Showing posts from February 14, 2016

Spotlight on the Carmarthen Bay Film Festival

Kelvin Guy, chief executive of the Carmarthen Bay Film Festival, talks to Robert Lloyd about May's film festival at the Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli. AudioBoom in two parts -

New video showcases how Carmarthenshire has benefitted from European funding

A new video has been published which showcases how Carmarthenshire has benefitted from European funding.
Investment of over £120million, through the Convergence Programme, has supported jobs and growth in the local economy.
The West Wales European Centre has now produced a short video which demonstrates where the money has been spent.
It includes key projects such as Llanelli’s Ffwrnes Theatre complex; Coleshill Centre for social and economic inclusion; Bwcabus; Cross Hands East; Castles and Princes; Llanelly House; Romans in Carmarthenshire; and Aberglasney Mansion House.
Some £5.7million was invested across South West Wales through the Collaborative Communities programme, helping 456 social enterprises, creating 30 new ones, along with 139 new jobs.
The South West Wales investment fund helped 269 enterprises, created another 65, which brought a total of 428 new jobs.
The ADREF project invested in Llanelli town centre delivered new canopies, 15 improvement grants, and property development …

Family business trades in Amman Valley for more than 100 years

For more than 100 years one family has been selling cockles and laverbread to people in the Amman Valley.
Liz Williams of Gower Coast Seafoods can be found at Ammanford Outdoor Market every Friday - as she has done for around 20 years and her husband's family before her.
The business was started by Liz's mother-in-law Miriam Williams from Penclawdd who started selling cockles, with her mother, in Pantyffynnon, Ammanford, in 1912 when she was just eight-years-old.
"She used to get there by train," said Liz. "Her uncles went to live in Pantyffynnon because they had work in the coal mines, and that is why she ended up going there to sell."
As Miriam got older she sold further afield - to Brynamman, Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen and even as far as Trap - travelling by bus.
"Miriam would get on the bus with her baskets of cockles and bags of shell cockles. She would ask the conductor to stop the bus at certain places and he would then place a basket of cockles and a bag of …

Proposed changes to the school admissions process in Carmarthenshire

Changes are being proposed to the school admissions process in Carmarthenshire to allow parents more choice.
The county council is planning to introduce a new first, second and third choice system for parents when applying for schools for their children.
The aim is to more accurately reflect the parent’s choice, which the current process does not do.
The application form would allow for up to three school choices, instead of an unlimited number which operates at the moment.
This should reduce waiting lists as pupils can be more accurately admitted to schools according to preference.
It would also reduce the number of applications refused, and any potential appeals against the decisions.
Consultation is taking place until the end of this month to give views on the proposed changes, which would come into effect for pupils starting school from September 2017.
Education executive board member Cllr Gareth Jones said: “We are seeking the views of people for the proposed changes which aim to introd…

Buggerall is a real treat at Stiwdio Stepney in Ffwrnes, Llanelli

Buggerall, written by Jon Tregenna and produced by Llanelli Youth Theatre (with Llanelli Stage Company) at Stiwdio Stepney, Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli.
To begin at the beginning, it's a silent cobbled street mile better than watching dancing JCBs! Llanelli-born Jon Tregenna has dug a long and deep trench to strike the rich legacy stream left behind by Dylan Thomas. There are gems here that have been carefully polished since Buggerall was first launched in 2003. This latest production brings the story bang up to date in 2016 - a world where selfies rule and the village rugby team drowns in a sea of drink. The question is: if Dylan Thomas was still alive, what would he make of a modern-day seaside village in Wales? "The butchers, the bakers, the walking stick makers; high class drapers and watch repairers; men selling fish out of wheelbarrows around pubs with snugs, and tapping barrels for free beer and grinning; and quarrymen quarrelling and old sea dogs with salty stories and sw…

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.

The latest buzzwords in business all seem to be about digital tax returns.
Following concerns raised in response to the Government's proposals to 'Make Tax Digital', a ‘myth buster’ has been issued.
The hope is that this will lessen the fears of many regarding the Government's proposals for quarterly updates.
At the March 2015, Budget the Government committed to transforming the tax system, delivering a system that is more effective, more efficient and easier for taxpayers.
Digital tax accounts mean the end of the annual tax return and over the next four years the plan is to create the most digitally advanced tax system in the world.
Here are some of the myths – and why they are not true.
Myth: businesses will need to do four tax returns a year.
No. Businesses will not need to file four tax…

Anna Brown of Llanelly House on Radio Wales today

Anna Brown of Llanelly House was the featured chef on the Wynne Evans Grub Club on Radio Wales today.

