Keep the Six Nations on free TV

The Chief Executive of the Six Nations has said he is considering moving the tournament to a pay-to-view TV channel.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are campaigning to keep the Six Nations on free-to-air television. Welsh Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams is writing to John Feehan, the Six Nations Chief Executive, urging him to keep the tournament on free TV.

Kirsty said: “Pride in our national rugby team extends far wider than die-hard rugby fans; people across Wales join in at Six Nations time and dream of another Grand Slam. If the tournament moves to pay-only TV, that magic could well be lost.”

Add your name to the petition below. Your voice will be added to our calls.

I call on John Feehan, Chief Executive of the Six Nations, to choose a fully free-to-air rights deal for the Six Nations tournament and keep our rugby on free TV.

Sign the petition here

Motorway closed in horror smash – 29 taken to hospital

Twenty-nine people have been taken to hospital following two crashes involving a minibus and four cars which has closed a section of the M4 near Cardiff.

The road is shut between junction 33 Capel Llanilltern and junction 34 Miskin following two separate accidents on either side of the carriageway.

One woman has been airlifted to hospital and another 28 people taken to three hospitals by ambulance.

crash on M4
crash on M4

Traffic is queuing for miles and a South Wales Police officer said he believed there would be disruption for a few hours.

Fireman Lee Morley from Swansea was one of the first on the scene; the 27 year-old was driving westbound when he saw the crash happen.

“All of a sudden I saw on the other side [of the road] a lot of queuing stationary traffic to go up to the sliproad,” he said.  “Then the minibus went into the back of a car, the car then went into the back of a Range Rover and that then went into another car, which spun out and scrunched.”

Mr Morley immediately pulled into the hard shoulder.  “I jumped over the barrier and a woman in the car which spun out was breathing but unconscious. But I got her to come round by talking to her and doing what I’m trained to do,” he said.  “An off-duty nurse then took over from me while I then helped other walking wounded.  It was crazy and surreal.”

Mr Morley said two air ambulances attended and one took the injured woman to UHW.  “There were children standing on the side of the road, they had been in the cars caught up in it,” he said.  “The minibus was full of pensioners and I think they were on their way to see the musical Top Hat in Cardiff. They were mainly walking wounded with some significant cuts and bruises.”

The University Hospital of Wales said it is treating people injured in the crash and, as a result, other non-urgent patients may experience long waits.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said the injured were being taken to three hospitals in the area – UHW, the Princess of Wales in Bridgend and the Royal Glamorgan in Llantrisant.  Eyewitnesses caught up in the disruption said traffic was gridlocked.

Snow is heading to Swansea Bay! Met Office predicts chilly weather!

As of this morning, the Met Office is forecasting that snow is heading to Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Carmarthen this week, amongst a mixed bag of poor weather.

On Tuesday, from 7pm in Carmarthen, and 10pm in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, snow has been predicted across the hills, away from the coastline. The latter will continue to experience heavy rain and temperatures as low as four degrees Celsius.

Yellow warnings of wind and rain are currently in force from midday on Wednesday until 9am on Thursday, as low pressure hits Wales. Chief forecasters have warned that there could be some localised transport disruption, as well was water on the roads and some flooding.

Strong winds will prevail the whole week, with gusts reaching a peak of 66mph on Thursday morning.

10 Reasons on why we are proud to be WELSH

10. Our food and drink
From seaweed in bread to a lovely big dollop of cheese and mustard on a slab of bread, Welsh cuisine was never going to rule the world in the same way that Italy or America has. But therein lies the beauty – we don’t want to share all our delicious laver bread or Welsh rarebit with everyone. We’ll keep it for us to tuck into when we’re cwtched up tight on a cold Welsh winter’s night.

9. Our sportsmen and women
For such a small country, we’ve managed to produce our fair share of world-beating sports stars. From the rugby legends such as Gareth Edwards, Barry John and JPR through to the only undefeated British boxing champion Joe Calzaghe, and on to the unstoppable Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson – all legends in their own right. Add to that record-breaking football star Gareth Bale and our Six Nation champions, the Welsh Rugby Team (a large portion of whom made up the series-winning British and Irish Lions) and we’ve got ourselves some world-beaters.

8. Our beaches
With Rhossili Bay recently voted the third best beach in Europe, the world suddenly realised what we knew all along – that Welsh beaches are top notch. Ok, so we’ve had a few blemishes in the past with a few of the beaches doubling up as sewage farms, but we’ve finally come good.

7. Our castles 
You don’t come across many castles in the world, but some of the very best can be found forged into the Welsh countryside. Caerphilly castle is the second largest castle in the UK – the Yanks can’t get enough of them, because yes sir, they’re the real thing.

6. Our language
Yes, it sounds like a drayman clearing his throat the morning after the night before on occasions but where else in the world are you going to get words and phrases such as ‘popty ping’ and ‘Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch’?

