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Consultation held for Innovation and Enterprise project

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Plans discussed: The meeting at Penrhyncoch

Plans discussed: The meeting at Penrhyncoch

ABERYSTWYTH UNIVERSITY and AIEC Limited held a Community Consultation Event at Penrhyncoch Village Hall on Tuesday, October 18, as part of a 28-day consultation period on the draft planning application for Aberystwyth Innovation and Enterprise Campus.

The event was an opportunity for any interested parties to learn more about the proposed improvements to the existing Gogerddan campus. It also provided the project team with helpful and informative feedback to assist with the preparation of the final planning application, to be submitted in late 2016.

Speaking on behalf of the Project Team, Huw Watkins, Project Director, commented: “We were really pleased to see so many people attend the event, and it shows that there’s a real interest in Aberystwyth Innovation and Enterprise Campus. We received valuable feedback from local residents and business owners with a particular focus on highway improvements, and we’ll be working closely with Ceredigion County Council during the consultation period to try and find a solution that works for all stakeholders.”

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund, through the Welsh Government; the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and by Aberystwyth University, the Innovation and Enterprise Campus will provide world leading facilities and the expertise to create market focused solutions for the agri-tech industry.

Proposed facilities at the AIEC include a Bio-refining Centre, Future Food Centre, Analytical Science laboratories and a Seed Processing and Biobank Facility. It will also provide formal and informal meeting areas and office accommodation.

However, residents expressed some misgivings about road safety and the potential hazard posed by an increase in traffic to and from the campus.

In particular, some residents expressed the concern that no account had been taken of the need to widen the road serving the site, whether during construction or after the campus becomes operational.

Responding to residents’ fears, Rhian Davitt-Jones, Senior Planning Consultant, said: “An initial transport assessment was carried out and, with the 45 jobs to be created, we plugged that into a simulator which told us there would not be a significant impact on the highways system.

“However, we do hear the concerns and we do continue to have that dialogue with Ceredigion County Council.”

The project aims to drive economic growth in the region and beyond through the creation of high value jobs and thriving knowledge-based companies. It will build on the existing capabilities already in existence within the university’s Institutes, working particularly closely with the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) to enhance the research capabilities currently offered.

The consultation on the plans is open until November 16.

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Cardigan: Welsh language nursery’s treasurer stole £16,336 from coffers

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A FORMER treasurer of Cylch Meithrin Penparc in Cardigan has been jailed today for a fraud that brought the Welsh language nursery to its knees.
Catrin Davies, a 33 year old single mother of two daughters, cheated the organisation out of £16,336.
After she left the post the nursery struggled to pay debts and at one stage was left with £1.84p in its bank.
Davies, of Bwthyn Lleine, Ferwig, admitted fraud and was jailed for eight months.
Judge Geraint Walters, sitting at Swansea Crown Court, told her the offending was too series for the sentence to be suspended.
Craig Jones, prosecuting, said Davies was appointed treasurer in September, 2015, and left the post in December 2016.
The new treasurer noticed discrepancies in the accounts. Davies tried to cover them up by sticking pieces of paper onto bank statements to blank out figures, photocopying them, and then carefully typing in new and bogus figures.
By then Davies had failed to pay money into the account and withdrawn some herself.
Mr Jones said that at one stage the nursery had to pay a roof repair bill. Davies knew there wasn’t enough money in the account but to keep the fraud going and to avoid detection she actually paid the bill out of her own money.
Mr Jones said after the true financial situation had been established Cylch Meithrin Penparc was at risk of closure. Internet access was cut off because the telephone bill could not be paid and staff found themselves buying essential items out of their own money.
And there was still a fear, he added, that the nursery would struggle to overcome the blow and to recover the confidence of parents.
Janet Gedrych, representing Davies, said she had suffered a devastating fall from grace.
Davies ran the Pink Orchid florists in Priory Street, Cardigan, for nine years and had a good reputation in the town.
But her partner left her and his debts behind and ran up more and she owed £30,000 in personal and business debts. By October, 2015, debt collectors were knocking on her door and she defrauded Cylch Meithrin Penparc to pay them off.
Judge Walters said the nursery provided a hugely valuable service to parents who wanted their children to learn Welsh and Davies had helped herself to money they had paid in.
“Your activity has reduced its ability to operate. It has not closed but it’s hanging by a thread.”
Judge Walters said he accepted that Davies had found herself squeezed financially, but many people struggled under similar circumstances.

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Police appeal for information about Cardigan crash

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CARDIGAN police are appealing for information about an RTC involving two cars, on the A487 Cardigan to Tanygroes, at around 5:45pm on Monday (Nov 13).

A white Mitsubishi Shogun and a blue/silver Fiat Bravo were involved in the collision, on the bypass near Cardigan Tesco. The two drivers were taken to hospital; one has since been released.

Anyone who witnessed the collision, or was driving along the road around the time, is asked to contact Ceredigion Roads Policing Unit by calling 101.

If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908, quoting Ref: 326 of 13 November.

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Police reaffirms commitment to a safe working environment

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE has pledged to maintain its ongoing work to provide a safe working environment for all its staff.

Following the high profile accusations against members of the entertainment industry and reports that have subsequently followed from all corners of society, the force has taken action to ensure its staff and officers are aware of the existing support and mechanisms available to them.

While much work has already been – and continues to be – undertaken to tackle and eliminate unacceptable behaviour within Dyfed-Powys Police, chief officers are actively developing a culture where all members of staff are confident in speaking out.

An open letter has been issued to all employees, in which Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Claire Parmenter has reaffirmed that ensuring all staff can work in a fair and safe environment remains a key priority.

In it, she says: “The chief officer group wants to reassure you all that in Dyfed-Powys Police we hold our staff at the heart of our service and we will do everything we can to provide a safe working environment where everyone has the equal right to respect and dignity.

“The #MeToo Campaign was re-launched in the wake of the early allegations and has since been used by millions of women and men as an instantly recognisable method of removing the stigma that surrounds sexual harassment, by both victims and supporters of the campaign.

“While much work has already been undertaken to tackle and eliminate harassment, bullying and discrimination, work in this area is never done. Therefore, ensuring a fair, safe and equitable working environment for our staff in Dyfed-Powys Police remains an absolute priority.

“I have pledged my support to ongoing work aimed at reminding all officers and staff of the existing support and mechanisms available by which Dyfed-Powys Police encourages the reporting of wrong-doing. We will be reviewing policy, procedure and practice to ensure they remain current and that they are both supportive of victims and alleged perpetrators.

“We will also engage with staff associations and networks, the Police Federation and Unison to better understand staff concerns, embed high standards of conduct and reduce fear experienced by victims.”

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