Showing posts from January 5, 2014

Noson Lawen TV slot for Hywel choirs in Llanelli

The Hywel Girls’ Choir & Hywel Boy Singers will be kicking off an exciting year of song with an appearance on S4C’s Noson Lawen on Saturday 25 January before performing with singing sensation Blake at Y Ffwrnes on February 1. The choir has also launched its 2014 Performance Singing Scholarships for children aged 8-14 years old.
Other performances for the Hywel Choir include performing at the H G Wells Centre in Surrey, the ever popular Last Night of the Proms with the British Sinfonietta Orchestra at Y Ffwrnes, performances with the Pontarddulais Male Choir, a summer recording with SAIN, singing at Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall, the Wales Festival of Remembrance at St David’s Hall Cardiff and Swansea’s Grand Theatre with Only Boys Aloud amongst others. The Hywel Choir’s Amadeus Academy will participate in the Llanelli Choral Society’s performance of Saint Nicholas.
The choir is also welcoming new choristers to attend rehearsals in preparation for its exciting concert season. A warm welc…

Love and laughs in the air for top Welsh comedians

Love is in the air for some of the best comedians in Wales as they prepare to celebrate the Welsh patron saint of lovers, St Dwynwen.
Prepare yourself for passion and punchlines at the Pontardawe Arts Centre, 7.30pm on Saturday, January 25.
The evening is billed as Love and Laughs, a comedy extravaganza orchestrated by Phil Evans, the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into Welsh comedy.
“It’s an evening when you’ll feel the love in the air,” promises Phil, the Ammanford-based Hug-meister who is a firm advocate of ‘five a day’ – cwtshes, that is!
“We’ve pulled together some of the best stand-up talent in Wales for a very special evening to celebrate the Welsh St Valentine’s Night.
“Loved-up couples who plan to propose marriage, singles looking for love . . . all are welcome for a special evening which will see Pontardawe feel the power of Love and Laughs.”
The evening features Phil Evans (Gala Gomedi, S4C) alongside Daniel Glyn (Gwerthu Allan, S4C), Ignacio Lopez (Show Me The Funny, ITV), Ed Holden (…

Carmarthen’s Model primary school reopens following repairs

Carmarthen’s Model primary school has reopened today (Wednesday) following repairs to its storm-damaged roof.
Children returned to their classrooms one day later than planned to allow the safe repair of the roof, which suffered damage due to the gale force winds over the weekend.
Several slates had been blown off the dormer roof of the Ucheldir block, and part of the lead stripped away.
Carmarthenshire County Council building inspectors attended the school on Monday, but because of continuing high winds, it was deemed too risky to erect scaffolding at the site.
A break in the weather yesterday meant that the Property Services team could carry out the remedial work, and school has been able to open as usual today.
Minor decorating repairs will now be carried out to patch up areas that were affected by water ingress.
Cllr Colin Evans, Executive Board Member for Technical Services, said: “We’re pleased that our operational teams have been able to carry out a swift repair so that the school cou…

Carmarthenshire and Kachumbala – building a better future thanks to CCTAL

The First Minister, Carwyn Jones, will today see how a partnership between Carmarthenshire Construction Training Association Ltd (CCTAL) and a group of widows in Kachumbala, Uganda, is having a transformative effect on people’s lives both in Wales and in Uganda.
As part of his visit to Uganda this week, the First Minister will lay the foundation stone at a new grinding mill and storage unit in Kachumbala which has been made possible thanks to CCTAL and its partners, Coleg Sir Gar, CITB and Carmarthenshire County Council, and Engineers for Overseas Development (EFOD) Carmarthenshire.
The mill and storage unit is run by Kachumbala Farmer’s Charity Group (KFCG), a cooperative of 30 widows which formed in 2011. The mill and storage unit will enable the group to process and sell the crops they grow on a commercial basis, allowing them to make a sustainable livelihood.
CCTAL held a fundraising dinner last year which raised £30,000 to fund the building of the mill and food storage facility. The…

