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AM calls for investment in Ceredigion’s sea defences

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CEREDIGION’S Assembly Member, Elin Jones, has called on the Welsh Government for a tidal change in the way sea defence improvements are funded.

Currently, Ceredigion County Council must find 25% of the capital funding for sea defences along the 105 km stretch of coast. For previous sea defence schemes, 100% of funding came via the Welsh Government.

However, multimillion pound capital budgets are unavailable to a small authority like Ceredigion with a lengthy coastline. As a result, Elin Jones is pressing the Welsh Government to revert to a 100% fully funded scheme.

Elin Jones, said: “The storms of December 2017 have caused damage, once again, to Ceredigion’s shoreline. There is now a significant urgency to improve marine defences all along our coast. This is particularly needed in places like Llangrannog, Aberaeron and Aberystwyth.

“However, the fact that the County Council has to find 25% of capital funding is a barrier to acting on this matter, especially as capital budgets are being reduced across Wales.

“I have therefore asked the Cabinet Secretary, Lesley Griffiths, to change back to the previous system where 100% of the funding for our sea defences came from the Welsh Government. Without this, it is unlikely that the Council will be able fulfil the necessary work that the communities along the coast of Ceredigion need.”

Backing Elin Jones’s call, Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn, leader of Ceredigion County Council, said: “Following repeated storm damage it is imperative that capital investment is made available to strengthen our sea defences. The coastline of Wales is a national asset and as such any work to be done should be fully funded by the Welsh Government. The present system penalises those counties that have a coastline.”

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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