Showing posts from February 1, 2015

The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post

The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post.

Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy.


Before I proceed any further, something needs to be cleared up.
And it’s not just this shaving rash that’s been driving me crazy ever since I kissed my Great Aunt Hilda goodbye.
I do wish she’d have an occasional wet shave in the morning instead of using Great Uncle Cledwyn’s clockwork razor.
Now, I’m not one who likes to go over old ground – I prefer to find a public convenience as there’s less chance of being fined – but I need to quickly refer to last week’s main article.
I mentioned the trend that’s gradually taken us over in recent years, of well-established, perfectly adequate words and expressions being cast aside and replaced by new ones that are, at best, pale imitations of the ones they usurped.
At worst, they make my head ache, my temperature rise and my nose run.
No! That’s what …

The latest 'On Song' column from the Llanelli Star

The latest 'On Song' column (about the choral scene in and around Llaneli) from the Llanelli Star -

There’s another special concert coming up in Kidwelly as part of the 900-year celebrations for the founding of Kidwelly.
There may not be much in the way of ‘song’, but there will be plenty for lovers of good music.
On February 21 at 7.30 in St Mary’s Church, Kidwelly, the brass section of the Royal Welsh College of Music, Cardiff, will be performing.
This outstanding group of musicians will play a wide variety of music from Glen Miller to Handel and Purcell.
Tickets will be available on the door and from the Council offices, mornings only, Tel. 0154 891104. E-mail
Local residents can buy from Cydweli 900 committee members
On Saturday 14 February, the Hywel girls and boys choirs and friends will present “The Love of Music” – a beautiful candlelit night of music and song at St. Mary’s Church, Kidwelly.
With the choir currently enjoying a batch of new recruits…

3G pitch application delight for Carmarthen Town AFC

Carmarthen Town's grant application to the Football Association of Wales for a 3G all-weather pitch to be laid at Richmond Park has been successful. The decision was communicated to the Welsh Premier League club's chairman Jeff Thomas who said: "I am delighted with the news.
"The fact that we have been awarded this finance means that on completion of the project Richmond Park can now be seen as an all-year round facility which can only be of benefit to the community.
"While the award is extremely generous further grant aid will be necessary to complete the project."
Mr Thomas added: "We are well on our way to achieving the full amount with support having already been agreed by two other bodies and with a further grant application being considered at this time.
"The club is most anxious to proceed with the pitch installation at the earliest possible time which would mean that the muddy and difficult conditions we experienced in last Saturday's mat…

Dyfed-Powys Police complaint statistics released

Dyfed-Powys Police complaint statistics released | Llanelli Star
The total number of complaints made against Dyfed-Powys Police increased 15% in 2012/13 – then fell 1% to 328 in 2013/14.
Across England and Wales in 2013/14, the number of complaints increased by 15%.
Today’s new figures come from the Independent Police Complaints Commission report.
The report says that some of the overall increase in 2013/14 nationally is down to the definition of a complaint being broadened beyond an officer’s conduct to include ‘direction and control’ matters to do with operational policing.
Story from Llanelli Star

2,000 lowest paid Carmarthenshire Council staff set for September pay rise

2,000 lowest paid Carmarthenshire Council staff set for September payrise | Llanelli Star
Around 2,000 of the lowest paid council staff in Carmarthenshire are set to get a pay rise later this year. The move is being recommended by the Executive Board as part of the authority’s ongoing commitment to introduce the Living Wage.Leader Cllr Kevin Madge reiterated his intention to move towards the Living Wage when he delivered his annual report to council some months ago. Story from Llanelli Star

Moon halo was visible in Llanelli and south west Wales last night

Moon halo was visible in Llanelli and south west Wales last night | Llanelli Star
A 'Moon Halo was spotted over Llanelli and south west Wales last night.
Many grabbed their cameras to capture the spectacular sight at around 9pm.
The moon was surrounded by what looked like a perfect circle in a halo around it.
The effect is caused by high, thin, cirrus clouds at around 20,000 feet which contain millions of tiny ice crystals.
Story from Llanelli Star

