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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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Ceredigion Conservative Association Elects a New Chairman

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On the 18th September, the Ceredigion Conservative Association held its Annual General Meeting, attended remotely by Conservative Members from across the County. The Association was formally re-established and Patrick Loxdale was elected as the new Chairman.

Commenting on his new position, Patrick says:

“ I am very honoured to be given the opportunity to serve in this position. I believe passionately in democracy and the democratic process. The Welsh Conservatives came second in Ceredigion in last year’s General Election, increasing the Conservative vote share by more than the national average. It shows that Conservative values are widely held by people of all ages in Ceredigion, and it is important that we have a functioning local association, and strong candidates to allow their opinions to be heard.”

Patrick, whose family have lived in Llanilar for five generations, previously served as a Medical Officer in The Royal Navy for almost twenty years, qualifying as a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. From 2001 to 2016 he worked as an NHS Consultant in Devon. Moving back to Llanilar when his brother passed away, Patrick now farms from his family home and enjoys acquiring new knowledge in organic farming and rural management. Patrick adds:

“Ceredigion is a fantastic place to live, with a world beating environment. There are great opportunities for our future and our children’s security, prosperity and fulfilment here. Yet the Labour run Welsh Government continues to fail to grasp this and rarely provides any real focus outside of the M4 corridor! In next year’s Senedd election, the people of Ceredigion deserve a credible alternative choice; a choice that rejects both the on-going failures of Welsh Labour and the separatist ideology of Plaid Cymru. It is time for the people of Ceredigion to vote for the Welsh Conservatives.

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Walk-in testing now available for Aberystwyth town

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From today [Wednesday 30 September 2020], people in Aberystwyth with symptoms of COVID-19 can access testing (through a booked appointment) via a temporary walk-in facility in the town.

Hywel Dda University Health Board has arranged this extra testing service in addition to the drive through facility already in place at Canolfan Rheidol, because many residents in the town, including students, do not have their own private vehicle in order to access the drive-through testing facility.

The facility is located in the former university nursery building (behind, but not connected to, Padarn Surgery), Penglais Road, Aberystwyth and can be accessed via the walkway which will be clearly signposted to ensure people get to the right place.

Alison Shakeshaft, Director of Therapies & Health Science at Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “We have put this extra facility in place to make sure those in the local community without their own transport are not missing out on getting a test when they need it.

“We appreciate the efforts people are making to help protect each other during this challenging time. I urge everyone to remain vigilant and follow the rules, including wearing face coverings where required, keep social distancing, washing hands regularly, or using a hand sanitiser if hand washing is not possible, to help us live and work alongside the virus whilst containing its spread.”

Eifion Evans, Ceredigion County Council Chief Executive said, “We thank Hywel Dda University Health Board for providing extra testing service in Ceredigion. Residents and students alike are urged to utilise this service for the health of everyone living in our county and we are able to protect the vulnerable. This is a critical time for us to follow the rules and keep Ceredigion safe.”

Anyone who has symptoms of the virus (a new persistent cough, high temperature or loss/change of taste or smell) must book a test as soon as possible through the online UK portal at www.gov.wales/coronavirus.

Please make sure when booking your test that you select the option you need (for example, only book the walk-in centre if you are not able to travel in your own vehicle to the drive through facility). If you attend the walk-in centre you must wear a face covering.

University students with COVID-19 symptoms, when booking a test, are required to provide the temporary local address they are living at while they are students at Aberystwyth university and not their usual home address.

Please do not book a test if you do not have COVID-19 symptoms and do not turn up without booking first as it will not be possible to accommodate you without an appointment.

Please follow the latest self-isolation guidelines which can be found here.

Thank you for helping to #KeepCeredigionSafe.

For the latest news and updated from Hywel Dda University Health Board visit www.hduhb.wales.nhs.uk

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Adjustment to Safe Zones

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In August, temporary traffic orders were introduced so that Safe Zones for four Ceredigion towns could remain for up to 18 months subject to regular reviews so minor adjustments can be made.

In line with the evidence collected on the use of the towns, Ceredigion County Council feel the need to keep the safe zones in place for the time being. Aberaeron and New Quay will continue as they are.

In Cardigan the closures will change to 11am until 4:30pm Monday to Saturday. The safe zones will not be in place on a Sunday in Cardigan. These adjustments will come in to force on Sunday morning, 04 October.

In Aberystwyth, additional parking has been implemented for the disabled and blue badge holders in Chalybeate Street close to the Care Society Mobility Centre.

Further enhancements to provide better access for the disabled and blue badge holders will also continue to be explored.

Safe zones were introduced in Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Cardigan and New Quay on 13 July to create safe and spacious areas for the public to visit and provide the confidence that social distancing can be maintained in these areas.

Safe zones will be in place until at least 01 November 2020 and reviewed fortnightly in line with the infection rate and available evidence.

More information can be seen on the safe zones web page: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/SafeZones

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