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>>>>>>>>>>START<<<<<<<<<<

Queen Street Neath
The report on the NEWS page could very well generate a tremendous interest in Neath.
Making Neath a Victorian town can be an exciting possibility.
We already have the Victoria Gardens at one end of Queen street and the Victorian Market at the other end.
Queen Street links these already established attractions.
Existing shops should be converted to have a 'Victorian look' and empty premises could be opened up to reveal their Victorian basements.
Every year the town of Llandrindod Wells has a Victorian festival so why can't Neath do likewise?
Enthusiastic councillors can make this happen, so lets see some results.
Perhaps if Labour councillors can't do it then Plaid Cymru councillors can.
Posted by Glan on 19 August 2018
How can the Council do these things when they don't own many (if any) properties on Queen Street?
Posted by Robert on 19 August 2018
Simple. Give support to those who own properties.
If premises become empty they can be used effectively to attract visitors.
It's better than being boarded up!
Posted by Glan on 19 August 2018
Neath has social inequality, child poverty and widespread, spectacular tooth decay already covered so I think we already operate a wonderful Victorian town. May as well start throwing buckets of sewage out the window and make it official, I'm sure tourists will want to come watch.
Posted by Joe Buck on 21 August 2018
When the River Neath is at tide level, the foul smells at the lower end of Water Street and Old Market Street are evident - no need to throw sewage out of windows.
In this so called modern day and age raw sewage is still being dumped in the River Neath.
So you are right Joe Buck, we are half way to being a real Victorian town.
Posted by Jim on 21 August 2018
having lived in water st when younger it was a thriving st even with it smells people milling around it had shops shops and a good few public houses with halfway down a tenement house were poor waited for a council house across the st on the first house in the row that its attached to the school wall it was a house for the poor yet now 31 33 35 37 41 I think they the numbers house demolished for carpark to the cross keys if some remember we even had a council yard behind the first row of houses across the rd from cross keys
even a tax office oh dear all gone we are the poorer for it
Posted by jeffrey davies on 21 August 2018
Gwynfi
The Labour party was trounced again in the upper afan valley on Thursday no safe labour seats now in neath port Talbot council.
Posted by Politico on 18 August 2018
Great Guitar Con
Has anyone noticed the Great Guitar Gig Twitter account?

It's possibly you haven't because it only has 12 followers. Why I'm mentioning it is because if you do take a look at it it seems to be focused on one particular family.

If Council money goes to the Guitar Gig, is it right that the Lockyers are using it as a platform to promote themselves? Shouldn't they be promoting musical talent from across the town and live performances taking place with that account until it's time for the next guitar gig?

I guess Neath takes a back seat to the ambitions of the Lockyer family.
Posted by Robert on 17 August 2018
Thank you Robert for providing a further perfect example of the sick people that dominate this site.
As local Councillors the Lockyer’s are legitimately proud to promote a superb music festival supported by the Town Council.
If you are one of the many on this site that run Neath down please don’t knock those that work hard to promote it.
Posted by DAVID LEWIS on 18 August 2018
No-one would have a problem with councillors promoting the music festival or any of the other local initiatives being put on to sell Neath to a wider public. If you look at Robert's post again what he has legitimately raised is using a Twitter account that is in the name of the Neath Guitar Gig to advertise the social life of the Lockyer family. I looked at the twitter site since Robert pointed it out. Did you know it's also retweeting anti-Plaid statements about Neath Railway Station posted by Jeremy Miles? What on earth has that got to do with the Great Guitar Gig? Very unprofessional and inappropriate.
Posted by Brian S on 18 August 2018
Excuse me?

Look at the Twitter account and come back to me. Tweets on there are about Lockyer family outings (including outside of the county borough) and retweets of other family member accounts or attacks on other political parties that has nothing to do with the Guitar Gig or promoting Neath.

My point is that the account is not promoting Neath, it is an extension of their personal accounts promoting themselves.

If they were promoting Neath with it, why aren't there tweets about musical talent in Neath or about the regular live music performances across the town?

I see that being critical of Labour councillors is something that only you are allowed to do.
Posted by Robert on 18 August 2018
It would appear that the former councillor for Alltwen has no respect for those who write to this website.
But there again, I am sure they have no respect for him and the way he expresses his views.
Is it not right that those who hold a position on the council, or other elected body, should be scrutinised by the media - this website included?
I question how many councillors (of all parties) seek to benefit themselves more than the community they serve?
Readers of this website have the right to answer this question.
Posted by John on 18 August 2018
David, as someone living in the wider Pontardawe area do you think it would've been nice for the Guitar Gig Twitter account to have helped promote the Pontardawe Festival?

If the account did do more to actually promote the town and musical talent or events in the wider area then it probably would have more than twelve followers and would probably help encourage more visitors.

Why would anyone interested in the Guitar Gig want to read about Alan and Jan's pearl anniversary or a gruffalo trail somewhere outside of the county borough?

If any public money goes into the Guitar Gig, is it right for someone to be using that as a means of promoting themselves and their family?

Would you accept this from any other political party, and if not, why are you accepting it from one of your own?
Posted by Robert on 18 August 2018
I see david Lewis has woke up again unlike when he was in the council chamber.
Posted by David on 18 August 2018
Three out of the twelve "Followers" of the Twitter site are members of the Lockyer family.

The twitter site "Follows" 51 others. Why do these "Follows" include the twitter sites of Alun Michael (his personal one as well as his P & CC one), Matt Jukes who is the Chief Constable of SW Police, Derek Vaughan MEP, and Dilys Richards who is one of Jeremy Miles' staff. Unless they are all secretly members of the same rock band in their private lives. Maybe that's the reason.
Posted by Brian S on 18 August 2018
I have no idea who 'DAVID LEWIS' is but what a sweeping statement to say that this particular post is an example of the 'sick people' 'who dominate this site?
Together with many friends and colleagues I visit this site almost daily, I don't class myself as a sick person.
A totally unacceptable generalisation and very insulting
Posted by Peter M on 19 August 2018
He's a nobody who thinks he's a somebody,with no conscience and talkes about Stan to is goldfish,Just like the Lockers think they are something their are not ,ignore him .
Posted by Cecil on 19 August 2018
15p to telephone the Police
Everyone should know that it costs money to report a crime or incident to the police.
I have just received my itemised phone bill and it reveals that when I reported an incident using the 101 facility it cost me 15p.
There was no charge for any other call because I have an all inclusive package plan.
I am annoyed about the charge when making a call to help the community and also knowing that I pay a hefty sum to the police with council tax.
Something should be done about this and I hope other readers will support my claim that there should there should be no charge for contacting the police.
Posted by Suzanne on 16 August 2018
another corn by gov fleecing more monies off us. it all goes to their mates
who are duly thankful for

101 is only available if you are calling from within England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

If you need to contact a police force whilst you are abroad, please use the list of non-emergency numbers.

How much does it cost to call 101?

Calls to 101 (from both landlines and mobile networks) cost 15 pence per call, no matter what time of day you call, or how long you are on the phone.

The 15p cost of the call goes to the telephony providers to cover the cost of carrying the calls. The police and government receive no money from calls to 101.

Who will answer my 101 call?

When you call 101, the system will determine your location and connect you to the police force covering that area. You will hear a recorded message announcing the police force you are being connected to. The recorded message will then give you a choice of which force to be connected to.

