Showing posts from September 6, 2015

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.

They’ve been talked about for a long time – and now they are finally heading our way.
The changes to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) are on the horizon for employers and employees.
The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is a minimum amount per hour that most workers in the UK are entitled to be paid.
NMW rates increases come into effect on 1 October 2015.
From 1 October 2015:
the adult rate will increase by 20 pence to £6.70 per hour the rate for 18 to 20 year olds will increase by 17 pence to £5.30 per hour the rate for 16 to 17 year olds will increase by 8 pence to £3.87 per hour the apprentice rate will increase by 57 pence to £3.30 per hour.  Employers also need to be aware that from April 2016, the government will introduce a new mandatory National Living Wage (NLW) for workers aged 25 and above.

Pembrey selected to host first round of 2016 British Mountain Bike Cross Country Series

Pembrey Country Park has been selected as the venue to host the first round of the 2016 British Mountain Bike Cross Country Series.
It is the first time that the series will have been hosted in Carmarthenshire with up to 1,000 riders from across the world expected.
The successful bid by A Cycling is supported by Carmarthenshire County Council and Welsh Cycling. It follows a successful series of events this year, run by A Cycling and the incredibly popular “Battle on the Beach” which has become a must-do event at the park.
The council’s executive board member for leisure, Cllr Meryl Gravell said: “This is fantastic news, not only for the park but for Carmarthen shire. To be selected as host for such an elite event is testament to the park diverse natural landscape and attractions.”
With the international governing body awarding UCI Category 2 status, the highest possible for a new venue, it is expected that between 700 and 1000 participants will take part across a number of different races…

Pet pooches to strut their stuff at Pembrey Country Park

Pet pooches are inviting their families to a fun day out in Pembrey Country Park on Sunday.
Many different breeds are expected to strut their stuff in a fun Burns Dogs Day Out show competing for the Golden Oldies, Shining Examples, Canine Singer of the World, Only Men Allowed, She’s a Lady, A Bit of Ruff and Happiness titles.
Have-a-go-activities including Fastest Recall, Fundog Scurry, Sausage Catching Competition and Dogstable Challenge will run all day.
The main arena will host a variety of great displays, beginning with the amazing K9 Drug Awareness at 10.45am and the Dalmatians and horses from the British Carriage Dog Society. Parades from the breed and rescue and support dogs are guaranteed to keep you entertained.
Welshspell Agility is also running an agility show – please note that entries are in advance only for this event.
The Dogs Trust are offering free microchipping during the 10am to 4pm event.
The council’s executive board member for leisure, Cllr Meryl Gravell said: “This fu…

Carmarthenshire to welcome Syrian refugees

Councillors in Carmarthenshire voted as one today to welcome Syrian refugees to the county.
In a special item allowed by Chair Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths at the end of Full Council today, the Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole called on all members to support his plea to help.
He revealed that the Chief Executive and senior officers were already looking into how Carmarthenshire could play its part.
Cllr Dole said: “This is a huge humanitarian crisis, there is a human and moral requirement upon us to support in a welcoming and positive way this crisis and these refugees.
“I celebrate the extraordinary courage of the refugees, and I call on the Welsh Government and the UK Government for an immediate response, and for us to declare we will play our part fully in welcoming with open arms people, not only to consider their plight, but to do something about it.”
The Leader quoted lines from the poem by John Donne ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ which starts with the famous line ‘No man is an island’ and ends by …

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 -

Côr Meibion Dyffryn Tywi (Vale of Towy Male Voice Choir) will be performing at Pontyberem Workingmen’s Club on Saturday, September 12.
It’s a busy time for the Llandyfaelog-based choir as they are recording a new CD during their busy autumn schedule.
The choristers are led by Musical Director Mrs Davinia Harries Davies, with accompanist Maureen Chapman on keyboards.
Current concert engagements include –
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 Oct 17th, Eisteddfod Bancffosfelen.
Wed 21st Oct – Sun 25th Oct, Irish Tour.
Thurs 29th Oct, Ferryside Hall.
Sat 7th Nov, Princess Gwenllian Centre, Kidwelly.
Sat 14th Nov 40th, Celebration Dinner, Baltic Ponthenri.
Tues 8th Dec, Red Lion, Llandyfaelog.
Anyone interested in…

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.


