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Cardigan: Plaid leader supports ‘Small Business Saturday’

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Undated Plaid Cymru handout file photo of party leader Leanne Wood, who has said that David Cameron's Government is stoking up the kind of anger among voters not seen since Margaret Thatcher's days. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday March 6, 2015. The Welsh nationalist leader said the austerity measures of the Tory-led administration in Westminster had decimated parts of her homeland and she fears there could be worse to come after the general election. See PA story POLITICS Plaid. Photo credit should read: Plaid Cymru/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Leanne Wood

PLAID’S Leanne Wood has set out her plans to support small businesses in a meeting in Cardigan in support of ‘Small Business Saturday’, which takes place today.

Speaking at an informal question and answer session with local residents at the Fisherman’s Rest Café in the town, the Plaid Cymru leader set out her party’s plans to boost small businesses. This includes a focus on buying locally so that public bodies give more contracts to local companies, keeping money in the local economy and creating up to 50,000 extra jobs in Wales, a business rates relief scheme which would reduce costs for thousands of businesses in Wales, and helping small businesses access the finance they need by establishing a Welsh Business Bank.

The Party of Wales leader was in Cardigan as part of her ‘What Next for Wales’ tour, a nationwide series of meetings to present Plaid Cymru’s vision for the 2016 Welsh Elections, and to listen to people’s views.

Leanne Wood AM, Leader of Plaid Cymru, told The Herald: “Here in Cardigan, as in so many towns across Wales, there is more that can be done to ensure a thriving high street, and a prosperous future for small businesses in the area.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Wales’ economy. They make up 98% of all Welsh businesses. But the decline in footfall on our high streets proves that that the economic recovery is not reaching all parts of our communities.

“The competition posed by large multi-national companies and by internet trading makes it very difficult for small, local traders to compete, but a Plaid Cymru government would put forward a series of measures to support businesses and help them succeed.

“Small local firms generate 58% more economic benefit for local economies than large firms. The figures speak for themselves; it’s vital we support our small businesses.”

Elin Jones, Plaid Cymru AM for Ceredigion, added: “I was delighted to welcome Leanne Wood to Cardigan. We both agree that the town has a lot going for it, but that there’s more that can be done to help small firms.

“I’ve worked with Cardigan Traders on their long-running campaign to cut business rates; Plaid Cymru’s plans would be a major step forward in this regard. Parking is an issue that also needs looking at. I’m pleased that Ceredigion towns will benefit from free town-centre parking over the Christmas period, and we need to look at creative ways to help potential customers to access our high streets.”

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Force decision to challenge inappropriate behaviour of officer the right one

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A DYFED-POWYS POLICE officer has been dismissed from his post with immediate effect, after the force challenged the previous finding of a conduct panel which would have enabled him to return to front line duties.

PC Simon England first appeared before an independent panel in April 2019, following reports of inappropriate sexual behaviour and comments towards colleagues and (indirectly) members of the public.

Following a judicial review into the 2019 hearing, this week PC England was brought before another panel, overseen by Legally Qualified Chair, Mrs Sally Olsen.

PC England fully admitted the alleged conduct in its entirety and accepted that it amounted to gross misconduct. However,  he did not believe that his conduct justified his dismissal from the force.

The Panel found that the behaviour in question amounted to serious breaches of the standards of professional behaviour relating to authority, respect and courtesy, equality and diversity and discreditable conduct, and was therefore dismissed with immediate effect. 

Following this second panel, Temporary Chief Constable Claire Parmenter said:

“Dyfed-Powys Police quite rightly expects the highest standards of professional behaviour from its officers and staff, as do the communities we serve and protect.

“The force cannot and will not tolerate behaviour of this kind. We will always take action to protect our officers, staff, and without question, the public.

“It is vital that we maintain public confidence in the force, and public confidence cannot be upheld by allowing individuals who behave in such a way to remain in the organisation.

“I am pleased to see that the seriousness of this matter has now been recognised and that the panel have judged this behaviour to amount to gross misconduct. This confirms that the decision to challenge the original conclusion via judicial review was absolutely the right one”.

Examples of the conduct in question include inappropriate touching of colleagues with sexual intent, inappropriate comments to colleagues about masturbation, and talk of specific sexual acts that he would wish to engage in with members of the public he had seen.

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New Quay RNLI search for unoccupied grey dinghy

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On Sunday night (25 July) New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to search for an unoccupied grey dinghy last seen near Cwmtydu, south of New Quay. 

The Audrey LJ lifeboat launched at 8.40pm with three volunteer crew members on board and made good speed down the coast.  

Dylan Price, New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “On arrival the crew commenced searching and soon found a large blue and black inflatable. We were then tasked to carry out further searches for a grey boat between Cwmtydu and New Quay but on finding nothing else we were stood down and returned to station by 10pm. 

“Remember if you see anyone in trouble or find yourself in difficulty on the coast do not hesitate to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.” 

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Stand up for slowing down speed campaign launched

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INAPPROPRIATE speed contributes to around 11% of all injury collisions reported to the police, with 15% of collisions resulting in a serious injury and 24% of collisions resulting in fatalities.

Starting on the 26th July, the National Police Chief Council (NPCC) Speed Campaign will kick off across the UK, with GoSafe and the four Welsh Police Forces participating in both engaging with the public about the risks of speeding and enforcing the speed limits on the roads of Wales.

In 2019, 60,073 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were issued in Wales to drivers/riders for speeding.

Speeding is a major contributing factor to collisions on the roads of Wales. This includes both ‘excessive speed’, where the speed limit is exceeded, as well as driving or riding within the speed limit when this is too fast for the conditions at the time; for example, in poor weather, poor visibility or high pedestrian activity.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, we saw less traffic but higher speeds.  Now our restrictions are lifting, traffic volumes are up and as we are holidaying in the UK more, we are seeing more people speeding on the roads in Wales.  We want to change this, but can only do that with your help.

 Over the next few weeks you will see an increased presence on the road network of Wales as we aim to keep all road users safe and reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

 We know that the majority of road users comply with the speed limit; but the minority of those who do not increases the risk to the safety of all road users and need to be educated on the risks to their own safety as well as to the safety of those around them. Throughout this campaign, GoSafe and our partners in the Police and Local Authorities will encourage and educate more people to reduce their speed to save lives.

Teresa Ciano, GoSafe Partnership Manager said: “GoSafe enforce at sites across Wales in order to encourage motorists to comply with the speed limits and in turn make our roads and communities safer for everyone. If we all play our part and stand up for slowing down we can make a difference, and we can save lives on the roads of Wales.”

Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change said: “I am very pleased to support this campaign. Driving at high speeds costs lives and a greater police presence on our roads will mean motorists will be more likely to drive within the speed limits, protecting lives and avoiding a speeding fine.”

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