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Showing posts from October 23, 2011

In The Netherlands

In s'Hertogenbosch for Liberation Day services with Cor Meibion Llanelli. Normal
blogging service will resume later.

Off to The Netherlands

On the way to s'Hertogenbosch in The Netherlands with Cor Meibion Llanelli. We are attending Liberation Day events.

Boost for home insulation plans

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Home Improvement Team has linked up with Domestic & General to provide loft and cavity wall insulation for privately owned and rented homes.
Domestic & General has committed to work with the council for up to two years.
It means that people can take advantage of free or reduced rate insulation to keep their homes warm, with the peace of mind of an approved contractor.
Households that benefit from having insulation can typically save around £400 a year on heating costs, as insulation helps to retain heat.
In turn, this also helps the environment, as there less carbon dioxide is emitted in to the environment.
Tenants and residents may also see their health improve as a result of a warmer home.
Studies have shown that living in a cold environment can lead to respiratory conditions, depression and anxiety.
Households who are in receipt of benefits, including Working Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits, may be able to have insulation installed free of charge…

Planning bid for food waste plant

Planning approval is being sought for a plant in the Swansea Valley capable of turning food waste from over 350,000 homes into electricity and fertiliser.
The South West Wales Regional Waste Consortium, which includes Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Bridgend councils, is looking to procure a regional anaerobic digestion facility to treat household waste from south west Wales.
The Swansea Valley application for a plant at Pwllfawatkin, near Pontardawe, will be submitted by waste management specialists the Waste Recycling Group (WRG).
The company is staging two public exhibitions so that residents local to the proposed plant have the opportunity to examine the plans before they are submitted to the planning authority.
The first exhibition will be held at Gwaun Cae Gurwen Community Hall, on Monday 31 October between 10.30am and 4pm. On Tuesday November 1 the exhibition will move to Pontardawe Arts Centre between 11 am and 8 pm.
Said Mike Bullard from WRG: “The p…

Robert Peston to give debt lecture in Aberystwyth

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Robert Peston, the BBC’s award winning Business Editor, will give a lecture on “The Great Debt Shuffle” at the School of Management and Business at Aberystwyth University on Thursday 27 October 2011.
The lecture marks the beginning of celebrations to commemorate the centenary of Economics as a subject at Aberystwyth University.
Widely acclaimed for his work during the Northern Rock banking crisis, Robert Peston has won numerous awards for his journalism, including Journalist of the Year, Specialist Journalist of the Year and Scoop of the Year (twice) from the Royal Television Society, Performer of the Year from the Broadcasting Press Guild, and Broadcaster of the Year and Journalist of the Year from the Wincott Foundation.
Prior to joining the BBC, he was political editor and financial editor of the Financial Times, City Editor of the Sunday Telegraph and a columnist for the New Statesman and Sunday Times.
He is also the author of two books, Brown’s Britain and Who Runs Britain and Who’s …

Aberystwyth photo marathon winners announced

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Winners of Aberystwyth’s first photo marathon have been announced.
The photomarathon took place on Saturday 22 October and saw dozens of excited individuals roaming the streets of Aberystwyth, armed with a camera or mobile phone, looking for a creative angle for their photography.
Organised by FfotoAber, a new festival of photography for Aberystwyth, and supported by the Aberystwyth Business Club, the photomarathon tested the photographic skills of competitors in a race against time.
The competition challenged participants to take six photographs on six themes in six hours.
The themes, two of which were released every two hours from 10am were:
• patterns;
• community;
• secret(s);
• move;
• age;
• freedom.
In a ceremony held at Morlan Centre on Sunday evening, the participants and their supporters learnt who took the winning photographs and were able to view the images deemed by the panel of judges to have excelled in each category.
Rolant Dafis, professional photographer and one of the judges of…

