Showing posts from February 17, 2013

Council libel case prompts 'Leader' from The Times

The much-debated libel case in the High Court - Jacqui Thompson v Mark James and vice versa - made it into The Times last week. Wednesday saw The Times devote a leading article (comment) to the case. The Times operates behind a paywall on the internet, so for the benefit of those who missed it (or don't have access rights) here is the article. State versus Citizen
Carmarthenshire council is behaving with arrogance and defensiveness
A chunk of West Wales has decamped to the High Court in London, where it has been filling out Court 14 in an expensive libel trial, partly funded by taxpayers. It is a case that has its origins in two decisions — made three years apart by Carmarthenshire council — concerning Mrs Jacqui Thompson, a woman apparently as welcome to council leaders as chicken pox is to a primary school.
In 2011 Mrs Thompson, a long-term critic of the council, began to film sessions of the planning committee, using the camera on her mobile phone. Someone in officialdom decided th…

Hywel Dda Health Board celebrates the use of Welsh

Hywel Dda Health Board is hosting a series of events in the run up to St David’s Day to celebrate the use of Welsh language.
The Health Board actively promotes the use of the Welsh language by staff, patients and visitors and wherever it is practically possible endeavours to provide a bilingual service.
To help with this a new e-learning package has been developed for staff – the package has been created in two sections – the first on Welsh Language Awareness and the second part is the Language Lab to help staff learn Welsh.
As part of the event they will be also promoting the bi-lingual skills strategy. The aim of the skills strategy is to work towards ensuring that the Health Board will have sufficient number of staff with the appropriate language skills to conduct a healthcare service to the public bilingually.
During the road shows, staff will also be given the opportunity to find our about the Welsh Government Strategic Framework More than just words which Health Boards are expected …

Experts join forces to discuss science of horse breeding

A varied collection of horse breeders, vets, academics, policy makers and students are set to come together at The Colloquium for Equine Reproduction (CFER) 2013 in the University of Nottingham on Wednesday 17th April to discuss the science of equine reproduction.
This year the annual event will take place alongside the British Society of Animal Science (BSAS) annual conference, providing a unique opportunity to bring together industry representatives from around the world.
CFER is an initiative set up and run by the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University. CFER 2013 is set to build on the success of its previous events by joining forces with the BSAS and is proudly sponsored by EGGTech Ltd.
The BSAS conference sees scientists discuss the latest research in livestock production, health and welfare and will offer the chance for greater discussion for CFER around the issues affecting equine reproduction. As in previous years, CFER 2013 wi…

Hywel Dda Health Board celebrates equality and diversity progress

Hywel Dda Health Board has increased its score in a survey which measures employers’ efforts to tackle discrimination and create inclusive workplaces for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) employees.
Stonewall recently published the results of its annual Workplace Equality Index 2013, in which Hywel Dda Health Board demonstrated progress after implementing a number of initiatives to help staff feel able to be themselves at work.
Work undertaken by the Equality and Diversity team has included raising awareness around Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) issues which can affect staff and patients.
The Health Board is also in the process of jointly establishing an All Wales Public Sector LGBT Staff Network.
The network will advise on policy and practice, help raise awareness of LGBT issues in the workplace, provide confidential reporting and peer support for staff and support LGBT Staff develop their skills and careers.
Chris Wright, Director of Corporate Services, said: “The Equality a…

Carmarthenshire blogger libel case judgement reserved

BBC News - Carmarthenshire blogger libel case judgement reserved
Judgement has been reserved in a case in which a blogger and a council chief are suing each other for libel.
Lawyers representing Jacqui Thompson told the High Court her case was one of "state versus citizen".
She is suing Carmarthenshire chief executive Mark James and the council. He denies libel and is counter-suing,
Lawyers for Mr James said she carried out a "wholly improper" campaign. Mr Justice Tugendhat reserved judgement until an unspecified later date.

Jonathan Roberts appointed Editor of the South Wales Evening Post

Jonathan Roberts has been appointed as the new Editor of the South Wales Evening Post.
Jonathan returned to South West Wales Media last year, as the Editor of the Carmarthen Journal. Over the last six months he has overseen a full redesign of the newspaper, introducing structural changes to both the newsroom and the product, while increasing pagination by an average of 25%, with the majority of the extra content sourced from user generated content.
Jonathan began his career as a trainee on the Llanelli Star in 1997, before working at several Welsh regional and national titles during a 17-year career, and has also played a pivotal role in securing significant commercial partnerships for the Journal since his return to the business.
Jonathan said: “It’s a huge privilege to become the editor of Wales’ largest-selling newspaper. The South Wales Evening Post is an integral part of life in Swansea, as well as in communities to the east and west, and a newspaper the city is rightly proud of.

