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New Fire Station opened in Aberystwyth

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(L-R): Arwel James, Ceredigion Response Manager; Mick Crennell, Deputy Chief Fire Officer; Cllr Janice Dudley, Fire Authority Chair; Cllr Paul James, Ceredigion Fire Authority Member; Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of Ceredigion County Council; Chris Davies MBA, Chief Fire Officer; Robert Quin, Assistant Chief Fire Officer

(L-R): Arwel James, Ceredigion Response Manager; Mick Crennell, Deputy Chief Fire Officer; Cllr Janice Dudley, Fire Authority Chair; Cllr Paul James, Ceredigion Fire Authority Member; Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of Ceredigion County Council; Chris Davies MBA, Chief Fire Officer; Robert Quin, Assistant Chief Fire Officer

ON THURSDAY, October 13, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) hosted the official opening of its brand new Community Fire Station in Aberystwyth.

The Fire Station was officially opened by the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, Carl Sargeant AM and attended by MAWWFRS Chief Fire Officer Chris Davies MBA; Deputy Chief Fire Officer Mick Crennell; Assistant Chief Officer Elizabeth Aitken; Assistant Chief Fire Officer Robert Quin; MAWWFRS Authority Chair Janice Dudley; Elin Jones AM; Mark Williams MP; Brendon Sommers, Mayor of Aberystwyth; Miss Bronwen Morgan, Chief Executive of Aberystwyth County Council and Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of Ceredigion County Council.

The station crew and dignitaries were treated to a performance by a joint choir of pupils from Plascrug Community School and Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth.

Winners of a local art competition for primary school pupils were also present, as the winning works are displayed in the new Community Fire Station. These pupils represented Ysgol Llwyn yr Eos, St Padarn’s Catholic Primary School, Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth and Plascrug Community School.

The state of the art development, undertaken by Carmarthenshire developers WRW Group, is located on the former station’s ground at Penparcau Road, Trefechan. The new two-story building incorporates three fire appliance bays, office accommodation for Ceredigion County Command, as well as community facilities, including a cafe, which will be open to the public.

Building work on the new £1.6 million Community Fire Station in Aberystwyth commenced in July 2015 and the station temporarily relocated to the TA Centre on Park Avenue for the duration of the building works.

The brand new facility boasts many pioneering qualities, which includes being built to a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM).

Carl Sargeant, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, said: “I am pleased that the Authority has involved the community in designing, constructing and operating the station. This approach has involved pupils from local schools and students from Aberystwyth University and Coleg Ceredigion as well as providing valuable work to local contractors.

“Our firefighters undertake difficult and sometimes dangerous work and deserve the best possible facilities and support. This state-of-the-art facility certainly meets those standards. It will also mean firefighters can keep in close touch with the communities they serve and protect. This will help keep local people safe from fires and other hazards.”

Chris Davies, MAWWFRS Chief Fire Officer, said: “Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service is delighted to deliver this brand new facility to the community of Aberystwyth.

“This innovative Fire Station reflects the evolving role that the Fire and Rescue Service plays in emergency response and community safety work.

“Incorporating three fire appliance bays, Ceredigion County Command offices, a Blood Bike base and a community cafe, this Fire Station truly is a community resource fit for the 21st century and able to adapt to the challenges of the future.

“It was a pleasure to hear the children’s choir sing at the opening and a privilege to welcome students from Ysgol Llwyn yr Eos, Ysgol Gymraeg Aberystwyth, Plascrug Community School and St Padarn’s Primary School, who have their art work displayed at the new station, here today.

“We are grateful to the TA Centre for accommodating the temporary station whilst the building of the new station took place.”

Jon Williams, Business Development Director for WRW, said: “We have enjoyed bringing our own expertise to the fore to help realise the potential of the scheme. Now operational, we hope the facility goes on to become a cornerstone of the community and that it allows MAWWFRS to continue its excellent service provision for the locality.”

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Further delay to Universal Credit in Ceredigion

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BEN LAKE MP for Ceredigion has expressed his concerns following a recent announcement by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that the roll-out of the government’s controversial benefit payment, Universal Credit, will be fully rolled-out across Ceredigion in December 2018.

The payment, which is set to replace longstanding benefits such as Income Support, ESA and Working Tax Credits, had initially been set to become active in Ceredigion in September 2018, however recent documentation shows the date has now been moved back to December 2018.

