Showing posts from October 16, 2016

New fleet of bin lorries to hit the streets of Carmarthenshire

A new fleet of refuse collection vehicles will soon be hitting the streets of Carmarthenshire.
The council has taken delivery of 28 new lorries; costing around £4million, including 18 26 tonne Mercedes-Benz and 10 15 tonne DAF trucks with NTM bodies.
The vehicles will provide a more efficient service to residents and help to increase the county’s recycling rate.
They have a separate compartment to keep food waste separate from blue / black bags.
The vehicles were officially handed over at Llanelli’s Festival Fields with a very special guest, Welsh rugby legend Sir Gareth Edwards CBE.
Sir Gareth, a director with Euro Commercials (South Wales) Ltd, said: “Having come from West Wales it’s great to see such investment in the serious logistics of waste. The council is really demonstrating the ability to deliver a first class waste management programme, with some of the latest cutting-edge technology and innovation from Mercedes Benz trucks.”
Euro Commercials truck sales manager Nathan Black said…

Be Winter Wise is the health advice from Hywel Dda University Health Board

The cold snap hasn’t quite hit yet but doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals are urging local people to be Winter Wise and prepare for the season.
​Staff in Hywel Dda University Health Board – from those working in main and community hospitals, to those visiting patients at home or seeing them in community facilities such as pharmacies – expect to be kept very busy helping sick patients this winter.
The organisation has worked with the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, local authorities and the third sector to prepare for the busy period ahead with a Winter Plan. This is published on the health board’s website and sets out how the organisation is preparing to run services as smoothly as possible to ensure patients’ needs continue to be met 24 hours a day.
There is also a wealth of useful information for members of the public on the Winter Wise webpage ( including how to:
get your flu jab and protect yourself and your community against …

Celebrating lifelong learning success in Aberystwyth

The annual Lifelong Learning and Welsh for Adults Awards held at Aberystwyth University provided an opportunity to reward excellence in learning and teaching.
The successes and achievements of individuals and groups were celebrated in the special ceremony, which offered an opportunity to congratulate both students and tutors.
Speaking during the event, the Director of the Institute of Professional Development, Professor Judy Broady-Preston, said: “Aberystwyth University takes great pride in the success of adults who are learning new skills. Our learners have demonstrated great commitment, and their efforts are rewarding for themselves, their families and their communities.”
The Welsh in the Family Award, an award for Welsh learners who have increased the use of Welsh within the family, was awarded to Vicky Thomas and family of Maesymeillion, Llandysul.
Vicky has been learning Welsh for five years. She, her husband, and their four young children moved to Ceredigion in August 2015. Vicky a…

Get ready for winter advice for older people in Wales

'Get ready for winter’ – that’s the advice today for over 65s from an older people’s charity and the Welsh Government’s warm homes scheme. Age Cymru and Nest are teaming up to give away handy ‘Winter Wrapped Up’ guides which contain advice on preparing for winter.
The ‘Winter Wrapped Up’ guide has information about issues including:
· Getting your central heating system serviced by a Gas Safe-registered engineer
· Insulating and draught-proofing your home
· Making sure your smoke alarms are working properly
· Installing carbon monoxide alarms in your home
It’s part of Age Cymru’s annual ‘Spread the Warmth’ campaign to help keep older people across Wales warm, safe and well over the winter.
“With winter just around the corner it’s a good time to plan ahead to make sure we are able to keep ourselves warm, safe and well over the colder months” said Age Cymru’s Spread the Warmth coordinator Angharad Phillips.
“Working with Nest, we have put together our ‘Winter Wrapped Up’ guide whic…

