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Successful year for Centre for Welsh Politics and Society

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Elin Jones: Hosted WISERD reception

A NEW Aberystwyth University research centre dedicated to developing a greater understanding of contemporary politics and society in Wales completed its launch year with a reception in Cardiff Bay on Thursday (Dec 14).

The Centre for Welsh Politics and Society /WISERD@Aberystwyth (CWPS) brings together geographers, modern historians, political scientists and psychologists to tackle some of the pressing social and economic issues that face Wales today.

The reception was hosted by Ceredigion Assembly Member and National Assembly for Wales Llywydd (Presiding Officer) Elin Jones AM at the Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay.

Leading CWPS researchers working on the centre’s three main themes; Governance, Participation and Civil Society; Language, Culture and Identity; and Global Connection; will be on hand to discuss their work.

Professor Michael Woods, Co-Director of the Centre for Welsh Politics and Society / WISERD@Aberystwyth said: “The reception in the Pierhead is a great opportunity for us to tell Cardiff-based politicians, civil servants and civil society leaders about the excellent research being conducted in the Centre, and to demonstrate that Aberystwyth University is contributing to the social and political life of the whole of Wales.”

Co-Director Dr Anwen Elias added: “The reception tops a busy first year for CWPS and we are grateful to Elin Jones AM for her sponsorship of the event.”

GOVERNANCE, PARTICIPATION AND CIVIL SOCIETY

Led by Dr Taulant Guma, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, this theme aims to address the emergence of Governance – the multiple ways and levels (local, regional, national, global) in which power operates and is exercised – as an idea and practice replacing the more traditional approach of authority governing over a nation and its people.

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS

Led by Dr Lucy Taylor from the Department of International Politics. The politics and society of Wales are deeply entangled in relations with other parts of Britain and Europe and the rest of the world. The Global Connections theme aims to explore these connections, investigating how Wales compares with similar nations and regions, how it is influenced by transnational networks and processes, and how Wales has made its mark on other parts of the world.

LANGUAGE, CULTURE AND IDENTITIES

Led by Dr Elin Royles from the Department of International Politics, this theme focuses on the relationship between language and identity in Wales and examines questions around the politics of the Welsh language; the development and implementation of language policy and planning; the geography of the Welsh language; and Welsh language, culture and identity in education, citizenship and everyday life in Wales.

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT THE KEY

With public engagement a key element in its mission, CWPS has hosted a wide-ranging programme of public events during 2017 to highlight some of the current issues facing society in Wales.

In January CWPS hosted a public event at the Morlan Centre at Aberystwyth that focused on Brexit: The Key Questions for Wales, examining the potential effects on the rural economy, migrant workers and Welsh language and culture.

Its first St David’s Day Lecture, delivered by Baroness Eluned Morgan AM in March, also returned to the theme of Brexit.

In May CWPS launched a new MA in Welsh Politics and Society and in June hosted its traditional, and popular, General Election Hustings.

In September the GLOBAL-RURAL project reported on a major study of Newtown Powys and the effects of ‘everyday globalization’ on the town and surrounding communities with a public exhibition.

Also in September, CWPS co-hosted a conference at Aberystwyth University on UK Language Policy after Brexit 2017: The Influence of Devolution.

In early November, as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, CWPS hosted a public debate entitled Imagining alternative future for Mid Wales 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.

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Communities and staff thanked for flood support

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COMMUNITIES and staff have been thanked for their work during the Storm Callum Floods. The October floods caused great damage to homes, businesses, roads and bridges in the south of Ceredigion. The floods were the biggest flood event in the last 31 years in Ceredigion.

During the flooding, the council supported the emergency services to prioritise the saving of lives. This included making sure that roads and bridges made dangerous by floodwater were closed. The council’s emergency response and recovery procedures were carried out during the event. Multi-agency emergency procedures were also carried out.

Ceredigion County Council Chief Executive, Mr Eifion Evans said, “Council staff went above and beyond their duties over the weekend of the floods. I saw their efforts with my own eyes; staff who weren’t on duty were offering to come in to help our residents. We had to send some staff home as they wanted to work longer than the 12 hour maximum that staff are allowed to work in one shift.

