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Imagining alternative futures for mid Wales

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The Pryce Jones building in Newtown, home to the first modern international mail order business. But what does the future hold for mid Wales post Brexit? This is the challenge posed by Imagining alternative futures for mid Wales

AS THE debate rages on about the UK’s future trading relations with the European Union post-Brexit, people in mid Wales are being invited to put forward their visions for the region.

On Thursday 9 November 2017 Aberystwyth University is hosting a day-long programme of events entitled Imagining alternative futures for mid Wales.

Sixth form students from schools and colleges across the region will meet during the day to discuss the diverse challenges it faces and devise possible solutions.

Amongst the questions they will address will be how to promote well-being, economic growth and environmental sustainability.

This will be followed in the evening by a public debate with Baroness Eluned Morgan, AM; Dr Marc Welsh, Aberystwyth University; Mr Barry Rees, Strategic Director: Learning and Partnerships Ceredigion County Council and Ben Lake MP.

Both events are organised by the University’s WISERD Centre for Welsh Politics and Society.

Event organiser Professor Rhys Jones from the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences said: “The challenges faced by mid Wales are numerous and replicated in many other rural areas around the world. New technology, globalisation and the dominance of trade by large multinational corporations with vast resources are changing the way we live our lives from day to day. And on top of that we have the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and what it will mean to a predominantly rural area dependent on industries such as agriculture and tourism.

“The key question is how can we respond to these challenges constructively and in practical terms.”

“The day event has been devised to provide students with the skills they will need to understand the challenges faced by the region and enable them to devise alternative solutions to these challenges. It will be fascinating to hear what these young people have to say, as they represent the region’s future.”

The public debate Imagining alternative futures for mid Wales takes place at 6.30pm on Thursday 9th of November 2017 at Medrus Mawr, Penbryn, Penglais Campus, Aberystwyth University.

The event is associated with two studies being conducted by researchers at Aberystwyth University; IMAJINE and GLOBAL-RURAL.

IMAJINE is a Horizon 2020 study of geographical inequalities and spatial justice in a series of regions throughout Europe.

GLOBAL-RURAL is a major European Research Council project examining the impacts of globalisation on rural regions.

Imagining alternative futures for mid Wales is organised as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Festival of Social Sciences which takes place from 4–11 November 2017.

The Centre for Welsh Politics and Society and GLOBAL-RURAL are affiliated to WISERD, the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods.

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Cardigan: Welsh language nursery’s treasurer stole £16,336 from coffers

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A FORMER treasurer of Cylch Meithrin Penparc in Cardigan has been jailed today for a fraud that brought the Welsh language nursery to its knees.
Catrin Davies, a 33 year old single mother of two daughters, cheated the organisation out of £16,336.
After she left the post the nursery struggled to pay debts and at one stage was left with £1.84p in its bank.
Davies, of Bwthyn Lleine, Ferwig, admitted fraud and was jailed for eight months.
Judge Geraint Walters, sitting at Swansea Crown Court, told her the offending was too series for the sentence to be suspended.
Craig Jones, prosecuting, said Davies was appointed treasurer in September, 2015, and left the post in December 2016.
The new treasurer noticed discrepancies in the accounts. Davies tried to cover them up by sticking pieces of paper onto bank statements to blank out figures, photocopying them, and then carefully typing in new and bogus figures.
By then Davies had failed to pay money into the account and withdrawn some herself.
Mr Jones said that at one stage the nursery had to pay a roof repair bill. Davies knew there wasn’t enough money in the account but to keep the fraud going and to avoid detection she actually paid the bill out of her own money.
Mr Jones said after the true financial situation had been established Cylch Meithrin Penparc was at risk of closure. Internet access was cut off because the telephone bill could not be paid and staff found themselves buying essential items out of their own money.
And there was still a fear, he added, that the nursery would struggle to overcome the blow and to recover the confidence of parents.
Janet Gedrych, representing Davies, said she had suffered a devastating fall from grace.
Davies ran the Pink Orchid florists in Priory Street, Cardigan, for nine years and had a good reputation in the town.
But her partner left her and his debts behind and ran up more and she owed £30,000 in personal and business debts. By October, 2015, debt collectors were knocking on her door and she defrauded Cylch Meithrin Penparc to pay them off.
Judge Walters said the nursery provided a hugely valuable service to parents who wanted their children to learn Welsh and Davies had helped herself to money they had paid in.
“Your activity has reduced its ability to operate. It has not closed but it’s hanging by a thread.”
Judge Walters said he accepted that Davies had found herself squeezed financially, but many people struggled under similar circumstances.

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Police appeal for information about Cardigan crash

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CARDIGAN police are appealing for information about an RTC involving two cars, on the A487 Cardigan to Tanygroes, at around 5:45pm on Monday (Nov 13).

A white Mitsubishi Shogun and a blue/silver Fiat Bravo were involved in the collision, on the bypass near Cardigan Tesco. The two drivers were taken to hospital; one has since been released.

Anyone who witnessed the collision, or was driving along the road around the time, is asked to contact Ceredigion Roads Policing Unit by calling 101.

If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908, quoting Ref: 326 of 13 November.

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Police reaffirms commitment to a safe working environment

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE has pledged to maintain its ongoing work to provide a safe working environment for all its staff.

Following the high profile accusations against members of the entertainment industry and reports that have subsequently followed from all corners of society, the force has taken action to ensure its staff and officers are aware of the existing support and mechanisms available to them.

While much work has already been – and continues to be – undertaken to tackle and eliminate unacceptable behaviour within Dyfed-Powys Police, chief officers are actively developing a culture where all members of staff are confident in speaking out.

An open letter has been issued to all employees, in which Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Claire Parmenter has reaffirmed that ensuring all staff can work in a fair and safe environment remains a key priority.

In it, she says: “The chief officer group wants to reassure you all that in Dyfed-Powys Police we hold our staff at the heart of our service and we will do everything we can to provide a safe working environment where everyone has the equal right to respect and dignity.

“The #MeToo Campaign was re-launched in the wake of the early allegations and has since been used by millions of women and men as an instantly recognisable method of removing the stigma that surrounds sexual harassment, by both victims and supporters of the campaign.

“While much work has already been undertaken to tackle and eliminate harassment, bullying and discrimination, work in this area is never done. Therefore, ensuring a fair, safe and equitable working environment for our staff in Dyfed-Powys Police remains an absolute priority.

“I have pledged my support to ongoing work aimed at reminding all officers and staff of the existing support and mechanisms available by which Dyfed-Powys Police encourages the reporting of wrong-doing. We will be reviewing policy, procedure and practice to ensure they remain current and that they are both supportive of victims and alleged perpetrators.

“We will also engage with staff associations and networks, the Police Federation and Unison to better understand staff concerns, embed high standards of conduct and reduce fear experienced by victims.”

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