Calls to 101 are answered by police officers and staff in the control room of the local police force. This ensures that staff with local knowledge can answer and deal with the calls and respond appropriately.
Posted by No.48 on 17 August 2018
multi-million facelift for Port Talbot
In the evening post today it shows all the different projects that is going on in Port Talbot 13 in all. Which begs the question, What are our so councillors in Neath doing, We have had a so called development project in the centre of our town on stop WHY is it Money? well Port Talbot doesn't, I will tell you Why because the headquarters of the county is in Port Talbot. Something the Neath Labour party didn't think was worth fighting for, When the merger was announced with lliw they had to decide where the HQ was to be located it was between Port Talbot and Neath so they had to court lliw to get their vote, Port Talbot went but Neath did not bother WHY, Was deal done behind closed doors?
Posted by trevor on 16 August 2018
when we were two towns pt always shouted the loudest now we are one they still shout out more than neath. has pt more councillors than neath hmmm
Posted by jeffrey davies on 17 August 2018
It wasn't a case of who shouted the loudest Jeffery, Neath just didn't go to put their case to lliw Thats what puzzles me, But that decision has cost this town more than money, We were the most vibrant town of the two towns shopping wise and at the time we had a lot of industry going on in the Neath area, Which makes that decision more unbelievable.
Posted by trevor on 17 August 2018
They are welcome to this type of development if it is bad now you have seen nothing yet.If you want a mess vote labour.
Posted by David on 17 August 2018
Briton Ferry bridge concern
I was sorry to hear about the bridge collapse in Genoa today,
This has made me think about the Briton Ferry bridge, which was built in the 1950s.
The span that crosses the River Neath is badly rusting and is crying out tor a coat of protective paint. Look at the state of it next time you cross it.
Lack of attention now will lead to huge costs in the future.
One must remember that the end if the day we tax payers have to pay.
Surely the billions paid in motor registration tax should pay for road and bridge maintenance.
Currently the state of the bridge is an eye sore and reflect badly on those responsible for its maintenance.
Posted by Conrad on 14 August 2018
AN interesting commentary.....
Have you ever considered therapy???
Posted by roko on 15 August 2018
This is not a matter for silly comments.
Unexpected occurrences do happen to bridges, as in Italy yesterday.
Incidentally, are you happy with eye sores caused by the neglect of the relevant authority?
Posted by Conrad on 15 August 2018
there was a family firm who painted this bridge it was a never ending job until they were sacked to save monies but then they expect the bridge to repair itself
Posted by jeffrey davies on 15 August 2018
taxes hay
while I was away in Europe I went to pick up ten packets of rolling tobacco for presents well the nice lady at the custom shop told me if I was going to the uk instead of 45 euros she would have to charge me another 100 pounds on top well I was shocked at this liberty hay they even chasing you in tax free shops now so much for that I just can't believe it.
Posted by jeffrey davies on 13 August 2018
They also do that in Germany no duty free for the UK.
Posted by Cecil on 13 August 2018
Smelly Bridge
This drain which is just past Burger King and under the railway bridge
in Cadoxton has been repaired on several occasions over the past many
years only for it to be broken up again, this has been ongoing for many
years as one can see they have put the cement on top of one cover
and yet again it's all breaking up, this is happening all the time, as
they do a shoddy job, it also holds water to quite a depth where
pedestrians get a soaking when a vehicle passes, esp. the children going
to school, thankfully I am not a cyclist any more but have seen many
cyclists ride on this road and I fear for their consequence,
again it is no good for our tires or the suspension on the vehicles,
this road is a very busy road and uses very heavy haulage from the
Bryncoch quarry and this repair or "patching up" is a not good enough,
it needs for the whole drain to be dug out and
put right before there is a fatality
Posted by Cadman on 12 August 2018
The State of Neath
My wife who is seventy and healthy and quite fit have said she is now scared to go to neath on her own in the day with the decline in the behaviour of some of the people hanging about the place. And the decline in the once nice town. But we must praise the council litter pickers with their un winnable task .
Posted by Peter on 09 August 2018
Do you agree with Boris J
I would rather like to know if readers agree with the statement made by Boris Johnson MP that women wearing the burka look like letter boxes.
Politics apart, this comment reveals, at least to me, that freedom of expression should not be condemned by the media.
Posted by Charlie on 08 August 2018
Boris is an attention seeking, clown and the thought that such an idiot could one day be P.M is truly terrifying.
Posted by Nocturne on 09 August 2018
The report on the NEWS page about the burka being banned in eight countries makes one realise how soft the UK is.
If seems to me that this country does not want to offend Muslins by allowing the burka to be worn despite 60% of citizens saying it should not.
Is it sending the wrong signals to non-British people saying, in effect, that Britain is the place to head for?
The Governments attitude is giving the impression it is an open door to anyone.
Surely anyone living in this country should conform to our standards and way of life.
As the old saying goes: "When in Rome do as the Romans do."
Posted by Jake on 09 August 2018
Years ago I went to a masked ball.
It was great fun as you had to guess who you were dancing with.
Now why not have a burka ball where everyone, men and women, wears a burka
We are all being too serious about burkas - lets laugh it off and adopt a light hearted attitude.
After all, life is all too short - so lets have some fun. Surely it is not too much to ask.
Posted by Jean on 09 August 2018
Wearing a burka during the hot weather must be awful.
Posted by Jimmy on 09 August 2018
There is a good choice of burkas for sale on Amazon.
Posted by Jade on 09 August 2018
No, women in burkas don't look like letterboxes. It's an asinine thing to say and so well down to Boris' usual standard. The man's a tumour and apparently more than willing to utterly degrade himself in any way as long as there's publicity in it. I think the UK has woken up to this though. He's just made a knob of himself one too many times.
Posted by Joe Buck on 09 August 2018
Totally agree with Boris he is saying what lot of people are thinking and dare not say ,as I've said before when we go to other countries we abide by their roles and that should stand when people come to our country,We are too soft and being taken advantage of.
Posted by Cecil on 10 August 2018
I also agree with boris, Where is the right to speak freely? I don't always agree with him but I will defend his right (as with every citizen in the UK ) to his freedom of speech. These people who are against him are the ones who are trying to erode our freedom of speech.
Posted by trevor on 10 August 2018
Should radical Muslim hate preachers, anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, white supremacists etc. also have the right to free speech?

Remember "free speech" has to include everyone and not just those you agree with.
Posted by Nocturne on 10 August 2018
I agree with your statement,"freedom of expression should not be condemned by the media".

We have always been a nation not afraid to discuss and debate anything, well now it appears we are being deprived of that privilege which I believe we earned by being democratic.

The thing is if we go to any country abroad we must abide by their rules to stay safe. So people who arrive here should be prepared to abide by our rules and customs. Our successive Governments should have made this clear from the beginning and we would not then be in this mess.
Posted by Greta G on 11 August 2018
Nocturne, There is a difference between free speech and inciting violence, which is unlawful and if you do not understand that you have got a problem, we are a tolerant country we laugh at each others ways look a few years ago monty python made fun at christianity and we all enjoyed it, dave allen the irish comedian always made fun at the catholic church and we enjoyed his humor. This is a democratic country you can do or say anything provided it is within the law.
Posted by trevor on 11 August 2018
Trevor, I think Boris has spoken freely? Evidently he's exercised that right. Are you saying something different though.... are you saying that he somehow has a right not to be judged on his speech or face its consequences? that seems to go against freedom of speech - surely if someone doesn't appreciate what he says I should be able to say so?

Nocturne - Yes. That's how they do it in the USA and it's one of the things they have absolutely right over there. If you just say to 'Yeah, spout your dumb shit, no problem' then they can't claim censorship and have to stand or fall on the strength of their ideas.

Greta - I don't think anyone's condemned freedom of expression in general. I do think that the media have questioned the provocative, childish, undiplomatic and strange attention seeking behavior of a senior member of government. it is plain he should know better and equally plain, after all these years, that he doesn't. that's newsworthy by any standard.

As a sidebar I should say I do not like the veil at all. I just don't think it really has a large impact on my life or indeed public life in general and so I choose to spend my worrying time worrying about things that cocnern me and that I can usefully have an affect upon. other people's choice of hat is way down the list, why isn't it way down yours? after all, there are two issues that are quite likely to destroy humanity very soon, maybe even in our lifetime. they are nuclear war and global warming. so why hats? i don't understand.
Posted by Joe Buck on 11 August 2018
I beg to differ Joe Buck the media has condemned freedom of expression in general. In fact the vote we had on leaving the EU has been corrupted by the media to a point that anyone who exercised their right to vote 'leave' has been labelled a 'racist' an 'idiot' and many other disparaging names purely through casting their vote. I have also never seen in my lifetime a democratic vote being in danger of being overturned.This is interference in democracy and it is being promoted by the media of today.
Posted by Greta G on 12 August 2018
As a Roman Catholic I agree with Trevor.
I liked Dave Allen the Irish comedian and my family loved him too.
Perhaps today he would be branded as racist - but not by me.
Where is our sense of humour gone?
We seem to be losing the ability to laugh at ourselves as well as others.
It is time to realise that life is all too short - a fact mentioned elsewhere on this website.
Posted by Fred on 12 August 2018
'The media' isn't a useful category of analysis in this instance. The Times is media and so is the Morning Star. So is the Daily Mail and so is Breitbart News. Are they all saying that leave voters are racist? Are they saying the same thing at all about anything? hardly. Make a specific accusation and I'll respond to it but if what you're saying is essentially that lots of leave vioters were motivated by xenophobia and some reporters have had the temerity to actually report this well I wouldn't argue. It's reportorially true. What I would take question with is that the principle of such people, or leave voters in general, to express themselves has been condemned in anything like a mainstream publication. I'd be interested to read your examples of this. 'the media' have no responsibility to coddle folk who make ill-thought out statements. that's what happens when you contribute to the public sphere, you get assessed on the nature of your claims and how robustly you warrant them. in public. which can be upsetting if the ideas don't survive the assessment the way you thought they would. big girl games, big girl rules, big girl prizes...
Posted by Joe Buck on 13 August 2018
Dear Joe Buck, who brought up xenophobia? Why cloud the issue? Imo the media is a very apt subject, or as you state 'category'. You see the radio and television is also 'media' and it seems that whatever is happening in the politics of the country oozes out of the 'soaps' etc offered by the 'media'. The attempt by those in power, whoever they might be, is to categorise everyone, stamp a number on their foreheads and treat them as the 'idiots' they wish them to be. The trouble is the human race were given the power of reason and never mind how many you blind with adverts for luxuries, they will at one point start to think independently.

