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County NFU elect new chairman

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mike plumbA MEMBER and past chairman of the Narberth local branch, Mike Plumb, was earlier this week elected into office for the coming year as Chairman of the Pembroke County branch of the National Farmers Union.

He succeeds Mansel Raymond, North West local branch, and will have as his vice–chairman, Simon Richards of Central area.Born in Oxfordshire, Mike came to the area as a teenager in 1966 when his parents, Peter and Mary Plumb, bought Plascerdin Farm at Llangynin.

He has a strong NFU pedigree for his father was elected Chairman of the Union’s Carmarthen branch for 1988. Like his father, he was a member of the St Clears local branch in Carmarthenshire. Mike served the county as livestock committee chairman and has continued to be actively involved in Union affairs since moving to farm at the 92-acre Blaenffynnonau, Narberth and has chaired the Union’s Rural Affairs Committee in Pembrokeshire.

Mike is married to June, who works for a well-established firm of accountants, and the couple have two sons, Steven, who works for the NHS, and Tim, who is a graphic designer – and three young grandchildren. As a means of generating extra income 16 years ago, Mike trained in pest control and started a service for farmers and others in disposing of rodent pests and he was also in demand in mole control. This side of the business had to end when the use of strychnine became prohibited.

More recently, in partnership with his wife June, with specialised equipment and well trained staff, he now works on private contracts and for the County Council and National Parks Authority on tree surgery (lopping and topping), tree removal (including an emergency 24-hour service), mobile wood chipping and log splitting, orchard and large garden maintenance and bracken control.

Mike manages all the practical aspects of the partnership, personally overseeing all of the work and insisting that his staff provide a reliable service and receive ongoing training and updating, to keep within latest safety guidelines.

Mike says: “We take immense pride in the fact that most of the work we undertake in the private sector, comes from the recommendations of
satisfied clients”.

Panel: Union activities
THE annual dinner of the NFU’s Pembroke County branch, attended by 160 members, friends and guests, was held last Friday evening at the new Crug Glas Function Centre, near Croesgoch, operated by union members, Perkin and Janet Evans. The guest speaker for the occasion was Andy Robertson, who was just over 12 months ago, appointed as the Union’s Director General for England and Wales.

This week’s annual general meeting was held at the Wolfscastle Country Hotel and the Union’s annual County Conference is to be held at the Nantyffin, Llandissilio on Thursday, January 9 when the guest speaker will be Prof Wayne Powell.

For the past five years Wayne has been the highly regarded Director of IBERS (The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University) and recently appointed as Chief Science Officer of the CGIAR Consortium –a global partnership of research organizations.

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A level results still high in Ceredigion

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THE ‘A’ level examination results published today by the WJEC (15 August) show that high standards are being achieved in Ceredigion schools once again. 97.9% of entries for WJEC examinations were graded A* to E, with 27.9% of the entries achieving the top ’A’ grades.

Ceredigion pupils continue to outperform the Welsh average. More pupils in Ceredigion achieve the top ’A’ grades and A* to E grades. The below table shows a comparison with average Welsh figures. These don’t include Welsh Baccalaureate results and those from examination bodies other than WJEC.

Wales 2019             Ceredigion 2019

Grade A* – A           27.92%                    27.0%

Grade A* – B           56.0%                      n/a

Grade A* – C          77.5%                        n/a

Grade A* – E          97.9%                       97.6%

Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services. She said, “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations once again to Ceredigion’s sixth form students for their successes in this year’s A Level and AS examinations.

These results are the culmination of a long journey through school life which has seen them nurture and develop the academic and interpersonal skills that will enable them to move confidently into higher education, training or employment in fields of their choice. I wish them good luck for the future and would like to sincerely thank all who have contributed to their school journey in any way.”

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MP Ben Lake calls for reform of police funding

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HAVING recently shadowed Dyfed Powys Police officers in Aberystwyth, the Ceredigion MP has again urged the UK Government to review the police funding formula for rural areas.

Mr Lake visited Aberystwyth police station as part of the #GiveADayToPolicing campaign, a scheme for Members of Parliament to better understand the challenges currently facing police forces across the UK.

During his visit Mr Lake had the opportunity to experience a variety of aspects of local policing – from spending time with the neighbourhood policing team, meeting officers from different departments, and discussing policing challenges with front-line police officers.

Mr Lake has challenged the UK Government on several occasions to reform the formula for police funding – highlighting the need for the funding formula to take into consideration the seasonal pressures on forces, particularly the significant increase to the population of coastal areas during the summer months.

Mr Lake said: “I am very grateful to the officers of Aberystwyth police station for their welcome, and for taking the time to speak with me. I now have a better understanding of the challenges our police officers face, as well as a deeper level of respect and admiration of their work and commitment to public safety.

“As I have previously stated, we cannot expect a one size fits all approach to work effectively across the whole of the UK, and as such, it is imperative that the criteria used to allocate the Home Office police grant are revised so that they reflect the increased demands and unique challenges facing rural forces in areas such as Ceredigion, especially during summer months.”

Mr Lake added: “It is widely acknowledged that Welsh police forces have suffered under the present funding formula, and so it is high time that the UK Government either amends the formula accordingly, or devolves the responsibility for policing to the Welsh Government so that they may do so themselves.”

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New waste trial launched in Aberystwyth

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A NEW trial has been launched in Aberystwyth as part of the Caru Aber campaign, to help keep the town centre clean on waste collection days.

Heavy duty sacks will be placed on Aberystwyth streets on Monday afternoons before the black bag collection on Tuesdays in the following streets; Portland Street, Portland Road, Queen Street, Corporation Street, Eastgate Street, New Street and Cambrian Place.

Black bags should be put in the sacks by 8am on Tuesday mornings for collection. The intention is that the sacks contain the waste until it is collected. The sacks will be retrieved after the waste has been collected to avoid clutter and obstruction on the streets.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “We see this trial as a practical and relatively cost effective way of responding to long standing issues relating to domestic waste presentation in Aberystwyth town centre. The sacks will also provide a visible reminder to residents in the town centre on what days to present their black bags.

“The trial forms part of the Caru Aber campaign, and the wider Caru Ceredigion campaign, where the council looks to work with local communities to address issues which are of concern or are important to them.

“This innovative approach is another example of positive proactive action the council is taking. We hope that the residents of the town centre will play their part by making good use of the sacks as this will be the critical factor in measuring the success of the scheme.”

Clean recycling and food waste should continue to be presented on a weekly basis in the containers that the council already provides through clear bags and food caddies.

Ensuring that the right waste is presented in the right way and on the right day will help to make sure that the town’s streets are kept clean and that the waste is contained, managed and treated in the most cost effective and environmentally friendly way as possible.

The sacks were first used in readiness for waste collections on Tuesday 6 August 2019. The initial feedback is positive as they have worked to contain the waste on the streets, which were noticeably cleaner.

This latest initiative is developing on feedback and experience from two other trials undertaken. The success of the trial will be monitored on an ongoing basis and reviewed to reflect the experience which will include looking at ways of engaging all residents.

For more information about the new scheme, please contact the Customer Services Contact Centre on 01545 570 881 or by e-mail on clic@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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