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Business improvement district for Aberystwyth

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ABERYSTWYTH businesses have voted in favour of introducing a Business Improvement District (BID) in the town centre.

The ballot was won by 97 votes in favour, with 84 businesses voting against the proposal. 45% of those eligible to vote did so, which is slightly higher than the national average of 40%. It is hoped that the BID will improve Aberystwyth as a destination to work and visit.

A voluntary steering group comprising of Aberystwyth businesses under the banner of Advancing Aberystwyth was set up and has led the process to establish the BID. The group will now form a ‘not for profit’ company from all eligible businesses in the town – those that will be paying the levy – regardless of how they voted in the ballot. The BID company will deliver targeted projects and services that are new, unique and not delivered currently by any other agency or organisation.

Advancing Aberystwyth seeks to develop a five year programme of improvements in the town centre by collecting a levy from all eligible businesses. It is envisaged that there is the potential to collect just over £700,000 between 2016 and 2021 to invest in a comprehensive programme of improvements. Every effort will be made to match this sum with funding from other sources.

It will be funded by a 1.25% levy on the rateable value (RV) of all eligible hereditaments, or business units, within the defined BID boundary if that business has a RV of £6,000 or more. Businesses with a RV below this threshold will be exempt from voting and paying the BID levy.

Councillor Gareth Lloyd, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economic and Community Development, said: “By voting in favour of the BID, Aberystwyth business owners have demonstrated their appetite to make changes locally on the issues that are of importance to them and, in so doing, to improve the town centre. This is an exciting time for Aberystwyth, and I am very grateful for the efforts of Advancing Aberystwyth for their perseverance in bringing the BID to fruition.”

Tony Bates from Morris & Bates Solicitors is a member of theAdvancing Aberystwyth Steering Group, he said: “Now the hard work really begins and I do hope that we can attract to the Board of the new BID company people with vision, business acumen, and a real belief in Aberystwyth as a wonderful place to live and work. Paradoxically I should also like to see business people who voted “no” in the ballot to come forward in order that we may have a Board of Directors comprising a dynamic and wide ranging spectrum of ideas and personalities.”

The programme will focus on access and connections such asimproving access and availability of parking and installing free Wi-Fi. It will look at marketing and promotion and deliver PR campaigns and build relationships with the local press. It will create a stronger business community by developing business incentives and mentoring schemes, and strengthen relationships by working with local authorities, and existing initiatives to tackle crime.

All these services will be in addition to those already provided by Ceredigion County Council and Aberystwyth Town Council.

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Stereophonics to play Swansea gig

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ONE of Britain’s best live bands Stereophonics has announced a special performance at Singleton Park, Swansea on Saturday, July 13, 2019.

The stadium rockers will perform in their south Wales heartland to celebrate 20 years since the career milestone show in Swansea at Morfa Stadium to 55,000 people and the release of ‘Performance and Cocktails’.

It will be the band’s first time back in south west Wales since their Morfa Stadium show in 1999. This now iconic album, which was the band’s second studio release, gave Stereophonics three straight top five singles in the British charts with ‘The Bartender and the Thief’ reaching No.3, and both ‘Just Looking’ and ‘Pick a Part That’s New’ reaching No.4.

Over the past two decades, Stereophonics have played at some of the biggest venues to fans all across the globe, amassing over 10 million album sales in that time.

More recently in 2018, the band performed to sell-out crowds across the globe, including a huge 15-date arena tour, summer homecoming gigs in Wrexham and Cardiff plus headline shows at Kendal Calling, Y Not Festival and Victorious Festival.

Speaking about the latest announcement, Kelly Jones said: “Performance and Cocktails put us on the world map, and also on the TV and the Radio, which meant a lot of people went back to discover Word Gets Around and made our first album platinum! Morfa Stadium was where we set Performance and Cocktails alight, and it was a one off day that can never be beaten. It was perfect. I’m not a man that likes to go backwards, this event is merely a birthday party, so come along and help us blow out the candles.”

Stereophonics are Kelly Jones (vocals/guitar), Richard Jones (bass), Adam Zindani (guitar) and Jamie Morrison (drums).

Tickets go on sale on Friday (Dec 14) at 10am via www.myticket.co.uk.

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Heroin could be linked to Aberysytwyth supply

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A LIVERPOOL man has admitted possessing heroin that could be linked to drugs supplied in Aberystwyth.

Jack English, aged 20, pleaded guilty to possessing a quantity of heroin with intent to supply when he appeared at Swansea Crown ccourt for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Keith Thomas.

The court heard the drugs could also be linked to English’s father, who had been a heroin user who had ‘gone to Aberystwyth on many occasions’ and who had died since his son’s arrest in October 2017.

Judge Thomas said he would sentence English on January 11.

English, of Storrington Road, was granted bail meanwhile but warned that a jail sentence was the most likely outcome.

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Mark Drakeford named next First Minister

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THE NEXT First Minister of Wales will be Mark Drakeford, it has been announced this afternoon (Dec 6).

Mr Drakeford, a Cardiff West AM, was named as the winner of the Welsh Labour leadership contest at the Principality Stadium.

The contest was triggered when Carwyn Jones, the current First Minister, announced he was stepping down.

Mr Jones will officially step down on Tuesday (Dec 10).

Mr Drakeford will then be officially confirmed as the new First Minister of Wales by the National Assembly next week.

In the first round of voting, the results were:

Mark Drakeford – 46.9%
Vaughan Gething – 30.8%
Eluned Morgan – 22.3%

Eluned Morgan’s votes were then redistributed on voters’ second preferences, with the following results:

Mark Drakeford – 53.9%
Vaughan Gethin – 46.1%

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