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Aberaeron crowned winner

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lle-gorau-yng-nghymru-1ABERAERON, the picturesque seaside resort town on Wales’ west coast, has today (Oct 31) been crowned the winner in Wales’ Best Places competition.

The nationwide competition, organised by the Royal Town Planning Institute Cymru, celebrates the places protected, carefully planned or improved by the planning system for communities.

Nearly 5,500 people voted on a shortlist of 10 places, with Aberaeron emerging as the most popular place.

Tenby, the walled coastal town in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and Gower, the first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Britain are second and third respectively.

Presenting the award to the Mayor of Aberaeron, RTPI President Phil Williams said: “Aberaeron is a truly deserving winner of the title – ‘Wales’ Best Place’. The impact of planning is obvious here as you walk through the town which has been carefully planned in the Georgian style around the harbour. Planners have been important guardians of this town’s character as it has changed over the last 200 years – from small fishing village, to a thriving trading port and ship building town to today’s bustling business centre and tourist hot spot. As a Welshman I’m proud to have shone a spotlight on the outstanding range of places in Wales that have been protected, carefully planned or improved by planners.”

Mayor of Aberaeron, Rhys Davies, said: “I am so pleased that Aberaeron has won this very special award by the RTPI. It is something the residents of Aberaeron can be proud of, a place we all care deeply about.

Aberaeron is a gem of a town, it’s beauty cannot fail to capture the hearts of visitors. It is one of the most photographed towns in the UK, yet maintaining Aberaeron as a popular visitor destination takes hard work and I would like to thank the business community and all our residents who maintain their properties so well, and which greatly benefits our tourist trade. We of course will make full use of the recognition we have been given by all who voted for us and by further promoting our town on a national and international stage, which not only benefits Aberaeron but Ceredigion as a whole.”

Peter Lloyd, Chair of RTPI Cymru said: “Congratulations Aberaeron, affectionately known as the ‘Jewel of Cardigan Bay’. It’s no surprise this charming seaside town, dotted with brightly coloured cottages around the harbour is the public’s favourite. This competition has reminded us just how important planners and the planning system are in ensuring places are protected, shaped and improved.

Aberaeron is one of Wales’ first planned towns and since then has been developed and managed by the planning system to be a popular tourist destination and providing services to communities in its large rural hinterland. The planning of the town by Colonel Alban Gwynne and architect, Edward Haycock, earned it the reputation of being “one of the best examples of a planned township of small scale in Wales”.

Councillor Elizabeth Evans, County Councillor for Aberaeron Ward said, “I am delighted that Aberaeron has won the RTPI Wales’ Best Places award. We were in a very tough shortlist of great places, which makes the winning all the more special. I would like to thank everyone who voted for our beautiful town and I know that the residents of Aberaeron will be as proud as I am, that our town has received this award. We of course have to thank the Rev Alban Gwynne, the man who made it all possible back in 1807, for having the vision to plan such a lovely place. Today, we are merely custodians of his legacy; this great town, Aberaeron.”

The 10 finalists are: Aberaeron, (Ceredigion); Caernarfon (Gwynedd); Cardiff Bay Inner Harbour, (Cardiff); Denbigh, (Denbighshire); Gower, (Swansea); The Hayes, (Cardiff); Llandudno Promenade and Mostyn Street, (Conwy); Merthyr Tydfil Town Centre, (Merthyr Tydfil); Snowdonia, (Snowdonia National Park) and Tenby, (Pembrokeshire Coast National Park).

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Parents saving on average £350 on childcare per month

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Parents in Ceredigion have saved an average of £350 a month on childcare costs after the introduction of the Childcare Offer in September 2018.

Parents and guardians of three and four-year-old children living in Ceredigion can be eligible for the offer if they work the equivalent of 16 hours per week. This includes self-employed parents and seasonal workers.

The Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services, Councillor Catrin Miles said, “It’s great to see that the Childcare Offer is having such an impact across Ceredigion in the first few months. The savings will only increase as more parents register for the scheme. This will have a real positive effect on the lives of many parents. I urge anyone who thinks they are eligible to find out.”

