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Covid-19: Aberystwyth University and Ceredigion Council join forces

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RESEARCHERS at Aberystwyth University are calling on businesses and residents in Ceredigion to contribute to a study into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the county.

Organised by Aberystwyth Business School, the researchers are looking at the effects on both households and businesses, and for evidence specifically linking vulnerability, poverty, and population dynamics to the pandemic.

Supported by Ceredigion County Council, the study features two online surveys, one for businesses and the other for householders, which are running until Monday 7 June 2021.

The business survey and the household survey are available on the Ceredigion County Council website.

The findings will help to assess the impacts and inform policy-making in the short to long term in Ceredigion to aid the recovery process.

UK-wide studies on the pandemic have been designed to be representative at a country level but not at a local level. This unique study will focus specifically on the impact within Ceredigion.

The project is being led by Dr Aloysius Igboekwu, Director of Postgraduate Studies at Aberystwyth Business School, who said: “Businesses and households in Ceredigion have been affected by the pandemic in many ways, and we are seeking to gain an in-depth understanding of the unique challenges the local economy and local people face. Our research aims to conclude with recommendations on how local policy makers can alleviate the adverse effects of the pandemic and influence wider policy on critical areas such as poverty, sustainability, and resilience.”

Russell Hughes-Pickering, the Corporate Lead Officer for Economy & Regeneration at Ceredigion County Council said: “We are delighted to be supporting colleagues at Aberystwyth University in conducting this important research. It will provide us all with valuable knowledge and an in-depth understanding of how residents and businesses alike have been affected, and how best to support the recovery phase over the longer term. We would encourage everyone to have their say and take part in the survey, whether as a householder or a business.”

Analysis of the data will take place during the summer and publication of the final report is expected in late summer or autumn 2021.

The team at Aberystwyth Business School working on the study are Dr Aloysius Igboekwu, Dr Maria Plotnikova, and Dr Sarah Lindop.

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Stand up for slowing down speed campaign launched

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INAPPROPRIATE speed contributes to around 11% of all injury collisions reported to the police, with 15% of collisions resulting in a serious injury and 24% of collisions resulting in fatalities.

Starting on the 26th July, the National Police Chief Council (NPCC) Speed Campaign will kick off across the UK, with GoSafe and the four Welsh Police Forces participating in both engaging with the public about the risks of speeding and enforcing the speed limits on the roads of Wales.

In 2019, 60,073 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were issued in Wales to drivers/riders for speeding.

Speeding is a major contributing factor to collisions on the roads of Wales. This includes both ‘excessive speed’, where the speed limit is exceeded, as well as driving or riding within the speed limit when this is too fast for the conditions at the time; for example, in poor weather, poor visibility or high pedestrian activity.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, we saw less traffic but higher speeds.  Now our restrictions are lifting, traffic volumes are up and as we are holidaying in the UK more, we are seeing more people speeding on the roads in Wales.  We want to change this, but can only do that with your help.

 Over the next few weeks you will see an increased presence on the road network of Wales as we aim to keep all road users safe and reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

 We know that the majority of road users comply with the speed limit; but the minority of those who do not increases the risk to the safety of all road users and need to be educated on the risks to their own safety as well as to the safety of those around them. Throughout this campaign, GoSafe and our partners in the Police and Local Authorities will encourage and educate more people to reduce their speed to save lives.

Teresa Ciano, GoSafe Partnership Manager said: “GoSafe enforce at sites across Wales in order to encourage motorists to comply with the speed limits and in turn make our roads and communities safer for everyone. If we all play our part and stand up for slowing down we can make a difference, and we can save lives on the roads of Wales.”

Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change said: “I am very pleased to support this campaign. Driving at high speeds costs lives and a greater police presence on our roads will mean motorists will be more likely to drive within the speed limits, protecting lives and avoiding a speeding fine.”

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Cardigan man accused of murder in court

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John Williams Bell was found murdered in Cardigan

A CARDIGAN man who is accused of stabbing a man to death has appeared in court today (Jul 28).

Ashley Keegan, 22, of Golwyg y Castell, Cardigan, appeared before court via video link where he spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

Swansea crown court heard how Keegan is accused of stabbing 37-year-old John Williams Bell seven times in the back.

Mr Bell’s body was discovered in the early hours of Wednesday Morning, July 21, on the road to Cardigan Bridge.

The court set a provisional trial date for January 3, 2022.

Keegan will remain remanded into custody until the trial.

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Suspected drink driver tracked for two miles by police dog

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A SUSPECTED drink driver was arrested after a police dog tracked him for two miles along a cycle path.

Dyfed-Powys Police dog Storm and his handler PC Mike Barnsley located the driver following a collision between Bont and Tregaron on Sunday, July 25.

Officers had attended the scene of the collision, discovering that a car had hit a tree and overturned – however, the driver was not present.

PC Barnsley said: “There were concerns that the driver could have been injured due to the significant damage to the car, so a search was immediately launched to find them.

“With PD Storm, I focussed on the cycle path running alongside the road, where Storm picked up a track and followed it for around two miles.

“Local response units accessed the cycle path ahead of us, while another unit searched from the main road along an unclassified road in the same direction.”

PC Barnsley and Storm reported a sighting of a man on the cycle path, and he was stopped and arrested on suspicion of drink driving.

Sergeant David Hawksworth said: “This was an excellent demonstration of teamwork and coordination by officers, whose good local knowledge resulted in the suspect being swiftly found and arrested.”

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