Llanelli man who died on Station Road at weekend named

Llanelli man who died on Station Road at weekend named | Llanelli Star
A young man whose death in Llanelli at the weekend sparked an outpouring of grief, has been named locally as Michael Lewis.
The 23-year-old fell ill at a property on Station Road on Saturday night, with police and paramedics called saying he needed urgent medical attention.
Crews arrived just after 10.20pm and took Mr Lewis to the town's Prince Philip Hospital where tragically he passed away.
Following the tragedy, police officers arrested a 29-year-old man on suspicion of supplying drugs, but he has now been released on bail.
Story from Llanelli Star

New plan for general health needs in Kidwelly

People in Kidwelly and surrounding areas will have their general health needs met by six GPs working from the town’s surgery, Meddgyfa Minafon, and satellite sites in Ferryside and Trimsaran.
Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) is now supporting the team as a managed practice following the retirement of one of the senior partners Dr J Dundrow and departure of Dr Hartwell.
Two of the other former partners, Dr A Al-Abdullah and Dr M Muthuvairavan, have been recruited by the UHB; as well as a former salaried GP Dr S Markham; and two locum GPs Dr K Bathini and Dr R Chumroo, who were already working in the practice. In addition, and an experienced GP who previously worked at Aman Tawe Partnership in Cwmllynfell, Dr L Bernard, has also been recruited, with the six doctors working hours as five full time equivalents. This has ensured a full team and a mix of male and female doctors to serve the area. Other practice staff continue to work at the practice as part of the arrangements.
Elaine …

Hywel Dda University Health Board's Best of Health staff awards announced

The winners of Hywel Dda University Health Board's Best of Health staff awards have been announced at a ceremony at Parc y Scarlets. Held annually, the Best of Health awards recognise and reward the extraordinary achievements of Hywel Dda's staff and volunteers, many of whom often go beyond the call of duty in their work for the benefit of patients and service users.
This year’s winners were chosen from over 100 entries from across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire and out of the 27 entries selected as finalists the 10 winners of the Best of Health Awards 2014 are:

Improving the Patient Experience
Sister Lisa Marshall, Withybush Hospital

Improving Health and Wellbeing (sponsored by Health Shield Friendly Society Ltd)
Carmarthenshire Integrated Evidence Based Exercise Continuum for Frail Older Adults

Joint Working with the Third Sector and Partner Organisations
Carmarthenshire Heart Failure Service

Engaging with People
CreARTivity: The Art of Science and Wel…

Latest news from Brecon Jazz Club

Latest news from Brecon Jazz Club -

Please make a diary marker for the jazz club evening in February -
Tues 24 February - GARDENIA SWING with HEINZ HUNT
Special guest Heinz Hunt on saxes, Ruth Bowen on double bass and vocals with guitarist Alan Johnson and Richard Bowen on drums.
Starts 8pm, £6 on the door @ Brecon Jazz Bar, Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon LD3 7EW
Box office contact (daytime) 01874 611622
Pre gig supper - continuing our gastronomic tour of Brecon, in Feb, we will be hosted for our buffet at the Clarence Inn, £8 per person from 6.15pm on.
Menu: veggie sausages or cold meats or salmon, with salads, half jacket, glass juice & a slice of cake - sounds good!
See you there, thanks for your support to this volunteer team of organisers & promoters for Brecon Jazz Club!
Lynne Gornall

Carmarthenshire Council pulls out of CCTV funding

Due to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s decision to stop funding CCTV in Carmarthenshire the executive board has decided it leaves them no option other than to stop funding it too.
Their decision was taken due to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s opinion that live monitoring of CCTV cameras was of little value, and his subsequent decision to withdraw funding for it, which the board said gave them no option but to stop live monitoring.
Members debated the issue as part of the revenue budget for the next three years.
Recently, the Police and Crime Commissioner announced he would no longer fund CCTV in Carmarthenshire.
He had commissioned a report which concluded that active monitoring was not effective.
The executive board decided that they would discontinue the service which would produce a saving of £100,000 per annum.
The intention is that the money would instead fund the Meals on Wheels service, in order for it to continue.
The cameras would remain in place and would stay on, …

