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Showing posts from May 22, 2011

Time for a Champions League break

Book project now well underway to the tune of 7,500 words. Time for a Champions League break!

First 1600 words of the day in the can!

First 1600 words of this weekend's 'Finish the -------- book' project completed. Time for a break and catch-up on the rest of the world.

Changing places - I get interviewed

Unusual to be on the receiving end of an interview, but I am in the summer issue of the St Clears Times - http://sanclertimes.ning.com/

Bristol Channel challenge for charity swimmers

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A team of 10 firefighters are to swim the Bristol Channel in a bid to raise cash for sufferers of post traumatic stress disorder.
Officers from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service will swim 36 nautical miles in aid of Healing The Wounds, which supports Armed Forces
personnel, veterans and their families.
The colleagues set off from Illfracombe on June 25 and hope to cover a mile an hour reaching Mumbles by 4pm the following day.
The firefighters have been training for the swim since January. Watch manager Gareth Davies said he was keen to get the challenge underway.
“We did a couple of training swims in January to get the feel of the water and the air,” he said. “It was horrendous! Since the end of February we have been swimming across the bay in Swansea. Some days it has been glorious, some days the wind and swell of the water means we have hardly moved.
“But we have done a lot of preparation and we are excited about it. I’m ready to go now! It will be hard going, but it will be wo…

Great start to the day!

Great start to the day - darling daughter Kathryn's Skype call from South Island, New Zealand. Hope she's got me some World Cup tickets! LOL

Deadline extended for apprentices competition

The deadline for an exciting competition giving Carmarthenshire residents the chance to win a paid apprenticeship with a local building firm has been extended.
Due to a high number of enquiries, coupled with the Bank Holiday, project leaders have decided to give people a few extra days to get their application forms in.
Jobseekers have now got until 5pm on Monday, June 6 to apply for the competition, which is open to men and women aged 16 or over, living in Carmarthenshire.
Next Steps is being run in partnership by Lloyd and Gravell, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Property Services division, Coleg Sir Gar and Carmarthenshire Construction and Training Association Ltd (CCTAL).
It gives six people the chance to compete for a paid construction apprenticeship with building firm Lloyd & Gravell, which has bases in Llanelli and Ponthenri.
Shortlisting and interviews will take place in June, and the competition will get underway in July.
Candidates will be put through six weeks of on-site con…

Hendy Park floodlighting wins approval

Plans for floodlighting at Hendy Park have been backed by Carmarthenshire County councillors.
The planning committee approved an application by Llanedi Community Council for a multi-use games area, fencing and six floodlights at the park in Heol y Parc.
The games area will be mainly on the existing disused tennis courts.
It has been designed to be suitable for a range of ball sports and other sporting activities.
The facility will incorporate goal and netball/basketball hoop features at both ends.
The scheme forms part of a larger master plan which proposes the redevelopment and general improvement of the facilities available within the Park.
The installation of the multi use games area represents the second phase of the plan with work on the first phase which comprised the installation of new paths and seating in the park now nearing completion.

Site visit for Burry Port playground plan

Carmarthenshire councillors have decided to visit Ysgol Parc y Tywyn in Burry Port to look at plans to create a new playground area.
This week’s meeting of the county planning committee deferred a decision on the application for a change of use of land at the school in Heol Elfed to provide a new play area, anti-climb fencing and gates in order to make a site visit.

Six marathons in six days - all for charity!

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A Gorseinon man is gearing up to run six marathons in six days – all in aid of Welsh Armed Forces charity Healing the Wounds.
Richard Payne, of Bryn Teg Road, will take on the North to South Wales Challenge in September. He will cover around 164 miles, some days running more than marathon distance.
Richard, aged 36, served in the army before joining John Raymond Transport in Bridgend 10 years ago. He said the marathon challenge was the biggest he had taken on so far.
“We bought Blue, our husky, who needs a lot of exercise, and I started taking him out,” he said. “I put on some weight after I left the army, but through exercising I have lost three stone. I wanted to do something outrageous. My wife Angela and I spoke about it and I decide to do the North to South Wales Challenge.
“I have never run a marathon before, although I have completed half-marathons and I run nine miles a day. Since losing weight the pains in my back and legs are gone, but it’s still a task to put your body throug…

Fencing gets go-ahead at Halfway School

Planning permission has been granted for security fencing around Halfway CP School in Llanelli.
The county council’s planning committee approved an application for 2.4m high anti-climb fencing and access gates to secure the rear playing field of the school in Havard Road.
The fencing has been erected to improve the overall level of security within the school while at the same time providing a safe and secure play environment for pupils.

