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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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Man sentenced following Tregaron assault

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FOLLOWING a report of an assault in Tregaron on Tuesday, April 3, Dyfed-Powys Police has arrested and charged Saul Rownan Henvey, aged 42, of Chapel Street, Tregaron, with common assault.

He was arrested following the incident, for which the victim required hospital treatment.

Henvey appeared before Llanelli Magistrates’ Courts on Friday, April 6.

He received a three month sentence, suspended for 12 months. He was also given a 12 month supervisory order and ordered to undergo 30 days of rehabilitation requirements.

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Motorbike safety campaign launched across Wales

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A CAMPAIGN aimed at reducing the risk of motorcycle-related deaths and serious injuries on the roads is underway across Wales.

As the weather improves police see more bikers on the roads, taking advantage of the beautiful routes across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys.

Dyfed-Powys Police is urging motorcyclists to ride safely and warns that until October there will be an increased focus as part of the campaign, named Op Darwen.

Superintendent Huw Meredith, Head of Specialist Operations, said: “Motorcyclists have long been identified as particularly vulnerable road users and reducing the number of road deaths and casualties on the roads of Dyfed-Powys is a priority for our Roads Policing Units.

“We have always welcomed motorcyclists from outside our borders to enjoy the magnificent landscape, but they must be aware that Dyfed-Powys Police is doing all it can to ensure our roads are used safely by all, with our Roads Policing Units taking robust action to prevent fatal or serious road traffic collisions on our roads.

“Everyone must take responsibility for their own and others safety on our roads and be aware of their riding and driving manner. Action will be taken against anyone choosing to ride or drive anti-socially, recklessly or illegally on our roads.

“Our officers see far too many tragedies, many preventable. Roads Policing officers will be out in numbers throughout Dyfed-Powys using a combination of education, engagement and enforcement to prevent further tragedies.”

Officers will also be encouraging riders to improve their biking skills by taking part in BikeSafe workshops, which
offer an insight into what can be achieved with further advanced training. The workshops, run by police forces around the UK, use a mix of discussions, on-road observed rides and information videos. They are designed to enhance the skills of all riders who have already passed their tests and are suitable for all abilities, from the most seasoned rider to those returning to biking after a period of absence.

Economy and Transport Secretary Ken Skates praised the campaign: “Our roads continue to be amongst the safest in the world.

“However, the number of motorcyclists being killed or seriously injured is still too high.

“Campaigns like this are a key part of a wider range of measures aimed at making our roads safer and preventing future motorcycling casualties. This holistic approach includes ensuring motorcyclists are prioritised in our road safety funding, supporting Go Safe’s operation of speed cameras and funding local authorities to deliver Bikesafe and other motorcyclist training.”

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‘Race hate’ case will be heard at Crown Court

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A BRYNAMMAN man who allegedly called for all Muslims to be ‘forcibly sterilised and banned from preaching their ‘evil creed’ in a social media post will have his case heard at Crown Court.

It s alleged that 34-year-old Jonathan Jennings posted nine offensive or threatening comments between March and April last year.

These are said to include threatening to ‘Jo Cox’ Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, hailing a man jailed for kicking a pregnant Muslim woman in the stomach as ‘a National Hero’ and suggesting that bombing mosques and ‘putting Muslim on top of bonfires’ were ‘great ideas’.

It is alleged that he said Hitler was born 100 years too soon, and called for Gina Miller to be ‘hunted down and executed’ over her stance on Brexit.

Appearing at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court wearing a blue military greatcoat, purple shirt, and yellow striped tie, Jennings, of Heol y Gelynen, spoke only to give the court his name, age and address.

Jennings’ solicitor said that he would not be entering a plea at this stage.

The District Judge declined jurisdiction, and Jennings was released on bail until May 18 at Swansea Crown Court, on condition that he does not post or repost anything on social media, or create any new accounts.

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