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St David’s Day celebrations set for success

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CERED, Ceredigion’s Welsh Language initiative, will be busy between March 1-4 with events to celebrate St David’s Day in Aberystwyth and Lampeter.

In Lampeter, a parade will be held on Friday, March 2 and hundreds of local residents of all ages are expected to march through the streets of the town, waving flags to the sound of welcoming Welsh music. Amongst the marchers will be schools, societies, clubs and members of the district churches. All the schools and societies have been asked to display their organisations’ flags and wear the traditional Welsh costume or something red.

The parade will begin at 12:45pm at Ysgol Bro Pedr and finish with a special seremony in the Orsedd park where Ben Lake MP, Elin Jones AM and Lampeter Town Council will greet the marchers. The entertainment will consist of speakers, Cwmann and District Choir and an ensemble from Ysgol Bro Pedr. Following the parade, there will be a dance session with Sally Saunders and Sioned Rees for Year 5 and 6 pupils of the district.

Owain Llŷr, Cered’s Senior Development Officer, explained how the plan to hold a parade was developed: “During 2017, Cered held focus groups as part of the Pwerdy Iaith Lampeter and District plan in order to assess the situation of the Welsh Language in the district and think about projects to develop that would boost the language locally. One of the ideas discussed was to establish a St David’s parade through the town by following similar examples in towns such as Aberystwyth and Carmarthen who’ve developed similar parades over the last years. Following on from the focus groups, members of Lampeter Town Council arranged a committee to go ahead and organise the parade. Cered has supported this work as part of its community work initiative.”

As part of the celebrations in Lampeter, all of the town’s café’s will offer Welsh food on St David’s day itself, March 1. A competition is held for the town’s businessess for the best decorated shop window. The winning business will receive a prize donated by the Town Council.

To close the celebrations, a gig will be held on Saturday, March 3, with Fleur de Lys, Mei Emrys a’r Band, Bwca and Ysgol Bro Pedr DJs performing. Tickets can be bought for £8 in advance by contacting Cered on 01545 572350 or email cered@ceredigion.gov.uk and £10 at the door.

The parade is being sponsored by Lampeter Town Council, Cered, LAS, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, W. D. Lewis, Lampeter Rotary Club, Pedr and Lampeter Lunch Club.

As well as playing a leading role in organising the Lampeter St David’s Day celebrations, Cered has also been busy organising special activities in Aberystwyth. On Saturday, March3, Cered will be holding a day of Welsh activities and entertainment for all the family as part of the Aberystwyth Festival Parade day. ‘Cered on the Prom’ will take place between 9.30am and 4pm at the Bandstand and includes a performance by the Welsh Whisperer, the hugely popular entertainer at 2pm.

There will be bands performing from some of the district’s primary schools who have been taking part in composing pop song workshops with Steff Rees from Bwca, also a Community Development Officer for Cered. A number of workshops will be held, all free to attend. Artist Meinir Mathias will be leading an art workshop, a story session for babies, a costume creating workshop with Arad Goch and a children’s clogging workshop with Tasgu.

Ceredigion County Council Leader, Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn said: “The Council is proud to support Cered, who is working hard to influence and develop the use of the Welsh language in Ceredigion. Through events organised such as these, everyone who loves Wales and wants Wales to flourish, whatever their background, can have a chance to celebrate and enjoy St David’s Day together.”

If you would like more information about these events or for the wider work of Cered, like their Facebook page @ceredmenteriaith, follow them on Twitter, @MICered, or visit their website at www.cered.wales.

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Police and Crime Commissioner to broadcast live conversation with Health Board

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ON WEDNESDAY evening, November 25, Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn will broadcast a live conversation with Hywel Dda University Health Board Chief Executive, Steve Moore on social media.

Steve Moore will be PCC Llywelyn’s fourth guest on his fortnightly Facebook live broadcast series, Commissioner in Conversation following on from previous broadcasts with Dyfed-Powys Chief Constable Mark Collins, Superintendent Ifan Charles, and Deputy Chief Constable Claire Parmenter.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn, said; “It will be a privilege for me to have Steve Moore as a guest on my next Commissioner in Conversation broadcast.  This year has been such a challenging year for our Health Board, and the NHS across the UK, with their staff being at the frontline, working hard to fight the pandemic, and saving lives on the way.

“This broadcast will be an opportunity for me to have an informal conversation with Steve to hear about his personal experiences of recent months, how the Health Board has dealt with all the challenges and the pressure, and to celebrate the fantastic work of his staff.

“We will not only concentrate on the COVID-19 pandemic, we will also discuss some partnership working between the NHS and the Police, how we often support each other, and as usual, I will try to get to know a little more about the person behind the name, his background and his journey to reach the position of Chief Executive at Hywel Dda University Health Board.”

Steve was appointed as Chief Executive at Hywel Dda UHB in 2014 following a career within both the public and private sectors. Like the rest of the UK, the NHS here in Dyfed Powys has seen significant challenges during the past few years but also significant advancements in care and outcomes for patients.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive Hywel Dda Health Board said: “The NHS is an institution that most of us hold very dear as it supports us from cradle to grave and can have a huge impact on our lives.

“I’m really looking forward to my conversation with the Commissioner as so many of our challenges, and indeed opportunities, are shared; and I’m particularly looking forward to receiving questions or input from social media users as well. COVID-19 has made us all look to new ways of connecting and I hope this provides an opportunity for people to find out more and for us to listen to the views of our communities and individuals.”

PCC Dafydd Llywelyn added; “This, again, will be a live broadcast, so please join us on our Facebook page, and feel free to leave your comments and questions, and as usual, we will try to reply best we can during the conversation.

