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Aberystwyth man hopes to inspire family to join him on FFIT Cymru journey

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AN Aberystwyth man hopes that his journey on S4C’s FFIT Cymru series will inspire his family to join him in his health transformation.

Matthew Jones, aged 30, will welcome the television cameras into his life over the next seven weeks after he was chosen as one of five leaders of the health and fitness series, which is shown every Tuesday at 8pm.

Throughout the series, which is sponsored by Fitbit, they will be supported by the show’s team of three health and fitness experts as they bid to lose weight and change their health outlook.

Matthew’s motivation for entering the series was to improve his health and he hopes his family will follow suit. His father has suffered two mini strokes recently, while he lost his aunt due to health problems brought on by weight.

Matthew, who works for Plaid Cymru, said: “Weight problems have had a terrible impact on my family, with diabetes, cancer and strokes. I don’t want that to happen to me.

“What I need is someone to tell me what I need to do, this is what and when you’re eating. I’m looking forward to that and I’m ready to give 100 percent.”

Also among the five who have been chosen as leaders this year is: Mared Fôn Owen, a 20 year-old student at Bangor University; David Roberts, a primary school deputy head-teacher from Caerphilly; Emlyn Bailey, a father-of-two from Blaenau Ffestiniog who works as a trainee paramedic; and Annaly Jones, a single mum-of-three from Carmarthen.

FFIT Cymru dietician Sioned Quirke said: “I can’t wait to start working with the five leaders we have this year. They come from all walks of life. They all have their problems, but they all have lovely stories.

“The whole point of FFIT Cymru is to encourage our five leaders to transform their lives, in the hope that they can inspire the nation to join them. We saw it happen last year and hopefully even more people will join us his year.”

Viewers can also take a full part in the series by following the leaders’ tailor-made fitness and diet plans, all of which will be available at s4c.cymru/ffitcymru, and also by taking part in the parkrun alongside the five leaders. FFIT Cymru is also launching a new podcast this year, voiced by Rae Carpenter, which will help listeners progress from the couch to a 5k.

To follow the FFIT Cymru food and exercise plan and to see more from the leaders, go to s4c.cymru/ffitcymru or follow @FFITCymru on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Ceredigion dog breeder fined for failing to comply with dog breeding licence

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A CROWN COURT has upheld a conviction that the dogs under the care of Mr. Jones were kept in overcrowded conditions in contravention of the minimum space standards required by the license conditions.

Other convictions were overturned.

On 27 November 2020, and 22December 2020, the Crown Court heard an appeal by Mr. Dorian Wyn Jones, of Dorwan Kennels, Penrheol, Talsarn, relating to convictions for failing to comply with dog breeding licence conditions. 

Mr. Dorian Wyn Jones had previously been convicted at Aberystwyth Magistrates Court of running a licenced dog breeding establishment far in access of the number allowed on his licence and that the dogs in his care were kept in overcrowded conditions.

The Court heard evidence that Mr Dorian Wyn Jones had been granted a licence for 33 dogs. However, during a visit undertaken by Ceredigion County Council’s Public Protection Officers on the 07 August 2019, they found 91 dogs at the premises excluding puppies, in breach of his license. The dogs were kept in pens of a size that were inadequate for the number of dogs kept within them.

On 9 February 2021, Dorian Jones was fined £1000 for the overcrowding offence, and ordered to pay legal costs amounting to £2500. 

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Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, dies aged 99

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The Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen’s ‘strength and stay’ for 73 years, has died aged 99.

Prince Philip’s health had been slowly deteriorating for some time. He announced he was stepping down from royal engagements in May 2017, joking that he could no longer stand up. He made a final official public appearance later that year during a Royal Marines parade on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.

Since then, he was rarely seen in public, spending most of his time on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, though moving to be with her at Windsor Castle during the lockdown periods throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and where the couple quietly celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in November 2020. He also celebrated his 99th birthday in lockdown at Windsor Castle.

The duke spent four nights at King Edward VII hospital in London before Christmas 2019 for observation and treatment in relation to a “pre-existing condition”.

Despite having hip surgery in April 2018, he attended the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a month later and was seen sitting beside the Queen at a polo match at Windsor Great Park in June. He and the Queen missed Prince Louis of Cambridge’s christening in July 2018, but he was seen attending Crathie Kirk near Balmoral in August, and driving his Land Rover in the surrounding Scottish countryside in September.

It is expected that flags on landmark buildings in Britain will be lowered to half-mast as a period of mourning is announced.

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford has expressed his sadness on the news of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and offered condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal family on behalf of the Welsh Government.

He said: “It is with sadness that we mourn the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Throughout his long and distinguished life, he served the crown with selfless devotion and generosity of spirit.

We offer our sincere condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, his children and their families on this sad occasion.

He will be missed by the many organisations that he supported as Patron or President over many decades of service”.Andrew RT Davies, the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, has led tributes to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose death was announced today.

In light of the sad news from Buckingham Palace, campaigning has been paused with immediate effect.

Mr Davies said: “This is a very sad day for the United Kingdom.
“The Duke of Edinburgh led a remarkable life, excelled himself with his career in the Royal Navy, was the strength and stay to Her Majesty The Queen, and has left a legacy to the nation through the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

“Dutiful, devoted, and diligent, his like will never be seen again, and Welsh Conservatives offer their deepest condolences to The Queen, and the rest of the Royal Family.”

Adam Price, leader of Plaid Cymru said: “On behalf of Plaid Cymru, I send my condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and her family. Many young people in Wales will have benefited from the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme, a reflection of many decades of his public service. Thoughts are with the Royal Family at this time.”

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Elin Jones calls for a plan to revive Aberystwyth town centre

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AS NON-ESSENTIAL retail re-opens on April 12, many of larger shops in Aberystwyth town centre will not be re-opening, with head offices scaling back on their presence on high streets across the UK.

In Aberystwyth, their absence will be particularly obvious with many of these retailers being located along Great Darkgate Street. Multiple retailers such as Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Clinton Cards, Edinburgh Woolen Mill, M&Co and Lloyds Pharmacy will not be reopening leaving a large proportion of empty properties.

These closures are in stark contrast to many independent retailers on Aberystwyth’s other streets looking to expand or start.

Commenting on this issue, Elin Jones said: “It’s time for a major rethink for Aberystwyth’s Great Darkgate Street.

“The multiple larger retailers are turning their back on our town centre and now we need to re-focus these large premises in order to make them more attractive and accessible to independent, local businesses. There have been smaller independent shops opening along other streets in Aberystwyth and throughout Ceredigion, so there is definitely businesses who could be persuaded to have a presence on the high street.

‘It would be great to see a partnership effort in the town to persuade the absentee landlords to give rent-free start up opportunities, to re-purpose the larger premises to suit smaller businesses and to ensure the buildings look attractive on the street.

‘Welsh Government has confirmed that no rates will need to be paid for this whole financial year and therefore now is a great opportunity to support small local businesses to reclaim their place on Great Darkgate Street.

‘It is the town’s largest street and needs to be a star attraction in Ceredigion.’

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