Now as for your request that I should back up my claims, may I counter request that you do the same. You mention four printed publications, you omitted the main stream 'media' i.e. the internet and the broadcasting publications. May I then draw your attention to an article in today's Western Mail, which is the only 'welsh' publication left to us. The article I refer to is the one which claims that should there be another vote on 'Brexit' as you call it, then the outcome would be reversed. Apparently another 'survey' has been undertaken, But it is amazing they never ask me, ever. I suppose the 'survey' was done online, through social media perhaps, definitely a certain ilk of person. Talk to the people on the streets, talk to the people of the valleys, many of whom have no wish for social media and perhaps you will understand that the 'human condition' is very much still alive and if we voted to leave the EU then so be it.

I would no be so rude as to leave a rejoinder for you, you obviously are not very 'open' minded.
Posted by Greta G on 13 August 2018
big girl games, big girl rules, big girl prizes...

How rude, young man! A regrettable last comment in response to Greta G, a regular writer on here. Arrogant, patronising and even misogynistic. You can make a sound argument without unnecessary jibes like these.
Posted by Wayne R on 13 August 2018
Hi Greta,

Thanks for letting me know how the people of the valleys think, being one of them myself sometimes it's hard to see the wood for the trees.

You brought up xenophobia when you used the word racism. The terms are alike enough to be interchangeable in common use. So I don't think I clouded the issue. If anybody clouded the issue it was you, after all, this thread began on the topic of Boris Johnson's comments re the burka and you introduced Brexit.

Yeah the media is a brilliant subject for discussion but my point is as an analytic category it is so diverse as to be very difficult to talk about in anything but general terms. For example, you stated the media paints anyone who voted leave as racist. I came back with the fact that much of the mainstream media (including the UK's biggest selling newspaper, the daily mail) is pro brexit. this goes against your claim quite decisively. Yeah, radio and television are also media... so what though? they aren't pro brexit and you wish they were? why? the state of afffairs as they are is to be expected. the tradition in the UK is that broadcast news is relatively impartial and newspapers relatively partisan. the opposite of the US where newspapers are quite coy about their politics and cable news is highly divided along political lines.

in any case, throwing in broadcast and online news makes the category more not less general and as such even harder to make sweeping claims for.

I don't know what you're driving at about political elites and so on. they exist and are probably mostly bad but where does it enter your argument? i'm not sure.

Cont'd in overflow - see menu
Posted by Joe Buck on 13 August 2018
joe buck.No What I am saying is, Boris has expressed his views and quite rightly if other people hold a different view they have the same right to express it without any comebacks. What is happening with Boris is he is being told to apologise for expressing his views which is totally against the Freedom of speech, What if you were told to apologise for views you believe in ? Our forefathers fought to preserve these values we must not let anti -democratic views take away these values.
Posted by trevor on 13 August 2018
Boris' letterbox comment was not even original, there have been numerous such references in the mainstream media over the years, from well known personalities of the right and left. I don't think it was a helpful comment to the argument either for or against the niqab or burka but it has certainly got people hot under the collar. We don't see much burka wearing in Neath and when I have seen women wearing them, usually elsewhere, I do think they look damned uncomfortable and I think they look strange on our streets, to be honest. On balance I suppose I may fall close to Boris' views because I wouldn't favour banning them myself. But if a case nationally was made for a ban I wouldn't say I'd go to the stake with my current view and would be prepared to look at the arguments for and against. One thing's for sure though. I'll NEVER ask Boris to post a letter for me. You never know where it might end up. I mean, I have never seen a burka with a notice on it saying "Last Collection 5.30pm" for one thing.

A couple of friends have recently asked me where I've been of late. I'm afraid that difficult family circumstances have kept me otherwise occupied but I'm hopeful these will soon be resolved. Been tuning in when I can though and think this thread has been another interesting and topical one. Hope to be back to normal in our house in a week or so.

Posted by Stan on 13 August 2018
I am afraid there is not much wood left in the valleys since industrialisation Joe Buck so your vision should not be as restricted as it appears in your lengthy tirade.

It is sad to see statistics used instead of words from the heart. You see statistics can be twisted to mean anything and can be used for political purpose.

I am sure it is obvious from your tome that you are in the political arena and as I am not your overflow did not move me at all.

I therefore rest my case on my previous posts and refrain from arguing with a machine.

I believe nothing the media says any more as do most of the people I know and when that happens all the statistics in the world make no difference to what I see and feel in society.
Posted by Greta G on 13 August 2018
Trevor - Boris is being told to apologise but if you've noticed he evidently doesn't feel compelled to do so. So why worry? In fact, you should be glad. He has attacked and insulted one section of the electorate - burka wearing muslims - in order that he would draw public censure which he could theatrically stand firm against and thus gee up a larger section of the electorate whose support he covets. and this appears to be working out really well.

our forefathers were mostly borderline anarcho-syndicalists, the most radical working class in western europe outside catalonia. to imagine boris johnson as from their cloth is just one big ole chortle.

Wayne - Misogynistic is a bit of a stretch.
Posted by Joe Buck on 13 August 2018
Whatevs Greta, in my last post i was warranting my claims and examining yours. because i don't expect you to believe me on the basis of a feeling i had. I spoke from the heart earlier when i talked about what was important to me i.e. nuclear war and climate change, and what was not i.e. laws concerning enforced hat choice. my questions to you, unanswered i note, were also directly from the heart.

apart from being an inactive and lazy Labour party member I am not involved in politics at all. although, why this might be significant when your own statements appear quite radically political... well who knows, eh? I'm happy to bow out or continue as you prefer.
Posted by Joe Buck on 14 August 2018
Neath Castle
I am pleased to report that remedial work is being done on Neath Castle.
Weeds and another growth are being removed and the stonework pointed with cement.
Hopefully the Castle will become an attraction worth seeing, especially if the grounds within the walls are given attention they deserve.
Posted by Jason on 07 August 2018
I am glad that something is being done at last, But another landmark in neath is being allowed to fall down without any mention of it I am referring to the Ivy tower it is a reflection on the people of Neath a people who has lost all its pride in a once proud town who just can't be bothered to fight to get it restored its former to its former glory sad. But who's to say in fifty years time the council may build high end council houses there.
Posted by trevor on 08 August 2018
Woodland funerals
Following the item on the NEWS page about funerals and their high cost, a land owner in Rhos tells me he is prepared to allow one of his many fields to be used for Woodland Funerals.
With the aid of a mini digger he is prepared to dig graves for a nominal sum.
It should be understood that the grave would be grassed over with no markings for the site to be used for cattle grazing
The law allows him to do this providing he keeps a record of burials.
Natural woodland burials are a natural way for retuning the deceased back to nature.
Currently he is wondering if there any interest in this form of burial?
Serious comments are welcome for him to give the matter genuine consideration.
Posted by Clem on 06 August 2018
May I be the first to comment on this and say that there are several natural burial sites in Wales - one only has to search on Google to get more details.
It could very well be a great asset to have a natural burial site in the Neath Port Talbot area.
Such a site would be good for the environment. Perhaps planting a tree on the spot would nice for memory of the deceased.
Posted by Julie on 06 August 2018
Sounds like a genuine and sensible proposal.
Posted by Monk on 07 August 2018
Whot about a Viking funeral at sea ?
Posted by Jeffrey davies on 07 August 2018
Neath town centre redevelopment
With regards to the new proposals for the Neath town centre redevelopment, does anybody know as to why there's a delay in the construction of the new shops and apartments planned for St David's Lane? I seem to remember a press article saying that a start would be made this Spring. We're halfway through the Summer now and nothing appears to be happening. With regards to the old Tesco/Wilko site, an Autumn start date is planned. Should be interesting to see what happens here (or not)!
Posted by David Stallard on 06 August 2018
Ah david, But they never said what Spring? Was it spring 2020? or was it spring 2022? Look the truth is they are skint, they overspent on their budget so we have got suffer. I know where we could make a start to save some money "Stop paying Councillors"
Posted by trevor on 06 August 2018
Whot about that wasted steel they bought from China that alone sets us back a few bob
Posted by Jeffrey davies on 07 August 2018
If the St David's Lane development is the one off Water Street behind the Greyhound Inn, this was the Coastal Housing (?) development to provide shops, cafes or restaurants and 12 residential units. Just before the local elections in 2017, the Labour Party's "newspaper" led with a front page article on the exciting new regeneration that was imminent in this part of town. They stated this would happen in the summer of 2017. The same article stated the old Tesco site would be redeveloped starting in 2017. Recent leaflets issued by Labour councillors have again promised this particular site will be started on, but in September or October this year. Many will recall the promises made in 2008, ten years ago though, that this part of town would have an iconic rugby ball shaped museum, a new library and heritage centre. There may have been elections in the offing at that time so best not to have relied on these either.

