Showing posts from November 22, 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.

Regular readers of the personal finance pages of our national newspapers might be wondering ‘what’s occurring’ with the State Pension.
Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions have revealed that most people retiring after the New State Pension comes into effect next year would be better off under the current system.
Almost 500,000 State Pension statements were issued between September 2014 and October 2015.
These statements compare what level of State Pension applicants would have received under both the current State Pension system and the New State Pension, giving them the higher figure as their starting amount.
According to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), a whopping 80% of those statements were based on the current system, meaning that they would be better off with the current St…

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 recently visited Newport on business and set off early in case I ran into heavy traffic or a jack-knifed lorry. Luckily, I didn’t meet any such problems.
You seldom do when you travel by train.
I arrived early and wandered into a cafe, sat down and was immediately approached by a pleasant lady who asked me if I wanted to order a hot drink.
She didn’t work there. She was just the curious type. (Joke!)
I said: “I’d like a coffee and a cheese toastie, please. And I’d like the coffee with the sandwich and not before. Thanks.”
What, apart from a glass of water and a biscuit, could have been simpler?
Two minutes later a cup of coffee arrived – just as I hadn’t requested.
A couple sat at the next table and ordered two full English breakfasts.
A different…

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 -

Côr Meibion Llanelli are busy rehearsing for what promises to a great Christmas concert at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli.
‘Christmas with the Choir’ will be staged on Saturday, December 12, at 7pm.
Côr Meibion Llanelli musical director Eifion Thomas said: “The choristers love Christmas and the ‘boys’ are getting into the Christmas spirit at their twice-weekly rehearsals.”
On Saturday, the choir were at Parc y Scarlets for the European Champions tournament fixture between the Scarlets and Racing 92.
On an emotional evening, the choir paid their special tribute to the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks by leading the crowd in a rousing rendition of ‘La Marseillaise’.
Mr Thomas said: “I think everyone has been shocked by the events in Paris, so our singing of the French anthem was to show some solidarity with the people of the French capital and France as a country.
“We are a well trave…

Rugby legends honoured at Carmarthenshire's Sporting Hall of Fame

Two sporting greats have been honoured in a special ceremony at County Hall.
Late rugby legends Ray Gravell and Stuart Gallacher were formally inducted into the council’s Sporting Hall of Fame (SHF) earlier this month.
Mari Gravell, Ray’s wife, and Stuart’s wife, Jan and his children, Jonathan and Debbie, represented the pair at the ceremony, along with councillors, officers and SHF members. The Sporting Hall of Fame recognises sportspeople from Carmarthenshire who have contributed to the legacy of sport and are an inspiration for the next generation of sporting champions.
The council’s executive board member for leisure, Cllr Meryl Gravell said: “Both Ray and Stuart have dedicated a large part of their lives to sport in Carmarthenshire and Wales. They are both legends in the world of rugby and we are extremely proud to be honouring them in this way.”
The Sporting Hall of Fame is part of the Carmarthenshire Sports Personality Awards and invitations for 2015 are now being taken. Twelve oth…

Two people fined £75 for dropping cigarette ends in Llandovery

Two people have been fined £75 for dropping cigarette ends.
Council environmental enforcement officers issued the fixed penalty notices to the two men in Llandovery.
They were on patrol in the area ta the time of the offences.
Failure to pay the fixed penalty notices could lead to prosecution in court and a fine of up to £2,500.
Executive Board Member for Environmental and Public Protection Cllr Jim Jones said the council had a zero tolerance approach to littering.
Smoking-related litter - predominantly made up of cigarette ends – can be found on around 80% of Carmarthenshire streets.
Not only are cigarette ends difficult to clean up but they can affect the environment and wildlife by contaminating water supplies with toxic chemicals.
Cllr Jones added: “Cigarette ends fall into grates and cracks in the pavement and cannot be removed by normal cleaning methods.
“Hopefully these fines will help to raise awareness of the problem and deter people from dropping this type of litter.
“Our enforcement…

Llandovery business fined £100 for waste offence

A Llandovery business has been fined £100 for failing to have proper arrangements in place for the disposal of its waste.
The owner was issued with a fixed penalty notice by council environmental enforcement officers.
All businesses must have an agreement in place with a fully licensed waste company to make sure that any waste produced during the course of their business, is stored, transported and disposed of without harming the environment; known as their ‘Duty of Care.’
Executive Board Member for Environmental and Public Protection Cllr Jim Jones said: “The business in question was given 21 days to resolve the issue; however it failed to do so and was fined as a result.
“The majority of businesses in Carmarthenshire are compliant with the legislation but we will not hesitate to take action against those who are not.”
For further information visit the council website or call Carmarthenshire Direct on 01267 234567.

