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Aberaeron Youth Centre’s garden given new lease of life

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CEREDIGION YOUTH SERVICE (CYS) have been successful in utilising funding to develop the garden area at Aberaeron Youth Centre.

The young people who attend the youth club decided that they wanted to turn the garden into a safe space for everyone to enjoy. The garden had been left dilapidated for some time and deemed too hazardous for the youth club members to enjoy. This was partly due to adverse weather conditions over the years and instances of vandalism. Therefore, the garden was in need of some considerable repair and maintenance.

CYS was successful in gaining a Youth Led Grant from CAVO via a video application which the youth club members filmed themselves in order to seek support with funding to help develop the space to be safe and inclusive. The youth club also received an additional donation towards the garden project in remembrance of Mathew Evans, a long term youth club member who tragically passed away in 2017 in a car accident.

Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Learning Services said, “It is wonderful to hear that the young people decided they wanted to develop the garden and make it accessible and spacious for everyone to enjoy. Open spaces are of utmost important to the health and well-being of us all, and now Aberaeron Youth Service and the community have a garden to enjoy.”

The young people helped with removing the old debris and materials and supported in the construction and the new layout by shifting and setting over 5 tonnes of gravel, laying down slabs and replacing the old decking and steps. Furthermore, new trees and flowers have been planted with bird boxes assembled that will be placed in the garden along with other sensory resources.

The project has been youth-led from the beginning, with Outreach Youth Worker Rebecca Williams coordinating and engaging with a wide variety of different groups and people. The project has worked in partnership with Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training, a work based learning provider that offers a range of vocational courses to prepare people of all ages for the workplace by providing skills training. The project has engaged with youth club members, young people who attend Children’s Disability Team’s provision, Canolfan Aeron and also alternative curriculum pupils and young volunteers.

A total of 44 young people volunteered and supported the development of the project since January 2018, with 30% of those participants continuing to engage in volunteering opportunities. Principal Youth Officer for CYS, Gethin Jones said, “This project has been a great opportunity for young people to become empowered and get involved with something truly positive. It has gone through a remarkable transformation and the impact it will now have moving forward is also very exciting as they will be able to enjoy the space safely. It will also give the centre greater opportunity of engaging with the community and allow other groups to visit and enjoy the space. Thank you for the generous donations and everyone who has supported the project to make it happen”.

The garden is almost ready and is receiving its final touches to make it look vibrant and appealing to all members of the community. An open evening is planned for Thursday, 3 May between 6pm and 7:30pm where the garden will be officially opened. A warm welcome to all from the area to come and enjoy the new garden and complimentary food and refreshments.

For more information, or to find out what opportunities are available to you, head over to CYS Facebook and Twitter pages at @GICeredigionYS or contact the Team on youth@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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A level results still high in Ceredigion

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THE ‘A’ level examination results published today by the WJEC (15 August) show that high standards are being achieved in Ceredigion schools once again. 97.9% of entries for WJEC examinations were graded A* to E, with 27.9% of the entries achieving the top ’A’ grades.

Ceredigion pupils continue to outperform the Welsh average. More pupils in Ceredigion achieve the top ’A’ grades and A* to E grades. The below table shows a comparison with average Welsh figures. These don’t include Welsh Baccalaureate results and those from examination bodies other than WJEC.

Wales 2019             Ceredigion 2019

Grade A* – A           27.92%                    27.0%

Grade A* – B           56.0%                      n/a

Grade A* – C          77.5%                        n/a

Grade A* – E          97.9%                       97.6%

Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services. She said, “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations once again to Ceredigion’s sixth form students for their successes in this year’s A Level and AS examinations.

These results are the culmination of a long journey through school life which has seen them nurture and develop the academic and interpersonal skills that will enable them to move confidently into higher education, training or employment in fields of their choice. I wish them good luck for the future and would like to sincerely thank all who have contributed to their school journey in any way.”

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MP Ben Lake calls for reform of police funding

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HAVING recently shadowed Dyfed Powys Police officers in Aberystwyth, the Ceredigion MP has again urged the UK Government to review the police funding formula for rural areas.

Mr Lake visited Aberystwyth police station as part of the #GiveADayToPolicing campaign, a scheme for Members of Parliament to better understand the challenges currently facing police forces across the UK.

During his visit Mr Lake had the opportunity to experience a variety of aspects of local policing – from spending time with the neighbourhood policing team, meeting officers from different departments, and discussing policing challenges with front-line police officers.

Mr Lake has challenged the UK Government on several occasions to reform the formula for police funding – highlighting the need for the funding formula to take into consideration the seasonal pressures on forces, particularly the significant increase to the population of coastal areas during the summer months.

Mr Lake said: “I am very grateful to the officers of Aberystwyth police station for their welcome, and for taking the time to speak with me. I now have a better understanding of the challenges our police officers face, as well as a deeper level of respect and admiration of their work and commitment to public safety.

“As I have previously stated, we cannot expect a one size fits all approach to work effectively across the whole of the UK, and as such, it is imperative that the criteria used to allocate the Home Office police grant are revised so that they reflect the increased demands and unique challenges facing rural forces in areas such as Ceredigion, especially during summer months.”

Mr Lake added: “It is widely acknowledged that Welsh police forces have suffered under the present funding formula, and so it is high time that the UK Government either amends the formula accordingly, or devolves the responsibility for policing to the Welsh Government so that they may do so themselves.”

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New waste trial launched in Aberystwyth

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A NEW trial has been launched in Aberystwyth as part of the Caru Aber campaign, to help keep the town centre clean on waste collection days.

Heavy duty sacks will be placed on Aberystwyth streets on Monday afternoons before the black bag collection on Tuesdays in the following streets; Portland Street, Portland Road, Queen Street, Corporation Street, Eastgate Street, New Street and Cambrian Place.

Black bags should be put in the sacks by 8am on Tuesday mornings for collection. The intention is that the sacks contain the waste until it is collected. The sacks will be retrieved after the waste has been collected to avoid clutter and obstruction on the streets.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “We see this trial as a practical and relatively cost effective way of responding to long standing issues relating to domestic waste presentation in Aberystwyth town centre. The sacks will also provide a visible reminder to residents in the town centre on what days to present their black bags.

“The trial forms part of the Caru Aber campaign, and the wider Caru Ceredigion campaign, where the council looks to work with local communities to address issues which are of concern or are important to them.

“This innovative approach is another example of positive proactive action the council is taking. We hope that the residents of the town centre will play their part by making good use of the sacks as this will be the critical factor in measuring the success of the scheme.”

Clean recycling and food waste should continue to be presented on a weekly basis in the containers that the council already provides through clear bags and food caddies.

Ensuring that the right waste is presented in the right way and on the right day will help to make sure that the town’s streets are kept clean and that the waste is contained, managed and treated in the most cost effective and environmentally friendly way as possible.

The sacks were first used in readiness for waste collections on Tuesday 6 August 2019. The initial feedback is positive as they have worked to contain the waste on the streets, which were noticeably cleaner.

This latest initiative is developing on feedback and experience from two other trials undertaken. The success of the trial will be monitored on an ongoing basis and reviewed to reflect the experience which will include looking at ways of engaging all residents.

For more information about the new scheme, please contact the Customer Services Contact Centre on 01545 570 881 or by e-mail on clic@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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