THE last year or so has seen flurries of activity on and around Pen Dinas Local Nature Reserve. Members of Ceredigion’s Rights of Way team, contractors and a whole host of volunteers have carried out footpath improvement work with thanks to a grant from the Landfill Disposal Tax Community Scheme (administered by Welsh Council for Voluntary Action).
Now that most of the work is done, it was time to mark the occasion and to thank all those involved in delivering the project. A large group gathered in the café on Thursday 26 September at The Hub in Penparcau where a display of photos of the project were put on show and everyone had time to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee before heading up onto Pen Dinas to explore the improved paths.
Eifion Jones, Public Rights of Way Officer, said: “Given how unsettled the weather had been the week leading up to the community walk, with torrential rain and strong, gusty winds, there was no real plan to the walk. The idea would be to follow the middle path, then take a stroll around a section of the newly created, wheel chair accessible circular ‘Hen Domen Trail’ which now leads off the Ystwyth Trail, before we headed back to Penparcau along the old bottom path.
Despite low, dark clouds and the odd flurry of drizzle, there was the perfect window of a dry hour or so to allow the group to complete the whole circuit with plenty of time for photos of the spectacular views and to exchange anecdotes and information about the site.”
Rhodri Evans is the Cabinet member responsible for Economy and Regeneration. He said: “This is a step closer to achieving one of our key aims in the Rights of Way Improvement Plan, which is to offer the least restrictive access to our beautiful Coast and Countryside in Ceredigion.
Penparcau Hub café is open Monday to Friday providing facilities to anyone who may want to venture up onto Pen Dinas. There is internet access and public use laptops for checking maps of promoted routes on Ceredigion County Councils ‘Walks and Rides’ page which includes the new paths across Pen Dinas.
The ‘Walks and Rides’ page can be accessed by following this link: https://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/resident/coast-countryside/exploring-ceredigion/walks-and-rides/.
You could also register to become one of the 1000 new walkers to the summit of Pen Dinas that the Penparcau Walking group aims to encourage before the end of 2020.
For more information about the project, please contact Eifion Jones by calling the Customer Services Contact Centre on 01545 570 881 or by e-mail on Eifion.Jones@ceredigion.gov.uk.
Ben Lake MP stands up for Ceredigion’s hospitality sector in Parliament
A WESTMINSTER Hall debate, brought about by an online petition signed over 200,000 times, saw MPs on both sides come together to shine a light on the challenges currently faced by restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and supply chain businesses across the UK.
During his contribution to the debate, Ben Lake MP emphasised the importance of the hospitality industry to Ceredigion’s local economy. Ceredigion is home to nearly 400 food and accommodation businesses, including 75 pubs, and together hospitality businesses employ 4,500 people in the county. This equates to over 16% of all employees, without accounting for the many supply chain jobs that are dependent on the sector, such as those found in breweries, food wholesale, and catering equipment hire businesses.
Figures published by UK Hospitality have shown that approximately 41% of hospitality businesses suggested that they would fail by mid-2021 and only one in five sector businesses have enough cash flow to survive beyond February.
Ben Lake MP said: “The vaccination programme of course offers some hope that we will see the level of Covid disruption reduce significantly this year, but hospitality businesses across Ceredigion tell me that they are deeply concerned about their immediate prospects for survival.
“I support calls for the Treasury to provide additional funds so that businesses can be supported to bounce back once restrictions have been eased, and to pause employer national insurance contributions for furloughed employees as a way of alleviating the burden on businesses that are still, in many instances, required by law to close. I also urged the Treasury to consider extending the business rates holiday for the forthcoming financial year, as well as extending the hospitality VAT reduction scheme into 2022.
“Not only would these support measures give businesses the support they require to see out this pandemic, it would also avoid the terrible situation whereby businesses that have previously received Government support are forced to close for good – leaving their employees without a job and previous Government support in vain.”
While there will be no direct action as a consequence of this Westminster Hall debate, it is hoped the result will put increased pressure on the UK Government to consider the proposal more seriously.
Lifeboat Operations Manager in New Year’s Honours list
Richard Llewelyn Griffiths the Lifeboat Operations Manager of Aberystwyth Lifeboat Station has been recognised for services to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Wales.
He has been awarded a BEM.
Having served as a RNLI volunteer for an impressive 47 years, it is his role in the last 21 years as Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) which has earned him the most respect.
His local knowledge has provided reassurance to casualties and crews alike when launching in difficult conditions.
His operational decision-making and station management skills are outstanding, and he is greatly valued by crew, management, volunteers and coastal personnel both past and present.
He has contributed greatly towards Aberystwyth being recognised as a ‘benchmark’ Inshore Lifeboat Station, serving as an example to the whole institution of how a station could and should be run.
Richard said: ‘I’m very surprised but honoured to be receiving a BEM – the news still doesn’t feel real. My father was awarded a BEM in 1988 and I still have his medal at home, so to be awarded one myself for my work with the lifeboats is a great privilege. I’ve been fortunate to work with a number of characters during my time with the RNLI – both at Borth and Aberystwyth – and continue to volunteer alongside a good crew today.’
Nationally, a total of six Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) volunteers have been recognised for their vital role in helping the charity save lives at sea through the New Year’s Honours.
Mark Dowie, RNLI Chief Executive said: ‘Following a challenging 2020, it is particularly pleasing to see these RNLI volunteers recognised in the New Year’s Honours list. Together, they personify the RNLI’s ‘One Crew’ ethos, representing the variety and diversity of roles from a former full-time mechanic to shore crew and fundraisers to station managers, who collectively deliver a shared vision to save every one. On behalf of everyone at the RNLI, congratulations to you all for being recognised for your longstanding service, hard work and selfless commitment. And thank you for everything you do to help the RNLI save lives at sea.’
Temporary closure of Minor Injuries Unit in Cardigan confirmed
AS PART of its response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Hywel Dda University Health Board says it has temporarily closed the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) in Cardigan in order to redeploy clinical staff to support the COVID 19 response within Ceredigion.
The MIU, which is based in Cardigan Integrated Care Centre and normally operates from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, will temporarily close with immediate effect. The situation will be under constant review and normal service will be resumed when it is safe and appropriate to do so.
In the meantime, minor injuries help and advice is available as follows:
– visit the 111 symptom checker (https://111.wales.nhs.uk/)
– visit your local pharmacy
– call 111
– please do NOT self-present to the GP reception in Cardigan Integrated Care Centre as they do not deal with minor injuries.
– for emergency care the A+E departments are as follows:
· Glangwili Hospital A+E Carmarthen SA32 2AF
· Bronglais Hospital A+E Aberystwyth SY23 1ER
· Withybush Hospital A+E Haverfordwest SA61 2PZ