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Aberaeron Youth Centre’s garden given new lease of life

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CEREDIGION YOUTH SERVICE (CYS) have been successful in utilising funding to develop the garden area at Aberaeron Youth Centre.

The young people who attend the youth club decided that they wanted to turn the garden into a safe space for everyone to enjoy. The garden had been left dilapidated for some time and deemed too hazardous for the youth club members to enjoy. This was partly due to adverse weather conditions over the years and instances of vandalism. Therefore, the garden was in need of some considerable repair and maintenance.

CYS was successful in gaining a Youth Led Grant from CAVO via a video application which the youth club members filmed themselves in order to seek support with funding to help develop the space to be safe and inclusive. The youth club also received an additional donation towards the garden project in remembrance of Mathew Evans, a long term youth club member who tragically passed away in 2017 in a car accident.

Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Learning Services said, “It is wonderful to hear that the young people decided they wanted to develop the garden and make it accessible and spacious for everyone to enjoy. Open spaces are of utmost important to the health and well-being of us all, and now Aberaeron Youth Service and the community have a garden to enjoy.”

The young people helped with removing the old debris and materials and supported in the construction and the new layout by shifting and setting over 5 tonnes of gravel, laying down slabs and replacing the old decking and steps. Furthermore, new trees and flowers have been planted with bird boxes assembled that will be placed in the garden along with other sensory resources.

The project has been youth-led from the beginning, with Outreach Youth Worker Rebecca Williams coordinating and engaging with a wide variety of different groups and people. The project has worked in partnership with Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training, a work based learning provider that offers a range of vocational courses to prepare people of all ages for the workplace by providing skills training. The project has engaged with youth club members, young people who attend Children’s Disability Team’s provision, Canolfan Aeron and also alternative curriculum pupils and young volunteers.

A total of 44 young people volunteered and supported the development of the project since January 2018, with 30% of those participants continuing to engage in volunteering opportunities. Principal Youth Officer for CYS, Gethin Jones said, “This project has been a great opportunity for young people to become empowered and get involved with something truly positive. It has gone through a remarkable transformation and the impact it will now have moving forward is also very exciting as they will be able to enjoy the space safely. It will also give the centre greater opportunity of engaging with the community and allow other groups to visit and enjoy the space. Thank you for the generous donations and everyone who has supported the project to make it happen”.

The garden is almost ready and is receiving its final touches to make it look vibrant and appealing to all members of the community. An open evening is planned for Thursday, 3 May between 6pm and 7:30pm where the garden will be officially opened. A warm welcome to all from the area to come and enjoy the new garden and complimentary food and refreshments.

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

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Force decision to challenge inappropriate behaviour of officer the right one

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A DYFED-POWYS POLICE officer has been dismissed from his post with immediate effect, after the force challenged the previous finding of a conduct panel which would have enabled him to return to front line duties.

PC Simon England first appeared before an independent panel in April 2019, following reports of inappropriate sexual behaviour and comments towards colleagues and (indirectly) members of the public.

Following a judicial review into the 2019 hearing, this week PC England was brought before another panel, overseen by Legally Qualified Chair, Mrs Sally Olsen.

PC England fully admitted the alleged conduct in its entirety and accepted that it amounted to gross misconduct. However,  he did not believe that his conduct justified his dismissal from the force.

The Panel found that the behaviour in question amounted to serious breaches of the standards of professional behaviour relating to authority, respect and courtesy, equality and diversity and discreditable conduct, and was therefore dismissed with immediate effect. 

Following this second panel, Temporary Chief Constable Claire Parmenter said:

“Dyfed-Powys Police quite rightly expects the highest standards of professional behaviour from its officers and staff, as do the communities we serve and protect.

“The force cannot and will not tolerate behaviour of this kind. We will always take action to protect our officers, staff, and without question, the public.

“It is vital that we maintain public confidence in the force, and public confidence cannot be upheld by allowing individuals who behave in such a way to remain in the organisation.

“I am pleased to see that the seriousness of this matter has now been recognised and that the panel have judged this behaviour to amount to gross misconduct. This confirms that the decision to challenge the original conclusion via judicial review was absolutely the right one”.

Examples of the conduct in question include inappropriate touching of colleagues with sexual intent, inappropriate comments to colleagues about masturbation, and talk of specific sexual acts that he would wish to engage in with members of the public he had seen.

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New Quay RNLI search for unoccupied grey dinghy

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On Sunday night (25 July) New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to search for an unoccupied grey dinghy last seen near Cwmtydu, south of New Quay. 

The Audrey LJ lifeboat launched at 8.40pm with three volunteer crew members on board and made good speed down the coast.  

Dylan Price, New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “On arrival the crew commenced searching and soon found a large blue and black inflatable. We were then tasked to carry out further searches for a grey boat between Cwmtydu and New Quay but on finding nothing else we were stood down and returned to station by 10pm. 

“Remember if you see anyone in trouble or find yourself in difficulty on the coast do not hesitate to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.” 

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Stand up for slowing down speed campaign launched

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INAPPROPRIATE speed contributes to around 11% of all injury collisions reported to the police, with 15% of collisions resulting in a serious injury and 24% of collisions resulting in fatalities.

Starting on the 26th July, the National Police Chief Council (NPCC) Speed Campaign will kick off across the UK, with GoSafe and the four Welsh Police Forces participating in both engaging with the public about the risks of speeding and enforcing the speed limits on the roads of Wales.

In 2019, 60,073 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were issued in Wales to drivers/riders for speeding.

Speeding is a major contributing factor to collisions on the roads of Wales. This includes both ‘excessive speed’, where the speed limit is exceeded, as well as driving or riding within the speed limit when this is too fast for the conditions at the time; for example, in poor weather, poor visibility or high pedestrian activity.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, we saw less traffic but higher speeds.  Now our restrictions are lifting, traffic volumes are up and as we are holidaying in the UK more, we are seeing more people speeding on the roads in Wales.  We want to change this, but can only do that with your help.

 Over the next few weeks you will see an increased presence on the road network of Wales as we aim to keep all road users safe and reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

 We know that the majority of road users comply with the speed limit; but the minority of those who do not increases the risk to the safety of all road users and need to be educated on the risks to their own safety as well as to the safety of those around them. Throughout this campaign, GoSafe and our partners in the Police and Local Authorities will encourage and educate more people to reduce their speed to save lives.

Teresa Ciano, GoSafe Partnership Manager said: “GoSafe enforce at sites across Wales in order to encourage motorists to comply with the speed limits and in turn make our roads and communities safer for everyone. If we all play our part and stand up for slowing down we can make a difference, and we can save lives on the roads of Wales.”

Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change said: “I am very pleased to support this campaign. Driving at high speeds costs lives and a greater police presence on our roads will mean motorists will be more likely to drive within the speed limits, protecting lives and avoiding a speeding fine.”

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