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Ecological Armageddon
The German study (reported today) that shows flying insect life has declined by a staggering 75% in 27 years should make us all sleep uneasily. As a boy I remember in the summer bees and wasps everywhere, butterflies were plentiful, swarms of gnats you almost had to fight your way through, and the annual gatherings of starlings that thrived on the insects etc were unforgettable. All gone in just my lifetime. Scary stuff.
Posted by Stan on 18 October 2017
What a remarkable post !!!!!
Am I to assume that the two weeks absence of the faceless tw*t was all part of the curative treatment recommended to resolve his "hate' problem (Labour Party etc).
Based on this post, it's reassuring to record that it has worked!
He doesn't even mention the Labour Party.
WOW1
Posted by DAVID LEWIS on 19 October 2017
Is there such a thing as a 'hate' post?
Posted by Pat on 19 October 2017
NHS tracker statistics - best don't look
That new NHS Tracker site makes sad reading, particularly for the performance indicators for the various NHS Trusts in Wales. I arbitrarily compared our figures to those for the Swindon area and the Glasgow area as I know a lot of people living in these places. Blimey, are our figures crap in comparison, even though there are tighter standards applied to the figures for planned operations in England and Scotland, 18 weeks as opposed to 26 weeks in Wales. Remind me again which political party is running the NHS here in Wales - I've had a memory loss with the shock of how badly we compare.
Posted by Stan on 18 October 2017
The Conservative government’s budget cuts are forcing the NHS to abandon universal health care. Under immense pressure from Conservative austerity, the NHS will ban smokers and obese people from surgery “indefinitely”, according to proposals from Clinical Commissiong Groups (CCGs) in Hertfordshire.
Ian Eardley, senior vice president of the Royal College of Surgeons, condemned the plans:
Singling out patients in this way goes against the principles of the NHS. This goes against clinical guidance and leaves patients waiting long periods of time in pain and discomfort. It can even lead to worse outcomes following surgery in some cases. There is simply no justification for these policies, and we urge all clinical commissioning groups to urgently reverse these discriminatory measures.
But East and North Hertfordshire CCG and Herts Valleys, who drew up the proposals, don’t agree. They say banning smokers and overweight people would encourage patients:
to take more responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, wherever possible, freeing up limited NHS resources for priority treatment
‘The Tories are strangling the NHS’
Yet NHS staff came forward during the general election to say that resources do not need to be “limited”. A broad range of NHS workers said the Conservatives are deliberately defunding the NHS:
Posted by jeffrey davies on 18 October 2017
The UK is bonkers
Have we lost the plot in this country? I watched Frank Gardner's interview with the Director General of MI5 and the DG referred to 800 people from the UK went out to fight (in support of the ISIS cause in most cases presumably) in Syria and Iraq. They know 100 were killed. They also know that a number (undeclared) are back in the UK as potentially ticking timebombs (pardon the pun). So massive resources have to be employed in the hope that none of these killers slips the net and carries out a terrorist outrage on innocent people on our streets. All I can say is if this happens and it is proved one of these murderous bastards is the perpetrator or even planned it, I shall lay the blame squarely at the feet of those wastes of space in our Parliament who seem to do nothing but moan about Brexit all the time and will now also worry if their job is safe if electoral boundaries are redrawn. Which they won't be because too many of them have a vested interest in the status quo. How can our laws possibly allow people who fought for ISIS and have been cutting heads off charity workers to be back in this country, walking with impunity in our streets and presumably even drawing benefits. It beggars belief!
Posted by Brian Statler on 17 October 2017
It is not that simple. Some went from this country for genuinely humanitarian reasons, to give aid or provide medical services. Others went to fight *against* Daesh. Even some of those who were seduced initially by Daesh repented when they saw what the "caliphate" was really like.

What could one do with the rest? You cannot bar them from re-entry, because they are British citizens. You can lock them up (adding to our record prison population), but only if you can prove they personally were involved in crime. Keeping watch on them is the best one can do - and I suggest is essential.
Posted by Frank Little on 18 October 2017
I did start off with the statement have we lost the plot here. I understand it is our own law, passed in 2002 under that idiot Blair that prevents us making a UK citizen stateless. Until then we were able to do so? If a law can be introduced I don't see why it could not have been changed since we knew these sickos thought Jihad was so attractive. Why hasn't it been changed? Probably because it would be challenged in International Courts by do-gooding lawyers supported by a large element of MPs who put the rights of these murdering scum before the rights of the majority of the people in the country. Mad!
Posted by Brian Statler on 18 October 2017
Homelessness and the Christian Spirit
Homelessness is a problem for many authorities, including here in Neath.
But a solution, even on a short term basis, would surely to provide overnight accommodation in chapels and churches, many being unused these days.
I am sure that volunteer wardens would be prepared to supervise the arrangement.
But the big question is: would those concerned be prepared to say at a venue where smoking, drinking and drugs is not allowed?
If they are genuine and want a better life then they would accept a shelter over their heads.
I believe a Christian spirit is called for. Surely the Salvation Army could also help.
Can it be done? Of course it can, if an effort is made by all those who say they care.
Posted by Jacob on 17 October 2017
Years ago the YMCA was developed to keep youngsters off the streets. There were low levels of crime as a result.
This concept could be used today with homelessness people today.
Skill centres could be developed to help those concerned.
Co-ordinated efforts must be made in this day and age..
Posted by Paul on 17 October 2017
On the news this morning it was stated that Bagpipe music was being played overnight to stop down and outs sleeping at certain rail stations and similar venues.
Posted by Jock on 17 October 2017
With a name like Jock it wasn't you playing them then?
Posted by Billy Waldorf on 17 October 2017
Wealthy firms could do much to help their workers, like providing homes for them. This would create a loyalty to the firm and enable them to keep their workers.
This is not a new concept as it was done by the Joseph Rountree Foundation. Look at its website to learn more.
I remember the time when there was a nurses home at Neath General Hospital where accommodation was provided for nurses - the same thing in principle.
Sandfields Port Talbot came near the mark when houses were built for the workers of the new Abbey Works in the early 1950s, except that the council owned those - not quite the same thing.
Farm labourers having a cottage on the farm that they work is another example on a smaller scale where an employer looks after a worker.
Gone are days of council houses with housing associations and the like - but the Rountree Foundation and how it operates is a matter for serious consideration.
Posted by Matthew on 17 October 2017
I have a better way. Let the wealthy firms like Amazon and McDonalds pay their workers a decent wage. Then their workers would have more choice in where they live rather than live virtually on the premises of a super-warehouse or a fast food takeaway. I don't think a tied accommodation fits the way of life or the thinking of a 21st century workforce.
Posted by Billy Waldorf on 18 October 2017
I'm all for helping the genuinely homeless and to its credit the Welsh Government recently dished out an extra £6 million to local authorities to help them with their now statutory duty to try and prevent homelessness. I am not sure that the people we see dossing and begging on the streets of Neath are homeless. I have heard rumours that nearly all of them have home addresses.

