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Step forward for Dyfed-Powys force

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Service for residents improving: PCC Dafydd Llywelyn

DYFED-POWYS POLICE FORCE has this week received its first ever ‘Good’ rating in its legitimacy assessment – a result that Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn welcomed as a ‘significant and positive step forward’.

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) independently assesses the effectiveness and efficiency of police forces and fire & rescue services in the public interest.

HMICFRS defines a legitimate force as one ‘whose staff and officers are seen by the public consistently to behave fairly, ethically and within the law. It seeks to identify and resolve issues relating to fair and respectful treatment by the police’.

The assessment took place in June 2017, just over one year since Police Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn was elected to office and appointed a new Chief Constable to lead the force. That leadership, and the improvements initiated by a command team in place for barely six months, has been recognised by HM Inspectorate.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said he was ‘delighted’ with the report, but added that more needs to be done to increase standards.

Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “I am delighted that the tireless efforts of the entire police force – from the leadership command team to the support staff and support officers in our communities – have led to this very positive report result this week.

“When I was elected as Commissioner, just one year before the assessment was conducted, I was adamant that standards across the force should improve.

“There’s undoubtedly more to do to increase standards, and it is my role as Commissioner to ensure the command team does not rest on its laurels and progresses steadily to an ‘Outstanding’ categorisation.

“That said, we must recognise that this is the first time ever, since the PEEL inspection process was introduced four years ago, that Dyfed-Powys has achieved a Good rating in legitimacy assessment.

“This is a significant and positive step forward, and only goes to improve the service Dyfed-Powys Police provides to local residents.”

Deputy Chief Constable Darren Davies said: “We very much welcome the latest legitimacy report from HMICFRS which gives yet further substantial evidence of the progress the force is making, having last month seen some tangible signs of improvement when they released their efficiency report. This report also considers the leadership of the force.

“This is the fourth year of the PEEL inspection process, and we are delighted that for the first time Dyfed-Powys has achieved a ‘Good’ grading in ‘legitimacy’ since the inception of the process.

“This inspection took place in June, barely six months since the new command team had been in place, and has recognised the progress being made, supported by a dedicated workforce and a Police and Crime Commissioner whose direction for the future and ethos is closely aligned with that of the Chief Officers.

“HMICFRS has recognised the significant progress that has been made against both inspection areas in the last 12 months. We are confident that when the 3rd strand of the PEEL reports on ‘effectiveness’ is published in 2018, this will bring yet further evidence of progress.

“In 2015 & 2016 Dyfed-Powys Police was graded as requires improvement in both legitimacy and efficiency. For two years running there had been no recognised improvement.

“Together with all staff, we have worked tirelessly to improve performance and we are particularly pleased that we have been graded as good with regard to our understanding of demand as well as good for the way we treat the public and good for how ethically our staff behave.

“HMICFRS has identified areas for improvement and we have already begun the work to address these points and will continue to do so whilst supporting our staff who are maintaining this positive direction of travel.

“Much has been achieved, but there remains a lot of hard work ahead to continue to strive to deliver a top quality service for our communities.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn concluded: “As the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys I am delighted that the hard work and effort is being recognised. I am keen to see standards across the Force improving and believe that recent improvements are down to the new leadership, supported by a committed workforce.”

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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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