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Showing posts from March 18, 2012

Off to the ball this evening . . .

Dusting down the DJ - Llanelli Rotary Club's annual ball at the Stradey Park Hotel this evening. Warm enough to go in shorts - but better not!

Angry reaction to Sainsbury's Llandeilo recommendation

Llandeilo businessman Simon Buckley has reacted angrily to the decision of Carmarthenshire Council planning officials to recommend approval for a new 25,000 sq ft Sainsbury's superstore in the town.
“It is just as we have feared all along in the battle to stop the destruction of one of the finest market towns in the country,” said Mr Buckley.
“It smacks of a total carve-up, with the council officers going against their own planning designation rules as laid down in the UDP Unitary Development Plan
“Regular followers of the monthly planning committee meetings will appreciate that councillors rarely go against the recommendations of their planning officers. I wonder how many of them take any other person's view into account, how many of the so called 'Independents' actually read the full documentation, and then vote with their conscience?
 “This is a controversial plan with huge impact for the town of Llandeilo, and the surrounding area. They will have been sold the stor…

When frugal isn't very frugal . . .

Frugal lunch with Llanelli Rotary Club wasn't so 'frugal' after all thanks to Angela Saunders and the team at the Stradey Park Hotel. Celeriac soup followed by chips and sarnies. Nice work! Funds raised for Rotary charity. All happy bunnies

Frugal lunch today

Off to Llanelli Rotary Club. We have a fund-raising 'frugal lunch' at the Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli.

New rules for Blue Badge scheme

People eligible for a Blue Badge will no longer have to pay, under new rules which take effect on April 1.
A new Blue Badge is being launched as part of the Welsh Government’s ‘A Modern Blue Badge for Wales Action Plan’.
The badges have been redesigned to make them harder to tamper with, copy or forge, making it easier for genuinely disabled people who rely on the Blue Badge scheme to find accessible parking spaces.
The changes will also speed up the time it takes to renew Blue Badges, with a new service allowing people to apply for, or renew, a badge online via Directgov.
Director of Social Care, Health and Housing, Bruce McLernon, said: “We have approximately 16,500 Blue Badge holders in Carmarthenshire, and this new improved service will mean that they will no longer have to pay for their badges. Applicants can also be assured that the new badges, which are made of plastic instead of cardboard, will be harder for criminals to forge as they will be more robust.
“Hopefully this will …

£12.4 million cash boost for Carmarthenshire roads

Carmarthenshire is to benefit from a £12.4 million cash boost for road improvements across the county.
The money is being made available through the Local Government Borrowing Initiative (LGBI) to fund capital highway projects over the next three years.
Local authorities can draw down a total of £170 million as part of the borrowing arrangement, the first of its kind in Wales.
The Welsh Government will then provide revenue support to finance the cost of interest and capital repayments over a 22-year time frame.
The level of borrowing available to Carmarthenshire County Council is £4.3 million in 2012/13, £4.1 million in 2013/14 and £4 million in 2014/15.
For 2012/13, the council plans to spend £2.5 to £3 million of the capital funding on resurfacing works, £0.5 to £1 million on footway repairs, £300,000 on lighting column replacements and £500,000 on bridge strengthening.
Director of Technical Services Richard Workman said the funding would be used to target the existing backlog of ca…

Get planning now for Queen's Jubilee parties

Anyone wanting to hold an event in Carmarthenshire to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee this summer should act now.
They are urged to apply to licence their events, or face disappointment over the celebratory period.
Carmarthenshire County Council, which issues Temporary Event Notices within the county, is encouraging those wishing to hold a public event to celebrate the Queens Jubilee to submit their applications promptly.
Activities covered by the Temporary Event Notices (TEN) are: sales by retail of alcohol for consumption either off or on the premises or both; the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to, or to the order of a member of a club; the provision of regulated entertainment; and the provision of late night refreshments (between 11pm and 5am).
Events covered by a Temporary Events Notice (TEN) can last for up to 96 hours and must involve no more than 499 people.
Anyone wishing to apply for a TEN must submit two copies of the application to the Council at least 10 working…

Library assistant Steffi on a bikeathon!

Llanelli library Assistant Steffi Lewis is asking people to support her on a 10-hour bikeathon.
Steffi is raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust in the name of a friend and colleague, and has already collected £1,800.
She is now aiming to raise a further £1,200 and the bikeathon is part of the fundraising effort. It is taking place on today (Friday, March 23), at Llanelli Library, from 8am to 6pm.
Steffi is asking people to support the cause through sponsorship or just to drop in on the day.
It is part of the goal for the Thunderwalk 2012, taking place on May 12 and 13, which Steffi, Aled Richards, Peter Tiffin and Daniel Alliston are entering to raise money for the charity.
The walk involves teams of four making their way around a 54 mile route in the Brecon Beacons National Park within 24 hours.
Education executive board member Cllr Gwynne Wooldridge said: “We wish Steffi and the team good luck in their efforts, they have already raised a huge amount of money for this very worth…

