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AM inspired novel

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screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-14-33-38ASSEMBLY MEMBER Elin Jones was one of the main inspirations behind a new novel by a local Aberystwyth author, it has been revealed. 

The Morlan centre in Aberystwyth was packed last week when over a hundred people came to listen to a conversation between Elin Jones AM, the reviewer Catrin Beard and local author Dana Edwards.

The three were there to discuss the inspiration and background behind Dana’s new Welsh language novel, ‘Pam?’

‘Pam?’ tells the story of Pam, Gwennan and Rhodri as they leave university and make their way in the world during the tumultuous decade that leads to the establishment of the Welsh Assembly.

But the three share a secret. As they begin to enjoy the status and privilege that comes from successful careers, what happened in Aberystwyth threatens to destroy everything.

The novel is set during the late 90s – the era of establishing the National Assembly in Cardiff, dramatic elections, and the growth of Welsh media in the form of Radio Ceredigion.

Dana explained that she chose to set the novel during the 90s because it was ‘a hopeful time, where there was a real feeling that it was possible to change society through the activism and enthusiasm of ordinary people’.

To reflect the nostalgia of the period old pop classics from the 90s were played during the evening and old issues of the contemporary magazine Golwg were placed around the hall.

It was noted that there was an element of the career of Elin Jones in the form of the main character, Pam, with both having been elected as local councillors and both having previously been a part of Radio Ceredigion.

“It was never my intention to write the life story of Elin Jones,” says Dana. “But of course Elin’s success, like many other women who secured a seat in the first Assembly, was an inspiration.”

Elin Jones AM said: “A brilliant crowd came to launch Dana Edwards’ new novel in the Morlan on a wonderful summer’s evening in Aberystwyth. I enjoyed the conversation with Dana and Catrin Beard – and to stress the point once more, I am not Pam!”

This is Dana’s second novel, following the success of her English language novel, ‘The Other Half’, and it was chosen as the Welsh Books Council Book of the Month for August.

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Another man charged in Ifan Owens assault case

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Ifan Owens: Seriously assaulted in January

ANOTHER man has been charged and remanded into custody in relation to the serious assault of Ifan Owens, aged 19, in Aberystwyth on January 14.

Michael Arwyn Jones, 24, has been charged with S18 Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent and Possession of Cannabis.

Last week, Billy Valentine, 19, of Terrace Road, Aberystwyth, and David Lloyd, 25, of no fixed abode, entered no pleas when they appeared at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court.

The pair were sent to trial at Swansea Crown Court on May 11 at 10am.

Due to the serious nature of the offence, Lloyd’s bail was revoked.

The court found there was a real risk he would abscond or re-offend.

As well as being charged with grievous bodily harm, he was also charged with having a blade exceeding 3 inches in a public place without good reason or lawful authority.

Valentine was also charged with being in possession of herbal cannabis as the time of his arrest. This was by Magistrates, who gave him a 12 month conditional discharge, and ordered him to pay £20 to fund the victims of crime, and £85 to the Crown Prosecution Service.

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Consultation to launch today on future of health services in Ceredigion

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HYWEL DDA UNIVERSITY HEALTH BOARD are formally announcing the launch of their consultation at County Hall in Haverfordwest this morning (Apr 19).

The proposals, the Board say, will shape the future provision of health and care services to the general population.

These provisions will be ‘safe, viable and offer an improvement to what is currently provided’.

The Herald will be attending the event, which starts at 9:30am.

You can watch a live stream here.

The 12-week consultation, which is clinically-led, will involve a number of events for communities, both general and targeted, as well as an awareness raising campaign.

It is expected that the announcements will have big changes for Withbyush, Glangwili, Prince Philip and Bronglais hospitals.

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Issue of lifeboats raised to Prime Minister

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BEN LAKE MP made his Prime Minister’s Questions debut, raising the important issue of the future of Cardigan Bay’s lifeboat provision.

On Thursday (Apr 18) Mr Lake commended the valiant efforts of RNLI staff and volunteers at New Quay lifeboat station who have been safeguarding those who venture out into the bay, be it for work or pleasure, since 1864.

He also expressed concern at the possibility that there will no longer be an all-weather lifeboat in Ceredigion from 2020.

Mr Lake asked the Prime Minister whether she would agree ‘that the invaluable work of the RNLI serves as a fourth emergency service, and that as such it is essential the coastline of Ceredigion, like every other populated coastline, has access to this service whatever the weather?’

The Prime Minister responded: “Search and rescue at sea is provided by several organisations, including the coastguard and the RNLI. The RNLI has a proud tradition, and we should be grateful for its record on search and rescue at sea. It is obviously independent and decides where best to put its resources, but we are supporting the work of independent lifeboat charities through our Rescue Boat Grant Fund, which has allocated more than £3.5 million since 2014 to increase capacity and resilience by providing new boats and equipment.”

Ben Lake said: “I was glad of the opportunity to raise an issue that is of great concern to communities across Ceredigion with the Prime Minister. I look forward to working with the RNLI and campaign representatives in search of a long-term solution, and in particular seek to ascertain whether the Rescue Boat Grant Fund could be of benefit to ensuring the retention of an all-weather lifeboat at New Quay.”

The RNLI has decided to downgrade New Quay Lifeboat Station to an Inshore Lifeboat when the service life of its Mersey-class All-Weather Lifeboat expires in 2020.

The proposed new lifeboat will not be able to launch in conditions exceeding Force 7 in the daytime or Force 6 at night.

After 2020, there will be no All-Weather Lifeboats in the whole of Ceredigion, leaving a gap of 70 miles between the All-Weather stations of Barmouth and Fishguard.

The latest generation of All-Weather Lifeboats can travel at 25 knots in 30 minutes in calm conditions. In a challenging sea, the nearest boats at Barmouth and Fishguard would take more than an hour and a half to respond to an emergency off New Quay or Aberaeron.

The mission statement of the RNLI reads: “Our crews aim to launch their lifeboats with 10 minutes of being notified and can operate up to 100 nautical miles out at sea. We aim to reach at least 90% of all casualties within 10 nautical miles of the coast within 30 minutes of a lifeboat launch – any weather.”

The Ceredigion Lifeboat Campaign are questioning how local rescues can take place in a challenging sea to meet this aim of the RNLI. Over 10,000 have currently signed a petition campaigning against the proposed changes.

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