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Call for clarity on council mergers

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councilWITH the deadline approaching for local authorities to set out proposals for voluntary mergers, the Welsh Government has confirmed a timetable for final decisions and elections. At Assembly question time on Wednesday (Oct 8), Joyce Watson AM asked Public Services Minister Leighton Andrews to clarify plans for upcoming elections to local authorities, whether or not they choose to merge with neighbouring councils. Joyce Watson asked:“It seems difficult to set out clear timetables for local elections until we know where we are with voluntary mergers.

However, will you confirm that elections to existing local authorities will take place in May 2017 and that those authorities who merge voluntarily will have their elections in May 2018? Are you confident that local representatives and voters are equally clear about that?” The Welsh Government set out plans for sweeping changes to local government in the Reforming Local Government White Paper, which it consulted on from 8 July to 1 October. Local Authorities have until 28 November to come forward with voluntary merger plans. In west Wales, Pembrokeshire County Council is exploring a potential merger with Ceredigion. That is despite Ceredigion councillors rejecting the idea in a unanimous vote last month.

Meanwhile, Carmarthenshire Council’s Labour leader Kevin Madge has said the county should continue as a standalone authority. In answer to Mrs Watson, Mr Andrews said: “The Member is right, and the onus is on local authorities to indicate whether they are going to come forward with voluntary merger proposals. “Voluntary merged councils will not have elections in 2017; unmerged councils will. Voluntary merged councils will vest in April 2018, having been set up in shadow form in April 2017, and they will have elections in May 2018.

The first elections for the remaining new authorities will be in May 2019, with shadow authorities and shadow councils established and vesting day for those new authorities would then be in April 2020. In May 2022, full local government elections for all authorities would be held.” “I look forward to receiving many expressions of interest by November 28.”

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Spate of overnight burglaries in Clarach, Bow Street and Ponterwyd

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POLICE are investigating a spate of burglaries overnight in Clarach, Bow Street and Ponterwyd.

A number of burglaries have been reported, with entry forced to businesses and CCTV cameras damaged or removed.

In Bow Street, entry was forced into an agricultural merchants, where items were taken; and CCTV was removed from a business.

Two vehicles – a VW Passat – registration plate CU16 OAL – and an Audi – registration YT09 TWL – were also reported stolen from a garage in the village.

A VW Crafter – registration plate GM16OTP, along with tools and equipment were stolen from a business in Ponterwyd.

Four businesses at Nantallan Business Park were targeted:

Bikes and steamers were reported stolen from one, a generator and two boxes containing LED lighting from another, a Mitsubishi L200 flatbed truck taken from the third, and tools stolen from a fourth.

Police are treating the incidents as linked, and would like to speak to anyone with information or who witnessed any suspicious behaviour in the Clarach and Bow Street areas.

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Police confirm Ellie Bryan, 18, died in collision

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE can confirm the woman who tragically died following a collision at Commins Coch was Ellie Bryan, from Aberystwyth.
The 18-year-old was a passenger in a Vauxhall Astra which was involved in a collision at around 10pm on Saturday, November 16.
Her family has released the following statement: “We are distraught by our loss of Ellie. She will be missed by us all.
“Ellie was a loving daughter, sister and granddaughter.
“We would like to thank everyone for their support at this devastating time.
“We would appreciate having time to grieve in privacy.”
Police continue to appeal for witnesses or anyone with information about the collision to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit.
You can report information online at: http://bit.ly/dppReportOnline, by email at: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101.
If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DP-20191116-353.

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18-year-old girl arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving

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POLICE have said they have arrested a driver in connection with a fatal collision which took place at Commins Coch on Saturday (Nov 16).

An 18-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, and has been released on bail pending further enquiries.

The collision occurred on the A487 at around 10pm, and involved two vehicles.

Enquiries have revealed the involvement of a third car and yesterday the driver of this vehicle was arrested.

An 18-year-old woman – a passenger in a Vauxhall Astra – sadly died from injuries sustained in the incident. Her family is being supported by specialist officers.

The driver of the Astra remains in hospital in a critical condition.

Anyone travelling along this stretch of road at the time of the collision who had dash cam footage, or saw the collision, is asked to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit.

You can report information online at: http://bit.ly/dppReportOnline, by email at: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DP-20191116-353

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