Red Kite Law delight at Lexcel award

Welsh law firm Red Kite Law has once again won the Law Society’s prestigious management ‘quality mark’.
The Lexcel quality mark is a cherished benchmark only achieved by some 10 per cent of law firms.
“To achieve the standard you have to go through a rigorous accreditation process,” said Red Kite Law partner David Sangster.
“Having done the initial accreditation, firms have to reapply for the quality mark every year, undergoing further assessments of law management.
“The further assessment includes background checks and an on-site ‘Ofsted-style’ visit from an assessor. We have just completed our reassessment and passed with a clean bill of health.
“This is a wonderful pat on the back for the hard-working team at Red Kite Law. We have a large team of legal experts spread throughout seven offices in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire.
“Delivering quality, value-for-money services to the local community matters a great deal to us.”
Mr Sangster added: “The Lexcel quality mark is no ‘tick …

The latest 'On Song' column from the Llanelli Star . . .

The latest 'On Song' column from the Llanelli Star . . . 

Côr Meibion Llanelli (Llanelli Male Voice Choir) will be marking their 50th anniversary in 2014.
Choir chairman Mel Harries said: “This promises to be a very special year in the history of Côr Meibion Llanelli.
“We are planning plenty of special events – and some surprise trips abroad.
“We are always on the search for new members. Anyone who thinks they would enjoy the camaraderie of being part of one of the finest male voice choirs in Wales should come along to one of our practice sessions.
“We hold rehearsals at 7pm on Mondays and Thursdays at Furnace Community Hall.”
Scheduled events for Côr Meibion Llanelli for 2014 so far include –
Saturday, March 15, concert with Bristol Male Choir in Bristol.
Saturday, June 7, Annual Concert at Ffwrnes Theatre with ‘Singverein 1870’, the choir’s ‘twin’ from Laudenbach in Germany.
Saturday, October 18, anniversary dinner with special guests at the Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli.

After the storms, the big clean-up starts in Carmarthenshire

Teams of volunteers and council rangers have started a massive coastal clean up operation following the storms.
The work could take several months, and there is a warning that more coastal batterings could be endured at the beginning of February and March bringing more misery.
Last weekend bridges were torn up at one end of the Millennium Coastal Park at Bynea and hundreds of tonnes of sand shorn off dunes - leaving 25ft high sheer cliffs of sand - at Cefn Sidan, Pembrey.
Sea defences of £2million installed in recent years along the Bynea to Burry Port stretch have done a magnificent job to prevent any major intrusion of the sea.
The only weakness was found at Burry Port woodlands where the wind drove the high tides of last weekend in behind the walls of rock armour exposing the former Carmarthen Bay Power Station duff beds.
A large section was eroded by the sea turning it black, but this is of no concern because the material is inert.
Footpaths immediately behind this area are so close to…

Carmarthenshire sports clubs told to seize the future

Carmarthenshire Council Press release - 
More sports clubs and organisations in Carmarthenshire are being asked to take charge of their futures as most already do in the county.
Meetings have been held over the last year throughout the county to explain to the sporting fraternity that there is a great imbalance in the county where 70 clubs or organisations are already maintaining their own facilities.
Fewer than 60 have their facilities maintained by the authority but at a subsidy of more than a quarter of a million pounds.
Currently the council subsidises some clubs to the tune of £264,000 per annum with costs of about £341,000 being offset by an income of only £77,000.
The three-year sports facilities realignment programme will ensure than all sporting organisations across the county are treated equally helping to wipe out this council deficit.
Council leader Cllr Kevin Madge said: “Our aim is to provide a level and stable playing field for the continued health and growth of all sporting…

Commonwealth Games Baton Relay will showcase Carmarthenshire

The Queen’s Commonwealth Games Baton Relay will showcase Carmarthenshire to 71 countries on May 27.
Carmarthenshire’s sports and leisure teams are delighted and have been working with the QBR organisers to maximise this tremendous opportunity.
Council leader Cllr Kevin Madge said: “Our teams have worked had to impress and secure this wonderful opportunity to showcase our county to the world.”
The county has secured a prime relay display day after the May Bank Holiday for guaranteed massive television coverage with the baton being trailed from Laugharne, to Carmarthen, then Ammanford and Llanelli before returning to Carmarthen.
TV companies are keen to link the Dylan Thomas DT100 anniversary celebrations with the QBR and are setting up their early morning command centre at Dylan’s boathouse in Laugharne for the day.
The county sports and leisure teams have been working on the relay for six months and impressed assessors with their plans for the three county towns and Laugharne.
The relay, …