Merthyr couple on anniversary trek for charity

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A Merthyr couple have marked their first wedding anniversary by taking on a trek in aid of Healing The Wounds.
Denese and Gary Jones were joined by four friends for the 40-mile walk which took around 15 hours to complete.
The pair, who married on May 18 last year, said they wanted to give something back to the community and helping Welsh Armed Forces charity Healing The Wounds was the ideal way to do it.
“Everyone asked what we wanted to do for our anniversary and this was it,” said Denese. “We wanted to give back to the boys and girls who do so much for everybody else.
“Six of us walked 40 miles and two of the team did 20 miles and had ankle problems so had to go back. The rest of us managed to finish. It took us 15 hours and our feet are painful but it’s well worth it to think we can do a small bit to help.
“People think we are a bit mad, but we enjoyed every stage of doing the walk. And everybody has been brilliant with their sponsorship. We think Healing the Wounds is a fantastic orga…

Jess lands dream job thanks to project

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A 21-year-old Carmarthenshire woman has just secured her dream job in fashion and retail, thanks to the support of COASTAL - a project which supports people to overcome barriers to employment and training.
Jess Fletcher, of St Clears, was enrolled on to the COASTAL programme in March 2010 in order to receive support in finding suitable employment.
Since suffering a road accident in 2008, Jess has had to undergo a long and extensive programme of rehabilitation.
The COASTAL team has supported her through work experience and workplace assessments to identify her physical and behavioural tolerances for work – and now Jess can be seen proudly serving customers as a sales advisor in Debenhams, St Catherine’s Walk – a dream that at one time seemed out of reach.
Jess is enjoying her job, and says she is grateful for the support she has received from COASTAL’s Occupational Therapist Gina Strong and her colleagues on the Career Pathway team.
She said: “I’m really enjoying the work. Gina has helped m…

National Bookstart Week is celebrated

Stories and rhymetime sessions are taking place at Llanelli Children’s Library to celebrate National Bookstart Week.
The events, which are for children under five years old, are taking place on Tuesday, June 7, from 2.15pm to 2.45pm; and on Friday, June 10, from 10am to 10.30am.
They are being supported by Bookstart, a national charity dedicated to inspiring young children with a love of books and reading.
For more information contact Llanelli Children’s Library on 01554 773538.

Carmarthenshire Council now on Twitter

Carmarthenshire residents can now keep up to date with the latest council news on social networking site Twitter.
The site will allow people to get instant updates on council news and services.
Twitter users can get up to the minute news updates by following @CarmsCCPress.
Executive Board member for communications, Cllr Pam Palmer, said: “Social networking sites are being increasingly used by people as a way of keeping up to date with the latest news, so it is exciting to be able to reach out to our residents in this way.
“Being able to give instant news in this way is particularly useful when we need to report any disruptions in services, but is also a very useful avenue to communicate news about events.”
Twitter is the second social networking site to be used by the council, which also has a strong presence on Facebook. Search for Carmarthenshire County Council and press ‘Like’ to leave comments and feedback about council news, services and events.

Carmarthenshire expert's tips on condensation

Carmarthenshire County Council spends around £12,000 a year dealing with reported cases of dampness in council properties, when the problem is simply condensation.
Since June 2009, Property Services teams have received approximately 1,400 calls where tenants have reported what they believe to be dampness.
But around 80 per cent of these calls turn out to be condensation issues, which means the authority loses valuable inspection time – not only wasting resources, but also impacting on the waiting list for genuine repairs.
A further £15,000 a year is spent on engaging a third party to provide tenants with a second opinion, if they request it.
Mark Davies, building services manager, said: “We are, of course, happy to visit any of our premises where tenants have concerns that there may be damp.
“However, we are trying to educate tenants about the differences between dampness and condensation, and how they can help to stop problems caused by condensation.
“Aborted calls do cost the authority…

