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Council approves first Anti-Slavery Annual Statement

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THE COUNCIL’S first Anti-Slavery Annual Statement has been confirmed following approval from the Cabinet on Tuesday (Sept 4). An Anti-Slavery Action Plan has also been adopted and will now be implemented.

Set out in the Annual Statement, the Council reports on three key areas of action. These are – the processes established to tackle Modern Slavery, the steps taken to protect against Modern Slavery in the Council’s supply chains, and the steps taken to ensure good employment practices.

The action plan sets out how Ceredigion County Council will address the Modern Slavery Policy, including Safeguarding and meeting the requirements of the Welsh Government’s Code of Practice on Ethical Employment in Supply Chains.

The Leader of the Council and Cabinet member responsible for Policy, Performance, Partnerships and Democratic Services, Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn said: “Last year, Ceredigion County Council became one of the first councils in Wales to adopt an Anti-Slavery Policy. We have now approved our first annual statement and adopted a dedicated action plan to tackle and deter a crime that targets some of the most vulnerable members of our society. I look forward to seeing how the plan progresses.”

The Council’s Anti-Slavery and Ethical Employment Champion, Councillor Lyndon Lloyd MBE added: “The Annual Statement and Action Plan make it very clear; the Council will take every opportunity to tackle Modern Slavery not only in its own work, but also in the supply chain that surrounds the Council. This is a real problem that affects people in both rural and urban areas. It’s important that we stay vigilant to the threat.”

Modern Slavery involves the movement, coercion and exploitation of vulnerable adults and children. Types of exploitation include labour exploitation, sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, domestic servitude and organ harvesting. In 2017 there were 193 potential victims of modern slavery reported in Wales. 44% of those reported were children. It is estimated that there could be 10,000 to 13,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK.

Ceredigion County Council’s Anti-Slavery Policy was adopted at a meeting of full council in December 2017. Councillor Lyndon Lloyd was also appointed as our Anti-Slavery Champion at the same time. The Policy comprises an integrated approach bringing together key areas of safeguarding, human resources, procurement and civil contingencies.

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Cooperation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

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Ceredigion County Council and Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) are working together in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three facilities in the county – Plascrug Leisure Centre and Penweddig School in Aberystwyth and Cardigan Leisure Centre – will provide additional capacity in response to the unprecedented challenges currently faced by the NHS and social care services.

Further sites across the county continue to be scoped and further information will be provided as and when these are confirmed. The health service is also working with its university partners in Aberystwyth on opportunities for them to support the efforts.

This follows announcements made last week confirming additional capacity in Parc Y Scarlets and the Selwyn Samuel Centre in Llanelli and Bluestone National Park Resort in Pembrokeshire.

Dr Phil Kloer, Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Delivering this additional capacity in Ceredigion will be essential to help us manage patient flow over the coming weeks and we are extremely grateful for all of the support that we are receiving from Ceredigion County Council to help make this happen.

“We have followed the situation in Italy closely to learn where possible and to help our planning. Our European colleagues have provided feedback that patient flow and throughput is a critical factor in response to COVID-19 pressures.”

Eifion Evans, Chief Executive said “Ceredigion County Council is proud to be supporting Hywel Dda University Health Board in establishing our Leisure Centres and one of our secondary schools as facilities which will provide additional capacity as we prepare for the potential impact of COVID-19. This is a reflection of the close partnership working between the two organisations. We thank all staff who have been working tirelessly to prepare for and respond to this crisis.”

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Ceredigion Public House to be served with a prohibition notice

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On Friday night, 27 March 2020, officers from Ceredigion County Council`s Public Protection Team came across a country public house serving customers alcohol, and open for business in contravention of the recently issued Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020. Police assistance was called and the landlord will now be served with a prohibition notice. A number of other offences were identified and a report will be made to the Council`s Licencing Committee.

Inspections by the Council’s Public Protection Team during the week have shown that the overwhelming majority of local businesses have voluntarily closed when they have been required to do so by the emergency regulations. Other businesses, where permitted to do so, have quickly diversified from serving foods to be consumed on their premises to providing deliveries or takeaways.

Premises that have been permitted to remain open have diligently and rapidly adjusted to social distancing measures. The vast majority of the community recognises the need for, and the importance of these emergency measures and has willingly played its part.

Over 70 premises were inspected last week, however only one premises failed to follow the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020 introduced.

The Council’s Public Protection officers will continue to monitor compliance, with support from the Dyfed-Powys Police if appropriate. Businesses and premises which breach the regulations will be subject to prohibition notices and fines. Businesses that continue to contravene the measures will be forced to close down. Individuals and companies who do not pay their fine may also be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose potentially unlimited fines.

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Appeal following assault

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POLICE in Aberystwyth are keen to speak to a ‘good Samaritan’ who gave the victim of a serious assault a lift.

Aberystwyth CID are making enquiries into an incident in the early hours of Sunday, March 22, in which a man sustained significant injuries.

The assault took place in the Bridge Street area, near to Trefechan Bridge, shortly after 2am.

Officers are appealing for witnesses, or anyone with CCTV of the area, to make contact with the investigation team.

Police are also keen to speak to another man who has provided the injured victim with a lift in a van to the Trefechan area shortly after the assault.

If anyone has any information regarding this incident, or can assist the police in any way, they are asked to email contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or call 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired you can also text the force’s non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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