Scarlets players support International Walk to School Month

Scarlets players Ken Owens and Rhys Patchell are supporting International Walk to School Month.
Pupils from Brynteg School were invited to Parc y Scarlets to start their ‘walk to school’ where they were met by Captain Ken Owens and fly-half Rhys Patchell.
They were also joined by Council Leader Emlyn Dole, as well as local councillors Sharen Davies (Llwynhendy) and Deryk Cundy (Bynea), and not forgetting the council’s road safety mascot Gary GoSafe.
Every October, International Walk to School Month sees primary school pupils from across the UK join forces with children in more than 40 countries worldwide to celebrate the benefits of walking to school.
Cllr Dole said: “I was delighted to go along and walk to school with the children from Brynteg. Walking to school has a number of benefits for both pupils and parents, as well as the wider community.
“It is good fun, and a great way of getting regular exercise. It reduces traffic congestion and pollution, helps develop pedestrian and road saf…

Derek Quinnell the guest speaker at Ammanford Rotary dinner

Ammanford Rotary Club members are hosting a special rugby-themed evening on Monday November 7 at Ammanford Civic Hall (7pm). The evening will feature Llanelli, Wales and British Lions rugby legend Derek Quinnell 'And Friends'. The evening is a fundraiser for the Ray Gravell and Friends Charitable Trust.
If you would like to support this event, tickets are £20 and, besides 'Derek And Friends', the evening consists of a two-course meal, raffle and secret auction.
If the Rotary Club is able to raise £500 on the night, Lloyds Bank have offered to cash-match the sum.

Tickets are available at ISmooth Community Cafe 8-10 College Street Ammanford 01269 597640.

Birds live longer with extra DNA, according to Aberystwyth study

An Aberystwyth PhD student has discovered that birds with additional DNA may live longer lives.
In research published in the journal 'Aging', IBERS PhD student Ilze Skujina screened hundreds of mitochondrial DNA sequences for the presence of duplications and demonstrated that they are found significantly more often in longer-lived bird species.
Ilze said “Understanding how ageing happens in different groups of species like birds may provide insights into ageing in humans.”
The mechanics of flight utilises a large amount of energy and results in higher body temperatures but despite this, birds live longer than mammals of equal size.
Mitochondria are the 'batteries' of cells and generate chemical energy that every cell in the body can use. Mitochondria play an essential dual role in maintaining a constant body temperature and in generating energy, which both link to expected lifespan.
Dr Rob Mc Mahon, Ilze’s PhD supervi…

Aberystwyth law students help run free legal advice clinic

A pioneering module at the Aberystwyth Law School will offer free advice on family law to local people.
The monthly drop-in sessions will be led by leading family law expert Emma Williams who graduated with a degree in Law from Aberystwyth University in 1996.
Ms Williams has specialised in family law for the past 20 years in the UK as well as internationally, and now has her own practice in Llandeilo.
From October 2016, she will be in the Elystan Morgan building of Aberystwyth’s School of Law on Llanbadarn Campus between 4-6pm every fourth Wednesday of the month.
During the two-hour clinic, Ms Williams will be observed by third-year students on the Law and Social Justice In Practice module. Students will also assist with paperwork.
“Students face a very steep learning curve when they leave university and are exposed for the first time to law in practice,” said Ms Williams.
“This innovative module will allow them to observe real life clients with real life problems. It will also offer aff…

Fundraising Curry Night for Goods Shed project raises more than £1000

A fundraising Curry Night for the Llanelli Railway Goods Shed project raised more than £1000.
The evening at the Ali Raj restaurant in Trinity Road, Llanelli, saw a fundraising auction which included artwork focussed on the Llanelli coastline and souvenirs from the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“It was a very successful evening and the total raised hit £1074,” said Llanelli Railway Goods Shed Trust project officer Robert Lloyd.
“Everyone enjoyed the occasion and our trustee the Rev Eldon Phillips dressed up as Isambard Kingdom Brunel for the occasion.
“It was very appropriate to have the event at the Ali Raj, which is just the other side of the tracks to the Goods Shed site in Marsh Street.”
The Goods Shed project aims to save and restore the derelict Grade II Listed railway station building (built in the Brunel style in 1875) and bring it back into life as a dynamic multi-purpose hub for the community.
“The project is moving on at some pace now as we have completed a whole series …

