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Britain says bye to the EU [Updated]

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CEREDIGION JPG

DESPITE the majority of Ceredigion voters marking an ‘X’ in the remain box, it has been revealed that the UK as a whole has decided to leave the EU.

Ceredigion was announced as the first Welsh local authority to vote remain, with 54.6% voting remain and 45.4% voting leave.

With a turnout of 74.4%, 21,711 people from Ceredigion decided that they wanted to remain in the EU while 18,031 contributed to the majority vote.
Mark Williams, Member of Parliament for Ceredigion and Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, stated: “I am deeply disappointed by this result, and I know that this sense of disappointment and worry will also be felt by many people throughout Wales and the UK.

“As a Party, the Welsh Liberal Democrats believe strongly in internationalism, working with our allies to tackle the biggest issues facing our planet such as climate change, and to provide greater opportunities to people in our country. While not perfect, I believe the European Union has been an important part of this aim.

“However, while I am disappointed in the result, we are where we are. The result has stated that the British people do not wish to be a member of the European Union. We must respect that democratic decision but make sure that in our negotiations the people of Wales do not lose out.”

He added: “It is absolutely vital now that the Government sets out a plan of action so that we know the options available to us to help ensure our businesses, our jobs, and our international relationships are not put at further risk in the aftermath of this decision.

“Now is not the time for more Government infighting at the expense of the people of Wales. The Government must give us confidence that Wales will not lose out in our exit from the European Union. Welsh jobs, in our cities and in our rural communities, rely on the support we receive from our membership, and our trade with the continent, and it is vital that the Government gives us assurance that this will continue outside of the European Union.”

Despite his disappointment with the overall result, Mr Williams has praised Ceredigion’s cross-party campaigners on their work for a ‘Remain’ vote in the European Union referendum by saying: “I have been greatly encouraged by the hard work of progressive-minded campaigners from across parties during this referendum campaign. It has been a pleasure to work so closely with people from other political parties and political viewpoints, all working together due to our shared recognition of the importance of our membership of the European Union to Wales.

“While this will be a very disappointing result for all of us who supported a ‘Remain’ vote, and especially for those who worked hard to make our case in Ceredigion, I am truly grateful for the dedicated, progressive, cross-party effort that we put forward.

“Despite the result, I hope that we can continue to work together at this point to ensure that the needs and interests of rural communities like Ceredigion are not ignored during the subsequent exit negotiations.”

Cllr Emlyn Dole said: “I am deeply disappointed in the result but the people have spoken and it is their will that we should leave the European Union.

“The European Union has been good for Carmarthenshire and has helped us build a stronger economy.  We must now forge a new way forward that protects the business interests of the county.

“The leave campaigners promised that our departure from Europe would bring about an end to austerity and release funding for public services.  We must now hold them to their word.”

In response to the result of the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union, Elin Jones, Ceredigion AM said:

“I am personally devastated that Wales and the UK has voted to turn its back on the EU. It could well mean an economic collapse for areas such as Ceredigion so dependent on agricultural and economic support from the EU.

“The implications of such a vote are far-reaching and complex. I am particularly disappointed for our young people, who seem to have voted in far greater numbers for remaining in the EU – they will have to live with the consequences of this decision for far longer than most of us. Our future is now far more uncertain than it was even a week ago.

“The only shining light on a very bleak night for me was the Ceredigion result on the western periphery of Europe. I am proud to represent a county that wanted to see its future in Europe rather than out of it.”

Responding to the completely unexpected Brexit victory in the EU Referendum last Thursday, Dr Felix Aubel, a leading Vote Leave co-ordinator in West Wales, said: “It’s great to be alive. I’m so proud to be British. I’m delighted that Britain will once again become an independent self-governing country. The nation’s decision to support Brexit on Independence Day 23 June 2016, ranks alongside the most important events in the UK’s history. It ought to be made a public holiday”.

Dr Aubel continued, “I wish to thank my very enthusiastic Brexit co-workers for their never-say-die attitude. We comfortably achieved our objectives of securing more than 45% of the vote in Ceredigion (allegedly the most pro-EU county in Britain), as well as gaining decisive Leave victories in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire”.

Leader of Ceredigion County Council, Ellen ap Gwynn told The Herald: “Personally, I am deeply shocked by the result of the referendum and am fearful for the implications that leaving the EU will have on our rural communities here in Ceredigion, although we had a majority wanting to remain a member.

“We have already seen the value of the £ plummet and the market fall to a level that will badly affect our pension funds and increase the cost of imports. Ceredigion has been a net beneficiary of EU funding since 2000 and our local economy will be hard hit in many ways. The money we have received for infrastructure project such as sea defences, research funding received by the Universities, community project funding, tourism projects and especially when the £44m annually that was paid to farmers is removed,  there will be a serious impact on life in rural Wales.

