OVER 300 people attended a protest against newly elected US President Donald Trump in Aberystwyth yesterday (Jan 30).
During the protest, Ceredigion Labour Party member and Aberaid organiser Lindsey Gaunt spoke to the crowds about a 12-year-old girl from Yemen called Emma, who had waited for years to get residency permits to join her mother and sister in America, and was at the airport waiting to get on a flight to join her family in the US when the ban was announced.
Emma was told that as a result of Trump’s ban on Muslims entering the US she would not be allowed to fly to join her family. Her father had spent his last $2000 on the flight to get his daughter to safety in the US, away from Yemen which has been bombed for the last 2 years by a Saudi-led coalition that the US has been supporting and the UK has been arming.
The Aberystwyth protest had been spontaneously organised in less than 24 hours by another Labour Party member in Ceredigion. During the same 24 hour period, Ceredigion residents contributed 2,277 of 1,584,418 signatures to the online petition calling for Donald Trump to be prevented from making a State Visit to the United Kingdom.
Eluned Morgan AM for West & Mid Wales, said in response to the Aberystwyth protest: “President Trump’s shameful and cruel executive order against refugees and Muslims has shocked and appalled people around the globe.
“Whilst every country has the right to set its own immigration policies, Trump’s actions go against the very values of freedom and tolerance for which the US is renowned. It is divisive and wrong to stigmatise people of a particular origin or particular faith, putting them under general suspicion for no good reason whatsoever, in particular, when they are suffering through no fault of their own.
“May should immediately rescind the invitation to welcome Trump on a state visit to the UK with all the pomp and ceremony that this entails. This is the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a foreign dignitary, we should reserve this privilege for truly great people.
She has a responsibility to stand up for the values and responsibilities that we hold dear in the UK.”
Stephen Kalisky, the organiser of the protest, said: “This is a broad protest organised by many groups, Stand Up To Racism is one of them. We are shocked to the core that Trump has introduced policies that seem like something you read in history books about the 1930s.
“This is, however as it is spun, a ban on Muslims. More shocking is our own Prime Minister’s complicity. Torture? Banning Muslims? We will not stand for this.
“I was told that numbers of around 300 people showed their support. Thank you all for coming out and showing the world how great Ceredigion is.”
Aberystwyth waste pilot launched
AN innovative pilot scheme has been launched in North Parade, Aberystwyth to help promote positive waste behaviours in the town centre.
The initiative sees communal wheelie bins being delivered to the pilot area on the afternoon before the usual scheduled waste collections. The bins provide a means of containing the waste for the time between it being presented and being collected. Protecting the waste from attack by animals, including seagulls, will help keep the town centre’s streets clean.
The new approach will also help support more local residents, especially those living in properties where space to store waste is limited, to make full use of the weekly recycling and food waste collection services. Reducing the amount of recyclable waste that goes into black bags is not only better for the environment but it also helps ensure it is dealt with in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.
The days and frequency of waste collections will remain the same with wheelie bins being provided each week for clear recycling bags and food waste and fortnightly for black bags. Waste should be presented in the correct wheelie bin by 8am on the day collection.
Once the waste is collected the wheelie bins are removed which avoids problems that would arise if they were left there permanently which includes causing unnecessary street clutter and obstructions as well as potentially being misused and attracting fly-tipping.
Councillor Dafydd Edwards, the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services, said: “I am fully supportive of this initiative. It is an example of the Council working in partnership with communities on resolving issues. I wish the initiative every success and look forward in the future, to further working closely with our communities on finding creative solutions to the issues we are all concerned about.”
The scheme started on August 6-7. If it proves to be successful, consideration will be given to extending the pilot to other areas where it may work. Consideration is also being given to other ways of further supporting positive waste behaviours in Aberystwyth and Ceredigion in general ahead of a new domestic waste collection system that will be introduced in 2019.
Consultation on future of gas network for west Wales enters final week
Wales & West Utilities look after the pipes that bring gas to homes and businesses across Wales and the south west of England. The company has received almost 20,000 responses to its consultation but is now urging as many people as possible to take two minutes to pipe up and shape its plans for the future. Everyone who completes the consultation will be entered into a weekly draw to win a £100 Amazon Gift Card.
The company is asking people to give their views on issues such as the gas emergency service, investment to keep the gas network safe and reliable and how it supports those most in need. It is also seeking views on preparing the gas network for a greener future, making sure it can continue to deliver essential services for generations to come.
Wales & West Utilities charge for their services through consumer gas bills. Currently, their services make up 20% of an annual gas bill – so for the average gas bill of £630, that’s £128 a year – or 35 pence per day.
Graham Edwards, Chief Executive at Wales & West Utilities, explains: “The pipes we look after are mostly underground and out of mind, but we provide an essential service in keeping people safe and warm in their homes and powering businesses. Now, as we plan for the future, we want as many people in West Wales as possible to have their say on the future of their gas network and the services we provide.”
“We understand the financial pressure households across the area are under and we remain committed to keeping our portion of the gas bill to a minimum – we have already reduced the cost of our services since 2013 from £145 to £128 today.
“We’re looking forward to hearing customer feedback from West Wales as this will play a vital role in shaping our business for the future.”
Wales & West Utilities also connects around 11,000 homes and businesses to the network each year. And, for customers in need of extra support, the company has a scheme offering low-cost gas connections and financial help for appliance repairs. There is also a priority register to make sure people in vulnerable situations are prioritised when things go wrong.
To have your say on the future of your gas network and the services Wales & West Utilities provides please go to PipeUpOnline.co.uk or Facebook.com/wwutilities and be in with a chance to win a £100 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card.
Elin Jones welcomed to Gorsedd as ‘Elin Ceredigion’
AT THIS year’s National Eisteddfod, held in Cardiff Bay, Elin Jones, AM for Ceredigion, was welcomed into the Gorsedd.
The ceremony of the Gorsedd of the Bards is an integral part of the National Eisteddfod, and honours people who have made a significant contribution to the Welsh language and to Wales. Upon being admitted to the Gorsedd, the member is able to choose their ‘Bardic name’. Elin Jones has chosen to be known as Elin Ceredigion.
Elin Jones said: “It’s an honour to be admitted to the Gorsedd at this year’s National Eisteddfod, and to be known there as Elin Ceredigion.
“This was a very different and diverse National Eisteddfod. People from all over Wales and from many different cultures were able to see the Welsh Language thriving.
“The National Eisteddfod is important in whichever part of Wales it may be held. In two years’ time, it will be in Tregaron in Ceredigion which will be equally as exciting and important an Eisteddfod.
“The Gorsedd will next meet in Ceredigion in July 2019 – to proclaim the 2020 Ceredigion Eisteddfod.”
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