As for opening up our places of worship for life's unfortunates to bed down, OK, but I am sure some of the nice houses some of the councillors live in have a spare bedroom or two. There's quite a few old widows knocking about. Who knows where it could lead?
Posted by Rob Davies on 18 October 2017
The answer, surely, is to have organised rehabilitation centres,
There are plenty of buildings available, including the unused places of worship mentioned above.
Re-education would be part of programme to instal a sense of respectability.
Posted by Charlie on 18 October 2017
Yeah, get some ex-army blokes to deal with any awkward folk in a separate section...
I remember my National Service square bashing days - my ears used to ring at the end of the day. But oh boy it installed discipline in to us.
Posted by Jeff C on 18 October 2017
I would volunteer for service there, Jeff C. Did me a power of good.
Posted by Billy Waldorf on 18 October 2017
I note you are all good at shifting the problem. If churches etc were used who is going to pay for the insurance? We all know these people are fragile, drug problems, alcohol problems, mental problems. Are you going to risk life and limb to give them a bed for the night or order that someone else puts themselves at risk? And how can anyone refer to 'quite a few old widows knocking around'. Who are you that you can talk about people in this manner. Why is it that older people no longer are male or female, but are categorised as 'old', 'past it', pensioners. Anything but the individual people they are.

The problem of beggars, homelessness, filth of the streets is down to your local council who pay out millions so people can do nothing. Your council has a duty to attend to homelessness, they pay the Police out of your taxes, yet neither of these bodies appear to be doing their duty any more. We have heard today about the NHS which is also not working properly.

Whose problem is it ? It is all of ours and instead of hitting keys in the safety of your own home ( which could change soon they way things are going) it is time people got out on the streets and demanded answers from those paid to deal with the problem. Taking pot shots at the vulnerable in your midst is definitely not the answer.
Posted by Greta G on 18 October 2017
The system is broken. Early in the year a public meeting was held in Neath RFC, organised by Councillor Steve Hunt to his credit. Attended by at least one other NPT Neath councillor, who now sits on the Cabinet. There was detailed discussion about the problems of anti-social behaviour in Neath, primarily caused by people who are drug addicts and perhaps alcoholics as well. There was talk of action. Of multi-disciplinary working, police, council, social services, third sector intervention. Talk of prohibition orders, which all I can see would be to push the problem elsewhere. Talk, talk, ****ing talk!

And you know what the situation is like today, months and months having slipped by? Well it is worse. Just drop on to Steve Hunt's Neath Voice Facebook pages and you'll see it swamped every week, almost daily, with incidents involving junkies and alcoholics. And Steve says, report it to the police or do you mind if I use this story as evidence. And the people say, yes, yes. Just solve the bloody problem!

But this is all BS. Because it won't be fixed. That's because drug use and addiction, and easy availability, is on an unprecedented scale. You can bring up your kids to be exemplary citizens and wham, they mix with the wrong sort one day and they can be lost to you. I've seen it happen to the sons of people I know.

We can provide all the care facilities, rehab, homes etc in the world to deal with this problem, and yes, we should do more, but it's like turning the tide back. Win the war on drugs, that's the biggest thing by far we can do in my opinion to start to knock back the problem of these unfortunates on our streets. But can it be won, or is life now so God awful for most people that oblivion is vastly preferable to living it? Hmmm.
Posted by Stan on 18 October 2017
Cimla Sink holes
I never realised that there were six collieries located on the Gnoll estate at Neath constructed in the 17th century and closed in 1902.
Any one have any further information on these long lost collieries?
Posted by C Lewis on 15 October 2017
Bryncoch and Duffryn is riddled with old mine workings, many of them uncharted.
This is one reason why fracking should not be done down this way.
Posted by Clark on 15 October 2017
For C Lewis.

Drop onto the Welsh Coal Mines forum. There's a wealth of stuff on there with a number of really knowledgeable contributors. Whether what you're looking for has already been aired, I don't know. But there is a Search facility and I'm sure that in any case if you raised the question on there you'd be wiser than if you didn't.
Posted by Stan on 15 October 2017
The whole of the Neath area is underlain by rocks containing a sequence of coal seams.
Their depths and lines of outcrop at the surface are well documented as are all the locations of mine entrances.
The Geological Survey of Britain publish maps of the geology on various scales.
The 1:10,000 provides excellent details of the local geology and mine locations.
There may be copies in the library and certainly in the planning department of NPTCBC at the Quays.
The Fracking comment is wrong.
Posted by David Lewis on 16 October 2017
Wrong or not, you don't need to lose sleep about fracking happening anywhere in Wales right now because the WAG have effectively banned it. Scotland has recently done similar after a public consultation exercise where 99% of people opposed it. Davis Lewis is strictly correct with his comment but there are undoubtedly adverse and worrying environmental implications of fracking and I don't think the fracking industry has yet laid these to rest.
Posted by Stan on 16 October 2017
The Fracking comment is wrong ha then why in America it costs more to get the product out of the ground ho yes the peasants pays for this yet fracking pollutes with all our vast amount of water courses would you allow a company in that will polute water courses then idiots we are for allowing it while one only has to google poisen fracking and one will see how these companies promises the earth but will renegade on them once the monies run out and if one expects them to clean up after themselves they run away or just go bankrupt so they don't even get to clean up the poisens they used oh yes that The Fracking comment is wrong oh dear dl would you polute your water ways
Posted by jeffrey davies on 16 October 2017
Jeffrey.
You are a crack hand at copying and pasting, as you do in Jeff's Posts, so can I respectfully suggest that you type your posts in WORD or another word processing programme, and subject it to a spelling and grammar check.
Then copy and paste it to this page.
Posted by Pete on 16 October 2017
That's an excellent tip Pete - I'll do that in future.

