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UK Government rejects Swansea Tidal Lagoon investment

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THE UK GOVERNMENT has pulled the plug on the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project in a move described as a vote of ‘no interest in Wales, no confidence in British manufacturing and no care for the planet‘.

Having delayed its announcement until after crucial votes on Brexit in the House of Commons, the Government announced the news just ahead of a vote on a third runway for Heathrow, which could be seen as trying to bury bad news.

An announcement on the tidal lagoon project had been strung out by the Westminster government, the project having first been mooted to David Cameron’s ‘greenest ever government’ in 2011 and subject to a statutory consultation in 2013.

The first of its kind in the world, the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon would have produced enough energy to power 150,000 Welsh homes for 120 years, sustain over 2,000 construction and manufacturing jobs in Wales, and support as many as 311 industrial and manufacturing businesses along the supply chain.

It would have delivered £8 million in tourism revenue, and required more than 100,000 tonnes of steel, much of which would come from the Port Talbot steelworks, with further jobs downstream making the component parts.

In early 2017, a review led by former Conservative Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change Sir Charles Hendry, endorsed the scheme’s construction.

Since then, however, there has been near silence from Theresa May’s government.

The decision to refuse funding comes 11 months after Theresa May intervened personally to cancel the promised electrification of the rail line between Swansea and Cardiff and has led to allegations that both the Prime Minister and her government know the cost of everything but the value of nothing.

The decision was made in spite of an offer from the Welsh Government to invest heavily in the £1.3bn project and interest from the trustees of the Welsh Local Government Pension Funds in supporting it by investing pension funds into the project.

A statement from the UK Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to Parliament claimed that: ‘The inescapable conclusion of an extensive analysis is that however novel and appealing the proposal that has been made is … the costs that would be incurred by consumers and taxpayers would be so much higher than alternative sources of low carbon power, that it would be irresponsible to enter into a contract with the provider’.

However, the arithmetic used by the UK Government – a claim that it would add £700 to the cost of household electricity bills between 2031 and 2050 – while eye-catching, is the equivalent of 67p a week.

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Jail after heroin worth £45,000 seized

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AN ABERYSTYWYTH woman has been jailed, and an organised crime gang disrupted, after heroin worth £45,000 was found at her home.

Dyfed-Powys Police found more than 400g of the class A drug during a warrant at Susan Marie Proffitt’s home – resulting in one of the force’s largest single seizures of heroin in Ceredigion.

The result has disrupted an active organised crime gang supplying class A drugs to the area.

Sergeant Steven Jones said: “This swift and thorough investigation involved officers and staff from departments across the division, who worked together to secure this result.

“The defendant had a huge amount of heroin at her home, with efforts taken to conceal bags of the drug around the property.

“There is no doubt that in taking Proffitt out of the supply chain we will have disrupted an organised crime gang which she was a trusted part of in supplying heroin into the division.”

Officers carried out a warrant at the 52-year-old’s home in South Road on August 30, 2020.

On searching the property, a box containing 408g of heroin was found concealed in a vent under the staircase, and two further wraps were found in a shower head bracket. Fingerprint marks matching those of Proffitt were found on these items.

Four mobile phones were also seized from the property.

Sgt Jones said: “The quantity of heroin recovered is far in excess of what he would expect to see someone who is simply a user to be in possession of for their own use.

“Given the value of the heroin recovered and the financial circumstances of the defendant, we were confident it was unlikely she would be able to fund a purchase of such a quantity of heroin without being involved in the supply of drugs.

“The only realistic reason for possessing this quantity of heroin was for supply onto others.”

Proffitt was charged with possession with intent to supply, and pleaded guilty. She was sentenced to 57 months in prison when she appeared at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday, November 26.

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New permanent walk-in test centre opens in Aberystwyth

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PEOPLE in Aberystwyth with symptoms of COVID-19 now have access to a permanent walk-in testing facility.

Hywel Dda University Health Board has arranged for a Local Testing Site (LTS) to be located inside the former Padarn Nursery building, (behind, but not connected to, Padarn Surgery), on Penglais Road.

Local people should avoid using the nearby nursery car park, leaving it free for those people accessing tests to park there. People who attend the walk-in centre must wear a face covering.

Meanwhile, the drive-through facility at Canolfan Rheidol has now been relocated to Cardigan in response to a rise in cases in that area. Residents of Aberystwyth will not be impacted by this move as there is plenty of testing capacity at the LTS.

Alison Shakeshaft, Director of Therapies & Health Science at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “We are very pleased to have secured this LTS for the people of Aberystwyth. Many residents in the town, including students, do not have their own private vehicle in order to access drive-through testing facilities, so the option of a walk-in facility is very important.

“This is a challenging time and I urge everyone to remain vigilant and follow the rules, including wearing face coverings where required, maintain social distancing, washing hands regularly, or using a hand sanitiser if hand washing is not possible.”

Anyone who has symptoms of the virus (a new persistent cough, high temperature or loss/change of taste or smell) must book a test as soon as possible.  This can be done through the online UK portal at www.gov.wales/coronavirus.

University students with COVID-19 symptoms, when booking a test, are required to provide their local address in Aberystwyth.

Please do not book a test if you do not have COVID-19 symptoms and do not attend testing centres without booking first as you will not be seen without an appointment.

Please follow the latest self-isolation guidelines which can be found here.

For the latest news and updated from Hywel Dda University Health Board visit https://hduhb.nhs.wales/

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Improvements required at a pub in Devil’s Bridge

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A HOSPITALITY business in Devil’s Bridge has been required to make improvements to safeguard the public’s health and well-being as part of the coronavirus regulations.

A Premises Improvement Notice has been served to The Hafod, Devil’s Bridge, Aberystwyth by Ceredigion County Council’s Public Protection Officers due to non-compliance with The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 4) (Wales) Regulations 2020.

As part of the Premises Improvement Notice, the Premises must ensure that a distance of 2 metres is maintained between any persons on the premises, and put measures in place which limit close face to face interaction and maintain hygiene. 

These measures will need to be implemented by 17:00 on November 27, 2020. The full notice can be seen on the Council’s website under Improvement and Closure Notices.

Information for businesses is available on the Council’s website under Supporting Ceredigion’s Economy.

Any business who is unsure of their responsibilities is urged to check the Welsh Government website

Any business that requires further information or guidance can contact the council’s Licensing Team on 01545 570881 or clic@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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