60,000 page 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 60,000 page views mark.
That's 10,000 more views since September 7.
Keep the hits coming, folks! Much appreciated.
Many thanks.
See earlier post -
http://sirgarblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/50000-visits-chalked-up.html
Meanwhile, the blog has chalked up its first visitor from Montenegro.
The full country by country list (figures from January 6, 2010) is as follows -
United Kingdom (GB) 18,325; United States (US) 2,121; Belgium (BE) 428; India (IN) 165; Germany (DE) 151; Netherlands (NL) 140; Canada (CA) 135; Australia (AU) 115; France (FR) 110; Taiwan (TW) 104; Ireland (IE) 84; Europe (EU) 63; Spain (ES) 50; Philippines (PH) 45; Italy (IT) 42; New Zealand (NZ) 34; Pakistan (PK) 30; Malaysia (MY) 30; Brazil (BR) 29; Poland (PL) 29; Qatar (QA) 29; Japan (JP) 26; Norway (NO) 25; South Africa (ZA) 24; Singapore (SG) 24; Iceland (IS) 24; Russian Federation…

Computer software expert to lecture at Aberystwyth

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On Monday (31 October), Dr Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation, will address an audience at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
During his talk, organised by the Department of Computer Science at Aberystwyth University and the mid Wales branch of BCS, Dr Stallman will explain how software patents obstruct software developments.
He will describe how software patents cover software ideas restrict the development of software, so that every design decision brings a risk of getting sued.
He will also compare how patents in other fields restrict factories, but software patents restrict every computer user and how economic research shows that they even retard progress.
Dr Stallman is a leading expert in the field of software development.
He launched the free software movement in 1983 and started the development of the GNU Operating System (see www.gnu.org) in 1984.
GNU is free software where everyone has the freedom to copy it and redistribute it, as well as to make changes either lar…

Peter Hain pledges higher standards of Labour local government

Shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain pledges higher standards of Labour local government - Wales News - News - WalesOnline
Labour’s new generation of councillors will be committed to unprecedented standards of transparency and delivery, Shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain has pledged.

Plaid tables plan for Wales-only consumer advice body

Plaid tables plan for Wales-only consumer advice body - Wales News - News - WalesOnline
Plaid Cymru has launched a bid to transfer powers over consumer rights to the Welsh Government.
The move comes in the wake of proposals for the work of Consumer Focus Wales to be taken over by Citizens Advice.
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Jonathan Edwards has tabled amendments to the Public Bodies Bill which would give ministers in Cardiff Bay powers to legislate in this field.

Carmarthen Quins go down at Aberavon

ABERAVON 23 CARMARTHEN QUINS 12 - Welsh Premier - Rugby - WalesOnline
Carmarthen Quins lost their Welsh Premiership Division rugby match against Aberavon. Quins team manager Steffan Thomas commented: “Our oldest player today was 26, so that is a big plus to be able to come to Aberavon and go close. We had enough ball but did not create enough chances with it."

'Funtastic Friday' at the 'Botanic'

Carmarthenshire County Council is supporting Action for Children as it hosts a ‘Funtastic Friday’ family event at the Botanic Gardens during half-term week.
There will be plenty of child-friendly activities during the annual event, from 10am-3pm on Friday, October 28.
Over 2,000 people enjoyed last year’s ‘Thrilling Thursday’ event, but this year’s event promises to be extra special, as it also marks 100 years of Action for Children in Wales.
Special guests from S4C’s children’s programmes will be there, including chef Anthony Evans.
There will also be a host of information stalls from family support organisations, including Sure Start, Plant Dewi and Tenovus.
New for this year, Action for Children has teamed up with Barclays Bank, which is working with staff to help deliver a money skills programme to local families.
Barclays has sponsored the event, and will be holding a competition for children to design a Bank of Wales £100 note.
Parenting Project Worker Paul Andrews said: “There’ll be …