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 taxman at HMRC has announced further details of the new Tax Free childcare scheme which is to be introduced in 2017.
To be eligible, families will have to have all parents in work and each expecting to earn at least £115 per week and less than £100,000 a year and not be already receiving support through Tax Credits or Universal Credit.
The government will top up the account with 20% of childcare costs up to a total of £10,000 - the equivalent of up to £2,000 support per child per year (or £4,000 for disabled children).
HMRC are asking childcare providers to register for the scheme as soon as possible.
Tax-Free Childcare will be launched from early 2017.
The scheme will be rolled out gradually to families, with parents of the youngest children able to apply first.
Parents will be able to apply for all …

Warning on Halloween costume materials

Parents are being urged to take care when dressing their children up in costumes for Halloween.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Trading Standards team and the Community Safety Partnership are warning parents to ensure flammable costume materials are kept well away from naked flames.
The flammability of costumes has featured in the media since a tragic accident involving the eight-year-old daughter of Strictly Come Dancing star Claudia Winkleman, who suffered severe burns when her witch costume caught fire after allegedly coming into contact with or close to a pumpkin candle on Halloween 2014.
Cllr Jim Jones, Executive Board Member for Public Protection, said: “We urge parents to take extra care when children are wearing costumes near candles and naked flames this Halloween.”
Cllr Pam Palmer, Chair of the Carmarthenshire Community Safety Partnership, added: “The tragic accident involving Claudia Winkleman’s daughter should serve as a reminder of the dangers of flammable materials. Enjoy t…

Ammanford man breached planning enforcement notice

An Ammanford man has been prosecuted for failing to obey a notice to stop living at his business premises.
Phillip Lewis pleaded guilty at Llanelli Magistrates Court on Monday to breaching an enforcement notice issued by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The court heard that Mr Lewis was living in a caravan at the commercial premises Enclosure Tec in Shands Road, Ammanford, without the benefit of planning permission.
In addition he had attached an extension to the caravan, created an amenity space with several dog kennels, and also converted an office building into two residential flats both without the benefit of planning permission.
Mr Lewis was served with an enforcement notice seeking removal of the caravan and extension and to cease residential use of the land with which he did not comply. He was also required to revert the unauthorised residential flats to office space, with which he did comply.
He was fined £300, and ordered to pay £282.70 costs and a victim surcharge of £30.

Korean Festival held in Llanelli voted huge success

A Korean Festival held in Llanelli town centre last weekend has been voted a huge success.
The festival, the only one of its kind in Wales, was organised by Llanelli’s Korean community.
It celebrates their culture, showcasing music, dancing, traditional dress and cookery.
The colourful festivities attracted crowds and increased footfall in the town centre.
Llanelli market traders reported that the town was really busy and had a real buzz about it.
The event was supported by Carmarthenshire County Council’s marketing and media team as part of the work of the Llanelli town centre Taskforce led by Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole, and by Llanelli Market.
Cllr Dole said: “Events such as these bring more people into the town centre and increase footfall, they also bring a feel-good factor to the town.
“It is a commitment of the Taskforce to deliver and support events such as this, as part of our continuing focus on Llanelli town centre, and our support for its traders.
“It was particularly pleasing to get s…

Community fundraiser Tracy raises vital funds and helps flu awareness

A community fundraiser who has rheumatoid arthritis has been actively supporting the Beat Flu campaign, encouraging those with long-term health conditions to get their free influenza (flu) vaccine.
Tracy Beynon, from East Williamston near Tenby, has been having the flu vaccine since she was diagnosed with her condition nine years ago.
Tracy, who works in the NHS said: “I run lots of charity events to raise money for Arthritis Research UK so I don’t want flu to stop me in my tracks this winter.
“My symptoms are very similar to having flu and every day can be a struggle, so if I was to catch flu it could have a serious effect on my body.
“The main treatment for my condition is immunosuppressant medication which lowers my immune system and makes me very susceptible to viruses. When people with my condition do catch bugs they don’t have the immunity to fight them, which can lead to illness spreading quickly, and in extreme cases have devastating consequences.
“I understand that some people ma…

