Showing posts from March 4, 2012

Joseph Atkin's latest Evening Post gardening column

The latest South Wales Evening Post gardening column by Aberglasney Head Gardener Joseph Atkin - As we continue to enjoy this mild weather we are greeted with a succession of treats in the form of spring flowering bulbs and shrubs. The bees are out and there is even the odd glimpse of sun shine. While we are wondering if it’s safe to mow the grass especially as it’s romping away with this warm wet weather special attention should be paid to one spring flowering plant in particular.
Crocus fills the gap between Daffodils and snowdrops really well. They also come in a fantastic colour range that contrast well with snowdrops and the supposedly later Daffodils.
Before the Daffodils steal the show at Aberglasney the new plantings of Crocus are really looking good. Not only are they very easy to grow and relatively cheap to buy but they have a multitude of uses in the garden. On top of these different uses they also come in superb variety and have spring and autumn flowering types which are …

Off to Five Roads for concert

Off to compere a concert at Five Roads Community Hall. Looking forward to hearing the children of Five Roads School.

Top honour for John Hywel Williams

A leading Welsh musician and conductor has been given a prestigious musical honour for his contributions to British music.
Llanelli-based John Hywel Williams has been honoured with an esteemed Fellowship of the London College of Music for his contribution and achievements to British music, which span many decades, organisations, international tours and broadcasts.
“I am humbled to receive the Fellowship”, explained John Hywel Williams. “Music, choirs, performances are all a great joy to me without the need for award. I am grateful to the London College of Music for this recognition which will definitely put an extra beat into my conducting and musical endeavours.”
This coincides with celebratory anniversaries for both the Hywel Girls’ Choir & Hywel Boy Singers and the Llanelli Choral Society, both of which were founded by John Hywel Williams.
In the middle of last night’s choral and orchestral rehearsals with the Llanelli Choral Society for a performance of Mendelssohn’s El…

Paracetamol poisoning killed young Llanelli mum

Paracetamol poisoning killed young mum | This is South Wales
A young Llanelli mother died after taking too many paracetamol tablets to help cope with pain following routine surgery, an inquest heard. 
Single mum Desiree Phillips, 20, was buying the painkillers over the counter and had upped her dose to "a few extra tablets" a day.
The talented singer was found unconscious next to a pack of the tablets at the home where she lived with her 11-month-old son.

Big match at Richmond Park, Carmarthen, tonight

Carmarthen Town AFC take on Port Talbot in the Welsh Premier League, 7.30pm Richmond Park tonight -

Grand performance of Elijah in Llanelli

Great voices and artists from Wales and England are gathering for a grand performance tonight (Friday) 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 i…

Statement on future of Prince Philip Hospital . . .

Hywel Dda Health Board | Statement on future of Prince Philip Hospital
Welsh Government Health Minister Lesley Griffiths has assured people in West Wales there are no plans to downgrade Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli.

Marathon challenge for Pembrokeshire mum

Hywel Dda Health Board | Marathon challenge
A mother from Pembrokeshire is running across the four nations this year in order to raise money for the Meningitis Trust.
Caroline Cumberlin, from Tenby, works as a Macmillan Support Administration at South Pembrokeshire and Withybush Hospitals.  She will be running three half marathons in Wales, Scotland and England and one full Marathon in Ireland by the end of October this year.
The challenge will see her cover over 65 miles, as well as the hundreds of miles she will be doing in training for each event.

Chief Constable Ian Arundale to retire

Chief Constable Ian Arundale to retire | Dyfed Powys Police | Heddlu Dyfed Powys
Dyfed Powys Police Authority have announced the retirement of Ian Arundale, Chief Constable of Dyfed Powys Police this summer.
Mrs Delyth Humfryes MBE, Chair of the Dyfed Powys Police Authority said, “Our current Chief Constable, Mr Ian Arundale QPM, following 32 years of service, has indicated his intention to retire in June 2012."

Morganstone Ltd now on Twitter

Llanelli-based construction firm Morganstone Ltd now has a Twitter feed @MorganstoneLtd

Aberglasney website updated

The news page of the website for Aberglasney House and Gardens has just been updated -

Music festival celebrates Celtic culture connection

Music festival celebrates Celtic culture connection | This is South Wales
A free music festival is all set to hit the streets of Carmarthen later this month.
It will be held on Saturday, March 24, with stages and events in St Catherine's Walk, Merlin's Walk, Nott Square, Café Iechyd Da in Jackson's Lane, King Street and The Parrot music bar in King Street.