Unlike the USA, this country is too small and densely populated to safely do any Fracking.
Posted by Paul on 16 October 2017
Fracking may be pointless in the area but there was a proposal about a decade ago for underground gasification of the coal under Cimla. As far as I know, it was not pursued and the recent sink-holes should finally have put paid to it.
Posted by Frank Little on 17 October 2017
The UK government will not support underground gasification as it is a polluting energy source. It's a dead duck. The main player in it in the UK was Cluff Natural Resources, led by Algy Cluff, who coincidentally set up Cluff Mining - they became Amara Mining. Remember they were the people who paid Peter Hain about £40K a year for 12 days work a year. When it comes to the filthy lucre there's usually less than a fagpaper between those that espouse to be socialists and those that would sup with the Devil himself.
Posted by Stan on 17 October 2017
Neath Rubbish
Full marks to the reader who sent in the photo showing rubbish on a pathway near Morrisons supermarket.
I asssume this is a public pathway and not private property.
Surely a local councillor can look into this as it is bringing Neath into a slum standard.
Would it not be a good idea to have traffic wardens monitor areas for rubbish like this? It would be seen more worthwhile than handing out parking tickets to motorists.
Posted by Gina on 14 October 2017
More residents should use their mobile phones to record incidents like this - and perhaps dog owners who stand and watch their dog having a crap on a pavement or playing field.
Posted by Jack on 14 October 2017
I thought it was near Morrisons. You need to be very careful picking up the rubbish around town. I have seen loads of photos where people have shown discarded needles among the litter. The trouble is that as quickly as this stuff is cleared it is back again thanks mainly to the smackheads who are everywhere in town these days. All those empty promises from councillors earlier in the year they would sort it out but they haven't.
Posted by Rob Davies on 14 October 2017
Sign for swans crossing road
Following the item on the News page of this website, may I seriously suggest road signs be put up in Bridge Street, Neath, to make motor users aware of the swans crossing the road from one side of the road bridge to the other.
I have heard that swans tend to congregate on the pavements at this point, possibly seeking titbits from pedestrians.
To go even further, perhaps a swan road crossing could be arranged - and you never know, it could become something of a tourist attraction!
It is very likely that Zoars Ark garden centre will again be Santas Grotto this coming Christmas, this will mean an increased traffic flow past the swan crossing - adding to the sense of my suggestion.
Posted by George on 14 October 2017
Pant y sais Car Park
Vehicular access to the car park at Pant y Sais Fen is going to be stopped, so I suppose it won't be a car park any longer. It's a shame because this place provided entertainment and no mean physical exertion for many in recent years in the adult sport of dogging. You can guarantee if people are enjoying themselves then some miserable old tosser, some do-gooder who isn't getting any action himself will spoil it for them. The thing is, where am I going to exercise my old bitch now? If I took her to Skewen Park instead and gave her a bone to play with do you think the authorities will close that as well?
Posted by Billy Waldorf on 14 October 2017
It can be dangerous to give a bone to an old bitch. They can easily choke. Tennis balls or frisbees are safer and provide more exercise though bear in mind that like their owners dogs slow down as they get older.

Posted by Brian Statler on 14 October 2017
while dogs in the wild chew bones keeping their teeth clean modern dogs get idiots with tooth brushes to clean theirs
Posted by jeffrey davies on 14 October 2017
Billy if you lived in the village, you would not make comments like that. how would like it if you took your grand children to see the wild life only to see so called adults not only dogging but doing other so called adult activities. how would you like it on your door step.
Posted by neil on 14 October 2017
I would not be taking them there in the dark Neil. That is because the main wildlife interest are birds such as warblers and buntings, though I have heard that Bearded Tit have been seen there in the past. Good for dragonflies as well which are best to see in daylight. Unless you tell me it is a good place to see moths and owls by night.

Surely this problem could have been solved by PC Plod calling in there unannounced with a video camera and filming the doggers. If they scarpered they could have put the film out on Crimestoppers and we could have seen if it was anyone we knew. Closing the car park affects all potential visitors including genuine "doggers" like me, who walk with our four legged friends.
Posted by Billy Waldorf on 14 October 2017
Dogging whot is this past time hmm is it taking the dog walking I’m afraid modern terms fly way over my head never mind. I’m just to thick to work it out oh well
Posted by Jeffrey Davies on 15 October 2017
Jeffrey - I think it's something you and me had best remain ignorant about. I looked it up and believe me, it's not something you want to take up at our time of life. I'm quite happy with a proper dog thank you.
Posted by Stan on 15 October 2017
Briish Steel Pension Fund
As British Steel pensioners will be aware, there will will be changes to their pension fund in December of this year.
Pensioners have a choice of one of two schemes to replace the old one - as explained in the letter sent to them.
Meetings are being arranged all over the country with the ones in Port Talbot yet to be arranged. The meetings will be to clarify the schemes and to answer questions from members.
Members must declare the one that suits them best on postal forms to be returned by 11th December.
In the meantime, if any member wants to make a comment on this website they are welcome to do so
Posted by John (Deputy Ed) on 11 October 2017
while men of steel build their pension along comes a employer and takes out I thought this was highway robbery has the rich pinch the peasants savings but our governments don't change this law of allowing access to then to do it
Posted by jeffrey davies on 11 October 2017
Neath Valley Lines
From the South Wales Guardian.

(Quote)
4th October
Plans are set to explore the feasibility of using the little-used line to provide a shuttle service between the Amman Valley and Swansea.
Daniel Laurie. Reporter.

