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Welsh Government warned over its plans to scrap “vital” financial support service

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p02n7619WELSH CONSERVATIVES are calling on the Welsh Government to reconsider its decision to scrap financial inclusion support from Families First Services.

Shadow Secretary for Education and Children, Darren Millar AM, today warns the Government against this move, saying it could further perpetuate the cycle of deprivation blighting many Welsh families.

The Families First scheme is designed to improve outcomes for children, young people and families. The role improved money management can play in achieving this outcome is regarded by many as substantial.

Stakeholder organisations, including Action for Children, have voiced concern as to the negative impacts this decision may have.

Mr Millar questioned the decision and called on the government to explain their action:

“Almost one in four people in Wales lives in poverty. Better money management can make a real difference to improving this dire situation.

“I fear that removing this vital support would inflict a significant negative impact on young people, and families, in or at risk of poverty.

“If these at-risk individuals do not receive adequate support in dealing with things like debt, paying bills and financial planning, then what we’ll see is a continuation of the cycle of deprivation which already affects far too many people.

“The Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children must explain how this decision was arrived at, and whether a periodic review has been planned to assess its impact.”

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Aberystwyth man sent to prison

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A 50-YEAR-OLD man from Ceredigion appeared at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on Monday (Sept 16) to face a charge of being intoxicated in a public place, whilst he was prohibited from doing so.

Malcolm Roy Edwards of Queens Road, Aberystwyth, pleaded guilty to being drunk in public in Llanrystud when he was prohibited from doing so after being made subject to a criminal behaviour order by Aberystwyth magistrates on October 12, 2017.

He also admitted breaching that order by committing this offence on September 11 this year.

Magistrates sent Edwards to prison for 18 weeks, as they felt the offence was serious having been aggravated by the offence being committed whilst on a community order.

He must also pay £122 victim surcharge, and the community order was revoked.

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Ceredigion Day Centre meet the Dream Team

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On Monday 9 September, the Dream Team visited staff and service users at, Canolfan Meugan Community Support Base for adults with learning disabilities and older people, to showcase the ‘My charter’. The Learning Disabilities ‘My Charter’ West Wales was written by people who have learning disabilities in West Wales.

The Dream Team is made up of the people who wrote the Charter. The Charter says that people who have learning disabilities want to have more chances in life, more choice and to be listened to. It also says that people who have learning disabilities want to be treated as adults, to be given dignity and respect and that their information is kept private.

Organisations, businesses and individuals are encouraged to show their support by signing up to the My Charter.

Go to www.ldcharter.com for more information on ‘My Charter’.

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AM and MP help ease complicated bus pass application process

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Elin Jones AM and Ben Lake MP have offered to help constituents who need to renew their Bus Passes, after raising concerns about the change in the renewal process.

As the current Concessionary Travel Passes run out at the end of the year, Transport For Wales have asked pass holders to reapply online, however Elin Jones and Ben Lake have raised concerns that the process is over complicated and that applying online rather than via a paper form will exclude many.

Initially, if applicants wanted a paper form, TfW said that applicants had to call a helpline and were warned the process would take a long time. So, as thousands went onto the website, it crashed under the weight of demand.

However, with the website expected to be back up and running soon, Elin Jones and Ben Lake have offered to help constituents reapply.

Elin Jones said:

“Bus pass users have been told that their current passes will be accepted for travel until 31 December 2019, however after that they will need to have the new pass.

“The application process has been muddled by urging people to reapply online. We know that many over 60s and disabled people may not have internet access or may be unfamiliar with its use.

“To simplify the process, I am offering the support of my office to try and help constituents with the process of reapplying for their bus pass, and Ben Lake MP is doing the same.

“If constituents would like to collect a paper form, or if they require assistance applying on paper or online, then they are welcome to contact us and we would be glad to assist, either by arranging a visit to either of our offices, or by sending forms to you.”

Ben Lake added:

“We know how vital access to buses are to many older and vulnerable people in Ceredigion, and I hope that we will be able to help as many people as possible to keep this access.”

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