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Successful WASPI meeting at Aberystwyth

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A full public meeting held on August 28 at Canolfan Merched y Wawr, Aberystwyth saw women from across Ceredigion, along with their families, express concern as to the UK Government’s recent state pension changes.

Ceredigion MP Ben Lake, who organised the meeting, is backing the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign which is protesting against the changes made by the government to the state pension age, particularly affecting women born in the 1950s.

Around 5,000 women in Ceredigion who expected to retire at 60 have been told, some of whom with only 18-months’ notice, that they will have to wait up to another six years for their pension. It is estimated some women will miss out on over £40,000 in pension payments.

Several women shared their personal stories and experiences during the meeting – many of whom are struggling to make ends meet, and are facing the probability of living permanently below the poverty line throughout their retirement. Several women noted that, due to long-term health problems, it would be extremely difficult for them to carry on working until the age of 66 but that these changes and the lack of adequate warning from the Government had left them no choice.

Ben Lake MP said: “This meeting provided an opportunity for local women affected by the state pension changes to come together, hear more about the campaign and hopefully get active in protesting the changes that are being forced upon them.

“I’m glad to see the campaign is gaining momentum here in Ceredigion, with the evening building on the success of a similar event held in Cardigan last month. I am now looking forward to our next meeting at Lampeter’s Victoria Hall on Monday 24th September at 7pm.

“The more women who get involved in the campaign, the better the chance of ministers taking heed and bringing about fairness for those affected.”

Constituents who would like to learn more about the campaign should contact Ben Lake MP’s office on ben.lake.mp@parliament.uk or on 01570 940 333.

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Recognition given to long-standing members of Council committee

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AT AN Ethics and Standards Committee (virtual) meeting held on 17 September 2021,  Rif Winfield and Hywel Wyn Jones were given recognition for their 10 years’ of service to the Committee between 2011 and 2021. A small plaque was presented to both.

Hywel was Chair of the Committee for 3 years.

In their place, two new independent members Alan Davies and Caryl Davies have been appointed.

Eifion Evans, Chief Executive of Ceredigion County Council said, “Ceredigion County Council has benefitted from a decade of advice and considerations provided by Rif & Hywel. We welcome the new members of the committee and their input to the function of the Committee will be greatly appreciated.”

Standards Committees of local authorities exist to do all that is possible to promote and safeguard the standards that the public rightly expect from their elected representatives.

Ceredigion County Council Chairman, Councillor Paul Hinge, said, “Our thanks go to Rif and Hywel who have given their time to contribute to the Committee and we welcome the new members.”

The Committee is made up of five independent members, two county councillors and two town/community councillors. Meeting quarterly, reports for the Ethics and Standards Committee including dispensation applications can be found on the Council website: www.ceredigion.gov.uk.

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Exciting new developments on the horizon for Lampeter Wellbeing Centre

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Architects have been appointed to oversee the project and work will now begin on the proposed layout for the facility

At a Cabinet meeting held on 01 December 2020, it was agreed that Lampeter Leisure Centre would become the location of the Council’s first Wellbeing Centre in the County.

A significant amount of work and investment is to be made at the Leisure Centre which will improve the facility and the resources for years to come.

Over the coming months, as we see the plans and proposals for Wellbeing Centre develop, they will be shared with service users and the residents of Ceredigion.

Architects have been appointed to oversee the project and work will now begin on the proposed layout for the facility. The layout will be a reconfiguration of the existing facility in order to provide a Wellbeing Centre that can provide an enhanced range of Through Age Services, including Leisure Services to the residents of Lampeter and the mid of the county. 

Councillor Catherine Hughes, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member, said: “We are looking forward to the development of the new Wellbeing Centre at Lampeter. This will provide a range of services to residents within their local community.

This development comes at a welcome time, as Ceredigion Public Service Board is carrying out an Assessment of Local Wellbeing, in order to find out about the wellbeing of local people and communities, now and in the future.”

Lampeter Leisure Centre will be closed during the building works, but during this period alternative provision will be made available for all service users and clubs.

We look forward to being able to share these alternative plans with you over the coming weeks, as soon as these arrangements have been finalised.

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UK Government must improve HGV drivers’ working conditions – Ben Lake MP

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Many people in the HGV industry have expressed concern

FOLLOWING his contribution during PMQs on September 8 regarding the HGV driver crisis, Ben Lake MP has raised the issue again, with Minister Grant Shapps.

Ben Lake MP has said:

“Many constituents who work in the HGV industry have come forward to share their experiences with me about the HGV driver crisis. As well as expressing grave concern, they have also shared ideas and long-term solutions that would greatly improve the current situation. 

“It’s important that the UK Government listens and gives full consideration to these suggestions and I look forward to meeting with the Minister in the near future to discuss them further.”

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