PROPOSALS to utilise Amman Valley railway for passengers have been announced as part of a budget deal by Plaid Cymru.
The agreement, revealed by Carmarthen East and Dinefwr AM Adam Price, sees government funds earmarked to explore the feasibility of using the little-used line to provide a shuttle service between the Amman Valley and Swansea.
(End of quote)

Are there any of our representatives going to initiate moves to reopen the Neath Valley Lines to provide a similar passenger shuttle service to Neath?
Posted by Vern. on 11 October 2017
hmm vern we lost our bus service up to pencaerau then someone fought to provide a service to the estate select its called I wonder if the council leave the big companies get away with not running a service well it looks very bleak for a rail service
Posted by jeffrey davies on 11 October 2017
Council gagging oder
It is thought by many people that the NPT council have imposed a 'gagging order' on councillors.
This is on the basis that councillors must not bring the council into disrepute with comments to the press and, of course, THE NEATH FERRET.
If this is correct, it explains why councillors are afraid to make comments on this website, as much as they would like to do so.
Ex-councillors, like David Lewis of Alltwen, have the freedom to speak out like they never had before.
It seems that no such rule apply to MPs who write columns in newspapers and often express their views in TV interviews.
Surely a gagging order, if it exists, is undemocratic, and the freedoom of thougtt and speech is something we should cherrish.
In an open and transparent society people should not be treated like mushrooms and kept in the dark.
Councillors should be respected and not treated like rubber stamps.
It is time for a change.
Posted by Jerry on 07 October 2017
It begs the question who are they working for, After all it is WE that are paying their wages Not the Local Labour party, But it just shows the contempt these so called councillors have for their constituents and our town. But you have to question the People of Neath who vote these parasites in every election.
Posted by trevor on 10 October 2017
Donkey crisis
"The world's donkeys are facing a population crisis because of the huge demand for their skins in China, where they are used to make health foods and traditional medicine.

Donkey meat is also a popular food, but a huge drop in the number of Chinese donkeys and the fact they are slow to reproduce, has forced suppliers to look elsewhere".

Apparently the donkey numbers in China have plummeted due to this demand and people in Africa, who rely on donkeys as part of their way of life, are seeing donkeys being stolen, presumably to fulfil the Chinese demand. My God, is nothing safe from the Chinese demand for food and quack medicine?

Instead of sourcing African donkeys can I suggest that post-Brexit they do a trade deal here in Wales, where there is a seemingly inexhaustible supply of donkeys. These are led by the nose from their paddocks to put a cross against their Labour Party masters once every five years. It's about the best chance Plaid Cymru will have of making any headway and it should be top billing in their next manifesto.
Posted by Stan on 07 October 2017
Is this yet another post-Brexit opportunity like Michael Gove's pigs ears?
Posted by Frank Little on 08 October 2017
hospital
It is impossible to reconcile the Tory claim that their government wants to invest in the UK with actions like handing £55 million of public money to health profiteers Care UK, to be deposited in its tax haven bank accounts.

Much of that money will be handed to shareholders in tax-free profits, doing nothing whatsoever to help people suffering from health problems and contributing to the worsening of – for example – the regular winter crises in Accident and Emergency departments across the UK.
And there is the question of corruption to consider: Care UK funded former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley when he was drafting his Health and Social Care Act, the lamentable piece of legislation that allowed private companies into the NHS. Did they provide him with £21,000 on the condition that they receive contracts worth millions?

The whole situation stinks like a cesspit. The sooner a Labour government takes office and kicks out these lazy freeloaders, the better.
It was announced last week that Care UK had secured a £55m contract to provide elective healthcare services at the North East London Treatment Centre, Redbridge.
Care UK reported in 2013 that public funds accounted for 88% of the company’s revenues and admitted to using “tax-efficient” financial structuresinvolving the Channel Islands.  Its sister company, Silver Sea, is domiciled in low-tax Luxembourg.  In 2014 the Guardian published a story claiming that Care UK had not paid a penny in corporation tax since it was bought by the private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital in 2010.
Claims that the Tories are selling off the NHS and other public services to their city banker mates have been rubbished as apocryphal by their supporters. But you only have to look at cases like this to see the truth of the matter.
These companies are simply in it for the profit, and the only way for them to make a profit is by charging more than the service costs to provide. In the public sector that difference would be ploughed back into the service for the benefit of all. For private companies, it goes out of the NHS and usually out of the UK, squirrelled away from the tax authorities in offshore havens. If they don’t make a profit
Posted by jeffrey davies on 06 October 2017
Where was our MEP?
There was a rare live transmission of the European Parliament by the BBC yesterday. There were not many panoramic shots, but on the few which covered the socialist benches I failed to spot anyone occupying seat no. 796 assigned to one D.Vaughan. You would have thought that a debate about a proposed secession by Catalonia would have been of interest.

If you look at the diagram of the hemicycle on the europarl web site, you will note that 796 is conveniently situated right at the back and on the the gangway so the occupant can slip in and out easily and unobtrusively.
Posted by Frank Little on 05 October 2017
He was there to vote on the Brexit debate though, Frank, siding with the vast majority of MEPs from other countries not to play ball with the UK until we give further ground. After all, the longer they stall the more chance Brexit will flounder. Plus his 17,000 Euro pension clocking up every 5 year term without having to pay a button .
Posted by Stan on 06 October 2017
Frank
I never thought you would join C C with such a sick post.
Posted by DAVID Lewis on 07 October 2017
I can well understand DAVID Lewis being a tad sensitive about the absence of elected representatives from meetings!
Posted by Stan on 07 October 2017
What was so surprisingly sick about my post? I have a record of moaning about councillors staying just long enough to record their attendance, and about MEPs not communicating with the voters who put them there.