Llangennech group in the running for an 'Epic' award

One of the Age Cymru Sir Gar befriending links groups is in the running for an 'Epic Award' (Voluntary Arts Wales). The public can help the Llanelli group win the award by voting for them online.
The group shortlisted for the award is the popular Llangennech Knit, Craft and Chat Group craft group which offers isolated over-50s friendship and a chance to develop skills.
To vote for thegroup, click on this link,
You may need to register (if you haven’t already) and scroll down to look for the Llangennech group then click on the little green icon to vote.
Help this wonderful group of over 50s win this award.

The nomination on the Epic Awards website reads -
Popular craft group which offers isolated over-50s friendship and a chance to develop skills.
Established in 2012, Llangennech Knit, Craft and Chat Group was set up as part of a taster week in which basic knitting and card making skills were demonstrated by Sw…

Fresh hope for Ferryside residential education centre

Ferryside Social Enterprise Group have received funding from RDP Sir Gâr’s Innovative Communities project, part of Axis 4 Innovative Hubs scheme, to develop a project at the Ferryside Residential Education Centre. The aim of Ferryside Social Enterprise Group is to acquire the site known as the Ferryside Residential Education Centre from Carmarthenshire County Council and to convert the building from a public liability and eyesore into an attractive community asset, supporting a wide range of activities for residents and visitors and creating employment opportunities. Among the proposed services the Centre could provide are:
Specialist day centre for physically and mentally frail adults and carers, foot care and other quasi-medical services and alternative therapies, changing room facilities for the adjacent multi use games area, office space for start up businesses and high grade hostel type accommodation for coastal path walkers, bird watchers, visiting sports teams and residential w…

Llanddowror toilets turned into community centre

Llanddowror and Llanmiloe Community Council have found a novel use for Llanddowror’s public toilets – they’re turning them in to a new facility for the community. The Community Council have agreed to take over the public conveniences in the village under Carmarthenshire County Council’s Transfer of Assets Scheme and will be extending part of the building to include a meeting room and small kitchen area. Two of the existing public conveniences will be refurbished and will remain open to the public.
The new community space will be available to all residents in Llanddowror for individual or group meetings such as bingo, computer classes, yoga, art exhibitions and local history demonstrations, as suggested by residents in the public engagement exercise recently conducted.
The venue will also be used as a meeting place for Llanddowror Village Sports Association, Community Council and Llanddowror flood response group with hire of the venue extended to the wider community.
It is hoped to creat…

Carmarthenshire residents urged to get fit for 2014

Carmarthenshire residents are being urged to get fit and healthy for 2014. For just a £1 a day families are given unlimited gym use, swimming and fitness classes at any of Carmarthenshire County Council’s four leisure centres.
Centres across the county are having a bright new look as part of the Actif launch.
The move is part of the campaign to get more people, more active, more often, and includes a revamp of the fitness clubs, formerly known as Fusion. The new Actif brand will soon be seen at Llanelli, Carmarthen, Newcastle Emlyn and Ammanford leisure centres.
The website has been refreshed and new online services have been introduced including Join at Home and booking classes and activities in advance to make it easier for people to access and link services.
Executive board member for Regeneration and Leisure, Cllr Meryl Gravell said: “We play a significant role in helping the population to be fit and healthy, our rebranding to ‘Actif’ is part of raising that profile and encouraging …

Toolkit launched to help you rethink the drink!