Santa Cycle Ride aims to raise cash for Home Start

Cyclists are being urged to don their Santa suits and white beards for charity.
Organisers of the annual sponsored Santa cycle starting at Pembrey Country Park are hoping to attract 100 St Nick’s on bikes on Sunday, December 6.
All proceeds from the Pembrey and Burry Port Cycle Club event will go to Home Start Carmarthen-Llanelli.
To enter just bring a bicycle, Santa outfit and helmet. Entry for U16s is free but must be accompanied by an adult. All participants will be treated to a free mince pie.
The cycle will start at 11am from The Sidan Cafe and go along the Millennium Coastal Path to Llanelli Beach and back.
The council’s executive board member for leisure, Cllr Meryl Gravell said: “This is such a great event and gets bigger every year and more importantly it’s for a good cause.”
Participants are asked to meet at the cafe at 10am on the day and bring their sponsorship money with them.
The Sidan Cafe manager, Stephanie Thomas said: “We’re delighted to welcome back the organisers of this …

Aberystwyth University welcomes European experts on economic impact of agricultural science

A team of international scientists gathered at Aberystwyth University this week for a meeting on an EU-wide project, IMPRESA, hosted by the School of Management and Business.
The €2.1m IMPRESA project is led by Professor Peter Midmore of the School of Management and Business at Aberystwyth University.
The project is funded through the European Union’s Framework 7 programme over the period 2013 to 2016, and is studying the economic impact of scientific research on agriculture across Europe.
The project team includes academics and scientists from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland, as well as from Aberystwyth University.
UK research, undertaken by academic researchers in the School of Management and Business at Aberystwyth University as part of the project, focuses on the impact of the creation of the Dairy Fertility Index over the last 15 years.
Other projects are looking at products to combat varroa mites in bees, renewable energy for biogas, conversion to organic rice…

Full report into women and children’s services received by Hywel Dda Board

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has provided Hywel Dda University Health Board with its full report into women and children’s services, which will be discussed at the next Board meeting to be held in Withybush Hospital Conference Centre on Thursday 26 November.
The report provides more in-depth information and specific themed recommendations for each service area, over and above the headline recommendations that were contained in the interim report released in September.
Medical Director Dr Philip Kloer will introduce the report at full Health Board and will describe some of the activity that has already taken place in recent months, including:
• development of the Phase 2 Business Case for improvements to accommodation at Glangwili Hospital underway, including putting a project structure in place, and ongoing writing of the business case and staff engagement on the schedule of accommodation
• improvements to transport services for patients, with good use being ma…

Latest news from Aberglasney House and Gardens

Latest news from Aberglasney House and Gardens in the Tywi Valley - 

Aberglasney 2016 Calendar
Aberglasney's beautiful new calendar is now available to buy in our shop and through our website. Featuring 12 months of gorgeous images taken by Nigel McCall and top tips from Aberglasney Head Gardener Joseph Atkin for getting the most from your garden. £4.95 in our shop and £5.95 online (£1 postage and packing charge included).

Christmas Gifts and Decorations We now have a range of fantastic festive gifts for family and friends and delightful decorations for your home in stock.

In Maryellen's Tearooms...

Winter Lunchtime Deal
Dish of the day
Dessert of the day
Both for £8.95
Offer available until Sunday 20th March 2016 excluding 4th, 5th and 6th December

Members' Winter Deal
Soup of the day
All for £8.95

Offer available until Sunday 20th March 2016 excluding 4th, 5th and 6th December for Aberglasney Membership Ticket holders.

