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Running the photo-marathon

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(Back row L-R) Kaloyan Cholakov, Llio James, Tegwen Morris, Charlotte Rigg, Samantha Rigg: (Front row L-R) Lynne Blanchfield, Wendy Phillips, Siwan Fflur, Kiera Ellis, Tony Hicklin

(Back row L-R) Kaloyan Cholakov, Llio James, Tegwen Morris, Charlotte Rigg, Samantha Rigg: (Front row L-R) Lynne Blanchfield, Wendy Phillips, Siwan Fflur, Kiera Ellis, Tony Hicklin

67 COMPETITORS took part in this year’s photo-marathon, which produced a very high standard of entries.

FfotoAber’s photo-marathon came under starter’s orders at 10am sharp in the Morlan Centre in Aberystwyth on Saturday (Oct 22). Supported by Aberystwyth Business Club, Cambrian Printers and Aberystwyth Town Council, this was the sixth annual photo-marathon competition.

Once again this year, the challenge was to take six pictures on six themes in six hours. The themes, revealed in pairs every two hours in the Morlan Centre, were: ‘The other side’, ‘Four’, ‘Raw’, ‘Pattern’, ‘Collection’ and ‘Blue’. Throughout a blessedly fine day, Aberystwyth was inundated with photographers rushing every which way, lenses poised.

Some retailers were very patient and even creatively helpful as shutterbug after shutterbug arrived asking to take a shot. The final collection of over 400 photos, revealed in an awards ceremony in the Morlan on Sunday (Oct 23) at 6pm, suggest that Aberystwyth butchers and fishmongers were particularly supportive as the photographers went in search of ‘raw’ images.

TO THE WINNERS THE LAURELS!

On Sunday, Tony Hicklin was announced as the winner for best collection in the camera with removable lenses category. Tony’s set of photographs included a remarkable close-up of the veins on a leaf as his ‘pattern’ submission. Llio James took the prize for best set of photographs taken with a fixed lens camera, with a close-up of sheep’s wool catching the eye. The prize for the best collection in the 16 years and under category went to Kiera Ellis for a memorable set of close-up photos, which included a knot in a frayed ‘blue’ rope. Charlotte Rigg won for best collection of photos taken on a mobile phone. Charlotte’s photographs show what great results can be achieved with a mobile phone camera. Once again, close-ups were the flavour of the day, and Charlotte’s shot of a daisy against the sun is spectacular.

The winners for the best photograph for each theme were: Samantha Rigg (‘The other side’), a black and white shot of a gravestone angel; Tony Hicklin (‘Four’), a panoramic shot out to sea which features four bollards in the foreground; Tegwen Morris (‘Raw’), a striking shot of four legs of lamb hanging in a butcher’s shop; Siwan Fflur (‘Pattern’), a topical close-up of a pumpkin; Wendy Phillips (‘Collection’), an ingenious shot of five charity collection boxes; Kaloyan Cholakov (‘Blue’), a surreal image of a one-way arrow framed in a diaphanous blue mist.

Tony Hicklin, Llio James, Kiera Ellis, Charlotte Rigg, Samantha Rigg, Tegwen Morris, Siwan Fflur, Wendy Phillips and Kaloyan Cholakov were all presented with a large print of their winning photograph, courtesy of Cambrian Printers. The judges made a special award to Lynne Blanchfield whose set of photos, they felt, represented Aberystwyth. Lynne was pleased to receive a Siop y Pethe voucher, particularly as she has just embarked on a course to learn Welsh. Winners of the collections were given additional rewards for their efforts. Tony Hicklin was presented with a voucher from Ultracomida, Llio James received photography books from the National Library, Kiera Ellis was presented with a voucher from communications company 52-4, and Charlotte Rigg received vouchers for use in Siop FfotoAber, courtesy of Four Cymru.

MORLAN EXHIBITION

David Lowe of Cambrian Printers, who processed all the photographs in double-quick time, said they were once again happy to be involved: “It’s a hectic Saturday evening and Sunday morning for us, from receiving the downloaded images to printing them all ready for the awards ceremony on the Sunday evening, but it’s worthwhile when we see them all hanging in the exhibition. I was glad for the competitors that the weather was kind this year as well.”

Returning as one of the judges was Jonny Morris from the Telegraph group. He was joined by professional photographer Betsan Evans and Aberystwyth Business Club member Aled Rees. Aled Rees admitted that the task, albeit enjoyable, was quite tough: “Looking at over 400 photos interpreting different themes and trying to come up with a winner was quite daunting – there was such an excellent array of images on show. It’s great, though, that the Business Club can be involved with the event and, being a partner since its inception, we’ve seen its potential growing year-on-year. If you get a chance, pop over to the Morlan to see the exhibition – it’s worth it.”

Deian Creunant from FfotoAber added: “It’s quite a challenge for people used to working in this digital age – taking six images in six hours on six themes. Many of the competitors say it’s tiring mentally and physically as they walk so much around the town. The final exhibition though is worth seeing – over 400 pictures capturing the story of the day. Don’t miss the exhibition in the Morlan – and look out for the pictures appearing in Aberystwyth shop windows as well in the coming weeks.”

All the photo-marathon images will be exhibited at the Morlan Centre until November 11. Winning entries from FfotoAber’s schools competition can be viewed at the Arad Goch Centre. For more information on FfotoAber, go to www.ffotoaber.cymru.

