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Bodlondeb closes doors for last time

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BODLONDEB RESIDENTIAL CARE HOME’S doors have closed for the last time after the remaining resident moved into a new home.

The closure follows the Healthier Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s endorsement of the Cabinet’s decision to permanently discontinue provision of residential care and all other services at Bodlondeb by 31 March 2018.

Social Services staff have worked with residents and their families to find new suitable accommodation before final arrangements were made to close the home.

Councillor Catherine Hughes, the Cabinet Member responsible for Social Services said, “Following the difficult decision to close Bodlondeb, we must thank the residents, families and staff members for working together to ensure the transfer of residents went as smoothly as possible to their new homes. Staff at the home have been involved in the whole process and the Council is working hard to ensure their future within the care sector in Ceredigion.”

The decision to close Bodlondeb was made in the context of care regulations that limited the home’s capacity for use and a high number of empty rooms across Ceredigion County residential care homes, as older people increasingly opt for care in their own homes.

The proposal to close the home was the third option considered by the Council, after attempts to identify a private provider that could provide dementia nursing care, and providing an integrated health and social care mental health facility in Bodlondeb proved unfeasible.

A spokersperson for the Save Bodlondeb campaign told us: “Today’s news means the end of a systematic process, going back several years, to dispose of one of best regarded and well run residential care homes in the County. This in the teeth of the worst winter crisis period ever experienced.

“Neither the option to provide dementia care nor the establishing of an integrated mental health unit would have seen a place for the existing residents at Bodlondeb.

“The fact that the Council’s press release states that closure was the only other option considered proves that the Council’s consultation over Bodlondeb was a complete sham, fuelled by half truths and misleading information.

“Our sincere condolences go to the families of the three residents who passed away during the process, while our thoughts are with those residents who endured the upheaval of moving only to find that their new accommodation was no larger nor as well equipped as those at Bodlondeb. ‘Shame on those few officers and elected members who forced this plan through without ever having the courage to put the issue of closing Bodlondeb to the full Council.”

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Former headteacher of Llandysul Primary School jailed for child sex offences

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A FORMER headteacher of primary schools in west Wales who was awarded the MBE for services to education has been jailed for child sex offences.

David Watkin Bundock, aged 74, admitted six offences–one of them committed after he had been arrested and granted bail.

Judge Keith Thomas, sitting at Swansea crown court, told Bundock he had achieved a great deal during his professional career but had then gone on to behave in a way that was the exact opposite to the moral values he had once championed.

Bundock, once the head of Llandysul Primary School, admitted four offences of possessing indecent images of children.

He also admitted attempting to communicate with a child aged under 16 for sexual reasons and, on January 27, 2019, attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

Bundock was jailed for two years and three months. He was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and banned from ever working with children and must register with the police as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Jim Davis, prosecuting, said Bundock came to be of interest to the police after his telephone number was found on the mobile of a man arrested for indecent images offences.

But after being granted bail he was then snared by paedophile hunters who created an Internet account of a fictional 15 year old boy.

Bundock swapped indecent messages with the “boy” and travelled to a park in Carmarthen hoping to meet him.

But when he arrived he was confronted by members of the group and arrested later that day for a second time.

Bundock’s barrister, India Cox, said his offending was completely out of character and difficult to explain.

Judge Thomas described the offences as appalling.

The offences took place place in Carmarthenshire and at his home at Valetta House, Cardiff.

Bundock went on to become a senior adviser with Ceredigion County Council’s education department. In 2004 he was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

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£24m health centre project will not stop following Interserve problems

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FOLLOWING the collapse of Interserve, health officials have said they are confident it will not affect Cardigan’s £24m health care centre.

Interserve, the government outsourcer to complete the works, ran into financial difficulty and was rescued from administration last Friday by banks and hedge funds. This has left many of it’s key suppliers now facing large financial losses.

With 69,000 staff worldwide, the takeover will ensure they will remain working and with most suppliers trading as usual.

The bailout follows fears that the company could follow in the footstep’s of rival contractor Carillion.

Carillion’s collapse last year left worker’s, pension’s and lender’s with huge financial losses. Forcing the Government to step in and deliver the services.

A Hywel Dda health board spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Interserve will continue to deliver both the Cardigan Integrated Care Centre and the Women’s and Children’s Phase 2 project at Glangwili General Hospital as planned.”

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Young women in Ceredigion make their voices heard

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PERIOD poverty, access to mental health services and equal pay were among the issues raised by young women on International Women’s Day 2019.

On 8 March, in collaboration with the Young Women’s Trust, Ben Lake MP hosted a ‘Real Talk’ workshop aimed at young women aged 16 to 30 years old. Young women from all walks of life came together at the Coliseum Coffee House to voice their concerns and share their hopes for the future with the local MP.

Ben Lake said: “It was great to hear new ideas for change and to discuss ways in which we can improve the lives of young people in Ceredigion. The experiences of women and girls must be heard, both locally and nationally. After all, it is impossible for policies to be truly effective if they do not reflect the wishes, and address the challenges faced by all in society.”

(Credited to Lauren Garside, Year 1 Coleg Ceredigion Media Production student) The ‘Real Talk’ workshop held on International Women’s Day at Ceredigion Museum.

The young women set out three priorities for Ben Lake to campaign for on their behalf at Westminster:

1. Education: ensure that equality issues and mental health awareness training is included on all PGCE courses
2. Increase the national minimum wage for apprentices and roll out National Living Wage for under-25s
3. Period poverty: campaign, raise awareness and look to introduce policies to mitigate the effects of period poverty

Period poverty in particular, was an issue that the young women felt needed tackling as a matter of urgency. A recent report from FreedomforGirls* found that period poverty has a direct impact on education, with pupils in the UK missing class every month due to their periods. A RightsInfo investigation** discovered thousands of women were relying on food banks to get through their monthly periods.

In an attempt to tackle period poverty, the UK Chancellor confirmed in his Spring Statement that secondary schools in England will start providing menstrual products free of charge to girls from September onwards. Ben Lake MP has encouraged the Welsh Government to follow suit.

Ben Lake said: “All women, regardless of age, social status or background, should be able to easily access the menstrual products they need.

“Too many girls miss out on vital education each month as a lack of access to menstrual products forces them to miss school. Even those pupils who do not suffer period poverty will benefit from free access to sanitary products, ensuring no child is without protection during what can be a very stressful and vulnerable time.”

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