CELEBRATING a 40th Birthday in a sunny playground was a very different way to spend a Saturday.
There were many fun-filled preparations taking place at the premises of St Padarn’s school, and the commitment of the St Padarn’s’ playgroup was being demostrated to its fullest. Forty years of unique, fun, and beneficial childcare was celebrated within the community.
Situated on Llanbadarn R oad, Aberystwyth, St Padarn’s Playgroup has established itself as a charity which provides excellent childcare with a special emphasis on education. Through the medium of English and Welsh, the Playgroup gives children a fun experience while they learn through interactive planned activities and free play.
Run by an elected committee of parents, the Playgroup is fully insured through the Wales Pre-School Playgroup Association and also offers an after-school care for St Padarn’s School pupils on the same premises.
The Playgroup also have the policy of allowing parents of current pupils to automatically become members of the charity that run the playgroup, and encourage all parents to get involved in any way they can.
The community atmosphere was tangible even before the event had begun, the many young families helping to set up for this important day. Putting an emphasis on fun activities for children is one of the core principles of the Playgroup and continued with the children at the event having had the opportunity to enjoy various happenings such as face painting, Arts and Crafts and a cake competition stall.
While the children had the freedom to alternate between playing with toys scattered along the ground or on the wooden playground equipment, the parents showed their support by assisting with the raffle and the food stall.
With contemporary music playing throughout event, there was a special live performance from singer songwriter Callum Duell, entertainment from the Pied Piper and a petting corner, courtesy of Pets at Home in Aberystwyth.
Amber Walker, member of the Playgroup PTA and parent said: “The Playgroup has never felt like a Playgroup, but an education. The cake stall competition and the event itself is a wonderful way to get the children involved”
Committee-Secretary of the St Padarn’s Playgroup, Lisa Jones-Evans further explained while helping with the raffle stall: “My child has been in the playgroup for two years and absolutely loves it”.
The Organisers of the event warmly welcomed present nursery children, staff and committee member to the celebrations. Among them was Kath Philips, the playgroups’ longest serving Manager for 27 years, former Playgroup leader Maureen Gallop, former one to one assistant Margaret Evans and the former Playgroup Treasurer.
Speaking of her previous role and how the Playgroup formed, Kath explained: “The ethos of the Playgroup changed after a while and focused on navigating towards working parents. The Playgroup thrived and was all about having fun. We were forever having parties”
Sitting looking at old photos from 1982-1983 with the group gave a great sense of nostalgia and how the Playgroup formed into a highly affordable and well thought of childcare group under Kath’s leadership: a fantastic way to ensure that children were well looked after and well educated outside of the home.
Leontia Slay, one of the co-founders of the Playgroup, began a child care service in an old Catholic hall in Aberystwyth.
“The Playgroup came from nothing and was so simple when it began. Then it exploded into something special.”
The event included a tour around the Playgroup facilities by current playgroup manager of three years, Eleri Barker. Showing me and former staff of the Playgroup around the outdoor facilities, she explained: “Part of the children’s education at the Playgroup is the gardening. We’ve had a Lottery Grant this year for £5000, and we also relied on sustainability grants to do what we want to do.
“The children enjoy growing a garden and they have a mud garden, a kitchen to play in, a musical stand and a construction corner. We were also very fortunate that Mount Trading in Aberystwyth were able to give us gravel for the garden.
“The children have a sensory garden where they have a little shed to grow runner beans, black currents, blueberries, lettuces and potatoes.”
Discussing the developments of teaching methods over the years while in the Playgroup classroom, Eleri told The Herald: “The class should be open access all the time, with the castle in the corner and the three little pigs display. The committee are good at looking at what we need and there are always ways for everyone and anyone to fit in”
Pointing to a decoration hanging from the ceiling, she explained that they once built an igloo out of milk cartons and the children loved the bubble wrap icicles hanging from the ceiling so much, they wanted to leave them there.
The event concluded with a presentation and a birthday cake for the Playgroup in celebration of the high quality childcare and education that it continues to provide.
Plaid’s Dafydd Llywelyn re-elected as Police and Crime Commissioner
THE NEW Police and Crime Commissioner for the Dyfed Powys Area has been announced.