The skyline is changing in Llanelli

Llanelli's skyline is being spiked by towering new steel structures.
After years of planning and clearing of blight, the benefits of a £60-million investment are unfolding as a new town is born.
The dawning of Llanelli’s bright new future has not been without pain.
Llanelli has suffered years of migration of some traders to out of town shopping centres.
But now there is a new degree of optimism with the tide turning as Carmarthenshire County Council’s innovative policies and dynamic regeneration team has attracted Welsh Assembly and European Regional Development Funding. Now the town centre is fighting back.
Llanelli’s major regeneration programme will not only transform the town’s look but its fortunes too.
Five major projects are being developed which will showcase a wide range of arts, entertainment, leisure and business opportunities.
They include a new Theatre, arts and social enterprise complex called Y Ffwrness; the refurbishments of Llanelly House and Llanelli Library, a new leis…

'Showcase' for Llanelli town centre redevelopment

It is so difficult to grasp the scale of the massive £60 million remodelling of Llanelli town centre that a Showcase exhibition centre has been created.
Opening in the spacious former Burton’s building on November 18 in Stepney Square next door to Boots and opposite Lloyds Bank the spacious gallery will graphically showcase all five elements of Llanelli’s town centre regeneration.
Photographs, maps and a power-point fly-through will whet the appetite of what is come from the Autumn, 2012.
High point is the £25-million East Gate where a decaying townscape has been swept away and from which is emerging a bright new gateway and thriving family leisure-quarter focused around a new town square.
Llanelli Library’s £3.8-million refurbishment is also helping to open a new chapter in the town’s fortunes right alongside Llanelly House.
This magnificent building, with Jacobean roots, is being sensitively restored.
It’s likely to attract 30,000 visitors a year to its heritage centre and has ambitious p…

Red Kite Law stage seminar for businesses

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Red Kite Law, the newest and biggest law firm in South West Wales, is playing its part in keeping businesses up to speed with the latest changes in the law.
The firm has organised a free employment law seminar to be held at The Bridge Innovation Centre (The Technium) at Pembroke Dock on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 26.
The seminar follows a similar and very successful presentation made by Red Kite Law partner Donna Purchase to a business seminar staged at the University of Wales Trinity St David’s Carmarthen campus.
“There was an excellent response to the talk in Carmarthen,” said the Red Kite Law employment law expert.
“The idea is to bring businesses up to speed with the changes in employment law in 2011 and to brief firms on the implications of those changes.
“Staying ahead of the game is crucial in these difficult economic times. Hopefully, the seminar will be of great value to businesses in Pembrokeshire and West Wales.”
The seminar will cover recent key changes, including:
• The…

Tourist centre moves into historic Carmarthen building

Carmarthen Tourist Information Centre has moved into the town’s historic Castle House.
The TIC opened its doors on Monday October 24 after refurbishment work on the premises.
The aim is to bring to life and add a new attraction to Carmarthen Town, the former police station building within Carmarthen Castle grounds.
The attraction offers visitors the chance to see the authentic interior of an 1880 police station as well providing visitor information on the place, the town and the county.
In 1836 the Watch and Ward system of crime prevention was replaced by the first “modern” police force. Carmarthen Borough Police was established at this date and had a borough gaol and station in Cambrian Place.
In about 1850 Castle House was built as a lock-up and also served as a sub-station for the southern part of the town.
It was close to the Gaol and the Court so prisoners could be locked up overnight before their appearance before the Beak.
In 1947 the Borough Police and Carmarthenshire Constabulary we…

Latest 'Looking After Business' column from the Carmarthen Journal

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Here is the new Clay Shaw Butler 'Looking after business' column from the pages of the Carmarthen Journal -

By Ann Thomas, leading Consultant at West Wales Chartered Accountants and Business Consultants Clay Shaw Butler

When you talk about accounting software packages, the name Sage usually comes to the fore.
It was certainly the case at the business seminar we staged at the University of Wales Trinity St David recently.
Sage was the name on everyone’s lips as representatives of businesses from across West Wales gathered to hear the latest news about the package.
If you are thinking of buying accounting software, or already have Sage installed, then you, too, will be interested to hear about the features of the new software upgrade.
The new release makes many of the routine tasks easier and quicker to do, while adding useful new features to improve the effectiveness of the software.
Installation of the software has been made a lot easier with hardware checks and registration now bein…

