Kidwelly’s Parc Stephens

Parc Stephens in Kidwelly has now been run by the community for over two years following a successful asset transfer in 2015.

The park was one of a number of recreational assets that were offered for transfer by Carmarthenshire County Council and one of the first to be transferred to local community management.

The county council offered a grant of double the annual maintenance cost to those organisations that expressed an interest in taking over community assets, with the grant reducing month by month from April 2017 and stopping completely for those not completed by April 2018.

To date, there has been interest shown in around 82% of sites available, with around half of these already being taken over by local organisations.

In Kidwelly, park users got together to form an association to ensure the future of the facility, and to make improvements.

Kidwelly Park Sports Association Chair Brian Rees said: “When we were told that the park was to be passed back to the sports clubs, we were very concerned that sport in Kidwelly could be in jeopardy.

“However the players and committees of the sporting clubs that use the park have formed an association and have worked hard in improving the park, to a standard not seen previously.

“The association was lucky enough to have found support in a local business, Burns Pet Nutrition, which assisted us in the purchase of machinery to enable us as volunteers, to keep the park in its present condition.

“It is important that we as an association continue to provide these great facilities for future users in the community.”

The county council’s executive board member for assets Cllr David Jenkins said: “Kidwelly is another success story where not only has the local community preserved the facility, but they have worked to improve it.

“Two years on the association continues to thrive and demonstrates how local management can enhance facilities for the benefit of local people.

“I’m pleased with the progress with our asset transfer programme and the way most communities are responding, it is clear they not only want to keep the facilities but also in many cases to enhance them for the benefit of local people.”

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Thousands enjoy council-supported events

Thousands of people have enjoyed recent festivals and carnivals supported by Carmarthenshire County Council’s new Events Support Fund.

The Big Cwtch Summer Party in Crugybar sold over 2,800 tickets to visitors travelling to Carmarthenshire from across the UK, boosting the local economy by an estimated £317,000.

And the Gorslas Carnival saw hundreds of local people descend on the park, with 10 floats and over 200 people in fancy dress.

Carmarthenshire County Council has committed almost £20,000 to events that support the council’s tourism, community and economic strategic aims.

Executive board member for culture sport and tourism, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, said: “The events we have supported include quite a varied range and these two most recent are great examples of how they can bring a community together as well as help to make our county a vibrant visitor destination.”

The Carmarthenshire Events Support Fund is open to organisers of all events in Carmarthenshire who meet the eligibility criteria.

To find out more, please visit the event organisers support page at


The Big Cwtch Summer Party

The self-styled ‘Welsh Glastonbury’ featured a line-up of up and coming talent from Carmarthenshire and beyond, as well as an array of local artisan craft stalls and workshops to keep adults and children entertained.

Festival organiser, Amanda Drury, said: “This was the biggest and best Big Cwtch to date. The site looked stunning and there was such a fabulous atmosphere that I think really lived up to the magical family festival experience that makes The Big Cwtch so unique. The new format enabled visitors to really make a weekend of it and enjoy the packed programme – and not just locals to the area, we also had lots of visitors from further afield.

“The funding we received from Carmarthenshire County Council this year really helped us to achieve this success.”

The festival also relies heavily on a large volunteer base, with over 200 volunteers from the local community, including a Duke of Edinburgh group, making the event a truly local achievement.


Gorslas Carnival

The Gorslas Carnival was a vibrant community event with a parade and party on the park.

Leekes of Cross Hands won the carnival parade and donated the cash prize to their chosen charity, The British Liver Trust.

Organiser, Cllr Aled Vaughan-Owen, said: “Despite the showers, the carnival was a great success and really brought the local community, including the businesses, together in a great way. All who played a part in making the day a success did a great job, from the carnival committee, all of whom are volunteers, to the blue light services who did a fantastic job in making the event run smoothly and safely.

“We are grateful to Carmarthenshire County Council for the support we received.”