“Successive London governments have ignored the very real needs of Wales and I cannot see that those who have extracted our natural resources with very little payback over the years will change the funding formula to our advantage. I am afraid that in the medium term, that the future for the local economy and for Local Government funding and services looks bleak.”

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Plaid’s Dafydd Llywelyn re-elected as Police and Crime Commissioner

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THE NEW Police and Crime Commissioner for the Dyfed Powys Area has been announced.

Incumbent, Dafydd Llywelyn, of Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales, has been re-elected for a second term.

The election was held Thursday, 06 May 2021, at the same time as the Senedd Cymru elections.

In order to follow all coronavirus regulations, the count for this election was held on Sunday, 09 May 2021.

The announcement was made in Ceredigion, at the Ysgol Bro Teifi, Llandysul.

Dafydd Llywelyn, was first elected as one of the two new Plaid Cymru PCCs during 2016’s election and is the PCC for Dyfed-Powys Police. 

The force covers over half the land mass of Wales and during the PCC elections had the highest turnout of all PCC elections at 49%.

Mr Llywelyn is a former Principal Intelligence Analyst and worked within Police Intelligence for many years before, in 2014, moving to Aberystwyth University to lecture on Criminology. His career has provided him with considerable insight into core policing issues as well as an understanding of what the public want from the service. He has pledged to reinvest in CCTV and prevention activities and has refused to appoint a deputy.

Standing against him were three other candidates – Jon Burns (Conservative); Philippa Thompson (Labour) and Glyn Preston (Welsh Liberal Democrats).

The results for Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner’s elections were as follows:

1st Round

Jon Burns (Conservatives); 69,112

Dafydd Llywelyn (Plaid Cymru); 68208

Philippa Thompson (Labour): 48033

Glyn Preston (Welsh Liberal Democrats) 17649

2nd Round

Jon Burns: 8209

Dafydd Llywelyn: 26280

This was the third time police and crime commissioner elections have been held. The election was originally due to take place in May 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new PCC term begins on Thursday, May 13, 2021.

Under the terms of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, PCCs must:

  • secure an efficient and effective police for their area;
  • appoint the Chief Constable, hold them to account for running the force, and if necessary dismiss them;
  • set the police and crime objectives for their area through a police and crime plan;
  • set the force budget and determine the precept;
  • contribute to the national and international policing capabilities set out by the Home Secretary; and
  • bring together community safety and criminal justice partners, to make sure local priorities are joined up.
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Tregaron man charged with rape following large scale search for suspect

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POLICE in Ceredigion have confirmed that man has been charged following the large police presence and search in the Lampeter area on Thursday, May 6.

A police operation was launched after an allegation of a serious sexual assault.

Officers have now confirmed that 45-year-old Saul Henvey, of Tregaron, has been charged with rape.

He is due to appear at Aberystwyth Magistrates Court on Monday, May 10.

Detectives dealing with the case that they would continue to provide specialist support to the victim.

A spokesperson said: “We would once again like to thank the public for their assistance in this investigation.”

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Mark Drakeford says: ‘Thank you Wales for going red’

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LABOUR is staying in power in Wales after matching its best-ever Senedd election result. It won exactly half of the 60 seats in the Welsh Parliament with all results now declared

Labour has 30 seats, with the Conservatives on 16, Plaid Cymru on 13 and the Liberal Democrats one.
Mark Drakeford thanked Wales for “going red” and has vowed to be “radical” and “ambitious” in government, as Labour looks to solidify its leadership in Wales.

Labour’s Vaughan Gething, health minister in the Welsh government, told the media that the party didn’t “have to look at a formal coalition” because they had done so well.

“We do, however, have to talk to other groups within the Senedd,” he said.

Mr Gething said Labour had a “strong mandate to govern” with 30 of the Senedd’s 60 seats.

The Wales Green Party failed to win a seat in the Senedd elections but they say they recorded their highest-ever result in Wales. Leader Anthony Slaughter said the “results demonstrate the appetite for change” across Wales.

A very happy Mark Drakeford on Saturday, May 8 (Photo Welsh Labour/Twitter)

Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party, said: “We seem to be getting votes from all of the parties and support on that regional list as people increase their knowledge of the voting system.”

Adam Price, who held Carmarthen East and Dinefwr with a reduced majority, said he would not stand down as Plaid Cymru leader.

Despite no gains, Mr Price said the party had increased its share of the vote and its stance on independence had been a “net positive”.

“I’m not walking away from anything, because this is the moment when Wales needs leadership,” he said.

