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‘Frustration’ over banking van’s absence

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PLAID CYMRU County Councillor for Penparc, Clive Davies, has expressed his frustration following the failure of the NatWest mobile banking van to be present at Cardigan town centre on January 3.

Since the closure of the NatWest branch in Cardigan in May 2018, customers have been serviced by a weekly mobile bank every Thursday at the Fairfield Car Park between 11:10 and 11:55.

However, on the evening of Wednesday 3, Cllr Davies was informed the mobile bank would not be present at the town on following day due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’ – with the bank suggesting on social media that customers could use the banking services located at the local post office instead.

Cllr Davies said: “Simply put, the absence of NatWest banking van from Cardigan is completely unacceptable. Access to banking services had already been reduced due to the Christmas period, and Natwest’s cancellation last week was frustrating for many small businesses and customers looking to take advantage of the banking facilities available.

“The suggestion by NatWest that customers should rather use banking services at the local post office, is both and incorrect misleading with many services unavailable at the post office or may take a longer time to be processed.

“Frustratingly, many customers like myself were rather faced with a lengthy journey to Carmarthen or Aberystwyth as to partake in their banking duties – rather than the ability to do so locally, as should be the case.”

The mobile bank was also absent from Newcastle Emlyn on Thursday 3rd of January 2019, with local customers expressing frustration at a lack of prior notice to such absence.

Ben Lake MP, who has tabled a bill in Parliament aiming to enhance access to banking services in rural areas, added: “Customers across Ceredigion have been in contact to share problems they have encountered with the mobile banking service, and by far the most common complaint is the brief window of time that the van has at every stop. The loss of 5-day-a-week access with the closure of so many branches, and the transition to a slot of less than an hour each week is difficult enough, without last-minute cancellations such as these.

“There is no doubt that the way in which we bank is undergoing a transformation. Despite successive assurances and promises by high street banks that they are committed to serving our communities, the service that we receive in rural areas is greatly reduced. Whilst a mobile banking service is better than complete abandonment, it simply cannot offer the service that so many customers and businesses require. As such, I am pushing in my parliamentary bill for banks to co-locate in areas that they would otherwise vacate completely – to establish banking ‘hubs’ that would ensure rural areas can access the services that they need, throughout the week.”

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Wizardry night a success at Aberystwyth Library

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The fourth Harry Potter Book Night was held at Aberystwyth Library on Friday, 07 February.

After dark, it was a time for fans to celebrate the iconic series of books with events all around the World.

Ceredigion Library Service held the event at Aberystwyth Town Library, which was decorated with all things Harry Potter.

Emyr Lloyd and Delyth Huws, both Assistant Librarians organised the night. They were very pleased with the success and turnout. Emyr Lloyd said, “We enjoy putting on the Harry Potter Book night. The fourth one was no different with 86 children attending the free event and very positive feedback. We hope events such as these spark a joy of reading in the young and old.”

Three Owls from New Quay Birds of Prey came by and Luke the close-up magician entertained the audience. The children were also entertained with a reading from one of the books and also a crafts and activities area.

Follow the events of the Ceredigion Library Service on Facebook @llyfrgellceredigionlibrary. The next event will be a sale of stock on 22 February between 10am and 4pm at the Bandstand in Aberystwyth.

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Cymraeg

Noson hudolus yn Llyfrgell Aberystwyth

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Cynhaliwyd Noson Llyfrau Harry Potter yn Llyfrgell Aberystwyth ddydd Gwener, 07 Chwefror. Hon oedd y bedwaredd noson o’r fath.

Ar ôl iddi nosi, roedd hi’n amser i edmygwyr y llyfrau ddathlu’r gyfres eiconig gyda digwyddiadau ledled y byd.

Cynhaliodd Gwasanaeth Llyfrgell Ceredigion y digwyddiad yn Llyfrgell Tref Aberystwyth, ac addurnwyd y llyfrgell gyda phob math o bethau sy’n gysylltiedig â Harry Potter.

Trefnwyd y noson gan Emyr Lloyd a Delyth Huws, Llyfrgellwyr Cynorthwyol. Roeddent yn falch iawn â llwyddiant y noson a’r nifer oedd yn bresennol yn y digwyddiad. Dywedodd Emyr Lloyd, “Rydym yn mwynhau cynnal nosweithiau Llyfrau Harry Potter. Nid oedd y bedwaredd noson o’r fath yn eithriad; mynychodd 86 o blant y digwyddiad am ddim, a derbyniwyd adborth cadarnhaol iawn. Rydym yn gobeithio y bydd digwyddiadau fel y rhain yn swyno’r hen a’r ifanc i fwynhau darllen.”

Daeth tair tylluan o Adar Ysglyfaethus Cei Newydd i’r digwyddiad, a bu Luke yn diddanu’r gynulleidfa gyda’i hud a’i ledrith. Diddanwyd y plant hefyd gyda darlleniad o un o’r llyfrau ac ardal gweithgareddau a chrefftau.

Dilynwch ddigwyddiadau Gwasanaeth Llyfrgell Ceredigion ar Facebook @llyfrgellceredigionlibrary. Y digwyddiad nesaf yw arwerthiant stoc ar 22 Chwefror rhwng 10am a 4pm yn y Bandstand yn Aberystwyth.

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Warnings issued as Storm Ciara predicted to hit west Wales

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NATURAL RESOURCES WALES (NRW) is urging people living near the Welsh coast to be prepared for possible flooding this weekend as Storm Ciara reaches the UK.

Current forecasts indicate that strong winds could cause a tidal surge and large waves hitting the coast.

Combined with heavy rainfall which is likely to see rivers rise quickly, NRW expects to issue flood alerts and possibly warnings across the country from Saturday afternoon through to Monday.

With the worst of the conditions expected on Sunday, NRW advises people to keep a safe distance from coastal paths, promenades, piers, and from river banks.

Emergency response workers from NRW are already making preparations ahead of the storm, checking defences are in good working order and making sure any drainage grids and screens are clear, to reduce the risk to people and their homes.

Richard Preece, from Natural Resources Wales said: “Our teams are keeping a close eye on forecasts and predicted river and sea levels this weekend, and if necessary, will issue flood warnings to registered properties in those areas at risk.

“We have already been speaking with our partners from the emergency services and the local authorities so they can put their plans into action.

“We are also warning people to avoid visiting the sea front due to the risk of being swept away by large waves or hit by wave and wind-blown debris.

“Flood water can also be extremely dangerous, and people should not attempt to walk or drive through it unless instructed by the emergency services.”

Network Rail and Transport for Wales have issued joint information ahead of Storm Ciara, which is expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain to the Wales and Borders route this weekend.

The Met Office has issued a yellow wind warning for the whole of the UK and two yellow rain warnings on Sunday.

Transport for Wales Operations Director Martyn Brennan and Amanda Newton, Senior Incident Officer at Network Rail said: “With Storm Ciara set to bring gale force winds of up to 90mph on Sunday, Transport for Wales and Network Rail wish to urge all customers to check their journeys prior to travel.

“We’re expecting very stormy conditions, high tides and winds that have the potential to uproot trees and damage infrastructure.

“The safety of our customers and colleagues is our absolute priority and as such there are likely to be a number of speed restrictions in place around our network, while some other lines may be forced to close entirely. We are working closely together to minimise any disruption and will do all we can to keep our customers moving and informed.”

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