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Elin Jones AM on the next steps in broadband rollout

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ELIN JONES AM and Ben Lake MP’s offices have been working together to ensure that Ceredigion is prioritised in the funding of Broadband by the Welsh and UK Governments. This week saw a long awaited statement from the Welsh Government Minister responsible for Broadband in Wales, Julie James AM, outlining the next steps in rollout of Superfast Broadband.

Click here to read the statement in full.

The statement outlines that the premises remaining to be connected have been split into ‘Lots’, with Ceredigion a part of the West Wales and Valleys Lot, Lot number 3, and that it will be made clear which properties will be connected in this rollout.

Further to this, Elin Jones AM has been told to expect approximately 1000 Ceredigion properties to be in the lot, and that they are due to be connected over the next three years.

Following the statement and a meeting with Julie James, Elin Jones AM said:

“Unfortunately, the statement doesn’t give me sufficient reassurance that we will see 100% rollout in Ceredigion in the near future.

“I understand that the Welsh Government is yet to complete discussions with BT / Openreach on the previous Superfast Cymru contract, and this may result with more properties connected in order to fulfil this contract.

“I met with the Minister recently to discuss this statement and I will meet with her again in the next few weeks to discuss properties in Lot 3. I also hope to discuss how we plan for community solutions in areas that will not be reached. This may well involve alternative providers and using a mixture of fibre and wireless solutions.

“None of this is satisfactory in my view, but I’m keen to work with every community in Ceredigion to see how we can get Welsh Government money to support this, even where there is no formal contract with BT.”

Last week also saw the UK Government’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP, give his autumn budget, which included a promise of £200 million to rural broadband. Elin Jones and Ben Lake will now seek to clarify whether any of this money will be spent in Wales, and how.

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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