Incumbent, Dafydd Llywelyn, of Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales, has been re-elected for a second term.
The election was held Thursday, 06 May 2021, at the same time as the Senedd Cymru elections.
In order to follow all coronavirus regulations, the count for this election was held on Sunday, 09 May 2021.
The announcement was made in Ceredigion, at the Ysgol Bro Teifi, Llandysul.
Dafydd Llywelyn, was first elected as one of the two new Plaid Cymru PCCs during 2016’s election and is the PCC for Dyfed-Powys Police.
The force covers over half the land mass of Wales and during the PCC elections had the highest turnout of all PCC elections at 49%.
Mr Llywelyn is a former Principal Intelligence Analyst and worked within Police Intelligence for many years before, in 2014, moving to Aberystwyth University to lecture on Criminology. His career has provided him with considerable insight into core policing issues as well as an understanding of what the public want from the service. He has pledged to reinvest in CCTV and prevention activities and has refused to appoint a deputy.
Standing against him were three other candidates – Jon Burns (Conservative); Philippa Thompson (Labour) and Glyn Preston (Welsh Liberal Democrats).
The results for Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner’s elections were as follows:
Jon Burns (Conservatives); 69,112
Dafydd Llywelyn (Plaid Cymru); 68208
Philippa Thompson (Labour): 48033
Glyn Preston (Welsh Liberal Democrats) 17649
Jon Burns: 8209
Dafydd Llywelyn: 26280
This was the third time police and crime commissioner elections have been held. The election was originally due to take place in May 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new PCC term begins on Thursday, May 13, 2021.
Under the terms of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, PCCs must:
- secure an efficient and effective police for their area;
- appoint the Chief Constable, hold them to account for running the force, and if necessary dismiss them;
- set the police and crime objectives for their area through a police and crime plan;
- set the force budget and determine the precept;
- contribute to the national and international policing capabilities set out by the Home Secretary; and
- bring together community safety and criminal justice partners, to make sure local priorities are joined up.
Tregaron man charged with rape following large scale search for suspect
POLICE in Ceredigion have confirmed that man has been charged following the large police presence and search in the Lampeter area on Thursday, May 6.
A police operation was launched after an allegation of a serious sexual assault.
Officers have now confirmed that 45-year-old Saul Henvey, of Tregaron, has been charged with rape.
He is due to appear at Aberystwyth Magistrates Court on Monday, May 10.
Detectives dealing with the case that they would continue to provide specialist support to the victim.
A spokesperson said: “We would once again like to thank the public for their assistance in this investigation.”
Mark Drakeford says: ‘Thank you Wales for going red’
LABOUR is staying in power in Wales after matching its best-ever Senedd election result. It won exactly half of the 60 seats in the Welsh Parliament with all results now declared
Labour has 30 seats, with the Conservatives on 16, Plaid Cymru on 13 and the Liberal Democrats one.
Mark Drakeford thanked Wales for “going red” and has vowed to be “radical” and “ambitious” in government, as Labour looks to solidify its leadership in Wales.
Labour’s Vaughan Gething, health minister in the Welsh government, told the media that the party didn’t “have to look at a formal coalition” because they had done so well.
“We do, however, have to talk to other groups within the Senedd,” he said.
Mr Gething said Labour had a “strong mandate to govern” with 30 of the Senedd’s 60 seats.
The Wales Green Party failed to win a seat in the Senedd elections but they say they recorded their highest-ever result in Wales. Leader Anthony Slaughter said the “results demonstrate the appetite for change” across Wales.
Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party, said: “We seem to be getting votes from all of the parties and support on that regional list as people increase their knowledge of the voting system.”
Adam Price, who held Carmarthen East and Dinefwr with a reduced majority, said he would not stand down as Plaid Cymru leader.
Despite no gains, Mr Price said the party had increased its share of the vote and its stance on independence had been a “net positive”.
“I’m not walking away from anything, because this is the moment when Wales needs leadership,” he said.
“This is a historic challenge, because of the way that the politics is moving in this island, but it’s also a historic opportunity for us.
“We can move our nation forward and I’m looking forward to playing my part, it’s not something that anyone can do on their own.
