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MP raising awareness of ‘Everyday Banking’

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CEREDIGION MP Ben Lake has teamed up with the Post Office, UK Finance and 26 banks to raise awareness of the banking services available to constituents at their local Post Office.

The ‘Everyday Banking at the Post Office’ service means customers, including small businesses, can now pay in cash and cheques or take out money from their high street bank account over the counter at the Post Office, helping people have ready access to cash to meet their financial needs and supporting the local economy.

The Post Office has more than 900 branches nationwide, and with 95% of people in Wales living within three miles of a Post Office of people in the UK living within just three miles of a Post Office, there are now more places to bank than ever before for millions of customers. Everyday Banking at the Post Office is supported by the retail banking sector and is complementary to the services available at their branches. The service is available to customers whenever the Post Office is open, which in many locations includes evenings and Sundays. There is no additional cost for personal or business customers, with most customers only needing a card and PIN to withdraw cash and a pre-printed paying-in slip to deposit.

Ben Lake MP said: “This is a really important service for many of my constituents who prefer to do their banking in person rather than online, and especially given the litany of bank closures we have suffered in recent years. In Ceredigion, ‘Everyday Banking at the Post Office’ is available at 50 Post Office branches and has been used 208,135 times in the last year.”

“It is easy to see why this is such an important service to so many, and over the coming months I will be working with the Post Office and the retail banking sector to ensure that this service is developed further for my constituents.”

Martin Kearsley, Banking Services Director at the Post Office, said: “It’s great to have Ben Lake MP highlight the Post Office’s trusted network of 11,500 branches which means we are uniquely placed to bring vital services to local communities right across the country. It’s a responsibility that we take very seriously, and it’s why we have secured continued access to almost every UK bank account through all of our branches, in partnership with the banking industry. So whether there is a bank branch nearby or not, we are here to offer a range of every day banking services in all our Post Office branches. From cash deposits and withdrawals, to balance enquiries, we want to make life as easy as possible; not only for the Ceredigion community, but for the millions of customers and small businesses who use us every day nationwide.”  

Eric Leenders, Managing Director Personal Banking at UK Finance, said: “Helping people manage their money is vitally important. That is why all the major banks offer everyday banking services through thousands of Post Offices, enabling their customers to pay in cash and cheques, check their balance and withdraw money at their local branch. At the same time banks are investing in new technology to give people the option of doing their banking at a time and place that is convenient to them.

“By joining forces with the UK’s retail banks and the Post Office we are hoping to bring Everyday Banking Services to even more customers.”

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Ten years for baby abusing paedophile who handed himself in to police

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A LLANILAR man who confessed to child sex offences no-one was aware of was jailed for 10 years on Friday (Jan 18).

Jared Perry, aged 32, walked into Aberystwyth police station and told officers he had sexually assaulted seven children, three of them when they were babies.

Perry, of Talardeg, was told by Judge Paul Thomas that he was a dangerous offender as defined by law and would be on licence and liable to be recalled to prison until 2035.

John Hipkin, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that he made members of his family aware that he had committed child sex offences.

“He told his wife Andrea and others. They did not want the authorities to become involved,” he said.

Perry promised “to change” but went on to sexually assault more children.

Judge Paul Thomas said those who were aware of Perry’s offending would have to live with their decision not to inform the police.

Eventually Perry’s conscience got the better of him and he made full admissions to the police.

Mr Hipkin said the prosecution had to accept that there was no evidence of his offending apart from his confession.

He said one of Perry’s victims was a two month old baby.

Mr Hipkin said some of the assaults happened when Perry was about 16. There was then a gap before a second spate of offences when he was aged between 26 and 29.

Perry’s barrister, Dean Pulling, said he had been brought up in a deeply religious environment and had been driven by his conscience to confess.

Perry admitted 10 offences of indecent assault and sexual assault on children aged under 13.

Judge Thomas said there were aspects of the case that were unique to the point of being bizarre.

“The evidence comes solely from your own admissions.

“One truly shocking aspect is that after those first offences you told members of your family.

“For reasons known best only to them, and which they will have to live with, they did not inform the police.

“No doubt they gave you a chance because you promised to change. But you did not. You were unable to prevent yourself from re-offending.”

Judge Thomas said he was in no doubt whatsoever that Perry posed an extremely high risk of sexually harming children in the future.

Perry was made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and told to register with the police as a sex offender, both orders to run for the rest of his life.

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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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