Showing posts from October 4, 2015

Digital 'drop in' events for Llanelli and Ammanford

From staying healthy and finding work to saving money or keeping in touch, there are lots of ways that being online can make both the things you love and life’s little jobs quicker, easier and cheaper.
If you’ve never touched a computer or a tablet before, or you just need some tips to make the most of being online, Communities First can help.
Digital 'drop in' events are being held in Ammanford, Llanelli and Llwynhendy Libraries for ‘Get Online Week’ when there will be free information and support to make the most of the internet, computers and tablets.
The session at Ammanford Library will take place this Monday (October 12) from 1.30 to 3.30pm.
The Llanelli session is this Thursday from 10am to 1pm, and the Llwynhendy session this Friday from 1-3pm.

Carmarthenshire residents invited to give views on air quality

Members of the public are being invited to share their views on the air quality in certain parts of Llanelli and Carmarthen.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Environmental Health and Licensing team have launched a consultation to gather feedback from people on a proposed Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).
The Environment Act 1995 places a duty on local authorities to monitor, review, and assess air quality across its area, and to take steps to improve air quality in places where people live.
For over 20 years the council has monitored nitrogen dioxide, a traffic-related pollutant, across the county.
During 2012-14 the levels of nitrogen dioxide levels exceeded the National Air Quality Objectives (AQO) in certain areas around both towns.
Although this will not cause immediate short term health impacts, the authority has a legal duty to try and improve air quality where breaches are identified.
The proposed Air Quality Management Area will identify the extent of the poor air quality area, th…

Health advice: TALK Hypos with your doctor or nurse

Hywel Dda University Health Board supported Hypo Awareness Week 2015 (running until 11th October) by encouraging local residents with diabetes to TALK Hypos throughout the week.
The TALK Hypos campaign encourages people with diabetes and their health teams to discuss hypoglycaemia (hypos) - one of the most common complications of diabetes.
This year’s campaign had an increased focus on night-time hypos. Findings of a survey released to coincide with Hypo Awareness Week found that night-time hypos are common with approximately two-thirds (66%) of people having experienced a night-time hypo in the month prior to the survey. Despite this, one third (32%) fail to report this to their doctor or nurse. Encouragingly, the survey found that of those who did report, one third (34%) felt more confident about managing their night-time hypos.
Hypos occur when glucose in the blood falls to a low level, and symptoms can include a pounding heart, trembling, hunger, difficulty concentrating and blurr…

Outdoor fun for children at Llanelli’s Ty Enfys family centre

Children at Llanelli’s Ty Enfys family centre are enjoying the early autumn sunshine in their new outdoor play area, thanks to Carmarthenshire County Council’s housing department.
The housing team pitched in to help clear an overgrown corner of the garden at the Llwynhendy centre, which is situated in a former council home on a busy estate.
Hundreds of local families benefit from the centre, so the council organised for clearance works and helped make the area bright and inviting for young children to enjoy outdoor play.
And even though the summer was a washout, children have been happy to dodge the raindrops and have fun.
Cllr Linda Evans, Executive Board Member for Housing, said: “We were keen to support Ty Enfys Family centre which is at the heart of one of most populated estates.
“We undertake a variety of works such as this as part of our commitment to community engagement. It’s lovely to hear that children have been enjoying the new play area.”

Road closure for The Avenue in Carmarthen

The Avenue, Carmarthen, is to be closed for three weeks from its junction with Priory Street for a total distance of 150 metres in a south-easterly direction.
The closure is necessary for Wales and West Utilities to carry out gas mains replacement works from Monday, October 12, 2015.
The alternative route for north west bound traffic will be to travel in a south-westerly direction along The Parade to its junction with North Parade.  At the junction, turn right and continue in a north-westerly direction along North Parade to its junction with Priory Street. At the junction, turn right and continue in a north-easterly direction to return to a point north-west of the closure.

People in Carmarthenshire are recycling more rubbish

New figures published show that people in Carmarthenshire are recycling more - and sending less rubbish to landfill.
A total of 59.6% was reused, recycled and composted in the county during 2014/15, a four per cent increase on the previous year, according to the WasteDataFlow report.
This means Carmarthenshire has not only achieved but already exceeded the 58% statutory recycling target set for 2015/16 and is in the top five best performing local authorities in Wales.
The 2014/15 Landfill Allowances Scheme (LAS) report has also been released by Natural Resources Wales yesterday (October 8) which shows the county has also significantly reduced the amount of biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill.
Carmarthenshire had an allowance of 23,151 tonnes but sent only 7,175 tonnes to landfill – just 31% of its allowance.
The Landfill Allowances Scheme limits the amount of biodegradable waste - such as paper, cardboard and food waste - that councils are allowed to send to landfill.