New youth team for the Gwendraeth Valley

A new youth team in the Gwendraeth Valley is preparing to go out into the community to find out what young people in the area need and want.
The five-strong team has been established by Menter Cwm Gwendraeth under the European Union’s Engage youth project.
Colin Price, who is in charge of the team said: “We are going to work in the villages of the Gwendraeth Valley with young people who are not in education, training or work, by offering activities and courses, and by helping them with their personal development.
“At the moment we are looking at the whole valley in order to target areas that do not have that many services already. We are looking at Pontyberem and Gorslas. The first thing we will be doing is going out to meet the young people and find out what they want for future.”
Colin, who is a youth health worker and advanced communication practitioner and is studying for a psychology degree, said: “I have been working in the Gwendraeth Valley in schools and the community for the la…

Countdown starts to Oliver in Carmarthen

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‘Consider Yourself’ well in and part of the family to get an invite to the summer production by the Stagecoach performing arts school in Carmarthen.
The school is staging ‘Oliver – The Musical’ at Carmarthen’s Lyric Theatre on July 22 and 23.
And it promises to be a performance full of ‘Oom Pah pah’.
“We’re not short on ambition when it comes to staging our summer show,” said Stagecoach Carmarthen principal Liane Davies.
“Last year, it was Billy Elliot. This year, it is Oliver, the classic tale of the young orphan.
“It’s a real family favourite and a show known the world over, but we will be bringing our own little bit of Stagecoach Carmarthen magic to the production.
“All the pupils at Stagecoach Carmarthen are thrilled to bits that we are putting on Oliver and we are all looking forward to rehearsals.”
All proceeds from the show (which has three performances, with a matinee on July 23) will be donated to InterAct, TheStagecoach Charitable Trust.
The Stagecoach Charitable Trust provides disa…

Successful start to Gwendraeth festival

Menter Cwm Gwendraeth’s festival Gŵyl y Gwendraeth has had a successful first few weeks.
Menter Cwm Gwendraeth created a varied programme for the festival, which is being held throughout the valley over the course of May and June.
It features events that are aimed at bringing local community groups of all ages together to celebrate the modern and traditional culture of Wales.
Gŵyl y Gwendraeth attracts about 5,000 people.
The Cwm Gwendraeth Village Quiz Championship has proved to be a great success and the final was held on Tuesday May 24 in Cefneithin Rugby Club and was won by Penygroes with the Dilwyn Roberts Memorial Prize won by the team O Blaid Cymru from Tumble.
The showing of the film Patagonia in Cross Hands Cinema was a big attraction, with more than 175 people attending.
More than 20 cars took part in the treasure hunt Pontyates and £65 was raised for Ty Hafan on the night.
The Festival Lecture by Dr Mererid Hopwood was held in Neuadd Bethesda, Tumble, on the subject of sustainable…

Reminder on Carmarthenshire refuse collections

Carmarthenshire residents are being reminded to only put their rubbish out on their day of collection or risk being fined.
It comes after a Llanelli woman was fined £150 and ordered to pay court costs of £100 after putting her waste out days before collection was due leading to the bags being ripped open by animals causing rubbish to be spilled all over the road.
Katie Wilson, aged 28, of Long Row, pleaded guilty by post to an offence contrary to Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 at Ammanford Magistrates Court.
The court heard that the council’s environmental enforcement officers received a complaint that a number of bags of refuse had been deposited in the rear lane of Long Row and they had been ripped apart causing a mess.
The officers found evidence amongst the waste relating to Wilson and on checking their records discovered she had been issued with a statutory notice under the Environmental Protection Act the previous month to put her waste out on the correct day. T…

Llwynhendy woman fined for cigarette litter

A woman has been fined £100 and ordered to pay court costs of £75 after dropping a cigarette end at Llanelli bus station.
Irene Elizabeth Lewis, aged 32, Bro Wen, Llwynhendy, was convicted in her absence of an offence contrary to Section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 at Ammanford Magistrates Court.
The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.
She was caught by the council’s environmental enforcement officers who were on patrol in the bus station area back in November.
Lewis was issued with a fixed penalty notice of £75. However, she failed to pay it within the specified time and was prosecuted through the courts as a result.
Research shows that discarded cigarette ends make up the largest proportion of litter in Carmarthenshire. An inspection by Keep Wales Tidy revealed that 83 per cent of litter found on the county’s streets was smoking-related.
Director of Technical Services Richard Workman said: “There is no excuse for littering our streets.
“Many people do…

