A NEW campaign to demonstrate how superfast broadband is changing people’s lives was launched on Monday (Oct 23) in Ceredigion.
The superfast broadband campaign, run by the Welsh Government, is aiming to promote superfast broadband to Ceredigion residents to demonstrate its benefits and encourage its further use across the county.
With the majority of Ceredigion residents now having the ability to access the service, the campaign will showcase how superfast broadband is transforming the way people work, learn and connect with their families and friends.
Superfast broadband enables multiple devices to work simultaneously, allowing people to stream films, download music, study or keep in touch with loved ones without disrupting a connection.
The campaign will highlight how the service is transforming the ways in which people live and work across Wales.
Campaign organisers will be working with libraries, schools and community centres in Ceredigion and attending the Aberystwyth Farmers Market on Sunday 4 November and Llanerchaeron Christmas Fair on Sunday, December 3, to raise awareness of superfast broadband.
While most of the county can now access faster broadband should they wish to do so, a small percentage of premises are not yet able to access it. Assistance is also available for them on the Welsh Government website or by contacting the Welsh Government broadband team.
Welsh Government Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James, said: “Superfast broadband has become crucial for homes, which is why we are committed to bringing faster internet speeds to regions across Wales. Improving our digital infrastructure is key to driving economic growth, supporting public services and helping people communicate.
“While the majority of homes in Ceredigion can now access superfast broadband should they wish to, many people are simply not fully aware of its benefits or how it can be accessed. Faster broadband speeds are enabling families and individuals to carry out their activities with greater speed and efficiency than ever before, and on multiple devices. This includes activities such as downloading large learning resources for children, managing bank accounts, shopping for groceries, paying household bills or using video services such as Skype – to name a few.
“For home-workers, the service increases efficiency, boosts productivity and optimises delivery. Being able to communicate via high definition video conferencing or Skype enables companies to speak with staff, customers and suppliers from anywhere in the world.
“Superfast broadband also gives access to cloud computing services such as instant data back-ups, making security and upgrades much easier for users.
“We want as many people as possible to realise these benefits, and this campaign aims to showcase how the technology is impacting thousands of lives in communities across Wales.
“The rollout of superfast broadband is continuing across Wales and while most premises can now receive it, I know that there are premises waiting for it, or unsure as yet if they will receive it. Advice and assistance is also available for them.”
Households and businesses in Ceredigion wanting to take advantage of the benefits of fast fibre broadband should contact an internet service provider (ISP) of their choice to place an order.
To find out what broadband is available, people are advised to visit www.gov.wales/broadband
This also includes information for those not yet able to receive superfast broadband as support may be available through the Welsh Government’s Access Broadband Cymru scheme, which provides grant funding to access superfast broadband through other means.
A level results still high in Ceredigion
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.”
MP Ben Lake calls for reform of police funding
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.”
New waste trial launched in Aberystwyth
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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