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.

Many of you will think that watching and listening to the political party conferences is a bit like a visit to the dentist.
But there are occasions when they are almost required viewing.
This party conference season it’s been worth watching everyone wrestle with the thorny question of tax credits.
The tax credits system is changing in line with changes outlined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in his summer Budget.
But you probably need a degree or a PhD in the subject to properly understand the tax credits issues.
In its latest Tax Credit Guide, the consumer group Which? says it is "virtually impossible" for people claiming tax credits to work out what they are entitled to.
The debate on the impact of planned changes is hardly making it any clearer, but we will attempt to provi…

Two of Redkite Law's solicitor partners make the 'Top 35 Under 35' in Wales list

Lucy Morris (Partner and Head of the Commercial and Agricultural Property Team) and Paul James (Partner and Head of the Company and Commercial Team) of Redkite Law solicitors, have each made the final list of the top 35 business women and men under 35 in Wales.
“We are both absolutely delighted to have been selected for the 35 under 35 list” said Lucy.
“The fact that two of us have made the list is a real credit to both Redkite Solicitors and also our clients.
"We pride ourselves on being experts in our field and being on the list is a real boost.”
Each year, the Western Mail regional newspaper and the Wales Online website draw up a prestigious list of 35 of the highest-flying business and professional men and women in Wales under the age of 35 who have impressed with their achievement and the contribution to Wales' economy and public life.
“We love the work we do and enjoy helping our commercial clients develop and grow their businesses, so to be recognised for this is fant…

‘Come Dine with Us’ workshops in Llanelli

Parents and children in Llanelli have gained invaluable time together after the families took part in a Communities First programme.
The Coedcae Comprehensive School families have met for the last six months and participated in a programme which focused on encouraging family engagement in both education and health.
The programme consisted of a variety of activities including creative animation sessions however more recently the group has concentrated on increasing their knowledge on budgeting for a healthy diet in a fun way.
The group now meet weekly to take part in ‘Come Dine with Us’ workshops; each week cooking something new and enjoying eating their creations together.
Both the Learning and Health Team of Carmarthenshire Communities First collaborated on delivering a programme to families, who would benefit from the support the most.
With the aid of a school based youth worker, the programme was able to be developed into a hub of support, tackling a range of issues.
Executive board memb…

Two new businesses have opened in Llanelli Market

Two new businesses have opened in Llanelli Market.
Maureen’s Floral Designs provides fresh and artificial arrangements for all occasions, from wedding button holes to grave pots, funeral tributes and wreaths.
There is also a selection of homemade baby and children’s clothing.
Owned by Maureen Harries from Llanelli, the stall is already attracting customers from as far afield as Abergavenny, Aberystwyth and Neath.
Maureen, who has been running the business on a more casual basis, including at the outdoor market and in the Elli Centre for the last eight years, said: “Having a stall in the indoor market is a big commitment but it’s going very well.
“Due to having a small workspace here, in most cases customer orders can be completed by the following day.”
Verve Cafe on Cowell Street, is a mother and daughter business partnership.
Kathryn Williams said it was her 18-year-old daughter Angharad Davies’ idea. She added: “Angharad wanted to open up a milkshake bar so we’ve combined the speciality m…

Llanelli shoppers going ‘bananas’ for Minion-shaped pumpkins

Shoppers at Llanelli market are going ‘bananas’ for Minion-shaped pumpkins.
The Minion mayhem has been fuelled by pumpkins grown by Miriam Phillips and her husband Steve of Mr and Mrs H Phillips Fruit and Vegetables.
Miriam said: “We’ve grown nearly 400 pumpkins on our farm this year. It’s been a great year for them. We noticed that a few of them were shaped like minions, so we thought it would be great to turn them into the characters because you see them everywhere in the shops.”
The minions have caught the attention of a number of shoppers already, with many stopping to take selfies with them.
“They’re very popular, and we’re now looking at different characters. I’d like to do an Olaf one from Frozen next,” said Miriam.
Last year, H Phillips Fruit and Vegetables sold out of their giant pumpkins before Halloween.
“I thought people would find them too big, but they were really popular as people want them bigger now to carve larger designs,” said Miriam.
“It’s never too soon to buy your pum…