Love is in the air at Jenkins Bakery shops

Love is in the air at the Jenkins Bakery’s 29 shops across South Wales. The popular bakery business has launched special products to mark St Valentine’s Day on Saturday, February 14.
“Love Bugs and Chocolate Heart Lollipops (pictured above) are just what you need to add that sprinkling of romance to your day,” said operations director Russell Jenkins.
“2015 seems to be the year when romance is in the air.
“We’ve already had the saint’s day for the Welsh patron saint of love, Santes Dwynwen, and now the countdown is well and truly on to Valentine’s Day.  "In this age of austerity, it seems everyone enjoys the chance to have some fun and lighten the mood. St Valentine's Day gives everyone the opportunity to smile and get in the romantic mood.
“Romance has been high on the agenda here at the Jenkins Bakery as we have been busy showing off our award-winning cake designs at wedding fairs.
“Our expert cake decorators love a challenge and they are up to any task demanded by happy co…

£2.76 million research for economic sustainability of oats and the milling industry

The Award winning oat breeding team at IBERS (Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences) has secured new funding from the BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) for research aimed at further improving the nutritional value and economic sustainability of oats.
The demand for high quality food grade oats is increasing annually, driven by its proven health benefits and through product innovation by the milling and cereals industries. Despite an expanding market, the oat crop continues to be challenged by the high investments being made in alternative crops and this intensifies competition.
This new BBSRC LINK 5 year project will address some of the major challenges facing UK agriculture in terms of the sustainable production of safe and nutritious food.
Professor Athole Marshall, Head of Plant Breeding at IBERS said “This new project is strategically important, specifically in enhancing oat crop productivity, quality and nutritional composition, incr…

Llanelli Town lose 3-0 at Cardiff Corinthians

Llanelli Town lose 3-0 at Cardiff Corinthians | Llanelli Star
Llanelli Town lost 3-0 at Cardiff Corinthians.
Perhaps more pertinent than the loss of the Reds’ unbeaten league record was the manner in which it was achieved.
The visitors were toothless in attack and, as a consequence, rarely threatening their opponents’ goal.
Their only notable efforts were from a Bruno Forkuoh shot which struck an upright and a Lee Bevan header which was diverted for a corner by Corries keeper Ian Loveless.
The dismissal of goalkeeper Craig Richards after 58 minutes for a retaliatory kick on Andre Phillips, who seemed to commit the original offence, also did nothing to enhance their cause.
Story from Llanelli Star

Llanelli RFC hammered 91-7 by Carmarthen Quins

Llanelli RFC hammered 91-7 by Carmarthen Quins | Llanelli Star
Carmarthen Quins annihilated a woeful Llanelli side, helping themselves to 13 tries at the expense of their hosts.
The result sees Quins move to within one point of second-placed Pontypridd, who suffered their first loss of the season at Bridgend on Saturday.
Llanelli were depleted by call-ups to the Scarlets but Quins also had nine players missing from their squad.
Story from Llanelli Star

Dyfed-Powys Police announce death of man in police custody

Dyfed-Powys Police announce death of man in police custody | Llanelli Star
Police in West Wales have announced the death of a 53-year-old man in custody.
Dyfed-Powys Police have not named the man, who died while being held at Haverfordwest Police Station on Saturday morning.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission will investigate the death.
Story from Llanelli Star

Kidwelly arsonist Matthew Jones jailed after setting rented home alight

Kidwelly arsonist Matthew Jones jailed after setting rented home alight | Llanelli Star
An alcoholic arsonist who threatened the stepdaughter of a firefighter due to give evidence against him has been jailed.Matthew Jones set his rented house in Kidwelly ablaze but pretended to the authorities that he was out walking his dog at the time the fire started.It caused significant damage to the Parc Pendre property, which had no buildings insurance. Some minor damage was also caused to a neighbouring house, whose occupant was unhurt. Jones’s actions on returning to the badly damaged house shortly after the fire had been extinguished made firefighters, including Ricky Woodhead, suspicious.
Story from Llanelli Star