Cash boost for Llandovery YMCA

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Llandovery YMCA will soon have its new-look completed thanks to funding from Carmarthenshire Council’s Rural Development Plan (RDP) and the National Lottery.
Funds from the RDP enabled initial capital building work to be carried out as well as being able to employ a project manager.
This investment enabled the project to make a successful funding application to the National Lottery, and received £195,302 in 2011.
Building and refurbishment work is now nearing completion and the project was recently visited by the Carmarthenshire County Council’s Leader, Cllr. Meryl Gravell, Business Manager, Cllr. Pam Palmer, and Chair of Carmarthenshire County Council, Cllr. Ivor Jackson. Cllr. Meryl Gravell said:
“Llandovery YMCA, supported by Carmarthenshire County Council Youth Service, provides an invaluable community resource in the centre of the town, and the new funding has opened up the building up to a far wider customer base, spanning all ages and sections of the community.”
Cllr. Ivor Jack…

'Olympic Torch' blazes a trail around Carmarthenshire

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A specially designed Olympic torch in the shape of a daffodil is blazing a trail round Carmarthenshire schools.
The county’s Sports development teams have organised the torch relay month for four weeks covering nearly 200-miles between 19 schools involving more than 12,000 Pupils County wide in secondary and special schools.
County executive board member for leisure services Cllr Clive Scourfield said: “This is proving to be a magnificent inspiration for the county’s young people as a prelude to the official London 2012 torch relay.”
The event started in Emlyn School on February 27 and finished up at Pantycelyn on March 26th with the torch spending at least a day in each of the county’s secondary and special schools.
All stages of the journey will be completed on foot with the exception of one kayak trip down on the River Towy with the runners taking part including school pupils, sports development officers, gold young ambassadors, local sports club voluntee…

World Harmony Run arrives in Carmarthen

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The World Harmony Run has visited Carmarthenshire as part of its European leg.
Runners carrying the Harmony Torch arrived at County Hall, Carmarthen, where they were welcomed by the chair of Carmarthenshire County Council Cllr Ivor Jackson.
The aim of the World Harmony Run, set up by guru Sri Chimnoy, is to promote goodwill worldwide.
The runners arrived from Cardiff before going on to Pembrokeshire as part of the eight-month run which started in Portugal in February and will end in Vienna in October. The runners come from all over Europe including Hungary, Portugal, Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovenia, Germany, and a representative of the Urdd. They brought messages from the Lord Mayor of Cardiff Cllr Delme Bowen and the Mayor of Merthyr Tydfil Cllr Paul Brown.
The party presented Cllr Jackson with a copy of the plaque presented to then council chair Cllr Arthur Harries and Town mayor Cllr Mair Richards when Carmarthen was designated a peace town 15 years ago.
World Harmony Run executive dir…

Multi-cultural event for Llanelli

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There have been events galore this week to mark Multi-Cultural Week in Llanelli.
The event programme concludes with the following -
SATURDAY 24TH MARCH 12.30-6.30PM
MULTI-CULTURAL SHOWCASE EVENT NON STOP CULTURAL ENTERTAINMENT, WORKSHOPS, DEMONSTRATIONS, CRAFTS ETC. HUGE FAMILY FUN EVENT.
LLANELLI LEISURE CENTRE, PARK CRESCENT, LLANELLI SA15 3AE
A fantastic afternoon of dancing, singing including Carnival performers, African drumming, belly dancing, Bollywood dance, Thai and Filipino performances. Food work shops, puppet show, magic, arts and crafts, fruit carving and much much more, suitable for all the family. Free Entrance.
For more details call 01554-785954.

Boost for Welsh language in leisure

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Carmarthenshire County Council Leisure Department has been working with Anglesey, Gwynedd and Ceredigion County Councils as part of the Welsh Language Board’s Promoting Bilingual Workplaces scheme.
The project aimed to establish a network of Welsh Language Champions in Leisure across the four counties.
Leisure has great potential to promote the use of Welsh across a spectrum of activities and interests.
The Welsh Language Champions will raise the profile of the Language using Welsh in the workplace, in meetings, and with learners.
Four Champions were nominated in the county - Hannah Dunn in Carmarthen, Huw Jones in Newcastle Emlyn, Steffan Jones in St Clears and Fiona Pugh in Ammanford.
Following three days of training in conjunction with other counties, the Champions agreed on a series of actions to be completed back at their Leisure Centres.
Ian Jones, Head of Leisure and Sport noted "Being part of the bilingual workplaces project has been a golden opportunity for staff to dev…

New leisure development planned for Llanelli

A new state of the art leisure development is being planned for Llanelli.
The proposal incorporates a high quality leisure centre, sports academy, 10-pin bowling alley, indoor and outdoor adventure activities. One of the sites being considered is the Old Castle works site.
The site could be the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ for Llanelli Waterside bringing together the areas of Sandy Water Park and North Dock, and acting as a link between the coast and the town centre.
A master plan is being developed for the site by the Joint Venture - a partnership between Carmarthenshire County Council and the Welsh Government - and a detailed feasibility study is to be carried out.
The aim is to develop an attractive leisure and visitor destination for residents, and also attract more visitors and tourists to the area.
Partner organisations could be involved for shared developments to produce centres of excellence for the sports, recreation and leisure industries.
Plans for the leisure and sports academy co…

Peniel Youth Club members cook up a treat

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Young people from Peniel Youth Club have been demonstrating their cooking skills as part of their Open College Network (OCN).
A special event was put on at the youth club for young people to prepare a three-course-meal for their peers and youth workers. Club members were divided into three teams and were given written instructions and a bag of ingredients on the night to complete their cookery challenge.
Members scored their peers on effort, presentation and cookery skills.
Tristy McDermott of Carmarthenshire Council’s Youth Service said: “The event was a great success and young people were able to demonstrate basic cooking skills, organisation and team work. It’s great to see young people enjoying activities like this as they are important skills needed in every day life.”
The young people are now working on completing their next challenge in physical recreation.
Peniel Youth Club is open to all young people aged 11-17 years.
For further information on club times and planned activit…

