number of litter bins dotted throughout the county and remember to double-bag.
If at home, you can then either bury the mess or flush it down the toilet. You can also buy specially designed ‘doggy loos’. It works just like a bin, half buried in your garden - except that you never need to empty it, as…

Worries about Llandeilo air quality

Councillors concerned about the air quality in Llandeilo have agreed to write to the Welsh Assembly Government expressing their concern over the delay in building a bypass for the town.
The council’s Environment Scrutiny Committee received a report on the increasing levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in Llandeilo town over the last few years, to the extent that the air quality objective for NO2 has been breached.
Head of public protection Philip Davies told members that as a result of this a detailed assessment had been carried out. It showed that seven locations along Rhosmaen Street were likely to exceed the annual mean objective level of 40μg/m3.
He said it would now be necessary to designate an Air Quality Management Area, (AQMA) within the town and this would include a full public consultation, followed by more detailed work and an action plan.
He said: “The high levels of NO2 in Llandeilo is caused by large traffic flows combined with low speed of traffic. It is also a narrow street,…

Aberystwyth directory aims to help journalists

Aberystwyth University has compiled a directory of academics who can contribute to the political debate in Wales in the run up to the forthcoming Welsh Assembly Elections on the 5th of May 2011.
The Institute of Welsh Politics (IWP), situated in the Department of International Politics, has a long tradition of engaging with the Welsh political landscape and has, over the years, conducted several major studies of the National Assembly Elections. Also included in this directory are experts in the devolved areas of business and economy, children and young people, culture and sports, education and skills, social justice, sustainable development and the Welsh language.
The 32 academics listed in the directory represent seven different academic departments within the University.
The relevant fields of expertise of each member of staff have been identified and they have confirmed their availability to be contacted for comment during the coverage of this election.
The directory will be a big hel…

Carmarthenshire recycling boost

Approximately 92 per cent of Carmarthenshire homes are now receiving a weekly kerbside recycling collection.
The council’s Environment Scrutiny Committee was told that in total 75,500 households benefit from recycling helping to achieve a recycling/composting rate of more than 45 per cent.
Head of street scene David Hughes told members that a lot of work was now underway to extend the recycling service to the remaining households across the county.
He said: “We have run a trial from our Glanamam depot using starch bags for the collection of food waste in hard-to-reach areas and the results have been very positive. We now hope to roll this out to all the remaining households in Carmarthenshire over the next 12 months.”
He also told councillors that recycling carpets and mattresses from the Household Waste Recycling Centres was also helping to divert a significant amount from landfill - estimated at 2,000 tonnes over the next 12 months.
“We are now looking at what other materials from our HW…

Ammanford businessman suspends hunger strike protest

The Ammanford businessman who is on a hunger strike protest about Lloyds Bank has decided to suspend his fast.
Alun Richards, 47, called a temporary halt to his hunger strike at the weekend.
“It is a reasonable response to the fact that we have been able to make some progress in our talks with Lloyds Bank,” said Mr Richards.
“The hunger strike has been suspended, but I may restart it if I find that Lloyds do not continue to make progress.”
Mr Richards has been on hunger strike for nearly two weeks as part of his dispute with Lloyds Bank.
Progress was made last Monday when Mr Richards visited the Lloyds Bank headquarters in Gresham Street, London, demanding to see the Lloyds chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio.
“We didn’t get to see the top man, but we did get to see Matt Young, the operations director. I was happy with the way that meeting went and, since then, there have been further meetings with Lloyds Bank executives at home in South Wales.”
Mr Richards built up a multi-million business…

Roll up for a charity auction day!

A charity art auction is being held at Saron Hall, Ammanford, on Sunday, April 10, in aid of the Healing The Wounds charity.
The charity helps treat sufferers of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) in Wales.
More than 60 ‘lots’ have already been kindly donated by local artists.
“The response has been amazing,” said Healing The Wounds co-founder and secretary Carol Richards.
“But we are still looking for some more works of art for the auction to raise as much as we possibly can on the day.
“Richard Chinnery is the organiser of the art group in Saron Hall and he has been instrumental in helping to put the event together.
“In addition, we have popular auctioneer John Eirian Davies from BJP in Carmarthen giving his services for free for the day.
“It should be a great day out for lovers of local art. And the local Women’s Institute will be on hand to serve refreshments. Doors open at 12 noon for 2pm start.”
If you are interested in supporting the charity art auction, please contact the organiser…

Great start to the fishing season at Ty'n y Cornel

The 2011 fishing season at the Ty'n y Cornel Hotel and Talyllyn lake kicked off with a fully booked boat fleet out on the water.
Breezy conditions, overcast sky and a few showers couldn’t stop these intrepid anglers casting a line, as there was a bottle of Penderyn Whisky as the prize for the first fish of the season.
As the anglers came in for lunch, several fish had been caught, but who had the first? That was the question in hand.
Moc Morgan had two fish. Mr David Hamnet had nine, but it was Terry Lambert, a local artist, who caught the first at 10.27am.

Pictured here is Terry with Head Ghillie Phil Wood.
After a hearty lunch at the Ty’n y Cornel, the fleet ventured back out into the fray for the afternoon. Some great catches were reported and logged.
Karl Humphries took 12 fish on PTNs and Drawl Backs. John Kirby had three fish on PTNs and an Alexander.
Good old Moc Morgan caught four fish on Bibios and Terry Lambert had another four fish on a Clan Chief.
David Hamnet had a amazing da…

Aberystwyth team's glaciers study shock

Melting mountain glaciers are contributing to sea-level rise faster than at any time in the last 350 years.
That’s the finding of new research published today, 3rd April 2011, by a team from Aberystwyth University, the University of Exeter and Stockholm University.
Writing in the journal Nature Geoscience the team undertook a survey of the 270 largest outlet glaciers of the South and North Patagonian Icefields of South America.
They mapped changes in the position of the glaciers since the “Little Ice Age”; the last time that they were much larger in the recent past.
The team calculated the volume of ice lost by the glaciers as they have retreated and thinned over the last 350 years and compared these volume losses to rates of change over the last 30 years.
They found that the rate at which the glaciers are losing volume over the last 30 years is 10 to 100 times faster than the 350 year long-term average.
The study concludes that in recent years these mountain glaciers have rapidly inc…

This week's special offers at Jenkins Bakery

For this week's special offers at Jenkins Bakery shops in South Wales, see the following website page -

Pictures from yesterday's Germany v Turkey match

Germany v Turkey
Germany v Turkey women's under-19 international match staged at Richmond Park, Carmarthen, yesterday.

HPC Wales helps the magic of mirrors in North Wales

If you've been reading recent posts on this blog about the HPC Wales high performance computer project, you might be wondering how it all helps ideas which can provide economic benefits.
Here is one case study from North Wales -
It may be all about mirrors, but there’s no trickery involved in Professor David Walker’s hugely ambitious bid to bring new business and employment to North Wales.
Prof Walker is an expert in Ultra-Precision Optical Polishing Technology and is based at OpTIC Glyndwr business innovation centre in St. Asaph.
He is working on developing state-of-the-art mirrors for the European Southern Observatory, which will be the biggest optical telescope in the world.
And a key plank of his work will be provided by the HPC Wales high performance computer.
“The mirrors project alone is worth 200 million Euros and what we want to do is attract that investment, or a significant part of it to North Wales,” said Prof Walker.
“I moved from the University of London to the business pa…