Carmarthen man fined for litter

A Carmarthen man has been fined £200 and ordered to pay court costs of £175 after throwing litter from a car.
Jay Ben William Leach, aged 25, of Russell Terrace, pleaded guilty by post to the offence 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 in Parc Pensarn, Carmarthen, when they saw someone throw a white paper serviette out of a parked car in the Focus car park.
The officers waited to see if the man would pick up the litter but he failed to do so. They identified themselves and explained what had been seen. Leach was issued with a fixed penalty notice of £75. However, he failed to pay it within the specified time and was prosecuted through the court as a result.
The council is determined to clean up the county and prosecute those that break the law.
Executive board member for the environment Councillor Philip Hughes said: “Dropping litter is against the la…

Latest Simon Buckley 'Iechyd Da' column from the Carmarthen Journal

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The latest Iechyd Da beer column written by Llandeilo brewer Simon Buckley in the Carmarthen Journal -
Regular readers of this column will know that last month I led a team from the Evan-Evans brewery on a mission to the brewing industry’s ‘Oscars’ in London.
My military experience came in handy when making sure that team members kept their discipline at the awards staged at The Guildhall in The City of London.
The prelude to the awards ceremony was a ‘tasting’ in the very atmospheric surroundings of the crypt at The Guildhall.
With more than 80 beers on display (and being served!) in cask and in bottle, the phrase ‘children let loose in a sweet shop’ came to mind.
The temptation to sample everything on offer was strong, but I am glad to report that the team members from my brewery behaved with distinction.
To echo the words, of the late Brian Hanrahan, a BBC correspondent of note who sprang to fame during the Falklands War, ‘I counted them all out and I counted them all back’.
A tasting se…

Latest Clay Shaw Butler column from the Carmarthen Journal

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Looking after business, the new business page column from the Carmarthen Journal
By David Butler, of Carmarthen-based accountants and business consultants Clay Shaw Butler

As you would expect from a well-organised and professional newspaper such as the Carmarthen Journal, I was set a deadline to write this column.
As an accountant, I rise to the challenge of deadlines - and always achieve them.
While we all plan our day or week, there are always unexpected occurrences, phone calls, staff and customer queries, unscheduled meetings and urgent family interruptions.
Nevertheless, we all need a plan - and this must be written down.
If a plan is written down, then we have a greater chance of achieving it and ensuring that all involved in the plan get to know the specifics.
It helps us focus on opportunities and heightens our awareness of such opportunities. If you are in business, you need to be fully responsible for the plan, but also involve other key individuals.
Ideally, planning meetings shoul…

Latest 'View from Richmond Park' column

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The latest 'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen AFC column from the Carmarthen Journal -
Liverpool legend and former Swansea City manager Jan Molby was the guest speaker at the annual Carmarthen Town AFC celebrity dinner staged at the Ivy Bush Royal Hotel, Carmarthen.
A charity auction, which included items donated by Molby, raised more than £2,000 for the club and for the Wales Air Ambulance.
An autographed Ray Gravell memorial shirt, donated by Reserves team captain Ashley Williams, raised money for the Carmarthen AFC seconds.
Football Association of Wales President Phil Pritchard and the chairman of Carmarthenshire County Council, Councillor Ivor Jackson, were among the top table guests.
Entertainment was provided by popular comedian Jed Stone.
The evening was compered by Robert Lloyd.
Club president Jeff Thomas spoke about the club’s achievements and the challenges ahead.
Mr Pritchard told guests that he was confident Carmarthen AFC would soon be receiving good news from the FAW i…

In the news today . . .

Spotlight on Ashburnham Golf Club's Junior Open tournament in the Llanelli Star sports pages today.
Llanelli Star puts spotlight on Llanelli Rotary Club's 'Assembly' meeting at the Stradey Park Hotel tonight.
Splendid picture and story about football star Jan Molby's appearance at Carmarthen AFC's dinner in the Carmarthen Journal today.
Llandeilo brewer Simon Buckley's Iechyd Da beer column is in the Carmarthen Journal today.
'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen AFC football club column in the Carmarthen Journal today.
Spotlight on the Carmarthen Mayor's fun run races and the next de-brief meeting in the Carmarthen Journal today.
Today's Carmarthen Journal business page features the new Clay Shaw Butler 'Looking After Business' column with David Butler.

