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Calls for NatWest to reconsider closures



NATWEST has announced today (Dec 1) that it has taken the decision to close Cardigan branch on May 30, 2018, with the Lampeter branch to follow on June 12.

In response to this announcement, Elin Jones and Ben Lake, Assembly Member and Member of Parliament for Ceredigion, have expressed their dissappointment at the decision and have called on the bank to reconsider.

Plaid Cymru has also called on the Welsh Government to make swift progress in establishing a public bank in Wales so that a system of community banks can be established.

Ben Lake has asked the Chief Executive of NatWest for a meeting to discuss the way in which the banks are abandoning rural communities in Ceredigion, while Elin Jones will be meeting with representatives in the constituency next week.

Ben Lake MP, said: “I am deeply disappointed at NatWest’s decision to close its branches in Cardigan and Lampeter. It’s a significant blow not only to both rural towns, but to members of staff, their families, and the bank’s customers.

“In this time of austerity communities across the county are losing banking services at a frightful pace: this most recent announcement follows the closure of other banks in Aberaeron, and towns such as Llandysul and Tregaron no longer have any bank branches at all.

“These commercial banks are abandoning rural communities across Ceredigion; less than a decade after taxpayers bailed them out at the height of the financial crisis, they are now threatening to undermine the financial underpinning of the local economy.”

Elin Jones AM, said: “This is terrible news for both Lampeter and Cardigan that Natwest is closing its branches in June 2018.

“Banks are imposing buildings on our high streets – built originally as banks. Their withdrawal hits the high street visibly, as well as losing their vital service for the community. The banks caused this last decade’s recession and to add injury to insult, they are now abandoning our communities.

“I will be meeting with Natwest representatives this week, and I will be emphasising the point that even though technology is moving forward, and more people are banking online, we still need our highstreet banks, which are vital assets for our local businesses.”

Ben Lake MP, added: “As the big banks continue to remove themselves from our rural areas, it is becoming increasingly apparent that we desperately need to introduce an alternative model of banking more firmly committed to supporting local communities, such as the system of community banks we find in Germany. We must ensure that the banking model of the future is rooted in our communities – we deserve better than this.

“I will be seeking a meeting with the Chief Executive of NatWest bank and will be speaking to representatives next week to discuss why they are abandoning rural communities, and to urge him to reconsider this decision.

“In the meantime, I offer my full support to the members of staff at the two branches, and am ready to provide whatever assistance that I can at this difficult time.”


Two years of Active Travel improvements worth £336,750 completed in Cardigan



Councillor John Adams Lewis: On the newly widened footway

WORK has recently been completed by Ceredigion County Council to widen the footway on Pont y Cleifion Road, which sees the culmination of a two year package of grant-funded Active Travel improvements in Cardigan.

Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Ray Quant MBE, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Technical Services said, “I’m delighted that grant funding of £294,575 has been received from the Welsh Government’s Local Transport Fund over the two year programme. Coupled with financial contributions also made by Ceredigion County Council and Cardigan Town Council, the total value of this package scheme amounted to £336,750 to benefit the well-being of residents of Cardigan town. Further potential improvements have been identified by Highways Officers and these will be developed next year with a view to future implementation and construction.”

During the first year, the improvements were concentrated in the vicinity of Cardigan Primary School, which saw the introduction of a new 20 mph zone with traffic calming, wider footways, upgraded crossings and a new path to the swimming pool. A new cycle shelter and two new scooter shelters were installed at the primary school to help encourage more Active Travel journeys and less car trips. This was aided further by providing two brand new scooters and helmets which the school have used for pupils to earn ‘Scooterer of the week’.

The second year saw a 20 mph zone and traffic calming implemented outside Cardigan Secondary School, again with wider footways and new raised table crossings to aid pedestrians and mobility users. A new cycle shelter was installed to encourage pupils and staff to cycle to the school. The scheme included completion of the ‘missing’ footway link to the other side of the road on Aberystwyth Road with new resurfacing which has improved pedestrian connectivity and user comfort.

A new pedestrian refuge was also installed in the carriageway to aid crossing on Aberystwyth Road. The footway on Pont y Cleifion road was previously narrow and unsuitable for pushchair or mobility users due to the lack of dropped kerb provision. However the recent construction works have brought this section of footway up to modern design standards and provides a better quality Active Travel link between the town centre and the Parc Teifi Business Park.

Councillor John Adams-Lewis, Local Member for Mwldan ward and Chair of governors for Cardigan Primary School added, “I’m pleased that Cardigan Town Council has supported these improvements financially which has resulted in a number of footway enhancements in the town, especially at both our school locations which have benefited from road safety improvements and reduced speed limits. I would also like to thank Ceredigion County Council for their financial contributions and to Highways Officers for securing this grant funding and for overseeing these high quality works.”

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Police warn online trolls over ‘malicious’ Kiara comments



DYFED-POWYS POLICE have warned online trolls that they may take action against malicious comments relating to Kiara Moore, the 2-year-old child who sadly died in the River Teifi on Monday (Mar 19).

Her mother, Kim Rowlands, and father, Jet Moore, both posted on social media site Facebook following their daughter’s death.

Jet, responding to questions about the incident, said that it was a tragic accident.

Jet Moore: Explained what happened in Cardigan

He posted: “Just to let every one who keeps asking how know, it was the lemons stacked up too far!

“They got in the car to go home. Sat on bank card which snapped and needed money to get home etc.

“Went back to the office to get money from the desk and came back to no car. Looked in the river, no signs. So we thought she and the car had been taken.

“The police found the car a while later and went way beyond the call of duty jumping in and pulling her out.

“They tried to revive her for hours but unfortunately could not.

“Everyone had done their best.

“Thank you all so much for the support it means the world!”

Kim Rowlands: With her daughter, Kiara

His partner, Kim, added in a separate post: “Sadly yesterday my beautiful baby girl passed away!

“Due to my own stupidity, I will have to live with the guilt for the rest of my life!

“Mummy loves you baby girl and I’m so sorry.”

Many users of the social network commented on the posts which caused offence to many readers.

Now Dyfed-Powys Police has warned people to ‘think very carefully’ before commenting, and not to speculate about the events of Monday afternoon.

A spokesperson said: “Enquiries are continuing to fully understand the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.

“Examination of the vehicle will form part of these enquiries.

“We can also confirm that the vehicle had not been stolen.

“We are aware of potentially malicious comments relating to the incident on social media. These are being reviewed and action may be taken where appropriate.”

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Two cardigan women warned of jail time



TWO Cardigan women have been warned they could go to jail.

Sarah Prytherch-Jones and Sarah Murnane appeared before Miss Recorder Elwen Evans at Swansea Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing.

Prytherch-Jones, aged 32, of North Road, and Murnane, 35, of Greenfield Row, admitted breaking into a property on St Mary Street, Cardigan, on September 8, 2016, with the intention of causing criminal damage.

The plea was accepted by Nicola Powell, prosecuting, and a charge of burglary with the intention of causing grievous bodily harm was withdrawn.

They will be sentenced on April 3.

Miss Recorder Evans warned them that the offence was a serious one and that a jail sentence would be at the forefront of the sentencing judge’s mind.

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