The February Finance column from David Butler of Clay Shaw Butler

By David Butler, director of Clay Shaw Butler chartered accountants and business consultants, Lammas Street, Carmarthen

The first few months of the new year sees many people launching new businesses.
It’s a challenging time . . .
You’ve got to think about that all-important business plan, decide on your trading structure, work out what accounting systems you are going to use and take on board sound financial advice.
If you're just starting up in business, your accountant will have stressed how important it is to stay on top of your record keeping.
Although other elements of your business may seem more pressing, it's essential to set aside enough time each week to ensure that your books are in order - keep putting it off and you'll quickly find that your accounts become unmanageable.
Here are five key ways to take charge of your bookkeeping.

1- With the help of your accountant, create a calendar or spreadsheet of important tax-related dates and place it where it…

Bancffosfelen fire ties up firefighters for hour

Bancffosfelen fire ties up firefighters for hour | Llanelli Star
A chimney fire in Bancffosfelen kept a fire crew busy for more than an hour.
The blaze on Heol y Banc was reported at 10.20pm on Sunday night. Though it was out on arrival, fire fighters from Potyates spent more than an hour at the property carrying out investigations to ensure it was safe. They left at 11.30pm.
Story from Llanelli Star

Tributes paid to Burry Port teacher who inspired generations of pupils

Roland Evans: Tributes paid to Burry Port teacher who inspired generations of pupils | Llanelli Star
Tributes have been paid to an influential Burry Port teacher who inspired generations of pupils.Roland Evans, former head of history at Burry Port's Glan Y Mor School, died on Thursday. Despite having retired, Mr Evans maintained his connection with his former school, and its staff have paid glowing tributes to him.
Story from Llanelli Star
Roland was a neighbour of ours in New Road. Hugely respected. Lovely guy. True gent.

First Open Day at Llanelli’s ambitious Goods Shed project a huge success

The first Open Day at Llanelli’s ambitious Goods Shed project was a huge success.
St Barnabas Hall was full for a consultation meeting about the plans for the derelict Llanelli Railway Goods Shed building in nearby Marsh Street.
And, despite the wild and windy weather, enthusiastic supporters of the project joined special guided tours of the site – the first time in years the public has been allowed access inside.
“The day was a great success and you couldn’t fail to be impressed with the interest and the enthusiasm shown by the local community,” said Goods Shed project officer Robert Lloyd.
“All those who took part in the tours were surprised at the scale of the project. We now aim to build on the renewed interest in the site and accelerate the plans to refurbish and develop the Goods Shed, a Grade II Listed building of great historical importance.”
The Open Day was held just days after the Llanelli Railway Goods Shed Trust charity secured a licence agreement with Network Rail to access t…

Top Welsh comedian Phil Evans heads east for St Valentine's Day

It promises to be a night of ‘passion and punch-lines’ when top Welsh comedian Phil Evans takes his friends into the east for Valentine’s Day.
Phil Evans (and Friends) will be performing their Love and Laughter show at the Savoy Theatre, Monmouth, on Saturday, February 14.
The evening follows a very successful Love and Laughter show at the Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen, held to mark St Dwynwen’s Day, the Welsh version of Valentine’s.
“The west of Wales has felt the ‘love’ of our show. Now it’s the turn of east Wales,” said Phil.
“They say ‘Love is all around’. Well, as comedians we are doing our best to make sure that really is the case in Wales.
“There will be romance in the air for our Love and Laughter show in Monmouth. It will be a real treat for St Valentine’s Day – an experience not to be missed.”
Following sell-out shows in Toronto, Edinburgh and Machynlleth Comedy Festival, Phil Evans has rounded up a group of the very best names in comedy for his ‘Friends’.
With stand-up, comedy charact…

