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Ceredigion to be considered priority for next phase of broadband roll-out

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Following the announcement of the next stage of broadband roll out in Wales, Elin Jones AM and Ben Lake MP have urged Ceredigion constituents to come forward so that their lack of broadband can be raised with the Welsh Government and Openreach. After many calls from Elin Jones and Ben Lake, the Welsh Government has indicated that it will put Ceredigion as a priority, following revelations that the county has among the worst broadband connectivity rates in the UK.

The AM and MP have joined forces to put pressure on Openreach to complete the work that came to a halt with the end of the Superfast Cymru contract with the Welsh Government at the end of last year.

To do this, Elin and Ben are collating information on areas and individual premises where broadband is not currently available in Ceredigion.

Elin Jones said:

‘The announcement that Ceredigion will be considered early on in the next Welsh Government broadband project is very welcome news, especially to constituents currently without Superfast Broadband. Ben Lake and I want to bring the attention of the Welsh Government to these cases sooner, rather than later.

‘Up until the end of last year, many communities in Ceredigion saw Openreach workers hanging fibre cables on masts. In many cases these have been left hanging, coiled up, and communities have been left without a superfast connection, which was so close to being installed.

‘The Welsh Government has agreed with Openreach to extend the build phase of Superfast Cymru project so that delayed works to around 2,500 premises throughout Wales can be completed. We want raise more of these cases with Openreach, like we have with Oakford, whose residents are now seeing their homes connected. We want to urge Openreach to do more, and we need the help of our Constituents in order to do this.’

Ben Lake said:

‘Many constituents across the county have approached me over the past few months regarding insufficient broadband speeds and the frustratingly slow Superfast Cymru roll-out to premises in Ceredigion.

‘We have to make sure that the benefits of superfast broadband are available to everyone, and access to fast, reliable broadband is increasingly essential for businesses. It is crucial that both Openreach and the Welsh Government recognise the commitment they have made to so many communities in Ceredigion, and also their responsibility to ensure that we do not see a digital divide emerge in Wales.

‘In response to the Minister’s statement regarding the Superfast Cymru extension, I am urging more constituents to come forward and register their details with us, so we can supply the relevant information to Openreach and the Welsh Government, and ensure that Ceredigion remains a priority during this extension period.

‘Early planning for the next phase is vital, and the Welsh Government has confirmed that properties ‘in scope’ for the next Superfast Cymru project will be agreed upon early in the tendering process. It is vital therefore that we provide the Welsh Government with a comprehensive list of premises and locations across Ceredigion that are not able to access decent broadband speeds.’

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Free parking in Ceredigion for the three Saturdays before Christmas

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PARKNG will be free in all Ceredigion County Council operated Pay and Display car parks on the three Saturdays preceding Christmas this year.

The development follows a decision made the by the Council’s Cabinet on 16 October 2018. Parking charges at Council operated Pay and Display car parks will be waived on 8, 15 and 22 December 2018.

The Cabinet Member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services, Councillor Dafydd Edwards said, “Christmas is a very important time of year for many small businesses in our towns. This decision will support people to prepare for the festivities locally and help small businesses compete with the increasing influence of online shopping.”

The decision contributes towards one of the Council’s corporate priorities of boosting the economy.

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Development of the Welsh Language at Ysgol Bro Pedr a step forward

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A CONSULTATION is to take place on the development of the medium of instruction to Welsh in the foundation phase at Ysgol Bro Pedr, Lampeter.

On 15 March 2018, members of Ysgol Bro Pedr’s Governing Body unanimously agreed to support a consultation on the development of the medium of instruction in the Foundation Phase. In its meeting on 16 October 2018, Cabinet supported and approved the Governing Body’s decision to commence a consultation to develop the medium of instruction to Welsh in the foundation phase at Ysgol Bro Pedr.

Councillor Catrin Miles, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Learning Services and Lifelong Learning, said, “The Governing body’s decision to seek approval to proceed to consultation supports the wider context noted in Ceredigion’s WESP, to see more seven year old children being educated through the medium of Welsh. The decision also supports the Council’s aim to teach Ceredigion pupils so that they are fully bilingual when they leave primary school and to develop this ability during their time in secondary education.”

Currently, pupils transferring from the reception class to Year 1 are taught in separate classrooms. One classroom is taught mainly through the medium of English and the other through the medium of Welsh. Implementing the decision of the Governing Body would mean that only Welsh-medium education would be provided to the end of the Foundation Phase. English and Welsh medium classes would continue in Key Stage 2.

The formal consultation will begin on 06 November 2018 with an opportunity to present views and comments on the proposal or express support for status quo. In addition, drop in sessions will also be undertaken at the school to allow parents to discuss the proposals in detail with members of the Governing Body and County Council officers.

The Cabinet decision contributes towards realising the Council’s corporate priorities within the Corporate Strategy of investing in people’s future.

If the proposal is approved following the consultation, it would be implemented from 01 September 2019. However, pupils currently receiving their education in the Foundation Phase through the medium of English would continue to do so until they enter Key Stage 2.

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Margaret Jones: 100th birthday of award winning Ceredigion illustrator

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CEREDIGION MUSEUM celebrates the 100th birthday of award winning Ceredigion illustrator Margaret Jones with an exclusive exhibition.

The exhibition Margaret Jones: Celebrating 100, highlighting the career of award winning illustrator Margaret Jones on the eve of her 100th birthday, includes early sketches and unseen drawings owned by the Jones family themselves. The exclusive exhibition opens the door to this famous painter’s art, inviting visitors to discover the ideas, sketches and inner workings of her iconic paintings and illustrations.

The exhibition will feature previously unseen original prints from the ‘Arthur’ series and rare prints from unpublished work including ‘Seven days of the week’, which looks at how the names of the days of the week derive from the sagas of the Nordic Kings and Queens. Archive photo albums and unpublished books will be shown alongside the drawings and prints giving an intimate view of the artist and her life.

Ceredigion Museum’s assistant curator Alice Briggs said, “It has been wonderful to have the chance to delve through the portfolios of Margaret Jones, to discover more about her process of creating her illustrations and to learn more of her own detailed knowledge of the storytelling traditions in which she has illustrated.”

Becoming a professional painter at the age of 60, Margaret became known as one of the leading illustrators in the Celtic tradition and other folklore. Born in England, Margaret brought up her own young family in India with her husband, before being appointed as lecturer in Education Studies at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. Here, her portrayal of the Mabinogi has defined the way a generation of children in Wales imagine the folklore of the nation’s past.

Professor Sioned Davies, the former Head of Welsh at Cardiff University, whose ongoing contribution to Welsh language and culture is highly influential, will open the exhibition on Saturday 27 October at 2pm. All museum visitors are very welcome to attend the official opening.

The Margaret Jones: Celebrating 100 free exhibition will run at Ceredigion Museum gallery from Saturday, 27 October 2018 until 5 January 2019.

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