ABERAERON, 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).
Police say ‘stop protecting’ murder suspect Steve Baxter
JUST over two weeks ago Simon Clark, aged 54, was found dead at Grove Caravan Park in Pendine, Carmarthenshire.
Dyfed-Powys Police is continuing its manhunt for Steve Baxter, who is wanted on suspicion of Simon’s murder.
Baxter also known as Steve Tidy, Steve Rowley, Wayne Tidy or William Tidy, is aged 52, 5’5” (1.65cm) tall and has tattoos on his forearms – the name Chez and entwined circles on his left arm and a serpent on his right arm.
He has connections in the West Wales, South Wales, South West and North England areas of the UK.
Officers and staff are working round the clock to follow all possible lines of enquiry.
The independent charity Crimestoppers is also offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information leading to the arrest of Steve Baxter and he has been added to the Most Wanted section of their website. Information would be taken by the charity anonymously.
Detective Superintendent Huw Davies said: “It’s over two weeks since Simon Clark was murdered at Grove Caravan Park, Pendine.
“The manhunt for Steve Baxter is ongoing and I must stress to the public that officers and staff are working round the clock to investigate all possible lines of enquiry that could lead us to him.
“I urge anyone with information of Baxter’s whereabouts to come forward. If you do not want to speak to police directly, you can speak to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, which is also offering a reward of up to £5,000 for information leading to his arrest.
“Someone knows where he is or has been in the last two weeks. Please stop protecting him. Simon Clark’s family deserve to see all those involved in his death brought to justice.”
Four people have been charged in connection with the murder: Jeffrey Stephen Ward, aged 40, from Pendine, has been charged with murder; Linda Mary Rowley, aged 52, from Pendine, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder); Kirston Macklin, aged 52, from Newport, Gwent, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder) and Julie Louise Harris, aged 46, from Tonypandy, has been charged with assisting an offender (murder).
If you see Steve Baxter call Dyfed-Powys Police on 999. Do not approach him.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of Steve Baxter call Dyfed-Powys Police on 101 immediately.
To pass on information anonymously, contact Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the non-traceable anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
National Adoption Week – Can you give a child a home?
HAVING a caring family and a place they call home is what a lot of children take for granted; however, there are children in Ceredigion who are still looking for a home of their own. As part of National Adoption Week, which is happening between 15 and 21 October, people are being asked to consider opening their homes and their hearts to those waiting for a family.
An information evening is being held in The Atom, 18 King Street, Carmarthen, on Friday, October 19 from 6pm-7.30pm. The Cabinet Member with responsibility for Learning Services and Lifelong Learning and Champion for Children and Young People Councillor Catrin Miles said, “This is a great opportunity for prospective adopters to find out more about the process of adopting children in the county who are waiting for loving, permanent and stable homes. It will also be a chance to meet other prospective adopters.”
Adoption Mid and West Wales has adoption teams covering the four local authorities of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys. Their aim is to make sure that children grow up as part of a permanent, loving family from childhood through to adulthood.
Sara*, from Ceredigion has spoken of her experiences of going through the adoption process and welcoming two children into her loving home, “Just two years after submitting our application to adopt, two little hurricanes arrived at our house and turning it into a noisy, happy home full of fun. The first stage of the application was to attend three days of training, over a period of 6 weeks. The training was important and an eye-opener for all kinds of reasons but it was perfect for focusing the mind to make sure we really wanted to adopt. We had excellent support from our social worker, but the process itself was long and challenging and we had to wait and wait while legal processes were going on. Although it was so difficult at that time, looking back it was worth every minute. The hardest thing for us was that there were months between seeing the children for the first time and receiving confirmation that they would come to us to live. This was an exception, the process is usually quicker.”
“In our experience creating and maintaining a good relationship with the foster family is crucial. They are a source of information and support. Before the children came to live with us, we needed over a week of presentations in the foster family’s home – this time is key but full of weight, pleasure, tiredness and emotion. That was months ago and now the children are happy and bubbly with us in their new home and enjoy being part of a loving group of family, friends and relatives. They enjoy going to the local school and Welsh learning was not a problem for them, they even dream in Welsh now!”
“Adoption is a great journey that is sometimes easy and sometimes difficult and it is important to understand and accept that before venturing on the journey. It is also important to take advantage of all support, training and advice on offer. There are many challenges ahead, a lot of disappointment and tears but more importantly, much laughter, love and happiness fills our lives now and in the future. Go for it.”
In the last year (2017-18), 29 adopters were approved through Adoption Mid and West Wales. These include married couples, unmarried couples, single people and same-sex couples. There is always the need for more adopters to come forward as demand for adoption placements has increased this year.
For more information, visit www.adoptionmwwales.org.uk. You can also follow Adoption Mid & West Wales on their Twitter page, @adoptmw_wales.
Residents sought for involvement into Pen Dinas project
RESIDENTS are being sought for involvement in the Pen Dinas Hillfort project.
Grant funding for improvements to Pendinas Hillfort has been successfully secured by Ceredigion County Council and as part of the project, the Council is seeking for local residents to express their interest if they would like to be involved in the work. One of the Council’s Community Access Officers will be on hand to talk further about the project on Saturday, 20 October at the Hub, Penparcau Community Centre between 10:30am and 1pm.
The project will provide greater access to a site of historical importance namely Pen Dinas Hillfort, Local Nature Reserve and Scheduled Ancient Monument. It will also improve links to the Ystwyth/Rheidol Cycle Trails, the Ceredigion and All Wales Coast Path and other local amenities and attractions. Improving the path width and surface will increase access to a wider cross-section of residents and visitors and target current barriers to the countryside.
Councillor Rhodri Evans, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economy and Regeneration said, “The news that we’ve been successful in securing this bid is fantastic and on behalf of the Council, I thank all the residents who submitted feedback to the application. We are looking for anyone who has an interest in the site and would like to be involved with how this project progresses. This is the perfect opportunity for residents to be part of something that will make a big difference to both residents and tourists alike.”
To express an interest to be involved in the project or to receive further information, email Eifion.Jones@ceredigion.gov.uk or call 01545 570881.
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