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Ponytyates businessman dies

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ONE OF Carmarthenshire’s most prominent businessmen and entrepreneurs has passed away after a short battle with illness. 

Clive Hughes from Pontyates passed away on Sunday (Jul 24) at Prince Phillip Hospital in Llanelli.

He was the owner of Hughes Haulage and a number of other businesses he had established in other countries including Australia and South Africa.

His haulage and logistics companies were massive and established him amongst one of the most successful Welsh businessmen during 60s, 70s and 80s. He could often be seen mixing with some of the world’s most successful and , often, most notorious men, including Alan Bond and Jeffrey Archer.

Clive returned to Wales after having retired in the Caribbean with the aim of creating jobs in his home county. He was passionate about Wales and trying to create employment for young people.

At one time, Clive was embroiled in a planning battle with Carmarthenshire County Council over a proposed biomass power plant, which he said would have created 600 construction and permanent jobs. The plants at Coedbach, near Kidwelly, and in Swansea never got the go ahead and Clive fought until his last days to try and find out who was behind the funding of the Coed Bach Action Group who successfully thwarted his plans.

At the time, Mr Hughes said: “I do feel that enough is enough – I’ve endured years of harassment and lies against my character and businesses, which is not what I expected when I came back to Carmarthenshire. My land has been blighted, I am obstructed at every stage and at every level by the local authority and local members. My businesses have been at the receiving end of Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning department. It’s a planning system which has allowed ‘nimbyism’ to flourish. I have been fortunate to have enjoyed successful multi-million pound businesses all over the world. However, I have never been treated so badly as in my home county. I’ve had excellent business relationships all around the world and for over 30 years.”

Clive Hughes was a prominent figure at the Scarlets as the Vice Chairman of the club for many years. He was also seen regularly at the Liberty Stadium mixing with the VIps, including his friend, leader of Swansea Council, Chris Hollie and Leo Lyons of Lyons Glass. He was a member of Moriah Chapel in Meinciau.

Clive’s wife Meirwen told The Herald: “He was always chasing a new business venture. Clive was a restless soul and never afraid of speaking the truth. In recent months, he challenged the First Minister Carwyn Jones as to why he was awarding contracts to China when he had the ideas and the plans to produce energy through Welsh funded and Welsh based business. Clive never got any answers to the many questions he asked of both the local authority or the Welsh Assembly Government.”

Mr Hughes is reputed to have invested over £3.5 million in Carmarthenshire in attempts to get his renewable energy business off the ground and a substantial amount of money was paid in planning fees.

Both Dutch and South African companies were in talks with Clive shortly before his death regarding the prospect of his plants opening up in those countries.

Clive Hughes died without realising the potential of his renewable energy scheme, which he claimed could have powered homes in Carmarthenshire at a fraction of the cost of the big companies, while creating local jobs.

Carmarthenshire County Council leader Emlyn Dole provided his own personal tribute to Clive Hughes: “I’m part time minister in Meinciau, and it was through that he met both me and my wife, separately at first. Gwenda and I went with him to Australia three times, He was always nagging us to go out and take the service for Western Australian Welsh community, who met monthly and hired a chapel. Gwenda would sing, I would play guitar – I got to know Clive from that time on.

“He introduced me to two of the great pleasures of my life, golf and red wine. He started me off with some very nice Chilean Shiraz at Hong Kong Airport. In fact, he tried to drink his minister under the table and ended up with a bout of gout that lasted three weeks!

“We were opposites, both fascinated with each other. If the main quality of an entrepreneur is taking a risk, he was an entrepreneur. He owned business across the world. It was an education to be with him, and I got that opportunity.”

Cllr Dole concluded: “He was great company and a great friend and it is as a friend that I have the most respect for him. My condolences to his wife, Meirwen, and family. He was a great guy.”

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Llanelli fundraiser boycotts her bed for Action for Children

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A LLANELLI woman is boycotting her bed for 24 hours this month in order to raise funds for Action for Children, the charity that runs the Carmarthenshire REFLECT project, based in the town.  REFLECT offers support to women whose children are in foster care or have been adopted. 

Helen Antoniazzi felt that this year it was particularly important to raise money to help Action for Children mitigate the impact of the pandemic.  Over the course of 24 days, Helen has committed to giving up an hour of sleep and to swap it for some physical activity.  She is asking her supporters to support her in this by donating money.  Helen’s efforts will culminate on the 9th July which is the official #BoycottYourBed night, Action for Children’s flagship annual fundraising event. 

Speaking about why she decided to take on this fundraising challenge, Helen said:

“I’ve long supported the crucial work that Action for Children do to support children, young people and families, but this year it felt even more important than ever to do what I could to raise money.  That’s why I decided to give up an hour’s sleep a night for 24 days as part of Action for Children’s Boycott your Bed campaign.  For each of these hours I’ll be swapping my sleep for physical activity.

“Life was difficult for vulnerable children and their families before the pandemic. Now things are even harder. Action for Children’s frontline, key workers have kept 99% of services open throughout the pandemic, continuing to support vulnerable children, young people and families who were already in desperate need.

“The number of families relying on Universal Credit has doubled. Households with children are twice as likely to have suffered financial hardship – like falling behind on bills or borrowing to pay for basics – because of coronavirus. At the start of the pandemic, Action for Children launched a Coronavirus Emergency appeal which has provided essentials, like food and warm clothes, to around 20,000 children and young people. But more needs to be done. 4.3 million children in the UK are living in poverty. That’s 9 children in every school class of 30.”

