CEREDIGION’S Liberal Democrats have called on the UK Government to “level the playing field” to help the county’s high streets compete with internet giants in the run up to Christmas.
The Liberal Democrats fear local shops hit by decreased footfall during the coronavirus pandemic will continue to struggle, and have therefore proposed a new scheme similar to how the Eat Out to Help Out scheme helped local restaurants.
To encourage people to support their local high streets while shopping from home, the Lib Dems want to see the UK Government cover postage costs. Lib Dem Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine has written to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him to adopt the idea.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed the idea to help firms survive. Mike Cherry, UK Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “This is the type of creative idea that would boost small businesses and balance out the playing field.”
Cadan ap Tomos, Welsh Liberal Democrat Senedd candidate for Ceredigion, said:
“Small businesses across Ceredigion have been worried for months about staying afloat. For so many, Christmas is their most lucrative time of year but coronavirus restrictions mean our town centres are quieter than ever.
“When people turn online to do their Christmas shopping, free postage offers from online shopping giants are very tempting. That makes it even harder for small businesses in Ceredigion to compete, putting our high streets and local economy at further risk.
“The UK Government need to step in and level the playing field, to protect the vibrant array of small businesses that are the backbone of our local economy in Ceredigion.”
Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds added:
“In the Summer, the Chancellor launched a campaign to support the hospitality sector. We now need to see the UK Government go the extra mile to support small business in the festive period.
“We want the Chancellor to pay the postage on online purchases from small local independent shops to make them a more viable option for people hunting for Christmas presents and encourage people to shop small from home.”
Mike Cherry, UK Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said:
“This is the type of creative idea that would boost small businesses and balance out the playing field.
“We must do everything we can to help our small, independent stores.
“This is going to be the most important festive season our economy has ever seen and could be make-or-break for some of our small businesses. That’s why we must pull out all the stops to help them survive the end of 2020 and beyond.”
Two men jailed for ‘terrifying’ creeper burglaries in West Wales
TWO men have been sentenced to four years in prison for three creeper burglaries, including two at the homes of elderly female clients of a care agency where one of them worked.
Allyn Freeman, aged 33, of Bryn Wyre, Aberystwyth, and Daniel Bloomer, aged 23, of Heol Elynnydd, Devils Bridge, were sentenced after pleading guilty to all charges at Swansea Crown Court on Wednesday, December 2.
Following a protracted investigation by Dyfed-Powys Police, which involved extensive crime scene investigation work, as well as ANPR and digital enquiries such as mobile phone detection and CCTV, they admitted their parts in a series of dwelling creeper burglaries in the Aberystwyth area during 2018.
Police Sergeant Steven Jones said the burglaries had been terrifying for their victims.
“These creeper burglaries happened as the victims, all elderly women, slept,” he said. “Two disturbed Freeman and Bloomer, which must have been a terrifying ordeal.
“We’re pleased that our case was strong enough to make Freeman and Bloomer admit what they had done so justice could be handed down to them.”
During the early hours of Saturday, 10th February 2018, they entered the home of an elderly lady as she slept in the Cwmrheidol area of Aberystwyth.
She woke to find items were out of place in her home and found her bank cards and £70 in cash were missing from her purse and her mobile phone had been stolen.
Then 12 days later, on Thursday, 22nd February 2018, Freeman and Bloomer entered the home of another elderly lady in the Llanfarian area of Aberystwyth. The victim, who received support from the care agency where Bloomer worked, had been on a list of planned visits for him.
At approximately 5.30am, the victim was in bed when she saw a light flashing in her room and a person walking in wearing a black coat with a hood covering their face.
During the burglary, the victim’s handbag, which contained a number of items, including £100 to £200 in cash, a small gold-coloured cross pin and two cheque books, was stolen.
The following day, Friday, 23rd February 2018, another elderly woman, who had received support from the same agency, was burgled in the Penglais Hill area of Aberystwyth.