“This is a historic challenge, because of the way that the politics is moving in this island, but it’s also a historic opportunity for us.

On the campaign trail, Plaid leader Adam Price (Pic Plaid Cymru)

“We can move our nation forward and I’m looking forward to playing my part, it’s not something that anyone can do on their own.

“I have a role to play, we all have a role to play and that’s what’s exciting about politics at the moment. Wales is on the move Wales is on the march. I’m going to be part of that.”

Later, on social media, Adam Price said: ” I extend my congratulations to Mark Drakeford on securing a mandate to lead the next government. Although disappointed not to be returning more Members to the Senedd, I am proud that we ran a positive campaign based on a transformational programme.

“Our Senedd group will bring renewed energy and fresh ideas and I look forward to working with all my colleagues as we continue to build the case for independence. We will be a constructive but forensic opposition as we enter a crucial period of pandemic recovery.

“However, the sixth Senedd will be poorer without one of Wales’s most remarkable politicians. No one has given more to the party or to her community than Leanne Wood – an inspiring role model for so many.

“Leanne’s commitment to the Rhondda is unparalleled and I know she will continue to make an important contribution to the future of our nation and the pursuit of social justice which always has and always will drive her politics.

“Westminster’s attack on devolution is only just beginning and Wales needs a plan – that plan must focus on taking our own future into our own hands so we can build a nation that is fair and free.

TORYS CLAIM BEST RESULT EVER

The Welsh Conservatives say that they have secured the party’s best ever result in a Senedd election, winning 16 seats in the Welsh Parliament.

In a statement to the press the party said: “Today’s final election results have seen the Welsh Conservatives secure two regional list seats in both South Wales Central and South Wales East.

“Welsh Conservatives polled 289,802 votes (share up 5.0) across 40 constituencies – 26.1% of the vote – winning eight seats including gains in both the Vale of Clwyd and Brecon and Radnorshire.

“On the five regional lists, Welsh Conservatives secured 278,560 votes (share up 6.3), winning eight seats. The result will see the Senedd return its first ever female from a BAME background, with Welsh Conservatives’ Natasha Asghar making history with election in South Wales East.

Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies with Joel Williams on election day (Pic RT Davies/Twitter)

Commenting, Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies said: “Firstly, I’d like to say a huge thank you to our outstanding set of Welsh Conservative candidates, activists and staff who’ve worked incredibly hard throughout this campaign and secured the party’s best ever Senedd result.

“The team has gone above and beyond and deserve great credit for the positive campaign we’ve run right across Wales, and I am thrilled to see Natasha Asghar make history in South Wales East by becoming the first female from a BAME background to be elected to the Senedd.

Newly elected Conservative member of Senedd, Sam Kurtz, talking to BBC reporter Aled Scourfield (Pic J Coles/Herald)

“As a party we are also delighted to have secured constituency seats in the Vale of Clwyd and Brecon and Radnorshire, and increased seats on the regional lists, resulting in our highest ever representation in the Senedd with 16 members.

“It’s been an unconventional campaign and it’s clear incumbency and continuity has played a significant part. To that end, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Mark Drakeford and Welsh Labour on a successful campaign.

“The election has been fought in good spirit by political parties in Wales and I would like to pay a final word of thanks to the many officials across the country who’ve allowed this election to take place in a safe and effective manner.”

IMPACT OF PANDEMIC

Ian Price, director of CBI Wales, congratulated Labour. He said: “This is a critical time for the Welsh economy and the new parliament must have a laser-like focus on rebuilding from the devastating impact of the pandemic,” he said.
“That means all parties pulling together and working with business to protect jobs, rebuild livelihoods and create a fair and sustainable recovery that addresses the longstanding structural challenges our economy faces.”

Royal Town Planning Institute, largest professional body for town planners in the UK and Europe, commented on the election result saying: “The Welsh Labour Manifesto meets many of the issues raised by the RTPI, including tackling climate action, investing in public transport and active travel, and the delivery of quality affordable homes, including a focus on strengthening Welsh language communities.

“The manifesto commits to strengthening the autonomy and effectiveness of local government to make them more successful in delivering services. We have highlighted the need to invest in planning services to enable the delivery of Welsh Labour’s priorities.”

LABOUR “RESILIENT”

Speaking to the BBC, political commentator Prof Roger Awan-Scully said: “I think it’s been an astonishingly resilient performance by the Welsh Labour Party, amidst disasters for Labour elsewhere in the UK.

“The Conservatives are also performing strongly, but not quite bringing it home in terms of the number of constituency victories that they might have expected.

“For Plaid Cymru I think this has to be said to be a deeply disappointing election.”

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