Do you always wake up feeling bright-eyed & bushy-tailed?
Do you have perfect teeth, excellent hearing and 20/20 vision?
Was your last visit to the doctors so long ago, your mother accompanied you and the cure for your ailment was a bottle of castor oil?
If you’ve answered ‘Yes’ to all of the above, then long may you stay in such rude health.
Meanwhile, here’s some medical advice to everyone else - never read the Health Section of your newspaper!
Otherwise, you’ll convince yourself you’ve developed the symptoms of every medical condition they mention and you’ll take their advice to do more exercise, live on brown rice and prune juice and cut down on alcohol.
My doctor once memorably declared, “Everything in moderation!”
. . . just before he passed out from downing 18 whiskies, t…

'The Russians are coming' to Kidwelly for a musical treat

The Russians are coming! They are heading for Kidwelly for what promises to be a musical treat. An Evening of Sacred and Folk Music is being presented by the Russian Choir Voskresenije (Resurrection) at St Mary’s Church, Kidwelly, on Wednesday October 7 at 7pm
Admission is £5 and tickets can be obtained from Mrs Peggy Davies, 6 Maes y Parc, Kidwelly. Telephone 01554 890147. Tickets will also be available on the door. Mrs Davies said: "This promises to be a very special evening. Voskresenije are a small group of singers, but they have an outstanding reputation and we hope that the people of Kidwelly give them a very warm welcome."

The vocal ensemble Resurrection -Voskresenije in Russian - was founded by Jurij Maruk in 1993. It consists of seven to 10 professional female and male vocalists. The repertoire of the ensemble includes Russian Sacred Music as well as folk music. Guest performances in Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Austria, the UK, France and Italy have met with great s…

Alternative leisure options to be discussed in Carmarthenshire

Leisure centres and theatres in Carmarthenshire could be managed through a partnership with another organisation in a bid to protect vital public services.
The county council is exploring innovative options for the facilities and associated services as part of a wide-ranging review aimed at saving money as central government funding reduces year on year, whilst continuing the provision of the services.
One of the options being considered is to explore whether there are other organisations, such as charities or trusts, which could deliver these services at less cost.
It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of pounds could be saved through such a partnership, whilst continuing to provide the services for the public and protecting many of the benefits of working for the authority that current employees value.
A full report is now due to go before members of the Community Scrutiny Committee for discussion when they meet on September 14.
Their recommendations will go to the Executive Board b…

Carmarthenshire Council brings empty properties back into use

More than 500 empty properties have been brought back into use in Carmarthenshire over the last five years – 135 of them in the last year alone.
The figures have been revealed as part of a special report compiled by a task and finish group, made up of six members of the county council’s Community Scrutiny Committee.
The group, chaired by Cllr Deryk Cundy, looked in-depth at the scale of the issue, what the council’s housing department is doing currently to address it, and at ideas for tackling the problem in the future.
Carmarthenshire County Council has been at the forefront of bringing empty homes back into use in recent years, becoming one of the first local authorities in Wales to employ a dedicated empty homes officer. It was also the first to use Empty Dwelling Management Orders to force action on problem properties.
More recently, with the launch of the Welsh Government’s Houses into Homes scheme in 2012, it has helped owners to renovate empty properties and bring them back into us…

Budding entrepreneurs urged to join live webcast with Sir Terry Matthews

Budding young entrepreneurs are being encouraged to take part in a live webcast with a global business icon.
Sir Terry Matthews, the owner of Newport’s Celtic Manor resort and Chairman of the Swansea Bay City Region board, wants to talk with Carmarthenshire comprehensive and sixth form college pupils who have an interest in business.
The live webcast will take place on the morning of Thursday, September 10 with Sir Terry and Vice Chair Cllr Meryl Gravell.
In particular, they would like to hear what young people’s big ideas are for businesses of the future.
The call comes in the wake of an innovation summit held at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium this summer where an ‘Inspiring People and Places’ brand was unveiled for the Swansea Bay City Region.
Cllr Gravell, who is also Carmarthenshire’s regeneration executive board member, said: “This is a very innovative idea which we hope young people across the region will want to be involved with.
“It is an opportunity to ask questions of a very successful…

Carmarthenshire pupils urged to apply for spare bus seats

Pupils across Carmarthenshire who want to apply for spare seats on school buses need to act quickly.
The deadline for applications is September 25 with places being offered in early October.
The cut off date has been brought forward this year due to demand from parents and pupils, so that the spare seats awarded can be used from October onwards.
Pupils who qualify for free school transport have priority on the buses, however any spare seats then become available to others who live within the designated walking distance of the school and where there is no public transport available. There is a one off cost of £50 per seat per year.
The number of spare seats available is dependent upon schools providing the county council with up to date information on pupils, before the deadline.
Executive board member for transport Cllr Hazel Evans said: “We would urge parents who are interested in securing a seat on school transport for their child to act quickly before the deadline.
“We would also ask sch…

