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Llanelli men in world’s biggest pizza competition

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A NEW four-part series will follow two Llanelli men compete in the world’s biggest pizza competition. Bois y Pizza, on S4C, follows Ieuan Harry and Jez Phillips of Ffwrnes Pizza, as they face off against the finest chefs in the world when they compete in Italy, the birthplace of the dish.

Since setting up in 2014, Ffwrnes Pizza has made a name for itself in Wales – dishing up at the wedding of none other than singer Charlotte Church, and also cyclist Geraint Thomas. And now the boys are on their way to Parma, Italy, to compete in the world’s biggest pizza competition, the Campionato Mondiale della Pizza.

Before they get there, they will take the opportunity to learn and taste all the delights Europe has to offer.

They’ll be learning, tasting and experimenting by making original pizzas using traditional ingredients in some of Europe’s most famous places.

S4C viewers can join them on the journey in Smokey Pete – the three-wheeled van that carries the heart and soul of the company, the Pizza Furnace.

Ieuan Harry is one half of Ffwrnes Pizza. Here he tells us more about the journey and the celebrated Pizza Championship.

When asked by S4C about the motive behind their journey, Ieuan said: “The purpose of the journey was to decide upon the finest ingredients for our pizza in the competition. We called in towns and famous restaurants in search of ingredients to use in our pizza. Of course, we had to go to Napoli as well! We met people who are considered ‘masters’ of their craft, famous for the best Neapolitan pizza. We picked up lots of tips and it was fantastic preparation for the competition.”

They went on to ask about any challenges or unexpected problems during the journey or at the competition, with Ieuan replying: “Driving on the Italian roads was the biggest challenge! The Italians are wild drivers; they dart in and out of everywhere. In Napoli, every car had dents and scratches. That was the hardest part because we’re so fond of our little van and we didn’t want it to get dented!”

When describing the competition, Ieuan said: “The competition was a mad place. There were 43 different countries competing – we were so happy to be there and to see so many people preparing all the different pizzas. We were only allowed to create one pizza so everything had to be perfect – from the preparation to the ingredients and from the cooking to the presentation.

“The biggest challenge was to place the pizza in the oven and to take it out again in perfect condition. It’s quite a task when you’re nervous and your hands are shaking. During the competition, the man next to us made a right mess of things. He came from Hungary, and he didn’t even get the chance to serve his pizza to the judges! When placing the pizza on the paddle, he tore the dough, and that was the end of his part in the competition.”

S4C also asked if there any more adventures on the cards for Ffwrnes, with Ieuan saying: “The dream is to someday open a small restaurant, instead of cooking from the van all the time. But, another trip would be nice as well. Maybe we could go to the USA to taste pizza there. There’s so much variety, from Chicago to New England to New York. I think that would be very interesting.”

Bois y Pizza starts Friday, June 22, at 8.25pm on S4C, English subtitles are available.

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Deliveroo launches in Llanelli ahead of planned date

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FOOD delivery company Deliveroo has announced its early launch in Llanelli this week. According to Deliveroo, the company has brought forward the launch by weeks in order to help restaurants and customers through lockdown. This means that locals can now order food from a range of restaurants and grocery retailers in the local area. 

Deliveroo is an app and website that enables Brits to check out the very best local food in their area. The British company has seen great success and is now available in 12 different markets across the world. Deliveroo works with both the best independent restaurants like Best Pizza and Kebab House, Harry Watkins and Tinworks Brewery, well-known high street favourites like KFC, Burger King and Pizza Hut as well as grocery retailers and convenience stores such as Co-op (see Editor’s Notes below for full list available on Deliveroo in Llanelli).

The food delivery company will continue to add new local restaurants, takeaways and convenience stores to the platform over the coming months, with the likes of Nando’s joining Deliveroo as lockdown eases. Apply here to become a Deliveroo partner. 

 The food delivery company is also giving customers 20% off orders for the next four weeks with code: LLANELLI10

The launch will be a major boost to small restaurant businesses across Llanelli who will be able to reach new customers and grow their restaurant businesses through offering delivery.  

Working with Deliveroo increases restaurants’ sales as they can reach a wider range of customers. This enables restaurants to expand their businesses, often employing more staff, broadening their menus and lengthening opening times as a result. 

Deliveroo will be looking for up to 50 people in Llanelli to become riders. Those who work as riders will be able to work when they want and where they want, delivering food and groceries to customers’ doors in as little as 20 minutes. 

This comes as Deliveroo will also be extending further into the suburbs of existing cities or towns that it currently operates in. The drive behind the rapid expansion is underpinned by the company’s belief that people in every part of the UK should have access to amazing meals wherever and whenever they want them.

