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Tywi Valley Open Studios

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Justine Burgess 'West Wales Willows' Photo Credit Dewi Tannatt Lloyd

TYWI VALLEY Open Studios Arts Trail has been held every year since 2013, apart from the last two years, making 2022 its 8th year. 

TVOS was winner of the Carmarthenshire Celebration of Culture Awards 2019.

After a two year break for Covid, the artists and makers are naturally delighted to welcome visitors back to our studios, working as normal. 

Many of the artists live in rural settings and are used to working in isolation, but the closure of galleries and shops has had to lead to major readjustments such as selling online. 

However, time to think has given them opportunities to develop new ideas that normally would have been put on the back burner. 

Visitors will be able to see these developments and the artists will enjoy this welcome company and the chance to talk about their work to interested visitors.

Visitors will be able to see artists at work or join in a workshop with an artistic activity.

As one of the artists says: “I remember as a child entering an artists studio was so exciting, so ‘other’. The feel, the inspiration and being able to see how it all happens was truly Magical and set me forth on a long path of painting and singing.

“In Adulthood, it is still thrilling to see a ‘personal’ space, a place of exploration, a place of work that is rarely shared. Artists love solitude to contemplate and evaluate thoughts, potters in turn develop shapes and forms with textures and glazes in much the same way. 

“A weaver may be discussing with themselves a new way of manipulating, a woodworker how better to enhance the beauty of natural wood, the materials’ colours melded into pure joy. This is why it’s so exciting to visit an ‘artists ‘ studio – it’s where alchemy happens.

“We are fortunate to have within our group very well known artists and makers and some for you to make your own discoveries ..

“Studio visits stay in the memory, there is special atmosphere waiting to be shared.”

Each studio is unique in what it has to offer. Artists will be demonstrating the current pieces on which they are working while some are also offering workshops and activities for visitors. 

Joining one of these workshops can be a good way to relax while learning something new.

There are sculpture workshops ranging from 2 hours to a whole day, drop in pottery activities such as throwing a pot on a wheel or trying Raku, wet felting and willow making, as well as decoupage, collage and glass fusing sessions. 

Taking place in the first week of the school holidays, many activities are suitable for children.

Free brochures with a map are available from shops in Llandeilo and Llandovery and tourist information centres. This can be used to locate which artists to visit. 

There are also suggestions of 5 different coloured routes each of which could be reasonably covered in a day, visiting a selection of studios.

Full details are on the website www.tywivalleyopenstudios.wales 

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Changes to bus services in Ceredigion confirmed by local authority

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THERE will be changes to local bus services in Ceredigion from Tuesday 3 January 2023.

The tenders received as part of a procurement process for operating several services have shown significant cost increases. This has resulted in substantial increases in subsidy levels being requested at a time when public finances are under tremendous pressure. The higher costs are largely reflective of particular challenges affecting the bus industry currently which includes considerable increased operating costs, lack of qualified and available drivers, uncertainty around future funding mechanisms as well as declining passenger numbers and changing travel behaviours.

Bus passenger numbers have been in decline across Wales and essentially halved in the period between 1982, where there were 181 million passenger journeys and 2019/20 where there were 91 million passenger journeys. This has been severely compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw a drop to 26 million passenger journeys in 2020/21, that has further impacted on the viability of local bus services.

The 22T (Aberystwyth-Devil’s Bridge), 27T (Penrhyncoch-Penbontrhydybeddau) and T29 (Tregaron Circular) demand responsive services will stop at the end of December 2022. This is due to the significant costs associated with providing them and the very low level of usage, which equate to unviable levels of public subsidy per passenger journey.

There will be changes to the timetables on the 525 (Aberystwyth-Ponterwyd), 526 (Aberystwyth-Penrhyncoch) and 585 (Aberystwyth-Tregaron-Lampeter) services. The timetables for these services, subject to submission by the operators and approval by the Traffic Commissioner, are attached. These timetables are based on proposals provided by the local bus operators and reflect what is operationally deliverable with the resources available, in terms of buses and drivers, at this time.