Amman Valley School of Dance Glee Club set for evening of fun

Amman Valley School of Dance Glee Club set for evening of fun (From South Wales Guardian)
Members of the Amman Valley School of Dance Glee Club are currently busy rehearsing for their upcoming production - 'Thank you for the Music'.
Bringing song and dance to the stage from pop, rock and classics performed by a host of wonderful home grown talent, 'Thank you for the Music' is sure to be an evening of fun the whole family will enjoy.
The performance will be staged at Brynaman’s public hall cinema next Tuesday, March 13.

Another building prize for Morganstone

The award-winning South Wales construction firm Morganstone Ltd has just picked up another prize.  The firm has won a prestigious Building Control Award for its project at The Mews in Port Talbot.
“It’s another feather in our cap,” said Morganstone managing director Ian Morgan.
“The Mews development is a very attractive scheme - and that is backed up by the fact that the homes there have quickly sold out.
“The affordable homes were developed by Pennant Homes and are located on the site of the old Port Talbot Hospital.
“The site team from Morganstone thoroughly enjoyed working with Pennant Homes on the project and the Building Control Award is the icing on the cake for us as a firm.”
The award was presented when the cream of the construction industry in Neath Port Talbot gathered at The Towers Hotel for a special ceremony.
This year was the ninth year for Neath Port Talbot Borough Council to host the awards.
The leader of the council, Councillor Ali Thomas was in attendance to present…

Early hedge cutting advised to avoid bird nesting season

Early hedge cutting advised to avoid bird nesting season | Dyfed Powys Police | Heddlu Dyfed Powys
With spring on the way, police are warning gardeners to get their hedges cut before the bird nesting season to avoid breaking the law.

'Match the muck' tests at Aberystwyth Science Festival

One of the many delights facing school pupils attending the Festival of Science at Aberystwyth University next week (13-15 March 2012) will be a ‘match the muck’ test where the children pair animal waste to their skulls.
As well as finding out whether they have what it takes to be a poo-ologist, or a scatologist as its officially known, those attending the festival will also have the opportunity to take part in live experiments with peas and plants to real hands-on encounters with worms and wild animals.
Event organiser Roger Morel from the University’s Centre for Widening Participation and Social Inclusion said, “We will have a real mix of exhibits here at the festival and the students will I’m sure enjoy the experiences on offer which will range from understanding robots and rollercoasters to mixing liquids and making their own 3D glasses.
“The most intriguing stand has to be the excrement collection where students will need to match the elephant, bear or giraffe skull with th…

Lunch with Llanelli Rotary

Splendid lunch with Llanelli Rotary Club at the Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli.

Sheep worrying by dogs on the rise in Dyfed-Powys

Sheep worrying by dogs | Dyfed Powys Police | Heddlu Dyfed Powys
Dyfed Powys Police have in the last three weeks received several calls relating to the worrying of sheep by dogs. Incidents have resulted in sheep being killed, from only one or two to 35 in one case. Not all incidents have involved dogs being violent and attacking sheep but merely ‘playing’ with them. Other incidents have however involved dogs cornering sheep into a corner of a field and attacking them, causing severe and fatal injuries.

Off to mock interviews

Off to join the team from Llanelli Rotary Club to lend a hand at the Careers Wales mock interview sessions at Coedcae School in Llanelli.

Carmarthen Clubhouse open for big match

The Clubhouse and Community Centre at Carmarthen Town AFC's Richmond Park ground will be open from 1:30pm on Saturday, showing Wales v Italy on the big screens. Come on down and join in the fun!

Archaeologist to reveal Llanelly House secrets

Interested in Llanelli's history? On Thursday, 5th April, you can find out what the on-site Archaeologist - Richard Scott Jones - has found during the renovation work at Llanelly House. Could he provide the answer of possible Monastic connections to Llanelly House? Contact Estelle Evans to reserve your place.
Presentation will be at Llanelly House project office, 21-25 West End Llanelli. Space will be limited, so booking is essential. Contact Estelle Evans to reserve your space on 01554 772857 or email

Final curtain for theatre fans in Llanelli

Final curtain for theatre fans | This is South Wales
Llanelli's Phoenix Theatre Group faces its final curtain in the town's soon-to-be-replaced Theatre Elli from today.
It will be a case of one old classic taking on another old classic, with the group presenting The Cherry Orchard.

