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Project to support dementia sufferers

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dementia projectAN INNOVATIVE new service to help people with dementia across South West Wales and their carers feel more supported and enjoy a full and active life through activities including art, drama, and photography launched in Llanelli on Friday (15 November).

Alzheimer’s Society will run the ‘Life not just a service’ project across Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Swansea, Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot, after being awarded over £720,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

The project will be delivered through a programme of adult community learning opportunities including art, drama, patchwork quilting, family history, and photography – to name but a few. Each course will run for 10 weeks, with the weekly session operating for three hours in locations across south west Wales.

The event, which highlighted the charity’s support services for people living with dementia in South West Wales, was attended by Jonathan Edwards MP. Speaking at the event he said:

‘In my surgeries I meet many carers who are extremely grateful for the work of Alzheimer’s Society in helping them to adapt to a life-changing condition which impacts not just the individual, but the wider family circle. Amongst other things Alzheimer’s Society offers hope to people that there is life beyond developing dementia.

‘The fact that Alzheimer’s Society has been awarded substantial funding from the Big Lottery is a testament to the confidence stakeholders have in the work the Society undertakes’.

The new funding is one of three Big Lottery projects secured in the last 18 months for Alzheimer’s Society in Wales, totalling £2.75m (£2,750,000).

The advocacy and befriending services, funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s AdvantAGE programme, were officially launched in July 2012 and have since helped to support people across South West Wales who are living with all forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Cheryl James, Operations Manager for Alzheimer’s Society in South West Wales said: ‘There are estimated to be over 44,500 people with dementia in Wales and as the population ages, we all face the risk of one day developing the condition. Through our new project ‘Life Not Just a Service’ we aim to reach out and offer a range of learning opportunities to those who may not have otherwise been able to access our support services.

‘People with dementia and their carers can often experience feelings of loneliness and isolation, especially in the more rural parts of Wales. Alzheimer’s Society is committed to reaching out to all people with dementia and their carers in order to help them and support them to live well with dementia now and in the future.

‘We hope that the new ‘Life Not Just a Service’ will increase public awareness of dementia and give people a better understanding of the condition; reducing the stigma. We also hope that the project will create a sense of community spirit where people with dementia can be active citizens.

‘We are delighted that thanks to the generous support of the Big Lottery Fund, we can bring these much needed services to Wales.’

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Restaurant owner fined over £3000 for ‘significant rodent infestation’

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THE FORMER proprietor of a restaurant which had a ‘significant rodent infestation’ pleaded guilty to ten food hygiene offences at Aberystwyth Justice Centre on Monday (Jun 18).

Mr Rysul Asad of Gloster Row, Cardigan, and the former proprietor of Gulshan, Chancery Lane, Cardigan, has appeared before Magistrates.

Four offences related to the presence of a significant rodent infestation at the restaurant, which was under Mr Asad’s control at the time. A further five offences related to the poor standards of cleaning found during the investigation.

Emergency action was taken by Ceredigion County Council Environmental Health Officers in September 2017 following the discovery of an active rodent infestation at the premises, and resulted in the immediate closure of the food business.

Rodent activity, including the presence of droppings, entry points and gnawing, was discovered within food preparation and food storage areas of the premises. Furthermore, Officers also discovered dirty equipment and very poor standards of cleaning.

Rodents carry a number of dangerous microorganisms and pose a significant risk to human health. These can include Salmonellosis, Escherichia coli (E.coli), Hantavirus and Weil’s disease.

The presence of rodents within a food premises can transmit these diseases via contaminated surfaces, equipment and the food itself, to such an extent that it is regarded as an imminent risk to health.

Cabinet Member for Public Protection Services Councillor Gareth Lloyd said: “Food hygiene inspections, and Food Hygiene Ratings shown on the doors of the majority of food businesses in Ceredigion, gives reassurance to the public who live, work and visit the county that the food they eat is safe and has been prepared hygienically. However, on rare occasions the Council must take action to protect public health and the reputation of our excellent hospitality industry who work hard to maintain standards.”

