Showing posts from March 10, 2013

The latest 'Iechyd Da' beer column by Llandeilo brewer Simon Buckley

The latest Carmarthen Journal Iechyd Da beer column by Simon Buckley, chief executive of the Llandeilo-based Evan-Evans Brewery - 
When I signed off last month, I left you all with the very real hope that perhaps, just perhaps, the Welsh brewing gods were looking down on us.
The hope was that we would pull off the big one and win a Gold medal at the International Brewing Awards, often known as the Brewing ‘Oscars’.
As my old father used to say, to have dreams is to be human.
I have had plenty - and for the last 29 years I have had one in particular: to become the very best brewer in Wales and to even achieve international recognition.
I have waited and hoped that one day I would be able to take Welsh brewing to the very top of the quality tree and to show the world we are capable of brewing the finest beers not just here in Wales but in the world.
Well, the judges have spoken, and Evan-Evans has been awarded the Gold medal at the BFBI International Brewing Awards 2013 for Organic Bee…

Text reminders for out-patient appointments in Hywel Dda

Hywel Dda Health Board is testing a new text messaging reminder service to help tackle the problem of people not attending outpatient appointments.
On average 24,000 appointments are lost year – that’s 6 per cent of total activity – because patients failed to attend appointments which had been arranged for them.
Each appointment slot missed not only means that it costs the hospital money in terms of the time the medical staff loose, but more importantly, it means that the slot cannot be offered to another patient.
The text messaging service will be used to remind patients of their outpatient appointment, with consent being sought from the patient when they initially phone to book their appointment.
Patients will be given the opportunity to request their reminder messages in either Welsh or English.
Two text messages will be sent out – the first five days before the appointment and again 24-hours before the appointment.
The text messages will not contain confidential information and a sample…

Welfare reforms 'disaster waiting to happen' says Kevin Green

Social entrepreneur Kevin Green has warned that the Government’s Universal Credit welfare reforms are a “disaster waiting to happen”.
Green, who is one of the UK’s largest private sector landlords, has said the Government should be ringing “alarm bells” following the results of a South Wales trial of benefit reforms.
The trial in Torfaen saw rent arrears from tenants in the area rise seven-fold to £140,000 in seven months.
The planned Government changes mean that housing benefit (previously paid directly to landlords) will now be transferred to claimants.
The Government has said that the change will help claimants manage their finances better.
But landlords in the pilot area in Torfaen have warned that evictions could increase if the trend in the trial area continues after the system for paying benefits is fully adopted.
Millionaire entrepreneur Green, 49, runs a massive portfolio of private rental properties from his South Wales base.
“Like hundreds of other landlords out there, I operate …

Views on nutrition needed by Hywel Dda Health Board

People are being asked to think about how patient nutrition can be improved and to let health officials know!
Hywel Dda Health Board is working throughout Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire to continue to improve the nutritional health of patients and the wider community.
As part of the National Patient Safety Agency’s ‘Nutrition and Hydration Week’ March 18th – 23rd the Health Board’s multi-disciplinary nutrition team will be promoting the work undertaken to optimise patient nutrition.
Posters have been developed by student dietitians Meinir Owens and Caitlin Shields for care homes and community hospitals to advertise the week and to invite patients, relatives residents and carers to write comments on how they feel nutrition could be improved.
Victoria Prendiville, Service Lead for Nutrition support, said “Good nutrition is an essential part of patient care in hospital and in the community. The Health Board continues to focus on the importance of good nutritional care and is c…

'Choose Well' to help reduce hospital pressures in West Wales

Hywel Dda Health Board is asking people to 'Choose Well' to help reduce pressures being experienced by local hospitals and ensure people get the right treatment in the right place in the shortest time possible.
The Health Board’s four main hospitals – Bronglais, Aberystwyth; Glangwili, Carmarthen; Prince Philip, Llanelli and Withybush, Haverfordwest - are currently experiencing a high number of ambulance attendances and admissions.
Mark Brandreth, Director of Planning and Operations said: "Hospitals across Wales are very busy today, dealing with many poorly patients.
“For example there has been unprecedented ambulance attendances at Welsh hospitals, currently 22 per cent above prediction for this time of year.
“In order to manage these patients we have taken immediate action including postponing some planned surgery so that clinical resources can support the demand in our Emergency Departments.
“The Health Board has increased the number of ward beds available as far as we can …

Latest news from the Carmarthen Mayor's Charity Committee

Latest news from the Carmarthen Mayor's Charity Committee -
At a well-attended meeting on the 26 February the Mayor of Carmarthen Charity Appeal Committee discussed a number of fundraising events to be held during 2013. Final arrangements for the annual Spring Coffee Morning which was to to be held on the 16 March at St Peter’s Civic Hall were discussed. Other events discussed were a barbecue (weather permitting) at the Mayor’s home in May, a Vintage Tea on the 8 June at St Peter’s Civic Hall and the annual Mayor’s Dinner/Dance in December. A fundraising event on the Gwili Railway was also proposed and would be discussed further at the next meeting in April. All proceeds raised by the Appeal Committee are directed to local charities. For further details of any of the events please contact Debby on 01267 222326.

