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Over 300 protest Trump in Aberystwyth

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_93880684_img_6216OVER 300 people attended a protest against newly elected US President Donald Trump in Aberystwyth yesterday (Jan 30).

During the protest, Ceredigion Labour Party member and Aberaid organiser Lindsey Gaunt spoke to the crowds about a 12-year-old girl from Yemen called Emma, who had waited for years to get residency permits to join her mother and sister in America, and was at the airport waiting to get on a flight to join her family in the US when the ban was announced.

Emma was told that as a result of Trump’s ban on Muslims entering the US she would not be allowed to fly to join her family. Her father had spent his last $2000 on the flight to get his daughter to safety in the US, away from Yemen which has been bombed for the last 2 years by a Saudi-led coalition that the US has been supporting and the UK has been arming.

The Aberystwyth protest had been spontaneously organised in less than 24 hours by another Labour Party member in Ceredigion. During the same 24 hour period, Ceredigion residents contributed 2,277 of 1,584,418 signatures to the online petition calling for Donald Trump to be prevented from making a State Visit to the United Kingdom.

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Eluned Morgan AM for West & Mid Wales, said in response to the Aberystwyth protest: “President Trump’s shameful and cruel executive order against refugees and Muslims has shocked and appalled people around the globe.

“Whilst every country has the right to set its own immigration policies, Trump’s actions go against the very values of freedom and tolerance for which the US is renowned. It is divisive and wrong to stigmatise people of a particular origin or particular faith, putting them under general suspicion for no good reason whatsoever, in particular, when they are suffering through no fault of their own.

“May should immediately rescind the invitation to welcome Trump on a state visit to the UK with all the pomp and ceremony that this entails. This is the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a foreign dignitary, we should reserve this privilege for truly great people.

She has a responsibility to stand up for the values and responsibilities that we hold dear in the UK.”

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Stephen Kalisky, the organiser of the protest, said: “This is a broad protest organised by many groups, Stand Up To Racism is one of them. We are shocked to the core that Trump has introduced policies that seem like something you read in history books about the 1930s.

“This is, however as it is spun, a ban on Muslims. More shocking is our own Prime Minister’s complicity. Torture? Banning Muslims? We will not stand for this.

“I was told that numbers of around 300 people showed their support. Thank you all for coming out and showing the world how great Ceredigion is.”

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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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