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Council defends ordering lynx killing

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FOLLOWING the killing of Lillith the escaped Lynx from Borth Wild Animal Kingdom on Friday night (Nov 10), Ceredigion County Council has defended the actions.

The lynx had missing from the zoo since October 29 and had been spotted in populated areas before the decision to kill it was made.

In response, Borth Wild Animal Kingdom said they were ‘truly devastated and outraged’ by the decision.

A spokesperson for Ceredigion County Council said: “The decision to authorise the putting down of the Eurasian Lynx that recently escaped from Borth Wild Animal Kingdom was an operational one taken after receiving expert advice, based on the level of risk to members of the public. All options for dealing with the escaped Lynx had been considered prior to the decision being taken on what was agreed to be a proportionate, reasonable and swift course of action.

“The decision to proceed was taken with the support of Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police, the Welsh Government and the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales. The Lynx had been on the loose for more than two weeks, was known to have moved away from the proximity of the zoo. The Lynx has also encroached on a populated area, but was not afraid of humans.

“It was not possible to assess the condition or temperament of the Lynx but there were concerns about its likely behavioural response if it was startled or inadvertently confronted by a member of the public, especially by a young child. It must be remembered that the Lynx is classified in legislation as ‘dangerous and wild’ and the authorities were dealing with an unmanaged, escape situation.

“When the operational arrangements were being considered, the issue of tranquilising the creature were specifically discussed. Due to the nature of the terrain and vegetation in the area, the time it would take for the sedative to take effect and the uncertainty of how the Lynx would react, the expert advice was that tranquilising the Lynx was not an option. On other occasions and in different circumstances it may be fitting to attempt to tranquilise an escaped animal but, based on the factors involved with this incident, it was decided that it was not appropriate.

“The advice of the Council’s expert veterinary practitioner and the position of the Chief Veterinary Officer was certain in this regards. While the Council would have wished for a different outcome to this incident, to protect public safety, the Council had no option other than to take decisive action.

“An investigation has commenced into the circumstances surrounding the escape of the Lynx, to establish whether there have been any breaches of the operating licence and other related matters. While enquiries are ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further on the circumstances surrounding this matter.”

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Success at Youth Work Excellence nominations

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CEREDIGION Youth Service have been successful in being shortlisted for a number of awards at this year’s National Youth Excellence Awards. The awards will take place on Friday, 28 June at Deganwy, Llandudno. Youth Workers from across Wales will gather to celebrate excellent practice in youth work over the last year.

The Welsh Government’s Youth Work Excellence Awards recognise the value of youth work and youth services from across Wales. The Welsh Government has celebrated excellence in youth work since 1993 and the awards are now in their 25th year. Welsh Government said, “Celebrating Youth Work continues to be a priority, as we know that Youth Work continues to be an important part of many young people’s lives”.

Ceredigion Youth Service will not only be presented with both the Silver and Gold Quality Mark Awards for Youth Work in Wales by Minster for Education, Kirsty Williams at the event, but have also been shortlisted for a number of special awards, in which the winners will be announced on the evening.

Ceredigion Youth Service has been shortlisted for their ‘Prosiect 2050’ under the category; Promoting Heritage & Cultures in Wales and Beyond, their Cooking Club at Ysgol Henry Richard under the category; Promoting Health, Well-being & Active Lifestyles and the Inspire Program under the category; Promoting Engagement with Formal Education, Employment and Training.

In addition, Thomas Evans from Aberaeron Youth Club has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Volunteer in a youth work setting award and Lowri Evans, Ceredigion Youth Service has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Youth Worker award.

Elen James, Corporate Lead Officer with responsibility for Ceredigion Youth Service said, “It comes as no surprise that Ceredigion Youth Service have been shortlisted for such awards. The Youth Service team has achieved all three National Quality Mark Awards, and now having been shortlisted for so many special awards is a tremendous achievement.”

“The awards evening which celebrate outstanding youth work from across the country will be a fantastic opportunity for the Youth Service to receive recognition for their work with young people in Ceredigion. I wish them the very best for the night.”