I have also been impressed by the huge efforts made by communities to help each other during, and in the aftermath of the flooding.”

After water levels dropped, council staff from Community Wellbeing, Housing and Highways Teams immediately went to the affected areas to offer practical support and advice. They also saw the extent of the damage that had been caused.

Everyone who has been in touch with the council has been offered help with housing, including being offered emergency temporary accommodation where needed. The Housing Team have worked with local landlords and B&B owners to provide additional accommodation, and to provide ongoing support for people who have been affected by the flood.

The Community Wellbeing Team have also provided advice and specialist equipment to residents to help to begin to dry out their homes. This support is ongoing.

The council organised drop-in sessions in Lampeter, Newcastle Emlyn, Llandysul and Llechryd. The sessions were attended by many organisations that can offer support and advice. The sessions gave residents the chance to ask the organisations any questions they had about recovering from the flood.

The Highways Team have arranged a free service to pick-up and dispose of flood damaged materials and have put skips in local household waste sites for flood damaged possessions. The team also cleared 100 tons of earth from the B4459 near Capel Dewi after a landslide covered the road. The Highways Team also repaired damaged roads and bridges.

Mr Evans continued, “The council is dedicated to helping our residents recover from the devastating effects of the recent floods. I understand that the impact is still very raw for people who have been affected, especially those who have been made homeless. I want to reassure every resident that our committed staff are working hard to help you. Despite severe pressure on council budgets, we will do everything in our power to continue to offer practical help to residents.”

A flood recovery group has met regularly to look at how the Council can target help in the most effective way. A further flood newsletter will be published in the near future. The Council will also be hosting flood advice surgeries and building on the work of developing emergency support groups for flooding.

More information about the help the council can offer is available on the website on www.ceredigion.gov.uk/stormcallumfloods

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Training company enjoy successful open evening

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HYFFORDDIANT CEREDIGION TRAINING (HCT) enjoyed a successful open evening on November 7 as it opened its doors to the public.

Opening HCT’s doors gave people the opportunity to see the fantastic range of training opportunities available for them. This included opportunities for young people who are interested in seeing what apprenticeships HCT has to offer.

Mark Gleeson, Manager for Post 14 Vocational Learning said, “It is important that HCT holds open evenings to showcase different learning opportunities that are available to all learners. HCT offers a large number of apprenticeships which ensures that the next generation of skilled workforce is being trained and employed by local companies. This is very important to the economy of Ceredigion.”

There was an opportunity to have a tour of the building, to speak to tutors, to have a look at the workshops, and to see trainees and apprentices in action. This gave a flavour of the kind of work that is done daily at the training centre.

Traineeships and apprenticeships, but also evening classes, are taught at HCT, as Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member for Learning Service and Lifelong Learning explains, “If studying towards a full qualification in a given trade is not what you are after, but you want to gain some of the basic skills in the various routes HCT specialises in, why not join an evening class? The next round of evening courses are beginning now. So, what are you waiting for? Contact HCT to see what it has to offer you.”

Evening classes run for six weeks and HCT offers these 2-3 times per year. HCT offers a range of vocational courses for people of all ages, including Hairdressing, Childcare, Business Administration, Information Technology, Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrics, Blacksmithing, Agriculture, Motor Mechanics and Welding.

For more information, find ‘Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training’ on Facebook, or visit the website, http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/public-it/hct/index.html

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Vandalism at coastguard lookout point

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POLICE are investigating vandalism at the old coastguard lookout point at Bird’s Rock.

A council spokesperson said: “We’re very sad to see vandalism to the old coastguard look out at Bird’s Rock on the coastal path a mile to the west of New Quay last week.

“All five windows was smashed – some even had their wooden frames ripped out.”

Melanie Heath, Ceredigion County Council’s Marine Protected Area Officer, added: “This act of vandalism is so distressing to see. The look-out was restored thanks to a special grant from the Crown Estate. It is used by our Dolphin and Porpoise Watch volunteers throughout the monitoring season. It is also a special place for many local people and visitors alike to sit for a while and take in the spectacular views of Cardigan Bay.”

If anyone has any information, contact Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police on 101

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