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County NFU elect new chairman

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mike plumbA MEMBER and past chairman of the Narberth local branch, Mike Plumb, was earlier this week elected into office for the coming year as Chairman of the Pembroke County branch of the National Farmers Union.

He succeeds Mansel Raymond, North West local branch, and will have as his vice–chairman, Simon Richards of Central area.Born in Oxfordshire, Mike came to the area as a teenager in 1966 when his parents, Peter and Mary Plumb, bought Plascerdin Farm at Llangynin.

He has a strong NFU pedigree for his father was elected Chairman of the Union’s Carmarthen branch for 1988. Like his father, he was a member of the St Clears local branch in Carmarthenshire. Mike served the county as livestock committee chairman and has continued to be actively involved in Union affairs since moving to farm at the 92-acre Blaenffynnonau, Narberth and has chaired the Union’s Rural Affairs Committee in Pembrokeshire.

Mike is married to June, who works for a well-established firm of accountants, and the couple have two sons, Steven, who works for the NHS, and Tim, who is a graphic designer – and three young grandchildren. As a means of generating extra income 16 years ago, Mike trained in pest control and started a service for farmers and others in disposing of rodent pests and he was also in demand in mole control. This side of the business had to end when the use of strychnine became prohibited.

More recently, in partnership with his wife June, with specialised equipment and well trained staff, he now works on private contracts and for the County Council and National Parks Authority on tree surgery (lopping and topping), tree removal (including an emergency 24-hour service), mobile wood chipping and log splitting, orchard and large garden maintenance and bracken control.

Mike manages all the practical aspects of the partnership, personally overseeing all of the work and insisting that his staff provide a reliable service and receive ongoing training and updating, to keep within latest safety guidelines.

Mike says: “We take immense pride in the fact that most of the work we undertake in the private sector, comes from the recommendations of
satisfied clients”.

Panel: Union activities
THE annual dinner of the NFU’s Pembroke County branch, attended by 160 members, friends and guests, was held last Friday evening at the new Crug Glas Function Centre, near Croesgoch, operated by union members, Perkin and Janet Evans. The guest speaker for the occasion was Andy Robertson, who was just over 12 months ago, appointed as the Union’s Director General for England and Wales.

This week’s annual general meeting was held at the Wolfscastle Country Hotel and the Union’s annual County Conference is to be held at the Nantyffin, Llandissilio on Thursday, January 9 when the guest speaker will be Prof Wayne Powell.

For the past five years Wayne has been the highly regarded Director of IBERS (The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University) and recently appointed as Chief Science Officer of the CGIAR Consortium –a global partnership of research organizations.

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Lecture considers the future of war

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INTERNATIONALLY renowned war scholar and military conflict expert, Professor Christopher Coker delivered this year’s Kenneth N. Waltz Annual Lecture on Thursday (Nov 16).

Christopher Coker, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, is a prolific author on all aspects of war. He is a former NATO Fellow, a former twice serving member of the Council of the Royal United Services Institute, and a regular lecturer at Defence Colleges in the UK, US, Rome, Singapore, and Tokyo.

In his lecture entitled ‘Still ‘The Human Thing’? Thucydides, Waltz & the Future of War”, Professor Coker discussed war as a feature of what we call ‘human nature’ or ‘humanity’ in general, while focusing on urgent contemporary issues such as possible changes in the nature of war by the blurring of the distinction between humans and machines.

He also considered how, as Artificial Intelligence becomes ever more a fact of life, the traditional functions and forms of war could change, discussing such questions as: will we still need war and will war still need us?

Talking ahead of the the event, Professor Ken Booth of Aberystwyth University said: “Chris Coker is a very imaginative, interesting, and controversial thinker. Intellectually ambitious, he always addresses the biggest questions. The titles of some of his most recent books attest to this: Future War, Can War be Eliminated?, Warrior Geeks: how 21st Century Technology is Changing the Way We Fight and Think about War, The Improbable War: China, the US, and the Logic of Great Power Conflict and Men at War: what Fiction tells us about Conflict. We can be sure of a fascinating and challenging lecture about a supremely important area of human behaviour.”