As far as I know there is not even detailed planning consent yet on the old Tesco site, only outline. So the idea that development could start within the next 2 months is as likely as me winning the lottery - and I don't even do it. If I was a private retail developer, I'd give Neath a wide berth unfortunately. I don't think we'll see any substantial private money, if any, coming forward for either of these sites. If and when anything is built, it'll be public money, probably via organisations like Coastal or Gwalia, would be my bet.

Posted by Stan on 13 August 2018
Certainly lots of public money going in to these outfits with WAG grant funding, but I thought these bodies raised money in the private world also. Mind you, it's not a commercial risk like you or me know it. I would have thought most of the rents are picked up by the taxpayer anyway. Remember, the main income streams of many housing associations are inherited from old council housing stock. I wonder if NPT council would be in a better position if it never gave all that away?
Posted by Rob Davies on 14 August 2018
High cost of funerals
It recently cost £4,500 for my mothers funeral. This was for a burial at Llanwit where the cemetery fee was £659 (opening an existing grave).
The funeral directors fee was £3,000 and the rest was for other expenses.
I write to make others aware of funeral costs and to know what to expect at today's prices.
It is forecast that by 2025 the cost of a funeral will be £8,000
Note that memorial stone costs are in addition to the above.
Posted by Suzanne on 04 August 2018
Thank you for the information and my condolences to you and your family. That's a lot of money for anyone to find in one go.

I was going to post seperately on another connected issue but will do it here now.

I heard sad news tonight that the ex-landlord of the St Ives in Neath has died suddenly. Anyone who used the place a few years back will remember Terry (Pup) Williams who kept the place. He would only have been in his mid 60's, so a real shock to those that knew him. My condolences to his family.
Posted by Tim Evans on 04 August 2018
I found the information on funerals on the NEWS page of this website very
interesting. Thanks
Posted by Lucy on 05 August 2018
A cardboard coffin, ideal for a cremation, can be obtained for as little as £99.
Posted by Charlie on 05 August 2018
Even cheaper if you get it second hand.
Posted by Joe Buck on 08 August 2018
Living on your
Wits Business School is part of the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. One of Lord Hain's many remunerated "jobs" these days is Visiting Professor at this University.

I see from his social media he's been visiting there this week. And there at the same time, giving lectures to the Business School on "gender inequality and developing a female leadership pipeline", was someone called Dr. Elizabeth Haywood. Wonder who that is then? The name sounds strangely familiar.
Posted by Stan on 01 August 2018
I note that Haywood Hain operates as a tax-efficient Limited Liability Partnership.
Posted by Frank Little on 11 August 2018
One notes that Haywood Hain operates as a tax "efficient" Limited Liability Partnership ( a concept introduced by New Labour).
Posted by Frank Little on 11 August 2018
The future looks grim
The world's population has quadrupled since 1950.
Any comments?
Posted by Charlie on 01 August 2018
i Blame the invention of the hula hoop in the 50’s. Evil things.
Posted by Monk on 01 August 2018
We've seen the best of days. When I see how work practices and society has changed since I was a young girl in the 60's, I'd not like to grow old in the world my children face.

Posted by Anonymous on 02 August 2018
We produce more than enough food to feed the entire world and if we stopped eating meat we could do even better and solve global warming while we did it. When our descendants simultaneously starve and incinerate it will be because of a choice we made on their behalf. Makes me feel a bit conflicted cos I love my kebabs.
Posted by Joe Buck on 03 August 2018
The only bright spot is that the *rate* of increase is reducing. Growth may stabilise by the end of the century.
Posted by Frank Little on 08 August 2018
Carolyn Harris
I had little confidence in Harris before this trial, now she has descended into the abyss and should resign with immediate effect.
Posted by Mark on 01 August 2018
Fully agree with everything you've said there, Mark, but she's not going to give up a job paying her well in excess of £70K. People live to their means usually and boy, do these MPs know how to live.
Posted by Stan on 02 August 2018
Looks like Harris will survive having been backed by Carwyn and Jeremy Corbyn. They seem to have been more concerned that she used the term banter to explain the dyke shoes comment than the accusation that she pulled clumps out of a colleague's hair!
Posted by Brian on 03 August 2018
Jac of the North now asking some good questions about the possible involvement of Alun Michael in this case. Then how come Martin Shipton the reporter knew Clarke was being investigated by the police before she knew herself. Will we ever find out the answers though.
Posted by Anonymous 212 on 04 August 2018
There are a lot more questions to be asked on this case there are a lot of other concerns.
Posted by David on 05 August 2018
Carolyn Harris MP - time to go!
Now that Jenny Lee Clarke has been found not guilty on all charges, will the abominable Carolyn Harris MP resign? Questions should be asked about just what sort a ship was being run in that office. How much public money was spent on personal items that should never have been claimed for? Maybe another fraud investigation should be undertaken by Plod. And to think she's been made up to Deputy Leader in Wales. Her position is surely untenable and she should go. If her conscience and/or her Party keep her in post it will just go to show the contempt they have for the electorate.

A quick squint of previous claims includes £1000 (exactly!) for some shelves and office painting, plus well over £200 for a TV aerial. 'Gis a job. I'm handy with a screwdriver and a brush and can even put an aerial up! Didn't spot the infamous lawnmower though, but I'm on the case, lol. LAWNMOWER - have you seen where her office is? I bet there's not a blade of grass within a square mile!
Posted by Stan on 31 July 2018
Stop it Stan you give these people a inferior complex they can’t keep their sticky fingers out of the till. It’s their way
Posted by Jeffrey Davies on 31 July 2018
Yes I have been reading up on this case another bad state of affairs it is easy to spend other peoples money.
Posted by Politico on 31 July 2018
She was recently backed as Deputy Leader for Welsh Labour by politicos that included locally Jeremy Miles, David Rees, Stephen Kinnock, Sian James and Derek Vaughan. Didn't this sorry bunch have the sense to realise there was a potentially embarrassing court case coming up? Yet the details of the alleged assault and homophobic abuse by Harris were fully in the public domain. I can only assume they either fully believed Harris' version of events - now blown away by a jury - or they just didn't give a toss about it. Either way, it doesn't cast any of them in a good light. But they'll all scurry for cover on this one now until the smoke blows over.
Posted by Stan on 31 July 2018
What a sad world we live in,dont think I will ever understand these people all the money they have but it never seems enough sad.
Posted by Cecil on 31 July 2018
This is the same Labour Party that claimed Neil McEvoy AM stating "I can't wait until we reorganise the council" amounted to bullying.

But Carolyn Harris is a woman so any man calling for action to be taken against her will probably be accused of misogyny.
Posted by Nocturne on 01 August 2018
Jac of the North has just published an excellent article called Justice for Jenny Lee Clarke with a full history of the story. Not recommended if you are a member of the Labour Party unless you are comfortable with hearing some home truths.
Posted by Anonymous on 01 August 2018
Give this one some thought.

May 2015 - Sian James claims £3500 for office redecoration, painting and cleaning, following her completing her tenure as MP in Swansea East.

June 2015 - Sian James claims £3000 for "making good office, dilapidations", probably paid to the landlord of the premises. Surely, if you have repainted it, redecorated and cleaned it - why is the dilapidations figure so large?

Sept 2015 - Carolyn Harris claims £1000 for "cosmetic" work, listed as painting, erect shelves and general.

Same office. Mind you, with all that painting, I'm surprised no-ones made a claim for damage to their health because of paint fumes.

Rearrange these words to form a well known phrase. "The Taking P*ss Someone's".
Posted by Stan on 01 August 2018
Water, water, everywhere
An interesting news item on the Ferret about water from Wales and its supply to England. Do we get recompensed sufficiently? As I understand it we shouldn't get another Tryweryn here, at least unless the WAG are complicit in it. The WAG now has a stake in any decision for water infrastructure such as new reservoirs. But I'm reading all the time how with global warming, water will be tomorrow's oil, so why shouldn't Wales benefit from this resource? The former Chair of Welsh Water, John Elfed Jones, has said on many occasions that we should be able to make profit on our water sent across Offa's Dyke, but that Westminster diktat prevents us doing so.

And according to official statistics in Wales we generated 38.8 TWh of electricity in 2016, of which 6.9 TWh was from renewables and 31.9 TWh from fossil fuels. Yet in our country we consumed just 16.1 TWh, so we produced in that year nearly 2 and a 1/2 times what we used ourselves. So why are we so damned poor here? We get the wind turbines blighting our landscapes, proposed replacement nuclear capacity in Anglesey which I wonder why we need when I see these figures, we get the pleasure of radioactive mud being deposited in Cardiff Bay with the WAG's seeming blessing, we get all the pain and little of the pleasure, it seems to me.

