Showing posts from January 22, 2012

'Hacking the language' event at Aberystwyth

The latest technology and the Welsh language will be the topic of an annual conference at Aberystwyth over the weekend. The Third “Hacio’r Iaith” (Hacking the Language) will be hosted by the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Aberystwyth University on Saturday the 28th of January 2012.
The conference is a chance for those who are passionate about technology, the media, and the Welsh language, to come together and discuss the latest developments in their fields.
Amongst the subjects discussed will be local journalism in the digital age, art and culture online, campaigning, e-books, and developing free software for the Welsh language.
Hacking the Language is an open conference, which means that anyone can take part and talk about a subject of their own choosing. The conference has been organized in a wiki manner, which means that most of the work has been completed through the use of free technology.
Even though the event will take place at Aberystwyth, it will be …

Police charge man for Llanllwni murder

Police charge man for Llanllwni murder | Dyfed Powys Police | Heddlu Dyfed PowysDyfed-Powys Police can confirm that they have charged Darren Martin Jackson, 26, with the murder and rape of Irene Lawless, 67, who was found dead at her home address in Llanllwni, Carmarthenshire on Monday 23rd January 2012.

Countdown to big Sainsbury's Llandeilo decision

The planning committee of Carmarthenshire County Council will be put to the test at their next meeting on Thursday, February 2.
The committee will decide whether to give approval to supermarket giant Sainsbury’s for their proposed new Llandeilo development.
The supermarket chain has carried out a determined campaign to develop a superstore on the edge of Llandeilo.
The planned store is in excess of 25,000 square feet and dwarfs all other retail outlets in the area.
Objectors fear that, instead of creating much-needed jobs, the plan will kill off the smaller competition.
‘Save Llandeilo’s Future’ is an active campaign group fighting the proposed development.
The campaigners have highlighted the negative impact giant supermarkets have had in other parts of Wales. The campaigners are demanding that the county council protects Llandeilo as an important gateway to the Tywi Valley.
Lead campaigner Tim Shaw said: “It is a well-known fact that wherever the mega stores go they create unemploym…

Llanelli Rotary members help Food Bank

Members of Llanelli Rotary Club have again been busy collecting for the Llanelli Food Bank based at Myrtle House. The food bank distributes much-needed food parcels to needy families and individuals in Llanelli.
Co-ordinator Claire Childs told Rotarians: "The problem is massive. We are hearing from more agencies and more people are becoming involved. But we are running out of food quite quickly. We are really struggling at the moment because the demand has got so big so quickly."
Back in May last year the number of needy people seeking essential food aid had doubled to almost 100 people.
Many had literally nothing in the house at all, said Claire.
She said: "We really need food at the moment. If anybody wants to come and donate food or bring it to the food bank, we are open five days a week, from 10am to 1pm.
"We don't buy food, we rely on food donated by local people. It is a case of the community helping itself."
She said there were many reasons for the crise…

IWA to stage vocational education conference

The Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) is to stage a national education conference under the banner, 'Enhancing vocational education for 14 to 16 year olds'. It is being held in association with the Welsh Government and WJEC.
Tuesday 21 February 2012
9.15am - 4.00pm
WJEC, Llandaff, Cardiff
Conference Chair: Sir Adrian Webb, Chair of the Wales Employment and Skills Board
The widening education attainment gap between Wales and England for 14 to 16 year olds and Welsh pupils’ relatively low PISA scores have been the cause of much soul searching. Yet the picture is a more complex one than these simple comparisons might suggest. The most recent data show Welsh pupils’ performance in GCSEs to be equivalent to that across the border. It is in vocational qualifications that England is outperforming Wales.
This conference will address questions critical to the development of Welsh vocational provision. Is there/should there be a distinctive vocational educational system in Wales? …

More news (and a menu) about Jazz in the Bar!