Healthy Wednesday advice from the Hywel Dda Board

Put your best foot forward for your heart this Healthy Wednesday . . .
Walking has been described as the ideal form of physical activity and it’s good for your heart.
It can be done by almost anyone, anywhere, at any time and makes you feel good, reduces stress, helps you to relax and sleep better.
Did you know that walking just two miles per day has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack by 28%? And regular walking can also help you to lose weight.
Walking at pace can also help reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis and some cancers.
Brisk walking is when you walk fast enough to make you breathe a little faster, feel warmer and have a slightly faster heart beat.
This improves the functioning of heart and lungs and reduces blood pressure, however remember it should always be comfortable and you should still be able to talk!
If you are not sure where to go the Urbanwalks booklets promotes a variety of circular routes of differing lengths within Carmarthenshi…

Côr Meibion Llanelli in the TV spotlight

Côr Meibion Llanelli are gearing up to take part in the first ever TV recording at the new Y Ffwrnes theatre in Llanelli.
The choir will be joining celebrated Welsh tenor Wynne Evans on stage for a show which is likely to be broadcast on St David's Day.
Further details of the TV programme will be released later.
But guest stars will include top Welsh comedian Owen Money and West End singing sensation Sophie Evans.
Côr Meibion Llanelli musical director Eifion Thomas said: "It is a great honour to be taking part in such a prestigious show at the new Y Ffwrnes theatre.
"The choristers are looking forward to teaming up with an old friend of the choir in Wynne Evans.
"We will be joining Wynne on stage for a special rendition of Myfanwy, arranged by John Quirk.
"Together with other officials of the choir, I have been for a tour around the new theatre and it looks magnificent.
"Let's hope the TV recording adds to the lustre of the new theatre and helps to further rai…

Pictures from my Sunday lunch at Radio Wales!

Some pictures from the Jamie Owen show on Radio Wales on Sunday (pics courtesy of Aimee Bateman).
Guests on the show included the very talented singer-songwriter Dane Lloyd, actor Ieuan Rhys and careers guru Aimee Bateman.
You can hear it again on iPlayer (for a few more days, at least) on -
Weblinks -

Sweet smell of success arrives in St Elli Shopping Centre

The sweet smell of success is arriving in Llanelli’s St Elli Shopping Centre this week.
And the opening of the new Yankee Candle shop brings good jobs news for staff at the soon-to-close Dorothy Perkins fashion shop in Vaughan Street.
Six members of the Dorothy Perkins team will be making the short walk to the cosy new Yankee Candle shop under the St Elli Pyramid.
“It’s a spot of luck for us in that it has made recruitment for our new Yankee Candle shop very easy,” said proprietor Catherine Williams.
“They say that as one door closes, another one opens. Gemma Buffrey from Dorothy Perkins is going to be our shop manager and she is bringing the other ladies with her, so I am getting a whole team all in one go.”
Manager Gemma said: “Dorothy Perkins is due to close next month, so you can imagine it has been a stressful time for everyone. But this opportunity has come along, thanks to Catherine, and we are all chuffed to bits to get jobs at Yankee Candle.”
The opening of the Yankee Candle shop…

QualitySolicitors Redkite team backs Pembrokeshire tourism awards

The QualitySolicitors Redkite team has great pleasure in sponsoring the ‘Best Supplier’ category in the Pembrokeshire Tourism Industry Awards.
“As a business based in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, we know all about supplying quality services for customers,” said QualitySolicitors Red Kite managing partner Luke Smith.
“Recognition for high quality, efficient and successful businesses is very important and we are delighted to be lending our support to the Pembrokeshire Tourism Industry Awards.
“We care passionately about highlighting all the very best in local life in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire and worthwhile awards such as these go a long way to rewarding local businesses for their achievements.
“They also help to create a healthy competitive atmosphere to ensure that our very important tourism industry stays at the top of its game.”
With offices across Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, the QualitySolicitors Redkite team has built up an excellent reputation for providing…

Three Stooges, Three Tenors . . . now Three Comedians

You've heard of Three Stooges and the Three Tenors . . .  Now there's the Three Comedians. Three of the most celebrated comedians in Wales will be taking to the ‘field of play’ in Ystradgynlais later this week.
The occasion sees the reprise of the famous ‘The Dragon Has Three Tongues’ show, featuring Phil Evans (above), Daniel Glyn and Gary Slaymaker.
“There be plenty of tongue-in-cheek points scoring a few conversions to the best in Welsh comedy,” promises Ammanford-based Phil Evans.
The acclaimed show has played in all four corners of Wales and was taken on its first ‘foreign tour’ last year when it formed the cornerstone of St David’s Day celebrations in Toronto in Canada.
Evans said: “Welsh audiences will be familiar with what the show is all about, but we haven’t given it an airing in Wales for a few months now, so it will be great fun to take it to heartland territory in Ystradgynlais.”
‘The Dragon Has Three Tongues’ will be staged at The Welfare in Brecon Road, Ystradgynlai…

