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Driving offender learns ‘valuable lesson’

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A MAN ‘now understands the implications of drink driving’ and is said to have learnt a ‘valuable lesson’ after committing four offences.

Benjamin Paul Callow, 29​,​ of Pencarreg in Llanybydder, appeared before Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (Oct 18)​ and pleaded guilty to four charges. He ​admitted two charges of failing to stop after a road accident​,​ whereby damage was caused to a wall and a telegraph pole, causing the VW Golf vehicle to be left in a dangerous position​, and ​failing to provide specimen for analysis​.

Prosecutor Helen Tench said​ that,​just after 10pm​ on July 9​, police officers received a report regarding a vehicle parked within the Black Lion pub in Lampeter​,​ which reversed into a wall causing damage.

A member of staff at the pub heard a loud bang outside the property and when they went to investigate, they found the defendant, who had been consuming alcohol in the pub,​ in the driver’s seat,.

The staff member asked Callow to return to the premise to provide his details, but the defendant drove away from the scene.

At 11.20pm, police received another report regarding a single road collision whereby a car was turned on to its side after colliding with a ​telegraph ​p​ole​ which snapped in half.

When officers checked the vehicle,​ they smelled alcohol ​and noticed inflated airbags and samples of blood.

On July 10, Callow was eventually located and was seen to be wearing casual clothes and no shoes. His eyes appeared to be glazed and officers noted his slurred speech.

An ambulance arrived at the scene to escort the defendant to hospital for treatment.

At approximately 3am on July 10, Callow refused to provide a specimen of blood for analysis at the hospital, and officers attended the Black Lion pub to view the CCTV footage.

On August 22, the defendant was interviewed; he confirmed he was the driver of the VW Golf vehicle and admitted that he made no effort to report the road accidents.

Defending, Alison Mathias explained that Callow ​was very embarrassed and remorseful for his actions.

She said the offences had ‘shocked him’ into addressing his ways and he d​id not wish to put forward any excuses for his behaviour.

Ms Mathias stated the vehicle had turned onto its side and the defendant’s head injuries ‘may have affected his judgement’ when he walked away from the road accident​, adding that the offences had been a ‘very valuable lesson’ and an ‘unfortunate incident’.

Delivering a pre-sentence report, Probation Officer Julian Davies explained Callow went to Lampeter after work on July 9 and had a pint of alcohol at the Black Lion pub. When he crashed into the car park wall, the defendant ‘panicked’ and drove away from the scene.

Mr Davies said Callow went to buy more alcohol some time later and crashed the vehicle again, ​but could not remember the incident.

Mr Davies concluded by saying the defendant is disappointed with his actions and now understood the implications of drink driving.

Magistrates imposed a 12-​month community order with 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a punitive element of 150 hours of unpaid work.

He received a 24​-​month driving disqualification and ​his licence was endorsed. He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £85 and a surcharge of £85.

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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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