Prestigious High Sheriff’s Community Award for Age Cymru Sir Gar

Representatives of Age Cymru Sir Gar – the charity serving the 50-plus community in Carmarthenshire – collected a prestigious award from the High Sheriff of Dyfed.
The charity was one of 20 community groups represented at a community awards night staged at the Halliwell Centre at Trinity College, University of Wales Trinity St David, in Carmarthen.
“It was a massive honour for the charity to be invited to the community awards night,” said Ann Dymock, chief officer of Age Cymru Sir Gar.
“Trustees joined me in representing the charity and the award marked the role of the charity in the wider community of Carmarthenshire. Particular praise was directed towards our hard-working staff and volunteers.”
The charity was presented with a community award by the High Sheriff of Dyfed, Professor Medwin Hughes, who is also Deputy Lord Lieutenant.
High Sheriff Mr Hughes said he was delighted to be able to recognise the contributions made by charities and community groups in the three counties of Carmart…

Museum talk reveals 'the real' Bishop Laud

The Friends of the Carmarthenshire County Museum have held a talk on the famous Bishop Laud, Bishop of St David’s from 1621-27.
This month’s Gallery Talk was by Brenig Davies on Bishop Laud’s Chapel as part of a series of talks on the first Saturday of the month.
The interesting facts revealed by Brenig Davies included that Bishop Laud only visited Abergwili, the home of the Bishop's Palace, on two occasions, too embroiled as he was in London with personal advancement as well as affairs of state.
The museum in Abergwili was the Bishop's Palace for many years and as such had its own chapel which is named after Bishop Laud. Brenig Davies' talk was given in the chapel.
He contended that, as the chapel was reconsecrated for Christian services in 2007, it was paving the way forward in church unity by welcoming people from all denominations in stark contrast to the divisive policies pursued by the authoritarian Bishop Laud.
"With its oak carvings and peaceful atmosphere, it is t…

Recall notice on piercing after-care solution

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Environmental Health and Trading Standards team is urging anyone who has recently had a body piercing to check the after-care solution they may have been provided, following an outbreak of pseudomonas infection in other parts of the UK.
The team has issued a product safety alert to all businesses licensed to carry out body piercing in Carmarthenshire, asking them to check their stock of after care products for those manufactured by Lion Care Products Ltd, trading as Body Art Supplies.
The alert notice is specifically for a saline solution supplied by this manufacturer in 100ml spray bottles, which has been distributed across the UK and available online.
Pseudomonas is a bacterial infection which can lead to tissue damage or septic shock.
Whilst no infections have been reported or identified in Carmarthenshire, 24 people - mainly in the Northampton and Reigate area - have required treatment for pseudomonas, including seven who have required surgery.
It has …

Plans to ease traffic congestion in Ammanford

The public are being asked for their view on plans to improve traffic congestion at the intersection between Wind Street and Tirydail Lane in Ammanford.
The council has received a grant of £400,000 from the Welsh Government’s Local Transport Fund to develop proposals to address congestion at this location and to look at the feasibility of longer term major infrastructure improvements.
The Wind Street and Tirydail Lane junction is a vital intersection of routes leading to and from the Upper Amman Valley to the trunk road network and the M4 and there is significant congestion at peak times.
A number of studies have been carried out in recent years to look at options to resolve the traffic congestion; and proposals have now been agreed with Welsh Government (as the Highways Authority for Wind Street which is a trunk road) to replace the traffic signals with a roundabout.
Pedestrians would still be able to pass safely through the junction using signalised pedestrian crossings.
The plans have b…

