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Ben Lake MP receives constituency tour with a difference

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AN INTERACTIVE map created by Citizens Advice that reveals the issues people are facing in Ceredigion has been presented to Ben Lake MP.

Ben Lake MP was taken on a ward-by-ward virtual tour of his constituency and shown the problems people living in the area are getting help for at Citizens Advice.

The maps – called Constituency Dashboards – also revealed to Ben Lake MP the spread of issues facing different types of people in Ceredigion, such as disabled people, younger constituents and minorities.

The dashboards were presented to MPs at an event hosted by Citizens Advice in the House of Commons on February 21.

They reveal Citizens Advice in Ceredigion helped 2,044 people with 8,065 issues. The top three issues people needed assistance with were: benefits and tax credits; debt; utilities and communications.

According to evidence from the charity, Citizens Advice helps to solve two in three people’s problems, reducing the number of people who turn to public services for support on welfare, health and housing issues.

For every £1 invested in the Citizens Advice service government and public services save £2, amounting to £420 million last year.

Where problems cannot be fully resolved, Citizens Advice works with relevant local and national organisations to help sort out systemic issues.

Citizens Advice in Ceredigion provides free confidential and impartial advice to people face to face and over the telephone. A national website provides advice online, over email and via web chat at www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Ben Lake MP said: “Citizens Advice in Ceredigion works on the frontline to help people with a huge variety of important issues, which means they are well-placed to identify the problems residents are facing.

“I’m always keen to find new and inventive ways of staying informed about the concerns of my constituents. These dashboards are illuminating and the data they contain provide strong evidence on which to act.

“Citizens Advice – with its army of volunteers – is tremendous at providing support for people living in Ceredigion. I will continue to work closely with them for the benefit of residents.”

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said: “It was great that Ben Lake MP showed real interest in our interactive maps, which highlight the issues we see on the ground in Ceredigion.

“The right advice and support can transform lives. Local Citizens Advice solve the problems for two in three of our clients, and empower people to develop the skills and confidence they need to help themselves.

“It’s important people can access free and impartial advice when they need it, whether face to face, over the phone or online. We’re pleased to work with MPs to help them solve their constituents’ problems and address local and national issues.”

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Stereophonics to play Swansea gig

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ONE of Britain’s best live bands Stereophonics has announced a special performance at Singleton Park, Swansea on Saturday, July 13, 2019.

The stadium rockers will perform in their south Wales heartland to celebrate 20 years since the career milestone show in Swansea at Morfa Stadium to 55,000 people and the release of ‘Performance and Cocktails’.

It will be the band’s first time back in south west Wales since their Morfa Stadium show in 1999. This now iconic album, which was the band’s second studio release, gave Stereophonics three straight top five singles in the British charts with ‘The Bartender and the Thief’ reaching No.3, and both ‘Just Looking’ and ‘Pick a Part That’s New’ reaching No.4.

Over the past two decades, Stereophonics have played at some of the biggest venues to fans all across the globe, amassing over 10 million album sales in that time.

More recently in 2018, the band performed to sell-out crowds across the globe, including a huge 15-date arena tour, summer homecoming gigs in Wrexham and Cardiff plus headline shows at Kendal Calling, Y Not Festival and Victorious Festival.

Speaking about the latest announcement, Kelly Jones said: “Performance and Cocktails put us on the world map, and also on the TV and the Radio, which meant a lot of people went back to discover Word Gets Around and made our first album platinum! Morfa Stadium was where we set Performance and Cocktails alight, and it was a one off day that can never be beaten. It was perfect. I’m not a man that likes to go backwards, this event is merely a birthday party, so come along and help us blow out the candles.”

Stereophonics are Kelly Jones (vocals/guitar), Richard Jones (bass), Adam Zindani (guitar) and Jamie Morrison (drums).

Tickets go on sale on Friday (Dec 14) at 10am via www.myticket.co.uk.

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Heroin could be linked to Aberysytwyth supply

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A LIVERPOOL man has admitted possessing heroin that could be linked to drugs supplied in Aberystwyth.

Jack English, aged 20, pleaded guilty to possessing a quantity of heroin with intent to supply when he appeared at Swansea Crown ccourt for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Keith Thomas.

The court heard the drugs could also be linked to English’s father, who had been a heroin user who had ‘gone to Aberystwyth on many occasions’ and who had died since his son’s arrest in October 2017.

Judge Thomas said he would sentence English on January 11.

English, of Storrington Road, was granted bail meanwhile but warned that a jail sentence was the most likely outcome.

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Mark Drakeford named next First Minister

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THE NEXT First Minister of Wales will be Mark Drakeford, it has been announced this afternoon (Dec 6).

Mr Drakeford, a Cardiff West AM, was named as the winner of the Welsh Labour leadership contest at the Principality Stadium.

The contest was triggered when Carwyn Jones, the current First Minister, announced he was stepping down.

Mr Jones will officially step down on Tuesday (Dec 10).

Mr Drakeford will then be officially confirmed as the new First Minister of Wales by the National Assembly next week.

In the first round of voting, the results were:

Mark Drakeford – 46.9%
Vaughan Gething – 30.8%
Eluned Morgan – 22.3%

Eluned Morgan’s votes were then redistributed on voters’ second preferences, with the following results:

Mark Drakeford – 53.9%
Vaughan Gethin – 46.1%

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