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County flooding chaos follows ‘biblical’ storm

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storm special 15GALE FORCE winds coupled with unusually high tides have caused widespread flooding along the mid and West Wales coast in the past week.

Areas of Fishguard, Cardigan, Aberaeron, Amroth and Laugharne have all been affected.

Dyfed-Powys Police posted on Twitter that it had closed a number of roads in Amroth, Newgale, Aberystwyth and Borth. Drivers were also advised to avoid coastal areas and told not to attempt driving through flood water.

Rebecca Evans AM has welcomed the news that Minister for Natural Resources, Alun Davies AM, has ordered a review into the recent flooding.

Mrs Evans said: “I wrote to the minister on Saturday asking how the Welsh Government intends to review the recent flooding, so I am pleased that

the minister has responded so quickly by announcing that he has asked Natural Resources Wales to carry out a swift review with the immediate priority being to identify and assess any damage so that repair work can be prioritised.”

Mrs Evans continued: “My thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by the flooding. I am grateful to the staff of Natural Resources Wales, local authority staff, and the emergency services across the region for the way in which they have sought to prepare for the flooding, and keep everyone informed and safe during what has been a very tough few days for people living in coastal areas.

“I am also grateful to the many community groups, volunteers and good neighbours who have pulled together to offer shelter and assistance to residents and business owners affected by flooding along the mid and West Wales coast.”

“It is important that repair work is completed as soon as possible, before the start of the main tourist season in the spring.”

storm special 10AM Joyce Watson met with Fishguard residents and Pembrokeshire Council’s chief highways officer to discuss the on going situation this week. Councillor Pat Davies took Mrs Watson to the worst affected area of Lower Fishguard to speak to residents.

Mrs Watson said: “Mr Randal Davies, of Bridge Street, said it is the worst flooding he has seen in 47 years.

“In Quay Street, Mr and Mrs Jackson told us it is the worst storm for 63 years. Their house was flooded and Mrs Jackson, who relies on her stair lift, was stranded upstairs when the electricity was knocked out. Thankfully, the fire service and local contractors responded quickly, and the heating and power is back on.

“It is heartening that neighbours are rallying to help and support each other – strong community spirit makes all the difference at a time like this.”

On Tuesday, a specialist team from Natural Resources Wales started work at Newgale Beach, to clear the Brandy Brook from sand and shingle, which has completely blocked the brook following days of extremely high tides.

THE WORK was in conjunction with Pembrokeshire County Council, who has also started work to clear the coastal road at Newgale, which has been closed since last Friday after waves left rocks and debris blocking access.

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Natural Resources Wales teams are also continuing work to clear large volumes of shingle and debris from the Tresilley Stream on Amroth Beach.

The Royal Voluntary Service has also asked members of the public to call on their older friends, family and neighbours to check that they are safe and have everything they need.

David McCullough, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service, said: “Severe weather can have a devastating effect on the health and safety of older people, so it’s vital that friends, family and neighbours check in on older people in their town and offer to help where they can. Simple things like making sure older people have enough food in the house and offering someone a lift to a doctor’s appointment or to the shops can make a huge difference during the inclement weather.”

Royal Voluntary Service volunteers will continue to provide services in the local area through the bad weather, as well as assisting the emergency services team by offering refreshments and comfort to people affected by the storms, floods and power cuts.

Woman rescued from swollen river

A YOUNG woman had to be rescued from a river in the early hours of the morning on Thursday, January 9.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service were called to rescue the woman from Freeman’s Way near the County Hall Offices at around 1.14am. It comes as the Met Office put out another weather warning for most of Wales following more heavy rain.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called at 1.09am to an incident near County Hall, Haverfordwest.

“An emergency ambulance was dispatched to the scene, and a woman in her 20s was taken to Withybush General Hospital.”

Charity issues urgent warning following extreme weather

THE ELECTRICAL SAFETY Council is issuing a warning in Pembrokeshire following extreme weather conditions that has led to flooding in many areas. The charity is urging all residents whose homes have been affected by high water levels to take care when cleaning up, especially around electricity which can cause further damage or put people at risk. Water and electricity can be a lethal combination, and with more rain on its way the Electrical Safety Council wants all homeowners to be aware of the risks of combining the two. Wiring and electrical appliances that have been affected by water can at best stop working and at worst cause an electric shock.

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“When faced with flooding damage it can be tempting to jump straight in as it’s natural to want things back to normal as quickly as possible”, explains Penny Walshe from the Electrical Safety Council, “but it is important to make sure your home is electrically safe before you do anything else.

“If the water damage to electrics is relatively minor and caused by clean water, i.e. from a burst water pipe or tank, then the cables will need to be dried and affected electrical accessories such as sockets, switches and plugs will need to be replaced. But if there is major flooding damage caused by contaminated water, i.e. sewage, then there is a chance that affected parts of the house will need to be rewired. Take a step back and call in a registered electrician to assess the damage before you try and fix anything else.”

The Electrical Safety Council is urging homeowners affected by floods to follow these top tips to deal with the damage quickly and safely:

  • Don’t touch any sources of electricity – such as switches or appliances – when standing in flood water.
  • Ask your supplier to turn off your electricity and don’t turn it back on until it is safe to do so.
  • Make sure all electrical equipment affected by flood water has been checked by an electrician before you use it again.
  • Ask a registered electrician to carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)* to check the condition of electrical wiring in your home.
  • If your home needs to be rewired, ask about raising the height of newly installed electrical equipment above any future expected flood level.

