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Panel endorses precept rise close to inflation

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inflation risePOLICE and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon has welcomed a Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Panel decision to accept his proposal for a council tax precept rise close to inflation.

On Friday, January 24, the Panel discussed his recommendation of a 2.1% rise in the policing element of council tax payments for householders across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys. It was accepted and will now be publicised to householders across the region.

This month it was reported that the UK inflation rate, as measured by the consumer prices index, had fallen to a four-year low of 2.0%.

Mr Salmon said: “There remains significant pressure on household budgets. My precept – in real terms a rise of close to 0% – balances the needs of families with the needs of our police service.

“My priorities are strong frontline policing and a precept that has public support.

“We plan 30 brand new police officer posts over the next 18 months, have already made the police more accessible to the public and are working a lot more closely with key partners.

“Putting the public first in all that we do is a philosophy that I and the Chief Constable are committed to as we continue to keep Dyfed-Powys safe and to help Britain to balance its books.”

Mr Salmon’s council tax rise will result in a policing precept at council tax band D of £210.60 (up from £206.28) – an increase of 8.3p per week. It will help deliver a 2014-15 Dyfed-Powys Police budget of £97.894m. Throughout November, Mr Salmon consulted the public on a 3.1% precept rise. The feedback helped him in proposing the 2.1% figure.

In 2014-15, Government funding to Dyfed-Powys will fall in by 4.8% from £55.659m to £53.008m. The 2.1% precept rise will produce £44.886m for Dyfed-Powys Police.

The £97.894m budget includes cost reductions of £3.747m highlighted by the Chief Constable and Commissioner. These include savings to be made through the force’s Public First restructure.

Mr Salmon said: “Public First, driven by the Chief Constable, will see the Dyfed-Powys civilian support services become resourceful, agile, lean, adaptable and flexible. They will deliver efficient and effective support to frontline policing.

“The public tell me they want strong frontline policing. In modernising and streamlining our support services we will enable the police to do policing – and we will be offering more for less.

“Government funding for police forces has fallen by 20% over the past few years and one of my priorities is to ensure that we spend wisely in Dyfed-Powys. This money, after all, belongs to the taxpayers.”

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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