I've received more news about the Jazz in The Bar event in Brecon on St Valentine's Night. The news reads - Book now - 20 bookings already so please don't delay too long. See you there! NB Tipple and Tiffin will be open from 6/6.16 pm, so you can enjoy the meal in a relaxed way before the music! Please state if you want a separate table - otherwise, we'll all be together on a Jazz table. (Menu below)
Tues 14 February: Paul Munnery's Swing Street band - Paul leads on trombone, with vibes, keyboards, maybe a guest, too.
Described as 'free-wheeling jazz from the New York nightclub scene of the 1930s - swingers, blues, ballads'. Returning by popular demand, bringing great music back. Lineup: Paul Munnery (trombone/slide guitar), Henry Davis (piano), Rachel Hayward (vibes, guitar), Keith Tolley (double bass), Dion Cochran (drums)
AND option of
Jazz 'V…

Llanelli Choral Society get ready for Elijah

Great voices and artists are gathering for a grand performance of one of the world’s leading oratorios when the Llanelli Choral Society stage a grand performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah.
Under the direction of conductor John Hywel Williams MBE, the 90-voice Llanelli Choral Society and Celtic Orchestral Ensemble will be joined by Gary Griffiths (bass), John Emanuela Barazia (mezzo soprano), John Pierce (tenor) and Adele O’Neill (soprano), Jean Hywel (pianist) and Huw Tregelles Williams (organ).
“It is such an excitement to perform this masterpiece work of Mendelssohn”, explains John Hywel Williams. “Its melodrama, easy appeal and stirring choruses have made this great work so popular with choruses, artists and audiences alike.”
The performance will mark a celebration year for the Llanelli Choral Society as it celebrates its 15th anniversary year.
Founder, John Hywel, reflects back over the last 15 years. “The choir remains true today to its founding vision”, explains John Hywel…

High demand for places at Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth University has announced that, due to buoyant demand from well qualified applicants, it will not be accepting any new applications from UK/EU applicants for entry onto undergraduate courses in September 2012 who applied after the UCAS deadline of 15 January.
Prof Martin Jones, Pro-Vice Chancellor said: “This year is the latest in a series of record years for applications to Aberystwyth. It is especially pleasing that we have received significant increases in applications to subjects identified by the Welsh Government as priority areas of Mathematics, Physics and European Languages.”
“We look forward to welcoming our successful applicants at one of the numerous departmental Visiting Days we have planned for 2012, so that they can see for themselves the excellent facilities we have available for them at Aberystwyth University.”
For details of visiting days visit
Established in 1872, Aberystwyth ( is a leading teach…

Aberystwyth research project a boost for cancer battle

An innovative new research project aimed at improving the diagnosis of prostate cancer is taking place at the University of Aberystwyth.
Funded by The Prostate Cancer Charity, it is hoped that if successful, this study will help doctors to more clearly see the size and location of a man’s prostate cancer in order to make better decisions about the right treatment to use.
Current methods of visualising prostate cancer at diagnosis can sometimes give an unclear picture of exactly how far the disease has spread. Lead researcher Professor Reyer Zwiggelaar received £60,100 to supervise a PhD project to investigate the novel idea of combining magnetic resonance (MRI) and ultrasound results to give a more detailed initial map of where prostate cancer is present in the body.
Professor Zwiggelaar, Department of Computer Science, Aberystwyth University, explains “Making decisions following a diagnosis of prostate cancer is a very stressful time for many men, and this is made worse by the unc…

Latest 'View from Richmond Park' column

The latest 'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen Town AFC column from the Carmarthen Journal  newspaper - On Thursday (January 26) at 7.30pm there will be a great opportunity for West Wales football fans to meet both Wales team national managers when Chris Coleman and women’s teams manager, Jarmo Matikainen will be at Carmarthen Town Football Club.
The event is one of a series of FAW roadshows travelling around Wales.
This one is specially to talk about the UEFA Under 19 Women’s Finals that will be hosted in Wales in August 2013. Some of those matches will be played at Richmond Park Carmarthen.
The evening will take the form of a questions and answers session, hosted by FAW Head of Public Affairs, Ian Gwyn Hughes and Jarmo Matikainen. Chris Coleman will attend the event to help endorse the tournament.
In addition, information will be given on the tournament and ways that the public can get involved – as spectators or tournament volunteers. It will be the first time that Wal…