When people say to me that Wales is too poor to stand on its own feet, well have you ever thought that if we were allowed to properly manage our own resources, that things might be different? While we roll over and allow our belly to be tickled now and again, nothing will change. But if we were to have the belief and the confidence we could get by in charge of our own affairs, just imagine the possibilities. If you don't believe me, spend a week or so in Eire and see for yourself that independence from the "British Empire" doesn't have to mean abject poverty and that small countries can prosper.
Posted by Stan on 30 July 2018
******* we here in neath have seen the decline in welsh waters actions by closing four reservoirs down plus’s the one in ferry sold to a farmer for a pound or so yes it’s about making vast profits not keeping reservoirs open
Posted by Jeffrey. Davies on 31 July 2018
I totally agree with you Stan, This is what forty odd years in the EU has done to this country ie; UK we have lost many virtues like making decisions, running our armed forces, creating employment in the right places etc. I have no faith in any of our political parties in wales lab-con-plaid all of them lack the empathy of the working class, Plaid in particular are obsessed with the language and nothing else in my opinion they are the Labour party talking welsh we in wales need a lot more than that get the country to spiral upwards
Posted by trevor on 10 August 2018
Since when has Brussels been in charge of our armed forces?? The dangerous run-down is the responsibility of the UK Conservative government.
Posted by Frank Little on 15 August 2018
Suspended animation!
I see that Welsh councils have paid out over £9 million to staff under suspension over the last 4 years, with Neath Port Talbot paying out £1,012,365. In the case of NPT the longest suspension recorded was 678 days. It seems a lot of money when you consider at least four councils refused to provide data, including Caerphilly where we know there have been serious issues at the top involving millions of pounds.

But jumping out at me was a statistic for Gwynedd, where one person's suspension amounted to 4 years! I understand some of these cases are complicated and can involve other agencies to resolve, but that seems a ridiculous amount of time. Not only because of money coming out of the public purse but for the individual(s) who are suspended. It's no joke for either side, surely.
Posted by Stan on 30 July 2018
I D Cards
The question of Identity Cards is cropping up again.
I am personally in favour of this and a TV programme has stated that 63% of the population agree.
I am constantly asked for ID at banks etc., and have to produce my driving licence. So why not have an all in one card?
I think it only right that your ID be certified at doctors surgeries and hospital when requiring treatment,
One must remember that not everyone has a driving licence so it would be useful for those who don't..
Is it a case of intrusion of our freedom? I think not when people are already giving their personal details to social media (Facebook included) without a second thought.
ID cards would simply include your passport details, your nationlal insurance number and your driving licence particulars - if you have one.
ID cards could be issued by the passport office when a passport is applied for. The cost should be inclusive.
Perhaps another step forward would be to include bus passes, handy for elderly people.
ID cards would give British citizens more security and a feeling that they really matter in society.
Posted by Charlie on 30 July 2018
I looked in my wallet and found I have I pile of cards and am wondering if a national ID car could replace them all and make life simplier.
This is what I have:
A Boots store card
A B&Q discount card
A Tesco Club card
A Morrisons Store Card
A medical card
An organ donar card
My driving Licence
A Visa Card
A bank card
My bus pass.
Surely life can be made easier?
Posted by Jack on 30 July 2018
I am not a number but a name yes. I carried around a card for a few yrs with my id on but caring another one no thanks if you don’t now who you are then we lost
Posted by Jeffrey Davies on 31 July 2018
Don't you want to make life easier?
Posted by Jack on 31 July 2018
We have a government that wants to control our lives and know exactly where we are, what we are doing, which websites we visit. etc every minute of the day.

They can stuff their I.D cards.
Posted by Nocturne on 01 August 2018
Everyone had one during the last war
(WWII).
Posted by Jack on 01 August 2018
I am also a name not a number. Today our society is being run by computers and everyone has to be categorised. If you do not fit into a category be it education, health or whatever you are in the miscellaneous. Imagine standing at the checkout in the supermarket as a voice comes over the tannoy, Please return the cream cakes to the refrigerated area as you have had your sugar and fat allowance for this month. If you do not return them within the next 2 minutes you will be charged but you will not leave this store with said cakes. Did that make you laugh, it is not funny. Total control so that the central computer knows how much money you receive and how much you spend. Has to tally. This will be total control. It is already difficult to get tradesmen and the days when all your mates were apprentices have gone. If you want a tradesman today you have to go through a firm and pay through the nose.ID cards will just be the final insult as far as I am concerned. I liked my freedom and I liked the ability to help myself. Being eroded daily, if you like that then you are already a machine, not a human.
Posted by Lyn Williams on 01 August 2018
Basically an ID card is similar to a passport - except it is easier to carry.
No one objects to a passport.
Posted by Jack on 01 August 2018
My passport has expired and I no longer have a driving licence so I would welcome an ID card.
They should be free to those aged over 75 - same as a TV licence
Posted by Jane on 02 August 2018
Jane..... Here's some useful information for you and others who want an ID card now.
Google: 'ID cards UK' and you will see a website for a firm who can make you a plastic ID Card with your photo on it for just a modest charge.
To me this reveals the low cost of producing a plastic ID Card.
If you, or anyone else, gets one done perhaps you could let us know the results.
Posted by Charlie on 02 August 2018
Thanks Charlie.
Posted by Jane on 02 August 2018
Some more plastic to destroy our oceans and kill our food supply off. Isn't it time people started to think what they are doing.
Posted by lyn Williams on 02 August 2018
How about the plastic £5 and £10 notes we are using?
Posted by Garry on 03 August 2018
What next I wonder? A badge to wear with a registration number, like a car number plate, or perhaps a number embossed on your forehead?
Posted by Joe on 03 August 2018
Being a diabetic like Theresa May I would welcome an ID card with particulars that could be a life saver.
Posted by Jilly on 03 August 2018
New Crispy Cod at Waenceirch
Great news that we have a new chippy in Waunceirch again. However the new owners are not from the Rhondda valley where they have premises in Gelli and Tonyrefail, but from what I've heard it is owned and run by the Indian restaurant next door. Nevertheless, the food is good and reasonably priced.
Posted by David Stallard on 29 July 2018
Didn't the Tescos next door get broken into twice before this sale ???
Posted by Anon 1 on 29 July 2018
Looking forward to trying it out. Thanks for passing that on, David. What's the Indian restaurant like as we haven't tried it? Anyone know?
Posted by Billy W on 29 July 2018
Had an Indian takeaway last night for the first time and enjoyed it.
The restaurant was packed.
Posted by Suzanne on 29 July 2018
Diolch. Will definitely give it a try soon.
Posted by Billy W on 30 July 2018
Nice to see people supporting their community.
Posted by Cecil on 30 July 2018
It's a shame our WELSH fish and chip shop next to St David's church has closed down, I've been told due to greedy landlord.
Maybe we could have supported them a little more.
Posted by Phil osopher on 30 July 2018
About right I wonder we’re he his still plucking his guitar
Posted by Jeffrey Davies on 31 July 2018
Ps it was never a welsh fish and chip shop but Italian run by. The grandfather and mother who then passed it down to their two sons Mario and naldo who then had welsh descendants. To run it but hay ho happy families they split giving neath e to find chipys but alass my friend g died this leaving us the old shop open but I guess seeing his cousin die young he decided to give it up. Sadly we lost a fine batterer of fish
Posted by Jeffrey Davies on 31 July 2018
Totally agree with you Phil know what you mean,Everything is changing and not for the better I'm afraid.
Posted by Cecil on 31 July 2018
Tour de France
Not everyone's cup of tea but Geraint Thomas made history today in effectively winning the Tour. The first person born in the British Isles to do so and when you think that the Tour has been running for 105 years that is some achievement. Many congratulations on a well deserved victory for Geraint.
Posted by Rob on 28 July 2018
Have you seen how fast those cyclists can go? I have seen people driving cars go slower.
Posted by Brian S on 28 July 2018
You had me there Rob. I knew Chris Froome was born in Nairobi but mistakenly thought that Bradley Wiggins was born in the UK. Surprised to find out he was born in Ghent, Belgium though.
Posted by Billy W on 29 July 2018
Glynneath Town Council - by-election result
Yesterday's Glynneath Town Council, West Ward result:

Shane McMenamin, Independent - Friends of Glynneath 181 (E)
Beth Davies, Plaid Cymru 122
Chris Davies, Welsh Labour 27

Congratulations to Shane, commiserations to the other individuals who fought the seat.

But this seat was previously held by longstanding Labour councillor, Eddie Jones, who lost the County Borough seat to an Independent last year, and this result gives them a miserly 8.2% of those votes cast. Something seems to be happening, all over the place, and it's not good news for Labour. This community based loss of support is bound, in the end, to spread up the line. County Borough seats will surely fall next, even the AM's and MP's seats could be in jeopardy if this carries on.