Work starts on improving day care services for elderly

Carmarthenshire County Council is calling for people to come on board as they look at ways of improving and developing Day Care services for older people.
The Authority is beginning a piece of work to look at the services currently available for people within its Day Care Centres, and also in local communities, with the aim of ensuring facilities can cope with the changing needs of older people.
As part of this work, council officers will be visiting the county’s day care centres and also inviting individuals, service users, carers and stakeholders to have their say about the kind of services needed.
An improvement plan will then be prepared for discussion by the Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee.
Sheila Porter, Head of Primary, Community and Social Care, said: “We want to look at what services we already have in the community, and explore ways of improving them so that they are fit for purpose for the current clients, whilst supporting carers and working with communities.”
Da…

Carmarthenshire chairman raises £9000 for charities

The Chairman of Carmarthenshire County Council has raised almost £9,000 for his chosen charities so far.
Cllr Ivor Jackson picked Macmillan Cancer Support, the Alzheimer’s Society and Plant Dewi, which works with children and their families in the Diocese of St David’s, as his charities for his year in office.
To date the Chairman has raised £8,918 from a number of events including taking part in the Walrus Dip at Cefn Sidan on New Year’s Day which raised nearly £2,000 from sponsorship.
Cllr Jackson is holding a Curry Night in the Masala restaurant in Llanelli on Wednesday March 28. Tickets are £11 a head for an all you can eat buffet.
Then on Saturday April 28 there will be a Charity Concert at Ysgol Pantycelyn in Llandovery featuring Llandovery Male Voice Choir with Gwawr Edwards and Aled Wynne Davies. The president for the evening will be Tom Lloyd OBE.
The concert starts at 7pm and tickets are £10 or pay on the door.
Anyone interested in going to either event can contact Eira Evan…

Carmarthenshire streets cleaner than the Wales average

Streets in Carmarthenshire are cleaner than the all Wales average, according to a new report.
The survey, carried out by Keep Wales Tidy, gave Carmarthenshire an overall score of 69 (out of 100) for cleanliness*.
This is both an improvement on last year’s figure of 68.1 and above the all Wales figure of 67.9.
The survey also found that 98.2% of streets were grade B (predominantly free of litter and refuse apart from some small items) or above, which again is an improvement on 2010/11 and above the all Wales figure.
No D grade streets were found during the course of survey (heavily affected by litter and/or refuse with significant accumulations).
The Local Environmental Audit and Management System (LEAMS) report has been published following surveys carried out in Carmarthenshire in July 2011 and February 2012.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Director of Technical Services Richard Workman congratulated both cleansing and environmental enforcement staff for all their hard work.
He added:…

Work starts on facelift for Llanelli car park

Work on giving Llanelli’s Murray Street Multi Storey car park a makeover worth £1.75 million has started. The work will be carried out in seven phases over a year to limit as much as possible the loss of parking spaces as each of the seven levels is refurbished.
In the first phase next week there will be the immediate loss of 135 spaces of the 527 in the car park as level six and seven are the first to be tackled.
This is not thought to cause any problems because electronic occupancy registering shows that the multi storey car park is infrequently more than half full other than during the Christmas season.
There will be a reducing impact as each of the remaining levels is tackled with the loss of between 94 and 41 spaces.
The works include the partial covering of the structure with eye mesh cladding, new lifts, new lighting, bay and lane markings, concrete repairs and treatment to the entrances to the St Elli Centre.
The works will give the 40-year-old car park an extended life of 25 …

Solar panels plan for Carmarthen school

Planning permission has been granted to put solar panels on the roof of a Carmarthen primary school.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning committee this week approved an application by the local authority’s technical services department to place 78 solar panels to south facing roofs at Ysgol y Dderwen in Heol Spurrell.
An officers’ report to the committee said: “The proposal is for a relatively small scheme for renewable energy.”

£21million transformation for Ammanford school

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A massive £21million transformation of Ammanford’s Ysgol Dyffryn Aman is taking place, remarkably with the 1,600 pupils still at their desks there.
Over the last nine months the first phase of works has been progressing to upgrade current facilities and provide additional accommodation to meet the needs for the delivery of secondary education in the southern area of Dinefwr.
It is planned by September 2012 the school will have the first phase delivered of a new administration and 6th form block; a new 24-pupil special education needs block; a totally refurbished and extended science block; covered links between all buildings, extensive works to the IT infrastructure and new computers and whiteboards.
The transformation will provide enhanced learning facilities supplemented by enlarged parking facilities to provide an additional 30-car parking spaces and considerable improvements to the external environment and circulation areas.
This first phase of the project is being undertaken by…

Carmarthenshire toilets clean up in awards

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Carmarthenshire toilets have cleaned up in the Loo of the Year Awards.
The council’s superloos in Carmarthen (two), Llanelli, Ammanford, St Clears, Llandeilo, Laugharne and Llandovery have been awarded a 5* grading (the highest possible) in what is known as the Oscars of the toilet world.
Managed on behalf of the council by Danfo, the superloos have individual access cubicles, vandal proofing, hand-washing facilities in each cubicle along with hot air dryers, baby changing facilities and disabled access.
There are also no public areas to discourage anti-social behaviour.
Each costs 20p to use to cover all maintenance and cleaning costs.
The annual Loo of the Year Awards is run by the British Toilet Association and the facilities are assessed against over 100 judging criteria including signage and décor, fixtures and fittings and overall standards of cleanliness and management.
Carmarthenshire County Council has also been recognised in the ‘2011 Local Authority Public Toilet Entries Pre…

