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Cardigan: Armed police and helicopter in search of fugitive following assault on police

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POLICE have arrested a man following an incident at Synod Inn yesterday, while investigations continue to locate a second man.
There is currently a high police presence in Cardigan as officers act on information which suggests the outstanding man could be in the area. Officers are urging people to keep their vehicles and outbuildings locked while the operation is underwaym, police said.
A large number of police units, including armed police in unmarked white vans and a police helicopter are involved in the operation.
One resident from the Cardigan area told The Herald that he was asked by a police man with a gun if he had seen anyone running in the area. He was told to stay in his house and call 999 if there as anything suspicious in the area.
The Herald understands that police were called to Synod Inn at around 1.15pm yesterday by a police officer who had been attacked following a routine stop on a car passing through. The officer is currently waiting for further medical assessments and is unable to return to work.
A large scale search was carried out through the afternoon and evening, with a 29-year-old man from the Sussex area arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and three counts of taking vehicles without consent. He remains in police custody at this time.
Police are still appealing for any sightings or information about the outstanding man, who is described as white, and could be wearing shorts and a white t-shirt with grey in the middle. Any piece of information could be vital in tracing him.
Chief Superintendent Peter Roderick said: “While one person has been arrested in connection with yesterday’s incident, the second is currently outstanding.
“We are asking people to remain vigilant, not fearful, as at the present time we believe this man to pose more of a risk to police officers than members of the public.
“We are using all the information we have to trace him, and people living in the Cardigan area might have noticed a higher than usual police presence as we act on intelligence we have received.
“We continue to urge people in Ceredigion to keep their domestic and farm vehicles locked, with the keys out of the ignition. This will minimise opportunities for the individual to leave the area. Please also report any suspicious information to us, particularly if you believe someone might be using a shed or outbuilding for cover.
“Please report any suspicious behaviour to police by calling 999.”

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Council tax reduction supports people on low incomes

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A COUNCIL Tax Reduction Scheme is in place to help people who are on a low income. The council administers the scheme on behalf of the Welsh Government for people who are liable to pay Council Tax and who live in Ceredigion. With the recent decision to raise Council Tax by 7%, residents on low incomes are being urged to find out if they are entitled to some help towards paying their Council Tax.

People can be eligible for the reduction if they are on a low income, working or unemployed, cannot work because of illness, retired or are caring for someone. The amount of the reduction depends on a person’s circumstances and how much Council Tax they need to pay.

Councillor Gareth Lloyd is the Cabinet member responsible for Financial Services. He said, “We made the difficult decision to raise Council Tax by 7% to reduce the amount of cuts we have to make to council services. The reality is that the council is getting less money from the Welsh Government at a time when costs and demand for services are rising.”

“We want to urge anyone who is on a low income to consider if they are eligible for Council Tax Reduction. Tax increases can add pressure onto people’s budgets, and although this increase is vital to keep quality services in Ceredigion, we want to make sure that anyone who is eligible for help gets it.”

For more information on eligibility and how to claim council tax reduction, email revenues@ceredigion.gov.uk or call 01970 633 252.

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7% council tax increase to protect education funding

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THE COUNCIL TAX in Ceredigion for 2019-2020 will increase by 7%. The increase was agreed by councillors to reduce the impact of cuts to the Council’s budget and, in particular, to protect education spending. The decision was made in a Council meeting on 21 February 2019.

2% of the 7% increase will be used to protect education spending. Schools budgets have been under severe stress after years of needing to make savings. Costs have increased yet again following the agreement of new teachers’ salary increases together with increased pension contributions. This extra 2% uplift will enable school budgets to be kept flat.

The council tax rate increase is set by three key components, the County Council’s tax, the precept of Town and Community Councils and the Police precept. Increases set by the Police and Town and Community Councils result in a combined increase of 7.56%.

Councillor Ellen ap Leader of the Council, said, “We had no option but to ask Council to increase Council Tax by 7% in order to reduce the impact of the cuts we have had to make across council budgets. A successful Ceredigion in the future needs well-funded and well run schools. We want to invest in the future of our children and our county.”

“The reality is that the council is getting less money from the Welsh Government at a time when costs and demand for services are rising. The uplift of teachers’ salaries and pensions has not been fully funded by Welsh Government to date. If council tax had not increased, we would have to make deeper cuts.”

In 2018-2019, the average Council Tax Band D property was £1,226.48. The increase means that the same property will pay £1,312.33 in 2019-2020. The council’s budget has been cut by £39m or 25% in the last seven years. The Council will still need to save another £6m in the coming financial year.

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Information management policies updated to improve security

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THREE key information management policies have been updated by Ceredigion County Council. The policies were updated because of new laws and the need make sure that they are effective in a changing technological environment.

The updated policies were approved by the council’s Cabinet in a meeting on 19 February 2019.

The three policies that have been reviewed are:

· Data Protection/GDPR Policy
· Information Security Policy
· Information and Records Management Policy

The Deputy Leader of Ceredigion County Council and Cabinet member responsible for Governance, Councillor Ray Quant MBE said, “The council needs to keep information and data to carry out the many service we provide. Because of this we have to make sure we’re up to date on data and information protections laws. This decision means that we have approved the hard work done to update the policies and make sure that they are fit for use.”

The policies are essential to manage digital and paper records of the council.

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