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Council approves first Anti-Slavery Annual Statement

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THE COUNCIL’S first Anti-Slavery Annual Statement has been confirmed following approval from the Cabinet on Tuesday (Sept 4). An Anti-Slavery Action Plan has also been adopted and will now be implemented.

Set out in the Annual Statement, the Council reports on three key areas of action. These are – the processes established to tackle Modern Slavery, the steps taken to protect against Modern Slavery in the Council’s supply chains, and the steps taken to ensure good employment practices.

The action plan sets out how Ceredigion County Council will address the Modern Slavery Policy, including Safeguarding and meeting the requirements of the Welsh Government’s Code of Practice on Ethical Employment in Supply Chains.

The Leader of the Council and Cabinet member responsible for Policy, Performance, Partnerships and Democratic Services, Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn said: “Last year, Ceredigion County Council became one of the first councils in Wales to adopt an Anti-Slavery Policy. We have now approved our first annual statement and adopted a dedicated action plan to tackle and deter a crime that targets some of the most vulnerable members of our society. I look forward to seeing how the plan progresses.”

The Council’s Anti-Slavery and Ethical Employment Champion, Councillor Lyndon Lloyd MBE added: “The Annual Statement and Action Plan make it very clear; the Council will take every opportunity to tackle Modern Slavery not only in its own work, but also in the supply chain that surrounds the Council. This is a real problem that affects people in both rural and urban areas. It’s important that we stay vigilant to the threat.”

Modern Slavery involves the movement, coercion and exploitation of vulnerable adults and children. Types of exploitation include labour exploitation, sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, domestic servitude and organ harvesting. In 2017 there were 193 potential victims of modern slavery reported in Wales. 44% of those reported were children. It is estimated that there could be 10,000 to 13,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK.

Ceredigion County Council’s Anti-Slavery Policy was adopted at a meeting of full council in December 2017. Councillor Lyndon Lloyd was also appointed as our Anti-Slavery Champion at the same time. The Policy comprises an integrated approach bringing together key areas of safeguarding, human resources, procurement and civil contingencies.

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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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