The Kenneth N. Waltz Annual Lecture brings distinguished scholars to Aberystwyth to talk about issues that were central to the concerns of the late Ken Waltz, the leading theorist of international relations over many decades.
Hosted by the David Davies Memorial Institute and the Department of International Politics, this year’s lecture was held in the Main Hall in the International Politics Building on the Penglais Campus.

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Youth Service invited to international training event

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TWO Youth Workers from Ceredigion Youth Service have been selected to represent the UK on a week’s training opportunity in Horažd’ovice in the Czech Republic.

‘The danger of a Single Story’ is a training course funded by Erasmus+, that combines stories, media, global education and active citizenship to empower trainers, educators and youth workers with the tools to educate young people on issues such as cyberbullying, hate speech, and online harassment.

Elen James, Head of Youth Engagement and Continuing Education​,​ said​:​ “We are extremely proud of both Rebeca Davies and Guto Crompton, 270 people had applied, for 24 places, 2 were allocated for the UK and both places have been assigned to Ceredigion Youth Service staff.

“This is an excellent training opportunity for them, which will inform them and encourage them to reflect on the evolution of media and the consequences that it has on the formation of stereotypes and prejudices. We wish them all the best in Prague!​”​

Rebeca Davies and Guto Crompton will join 22 other Youth Workers from Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey. The week will be hosted at the PROUD Environmental Centre approximately 120km from Prague, from ​Sunday (Nov 19) for a week.

Rebeca Davies, School Based Youth Worker said​:​ “I’m really looking forward to visiting Prague, and meeting other Youth Workers from across the World. It will be a fantastic opportunity to learn new tools and techniques to encourage and empower young people back here in Ceredigion.”

Guto Crompton, School Based Youth Worker ​added​:​ “I’m looking forward to learning more about different Youth Work methods and approaches. I’m also eager to develop a greater awareness around education, active citizenship and democracy.”

Cabinet member for Learning Services, Children and Young People’s Partnership, Councillor Catrin Miles, ​commented: “As a Council, we are very proud of the hard work of our Youth Service to the young people of the county. This will be a very important and worthwhile opportunity for Rebeca and Guto to represent Ceredigion and Wales and we wish them all the best at the event.”

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Pot Noodles bought with theft proceeds

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ON WEDNESDAY (Nov 15), Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court heard that a 23-year-old man stole an HDMI cable from a store and sold it for a tenner to buy ten Pot Noodles.

Joel Alexander Owens, of Portland Street in Aberystwyth, pleaded guilty to stealing alcohol to the value of £24.96 belonging to his hometown’s B&M Bargains on June 29. He also admitted stealing an HDMI cable to the value of £14 belonging to Tesco in Aberystwyth on September 24.

Prosecuting, Helen Tench said a staff member at B&M was notified by a member of the public about a male who left the store without paying for items.

CCTV footage was checked, which showed Owens select a number of alcoholic items and leaving the store without making any payments.

Police officers later viewed the footage and identified the defendant.

On October 14, a member of staff at Tesco was informed of the incident at B&M. The Tesco CCTV footage was viewed as a result and the defendant was seen removing an HDMI cable from its box on September 24 and leaving without paying.

Ms Tench said Owens was interviewed on October 19, where he admitted committing the offences in his personal statement.

The defendant also admitted he sold the HDMI cable for £10 in order to buy ten Pot Noodles.

Defending, Katy Hanson said Owens pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and admitted to stealing beer and cider from B&M.

Probation officer Julian Davies stated that the defendant was currently serving a 12-month community order for two previous offences of theft and a breach of a conditional discharge.

Aberystwyth magistrates revoked Owens community order and imposed a 12-month community order with 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a four-week curfew.

Owens was told to pay prosecution costs of £85, compensation of £14 to Tesco and compensation of £24.96 to B&M Bargains.

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