For more information or to find out what opportunities are available to you, head over to their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages at @GICeredigionYS or contact the team on youth@ceredigion.gov.uk

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Local MP pledges to be a Bowel Cancer Champion

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BEN LAKE, Member of Parliament for Ceredigion, has pledged to become a Bowel Cancer Champion to lead the change in Parliament for people affected by the disease.

Someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer every 15 minutes, making it the UK’s fourth most common cancer. It’s also the second biggest cancer killer, nearly 16,000 people die from the disease every year. Yet bowel cancer is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. However, only 15% are diagnosed at the earliest stage of the disease when the chance of survival is highest.

As a Bowel Cancer Champion, Ben Lake MP, will work with Bowel Cancer UK – the UK’s leading bowel cancer charity – to increase early diagnosis and improve access to best treatment and care both in Ceredigion and nationally. By working together with people affected by the disease and the clinical and research community, as well as MPs, the charity’s ambition is that by 2025, survival rates can be transformed from 60% of people surviving bowel cancer to 75%.

Ben Lake MP says: “It simply isn’t acceptable that so many people die from bowel cancer each year. That’s why I’m proud to be working with Bowel Cancer UK and helping them make real change happen through my role as a Bowel Cancer Champion. I look forward to using my position in Parliament to call for changes which can improve outcomes for patients with bowel cancer in Ceredigion. Together we can stop bowel cancer.”

Lisa Wilde, Director of Research and External Affairs at Bowel Cancer UK, says: “I’m delighted that Ben Lake has pledged to become a Bowel Cancer Champion. Ben will serve as a valuable ally in helping us to put bowel cancer firmly on the political agenda and campaigning for crucial improvements to services for bowel cancer patients both nationally and in Ceredigion.”

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Ceredigion Youth Service Awards Night Success

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Ysgol Henry Richard pupils receiving certificates.

ON Tuesday, 9 April, over 220 young people and their families, from across Ceredigion joined Ceredigion Youth Service to celebrate their annual Awards Night. The evening was an opportunity to celebrate and recognise the achievements and successes of all young people who have engaged with Ceredigion Youth Service during the past year.

Young people attended from each Secondary School in Ceredigion, Coleg Ceredigion, Ceredigion Training, young people working with the outreach service, and all the young people who attend youth clubs, youth projects and holiday provisions. There has been a wide variety of projects, activities and events held again this year, with up to 5,000 young people in attendance. These have been successful due to the commitment and enthusiasm shown by the young people from all over Ceredigion.

The special awards presented during the evening included awards for Young Volunteer of the Year, Outstanding Contribution awards, Campaign of the Year, Special Achievements and Community Engagement awards. In addition to the special award categories, numerous local certificates were celebrated and distributed to young people achieving national accreditations or to those who have participated in various clubs and projects.

Beca Fflur Williams, Chair of Ceredigion Youth Council leading the evening.

Catrin Miles, Cabinet member for Learning Services opened the evening. The evening was then hosted by Beca Fflur Williams, Chair of Ceredigion Youth Council. Guest speakers included Ashlie Day, Chloe Toose and Thomas Evans, Ceredigion Youth Service Young Volunteers. The awards were presented by Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of Ceredigion County Council, Eifion Evans, Chief Executive of Ceredigion County Council and Hag Harris, Chairman of Ceredigion County Council. Clips were shown on the screen including a message from MP Ben Lake. The night was closed by Chelsea Jones and Louise Bryan, members of Penparcau Youth Club.

Elen James, Corporate Lead Officer for Lifelong Learning and Culture said, “Both Ceredigion Youth Service and the Council are extremely proud that over 400 young people have achieved awards through the Youth Service during the past year. Youth Service provision is hugely valuable to young people’s development as they transition into adulthood. Our youth clubs, outreach provision, work within schools and holiday programs offer a variety of opportunities for young people to be a part of something that supports and interests them.”

“The number of young people achieving awards, accreditation and certificates this year is a reflection of our young people’s commitment and enthusiasm across the county and it was a pleasure to welcome so many young people and their families to celebrate with us in Theatr Felinfach. Congratulations to you all!”

For more information or to find out what opportunities are available to you, head over to their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages at @GICeredigionYS or contact the team on youth@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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