Hunt for owners of abandoned animals in 'pitiful condition'

Hunt for owners of abandoned animals in 'pitiful condition' | This is South Wales
People are being urged to come forward with information after two ponies and a horse were found abandoned near the Amman Valley.
The RSPCA said the animals were discovered in a pitiful condition in two separate incidents within the past two weeks.
The first was on Cwmgors Mountain and the other near Glanaman.
It follows a spate of horses being abandoned in the county, notably in Kidwelly and Llanelli last year.

Scarlets called on to prove their cup pedigree

Scarlets called on to prove their cup pedigree | This is South Wales
Scarlets head coach Nigel Davies has called on his players to draw on their proud cup heritage when they go in search of a first knockout final in six years at Northampton on Sunday.
The West Walians will again head to Franklin’s Gardens as underdogs in what promises to be an intriguing LV= Cup semi-final.

Opt-out organ donation supported in public consultation

BBC News - Opt-out organ donation supported in public consultation
A majority of respondents to a Welsh Government consultation said they were in favour of changing the law on organ donation.
Welsh ministers want a soft opt-out system so everyone's organs are available for donation when they die unless they have said otherwise.
The health minister published a summary of responses to the proposals on Thursday.
It showed 52% of respondents in favour and 39% against.

Remploy closure plans: 'Social enterprise' hope for workers

BBC News - Remploy closure plans: 'Social enterprise' hope for workers
The Welsh Government wants to look into whether there are alternatives to help save jobs at Remploy factories threatened by closure.
Seven of the nine Welsh factories have been proposed for closure, threatening the jobs of 272 disabled people.

Have your heart tested for free at Bronglais in Aberystwyth

Hywel Dda Health Board | Have your heart tested for free
On Saturday (10th March), people aged between 14 and 35 can have their heart tested for free at Bronglais Hospital. All they need to do is simply go to to book an appointment.

Easier access to treatment for common ailments

Hywel Dda Health Board | Easier access to treatment for common ailments
A new scheme designed to provide easy access to advice and treatment for common ailments is to be introduced across Wales.
The national scheme which will involve assessment and supply of treatment will make community pharmacists the first port of call for ailments such as hay fever, warts, head lice, sore throats and indigestion.
Research shows that up to 40% of a GP’s time is taken up dealing with patients suffering from minor ailments. Under the new scheme, patients will be encouraged to consult a pharmacist, rather than their GP, for a defined list of ailments.
The pharmacists will then supply medication from an agreed list, give advice, or refer to the GP if necessary. Medicines will be given free of charge. This removes the payment barrier which can prevent patients choosing to see a pharmacist instead of their GP.

Say it with flowers at Aberglasney

It’s a case of ‘say it with flowers’ with a difference for Mothering Sunday at Aberglasney House and Gardens in the picturesque Tywi Valley.
Mums are being offered free admission for both the Saturday and the Sunday of Mothering Sunday weekend (Saturday and Sunday, March 17 and 18).
“We all know mums are special, so we thought we’d do something special for the Mothering Sunday weekend at the gardens,” said Aberglasney chief executive Roger Evans, pictured above.
“It’s a special way of saying it with flowers as they will get to enjoy the glorious spring displays we have here at Aberglasney.
“There’s plenty to see in our historic heritage gardens and if sons and daughters want to pick up some other extra-special presents there are plenty of gifts and plants available at our shop.”
“Most people like to tie-in a stroll around the gardens with a visit to the shop,” said shop manager Vanessa Bolton.
“But, in this very busy age, time is precious and we appreciate that many people just…