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Restaurant owner fined over £3000 for ‘significant rodent infestation’

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THE FORMER proprietor of a restaurant which had a ‘significant rodent infestation’ pleaded guilty to ten food hygiene offences at Aberystwyth Justice Centre on Monday (Jun 18).

Mr Rysul Asad of Gloster Row, Cardigan, and the former proprietor of Gulshan, Chancery Lane, Cardigan, has appeared before Magistrates.

Four offences related to the presence of a significant rodent infestation at the restaurant, which was under Mr Asad’s control at the time. A further five offences related to the poor standards of cleaning found during the investigation.

Emergency action was taken by Ceredigion County Council Environmental Health Officers in September 2017 following the discovery of an active rodent infestation at the premises, and resulted in the immediate closure of the food business.

Rodent activity, including the presence of droppings, entry points and gnawing, was discovered within food preparation and food storage areas of the premises. Furthermore, Officers also discovered dirty equipment and very poor standards of cleaning.

Rodents carry a number of dangerous microorganisms and pose a significant risk to human health. These can include Salmonellosis, Escherichia coli (E.coli), Hantavirus and Weil’s disease.

The presence of rodents within a food premises can transmit these diseases via contaminated surfaces, equipment and the food itself, to such an extent that it is regarded as an imminent risk to health.

Cabinet Member for Public Protection Services Councillor Gareth Lloyd said: “Food hygiene inspections, and Food Hygiene Ratings shown on the doors of the majority of food businesses in Ceredigion, gives reassurance to the public who live, work and visit the county that the food they eat is safe and has been prepared hygienically. However, on rare occasions the Council must take action to protect public health and the reputation of our excellent hospitality industry who work hard to maintain standards.”

Mr Asad also pleaded guilty to a further offence of failing to register his new food business, namely Shatun Sharha Limited trading as Shampan the Boat Restaurant and Takeaway, River Teifi, Quay Street, Lower Mwldan, Cardigan, for which he is now the proprietor. Mr Asad failed to notify the Commercial Services Team at Ceredigion County Council of this change following his departure from Gulshan in November 2017.

Councillor Lloyd added: “Cases like this underline the importance of the work of our food and safety team and the value of our inspection programme. The food safety team works hard with local businesses to meet and maintain legal food hygiene standards to ensure the best hygiene safety in our county.”

The Magistrates imposed a total financial penalty of £3,107 on Mr Asad for the offences. This included Council costs and victim surcharge.

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3,000 Welsh landlords still unregistered

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JANET FINCH-SAUNDERS AM has called on the Welsh Government to urgently work to improve landlord registration under Rent Smart Wales, as estimates released indicate around 3,000 remain unregistered.

Ms Finch-Saunders said: “Rent Smart Wales estimates that still 3,000 landlords are unregistered here in Wales.

“Whilst that makes up a small percentage of our total landlords, it is most concerning for those living in properties leased to them by those who have not yet registered.

“The Welsh Government has confirmed that a landlord who is not registered with Rent Smart Wales is unable to serve a valid Section 21 eviction notice – so where unregistered landlords do indicate that they want tenants to vacate a property, this is not recognised by local housing associations, which can cause stress to tenants who may not be aware of their full rights under the law.

“By focusing on ensuring that all landlords are properly registered, the Welsh Government can alleviate such concerns, and I will be urging the Cabinet Secretary to act to ensure all landlords are abiding by this legislation in full.”

The Minister for Housing and Regeneration told Ms Finch-Saunders that the latest figures released by Rent Smart Wales show that 90,812 landlords are now registered. Rent Smart Wales’ latest estimate for the number of unregistered landlords is approximately 3,000.

This is based on the dwelling stock estimates recently published by StatsWales, and an estimation of the average number of properties owned by each landlord.

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Public urged to enjoy dolphin sightings at a distance

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WITH summer on the way, bringing visitors enjoying Ceredigion’s wildlife rich coastline, the Council is urging members of the public to enjoy coastal activities without disturbing Cardigan Bay’s special wildlife and habitats. The call comes after individuals recently approached and swam with dolphins in Cardigan Bay.

The Ceredigion Marine Code of Conduct asks water users to stay 100 metres away from dolphins and porpoises encountered at sea, and to keep a distance of 50 metres from seals and nesting sea birds.

In no circumstances should the public attempt to feed, swim with or touch the dolphins. These are wild animals. Dolphins are large and powerful and can grow up to four metres long. As well as causing significant disturbance to the animals and pushing them off important feeding sites, close contact can also result in exposure to diseases to both humans and animals.

Repeated disturbance could cause the dolphins to leave important feeding sites to search for quieter areas.

Disruption to feeding, resting and nursing behaviour could have a long-term impact on the health and wellbeing of individual dolphins and populations.

The Cabinet member responsible for Economy and Regeneration, Councillor Rhodri Evans said: “Cardigan Bay’s wildlife is a great asset to the economy of our coastal communities and is also important in its own right. It is because of this that we ask residents and visitors to enjoy dolphin, and other wildlife sightings at a safe distance. Although the temptation to have a close-up view is understandable, we can’t risk disturbing Cardigan Bay’s wildlife and possibly driving them away. It’s the last thing anyone wants.”

The Ceredigion Marine Code of Conduct was established by Ceredigion County Council over twenty years ago, in response to local community concerns that the bottlenose dolphins that use these waters to feed, socialise and breed were experiencing greater pressures from disturbance by those enjoying recreational water-based activities.

The Ceredigion Marine Code of Conduct can be found online on http://www.cardiganbaysac.org.uk/?page_id=583

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