Open golf events at The Ashburnham

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Details of the forthcoming Open Golf events have been announced at the Ashburnham Golf Club in Pembrey, near Llanelli.
Thursday, July 7
Seniors Open Competition
Stableford competition
Maximum handicap 24
Categories: A– 55-60 B– 61-69 C– 70 & over
Entry fee for visitors, £16.00, includes raffle and ball sweep.
Saturday, July 30
The Men’s Open
Singles Stableford Competition
Maximum handicap allowance 18
Many excellent prizes on offer.
Entry fee, visitors £20.
Friday, July 29
The Ladies Open
Teams of 3 Stableford competition.
Best two scores count.
09:00-15:00
Entry fee, £15 per player, inclusive of ball sweep.
To enter please contact -
Mrs Sue Dixon, Hon Sec Ladies, Email:hddix@hotmail.com
Sunday, August 14
The Mixed Open
Greensome Stableford
Maximum handicap allowance
Gentlemen - 28 Ladies - 36
09:00-15:00
Entry fee, £30.00 per pair
To enter please contact -
Mrs Wyn Parsons, 26 Ty’r Fran Avenue, Llanelli, 01554 770090, Email:wyn2art@aol.com
Handicap certificates will be required.
Soft spikes only
For fu…

Captain's Week events at 'The Ash'

Captain’s Week at the Ashburnham Golf Club at Pembrey, near Llanelli, will run from June 14-18.
Events are as follows –
Tuesday, June 14 -
4bbb any pairing.
Wednesday, June 15 -
Greensome foursomes any pairing
Thursday, June 16 -
4 hole challenge cross country.
Texas Scramble 4.30pm start.
Course closed1pm
Friday, June 17 -
Texas Scramble 4.30pm start.
9 holes, two adults, two juniors.
Meal and entertainment from 8pm.
Saturday, June 18 -
Past captain’s gold medal (stableford).
Putting, chipping competition.
Longest drive, nearest pin.
For more information, contat the club –
Telephone 01554 832269
Email: golf@ashburnhamgolfclub.co.uk
Website - http://www.ashburnhamgolfclub.co.uk

Appeal for Carmarthenshire volunteers

Residents of Carmarthenshire are being encouraged to take up volunteering in the local community and further afield.
To celebrate Europe Day and the EU Year of Volunteering, the West Wales European Centre teamed up with the 50+ Forum for an Open Day event in St Peter’s Hall, Carmarthen.
The event celebrated volunteering home and away, with stalls from voluntary organisations as well as information about EU grants to help young people and senior volunteers take part in volunteering projects in other EU countries.
European network and information officer Lorena Prist said: “Every year, the West Wales European Centre organises an event to celebrate Europe Day, but this year, I really wanted to raise awareness of the EU Year of Volunteering and promote the valuable work of local voluntary organisations.
“I was really pleased to see such a wide range of voluntary organisations present and I really hope that this event has encouraged more people to volunteer."
Caroline Davies of Sustrans wa…

Volunteers help clean-up Pantyffynnon

Pantyffynnon has been brightened up over the last month thanks to the efforts of volunteers.
The work has been carried out by volunteers from the local rugby team, to the young people of the Prince’s Trust scheme.
Not only have the grounds in the community been clean up through an organised litter pick, but also clearance work has been taken place, and the restoration and preservation of fencing in the Parcyrhun estate, thanks to Communities First Pantyffynnon.
Communities First is a Welsh Assembly Government flagship programme to improve the living conditions and prospects for people in the most disadvantaged communities across Wales, and the focus on the environment is part of the vision.
Anthony Mainwaring of Pantyffynnon Rugby Club said: “We are a pro-active team who support and promote looking after our environment.
“We are happy to get involved in initiatives in the community and applaud the efforts of our volunteers and work of Communities First.”
Carmarthenshire County Council execu…

Woman fined for cigarette litter

A woman has been fined £100 and ordered to pay court costs of £75 after throwing a cigarette end out of a car window in the McDonalds car park in Carmarthen.
Rachel Louise Picton, aged 24, from Park Street, Pembroke Dock, has pleaded guilty by post to an offence contrary to Section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 at Ammanford Magistrates Court.
The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.
She was caught by the council’s environmental enforcement officers back in November and was issued with a fixed penalty notice of £75. However, she failed to pay it within the specified time and was prosecuted through the courts as a result.
Magistrates said the level of the fine and costs were due to her financial position.
The council now hopes this case will act as a warning to others that those caught throwing litter will be prosecuted.
Director of Technical Services Richard Workman said: “There is no excuse for littering our streets. We want to raise awareness of this typ…