Harrison Foster, Regional Director in the UK: “Launching in Llanelli is a key milestone for Deliveroo. Llanelli has a thriving foodie community and a wide range of restaurants and retailers, so we’re excited to connect them. We look forward to working with our new partners to reach a new customer base and expand their businesses.”

Deliveroo is focused on providing the ultimate food delivery experience. Customers have the option to schedule orders via the Deliveroo app up to one day in advance or receive food as soon as possible between 11.30am and 11pm on weekdays and 11.30am and 11pm on weekends, from a variety of independent eateries, traditional takeaways, high-quality chain restaurants as well as grocery retailers.   

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Lifeline for cockle-gathers could be on the way after Llangennech rail crash

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Plaid Cymru MS Helen Mary Jones has raised the impact on cockle-gathers of the Llangennech derailment last year.

She received an assurance from the First Minister that the Welsh Government was looking at way to help the cockle industry.

Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Economy, Transport and Tackling Poverty Minister, Helen Mary Jones MS said:

“In the Senedd I congratulated the public services for the way they co-operated around the clean-up after the Llangennech derailment, which, so far, has been very successful. I demanded a life-line scheme to help the cockle gathers.

“I raised with the First Minister issues for two groups of businesses particularly badly affected in the short-term by the derailment. 

“One of those was the very important cockle-gathering industry, the other, of course, were farmers who graze animals on those low-lying banks by the river. 

“There has been a request for the Welsh Government to consider whether some interim financial support might be made available to the cockle gatherers and the grazers while responsibility for the derailment and long-term compensation becomes a possibility. Many of these are small businesses; they operate on quite low margins and currently in difficult circumstances.

“The First Minister emphasised he was aware of the impact on cockle gatherers and particularly that they were unable to carry out their normal activities while the level of environmental contaminants in the estuary were being surveyed.

“Plaid Cymru believes it must be the polluter in the end that must pay for the damage that has been caused, but the rail accident investigation branch work is not coming to a conclusion quickly.

“The Welsh Government is expecting to receive advice in the next few days whether or not it is possible to devise a scheme through the Welsh Government in which some interim assistance to those industries could be supplied.

“The Welsh Government is keen to obtain that advice from officials in case it is possible, before the rail accident investigation is completed, so they can offer some assistance to those who have been most directly affected.”

The environmental impact of the Llangennech derailment last year was amongst the most significant in Wales since the Sea Empress disaster of 25 years ago. 

Monitoring of the site and surrounding area, which includes four sites of special scientific interest and a special area of conservation will continue for many years to come.

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UK Budget must take crucial steps to help recovery

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LLANELLI Labour representatives are urging the UK Government to take the necessary steps to begin recovery and secure prosperity across all parts of the UK.

Llanelli’s MP Nia Griffith and MS Lee Waters set out Wales’ priorities ahead of the UK Budget on Wednesday March 3 2021.

They are urging the UK Government to make a series of commitments to Wales, including:

• sustaining UK-wide business support
• delivering welfare and taxation measures to support the most vulnerable
• redressing the historical under investment in Wales on research and development and rail infrastructure
• providing an injection of funding to support the transition to Net Zero carbon emissions
• providing guarantees for Wales’ specific funding pressures

Speaking ahead of the UK Budget announcement, Nia Griffith MP reiterated her calls for continued business support for those on the lowest of incomes. She said:  

“It is vital that the Job Retention Scheme and Self Employed Income Support Scheme are retained – not threatened with being removed at the eleventh hour and putting livelihoods at risk. A delay to repayments should also be introduced for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme with recognition given to the self-employed who are facing deferred bills.”

“It is also vital that the £20 per week increase to Universal Credit is maintained and put on a permanent basis, making it available to people in receipt of legacy means-tested benefits. More than 300,000 families in Wales have benefitted from an extra £1,000 a year as a result of the uplift and removing this now would have a detrimental and long-lasting effect on thousands of households across Wales.”

Lee Waters MS said:

“The UK Government should continue to take advantage of historically low interest rates to invest in Wales’ infrastructure and public services. Particularly on rail, where we have been underfunded to the tune of billions since the start of devolution, this is the moment where Rishi Sunak can demonstrate his commitment to ‘levelling up’ all four nations of the UK.”

“This budget is a chance to hardwire a greener, fairer way of doing things into our recovery from Coronavirus. We are ambitious about our target of being Net Zero carbon by 2050, and averting the climate crisis which is increasingly affecting Wales through flooding. But to make that transition, we need a step change from the UK Government’s budget that allows us to invest in renewable energy and green jobs.”

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