What's happening at Aberglasney in 2012

Events list for Aberglasney House and Gardens for the remainder of 2012 - MARCH
Sunday, March 18 Mother’s Day (free admission to the gardens for mothers)
Friday, March 30 - April 5 Art Exhibition - David Cowdry
Friday, April 6-12 Art Exhibition - Angela Kingston
Saturday, April 7 Plant Sale
Friday, April 13-19 Art Exhibition - Angela Kingston
Friday, April 20-26 Art/Craft Exhibition - Tair ar Daeth
Friday, April 27 - May 3 Art/Craft Exhibition -  Tair ar Daeth 
Saturday, April 28 Gardening Fair with opening of the new woodland. Special guests to be announced.
Sunday, April 29 Gardening Fair
Friday, May 4-10 Art/Craft Exhibition - Crafts from Carmarthenshire
Saturday, May 5 Plant Sale
Friday, May 11-18 Art/Craft Exhibition - Pembrokeshire Craft
Friday, May …

Aberglasney summer concert shelved

The summer concert at Aberglasney House and Gardens in the Tywi Valley (originally planned for June) has been shelved as the staff at Aberglasney concentrate on building an extended programme of regular events at the gardens.
Last year’s concert featured Bryn Terfel and Wynne Evans and was televised for S4C.
Aberglasney Chief Executive Roger Evans said: “With renovations to the mansion house, 2012 is going to be very busy. We are planning for more regular events spread over the year with a plan to bring the concert back in 2013.”

Off to a committee meeting for Cor Meibion Llanelli

Off to a committee meeting for Cor Meibion Llanelli at Furnace Community Hall.

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery

This week's special offers at the Jenkins Bakery shops (inc 4 Hot X Buns £1.50) are now up on the company website -

In the news today . . .

Nice story about Llanelli construction firm Morganstone winning £2m housing contracts in Pembrokeshire in the Llanelli Star today.
The latest 'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen Town AFC column is in the Carmarthen Journal today.
Nice piece in the Carmarthen Journal today about the Carmarthen Mayor's Fun Run races (May 7).

Stained-glass windows installed at Conwy Castle

Three new stained-glass windows will be installed in the Chapel at Conwy Castle this week (Thursday 9 March), which is the work of Aberystwyth graduate Linda Norris and Rachel Phillips of Swansea Metropolitan University.
Commissioned by CADW, the windows are inspired by the landscape of North Wales, historical events and the contemporary life of the castle today.
Welsh poet, Professor Damian Walford Davies from Aberystwyth University, has also written three couplets in Welsh, French and English, which have been incorporated into the designs (below).
Professor Walford Davies adds, “I was delighted to be invited to write these poems; they aim to reflect the castle’s cross-cultural heritage. Both Linda and Rachel have successfully managed to tell a fascinating story, educate and inspire people through their design.”
Linda Norris explains, “We have used the medieval techniques of stained glass to create a contemporary artwork inspired by surviving fragment panels containing medie…

Phil Bennett named first honorary freeman of Llanelli

Phil Bennett named first honorary freeman of Llanelli | This is South WalesIt is a day that only comes around every four years — but for rugby great Phil Bennett, February 29 will always be extra special.
The Scarlets legend says he was overwhelmed to be chosen as the first honorary freeman of his home town.

Off to Pembroke

Off to see the team at Red Kite Law - this time at their Pembroke offices.

Great welcome at Cefn Sidan Rotary Club

Splendid welcome at Cefn Sidan Rotary Club last night. I was the guest speaker for the evening and thoroughly enjoyed the Q and A at the end!

Vital fire role 'played down' in Llanelli

Vital fire role 'played down' | This is South WalesFire chiefs have been accused of "playing down" the vital role of Llanelli firefighters in tackling the Asda supermarket blaze.
According to the Fire Brigades Union, the fire — which resulted in 85 people being evacuated from the smoke-filled store — could well have had "devastating consequences" if it were not for their swift action.
In an exclusive statement to the Llanelli Star, an FBU spokesman said crews at Llanelli had "expressed anger and dismay" at a high ranking manager's remarks praising the store's sprinklers for containing the blaze, with no mention of the actions of firefighters involved.

Buyers set to battle for Llanelli's St Elli centre

Buyers set to battle for centre | This is South WalesLlanelli's St Elli Shopping Centre is up for sale — with rival buyers said to be gearing up for a bidding war.
AXA Retail Estate, which manages the centre, confirmed the owners were now seeking offers in excess of £33 million.