Permanent GP contract in Amman Valley one step closer

Hywel Dda University Health Board will seek expressions of interest for the future and long-term delivery of general medical services (GP, and other primary care services such as practice nurse clinics) in the upper Amman Valley area.
The University Health Board has listened very carefully to feedback from patients and patient representatives, including Hywel Dda Community Health Council and elected representatives, about the future of these services. Feedback was gathered from a number of well-attended public drop-in events held in August 2014 in Garnant, Gwaun Cae Gurwen and Brynamman, as well as through surveys and traditional letters.
A panel made up of representatives from the Hywel Dda University Health Board and Abertawe Bro Morganwg University Health Board, including a senior clinician, a community nurse, an independent board member; NHS Shared Services; Hywel Dda CHC; and written evidence from the Local Medical Committee; met recently to discuss options.
It follows the end of a…

Cilycwm is Carmarthenshire’s first No Cold Calling Village

Uninvited salespeople will be committing a criminal offence if they attempt to cold call anyone living in Cilycwm, which has been named Carmarthenshire’s first No Cold Calling Village.
The measure, supported by the community council, offers all residents in the village protection from salespeople who turn up on their doorsteps.
There are more than 50 No Cold Calling Zones throughout the county where older or vulnerable people live, or where there has been evidence of doorstep crime and problems with cold callers, but this is the first time the scheme has covered a whole village.
Recent evaluations have shown them to be an effective deterrent.
Trading Standards and Dyfed Powys Police have worked together to launch the scheme.
Cllr Jim Jones, Executive Board Member for Public Protection, said: “This is a bold move, but one which we have fully supported for the benefit of all residents in Cilycwm. Doorstep callers cannot only be a nuisance, but in some cases a real danger to vulnerable people…

Rogue traders warned to think twice in Carmarthenshire

Rogue traders are being warned to think twice before trying to scam householders in Carmarthenshire.
Trading Standards officers in Carmarthenshire County Council have teamed up with the Neighbourhood Policing Team at Dyfed Powys Police to get ‘One Step Ahead’ of people who cold call on households trying to sell goods or service that are not needed.
In many cases, the sellers use dodgy tricks to con the householder in to buying things they don’t need, or to have repair work done that is shoddy or sometimes even illegal.
They are also urging people to beware of doorstep lenders, or loan sharks – people offering to lend money - as they will more than likely end up being hounded for more money than they ever agreed to pay back for the ‘loan’.
Aled Thomas, Lead Trading Standards Officer, said: “Our ‘One Step Ahead’ campaign is all about helping people have a better understanding of the tricks rogue traders use to try and con innocent people out of money.
“Working together with police allows us …

Free Family Fitness Day at Llanelli Leisure Centre

Communities First are running a Free Family Fitness Day in Llanelli Leisure Centre on Saturday February 14 between 10-4pm.
There will be sessions for children and parents to come along and take part - these will include a free swimming session, free fitness taster sessions – for all ages, organised walks and arts & crafts.
All are welcome to come on down and join in with the activities. All children attending this event must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
To guarantee a place in the fitness sessions contact Communities First to sign up or get your timetable and sign up by 10am on the day.
Call 01554 784847 or email

Wizard Day planned for Harry Potter fans in Carmarthenshire

Harry Potter fans are in for a mysterious treat at Carmarthenshire Libraries.
Carmarthen and Llanelli libraries will be offering a morning of wizardry for Old Road and Johnstown school pupil to celebrate the first ever Harry Potter Night this Thursday (February 5).
During the visit children will be able to take part in a range of different activities such as a Diagon Alley Hunt, storytelling and a Harry Potter quiz followed by activity sheets.
And the fun does not end there as Carmarthen and Llanelli libraries are extending the invitation by asking all Harry Potter fans to get their broomsticks ready and join in the celebrations which take place up until National Libraries day on Saturday (February 7).
Business Team Manager, Wendy Tiffin, said:”Libraries are not only about books, but are also fun places to visit, and hopefully our young visitors will be encouraged to come more often and ultimately to read more too.”
It is hoped that children will be inspired to return to their local librar…

