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Mixed reaction to Queen’s speech



CEH270516_Page_25_Image_0003THE ANNUAL Queen’s Speech has come in for praise and criticism in equal measure from the two main opposition parties in Wales.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies claimed that the speech was a ‘One Nation Queens’s Speech from a One Nation Conservative Government.’

“With the UK economy strengthening, this was a clear sign that Conservatives in government are now able to switch focus on to an ambitious programme to deliver for hardworking people,” he added.

“It is now vital that the Welsh Government takes similar steps to ensure that Welsh families and businesses share in the rising prosperity.

“In particular, the UK Government has announced plans for the dramatic devolution of power to local areas and I would welcome any adoption of the localism agenda here in Wales. So too reform of the planning system, which in England is set to help the government to build more homes.

“Finally, the UK Government has take n a dynamic and decisive approach to ensuring that the UK becomes a world leader in the digital economy with new obligations placed on broadband providers to make sure that everyone has access to an affordable high speed internet connection.”

Commenting on the inclusion of the Wales Bill in today’s Queen’s Speech, he added:

“I welcome the news that the UK Government will continue to work in co-operation with the Welsh Government, building on the work of the former Secretary of State’s efforts to secure a strong and lasting devolution settlement in Wales.

“When the former Secretary of State pressed the pause button on the process it allowed all interested parties an opportunity to reflect on the type devolution that they want to see, but we must now get on with the job.

“The public will not thank politicians for spending the next four years navel-gazing over constitutional issues. It is vital that the Welsh Government and opposition parties engage positively and constructively with the new Secretary of State to take the Wales Bill forward.”

However, this view was not shared by senior Plaid Cymru politicians, with Jonathan Edwards MP describing the speech as a ‘smokescreen for more cuts’ and claiming that the UK Government ‘has decided to appease its own divided backbenches rather than focus on generating economic growth and prosperity.’

The Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP welcomed the commitment to provide high speed internet but questioned whether residents would be forced to pay for infrastructure upgrades.

Mr Edwards said: “A Universal Service Obligation for high speed broadband – similar to that of Royal Mail – is a welcome first step to provide good internet access to rural Wales. This is a measure I have long supported.

“The details of this proposal are very thin and I fear the UK Government will expect communities to dip into their own pockets to help build the necessary infrastructure. I will, of course, keep a close eye on how the legislation develops.

“Other than that one welcome measure almost all of the 30 government announcements are rehashed, highlighting the political pressure currently on the Prime Minister as he tries to prevent Tory civil war over the European referendum.

“Rather than focussing on generating genuine economic growth and prosperity across the UK, the Tories have decided instead to appease their own divided backbenches with right-wing policies to create US-style giant prisons and watering down our Human Rights.

“The rhetoric of ‘social reform’ is merely another smokescreen to distract from the cuts that continue to tear apart our public services.

“Plaid Cymru has put forward its alternative Queen’s Speech which includes comprehensive measures to make Wales a stronger, safer and more prosperous country, upgrading our road and rail infrastructure, protecting our funding and allowing the Welsh police forces to focus on Welsh priorities.

From the government, however, we got one vague sentence on a Wales Bill that has already been announced.”

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Update for Multi-purpose Community Centres following First Minister announcement



TODAY, First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that multi-purpose community centres including community centres, village halls, church halls and other community facilities can reopen from 03 May. This decision has been brought forward from 17 May.

Welsh Government announced changes during today’s briefing, and the guidance for multi-purpose community venues is being updated to ensure compliance with developments in regulations, including greater emphasis on ventilation. Welsh Government continue to advise authorities that the regulations on social gathering will still prevent a number of activities from taking place at community venues, and only organised activities for up to 15 people will be permitted.

The panel strongly advise you to make every effort to carry out your activity digitally or make contact by phone. If not, consider whether it is possible to hold your activity outdoors, in-line with Welsh Government guidance. Holding your activity indoors should be considered as a last resort. If this is the only option and it’s essential that you meet then please keep the session brief and involve as few people as possible, with all necessary procedures and protocols in place.

Those responsible for community activities should remember to;

  • maintain a social distance of 2 meters.
  • wear a face covering in indoor public spaces.
  • regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer provided.   