Catch it here -

Gwendraeth Valley young driver wins £250 cash prize

A young driver from the Gwendraeth Valley has not only improved his driving skills but has been lucky enough to win a £250 cash prize.
Joshua Rees, aged 17, from Penygroes, recently completed a Pass Plus Cymru course.
The scheme helps young people aged 17 to 25 who have recently passed their test to improve skills and gain extra experience.
Usually costing around £160, it is significantly discounted to £20, with the balance made up by the council’s road safety unit, thanks to funding from Welsh Government.
Not only did Josh build his confidence in the driving seat, but he was also the winner of the Pass Plus Cymru quarterly prize draw.
The £250 cheque from Road Safety Wales was presented to Josh by the council’s Executive Board Member for Transport Cllr Hazel Evans.
Josh said he would be putting the money towards a car.
Speaking about the course, he said: “I found it very beneficial, especially the experience of driving on the motorway and at night. I found the information about stopping dis…

Vandals put lives at risk by damaging life lines and buoys

Vandals are putting people’s lives at risk by damaging life lines and buoys placed at ponds and waterways across the county.
The council is continually having reports of lifesaving equipment being damaged or removed completely.
The grounds maintenance team has had to replace a total of 155 lifelines and one lifebuoy housing to date this year and are now working with the police to target hotspot areas by increasing patrols.
Lifesaving equipment along the county’s coastline is also checked weekly by the rangers, and although there have been no recent reports, they do suffer from vandalism, especially during the summer months.
In total, the council has spent more than £10,000 on lifesaving equipment – and the majority of that is due to vandalism.
Members of the public are now being asked to report any incidents of vandalism they witness so that the culprits can be caught.
Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Hazel Evans said: “These are vital pieces of lifesaving equipment and we wo…

Decision to keep court in Carmarthen Guildhall is welcomed

The Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council has welcomed news that one of Carmarthen’s courts has been saved from closure.
Cllr Emlyn Dole said the council had strongly objected to the Ministry of Justice’s proposals to close the magistrate’s court at Guildhall and the civil, family, tribunal and probate court at nearby Picton Terrace, and had submitted a lengthy response to Ministry’s consultation.
The council cited the likely impact the closures would have on local people – especially given the large area the courts cover, and the many rural communities they serve – and had offered a suggestion that the courts could be merged as an alternative to a total closure.
This week, the Minister for the Courts and Legal Aid, Shailesh Vara, announced that the landmark Guildhall court in the centre of Carmarthen is to close, but that the original proposal had changed to include suitable alternative venues. It was further announced that the Picton Terrace court would remain.
“Whilst we understood …

Community horse project in Gowerton gets Royal visit

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal ended her tour of Swansea Bay with a visit to Gwalia’s Community Horse and Pony Scheme (CHAPS) in Gowerton.
The Princess Royal discovered how the CHAPS team use their passion for horses, to help those in need of support.
Her Royal Highness is linked to a number of animal and equine charities including Animal Health Trust, the Horse Trust and World Horse Welfare.
During the visit to CHAPS she chatted with people who both work at and use the lottery-funded project, which promotes animal welfare, engages urban horse owners and provides equine and rural skills training for people with a wide range of support needs. She also spent time with some of the horses that the CHAPS Project has rescued and rehabilitated since its launch two years ago.
Katie Double, CHAPS Project Manager, was delighted to host The Princess. “It was an absolute honour to meet Her Royal Highness today and we’re really grateful for her interest in what we do. We had various activit…

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.



After months of relentlessly wet, windy and depressing weather, many of us have only managed to keep up our dampened spirits by looking forward to those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer when we can get out into that energising source of Vitamin D3....sunshine!
Oh, just to refer back to a subject I previously moaned...err...wrote . . . about, although the sun flew off to warmer climes last October, some men are so desperate to expose their saggy-baggy bodies, they doggedly wear ridiculous–looking saggy-baggy shorts all year round.
I saw an example of this macho madness at McArthur Glen shopping centre in Bridgend a couple of Saturdays ago.
While other shoppers were protected from the icy wind by coats, scarves and gloves, one obes…

'Big Cheese' visits new Carmarthen cheese shop!

Carmarthen West MP, Simon Hart, visited the new Carmarthenshire Cheese Company’s creamery, shop and visitor centre to tour the premises and try the range of cheeses in the newly opened specialist cheese shop. This was his first formal visit to the company since the opening of the site at Llanllwch close to the showground in Carmarthen in late 2015.
During his visit, Mr Hart commented on how impressed he was by the excellence of the locally made cheeses on offer and the way in which the company had designed and organised the new creamery. He said “I was so pleased to be able to see the fantastic new factory up and running as a result of so much hard work. "This is one of Carmarthenshire’s great success stories and everyone should pay a visit and discover for themselves what an excellent range of cheeses are on offer.”
Carmarthenshire Cheese Company’s managing director, Steve Peace said “Simon Hart was very knowledgeable about the development of west Wales business opportunities part…

Tax reminder from Clay Shaw Butler

Tax reminder from Clay Shaw Butler, chartered accountants and business consultants, in Carmarthen - 
The following Tax Events are due March 2016:
Personal Tax Events
5% late payment penalty on any 2014/15 outstanding tax which was due on 31st January 2016 and still remains unpaid
What this means for you?
This deadline is relevant to individuals who need to complete a self assessment tax return and make direct payments to HMRC in respect of their income tax, Class 4 NI, capital gains tax or High Income Child Benefit Charge liabilities.
The balance of any outstanding income tax, Class 4 National Insurance, capital gains tax and High Income Child Benefit Charge for the year ended 5th April 2015 was due for payment by 31st January 2016. Where the payment is made late interest will be charged. On 2 March 2016 a late payment penalty of 5% will be added to the outstanding liability.
If we have already dealt with this matter on your behalf you need take no action.