Spotlight on the Talking Newspaper for the Blind in Llanelli

Feature about the Llanelli and District Talking Newspaper Association
by Robert Lloyd
Chairman of the Llanelli and District Talking Newspaper Association

You look at them as ‘payback’ moments. No money changes hands, but every now and again you get to savour the moment when it really does pay to be a volunteer.
There was one such moment earlier this month (Feb). Seated in a pew in a packed St Mary’s Church in Burry Port before the beginning of the funeral of the Very Rev Kerry Goulstone, the partially-sighted lady next door struck up a conversation.
It wasn’t long before the talk turned to the Llanelli and District Talking Newspaper for the Blind.
“I thought I recognised your voice,” the lady said. “I hear you on the talking newspaper. Oh, how I look forward to getting a copy of the talking newspaper every other week. It really is a window on the world for those of us with failed sight who cannot read newspapers.”
The generous appreciation for the talking newspaper service continued fo…

Aberystwyth University retains excellence in research award

It has been confirmed by Vitae, the UK organisation championing research in higher education institutions, that Aberystwyth University is among 12 UK institutions to have successfully retained their HR Excellence in Research Award from the European Commission.
The Award demonstrates a university’s commitment to improving the working conditions and career development for research staff, which will in turn improve the quantity, quality and impact of research for the benefit of UK society and the economy.
Gary Reed, Head of the Research Office at Aberystwyth University, explains, “It was extremely important to us that we retained this award. It demonstrates the steps Aberystwyth has made in enhancing the experience of research staff and will help us to attract researchers and secure external research funding in future.”
“There is still more to do. We look forward to implementing the two year plan and in particular, reviewing our researcher development provision and launching a new programme…

Roy Noble to star at Carmarthen Sports Aid lunch

The next fund-raising lunch for Sports Aid Cymru Wales in Carmarthen will be held on Friday, April 26. The guest speaker with be celebrated author and broadcaster Roy Noble MBE. The lunch, organised by the West Wales committee of Sports Aid Wales, starts at 1pm. Tickets are £25. There will be a raffle and auction and other sporting speakers. David Butler, president of the West Wales committee of Sports Aid Wales, said demand for tickets would be high. Tickets can be purchased from Richard Gealy, the secretary and vice-president of the West Wales committee of Sports Aid Wales, telephone 01267232305. Weblink -

Evan-Evans tops brewing Oscars with Organic Gold!

Llandeilo-based brewer Evan-Evans has been voted the top organic beer brewer in the world at the Brewing Industry International Brewing Awards 2013.
The awards are often known as the brewing Oscars and represent the pinnacle of brewing excellence. Judged by 40 brewers from around the world, this is the ultimate brewing competition - brewers judged by brewers.
Evan-Evans won the coveted Bronze medal in the Best Bitter category in 2011, but this year triumphed in the event, winning the Gold medal for organic beers. Not simply the best in Wales, but the world.
No other Welsh Brewer won an award or medal.
Simon Buckley, Chief Executive of the Evan-Evans group, said:
"This is a very special moment for us at Evan-Evans. "The beer was brewed by my son James, with our technical brewer Sajan Muthanna taking responsibility for the quality control and monitoring the fermentation. (James and Sajan are pictured above)
""This is a major achievement for our team here in Lland…

Legal battle between blogger and Carmarthenshire Council chief executive

Legal battle between blogger and Carmarthenshire Council chief executive reaches High Court | This is South Wales
A legal battle between an internet blogger and the chief executive of Carmarthenshire Council has reached the High Court.
Jacqueline Thompson, who has been writing a blog since 2009, told the High Court she was "absolutely mortified" at remarks made by Mark James in a letter, fearing they would make people think "a hell of a lot less" of her.

Note to readers: Been pondering how to report this case.
Have not blogged anything until now as I'd provided a witness statement for the Thompson side.
Attended the Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand, London, on Friday, to be told my evidence had been 'ruled out'.
As I have a personal involvement in the case, I will refrain from making any comment.