Gwendraeth Valley Raiders Rugby League side appeal for sponsors

The Gwendraeth Valley Raiders Rugby League side is appealing for sponsors.
They are the first semi-professional rugby league side in West Wales.
The team started up last year as Gwendraeth Valley Raiders.
Spokesman Peter Tiffin said: "Our first year saw us play games in the Welsh Conference (South).
"Our final stats were Played 10, Won 5 and Lost 5.
"We also played our final game in the Cardiff Arms Park beating the Valley Cougars 50-32.
"We finished third in the league and impressed most with how quick we took to Rugby League.
"Over the past couple of months we have decided to move up a step and create a semi-professional side to take part in the National Conference League South. This will see us play against sides like - Bristol Sonics, Coventry Bears, Gloucestershire Warriors, Leicester Storm, Nottingham Outlaws, Oxford Cavaliers, Sheffield Hallam Eagles, Torfaen Tigers and Valley Cougars.
"We have made sure that we are keeping everyone local involved…

Snooker legend Terry Griffiths opens new Age Cymru Sir Gâr offices

Snooker legend, Llanelli hero and ‘active pensioner’ Terry Griffiths was the guest of honour for the grand opening of the new Age Cymru Sir Gâr offices in Trostre, Llanelli.
Mr Griffiths OBE, 67, also helped launched the charity’s new ‘advocacy service’ in Carmarthenshire.
“It was very much a double scoop for us at Age Cymru Sir Gâr,” said the charity’s chief officer Ann Dymock.
“We managed to celebrate both the launch of our new advocacy project called ‘Help to be heard’ and the opening of our new premises at the LEC Workshops in Trostre Road.
“And, to put the icing on the cake, we had a true local hero and sporting legend to do the honours for us.
“Terry Griffiths is greatly admired by young and old in Carmarthenshire and it was a delight to have him cut the ribbon on what was a big day for Age Cymru Sir Gâr.
“This is a wonderful start to the year for us, letting people across Carmarthenshire know where we are when they need us, but also celebrating our new offices in our 20th year…

Emily Beth Jones is Llanelli Rotary's Young Chef for 2015

Watch your step Jamie Oliver; there’s some competition for you on the horizon from the talented schoolchildren of Llanelli.
Llanelli Rotary Club staged their third annual Young Chef competition at Brynwgyn School.
“It was a wonderful occasion and a great showpiece for the culinary skills of young Llanelli people,” said Llanelli Rotary President Hywel Bassett.
The title of Llanelli Rotary Club Young Chef 2015 went to 14-year-old Bryngwyn pupil Emily Beth Jones.

Her winning three-course meal for two consisted of –
Fresh carrot soup served with soft white poppyseed bread. Duck and Savoy Cabbage served with sliced new potatoes. Savoy Cabbage combined with slices of streaky bacon. Traditional Lemon Drizzle Cake covered with lemon glaze and served with vanilla ice cream.  “It was a well planned menu, cooked with a sense of style and well presented,” said judge Anna Brown, senior chef at Llanelly House.
Her co-judge Stewart Williams, development chef at Castell Howell, was equally impressed.
He sa…

Just 18 days left to register for energy switch

The online registration for Wales’s biggest energy switch closes a month from today.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s housing department is backing the nationwide Cyd Cymru energy switch, urging as many people as possible to sign up and save money on their energy bills.
The scheme works on the concept of ‘people power’ - the more people who sign up to the scheme, the better deal Cyd Cymru could strike with national energy providers to drive down their gas and electricity bills.
Those who sign up could save between £60 and £250 per household annually.
The council’s Deputy Leader and Anti-Poverty Champion, Cllr Pam Palmer, said: “We could all do with saving money, and at this time of year especially when energy bills are at their highest.
“We are supporting the Cyd Cymru scheme because this is a great opportunity for people to drive down their bills. The more people who sign up, the greater chance there is of bigger savings.
“All people have to do is register and enter a few details about the…

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery -
WEEK COMMENCING February 2, 2015
3 Medium Corned Beef £1.65
2 Large Corned Beef Pasties £1.95 2 Minced Beef and Onion Pies £2.20 2 Fresh Cream Eclairs £1.70 Sandwich Of The Week, BLT £2.40 Rustic Baguette Of The Week, Chicken Tikka £2.40 Filled Softie Of The Week, Ham Salad £2.20
Website -