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Council in Chaos Over Music Cuts

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AN UPDATE on Ceredigion Council’s cuts to its schools’ Music Service, due to be discussed by Councillors on Wednesday 17 July, shows that the Authority’s plans are in chaos according to parents and supporters of the Service.

Over recent weeks, parents have been asked to indicate whether their children are interested in receiving lessons from September 2019 at the new standardised charge of £140 a year.
The Council’s latest update says that between 700 and 800 children are interested in receiving lessons, down from just under 1,200 in 2018-19.

Also, the document says that changes to the delivery of the Service are now planned to come into force in January 2020, half way through the school year.

Supporters of the Music Service have questioned the purpose of a programme of Council cuts and restructuring, which may have put off up to 36% of pupils from receiving lessons for the sake of only increasing income by 8%.

A spokesperson from Friends of Ceredigion Young Musicians said: “We have warned for months that the cuts were badly thought out, and this seems to confirm it. The Council aimed to cut the core funding and introduce new standard fees for lessons, higher than most parents currently pay. But if their own figures are to be believed, over a third of families may have been put off taking up instrument lessons, so the income that Ceredigion receives to fill the funding hole may increase by less than a tenth.

“We very much hope that the numbers of children receiving lessons next year will be higher than the Council’s figures suggest, and we’ve been very active in encouraging parents to register their interest.

“But parents will wonder how on earth the Council can justify introducing changes to the Service, which may be far-reaching in terms of the teachers who will be employed and how lessons will be delivered, half way through a school year?

“All along, our main concern has been to ensure that music is available to all, not just those who can afford to pay more, and to ensure continuity for pupils. There are reports of good teachers looking to move elsewhere due to the uncertainty they’re facing.

“The Council has ignored any criticism of its plans, but must now surely pause and think again.”

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Spate of overnight burglaries in Clarach, Bow Street and Ponterwyd

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POLICE are investigating a spate of burglaries overnight in Clarach, Bow Street and Ponterwyd.

A number of burglaries have been reported, with entry forced to businesses and CCTV cameras damaged or removed.

In Bow Street, entry was forced into an agricultural merchants, where items were taken; and CCTV was removed from a business.

Two vehicles – a VW Passat – registration plate CU16 OAL – and an Audi – registration YT09 TWL – were also reported stolen from a garage in the village.

A VW Crafter – registration plate GM16OTP, along with tools and equipment were stolen from a business in Ponterwyd.

Four businesses at Nantallan Business Park were targeted:

Bikes and steamers were reported stolen from one, a generator and two boxes containing LED lighting from another, a Mitsubishi L200 flatbed truck taken from the third, and tools stolen from a fourth.

Police are treating the incidents as linked, and would like to speak to anyone with information or who witnessed any suspicious behaviour in the Clarach and Bow Street areas.

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Police confirm Ellie Bryan, 18, died in collision

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE can confirm the woman who tragically died following a collision at Commins Coch was Ellie Bryan, from Aberystwyth.
The 18-year-old was a passenger in a Vauxhall Astra which was involved in a collision at around 10pm on Saturday, November 16.
Her family has released the following statement: “We are distraught by our loss of Ellie. She will be missed by us all.
“Ellie was a loving daughter, sister and granddaughter.
“We would like to thank everyone for their support at this devastating time.
“We would appreciate having time to grieve in privacy.”
Police continue to appeal for witnesses or anyone with information about the collision to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit.
You can report information online at: http://bit.ly/dppReportOnline, by email at: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101.
If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DP-20191116-353.

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18-year-old girl arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving

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POLICE have said they have arrested a driver in connection with a fatal collision which took place at Commins Coch on Saturday (Nov 16).

An 18-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, and has been released on bail pending further enquiries.

The collision occurred on the A487 at around 10pm, and involved two vehicles.

Enquiries have revealed the involvement of a third car and yesterday the driver of this vehicle was arrested.

An 18-year-old woman – a passenger in a Vauxhall Astra – sadly died from injuries sustained in the incident. Her family is being supported by specialist officers.

The driver of the Astra remains in hospital in a critical condition.

Anyone travelling along this stretch of road at the time of the collision who had dash cam footage, or saw the collision, is asked to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit.

You can report information online at: http://bit.ly/dppReportOnline, by email at: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DP-20191116-353

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