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Keeping Ceredigion’s coast clean

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TWO types of new bins have been sited near some of Ceredigion’s main beaches to help keep the county’s coast clean.

The large bins, forming what will be known as beach litter collection points, are being installed near the key access points to beaches at Borth, Clarach, Aberystwyth, Aberaeron, New Quay, Llangrannog and Tresaith and will provide temporary additional capacity when it is most needed.

Councillor Ray Quant MBE, Cabinet Member for Technical Services said: “We are seeing an increased awareness of the detrimental impact humans are having on the marine environment. Arising from this, more and more people are wanting to get actively involved in addressing the situation by taking part in activities such as beach litter picking. Providing these bins is a way of supporting this whether people are doing this on a one off basis or more regularly on their own or as part of a group.”

The Dolphin bins were designed with the aim of encouraging people to deal with their waste responsibly.

The location choice of the bins is to minimise the detrimental visual impacts that siting large numbers of permanent bins in such aesthetically pleasing locations can have as well as being mis-used and attract fly-tipping.

The provision of the new bins forms part of Caru Ceredigion whereby those visiting, living and enjoying all that is fantastic about Ceredigion can play their part in keeping it clean. The Council works closely with other key stakeholders including Keep Wales Tidy and volunteer groups including the Aberystwyth Beach Buddies and Surfers Against Sewage who have a mutual and shared interest in protecting and maintaining Ceredigion’s local environment.

Alan Cookson from Aberystwyth Beach Buddies is regularly involved in litter picking activities as an organiser and participant. Alan is very eager to raise awareness of what people can do to preserve the marine environment and said, “This is a great initiative by Ceredigion County Council and shows not only their recognition of the vast increase in people taking action to protect our local marine environment, but also their own commitment to doing so.

Marine plastic pollution is a worldwide problem and every tide in Ceredigion brings more ocean plastic to our coast. Since Blue Planet 2 was screened on the BBC at the start of 2018, the UK and its citizens have responded in many ways to reduce their use of plastic, and none more so than in our own county.

Ceredigion County Council are already supporting and organising large beach cleans with their own litter picks, by providing equipment to community groups to undertake their own cleanups. They also direct services to collect what the general public’s action are removing during such events run by other marine conservation groups.

People have, in their own time, taken to spontaneously and autonomously engaging in mini beach cleans all along our coast. These new bins facilitate and support these actions and the messages and images displayed on them will also encourage others to become part of what is a fast-growing, local, national and worldwide movement.

We commend Ceredigion County Council for being at the forefront of encouraging and supporting these actions. Every piece of marine plastic removed is important and every action counts.”

The use of the bins will be monitored and if the initiatives are successful, consideration will be given to other locations.

Those wanting to find out more about the support that can be provided can contact the Council via Technical.Services@ceredigion.gov.uk or 01545 572572.

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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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