Latest 'View from Richmond Park' column from the Journal

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The latest 'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen Town AFC football club column from the Carmarthen Journal -
Carmarthen Town AFC fans will know that we are part of The Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League.
The league has now launched a Supporter's Satisfaction Survey, which is aimed at gaining feedback from valued stakeholders to make the League more appealing for all.
The League wishes to learn more about the habits and trends of its fans.
The survey is part of the FAW's Grow Your Club project, which will help all clubs in Wales to develop themselves in their communities, try to attract more fans and sponsorship and thus generate more income.
The results of the survey will be made public and two participants will be picked randomly to win either a signed Wales shirt or tickets to a Wales match.
The survey can be found on the web on –
http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22DG5RZA42M/
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Carmarthen Town AFC is calling a public meeting to discuss …

The latest 'Iechyd' Da' beer 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 -
October is the time for reflection in the lull before Christmas. It’s also a time to wonder, without the help of a crystal ball, where the brewing industry is going.
In my view, we have every reason to be quietly confident and to look forward to 2012 with some degree of confidence.
What I do know is that the famous brewer who only six years ago told me that cask ale was dead could not have got it more wrong. His once-famous brewery now languishes in the backwaters of the West Wales brewing scene and his once-famous brands are reduced to fond memories.
Cask ale is now the ‘must have’ product.
Pubs that have abandoned cask ale are generally not the ones that are doing well.
Our consumers want high-quality products at affordable prices and beers that change with the seasons.
As a result of this, my company is seeing significant growth. Over the last year, we have seen new and exciting opportu…

'Country' membership offer at The Ashburnham

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They’re spreading the membership net at the Ashburnham Championship Links Golf Club in Pembrey.
A new ‘Country Membership’ deal has been launched for golfers living 40 miles or more away from the club.
“This should be an attractive offer for golfers living along the M4 corridor in Cardiff or Bridgend, particularly as many of them may be lucky enough to have holiday properties in West Wales or on Gower,” said Ashburnham club manager Huw Morgan.
“Country membership costs just £175 and the only qualification is that you have to be a member of another golf club.
“Journey times between here and Cardiff are excellent and the Country membership offer is ideal for people accustomed to visiting West Wales, whether for business or pleasure.”
The club has also launched a new Corporate membership package at The Ashburnham.
Corporate membership at The Ashburnham is £1,600 plus VAT and the membership allows for one fourball per day, Monday to Friday.
For further information about The Ashburnham Golf Club,…

Waste amnesty in Brynamman

Residents in Brynamman are being urged to have a good clear out and recycle any rubbish they have lying around the home.
A waste amnesty is being held on Saturday (October 29) in the car park next to the Bowling Green off Brynceunant between 8am and 10.30am.
Householders can take advantage of this one-off chance to dispose of any large items of rubbish for free.
Most household waste can be taken along including bulky waste items such as furniture and electrical goods.
However, asbestos, tyres, paint, garden chemicals, batteries, gas bottles, construction waste and trade waste will not be accepted. As much as possible will be recycled.
The event has been organised by Carmarthenshire County Council and the aim is to encourage residents to dispose of waste that may otherwise be fly-tipped as well as encourage them to recycle and/or reuse as much of their rubbish as possible.
Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Philip Hughes said: “I hope residents take advantage of this opportunit…

Aberystwyth student Daniel wins lecture award

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Daniel Ladnar, PhD student in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth University, has won the prestigious Performing Science - Giessen Award for Scholarly Presentation and Lecture Performance 2011.
This honours innovative forms of knowledge presentation in any academic discipline.
The jury (which included leadings scholars from biology, literature, cultural theory and dance) awarded first prize to Daniel for his lecture performance, “Would Joseph Beuys Have Used PowerPoint?”.
Daniel, who is researching the role of the lecture performance in contemporary performance practice and theory under the supervision of Dr Heike Roms and Professor Adrian Kear and supported by a doctoral scholarship from Aberystwyth University, received prize money of €5,000.
“The Performing Science Award highlights that knowledge does not exist independently of the forms in which it is communicated”, commented Daniel.
“This aspect is also very important to my doctoral research, and I wa…