£13.5m boost for jobs in Cross Hands

Carmarthenshire’s executive board has visited the site of a planned employment site in Cross Hands. The £13.5m investment aims to develop a new strategic employment park at Cross Hands East capable of employing over 1,000 people. The project will offer fully serviced plots to meet the demands of local businesses wishing to start up or expand as well as offering opportunity for inward investment. The aim is toprovide Carmarthenshire and the Western Valleys with the infrastructure necessary for the development of a competitive local economy and provide an adequate supply of suitable employment land to meet demand over the next 10-15 years.
The funding is made up of £9m from the Welsh Government, including the Western Valleys Regeneration Area programme, European Regional Development Fund and Transport grant. The development will be managed and implemented by Carmarthenshire County Council which is investing £4m in the scheme.
Executive Board member for regeneration Cllr Clive Scourfi…

Lessons in Welsh language promotion

Lessons on how Carmarthenshire County Council promotes the Welsh language have been shared with visitors from other countries.
The Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity was welcomed to Carmarthen as part of a visit to Wales. Council Chair Cllr Ivor Jackson and Cllr Clive Scourfield hosted the visit, where a number of organisations in Carmarthenshire came together to meet the visitors from Ireland, Brittany and Norway.
The event included an opportunity for the visitors to learn more about the work of promoting Welsh in the county. The Language Ventures, Community Learning, the Community Development Team and Trinity St David’s University supported the evening.
For more details on promoting Welsh contact

Date fixed for Llanelli Library reopening

Llanelli Library is to have a grand reopening on St David’s Day following its £3.8million refurbishment. A programme of events and activities is being planned for the day, including school choirs and bands, dancers, and talks by local historians. It will start a week of activities to celebrate the reopening of the county council facility after around 18 months of work.
For two weeks prior to the opening, from February 13 until March 1, the library will be closed for staff to move all stock back into place.
The restoration work included protecting and preserving the older part of the building – the Grade 2 listed Athenaeum, one of the oldest buildings in the town centre. A reference library, children’s library, an arts/crafts exhibition area, video conferencing/training room, and a substantial atrium area is being housed in the building.
The work is phase three of the refurbishment, and follows extensive repairs in the newer part of the building which has provided a new adult lending l…

In the news today . . .

Smashing story in the Llanelli Star today about Phil Lewis, of the Lewis Partnership, helping his old school, St Mike's in Llanelli.
Splendid spotlight on the new tax and trust expert at Red Kite Law in the Carmarthen Journal today.
The latest gardening column from Aberglasney head gardener Joseph Atkin is in the Carmarthen Journal today.
The latest Simon Buckley 'Iechyd Da' beer column is in the Carmarthen Journal today.
Tidy spotlight in the Carmarthen Journal about the countdown to the annual Mayor's Fun Run races in Carmarthen.
Nice piece in the Carmarthen Journal about the Healing The Wounds charity praising Town Sheriff Alun Lenny for his help.
Carmarthen Journal has published my letter on the car parking problems at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen.
The Healing The Wounds Welsh PTSD charity now has a page on Wikipedia -
Lovely feature on the St Dwynwen's Day celebrations at Aberglasney in the Carmarthen Journal today.

Fined £100 for fly-posting

A man has been fined £100 and ordered to pay £227.58 court costs for an offence of fly-posting.
Anthony Stanley Matthews pleaded guilty by post to an offence contrary to Section 224 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 at Ammanford Magistrates Court. The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The court heard that on Saturday, September 10, 2011 the council’s environmental enforcement officers were on duty in Ffairfach, near Llandeilo, were they saw a number of posters attached to road signs advertising a rug and garden furniture sale in Llandovery.
As the officers continued along the A483 towards Llandeilo they saw more of the posters, with an increasing number along Rhosmaen Street, and some of which were now littering the pavements.
As they travelled along the A40 from Llandeilo to Llangadog and into Llandovery they saw more than 100 posters affixed to various structures along the highway. Using their powers under Section 132 of the Highways Act the officers…

Police appeal after serious assault in Pembrokeshire

Police appeal for information following serious assault | Dyfed Powys Police | Heddlu Dyfed PowysDyfed Powys Police are appealing for information from the public following a serious assault where the victim was severely beaten and thrown onto to a railway line in Pembrokeshire.