The T21 (Aberystwyth-Llanafan-Tregaron) and 552 Cardi Bach (New Quay-Cardigan) services will continue as currently.

All these contracts have been awarded on a 6 month basis to allow for a wider review.

Councillor Keith Henson, Cabinet Member for Highways and Environmental Services and Carbon Management said: “I would like to thank the local bus companies for their ongoing engagement in what is very challenging operating environment. We continue to work with them and in partnership with the other key stakeholders including the Welsh Government and Transport for Wales, seeking possible solutions and a way forward. Bus services and networks are dynamic and subject to change. Further changes are likely as the reality is that, in addition to the sparsity of resources, the amount of subsidy now required to provide the services is unaffordable, unjustifiable and unsustainable in the current financial climate.”

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Urgent police appeal for missing Ceredigion man

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POLICE in Ceredigion are appealing for help to find Dyfed who is missing from the Talybont area.

He was last seen at his home address in the Ceredigion village at around 10.30pm or 11pm on Saturday, 3 December.

Dyfed is described as being 5ft 10ins, of medium build, with short mousey brown hair with short ginger beard, and was wearing grey waterproof trousers over jeans, a blue-check padded shirt and woolly hat and wellies.

Have you seen Dyfed, or do you have info that might help us find him? Please, let us know:

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New Rural Health Economics Professor builds on University healthcare provision

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AN ACADEMIC who played a key role in decision-making in the adoption of medicines in NHS Wales and NHS England has been appointed as Professor of Rural Health Economics at Aberystwyth University.

Professor Murray Smith, an expert in the use of economics and statistics to predict outcomes in health and health-related behaviours, joins Aberystwyth Business School.

His recent research has centred on the quality of use of pharmaceutical medicine, with one project exploring the use of an inhaled analgesic for acute pre-hospital trauma pain, and others on topics that have spanned medicine use across a number of chronic disease areas.

After beginning his career in Australia, Professor Smith moved to the United Kingdom in 2007 and has worked at the universities of Aberdeen, Nottingham and Lincoln.

Professor Smith said: “I am delighted to join Aberystwyth Business School. Health economics is a vital subject because it provides methods and tools to help decision makers in the choices they face when trying to deliver high quality healthcare in a modern resource-limited economy.

“I am excited about adding to Aberystwyth Business School’s existing portfolio of expertise in research and to being given the opportunity to continue to use my skills to help the NHS to identify and deliver cost-effective healthcare and services to the people of mid Wales.”

Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University said: “It is vital as a society that we continue to innovate in our approaches to healthcare and Aberystwyth University is stepping up to the challenge with the launch of our first ever nursing degrees in September 2022 and through interdisciplinary research into combating diseases, using artificial intelligence to improve patients’ health, and exploring new techniques to improve human health through diet.

“The appointment of Professor Smith demonstrates our continuing commitment to developing and delivering high quality healthcare education and research at Aberystwyth. His expertise will focus on the economic aspects of healthcare, and his teaching and research will benefit our students and beyond.”

Professor Smith’s appointment coincides with the awarding of Honorary Professorships to three executives from Hywel Dda University Health Board, further strengthening Aberystwyth University’s expertise in healthcare as well as building on its partnership with the local health board.

Dr Helen Munro, Consultant in Community Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare at the Board; Dr Leighton Phillips, the Board’s Director of Research, Innovation and University Partnerships, and Huw Thomas, its Director of Finance collectively have decades of expertise in the health sector in the United Kingdom.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda University Health Board, added: “On behalf of the Board I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to Helen, Leighton and Huw on their appointment as Honorary Professors at Aberystwyth University. Our partnership with Aberystwyth University continues to go from strength to strength and we look forward to continuing our vital work together in the future.”
Professor Elizabeth Treasure added: “I am delighted to welcome our new Honorary Professors, who together will bring decades of experience to our research and teaching. Their expertise will further contribute to the role we have to play as a University in helping improve healthcare provision for everyone.”

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