Showing posts from August 23, 2015

Tributes paid to Carmarthenshire Councillor Keith Davies

The leader of Carmarthenshire County Council has paid tribute to Cllr Keith Davies who died today.
Councillor Keith Davies represented the Council Division of Kidwelly in the Gwendraeth Valley. He had been a county councillor since 2008 and following his re-election in 2012, he was appointed to serve on the council’s Executive Board with responsibility for Education and Children, a position he held until earlier this year.
Before retiring in 2006 he worked in retail management and was a supermarket manager with the Co-op. He was a Governor of Ysgol y Castell, Kidwelly and Ysgol Glanymor, Burry Port. He was also a member of Kidwelly Town Council and served on a number of other committees within his local community.
Council Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole said: “It was with sadness that I heard of the sudden, unexpected and early death of Cllr Keith Davies and would like to offer my sympathy to his family and to the people of Kidwelly where he was a central part of the community.
“Everyone has appr…

The latest Clay Shaw Butler Money Matters column from the Carmarthenshire Herald

The latest Clay Shaw Butler Money Matters column from the Carmarthenshire Herald.
By Mark Jones, director of Carmarthen-based Clay Shaw Butler chartered accountants and business consultants.

It’s that time of year again – a time when you wonder where the school holidays went.
‘Back to school’ brings plenty of additional costs to the family budget.
From uniforms to text books, having children at school does not come cheap.
According to online retailer LaptopsDirect, the cost of kitting out your children is a staggering £400.
This is an amount to send a shiver down the spine of mums and dads with two or more ‘school age’ children.
But, as with all things financial, planning and proper budgeting pays dividends.
Here are some ways you can cut the costs of sending children back to school.
Buy uniforms a bit larger than you think you need.
Children grow very quickly and you can always take up the hems of trousers and bring them down again when they have a spurt.
Some families buy shoes half a…

Co-operation between West Wales hospitals continues

Hospitals in the south of Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) area continue to work together to ensure provision of 24/7 medical services for patients whilst there are fewer than usual junior doctors in place.
Since the start of the month, the catchment areas for Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen; and Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli; have stretched further west; whilst the medical bed numbers at Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest have been temporarily reduced to match the level of medical workforce available.
Currently, additional medical capacity has been created at Prince Philip Hospital, by converting a surgical ward into a medical ward, but the University Health Board is now proceeding with plans to re-open that surgical ward and create extra capacity at Glangwili Hospital instead.
Hywel Dda UHB Medical Director Dr Philip Kloer explained: “We are extremely proud of our staff for working together across professions and hospital sites to ensure we provide urgent care to our sickest …

The latest 'On Song' column from the Llanelli Star

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

Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi (Vale of Towy Male Voice Choir) will be recording a new CD during their busy autumn schedule.
The Llandyfaelog-based choir are having a memorable year, having recently staged a very successful anniversary concert at the Princess Gwenllian Centre, Kidwelly.
Derrick Rowlands, the choir secretary, said: “2015 is proving to be a very busy year, but the choristers are enjoying their singing and we are always looking for new members to swell our ranks.”
The choristers are led by Musical Director Mrs Davinia Harries Davies, with accompanist Maureen Chapman on keyboards.
Current concert engagements include –
Sat 29th August, Castell Cydweli.
Sat 12th September, Pontyberem Workingmen’s Club.
Sat Oct 3rd, Concert with Bois Bara Brith ( Sir Fôn, Anglesey) and Catrin Jones, Llandyfaelog. Tickets £6 from 01269 860996.
Sat Oct 10th, CD Recording, Llandyfaelog.
Sat …

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.


I heard her say those words.
Last Saturday, I sat in a Llanelli town centre cafe having a quiet cup of coffee (Well, the coffee itself was quiet, but I was making loud slurping noises, watching the world go by).
Not the entire world obviously, as that would take several months and not everyone in the world has the inclination, the air fare or enough holiday entitlement to parade past the window of my local town centre cafe, so I could stare at them as I drank my way through 5,000 cups of coffee.
Regular readers will know I spend a lot of time in cafes and it’s not because I have a ‘thing’ about shapely, thirty-something waitresses in pastel-coloured Rayon overalls that crackle as they place a plate of beans on toast in front of me and say in that provocative, ‘Continental’ fashion . . . ”Yer u …

Hywel Dda’s The Big Thank You shortlisted in Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards 2015

