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Brexit debate in Aber’s Morlan Centre

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The British Prime Minister Delivers Her Brexit SpeechA WEEK after Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the UK will be leaving the European single market, members of the public are being invited to a special debate about what Brexit could actually mean for people and communities in Mid Wales.

‘Brexit and Wales – The Key Questions’ will be hosted by Aberystwyth University’s Centre for Welsh Politics and Society at the Morlan Centre, Aberystwyth, at 7pm tomorrow (Jan 25).

Speakers include Professor Michael Woods who will discuss the implications for Brexit for Rural Wales, Dr Rhys Dafydd Jones on the effects on European migrants in Wales, and Professor Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones and Dr Elin Royles on the effects for Welsh language and culture.

The evening also represents the formal launch of the newly established Centre for Welsh Politics and Society.

Building on the influential and highly respected Institute of Welsh Politics, the new Centre brings together geographers, political scientists, psychologists and historians from the Institute of Geography, History, Politics and Psychology as well as social scientists from related departments with an interest in Wales.

The Centre will also play a key role as the Aberystwyth arm of the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD).

Professor Michael Woods is Professor of Transformative Social Sciences at Aberystwyth University and Co-director of the Centre for Welsh Politics and Society.

He said: “Our aim with the new Centre is to develop our understanding of contemporary politics and Welsh society and to consider it in a global context. We are living in an age of significant political change and the Centre’s activity will focus on key themes relevant to our day to day lives,” said Professor Woods.

“At the launch event we will consider the impact of Brexit on our local communities in Mid Wales, economically, socially and culturally. Public engagement has always been an important element of our work and we would encourage anyone with an interest to come along to share views, ask questions and hear more about this important new research centre.”

Entry to the debate is free with refreshments and a poster session provided from 6.30pm. All are welcome.

At a critical time for political negotiation and strategy around the UK’s departure from the EU, Aberystwyth University is planning a further two public events in the Main Hall of the International Politics building on Penglais Campus to highlight some of the main challenges.

At 6pm on Tuesday, January 31, Professor Michael Keating from Aberdeen University who is currently the Director of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Centre on Constitutional Change will give a lecture entitled ‘Between Two Unions: Brexit and the Nations?’.

On Thursday, February 2 at 4pm, the Chancellor of Aberystwyth University and the UK’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Sir Emyr Jones Parry, will give a talk on the ‘The Challenge of Implementing Brexit and the Implications for British Foreign Policy’

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A level results still high in Ceredigion

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THE ‘A’ level examination results published today by the WJEC (15 August) show that high standards are being achieved in Ceredigion schools once again. 97.9% of entries for WJEC examinations were graded A* to E, with 27.9% of the entries achieving the top ’A’ grades.

Ceredigion pupils continue to outperform the Welsh average. More pupils in Ceredigion achieve the top ’A’ grades and A* to E grades. The below table shows a comparison with average Welsh figures. These don’t include Welsh Baccalaureate results and those from examination bodies other than WJEC.

Wales 2019             Ceredigion 2019

Grade A* – A           27.92%                    27.0%

Grade A* – B           56.0%                      n/a

Grade A* – C          77.5%                        n/a

Grade A* – E          97.9%                       97.6%

Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services. She said, “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations once again to Ceredigion’s sixth form students for their successes in this year’s A Level and AS examinations.

These results are the culmination of a long journey through school life which has seen them nurture and develop the academic and interpersonal skills that will enable them to move confidently into higher education, training or employment in fields of their choice. I wish them good luck for the future and would like to sincerely thank all who have contributed to their school journey in any way.”

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MP Ben Lake calls for reform of police funding

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HAVING recently shadowed Dyfed Powys Police officers in Aberystwyth, the Ceredigion MP has again urged the UK Government to review the police funding formula for rural areas.

Mr Lake visited Aberystwyth police station as part of the #GiveADayToPolicing campaign, a scheme for Members of Parliament to better understand the challenges currently facing police forces across the UK.

During his visit Mr Lake had the opportunity to experience a variety of aspects of local policing – from spending time with the neighbourhood policing team, meeting officers from different departments, and discussing policing challenges with front-line police officers.

Mr Lake has challenged the UK Government on several occasions to reform the formula for police funding – highlighting the need for the funding formula to take into consideration the seasonal pressures on forces, particularly the significant increase to the population of coastal areas during the summer months.

Mr Lake said: “I am very grateful to the officers of Aberystwyth police station for their welcome, and for taking the time to speak with me. I now have a better understanding of the challenges our police officers face, as well as a deeper level of respect and admiration of their work and commitment to public safety.

“As I have previously stated, we cannot expect a one size fits all approach to work effectively across the whole of the UK, and as such, it is imperative that the criteria used to allocate the Home Office police grant are revised so that they reflect the increased demands and unique challenges facing rural forces in areas such as Ceredigion, especially during summer months.”

Mr Lake added: “It is widely acknowledged that Welsh police forces have suffered under the present funding formula, and so it is high time that the UK Government either amends the formula accordingly, or devolves the responsibility for policing to the Welsh Government so that they may do so themselves.”

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New waste trial launched in Aberystwyth

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A NEW trial has been launched in Aberystwyth as part of the Caru Aber campaign, to help keep the town centre clean on waste collection days.

Heavy duty sacks will be placed on Aberystwyth streets on Monday afternoons before the black bag collection on Tuesdays in the following streets; Portland Street, Portland Road, Queen Street, Corporation Street, Eastgate Street, New Street and Cambrian Place.

Black bags should be put in the sacks by 8am on Tuesday mornings for collection. The intention is that the sacks contain the waste until it is collected. The sacks will be retrieved after the waste has been collected to avoid clutter and obstruction on the streets.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “We see this trial as a practical and relatively cost effective way of responding to long standing issues relating to domestic waste presentation in Aberystwyth town centre. The sacks will also provide a visible reminder to residents in the town centre on what days to present their black bags.

“The trial forms part of the Caru Aber campaign, and the wider Caru Ceredigion campaign, where the council looks to work with local communities to address issues which are of concern or are important to them.

“This innovative approach is another example of positive proactive action the council is taking. We hope that the residents of the town centre will play their part by making good use of the sacks as this will be the critical factor in measuring the success of the scheme.”

Clean recycling and food waste should continue to be presented on a weekly basis in the containers that the council already provides through clear bags and food caddies.

Ensuring that the right waste is presented in the right way and on the right day will help to make sure that the town’s streets are kept clean and that the waste is contained, managed and treated in the most cost effective and environmentally friendly way as possible.

The sacks were first used in readiness for waste collections on Tuesday 6 August 2019. The initial feedback is positive as they have worked to contain the waste on the streets, which were noticeably cleaner.

This latest initiative is developing on feedback and experience from two other trials undertaken. The success of the trial will be monitored on an ongoing basis and reviewed to reflect the experience which will include looking at ways of engaging all residents.

For more information about the new scheme, please contact the Customer Services Contact Centre on 01545 570 881 or by e-mail on clic@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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