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Veterinary Centre a step closer

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Campaigning for excellence: Elin Jones at Ystwyth Veterinary Practice

Campaigning for excellence: Elin Jones at Ystwyth Veterinary
Practice

CEREDIGION AM Elin Jones has welcomed the announcement that the Royal Veterinary College and Aberystwyth University are to collaborate on plans to set up a Centre of Veterinary Excellence.

The announcement was made on Monday (Jun 13) by Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs at the University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS).

Ms Griffiths announced that Aberystwyth University and the Royal Veterinary College (University of London) had signed a memorandum of understanding to explore developing a joint venture in veterinary medical training and research in Wales, focusing on farming and livestock science. Wales does not currently have veterinary education provision.

Lesley Griffiths AM said: “Veterinary education for Wales has long been a topic of discussion and this is an ambition now being realised. This collaboration between Aberystwyth University and the Royal Veterinary College is excellent news for Welsh farmers and to the veterinary profession. It will provide a much needed hub of veterinary expertise right in the heart of our longest established university. This project also meets many of our well-being goals, in particular contributing to a healthy, resilient and prosperous Wales .”

Aberystwyth has a long record of excellence in research and teaching in the fields of agriculture and animal sciences. The first teaching in the subject at Aberystwyth began in the 1870s and the Department of Agriculture opened in 1891. This continues to the present day at the award-winning internationally recognised Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) which introduced a new degree in Veterinary Biosciences in 2015.

Established in 1791, the Royal Veterinary College, London is the oldest veterinary school in the English-speaking world. It is also one of the most prestigious, ranked as one of the top three vet schools in the world in the latest QS World University Rankings. It has renowned veterinary medicine and nursing degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate levels as well as world-leading research.

Professor Chris Thomas, AU Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research , who is leading the project at Aberystwyth said: “We share the ambitions of the veterinary profession, Welsh Government and the farming industry to secure and enhance animal health in Wales and beyond. We believe Wales needs a model for vet training and science that not only emphasises production animal veterinary medicine but also integrates veterinary service provision, agricultural science, rural community wellbeing, economics and environmental sustainability. Developing this vision in partnership with the RVC is very exciting indeed .”

Professor David Church, RVC Vice- Principal for Learning and the Student Experienc e , who is leading at London stated: “Aberystwyth University is one of the leading Universities in the UK with internationally recognized expertise in animal and agricultural sciences. We believe there are real opportunities at numerous levels for The Royal Veterinary College to work with Aberystwyth in developing a veterinary degree programme tailored to the needs of the Welsh farming and animal health industries. We are both proud and excited to be part of this collaborative venture. “

Professor Christianne Glossop, Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales , said: “A joint veterinary training programme between Aberystwyth and the RVC would be an excellent development for Wales, increasing the number of professionals in veterinary medicine tailored for our needs, and providing a hub of veterinary excellence of direct relevance to Wales.”

Professor Julie Williams, Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales , added: “This is an exciting prospect, not only for veterinary medicine in Wales but also providing a focus for research and commercial development in a sector so important to the Welsh economy.”

Whilst the announcement of the plan was made by the Cabinet Secretary, Assembly Presiding Officer Elin Jones has long campaigned to provide a centre to train vets for Wales in Wales centred at Aberystwyth. In her recent interview with Herald Reporter Rhian Boyt, she discussed Plaid Cymru’s proposals to develop a Veterinary School at Aberystwyth University.

Responding to the news, Elin Jones told The Herald: “I welcome this announcement, and I am pleased that the Welsh Government is backing the next steps towards establishing a fully-fledged veterinary training programme in Wales.

“There’s a shortage of vets who specialise in farm livestock, and so a vet school in Aberystwyth and a centre focusing on farming and livestock science would be a major boost to both the university and the agricultural industry.

“I particularly welcome the decision to explore locating the proposed Centre of Veterinary Excellence in Aberystwyth, and I have no doubt that if established here it will be a major success.

“The University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Science (IBERS) has a long and impressive record in the fields of agriculture and animal sciences, and so I consider Aberystwyth to be an ideal home for a Welsh Centre of Veterinary Excellence.

“The creation of a veterinary training programme has been discussed for a long time in Wales – I am glad that we are now taking tangible steps towards realising this goal, and will look forward to hearing about further progress in the near future.

“This is an important development for Wales, and an exciting opportunity for Ceredigion.”

An FUW spokesman told the Herald : “A great deal of work has gone in to securing this commitment, and we look forward to continuing to work with those involved to ensure the new centre serves the interests of the Welsh livestock and dairy farms which are a cornerstone of our economy.”

Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Energy, Climate Change and Rural Affairs , Simon Thomas , has also welcomed the news that Wales’ first vet school is being planned for Aberystwyth. Simon Thomas said that Plaid Cymru had led the campaign to establish a school, and that he was pleased to see it progress.

He said: “Plaid Cymru has long campaigned for a veterinary school for Wales, and I am pleased that the creation of a vet school in Aberystwyth is a step closer. Establishing a Welsh vet school is important in meeting the specific demands of Wales’ predominantly livestock-based farming industry, and addressing the current shortage of vets with these specialisms.

“This has been a long-running campaign and I am pleased that Aberystwyth University and the Royal Veterinary College have taken the initiative to establish the school. Congratulations to them – they have Plaid Cymru’s full support.”

A working group of experts from IBERS and RVC will now design the joint programme and specify new facilities at Aberystwyth University. The team is due to deliver their report to the governing bodies of both institutions by August 2017.

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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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