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Protest to end spending on weapons

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Projecting the message: One of many signs protesting against the use of drones

Projecting the message: One of many signs protesting against the use
of drones

AS PEOPLE across the world marked the UN International Day of Peace (Sept 21), about 150 people from across south and mid Wales gathered at Parc Aberporth (Blaenannerch). 

The event, the brainchild of local woman Kate Sherringer, took the form of a symbolic ‘Drape the Drones’ and ‘Wool against Weapons’ action. Speakers Jill Evans MEP (Plaid Cymru), Jim Scott (Pembrokeshire Green Party), Sue Lent (Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council) and Jill Gough (CND Cymru) all called for an end to militarism, and a halt to plans to spend £100billion of taxpayer’s money on replacing Trident – the British nuclear weapons system. Jill Evans MEP said: “War technology, of course, changes constantly but what does not change is the use of our country to test and practise for war. Aberporth is where drones have been developed for a multimillion Ministry of Defence programme – not a fact we can be proud of. Wales can help build a better world by contributing to peace and development.”

Jim Scott of the Green Party emphasised the damage caused to the environment caused by wars, arms build-up and militarism he said: “Technology is being used by governments and big oil companies to control and exploit vulnerable regions in the world, perpetuate instability and war, and disconnect us from the act of killing by conducting it remotely. We must redress and reverse the environmental damage caused by this approach before it is too late.” Sue Lent of Cardiff City Council, a long time campaigner for peace and justice said that she and her family had been visiting Wales for decades on holiday but had always considered the military sites near Aberporth as a blot on the landscape which spoiled an otherwise exceptionally beautiful area. CND Cymru National Secretary Jill Gough said: “It is time to work on alternative, non-violent ways of conflict resolution and we want Ceredigion, and the rest of Wales to be part of the solution – not part of the problem.

Here, where people are forced to use food banks and to seek help to pay energy bills, while £billions is spent annually on armaments, it is time to reconsider our priorities. The Peace Scarf shows just how passionate ordinary people everywhere are about nuclear disarmament. However symbolic the action, when people find their voice, they speak out. If we fail to abolish nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons will abolish us.” Music provided by Côr Gobaith (Aberystwyth), St Dogmaels Community Choir and Côr Cochion Caerdydd, and poetry by Paul Hawkes and Dave Rendle (Cardigan), Katy Beddoe (Newport Gwent) and Patrick Dobbs (Llandovery) was followed by a moving reading of the Waldo Williams poem Y Tangnefeddwyr by Megan Williams (Glandŵr Pembrokeshire). After a 2km locally knitted rainbow scarf had been unrolled around and across the entrance to Parc Aberporth and around the roads and the adjacent roundabout, people stood in a very moving two minutes silence, to remember all victims of war.

Over 100 signatures were collected on a giant postcard to David Cameron calling on him to follow 19th Century Tregaron born Welsh MP Henry Richard in his work towards International Arbitration instead of violent conflict. The day had been preceded by a colourful and musical lead-up event outside Cardigan Guild Hall. Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire peace campaigners will be meeting on the Global Action Day against the Use of Drones for Surveillance & Killing to fly kites on Poppit Sands at 12pm.

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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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