Fake barrister David Evans wore gown and wig at court

BBC News - Fake barrister David Evans wore gown and wig at courtA 57-year-old man who pretended to be a qualified barrister at crown court was found out after admitting he had no legal qualifications.
David Sydney Evans, of Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, walked into the advocates' room at Plymouth Crown Court wearing a gown and wig, and went to the cells to visit a friend he was representing.
But the judge picked up on a series of wrongly made legal points.
Evans was found guilty at Bristol Crown Court and will be sentenced this month.
The jury was told he had previous convictions for a similar offence.
He had held consultations with patients at a Carmarthenshire hospital pretending to be a clinical psychologist.

Carwyn Jones US mission: 'Wales is open for business'

BBC News - Carwyn Jones US mission: 'Wales is open for business'First Minister Carwyn Jones says he will tell the United States' tourism, defence, car and life science industries that Wales is "open for business".
Mr Jones has meetings in New York and Washington during a five-day visit starting on Wednesday.
He said Wales must "sell" itself to foreign investors.

Man fined for dropping litter in Cross Hands

A man has been fined £175 and must pay £288.57 court costs for dropping litter at Cross Hands Business Park.
Christopher James Jones was convicted in his absence for an offence contrary to section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 at Carmarthen Magistrates Court.
The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The court heard that the council’s environmental enforcement officers were on duty on August 16 at Leekes car park when they saw a man drop an item of litter on the ground which then was blown away by the wind.
The officers identified themselves to the male and he was issued with a fixed penalty notice of £75.
However, Jones, aged 29, of Caradoc Avenue, Barry, South Glamorgan, failed to pay it and he was prosecuted in court as a result.
It is now hoped this fine will act as a warning to others that this type of anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.
Environmental enforcement officers regularly carry out patrols across the county. The council also h…

IT suite closed this morning at Ammanford Library

The IT suite at Ammanford Library will be closed for essential updating of the computers this Wednesday morning.
The suite will be closed to the public from 9am to 1pm. Carmarthenshire County Council apologies for any inconvenience.

Free magic show at Llanelli Library

A free children’s magic show with Prince Nadin is taking place at Llanelli Children’s Library this Saturday at 11am.
The event is open to all youngsters and is part of the library’s official reopening week after its £3.8million refurbishment.
Library manager Mark Jewell said: “Come and be dazzled by the tricks and the new library!”

Six Nations: Wales without captain Sam Warburton against Italy

BBC Sport - Six Nations: Wales without captain Sam Warburton against ItalyWales captain Sam Warburton has been ruled out of Saturday's RBS Six Nations game against Italy in Cardiff.

Schools pass on their own 'Olympic Torch'

Carmarthenshire’s schools ‘Olympic Torch’ has been passed from QE High School to Ysgol Bro Myrddin on the banks of the River Towy.
The Torch is en route from Emlyn School in Newcastle Emlyn to Ysgol Pantycelyn in Llandovery in a relay organised by Carmarthenshire Sports Development Team to inspire the county’s young people as a prelude to the official London 2012 Torch Relay.
The Torch will spend time in each of Carmarthenshire’s 19 secondary schools and colleges. All stages of the journey will be completed on foot with a number of runners taking part including Sport Development Officers, Gold Young Ambassadors, local sports club volunteers, elite sportspeople and school pupils.
The Carmarthenshire Torch was carried upriver from QE High School to Carmarthen Quayside when it was handed over to Ysgol Bro Myrddin who will in turn pass it on to Ysgol Glan-y-Môr School in Burry Port.
The project has been inspired by the forthcoming visit of the official Olympic Torch which comes to Carmar…

Five Roads pupils help Jubilee Forestry project

Pupils from Five Roads put on their wellies and headed to on the 'throne' area of the new Diamond Jubilee Forestry being planted in Carway.
The youngsters were accompanied to the land by Ffos Las Racecourse by teacher Gareth Jones and local county councillor Jim Jones, who is chair of Governors and chair of the council’s environment scrutiny committee. The planting is part of the Diamond Jubilee Forestry project.
Cllr Jones said: “I am pleased that the children enjoyed the experience of planting the trees which will be enjoyed for years to come. It is a lovely way to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.”
Gareth Jones said: “Thirty five children took part and we planted about 100 trees and the children really enjoyed it. We have been invited to go back in 10 years to see how they have grown.
“We are an Eco School and this project will help the environment.”