Action for Children supported more than 27,000 children, young people, parents and carers in Wales last year with Nina Rice, the charity’s fundraising Regional Manager for Bristol, Bath and South Wales, adding: “Helen is showing tremendous commitment by swapping her bed for an hour’s exercise every day for 24 days.  It is great to see such passion for an event that will improve the lives of the children, young people and families we proudly support in our communities and that have been stretched to the limit during the pandemic.

“We love Helen’s unique take on Boycott your Bed, which is all about sleeping somewhere extraordinary on 9 July (Action for Children’s birthday) whilst raising awareness and funds for our charity.  I hope she inspires others to do something equally challenging as we approach the big night as this is a remote event, where anyone can take part, wherever they are based. Helen will join everyone and come together virtually on the night, to enjoy an evening of virtual entertainment.”

Anyone wishing to support Helen in her bid to raise money can donate at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/helen-antoniazzi

 If you want to spend the night in the most unusual place you can think of while enjoying a star-studded evening of virtual entertainment you can register here: https://boycottyourbed.actionforchildren.org.uk/community-registration/

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NHS Wales announce first and second dose vaccination walk-in clinics

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Hywel Dda UHB is running walk-in vaccination clinics this week. There is no need to contact the health board to book an appointment and if you have already registered using the health board’s online form, you are still welcome to attend the walk-in clinic.

If you have a scheduled appointment, please keep your appointment time. 

With the rise in cases across the UK it is important that as many people come forward for their first and second vaccines.

First vaccine walk-in clinics for anyone aged 18 and over who hasn’t had their first COVID-19 vaccine yet:

  • Aberystwyth (Thomas Parry Library, SY23 3FL): Thursday 24 and Friday 25 June, 10am to 8pm.
  • Cardigan (Teifi Leisure Centre SA43 1HG): Friday 25 June, 9.30am to 5pm.
  • Carmarthen (Halliwell Conference Centre, UWTSD, SA31 3EP): Monday 21, Tuesday 22, Wednesday 23, Thursday 24 and Friday 25 June, 10am to 8pm. 
  • Llanelli (Ffwrnes Theatre SA15 3YE): Thursday 24 and Friday 25 June, 10am to 8pm. 
  • Tenby (Tenby Leisure Centre, SA70 8EJ): Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 June, 10am to 8pm

Second vaccine walk-in clinics (please only attend if the centre is giving the same vaccine that you had for your first dose. This information can be found on your vaccine card.)

  • Aberystwyth (Thomas Parry Library, SY23 3FL): Monday 21, Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 June, 10am to 8pm. Second dose Moderna vaccine only if you had your first dose on or before 11 April.
  • Llanelli (Ffwrnes Theatre SA15 3YE): Monday 21, Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 June, 10am to 8pm. Second dose Moderna vaccine only if you had your first dose on or before 11 April.
  • Tenby (Tenby Leisure Centre, SA70 8EJ): Friday 25 June, 10am to 8pm. Second dose Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine only if you had your first dose on or before 25 April.

If you are unable to attend a walk-in clinic, you can still request your first vaccine by completing this form

To request your second dose please use this request form.

If you or someone you know is unable to use an online form, please contact our booking team on 0300 303 8322.

Important: By travelling to a centre, you accept there is a risk that all vaccines will be allocated before you arrive. If you arrive after all the vaccines are allocated, we will take your contact details and add you to our reserve list.

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Chairman Announces her chosen charities for her year in office

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CHAIRMAN, Cllr Tegwen Devichand has chosen the following four charities to support during her term of office.

Alzheimer’s Society is a care and research charity within the UK for people with dementia and their carers. They provide information and support, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by dementia.

Links Llanelli is a unique Llanelli Mental Health Charity, providing support and learning opportunities to those within our community who have or are experiencing mental ill-health. 

Links aims to support people experiencing mental health issues to build confidence, self-esteem and skills.

Links also provides support for veterans and blue light teams living in Carmarthenshire. Veterans are able to access all the activities available at Links. Additionally, for those who live in rural areas or are socially isolated, can be provided with befriending buddy telephone calls and outreach NAAFI mornings which are held in various locations throughout Carmarthenshire on a monthly basis.

Ty Bryngwyn Llanelli Hospice is a Designated Centre of Excellence providing specialist palliative care for the community of Carmarthenshire. It is the only Hospice in the area with inpatient facilities.

Llanelli Hospice provides specialist palliative care both in the community and in its seven inpatient beds.

Wales Air Ambulance is an all Wales charity providing emergency air cover 365 days a year for those who face life-threatening illness or injury. The Dafen airbase, which covers South Wales, is one of four airbases in Wales and this coverage means that an air ambulance is  only 20 minutes away. 

Chairman, Cllr Tegwen Devichand said, “As a Council we like to financially assist worthwhile causes and I am delighted to be supporting such worthy charities. I believe that these charities touch us all in one way or another. I will be as supportive as I possibly can be under the current difficult times when charities need that ‘little bit extra’ financial support. The people in the area are always very generous in their support of such worthy causes. I was chairman in 2012 and I have been a councillor both on County and Community level for over 17 years and know how important lending our support can be.”

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