Sinfonia Cymru planning an intimate evening of classical music in Pontyberem

Sinfonia Cymru bring an evening of Tchaikovsky, Bach, Haydn and Strauss to the village on October 16.
The concert takes place at the Pontyberem Memorial Hall, starting at 7.30pm.
It will feature -
Strauss Sextet from Capriccio. Bach Three-part inventions arranged for string trio (excerpts). Haydn String Quartet in D Major, Op. 33 No. 6. Tchaikovsky Souvenir de Florence.  The featured violinist will be Bartosz Woroch.
In this deeply intimate concert, Sinfonia Cymru presents a kaleidoscopic programme of chamber music for strings.
From tenacious verve to heartfelt tragedy, Sinfonia Cymru will explore the full emotional range with one of the most popular works in the chamber repertoire; Tchaikovsky’s intensely expressive Souvenir de Florence.
YCAT (Young Classical Artists Trust) violinist and Guest Leader Bartosz Woroch directs Strauss’ elegant string Sextet from the composer’s final opera Capriccio alongside the Sixth in Haydn’s lyrical set of ‘Russian’ quartets and excerpts from Bach’s intri…

Llanelli Railway Goods Shed Trust planning fund-raising Curry Night

The Llanelli Railway Goods Shed Trust is planning another fundraising evening for the project. A Curry Night is being held on Monday, October 5 (7pm) at the Ali Raj restaurant in Trinity Road, Llanelli. The evening comes as the project continues to gain momentum. The Welsh Government's Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates AM, is due to visit the shed in Marsh Street, Llanelli, later this month. Meanwhile, the trust members are waiting to hear the results of latest grant applications to the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund. "The Goods Shed project continues to gather momentum thanks to the support of the people of Llanelli and Wales," said project officer Robert Lloyd. "We all have our fingers crossed that we can gain some more grant support money for what is a dynamic and ground-breaking project for Llanelli. Proposals for the Grade II Listed building near Llanelli Railway Station involve establishing a multi-purpose community hu…

Help needed for Llanelli Rotary Club Backpack Appeal for African schoolchildren

Members of Llanelli Rotary Club will be in the St Elli Centre, Llanelli, on Saturday, September 12 as part of the club's annual Back Pack Appeal for schoolchildren in Africa.
Members of the public are being asked to donate old back packs or satchels (together with any other school kit) to the appeal.
Llanelly House and the Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli will be acting as collection points for the appeal from September 11-19.
Llanelli Rotary President Sue Roberts said:" Very often the children we support don’t have even basic things like pens and notepads to allow them to make the most of their education. You can help solve this problem by filling an old school bag or backpack with some everyday educational items.
"All help for the appeal is gratefully received."

Last year, Llanelli Rotary Club joined the Mary's Meals backpack appeal for the first time.
The club members and friends collected 59 backpacks to send to needy children in Africa.
Project coordinator Alison Ev…

Exciting times for Llanelli’s Hywel Girls’ Choir and Hywel Boy Singers

Llanelli’s famous Hywel Girls’ Choir & Hywel Boy Singers have kicked off the new Autumn concert season with a hive of activity.
Their first weekend together after a well-deserved summer break saw the choristers feature on a radio broadcast for BBC Radio Wales on Saturday before hosting a glittering and televised black-tie reception for a battalion of past choristers reuniting for a giant historic Reunion Chorus.
Sunday saw the choristers run an exciting singing workshop at Studio Stepni at Ffwrnes Theatre, which was filmed for a TV documentary. The cameras caught the choristers developing their performance skills for exciting new repertoire spanning Annie The Musical and West Side Story.
Next weekend, conductor John Hywel and the Hywel Girls’ Choir & Hywel Boy Singers will be performing at the Milford Haven Music Festival- under the patronage of world famous composer Karl Jenkins.
Due to the sell-out nature of the Hywel Choir’s Winter and Christmas performances, an extra performa…

Singers unite for historic reunion in Llanelli

A historic reunion of past choristers of Llanelli’s Hywel Girls’ Choir & Hywel Boy Singers took place at the weekend with great enthusiasm and media attention.
The black-tie reunion event held in the beautiful surroundings of Stradey Castle saw a battalion of choristers spanning six decades gather for the first time as a Reunion Chorus. Television cameras filmed the event as part of a documentary feature on the Hywel Choir.
The event was the inaugural gathering of the Reunion Chorus of past members of the Hywel Girls’ Choir & Hywel Boy Singers who later this Autumn will be preparing for a unique and spectacular performance as 160 singers will unite for a performance with the symphonic sounds of the British Sinfonietta Orchestra at Y Ffwrnes.
The Great Christmas Fantasia, the Winter Performance of the Hywel Choir, will be held on Saturday 19th December is already a sell-out and will also feature the Llanelli Choral Society, soprano Gwawr Edwards and Eurovision Song Contest Winners…

