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UK Government rejects Swansea Tidal Lagoon investment

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THE UK GOVERNMENT has pulled the plug on the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project in a move described as a vote of ‘no interest in Wales, no confidence in British manufacturing and no care for the planet‘.

Having delayed its announcement until after crucial votes on Brexit in the House of Commons, the Government announced the news just ahead of a vote on a third runway for Heathrow, which could be seen as trying to bury bad news.

An announcement on the tidal lagoon project had been strung out by the Westminster government, the project having first been mooted to David Cameron’s ‘greenest ever government’ in 2011 and subject to a statutory consultation in 2013.

The first of its kind in the world, the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon would have produced enough energy to power 150,000 Welsh homes for 120 years, sustain over 2,000 construction and manufacturing jobs in Wales, and support as many as 311 industrial and manufacturing businesses along the supply chain.

It would have delivered £8 million in tourism revenue, and required more than 100,000 tonnes of steel, much of which would come from the Port Talbot steelworks, with further jobs downstream making the component parts.

In early 2017, a review led by former Conservative Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change Sir Charles Hendry, endorsed the scheme’s construction.

Since then, however, there has been near silence from Theresa May’s government.

The decision to refuse funding comes 11 months after Theresa May intervened personally to cancel the promised electrification of the rail line between Swansea and Cardiff and has led to allegations that both the Prime Minister and her government know the cost of everything but the value of nothing.

The decision was made in spite of an offer from the Welsh Government to invest heavily in the £1.3bn project and interest from the trustees of the Welsh Local Government Pension Funds in supporting it by investing pension funds into the project.

A statement from the UK Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to Parliament claimed that: ‘The inescapable conclusion of an extensive analysis is that however novel and appealing the proposal that has been made is … the costs that would be incurred by consumers and taxpayers would be so much higher than alternative sources of low carbon power, that it would be irresponsible to enter into a contract with the provider’.

However, the arithmetic used by the UK Government – a claim that it would add £700 to the cost of household electricity bills between 2031 and 2050 – while eye-catching, is the equivalent of 67p a week.

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Police investigating sudden death of three-year-old

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating the sudden death of a three-year-old child.

At approximately 4.25pm on Sunday (Oct 21) police received a report of a collision involving a child and a vehicle at a private property near Llanybydder.

Tragically, the child died at the scene.

A police spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with the family, who are being supported by specially trained officers.

“Enquiries are ongoing. H.M. Coroner and the Health and Safety Executive are aware.”

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Council staff show their support for Shwmae Su’mae Day

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SHWMAE Su’mae day was celebrated throughout Wales on Monday, 15 October to encourage people to start every conversation with ‘Shwmae’ or ‘Su’mae’! To mark the day this year, staff at Ceredigion County Council held a cookery competition during its weekly ‘Clwb Cinio Cymraeg’ session (Welsh Lunch Club).

‘Clwb Cinio Cymraeg’ is the Council’s new sessions that give staff who are learning Welsh a chance to meet and practice their Welsh in an informal setting. Shwmae Su’mae day aims to show that the Welsh language belongs to us all – fluent speakers, learners or those shy about their Welsh.

Huw Owen is the Council’s new Work Welsh Training Officer and teaches Welsh in the Workplace lessons to Council staff on different stages of their journey in developing their fluency in the Welsh language. Huw established the successful Clwb Cinio Cymraeg earlier this year and said, “The Clwb Cinio Cymraeg is a vital part of Ceredigion County Council’s Work Welsh teaching provision. Language is a communal phenomenon, and the informal learning opportunities provided by the Clwb Cinio gives the Council’s learners the opportunity to take their Welsh beyond the more formal world of the classroom and become a Welsh language community. The success of the baking competition on Shwmae Su’mae Day is testament to the Council’s learners’ commitment and enthusiasm for learning Welsh as a language through which they can work, live, and have fun.”

Last year, 125 staff members were recognised for their dedication to learn the language by attending regular classes. Staff this year are able to continue receiving Welsh in the Workplace lessons, alongside additional opportunities to practice the language through the Clwb Cinio Cymraeg and Ffrind Iaith (Language Buddy scheme). Ffrind Iaith is where Welsh-learners are paired with a Welsh-speaker mentor within the work setting.

Leader of Ceredigion County Council, Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn said, “Ceredigion County Council is committed in supporting the Welsh language and culture, and we encourage staff to take up the offer of developing their Welsh with these engaging learning opportunities. The Council ensures its services and activities promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language throughout the county. Every member of the public in Ceredigion has the right to choose which language they wish to use when communicating with the Council and it’s a requirement of the Council staff to respond in a positive way to this choice.”

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Ceredigion’s first ‘Welsh in the Workplace’ business fair a success

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SMALL businesses in Cardigan came together to a special event on Thursday, 4 October 2018. The Business Fair was an opportunity to network, learn from each other and share experiences of using the Welsh language in business.

Councillor Catherine Hughes, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Culture said, “With the excitement of the Ceredigion National Eisteddfod 2020 about to start, it was encouraging to see the county’s businesses coming together to learn how to market effectively and promote the Welsh language in business. It was refreshing to witness an honest discussion about the challenges facing businesses and also pleasing to hear how successful businesses have been since using the Welsh language.”

The event, held in Cardigan Castle, began with an interesting presentation by Huw Marshall from the Yr Awr Gymraeg. Huw discussed how the Welsh language can offer positive opportunities for local businesses and how it can boost business and the economy.

Kerry Ferguson said, “An extremely beneficial event. The panel demonstrated the benefits of Welsh in business, and also that there is plenty of support available – not just in various organisations, but businesses also. I would highly recommend Ceredigion businesses attend the next event!”.

This was supported by Rosalind Robinson, “Huw’s discussion was extremely helpful in particular how attractive the Welsh is in business for non-Welsh speakers. As a Welsh learner myself, I gained the opportunity to practice (and improve) my Welsh.”

An open discussion was held by a panel of businesses on the challenges of using the Welsh language in business and also to share good practice. The panel was chaired by Keith Henson (Coleg Ceredigion) and the panel consisted of Dwynwen Davies (Meithrinfa Y Dyfodol), Angharad Williams (Lan Llofft), Sioned Thomas (Ffenestri Kevin Thomas), Kerry Ferguson (Gwe Cambrian Web) and Huw Marshall (Yr Awr Gymraeg).

During the day, there were numerous information stands to visit, including Learn Welsh, Ceredigion Training, Cynnal y Cardi, Business Wales, Antur Teifi, Welsh Language Commissioner, Coleg Ceredigion and Cymraeg Byd Busnes.

Non Davies, Cered Manager said, “The day was an excellent opportunity to bring together businesses not only to receive advice and direction but also to discuss the challenges they face using the Welsh language. An honest and inspiring discussion took place highlighting many good practice ideas for the future. Cered’s Welsh in Business officers continue to visit businesses across the county and anyone is welcome to contact us to arrange a free visit.”

Contact Menter Iaith Cered’s Business Officers, Pat Jones or Owain Llyr on 01545 572350 if you are a business who is interested in receiving information or assistance.

The Welsh in the Workplace project has received LEADER support through the Cynnal y Cardi Local Action Group (administered by Ceredigion County Council) which is funded through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

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