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First Minister welcomes Prime Minister to Cardiff for Brexit talks

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THE FIRST MINISTER of Wales Carwyn Jones is welcoming leaders from across the UK to Cardiff today (Jan 30) to discuss Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

During the meeting, First Minister Carwyn Jones will urge Prime Minister Theresa May to use the Welsh Government’s EU White Paper as the starting point for forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

The White Paper, published last week by First Minister Carwyn Jones and leader of Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood, is a comprehensive, credible plan for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

The White Paper is not just a shopping list of demands from Wales, but a pragmatic starting point for negotiations that can deliver for all parts of the United Kingdom.

The paper balances concerns over immigration with the economic reality that makes participation in the single market central to Wales’ future prosperity.

In today’s meeting, the First Minister will also call on the Prime Minister to uphold the promises made during the referendum campaign that Wales would not lose funding as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

First Minister, Carwyn Jones said: “I look forward to welcoming Government representatives from across the UK to Cardiff today. Today’s meeting is an important opportunity for open and frank discussions about the UK’s future post-Brexit.

“While we know that the UK will leave the EU we don’t yet know how that will happen or what form our relationship with the EU will look like beyond that point. To inform that discussion, last week I launched our Brexit White Paper.

“This is a Paper that will be supported by almost three quarters of Assembly Members, setting out a comprehensive, credible and evidence-based plan for Brexit negotiations; securing both full and unfettered access to the Single Market and greater domestic control of immigration.

“It is not simply a list of demands. While it protects Wales’ interests, it was created as a sensible starting point for negotiations for the whole UK.”

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£25,000 funding for Cwmni Theatr Arad Goch

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CWMNI THEATR ARAD GOCH in Aberystwyth is set to receive £25,000 as part of the Welsh Government’s funding of community schemes over the next two years.

Alun Davies, Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services, has announced which organisations are set to benefit from £2 million of Welsh Government funding from the Community Facilities Programme (CFP).

It has been earmarked for 17 projects across Wales aimed at developing community facilities which bring people together.

CFP is a capital grant scheme which funds the development of community facilities; providing opportunities for local people to improve their day to day lives. Grants are available at two levels – up to £25,000 and up to £250,000. The scheme is open to community and voluntary sector organisations, including social enterprises. All applicants are expected to work with partners which can come from the public, private or the third sectors.

Arad Goch aims to create relevant theatre for young people, that inspires, motivates and is memorable. Their work draws on indigenous Welsh material and traditions as well as contemporary and challenging themes and styles.

By touring extensively in Welsh and English around Wales, to theatres, schools, halls and centres, they try to ensure that the widest possible audience, in all corners of the country, have the opportunity to see and enjoy contemporary theatre of the highest order. The funding will help Cwmni Theatr Arad Goch to improve its reception area, fit new windows and commission an arts installation.

Alun Davies said, “The purpose of this funding is to help create resilient communities, where people are directly engaged with local issues. I want our communities to help to deliver the vital local services their people need and I will to continue to empower them to be able to do this. Each of the projects announced today provide opportunities to deliver locally, while improving community cohesion and bringing people together.”

Since the CFP opened in 2015 it has funded 83 projects across Wales with grants totalling £17.7 million.

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Ysgol Bro Teifi Memorial Garden opened

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THE BRO TEIFI SCHOOL Memorial Garden was officially opened on 09 November 2018. This is a new home to the War Memorial to former pupils of Llandysul Grammar School who lost their lives during the First World War and the Second World War.

The Memorial Garden was opened and the Memorial was unveiled by Ysgol Bro Teifi Head Prefects.

Ysgol Bro Teifi’s Headteacher, Robert Jenkins, said: “It is a privilege to officially open the Memorial Garden, which is a special tribute to former pupils of Llandysul Grammar School and Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi. The garden was designed by an Architect from Ceredigion County Council involved with the project and the Ysgol Bro Teifi Project Manager during the construction phase. It was built by a group of local apprentices under the supervision of the construction company, Willmott Dixon. I hope that the garden will be a reminder of those former pupils who have contributed so much to the life and society of the area.”

The War Memorial was located at Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi Library. When the school moved to Ysgol Bro Teifi, arrangements were made to move the memorial and keep it safe until enough money could be collected for its repair.

Following financial support from the Welsh Government’s First World War Memorial Grant, and a generous contribution from Llandysul Community Council, the memorial was repaired to its original condition.

Mr Robert Jenkins continued: “In addition, we put in place the War Memorial, which has been for many years in the old school library. The Memorial was originally given in memory of the young boys of the area, former pupils of Llandysul County School, and the Grammar School, who lost their lives during the wars of the last century.”

16 pupils from the school who died during World War One between 1914 and 1918 are commemorated on the Memorial. It is an interesting monument because there is a representation of all the armed forces, the army, the navy and the airfield. 17 former pupils who died in the Second World War are also commemorated on the memorial.

Councilor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Learning and Lifelong Learning, said: “It’s wonderful to see the opening of the Ysgol Bro Teifi Memorial Garden. I’m very pleased that the War Memorial has been repaired and give a new, worthy home for years to come. Here’s a place to commemorate and remember those pupils from the area who lost their lives for us.”

Members of the community were welcomed to join the school’s pupils to visit the Garden during the day, receiving a performance from the school choir. The fruit of year 7, 8 and 9 pupils’ work were on display at the school for all to see.

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Police operation to get uninsured drivers off the road

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THIS week Dyfed-Powys Police along with other forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be taking part in Operation Drive Insured, in a week of enhanced operations to remove uninsured drivers from UK roads and help protect road users.

Uninsured drivers are often involved in a wide range of criminal activities. Every year the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) Police Helpline records hundreds of incidents where an uninsured driver is found without a valid driving licence or using an untaxed or stolen vehicle. Records also show a number of offenders are caught driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Drivers without insurance are more dangerous than insured drivers and cause a high number of accidents. One contributing factor is because those driving with insurance are encouraged to display safer behaviour and meet road legal requirements to help keep policy costs down.

In 2017 MIB received 11,000 claims from victims of uninsured drivers, with hundreds of people who had suffered catastrophic, life-changing injuries.

MIB supports victims of uninsured and hit and run drivers by providing a last resort for claims and compensation. The annual cost to compensate victims of uninsured drivers comes to over £100 million and is funded by the motor insurance premiums of all law-abiding motorists.

Neil Drane, Head of Enforcement at MIB, said: “A driver with no valid insurance has no legal right to be on the road and removing them undoubtedly makes roads safer. The increased activity during Operation Drive Insured should get more of these drivers off our roads.”

Using data from the Motor Insurance Database (MID) – a central record of all UK motor insurance policies – police are using ANPR cameras to easily identify and stop motorists that appear to be uninsured. MIB’s police helpline supports roadside officers by investigating further and liaising with insurers to confirm whether there is valid insurance in place or not.

Any driver found without insurance during Operation Drive Insured is likely to have their vehicle seized, get six points on their licence, a £300 fine and could face court prosecution. Police also plan to carry out checks for a range of additional road traffic offences.

Simon Hills, Inspector for roads policing operations at Thames Valley Police, said: “In my experience, drivers who willingly use vehicles without insurance are often committing secondary offences. These range in seriousness from minor road traffic offences, to driving whilst disqualified and other crimes such as drug dealing and burglary. The effective enforcement of uninsured vehicles allows us to deny criminals the use of the road and prevent further offending. Operation Drive Insured is a perfect opportunity for us to target our resources.”

If a member of the public suspects a person is driving without insurance, they can report it to their local police force or anonymously to CrimeStoppers.

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