5. Our hwyl
We’ve seen it time and time again, especially in Welsh sport, when we’ve really got our backs to the wall. From deep within our hearts, the crowds find their voice, sparking the hwyl within the players. They take a sharp intake of breath, accept the challenge and then go smash it – the Welsh way.

4. Our music
From Ivor Novello, right through to erm…Sonia, Welsh music and the way we create and perform it, is one of the great things that the Welsh are renowned for. Shirley, Tom, Bryn, Charlotte and Katherine, Cerys – all musicians renowned the world over. And for those stood on the terraces of the Arms Park or the Millennium Stadium, who can fail to get a flock of geese rippling over their skin they join the other tens of thousands in singing Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau? Pure magic.

3. Our artists
Richard Burton. Dylan Thomas. Anthony Hopkins. Tommy Cooper. All masters of their art and giants in the world of the arts. Wales has produced many artistic greats over the centuries. Creative genius in conflict with human flaws sparked some of the most memorable living characters the world has seen. “I’ve just had eighteen straight whiskies. I think that’s the record.”

2. Our flag
There’s no flag in the world quite like it. While the other counties that make up the UK share the Union Jack, they’ll always be reminded that they are part of that union thanks to the fact that the Union Jack itself is made up of their flags. We’ve got one all to ourselves. And it’s bluddy lovely mun.

1. Our people
Apart from the odd idiot here and there, Wales is full of lovely, friendly people. Unlike England, we’ve never invaded anyone so very few people hold a grudge against us. In fact, we are known throughout the world as a friendly nation. It’s us, the proud Welsh people that are the best thing about Wales. Come here and give us a cwtch will you?

Swansea gets its very own Milky Way as Wales’ first starpath is laid

A glow-in-the-dark pathway known as a “Starpath” has been introduced in a Welsh park for the first time.

Groundbreaking technology means the path that runs through Bryn-y-Don Park in Swansea’s North Hill district now lights up at night.

Swansea Council is behind the UV-powered project with funding from the Welsh Government’s Tidy Towns initiative.

The spray-on technology generates its own energy during the day and then the special chemicals in the path interact to produce a glow at night.

Sybil Crouch, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainability said of the project: “This is the latest in a number of schemes to significantly improve Bryn-y-Don Park in North Hill for nearby residents and people who pass through the area every day.

“Not only does the Starpath look lovely at night, but it’s also sustainable and energy-efficient, capturing sunlight to enhance safety in unlit areas.

“It’s our goal to work with local residents to transform Bryn-y-Don Park from a neglected patch of land into a valued asset for the many communities it serves. This project shows how serious we are about realising our objective.”

Cloe Gerrard, who chairs the Friends of Bryn-y-Don Park group, said: “We’re thrilled with the new path and so happy that Swansea Council has been able to provide this for our community. It gives the Friends of Bryn-y- Don Park a fantastic point to progress from and you’ll hopefully be able to see many more positive changes soon.”

Hamish Scott, Owner of Pro-Teq Surfacing (UK) Ltd who invented the Starpath, said: “We’re delighted that Swansea Council recognise the benefits of Starpath, and our innovative re-surfacing methodology is now on the pathway that runs through Bryn-y-Don Park in North Hill.

“We’re overwhelmed by the public and media response for this product globally, and now Swansea has the first Starpath in Wales.”

Other recent improvements to Bryn-y-Don Park include a new play area for children. Swansea Council’s parks and highways departments have also cut back overgrown vegetation, cleared rubbish, made entrances more accessible and planted wildflowers.

New shrubs will also soon be planted.

Shark spotted off the coast of Britain could be heading to Swansea Bay…oh, and she could be pregnant

A 2,000lb shark may be making its way to Swansea Bay and experts believe she is pregnant.

The hulking great white shark which has been sighted 800 miles away from Britain could be pregnant – meaning a whole school of potentially killer fish.

The shark, which has been named Lydia, has become the first of its species, which are endangered, to be recorded crossing the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and she may be heading for our coastline with the intention of giving birth here.


Exciting new dance music festival coming to Carmarthen

AN exciting new dance music festival is set to come to Carmarthen next year.

The Together Festival will take place on the May 31, 2014, at the Carmarthen Showground site and will be the only dance music festival in Wales.

The event aims to give a new generation of Welsh clubbers the opportunity to be part of something new, as well as bringing all of Wales`s major clubbing brands together

Promotions director of the festival Jason Thomas said:

“The Together Festival will bring like minded people together for one special thing… music. We have a lot of musical talent in Wales and it’s about time we shared it with the World.”

Managing director of LMG (Live Management Group), organisers of the festival Nash Gooderham said: “We are really excited to have this opportunity to produce a new festival for Wales, working with Welsh clubbing brands and Welsh promoters. We’re hoping that the event will be a huge success and that we can develop the Festival into a larger two day event, in the future.”

The festival organisers are hoping to attract people from all over Wales and a limited number of camping pitches will be available to accommodate people who want to stay on site, on both the Friday and Saturday nights.