First plant sale at Aberglasney a hit

The first specialist plant sale of the season at Aberglasney proved a big hit. “It was good to welcome plenty of new visitors to the garden,” said head gardener Joseph Atkin.
“It's still quite early in the year for plant sales, but we were very encouraged by the numbers who turned up.
“We will have visiting nurseries coming to Aberglasney on the first Saturday of each month from now until October," said Mr Atkin.
The sales will be taking place between 10:30am - 4:00pm on the first Saturday of each month.
The sales are free to all members of the public.
Mr Atkin said: The plant sales are designed to give keen gardeners and plant hunters the opportunity to see what specialist growers have for sale throughout the year.
"The Aberglasney shop will also be having a wider range of plants available and entry to the shop is free to all members of the public throughout the year."
Mr Atkin said he hoped many people attending the free plant sales would also take the opportunity of vi…

Jude Rogers: The Welsh language is too precious to be allowed to disappear

Jude Rogers: The Welsh language is too precious to be allowed to disappear - Commentators - Opinion - The IndependentIt rolls, it lilts, and it rasps. It begins in the back of the throat, turns around the mouth, then it sings. It is also the tongue of the country I come from . . . Jude Rogers discusses why Welsh is important in The Independent.

Sports centre figures boost at Aberystwyth University

Aberystwyth University’s Sports Centre is celebrating a record year after discovering that its participation figures have increased by 90% for exercise classes (Fit Together) compared to the same period last year.
Not only are the students making better use of the facilities available but also the local community, who are attending more classes and going to the gym more often.
The vast majority are females who are attracted to the exercise classes with the Zumba dance class being a clear favourite, closely followed by circuit training and bodyfit.
Frank Rowe, Director of the University’s Sports Centre, explains, “We are delighted with these figures and that the students, staff and the community are keeping fit and healthy whilst making best use of the facilities and services available.
“It is interesting to note that the number of females keeping fit has risen dramatically. This is down to a host of different factors which include being able to train in a safe environment, to …

Welsh silent movie star Gareth Hughes' story set for the stage

Welsh silent movie star Gareth Hughes' story set for the stage - Theatre - Lifestyle - WalesOnlineThe story of one of Wales’ most successful actors from Hollywood’s silent film era is to be told on the London stage this summer.
Hollywood Love focuses on the relationship between the Llanelli-born silent movie actor Gareth Hughes and American showbiz journalist Hedda Hopper as they look back on their lives.
The play will be performed in June at Ye Olde Rose & Crown Theatre in London before being brought to Wales, with the possibility of a film version following.

Ben Morgan to leave Scarlets for Gloucester

Ben Morgan to leave Scarlets for Gloucester | This is South WalesScarlets and England No. 8 Ben Morgan has confirmed that he will join Gloucester at the end of the season.
Morgan had a year left on his contract at Parc y Scarlets, but Gloucester have paid an undisclosed fee — thought to be around £100,000 — to sign the 23-year-old this summer.

Teen charged with break-in stabbing

Teen charged with break-in stabbing | This is South WalesA Burry Port teenager has appeared in court accused of breaking into a house and stabbing a man in the abdomen.
Steffan George, aged 19, of Tirwaun, was remanded in custody by Llanelli magistrates.

Llanelly House talks dates

Put the date in your Diary, the last Thursday of the month at 7pm!
Due to the success of this year’s Open Door Days at Llanelly House, the Community Team are pleased to announce that they will be delivering presentations to the public at the Llanelly House offices, 21-25 West End, Llanelli at 7pm on the last Thursday of the month. (The office next door to the Kilkenny Cat pub)
With spaces limited, book your place now for the next Thursday Talk with Estelle Evans on 01554 772857 or email