The Public Health Team of Hywel Dda Health Board has launched an innovative set of materials to raise awareness of the risks of alcohol misuse.
The toolkit, which is suitable for use with any community group or workplace, contains information, quizzes and other exercises, and was launched as part of the multi-agency Think Safe Drink Safe campaign.
Pembrokeshire college students were amongst the first to test out the toolkit and were able to learn about some of the risks and harms from too much alcohol consumption.
Rhys Sinnett, from the local public health team said: ‘The information available in this pack offers a ton of useful tips and facts to help people think about their alcohol use. It’s designed to stimulate conversations in the home, the workplace or the community with the aim of keeping people as clued up as possible about a substance that 85% of us use on a regular basis.’
Maxine Thomas, Head of Safeguarding and Learner Services at Pembrokeshire College said, ‘We are always …

Welsh First Minister drops in at Cwmcerrig Farmshop and Grill in Gorslas

The Welsh Government's First Minister, Carwyn Jones, has praised the quality of the Welsh food and drink sector and encouraged people to buy local during a visit to an award-winning farm shop in Gorslas, Carmarthenshire. The First Minister took a tour of the family-run Cwmcerrig Farm Shop and Grill and sampled some of the first-rate Welsh produce on offer.
The shop sells beef, lamb and poultry which it rears to high animal welfare standards on Cwmcerrig farm, as well as a wide range of other locally sourced products. More than 600 products from the Carmarthenshire area are on offer, with a total of 1000 products for the whole of Wales.
The First Minister said: “Cwmcerrig Farm Shop and Grill is an impressive showcase of produce from Carmarthenshire and Wales. The pride it takes in sourcing locally wherever possible means increased financial returns for local food and farming businesses and it raises the profile and reputation of home grown produce.
“The business creates a real fa…

Look what the wind did to the Trafalgar Beacon in Llanelli

Look what the wind did to the Trafalgar Beacon in Llanelli.
The beacon was erected at Llanelli's Millennium Coastal Park as part of the Trafalgar bicentenary celebrations in 2005 to mark the 200th Anniversary of the sea battle and death of Lord Nelson.
Park manager Rory Dickinson Mr Dickinson said the 14-inch square post was snapped like matchwood in the vicious 70mph winds causing the cauldron atop the post to crash to the ground.
You can read more about the storm damage here -

Latest news from the Jazz in the Bar team at Brecon

Latest news from the Jazz in the Bar team at Brecon -
Welcome to 2014 and jazz delights in our lovely Brecon Jazz Bar at Theatr Brycheiniog! Two weeks into the new year, and our monthly jazz club gig is:-
Tuesday 14 January : Will Barnes Trio
Will Barnes:guitar, Ian Cooper:double bass, Phill Redfox O'Sullivan:Drums
Swinging sounds, standards, some Latin, Brecon hot club....
Will is a wonderful jazz talent, here with a great, new year lineup.
Jazz Buffet: yes! At the Lansdowne Hotel prior to the performance.
Food from 6.45 pm for one hour, then hot foot over to Theatr. £5 pp
Please email me to book, or ring hotel if on the day. You are always welcome and we know sometimes not able to plan ahead - so just come!
If you didn't see or get a copy of Gena Davies' Book, The Brecon Jazz Story in Photographs or receive one as a Christmas present, it is still available and very interesting too. Email David Moore:
or you can order at the HOURS Bookshop.
See you on 14th…

All set for big brass date at Burry Port

Burry Port Town Band are gearing up for their third West Wales Solo and Ensemble Day on Saturday 25th January in the Memorial Hall, Burry Port starting at around 10am
This is an important event for the band and the town as it offers an opportunity for budding brass players (of all ages!) from South Wales the chance to perform. There is some excitement about the event already building in bandrooms across South Wales, with Youth Bands from Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Swansea and the Valleys regions wanting to attend and already busy practicing their performances.
The band are looking forward to entries in a variety of classes for solos, duets, trios, small and large ensembles and finally full Youth bands. The organisers have engaged some talented local adjudicators for this event and believe it will be an ideal opportunity for youth bands, players and ensembles the chance to show their talents to a wider audience. It's not too late to enter! Entries should be in by Jan…

Kevin Green appointed to Entrepreneurship Panel for Wales

Some of Wales’ most successful entrepreneurs have been appointed to the Entrepreneurship Panel for Wales. They include James Taylor of SuperStars, Hayley Parsons founder and CEO of GoCompare, academics Professor Paul Hannon and Sue Poole and self-made multi-millionaire Kevin Green.
The new Panel has been set up to provide the Welsh Government with strategic guidance and expertise on the development and delivery of the entrepreneurship agenda in Wales.

