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Seasoned actor join Coleg Sir Gar team

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COLEG SIR GAR has welcomed a seasoned British actor with an impressive repertoire for TV and stage work to its creative industries team.

From treading the boards on Broadway to the red carpet on Leicester Square, Simon Thomas, known in the acting business as Simon Nehan, is looking forward to his future teaching role following recent filming on Netflix’s The Crown.

His career has taken him as far as Madrid, Budapest, Paris and New York and as a former Coedcae pupil armed with years of experience, Simon is keen to inspire local students sharing his experiences of working with actors such as Zac Effron, Eddie Marsan and Oscar-winning Eddie Redmayne.

Simon’s many acting roles have included Merlin and Made in Dagenham but the role he is most proud of is in the BBC’s adaptation of Birdsong, a two-part British TV drama based on Sebastian Faulks’s war novel. “Watching good actors at work is always a great learning curve,” said Simon. “It was a big production by the BBC with great writing, great performers and a great production team, plus it involved 10 weeks of filming in Budapest.”

Comparing theatre work to television, some roles are more demanding than others and Simon says that stage work is the most demanding. “I was offered a part in Sarah Kane’s Blasted which was a highly controversial and graphic play which in its first production, drew fierce criticism from the press as well as theatre protests,” he said. “It uses themes of ethnic cleansing, torture, rape and genocide based on the 1990s Bosnian war, so to recreate scenes like this was mentally challenging.”

Simon’s other work includes Casualty, Holby City and even a panto with Katie Price and he says he’s been lucky finding work but not all auditions are set in stone. “You need to be driven and realise that not every audition will go your way,” he said. “There is an element of luck involved but you need to work at it and you need to be on time; you can lose a part because your eyes aren’t the right colour but don’t lose the part because someone has done more work than you on the script.”

Always drawn to the idea of teaching, Simon feels he has the experience to share with a new generation of aspiring performers and can relate to students as he also studied a BTEC diploma before attending Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. “Acting is a craft,” he added. “Getting students to ask the right questions before approaching a role and encouraging them to take risks and express themselves is vital. I tell the students I’m one of them, I’m from Llanelli, I’m a steelworkers son and if I can do it, so can they.”

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Rescuers attend to injured construction workers in New Dock Street

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A MULTI AGENCY rescue operation is underway in Llanelli involving all three emergency services after an incident at a construction site.

Workers have been at the New Dock Street site, working for around three years, The Herald understands.

The Herald has been told that a piece of plant malfunctioned causing the emergency, which happened earlier this evening (Mar 19).

Four fire engines and three ambulances are at the scene, our reporter said.

A specialist line rescue team is involved in the recovery operation.

An eye-witness told the press that three workers have been affected.

The source said: “Concrete had just been mixed and had been poured into a skip which was then lifted using a machine. The concrete was being lowered into the hole, it’s probably about 20ft and then the machine toppled over.”

He added: “Two men climbed out of the hole on their own and as a precaution the third man was told to stay down there. The workers were told to leave the site as a precaution.”

At least one person has been seen being taken away in an ambulance.

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Llanelli: Met Bar incident investigated

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AN INCIDENT which resulted in a 51-year old man having to go hospital is being investigated by Dyfed-Powys Police.

The man has been discharged from Glangwili Hospital but police are looking in to how the incident happened and how the man fell down some steps.

The incident happened outside the Met Bar in Llanelli on Saturday night (Mar 16).

A spokeswoman for Dyfed-Powys Police told the Herald: “At approximately 10.55pm on Saturday March 16, officers responded to reports of an injured man outside The Met Bar, Station Road, Llanelli, after he’d fallen down some steps at the location.

“Ambulance was at scene, and the 51 year old man was conveyed to Glangwili Hospital with what was thought to have been a serious head injury. He was then later discharged from hospital, and the head injury was no longer believed to be serious.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact police by calling 101 and quoting DPP/3011/16/03/2019/02/C. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908

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Reports damning for City Deal management

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THE PUBLICATION of two reports on Friday, March 15, has shone a light into corners of the Swansea Bay City Deal.

The first report released, prepared on behalf of the UK and Welsh governments, written by Actica Consulting, suggests a combination of concerns over funding and of the “much-publicised concerns on the wellness village (Delta Lakes, Llanelli, the single largest project) could cause a loss of confidence within the region”

In the meantime and, The Herald understands, over the anguished objections of the Regional

Office/Carmarthenshire County Council, the second report – an internal review – was circulated to county councillors in Pembrokeshire this morning.

The second report makes for grim reading.

The report lays bare the amount of distrust between the City Deal partners, particularly between Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire councils on the one side, and Carmarthenshire County Council on the other.

Each report highlights deficiencies in the management of the Deal, which Carmarthenshire County Council and its controversial CEO Mark James are meant to lead.

Familiar to those who have kept a close watch on the activities of Carmarthenshire County Council are complaints of a lack of transparency and openness in the way the City Deal has been managed to date.

Particular criticism is made of two key aspects of the project: that under Mr James’ leadership the Deal has failed to consider the City Deal as a truly regional opportunity and focussed on building individual, local projects of limited regional value; the second major criticism is the failure of leadership given to the project and an abject lack of clear financial processes and accountability.

In spite of an attempt to spin the ‘success’ of two elements of the deal, Swansea Waterfront and Yr Egin, it is worth noting that Yr Egin was only tacked on to the City Deal when already underway because UWTSD revealed it couldn’t afford to complete the project on its own as it had promised.

Cllr Rob James, the Leader of the Labour Group on Carmarthenshire County Council told The Herald late on Friday afternoon: “I am pleased that this review has highlighted many of the concerns that we have raised on governance.

“Frankly, the report validated our actions to date.

“Trust has broken down between partners and public confidence in one of the projects, in particular, has taken a big hit.

“There are clear lessons that need to be learnt and this report highlights several of them. I now hope that the administration in Carmarthenshire consider the review in full and ensure that radical changes on governance are delivered immediately.”

Cllr Rob Stewart, Chairman of the Swansea Bay City Deal Joint Committee, said: “This review was carried out alongside the UK and Welsh Government’s independent review of the City Deal programme and sought to assure that it will deliver full economic benefits for the region.

“The findings and recommendations of the internal review will be formally considered by the SBCD Joint Committee at the next meeting.

“Looking to ensure governance is as robust as possible reflects that we’re still in the very early stages of a 15-year programme, but we’re ready to support any recommendations that would benefit the region’s economic prosperity in future by speeding up the City Deal’s delivery.”

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