Students on a Pokémon hunt in aid of charity

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At 7pm on the 3rd of April, 2012, six brave Aberystwyth University students will embark on a 96 hour long Pokémon hunt in the name of charity, as part of their ‘Production Research Placement’ work experience module in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies.
The event will be hosted by the Aberystwyth Guild of Students.
Pokémon are the small yet powerful monsters that inhabit the computer game worlds created by Nintendo in the eponymous series of games, cartoons, films and trading cards; to catch them is our 6 heroes’ real test, and to raise money for charity is their cause.
 Following on from the success of last year’s ‘Pokémon4Japan’ live-stream event, which raised £4,000 for the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, this year’s Pokémon marathon, entitled ‘Full Restore’, will raise money for the British Red Cross Disaster Fund.
Each donation made will enable the general public to interact directly with the games being played.
The nature of the interaction wi…

Ystradowen residents buy community centre

Residents of Ystradowen have officially bought their own community centre.
Carmarthenshire County Council has sold the building to the residents’ committee at market value, after the neighbours rallied round to raise the necessary funds to take hold of the keys.
The committee was formed last year, when people stepped forward to help run the village’s day club facility for older people.
It has since gone from strength to strength, and with support from officers in various council departments, they have now secured funding to purchase the freehold and improve the facilities within the building.
Chair, Rhys Maddock, said: “We have had an excellent response from the local community and as a committee we are keen to establish the centre and ensure that the community has an easy accessible venue for years to come.”
Since launching in May, the older people’s day club has developed to involve many more activities than the council was previously able to provide.
Members are able to enjoy a hot me…

New bid to stop coastal park hooligans

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Tearaway hooligans are ripping up ground and littering Millennium Coastal Park land at Burry Port.
Following complaints from residents at Heol Vaughan who have found drugs parphenalia amongst the litter, signs warning against driving or riding scrambling motor cycles on the land have been erected by Carmarthenshire Council.
The land is reclaimed and was the site for the former inner Pembrey Old Harbour before it was in-filled by domestic refuse and grassed over.
Immediately opposite the popular Shoreline Caravan Park the land is a popular walking site in summer and landing site for migratory birds.
County Councillor Pat Jones said: “Last year we created a bund on the boundary of the land to prevent the offensive intrusion of joy riders who are making lives of those living nearby a misery.
“The signs will allow the police to carry out enforcement if any drivers are caught on the land now. In the past they have been able to argue that there are no signs banning them from the land.”
Cou…

Llanelli skip firm fined

A Llanelli skip firm has been prosecuted for placing skips on the public highway without permission.
Sospan Skips Limited pleaded guilty by post to two offences contrary to section 139 of the Highways Act 1980 at Carmarthen Magistrates Court.
The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The court heard that skips had been placed on the highway at the rear of Glenalla Road in Llanelli and at Ger-y-Castell in KIdwelly in two separate incidents without the relevant permissions from the council.
The company, which is based at Caemawr Farm, Furnace, was fined £350 and ordered to pay full prosecution costs of £300.50 for the first offence. Sospan Skips was fined a further £350 and £227.58 costs for the second offence.
Chair of the council’s Environment Scrutiny Committee Cllr Jim Jones said “Carmarthenshire County Council is determined to tackle the problem of unlicensed skips. This is important both to ensure safety on the highway and to reduce the risk that waste from th…

Warning to dog owners in Burry Port

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Dog owners in Burry Port are being warned to clean up after their pets - or pay up!
Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council has teamed up with the local authority to tackle dog fouling in the area.
Councillors say it is a problem throughout the town, but particularly around the harbour area.
Environmental enforcement officers will now be stepping up patrols and anyone caught failing to clean up after their dogs can be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £75. They could also be prosecuted through the magistrates’ courts where the maximum fine is £1,000.
Dog fouling is one of the main causes of complaint to Carmarthenshire County Council. A recent survey carried out by Keep Wales Tidy found that 12.7% of county streets were affected by dog fouling.
Town and county councillor Pat Jones said: “Most people take their responsibilities seriously and clean up after their dogs, but unfortunately there are a few who do not listen.
“Some of the streets are in a terrible state; there is also a big…

New luncheon club for the Gwendraeth

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 A new luncheon club has been launched in the Gwendraeth.
 ‘Hwyl, Bwyd a Bingo’ or Fun, Food and Bingo, is held weekly at the Llys Y Dderwen Sheltered Housing Scheme, Ponthenri.
 The first lunch was held there last week, and now more local residents are being encouraged to join up.
Sheltered Scheme Officer Angela Aubrey, said: “We hope the luncheon club will be a big hit. We have some fantastic volunteers who serve up a hot meal, and then we play bingo and have a chat.
“It’s a great way for people to get together, and because we run it ourselves there is no eligibility criteria – you can just join up and come along. The club is for everyone living locally, not just the tenants of Llys Y Dderwen.”
Carmarthenshire County Council operates several Sheltered Schemes across the county, which provide 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.
Eve…