Only last week we saw Jeremy Miles tweeting, "Out campaigning for Chris Davies in Glynneath - good luck Chris, there’s a great demand for change at the town council! @WelshLabour". He did it in Cymraeg as well, no doubt hoping to capitalise on the Welsh speaking vote. Well, what prophetic words they were. That "great demand for change" saw a long held Labour seat swept out to sea like a floater on the outgoing tide. 27 votes for a Party that once ruled the roost in the valleys. They'd have done better if they never canvassed, surely? How many working class voters there took one look at that lot around last week and said, what possible connection do they have with me?

I'd crack open a bottle of Bollinger if I could afford one, but I'm not in the Labour Party, so I'll settle for a decent ale to celebrate. And I'd advise those socialites that are in the Party to make the most of that bubbly now, because sure as night follows day, your journey on that Gravy Train is fast approaching its terminus.
Posted by Stan on 27 July 2018
Excellent News,Giving you the heads on Labour,best you don't go canvassing again! And when your gravy train stops it will I'm sure they got a lovely Asti in Lidl for a fiver.
Posted by Cecil on 27 July 2018
Yes for them people who have been on the labour gravy train it is coming to an end what a shocking result. And has a ex labour voter it cant come quick enough there is no labour council seat safe.
Posted by John on 27 July 2018
I did ask last week on this letter page where the Labour support was. I just could not understand why they needed people like Miles and councillors people had never heard of knocking on the doors trying to sell a brand. I agree with Stan's point that some voters must be turned off by a bunch of well heeled strangers that know nothing about the area coming asking for their vote.
Posted by Brian S on 28 July 2018
Neath AM wants more support for ISIS accused
Well here's an interesting one to conjure with. Jeremy Miles AM highly critical of Sajid Javid's decision to drop the UK's opposition to the death penalty in the case of two of the accused "Beatles" - ISIS members who were allegedly involved in the brutal beheadings of various Western hostages - put out on video to further spread their ghastly propaganda. Who can forget the terrible outrages perpetrated by these monsters, innocent of course until proven guilty? Let's give them a fair trial which is a damned sight more than they gave the victims. But in the USA. And if that entails the death penalty for these barbarians if found guilty - so be it.

"If you can’t even stand up for this basic tenet of the British justice system, you are not fit to be Home Secretary" - says Jeremy. Correct me if I am wrong but weren't the accused stripped of their citizenship because of their ISIS support? So if they aren't British citizens, as far as I'm concerned they are no longer under any of the protections of the British state, so why fret another second for these vermin. No doubt Mr Miles would give them legal aid to fight their case and let it run into millions and go on for years, him being a member of that esteemed profession. We can see the future with someone like him in charge, can't we?
Posted by Stan on 24 July 2018
A major point of difference between us and ISIS is due process under the law. Guantanamo bay isn't a great shop window for the est in that regard and any death sentence imposed by a US military court can be viewed in similarly suspicious light. This case sets a precedent which you can guarantee in time will be applied to non-political/non-terrorist cases - the war on terror shows that across the board laws and practices that apply at the periphery inevitably come to apply in the centre. this is why you should be concerned, over and above the fact that whether they are British citizens still or no, we should clean up our own rubbish.
Posted by Joe Buck on 28 July 2018
The Yanks have a legitimate interest in bringing this bunch of accused murderers to justice. James Foley and Steven Sotloff were both Americans. So they have as much a stake in this as we do. I appreciate the point being made elsewhere that the death penalty for their crimes might give them the status of martyrs in some eyes and I'd rather see them rot in a cell myself - but preferably an American one. Ours are far too cushy and too many bleeding hearts wanting to ensure their "human rights" aren't infringed and they can still watch Coronation Street.
Posted by Stan on 28 July 2018
Are you suggesting these people won't get a proper trial complete with a defence case in the USA then Joe?
Posted by Billy W on 28 July 2018
As I said, this country should clean up its own rubbish. Life without parole is no picnic. Even if they give you a playstation you never get to eat a steak or see the sea ever again.

And yeah, there's ample reason to think that military tribunals in the US won't provide fair trials. there are still people accused of involvement in 9/11 who, apart from having been brutally tortured, havn't been informed of the specific charges, havn't yet seen the evidence against them let alone been out on trial. then there's the us citizens, including children, assassinated by the government without any judicial consideration at all.

i don't think we should be like that. you scorn human rights as if they are some kind of bad thing, but on what other basis are we to be distinguished from our adversary? Due process is a human right. it is what elevates us above authoritarian regimes like stalinism, nazism or isis. if you wish it away, then fine. but know you hold a radical position, and speaking as a conservative i.e. one who advocates the rule of law, i'd argue you are to be opposed.
Posted by Joe Buck on 30 July 2018
I did actually write "Let's give them a fair trial which is a damned sight more than they gave the victims". Now we can debate separately whether that's possible through military courts, accepted. To be honest I don't know why the International Criminal Court at the Hague is not used to address these issues. It would seem to be a more appropriate body to deal with matters of war crimes. But the wheels of justice via the Hague do seem to turn exceedingly slowly. They might yet be dealt with under USA civil courts, so would you object if that happened? You seem to suggest these men should be tried in this country - would you want the trial to cover the murders of citizens of other countries, like the USA, because there could be a couple of dozen victims? And if not, how is justice to be served for the crimes committed against these other international citizens?

Contrary to what you've read into what I wrote previously, I've actually got a lot of time for human rights, including the right for charity workers and international reporters to go about their work without being taken hostage, tortured, murdered and their deaths being filmed and banged out on You Tube. But I do think there are occasions when we are in danger of losing the plot with it, and prisoners' rights can be one such area. You say, "Life without parole is no picnic. Even if they give you a playstation you never get to eat a steak or see the sea ever again". How would you like to deal with these guys then? Would you advocate parole for them, and giving them a Big Mac and an occasional trip to the seaside? Because for me, some crimes are so heinous that life shouldn't be "a picnic" inside for those that carried them out. Respecting their "human rights", naturally.
Posted by Stan on 30 July 2018
What about our own,disgusting I think,THEY KILLED PEOPLE for God SAKE WAKE UP!!!
Posted by Cecil on 30 July 2018
They won't be tried in an international court because the US hates such institutions. There is a simple reason for this which is that such courts would demand the US state, as well as anybody else, to be legally accountable for its actions. See for example the case Nicaragua v United States where Nicaragua successfully sued the US for mining the Managua harbour in the international court of justice. The US's defence was not that they didn't do it but that the court did not have any jurisdiction and when the ruling found they had violated Nicaragua's sovereignty, used unlawful force, violated peaceful maritime commerce and intervened in their affairs they just refused to acknowledge it in any way. The same applies today. Trying terrorists in international courts opens the back door to trying the US state for say, killing hundreds of civilians in drone strikes. or invading iraq. so it's not gonna happen. Civil trials in the US will be similarly unlikely since the defence can demand to see all the evidence and if it can be proved the subject was tortured confessions will be dismissed. So the US is in a bind, but as you can see it is one of its own making because it does act criminally and with impunity much like these murderclowns do. only on a vastly larger scale. We should take them and try them, give them the best defence possible. I would wager they would still be convicted. Then sling them in a concrete coffin, take their shoelaces and let them rot. That's much crueller than just switching out the lights, don't mistake my aversion to the death penalty for some kind of love for these beasts. I just think that taking a life in cold blood damns you. it's the executioners i feel bad for not these murderers. Give them a playstation even, but do it like they did Breivik. He wanted to spend the rest of his days playing shooting games and reliving his rampage.... so under the auspices of protecting his mental health the norwegian prison service only lets him have games designed for under 5's. Poor anders, eh? No day trips of course. hardly any daylight, i would have thought. but I wouldn't begrudge them a Big Mac every decade or so, if they've been very good boys.
Posted by Anon 3.8 on 03 August 2018
We have no obligation to take them now they are stateless, and they are now in US hands. Possession is nine-tenths of the law so why look for problems? Given this duo's almost certain complicity in torturing then cutting the heads off possibly dozens of hostages, including a number of US citizens, I'm not going to lose any sleep about the moral rights and wrongs of the USA having them.
Glad you qualified your earlier comments about giving them Playstations and steak, but personally I wouldn't even allow them a chess board.
Posted by Stan on 03 August 2018
Possession doesn't count for 9/10ths of the law when it comes to humans, that's a silly idea. Special Immigration Appeals Commissions are a fundamentally dishonest process. The government can submit evidence that the defendant cannot see and thjs defend themselves against. That trashes the Magna Carta. Are you cool with that? I'm not. I don't think some rubbish, twisted little murderers get to overturn the basis on which our civil society is built. Maybe you do. If so, you're granting them their victory, whether it comes now or in a hundred years. if you think the british state wouldn't do it to you think again. they have a proven track record of spying on and hurting anyone who steps out of line. ask the hillsborough families, the lawrence family, the orgreave miners or the trade union activists who had the temerity to speak up about workplace safety. all targeted by MI6 and MI5, attacked, sometimes physically, lives systematically ruined. as i said before, it starts at the periphery with and migrates to the centre.