“I have a role to play, we all have a role to play and that’s what’s exciting about politics at the moment. Wales is on the move Wales is on the march. I’m going to be part of that.”
Later, on social media, Adam Price said: ” I extend my congratulations to Mark Drakeford on securing a mandate to lead the next government. Although disappointed not to be returning more Members to the Senedd, I am proud that we ran a positive campaign based on a transformational programme.
“Our Senedd group will bring renewed energy and fresh ideas and I look forward to working with all my colleagues as we continue to build the case for independence. We will be a constructive but forensic opposition as we enter a crucial period of pandemic recovery.
“However, the sixth Senedd will be poorer without one of Wales’s most remarkable politicians. No one has given more to the party or to her community than Leanne Wood – an inspiring role model for so many.
“Leanne’s commitment to the Rhondda is unparalleled and I know she will continue to make an important contribution to the future of our nation and the pursuit of social justice which always has and always will drive her politics.
“Westminster’s attack on devolution is only just beginning and Wales needs a plan – that plan must focus on taking our own future into our own hands so we can build a nation that is fair and free.
TORYS CLAIM BEST RESULT EVER
The Welsh Conservatives say that they have secured the party’s best ever result in a Senedd election, winning 16 seats in the Welsh Parliament.
In a statement to the press the party said: “Today’s final election results have seen the Welsh Conservatives secure two regional list seats in both South Wales Central and South Wales East.
“Welsh Conservatives polled 289,802 votes (share up 5.0) across 40 constituencies – 26.1% of the vote – winning eight seats including gains in both the Vale of Clwyd and Brecon and Radnorshire.
“On the five regional lists, Welsh Conservatives secured 278,560 votes (share up 6.3), winning eight seats. The result will see the Senedd return its first ever female from a BAME background, with Welsh Conservatives’ Natasha Asghar making history with election in South Wales East.
Commenting, Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies said: “Firstly, I’d like to say a huge thank you to our outstanding set of Welsh Conservative candidates, activists and staff who’ve worked incredibly hard throughout this campaign and secured the party’s best ever Senedd result.
“The team has gone above and beyond and deserve great credit for the positive campaign we’ve run right across Wales, and I am thrilled to see Natasha Asghar make history in South Wales East by becoming the first female from a BAME background to be elected to the Senedd.
“As a party we are also delighted to have secured constituency seats in the Vale of Clwyd and Brecon and Radnorshire, and increased seats on the regional lists, resulting in our highest ever representation in the Senedd with 16 members.
“It’s been an unconventional campaign and it’s clear incumbency and continuity has played a significant part. To that end, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Mark Drakeford and Welsh Labour on a successful campaign.
“The election has been fought in good spirit by political parties in Wales and I would like to pay a final word of thanks to the many officials across the country who’ve allowed this election to take place in a safe and effective manner.”
IMPACT OF PANDEMIC
Ian Price, director of CBI Wales, congratulated Labour. He said: “This is a critical time for the Welsh economy and the new parliament must have a laser-like focus on rebuilding from the devastating impact of the pandemic,” he said.
“That means all parties pulling together and working with business to protect jobs, rebuild livelihoods and create a fair and sustainable recovery that addresses the longstanding structural challenges our economy faces.”
Royal Town Planning Institute, largest professional body for town planners in the UK and Europe, commented on the election result saying: “The Welsh Labour Manifesto meets many of the issues raised by the RTPI, including tackling climate action, investing in public transport and active travel, and the delivery of quality affordable homes, including a focus on strengthening Welsh language communities.
“The manifesto commits to strengthening the autonomy and effectiveness of local government to make them more successful in delivering services. We have highlighted the need to invest in planning services to enable the delivery of Welsh Labour’s priorities.”
Speaking to the BBC, political commentator Prof Roger Awan-Scully said: “I think it’s been an astonishingly resilient performance by the Welsh Labour Party, amidst disasters for Labour elsewhere in the UK.
“The Conservatives are also performing strongly, but not quite bringing it home in terms of the number of constituency victories that they might have expected.
“For Plaid Cymru I think this has to be said to be a deeply disappointing election.”
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