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Successful year for Centre for Welsh Politics and Society

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Elin Jones: Hosted WISERD reception

A NEW Aberystwyth University research centre dedicated to developing a greater understanding of contemporary politics and society in Wales completed its launch year with a reception in Cardiff Bay on Thursday (Dec 14).

The Centre for Welsh Politics and Society /WISERD@Aberystwyth (CWPS) brings together geographers, modern historians, political scientists and psychologists to tackle some of the pressing social and economic issues that face Wales today.

The reception was hosted by Ceredigion Assembly Member and National Assembly for Wales Llywydd (Presiding Officer) Elin Jones AM at the Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay.

Leading CWPS researchers working on the centre’s three main themes; Governance, Participation and Civil Society; Language, Culture and Identity; and Global Connection; will be on hand to discuss their work.

Professor Michael Woods, Co-Director of the Centre for Welsh Politics and Society / WISERD@Aberystwyth said: “The reception in the Pierhead is a great opportunity for us to tell Cardiff-based politicians, civil servants and civil society leaders about the excellent research being conducted in the Centre, and to demonstrate that Aberystwyth University is contributing to the social and political life of the whole of Wales.”

Co-Director Dr Anwen Elias added: “The reception tops a busy first year for CWPS and we are grateful to Elin Jones AM for her sponsorship of the event.”

GOVERNANCE, PARTICIPATION AND CIVIL SOCIETY

Led by Dr Taulant Guma, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, this theme aims to address the emergence of Governance – the multiple ways and levels (local, regional, national, global) in which power operates and is exercised – as an idea and practice replacing the more traditional approach of authority governing over a nation and its people.

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS

Led by Dr Lucy Taylor from the Department of International Politics. The politics and society of Wales are deeply entangled in relations with other parts of Britain and Europe and the rest of the world. The Global Connections theme aims to explore these connections, investigating how Wales compares with similar nations and regions, how it is influenced by transnational networks and processes, and how Wales has made its mark on other parts of the world.

LANGUAGE, CULTURE AND IDENTITIES

Led by Dr Elin Royles from the Department of International Politics, this theme focuses on the relationship between language and identity in Wales and examines questions around the politics of the Welsh language; the development and implementation of language policy and planning; the geography of the Welsh language; and Welsh language, culture and identity in education, citizenship and everyday life in Wales.

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT THE KEY

With public engagement a key element in its mission, CWPS has hosted a wide-ranging programme of public events during 2017 to highlight some of the current issues facing society in Wales.

In January CWPS hosted a public event at the Morlan Centre at Aberystwyth that focused on Brexit: The Key Questions for Wales, examining the potential effects on the rural economy, migrant workers and Welsh language and culture.

Its first St David’s Day Lecture, delivered by Baroness Eluned Morgan AM in March, also returned to the theme of Brexit.

In May CWPS launched a new MA in Welsh Politics and Society and in June hosted its traditional, and popular, General Election Hustings.

In September the GLOBAL-RURAL project reported on a major study of Newtown Powys and the effects of ‘everyday globalization’ on the town and surrounding communities with a public exhibition.

Also in September, CWPS co-hosted a conference at Aberystwyth University on UK Language Policy after Brexit 2017: The Influence of Devolution.

In early November, as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, CWPS hosted a public debate entitled Imagining alternative future for Mid Wales with Baroness Eluned Morgan, AM; Dr Marc Welsh, Aberystwyth University; Mr Barry Rees, Strategic Director: Learning and Partnerships Ceredigion County Council and Ben Lake MP.

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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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