Llanelli sleep expert issues warning on obesity

How obesity can cause sleep problems that, in turn, can cause fatal accidents - UK News - News - WalesOnline
Wales is facing a huge epidemic in obesity-related sleep disorders, one of the country’s leading sleep doctors has warned.
As waistlines continue to grow across the nation, medics are increasingly struggling to cope with the sheer volume of overweight patients needing treatment for disorders caused by their size.
Dr Keir Lewis, a consultant at Prince Phillip Hospital, Llanelli, and head of the sleep service for Hywel Da Health Board, said the number of people suffering from conditions such as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) has risen dramatically in the past 10 years – putting severe strain on the NHS.
Dr Lewis, who is also a Reader in Respiratory Medicine at Swansea School of Medicine, said: “If we go back 10 years OSA wasn’t really recognised but now it’s become a huge epidemic."

Llanelli RFC go down at Cross Keys

CROSS KEYS brushed aside the challenge of champions Llanelli to gain a bonus-point victory in fine style at Pandy Park. - Welsh Premier - Rugby - WalesOnline
Cross Keys brushed aside the challenge of Welsh Premier Division rugby champions Llanelli RFC to gain a bonus-point victory in fine style at Pandy Park.

Floodlit cyclo-cross at Carmarthen Park

Cross: Junior Worrall Wins Welsh League Round 5
The floodlit Merlin's Knight evening cyclo-cross promoted by Towy Riders and held in Carmarthen Park was a first for Wales, and was hailed a great success by all riders.

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery

Latest special offers (including 2 custard slices £1.50) at Jenkins Bakery shops now on the bakery website - http://jenkinsbakery.co.uk/

Carmarthen Town 0 Bala Town 1

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Carmarthen Town 0 Bala Town 1
The headmaster’s report on this latest Welsh Premier League defeat for Carmarthen Town will read – ‘showing good improvement, but must do better’.
Followers of the Welsh Premier League will appreciate that there isn’t a great deal between the teams at the top and the bottom of a 12-team championship.
Certainly, there wasn’t much difference between success and failure between Carmarthen, anchored to the bottom of the table, and Bala Town, currently in fifth spot.
At Richmond Park, on Saturday, the difference was a goal in the 66th minute from Bala central defender Mike Byron.
There were plenty of signs of encouragement for Carmarthen Town.
“I thought we were competitive throughout,” said manager Tomi Morgan.
“We battled right to the very end. We had a few chances, but we failed to take our opportunities. I saw enough today to suggest that we can climb off the bottom of the table.”
Tim Hicks was slotted into central defence and once again demonstrated his class as …

Newtown 4 Carmarthen 2

Sorry, a bit late uploading this match report from the previous weekend -
Newtown 4 Carmarthen Town 2
Carmarthen Town went down to another defeat which meant that they now occupy bottom place in the Welsh Premier League.
The EH Factors and Clothing sponsored Town team started the game confidently and were soon asking questions of the Home defence. Nick Harrhy, who had an effective game, was causing problems down the left hand side and several inviting crosses entered the Newtown box. Therefore it was rather against the run of play that the home side scored.
An innocuous clash on the edge of the Old Gold box resulted in a free kick for home side. Jamie Price took control of the kick and shot splendidly in to the back of the net giving Michael Lewis no chance.
The visitors continued to pour forward with Geraint Passmore, Nicky Palmer and Kieran Howard winning the majority of the ball in midfield. Both Tim Hicks and Jack Christopher had half chances but were either blocked by the defence …