I could play you at chess right now, no board required.
Posted by Joe Buck on 04 August 2018
"Possession doesn't count for 9/10ths of the law when it comes to humans, that's a silly idea".

I think you'll find it does in the ISIS Beatles' case, Joe. The Americans apparently have them. If you want to try and get them back to be tried here go right ahead and lobby our MP or something. But as I have said on a number of occasions, they are not UK citizens - so as far as I'm concerned the Yanks can have them. And yes, I'm cool with that in this case.
Posted by Stan on 04 August 2018
Why are people getting so worked up about those ISIS prisoners. If we had a referendum on whether they should be allowed back here I bet it would provide a clearer result than the last one. I know how i would vote. Playstations for prisoners! What's next, a bloody electric blanket for the winter.
Posted by Richard J on 04 August 2018
Can't see the Donald handing those guys back. Can't see the British public wanting them back. Reckon they will see their cases dealt with by the Americans which might not please some but i do not think most of the public will give their situation a second thought. Nor me.
Posted by Billy on 04 August 2018
What you're talking about is the law of might makes right, not the rule of law. Which is fine, but remember that makes me the conservative and you the radical.

Richard J, I'm not getting worked up about the ISIS prisoners at all. What does concern me is the legal principles which establish the right of states to imprison and/or kill people without fair trials. If that doesn't worry you then what can I say, you aren't paying enough attention. Dunno if you noticed recent events but referenda can be problematic. We live in a representative democracy, not a direct one.
Posted by Joe Buck on 04 August 2018
And Stan, if you're cool with that in this case, you are going to have to be cool with it in the future in other cases. That's how stare decisis (precedent) works in common law. there's ample evidence of how this goes in US law if you examine the patriot act. the legal principles that are applied to political/religious terrorists will eventually be applied to other networks like organized criminals. then they'll be applied to more isolated groups like cults. then they'll be applied to non violent dissenting groups like protest movements. at that point they are applied to everyone. to you. step out of line, get befriended by an undercover cop who attempts to entrap you into committing crimes. now you're in the prison pipeline with nothing to help you except all that money you have in the bank to pay legal fees. how long will that last? after the money runs out you rot in jail and the universe forgets your name. meanwhile, the injustice of this essentially confirms the complaints of the terrorists who started this cascade i.e. that western societies are hypocritical and corrupt. but we don't HAVE to hollow ourselves out like this. the obvious solution is to face extremism with the best our system and worldview can offer, not the worst. fair trials for everyone, even scum. this is what the anti-islamic lot seem to fail to grasp about the pathetic attention seeker tommy robinson. the problem isn't that he doesn't like rape gangs... as if! the problem is that if he undermines their fair trials he undermines the judicial process that distinguishes us from less advanced societies. so he's pulling the rug out from underneath himself and indeed all of us for the sake of internet hits. what a tit, eh.
Posted by Joe Buck on 07 August 2018
Oh Plaid, what are you doing?
Whilst I am delighted to see Plaid Cymru take every Labour held seat it can, you'd have to be smoking some seriously good stuff not to think they have a real problem in their Party. Tonight brings news of a well known personality resigning for some pretty disturbing reasons, if true. Nigel Copley, their treasurer, has gone, citing threats made against his local group because they have supported Rhun ap Iorwerth in the leadership campaign.

Neil McEvoy has tweeted: "Blaenau Gwent - Nigel Copner resigns after alleged threats. Cardiff West - Neil McEvoy expelled after being welcomed to conference. Llanelli - mass resignations by long-standing members. Conwy - Plaid Council leader resigns from group".

To paraphrase the great Oscar, to lose one of your most highly regarded people may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose several looks like sheer bloody incompetence. It's a real shame, because I have not seen Welsh Labour in such an utter mess before. At a time when they are there for the taking, the last thing Plaid needs is a civil war. I know that Neath Plaid has unanimously endorsed Leanne, but I personally think she's the wrong person to take that Party where it needs to go. Wales needs another soft Left Party cwtching up to Labour like I need a second wife! No thank you - one's more than enough, lol. Mark my words - if Leanne stays in charge we might as well give the keys of the WAG offices to Mark Drakeford right now and say "you keep 'em - forever". Because the electorate will not thank Plaid for self-destructing when the need for a strong, clear, new vision for Wales has never been more pressing. Don't get me wrong - I like Leanne and on a personal level she's done really well. But she's not a good leader IMO and Plaid's results since she's been at the helm underpin the desperate need for change. There are two very able candidates in the leadership campaign against her. Either should provide a much needed boost, to give the Party a new sense of urgency and better getting its message out to the electorate. But I fear the Party will stick with her, and we'll all be the poorer as a result.
Posted by Stan on 23 July 2018
Now Simon Thomas has gone as well, over what must be some heavy-duty porn. Helen Mary Jones is next in line on the regional list to take his place, but she is settled in to a job at Swansea University. Whether she decides to go back into politics can be seen as a verdict on Plaid's future.
Posted by Frank Little on 26 July 2018
Have you ever read any of Helen Mary Jones' Twitter pages? Now there's an education for you! It's a pity the Simon Thomas story has broken right at the time of the court case that involves Carolyn Harris. A conspiracy theorist might even suggest that the timing of the two could be connected. Mrs Harris is allegedly very well connected with South Wales Plod.
Posted by Stan on 26 July 2018
Any temptation to join Twitter was killed by that AM's run-in with the scientologists, since when I have avoided it like the plague. I am also pleased to say that I do not own a smartphone.
Posted by Frank Little on 01 August 2018
Cuddy Group
In another place, I have expressed concern for the future of the staff of Cuddy Group and have wished Mike Cuddy well after his extensive hospital treatment. He blames the descent into administration on the inability of anybody else in the company to take responsibility in his absence.

However, I wonder also whether the company suffered from dependency on Neath Port Talbot for a large slice of its income and that possibly the change in the make-up of the council at the last election had made a difference.
Posted by Frank Little on 23 July 2018
I saw Mike Cuddy's explanation, that in his absence no-one took, or was able to take, action to turn things around there. That's a pretty damning indictment of the board/management, one that ultimately as MD presumably, he must carry the can for. I personally think it's a sorry excuse and one he may choose to reflect on in the fullness of time.

I hope the workforce who are made redundant can all find alternative work - redundancy is no joke, even in times of relatively full employment like now.

Posted by Stan on 23 July 2018
Full time work stan don’t make me laugh this lot in power have sent so many into bondage of stacking shelves at the Salvation Army shops cancer heart you get the picture hidden away maximus ouch they taking over remploy were many reside there great company you work all week for nowt then they offer you a lunch for a quid or so hmmm reminds me to ask our mp whot she’s doing about this working nah hidden away stacking shelves
Posted by Jeffrey Davies on 29 July 2018
Don't you think that it only right and fair that those have no work should do something for their benefits, rather than sit at home watching TV?
I was in Neath on Saturday and was disgusted at the state of the pavements.
Surely these can be cleaned by those in jail or by those on benefits who are fit enough to work.
I'll you what, you would not see filthy pavements like this abroad in civilised countries.
Let's have some pride in our town of Neath and the country we live in.
It is time we thought: "Think not what of what my country can do for me but what I can do for my country."
It is time for a fresh approach - don't leave it to the other man because he may be leaving it to you.
Posted by Jake on 29 July 2018
I agree. But let's look at it another way.
We in Britain do not like work. manual labour that is. That is why we are an inventive nation. We have created machines to do the work for us - and in future maybe robots.
But someone has drive or work the machines and maintain them.
I see no reason why those given community service can use these machines.
Let's give these people targets and a sense of pride in doing a good job.
Let's think positive and get things done.
Is all this possible - of course it is.
Posted by Pete on 29 July 2018
Oh dear give the work to those seeking benefits hav you in all honesty seen whot someone’s who is unemployed got to do for their pittance tomorrow ru harried from pillar to post for it leaving no time for seeking a proper job old iaian d smith done this to the system has for them doing it they’d get sanctioned loose their pittance for it h dear wouldn’t it be better to employ a person chase the councilours they get to much monies perhaps they could give generously to employ one
Posted by Jeffrey Davies on 31 July 2018
Jeffrey......It seems like you would prefer those fit persons on benefits to sit at home watching TV. Sad.
Posted by Pete on 31 July 2018
Try talking to them p you listen to much to bbc and paper news the real world those unemployed are chased harried just for that pittance
Posted by Jeffrey Davies on 01 August 2018
No one is more deaf than those who refuse to listen.
Posted by Pete on 01 August 2018
Can anyone help me?
Dear Editor
I have just spent over an hour looking at Youtube videos on the internet and feel very uneasy at what I have seen
I am beginning to wonder if the content is biased - or is it simply our country and the world as it really is?
I hardly think it is all feke news, if it was there would be comments to that effect.
Maybe the video makers want to get over what is really happening around us the basis that newspapers refrain from telling us because they could be labelled racist. I really don't know.
I sending you a Youtube video and hope that someone may know the town in question.
Posted by Johoa on 22 July 2018
I looked at the video on the NEWS page but failed th spot any clues to say what town it is. It could be one of many.
The registration plates on cars indicate that the town is in the UK.
With regard to Youtube (now owned by Google),it should be noted that it appears that the system remembers the videos you view and on return visits offer similar videos on the right hand side of the page.
This may give the impression that Youtube is biased in some way.
In my opinion Youtube reflects life as it is and publishes items the newspapers won't - something like this website.
Posted by Jim on 23 July 2018
I was very disturbed and uncomfortable when I looked at the video on the news page (What Town Is This).
To make me feel worse was a news report on TV saying that there are now more coloured people living in London than white people.
In a northern town the youngsters there (coloured and white) have a game called "Spot the Whiteman'. Often a few mintes pass, so I am told, before they spot one.
This is a very sad refection on our society and I doubt if anything can be done about it.
Posted by Ponty on 23 July 2018
It is Dewsbury, England.
Posted by Vern. on 23 July 2018
Is it actually Karachi? Perhaps they drive on the left there too.