A multi-agency panel has been set up to advise and support around the safe and proportionate reopening of facilities in-line with national guidance. The panel has been created under Ceredigion’s Public Services Board Sub Group; Understanding our Communities. Leading on the development of the group is Ceredigion Association of Voluntary Organisations (CAVO) and Ceredigion County Council in partnership with Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service. The panel includes representation from Health & Safety, Environmental Health and Community Safety.

The panel encourages anyone responsible for community facilities to seek advice to ensure that arrangements are safe and secure and that compliance is in-line with national guidance. Prior to re-opening any community facility those managing centres must ensure that they are ‘Covid-Free Zones’.

The panel will aim to host another briefing session on April 28 at 13:30 to support those in charge of community venues with the latest developments. If you would like to join the next briefing session, please register here: or get in touch via the contact details below.

The multi-agency panel will continue to support and advise Community Groups and Organisations, and questions or information requests can be submitted to the group which meets on a weekly basis via CAVO on or by phone on 01570 423232.

Together, we can keep Ceredigion safe.

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Ceredigion Museum’s digital storytelling celebrates LGBTQ+ history month



February marks LGBTQ+ History month and Ceredigion Museum has been working with local organisation Aberration to unveil and record fascinating and untold stories of Aberystwyth.

These stories form part of the museum’s ‘It Happened in Aber’ project, which will allow people to listen to the untold stories that have shaped Aberystwyth.

This project was made possible thanks to the ’15-minute heritage’ funding, a partnership between The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service.

Carrie Canham, museum curator, said: “For too long the LGBTQ+ community has been marginalised, or even completely concealed, in history. Ceredigion Museum is keen to share the stories that have lurked in the shadows, to celebrate the diversity and rich LGBTQ+ heritage of Aberystwyth with pride.”

The LGBTQ+ stories researched and recorded with by Jane Hoy, of Aberration, include historic and modern-day characters from the town, including famous academics, poets, mariners, dancers and a spy!

“We are delighted to be working so closely with Ceredigion Museum contributing to ‘queering up’ the museum with lively local stories and events,” Jane.

Aberystwyth has certainly played its part in developing the LGBTQ+ community in West Wales and Sarah and Rosie, founders of Aberystwyth’s ‘Wrecked’ nightclub for women, have documented their fond memories of their venue in the town: “It became a fun and safe haven for lesbians who travelled there from all corners of the county”.

Ceredigion Museum staff and volunteers will be continuing to document stories linked to the LGBTQ+ community, as well as stories linked to specific locations in the town, until April.

From May onwards, The ‘It Happened in Aber’ stories will be available to enjoy in podcast format on the museum’s website as well as forming a digital walking tour of the town, allowing people to listen and enjoy the stories whilst walking around the locations in Aberystwyth.

Councillor Catherine Hughes said: “It’s fantastic that Ceredigion Museum is providing us with an opportunity to enjoy the history and the important contribution of the LGBTQ+ community in Aberystwyth. This is such an important project to document our local heritage. We look forward to listening to all the stories.”

If you can’t wait until the summer, join this years’ virtual Aberration – Between the Lines event on Friday, February 26 from 7pm, when the ladies of ‘Wrecked’ will be sharing some of their stories!

For further information or to share your untold story, contact Sarah Morton, Ceredigion Museum’s sustainability officer, at

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Aberaeron takeaway closed for ignoring coronavirus restrictions



A Premises Closure Notice has been issued to Paradise Pizza, Regent Street, Aberaeron due to repeated non-compliance with the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No.5) (Wales) Regulations 2020.

The business was issued with a premises improvement notice on 15th January 2021. It was required to take reasonable measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including the need to ensure that staff use personal protective equipment and face coverings. However, officers have since witnessed staff failing to wear face coverings on multiple occasions in contravention of their advice.

Monitoring inspections have shown that the majority of Ceredigion‘s retail premises are complying with the restrictions placed on them during the pandemic. Ceredigion County Council’s Public Protection team will continue to take action against businesses who fail to comply with the coronavirus restrictions. Whilst non-compliant businesses will usually receive advice and guidance, serious or persistent breaches will be dealt with by means of closure powers, fixed penalty notices or prosecution.

This takeaway must remain closed for 28 days, or until Public Protection officers are satisfied that the alleged non-compliance has been addressed.

Premises improvement and closure notices are required to be published by law.

The full closure notice can be found on Ceredigion County Council’s website, under Improvement and Closure Notices:

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