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​ Lampeter business closures hit town

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​Black Lion: SA Brain claim planning refusal caused closure ​

THE BLACK LION H​OTEL, situated in Lampeter’s High Street​,​ is to close with the loss of ​17 jobs.

The closure is another blow for the University town, following the closure of the Spar on College Street on August 27.

SA Brains, which owns the Black Lion, has blamed the closure on the rejection of a planning application to construct nine houses on land to the rear of the premises and claims that the venue had become unprofitable.

The closure of the Black Lion follows a tide of business closures in Lampeter over recent years.

Both the King’s Head and the Royal Oak were closed for extended periods, with the former reopening after almost two years as a vacant premises when a new tenant took up its lease after the former licensee was stricken by ill-health.

Hag’s Record Shop ceased trading, unable to compete with online competition; the town’s bookshop went the same way; many businesses are either up for sale or running extended closing down and stock sales

A sharp decline in student numbers has also led to a decline in footfall within the town. In the academic year 2016/17, around 170 students started campus study at the University. While the presence of the University has been a bulwark of town trade for many years, the dependence of some businesses on student trade has proven a double-edged sword. And with UWTSD continuing to run down the campus while concentrating on its Swansea SA1 project, the more-or-less managed decline of the campus is likely to continue.

With the removal of key health services from the town on a supposedly ‘temporary’ basis, the town of Lampeter runs the risk of becoming another Welsh market town and small local centre left twisting in the wind as customers shop elsewhere or online and with little to attract shoppers or visitors other than custom and habit.

Dinah Mulholland, Lampeter Town Councillor for the Labour Party, told The Herald: “Along with many other people, I am very concerned at the growing number of empty shops in Lampeter.

“Rather than have empty shops, it might be an idea for landlords to allow those premises to be used as ‘pop-ups’ for young and growing businesses and, in that way, try and help towards Lampeter’s regeneration.”

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Recognition given to long-standing members of Council committee

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AT AN Ethics and Standards Committee (virtual) meeting held on 17 September 2021,  Rif Winfield and Hywel Wyn Jones were given recognition for their 10 years’ of service to the Committee between 2011 and 2021. A small plaque was presented to both.

Hywel was Chair of the Committee for 3 years.

In their place, two new independent members Alan Davies and Caryl Davies have been appointed.

Eifion Evans, Chief Executive of Ceredigion County Council said, “Ceredigion County Council has benefitted from a decade of advice and considerations provided by Rif & Hywel. We welcome the new members of the committee and their input to the function of the Committee will be greatly appreciated.”

Standards Committees of local authorities exist to do all that is possible to promote and safeguard the standards that the public rightly expect from their elected representatives.

Ceredigion County Council Chairman, Councillor Paul Hinge, said, “Our thanks go to Rif and Hywel who have given their time to contribute to the Committee and we welcome the new members.”

The Committee is made up of five independent members, two county councillors and two town/community councillors. Meeting quarterly, reports for the Ethics and Standards Committee including dispensation applications can be found on the Council website: www.ceredigion.gov.uk.

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Exciting new developments on the horizon for Lampeter Wellbeing Centre

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Architects have been appointed to oversee the project and work will now begin on the proposed layout for the facility

At a Cabinet meeting held on 01 December 2020, it was agreed that Lampeter Leisure Centre would become the location of the Council’s first Wellbeing Centre in the County.

A significant amount of work and investment is to be made at the Leisure Centre which will improve the facility and the resources for years to come.

Over the coming months, as we see the plans and proposals for Wellbeing Centre develop, they will be shared with service users and the residents of Ceredigion.

Architects have been appointed to oversee the project and work will now begin on the proposed layout for the facility. The layout will be a reconfiguration of the existing facility in order to provide a Wellbeing Centre that can provide an enhanced range of Through Age Services, including Leisure Services to the residents of Lampeter and the mid of the county. 

Councillor Catherine Hughes, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member, said: “We are looking forward to the development of the new Wellbeing Centre at Lampeter. This will provide a range of services to residents within their local community.

This development comes at a welcome time, as Ceredigion Public Service Board is carrying out an Assessment of Local Wellbeing, in order to find out about the wellbeing of local people and communities, now and in the future.”

Lampeter Leisure Centre will be closed during the building works, but during this period alternative provision will be made available for all service users and clubs.

We look forward to being able to share these alternative plans with you over the coming weeks, as soon as these arrangements have been finalised.

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UK Government must improve HGV drivers’ working conditions – Ben Lake MP

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Many people in the HGV industry have expressed concern

FOLLOWING his contribution during PMQs on September 8 regarding the HGV driver crisis, Ben Lake MP has raised the issue again, with Minister Grant Shapps.

Ben Lake MP has said:

“Many constituents who work in the HGV industry have come forward to share their experiences with me about the HGV driver crisis. As well as expressing grave concern, they have also shared ideas and long-term solutions that would greatly improve the current situation. 

“It’s important that the UK Government listens and gives full consideration to these suggestions and I look forward to meeting with the Minister in the near future to discuss them further.”

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