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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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Public Services Board seeks views to improve local well-being

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CARMARTHENSHIRE’S Public Services Board (PSB) is seeking residents’ views to find out what matters to them and their local communities.

The PSB has developed its Well-being Objectives and draft actions to deliver them, based on feedback received on its Well-being Assessment. The results of a survey at that time gathered views and helped shape the PSB’s understanding of the economic, social, environmental, and cultural factors that impact the well-being of individuals and communities within Carmarthenshire.

Once again, residents are being asked to contribute to help public service partners develop Carmarthenshire’s Local Well-being Plan for 2023-28.

To help shape the future of well-being please visit: Current Consultations (gov.wales)

The survey closes on 25 January 2023.

Cllr Darren Price, Chair of the Carmarthenshire PSB and Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “To deliver what is important to our communities, we need to their feedback and input. This survey is an opportunity for our residents to tell us if we, as public services, are on the right track to help create a better future for our children’s generation, and the generations to follow, as we strive to reach this goal.” 

Andrew Cornish, Vice-Chair of the PSB andChief Executive Officer / Principal of Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion said: “Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our work so far. Our Well-being Assessment gives us a strong foundation on which to build our Well-being Plan and I would like to encourage everyone to take part in our involvement work for the preparation of the Plan.”

Carmarthenshire’s Public Services Board is a partnership of public and third sector organisations working together to improve well-being across the county and includes Carmarthenshire County Council, Hywel Dda University Health Board, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Natural Resources Wales and other organisations.

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Llanelli prepares for Sunday’s Remembrance Day parade

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LATER TODAY (Sunday, November 13) the town will honour those who have fallen in service over the decades.

A number of roads will be closed on the day, including Murray Street, Church Street and Vauxhall Road from its junction with the mini roundabout.

These will be shut for the parade between 8.30am and noon, however, pedestrian access for those wishing to reach individual properties in those streets will be maintained where possible throughout the duration of the closure.

Traffic will be diverted to Robinson Street, Arthur Street, Columbia Row, Anne Street, Bigyn Road, Stepney Place, Water Street, Thomas Street and Gelli Onn.

At 10am, police, organisations and others not marching in the parade will take up their respective positions in front of the cenotaph in the town hall grounds, while the civic party will assemble inside Llanelli Town Hall.

At 10.15am the parade leaves Drill Hall for the town hall with the mayor Cllr Philip Warlow proceeding to the Boer War Memorial where he will lay a wreath.

When the parade arrives at the town hall, the civic party will proceed to the cenotaph where the Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed Sara Edwards, will lay a wreath.

This will be followed by the chair of Carmarthenshire Council Cllr Rob Evans, laying a wreath on the Royal Welch War Memorial and then on the town’s cenotaph.

More wreaths will be laid by dignitaries and politicians and ex-servicemen and women A two-minute silence will then be observed at 11am.

Any service groups or individuals who wish to lay a wreath on Remembrance Sunday can contact Paul Wickers via email at llanlva2009@aol.com.

While community organisations are to contact Llanelli Town Council at enquiries@llanellitowncouncil.gov.uk.

Contact should be made by Monday, October 31 at the very latest to confirm arrangements as no additional wreaths will be able to be accommodated on the day.

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Llanelli choir launches fundraising naked calendar

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MEMBERS of a Llanelli female choir have bared all to raise money for the town’s Ty Bryngwyn Hospice.  

Côr Curiad has created a cheeky fundraising calendar for 2023 – the second one they have done.

With around 50 members, photos were taken across Llanelli with strategically placed items to spare their blushes – all in the name of a good cause.

Llanelli photographer Graham Harries was behind the lens for the project.

The choir’s musical director Alex Esney, who is Miss December in the calendar said: “Local businesses sponsored the calendar and so many of the photos were taken at their premises.

“So for example we went to LTC Mobility Ltd and had scooters carefully positioned in front of us, it was a lot of fun.

“I also want to thank Ffwrnes Theatre for opening up especially for me to go and have my photo taken with the piano there.”

Alex said the aim is to raise as much as possible for the hospice, adding: “We did a calendar a few years ago but we now have more members so we thought it was time to do it all again.

“The ladies decided to ‘bare all’ to raise money for the hospice which provides such great care and support for families in their time of need, including two of our own.

“I think we pulled out all the stops this year, getting their clothes off at local businesses in and around Llanelli.”

One of the calendar photos (Images: Graham Harries Photography)
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