Llanelli woman fined for recycling offence

A Llanelli woman has been fined £200 and ordered to pay court costs of £150 for failing to comply with the council’s recycling scheme.
Lucy Marie Thomas, aged 22, of Catherine Street, was convicted in absence over an offence contrary to Section 46 of 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 had found a number of blue bags to the rear lane of the property which contained waste that could not be recycled. Evidence was found amongst the waste linking it to Thomas. As a result she was issued with a notice to comply with the council’s recycling scheme.
However, she failed to do so and approximately four weeks later more blue bags were found which did not contain the right type of waste for recycling. Thomas was issued with a fixed penalty notice for £100, however she failed to pay it and as a result was prosecuted through the courts.

Gwendraeth man fined for fly-tipping

A Gwendraeth Valley man has been fined after being caught fly-tipping on CCTV.
Moham Singh Sura, aged 55, of Mynyddcerrig, Pontyberem, pleaded guilty to an offence contrary to Section 2 of the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 at Ammanford Magistrates Court.
The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The court heard that on November 22 last year the council received a complaint that an old mattress and metal from an exercise bike had been dumped in the car park opposite Tumble Hall next to the recycling bins.
The hall is run by Llannon Community Council and a CCTV system has been installed that monitors the area. The council’s environmental enforcement officers conducted inquiries at the hall and viewed the CCTV footage. It showed a car pull up at the site and the occupant get out and deposit the waste.
Enquiries revealed the owner of the vehicle was Sura and a letter and statutory notice was sent which required him to notify the local authority on who had been driving…

Gwendraeth man fined for fly-tipping

A Gwendraeth Valley man has been fined after being caught fly-tipping on CCTV.
Moham Singh Sura, aged 55, of Mynyddcerrig, Pontyberem, pleaded guilty to an offence contrary to Section 2 of the Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978 at Ammanford Magistrates Court.
The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The court heard that on November 22 last year the council received a complaint that an old mattress and metal from an exercise bike had been dumped in the car park opposite Tumble Hall next to the recycling bins.
The hall is run by Llannon Community Council and a CCTV system has been installed that monitors the area. The council’s environmental enforcement officers conducted inquiries at the hall and viewed the CCTV footage. It showed a car pull up at the site and the occupant get out and deposit the waste.
Enquiries revealed the owner of the vehicle was Sura and a letter and statutory notice was sent which required him to notify the local authority on who had been driving…

Junior Open Day at The Ashburnham

The championships links course at the Ashburnham Golf Club in Pembrey, Llanelli, will be staging a Junior Open Day on Friday, June 3.
The Open Day will be an Order of Merit event under the banner of the Dyfed Golfing Union.
Event categories will be –
Boys:
0–20 handicap: medal (white tees);
21–28 handicap: stableford (yellow tees).
Girls:
0-21 handicap: medal (red tees);
22–36 handicap: stableford (red tees).
Entry Fee - £10 (food included).
To enter, contact:
Richard Brice – 07917276741, email: brice853@btinternet.com
Simon Greville - 07530699208 email: sgrev@btinternet.com
Closing Date for entries: Friday, May 27.

32,000 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 32,000 page views mark.
That's 1,000 more views since May 16 - just a week ago!
Keep the hits coming, folks! Much appreciated.
Many thanks.
See earlier post -
http://sirgarblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/31000-visits-chalked-up.html
Meanwhile, the blog has chalked up its first visitor from Malawi.
The full country by country list (figures from January 6, 2010) is as follows -
United Kingdom (GB) 8,860; United States (US) 1,124; India (IN) 82; Canada (CA) 66; Germany (DE) 54; Australia (AU) 53; Europe (EU) 50; Ireland (IE) 46; France (FR) 39; Japan (JP) 38; Taiwan (TW) 36; Belgium (BE) 32; Qatar (QA) 29; Netherlands (NL) 27; Italy (IT) 26; Spain (ES) 20; Philippines (PH) 20; New Zealand (NZ) 18; Malaysia (MY) 18; Pakistan (PK) 17; Russian Federation (RU) 16; United Arab Emirates (AE) 14; Sweden (SE) 12; Greece (GR) 10; Austria (AT) 10; Denmark (DK) 10; Singapore…