Green light for new student accommodation at Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth University has confirmed that outline planning permission for its proposed new residential development to accommodate up to 1,000 students has been granted by the Ceredigion County Council.
The new residences will be located at Penglais Farm, on land immediately adjacent to the University’s existing award winning Pentre Jane Morgan Student Village, and within easy walking distance of its all facilities on its main Penglais Campus.
 The University is currently undertaking the final stages of a competitive OJEU procurement process to design, build, fund and operate the development with two remaining participants, Miller Consortium and Balfour Beatty. The target date for building work to commence is late 2012, and for student occupancy is in September 2014. Construction costs are expected to be in the region of £40 million.
James Wallace, New Residences Project Director at Aberystwyth University said:
“We are delighted with the news that planning permission has been granted.…

Regeneration work a boost for Ammanford

Regeneration work in Ammanford has provided an attractive gateway into the town.
Work has progressed rapidly, with improvement works at Arcade Square and Margaret Street now complete.
Detailed proposals for Quay Street are being finalised and were discussed at the last stakeholders Steering Group meeting held in February. At this meeting representatives from various stakeholder groups discussed the proposals with Carmarthenshire County Council Officers and will now report back to their various affiliations. Further liaison with the business community will be undertaken before work starts.
A new independent traders group has been formed following the recent Skillsmart Location Model Survey and will be kept fully informed on how the scheme will progress.
An important part of the regeneration of Ammanford is the Town Improvement Grant Scheme. The grants allow shop keepers and landlords to access up to 75 per cent of total project costs to fund shop front improvements up to a maximum gran…

Iago is 100 years young!

The chairman of Carmarthenshire County Council has visited a St Clears resident on his 100th birthday.
Iago Morris celebrated his birthday at Dol y Felin care home on March 2 with members of his family.
Mr Morris is married with four children, 11 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Mr Morris is pictured with, from left: his wife Margaret, daughter Enid Elliot, daughter-in-law Wendy Morris, Dol y Felin manager Linda Miles, and the Chairman of Carmarthenshire County Council Cllr Ivor Jackson.

St David's Day treat for school pupils

Children in schools across Carmarthenshire have enjoyed a traditional Welsh lunch in celebration of St David’s Day.
Carmarthenshire’s Catering Service served 19,000 bowls of hearty Welsh Cawl, a traditional broth, packed full of vitamin-rich vegetables.
The meal was followed by Teisen Lap – a moist shallow cake laden with sultanas - and fruit juice.
Catering Service manager, Sandra Weigel, said: “It is always a pleasure to see the children enjoying a traditional Welsh dish as part of their St David’s Day celebrations.
“Cawl is always a favourite, and scores high on our nutritional scoring system, which ensures every meal served throughout the year is healthy and well-balanced.”
Carmarthenshire’s Catering Service, part of Carmarthenshire County Council, ensures that children have access to nutritionally-balanced meals, with food that is sustainably sourced.

'Cawl' and a 'catch-up!'

Tenants at council-run Sheltered Housing Schemes across Carmarthenshire have enjoyed a bowl of Cawl and a catch-up as part of the St David’s Day celebrations.
Hundreds of tenants joined in the fun on March 1 – many of them as part of luncheon clubs that operate out of some schemes.
Carmarthenshire County Council operates several Sheltered Schemes across the county, providing a mixture of self-contained bungalows and flats for tenants aged over 60.
Each scheme benefits from a communal area where tenants can enjoy shared meals and entertainment should they choose.
Every scheme is also staffed by a Sheltered Scheme Officer who provides support for tenants and organises entertainment and group activities.

Speed networking event a hit in Carmarthen

Tomas Marks and Glyn Jones from the Mentro project hosted a ‘ Speed Networking’ event for young entrepreneurs at Carmarthen Quins Club on Monday February 20.
Mentro is run by Menter Bro Dinefwr and is part of the RDP Sir Gâr Rural Entrepreneurship project*, providing free business support to young people aged between 16 and 30. The event was arranged as a networking opportunity and for the future businesspeople to get advice from established businesses.
The young entrepreneurs were given three minutes with each of the various experienced business mentors present, from companies including; Castell Howell, Cegin Fach y Wlad, Ungoed Thomas & King, Vintage Tea Party, Dyfed Menswear, Cae'r Ffair Nursery, Telesgop, Spindogs, LH Phillips and Co accountancy and Antur Group Insurance.
 “It was really useful having the opportunity to bounce ideas off everyone and get feedback,” said Michael Dougall, one of the young entrepreneurs who attended. Michael is in the process of setting up C…

Earworms: Why songs get stuck in our heads

BBC News - Earworms: Why songs get stuck in our heads:Fascinating stuff for those of us who can't helping singing bits of songs out loud!

