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Council responds on language call

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Committed to supporting Welsh language and culture: Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn

IN RESPONSE to the news that Anglesey Council has confirmed its intention to make the Welsh language its language of administration, members of Cymdeithas yr Iaith in Ceredigion have called on the council there to follow the example.

Talat Chaudhri, Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith in Ceredigion said: “We have been calling on Ceredigion County Council for many years now to make Welsh the language of work. Back in 2011 the current council leader, Ellen ap Gwynn, signed a statement promising that the council would move to make Welsh the main language of work.

“Despite creating new strategies and plans over recent years, there has been no announcement of a firm intention to make Welsh the language of administration. There is an opportunity for Ceredigion Council to follow the example of Anglesey Council, and an opportunity for the new Chief Executive, Eifion Evans, to make a significant change if the council announces a plan and implementation schedule to move to making Welsh the main language of work.”

Leader of the Council, Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn told us: “Ceredigion County Council is committed to supporting the Welsh language and culture, and to ensuring that its services and activities serve to promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh Language across the county.

“The Council has adopted the principles that, in Wales, the Welsh language should not be treated no less favourably than the English language, and that persons in Wales should be able to live their lives through the medium of the Welsh language if they choose to do so. The official languages of the Council are Welsh and English and they shall have the same status and validity in the external and internal workings of the Council.”

The Council’s strategic aims for the Welsh language are:

  • The Council is committed to establishing itself as a bilingual organisation when we provide services to the public, when we work with partners and in our internal administration.
  • To encourage our workforce to take pride in the Welsh language. All Ceredigion County Council services are able to operate with an effective understanding of the bilingual communities served and is able to identify with them.
  • To offer service users a language preference when they contact the Council and to ensure continuity of service.
  • To respect the fact that individuals can express their views and needs better in their preferred language, and that this is a matter of good practice rather than a concession.
  • To work towards ensuring that services are available in both Welsh and English languages; that they are equal in terms of standard and quality and that the public are aware of the availability of these services.
  • To increase the use of the language internally by raising awareness among staff of the importance of providing bilingual services.
  • To steadily increase the proportion of staff at all levels who have the ability and confidence to speak and write Welsh, in order to fulfil the principles of the Welsh Language Standards.
  • To support the aim of Welsh Government in achieving the objectives set out in their Welsh Language Strategy: Cymraeg 2050: A Million Welsh Speakers.

Cllr ap Gwynn continued: “The Policy for Promoting and Facilitating the Use of the Welsh Language Internally Policy was approved by Cabinet on 28 November. The internal administration of the Learning and Partnerships Directorate mainly operate in the Welsh language.”

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Ceredigion dog breeder fined for failing to comply with dog breeding licence

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A CROWN COURT has upheld a conviction that the dogs under the care of Mr. Jones were kept in overcrowded conditions in contravention of the minimum space standards required by the license conditions.

Other convictions were overturned.

On 27 November 2020, and 22December 2020, the Crown Court heard an appeal by Mr. Dorian Wyn Jones, of Dorwan Kennels, Penrheol, Talsarn, relating to convictions for failing to comply with dog breeding licence conditions. 

Mr. Dorian Wyn Jones had previously been convicted at Aberystwyth Magistrates Court of running a licenced dog breeding establishment far in access of the number allowed on his licence and that the dogs in his care were kept in overcrowded conditions.

The Court heard evidence that Mr Dorian Wyn Jones had been granted a licence for 33 dogs. However, during a visit undertaken by Ceredigion County Council’s Public Protection Officers on the 07 August 2019, they found 91 dogs at the premises excluding puppies, in breach of his license. The dogs were kept in pens of a size that were inadequate for the number of dogs kept within them.

On 9 February 2021, Dorian Jones was fined £1000 for the overcrowding offence, and ordered to pay legal costs amounting to £2500. 

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Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, dies aged 99

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The Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen’s ‘strength and stay’ for 73 years, has died aged 99.

Prince Philip’s health had been slowly deteriorating for some time. He announced he was stepping down from royal engagements in May 2017, joking that he could no longer stand up. He made a final official public appearance later that year during a Royal Marines parade on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.

Since then, he was rarely seen in public, spending most of his time on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, though moving to be with her at Windsor Castle during the lockdown periods throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and where the couple quietly celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in November 2020. He also celebrated his 99th birthday in lockdown at Windsor Castle.

The duke spent four nights at King Edward VII hospital in London before Christmas 2019 for observation and treatment in relation to a “pre-existing condition”.

Despite having hip surgery in April 2018, he attended the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a month later and was seen sitting beside the Queen at a polo match at Windsor Great Park in June. He and the Queen missed Prince Louis of Cambridge’s christening in July 2018, but he was seen attending Crathie Kirk near Balmoral in August, and driving his Land Rover in the surrounding Scottish countryside in September.

It is expected that flags on landmark buildings in Britain will be lowered to half-mast as a period of mourning is announced.

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford has expressed his sadness on the news of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and offered condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal family on behalf of the Welsh Government.

He said: “It is with sadness that we mourn the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Throughout his long and distinguished life, he served the crown with selfless devotion and generosity of spirit.

We offer our sincere condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, his children and their families on this sad occasion.

He will be missed by the many organisations that he supported as Patron or President over many decades of service”.Andrew RT Davies, the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, has led tributes to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose death was announced today.

In light of the sad news from Buckingham Palace, campaigning has been paused with immediate effect.

Mr Davies said: “This is a very sad day for the United Kingdom.
“The Duke of Edinburgh led a remarkable life, excelled himself with his career in the Royal Navy, was the strength and stay to Her Majesty The Queen, and has left a legacy to the nation through the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

“Dutiful, devoted, and diligent, his like will never be seen again, and Welsh Conservatives offer their deepest condolences to The Queen, and the rest of the Royal Family.”

Adam Price, leader of Plaid Cymru said: “On behalf of Plaid Cymru, I send my condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and her family. Many young people in Wales will have benefited from the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme, a reflection of many decades of his public service. Thoughts are with the Royal Family at this time.”

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Elin Jones calls for a plan to revive Aberystwyth town centre

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AS NON-ESSENTIAL retail re-opens on April 12, many of larger shops in Aberystwyth town centre will not be re-opening, with head offices scaling back on their presence on high streets across the UK.

In Aberystwyth, their absence will be particularly obvious with many of these retailers being located along Great Darkgate Street. Multiple retailers such as Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Clinton Cards, Edinburgh Woolen Mill, M&Co and Lloyds Pharmacy will not be reopening leaving a large proportion of empty properties.

These closures are in stark contrast to many independent retailers on Aberystwyth’s other streets looking to expand or start.

Commenting on this issue, Elin Jones said: “It’s time for a major rethink for Aberystwyth’s Great Darkgate Street.

“The multiple larger retailers are turning their back on our town centre and now we need to re-focus these large premises in order to make them more attractive and accessible to independent, local businesses. There have been smaller independent shops opening along other streets in Aberystwyth and throughout Ceredigion, so there is definitely businesses who could be persuaded to have a presence on the high street.

‘It would be great to see a partnership effort in the town to persuade the absentee landlords to give rent-free start up opportunities, to re-purpose the larger premises to suit smaller businesses and to ensure the buildings look attractive on the street.

‘Welsh Government has confirmed that no rates will need to be paid for this whole financial year and therefore now is a great opportunity to support small local businesses to reclaim their place on Great Darkgate Street.

‘It is the town’s largest street and needs to be a star attraction in Ceredigion.’

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