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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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Free parking in Ceredigion

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Car parking will be free in all Ceredigion County Council operated Pay and Display car parks on the three Saturdays before Christmas this year.

Parking charges at council operated Pay and Display car parks will be waived on December 7, 14 and 21 2019.

Rhodri Llwyd is Ceredigion County Council’s Corporate Lead Officer responsible for Highways and Environmental Services. He said. “Small businesses will be competing against online businesses for trade this Christmas. We want to do what we can to support Ceredigion businesses at this important time of year. We hope this step encourages more of us to shop locally this Christmas and enjoy what fantastic Ceredigion businesses have to offer.”

This decision contributes towards one of the council’s corporate priorities of boosting the economy.

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Ysgol Bro Pedr raise funds for life saving machine

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PUPILS at Ysgol Bro Pedr have raised enough money to buy a defibrillator machine for the school.

The idea came after 15 Year 11 pupils achieved their Level 3 Emergency First Aid Qualification with Ceredigion Youth Service. Pupils felt that it was incredibly important that they and others at the school had the skills, knowledge and equipment to use in an emergency.

Mrs Caryl Jones and pupils raised an outstanding £1,150 through organising a bake sale at the school on 28 March 2019. The school extends their thanks to Lampeter businesses ‘Oh My Cod’ and ‘Y Becws’ for their kind contribution towards the sale.

Guto Crompton, School Based Youth Worker said: “Although first aid is not a mandatory part of the school curriculum in Wales, young people at Ysgol Bro Pedr felt that it should be something that all pupils knew about. This would help them to know what to do in an emergency, whether that be in the school or out in the community. Pupils worked hard to achieve their First Aid qualification which covered aspect such as CPR, casualty management and the use of a defibrillator.”

The defibrillator machine will be placed in the school reception.

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It’s not too late: Ceredigion residents still have time to register to vote

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“CEREDIGION residents still have time to register to vote in the General Election on 12 December,” said the council’s Chief Executive and Acting Returning Officer, Eifion Evans.

Residents still have time to register to vote and to arrange postal or proxy votes if they want to do so. The deadline to register to vote is midnight on November 26. The deadline to register for a postal vote is 5pm on November 26 and the deadline to register for a proxy vote is 5pm on December 4.

Mr Evans continued, “Some residents may want to register for postal vote or a proxy vote. This could help people avoid possible wintry conditions of a December election, or young people who have moved out of county to study but still want to vote in Ceredigion.”

Residents can register to vote by using this link: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or by calling the council’s Electoral Services Team on 01545 570 881.

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