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Joyce attends Commonwealth Women Leaders gathering

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(L-R): Joyce Watson AM, Baroness Patricia Scotland and Camilla, Duchess of Scotland

(L-R): Joyce Watson AM, Baroness Patricia Scotland and Camilla, Duchess of Scotland

ASSEMBLY MEMBER Joyce Watson joined the Duchess of Cornwall, Baroness Scotland and dignitaries from across the Commonwealth at the recent Women Leaders’ Summit. 

In May, the Labour AM was elected by members of the British Islands and Mediterranean Region (BIMR) of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) to represent them on the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) international committee. It is the first time a member of the Welsh Assembly has held the prestigious position.

The London Summit, held at Marlborough House, London, last Thursday (Jul 14), brought together visionary women leaders in government, business and civil society from across the Commonwealth to discuss three themes: Violence Against Women and Girls, Women in Leadership and Women’s Economic Empowerment.

Reporting on the conference, Mrs Watson said: “It is a huge honour to have been chosen by my international colleagues to represent women parliamentarians from the Commonwealth’s British Islands and Mediterranean region.

“In light of Brexit, now is the time to re-affirm and refresh our Commonwealth connections. Irrespective of gender, race, religion or culture, we are united by a commitment to the rule of law, individual rights and freedoms, and the ideals of parliamentary democracy.

“However, some religious and cultural practices in Commonwealth countries victimise and marginalise sections of the population, minorities and females. Through the CWP we can come together to challenge discrimination, to identify and pursue practical steps to achieve gender equality and the protection and empowerment of women and girls.”

Joyce Watson is founder and chair of the cross-party group of AMs concerned with human trafficking. She is a leading anti-violence campaigner, working each year with the Women’s Institute in Wales to recruit male ambassadors to speak out against violence in support of the international White Ribbon campaign. As regional CWP chair, Joyce intends to take forward these issues at a Commonwealth-level .

The Duchess of Cornwall paid a surprise visit to the Summit. Camilla has won plaudits for speaking out about violence against women.

Commonwealth Secretary, General Patricia Scotland, vowed to be a champion for women and girls. She said action on gender equality and women’s empowerment is ‘core to the success of the Commonwealth’.

“As we move from aspirations to entitlements and from plans and intentions to actions, I thought it was necessary to convene this Women Leaders’ Summit,” she said. “It comes at an opportune time – a time that recognises women’s capacity and capability to take control of their lives and reshape the world they live in.”

Joyce Watson chaired the Wales branch – one of 13 branches that form the BIMR – of the CPA between 2011 and 2016. She was a member of the Assembly’s Women in Democracy group, established by former Presiding Officer Rosemary Butler. Mrs Watson won this year’s Chwarae Teg Womenspire Award for achievements in public life.

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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