Honorary Professorship for Hugh Evans

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Dr. Hugh Evans, Head of Forest Research in Wales has been awarded an Honorary Professorship by Aberystwyth University.
The chair is jointly sponsored by IBERS – Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences, and IGES – Institute of Geography and Earth Studies at the university.
Dr Hugh Evans is a distinguished entomologist and research scientist with an international reputation.
He leads numerous international research groups as well as leading Forest Research in Wales projects, and serves on several international advisory groups.
Dr. Evans said: "I am delighted and honoured to be awarded an honorary professorship by Aberystwyth University and look forward to extending the already fruitful interaction with colleagues at IBERS and IGES, which I have found to be both stimulating and productive.
“Research in Wales, especially in the rural, forestry and climate change sectors, is extremely vibrant and I’m very enthusiastic about interacting with research groups and institute…

Ammanford eyesore to go under hammer

A prominent eyesore property in Ammanford is due to go under the hammer.
Providing bids reach the reserve at a property auction on July 8th, 221 Cwmamman Road, Garnant, will be sold to the highest bidder.
If the property is sold, it will mark a significant step forward in a long-running saga over derelict properties in the area.
This particular property has been vacant for the past 15 years, and has been left in a state of extensive disrepair, causing concern to local residents.
Carmarthenshire County Council used their Compulsory Purchase Powers to acquire the property, and is now selling the property through auction.
The new owner will be required to completely renovate the property as part of the sale agreement.
The council’s Deputy Leader and member for Garnant, Cllr Kevin Madge, said: “It is good news that we are finally seeing a positive move forward, and I’m delighted that at long last we may soon have a solution.
“Garnant residents have put up with this eyesore for far too long, and…

Countdown on for Next Steps competition

Jobseekers have got just days left to enter an innovative competition which could land them a paid job in the construction industry.
The deadline for this year’s Next Steps competition is up on Tuesday, May 31st.
The competition – which is open to men and women – gives people the chance to win a two-year minimum paid construction apprenticeship with Llanelli-based building company Lloyd and Gravell Ltd.
Next Steps is being run in partnership by Lloyd and Gravell, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Property Services division, Coleg Sir Gar and Carmarthenshire Construction and Training Association Ltd (CCTAL).
Anyone aged 16 or over and living in Carmarthenshire can enter.
Those shortlisted will be invited for interview in June, and those who make it through the next stage will be put through six weeks of on-site construction training with skilled tradesmen during July and August.
They will learn basic skills in trades including bricklaying, carpentry and plastering, and will take part in chall…

Jeanette raises cash for Alzheimer's

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Carmarthenshire County Council’s Telecare manager Jeanette Munn is pictured presenting a cheque to Maureen Evans of the West Wales Alzheimer’s Society (pictured left).
Jeanette was offered a donation, which she could give to a charity of her choice, after speaking at an event organised by Tunstall – a major supplier of the council’s Telecare equipment.
Jeanette felt that the West Wales Alzheimer’s Society could benefit from the donation, and this was particularly fitting as many members of the society rely on the Telecare service to help them live independently at home.
Maureen said she was thrilled to receive the donation, which will be used to support services for people with dementia, and their carers, in the Carmarthenshire area.
The council’s Telecare system is used to provide assistance to vulnerable residents. Various sensors are used to detect when a person may need assistance, and Careline staff are able to react immediately – calling for help from neighbours, family or the emer…

Towy Boat Club expands its fleet

Towy Boat Club has been able to expand its fleet thanks to support from Carmarthenshire County Council and Sport Wales.
The county council gave a £25,000 tourism grant and Sport Wales gave a grant of £13,750, which together with money put in by the club was used to buy new Celtic Longboats.
Local businesses White Water Consultancy and Nolan UPVC have provided sponsorship towards running costs.
The cheque was handed over to the club in a ceremony at its Llansteffan base last Saturday.
Towy Boat Club is a non profit making voluntary organisation. It has been a Royal Yachting Association Recognised Teaching Establishment since 1991 and is one of two centres in Wales to teach disabled people to sail.
The club is an RYA accredited teaching centre, historically in years of training development the club has had strong links with local primary and secondary school provision, including further and higher education provision.
Club treasurer and Principal RYA Instructor Bob Allen said: “We are very gr…

