Talented youngsters asking key questions
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?
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