Ceredigion County Council manages the scheme in the county, and will manage the scheme in neighbouring counties as the scheme is rolled out in 2019. The Welsh Government fund the Childcare Offer.

Parents and guardians who want to see if they are eligible can visit the Childcare Offer page on the Council’s website: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/ChildcareOffer.

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Police manhunt now extending beyond Dyfed-Powys region

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POLICE looking for a man who attacked a police officer on Saturday afternoon have evidence to suggest he has now left the Dyfed-Powys force area.

The investigation team is now working with other forces as the operation to find him continues.

The man has been wanted by Dyfed-Powys Police since Saturday, when he attacked a police officer who stopped the car he was travelling in. The officer stopped the car based on information that he was connected with criminal activity in other areas.

Extensive searches have been carried out in Ceredigion, using the armed response unit, dog unit and NPAS helicopter, and officers now have evidence to suggest he is in another area.

A second man who was arrested following the incident has now been charged.

Wayne Dobson, aged 29, has been charged with assault causing actual bodily harm, criminal damage, aggravated vehicle taking and vehicle damage, and two counts of taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

Chief Superintendent Peter Roderick said: “This has, and continues to be, a long and intense investigation, which now involves colleagues from other forces as efforts are focussed on locations outside Dyfed-Powys.

“We understand that there has been a high level of concern in our communities since Saturday afternoon, and we would like to thank the public for their patience as operations have been carried out across Ceredigion.

“Due to the nature of the enquiry, and information we have been working from, the level of detail about the wanted man that we have been able to release has been limited, but we have endeavoured to keep our communities updated as best we can.”

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CCTV to return to Aberystwyth

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ABERYSTWYTH is set to have it’s CCTV returned to the town.

The CCTV was scrapped in the town five years ago following a cost-cutting move by Ceredigion council.

Work is due to start this month with 10 state-of-the-art cameras, Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn have confirmed. The system was removed in 2014, despite strong opposition.

Rising crime rates and falling conviction rates, has seen a call for the reinstatement of the system ever since its removal.

Ceredig Davies, Aberystwyth Councillor has said: “Switching off the town’s CCTV cameras was a retrograde step, and as the councillor in whose ward all the cameras are located I looked forward to them being reinstated.

“I have had numerous conversations with the Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn, on the matter and on behalf of residents and visitors to the town I applaud him on keeping his election pledge.”

When Dafydd Llewelyn took over from Christopher Salmon as Police and Crime Commissioner, he mad a key campaign pledge to return the CCTV to the town. Speaking on the reinstatement he said he was “very pleased” to stick to his promise.

He added “Aberystwyth is a busy town within the Dyfed Powys Police force area where CCTV is required to safeguard communities and assist in investigations.

“Crime mapping analysis has identified 10 locations for cameras for the town that I am delighted that work is to begin there very soon.

“A project of this nature is very intricate and complex. The CCTV project team is working team is working hard to keep the project moving along as swiftly as possible.

“Work starting in Aberystwyth marks the halfway point of the project.”

The removal of the old CCTV system is said to have saved Ceredigion council £150,000 a year.

The new CCTV system set to start in Aberystwyth is part of a larger project, which will see 120 cameras in 17 towns across the region by completion.

The images will be fed directly to a monitoring room at Dyfed Powys Police headquarters Llangunnor, Carmarthenshire where they will be monitored by dedicated staff.

Marie McAvoy, project manager said: “I am grateful to the team I work with for their continued determination to ensure this project is delivered for the benefit of the communities we serve.

“I am also grateful to Ceredigion County Council and North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agency for their assistance and support in ensuring that this reinvestment in CCTV in Aberystwyth is delivered.”

Mark Collins, Chief Constable said: “I’m confident the system will prove to be an invaluable asset in preventing crime and responding to emerging incidents swiftly before they escalate.

“Evidence from the CCTV cameras will also no doubt prove an important investigative tool for officers.”

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