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Lethal six-inch rusty nail traps uncovered

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Nail traps: Five of these homemade devices in total have been found at Upper Forest in Lampeter

Nail traps: Five of these homemade devices in total have been found at Upper Forest in Lampeter

A NUMBER of lethal homemade traps, which could cause serious injuries to walkers, runners and cyclists, were recently found in Lampeter.

Several of the homemade hazards, which are made up of a length of wooden board with a number of sixinch rusty nails sticking out of the top, were found on the woodland cycle paths at Upper Forest.

The first terrifying trap was found, luckily before it caused any serious damage, by Elen Page whilst she was out running along the Upper Forest path.

The spikes had been disturbingly concealed with leaves and twigs to blend in with the natural environment, in what appears to be an effort to injure people using the path or to puncture the tyres of cyclists’ bikes.

Elen said: “I just happened to look down as I was about to step on it and I stopped myself just in time.

She believed that the trap had been set in a bid to deter cyclists, but that it could have easily caused “serious harm” to not only cyclists, but walkers, runners, children and dogs who all frequent the popular path.

Elen took the device directly to Lampeter Police Station to report the incident, worrying that there could be more lying around concealed.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW), who are currently investigating the incident, are encouraging footpath users not only in Upper Forest but in nearby areas to remain alert as it is clear that attempts have been made to conceal these devices.

Steve Cresswell, Operational Resource Manager at Natural Resources Wales, said: “Forests are a fantastic resource to the nation and are used by residents and visitors for leisure, which benefits their health.

“We have been alerted of the presence of these spikes by residents walking these paths and staff have been out to investigate.

“The police have been alerted to this matter and warn people who use these paths to be vigilant and report any further sightings to our incident hotline on 0800 807060.”

Sadly, Elen’s fears were confirmed when local man Grenville Evans and his two sons found more of the homemade traps at the Upper Forest site.

Grenville managed to collect a further four traps from a variety of different locations on the footpath hidden under moss and leaves, immediately reporting this to the police.

PC Damon Watmough of Dyfed- Powys Police said: “Police in Lampeter can confirm a member of the public handed in wooden logs with nails sticking out of them. He informed officers that they were found on a path in forestry on the outskirts of Lampeter.

“Police and Community Support Officers (PCSOs) have carried out house-to-house enquiries to make local residents aware of the items and asking them to be vigilant if using the paths in that area.

“We have issued a warning to local residents to be vigilant when using the paths in that area and to report anything suspicious to us at Lampeter Police Station by calling 101.

“If anyone finds more items of a similar nature I would urge them to hand them in at the police station to ensure the safety of the public.”

Councillor Robert ‘Hag’ Harries, Deputy Mayor of Lampeter, said that the discovery of the homemade rusty nail devices was both disturbing and wholly unexpected.

Cllr Harries continued: “Obviously we are very disturbed by these events. The traps could cause serious injury to anyone treading or falling on them.

“As a runner myself I have never heard of any such event in this area during the the last 40 years.

“I would ask anyone who sees anything to report it to the police and Natural Resources Wales.”

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A glimpse at the first few weeks of Penweddig’s new Headteacher

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Penweddig Comprehensive School has appointed a new Headteacher to lead the school.

Dr Rhodri Thomas joins the school after a period as a Deputy Headteacher at Glantaf Welsh Comprehensive School and Cardigan Secondary School.

Originally from Carmarthen, he was educated at Bro Myrddin Welsh Comprehensive School. He studied Chemistry at Oxford University, before studying for a doctorate degree at Edinburgh. He continues to be an ambassador emphasizing the importance of the sciences, and he is the author of a number of A Level Welsh and English textbooks in Chemistry.

