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Radio 4’s Today programme on Aber campus

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BBC RADIO 4’s flagship Today news and current affairs programme will be broadcasting live from Aberystwyth University on Thursday morning (May 17).

Presenter Justin Webb will co-present the programme from Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Penglais campus in front of a live audience of 150 staff, students and local people.

Entry to the event is free and all tickets have been taken but the programme can be heard live on BBC Radio Four between 6am-9am on Thursday 17 May or later on BBC iPlayer Radio.

A range of items with University staff and student contributors are expected to feature in the programme, including:

Dr Gwion Evans from the Department of Mathematics will present the daily puzzle feature at around 6:45am.

Microbiologist Dr Arwyn Edwards from the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) will start a live DNA sequencing test around 6.50am using samples of earth from Justin Webb’s garden and Plas Penglais. The findings will be broadcast live on air shortly before 9am.

The Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, Professor Elizabeth Treasure, is due to be interviewed between 7am – 8am.

Dr Fiona Corke from the National Plant Phenomics Centre – a National Capability funded by the BBSRC, hosted within IBERS – will be discussing the work done at the Phenomics glasshouse in Gogerddan, with a particular focus on drought resistance and plants that thrive in low nutrient environments.

Professor Richard Marggraf Turley from the Department of English & Creative Writing will be interviewed around 8:45 on Shakespeare’s King Lear and the psychotoxic wheat mimicker ‘darnel’ – Latin name ‘Lolium temulentum L’.

Resembling wheat, if it wasn’t pulled out and got baked into bread – so called ‘hot bread’ – it made people hallucinate.

The Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams AM, will also be in Aberystwyth for an interview with Justin Webb.

The programme is also keen to speak to Aberystwyth students and Students’ Union officers.

For more information about the Today programme, please see the BBC Radio 4 website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qj9z.

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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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