Aberystwyth science student tracks killer cats

Inspired by detective crime series ‘Hinterland’, Aberystwyth University Animal Science student Henriette Wisnes is investigating why cats kill so many other animals.
Pathological pussy-cats or misunderstood moggies?
Millions of animals are thought to be ‘eliminated’ by our precious little bundles of joy every year.
But do our furry friends prefer a set menu across the country? Or is there a preference for local produce? And do some countries house more ferocious felines than others?
Using a simple online form the public is being asked to ‘snitch’ on their tabbies. Already, more than 250 participants from the UK and continental Europe have responded.
Henriette, who is now in her third year at Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS) is investigating how natural hunting instincts in cats can impact on the local wildlife.
When asked what ‘Fluffy’ brings home, she says: “Some cats seem to have a preference for what one might expect: the…

Get set for Social Saturday!

Social enterprises in Carmarthenshire are urging members of the public to visit them tomorrow (October 10) which is Social Saturday.
The aim of Social Saturday 2015 is to raise awareness and celebrate just how easy it is to support businesses that buy and sell with a social conscience.
Social enterprises are businesses that trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances or the environment. Within Carmarthenshire there are more than 40 social enterprises from coffee shops, to a cinema and a bowling alley each of these reinvest their profits back into the business or local community
Why not have a family fun day at Gwili Railway, Carmarthen, visit Ramps Skate Park a 12,000 sq ft indoor/outdoor skate park in Llanelli or take a trip to Aberglasney Gardens in the Tywi Valley and enjoy one of Wales’ finest gardens. You’ll be able to engage with these organisations and hear first-hand about how your support and purchase can make a real difference.
Please follow @Carm…

Health board launches new central contact centre

Patients living in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire will be able to experience greater choice and reduced waiting times for hospital appointments, thanks to the launch of a new central contact centre by Hywel Dda University Health Board.
The health board has decided to merge its contact centres in Glangwili, Withybush and Bronglais General Hospitals, to one centralised contact centre based at Prince Phillip Hospital in Llanelli.
The contact centre will ensure that outpatient appointments can be arranged at the earliest opportunity – particularly for people who are suspected of having life-threatening conditions, such as cancer.
By having a single dedicated telephone number to dial, service users will be able to contact and arrange appointments with ease, ensuring that all outpatient clinic sessions are fully utilised.
In addition, patients will be able to request a free ‘call back’ option to avoid having to wait in a queue on the phone.
A soft ‘go-live’ session is being held …

Health Board commitment to improved facilities for cancer patients at Withybush Hospital

Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) reconfirmed its commitment to provide improved facilities for cancer patients at Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest, at its latest Board meeting.
The new Director of Operations/Deputy Chief Executive Joe Teape presented a paper outlining the background to the project and recently agreed governance structures to ensure the work is driven forward at pace.
As senior responsible officer for the development, Mr Teape confirmed that clinician-led discussions are taking place on the future model for Withybush Hospital to maintain 24/7 acute medicine on site.
Mr Teape noted the importance of considering plans for the Chemotherapy Day Unit (CDU) and Ward 10 as part of these wider discussions to ensure the most appropriate service model for patients.
The University Health Board has committed to share the recommendations of its clinician-led discussions, including the most appropriate location for CDU and Ward 10 services, with stakeholders and charity partner…

Aberystwyth University to lead major new international literary initiative

Literature Across Frontiers (LAF), an initiative based at Aberystwyth University, has been selected for funding under the New Platforms strand of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union as one of three successful applicants from among 47.
The grant of 455,425 Euro will support the first year of the project Literary Europe Live launched by LAF as leader of the 16-member platform.
The funding was announced at Aberystwyth Arts Centre prior to the staging of “Words, Words, Words”, a multilingual poetry event organized by the North Wales International Poetry Festival and featuring poets from Wales, Latvia, Slovenia, Croatia and Spain.
The project is co-funded by the European Commission’s Creative Europe Programme and by Aberystwyth University, the Arts Council of Wales and the 16 members of the Literature Across Frontiers Platform. The total value of the project is €570,000.
Through the Literary Europe Live project the Literature Across Frontiers Platform will:
- create a forum for …

