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Living Wage for staff following new pay policy

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EVERY member of Ceredigion County Council staff will be paid a minimum of £9 an hour – the equivalent of the Foundation Living Wage from April 2019. This follows the approval of a new pay policy by the council on 21 March 2019.

Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn is the Leader of Ceredigion County Council. She said, “We have aspired to this for years. Austerity has tied our hands behind our backs and limited what we can do to increase staff pay. We have a dedicated workforce and it’s only right that we pay them properly.”

“It’s particularly important that we have been able to give the lowest paid in the council the highest proportion of pay increase. Every member of staff is now paid at least the Foundation Living Wage.”

The new pay policy incorporates nationally set pay scales. Setting the new pay scales means that the lowest paid staff will see the biggest increase in pay. The two lowest pay grades have been merged in Ceredigion, meaning that every member of staff will be paid a minimum of £9 an hour from 1 April 2019. This will rise to £9.18 within 12 months of working for the council.

Alison Boshier is the Secretary of the Unison Ceredigion County Branch. She said, “We have worked closely with Ceredigion County Council on the new pay policy. We’ve been involved in every stage of an open and transparent process. Most council staff live locally, so not only will this increase benefit council staff, it’s also going to benefit the local economy.”

Peter Hill is the Regional Organiser for the GMB Union. He said, “GMB union are very pleased that agreement has been reached with Ceredigion County Council on implementation of the NJC Pay Award. This pay deal was negotiated with the recognised unions and broke the government’s 1% pay cap, giving our members in local government a much needed 2% pay rise, with additional rises for the lowest paid grades.”

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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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