Mr Asad also pleaded guilty to a further offence of failing to register his new food business, namely Shatun Sharha Limited trading as Shampan the Boat Restaurant and Takeaway, River Teifi, Quay Street, Lower Mwldan, Cardigan, for which he is now the proprietor. Mr Asad failed to notify the Commercial Services Team at Ceredigion County Council of this change following his departure from Gulshan in November 2017.

Councillor Lloyd added: “Cases like this underline the importance of the work of our food and safety team and the value of our inspection programme. The food safety team works hard with local businesses to meet and maintain legal food hygiene standards to ensure the best hygiene safety in our county.”

The Magistrates imposed a total financial penalty of £3,107 on Mr Asad for the offences. This included Council costs and victim surcharge.

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3,000 Welsh landlords still unregistered

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JANET FINCH-SAUNDERS AM has called on the Welsh Government to urgently work to improve landlord registration under Rent Smart Wales, as estimates released indicate around 3,000 remain unregistered.

Ms Finch-Saunders said: “Rent Smart Wales estimates that still 3,000 landlords are unregistered here in Wales.

“Whilst that makes up a small percentage of our total landlords, it is most concerning for those living in properties leased to them by those who have not yet registered.

“The Welsh Government has confirmed that a landlord who is not registered with Rent Smart Wales is unable to serve a valid Section 21 eviction notice – so where unregistered landlords do indicate that they want tenants to vacate a property, this is not recognised by local housing associations, which can cause stress to tenants who may not be aware of their full rights under the law.

“By focusing on ensuring that all landlords are properly registered, the Welsh Government can alleviate such concerns, and I will be urging the Cabinet Secretary to act to ensure all landlords are abiding by this legislation in full.”

The Minister for Housing and Regeneration told Ms Finch-Saunders that the latest figures released by Rent Smart Wales show that 90,812 landlords are now registered. Rent Smart Wales’ latest estimate for the number of unregistered landlords is approximately 3,000.

This is based on the dwelling stock estimates recently published by StatsWales, and an estimation of the average number of properties owned by each landlord.

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Public urged to enjoy dolphin sightings at a distance

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WITH summer on the way, bringing visitors enjoying Ceredigion’s wildlife rich coastline, the Council is urging members of the public to enjoy coastal activities without disturbing Cardigan Bay’s special wildlife and habitats. The call comes after individuals recently approached and swam with dolphins in Cardigan Bay.

The Ceredigion Marine Code of Conduct asks water users to stay 100 metres away from dolphins and porpoises encountered at sea, and to keep a distance of 50 metres from seals and nesting sea birds.

In no circumstances should the public attempt to feed, swim with or touch the dolphins. These are wild animals. Dolphins are large and powerful and can grow up to four metres long. As well as causing significant disturbance to the animals and pushing them off important feeding sites, close contact can also result in exposure to diseases to both humans and animals.

Repeated disturbance could cause the dolphins to leave important feeding sites to search for quieter areas.

Disruption to feeding, resting and nursing behaviour could have a long-term impact on the health and wellbeing of individual dolphins and populations.

The Cabinet member responsible for Economy and Regeneration, Councillor Rhodri Evans said: “Cardigan Bay’s wildlife is a great asset to the economy of our coastal communities and is also important in its own right. It is because of this that we ask residents and visitors to enjoy dolphin, and other wildlife sightings at a safe distance. Although the temptation to have a close-up view is understandable, we can’t risk disturbing Cardigan Bay’s wildlife and possibly driving them away. It’s the last thing anyone wants.”

The Ceredigion Marine Code of Conduct was established by Ceredigion County Council over twenty years ago, in response to local community concerns that the bottlenose dolphins that use these waters to feed, socialise and breed were experiencing greater pressures from disturbance by those enjoying recreational water-based activities.

The Ceredigion Marine Code of Conduct can be found online on http://www.cardiganbaysac.org.uk/?page_id=583

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