DESPITE the majority of Ceredigion voters marking an ‘X’ in the remain box, it has been revealed that the UK as a whole has decided to leave the EU.
Ceredigion was announced as the first Welsh local authority to vote remain, with 54.6% voting remain and 45.4% voting leave.
With a turnout of 74.4%, 21,711 people from Ceredigion decided that they wanted to remain in the EU while 18,031 contributed to the majority vote.
Mark Williams, Member of Parliament for Ceredigion and Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, stated: “I am deeply disappointed by this result, and I know that this sense of disappointment and worry will also be felt by many people throughout Wales and the UK.
“As a Party, the Welsh Liberal Democrats believe strongly in internationalism, working with our allies to tackle the biggest issues facing our planet such as climate change, and to provide greater opportunities to people in our country. While not perfect, I believe the European Union has been an important part of this aim.
“However, while I am disappointed in the result, we are where we are. The result has stated that the British people do not wish to be a member of the European Union. We must respect that democratic decision but make sure that in our negotiations the people of Wales do not lose out.”
He added: “It is absolutely vital now that the Government sets out a plan of action so that we know the options available to us to help ensure our businesses, our jobs, and our international relationships are not put at further risk in the aftermath of this decision.
“Now is not the time for more Government infighting at the expense of the people of Wales. The Government must give us confidence that Wales will not lose out in our exit from the European Union. Welsh jobs, in our cities and in our rural communities, rely on the support we receive from our membership, and our trade with the continent, and it is vital that the Government gives us assurance that this will continue outside of the European Union.”
Despite his disappointment with the overall result, Mr Williams has praised Ceredigion’s cross-party campaigners on their work for a ‘Remain’ vote in the European Union referendum by saying: “I have been greatly encouraged by the hard work of progressive-minded campaigners from across parties during this referendum campaign. It has been a pleasure to work so closely with people from other political parties and political viewpoints, all working together due to our shared recognition of the importance of our membership of the European Union to Wales.
“While this will be a very disappointing result for all of us who supported a ‘Remain’ vote, and especially for those who worked hard to make our case in Ceredigion, I am truly grateful for the dedicated, progressive, cross-party effort that we put forward.
“Despite the result, I hope that we can continue to work together at this point to ensure that the needs and interests of rural communities like Ceredigion are not ignored during the subsequent exit negotiations.”
Cllr Emlyn Dole said: “I am deeply disappointed in the result but the people have spoken and it is their will that we should leave the European Union.
“The European Union has been good for Carmarthenshire and has helped us build a stronger economy. We must now forge a new way forward that protects the business interests of the county.
“The leave campaigners promised that our departure from Europe would bring about an end to austerity and release funding for public services. We must now hold them to their word.”
In response to the result of the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union, Elin Jones, Ceredigion AM said:
“I am personally devastated that Wales and the UK has voted to turn its back on the EU. It could well mean an economic collapse for areas such as Ceredigion so dependent on agricultural and economic support from the EU.
“The implications of such a vote are far-reaching and complex. I am particularly disappointed for our young people, who seem to have voted in far greater numbers for remaining in the EU – they will have to live with the consequences of this decision for far longer than most of us. Our future is now far more uncertain than it was even a week ago.
“The only shining light on a very bleak night for me was the Ceredigion result on the western periphery of Europe. I am proud to represent a county that wanted to see its future in Europe rather than out of it.”
Responding to the completely unexpected Brexit victory in the EU Referendum last Thursday, Dr Felix Aubel, a leading Vote Leave co-ordinator in West Wales, said: “It’s great to be alive. I’m so proud to be British. I’m delighted that Britain will once again become an independent self-governing country. The nation’s decision to support Brexit on Independence Day 23 June 2016, ranks alongside the most important events in the UK’s history. It ought to be made a public holiday”.
Dr Aubel continued, “I wish to thank my very enthusiastic Brexit co-workers for their never-say-die attitude. We comfortably achieved our objectives of securing more than 45% of the vote in Ceredigion (allegedly the most pro-EU county in Britain), as well as gaining decisive Leave victories in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire”.
Leader of Ceredigion County Council, Ellen ap Gwynn told The Herald: “Personally, I am deeply shocked by the result of the referendum and am fearful for the implications that leaving the EU will have on our rural communities here in Ceredigion, although we had a majority wanting to remain a member.
“We have already seen the value of the £ plummet and the market fall to a level that will badly affect our pension funds and increase the cost of imports. Ceredigion has been a net beneficiary of EU funding since 2000 and our local economy will be hard hit in many ways. The money we have received for infrastructure project such as sea defences, research funding received by the Universities, community project funding, tourism projects and especially when the £44m annually that was paid to farmers is removed, there will be a serious impact on life in rural Wales.
“Successive London governments have ignored the very real needs of Wales and I cannot see that those who have extracted our natural resources with very little payback over the years will change the funding formula to our advantage. I am afraid that in the medium term, that the future for the local economy and for Local Government funding and services looks bleak.”
Aberystwyth: Driver on drugs hits lorry and causes ‘road chaos’
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.
Motion to support the reduction of plastic use in Ceredigion approved
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.
Richards-Keegan cleared of sending underage girl nude pictures
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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