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Enjoy what Dyfed-Powys has to offer safely at the Royal Welsh Show

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is inviting Royal Welsh Show visitors to visit their stand to find out more about how to safely enjoy what the area has to offer over the summer.

The stand, located at E366 behind the main grandstand, is geared at bringing to life the force’s #EnjoyDPP summer campaign.

The campaign is about helping people who live in and visit the counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys safely enjoy their summer.

Officers and staff from Dyfed-Powys Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner will be on hand to offer practical advice to help people enjoy the towns, beaches, mountains and events. They will be joined by key partners on certain days including Get Safe Online, Brecon Mountain Rescue team and Crimestoppers.

Superintendent of Powys Jon Cummins said: “The Royal Welsh Show is the biggest event of the year we police in Dyfed-Powys and also where we concentrate huge efforts on engaging positively with visitors to the show at our police stand. Come say hello, meet our experienced and knowledgeable officers and staff and find out more about how to stay safe and enjoy the summer while taking advantage of the many wonderful places and events we have to offer.”

Visitors will be able to explore a police vehicle, take a ride in a Formula 1 simulator and chat to our Get Safe Online colleagues about cybercrime, meet a police dog and our new police puppy Nev, dress up as a police officer or Police Community Support Officer and pose for photos at an #EnjoyDpp photobooth.

Venture inside and relax on a hay bale and have a chat with our experts on issues including summer safety, rural crime, financial crime, crimes and issues that affect children and so much more.

To allow people to chat without distractions from the children there will be a special children’s corner where they can have their fingerprints taken, colour a police-themed picture or play a giant police-themed garden game.

For the second year running Dyfed-Powys Police will also have a mobile police station based up near the competing animals to allow officers and staff to link in with farmers around rural crime issues.

There will be experts from the force’s Financial Crime Team giving live demonstrations of how to avoid becoming scammed out of hard-earned cash, as well as further specialist input from Get Safe Online. They will be offering advice around on-line banking, internet safety for children, online shopping, social media advice, how to protect devices and more.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has a host of activities planned, including promoting the Commissioner’s crime plan, giving people opportunity to pose their questions to the Chief Constable via the Commissioner, hop on a cow print exercise bike and help rack up the miles while hearing more about the Commissioner’s charity challenge.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “The Royal Welsh Show is such an important event for Dyfed-Powys and indeed Wales. I’m delighted that representatives from my office will be there to talk to visitors about the role of Police and Crime Commissioner and the work I’m carrying out to ensure our four counties remain the safest in England and Wales.”

As well as the daily activities and engagement opportunities, police will be focusing on a different theme each day as follows:

Monday: Digital Policing

There will be live demonstrations of technology officers are using – mobile data terminals and body worn video – to improve the way they work and to allow them to be more visible in the communities they serve. The point being that officers are not playing on their phones, they are working and if they didn’t have their tablets they would be back at the police station. Body worn video is being introduced in Dyfed-Powys. Body Worn Video is an independent witness – it increases accountability, improves performance and deters crime. Alongside this work there will be staff from the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner available to talk about work being carried out to improve police stations.

Tuesday: Rural Policing

Rural crime experts will be on hand in the main police stand and the mobile police station to speak to people about issues that can affect rural areas and how people can best protect themselves from such crime. For example, report cattle thefts. We can’t direct resources to the right place if we don’t know how much of a problem it is. The Office of Police and Crime Commissioner and Aberystwyth University will be carrying out the rural crime survey at the police stand and around the show giving people opportunity to tell us what issues really matter in rural communities.

Wednesday: #EnjoyDpp summer safety campaign

#EnjoyDPP, offers practical advice to help people enjoy the towns, beaches, mountains and events in the four counties. Brecon Mountain Rescue Team will join police on this day to demonstrate their work and offer advice on how to be prepared and safe when considering a mountain walk.

Thursday: Volunteering

A chance to celebrate the work of the many and varied volunteers we have contributing in some way to keeping Dyfed-Powys the safest place to live and work in England and Wales. There will be volunteers from the Special Constabulary, Police Cadets, Animal Welfare and Custody Visitors from the Commissioner’s Office, Crimestoppers, Goleudy (a support service for victims and witnesses of crime). Advice and support will be given to anyone considering volunteering for one of these services.

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Elin Jones backs calls for business rates holiday extension for independent businesses

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CEREDIGION’S Member of the Senedd, Elin Jones, has backed calls by the British Independent Retail Association for the extension of the current rates holiday for non-essential businesses in 2021/22.

Many local independent businesses have been closed for the best part of a year, and many will be in a more precarious situation now than when the initial rates holiday was announced last year. Many businesses will be looking forward to the easing of restrictions over the next few months, but Elin Jones warned that many would benefit from the continued business rates holiday.

Elin Jones said:

“Every effort must be made to secure the future of independent businesses in Ceredigion. They are such an important feature of life in Ceredigion, both as employers, and as a draw for people to our towns and villages.

“Normal trading will eventually resume, and these businesses will be able to flourish again, but local businesses owners know that this cannot be rushed. Therefore we must continue to sustain our businesses until they are once again back on an even keel.

“It will take a while for footfall to resume, and extending the business rates holiday is one way to help in this time of need.”

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MP makes Budget case for support for self-employed and small businesses in Ceredigion

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BEN LAKE MP has called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend the government’s financial support package for businesses and self-employed workers in next week’s Budget as many struggle to stay afloat during continued lockdown restrictions. 

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak is to set out the UK Government’s budget on Wednesday 3 March, almost a year since the last Budget on 11 March 2020. 

To help businesses and our local high streets over coming months, the Ceredigion MP has called on the Chancellor to extend the lowered rate of VAT at 5% for hospitality and tourism for a year to March 2022 and to extend the business rates relief package. 

Mr Lake also called on the Chancellor to retain the furlough scheme for the duration of pandemic restrictions, as recent figures show more than 178,000* in Wales are still receiving government help from the CJRS. He also urged the Chancellor to expand the existing eligibility criteria for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme in order to offer some help to the many individuals who have not received a penny in Government support thus far. 

Ben Lake MP said: “For many businesses and self-employed workers, the financial support government has offered over the last 12 months has been a lifeline. Now, as we are finally starting to see light at the end of the lockdown tunnel, we cannot remove this lifeline prematurely. Extending this help for a little longer, and expanding the criteria to help those that have been excluded thus far, would offer small businesses the support they require to ‘bounce back’ from the pandemic.” 

Many businesses who are still not open due to lockdown measures are also now expected to start repaying their Bounce Back Loans. This is despite their situation largely remaining unchanged since they took out the loan, or in some unfortunate instances, worsened as they have not yet been able to trade.  

UKHospitality has estimated that the hospitality sector lost around £72 billion in sales in 2020 and faces, frankly, a debt mountain, including £4.2 billion in state-backed loans.  

Mr Lake said:  “It is important that businesses that took out bounce back loans and CBILS are required to pay only when they are in a position to do so – once they have ‘bounced back’ from the pandemic. Affording such a level of flexibility, and thus preventing avoidable business failures, would protect jobs, the taxpayer’s investment in the recovery, and the integrity of our financial system.

“We remain in the early stages of a vaccine-led recovery, and it is likely that we will have some form of restrictions for many months to come. Having done so much to protect the economy and the workforce, we must not withdraw support prematurely, as to do so would risk throwing away the investment taxpayers have made in the last year, and potentially our economic recovery.” 

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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50

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EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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