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Event Circle seminar hailed a success

The second seminar of the Carmarthenshire Event Organisers Circle has been hailed a great success as around 40 event organisers gathered at The National Botanic Garden of Wales recently.

The circle, which meets roughly every six months, came together for the second time to network, share ideas and hear talks from industry experts.

Representatives from Carmarthenshire Association of Voluntary Services, Carmarthenshire Community Bureau and Spice Time Credits spoke to the circle members as well as Machynlleth Comedy Festival organiser, Henry Widdicombe, who relayed his journey of growing the much revered event into one of Wales’ most popular in only its eighth year.

Delegates from a range of organisations and authorities such as licensing, public protection, highways and the Welsh Language Commission were also on hand to give advice and guidance.

The seminar was opened by council Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole.

He said: “Events are of the utmost importance to our county for a number of reasons.

“Worth an estimated £1.5million to our region, events contribute to the economic growth of the county as well as the promotion of togetherness and health and wellbeing in our communities.”

County council staff also set out the future plans for the pilot scheme, which include the creation of a series of ‘how to’ videos to be uploaded onto the circle’s dedicated website, contact directories of suppliers, stand holders and volunteers and a scheme in three pilot towns which aims to nurture greater collaboration between event organisers, businesses and community groups.

Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Cllr Peter Hughes-Griffiths, said: “This seminar was another positive step to helping and advising organisers to stage community events. The input by various individuals and the possibilities of advertising and targeting support through digital methods featured throughout.”

Seminar attendee, Tori Sparano from Cwmaman Town Council, said: “The seminar was really informative with a great line up of speakers and organisations present. I made some great contacts and look forward to future events and using the website toolkit.”

The Event Organisers Circle initiative, which will be running for 18 months, has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (RDP), which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government. This particular project supports key priorities under the Welsh Government Strategy for Tourism 2013 – 2020 ‘Partnership for Growth’.

To find out more and to sign up to the event organisers circle, please visit www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/organising-events

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Residents asked not to leave out sacks of garden waste

People in Carmarthenshire are being reminded not to leave sacks of garden waste out for collection.

A new collection service, which started in April this year, provides participants with a 240 litre wheeled bin which is emptied fortnightly until November.

Householders who pay in full when they apply to join the scheme receive a 15% discount costing £40.80 for the season. People can also choose to pay by direct debit with payments made in instalments, which costs a total of £48.

Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Hazel Evans said: “The new service was launched in April to make the collection of garden waste a fairer and more efficient system, and to cover the costs of this chargeable service.

“However, some residents are still leaving sacks of garden waste out for collection, so we would like to remind them that this system is no longer in place.

“Anyone who wants advice or information is welcome to contact us and we will do all we can to help.”

Other options available to residents are to home compost, or take garden waste to a household waste recycling centre (HWRC) where it can be disposed of free of charge.

Compost bins are available to buy from the council for a subsidised price of £12, which includes delivery.

People who still have old starch sacks which were used previously are advised to use them to take their garden waste to a HWRC.

Garden waste is taken to a central composting facility at Nantycaws, Carmarthen, where it is turned into compost or soil conditioner to be reused.

It is also available for residents to buy from the recycling centres at Trostre (Llanelli), Wernddu (Ammanford) Nantycaws (Carmarthen) and Whitland.


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Llanelli woman fined for waste offence

A Llanelli woman has admitted failing to dispose of rubbish properly outside her home. Rhian Sian Jones, of Capel Isaf Road, pleaded guilty to the offence contrary to Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, in a prosecution brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.

On Tuesday, January 16, council environmental enforcement officers visited the property and found black bags outside Ms Jones’ home, despite collection day being a Friday. A section 46 Notice from the Environmental Protection Act 1990 was issued.

Acting on information received, enforcement officers again visited the rear of Ms Jones property on Monday, November 28 and found a large amount of blue and black refuse bags that had been dumped. After searching through the rubbish bags, items found originated from Ms Jones’ address. All attempts to contact Ms Jones, including correspondence sent to the address and a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) for breaching the Section 46 served on the January 19, were ignored.

Ms Jones was fined £250 at Llanelli Magistrates Court. She was ordered to pay £240.57 costs and £30 victim surcharge.

