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Driving offender learns ‘valuable lesson’

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A MAN ‘now understands the implications of drink driving’ and is said to have learnt a ‘valuable lesson’ after committing four offences.

Benjamin Paul Callow, 29​,​ of Pencarreg in Llanybydder, appeared before Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (Oct 18)​ and pleaded guilty to four charges. He ​admitted two charges of failing to stop after a road accident​,​ whereby damage was caused to a wall and a telegraph pole, causing the VW Golf vehicle to be left in a dangerous position​, and ​failing to provide specimen for analysis​.

Prosecutor Helen Tench said​ that,​just after 10pm​ on July 9​, police officers received a report regarding a vehicle parked within the Black Lion pub in Lampeter​,​ which reversed into a wall causing damage.

A member of staff at the pub heard a loud bang outside the property and when they went to investigate, they found the defendant, who had been consuming alcohol in the pub,​ in the driver’s seat,.

The staff member asked Callow to return to the premise to provide his details, but the defendant drove away from the scene.

At 11.20pm, police received another report regarding a single road collision whereby a car was turned on to its side after colliding with a ​telegraph ​p​ole​ which snapped in half.

When officers checked the vehicle,​ they smelled alcohol ​and noticed inflated airbags and samples of blood.

On July 10, Callow was eventually located and was seen to be wearing casual clothes and no shoes. His eyes appeared to be glazed and officers noted his slurred speech.

An ambulance arrived at the scene to escort the defendant to hospital for treatment.

At approximately 3am on July 10, Callow refused to provide a specimen of blood for analysis at the hospital, and officers attended the Black Lion pub to view the CCTV footage.

On August 22, the defendant was interviewed; he confirmed he was the driver of the VW Golf vehicle and admitted that he made no effort to report the road accidents.

Defending, Alison Mathias explained that Callow ​was very embarrassed and remorseful for his actions.

She said the offences had ‘shocked him’ into addressing his ways and he d​id not wish to put forward any excuses for his behaviour.

Ms Mathias stated the vehicle had turned onto its side and the defendant’s head injuries ‘may have affected his judgement’ when he walked away from the road accident​, adding that the offences had been a ‘very valuable lesson’ and an ‘unfortunate incident’.

Delivering a pre-sentence report, Probation Officer Julian Davies explained Callow went to Lampeter after work on July 9 and had a pint of alcohol at the Black Lion pub. When he crashed into the car park wall, the defendant ‘panicked’ and drove away from the scene.

Mr Davies said Callow went to buy more alcohol some time later and crashed the vehicle again, ​but could not remember the incident.

Mr Davies concluded by saying the defendant is disappointed with his actions and now understood the implications of drink driving.

Magistrates imposed a 12-​month community order with 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a punitive element of 150 hours of unpaid work.

He received a 24​-​month driving disqualification and ​his licence was endorsed. He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £85 and a surcharge of £85.

News

The county’s play areas to close

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ALL THOSE who manage Ceredigion Play Areas have been asked to close their play areas as of Monday, 23 March 2020.

This decision doesn’t come lightly as they are wonderful places to enjoy. However, you may have noticed people are still meeting in outdoor parks and communal areas outside. We must protect our communities and strive to ensure that people stay away from places where they can come together, especially children and young people who are not currently attending school. It is also important to note, it is reported that Coronavirus can remain on surfaces, including metals and plastics.

The Council requires all playground owners / managers in Ceredigion to ensure that the community keep away from the play spaces. These include community spaces, parks and skate parks.

If there is a gate or fence around the play area, it will be locked and a poster placed on the entrance. For those areas without a fence or gate, the poster will be put in a suitable place so that the public can understand that it is not safe for them to use the play area at present.

We thank all who are helping to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak responsibly.

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Community

The latest on plastic free Ceredigion

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At its meeting held on 17 March, the Council’s Cabinet received an activity update from the Plastic Free Ceredigion Task and Finish Group, which was set up after full Council approved a motion on 22 February 2018.

Full Council approved the ‘Plastic Free campaigns throughout the County, including Plastic Free Aberporth and Plastic Free Aberystwyth’ motion to ensure that the Council helps to reduce the amount of single use plastics used in our day to day operations.

The motion involved a number of factors including; reducing single-use plastics within Council facilities and offices and encouraging local businesses, organisations, schools and communities to move away from single-use plastics and use sustainable alternatives. Promoting the use of sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics at all Council supported events, supporting beach cleans and any other events which aim to raise awareness of the issues of single-use plastics.

Since 22 February 2018, the Council have removed 5 single-use plastic that were used across the local authority, implemented projects in conjunction with NRW with local primary schools, worked closely with communities throughout Ceredigion and commenced the provision of Water bottle re-fills on request to all visitors to our public facing buildings.

In January 2020, the Schools Service were successful in bidding for funding from the Circular Economy Capital Fund, which allows for the purchasing of milk dispensers which will remove the need for the provision of plastic milk bottles and straws by 1,979 pupils at Foundation and Key Stage 2. This is equivalent to a reduction of 376,010 plastic milk bottles per school year.

Councillor Alun Williams, Member Champion for Sustainability said, “These are initiatives which, together, make a real difference to the amount of single-use plastics going into the waste stream from Council activities. Whilst it’s important that everyone seeks to minimise their use of single-use plastics, it’s particularly important that large organisations like councils take these kinds of actions because they can have a wider effect which, in turn, can lead to industry changing to more sustainable practices. Ceredigion Council is trying to lead the way in showing what’s possible within an organisation.”

This supports one of the Council’s corporate priority of Promoting Environmental and Community Resilience.

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Community

Cabinet decision on former care home still stands

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The Council’s Cabinet met on Tuesday 17 March to discuss the recommendation put forward by the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Monday 16 March, regarding the future of the former care home, Penparcau.

Following the discussion at Cabinet, it was decided not to support the recommendation put forward by the Committee. The Cabinet’s original decision made on 25 February will now be implemented.

The Committee recommended that Cabinet postpone progressing the sale of the former care home for 6 months, given the current situation regarding coronavirus, and following that period, both the Corporate Resources and Healthier Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committees reconsider the matter of future EMI Nursing in Ceredigion. The recommendation was made after councillors used the Councils’ call in process to review the Cabinet’s decision on 25 February 2020.

Councillor Rhodri Evans is the Cabinet member for Economy and Regeneration. He said, “The Council has actively sought the appropriate re-use of the former care home over a lengthy period of time. The Council initially undertook a procurement exercise to identify a provider between 2015 and 2017 and since 2018 sought to sell the property for a preferred use since. Both approaches have been unsuccessful. After careful consideration, it’s now time to consider alternative options for disposing of this asset and attract investment in the property. The money raised from the sale can then be used towards supporting service providing care elsewhere in the County.

The Council will continue to discuss options with Hywel Dda University Health Board for providing improved EMI provision in the County.”

The Council will liaise with Registered Social Landlords in the hope that a purchase can be agreed within 3 months. This is due to the continued need for affordable housing in the County. If this cannot be achieved, the land will be sold on the open market without identifying any preferred uses.

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