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Outrage at Ceredigion Council chief executive bumper pay rise

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CEREDIGION COUNTY COUNCIL staff have reacted furiously after learning their chief executive is to be awarded a pay rise of 14 per cent.

Welsh council workers have been offered a pay rise of just 1.75 per cent, significantly below the rate of inflation, with the lowest paid grade increased by 2.75 per cent.

UNISON Cymru Wales says years of pay freezes and pay caps driven by Westminster have left local government staff more than 20 per cent poorer than in 2010.

Over the last month, school support staff, carers, refuse workers, cleaners, librarians, highways maintenance workers and many more, have been voting in UNISON’s pay ballot. The union recommended members reject the offer.

Alison Boshier, UNISON branch secretary said: “Ceredigion council staff were stunned to read about the chief exec’s bumper pay day.

“A 14 per cent pay rise is so offensive when you consider care workers, school support staff, refuse collectors and many others who kept vital services going throughout the pandemic, have been offered a real-terms pay cut.

“The chief executive has been completely insulated against the new National Insurance tax and energy price rises that the rest of us face.

“Only a handful of councillors opposed the chief executive’s pay increase and the other local politicians must reflect on whether they are promoting fairness in Ceredigion.

“The chief executive would do well to follow his predecessor’s example. She showed a unity with the workforce by turning down past increases because she didn’t want her pay to be so far above the pay levels of her staff.

“No doubt this will be foremost in mind as UNISON members consider what steps they take about their own pay offer.”

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Education

Ceredigion shortlisted for Youth Excellence Awards 2021

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THE YOUTH WORK EXCELLENCE AWARDS is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate outstanding youth work projects, youth workers and those involved in youth work across Wales including volunteers, managers and community partners.

Youth work provides and facilitates an environment within which young people can relax, have fun, and feel secure, supported and valued. Through non-formal and informal educational opportunities and experiences, youth work approaches challenge young people to enhance their life chances.

In 2019, Ceredigion Youth Service were successful in having two projects and one volunteer shortlisted with two winning their respective categories. This year, Youth Worker Rebecca Williams has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Youth Worker category.

Team Manager for Community Youth Work and Prevention, Gwen Evans said: “We decided as a service to nominate Rebecca because we recognised the outstanding efforts and commitment that she has shown throughout the pandemic and continues to have an exceptional impact on the lives of young people. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, Rebecca has adapted her work to be both digital and in-person focussed depending on the needs of young people, ensuring that young people do not feel isolated and are included in online activities, phone calls and door step visits which have recently increased to wellbeing walks and structured activity groups.”

In addition to this, Ceredigion Young Farmers Club have also been shortlisted for the award ‘Demonstrating excellence at a local level in Partnership Planning and delivery’ for the collaborative approach that they’ve shown throughout the pandemic.

Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member responsible for Schools, Lifelong Learning & Skills, Support and Intervention. She said: “Young Farmers Clubs across Ceredigion have been supporting their local rural communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. From delivering essential groceries and collecting prescriptions to walking dogs and checking in on the most vulnerable, YFC members, young people, have stepped up and rallied around their communities. We feel that the response of Ceredigion YFC during the pandemic is an excellent example of how the firm foundations of good quality Youth Work has made a positive difference to the lives of vulnerable people and communities during an incredibly challenging year.”

Elen James, Corporate Lead Officer for Porth Cymorth Cynnar said: “It is fantastic for the service to have these recognitions for the hard work and resilience that has been shown throughout this period. It’s a testament to them as individuals and the teamwork that has been shown for the benefit of young people and their communities. We have also recently been awarded with additional Youth Support Grant funding to develop Welsh language activities as well as developing the work around early emotional and mental health support for young people. This will enable us to continue to work closely and effectively with a wide range of voluntary and third sector partners to develop opportunities for children, young people and their families.”

All nominations will be assessed by a panel of judges made up of young people and representatives from the youth work sector in Wales. The Award Ceremony will take place virtually on 9 December where all finalists will be announced.

For more information about the work of Porth Cymorth Cynnar and the Support and Prevention Service, visit their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page at @GICeredigionYS. You can also visit their website at www.giceredigionys.co.uk or email porthcymorthcynnar@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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Community

Studt’s Funfair confirmed for return to Aberystwyth next month

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THERE will be a fun fair in Aberystwyth, from Monday, 15 November until Monday, 22 November for eight consecutive nights, Vernon Studt of Studt Fun Fairs confirmed this week to The Ceredigion Herald.

Vernon Studt said: “We have had constructive talks with Ceredigion County Council and will be returning to Aberystwyth and putting on a good show.

“We have been visiting Aberystwyth since 1837 and I am almost certain that last year was the first time in 183 years that there was no fair in the town in November.

“People will be welcome to wear masks, but they will not be mandatory. All we ask is that people behave responsibly and follow the guidelines.”

The fair and market will be open from 4pm on weekdays and 2pm on weekends.

Vernon added: “We are excited to be returning to Aberystwyth and I am sure children in the area are looking forward to it too.”

Cardigan fair will also return and will take place on Wednesday, 10 November.

The road along Park Avenue will remain open during this time as a new home has been found for the market stalls.

They will now be set up across the road on the site of the former Arriva depot, which was demolished earlier this year and has been hosting the fortnightly farmers market over the summer. Cardigan fair will also return and will take place on Wednesday, 10 November, it is understood.

Image: Rose Voon

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Community

Ceredigion celebrates Shwmae Su’mae Day 2021

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SHWMAE Su’mae Day is celebrated annually on 15 October.

The purpose of the day is to show that the Welsh language belongs to everyone – fluent speakers and learners.

This year, Cardi Iaith have arranged various activities and events to celebrate Diwrnod Shwmae Su’mae in schools across Ceredigion. Games, quizzes and competitions – there’s something for all pupils and even families to get involved in.

Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of the Council, said: “The Welsh language is extremely important to us in Ceredigion. We have hard working and dedicated Welsh speaking staff across Council services and we want to encourage people to contact us in Welsh and use those Welsh language services. So let’s start our conversation, today and every other day with Shwmae. Give it a go!”

More than 90 Ceredigion County Council staff studying on the Council’s Work Welsh scheme this year will have the opportunity to compete in a quiz on Wales and Welsh to celebrate Shwmae Su’mae day.

Follow Cardi Iaith on Facebook for the latest throughout the day.

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