Carmarthenshire Council Executive board member for public protection, Cllr Philip Hughes said: “Dumped rubbish is a blight on our communities. We are determined to clean up Carmarthenshire and if that means taking people to court who are breaking the law then this is what we will do. If anyone needs any advice on disposing of their household or business waste then please visit our website.”

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Businessman drives over 30 miles to dump waste

A moment of madness proved costly for one Llanelli fly tipper, in a prosecution brought by Carmarthenshire County Council.

Bikrumjit Singh Randhawa, has to pay over £1,000 after admitting driving from Aberdare and dumping 15 black refuse bags on a grass verge in Llethri Road, Swiss Valley.

The businessman, of Pencoed Uchaf Farm in Llangennech, pleaded guilty to depositing the waste, contrary to Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 at Llanelli Magistrates Court.

Mr Randhawa, who runs a business in Aberdare Town Centre, admitted borrowing his brother’s van to transport the waste to Llethri Road late at night. He apologised and said the incident must have been a moment of madness.

He was fined £375 by Llanelli magistrates and ordered to pay £639.53 costs and £37 victim surcharge.

The council’s executive board member for public protection, Cllr Philip Hughes said: “Fly tipping has a huge effect on a community as well as becoming an environmental health issue. Keeping Carmarthenshire both clean and safe is one of the top priorities for the council and we will not hesitate to prosecute anyone caught fly-tipping. It is also a drain on council resources which could be better spent elsewhere.”

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Up-and-coming fashion designer wins Beacon Bursary

Watch out Julien Macdonald, there is a new Welsh designer about to take the fashion world by storm.

Lian Cara Poulson is the winner of the Beacon Bursary and will receive a cash prize of £3000, free office space within the Beacon Centre for Enterprise in Dafen, Llanelli, and business mentoring support to help develop her business.

The 23-year-old from Llandovery recently completed her degree at Coleg Sir Gâr’s Carmarthen School of Art and will establish her own fashion label Lian Cara. She impressed the judges with her blend of creative talent, commercial vision and professional business plan and presentation.

Lian was one of 10 new entrepreneurs to reach the final of the Beacon Bursary competition and pitch their proposals to a panel of judges including Carmarthenshire Council Leader Emlyn Dole, Angharad Harding, manager of Yr Atom in Carmarthen; Chris Jenkins from Gerald Thomas Accountants and last year’s Beacon Bursary winner Martin Goddard of Music HQ.

Second place went to Jennifer Collins, a 35-year-old mum from Burry Port, who wants to set up a school holiday club in the Llanelli area called Clwb Oasis. Her idea is to introduce a more formal activity schedule delivered over a longer day to allow parents to manage work life balance better during school holidays. Jennifer, who is studying a BA in Events Management in University of Wales Trinity Saint David, aims to develop a good brand locally before expanding the business model further afield.

Third place went to Danielle Ace for her online community and ecommerce business The Stitching Bee specialising in the stitching, yarning and crafting market. The online shop will sell a wide range of products associated to the market including creative well-being gift boxes, zenbroidery kits, and much more. Danielle, aged 30, from Llanelli, is currently studying Counselling and Psychotherapy in Swansea University having previously graduated in psychology and a foundation course with the British Association of Art Therapy.

The Beacon Bursary is an annual competition run by by Carmarthenshire County Council in partnership with Coleg Sir Gâr and University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

The award provides new businesses and entrepreneurs an opportunity to access finance, office space and a wealth of advice and support and which will provide the best opportunity for their new businesses to flourish.

The vision for The Beacon, Centre for Enterprise is to act as a leading light in nurturing and training both young enterprise skills and to develop entrepreneur business talent to enter the private sector across South West Wales.

Council Leader Emlyn Dole, who is responsible for Economic Development, said: “I would like to congratulate Lian, a very worthy winner, and I am looking forward to seeing her business develop. I would also like to commend Jennifer and Danielle and all the other finalists; it was a very close call and we could see the potential in all the business ideas and we will do our best to help and support each and every one of them.

“As a council, we are committed to developing entrepreneurship within the county and this is reflected through important initiatives such as the Beacon Bursary.”

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