The latest Aberglasney column from the Carmarthen Journal

Aberglasney head gardener Joseph Atkin’s monthly Carmarthen Journal column on gardening - 
January is a time when flowers can often be in very short supply. Indeed, last year, they were covered in snow.
The snowdrops give a welcome treat in these colder times but shrubs can also give good value for January and February.
There are plenty of evergreen shrubs for the winter months, but what about deciduous plants?
One of the benefits of deciduous plants is the variety that is available and the autumn colour they produce.
There are many different types that flower in early spring before the leaves have emerged. Many of them have small flowers but are often fragrant as well. They work well in a winter garden as they add variety to the more common evergreens that are also very good.
One of the earliest and most spectacular plants to do this is the Witch Hazels which started in December this year and finished in March last year.
Any plant that gives you interest for this period and a burst o…

The latest Iechyd Da! beer column from Simon Buckley

The Carmarthen Journal beer column by Simon Buckley, chief executive of Llandeilo-based brewers Evan Evans -
Make a note: 2012, is going to be the year when beer comes back as the must-have drink.
That’s my prediction - and I have plenty to base my enthusiasm on.
You may think that I have over-indulged over Christmas and am suffering from a Cwrw-induced amnesia, fuddling the brain and everything else that goes with that.
The simple fact is that the pub trade has had one of the best Christmases for many years, with little or no bad weather and consumers determined to have a good time.
Those pubs that have tuned up their performance and provided the value-for-money product, have done well. (More of that in a moment)
So why is 2012 going to be a return to beer year?
The reason is a simple one: beer has become sexy!
Now you really think I have lost my marbles, but the recently-published Cask Ale report has identified that more and more 18-24s have seen the light and have shifted to cask ale.
More …

Interesting comments from Y Cneifiwr . . .

Y Cneifiwr: Joined at the hipThere are very strict rules governing petitions in Carmarthenshire. Councillors may not debate them. Only the relevant member of the Executive Board may comment on them, and only if they so wish. Since 99.9% of all petitions will be critical of some aspect or other of what the council is doing, the Executive Board member's comments invariably involve defending the council's position.
Things were different in the case of Ffwrnes (school), where objectors have made the chief executive, Mark James, very, very angry. So this time, in the full glare of the cameras, out went the executive member responsible for Education and Children's Services, Gwynne Wooldridge, and the shaven-headed Director of Education, Robert Sully, himself.
The gruesome pair then surrounded themselves with small children and had their pictures taken, probably while some lowly official was employed peeling onions off camera.
This is only the latest example of the increasingly blat…

Boost for learning disabilities service

Adults with Learning Disabilities in Carmarthenshire are now more likely to be living in their own communities than being placed in residential care, new figures have revealed.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s continued investment in Learning Disability Services has meant that more adults than ever before are being supported to live ordinary lives in their own homes, and in their own communities.
There has been a 40 per cent increase in supported living over the last three years with 114 adults now being supported in such arrangements within the community – and the figure is set to rise even further.
Whilst some still require the support of a residential placement, the investment has allowed the council to deliver its key strategic objective of placing less dependence on residential care and increasing levels of more appropriate alternative community-based options.
Currently, more than 600 individuals receive differing levels of community-based support.
Head of Mental Health and Learnin…

Gwendraeth man fined for rubbish offence

A Gwendraeth Valley man has been fined £175 and ordered to pay £264.71 court costs for leaving boxes on the ground by the recycling banks in Cross Hands.
Marlon Smith, aged 21, of Heol Y Parc, Cefneithin, was convicted in his absence for an offence contrary to Section 87 Environmental Protection Act 1990 at Llanelli Magistrates Court.
The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The court heard that on Wednesday, July 6, 2011, the council’s environmental enforcement officers were on dutyat Cross Hands Business Park where they saw a vehicle which was parked up near the recycling banks in the Co-operative car park.
The officers saw a male taking cardboard box from the boot of the vehicle and placing bottles into one of the recycling banks. When he had finished emptying each box, he left them on the ground. He then picked up some boxes from the pile on the ground, walked between the recycling banks, left them on the ground and got into the vehicle.
Smith was issued with …

Waste amnesty for Carmarthenshire villages

A ‘waste amnesty’ is being held in Llansawel and Tumble village car parks between 08:00 – 10:30 on Saturday 28th January. It’s a great opportunity to take along 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.
The aim is to encourage residents to dispose of waste that may otherwise be fly-tipped as well as encourage you to recycle and/or reuse as much of their rubbish as possible.
The event has been organised by Carmarthenshire County Council and is being supported and funded by Tidy Towns.
Executive Board Member for Regeneration Cllr Clive Scourfield said: “I hope residents take advantage of this opportunity to dispose of any household rubbish they may have.
“Bulky waste such as furniture, wood and cardboard left lying in and around homes is a fire hazard and can result in fly-tipping, which is not only a nuisance and unattractive, but is also h…