Maryellen's Christmas Cakes on Sale Now
Baked with…

Carmarthen to benefit from three days of free parking before Christmas

Carmarthen will benefit from three days of free parking.
The Carmarthen Town Forum Sub-Group has asked the council for three free parking days on Friday, November 27, Saturday, November 28 and Sunday, November 29.
The council provides five days free parking for towns across the county each financial year outside the month of December to help stimulate trade during the quieter trading periods.
Carmarthen has not taken any so far this year and at a recent sub-group meeting the idea of having a three-day free parking weekend was discussed.
Friday, November 27 is the biggest internet shopping day of the year when retailers reduce prices to kick-start the gift-buying season. It is estimated that around £1billion will be spent on that day in the UK alone.
The group is hoping to attract shoppers into town instead to support traders, creating a welcoming, feel-good atmosphere. They will be calling it the “Bright Friday Festival / Gŵyl Gwener Golau.”
The Christmas lights will already be switched o…

Strategic regeneration plan launched for Carmarthenshire

An ambitious 15-year plan has been unveiled which aims to transform the economy of Carmarthenshire.
The regeneration plan identifies six key transformational projects which will create more than 5,000 new jobs and make the economy of the county more productive and competitive.
The six projects are based upon specific geographic locations across the county, with each focusing upon local need and opportunity.
They are Ammanford; Carmarthen; Carmarthenshire coastal belt; Cross Hands growth zone; Llanelli; and the rural economy.
A range of business sectors are being targeted including the creative industries, tourism, agri-food, advanced manufacturing, energy and environment, financial and professional services.
In addition, investment in key infrastructure projects to unlock economic opportunity will be targeted, together with investment in rural Carmarthenshire to tackle poverty. The council will also develop a new programme of support to improve skills and help longer term unemployed peop…

Welsh Church Fund grants help Carmarthenshire communities

A Carmarthenshire village hall and church will be snug in the cold weather following grants for new roofs and heating.
Following a recent round of funding, Llanddarog Village Hall Institute and St John’s Church in Pontyberem were both successful in obtaining a grant from the Welsh Church Fund towards roofing and heating costs ensuring that their venues will continue to host comfortable community meetings and events all year round.
In addition, Llanelli Wanderers RFC received a Welsh Church Fund award towards the construction of their new community facility.
Administered by Carmarthenshire County Council, the Carmarthenshire Welsh Church fund is available to churches, chapels, charitable organisations and individuals for grant support for the following purposes: advancement of education, libraries, museums, art galleries etc, relief of poverty, advancement of religion, and other purposes beneficial to the communities.
Individual Grant Support is also available for the advancement of train…

Father Christmas is back at Llanelli Rotary Club's Grotto

Father Christmas is making a welcome return to Llanelli Rotary Club's Grotto this weekend.
The grotto is based at the BHS store in Trostre, Llanelli. Last year, the Rotary Club Grotto raises more than £1700 for local charities.
'Santa' is flying down from the North Pole to sit in the special Rotary Grotto at the BHS store on eight days in the run-up to Christmas.
He is being accompanied by some specially-dressed Rotary Club 'elves'.
Rotarian Alison Evans said last year's Grotto was such a hit with children that opening hours have been extended this year.
Alison said: "Santa is full of the joy of Christmas and most of the young visitors who call in to see him at the Grotto are delighted with the experience. "We are, of course, grateful to Linda Ryan and the team at BHS in Trostre for being such great hosts for Father Christmas." Charities being supported by the Rotary Grotto this year are -
Bobath cerebral palsy centre treating newborns and older …

Ammanford world record attempt for largest gathering of snowmen

Ammanford's latest world record attempt is to bring together the largest gathering of snowmen – which will be snow mean feat.
The Guinness Book of Records bid for the largest number of people dressed as snowmen in one place will be a highlight of the Wonders of Christmas Festival on Saturday November 28. The event will be taking place at Arcade Square adjoining Margaret Street Car Park.
Last year a total of 290 Snowmen were assembled. The current world record stands at 340.
Angela Phillips, Secretary of Ammanford Chamber of Trade is asking parents to dress up this year, commenting that “we’d have made the record last year if parents had dressed up as well as their children”.
In order to be registered snowmen will have to be wearing a white top and bottom, have a hat, scarf, 3 black buttons and importantly a carrot coloured nose. Noses will be available to purchase on the day for those who don’t bring their own.
Registration will start at the Amman Centre at 10.00am until 1.00pm and wil…

Check your children's car seats is the advice

Carmarthenshire council’s road safety unit is urging parents to check their children’s car seats.
High-street retailer Argos has issued a product recall for three Fisher Price child car seats, due to safety concerns.
The car seats have safety restraints that don't fully meet test requirements and could compromise a child's safety, in the event of an accident.
Parents should stop using these three child car seats and return them to Argos for either a replacement or refund.
The safety notice affects three child car seats sold from July 24, 2015:

• Fisher Price Group 0-1 car seat - Argos catalogue number 414/9314
• Fisher Price Group 1 car seat - Argos catalogue number 413/4082
• Fisher Price Group 123 car seat - Argos catalogue number 390/9720

If you own one of these car seats, or know someone who does, the advice from Argos is to stop using it immediately.
You can return the car seat to an Argos store for a replacement or full refund. If you have any queries Argos has set up a free h…

Find out about the birds in the Tywi Estuary

Bird lovers can find out more about their feathered friends which populate the Tywi estuary and the Ferryside foreshore.
A talks about the birds in that area is taking place at Ferryside Village Hall on Wednesday, December 16 at 8pm.
Neil Calbrade from the British Trust for Ornithology will talk about the birds in the estuary, and why it is recognised as being of European importance for the coastal habitats.
Neil is also the national organiser of the Wetland Bird Survey which can be found at
The talk is being organised by Carmarthenshire County Council working in partnership with Ferryside Village Forum to look at the biodiversity in its area.
It is being funded by a grant from Natural Resources Wales, with the aim of promoting biodiversity in the Ferryside and St Ishmael areas.
Executive board member for biodiversity Cllr Meryl Gravell said: “Carmarthenshire has an amazing coastline, which is of international importance for the range of birds it supports.
“This is a great op…

Contractor Phil Rees to the rescue for Kidwelly's Christmas Tree

It was a case of kind-hearted contractor Phil Rees to the rescue when the team putting up Kidwelly's Christmas Tree hit a snag.
The placing of Kidwelly's main Christmas Tree near St Mary's Church was delayed last week due to the high winds.
And when the winds died down, Cymru Christmas Trees owner Roger Hunt discovered another hiccup to his tree installation plans.
"It's no-one's fault, but when we arrived on site we found a skip blocking access to the tree site.
"Workmen have been busy working on premises nearby and, to be fair to them, they weren't to know we needed access to the site.
"In the meantime, the town council had put up the festive lights, so we had to put our thinking caps on to find a way of easing the Christmas Tree into place without snagging on the lights.
"I went on social media and appealed for anyone with a spare teleloader, a mechanical lifting device.
"To our delight Phil Rees, of M4 Trailers in Cross Hands, came…

New ground sponsorship deal announced at Carmarthen Town AFC

Welsh Premier League side Carmarthen Town AFC have announced an innovative ground sponsorship deal at their home at Richmond Park.
A three-year deal sees the ground named as the Vibrant Vapours Stadium.
"It's a bold step for us," said Carmarthen Town AFC chairman Jeff Thomas.
"But, in this very competitive age, we have to be bold to secure the funding we need to progress as a top class Welsh Premier League side.
"Carmarthen Town has always been at the cutting edge of innovation in the Welsh Premier League. We have, arguably, the finest ground facilities in the Welsh Premier and we are currently working on an ambitious project to install a 3G all-weather pitch at the ground.
"We are delighted to be able to announce that we have teamed up with Vibrant Vapours to establish new naming rights for the ground at Richmond Park.
"From now on, we will be referring to our ground as The Vibrant Vapours Stadium.
"Vibrant Vapours have their headquarters in Carmarthen…

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery -

WEEK COMMENCING November 23, 2015

3 Medium Corned Beef Pasties, £1.70
2 Large Corned Beef Pasties, £2.00
4 Medium Sausage Rolls, £1.85
2 Custard Slices, £1.70
Sandwich Of The Week, Salmon and Cucumber, £2.15
Rustic Baguette Of The Week, Chicken and Bacon, £2.45
Filled Softie Of The Week, Turkey and Stuffing, £2.25
Website -

Photo album from Carmarthen Town v Bangor City

Photo album from Carmarthen Town v Bangor City in the Welsh Premier League.
Carmarthen secured the double over Bangor on a cold and wet afternoon .
The visitors’ defender Clowes headed into his own net after just 13 minutes but The Citizens got back on level terms 10 minutes later when Chris Jones found his way through Town’s defence.
Liam Thomas got the winner after 58 minutes to earn a valuable three points for The Old Gold.
Match report -

Photo gallery -