Llanelli Rotary fashion show raises £1550 for the Wales Air Ambulance service

Llanelli Rotary Club staged a 'Tea and Trends' fashion show at the Stradey Park Hotel to give the Wales Air Ambulance service a big lift.
The event raised £1550 for the air ambulance team.
"It was a fantastic event and we were delighted to be able to raise a lot of cash for the Wales Air Ambulance service, a thoroughly deserving cause," said Llanelli Rotary Club President Susan Roberts.
"The air ambulance in South Wales is currently building a new headquarters in Dafen, Llanelli, and we know that the money will help boost this worthy venture.
"It was a splendid afternoon for the fashion-loving ladies to come together in relaxed and convivial settings.
"Everyone enjoyed a cheeky glass of Prosecco on arrival and a superb afternoon tea served up by the staff of the Stradey Park Hotel.
"The fashion parade, which saw the models tour the tables, was organised by Melanie Shufflebotham of Mossies fashion shop in Llanelli.
"The grateful thanks of Lla…

Search is on to find Carmarthenshire’s Sports Personality winners

The search is on to find Carmarthenshire’s sporting stars of 2015.
Nominations are now open for 13 categories at the annual Sports Personality ceremony to be held in February.
Categories include Sports Personality, Young Sportsman and sportswoman, Disabled Sportsman and sportswoman, Sports Coach, Sports Volunteer, Young Volunteer, Team of the year, Young Team of the year, Community Sport Coach and High Performance Coach, Outstanding Services to Sport and Sporting Hall of Fame.
The awards in its 18th year are organised by Carmarthenshire Council's sports and leisure team and recognise the sporting achievements of athletes, coaches and volunteers across Carmarthenshire.
Winners will be announced in a glittering event at Y Ffwrnes on Friday, February 12.
Media partners are SWWMedia Ltd and Radio Carmarthenshire. Our nominated charity is The Ray Gravell and Friends Trust.
Executive board member for regeneration and leisure, Cllr Meryl Gravell said: “Carmarthenshire has an excellent reputati…

New award to recognise Carmarthenshire’s top young ambassador

The search is on to find Carmarthenshire’s top young ambassador.
Nominations are invited for Young Ambassador of the Year 2015, an award sponsored by the council’s sport and leisure department, as part of the Radio Carmarthenshire and Scarlet FM Young Achiever Awards.
To be considered you will need to be part of the county-wide programme which has more than 180 youngsters signed up including 157 Bronze, 24 Silver, 6 Gold and a Platinum. You will also need to tell the radio station why they deserve the award.
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 physical activity by running lunchtime clubs. The aim of the programme is to get more people, more active, more often. There are three stages at county level – bronze, silver and gold – that start at primary school age right through to university level. Carmarthenshire student Theo Davies-Lewis is a Platinum Young …

Bookings being taken for the half term holiday Actif clubs in Carmarthenshire

Bookings are now being taken for the half term holiday Actif clubs in October.
Following a huge demand for places during the summer break at Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford leisure centres, people are being urged to book online early to avoid disappointment.
The new club aimed at youngsters age 8-12, was launched in July bringing a whole new range of activities into its programme including Laser Tag, Snorkelling, Kayaking, Mini Waterpolo, Tri Golf, Splash and Slide and Mini Water Olympics as well as football, rugby, hockey and netball sessions.
New for this half term are taster sessions for toddlers up to 4 years Toddlebikes, Balance Bikes, Active Story Time and soft play sessions.
There’ll be a ghouls and ghosts themed day with fancy dress on the Friday to celebrate Halloween.
Our fun packed programme, delivered by trained activity leaders, starts Monday, October 26 to Friday, October 30 from 8.30am to 5pm.
You can book online at or call Llanelli on 01554 …

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 Llanelli Male Voice Choir members are looking forward to a pre-Christmas trip to North Wales.
The choir will be performing at the brand new Bryn Terfel Theatre at the ‘Pontio’ in Bangor.
The Llanelli choristers will be the special guests of the celebrated Côr Y Penrhyn from Bethesda.
Côr Meibion Llanelli musical director Eifion Thomas said: “This trip to the stunning new Pontio theatre has been on the cards for some months. The Bryn Terfel Theatre promises to be one of the most prestigious concert venues in the north.
“There have been some delays in opening the new Pontio theatre, but reports from North Wales indicate that the venue will be extra special when it opens for business this month.
“We are great friends with Côr Y Penrhyn and look forward to what should be a great musical treat in the run-up to Christmas.”
Saturday, October 10, should have seen Côr Ba…

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.


