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Commissioner wants council tax decrease

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE and Crime Commissioner, Christopher Salmon wants householders to pay less for their policing services this year.

Police Council Tax decrease: Public to pay 5 percent less for services if plans accepted

Police Council Tax decrease: Public to pay 5 percent less for services if plans accepted

He is recommending a 5% decrease in the policing element of council tax payments across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys.

Mr Salmon said: “The police force has significant reserves of £43m of public money and the long-term trend is that crime is falling.

“I want to realign the level of precept with the real cost of running Dyfed-Powys Police; a fall in the precept will help that process.”

Mr Salmon’s proposal would result in a policing precept at council tax band D of £200.07 (down from £210.60) – a decrease of 20.3p per week. It would help deliver a 2015- 16 Dyfed-Powys policing budget of £95.6m (2014-15 – £97.9m).

He said: “My precept proposal balances the needs of families with the needs of our police service.

“Local policing is a priority and, due to investment in IT, our communities will see officers spend another 100,000 hours on the beat this year. That’s on top of the 30 new police officer posts we’ve created.

“An improved police air service will start soon, we have new mental health incident units, a new partnership to tackle antisocial behaviour and more domestic violence advisors. New rape crisis centres will open soon and I plan a CCTV strategy for the region.”

Mr Salmon’s precept proposal will go to the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Panel today (Jan 23). They have the power to reject the initial proposal. Once the Commissioner and Panel agree a figure it will be implemented.

Throughout December, Mr Salmon consulted the public and the feedback helped him propose the -5 percent figure. Around 30 percent of people said they paid too much for the police and a similar proportion asked for reserves to be used to minimise the precept rise.

In 2015-16, Government funding to Dyfed-Powys will fall in by 5.1 percent from £53.0 million to £50.3 million. A -5 percent precept decrease would produce £43.0 million for Dyfed-Powys Police. Reserves of £2.3 million would be added to create the policing budget of £95.6 million. The Chief Constable would therefore have no less money from the Commissioner in 2014-15 than he did in 2015-16.

Mr Salmon added: “My decision to cut the precept reflects what too many politicians in Wales fail to recognise; the money they handle belongs to the public. We have a duty to spend every penny of it as if it were our own.

“The public want strong frontline policing and, through the whole organisation working more wisely and professionally, that’s what I want to deliver.

“We’re on track to save £8.8 million from 2013-16 and the Dyfed- Powys civilian support services continue to become more resourceful, adaptable and flexible.

“Thanks to tough decisions and the incredibly hard work of the Chief Constable, his team, Unison and the Police Federation we have increased police officer numbers and saved £3.74 million.

“Ours is not a rich part of the world but I can now ensure that families struggling with bills will pay a little bit less. Dyfed-Powys householders will pay the same for policing in 2017 as they did in 2014.

“We will continue to invest in estates and IT to deliver 100,000 more officer hours to the front line in 2015 – and a modern, 21st century estate.”

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Richards-Keegan cleared of sending underage girl nude pictures

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A BOW STREET man has been cleared of charges that he sent an underage girl photographs of his penis.

Paul Robert Morgan Richards-Keegan, aged 21, had denied two allegations of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Richards-Keegan, of Tregerddan, said the only messages he sent her via the internet were in response to approaches from her and did not include photographs of his private parts.

Catherine Richards, prosecuting, had told a jury at Swansea Crown Court that the 14-year-old girl had shared messages with Richards-Keegan via Snapchat.

At one stage police issued to him a child abduction notice, which he signed, instructing him not to contact the girl

In 2016 she told her mother that he was again sending her unwanted photographs of his penis attached to messages.

Richards-Keegan was arrested, and told police he had obeyed the order apart from messages he had sent after being contacted by the complainant.

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Ben Lake MP gets First Class experience as he turns postie for the day in Lampeter

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Ceredigion MP Ben Lake experienced what is involved in delivering the post when he joined local postman Wyn on his delivery round in Lampeter yesterday.

Ben is one of a number of local MPs being invited to go out with postmen and women across Wales to see the lengths Royal Mail goes to, to deliver the post.

The purpose of the visits is to give MPs a unique insight into the challenges of delivering mail to every house and business in their constituency, six days a week.

Jamie Lambert, Royal Mail Delivery Manager, who briefed Ben before he set off on his walk said: “We’re delighted that Ben is taking the time to experience the every day challenges faced by our delivery postmen and women.

“The visit gave us the opportunity to show Ben how we are continuing to modernise and transform our organisation. We have invested in new sorting and delivery equipment as we respond to the changing nature of the modern postbag. We are delivering more parcels and fewer letters than ever before and the tools for the job need to reflect that.”

Ben Lake MP said: “Postmen and women perform an incredibly important service to our communities; not only do they ensure that our post is delivered, but they are often a vital contact for elderly individuals, and as such key to biding us closer together as a community.

“I wanted to get a real understanding of the work that goes into delivering the mail on a daily basis. There can be no better way of getting that insight than actually going out and joining a postman as he delivers his postal round.

“I would like to thank the team at the Lampeter Sorting Office for their work and welcome, and to Wyn for his patience as I followed him on his round.”

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Tenders invited for Cylch Caron

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Tenders are invited for the design and build of a new fully-integrated health, social care and housing centre, Cylch Caron in Tregaron.

The tendering opportunity has been advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union, and the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) published on 12 February 2018. Completed PQQ submissions must be made online through etenderwales by Noon on 15 March 2018.

Following a previous unsuccessful exercise the Cylch Caron Project Board voted to explore new tender options for the design and construction of the facility. Subsequently, this tender for a design and build solution has been developed to deliver best value for money and fit-for-purpose health and extra care facilities, for current and future generations.

Councillor Catherine Hughes, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Social Services, and Chair of the Cylch Caron Stakeholder Board, said: “After exploring ways in which to move this project forward successfully, this is an important milestone that I am very happy to see. The Project Board agreed to re-procure the scheme on a Design and Build basis which will hopefully be an attractive prospect to building companies.”

The scheme is being developed in partnership between Ceredigion County Council, Hywel Dda University Health Board, Mid-Wales Housing and the Welsh Government. It will consist of a GP surgery, community pharmacy, outpatient clinics and community nursing services, as well as extra care flats and integrated health and social care units.

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