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Post office petition sent to top brass

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Photo credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Photo credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

THE SAVE Aberystwyth Post Office Campaign have posted their petition to Paula Vennells the CEO of Post Office Ltd, this week (Apr 11) at Aberystwyth Post Office on Great Darkgate St. The petition is protesting against the possible franchising of the crown post office and has been signed by at least 2700 people.

Gary Williams, branch secretary of the Communication Workers Union, has officially posted the petition. Campaign supporters were present, including Ceredigion Peoples Assembly, Mark Williams MP Lib Dems, Elin Jones AM Plaid Cymru, and Dinah Mulholland from Ceredigion Labour who started the cross party community campaign with the support of the CWU.

Many of the petitioners have put comments on the website testifying to the fact that the post office is so well used, so essential to the town, and that the service and the building are held in such esteem by locals and visitors.

A campaign spokesperson told The Herald: “People feel that Wales is being picked on. Post Offices in Wales are being closed disproportionately to the rest of the UK. We have printed out the petition comments and are sending them to Post Office CEO Paula Vennells. I don’t know if she will read them but she should. She should see what effect this slash and burn attitude topost office services is having on people. It is the only Crown Post Office left in a 140 mile area.”

One petitioner wrote, ‘Don’t kill Aberystwyth off.’ Another petitioner just wrote, ‘No. No no no no no no no no no.’

Last week it was confirmed that Tregaron Post Office was moving into the Spar and Royal Mail announced that Tregaron Sorting Office service was being moved to Aberystwyth as it was ‘not fit for purpose’. However no attempt was made to find alternative premises in Tregaron.

Dinah Mulholland from Ceredigion Labour Party said, “Post Office Ltd is saying that these closures are because the services are not sustainable. But millions has been made by individuals and hedge funds from the sale of Royal Mail and from the privatisation of post offices. Some closures and franchises have been prevented because the local community were so active in their opposition. Who knows what the outcome will be here in Aberystwyth but we have to keep trying. Each small act of protest adds up to a larger whole.

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Warning to drug users in Ceredigion over ‘Street Valium’

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POLICE are once again warning drug users in Ceredigion to take extra care when taking illegal prescription drugs especially when taken in conjunction with other drugs and/or alcohol. Mixing drugs, knowingly or unknowingly, can be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “We have reasons to believe that drug users are making use of “Street Valium” at the moment and this is very concerning as individuals just do not know what these tablets may have been combined with. Valium, also known as diazepam – is a benzodiazepine. Combining opioids and benzodiazepines is particularly dangerous because both types of drug sedate users and suppress breathing”.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately should they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone that you believe could come into contact with these drugs.”

To seek advice and support, visit https://barod.cymru/where-to-get-help/west-wales-services/ddas-dyfed-drug-and-alcohol-service/

Please be aware that some services may operate an automated service outside office hours.

In an emergency, or if you think someone’s life is at risk, always dial 999.

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Ben Lake MP stands up for Ceredigion’s hospitality sector in Parliament

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A WESTMINSTER Hall debate, brought about by an online petition signed over 200,000 times, saw MPs on both sides come together to shine a light on the challenges currently faced by restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and supply chain businesses across the UK.

During his contribution to the debate, Ben Lake MP emphasised the importance of the hospitality industry to Ceredigion’s local economy. Ceredigion is home to nearly 400 food and accommodation businesses, including 75 pubs, and together hospitality businesses employ 4,500 people in the county. This equates to over 16% of all employees, without accounting for the many supply chain jobs that are dependent on the sector, such as those found in breweries, food wholesale, and catering equipment hire businesses.

Figures published by UK Hospitality have shown that approximately 41% of hospitality businesses suggested that they would fail by mid-2021 and only one in five sector businesses have enough cash flow to survive beyond February.

Ben Lake MP said: “The vaccination programme of course offers some hope that we will see the level of Covid disruption reduce significantly this year, but hospitality businesses across Ceredigion tell me that they are deeply concerned about their immediate prospects for survival.

“I support calls for the Treasury to provide additional funds so that businesses can be supported to bounce back once restrictions have been eased, and to pause employer national insurance contributions for furloughed employees as a way of alleviating the burden on businesses that are still, in many instances, required by law to close. I also urged the Treasury to consider extending the business rates holiday for the forthcoming financial year, as well as extending the hospitality VAT reduction scheme into 2022.

“Not only would these support measures give businesses the support they require to see out this pandemic, it would also avoid the terrible situation whereby businesses that have previously received Government support are forced to close for good – leaving their employees without a job and previous Government support in vain.”

While there will be no direct action as a consequence of this Westminster Hall debate, it is hoped the result will put increased pressure on the UK Government to consider the proposal more seriously.

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Lifeboat Operations Manager in New Year’s Honours list

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Richard Llewelyn Griffiths the Lifeboat Operations Manager of Aberystwyth Lifeboat Station has been recognised for services to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Wales.

He has been awarded a BEM.

Having served as a RNLI volunteer for an impressive 47 years, it is his role in the last 21 years as Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) which has earned him the most respect.

His local knowledge has provided reassurance to casualties and crews alike when launching in difficult conditions.

His operational decision-making and station management skills are outstanding, and he is greatly valued by crew, management, volunteers and coastal personnel both past and present.

He has contributed greatly towards Aberystwyth being recognised as a ‘benchmark’ Inshore Lifeboat Station, serving as an example to the whole institution of how a station could and should be run.

Richard said: ‘I’m very surprised but honoured to be receiving a BEM – the news still doesn’t feel real. My father was awarded a BEM in 1988 and I still have his medal at home, so to be awarded one myself for my work with the lifeboats is a great privilege. I’ve been fortunate to work with a number of characters during my time with the RNLI – both at Borth and Aberystwyth – and continue to volunteer alongside a good crew today.’

Nationally, a total of six Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) volunteers have been recognised for their vital role in helping the charity save lives at sea through the New Year’s Honours.

Mark Dowie, RNLI Chief Executive said: ‘Following a challenging 2020, it is particularly pleasing to see these RNLI volunteers recognised in the New Year’s Honours list. Together, they personify the RNLI’s ‘One Crew’ ethos, representing the variety and diversity of roles from a former full-time mechanic to shore crew and fundraisers to station managers, who collectively deliver a shared vision to save every one. On behalf of everyone at the RNLI, congratulations to you all for being recognised for your longstanding service, hard work and selfless commitment. And thank you for everything you do to help the RNLI save lives at sea.’

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