Enforcement notice on old Amman Valley hall

Carmarthenshire’s County Council could bring criminal proceedings against the owner of a derelict Amman Valley eyesore if the owner doesn’t carry out urgent improvements.
The owner of the Workingmen’s Hall on Cwmamman Road, Garnant, has been served with a Section 215 enforcement notice after failing to respond to repeated requests from council planning enforcement officers to improve the condition of the property.
The Hall originally opened in 1927, is now in a dilapidated state after years of neglect with the decline of the property having a severe visual impact on the area. The lack of maintenance has also resulted in masonry falling onto the pavement that has had to be fenced off in the interest of public safety.
Planning enforcement and Building Regulation officers from the council have made several attempts to engage with owner Mr Singh, of London-based Inca Estates, to clean up and repair the exterior of the building. Officers had warned that if the appearance of the building wa…

New web service for the deaf and hard of hearing

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Carmarthenshire County Council is to launch a new web facility using British Sign Language to communicate information about its services. Working with Welsh company Deaf Friendly Business Solutions, the council has just started making the first in a series of videos that will be uploaded to a dedicated British Sign Language area on its website.
The first clip aims to give an introduction about the council, its various services and the facilities it has in place to engage with the deaf community.
New videos will be added over time, following feedback from its users.
 Philip Lewis, Senior Practitioner with Deaf People, said: “As a council we are committed to promoting equality and inclusion, which is why we were keen to develop a dedicated section of the website which we can develop with the help of people who are Deaf or hard of hearing.
“We filmed the first video last week, and invited some members of staff who are Deaf to observe and give us ongoing feedback.”
The council has linked …

Old crutches and walking frames wanted!

If you have any unwanted crutches or walking frames hanging around the house, take them along to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre so that they can be put to good use.
The council has teamed up with the Integrated Community Equipment Service, based in Dafen, Llanelli, which supplies equipment including crutches, walking frames, and toileting aids to over 5,000 people.
Any living aids that are taken to the recycling centres at Nantycaws (Carmarthen); Trostre (Llanelli); Wernddu (Ammanford); Whitland and Llangadog will be returned to the equipment store so that it can be cleaned, checked and then re-issued to someone who needs it.
For further information on the Equipment Service call 01554 744359 or email cices@carmarthenshire.gov.uk
For more information on waste and recycling visit www.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/recycling

Recycling bins for Carmarthenshire schools

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Youngsters in Carmarthenshire can now recycle their litter in the school yard as well as in the classroom.
Litter recycling bins are being installed in some secondary schools as part of the council’s Eco Challenge Award scheme.
It includes Bryngwyn School in Llanelli; Dyffryn Taf in Whitland, Glanymor in Burry Port, Bro Myrddin in Carmarthen; QE High in Carmarthen, Maesyryfa in Cefneithin, Ysgol y Gwendraeth in Drefach and Amman Valley Comprehensive in Ammanford.
Pupils can recycle their plastic bottles, paper and drinks cans using the bins.
The schools also received cash prizes towards their continuing work in energy conservation, reducing waste and environmental best practice.
The deadline for this year’s Eco Challenge Awards has been extended to Monday, April 2.
For further information contact council sustainability officer Tina Brice by calling Carmarthenshire Direct on 01267 234567.

Family Fun Day at Morfa Centre

Llanelli’s Morfa Children’s Centre is to host a spring family fun day to celebrate its first birthday.
The event will take place between 10am and 2pm on Monday, April 2, with free fun activities for children of all ages.
The centre is based within the new Ysgol Maes Y Morfa, developed as part of Carmarthenshire County Council’s Modernising Education Programme.
It is operated by Carmarthenshire Children’s Partnership, in partnership with Flying Start, Plant Dewi and CYCA, providing a network of services which support children and families with integrated education, family support and health services.
Janine Patrick, Sure Start Development Officer, said: “The family fun day will be an opportunity for the centre to throw open its doors to families who may not have previously used the facilities.
“The event will kick start the school holidays, and we hope to see many new and familiar faces throughout the day.”

Top darts at Stebonheath

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Top international darts players Peter 'One Dart' Manley and Colin 'Jaws' Lloyd will be in action at the Llanelli Reds Club at Stebonheath Park in May.
The stars will play at the club on Saturday, May 19, and local darts players will be able to play against both of them, while Manley and Lloyd will also play an exhibition match against each other.
Tickets for the night are available from the club. Front of house tickets are priced at £15 while back of house tickets are £10.
The event will start at 7pm and tickets can be bought by telephone on 01554 758018 during normal office hours.

Man fined £75 for litter offence

A man has been fined £75 for leaving a carrier bag full of rubbish on the ground in Caecoed, Llandybie.
Council environmental enforcement officers issued the fixed penalty notice to the 34-year-old.
Failure to pay could lead to prosecution in the magistrate’s court and a maximum fine of £2,500.
It is now hoped this fine will act as a warning to others that littering of any kind will not be tolerated.
Environmental enforcement officers regularly carry out patrols across the county. The council also has ongoing ‘Bin It’ campaign to encourage people to dispose of their litter more responsibly.
Chairman of the Environment Scrutiny Committee Cllr Jim Jones:
“Dropping litter is against the law, whether it is discarding rubbish from a vehicle, throwing cigarette ends or spitting out chewing gum. If there are no bins nearby, then take your rubbish home with you to dispose of. We do not want to fine people but we are determined to clean up Carmarthenshire and we will not hesitate to prosecute th…