Llanelli man given conditional discharge by magistrates for fly-tipping

A Llanelli man has been given a 12 month conditional discharge by magistrates for a fly-tipping offence.
Stephen Ashford, aged 47, of Heol Gwalia, pleaded guilty to an offence contrary to Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 at Carmarthen Magistrates Court.
The court heard that on September 15 last year the council’s environmental enforcement section received a complaint of building waste left in the rear lane of Tyr Fran Avenue.
They attended the area and found a large quantity of old roofing materials in the lane. They could see that one of the garages had recently had the roof replaced.
They spoke to the householder who told them the garage roof was leaking and her son-in-law had arranged for it to be replaced. He told the officers he had asked a family friend to find a reputable roofer to carry out the work.
The officers interviewed Stephen Ashford who admitted he had carried out the work and after completing the job he had been told to place the waste in the lane ready …

Waste and tyre amnesty in Llanybydder

Residents in Llanybydder are being urged to have a clear out.
A waste and tyre amnesty is being held in the main car park on Tuesday, September 22 between 8am and 1pm.
Most household waste can be taken along including unwanted furniture, carpets and mattresses, electrical items such as fridge-freezers and televisions, as well as black and blue bags.
A maximum of four tyres can also be disposed of; however, tractor or lorry tyres will not be accepted.
Hazardous waste such as paint, fluorescent tubes, batteries, chemicals, gas bottles and asbestos will not be accepted along with glass, garden waste, trade waste, construction waste and agricultural waste.
Residents can pick up a free bag of Merlin’s Magic Compost (while stocks last) courtesy of CWM Environmental Ltd.
Half-price compost bins will also be on sale for just £6 instead of the usual £12.
Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Hazel Evans said: “I hope residents take advantage of this opportunity to dispose of their waste.

100th birthday celebration at Llanelli care home

A well known former Llanelli landlady has celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends.
On Wednesday Mrs Nesta Williams enjoyed a tea party at Y Bwthyn care home in Bigyn, Llanelli, where she has lived since 2007. She has two daughters Anne and Joan, two grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Mrs Williams was the landlady of the Bull Inn in Anne Street, Llanelli, in the 1950s and 1960s and her late first husband was one of the first people in Wales to open a boxing gym for youngsters.
Y Bwthyn manager Heike Clarke said Mrs Williams was quite a character.
“She has been here a long time and is part of our family at Y Bwthyn,” she added.
Mrs Williams’ daughter Anne Obern said: “My mother’s first marriage was to my father Emlyn Rees who was one of the first to open a boxing gym above the Mansel pub and had three Welsh Champions. He died when he was 46.
“My mother worked in service for Mr Davies the Magistrates Clerk and went to work for the brewery. They were asked if they would like t…

Charity Gala Concert aims to raise cash for Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal in South West Wales

Llanelli concert promoter Cerith Owens is hard at work organising the Royal British Legion Charity Gala Concert, which takes place on Saturday, October 17 at the Lyric Theatre, Carmarthen (7pm start, doors open 6.30pm).
The concert, organised by Loud Applause Productions, will support the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal in South West Wales.
It is being billed as, ‘A thrilling and melancholy evening with stirring and evocative music which as always will leave a lasting impression’.
This year’s concert not only raises funds for the Poppy Appeal but also marks the 70th Anniversary of the end of the World War Two, remembering the sacrifices of men and women who have served our country so courageously.
Pendyrus Male Choir and soprano Gwawr Edwards will be headlining this year’s Gala with a special guest appearance by ‘Carmarthen Local Hero’ Mark Llewellyn Evans.
Appearing once again by audience demand will be The 215 City of Swansea Squadron Royal Air Force Cadets Corps of Drums with their st…

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery -

WEEK COMMENCING September 7, 2015

3 Medium Corned Beef Pasties, £1.70
2 Large Corned Beef Pasties, £2.00
2 Minced Beef and Onion Pies, £2.20
2 Fresh Cream Doughnuts, £1.70
Sandwich Of The Week, Tuna Crunch, £2.05
Rustic Baguette Of The Week, Chicken Tikka, £2.45
Filled Softie Of The Week, Ham Salad, £2.25
Website -

A Sunday morning message to church groups and community organisations from Nia Griffith MP

To members of church congregations, other faith groups and community organisations in the Llanelli area.
Dear Friends, re: Refugee crisis. Many of you, will, like me, have been shocked, long before the events of this last week, at the appalling tragedy of refugees dying on the shores of Europe and very disturbed at the negative attitude of some politicians and some sectors of the press. I know that many people like you in the UK would want to offer a welcome to refugees after the unimaginable hardship they have suffered, and will already have contributed through organisations like Christian Aid and Oxfam to the work that they are doing, both in the countries neighbouring the areas of conflict, and on the shores of Southern Europe. It was encouraging that the press on Friday printed Christian Aid’s call for the UK to take more refugees. I am writing to you to ask if you would be able to join in the UK-wide campaign for churches and local organisations to show their support this weekend…