As to Brexit, I would give D Vaughan credit for not following his party's line.
Posted by Frank Little on 08 October 2017
Quite right, Frank. I've seen you raise the matter on numerous occasions and specifically about DV too. Perhaps he was absent on this occasion as he had a train to catch to his bolthole in France? Mustn't let putting your feet up and cracking open a bottle of Chateauneuf du pape get in the way of work, must we?
Posted by Stan on 08 October 2017
I would add that Jill Evans MEP is a frequent Tweeter, but it would be nice if she used other social media for those of us who avoid Twitter like the plague.
Posted by Frank Little on 11 October 2017
5% Council Tax rise
I see reports today that council tax will likely have to rise by the maximum of 5% next year. We already pay the second highest tax in Wales so we will be hit one of the hardest. How is this justifiable? Services lost, cutbacks, councils say they are operating with less staff, council houses and leisure facilities now hived off, many private care homes operating, waste management operations no longer fully under council control, our arterial road systems managed by a separate agency. Why do we still have 22 councils and before long we shall probably have another 40 AMs on the public payroll as well. Before the long suffering public are hit even harder they ought to be forced to re-look at combined services between local authorities and significantly reducing the number of councils altogether. Look at the salaries just the senior managers and senior councillors are running up. Diabolical. I bet the cheeky s*ds will blame Brexit or Maggie Thatcher's ghost.
Posted by Billy Waldorf on 04 October 2017
How long can this go on Billy? No one has any faith in anyone in public office at the moment. Lets be honest about it they are all in there digging a bigger hole for their bunker. Anyone who elects to go into public office at this time is only after the trappings. They know full well they cannot mend the system, it is beyond redemption. Leeches.
Posted by Lyn Williams on 07 October 2017
Crikey that magic roundabout has tax risings power oh dear I wonder those that voted for this will want it now that our elected can rob us more
Posted by Jeffrey Davies on 08 October 2017
Where's our town?
I saw the weather map you posted. I think Neath is near Swansea, up a bit and to the right. Is there a prize going?
Posted by Brian Statler on 03 October 2017
No prize but you have to wonder how much longer Neath can cling on. Will it disappear as a destination on the main Paddington-Swansea line if the powers that be are looking to shorten journey times between the two cities? Why is it when I travel to Port Talbot do I see acre after acre of newish edge of town development and massive investment in the town centre? Tesco and the old multi-storey in Neath demolished and the site fencing is still up. Where is the promised start? Where is the promised development behind the Greyhound? If you read other local social media sites you will find that the most talked about attraction in Neath is the druggies shooting up and out of their heads in broad daylight, even in Victoria Gardens where there are young kids present. And what do our councillors say? Keep reporting it to the police as the more times you do that the more weight behind the argument for a control order. Fiddling while bloody Rome burns.
Posted by Rob Davies on 03 October 2017
Work v Benefits
It maybe a strain for some, but getting away from the benefit culture to working for a living is what we all must expect. Of course it must be done fairly.
It must be accepted that we must work for a living. For far too long many have relied on benefits, in other words, living on the backs of others.
There have been cases of having lots of children means larger benefits.
But working should make you better off, over benefits that is.
At the top end of the scale work should result in pay which is fair. Here again one should not live on the back of another.
.I believe pay should be capped - no one should earn more than the Prime Minister. Above this level justified bonuses and earnings should be put into a personal pension plan - so in effect you work now and get the benefit in retirement.
Retirement should depend on the job, for an instance, footballers could retire at say, 36, and heavy manual worker at 60. Both ages are when they are past their best.
In all cases, everyone should create their own pension cash pot, either through a percentage of their pay and/or by work bonuses.
City 'fat cats' now earning millions will be regulated by the plan.
In a fair society working for a iiving should result in a better retirement..
One further point, retirement income would be taxed after a certain levei as a matter of fairness.
Posted by Ponty on 03 October 2017
Retirement income is already taxed just like any other income is for most of us. The money-grabbing taxman will get you no matter what you do. Unless you are so rich you have to have an accountant to handle your affairs and can then practise avoidance. Think on the likes of ex-MPs. The alternative is you are so pXss poor you are under the threshold for tax. Like those that sit at home all day swigging strong lager, watching Jeremy Kyle and moaning about what a hard time they are getting since the Tories have tried to get them off their fat, lazy arses and into work. When I see my pension deductions going to keep these sorts supplied with their Tennents Extra I get right hot under the collar. especially since I can't even afford to drink the stuff myself. The squeezed middle are being shafted by the rich and the Untermensch.
Posted by Billy Waldorf on 03 October 2017
yep the taxman cometh for those who got a pension bugger they giving me 25percent now tax free how quaint after working nearly like a donkey I can now pay the government more tax on my piss poor pot has they now want to tax me once more on the 3 quarters that's left how lovely
Posted by jeffrey davies on 03 October 2017
whot happened to my other reply hmmm yet we has a nation have become greedy very greedy where we went to work paid our taxes didn't ask were it was going yet those who get fabulous pay packets squealif they paid like us their national insurance and tax oh no they get theirs in offshore accounts yet we paid ours isn't it about time the peasant awoke has we get screwed more and more by government banksters who still committing frauad yet we blame those who sit at home getting benefits whot a wonderfull world
Posted by jeffrey davies on 06 October 2017
Exactly Jeffrey, divide and rule!

Sad isn't it.If only people could see past the trappings of a capitalist society and like the true Celts they profess to be look past the outward appearance and into the soul then they might get somewhere.
Posted by Lyn Williams on 07 October 2017
Value for money?
My wife bought some Swiss cheese from the wonderful stalls in Neath over the weekend and when I took it out of the wrapping it's full of holes! Do you think they saw her coming because the block is obviously lighter than it should have been? I just can't enjoy it thinking someone's had one over on me.
Posted by Brian Statler on 02 October 2017
No doubt you felt cheesed off!
Posted by Jackie on 02 October 2017
Went a bit emmental, that's for sure.
Posted by Brian Statler on 02 October 2017
Take it back and complain.
Are you man or mouse?
Posted by Nocturne on 03 October 2017
oh dear
Let’s not get hysterical just yet – the proposal is to give private companies like G4S and Serco the power to arrest people who fail to pay fines imposed by the courts.
And we don’t know whether it will be approved yet. The consultation period, launched in August, has only just ended. It lasted less than two months, which seems a very short time period for such a plan.

No powers would be taken from police. The idea is to privatise more civil service jobs – nearly 200 of them, in a deal that would be worth £290 million.
Here’s the catch: The Conservatives seem to think it would be a good idea to award the contracts to G4S and Serco. Both companies have proved themselves a dead loss to the state on many previous occasions – most notoriously with the electronic “tagging” scandal, which made criminals of both companies.