If it is somewhere in England I can think of only two explanations for a gathering like that. One, someone spread a rumour that Mecca Bingo was opening a new place. The other is more sinister, that there was to be a public flogging - or worse!

But seriously, we don't know the half here in Wales and it's so easy for the self-righteous progressives among us to hurl insults such as racist and Islamophobe. I defy anyone living in NPT not to feel uncomfortable if they were suddenly made to live in neighbourhoods such as those shown in the video. One of the reasons for the unrest and unease about the rapid spread of Islam is precisely because some people do have to live there.
Posted by Stan on 23 July 2018
Today, Savile Road, Dewsbury, South of Leeds, England.
Coming to your community in the not too distant future?
Churches and a local Church Hall have been converted, and today, families in the unfamiliar dress code were seen out walking.
Not being antisocial, just saying 'be aware', and not be blind to changes in our culture.
Posted by Vern. on 25 July 2018
Victoria Gardens
Just wanted to give a big thank you to all the staff at Victoria Gardens for all the work that is being done there, the park was as usual looking stunning and giving people a lot of pleasure, well done guys
Posted by John on 22 July 2018
What's happening to Labour and Plaid?
Congratulations to Mr Ryan Thomas on winning the Pontardawe Town Council by-election with over 70% of the vote yesterday. Plaid Cymru 556, Labour 223 . Stonking result.

And in the Saron ward in Carmarthenshire, Plaid held their seat with another cracking result, as follows (report on Y Cneifiwr's excellent blog):

Karen Davies, Plaid 747
Tom Fallows, Labour 239
Aled Crow, Tory 146
Caryl Tandy, LibDem 14

The question is this. IF there were local government elections held this year instead of last year, just how many Labour seats in NPT and further afield would be lost?

A bad day at the office for Labour, and I've also just heard that their councillor in Cymmer has resigned from the Party, and now sitting as an Independent. See, Hain's barely been gone 3 years and it's falling to bits around here, lol.
Posted by Stan on 20 July 2018
Also Plaid leaflets out in skewen plaid have really caught them sleeping.
Posted by Ray Jones on 20 July 2018
The Labour Party were in Glynneath canvassing today Stan for the Town council vacancy. Nearly all interlopers so it begs the question why the hell a place that was such a Labour stronghold needs Councillor Mike Harvey from Skewen, Jeremy Miles from Pont and a few other strangers knocking on the doors. Where's the local Labour support or can't they muster any? Mike Harvey's Mrs is a local bint so surprised she did not help them.
Posted by Brian S on 21 July 2018
I find it interesting that you refer to Labour canvassers as interlopers, Brian.

Didn't Leanne Wood visit Glynneath recently canvassing for the Plaid candidate? Based on the picture I've seen, along with Leanne is the councillor for Cwmgwrach, the councillor for Neath South, the councillor for Ystalyfera, as well as Dai Lloyd AM.

Where is the local Plaid support? Can't they muster any?

In the by election in Blaengwynfi it looks as though they can't even find a local candidate - fielding one from Margam.

I strongly dislike Labour, but you can't call them out and say nothing when Plaid are doing the same.
Posted by Robert on 21 July 2018
Brian. Mrs Harvey took a huge bashing of plaid in dyffryn clydach last year maybe she has not resurfaced.
Posted by David on 21 July 2018
That's the reason they were there today, because plaid were there last week .She will come back fighting believe me she already has!not long after she was made a community counciler tantrum is over now watch your backs plaid .
Posted by Cecil on 21 July 2018
Where is the local Plaid support you ask. I would say the voters have shown the answer to that one for quite a few years now. Labour no longer hold any of the two borough council seats (one independent, one Plaid) or the one they used to hold just down the valley in Cwmgwrach, which is also now Plaid. The member from Cwmgwrach cannot be regarded as not from the area as she sits on the Glynneath town council as well as those in the Cwmgwrach and Blaengwrach area. I am from the Neath valley and quite elderly and I can remember the days when you did not have this influx of party bigwigs and councillors from way outside the area knocking on doors. You knew the candidates who were grounded in our community and most had respect. Now in the borough elections particularly you can see candidates standing for council who have little or no connection to the community at all, a point you have made as well. One thing I agree fully with you is that I dislike Labour as well as you guessed from my letter.
Posted by Brian S on 21 July 2018
I think Robert makes an interesting point in his reply, above. For some time I have thought that wheeling in well known Party personalities can be counter-productive and I think even more so nowadays when it's almost de rigueur to support anyone but the Establishment. We saw it with the EU referendum in Wales particularly, in that famous photo of Lords Hain and Kinnock with Carwyn Jones, all beaming and telling us we should vote Remain. God knows how many voters they turned to Brexit.
Posted by Stan on 21 July 2018
Mike Harvey lives in the dyffryn ward but he will not stand there because if he does he will not be a councillor. There is only one word for a person like that.
Posted by David on 22 July 2018
I think Ali Thomas lives in the Dyffryn ward yet stood for Onllwyn! Do you have to live in a council's area to stand as a councillor and if so, does Mr Thomas hold the record for living furthest away from the ward he represents?
Posted by Steve W on 22 July 2018
Well how many of these labour councillors are not living in the area where they stand I worked out about seven of them.
Posted by Politico on 22 July 2018
Safe seat , where it's guaranteed constituents will vote labour as they have done for many years that why Mike Harvey who lives in Neath Abbey is counciler in coedffranc. That how labour work.
Posted by Cecil on 22 July 2018
Coedffranc North and Coedffranc Central are not as safe for Labour as Cecil thinks - just look at history, and what happened in Coedffranc West.
Posted by Frank Little on 23 July 2018
Martyn Peters is the councillor in the dyffryn ward which Neath abbey is a part of.Ali Thomas or Mike Harvey would be well beaten if they stood there.
Posted by John Davies on 23 July 2018
Six year's ago Frank ,it was after the lib-dems went into coalition with conservative, a lot of lib-dems lost their seats keith Davis coedffranc north .I remember it well.
Posted by Cecil on 23 July 2018
Yes Cecil,
A lot of Welsh Lib-Dems thought they had safe seats until Nick Clegg jumped into bed with David Cameron and that allowed more Welsh Labour candidate's
To get their snouts in the trough.
But the worm is turning as you know Cecil.
Posted by Phil osopher on 23 July 2018
Cecil. Plaid have been active in coedffranc north they have a leaflet going out here at the moment.
Posted by David on 23 July 2018
If Plaid want to be THE alternative to Labour in NPT and elsewhere, IMO that's precisely what they ought to be doing. Making the electorate aware of how bad a job Labour are doing, the broken promises and downright lies. And offering them something better. Faint heart never won fair lady. Get in there!
Posted by Stan on 24 July 2018
Duke meets Lord
Posted on 18 July 2018
Nest of vipers
Posted on 18 July 2018
Neath Carnival
Posted on 17 July 2018
Neath Round Table Carnival.
Posted on 16 July 2018
Carnival noise.
Posted on 15 July 2018
Round table Carnival
Posted on 15 July 2018
Round Table Carnival
Posted on 14 July 2018
Video. The big question.
Posted on 13 July 2018
Trump protests
Posted on 13 July 2018
It ain't 'alf hot, mun
Posted on 13 July 2018
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