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Neil Hamilton backs Going for Growth

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Going for Growth: Neil Hamilton

​NEIL HAMILTON, UKIP’s Group Leader in the Assembly and AM for Mid & West Wales is backing an initiative to help local food and drink businesses grow.

Next week, Food Centre Wales in Horeb, Ceredigion, will be hosting a ‘Going for Growth’ event to assist businesses in developing and reaching new markets.

Mr Hamilton, the party’s spokesman for Rural Affairs and the Environment, recently praised Welsh food and drink businesses for achieving success in national competitions.

He congratulated Pembrokeshire couple, Nick and Annette Tonkin of Coedcanlas, for winning the coveted Great Taste Golden Fork Award for the best food or drink from Wales with its organic Welsh blackcurrant jam.

He also praised two other businesses from his Region who were nominated, Powys based Monty’s Brewery with its Great Taste 3-star winning Monty’s Dark Secret and a Rack of Welsh Lamb by Brecon-based Welsh Venison Centre & Beacons Farm Shop.

Mr Hamilton said:​ “The demand for good local food has been steadily increasing as more and more people are keen to buy and eat local produce.

“I welcome events like ‘Going for Growth’ which will encourage and help small businesses to develop and become even more successful.

“I am delighted that local food and drink enterprises are receiving this kind of support and would encourage them to make every effort to attend the day at the Food Centre Wales on Tuesday October 10.”

The event will be opened by Rachel Rowlands, founder of the highly successful Rachel’s Organic who will be sharing her experience of growing a food business. Representatives from the Welsh Government will also be on hand to highlight the latest industry research data to help businesses identify potential growth areas for their business.

Also speaking will be Ruth Davies from Cwm Farm, who will talk about product development, supplying Selfridges and exporting; Andrew Martin from Welsh Government Food Division, who will give an insight into the Welsh food and drink industry; Morrison’s buyer, and Matt Trigg, who’ll be giving a talk about what they look for in food products and how to get onto their shelves.

Councillor Gareth Lloyd, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economic and Community Development said:​ ​“To have such an experienced and successful group of businesses and local producers come together to offer their experiences, knowledge and advice, it will be an opportunity not to miss. We’re proud of the high standard of our locally produced food and drink within Ceredigion and are enthusiastic about how we can show support in local businesses to flourish.”

A lunch of locally produced food will be followed by an afternoon, offering optional 1-2-1 discussion slots with any of the food technologists and industry experts present at the event. There will also be a chance to take a tour of the research and development facilities at Food Centre Wales.

To book your place contact Food Centre Wales on 01559 362230 or email gen@foodcentrewales.org.uk.

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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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