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Plaid wrestle Ceredigion from Lib Dems

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New MP: Plaid Cymru’s Ben Lake will represent Ceredigion in Westminster

PLAID CYMRU’S Ben Lake is the new MP for Ceredigion after he beat previous MP Mark Williams by just 104 votes in the election on Thursday night (June 8).

The count at Aberaeron Leisure Centre lasted until the early hours of Friday morning after two recounts were called for following the initial count.

A result was finally announced around 6:30am and it was Plaid who regained control of the seat that Liberal Democrat Mark Williams has held on to since the 2005 election.

Ben Lake secured 11,623 votes compared to 11,519 for Mark Williams while Labour’s Dinah Mulholland was third with 8017 votes.

Conservative candidate Ruth Davis was fourth with 7307 votes while other votes were shared between UKIP (602), The Green Party (542) and the Monster Raving Loony Party (157).

There was a 73% turnout in Ceredigion, something which a number of candidates were very impressed with.

There were tears shed by members of Mark Williams’ family after the result was announced but he had earlier told the Herald: “I hope to be back but we will let democracy take it’s course.”

On being elected, Ben Lake said: “I’d like to thank all the candidates, it is a testament to the labour we put in that they turned out at 73%. I’d like to thank Mark Williams for 12 years of dedicated service to this county.

“It is a very great honour to be chosen to represent the people of Ceredigion and to be trusted to represent them in Westminster. Let me be clear, that I will work tirelessly for each and every one of you and make sure that Ceredigion’s voice is heard loud and clear.”

Kind words: Former MP Mark Williams wished Ben the best of luck in his new role

Outgoing MP Mark Williams congratulated Ben on his new role and said: “It has been an immensely privileged position to be a member of parliament for the last 12 years and I genuinely know that Ben will serve this constituency with dedication and distinction. I wish you the best of luck in the month and years ahead.

“Can I thank electorate of this remarkable constituency who returned me on three occasions. It is a marvellous constituency, it has been a huge honour to serve and I am eternally grateful to people of all persuasions who have contributed to what I would like to achieve.”

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RNLI in Wales urges people to stay safe as Storm Brendan hits

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging people to stay safe near the Welsh coast as severe weather could make our seas and coastlines particularly dangerous.

Lifesaving charity, the RNLI, is encouraging people to exercise extreme caution if visiting the shoreline, especially along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers.

The expected strong winds and severe gales pose a severe safety risk to those visiting the coast.

Named Storm Brendan by Met Eireann, it swept eastwards across Ireland before making its way through the rest of the UK this morning with yellow wind warning in place for most of the Welsh coast.

Chris Cousens, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead for Wales said:

‘This rough weather could make visiting parts of the Welsh coastline treacherous and bring very dangerous sea conditions.

‘Sadly, around 150 people lose their lives on British and Irish coasts each year and over half of these people didn’t plan on ever entering the water. Slips, trips and falls can be a major factor in these kinds of incidents.’

If you see someone else in danger in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. If you have something that floats that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself – too many people drown trying to save others.

The charity, which provides a search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland, is facing its own Perfect Storm as demand for its services has increased but it is facing a shortfall in funds. This past year, the RNLI has been busier than ever, and stormy conditions can mean additional call outs for the already extremely busy volunteer crews. Whatever the weather, RNLI volunteers will still be on call to rescue those at difficulty at sea.

The RNLI’s major new fundraising appeal, The Perfect Storm, which aims to help the charity get back to living within its means, is running throughout November and December. To find out more or to donate visit RNLI.org/ThePerfect Storm.

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Community

Are you missing out on a Council Tax reduction?

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IF YOU’RE struggling to pay your Council Tax bill, then help could be available for you through the Welsh Government’s flagship Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS).

The scheme, which will continue to support vulnerable households in 2020-21, currently benefits one in five of all households in Wales. In the last year almost 280,000 low-income households have received help from the scheme, with 220,000 paying no council tax at all. Many more receive other discounts or exemptions.

You may be entitled to pay less council tax if:

• you believe you live on a low income
• you live alone, or with people/children who do not pay council tax
• you are a student
• you are disabled
• you are severely mentally impaired

Understanding why there are still vulnerable households not benefitting from the help they are entitled to is a priority for the Welsh Government. Last year we commissioned research to understand the circumstances of households in Wales and the effects of the UK Government’s Universal Credit on the CTRS.

The interim report out today shows that for many households, the move to Universal Credit can have a significant impact on council tax reduction awards. Whilst many households currently receiving a 100% reduction will continue to do so, for others, the move to Universal Credit is shown to have an adverse impact, particularly for employed households, self-employed households, and working households in receipt of a Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

Full findings of the interim report are available on the Welsh Government website. These findings will now be considered in more detail to inform the next stages of the research and policy development in this area.

Encouraging people to make sure they are not missing out on help they could be entitled to, Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said:

“Ensuring every household in Wales receives the council tax support they are entitled to is an important part of our commitment to making council tax fairer.

“Our scheme is already helping hundreds of thousands of households across Wales, but we know that there are still many missing out on the discounts, reductions and exemptions they are entitled to. I encourage everyone to check the Welsh Government website to find out if they could be paying less.”

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Success for Dyfed-Powys Police in targeting drugs suppliers in Ceredigion

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A drugs supplier in the Ceredigion area has been sentenced to 2 years and 2 months in prison.

Kylie Mason, 34, from Aberaeron, was arrested on the 28th October 2019, and later charged with 2 offences of possession with intent to supply a controlled drug and two offences of supply a controlled drug of Class A. She pleaded guilty at court and received a total sentence of two years and two months in prison on the 8th January.

Detective Sergeant Steven Jones said: “This is an excellent result for the Aberaeron community, who had raised concerns about this individual supplying drugs in the area. I hope this will serve as a warning to others who wish to bring drugs into the Ceredigion area that it will not be tolerated. This result will go a long way towards keeping our communities safe. If anyone is worried about drugs in their community I would urge them to contact police as we will take the appropriate action.”

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