Lighting is a delight at bowls centre

Carmarthen indoor bowlers are enjoying new brighter lighting – while the Bowls Centre is looking forward to lighter fuel bills.
Carmarthenshire County Council has undertaken a £49,500 project to replace the lights at Carmarthen Indoor Bowls Centre with new energy saving lighting.
The scheme is one of scores of projects designed to reduce the authority’s energy bills and help tackle global warming.
The bowling centre’s lighting scheme will save over £6,200 a year, enabling it to pay for itself in under eight years.
It will also reduce the CO2 emissions associated with the operation of the centre by 37 tonnes a year.
Corporate Energy Officer Neil Evans said: “T5 light fittings generally have a serviceable life of 20 years and at current electricity prices lifetime financial savings are projected to be £125, 000. However as electricity is still largely generated by burning fossil fuels and those fuels are becoming scarcer the cost of that electricity is almost certain to rise. In addition to…

Open day for Cardigan bursary scheme

An open day to promote a Foundations in Heritage bursary scheme will be held at on Saturday June 18.
The event will be held at the Cadwgan Trust property, Tŷ Castell, Green Street Cardigan.
The bursary scheme will provide the opportunity for 15 trainees to spend 12 months working alongside skilled craftspeople in the built heritage sector in Carmarthenshire; Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion.
Placement trainees, with the help and guidance of placement providers will work towards achieving an NVQ3 in Heritage Building.
The skills that they learn will help sustain the built heritage sector in West Wales. There is a significant shortage of these traditional building skills that are essential for the conservation of the high number of heritage buildings in the area. Training will be particularly targeted to attract younger people and women and will include lime plastering, stone masonry, carpentry and slate and tile roofing.
The scheme is being led by Carmarthenshire County Council and is based a…

Clock ticking on Llanelli exhibition

Just seven days are left to see an exhibition of People of Llanelli, Past and Present, at Parc Howard.
The exhibition features the winners of a competition organised by Links, a small Llanelli charity which helps people recovering from mental health issues regain self confidence and self esteem.
Winning paintings, poems and ceramics based on people from Llanelli are on show in the museum.
Links art tutor and project worker Dorothy Morris, who secured funding for the project, said: “This is an excellent exhibition which was done in collaboration with the community and I would urge people to visit before it ends.”
The exhibition at Parc Howard is free and runs until next Wednesday, June1.

Challenging the political myths of Wales

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Are the Welsh as politically radical as they like to consider themselves?
This will be one of the questions addressed by one of Wales’ leading political analysts on Thursday night.
In his Professorial Inaugural Lecture, Democracy in Contemporary Wales, to be delivered in the home of Aberystwyth University’s world-leading Department of International Politics, Prof Roger Scully will argue the need for the more serious, systematic study of politics in Wales.
He will contend that “political life here is arguably in greater need of sustained, critical attention than in most places. In the absence of a body of serious scholarly analysis, characterisations of politics in Wales have long tended to draw heavily on myths and clichés that have rarely, if ever, been properly investigated.” Among these myths, Prof Scully will argue, is that of the Welsh ‘radical tradition’. But although the idea that the Welsh are, and have long been, more politically radical than the English is ‘ubiquitous’ in polit…

Aberystwyth in vanguard to help future of farming

Aberystwyth University’s IBERS will lead a new training programme in creating the next generation of experts to support thousands of farmers throughout the UK.
The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences will help to train hundreds of professional and technical staff in order to develop teams of experts who will be on hand to advise farmers and the food industry taking up the latest innovations in grazing systems.
Workshops and e-learning will be used to target farm managers, agricultural suppliers’ technical staff, vets and other advisers to make sure that the flow of new technical information reaches the farmers themselves.
Theirs is one of four partnerships announced today (Monday) by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) – the four are worth a total of £12 million.
IBERS will lead a number of industrial partners as well as experts from Bangor University and the National Institute of Agricultural Botany at Cambridge.
Professor Jamie Newbold…

Tough job at the coalface today!

Lunch at Carluccio's in Cardiff. Bring on the seafood!

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Jan Molby at Carmarthen - The Movie!

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