Are the rules meant to be broken?
I'm nothing special - in fact I'm a bit of a bore. If I tell a joke, you've probably heard it before. Some of you might be forgiven for thinking, “Phil’s just written a goodbye note to his career as a stand-up”.”
While the more musically-minded among you will have recognised the lyrics of “Thank You For The Music” and be thinking “Phil’s not only leaving comedy . . . he’s joining an ABBA tribute band!”
You’re all wide of the mark.
I’ve quoted Benny and Bjorn’s words because, while I’ve never thought of myself as anything special, I’ve noticed there are many people around today who believe they’re so special that the laws and rules that we’re supposed to abide by don’t actually apply to them.
I’m referring to . . .
Drivers who blithely ignore speed res…

Photo gallery from Carmarthen Town AFC v TNS match

Photo gallery from Carmarthen Town AFC v TNS Welsh Premier League match.

Full match report from John Collier on -

Bronglais Hospital’s Pathology Department moves into new state of the art facilities

Another chapter of Bronglais Hospital’s Front of House scheme is complete with the Pathology Department moving into new state of the art facilities.
As part of this change, the Biochemistry and Haematology Laboratories have merged to provide a single Blood Sciences facility. Whilst this concept is common in many hospitals, as a new build, this was the first such to be purpose built within Wales. The adjacent Public Health Wales Microbiology Laboratory enables a single specimen reception to serve all laboratory areas, thus reducing much previous duplication.
The departments, previously located at opposite ends of the hospital complex, are now co-located in the main hospital, adjacent to the CT scanner.
New equipment is expected in the coming months, further developing pathology services at the site. Pathology testing accounts for around 70% of patient diagnoses and is essential for diagnosis and monitoring of disease, diagnosis and monitoring of infection and provision of blood transfusio…

Redkite Law moves into the capital city

West Wales law firm Redkite Law LLP has opened an office in the city centre of Cardiff.
Redkite Law is an established law firm which has been serving the counties of Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire for more than 100 years and is founded on the principle of specialist legal expertise.
Its team of solicitors provide a full range of services to include company commercial, dispute resolution, employment, commercial property, family, wills, probate and estates, tax planning and trusts, conveyancing and injury claims and are proud to offer their services in both English and Welsh.
The new Cardiff office is situated on Cathedral Road where Associate Solicitor Louise Irvine, and Solicitor Catrin Reed, will be based.
Both Louise and Catrin specialise in family law and private client work.
They will be joined by the Head of Company and Commercial, partner Paul James, who has not only recently been listed by the Western Mail in this year's Top 35 business and professional men in Wales u…

Gwenllian Davies celebrates her 110th birthday

Wales's oldest person, Gwenllian Davies, has celebrated her 110th birthday with friends, carers, a cuppa and ginger biscuit.
Night carer Caroline Jones at the Carmarthenshire Council run Awel Tywi care home at Ffairfach, near Ammanford, made Gwenllian a two-foot tall two-tier cake with memories of her travels through the years from 1905 beautifully iced into the creation.
But surrounded by three fellow centenarians at her home - retired nurse 103-year-old Mary Kier, 103; former farmer Winston Peregrine, 102; and Nancy James, 101 - Gwenllian preferred her cuppa and a ginger biscuit.
County executive board member for social care and health Cllr Jane Tremlett, paying tribute to the remarkable Gwenllian, said: “What a landmark for Gwenllian and the council who have the honour of caring for her."
Gwenllian was delighted the Her Majesty the Queen sported a bright yellow dress on her latest congratulatory card reserved for the centenarian birthday club saying: “She looks better in yello…

Planned rise in Carmarthenshire parking fees has been scrapped

A planned rise in parking fees has been scrapped by Carmarthenshire’s Executive Board for this year.
The introduction of parking charges for the evenings has also been frozen, following a decision taken by the board.
Environment executive board member Cllr Hazel Evans proposed the moves as part of a report which went before them regarding parking in Llanelli town centre.
Members also approved a trial during the whole of October for two hours free parking in all county council car parks in Llanelli town centre between 3pm and 5pm each day.
The aim is to encourage more footfall into the town centre during a quiet period to help traders and businesses, and to support families with children who shop after school.
Footfall will be monitored during the month to measure the effectiveness of the free parking hours.
County road safety and transport officer John McEvoy said it was important for motorists taking advantage Llanelli's two-hour trial free parking in October to acquire a ticket from …