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Women pensions campaign steps up a gear

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THE GUILDHALL in Cardigan was packed last night (Jul 29) with women from across Ceredigion, and their families, affected by the UK Government’s recent state pension changes.

Ceredigion MP Ben Lake, who organised the meeting, is backing the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign which is protesting against the changes made by the government to the state pension age, particularly affecting women born in the 1950s.

Around 5,000 women in Ceredigion who expected to retire at 60 have been told, some of whom with only 18-month’s notice, that they will have to wait up to another six years for their pension. It is estimated some women will miss out on over £40,000 in pension payments.

Ceredigion MP Ben Lake, who organised the meeting, said: “Women born in the 1950s are missing out on pension payments because the UK Government has speeded up the pension age from 60 to 66. Some people only got 18 months’ notice of this and it is not enough time to make plans.”

Several women shared their personal stories and experiences during the meeting – many of whom are struggling to make ends meet, and are facing the probability of living permanently below the poverty line throughout their retirement.

Several women noted that, due to long-term health problems, it would be extremely difficult for them to carry on working until the age of 66 but that these changes and the lack of adequate warning from the Government had left them no choice.

Mr Lake added: “This meeting provided an opportunity for local women affected by the state pension changes to come together, hear more about the campaign and hopefully get active in protesting the changes that are being forced on them. The more women who get involved in the campaign, the better the chance of ministers taking heed and bringing about fairness for those affected.”

There was a real appetite at the end of the meeting to set up a WASPI Ceredigion campaign group to raise the profile of this injustice amongst the rest of the thousands of women across Ceredigion affected by these changes.

A similar public meeting will be held for constituents in the north of the county in the next few weeks.

For further information about the campaign please contact Ben Lake MP’s office: ben.lake.mp@parliament.uk

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D-Day anniversary offer for veterans

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FOLLOWING the first meeting of 2019, the Ceredigion Armed Forces Community Covenant (CAFCC) wishes to endorse Royal British Legion’s generous offer of providing a fully-funded tour back to the beaches for 300 D-Day veterans.

June 6 marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.

Following the CAFCC meeting, Councillor Paul Hinge, Ceredigion’s Armed Forces Champion said, “This most generous gesture is fantastic, everyone of those eligible to travel is a nonagenarian 90+ year old and this trip will be a fitting way to say ‘thank you’ for their contribution as the Allies won WW2.”

The Royal British Legion, in partnership with Arena Travel, have chartered a ship, the MV Boudicca, to provide a fully funded tour for 300 D-Day Veterans from 02 June until 09 June. Each veteran will be able to bring one carer who will also be fully funded.

Veterans interested in applying for the trip need to complete the eligibility form by Monday 4 February 2019. The eligibility form and more details of the event can be found online at: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/community/d-day-75/

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Sex offender caught trying to flee to Ireland

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A sex offender from Bow Street near Aberystwyth who tried to move to Ireland without telling anyone has been jailed.

Dennis Bull, aged 67, was caught trying to drive a van onto the Fishguard–Rosslare ferry with his belongings in the back ready for a new life in the Republic.

Bull, of Nirmit, admitted failing to comply with the conditions of registration as a sex offender and was jailed for 16 months.

Dyfed Thomas, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court it was the third time he had breached the order, imposed at Caernarfon crown court in February, 2016, for possessing indecent images of children.

That conviction was on top of earlier offending in New Zealand that included indecent exposure, outraging public decency and gross indecency with a child.

Mr Thomas said Bull had been jailed for 16 months in 2016 and ordered to register with the police. The restrictions imposed included a requirement to tell the police if he intended to change address.

On November 13 last year police at Fishguard harbour became aware of a Ford Mondeo registered to Bull.

A few minutes later Bull was arrested as he attempted to drive a van onto the Stenna ferry, which was loaded with household items.

Bull told the police he had made arrangements to move to Ireland “lock, stock and barrel” because he understood the monitoring of sex offenders was less strict.

In particular, said Mr Thomas, Bull did not like prospective employers being told about his convictions.

Judge Geraint Walters told Bull, “This was a planned and determined attempt to avoid detection. It was only the eagle eyes of the authorities that brought you to book.

“Your record is troubling and you present a risk of committing more offences of a sexual nature.

 “You are defiant of court orders that are there to protect others and it is truly disturbing that you are so keen to breach them.”

Bull was warned that the 2016 order remained in place for a further seven years.

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Newcastle Emlyn woman to brave the shave for charity

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TO MARK her 50th birthday, a Newcastle Emlyn woman will brave the shave to raise money for Diabetes UK Cymru.

On January 26, Newcastle Emlyn’s Coopers Arms will be the venue where Yvonne Lloyd’s shoulder length hair will hit the deck, as it is shaved off by hairdresser Pamela Atterbury. Mayor of Newcastle Emlyn Cefin Evans will make the first cut, in an evening that will include a buffet, raffle and live music from local band Back Tracks.

Yvonne, a waitress at Ty Croeso Delicatessen, said: “My son Tristan, now 25, developed Type 1 diabetes when he was at university. However well managed, it is a life-changing condition which you can never forget.

“He was diagnosed after an emergency admission to hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening condition caused by extremely high blood sugar. It can be fatal if not treated immediately. He was in hospital for four days and now relies on four insulin injections a day.

“I’m having my head shaved, not just to raise money, but also to educate people. There are a lot of myths about diabetes and how it can affect your life.”

The hair cut will start at 8.30pm on Saturday January 26 at the Coopers Arms, Station Road, Newcastle Emlyn. Entry costs £5 and doors open at 7.00 pm. All are welcome.

You can support Yvonne by signing one of the sponsor forms at the Coopers Arms and Ty Croeso, or online at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/yvonne-lloyd2

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