Now that the Country is in Alert Level 0 and Covid restrictions have relaxed significantly since last summer, many of Ceredigion residents are only now witnessing the full financial impact of the pandemic.
There are concerns about the removal of the £20 per week top-up to Universal Credit payments and about the restart of the minimum income floor for self-employed people on Universal Credit, both of which are due to happen in September. Furlough support has started to taper and employers now have to take some tough decisions about their staffing levels.
The cost of food and fuel have risen sharply and the temporary 6 month eviction protection period is due for review in September which may reduce security for tenants to pre-pandemic limits. Anyone needing to move on will also feel the impact of recent rises in demand for housing reducing choice, availability and affordability. Many people are seeing their electricity and gas bills rise, and from October there will be increases in the level of the energy price cap, affecting even more households. Speaking to Citizens Advice’s energy team can help make sure your bills stay as low as possible and you claim any extra help your entitled to.
Councillor Ellen Ap Gwynn is the chair for Ceredigion Public Services Boards Tackling Hardship sub-group. She said: “There is a lot of support and help available, it’s important that people see this as their absolute right and entitlement. We have brought together officers from our Revenue and Benefits service, Housing Options service, Press & Communication service and the CEO’s of CAVO and Citizens Advice Ceredigion to make sure that we work together to make sure that those who are struggling can get access to the benefits and advice that they’re entitled to have. The Benefits page on the Council’s website has a lot of information about the support that’s available so please take a look.”
Serretta Bebb, Citizens Advice CEO for Ceredigion said: “People tend to come to Citizens Advice when they’re at crisis point. Ideally we’d love people to get in touch when they’re first starting to feel the pinch, as there are a lot more options to prevent things getting worse, the earlier you get help. Our advisors are very experienced and can help with benefit claims, debts, housing issues, health & safety at work, housing and a lot more. All these issues are incredibly stressful and really affect people’s health and wellbeing. Ceredigion Citizens Advice have continued to help thousands of clients throughout the pandemic, using telephone, email and video face to face, so please get in touch. We can also point you towards other sources of help and support, for instance social housing tenants can also contact their Landlords for help with money and other issues.”
The Council is urging residents who are facing these challenges to not suffer in silence and to get the help they need. The Council’s Benefit webpage has a vast amount of information available to residents: https://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/resident/benefits.
Ceredigion Citizens Advice Bureau can be contacted by phone on 01239 621974 or email email@example.com.
Parents warned to look out for respiratory illness in children
RESPIRATORY Syncytial Virus (RSV) is circulating amongst children and toddlers in the Hywel Dda area (Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire)
Hywel Dda UHB Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive Dr Philip Kloer said: “Because of the COVID restrictions, there have been few cases of RSV during the pandemic, but this virus has returned and in higher numbers now people are mixing more.
“RSV is a common respiratory illness which is usually picked up by children during the winter season, and causes very few problems to the majority of children. However, very young babies, particularly those born prematurely, and children with heart or lung conditions, can be seriously affected and it’s important that parents are aware of the actions to take.”
Parents are being encouraged to look out for symptoms of severe infection in at-risk children, including:
*a high temperature of 37.8°C or above (fever)
*a dry and persistent cough, difficulty feeding, rapid or noisy breathing (wheezing).
The best way to prevent RSV is to wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser regularly, dispose of used tissues correctly, and to keep surfaces clean and sanitised.
Most cases of bronchiolitis are not serious and clear up within 2 to 3 weeks, but you should contact your GP or call NHS 111 if:
- You are worried about your child.
- Your child has taken less than half their usual amount during the last two or three feeds, or they have had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more.
- Your child has a persistent high temperature of 37.8C or above.
- Your child seems very tired or irritable.
Dial 999 for an ambulance if:
- your baby is having difficulty breathing
- your baby’s tongue or lips are blue
- there are long pauses in your baby’s breathing
New Quay RNLI rescues person cut off by the tide
NEW Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched on service on Saturday September 11 following a report of a person cut off by the tide at Traeth Gwyn, New Quay.
With three crew members on board the inshore lifeboat Audrey LJ it launched on service at 11.15am and did an extensive search of the beach before finding the casualty who had been cut off by the high spring tide.
Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “There was an initial confusion on the location of the casualty but an update from the New Quay Coastguard Rescue team, who had fought their way down from the cliff top through thick undergrowth, allowed us to locate the person.
“We then transferred the casualty and two of the coastguard team onto the boat. We dropped the casualty off at Llanina Point and brought the two coastguard officers back to the lifeboat station. The inshore lifeboat was then rehoused and ready for service by 12.25pm.
“Remember if you see if you see anyone in difficulty or you find yourself in trouble on the coast call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”
Ben Lake shows support for farmers on Back British Farming Day
BEN Lake MP has today shown support for British food and farming on Back British Farming Day, recognising the crucial role farmers in Ceredigion play in producing food for the nation.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) provided MPs with the emblem of the day – a wool and wheatsheaf pin badge – to enable them to join the celebration of agriculture. Food and farming is a key business sector, worth more than £120 billion to the UK economy and providing jobs for almost four million people.
The NFU chose the day to launch a new report which asks for Government to complete a comprehensive report on UK food security later this year, covering the country’s production of key foods and its contribution to global food security. This would be the first meaningful assessment of UK food security in over a decade.
Commenting, Ben Lake MP, said: “I’m proud to wear a pin badge today to show my support for Ceredigion’s fantastic farmers and growers. The day presents an opportunity to thank the farmers who feed us, as well as take care of our countryside and maintain our iconic Welsh landscapes.
“I fully support the campaign which is asking us all to value locally produced food. I will be calling on Government to adopt agricultural policies that ensure farming in Ceredigion can thrive and ensure our self-sufficiency does not fall below its current level of 60%, alongside a greater ambition in promoting Welsh food to aid UK food security.”
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