Tal­ented young­sters ask­ing key ques­tions

Llanelli Star - - NEWS -

LAST week I had the opportunit­y to present my fourth an­nual re­port to full coun­cil, and it was won­der­ful to wel­come some of our mini ex­ec­u­tive board mem­bers to the cham­ber for the first time.

Em­lyn Bach (Lewis Thomas) in­tro­duced the project, which aims to in­volve young peo­ple in the de­liv­ery of key coun­cil projects over the next few years.

Bear­ing in mind that ev­ery­thing we do has an im­pact on fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, it is great to have th­ese tal­ented young­sters ask­ing us key ques­tions and help­ing give our com­mu­ni­ties a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of what we are aim­ing to achieve.

My re­port high­lights the sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ments made over the past 12 months, in­clud­ing our £45 mil­lion in­vest­ment in coun­cil homes and £2.8 mil­lion on our highways, as well as the £16.2 mil­lion we’ve se­cured in pri­vate sec­tor and ex­ter­nal fund­ing to sup­port our com­mu­ni­ties.

At the same time, our of­fi­cers have iden­ti­fied £16 mil­lion worth of sav­ings by do­ing things dif­fer­ently.

As we gear up to host the OVO En­ergy Women’s Tour in June, the sec­ond na­tional road cy­cling race in less than 12 months, it’s also good to re­flect on the suc­cess of the Tour of Bri­tain which pulled in over £800,000 for busi­nesses and com­mu­ni­ties in just 48 hours last Septem­ber.

In ad­di­tion to that, we’re still count­ing the re­turn on our in­vest­ment as more and more peo­ple come to Car­marthen­shire on the back of such a great event.

CI DON’T want to cast a black cloud of gloom over your sunny lives, but have you cho­sen what song(s) you’d like played at your fu­neral?

Don’t go!

You’ll find this in­ter­est­ing – and not a bit mor­bid.

Ap­par­ently, there’s a Fu­neral Song Top 10 chart, which shows that hymns are be­ing re­placed by pop­u­lar songs on those sad oc­ca­sions when we say our fi­nal farewell to friends and rel­a­tives.

Ac­cord­ing to Co-Op Fu­ner­als, a quar­ter of peo­ple in the UK have al­ready told their fam­i­lies what song they want played at their fu­neral . . . and they’re not hymns.

As the older gen­er­a­tions (many of whom were reg­u­lar church-go­ers) pass on, re­li­gious fu­neral ser­vices are mak­ing way for non-re­li­gious ser­vices, re­flect­ing the sec­u­lar so­ci­ety we’re be­com­ing.

In churches, fu­neral par­lour chapels and cre­ma­to­ri­ums, the old stal­warts like Abide With Me and All Things Bright And Beau­ti­ful – a per­fectly pleasant song but so light­weight it comes across as an “Oh, this’ll do!” choice by peo­ple with no real in­ter­est in mu­sic – are slip­ping down the charts to make way for Frank Si­na­tra’s My Way and Time To Say Good­bye by Sarah Bright­man and An­drea Bo­celli.

While I can un­der­stand those choices, I was more than a lit­tle sur­prised to learn that some planned fu­neral songs

are by Stor­mzy and some­body blessed with the name Wiz Khal­ifa.

And no, I’ve never heard of him/her either.

To those of you who re­gret this modern trend, I’d say that while many Vic­to­rian hymns de­fine grav­i­tas and solem­nity, well-crafted pop­u­lar songs can touch peo­ple’s hearts in a per­sonal way the old hymns can’t achieve to­day.

Songs like Tears In Heaven by Eric Clap­ton and In My Life by the Bea­tles res­onate with in­di­vid­u­als who ap­pre­ci­ate their beau­ti­ful lyrics and haunt­ing melodies.

When Glenn Miller’s In The Mood was played at Peter Sellers’s fu­neral, the mourn­ers, in­clud­ing Harry Se­combe and Spike Mil­li­gan, started laugh­ing, aware Peter loathed the tune and de­lib­er­ately chose it to amuse his friends after he’d gone.

I hope I’ve left you with a smile this week, too!

Comedian Phil Evans from Am­man­ford is known as the man who puts the “cwtsh” into com­edy

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