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Heavy rainfall causes disruption around Ceredigion

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OFFICERS worked around the clock following disruption during the heavy rainfall of Sunday (Jan 21). Three roads were closed and a number of others only passable with great care.

Rhodri Llwyd, Highways Services Group Manager, said: “Sunday was a very busy day for us dealing with all the requests, especially between 3pm and 6pm. Five crews were out in the north of the county and three in the south where they were out clearing roads, ensuring safety to those travelling, as well as voluntary distributing sand bags, as well as extra staff called in to aid with the significant number of calls that were received within a few hours.”

The supply of sandbags is a voluntary service and the Council cannot guarantee to deliver sandbags at all sites that might need them. At times of high flood risk, the Council endeavours to deliver sandbags to occupied properties at imminent risk when requested.

Rhodri Llwyd continued: “It’s a hard task to work in such conditions. One of the most important issues for us was to ensure the safety of those travelling on Ceredigion roads, as well as the staff working to ease issues. That meant closing the A4159 between Lovesgrove and Bow Street for a time, the B4337 at Talsarn and later the A44 between Lovesgrove and Aberystwyth.”

Council staff reacted promptly after an initial weather warning that was received at 11am, and responded to calls from the residents throughout the afternoon which peaked at 2pm. The Council have county and regional plans in place that are implemented, by working with partner organisations, when an incident occurs. An Incident Response Arrangement was already established when the first flood warning was received from Natural Resources Wales.

Deputy Leader of Ceredigion County Council and Cabinet member responsible for Technical Services, Councillor Ray Quant MBE, said: “It’s a difficult time for everyone when rainfall is as heavy as it was on Sunday and it was a hard task for the infrastructure to cope. Sunday’s weather has tested the resources within the Council, but we thank the staff for working tirelessly to ensure Ceredigion residents were safe.”

Residents and businesses who know that they are located in flood risk areas are encouraged to take measures to protect their properties in readiness for the event of floods. Resources can then be directed towards the protection vulnerable people during severe flood risk events.

Councillor Quant explains: “During this incident, we saw many people prepared for flooding, especially those who live in low lying areas that are at risk of flooding. It is recommended that those who were not prepared this time, and who think they may be affected in future, to act now, in readiness for any such weather in the future. Floodgates and sandbags can be prepared before-hand and used promptly if the risk of flood arises.”

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Aberystwyth: Driver on drugs hits lorry and causes ‘road chaos’

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A DRIVER high on drugs caused 15 miles of chaos as he approached Aberystwyth on the A44.

Brian Pitts hit an oncoming lorry and road signs as he drove on the wrong side of the road.

A car passenger filmed him because she was sure a serious accident was about to happen.

Pitts, aged 57, of Delmont Close, Tipton, west Midlands, admitted dangerous driving and driving while unfit through drugs he had taken.

Dean Pulling, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that on June 16 last year Pitts had been driving his Rover MGZR, towing a trailer full of wooden fencing posts, towards Aberystwyth from his home.

Richard Brooks followed the car through Llangurig and became so concerned he telephoned the police while his wife Victoria filmed Pitts on her mobile.

The Rover collided with a 13 tonne lorry driven by Andrew Paxton but failed to stop.

Pitts failed to take a roundabout and hit road signs and an embankment but still carried on.

During the 15 miles, said Mr Pulling, oncoming traffic had to swerve off the carriageway to avoid a collision.

Several motorists telephoned the police to report what they were witnessing, he added.

Pitts came to a stop in the middle of the road and another motorist snatched the keys out of the ignition–and noticed that Pitts had been driving with a dog on his lap.

Mr Pulling said police officers could tell there was something wrong with Pitts, but an alcohol text showed he was below the limit.

“He was clearly unfit,” said Mr Pulling, although it was still unclear what drugs he had taken.

Pitts was taken to Aberystwyth police station and then to Bronglais hospital, where he appeared to recover after treatment. But he soon deteriorated and had to be taken back to the hospital.

Pitts developed pneumonia and had to be kept in for nine days.

His barrister, Tom Scapens, said when Pitts had been shown the mobile telephone footage he felt physically sick.

Judge T Mervyn Hughes jailed Pitts for 10 months and banned him from driving for four years.

He told him, “If you had not been stopped I am quite sure you would have caused serious injury if not death.”

Pitts was told to pass an extended driving test before getting his licence back.

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Motion to support the reduction of plastic use in Ceredigion approved

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In a Full Council meeting on 22 February 2018, the Council unanimously supported a motion to reduce the use of plastic and to support plastic reduction initiatives in Ceredigion.

The motion was proposed by Councillor Mark Strong and was seconded by Councillor Gethin Davies. The motion calls on Ceredigion County Council to support the various ‘Plastic Free’ campaigns throughout the county by reducing single-use plastics within Council facilities and offices and to promote the use of sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics at all Council supported events.

Councillor Mark Strong said, “I’m delighted that the Council unanimously supported the motion. This is an important step for the Council but we must carry on to reduce plastic use. Everyone has a responsibility to reduce the environmental damage caused by plastic. Carrying out small acts such as buying milk from your local milkman supports the local economy but in turn also supports our environment by using reusable glass bottles.”

The motion also calls on the Council to encourage local businesses, organisations, schools and communities to move away from single-use plastics and use sustainable alternatives as well as to support beach cleans and other events which aim to raise awareness of the issues of single-use plastics under the “Plastic Free”, Caru Ceredigion, Tidy Towns or any similar initiative.

The motion was amended in the meeting to include the establishment of a Members’ Task and Finish group to support measures to reduce the Council’s use of plastic and to support initiatives in the county that reduce plastic use.

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Richards-Keegan cleared of sending underage girl nude pictures

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A BOW STREET man has been cleared of charges that he sent an underage girl photographs of his penis.

Paul Robert Morgan Richards-Keegan, aged 21, had denied two allegations of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Richards-Keegan, of Tregerddan, said the only messages he sent her via the internet were in response to approaches from her and did not include photographs of his private parts.

Catherine Richards, prosecuting, had told a jury at Swansea Crown Court that the 14-year-old girl had shared messages with Richards-Keegan via Snapchat.

At one stage police issued to him a child abduction notice, which he signed, instructing him not to contact the girl

In 2016 she told her mother that he was again sending her unwanted photographs of his penis attached to messages.

Richards-Keegan was arrested, and told police he had obeyed the order apart from messages he had sent after being contacted by the complainant.

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