National Tyre Safety Month prompts message to motorists

Motorists in Carmarthenshire are being urged to tread carefully by carrying out regular checks on their car tyres.
October is National Tyre Safety Month and the council’s road safety unit are encouraging drivers to check their tyres, especially before long journeys. The message is simple: Don’t chance it – check it!
Drivers should make sure their tyres are at the correct pressure and replace them when worn or damaged.
Cars, light goods vehicles and light trailers must have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tread and around the entire circumference. Motorcycles, large vehicles and passenger carrying vehicles must have a minimum legal tread depth of 1mm.
Executive Board Member for the Environment, Cllr Hazel Evans said: “Making sure your vehicle has the correct tyre pressure is vital to your safety on the road. Under-inflated tyres affect handling and grip, and are also much more likely to have a dangerous sudden rapid deflation, especia…

Carmarthenshire people share care and support stories

People who receive care or support in Carmarthenshire have been sharing their stories as part of a campaign to highlight the role of social care services in the county and inform the public about the services available.
In a series of short videos being shared on social media, service users have explained how they are being supported to live as independently as possible. Providers have also spoken about how they support people in need.
The stories can be found on Carmarthenshire County Council’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages by searching #OurStories.
The council has also produced a short film to demonstrate the range of social care services available to help people who are in need of practical support due to illness, disability, old age or their vulnerability.
Support can be as simple as having a personal assistant to provide help around the home, or structural changes to help people live safely and comfortably in their home.
Over the last year, 4,891 adults have received commissione…

Latest news from Llanelli Rugby Business Network - School of Hard Knocks

Latest news from Llanelli Rugby Business Network - 

Llanelli Rugby Business Network's next event will be on Tuesday 8th November at Parc y Scarlets.
The special guest speaker will be Catryn Grundy, Programme Director for the School of Hard Knocks Cymru.
Catryn will enlighten us all about the work of SoHK in Wales and how businesses can benefit from becoming involved in the initiative.
If you would like to attend this event, you can register your interest via the following link:
The event is from 6pm till 8pm at Parc y Scarlets.

About the School of Hard Knocks Cymru:
Charity supported by rugby giants Scott Quinnell, Will Greenwood MBE, Brian Moore and HRH Prince Harry, heads to Wales to open a new chapter.
The School of Hard Knocks – a charity that uses rugby and boxing, to tackle social exclusion by getting unemployed people back into work - has opened up in Wales.
The charity is aiming to find jobs …

Ceredigion author appointed university’s new Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow

An award-wining author from Aberaeron has been appointed Aberystwyth University’s new Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow.
Cynan Jones will be on hand to help students improve their academic writing, to appraise initial drafts and to offer constructive advice.
His literary credits include winning the Wales Book of the Year Fiction Prize in 2015 for his novel ‘The Dig’ and being commissioned to work on an episode of the third series of ‘Hinterland / Y Gwyll’.
The author says he’s looking forward to the latest chapter in a rich and varied career that among other things has seen him work as a copywriter in Glasgow, a Ceredigion supply teacher, and a wine merchant.
“Having previously worked as a teacher and being used to interacting with people on a regular basis, I find being a full-time author can leave you a little isolated from the outside world! I’m excited that the role will not only afford me the opportunity to interact with our next generation of writers, scientists and academics, but …

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.


Mental health in the open!

