CEREDIGION LABOUR PARTY organised a series of vigils for murdered MP Jo Cox in Lampeter, Cardigan and Aberystwyth this weekend.
The Banner of Love, on which people were invited to write messages reflecting on the tragic killing of the Labour MP, travelled with the vigil collecting messages of love, support and unity from across Ceredigion.
Jo Cox had only been an MP for one year but was known for her work for immigrants and for women and for her support for the people of Syria and Gaza. She was one of a handful of MPs who nominated Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership election last year and in doing this she played a vital part in the revitalisation of the Labour movement in the UK and here in Ceredigion. She was also an active pro-European campaigner.
The Ceredigion Jo Cox vigil culminated in Aberystwyth on Sunday morning with a minutes silence led by Alex Mangold from Ceredigion Labour Party. Representatives from five political parties were present amongst a crowd of 50 to 60 people, keen to pay their respects to Jo Cox and find solidarity with others in their shock and disbelief. It was an emotional event, with tears from some, but it was also uplifting and inspirational.
Alex Mangold spoke of Jo Cox’s desire to realise an inclusive society and the need to stand together and work together to create the kind of society that Jo would have wanted.
The Banner of Love is collecting messages in Welsh and English from people of all ages and backgrounds across Ceredigion. A message from a little girl in Cardigan reads simply “Lots of love from Ella”. 15 year old Cyffin from Lampeter wrote out Jo’s words from her first speech in the House of Commons, “We are far more united and have far more in common than things that divide us”.Other messages say “We stand with you in sisterhood and loss”, “We have lost one of our best”, “Diolch am weithio mor galed i wneud y byd yn le jwell”,
“Thank you for inspiring us”, “Mewn undod mae nerth. Dewn at ein gilydd i barhau dy waith”,”Your voice will forever be heard”, and “Peace, Unity Light. RIP Jo.”
The former Labour Mayor of Cardigan David Grace wrote a message from himself and Linda, his wife which read “Your message must live on – it’s all our responsibility to make sure it does.” Alice Hooker-Stroud, Chair of the Welsh Green Party wrote “Love + hope. United for a better future in your rememberance. Heddwch.” Lisa Francis of the Conservative Party, Elin Jones AM Plaid Cymru, and Alec Dauncey Welsh Lob Dems also wrote messages.
Labour AMs Joyce Watson and Eluned Morgan wrote messages on the banner in Cardigan today (Monday) where they were attending a Labour IN campaign meeting at the Guildhall.
Eluned Morgan AM said today about Jo Cox, “‘Jo Cox’s energy, commitment and enthusiasm to support the most vulnerable and weakest in our society was an inspiration to us all. We must honour her memory through learning to respect each others opinions even if we disagree.”
Joyce Watson AM said: “Jo Cox was a humanitarian who showed compassion for all those who needed it. She strove to unite humanity for the greater good. We owe it to her to keep that humanity alive in her name.”
The Banner is going to Aberaeron this evening (20 June), to the Ceredigion Labour Women’s Forum.
Aggressive man found naked and abusive
A NAKED man who urinated in a police cell required six police officers deal with his arrest.
Brian Warren Kerley, 24, of Clos Yr Helyg in Crymych, attended Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (Nov 15) to face four offences.
Kerley pleaded guilty to assaulting two constables in the execution of their duty, using threatening behaviour towards another with intent, and damaging police property by urinating in a cell and on its mattress.
Prosecutor Helen Tench said on October 31, police received a call regarding a disturbance in a public place in Cardigan. They arrived at the scene to find Kerley stripped of clothing and behaving in a threatening manner.
The defendant was escorted to the police vehicle, where he became increasingly aggressive towards a member of the public. He then wrapped his leg around one of the officers’ to trip him up. He spat on the other officer’s arm.
Ms Tench said the defendant continued spitting and became ‘extremely aggressive and violent’ when he banged his head inside the police vehicle.
A total of six police officers assisted with the arrest.
At custody, officers attempted to reason with Kerley whilst he continued his threatening behaviour, and was monitored in his cell every 30 minutes.
In the early hours of November 1, the defendant urinated in his cell three times. Two of these times, he urinated on the mattress.
In a statement, Kerley said he was sorry for committing the offences and did not remember the incident.
Defending, Katy Hanson said Kerley was filled with remorse and regret for his behaviour and accepted responsibility.
She added that it ‘clearly is not the way for someone to behave’ and the defendant ‘now realises the potential consequences of his actions’.
Ms Hanson concluded by saying Kerley admitted to having consumed three cans of lager on the night in question and has no recollection of the events.
Probation officer Julian Davies said the defendant was currently serving a 12-month community order imposed on September 20 for an offence of common assault.
For the offences, magistrates allowed the current community order to continue and added a six-week curfew.
Kerley was told to pay £50 compensation to both officers he assaulted, but no compensation for the offence of criminal damage.
He was also told to pay prosecution costs of £85 and a surcharge of £85.
Scrutiny committee votes to close Bodlondeb
AT A recorded vote this morning (Nov 20) Ceredigion’s Healthier Communities Scrutiny Committee voted to back the Cabinet’s decision to close Bodlondeb Residential Home by the end of March 2018.
In refusing to remit the decision to Full Council, the committee dashed the hopes of campaigners fighting to retain Bodlondeb until adequate replacement facilities are in place.
The vote was nine to seven with no abstentions.
There will be more on this breaking story later and in this week’s Ceredigion Herald.
AM calls for further protection of wild animals after Lynx deaths
MID AND WEST AM Simon Thomas has called for further protection from the Welsh Government following the death of two wild cats from a zoo in Borth, near Aberystwyth.
The AM quizzed the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths in a topical question in the Senedd.
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Climate Change and Rural Affairs for Plaid Cymru Simon Thomas said: “The deaths of the two Lynx wild cats have created a great deal of concern to many people in the area and, more broadly, to people who care for animals and their welfare at zoos.
“I asked whether the Welsh Government approved of the steps taken by Ceredigion County Council in this case and more broadly with the position of the zoo. It’s clear that there’s something amiss when a wild animal can escape and another dies because of its handling. I requested we look at national regulations that govern organisations such as this to ensure that people who run zoos do have the appropriate skills, but also that the equipment is suitable for the animals kept there.
The Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths replied: “Ceredigion County Council is investigating the escape of the lynx and the death of a second lynx linked to the zoo to establish whether there have been any breaches of the operating licence. While inquiries are ongoing it would be inappropriate for me to comment further on this matter.”
She added: “Officials have been in frequent contact with Ceredigion County Council. The decision to dispatch the animal was taken by the county council along with Dyfed-Powys Police, officials from Welsh Government and also the chief veterinary officer. There are several issues that I think need to be looked into very carefully around the licence.”
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