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Premiere of new work to be given by Royal Harpist Alis Huws in Pembrokeshire

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THE FINAL round of concerts for this year’s Fishguard and West Wales International Music Festival will continue on Wednesday, September 8, with a world premiere at Capel Tabor, Dinas. 

Alis Huws, harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, will give the first live performance of a short piece by mid-Wales composer Steph Power entitled Camddwr Bleiddiaid (Wolf’s Leap). 

The work is a reference to a location on an old drovers’ road in the desolate beauty of the Cambrian mountains. Alis will also perform works by Bach, Debussy and other composers in her recital which will take place at Capel Tabor, Dinas at 7.30pm.

Gillian Green MBE, Artistic Director, commented: “Fishguard Music Festival has a long history of commissioning new works from contemporary composers and includes a new premiere most years. We are very proud to have commissioned a piece for harp by Steph Power and to have someone like Alis Huws to perform it will be magical.”

Alis Huws is from Mid Wales and has played for the Royal Family on several occasions, and given performances across Europe and the Far East. She performs regularly at high profile events for the Welsh Assembly Government, including the opening of their new offices at the British Embassy in Berlin, their St David’s Day celebrations at Lancaster House, and the official Royal opening of the Senedd in 2016. She was also invited to perform at Buckingham Palace to mark 50 years since the Investiture of HRH The Prince of Wales.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased from http://www.fishguardmusicfestival.com

Capel Tabor will also host a recital the following night by the Meraki Duo, a pairing of flute and guitar, who will perform pieces by Dvorák, Barrios, Piazzolla, Liebermann and Arcaro. Meera Maharaj and James Girling both studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, where they connected through a shared passion for chamber music, jazz, Latin American and European folk, and contemporary works.

The Festival will return to its home town of Fishguard for the penultimate concert (Saturday 11th September) when the Palisander Recorder Ensemble will play at 2pm at Theatr Gwaun. Described as “Early Music’s very own Spice Girls”, Palisander prides itself on presenting imaginative, historical programmes with a wide range of repertoire; performing largely from memory, on recorders up to six feet tall. 

Comprised of alumni from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Palisander has quickly established itself as a vibrant young ensemble, devising their own choreography, as well as writing new compositions and unique arrangements for the ensemble.

This year’s Festival will end on Sunday 12 September with a recital by rising star Angharad Lyddon. Angharad represented Wales in the 2019 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition and was a finalist in the Song Prize. Accompanied by Jâms Coleman, Angharad will perform songs by Schubert, Schumann, Fauré, Mahler and more at Neuadd y Dderwen, Rhosygilwen at 7.30pm.

For tickets and information please visit www.fishguardmusicfestival.com

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Domestic abuse victims in Wales to be given more time to report assaults

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DOMESTIC abuse victims in Wales and England to be given more time to report assaults.

New measures targeted directly at keeping women and girls safer will be added to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill last week (Jan 4) the UK Government has announced.

Under the changes, victims of domestic abuse will be allowed more time to report incidents of common assault or battery against them. Currently, prosecutions must commence within six months of the offence.

Instead, this requirement will be moved to six months from the date the incident is formally reported to the police – with an overall time limit of two years from the offence to bring a prosecution.Domestic abuse is often reported late relative to other crimes; so this will ensure victims have enough time to seek justice and that perpetrators answer for their actions.

The UK Government says that today’s announcement builds on measures already in the Bill to better protect women such as ending the halfway release of offenders sentenced between four and seven years in prison for serious sexual offences – forcing them to spend two-thirds of their time in prison.

In December, the legislation was amended to make clear that a new legal duty requiring public bodies to work together to tackle serious violence can also include domestic abuse and sexual offences.

It means that these crimes should be taken as seriously as knife crime and homicide, with police, government, and health bodies required to collaborate locally, so that they can develop more holistic strategies to protect people from harm, including through early intervention.

Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said: “My commitment to making our homes, streets and communities safer for women and girls is clear.”

“Every department in government is working to address and tackle all issues relating to violence against women and girls.”

“The Government has a focussed strategy, dedicated to providing essential support for survivors, the prevention of crimes against women and girls and bringing perpetrators to justice with the full force of the law.”

“Our actions include the new Domestic Abuse Act, with important changes to our laws; a newly created national police lead responsible solely on violence against women and girls, and millions of pounds have been invested in direct safety measures through the Safer Streets Fund.”

“These are all important public confidence measures and changes to ensure the safety of women and girls in public spaces.”

The UK Government has also said that taking non-consensual photographs or video recordings of breastfeeding mothers will be made a specific offence punishable by up to two years in prison.

It covers situations where the motive is to obtain sexual gratification, or to cause humiliation, distress or alarm.

Similar legislation introduced by the UK Government in 2019 that criminalised “up skirting” has led to more than 30 prosecutions since it became law.

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Vandalised church passes fundraising target

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The inside of the Church was also subjected to vandalism

A FUNDRAISER to rebuild a vandalised church met its goal of £20k within three days. 

Eglwys y Grog, which is situated near the cliffs at Mwnt. It is a well known landmark, and is a favourite among photographers.

Clive Davies, a local County Councillor, claims he is “totally blown away” with the donations. 

He said the church was targeted on 2 December, and again on 20 December, in “a pointless saddening act.”

“There was nothing of value in the church and it was a senseless act. There was no money there, just a small little church,” he added.

“The church members were getting a lot of requests to donate money and they contacted me to do something coordinated online so I set up a JustGiving page for them.

“It’s been a global response really, three thousand pounds came in overnight. There were messages of support from America, and there was a couple from Australia as well,

“There are a lot of good people out there and it is an amazing start to 2022 for us.”

When the campaign was launched on January 1st, a £20,000 goal was set.

The leaded windows of the church were smashed in with rocks

The inside of the church, as well as the leaded church windows and gated entrance, were all damaged.

Mr Davies, who is also a local councillor, claims to have long-standing family ties to the church, which includes plaques honouring his great-grandparents on either side of the altar.

“The local community has been amazing, supporting it and the power of social media made in tenfold,” he said.

“It was like a snowball effect really, local businesses have offered not only financial support but will be part of the restoration work needed now.”

“I’ll be meeting with the church members and the vicar and we’ll start discussing what needs doing, but also we’re going to have to look at safety for the future and what could we do in terms of security,” he added.

He stated that it was critical for the church to remain open while staying safe.

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£250 boost to all Ceredigion food banks

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PLAID CYMRU Councillors from Ceredigion will donate £250 to each food bank in the county to alleviate pressures over the Christmas period.

The issue of food banks continues on a daily basis in most towns in Wales due to lack of funds and benefits being cut. 

Individuals and families are forced to use food banks to make sure they have food for their children and families.

A spokesperson for the Councillors said: “Ceredigion County Council’s Plaid Cymru Group of Councilors is delighted to announce their decision again this year to donate £250.00 each to every food bank in Ceredigion.

“Food banks in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Aberaeron, Llandysul, Lampeter will benefit from this over Christmas.

“Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

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