Carmarthenshire leisure centres going green

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A huge drive is underway at Carmarthenshire leisure centres to go green.
Council bosses are spearheading moves to cut the county’s carbon footprint and use less energy leading to cash savings.
Hi-tech voltage optimisation hardware has been installed at Carmarthen and Llanelli leisure centres. The kit works by lowering the amount of voltage supplied to equipment and has led to a drop in carbon emissions by 2.55 per cent this year.
Figures show it will lead to nearly £11,000 of savings every year which can be re-invested into the centres, and a huge 68 tonnes of carbon will be reduced during that time.
During the lifetime of the equipment around £200,000 of savings will be generated and carbon will be reduced by 1,286 tonnes.
The council’s Corporate Energy Officer Neil Evans said: “We have undertaken a lot of work over the past year to reduce our energy consumption. We have identified key areas where we can reduce our energy use, and work is underway to make all our buildings more ener…

Songs at Springtime at Pembrey Church

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The exciting young voices of Llanelli’s Hywel Girls’ Choir & Hywel Boy Singers will be heard at St. Illtyd’s Church, Pembrey in April for ‘Songs at Springtime’.
The charity performance in aid of St. Illtyd’s Church & Llandyry Church will feature the young singers take audiences on a musical journey spanning music from opera and the classics, musical theatre, film and cinema – all under the direction of conductor John Hywel Williams. The evening will also feature the beautiful soprano voice of Elizabeth Bevan and pianist Jean Hywel.
Songs at Springtime will be the next performance in a busy Spring schedule for the young singers which includes rehearsals, workshops, a BBC radio feature and the forthcoming flag-waving Llanelli Proms hosted by the Hywel Girls’ Choir & Hywel Boy Singers. Future performances for the choir include Cardiff, London, Surrey and an exciting Festival of Christmas for Llanelli audiences.
Songs at Springtime will take place at 7.30pm Saturday 28th …

Motorway mission to attract tourists to Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire has taken to the motorway to attract new visitors to the county.
The county’s accommodation and attractions will be advertised at a string of motorway service stations throughout Wales and England.
Carmarthenshire County Council has entered a partnership with Pear Media which recently bought the exclusive rights to distribute tourism material across all Roadchef Motorway Services in the UK.
Under the partnership the council will be sponsoring Magor and Pont Abraham on the M4, Symonds Yat on the M50, Strensham South on the M5, Maidstone on the M20 and Clackett Lane on the M25.
As part of the deal the council’s marketing & tourism section will have prominent branding at each of these sites with their “Discover Carmarthenshire” leaflets given priority distribution.
Pear Media said: “We have built up an excellent relationship with Carmarthenshire County Council in the last four years and are therefore delighted to announce this deal which will bring Carmarthenshire to …

Norwegian tourism 'reps' to sample Carmarthenshire's delights

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A group of Norwegian tourism business representatives will be sampling what Carmarthenshire has to offer as part of a trip to South Wales.
Carmarthenshire County Council tourism officers have secured the familiarisation visit to Llandeilo, Carreg Cennen and Aberglasney through the Welsh Government.
The group will arrive in Carmarthenshire, visiting Carreg Cennen Castle at Trap before spending an hour looking around Llandeilo accompanied by County Council tourism office Sarah Owen.
In the afternoon the Norwegian visitors will be taken on a tour of Aberglasney House and Gardens, and will drive through Laugharne en route for Pembrokeshire.
The visitors include the owner/manager of a travel company that organises charter flights, the sales manager of a tour operator, and the product manager of a company that arranges tours for groups of between 10 and 20 interested in history, music and operas, and archaeology.
Executive board member for regeneration and leisure Cllr Clive Scourfield said…

New light shed on John Keats poem

Archive discoveries by researchers at Aberystwyth University suggest that lying beneath the autumnal mellowness of one of the nation’s best-loved poems, John Keats’s ode “To Autumn”, is a murkier world of banking crisis, rising prices and striking workers.
The previously unseen documents also suggest that the traditional site of the famous “stubble-plains” in “To Autumn” should be revised.
 Long believed to describe the picturesque water-meadows lining the River Itchen, Keats’s cornfields are more likely, the researchers argue, to portray the west-facing slopes of St Giles’s Hill, overlooking Winchester from its eastern extremity.
Generations of fans swooning along the "Keats Walk" may have been lead - literally - up the garden path by previous scholarly studies.
When Keats arrived in Winchester in summer 1819, he did so in the midst of rising tensions over corn prices and agricultural working conditions.
 Bankers-turned-landowners were snapping up grain-producing land in …

Wales to consider split-off to become separate legal jurisdiction

Wales to consider split-off to become separate legal jurisdiction- Legalweek
Wales is set to consider operating as a separate legal jurisdiction with the launch of a 12-week consultation next week (27 March).
The Welsh Government has set up a committee to examine the impact of splitting from England to allow it to pass laws applicable only within Wales' borders.
The review comes after a referendum last year saw Wales vote in favour of extended law-making powers for its assembly without the need for Westminster's consent.