Carmarthen Wanderers 6 Bancfosfelen 4

I am grateful to Phil Grice for the following match report -
Spectators at Penllwyn Park on Saturday were treated to an outstanding display of football, which went into extra time, from a rampant Carmarthen Wanderers who dominated this cup clash against Bancffosfelen for 110 of the 120 minutes of the match.
Two delightful corners from club captian Garry Dappo saw firstly Craig Evans outjump the Banc defence to nod in Wanderers first, then Lee Davies blasted in their second from the nodded down cross ball, followed by yet a further great goal agian from the agile Craig Evans.
Wanderers at 3-0 up continued to dominate the match until the final ten minutes. Then Banc woke up and caught the Wanderers napping. Banc scored their first on the eightieth minute, their seond on the 90th, and the equaliser in extra time. On top, they looked set to take this game in the 30 minutes of extra time, and as the Wanderers heads went they down might well have done so. However, a rash tackle in the Wandere…

The latest Joseph Atkin Aberglasney gardening column

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The latest Aberglasney gardening column (as featured in the South Wales Evening Post and the Carmarthen Journal) by Joseph Atkin, head gardener at Aberglasney House and Gardens in the Tywi Valley.
When you visit a garden such as Aberglasney, you will notice that the emphasis is now very much on conservation and education.
When I first went to Kew Gardens in London, I knew conservation was very much on the agenda. What I did not fully appreciate was the key role that all gardeners have to play in plant conservation.
Yes, we can all grow British natives in our gardens and create wildlife areas, but what about further afield?
When you look in your own gardens, you will notice that many if not all of the cultivated plants are actually foreign.
Many will come from all over the world - such far flung places as China and Australia.
A trip to the local roundabout will probably show you Phormium and Cordyline from Australasia, Viburnum from China and many other plants that are very exotic but now …

Welshman in Madagascar is helping to protect the rainforest

Welshman in Madagascar is helping to protect the rainforest - News - Go Green - WalesOnline
A Llanelli an who moved to one of the most remote regions of the world to help the environment is teaming up with a national charity and urging people back home to offer their support.
Richard Jenkins left his life in Llanelli 10 years ago in a bid to help protect rainforests in Madagascar and is now working with charity, Size of Wales. He is calling for people in Wales to help him protect endangered rainforest by forming tribes to raise money for the Size of Wales.

Plaque honour for Llanelli Battle of Britain pilot

BBC News - Plaque honour for Llanelli Battle of Britain pilot
A college in Carmarthenshire is to honour an RAF pilot who was killed in the Battle of Britain.
Historians say Reg Isaac from Llanelli selflessly flew his Spitfire into a German ambush on 5 August,1940 to save his comrades, knowing he would die.
A plaque will be unveiled at Coleg Sir Gar, the old Llanelli Grammar School, where he went from 1927 to 1934.

Victory for Fowden at Pembrey

Victory for local man Fowden at Pembrey | This is South Wales
Carmarthen Motor Club ran successful Peter Lloyd Rallying Stages at Pembrey, with Llanelli driver Bob Fowden emerging victorious.

'Greedy thieves won’t be let off the hook'

Greedy thieves won’t be let off the hook, says Llanelli fisherman | This is South Wales
A Llanelli fisherman has hit out at fish thieves who he claims have been having illegal carp barbecues.
The Secretary of Llanelli Carp and Coarse Fishing Club Simon Gibbs said there were big problems with people fishing illegally in the club’s ponds near Burry Port, by the Millennium Coastal Path.

University of Wales abolished after visa scandal

University of Wales abolished after visa scandal - Telegraph
I'm finding it hard to get my head around what's gone on here with the University of Wales abolished and another 'University of Wales' taking its place.
But perhaps ths helps -
The University of Wales (UoW) will cease to exist after mounting pressure to draw a line under a series of damaging revelations. Its chairman Hugh Thomas resigned on Friday.
The university was a federation of institutions across the Principality, and its constituent parts will now go their separate ways.
Two - Newport and Glyndwr, in Wrexham - will become independent universities, while Swansea Metropolitan will merge with Trinity St David, based in Lampeter and Carmarthen.