Economy Minister Edwina Hart (pictured above) who set up the Panel said:” I am delighted that so many talented individuals have agreed to serve on the Panel. Between them they have an extensive range of entrepreneurial experiences and their expertise and knowledge will be invaluable in providing advice on shaping strategy and policy making.  “We want to instil a culture of entrepreneurship in Wales and create a ‘can do’ attitude throughout society for the ultimate benefit of the economy. Wales has a strong track record of encouraging ent…

Kidwelly teenager fined for cigarette litter

A Kidwelly teenager has been fined for dropping a cigarette end in St Catherine’s Walk in Carmarthen.
Jordan Anthony Beynon-Thomas was caught by council environmental enforcement officers who were on routine patrol in the town centre on August 3 this year.
He was issued with a fixed penalty notice but did not pay it, despite being sent a reminder letter and was prosecuted in court as a result.
He was convicted in absence to an offence contrary to Section 87 of The Environmental Protection Act 1990 by Carmarthen magistrates.
Beynon-Thomas, aged 18, of Maes Y Berllan, Llangyndeyrn, was fined £100 and ordered to pay £286.28 prosecution costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
Executive Board Member for Environmental and Public Protection Cllr Jim Jones said: “Dropping litter is against the law, whether it is discarding rubbish from a vehicle, throwing cigarette ends or spitting out chewing gum.
“Our enforcement officers carry out regular patrols across the county and we will not hesitate to fine anyo…

Care home burglary under investigation in Llanidloes

Police officers in Newtown are investigating a burglary at Maes-y-wennol Care Home, at Llanidloes.
Two televisions and a DVD player were stolensome time around 4am on Saturday 14th December 2013.
“This crime has had a considerable impact on the residents and staff of the home, leaving them bereft at Christmas,” said PC Karma Evans. “We’re appealing for witnesses or for anyone who has any information to get in touch and contact me at Newtown Police Station on 101 or call the independent charity Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111 with any anonymous information.”

Carmarthenshire Council advice on weather and disruption alerts

Carmarthenshire Council press release - 
Carmarthenshire residents are being encouraged to sign up to the county council’s social media services for instant updates on any disruptions.
More people than ever like or follow Carmarthenshire County Council on Twitter and Facebook, and they are the first to know about weather warnings, gritting programmes, school closures, road hazards and disruptions to opening hours of council buildings or services.
Followers also find out about events and have access to a range of handy tips to get them though the festive season.
Cllr Pam Palmer, Executive Board Member for Customer Focus and Policy, said: “The instant nature of social media allows us to get information out to the public quicker than ever before. People who like us on Facebook, or follow@CarmsCouncil on Twitter, are the first to know about any disruptions.
“The other great thing about social media is that it allows us to have a two-way conversation with residents – we are able to respond to …

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery -

BBC Food and Farming Awards - vote now!

Two restaurant chefs, a prison cook and a celebrated food blogger are leading a BBC mission to find the very best in British food and farming.
Raymond Blanc and Richard Corrigan are being joined by Al Crisci, the founder of the Clink restaurant in Highdown prison and blogger Jack Monroe, on the 2014 judging team of the BBC Food and Farming Awards.
Along with cook and writer Valentine Warner, and critic and broadcaster Charles Campion they’re calling on nominations to find winners in 10 different categories -

Best Food ProducerBest Drinks ProducerBest Food MarketBest Local Food RetailerBest Takeaway/Street foodBest CookBest Food InitiativeOutstanding Farmer of the YearLifetime Achievement AwardFood Personality of the Year
Each year the BBC calls on its audiences to nominate someone in their part of the UK for an award.
As chef Richard Corrigan, “…. we’re always amazed by the stories that come in to us as judges, and we never know where in the UK the nominations will take us … from vis…