Dr Rhodri Thomas, Head of Penweddig Comprehensive School, said: “I started my career in higher education by working in universities in the UK, USA and Australia. I was inspired by the work of educating students, and in particular by the outreach work with pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. I saw the difference an individual can make to the lives of children and young people. I moved to work in secondary schools about twenty years ago, and I’ve spent my career in Welsh medium and bilingual schools – I strongly believe in the importance of our work to develop Welsh citizens. In my work at Penweddig, I will focus on nurturing ambition in all pupils and supporting them to develop the skills and qualities to achieve their aspirations. That’s the privilege of being a teacher – we work to help pupils fulfil their dreams.”

Meinir Ebbsworth, Ceredigion County Council Corporate Lead Officer for Schools and Culture, said: “We are delighted to welcome Dr Rhodri Thomas to Penweddig, and we look forward to continuing to work together for the benefit of all pupils and staff in the school.”

Ceredigion County Council would like to thank Rhian Morgan for her work as an Acting Headteacher, and wish Dr Rhodri Thomas well as he takes over.

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Businesses reminded to keep to the coronavirus rules

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Businesses in Ceredigion are reminded to keep to the coronavirus rules to avoid a rise in cases.

Businesses are reminded to be consistent with their COVID precautions. This includes social distancing, queuing and one-way systems, provision of hand sanitisers and PPE equipment for staff.

Ceredigion County Council shares the concerns raised by Councillor Andrew Morgan, the WLGA Leader, relating to an apparent and general ‘drop in standards’ in social distancing measures in some supermarket settings.

Complaints received by the Council’s Public Protection Service on this matter have been increasing and raise more general concerns associated with a wider range of premises including dining places, public houses and supermarkets. These complaints suggest that there has been a decline in compliance with social distancing guidelines in some of these businesses.

In Ceredigion, the Council will be re-focusing attention on these business sectors and conducting targeted inspections with a view to reminding businesses of the regulations that are in place and their legal responsibilities. Improvement Notices will be issued to premises where it is considered necessary and appropriate.

New regulations came into force on Monday, 14 September which has provided local authorities in Wales with new powers to control premises, events and public places in their areas to help control coronavirus. This includes closing premises and public places and stopping events.

The public are also reminded of the need to follow the rules when out and about in Ceredigion. Wearing masks in shops and other indoor public spaces is now compulsory.

Information on Ceredigion and the Coronavirus is available on the Council’s website: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/coronavirus

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Ceredigion MP welcomes High Court ruling on Covid-19 business interruption insurance

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HOLDERS of business interruption insurance have welcomed a victory in a High Court test case to determine whether the Covid-19 pandemic should trigger payouts under their policies.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) brought a test case earlier this year over the wording of business interruption (BI) insurance policies, which some insurers argue do not cover pandemics.

The FCA previously said it was bringing the legal action following widespread concern over the lack of clarity and certainty for businesses seeking to cover substantial losses incurred by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent national lockdown.

The FCA selected a representative sample of 17 policy wordings used by 16 insurers, which were considered at an eight-day hearing in July.

Eight insurers agreed to assist the FCA by taking part in the test case, which the regulator has said it hopes will provide clarity and certainty for everyone involved in these BI disputes, policyholder and insurer alike.

The High Court judges ruled that pay-outs should put businesses back in the position they would have been in had Covid-19 never occurred.

According to FCA estimates, the findings could affect as many as 370,000 policyholders one way or another — and each successful claim could potentially run to tens of thousands of pounds.

Ben Lake MP has been following this case closely after raising the matter with the UK Chancellor on behalf of many Ceredigion businesses. In response to today’s ruling, Ben Lake MP said:

“This is a significant judgement. Covid-19 has caused substantial disruption to businesses across the county, and many are under immense financial strain as a result. By making existing insurance policies effectively worthless during this crisis, many insurance companies have left businesses out of pocket and have damaged trust both in the market and in the Government containment measures.

“I therefore welcome the actions taken by the Financial Conduct Authority, and I hope that following today’s High Court ruling the UK Government will do its utmost to ensure that the insurance industry takes effective, fair and immediate action to assist businesses that fell foul of their original interpretation of these policies.”

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