Hywel Dda University Health Board’s The Big Thank You has been shortlisted in the Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards 2015.
The Big Thank You is all about making it easier for people to say ‘thank you’ directly to our staff who have made a positive difference to their experience.
Using our website (, patient WIFI homepages and good old fashioned postcards available from hospital receptions, Hywel Dda UHB asks two simple questions:
Who would you like to say thank you to? What is it that they have done that has made your experience a positive one?  Staff who are acknowledged by patients or their families then receive a personal letter from Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, to thank them for what they are doing which in turn helps to reinforce good practice. Staff can then use their letter for revalidation or other development reviews.
Anna Tee, Patient Experience Manager at Hywel Dda UHB said: “It is a huge privilege to be shortli…

Theo Davies picked as a Gold Young Ambassador by Sport Wales

A Carmarthenshire schoolboy has been chosen to represent the Young Ambassador Programme at the highest level.
Gold Young Ambassador Theo Davies, is one of 16 youngsters to achieve Platinum status after being selected by Sport Wales to represent Carmarthenshire on the National Steering Group and Leadership Academy.
Until now the 17-year-old has been working alongside sport and leisure officers training Bronze and Silver ambassadors across the county. Now the St Michael’s School student will have a voice on sporting matters across Wales.
Theo said: “It's an honour to represent the Young Ambassador Scheme at the highest level and develop myself as a person in doing so. I’d like to thank the sport and leisure team, the Gold YAs and my school for their support and confidence as I wouldn't be here without them.”
Ambassadors are trained by the council’s sport and leisure team and part of their role is to encourage and inspire other children in their school to take part in sport and physi…

Leagues of Friends celebrate their health support achievements

Members of Hywel Dda University Health Board's acute and community hospitals’ Leagues of Friends recently came together to celebrate their achievements.
The University Health Board's Chair and Chief Executive welcomed the Leagues of Friends to an afternoon tea to thank them for their time and dedication in raising funds to support all hospitals across the Hywel Dda area.
There are nine Leagues of Friends supporting the hospitals across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. Each League of Friends is a registered charity and run a variety of fundraising events each year to provide much needed additional equipment and home comforts for the benefit of patients.
Our Chair and Chief Executive wanted to take the opportunity to thank members for their continued and substantial dedication and enthusiasm in supporting local healthcare.
Mrs Bernardine Rees OBE, Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board said: "We are extremely pleased to be able to say thank you to the dedi…

Mid Wales Healthcare Collaborative Board meet for the second time

The Mid Wales Healthcare Collaborative Board met for the second time at Neuadd Pendre in Tywyn, Gwynedd. The Board meeting, chaired by the Independent co-chairs - Dr Ruth Hall CB and Mr Jack Evershed, was well attended by members of the public. Progress on the work undertaken to date includes:
Innovation sub-groups are now in the process of being established. Their work will be vital in progressing the implementation of the recommendations contained within the Mid Wales Healthcare Study.
A number of short term actions have been identified in order to improve the quality and safety of healthcare for the population of Mid Wales. These include:
A review of current transport arrangements between South Gwynedd, North Powys and Bronglais General Hospital in conjunction with the timing of appointments offered at Bronglais General Hospital in order to ensure patients are offered appointment times which are aligned to suitable transport alternatives;
Immediate recruitment to consultant and n…

Daddy longlegs and an ecosystem under threat from climate change

PhD research student Matthew Carroll, jointly of the Department of Biology, University of York and IBERS, Aberystwyth University, is a key contributor to an article published in Nature Communications today.
Several rare upland bird species are being put at risk together with other ecosystem functions by the effects of climate change on the UK’s blanket bogs, ecologists at the University of York, Aberystwyth University and RSPB have discovered with the ecological research component on craneflies undertaken by Matthew and jointly supervised by Peter Dennis of Aberystwyth University.
Most of our drinking water comes from these upland peats and several iconic bird species such as the dunlin, golden plover and red grouse depend on these wetland habitats for nesting and feeding.
The scientists warn that climate change threatens these habitats, not only from rising temperatures increasing peat decomposition, but also via altered rainfall patterns – with summer droughts drastically affecting th…

Lucky four-leaf clovers in the sub-arctic could prove valuable to future plant breeding

The lucky discovery of four-leaf clovers in the sub-arctic could prove valuable to future plant breeding research.
Students in IBERS (Insitute of Environmental and Rural Sciences) in Aberystwyth made some lucky discoveries on a recent fieldtrip to the village of Abisko in the Swedish Lapland to study Arctic Ecology.
In addition to seeing several Arctic-alpine plant species the students also found several red clover plants (Trifolium pratense L.). These were growing in disturbed areas near paths, houses and the rail road. On closer examination of the area, the students made the exciting discovery that a surprising number of plants had four, five and even six leaves.
IBERS is an internationally recognised research and teaching centre and a world leader in grass and clover breeding and has an active red clover breeding programme that seeks to improve dry matter yield and resistance to pests and diseases.
Abisko is a small village in northern Sweden, 200km north of the Arctic Circle. The ar…