Banking expert gives Master Class at Aberystwyth University

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On the day when the Chancellor of the Exchequer was delivering the 2012 Budget, students at Aberystwyth University’s School of Management and Business were receiving a master class in commerce from leading financier George Ashworth.
An Aberystwyth University economics graduate, George is Managing Director of Asset Finance at Aldermore Bank, one of only five financial institutions to have signed up to the UK Government’s new National Loan Guarantee Scheme.
Sixteen SMB students attended the morning workshop which focused on exploring George's career within the financial sector to help students to develop their understanding of the key employability attributes and skills they need to be successful.
With the emphasis on understanding the real challenges faced by business, the students were set a challenge of their own; to prepare a creative solution to a current business scenario at Aldermore Bank.
The winning team of Nathan Mears, Alexandra Gencheva, Xiang Li and Helen Froelich wil…

Rusting pontoon washed up on Llanelli beach

A rusting pontoon weighing several tonnes has washed up on Llanelli beach.
It broke free from heavy retaining anchor chains just 100 yards offshore in February.
The pontoon was made by Spencer Davies Engineering and owned and installed by the former Llanelli Harbour Trust which ceased to exist when the Trusts lands were sold to the former Llanelli Borough Council in the early 1990s.
The pontoon has been removed from the eastern end of Llanelli beach because of the danger of it being taken out to sea on imminent high tides where it could become a danger to boating in the estuary or shipping in the Atlantic.
The metal pontoon was installed by the Trust 40 years ago and replaced others that had been constructed in wood when the Harbour Trust was formed circa 1890 and Llanelli harbour was handling up to 2,000 vast tonnage ships annually.
Its purpose was to offer refuge to people stranded on high the sandbanks opposite Llanelli beach cut off from the land by the channel caused by the Machy…

Outbreak of gastrointestinal illness in Lampeter

Hywel Dda Health Board | Outbreak of gastrointestinal illness, Lampeter
Public Health Wales and Ceredigion County Council are investigating an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness at a school in Lampeter.
Since early March, 145 children and 12 members of staff at Ysgol Gynradd Ffynnonbedr have been unwell with vomiting and/or diarrhoea.
All 368 pupils and 56 staff at the school are from today being asked to submit samples for laboratory testing if they develop symptoms.
The school will be closed voluntarily tomorrow (Friday 23 March) as a precaution and will also remain closed on Monday 26 March due to a scheduled Inset day.

Dyfed Powys Police Recruits New PCSOs

Dyfed Powys Police Recruits New PCSOs | Dyfed Powys Police | Heddlu Dyfed Powys
Dyfed Powys Police is recruiting 74 new Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) this year they will play a vital role in tackling anti-social behaviour and crime in communities throughout mid and west Wales.
The new posts are being funded by the Welsh Government which has made funding an additional 500 PCSOs across Wales one of its top five priorities.
Carl Sargeant, AM, Minister for Local Government and Communities, visited Dyfed Powys Police in Aberystwyth this week to meet some of the new PCSOs who are already in post.

Llanelli boxers benefit from police grant

Boxers benefit from police grant | Dyfed Powys Police | Heddlu Dyfed Powys
Trostre Amateur Boxing Club in Llanelli was recently presented with a cheque for £456 thanks to Dyfed Powys Police.
The money’s come from the force’s incentivisation fund. This fund is made up of money that’s been recovered as proceeds of crime from convicted criminals, which is then ploughed back into our local communities.

'Costume Day' for ladies at The Ashburnham Golf Club

The dress code will be very different at the Ashburnham Championship Links Golf Club in Pembrey this weekend.
Ladies taking part in a special tournament to mark 100 years of women's golf at 'The Ash' will be teeing off in costumes from days gone by.
Ladies captain Iris Jacob said: "It's just one of a number of ways we are marking the centenary of the formation of the ladies section at 'The Ash'.
"The ladies section started in 1912, so we are encouraging everyone playing on Saturday to dress in 'period costume'.
"It's up to the players themselves.They may choose to dress up in 1912 style, or they may chose something more contemporary like a 1970s theme.
"Whatever they pick, it should be a colourful and entertaining event."
The club recently held its first mixed foursomes of the season.
The very first mixed foursomes at the club saw eight couples taking part and the winners were Mr and Mrs W B Roderick.
Mr and Mrs W Brodie (Mr…

Bid to boost caravanning and camping in Carmarthenshire

Tourism officers in Carmarthenshire will be working with the South & West Wales Caravan and Motor Home Show to launch Carmarthenshire as a caravan and camping destination.
The officers will be working with Daffodil Events, who organise the South & West Wales Caravan and Motor Home Show, and Ennis Caravans to launch the campaign on Saturday April 7.
The Caravan and Camping Campaign highlights 2,000 inspected pitches in 24 different sites from Carmarthen Bay to the Brecon Beacons. There’s no better way to experience the great outdoors than by bringing your own accommodation along with you.
Caravan and camping gives you the freedom to enjoy the best Carmarthenshire landscapes and seascapes without spending a fortune - getting down to earth doesn’t have to cost the earth.
The fun-filled launch event will take place on April 7 in Guildhall Square, Carmarthen, between 10am and 3pm. There will also be a chance to enter a free draw and win a Weekend Family Camping Pass (two adults and…

Latest 'View from Richmond Park' column . . .