But, for those interested, you can catch up on some news from the case on the following blogs -…

Appeal for urgent business meeting on Carmarthenshire’s Eisteddfod

The leader of Llanelli’s business community has called for an urgent meeting with the organisers of the 2014 National Eisteddfod, a festival now being branded as ‘Carmarthenshire’s Eisteddfod’.
“Businesses throughout Carmarthenshire should be involved in discussions and preparations for the 2014 Eisteddfod, said Andrew Stephens, president of Llanelli’s Chamber of Trade and Commerce.
The appeal follows a host of ‘mixed messages’ about next year’s Eisteddfod, including disquiet about the cash Carmarthen Town Council is giving to the festival.
“I think it’s important that the festival organisers get a grip of the situation very quickly and work with businesses and traders to ensure that the 2014 Eisteddfod is a big success,” said Mr Stephens.
“On the one hand, we seem to have a row developing in Carmarthen over their contribution to what they perceive is an event which will benefit Llanelli.
“Here in Llanelli, we can give a contrary view and tell you that we have recent, very unhappy, memori…

Latest news from the 'Jazz in the Bar' team at Brecon

Latest news from the 'Jazz in the Bar' team at Brecon - 
GLEN MANBY (alto sax) & DAVE JONES (piano) TRIO. Swinging modern jazz quartet with a welcome return from guest Alto saxophonist Glen Manby and the acclaimed Dave Jones Trio (bass, piano, drums), playing a range of standard favourites and original compositions.
Dazzling improvisions and thoroughly enjoyable sounds from this quartet are expected!
Glen Manby - alto sax
Dave Jones - piano
Ashley John Long - double bass
Lloyd Haines - drums
Tipple n Tiffin bistro open from 6.15, group table for Jazz night (6.30), please book 01874 611866
Card of 2013 dates for Brecon jazz club - with thanks to SLiP Visuals.

Latest 'View from Richmond Park' Carmarthen Town AFC column

Latest View from Richmond Park column from the Carmarthen Journal (sorry, should have posted this last week. Doing so now, just for the record) - 
Carmarthen Town’s second phase Welsh Premier League matches will be delayed due to a decision by a FAW disciplinary Panel to deduct Gap Connah’s Quay one league point
Connah’s Quay were found guilty by a Football Association of Wales Disciplinary Panel of fielding an ineligible player.
The panel decided to deduct the club one Welsh Premier League point and fine them £250 for fielding Lee Davey as a late substitute in the league match against Carmarthen Town (5/1/13).
Davey had previously played for Colwyn Bay FC and Conwy Borough FC during the present season and, while he was entitled to register for Connah’s Quay, participating for three teams in one season is not permitted.
Connah’s Quay has seven business days in which to appeal the decision. The club is perfectly within its rights to appeal the decision. The Welsh Premier League is awa…

Latest news from the Introbiz team

Latest news from the Introbiz team . . .  What a great February already !
We've signed 25 new members this year to the network.
Come and meet our new businesses that have joined Introbiz, all keen to build relationships and help you!
Come and meet more than 300 companies that attend Introbiz on a monthly basis.
Check your diaries, plan ahead and be organised for 2013!
21 February 2013 - Mint and Mustard, Cardiff, networking with Cardiff s top award winning Indian restaurant. Buffet and drinks 4pm - 6pm . £20 members £25 visitors. 60 booked on already, it's going to be a sell out! Only a few places left!
27th February, Holland House Hotel, Cardiff canapes and drinks. come and network with us, only £15 members £20 visitors.
28 February 2013 - Newport Gwent Dragons Business Club hosted by Introbiz. Come along and network with Newport Gwent Dragons corporate sponsors and members and Introbiz corporate members, members £10 visitors £15 4pm - 6pm
If anyone wants tickets and hospitality f…

Renal unit takes shape at Withybush Hospital

The steel structure for the new renal unit at Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, is now up.
Work started on the new £7.5million 21 bay state of the art Renal Dialysis Unit in the summer and is progressing to schedule with doors opening to its first patents in February 2014.
This new unit will remove the need for patients to travel out of Pembrokeshire to receive Dialysis treatment.
The car parking facilities at the hospital have also been developed as part of the project with an increase in patient, staff and disabled parking spaces.
Project lead, Martin Thomas, said: “We haven’t looked at this project in isolation and where we can help improve access for patients to the hospital in general we have.
“As part of the construction traffic routes around the hospital site and the general entry and exit of the hospital site has been improved.
“A further benefit is that local buses will be able drop off and pick up passengers directly at the front entrance of the hospital.
“We are al…

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery -

Normal service about to resume . . .

Sorry, been a bit quiet on here for a few days. Whirlwind few days in London and Cardiff. Back on deck now.