Commissioner in Conversation with Steve Moore will be broadcasted live on www.facebook.com/DPOPCC  at 8pm on November 25, on the eve of Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn’s November virtual Community Engagement Day, where he will be spending the day meeting with several partners and organisations as well as community representatives.

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Schools and Businesses in Ceredigion close following a rise in coronavirus cases

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THE rise in cases of coronavirus in Ceredigion is a result of people mixing with other households and socially says council.

A spokesperson said that the number of contacts for each positive coronavirus case is increasing, which shows people are mixing more socially.

Seven schools have already closed and several businesses have been issued with closure orders.

The number of daily cases now stand at the highest since the pandemic began.

A number of businesses have already been served with closure notices for breaking regulations.

Seven schools have closed for a two week period starting Monday, November 27 and are due to re-open on December 7.

Schools which are closed ofr two week period are: Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi, Ysgol Gynradd Aberteifi, Ysgol Gynradd Penparc, Ysgol Gynradd Aberporth, Ysgol Gynradd T.Llew Jones, Ysgol Gynradd Llechryd and Ysgol Gynradd Cenarth.

A small number of pupils at Ysgol Gyfun Penglais, Aberystwyth have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days following the confirmation of a further COVID-19 case at the school.

All confirmed contacts of the positive case must remain at home for 14 days to reduce the possible spread of the virus to family, friends and the wider community. The pupils will be taught remotely for this period.

A council spokesperson said: “We are now seeing the virus spreading in our communities, several of which can be traced back to super spreader events such as parties and social gatherings.

“This kind of behaviour is totally irresponsible and is putting the health of our loved ones at risk, is having a direct impact on the education of our children and is putting pressure on the NHS.

“Contact tracing has identified that the number of contacts for each positive case has increased, which tells us that people are mixing households and are mixing socially.

“The council has taken action and has served several businesses with improvement and closure notices where they have been breaking coronavirus regulations.

“The council will continue to issue notice where we become aware of concerns or breaches.

“Members of the public are urged to inform us if they have any concerns that a business in Ceredigion does not have adequate measures in place to operate safely.

Stay apart to play your part. By doing this, we will be protecting the health and wellbeing of our most vulnerable, including care services for the elderley and those whose medical conditions make them particularly at risk from Covid-19.

“We will be protecting the education provision within schools, colleges and universities. We will enable the local economy to survive the winter months.

“Together, we can keep Ceredigion safe.”

The council have issued the following guidance to residents:

  • Keep a 2m social distance from each other when out and about – indoors and outdoors;
  • Wash your hands regularly;
  • Limit your social contact;
  • Work from home wherever possible;
  • Households are able to form a ‘bubble’ with one other – that bubble arrangement cannot be swapped, changed, or extended further than one household;
  • People are allowed to meet with others from outside that bubble in a regulated venue, such as a pub or restaurant where there are strict safety protocols in place, but the maximum number of people that can meet is four and even then social distancing should be maintained wherever possible;
  • Wear a face mask in indoor public places, shops and on public transport;
  • Self-isolate immediately at the first sign of any COVID-19 symptoms and arrange a test immediately, only leaving home to get tested. A test needs to be booked online or by phoning 119.

Chief Education Officer for Ceredigion County Council said: “We are extremely concerned about the spread of coronavirus in the Cardigan area.

“A significant number of recent positive cases has resulted in a very high number of people being classed as contacts to a positive case.

“Many of these contacts now have coronavirus symptoms and we are awaiting the test results.

“There is overwhelming evidence that the speed of the virus in the Cardigan area means that immediate action is needed.”

The Council urges all parents to refer their children for a test if they develop any of the symptoms, which are:

  •         a high temperature
  •         a new continuous cough
  •         a loss or change to sense of smell or taste.

You can apply for a test on https://gov.wales/apply-coronavirus-covid-19-test or by phoning 119.

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Lib Dems urge Chancellor to ‘level the playing field’ for small local shops over Christmas

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CEREDIGION’S Liberal Democrats have called on the UK Government to “level the playing field” to help the county’s high streets compete with internet giants in the run up to Christmas.

The Liberal Democrats fear local shops hit by decreased footfall during the coronavirus pandemic will continue to struggle, and have therefore proposed a new scheme similar to how the Eat Out to Help Out scheme helped local restaurants.

To encourage people to support their local high streets while shopping from home, the Lib Dems want to see the UK Government cover postage costs. Lib Dem Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine has written to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him to adopt the idea.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed the idea to help firms survive. Mike Cherry, UK Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “This is the type of creative idea that would boost small businesses and balance out the playing field.”

Cadan ap Tomos, Welsh Liberal Democrat Senedd candidate for Ceredigion, said:
“Small businesses across Ceredigion have been worried for months about staying afloat. For so many, Christmas is their most lucrative time of year but coronavirus restrictions mean our town centres are quieter than ever.

“When people turn online to do their Christmas shopping, free postage offers from online shopping giants are very tempting. That makes it even harder for small businesses in Ceredigion to compete, putting our high streets and local economy at further risk.

“The UK Government need to step in and level the playing field, to protect the vibrant array of small businesses that are the backbone of our local economy in Ceredigion.”

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds added:

“In the Summer, the Chancellor launched a campaign to support the hospitality sector. We now need to see the UK Government go the extra mile to support small business in the festive period.

“We want the Chancellor to pay the postage on online purchases from small local independent shops to make them a more viable option for people hunting for Christmas presents and encourage people to shop small from home.”

Mike Cherry, UK Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“This is the type of creative idea that would boost small businesses and balance out the playing field.

“We must do everything we can to help our small, independent stores.

“This is going to be the most important festive season our economy has ever seen and could be make-or-break for some of our small businesses. That’s why we must pull out all the stops to help them survive the end of 2020 and beyond.”

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