Melin Consultants offer a big chance for a graduate

A go-ahead South Wales building consultancy has a paid work experience opportunity for a graduate looking to succeed in marketing.  Melin Consultants, based in Llanelli, have joined the GO Wales project which offers graduate students training and development opportunities to prepare for future careers.
The Melin vacancy is for a marketing strategist on a 10-week placement which pays £250 a week.
“It’s a great opportunity to work on a key marketing project for us here at Melin, gain great experience in a young and dynamic work environment and enhance future career opportunities,” said Melin director Jamie Best.
“We specialise specialising in building regulations and environmental assessments, providing advice to a broad range of clients on sustainable construction.
“The successful applicant will spend 10 weeks assisting with a marketing project, with the focus on -
Web site redevelopment Launching a new office in Bristol Creating a social media presence for the organisation Developing…

Man 26, quizzed over Llanllwni murder

BBC News - Man 26, quizzed over Llanllwni murder of Irene LawlessPolice are continuing to question a 26-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder after the body of a 67-year-old woman was found in a Carmarthenshire village.
Irene Lawless was found dead at her home, where she lived alone, at Llanllwni on Monday,

New CCTV camera will help keep Burry Port safe

New CCTV camera will help keep Burry Port safe | Dyfed Powys Police | Heddlu Dyfed PowysA new CCTV camera has been installed in Burry Port Park.
The Carmarthenshire Community Safety Partnership has funded the camera, costing almost £10,000.
It followed a request from the police and the town council for an additional camera for the town.

Pact meeting in Llanelli

Officers working in Llanelli are looking for more members of the public to come along and meet officers at their bi-monthly get together in the Town Hall.
The meeting being held on Wednesday 8th February at 6.30pm is open to anyone living in the Hengoed, Elli and Lliedi wards. These wards cover the areas of Sandy, Furnace, Pwll, Llanerch, Parc Howard and the town centre.Pact stands for Partners and communities together

Hawthorn bushes stolen from Llanddowror

Hawthorn bushes stolen from freshly planted hedgerow | Dyfed Powys Police | Heddlu Dyfed PowysJunior hawthorn bushes worth hundreds of pounds have been stolen from a freshly planted hedgerow near to Llanddowror.

Gold rings stolen from Welshpool antique store

Gold rings stolen from Welshpool antique store. | Dyfed Powys Police | Heddlu Dyfed PowysThree gold rings have been stolen from an antiques store in Welshpool,

Fuel stolen from tank in St Clears

Fuel stolen from tank in St Clears | Dyfed Powys Police | Heddlu Dyfed PowysAround 200 litres of heating fuel worth £140 has been stolen from an external storage tank on a farm in St Clears.

Llanelli sexual assault – witnesses appeal

Capel Isaf sexual assault – witnesses sought | Dyfed Powys Police | Heddlu Dyfed PowysPolice investigating allegations of a serious sexual assault against a 17 year old girl are appealing for anyone who may have seen the teenager to come forward.
“We are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen the young woman walking along Capel Isaf Road, near the petrol station between 4am and 4.30am on Sunday morning,” said Detective Chief Inspector Greg Williams.

Sheep trailer stolen from driveway

Sheep trailer stolen from driveway | Dyfed Powys Police | Heddlu Dyfed PowysA trailer worth £700 used for transporting sheep has been stolen from the driveway of a property in the village of Blaenycoed in Carmarthenshire.

Welshpool air accident victims identified

Welshpool air accident victims formally identified | Dyfed Powys Police | Heddlu Dyfed PowysPolice have confirmed the identities of the two men killed in the air accident which happened in the Leighton area of Welshpool on Wednesday 18th January.
Bob Jones, aged 60, a well known and well respected businessman died alongside experienced pilot Steve Carr, aged 55 from Ruthin.

Latest special offers from Jenkins

The latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery (inc 2 spicy chicken pasties £2) are now up on the website -