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Call for support for flood victims

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flood victimsIN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, William Powell AM has called on both the First Minister and the Natural Resources Minister to apply for aid from the EU’s Solidarity Fund and the European Investment Bank to help rebuild communities devastated by flooding in recent weeks.

The EU’s Solidarity Fund, which has a budget of up to £414 million for 2014, was set up to provide financial assistance to EU countries struck by major national disasters. William Powell recently visited the European Investment Bank, based in Luxemburg, and learnt how the Bank can also be an avenue that can be explored for extra resources for longer term coastal flood defence projects.

William Powell, Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales and Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Natural Resources Minister, said:

“I’ve seen first-hand the devastation that has been caused by the recent weather in my region. I’m immensely proud of the resilience local people have shown in this crisis.

“However, we need extra resources made available to support these local communities. The EU Solidarity Fund was created in 2002 for just these types of events and the European Investment Bank is also an option too. I believe we have a strong case for extra help and the Welsh Labour Government needs to look closely at making an application while there is still time. The money is there and we need a Government that is willing to go and get it.

“The recent floods have been devastating for many homes and businesses. People need all the support they can get at the moment. I therefore urge the Welsh Government to work with the UK Government to ensure that we can access all the support that is available.

“I will be raising these points again during a debate on the recent floods in the National Assembly next week.”

Alec Dauncey, Welsh Liberal Democrat European candidate and resident of Aberystwyth, said:

“This fund is a Europe-wide insurance. It’s all about member countries working together to deal with large scale natural disasters which might hit one of them. All countries pay into it and the money goes to a country or region which needs extra help.

“Elected MEP’s have to authorise these payments. I hope a case can be made for help that will reach Wales.”

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Police call for vigilance to report illegal raves

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is asking farmers and local landowners to be on the alert over the next few months for warning signs of any illegal gatherings planned for their land over the summer.

Gatherings – such as illegal raves – can cause considerable anxiety to the community and if they are not dealt with swiftly, they are difficult to stop or otherwise control, due often to the sheer numbers of persons involved and the safety aspects surrounding breaking up such an event.

Superintendent Robyn Mason said: “There is little doubt that these type of events are very well planned, organised and that local knowledge is important in drawing down the main group to a particular ‘vulnerable’ field, or area of land which has been targeted previously as a suitable venue.

“Farmers, landowners and local communities are encouraged to report any suspicious activity immediately to the Police; this may be an unusual numbers of vehicles, especially camper vans, vans or trucks in the locality, illegal trespassers who may be doing ‘recce’ of sites in advance of the event.

“I can assure local communities that Police will take the appropriate action to deter illegal gatherings and deal robustly with any criminal offences discovered or disclosed.”  

Members of the public are also urged to be vigilant of persons who approach landowners or enquiring for land, in the guise of hiring for apparently acceptable activities such as gymkhanas and scouts/guides events.

Please contact Police on 101 with reports on any suspicious activity.

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Wheelchair-bound man jailed for child sex offences

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A CHILD sex offender from Ystrad Meurig has been jailed despite being wheelchair-bound.

Dean Harper, aged 61, had distributed child pornography and tried to entice a 10-year-old girl into sexually abusing herself and sending him photographs.

Harper, of Sisial y Pin, Ffair Rhos, admitted downloading 317 indecent images of children in the most serious category A, 400 in category B and 500 in C.

He also admitted sending images in all three categories to a third party, all on a single day in October, 2016.

Harper also admitted attempting to incite the girl into sexual activity knowing that she was only 10-years-old.

Kevin Jones, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that the distribution of the images alerted the police who raided Harper’s home and removed computer equipment.

An examination of his internet activity revealed he had made contact with a girl via social media and swapped messages with her.

The judge, Mr Recorder Peter Griffiths told Harper his offending was serious and a jail sentence was inevitable despite his disability.

Harper was jailed for a total of two years and ordered to register with the police as a sex offender for 10 years.

He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order which will restrict his contact with young people and his internet activity after his release from prison.

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Royals set to visit Ceredigion during summer visit

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AS PART of their annual summer visit to Wales, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will be visiting Ceredigion next month.

From July 2-6, Charles and Camilla will tour the country, undertaking over 20 engagements across the country.

On July 3, The Prince of Wales will visit Dà Mhìle Distillery, Llandysul, the first organic distillery in the UK approved by the Soil Association, where he was previously gifted the thousandth bottle to be produced by Dà Mhìle.

The Prince of Wales will also visit St. Gwenog’s Church, Llanwenog, and view their unique carvings created by Joseph Reubens, a Belgian World War One refugee. His Royal Highness will also meet members of their local community.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s fourteenth annual Summer visit to Wales will feature celebrations to mark the 70th Anniversary of The National Health Service and the marking the 150th anniversary of the Heart of Wales railway line amongst other events.

A Clarence House spokesperson said: “The Prince and The Duchess are really looking forward to their annual summer visit to Wales where they will be celebrating key anniversaries for the National Health Service, the Heart of Wales railway line and the 90th anniversary of Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisation. Their Royal Highnesses relish the opportunity to meet members of the community who are making a difference to Welsh life.”

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