We may hope that the Conservatives have the good sense to avoid putting powers of arrest into the hands of such unscrupulous creatures.
But the recent developments concerning former HSBC director and BBC Trust chief Rona Fairhead suggest otherwise.
If we’re lucky, the Tories will shoot themselves in the foot once too often and any privatisation will never go through.
If we’re unlucky, it’ll be another privatisation for Labour to undo, when they return to office and start to bring the UK back into some kind of order.
Let us hope it doesn’t go that far.
Posted by jeffrey davies on 01 October 2017
A case for walking away from the EU
When David cameron was Prime Minister he gave members of the EU the opportunity to modify Britain's position in it. He warmed them that no, or little change, would lead to a withdrawal, subject to a referendum.
The EU ignored David Cameron and we now know the result.
As fas as trade is concerned, the EU needs the UK as much as the UK needs the EU.
It would pay the UK to be independent and not to go begging for the best terms.
The EU have had its chance - Now we should firm in our decision.
Can we do it? YES WE CAN.
Posted by Jacob on 29 September 2017
The attitude of British Workers must change.
Currently it is to do as little possible work for as much money as possible.
Evidence can be seen on road works where sections are closed for ages with no visible work being done.
This is just one example of productivity in this country.
A friend of mine employed a Turkish worker who worked so fast he alarmed fellow workers who told him slow down.
This in just another example of what I am trying to say.
Posted by Patrick on 29 September 2017
I agree with Patrick on this. I think it stems from every government since 1960 onwards who have turned a blind eye to the quite invasion of communism through our unions,labour party,which its aim is to disrupt and unsettle the country you can see the results in todays unions and the Labour party all negative nothing positive.
Posted by TREVOR on 29 September 2017
Yes Trevor, it is time that someone said: "Ask not what the country can do for me - but what I can do for my country.
We must work towards a caring society and give some consideration to others.
We must look at benefits (where deserved) as a short term hand up at a time of genuine need - and not as a hand out.
We must end the selfish ways developed over the years. and realise that by working together for the common good it will make us glow with pride.
Yes, it may take time to change the ways of some people - but it CAN be done. What is more, we will feel all the better for it.
Posted by Greg on 29 September 2017
It is a fact of life that we don't live in an ideal world - but we must constantly strive to make our lives better.
We must be thankful that we are better than some countries, but we have a long way to go.
The power structure, the govening classes,, has to change, Lords, Dukes and all the titled crowd amount to a class structure and many would say its them and us.
Remember, changes have taken place in other countries so it can be done here with an effective leadership.
As for leaving the EU, maybe it will be the first step up a steep hill.
Posted by Phil on 29 September 2017
Again I fully agree with both greg, and Phil. we must be a caring society,but also people must work if they can, work is also therapeutic But government must do their bit too and provide employment so people work we must get away from the dependency of benefits which the Labour party pushes,I am a big believer in doing things yourself and I think that leaving the EU will be the best thing we will have done in years we will prosper no doubt about it. don't listen to the prophets of doom,
Posted by trevor on 30 September 2017
Trevor rights works good for you most of us did work but our government has left big companies take their factories over seas leaving us jobless yet thatcher wanted unemployment to keep wages down has for labour giving handing out benefits it was they who like the tories took away dentist took away our rights leaving us vulnerable to big companies who work all over your rights nah Trevor that new labour took away much leaving the toerags to finish the job
Posted by Jeffrey Davies on 30 September 2017
It was a Labour government who mucked up dentists, there is no doubt about it.
The Labour pricing structure was rejected by many dentists, mine included, making many dentists go private. Many set up schemes controlled by various firms.
There was then a period (and still is) where it is difficult to get NHS dental treatment.
It should be noted that Dentists act as private contractors to the NHS, which simply put means the Dentists buy the building and equip the Surgery, hire all the staff and pay all of the running costs including wages, materials and insurances, to provide an NHS dental service.
Posted by Joe on 30 September 2017
universal credits
this universal credits is a stick to beat the peasants with but we don't seem to be making much fuss about it it really does make a mockery of or benefits system but then who am I but a little voice in the wilderness

The Government's flagship welfare reforms have been thrown into jeopardy after 12 Conservative MPs wrote a private letter to the Work and Pensions Secretary demanding a pause in the roll-out of Universal Credit.
The Telegraph understands that the 12 MPs, led by Heidi Allen, have warned David Gauke not to go ahead with a planned tenfold increase in the roll-out of Universal Credit.
Ministers had been expected to announce a decision on whether to accelerate the roll-out in the coming weeks but the backbench revolt risks wiping out the Tories' majority in the Commons if Labour forces a vote, throwing the whole scheme into question.
Universal Credit was former Prime Minister David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith's flagship welfare reform which combines six different benefits into a single payment which encourages people back into work.
Posted by jeffrey davies on 29 September 2017
Goodbye Cyprus
I have just come back from a two week break in Cyprus, but I don't think I will go there again.
I stayed at the house of a friend but travelled around to see the sights as I usually do.
I have to say that it is not the island it used to be, at least not to me. Russians have taken over many of the business, it seems to be taken over by them.
Their attitude is not what we British are used to, it is curt and abrupt. I know that all cultures are not the same and that some countries are more friendly than others - that is one of the exciting things in travelling abroad.
I just wonder if I am alone with my thoughts about Cyprus so perhaps someone will tell me how they recently found the island.
Posted by Jane on 28 September 2017
Don't know about Cyprus as I've never been but wasn't the country receptive to taking Russian investment after the banking collapse of 2007/2008? The Russians would have loved the opportunity, another foothold in Europe, plus the ability to launder dodgy money with no questions asked.