Giant water slide comes to Pembrey Country Park

Pembrey Country Park is playing host to a giant water slide in September.
Activities company, Slip N Slide, will set up their 500 ft slide, which is longer than a football pitch – for two days on September 5 and 6.
The attraction will be located near the ski slope and will be open from 10am – 7pm on Saturday and Sunday.
All day slider tickets are £25, with a limited number available, and will include unlimited sliding during the day plus free tube rental. Single slide tickets are available at the park on the day for £5 per ride or three rides for £14.
Entry to the park is £5 per car.
Slip and Slide has been a massive hit across America and in the UK and is a first in Carmarthenshire. Rider’s can take along their own inflatable to cling to as they make their way down the steep slope.
County executive board member for regeneration and leisure services, Cllr Meryl Gravell said: “These events have been popular across the UK and are great attractions for the whole family whatever the age whether…

GCSE results delight in Carmarthenshire

Pupils in Carmarthenshire remain firmly at the top of the class with their GCSE results.
Provisional figures show that 86.2% of pupils achieved grades A* to C in comparison with the Welsh average of 66.6%.
A total of 14.1% of Carmarthenshire pupils were awarded A* and A (compared to the Welsh average of 19.2%).
The key indicator figure for pupils achieving the Level 2 inclusive measure (which includes a GCSE grade A*to C in English or Welsh first language and mathematics) has also improved significantly. The 2015 result of 60.8% pushes Carmarthenshire through the coveted 60% barrier and yet again, clearly shows a year-on-year improvement and upward trend across our schools.
Executive Board Member for Education Cllr Gareth Jones congratulated pupils for their hard work. He said: “Once again, they have achieved excellent results across all their examinations. Similar to last week’s A and AS level results, the increased percentages for a range of grades and overall passes demonstrates a ve…

Recycling rates in Carmarthenshire continuing to rise

Recycling rates in Carmarthenshire are continuing to rise and residents are being congratulated for all their hard work.
Provisional figures released for 2014/15 show we are recycling approximately 60% of our rubbish here in Carmarthenshire, which means we have already achieved the Welsh Government target of 58% for 2015/16.
The all Wales recycling figure is 56%.
The Statistics for Wales report show the combined reuse, recycling and composting rates for all local authorities in Wales.
Carmarthenshire achieved a four per cent increase on the previous year.
Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Hazel Evans said: “I am delighted that here in Carmarthenshire we have not only met but already exceeded this year’s statutory target of 58% and I cannot thank residents enough for all their efforts.
“We have come a long way since 2003 when we were recycling just 9.4% of our rubbish, and we could not have achieved this figure without the co-operation of householders.”
A number of initiatives …

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery -

WEEK COMMENCING August 24, 2015

3 Medium Corned Beef Pasties, £1.70
2 Large Corned Beef Pasties, £2.00
2 Minced Beef and Onion Pies, £2.20
2 Strawberry Manchester Tarts, £1.80
Sandwich Of The Week, Tuna and Cucumber, £2.05
Rustic Baguette Of The Week, Chicken Tikka, £2.45
Filled Softie Of The Week, Ham Salad, £2.25
Website -

Showcase gala concert lined up by Loud Applause Productions in Llanelli

A Night with the Stars A Loud Applause Production Saturday November 7th 7.00pm Ffwrnes, Llanelli Tickets from £16.00
Loud Applause Productions Annual Showcase Gala Concert promises once again to be a wonderful evening of entertainment. Featuring talented up and coming singers and instrumentalists from South West Wales ‘the Loud Applause Rising Stars’ along with seasoned and professional performers.
The ‘Rising Stars’ are now becoming familar names and include vocalists Samuel Morris, Jordan Williams, Daniella Difede, Keely Morgan, Sophie Maliphant, Angharad Elise Thomas and Nia Rees accompanied by Andrew J. Pike and Rhiannon Williams Hale. A new feature to the Rising Stars are instrumentalists who will be represented by Cai Charles (guitar), Ffion Elin Williams (harp) and Rhodri Thomas (trombone).
Appearing with the Rising Stars will be the highly talented jazz singer from Birmingham Anthony Marsden and, back by popular demand, the world famous Morriston Orpheus Choir under the baton of …