This year’s Mental Health Day on October 10 coincided with National Chocolate Week.
There’s a connection, which I’ll explain later.
If you haven’t experienced mental health issues personally or through someone you know, you’re lucky, because statistics reveal that one in four of us in Wales will at some point have a mental health problem.
That means, out of a population of approximately three million, around 750,000 of us have had, will have, or currently have mental health problems.
That’s an astonishingly high proportion for a country our size.
Some mental health problems, like becoming stressed during a challenging time in our lives, only last until the matter is resolved.
More serious problems can last years or even a lifetime.
They all have a …

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

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

Burry Port is getting ready for the annual production by Burry Port Opera.
This year, the featured opera is Samson and Delilah by Camille Saint-Saens.
It will be performed at Burry Port Memorial Hall on Wednesday, October 19, Friday October 21 and Saturday October 22.
The characters and cast include –
Delilah, Lauren Easton; Samson, Philip O'Brien; High Priest, Michael Dewis; Abimelech, Gareth Long; Hebrew Elder, Paul Morgan.
The opera will, of course, feature the Burry Port Opera Chorus and Orchestra, Leader Mansel Hughes.
The producer is Keith J Clarke and the conductor is Ryan Lee.
The opera centres on the Biblical story of the Israeli hero Samson and the sensationally beautiful Delilah.
Samson aims to free his Hebrew nation from Philistine captivity. Delilah, a Philistine maiden, has other ideas. Through her charm, she endeavours to distract him from…

Countdown has started to Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star Business Awards

The countdown has started to the Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star Business Awards for 2017.
Details are as follows -
Recognising and celebrating the diverse range of businesses in Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion.
Businesses must work or be registered in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire or Pembrokeshire.
Categories are:
Retail | Agricultural | Construction | Manufacturing Large
Manufacturing Small | Training & Development
Tourism and Leisure | Food & Drink | Small Business | Services
The event takes place on Friday 20th January 2017


Closing date for this year's nominations is Saturday 26th November 2016.
For more information and sponsorship opportunities, contact Zena Laws, business manager at South West Wales Media, on 01792 545585 or email

Irish Government backs Modern Irish teaching at Aberystwyth University

The Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies has received an award from the Irish Government to support the teaching of Irish Language and Literature at Aberystwyth University.
The Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs has awarded a generous sum of money to Aberystwyth University over the course of three years through an Irish Government programme which supports the teaching of Modern Irish.
The award will also be used to create a number of language scholarships allowing Aberystwyth students to attend summer courses in an Irish-speaking area in Ireland.
Dr Cathryn Charnell-White, Head of the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies said: “We are delighted that the award will allow us to establish a named scholarship scheme allowing students to experience the Irish language in its heartland, and to bring that experience back to Aberystwyth with them.”
Irish language and literature is a key focus in the work of the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies at Aber…

Aberystwyth University students reach for the stars

Three research students from Aberystwyth University have been selected to present papers at the world’s biggest planetary conference currently being held in the United States.
The PhD students will speak about their research at the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) which meets outside Europe for the first time since it was established in 2006.
In partnership with the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) this year’s EPSC is taking place until October 21 in Pasadena - next to the NASA jet propulsion lab.
Students from Aberystwyth have always been involved in the EPSC, thanks to one of the event’s founders and main organisers Professor Manuel Grande who’s Head of Solar System Physics at Aberystwyth University’s Department of Physics.
In the past, he’s been able to offer students the chance to apply for positions in various supporting roles such as stewards and ticket collectors – but this is the first year students from Aberystwyth will present pa…

Aberystwyth Old College Lecture by Keats Biographer

An acclaimed expert on the life of John Keats will deliver a public lecture in the Old College, Aberystwyth, tonight, Wednesday 19 October 2016.
Professor Nicholas Roe from the University of St Andrews will give a talk on ‘John Keats’s Ghosts’.
Professor Roe is the author of ‘John Keats: A New Life’ which was descibed in the Sunday Times as “a remarkable achievement, authoritative and imaginative to a degree that should make all future Keats biographers quail."
All are welcome to attend this free event which is being organised by the Department of English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University, in association with the New Life for Old College project.
Professor Richard Marggraf Turley, Professor of Engagement with the Public Imagination at Aberystwyth University, said: “One of the world’s most influential Keats scholars, Nicholas Roe invites us to look again, and differently, at this most apparently familiar of poets.
“Whether revealing the deep involvement of John Keats in…