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Pupils have brilliant time on new scholar programme

A group of Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn pupils have become the first from Carmarthenshire schools to graduate from the Brilliant Club.

Twelve Year 8 and 9 students attended the University of Bristol to receive their graduation certificates after participating in the Scholar’s Programme run by the renowned charity, The Brilliant Club.

The students had undertaken a project at the end of the last academic year on ‘Ebola: The next international pandemic?’.

Tutored by a PhD graduate from Swansea University the students have developed academic study skills and learned about the impact of Ebola both in the countries directly affected and on the wider international community. They used these skills to produce an essay at the level expected of Year 12 students studying for their AS exams.

The students and their parents were greeted by student ambassadors from the university and were treated to a short tour of the campus and a presentation on what it means to be an undergraduate at a prestigious university such as Bristol. Parents were also able to attend a presentation about university life to help prepare them to support their children in applying to university.  

Head teacher Hugh Thomas said: “We are very proud that all the students completed and passed the project to graduate. These 12 students may be a few years from university but they are already on the path to success.

“Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn is the first Carmarthenshire school to have a cohort of students participate in this programme and we are looking forward to our next cohort participating in the spring term.”

Executive board member for education and children’s services Cllr Glynog Davies said: “I’d like to congratulate the pupils for doing so well and Ysgol Gyfun for offering them this opportunity. The 12 pupils had a fantastic opportunity to develop their skills, benefit from specialist tutoring and find out about future opportunities at university.”

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Mr X Christmas Appeal support needed

Businesses in Carmarthenshire are being urged to support a scheme to provide Christmas presents for families in need.

Carmarthenshire County Council is taking part in the 57th annual Mr X Christmas Appeal which supports about 4,500 families from Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea.

The council’s Corporate Parenting Department coordinates Mr X support for children and young people throughout Carmarthenshire classed as children in need or children living in poverty.

It involves working with the Mr X appeal and recruiting volunteers to assist collection of the gifts, sorting in to the different social work team areas and then delivering to families in need of support.

Executive board member for education and children’s services Cllr Glynog Davies said: “The Mr X Christmas Appeal is a very worthwhile cause which the council is glad to support. We would welcome local businesses who are not involved with Mr X directly but would like to contribute new toys for children or vouchers, which may be suitable more for teenagers, or who would like to donate anything to support, such as use of van to collect the presents from Swansea.

“Students and volunteers can also help sort and deliver gifts from the University of Wales Trinity St David.”

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Escaped dog owner fined for fouling offence

A Pontyates man learned an expensive lesson for allowing his dog to escape his garden and foul on a grass verge.

Timothy Alan Canby, of Maes Glas, Pontyates, has been ordered to pay £310.85 for failing to pick up after his dog – despite not being with him at the time.

On April 27, a Carmarthenshire County Council enforcement officer was on patrol when he saw a dog roaming in and out of people’s gardens in Maes Glas before fouling on a grassed area next to the road.

Whilst recording the incident, Canby appeared and called the dog back to his home telling the officer that he regularly jumps over the garden wall to escape.

Despite cleaning the mess, Canby was told he would still receive an £100 fixed penalty notice (FPN) as it is an offence not to remove faeces immediately, and that it wouldn’t have been removed if the officer hadn’t explained that the dog had defecated and shown him where the faeces was.

FPN’s must be paid within 14 days, and despite receiving a reminder letter the case was referred to court when Canby failed to pay.

The case was heard at Llanelli Magistrates Court on September 15, when Canby pleaded guilty by post.

He was ordered to pay a fine of £80, costs of £200.85 and a victim surcharge of £30.

He was also reminded to make adequate provisions to prevent his dog escaping from the garden in future and causing inconvenience to other residents.

Cllr Philip Hughes, the council’s executive board member for enforcement, said: “Even if a dog has escaped the family home, it is still the owner’s responsibility. It is unfortunate that this case had to come to court as it could have been settled much earlier had the owner paid the fine within the notice period.”

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