If you liked Cyprus, which is half Greek, have you thought of Greece or its islands? Really nice people wh are still reasonably fond of "Brits" but nowhere near as cheap as it used to be.
Posted by Rob Davies on 28 September 2017
I first went to Cyprus in 1953, it was leave from my posting in Egypt - a sh*t hole where I was stationed.
At that time, in he month of May, Cyprus was like going to paradise.
The island was undivided with the Greeks and Turks living in harmony.
Then in 1974 the island divided after a threat of union with Greece. After a short conflict with Turkish forces the island was divided with the Turks taking over the Northern end.
During my first visit I toured the whole island - a beautiful place. Since then I have returned twice and have seen changes each time - and not for the better.
The Greek islands are also not the same with the influx of immigrants.
It seems that the world is changing and is getting over populated.
Popular holidays are now on cruise ships, that is, until something drastic happens, as it probably will.
Posted by Clem on 30 September 2017
REAL BREXIT BIL
REAL BREXIT BILL: Brussels now demands UK pays £10BILLION for Eurocrats pensions
should we pay for their retirement
my answer to this is NO
we should close the books and walk away,
I worked for 40 years, part of MY WAGES was paid into a pension and what do I get a pittance.
these leaches are all on the band wagon
who are they, who elected them, NOT US
get to hell out of there NOW and do not pay them a penny more
Posted by MikeDavies on 27 September 2017
I am with you all the way Mike.
I voted in the 1970s not to get involved with this corrupt bunch of arrogant gangsters.
It would suit me if we told them that as from 9.00 AM tomorrow morning, we are out!
After which, if they wish to trade with us they should negotiate with us with respect.
Don't forget that they depend on our trade as much as we do on theirs.
In the meanwhile, we have the rest of the world to trade with on a more friendly basis.
This is on my wish list, because this country has gone downhill ever since we joined the E.U.
Posted by Vern. on 27 September 2017
I totally agree with you mike,When firms in this country go bust,I don't see the EU putting any money in to
our pension funds to help out our workers. We should walk away from these negotiations now and don't pay them a penny. PS. the Kinnocks are the ones who we would be helping, they are both on about £85.000 pension each.
Posted by TREVOR on 27 September 2017
Exactly totally agree with you all, just tell them we don't awe them anything.
Posted by colin on 27 September 2017
I expect Mike like most of us paid into his pension and worked damned hard for it. Since 2009 MEPs pay nothing at all into theirs and for every 5 year term their pension is worth more than 17,000 Euros. I doubt we ever got to vote for this change. It probably helps explain why people like Derek Vaughan are so passionate about the benefits of us staying in Europe.
Posted by Rob Davies on 28 September 2017
I believe the Brexit talks will collapse along with this government and that the UK will revert to EU membership. So I will not have to say "I told you so" with jobs and quality of life declining outside the EU.
Posted by Frank Little on 04 October 2017
Re: Franks Posting.

I believe the Brexit talks will collapse along with this government and that the UK will revert to EU membership. So I will not have to say "I told you so" with jobs and quality of life declining outside the EU.
Posted by Frank Little on 04 October 2017


OOH! Frank, are you telling our readers that there would be less well paid jobs and a poorer quality of life if we leave the E.U?
Frank, get back in your DeLorean and see how life was lived in the pre-E.U years.
Yes! people worked harder, but for a more wholesome lifestyle and a more positive outlook.
Compared to now in the E.U. Druggies in every shop doorway, and many working for a pittance, insufficient for a decent lifestyle and reliant on hand-outs from the system.
I fear for our youth as things are, we need Out Now!
Posted by Vern. on 11 October 2017
Don't forget that we would not only be leaving the EU but also the European Free Trade Area which we joined in the 1960s. I remember the 1950s which were miserable times.

If you want a realistic prediction look at the blog of Peter J North, and "I don't like this Brexit, but I will live with it"
Posted by Frank Little on 11 October 2017
Frank, you sound as if you are still miserable, the 1950s were not miserable for me or my friends, they were challenging, yes, but following the austerity of WWII there was optimism in the air.

I read the blog of Peter J North, did you?
As he ended with the following statement:

"I think, given the opportunity to vote again I would still vote to leave. Eventually it gets to a point where any change will do. I prefer an uncertain future to the certainty I was looking at."
Posted by Vern. on 12 October 2017
That final statement is the difference between us. We are sending our children and our children's children into an uncertain world. You (and PJ North) think that is a good thing. I do not.
Posted by Frank Little on 17 October 2017
Frank, life itself is uncertain.
Some of the most uncertain times in our lives, are only later recorded as some of the most glorious chapters in history.
We beg to differ obviously, but I wish you well in the next chapter to come. :-)
Posted by Vern. on 17 October 2017
Blue Badge Parking
This council has once again shown its contempt for the people of this town in particular to those Blue badge users, previously one could park for free in the car park alongside the workingman’s club on Wind Street, and this concession was removed some time ago, yes they have provided free parking opposite the new “Wilkinson” store, but it is only for one hour which gives very little time for anyone disabled to shop.

When the demolishing work began of the old Tesco stores on Wind Street the council rapidly painted an area in Old Market Street formally for Blue badges holders to park, replacing it with a Taxi rank, the work of demolition has been completed for some months now and yet the council has not re-instated the Blue badge bays in Old Market street thereby losing some seven bays for Blue badge users.

It would appear that the Taxi’s have preference over Blue badge owners which surely is a form of discrimination, this area is very important to those wishing to use the Post Office now situated in “Smiths” book shop, as i understand it from a reply to the e-mail i sent to the council they have no intention of replacing these Blue badge parking bays and yet there are approximately 20 plus Taxi rank bays on Wind Street.

There is very little sense, if any, at all to the way this council lay out parking, one site which comes to mind with me is that on Water Street, where there are roughly half a dozen houses left, there are a number of Blue badge bays outside of these houses which are not restricted to the house holder, further up the street there are resident parking areas, but there are no houses?? There is only a stone wall the rear of Alderman Davies school, around the corner of Water street onto Fairfield Way where the “Wilkinson store and car park there are permit only signs.

