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Operation Safe and Nice to All (SANTA)

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Dyfed-Powys Police: Hoping that people with embrace the sentiment

Dyfed-Powys Police: Hoping that people with embrace the sentiment

CHRISTMAS is coming and Dyfed – Powys Police has launched its annual crime prevention campaign to advise people on how to enjoy the festive period in safe and lawful way.

Operation Safe and Nice to All (SANTA) will run throughout December and into the New Year and will focus on steps people can take on the themes of shopping, partying, caring and protecting.

This time of year is the opportunity for us all to spend time with friends, family and loved ones. Dyfed-Powys Police will be working throughout the festive period to deter anti-social behaviour and crime as well as offer reassurance to our communities.

Dyfed Powys is a safe place with low crime, but during the festive celebrations people are urged to be responsible and to look after their own safety.

Temporary Chief Inspector Dyfed Bolton, Head of Neighbourhood Development at Dyfed-Powys Police said: “Over the next few weeks Dyfed Powys Police will be issuing common sense advice on a range of practical measures they can take to minimise the risk of becoming a victim of crime this Christmas. Remembering to do simple things like: keeping presents and valuables out of sight; taking care when shopping online; being respectful to our neighbours and drinking responsibly can all make Christmas run smoothly.”

The Force will continue to take a firm stance against criminal acts, and disorderly behaviour will be policed as normal. We are only too aware that over the festive period, many people sometimes drink too much and do things that they wouldn’t usually do. We also see increases in domestic related assaults and sexual offences. This can result in far-reaching consequences for the individuals and their families.

The message is for people to keep personal safety at the top of their agenda and for everyone to be mindful of the effects of too much alcohol on people’s behaviour. Be vigilant, stay safe and stay in control.

Police and Crime Commissioner for the force Christopher Salmon hopes people will embrace the sentiment of the Operation SANTA and look out for one another.

“I urge people to be good neighbours and to act responsibly,” he said. “Christmas can be a tricky time with so many of us taking a break from our everyday routines.

“The police are right to offer reassurance across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys in areas such as safe shopping, driving in wintry conditions, drinking safely and domestic abuse.

“When it comes to these and issues such as home security, personal safety and care for businesses the key message is one of common sense.”

For more details on top crime prevention tips this Christmas visit our website www.dyfed-powys.police.uk or follow us on twitter @DyfedPowys and follow the conversation using #OpSanta.

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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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