Corgi Hosiery fined over factory asbestos removal

BBC News - Corgi Hosiery fined over factory asbestos removalA company in Carmarthenshire has been fined £25,000 after being found guilty of failing to protect its employees from asbestos.
Corgi Hosiery Ltd, which makes socks for Prince Charles, hired unqualified contractors to carry out work on the roof of its Ammanford factory.
Samples were taken in 2008 from material removed from the factory and all 14 samples contained asbestos.
Merthyr Crown Court heard the incident had cost the company £800,000.

Llanelli library reopens after £3.8m refit

BBC News - Llanelli library reopens after £3.8m refitEvents are taking place throughout the week to mark the reopening of Llanelli Library following a £3.8m make-over.
As well as work to preserve the older part of the Grade Two listed building, a new IT suite with 27 public access computers has been added.
There is also a new reference library, children's library, arts exhibition area and video conferencing room.

Hywel Dda Health Board extends hospital 'listening exercise'

BBC News - Hywel Dda Health Board extends hospital 'listening exercise'A "listening exercise" over the future of hospital services in mid and south west Wales has been extended, says Hywel Dda Health Board.
Extra public meetings are scheduled in Carmarthen, Llandovery, Tenby/Saundersfoot and south Ceredigion, although the dates are yet to be fixed.
The extension was announced following a meeting to review the process.
Hywel Dda has four district generals and eight community hospitals.
The district generals are Bronglais in Aberystwyth, Withybush in Haverfordwest, West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen and Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli.

Gareth Montgomery-Johnson's sister denies Libya spy claim

BBC News - Gareth Montgomery-Johnson's sister denies Libya spy claimThe sister of a Welsh journalist detained in Libya has rejected claims her brother is a spy.
Gareth Montgomery-Johnson, 36, from Carmarthen, a cameraman with Iranian television network Press TV, is being held with colleague Nicholas Davies.
The militia holding them say they are being investigated for alleged spying.
Mr Montgomery-Johnson's sister Mel Gribble said: "He's not a spy. We emphatically don't regard him as a spy in any way shape or form."

'Getting Welsh Business Online' Google launch in Cardiff

BBC News - Getting Welsh Business Online Google launch in Cardiff
Google is trying to encourage more Welsh businesses to get online as figures show around 40% of small firms have no website.
It said 33% of businesses in Wales have no access to sell goods and services online compared to the UK average of 39%.
Business Minister Edwina Hart said the Welsh government was working with the internet company to help small businesses "access new markets".
The first event takes place in Cardiff.

Welsh councils borrow £256m due to budget cuts

BBC News - Welsh councils borrow £256m due to budget cuts, WLGA estimatesCouncils across Wales are estimated to have increased borrowing levels by nearly 80% to £256m over the past year.
Some of the loans are being used by local authorities to cover shortfalls caused by big cuts in the money they receive from central government.
The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) said borrowing is still at a historically low level.

RIP Philip Madoc

RIP Philip Madoc, great Welsh actor. Strange but true: briefly shared 'digs' with him in Cardiff at the time he was filming Lloyd George.

Spotlight on hi-tech Llanelli businesses

Members of Carmarthenshire County Council’s executive board have visited two hi-tech businesses in the Llanelli area to learn more about their work.
The councillors were shown some of the processes used by Hydro Industries, at the Stradey Park Business Centre in Llangennech.
Managing director Phil Morgan said: “We outlined the work we do in terms of the environment and waste water treatment processes.
“We moved to Llangennech last June from Swansea Enterprise Park which has allowed us to increase in size.”
 The executive board members also visited Chromogenex in Dafen, which is at the forefront of laser and light technology for aesthetic applications such as hair removal, skin rejuvenation, acne and vascular lesions.

Council leader Cllr Meryl Gravell said: “It was a very exciting day. We were very impressed with the innovative work that Hydro Industries is doing and saw how electrolysis can be used to clean water. The company has been involved with Tata Steel, Gatwick Airport and is l…

Back at my desk - and back to work!

Back at the coal face today after a couple of days off work. Much needed rest and relaxation!