Ben Lake MP has expressed his concern that a roll-out in December 2018 will hit families and vulnerable people at the most difficult time of year.

Ben Lake MP said: “I welcome the news that the UK Government have decided to delay the roll-out of Universal Credit in Ceredigion, I hope that this will allow the Government an opportunity to address and resolve many of the well-publicised issues associated with the payment. There have already been significant problems with the roll-out of the new regime in other areas, however, the proposed timing of December for its roll-out in Ceredigion is particularly problematic.

“With the Christmas celebrations, cold weather, and lengthy holiday periods, December can often be a difficult month financially for many families and individuals. I have significant concerns therefore that the full introduction of Universal Credit in Ceredigion will not only see claimants put under additional financial strain, but that it will coincide with a period when many of the support services available will be disrupted due to the festive holidays.”

“I have since written to the Department of Work and Pensions expressing such concerns.”

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Share experiences of sexual harassment to help police

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PEOPLE who have been subject to sexual harassment are encouraged to share their experiences to help understand the scale of the problem in communities across Wales.

Dyfed-Powys Police is taking part in a country-wide campaign, which urges anyone who has been subject to sexual harassment to say when and where the incident took place, as well as how it made them feel, anonymously through an online survey.

The results will be used to challenge and change the culture of misogyny and sexual harassment, so people can feel safe to live their lives without fear of harassment.

Dyfed-Powys Police Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis said: “Sexual harassment is simply unacceptable – it doesn’t matter who it comes from or where it happens, it should not be tolerated by anyone in society.

“We are committed to making sure everybody feels safe in their community, and has the freedom to make life choices without fear of sexual harassment. We want people to be able to access every area of society with confidence, from sports facilities and workplaces, to public transport or pubs and clubs.

“By taking part in this survey, you will help us to understand the scale of the problem in communities across Dyfed-Powys Police, which will enable us to listen to those affected by sexual harassment and to make a real difference in the future.”

To take part in the survey, visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SWPCOM

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Proposed salmon byelaws to be postponed until 2019

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NEW fishing byelaws have been proposed which will make it mandatory for fishermen to release all salmon caught in Welsh rivers.

The procedures for introducing new byelaws are protracted and Natural Resources Wales wishes to avoid uncertainty for fishermen by delaying implementation of approved new measures until the 2019 fishing season.

The proposed all Wales byelaws, which include restrictions on fishing methods to help the survival of released fish and reduced net fishing seasons, are currently being considered by Welsh Government.

Dave Mee, Senior Fisheries Advisor for NRW, said: “At the moment timescales for a decision are uncertain, so we are proposing that introduction of any new measures should be postponed until the beginning of the 2019 rod and net seasons.

“We hope this will help clarify the situation for anglers, netsmen, fishery owners and clubs and associations.”

Welsh salmon stocks remain in a perilous condition. Although the mandatory catch and release proposals have proved unpopular with anglers, NRW firmly believes that they, along with other measures such as tackling agricultural pollution, improving water quality and managing the potential threats from predators are vital for the future survival of these iconic fish.

Peter Gough, Principal Fisheries Advisor for NRW added: “This delay is a pragmatic solution to resolving current uncertainty.

“However, it is important to note that this does not mean there will be further debate on the subject as NRW has concluded its position and the case for further controls has been made and presented to Welsh Government and it remains unchanged.

“Protection of the breeding resources of these wonderful fish is a fundamental part of our work to manage this important natural resource sustainably.”

This season, fishermen are again being asked by NRW to practice full restraint and ensure conservation of fish stocks by voluntarily releasing all the salmon they catch in 2018.

Dave explained: “Our salmon stocks are in serious trouble and have fallen to historically low levels and the same is true of about half of our sea trout stocks.

“Neither species can sustain uncontrolled killing of fish and so we are again asking all anglers to release all of their salmon.

“Most anglers are already voluntarily releasing the fish they catch, but some are not. We feel the situation is now so serious for salmon that we must ask all anglers to help preserve as many fish as possible by returning all their salmon.

“It’s also very important to take great care of returned fish. Fishing methods and tackle should be used that ensure fish have a high probability of survival, they should always be kept in the water while unhooking to ensure they can swim away strongly.”

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