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Vigils in west Wales for murdered Jo Cox MP

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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.

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Aberystwyth: Driver on drugs hits lorry and causes ‘road chaos’

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A DRIVER high on drugs caused 15 miles of chaos as he approached Aberystwyth on the A44.

Brian Pitts hit an oncoming lorry and road signs as he drove on the wrong side of the road.

A car passenger filmed him because she was sure a serious accident was about to happen.

Pitts, aged 57, of Delmont Close, Tipton, west Midlands, admitted dangerous driving and driving while unfit through drugs he had taken.

Dean Pulling, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that on June 16 last year Pitts had been driving his Rover MGZR, towing a trailer full of wooden fencing posts, towards Aberystwyth from his home.

Richard Brooks followed the car through Llangurig and became so concerned he telephoned the police while his wife Victoria filmed Pitts on her mobile.

The Rover collided with a 13 tonne lorry driven by Andrew Paxton but failed to stop.

Pitts failed to take a roundabout and hit road signs and an embankment but still carried on.

During the 15 miles, said Mr Pulling, oncoming traffic had to swerve off the carriageway to avoid a collision.

Several motorists telephoned the police to report what they were witnessing, he added.

Pitts came to a stop in the middle of the road and another motorist snatched the keys out of the ignition–and noticed that Pitts had been driving with a dog on his lap.

Mr Pulling said police officers could tell there was something wrong with Pitts, but an alcohol text showed he was below the limit.

“He was clearly unfit,” said Mr Pulling, although it was still unclear what drugs he had taken.

Pitts was taken to Aberystwyth police station and then to Bronglais hospital, where he appeared to recover after treatment. But he soon deteriorated and had to be taken back to the hospital.

Pitts developed pneumonia and had to be kept in for nine days.

His barrister, Tom Scapens, said when Pitts had been shown the mobile telephone footage he felt physically sick.

Judge T Mervyn Hughes jailed Pitts for 10 months and banned him from driving for four years.

He told him, “If you had not been stopped I am quite sure you would have caused serious injury if not death.”

Pitts was told to pass an extended driving test before getting his licence back.

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Motion to support the reduction of plastic use in Ceredigion approved

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In a Full Council meeting on 22 February 2018, the Council unanimously supported a motion to reduce the use of plastic and to support plastic reduction initiatives in Ceredigion.

The motion was proposed by Councillor Mark Strong and was seconded by Councillor Gethin Davies. The motion calls on Ceredigion County Council to support the various ‘Plastic Free’ campaigns throughout the county by reducing single-use plastics within Council facilities and offices and to promote the use of sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics at all Council supported events.

Councillor Mark Strong said, “I’m delighted that the Council unanimously supported the motion. This is an important step for the Council but we must carry on to reduce plastic use. Everyone has a responsibility to reduce the environmental damage caused by plastic. Carrying out small acts such as buying milk from your local milkman supports the local economy but in turn also supports our environment by using reusable glass bottles.”

The motion also calls on the Council to encourage local businesses, organisations, schools and communities to move away from single-use plastics and use sustainable alternatives as well as to support beach cleans and other events which aim to raise awareness of the issues of single-use plastics under the “Plastic Free”, Caru Ceredigion, Tidy Towns or any similar initiative.

The motion was amended in the meeting to include the establishment of a Members’ Task and Finish group to support measures to reduce the Council’s use of plastic and to support initiatives in the county that reduce plastic use.

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Richards-Keegan cleared of sending underage girl nude pictures

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A BOW STREET man has been cleared of charges that he sent an underage girl photographs of his penis.

Paul Robert Morgan Richards-Keegan, aged 21, had denied two allegations of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Richards-Keegan, of Tregerddan, said the only messages he sent her via the internet were in response to approaches from her and did not include photographs of his private parts.

Catherine Richards, prosecuting, had told a jury at Swansea Crown Court that the 14-year-old girl had shared messages with Richards-Keegan via Snapchat.

At one stage police issued to him a child abduction notice, which he signed, instructing him not to contact the girl

In 2016 she told her mother that he was again sending her unwanted photographs of his penis attached to messages.

Richards-Keegan was arrested, and told police he had obeyed the order apart from messages he had sent after being contacted by the complainant.

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