Forthcoming Events
The Mayor’s Charity Appeal Committee Annual Spring Coffee morning is to be held on the 16 March at St Peter’s Civic Hall Carmarthen from 10:00 am u…

Entrepreneur Kevin Green puts spotlight on Bank of Ireland row

Entrepreneur Kevin Green puts spotlight on the Bank of Ireland tracker mortgages row on his blog -

Video released from 'A Passion for Homes' website launch party

The ladies at the 'A Passion for Homes' website have just posted a video of their launch party. If you look closely, you can see yours truly edging into some of the shots!
Entrepreneur Kevin Green was the guest speaker at the launch at a swish location in the shadow of The Shard in London.
There's a secret about the launch: it isn't tea in the lovely china cups, but champagne and elderflower sparkling wine!
Here is the latest press release from the A Passion for Homes team -
Video support vital to the launch of A Passion for Homes website
Using video to ensure the launch of A Passion for Homes in February was caught on film, including an interview with TV presenter and A Place in the Sun presenter Laura Hamilton, was an important aspect for this new company.
‘We felt it was important that this landmark day in our history was made into a short film that summed up who we are, our passion and why companies have wanted to get involved with A Passion for Homes.’ explains Andre…

Llanelli Rotary members given another civic reception

Members of Llanelli Rotary Club enjoyed a civic reception with the Mayor of Llanelli Town, Councillor Winston Lemon, at the Mayor's Parlour at the authority's Old Vicarage offices in Llanelli. Rotary Club president Alan Owen is pictured with Councillor Lemon, Deputy Mayor Councillor Roger Price and his consort Councillor Ruth Price.
Councillor Lemon praised the Rotary members for their charitable and voluntary work.
Mr Owen thanked Councillor Lemon for the town council's support for many Rotary causes throughout his year of office. It was the second civic reception this year for members of Llanelli Rotary Club as they had earlier attended a similar event at Llanelli Rural Council. The Rotary Club was represented at the town council reception by members of the club's 'Council' committee and their partners.
Weblinks -

Melin team on car wash duty for Red Nose Day

The team from Melin Consultants at The Beacon building in Dafen, Llanelli, will be cleaning cars on Friday (March 15) to raise money for Red Nose Day.
The car cleaners will be on duty between 9am and 5pm at The Beacon. Tea and cakes will be on sale while you wait for your car wash.
The cost is £5 per car. To book a slot, call Carol on 07929 283326.
Melin director and founder Mel Best said: "We are hoping to raise loads of money for Comic Relief Red Nose Day. With all the old grit on the roads, everyone's car could do with a good clean. So we are appealing to drivers in the area to come along and help raise cash for a very worthwhile charity."

New Sinclair VW showroom to open in Llanelli on Friday

The St Elli Shopping Centre, the trading hub of Llanelli, welcomes another new 'shop' on Friday.
It's going to be a 'shop with a difference' - an innovative mini car showroom featuring cars from Sinclair Volkswagen Swansea.
“It’s something of a novelty when it comes to what we offer as a shopping centre,” said centre manager Andrew Stephens.
“It’s very different to our more usual ‘shop’ operations, but Sinclair Volkswagen Swansea were keen on the unit and we think it brings something new and fresh to the shopping centre.
“What is interesting is that there are companies out there willing and prepared to invest in Llanelli.
“You get all this doom and gloom talk on occasions about Llanelli town centre as a shopping destination, but the High Street and the shopping experience is changing all the time.
“It’s good news for the St Elli Shopping Centre that Sinclair Volkswagen Swansea are coming to town.
"The arrival follows hot on the heels of the opening of the new Yankee…

Entrepreneur Kevin Green hits out at Bank of Ireland

One of the UK’s largest private sector landlords has welcomed the growing clamour for financial regulators to investigate the Bank of Ireland’s plan to raise customers’ mortgage tracker rates.
“This is the sort of activity which really gives banks a bad name,” said multi-millionaire and social entrepreneur Kevin Green.
Green runs a massive portfolio of private rentals properties from his South Wales base and sources investment funds from a wide variety of locations.
“In these austere times, and with all that has happened in the banking world, you would think that the banks would be keener than ever to demonstrate that they are operating on a fair and level playing field,” said 49-year-old Green.
“Sadly, the Bank of Ireland have demonstrated the sort of underhanded tactics which gives banks a bad name. It is time that borrowers and the public at large said ‘enough is enough’ we will tolerate no more of this activity.”
The chairman of the Parliamentary Treasury has written to financial…