She was asleep when she was woken by a noise downstairs at approximately 4.30am.
She got out of bed and moved towards the bedroom door when she saw a torch light shine up the stairs and she believes that somebody took hold of her walking stick, which she was holding in front of her.
A male voice then asked her “where’s your handbag” before running away. It is not thought that anything was taken in this incident.
All victims were offered the help of burglary support officers at the force.
Freeman and Bloomer also admitted a burglary at Ysgol Mynach, Devils Bridge, on Saturday, 10th February 2018.
For conspiracy to commit dwelling burglary they were both sentenced to four years’ imprisonment, with a further year, to run concurrently, for conspiracy to commit commercial burglary, and a further month imprisonment, to run concurrently for conspiracy to steal.
Bloomer was also sentenced to serve an additional 6 months imprisonment, to run consecutively, for conspiring to pervert the course of justice after trying to persuade Freeman to provide an account to police that would exonerate Bloomer for the offences, and offered him financial reward to do so.
Ysgol Gynradd Dihewyd to close until 17 December 2020
YSGOL Gynradd Dihewyd will be closed until 17 December 2020. A Contact Group is already self-isolating for 14 days due to a positive COVID-19 case and due to lack of staffing, the whole school will close.
Pupils in the affected Contact Group have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days due to being close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case at the school. These pupils and staff must remain at home for 14 days to reduce the possible spread of the virus to family, friends and the wider community.
All parents have been contacted by the School to inform them that the school will be closed until 17 December 2020.
The Council urges all parents to refer their children for a test if they develop any of the symptoms, which are:
· a high temperature
· a new continuous cough
· a loss or change to sense of smell or taste.
Parents should also be aware of other symptoms early on, such as headaches, tiredness and general aches and pains usually associated with the flu.
You can apply for a test online https://gov.wales/apply-coronavirus-covid-19-test or by phoning 119.
No further details will be provided regarding this matter.
Vaccine plan unveiled for Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire
HYWEL DDA University Health Board is making final preparations to deliver its mass vaccination programme following Wednesday’s announcement that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been granted temporary authorisation for use.
There will only be small quantities of a vaccine at first due to the storage requirements of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
A Hywel Dda spokesperson said: “Priority groups for the initial supplies of this vaccine include front line health and social care staff with direct patient and client contact across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. We are continually reviewing our plans based on receipt of further supplies.
“We are ready to deploy the vaccine in phases when the vaccine arrives. Eligible front line health and social care staff will receive details of how they will receive the vaccination as soon as possible.
“Members of the public are asked to not contact their GP practice or community pharmacies to enquire about the vaccine at this time.”
Ros Jervis, director of public health for Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Vaccination saves lives and Wednesday’s announcement is a truly significant moment.
“I’d like to personally thank everyone from organisations from across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire who, for the past few months, have worked tirelessly together to ensure we are ready to deliver this vaccine to protect our frontline staff and the clinically vulnerable in our community.
“Please do not contact your GP or pharmacist to apply for or ask for the vaccination. As soon as the vaccine is available for your eligible group, you will be informed and asked to make an appointment.”
In readiness, Hywel Dda UHB has established two vaccination centres for delivery of early supplies, one in Carmarthenshire and one in Ceredigion. Attendance at these centres is strictly prohibited without an appointment.
Popular This Week
Uncategorized1 week ago
Community owned shop and café celebrated in national charity campaign
News9 hours ago
Two men jailed for ‘terrifying’ creeper burglaries in West Wales
News1 week ago
Improvement notices issued to two Cardigan premises
News1 week ago
Jail after heroin worth £45,000 seized
featured1 week ago
Police and Crime Commissioner to broadcast live conversation with Health Board
News2 days ago
Vaccine roll-out ‘within days’
News1 week ago
Improvements required at a pub in Devil’s Bridge
News4 days ago
Pubs, restaurants and cafes in Wales will be banned from serving alcohol from Friday