Clay Shaw Butler -
Telephone: 01267…

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 -

There’s plenty going on to celebrate St David’s Day over the next few weeks.
On our patron saint’s day, Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir and Côr Curiad will be performing in Llanelli town centre to give a boost to Llanelli’s town centre traders.
Before that, on Saturday, February 27, Côr Meibion Llanelli will be featured in a grand gala concert at Ffwrnes, Llanelli.
Sunday, February 28, sees three female choirs perform as part of the National Botanic Garden of Wales St David’s Day celebrations in Llanarthne.
Côr Lleisiau’r Cwm(11am), Côr Persain (12.30pm) and Côr Merched Tybie (2pm) will taking to the stage at the Botanic.
In Carmarthen, there is a celebration concert on March 5.
It will feature – Côr Meibion De Cymru, Côr Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Myrddin and international baritone Gary Griffiths, from Burry Port.
The evening will be hosted by the excellent Garry Owen.
There will b…

'Choose Well' to help prevent spread of winter viruses

Infection prevention specialists are reminding people not to visit patients in hospitals and care homes if they have been feeling unwell.
Members of the public are advised to be cautious when choosing to visit a loved one or friend if they have recently been ill or had any symptoms of seasonal illnesses such as flu or norovirus (winter vomiting bug).
Sharon Daniel, Assistant Director of Nursing (Infection Prevention & Control) for Hywel Dda University Health Board said: "Illnesses such as diarrhoea and vomiting and flu can pass from one person to another very easily.
"Viruses can be extremely serious for sick and vulnerable patients and we are asking for your support to protect patients and healthcare workers.
"If you feel unwell or have diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms, we ask that you wait at least 48 hours after becoming symptom-free before visiting any hospital or care facility. If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, it is advisable for adults to avoid contact wi…

Agreement reached over management of slipway at Carmarthen Quayside

Agreement has been reached over management of the slipway at Carmarthen Quayside.
Carmarthen Boat Club will take over the facility and plans are already in hand for improvements which will help access to the River Towy.
It follows a meeting convened by Carmarthenshire County Council between several groups with an interest in the slipway.
They included Carmarthen Coracle and Netsmen: Carmarthen Water Sports Club; Cameron Comey Memorial Trust; Gwendraeth Valley Paddlers; Carmarthen Boat Club; Carmarthen River Festival and Carmarthen Town Council.
Over recent years, there have been disputes over which organisations could use the slipway, which has led to delays in making improvements to the important access to the river.
It was agreed by all present at the meeting that the County Council would grant a formal lease of the slipway to Carmarthen Boat Club, which would manage the facility for the benefit of all river users.
County Council Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole, who asked for the meeting, said: …

New school for Trimsaran

Work is due to start this spring on a new £6.8million school for Trimsaran – the 64th area to benefit through the Modernising Education Programme.
The building will cater for 210 children with 30 full time equivalent nursery places.
Swansea-based Dawnus Construction are the contractors for the scheme, and are due to start work on site in April.
It will take around 18 months to build, with a targeted opening date of September 2017.
Ysgol Trimsaran was founded in 1875 and was originally situated to the north of the campus, where the junior yard is now situated. A separate infants school was built in 1895.
In 1955, due to overcrowding and a deterioration of the building, a new infants school was built out of war surplus aluminium.
In 1968, the old school was demolished to make way for the junior yard, and in 1975 a purpose built nursery was set up to admit children from their third birthday onwards.
In 1989, the infant and junior schools were amalgamated.
Now a new school is planned to replace …

Stormy weather washes up thousands of clams

Tens of thousands of soft-shell clams have been washed up on Cefn Sidan beach, Pembrey.
Following Monday’s stormy weather the saltwater clams, popularly known as steamers or longnecks, were washed in with the tide at Pembrey Country Park.
The clams live buried in the mud on tidal muflats and are a well known food item on the coast of New England in the Western Atlantic Ocean.
Last year thousands of barrel jellyfish, which attracted global attention, were washed on Cefn Sidan and Burry Port beaches due to the warm weather spell.
It’s likely though the tide will take them back out over the next couple of days
The council’s executive board member for leisure, Cllr Meryl Gravell said: “Cefn Sidan is well-known for being a magnet for all kinds of items from marine wildlife to bottles of suntan lotion. Sometimes we’re lucky to find real pieces of history and treasure but on this occasion its nature that’s taken its course.”
As well as falling prey to humans, this clam is apparently relished by se…

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery -
WEEK COMMENCING February 15, 2016

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, £2.20
Rustic Baguette of the Week, Chicken and Bacon, £2.50
Filled Softie of the Week, Turkey and Stuffing, £2.30

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