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The latest 'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen Town AFC column from the Carmarthen Journal  newspaper -
The Carmarthen Town AFC Grand Raffle results were as follows –
£500, Allison Piper, Porth Tywyn Suburbs
£100, Steve Smith, CPDC
£100, Pamella Willets, Pengam Boys and Girls
Camera, Ainsley Harriies, CPDC
Radio, Paul Thomas, Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi
Radio, Adrian Colbourne, Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi
Headset, Julian Lewis, CPDC
Camera, CMSC, C.M.S.C
£10, Julian Lewis, CPDC
£10, Clare Churchill, Porth Tywyn Suburbs
£10, Sarah Powell, CPDC
£10, Chip Keen, C.M.S.C
£10, Brenda Jones, CPDC
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Popular Carmarthen comedy entertainer Phil Doyle will be staging a fund-raising evening at the Carmarthen Town AFC clubhouse and community centre on Saturday, May 26.
The show starts at 7pm. Tickets are £12 per person, including buffet.
Phil has appeared on many TV shows including New Comedians and Talking Telephone Numbers.
Phil has won the Jersey Variety Club Award f…

Child Safety Fun Days for Carmarthenshire

Eight out of 10 child seats are fitted incorrectly posing a serious risk to youngsters, figures show.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Road Safety Unit is holding a series of free Child Safety Fun Days across the county during the Easter holidays.
The main aim is to check as many child car seats as possible in Llanelli, Ammanford and Carmarthen and address the faults.
It is hoped the events will also help to raise awareness of the risks to babies and children if seats are not fitted properly.
County road safety manager Keith Griffiths said: “It is quite frightening how many families quite innocently believe their precious bundles are safe when buckled into their child seats but our checks in recent years have shown up to eight out of 10 car seats checked have been fitted incorrectly.
“Whilst the Road Safety Unit operation has a serious message we make the checks as fun an occasion as possible. We have invited other agencies and businesses along including the Library Service, Help for …

Carmarthenshire children have something to smile about

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Children across Carmarthenshire have got something to smile about now that they know how to keep their teeth in tip-top condition.
The county’s Healthy Schools Scheme, run by the county council, has been working alongside dental health and hygiene organisation Designed To Smile to run a daily toothbrushing programme in Carmarthenshire schools.
The programme is aimed at helping improve the health of young children’s teeth in Wales.
Children are shown how to brush their teeth, how long to brush for, and are also encouraged to brush their teeth as part of the school day.
To celebrate the success of the schools which have already taken part, a ceremony was held at Trimsaran Leisure Centre.
Pupils and staff from 20 Carmarthenshire schools attended, where they were presented with certificates and took part in healthy cookery demonstrations.
Healthy Schools Scheme Co-ordinator, Lynn Edwards, said: “It is important that children establish a good daily toothbrushing routine from a young age, …

Warning on 'advanced fee' fraud

Carmarthenshire Trading Standards officers are warning residents to be on their guard against advanced fee fraud.
The county council’s Trading Standards Service has had numerous complaints from residents who have received calls by fraudsters telling them that they are owed money from refunded bank charges or from a payment protection insurance claim.
The caller goes on to ask for an administration fee in order to process the payment, to be made via a Ukash Voucher. In reality, there is no payment and victims lose the admin fee they pay.
Ukash is an e-commerce cash payment method that lets consumers exchange their banknotes and coins for a voucher code which represents electronic money of the same value. They can then use this money on the Internet.
Fraudsters use the service to their advantage by asking residents to purchase the vouchers and phone them back with the voucher numbers.
They do this on the pretence of checking the money is present before processing the bogus repayment.
In f…

Major campaign to tackle chewing gum litter

A major campaign has been launched in Carmarthenshire to tackle chewing gum litter on our streets and pavements.
The 2012 campaign sees selected local authorities taking part in a new advertising campaign calling on everyone to play their part in creating a cleaner, better Britain ahead of the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee by putting their gum in a bin. Carmarthenshire County Council is one of 15 local authorities nationwide to have pledged their support for the 2012 campaign to help make Britain’s streets free of littered gum.
The campaign is being funded by the Chewing Gum Action Group, a joint initiative between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the chewing gum industry and Chartered Institution of Wastes Management.
The aim of CGAG is to achieve a long-term solution to the irresponsible disposal of chewing gum. The group’s sixth national campaign will run in March and April and see local authorities working with communities to encourage people to t…

Man fined £175 for litter offence

A man has been fined £175 and ordered to pay £182.92 court costs for throwing litter from a car at Cross Hands Business Park.
Matthew James Richards was convicted in absence to 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 at Cross Hands Business Park when they saw the passenger of a parked vehicle open the door and discard a takeaway bag onto the ground.
The officers approached the man and explained what they had seen. He made no attempt to recover the litter.
Richards, aged 25, of Tylacoch, Llanharry, Bridgend, was issued with a fixed penalty notice for £75 for the offence but failed to pay it and was prosecuted in court as a result.
The council now hopes this case will act as a warning to others.
Director of Technical Services Richard Workman said: “Dropping litter is against …

Man fined for scrap metal offence

A man has been fined £150 and ordered to pay £227.68 court costs for illegally carrying scrap metal in Carmarthen.
Christian Ambrosen pleaded guilty to offences contrary to Section 1 of the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989 and Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 at Carmarthen Magistrates Court.
The prosecution was brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The court heard that Ambrosen was stopped by police on September 1, 2011 on the A40 near Carmarthen in a vehicle which was carrying a consignment of scrap metal.
However, the 22-year-old, of Milton Place, Machen, Caerphilly, failed to provide a written description of the waste, together with a waste transfer note.
The matter was referred to the council’s environmental enforcement section who again wrote to Ambrosen asking him to produce the documentation, which again he failed to do. He was prosecuted in court as a result.
The council now hopes this case will act as a warning to others and help prevent the i…