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New owner to safeguard iconic wall

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WALES’s most famous Welsh-language graffiti became the subject of a national campaign earlier this year after the ‘Cofiwch Dryweryn’ (Trans: Remember Tryweryn) mural in Ceredigion was almost destroyed on two separate occasions.

But after several months of uncertainty and worry, it has been announced in a special programme on S4C this week, ‘Huw Stephens: Cofiwch Dryweryn’, that the wall displaying the passionate message has been sold to a new owner, who intends to protect it for the future.

The wall’s new owner, Dilys Davies, said: “I, like so many others, felt angry and hurt when the symbolic ‘Cofiwch Dryweryn’ wall was damaged twice earlier this year. It led me to think of what I could do. For certain I could not run up to Llanrhystud late at night, climb over fences and repaint the wall, so I contacted Elin Jones to ask how I could help.”

Within a few days of Dilys Davies contacting Elin Jones, the Assembly Member for Ceredigion and Welsh Assembly President, the owners of the wall had also contacted Elin and expressed their interest in selling the land where the wall stands to safeguard it.

Elin Jones AC said: “Through an amazing coincidence I received a message from the farmers who owned the wall and Dilys who wanted to buy the wall within a few days of each other. I arranged for us all to meet by the Tryweryn wall, and within 10 minutes Dilys and the farmers had agreed on a price.

“My thanks go to the farmers who have looked after the wall for 50 years before transferring it to Dilys Davies who will now ensure its safety and how it is interpreted in the future. The Tryweryn wall is a message to spur us on to demand respect and freedom for our country.”

Although Dilys Davies has bought the wall, she explains in the S4C programme that a charity will be set up to look after it.

“The wall will be transferred to a charity called Tro’r Trai whose purpose is to promote our Welsh language and culture. This will ensure a secure future for the wall, and the monument will be preserved by the charity for good,” explained Dilys.

“In terms of the future of the wall, I didn’t want to make that decision myself, because there are many ways of preserving it. You could put a fence around it, but on the other hand, there is something nice about the street art element and that it has been re-done after the original was done (by Meic Stephens). I would like to think that, although I own the wall, it belongs to all of us.”

The message was originally painted in the 1960s by young nationalist Meic Stephens, who was determined that the people of Wales would never forget the decision by the UK Government to drown the village of Capel Celyn near Bala in 1965 to create a reservoir for Liverpool City Council.

Huw Stephens said: “The ‘Cofiwch Dryweryn’ wall is an important part of our history, and for everybody in Wales. As a family we are very pleased that – thanks to Dilys – the wall is being put into the hands of a charity, to preserve it, so that what happened in Tryweryn will never be forgotten.”

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RNLI in Wales urges people to stay safe as Storm Brendan hits

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging people to stay safe near the Welsh coast as severe weather could make our seas and coastlines particularly dangerous.

Lifesaving charity, the RNLI, is encouraging people to exercise extreme caution if visiting the shoreline, especially along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers.

The expected strong winds and severe gales pose a severe safety risk to those visiting the coast.

Named Storm Brendan by Met Eireann, it swept eastwards across Ireland before making its way through the rest of the UK this morning with yellow wind warning in place for most of the Welsh coast.

Chris Cousens, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead for Wales said:

‘This rough weather could make visiting parts of the Welsh coastline treacherous and bring very dangerous sea conditions.

‘Sadly, around 150 people lose their lives on British and Irish coasts each year and over half of these people didn’t plan on ever entering the water. Slips, trips and falls can be a major factor in these kinds of incidents.’

If you see someone else in danger in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. If you have something that floats that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself – too many people drown trying to save others.

The charity, which provides a search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland, is facing its own Perfect Storm as demand for its services has increased but it is facing a shortfall in funds. This past year, the RNLI has been busier than ever, and stormy conditions can mean additional call outs for the already extremely busy volunteer crews. Whatever the weather, RNLI volunteers will still be on call to rescue those at difficulty at sea.

The RNLI’s major new fundraising appeal, The Perfect Storm, which aims to help the charity get back to living within its means, is running throughout November and December. To find out more or to donate visit RNLI.org/ThePerfect Storm.

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Community

Are you missing out on a Council Tax reduction?

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IF YOU’RE struggling to pay your Council Tax bill, then help could be available for you through the Welsh Government’s flagship Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS).

The scheme, which will continue to support vulnerable households in 2020-21, currently benefits one in five of all households in Wales. In the last year almost 280,000 low-income households have received help from the scheme, with 220,000 paying no council tax at all. Many more receive other discounts or exemptions.

You may be entitled to pay less council tax if:

• you believe you live on a low income
• you live alone, or with people/children who do not pay council tax
• you are a student
• you are disabled
• you are severely mentally impaired

Understanding why there are still vulnerable households not benefitting from the help they are entitled to is a priority for the Welsh Government. Last year we commissioned research to understand the circumstances of households in Wales and the effects of the UK Government’s Universal Credit on the CTRS.

The interim report out today shows that for many households, the move to Universal Credit can have a significant impact on council tax reduction awards. Whilst many households currently receiving a 100% reduction will continue to do so, for others, the move to Universal Credit is shown to have an adverse impact, particularly for employed households, self-employed households, and working households in receipt of a Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

Full findings of the interim report are available on the Welsh Government website. These findings will now be considered in more detail to inform the next stages of the research and policy development in this area.

Encouraging people to make sure they are not missing out on help they could be entitled to, Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said:

“Ensuring every household in Wales receives the council tax support they are entitled to is an important part of our commitment to making council tax fairer.

“Our scheme is already helping hundreds of thousands of households across Wales, but we know that there are still many missing out on the discounts, reductions and exemptions they are entitled to. I encourage everyone to check the Welsh Government website to find out if they could be paying less.”

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Ysgol Bro Pedr raise funds for life saving machine

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PUPILS at Ysgol Bro Pedr have raised enough money to buy a defibrillator machine for the school.

The idea came after 15 Year 11 pupils achieved their Level 3 Emergency First Aid Qualification with Ceredigion Youth Service. Pupils felt that it was incredibly important that they and others at the school had the skills, knowledge and equipment to use in an emergency.

Mrs Caryl Jones and pupils raised an outstanding £1,150 through organising a bake sale at the school on 28 March 2019. The school extends their thanks to Lampeter businesses ‘Oh My Cod’ and ‘Y Becws’ for their kind contribution towards the sale.

Guto Crompton, School Based Youth Worker said: “Although first aid is not a mandatory part of the school curriculum in Wales, young people at Ysgol Bro Pedr felt that it should be something that all pupils knew about. This would help them to know what to do in an emergency, whether that be in the school or out in the community. Pupils worked hard to achieve their First Aid qualification which covered aspect such as CPR, casualty management and the use of a defibrillator.”

The defibrillator machine will be placed in the school reception.

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