By Junior Reporter Catryn Jessica Richards (aged 9 from Penrhyncoch)
LIBERAL DEMOCRAT candidate for Ceredigion writes: Catryn joined myself and the team canvassing on a sunny night in Aberystwyth and I was interviewed by her on a range of important issues.
Catryn: We need clearer labelling on packages about recycling – there is lots of wrapping that can’t be recycled.
Elizabeth: Well you are right, it’s better to have more recycling and less packaging. We know that there are lots of things like apples and oranges that don’t really need to be all wrapped up, but the supermarkets sell them with lots of packaging which then needs to be thrown away.
We should look at how we can make it easier to get the weekly shop without so much packaging. Like you say, we should all recycle as much as we can and it’s very important to do so.
Catryn: There should be proper cycling lessons for children because lots of children can’t cycle well.
Elizabeth: There should definitely be cycling lessons available for all children. There ought to be money available for this if there isn’t already – I will need to check on this for you.
I think all children should have cycling lessons because it’s important for us to be healthy and cycling is a good way to keep fit, but it is also important that everyone is safe on their bikes; especially if they are cycling on the road. You could start a petition about this if the services aren’t there to ensure that children can learn to ride their bikes safely.
Catryn: We should have a giant chess set and a giant snakes and ladders set on the Prom so that you and your friend can meet and play together.
Elizabeth: Great idea! I will contact the people responsible for the services on the Promenade and ask them if they can look into this idea. It would be great for local people and it would also encourage tourists to use the Prom whilst they are on their holidays. That’s something I would love to do too – although I’m not very good at chess- my husband Graeme loves playing it.
Catryn: There should be more science in primary school because the university science fair is really good.
Elizabeth: It’s great that you love science! I have heard that the university science fair is very good too and it’s fantastic that they encourage youngsters onto the campus. I am a school governor so this is certainly something I can ask teachers about and see if it is possible to teach more science at primary school level.
What you learn in primary school is a really important grounding for going into secondary school and studying further, so we should encourage young people to study science – the earlier the better!
Catryn: More things to do in the wet weather like ten-pin bowling or ice skating because there are not many things to do in in the wet weather.
Elizabeth: Yes; I agree with you Catryn. We need more things for young people and visitors to do in the wet weather.
There used to be a ten pin bowling alley in Llanbadarn but that closed. There is a gap in the market here for something similar like laser quest as you say. This is certainly something that we should try to attract to Aberystwyth.
Catryn: What do you think about kids voting?
Elizabeth: I think it’s a great idea and we should certainly try to make that happen for the next election! I went to see pupils in Penglais School last week who asked the same question – they are much older than you but just a little bit too young to vote; which is very frustrating for them.
So, yes, indeed young people should be able to vote and we should seriously look at reducing the voting age to 16.
Domestic abuse victims in Wales to be given more time to report assaults
DOMESTIC abuse victims in Wales and England to be given more time to report assaults.
New measures targeted directly at keeping women and girls safer will be added to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill last week (Jan 4) the UK Government has announced.
Under the changes, victims of domestic abuse will be allowed more time to report incidents of common assault or battery against them. Currently, prosecutions must commence within six months of the offence.
Instead, this requirement will be moved to six months from the date the incident is formally reported to the police – with an overall time limit of two years from the offence to bring a prosecution.Domestic abuse is often reported late relative to other crimes; so this will ensure victims have enough time to seek justice and that perpetrators answer for their actions.
The UK Government says that today’s announcement builds on measures already in the Bill to better protect women such as ending the halfway release of offenders sentenced between four and seven years in prison for serious sexual offences – forcing them to spend two-thirds of their time in prison.
In December, the legislation was amended to make clear that a new legal duty requiring public bodies to work together to tackle serious violence can also include domestic abuse and sexual offences.
It means that these crimes should be taken as seriously as knife crime and homicide, with police, government, and health bodies required to collaborate locally, so that they can develop more holistic strategies to protect people from harm, including through early intervention.
Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said: “My commitment to making our homes, streets and communities safer for women and girls is clear.”
“Every department in government is working to address and tackle all issues relating to violence against women and girls.”
“The Government has a focussed strategy, dedicated to providing essential support for survivors, the prevention of crimes against women and girls and bringing perpetrators to justice with the full force of the law.”
“Our actions include the new Domestic Abuse Act, with important changes to our laws; a newly created national police lead responsible solely on violence against women and girls, and millions of pounds have been invested in direct safety measures through the Safer Streets Fund.”
“These are all important public confidence measures and changes to ensure the safety of women and girls in public spaces.”
The UK Government has also said that taking non-consensual photographs or video recordings of breastfeeding mothers will be made a specific offence punishable by up to two years in prison.
It covers situations where the motive is to obtain sexual gratification, or to cause humiliation, distress or alarm.
Similar legislation introduced by the UK Government in 2019 that criminalised “up skirting” has led to more than 30 prosecutions since it became law.
Vandalised church passes fundraising target
A FUNDRAISER to rebuild a vandalised church met its goal of £20k within three days.
Eglwys y Grog, which is situated near the cliffs at Mwnt. It is a well known landmark, and is a favourite among photographers.
Clive Davies, a local County Councillor, claims he is “totally blown away” with the donations.
He said the church was targeted on 2 December, and again on 20 December, in “a pointless saddening act.”
“There was nothing of value in the church and it was a senseless act. There was no money there, just a small little church,” he added.
“The church members were getting a lot of requests to donate money and they contacted me to do something coordinated online so I set up a JustGiving page for them.
“It’s been a global response really, three thousand pounds came in overnight. There were messages of support from America, and there was a couple from Australia as well,
“There are a lot of good people out there and it is an amazing start to 2022 for us.”
When the campaign was launched on January 1st, a £20,000 goal was set.
The inside of the church, as well as the leaded church windows and gated entrance, were all damaged.
Mr Davies, who is also a local councillor, claims to have long-standing family ties to the church, which includes plaques honouring his great-grandparents on either side of the altar.
“The local community has been amazing, supporting it and the power of social media made in tenfold,” he said.
“It was like a snowball effect really, local businesses have offered not only financial support but will be part of the restoration work needed now.”
“I’ll be meeting with the church members and the vicar and we’ll start discussing what needs doing, but also we’re going to have to look at safety for the future and what could we do in terms of security,” he added.
He stated that it was critical for the church to remain open while staying safe.
£250 boost to all Ceredigion food banks
PLAID CYMRU Councillors from Ceredigion will donate £250 to each food bank in the county to alleviate pressures over the Christmas period.
The issue of food banks continues on a daily basis in most towns in Wales due to lack of funds and benefits being cut.
Individuals and families are forced to use food banks to make sure they have food for their children and families.
A spokesperson for the Councillors said: “Ceredigion County Council’s Plaid Cymru Group of Councilors is delighted to announce their decision again this year to donate £250.00 each to every food bank in Ceredigion.
“Food banks in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Aberaeron, Llandysul, Lampeter will benefit from this over Christmas.
“Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
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