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Police investigating sudden death of three-year-old

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating the sudden death of a three-year-old child.

At approximately 4.25pm on Sunday (Oct 21) police received a report of a collision involving a child and a vehicle at a private property near Llanybydder.

Tragically, the child died at the scene.

A police spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with the family, who are being supported by specially trained officers.

“Enquiries are ongoing. H.M. Coroner and the Health and Safety Executive are aware.”

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Council staff show their support for Shwmae Su’mae Day

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SHWMAE Su’mae day was celebrated throughout Wales on Monday, 15 October to encourage people to start every conversation with ‘Shwmae’ or ‘Su’mae’! To mark the day this year, staff at Ceredigion County Council held a cookery competition during its weekly ‘Clwb Cinio Cymraeg’ session (Welsh Lunch Club).

‘Clwb Cinio Cymraeg’ is the Council’s new sessions that give staff who are learning Welsh a chance to meet and practice their Welsh in an informal setting. Shwmae Su’mae day aims to show that the Welsh language belongs to us all – fluent speakers, learners or those shy about their Welsh.

Huw Owen is the Council’s new Work Welsh Training Officer and teaches Welsh in the Workplace lessons to Council staff on different stages of their journey in developing their fluency in the Welsh language. Huw established the successful Clwb Cinio Cymraeg earlier this year and said, “The Clwb Cinio Cymraeg is a vital part of Ceredigion County Council’s Work Welsh teaching provision. Language is a communal phenomenon, and the informal learning opportunities provided by the Clwb Cinio gives the Council’s learners the opportunity to take their Welsh beyond the more formal world of the classroom and become a Welsh language community. The success of the baking competition on Shwmae Su’mae Day is testament to the Council’s learners’ commitment and enthusiasm for learning Welsh as a language through which they can work, live, and have fun.”

Last year, 125 staff members were recognised for their dedication to learn the language by attending regular classes. Staff this year are able to continue receiving Welsh in the Workplace lessons, alongside additional opportunities to practice the language through the Clwb Cinio Cymraeg and Ffrind Iaith (Language Buddy scheme). Ffrind Iaith is where Welsh-learners are paired with a Welsh-speaker mentor within the work setting.

Leader of Ceredigion County Council, Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn said, “Ceredigion County Council is committed in supporting the Welsh language and culture, and we encourage staff to take up the offer of developing their Welsh with these engaging learning opportunities. The Council ensures its services and activities promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language throughout the county. Every member of the public in Ceredigion has the right to choose which language they wish to use when communicating with the Council and it’s a requirement of the Council staff to respond in a positive way to this choice.”

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Ceredigion’s first ‘Welsh in the Workplace’ business fair a success

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SMALL businesses in Cardigan came together to a special event on Thursday, 4 October 2018. The Business Fair was an opportunity to network, learn from each other and share experiences of using the Welsh language in business.

Councillor Catherine Hughes, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Culture said, “With the excitement of the Ceredigion National Eisteddfod 2020 about to start, it was encouraging to see the county’s businesses coming together to learn how to market effectively and promote the Welsh language in business. It was refreshing to witness an honest discussion about the challenges facing businesses and also pleasing to hear how successful businesses have been since using the Welsh language.”

The event, held in Cardigan Castle, began with an interesting presentation by Huw Marshall from the Yr Awr Gymraeg. Huw discussed how the Welsh language can offer positive opportunities for local businesses and how it can boost business and the economy.

Kerry Ferguson said, “An extremely beneficial event. The panel demonstrated the benefits of Welsh in business, and also that there is plenty of support available – not just in various organisations, but businesses also. I would highly recommend Ceredigion businesses attend the next event!”.

This was supported by Rosalind Robinson, “Huw’s discussion was extremely helpful in particular how attractive the Welsh is in business for non-Welsh speakers. As a Welsh learner myself, I gained the opportunity to practice (and improve) my Welsh.”

An open discussion was held by a panel of businesses on the challenges of using the Welsh language in business and also to share good practice. The panel was chaired by Keith Henson (Coleg Ceredigion) and the panel consisted of Dwynwen Davies (Meithrinfa Y Dyfodol), Angharad Williams (Lan Llofft), Sioned Thomas (Ffenestri Kevin Thomas), Kerry Ferguson (Gwe Cambrian Web) and Huw Marshall (Yr Awr Gymraeg).

During the day, there were numerous information stands to visit, including Learn Welsh, Ceredigion Training, Cynnal y Cardi, Business Wales, Antur Teifi, Welsh Language Commissioner, Coleg Ceredigion and Cymraeg Byd Busnes.

Non Davies, Cered Manager said, “The day was an excellent opportunity to bring together businesses not only to receive advice and direction but also to discuss the challenges they face using the Welsh language. An honest and inspiring discussion took place highlighting many good practice ideas for the future. Cered’s Welsh in Business officers continue to visit businesses across the county and anyone is welcome to contact us to arrange a free visit.”

Contact Menter Iaith Cered’s Business Officers, Pat Jones or Owain Llyr on 01545 572350 if you are a business who is interested in receiving information or assistance.

The Welsh in the Workplace project has received LEADER support through the Cynnal y Cardi Local Action Group (administered by Ceredigion County Council) which is funded through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

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