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Council responds on language call

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Committed to supporting Welsh language and culture: Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn

IN RESPONSE to the news that Anglesey Council has confirmed its intention to make the Welsh language its language of administration, members of Cymdeithas yr Iaith in Ceredigion have called on the council there to follow the example.

Talat Chaudhri, Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith in Ceredigion said: “We have been calling on Ceredigion County Council for many years now to make Welsh the language of work. Back in 2011 the current council leader, Ellen ap Gwynn, signed a statement promising that the council would move to make Welsh the main language of work.

“Despite creating new strategies and plans over recent years, there has been no announcement of a firm intention to make Welsh the language of administration. There is an opportunity for Ceredigion Council to follow the example of Anglesey Council, and an opportunity for the new Chief Executive, Eifion Evans, to make a significant change if the council announces a plan and implementation schedule to move to making Welsh the main language of work.”

Leader of the Council, Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn told us: “Ceredigion County Council is committed to supporting the Welsh language and culture, and to ensuring that its services and activities serve to promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh Language across the county.

“The Council has adopted the principles that, in Wales, the Welsh language should not be treated no less favourably than the English language, and that persons in Wales should be able to live their lives through the medium of the Welsh language if they choose to do so. The official languages of the Council are Welsh and English and they shall have the same status and validity in the external and internal workings of the Council.”

The Council’s strategic aims for the Welsh language are:

  • The Council is committed to establishing itself as a bilingual organisation when we provide services to the public, when we work with partners and in our internal administration.
  • To encourage our workforce to take pride in the Welsh language. All Ceredigion County Council services are able to operate with an effective understanding of the bilingual communities served and is able to identify with them.
  • To offer service users a language preference when they contact the Council and to ensure continuity of service.
  • To respect the fact that individuals can express their views and needs better in their preferred language, and that this is a matter of good practice rather than a concession.
  • To work towards ensuring that services are available in both Welsh and English languages; that they are equal in terms of standard and quality and that the public are aware of the availability of these services.
  • To increase the use of the language internally by raising awareness among staff of the importance of providing bilingual services.
  • To steadily increase the proportion of staff at all levels who have the ability and confidence to speak and write Welsh, in order to fulfil the principles of the Welsh Language Standards.
  • To support the aim of Welsh Government in achieving the objectives set out in their Welsh Language Strategy: Cymraeg 2050: A Million Welsh Speakers.

Cllr ap Gwynn continued: “The Policy for Promoting and Facilitating the Use of the Welsh Language Internally Policy was approved by Cabinet on 28 November. The internal administration of the Learning and Partnerships Directorate mainly operate in the Welsh language.”

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New Quay RNLI assists boy with broken ankle

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LAST week New Quay RNLI volunteers had a busy week with two training sessions, two call outs and crew attending a local agricultural show in Caerwedros.

With the inshore lifeboat training on Wednesday night and the all-weather lifeboat training on Thursday night, the crew then proceeded to launch on service twice over the weekend.

On Saturday 6 August at 5.50pm New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was tasked by HM Coastguard to provide first aid and assist the local New Quay Coastguard team with a medical evacuation on Traeth Gwyn, New Quay.

Huw Williams, one of New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “Unfortunately one of our crew members’ son had injured his ankle while playing on Traeth Gwyn. He urgently needed medical care but unfortunately there was a long wait for an ambulance. We arrived quickly on scene and administered pain relief. The casualty was in a lot of pain and we assisted the local Coastguard team to carry the casualty off the beach, up the steep path to their car.”

Father of the injured boy, Wayne Slawson added, “We would like to say a huge thank to everyone involved in this on Saturday and to both organisations as a whole, the level of service you all provide is first class.

“Our son is doing ok, following a few tough days in and out of hospital. He had to have a scan to determine whether or not he needed an operation as he had fractured his growth plate in his ankle. Luckily, they were able to manipulate the ankle into position while in theatre and now he has a full leg plaster. We can’t thank you all enough.”

The second callout was late on Sunday night at 11.50pm when New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was tasked by HM Coastguard to assist Dyfed Powys Police in searching for a missing person.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “After a thorough search of New Quay bay in glass calm conditions, and with nothing found, we were stood down and back at station by 1.30am. Another great example of our emergency services working together with the local Coastguard Rescue Team and police officers involved.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager said, “We have been busy over the past few months keeping up with training and with many launches on service. Remember if you see anyone in trouble in the sea on the coast call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Our volunteers are on call 24/7 to help.”

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Health

Possible super-hospital plans released as Pembrokeshire site ruled out

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HYWEL Dda Health Board have reduced the number of potential sites for the new “super-hospital” in West Wales from five to three. 

The new site has been narrowed down to two possible locations in Whitland or one in St Clears.

According to the plans provided in Hywel Dda’s technical appraisal reports, all sites will include a main building divided into planned and urgent care, as well as a separate facility for mental health services. Parking, administrative facilities, and a helipad are also planned.

Site 12 in Whitland
Travel time analysis for population to site 12

The potential Narberth site is no longer being considered, meaning that the new hospital would be built outside of Pembrokeshire.

Hywel Dda presented the findings of a “transport infrastructure analysis,” stating that both sites had bus services that are “infrequent” and “short,” making shift work difficult.

Plan for ‘site C’ in Whitland
Travel time analysis for population to ‘site C’

For Whitland, it noted that there was an approximate 750m walking distance from the train station to the hospital site, with recommended walking distance of 400m, and that local roads do ‘not appear’ to suffer from significant congestion during a typical weekday. 

In St Clears, the report highlighted the impact a planned new railway station – expected to open in 2024 – could have on the town, saying it would be a ‘major boost’ to the area providing viable alternative car travel, with it being understood there is a commitment to increase the frequency of services at some stations along the west Wales line from two hourly to hourly.

Plans for ‘site 17’ in St Clears
Travel time analysis for population ‘site 17’ in St Clears

After it was announced that Narberth would not be the site of the new hospital, Hywel Dda University Health Board Chair, Maria Battle, assured the residents of Pembrokeshire that their concerns would be taken into account.

“Our programme business case to the Welsh Government is seeking the greatest investment west Wales will have ever seen,” said Ms Battle.

Ambulance times to Whitland, Bronglais Hospital and Morriston Hospital (Welsh Ambulance Service travel time analysis June 2022)
Ambulance times to St Clears, Bronglais Hospital and Morriston Hospital (Welsh Ambulance Service travel time analysis June 2022)

“We have listened to and continue to listen to the fears and voices of the public we serve and our staff who understand the frontline challenges of trying to deliver services across so many sites and spread so thinly.

“Recognising the fragility of our services and the risk this poses every day, we do not intend to make changes at Glangwili or Withybush hospitals before a new hospital is built. And afterwards, they will continue to provide valuable health services to our communities.”

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crime

Police appeal for information on incident in Black Lion Hotel

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DYFED-Powys Police are investigating an incident which occurred in the Black Lion Hotel, New Quay on the evening of Saturday, July 30, 2022.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to come forward.  Police would especially like to speak to a man who is believed to have recorded the incident on his mobile phone.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101. 

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Quote reference: DP-20220731-195

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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