There are many instances i could mention but it would appear to me that the council erect various signs over the years then forget about them and never leave their office to check on the current situation and update these areas, it’s about time that this council got their act together.
Posted by John Calvin Lewis on 26 September 2017
Thay need to stop thinking of themselves and sort it out thay may need a blue badge one day different story then.
Posted by colin on 27 September 2017
The Gnoll Tree and the Woodland Trust
I love trees so I could not resist looking at the Woodland Trust website (see NEWS page for the full story).
I voted for the Gnoll Tree but thought it was certainly a clever way of getting my name and address. The website assured me that my particulars will NOT be passed on to any third parties - we will wait and see.
Without doubt it was a clever way of asking me for a donation, which I did not give on principle because of the marketing way it was done. Besides, there are other charities that I would prefer to give to, To be honest, I think twice about those because of them passing my name on as a soft touch.
But what really gets up my nose is the huge pay packets of those running the charities. In the end, only a small percentage of the donation goes towards the actual charity.
Indeed, the Neath Ferret would do well to expose these high salaries, often more than what our Prime Minister gets.
Another thing that annoys me is the begging adverts some charities put on television, some of which are very upsetting.
It is time people put their foot down - perhaps this tweet maybe the start, at least I hope so.
Posted by Nats on 24 September 2017
Will you give two pounds a week to give jeff every chance of paying his bills on time will you give that little amount to keep his roof over his head oh dear they all at it has Nats right above charities ain't that any more but big bizness it's now a farce they spend around 64percent of the monies giving to advertise for more and pay the top dog a seriously vast amount of money while us the peasants who work or donate do it for charity one remembers when these top peoples working for companies did a few hours a week for nowt oh dear we now become greedie wanting wages at the top
Posted by Jeffrey Davies on 25 September 2017
An excellent choice Nats.The Gnoll Tree is a wonderful example of the longevity of oak trees and is a worthy candidate in the competition.
As someone who walks extensively in the area I would have nominated two more wonderful specimens given the chance.
There is a massive coast redwood in the Glan Rhyd woodland at Cwm Du Glen Pontardawe which is worth a visit and ,much closer to home what about the wonderful London Plane tree near the bus station in Victoria Gardens.
Any old photos of that area one cares to look at will see it standing proudly in the background and long may it continue to do so.
As regards charities I agree with much you say.
I am however a long standing member of the Woodland Trust and find them far less demanding than many other charities and am happy to contribute to their appeals to purchase areas of ancient woodland which may otherwise be lost to development.
Posted by T Griffiths on 26 September 2017
I agree with T.Griffiths about the Woodland Trust / Coed Cadw. It is free of the sort of person who uses charities only as a stepping-stone to a political career.
Posted by Frank Little on 26 September 2017
Keep death off Neath roads
Why have we got to put up with these scenes (photo sent in) in and around Neath, I hit this yesterday morning as it was raining, and I nearly had my wheel torn off,
This is by the bus top just pass Berger King Cadoxton, it has been repaired or should I say filed in again with more tarmac, if I were still cycling and hit this I would not be writing this as I would be dead,
The whole length of that road needs ripping up and re-surfacing, it is very dangerous and my blame goes to those heavy lorries coming for Bryncoch quarry, this road is NOT UP TO ACCEPTABLE STANDARD FOR THE TRAFFIC THAT IS USING IT.
I have been abroad and never seen roads like we have here -disgraceful and very dangerous
get it sorted NOW
PK
Posted by PK on 23 September 2017
Farming in Neath
From the Neath MP's blog:
"Christina Rees signs pledge to Back British Farming in Neath Christina Rees MP has recognised the vital role that Neath farmers have contributing to the economy, the countryside and food production as [he/she] pledged to Back British Farming at an event in Westminster recently."

It would do more good if there were a Neath farming event closer to home. Why not a Food And Farming Fair from which outside commercial interests were excluded?
Posted by Frank Little on 22 September 2017
While we forget our farmers whot they do but last week talking to a young farmer at a funeral of my dear friend he told me that 50lambs lost that's 2000 pounds gone I asked him how people come in the night with those trailers and take em were are our police hmm we ain't got many left mays sacked thousands of them ready for that yanks system of policing
Posted by Jeffrey Davies on 25 September 2017
metro line
It concerns me that none of our representatives like our MP,AM or councillors have not raised any objections about this plan which could Isolate the town even more.
Posted by trevor on 21 September 2017
Ryanair Scandal
My daughter travelled to Bristol last Thursday for a Ryanair flight to Spain where she was told the flight was cancelled due to technical problems.
She was taken to Southend by taxi and given a meal and overnight accommodation at a Premier Inn.
My daughter flew to Spain from Southend on the Friday when the news broke about the pilots' holiday rota cock-up.
Now in Spain my daughter has the worry of getting back home. I can't check the list of cancellations because I don't know the flight number.
Many other people have the same problem and I think there should be an investigation by some high level authority.
The affair speaks volumes for Ryanair who have now lost the goodwill of its customers.
Posted by Phil on 21 September 2017
FOLLOW UP
My daughter returned home from Spain OK - - but the Ryanair fight was two hours late.
Going back a week earlier, Ryanair paid for a taxi form Bristol to Southend and for overnight accommodation but my daughter and friend had to pay £140 to cover the baggage on the Easyjet plane that were directed to.
The Ryanair fight home reminded my daughter of sardines in tins.
I wish the best of luck to anyone flying on Ryanair - they will need it.
Posted by Phil on 22 September 2017
new prison
The Port Talbot councillors and stephen Kinnock are cherry picking when it comes to the New prison, They are claiming that the site for the Prison is a flood plain. Well we all knew that, People of a certain age can remember on high tides the sea would comes up as far as where the motorway is today, But that hasn't stopped them building a hospital,a school,supermarkets,etc.on a flood plain , You can build anything on a flood plain BAR A PRISON
Posted by TREVOR on 20 September 2017
are yes didn't a council build a esatate and found that they had to pull them down oh dear but now theres houses every were
Posted by jeffrey davies on 21 September 2017
Letter bug fixed
Posted on 20 September 2017
The Layman
Posted on 13 September 2017
jeffs posts
Posted on 13 September 2017
That Mann's still around
Posted on 12 September 2017
Blair & the EU
Posted on 10 September 2017
Ask a stupid question (again)
Posted on 07 September 2017
stone them how quaint hay
Posted on 07 September 2017
They shall not speak
Posted on 07 September 2017
Cimla
Posted on 07 September 2017
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