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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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School nativity – danger in the manger?

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IT’S the time of year when every parent enjoys watching their little darlings perform in the school nativity play. It used to be that the show was documented by hundreds of proud parents snapping away on their cameras, but more recently school politics and privacy issues have come into play, with some schools ruling that it is unacceptable to take pictures or videos of the show.

But what is the legal position when it comes to videos and photographs of school events? Are schools able to impose a blanket ban? If you ignore the school’s photography policy, what legal action can they take against you? And if another parent shares a group shot featuring your child, without permission, can you force them to take it down.

Anthony Di Palma, Solicitor at DAS Law, looks at the photographic minefield that is the school nativity play for The Herald.

My child’s school has a photography policy which states that there is a blanket ban on taking photos at the nativity play. Is this legal?

Any owner of private property may restrict the use of photography or video equipment on the premises. If ignored, you may be asked to leave and may be deemed to be trespassing if you refuse.

I signed my child’s schools consent form stating I won’t take any photos. What legal ramifications will I face should I choose to ignore the policy?

The consent form is unlikely to be legally enforceable as a contract if there is no financial loss to the school, and there are no laws generally against taking photographs of your own or other people’s children as long as the photographs are not deemed ‘indecent’, or are likely to have the effect of harming or harassing the children.

Are there any laws against sharing group shots of my child’s nativity play photos online? 

As a best practice, it is advisable that parents should avoid sharing photographs of children without obtaining prior consent of that child’s parent or guardian. However, as long as the photographs are not deemed ‘indecent’, or are likely to have the effect of harming or harassing them, then there is nothing legally stopping you from doing so.

What legal action can I take against people that share group photos of the school nativity play on social media that include my child without my permission?

You can ask the person to remove the photograph, however if they refuse there is no realistic legal action you can take. Privacy laws under the Human Rights Act cannot be enforced against other private individuals and unless you own the copyright in the photograph, or the image is offensive or indecent, then the social media site has no obligation to remove that photo if it is reported to them.

If I blur out other children’s faces can I share school play photos online?

You don’t have to blur out children’s faces in order to share them online, as the Data Protection Act doesn’t apply to photographs taken for private use and which do not identify the child (i.e. name them). However, if you would be concerned about images of your own child appearing without your permission, blurring out other children’s faces may be a sensible step to take.

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Aberaeron: Playing field gains Centenary Field status

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THE PARK known as Square Field in the centre of Aberaeron has been designated a Centenary Field and named as Cae Canmlwyddiant Ceredigion Centenary Field – Cae Sgwâr / Square Field, Aberaeron.

In gaining the Centenary Field status, the field will be protected in perpetuity to honour the memory of the millions who lost their lives in the First World War. Cae Canmlwyddiant Ceredigion Centenary Field – Cae Sgwâr / Square Field, Aberaeron is the first Centenary Field in Ceredigion.

Ceredigion County Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Councillor Paul Hinge said, “I am delighted that Aberaeron Town Council’s application to dedicate this fantastic green space as a Centenary Field has been accepted by Fields in Trust, and that the County Council was able to support it. It pays an important tribute to those who lost their lives in the First World War, including many young Ceredigion men went to war and didn’t return.

This has been an interesting journey and one that as the Armed Forces Champion and a veteran, I am proud to support.”

A plaque commemorating the status was unveiled by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sara Edwards.

The Mayor of Aberaeron and Local Member, Councillor Elizabeth Evans, said, “Aberaeron residents are rightly proud of Cae Sgwâr’s new status as the designated Centenary Field of Ceredigion, it has a proud history of being the towns recreational field and there isn’t one community in Ceredigion whose children haven’t played on it at some point. It is a fitting commemoration in this hundredth anniversary year of the ending of the First World War and as we remember the past, we also look to the future and Cae Sgwar’s newly protected status in perpetuity as a recreational field, thanks to the Centenary Field Trust.”

A short ceremony was held to unveil the plaque where Miss Edwards, Councillor Hinge and Councillor Evans spoke alongside Ceredigion County Council’s Chairman, Councillor Hag Harris and the Fields in Trust Chairman, Brynmor Williams.

David Lewis, Aberaeron Branch of The Royal British Legion; Miss Elin Jones AM; Councillor Hag Harris, Ceredigion County Council Chairman; Councillor Paul Hinge, Ceredigion County Council Armed Forces Champion; Councillor Elizabeth Evans, Mayor of Aberaeron and Local Member; Miss Sara Edwards, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed; John Lewis, Aberaeron Town Improvement Committee; Carwyn Lloyd-Jones, The Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet; Robin Williams, Fields in Trust; Brynmor Williams, Fields in Trust Chairman; Alun Williams, Ceredigion County Council Corporate Lead Officer for Policy and Performance; Huw Evans, Aberaeron Memorial Hall Committee.

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Workshop held on Ceredigion’s economic future

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A WORKSHOP was held for Elected Members on Thursday, March 8, to discuss Ceredigion’s Economic Future bringing together some of the county’s biggest organisations to share what they had to offer and what partnership working could look like in the future.

With an introduction and background to Growing Mid Wales by Chief Executive of Ceredigion County Council, Eifion Evans, Ceredigion’s Economic Future Members Workshop proceeded to discuss partnership working with the organisations. Aberystwyth University, Qinetiq Group PLC, West Wales Airport Ltd, Thales Group and Volac International Ltd were in attendance talking about future investment opportunities and outlining significant plans in the county for growth.

Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, Chair of the Growing Mid Wales Partnership and Ceredigion County Council Leader, said: “Holding this workshop and working together with some of the county’s organisations shows the strong position that we are in to develop. I’m looking forward to seeing the exciting developments of Growing Mid Wales in the coming years and particularly so in terms of longer term prospects. The workshop was very important for Members in making them aware of these opportunities and the session was welcomed by all who attended.”

Significant opportunities were recognised as the Mid Wales region starts to develop its response to the Government on the possibilities for a Growth Deal.

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