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Carer who attacked patient jailed

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A CARER who attacked a 92 year old patient has been jailed for six months today (Sept 15) even after a judge heard she would never work in such a position again.

The defendant was seen by fellow carers to punch the woman in her ribs and to tell her she hoped she would fall over and break her neck.

Her barrister said she had developed multiple sclerosis and would never be a carer again.

He said her victim had suffered from severe dementia and could be violent and aggressive.

The defendant, he said, had not been suited to such a demanding role and had acted out of frustration.

The jury had heard how the defendant had thumped the woman after she lashed out of her. On another occasion she had slapped her on her bottom and sworn at her.

Francis Jones, prosecuting, said her husband was now worried about how other carers might treat his wife when he was not with her.

Judge Geraint Walters said the woman had deserved to be treated with dignity never mind how testing that could be for her carers.

“Those who choose to be employed caring for others must ask themselves whether they are up to the job.”

He said the defendant had shown no remorse and continued to deny her offending and to blame others for the situation she was in.

But, he added, her behaviour had been seen, quite rightly, as being criminal.

He said he would be failing in his public duty if he did not mark the offending with a sentence of imprisonment which could not be suspended.

Judge Walters was scathing about the attitude of the management team at the former workplace of the defendant

He said: “The evidence of what you did came from a number of courageous young girls who themselves were carers and they engaged in whistleblowing.

“They are to be commended for their decency and honesty.

“I find it particularly disturbing that the evidence given by those girls was that they were fearful of speaking out because nothing would be done by the managers of that company.”

Judge Walters said the company had tried to deal with the matter internally ‘which on the evidence before me meant doing nothing.’

The offending came to light, he said, only because one of the carers had gone over the heads of management and directly to social services.

“Whistleblowing must be taken seriously and the authorities informed. This sort of thing should not be brushed under the carpet. It is simply not acceptable how these complaints were dealt with,” he added.

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Council tax reduction supports people on low incomes

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A COUNCIL Tax Reduction Scheme is in place to help people who are on a low income. The council administers the scheme on behalf of the Welsh Government for people who are liable to pay Council Tax and who live in Ceredigion. With the recent decision to raise Council Tax by 7%, residents on low incomes are being urged to find out if they are entitled to some help towards paying their Council Tax.

People can be eligible for the reduction if they are on a low income, working or unemployed, cannot work because of illness, retired or are caring for someone. The amount of the reduction depends on a person’s circumstances and how much Council Tax they need to pay.

Councillor Gareth Lloyd is the Cabinet member responsible for Financial Services. He said, “We made the difficult decision to raise Council Tax by 7% to reduce the amount of cuts we have to make to council services. The reality is that the council is getting less money from the Welsh Government at a time when costs and demand for services are rising.”

“We want to urge anyone who is on a low income to consider if they are eligible for Council Tax Reduction. Tax increases can add pressure onto people’s budgets, and although this increase is vital to keep quality services in Ceredigion, we want to make sure that anyone who is eligible for help gets it.”

For more information on eligibility and how to claim council tax reduction, email revenues@ceredigion.gov.uk or call 01970 633 252.

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7% council tax increase to protect education funding

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THE COUNCIL TAX in Ceredigion for 2019-2020 will increase by 7%. The increase was agreed by councillors to reduce the impact of cuts to the Council’s budget and, in particular, to protect education spending. The decision was made in a Council meeting on 21 February 2019.

2% of the 7% increase will be used to protect education spending. Schools budgets have been under severe stress after years of needing to make savings. Costs have increased yet again following the agreement of new teachers’ salary increases together with increased pension contributions. This extra 2% uplift will enable school budgets to be kept flat.

The council tax rate increase is set by three key components, the County Council’s tax, the precept of Town and Community Councils and the Police precept. Increases set by the Police and Town and Community Councils result in a combined increase of 7.56%.

Councillor Ellen ap Leader of the Council, said, “We had no option but to ask Council to increase Council Tax by 7% in order to reduce the impact of the cuts we have had to make across council budgets. A successful Ceredigion in the future needs well-funded and well run schools. We want to invest in the future of our children and our county.”

“The reality is that the council is getting less money from the Welsh Government at a time when costs and demand for services are rising. The uplift of teachers’ salaries and pensions has not been fully funded by Welsh Government to date. If council tax had not increased, we would have to make deeper cuts.”

In 2018-2019, the average Council Tax Band D property was £1,226.48. The increase means that the same property will pay £1,312.33 in 2019-2020. The council’s budget has been cut by £39m or 25% in the last seven years. The Council will still need to save another £6m in the coming financial year.

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Information management policies updated to improve security

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THREE key information management policies have been updated by Ceredigion County Council. The policies were updated because of new laws and the need make sure that they are effective in a changing technological environment.

The updated policies were approved by the council’s Cabinet in a meeting on 19 February 2019.

The three policies that have been reviewed are:

· Data Protection/GDPR Policy
· Information Security Policy
· Information and Records Management Policy

The Deputy Leader of Ceredigion County Council and Cabinet member responsible for Governance, Councillor Ray Quant MBE said, “The council needs to keep information and data to carry out the many service we provide. Because of this we have to make sure we’re up to date on data and information protections laws. This decision means that we have approved the hard work done to update the policies and make sure that they are fit for use.”

The policies are essential to manage digital and paper records of the council.

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