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PM: Queen was ‘the rock on which modern Britain was built and our country has flourished’

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THE FLAG at Buckingham Palace was lowered to half mast at 6.30pm.

The official plans for her death, codenamed London Bridge, will now be activated.

The nation and other countries of which she was head of state will enter a 10-day period of mourning.

Details of her state funeral, accorded to monarchs, will be announced in due course, after being officially signed off by The King.

The framed formal announcement of The Queens death was affixed to the railings at Buckingham Palace at 6:45pm.

Tributes have been coming in from political leaders, past and present.

The last photo of The Queen taken at Balmoral and released by The Palace

The prime minister, Liz Truss, has said the Queen’s death is a “huge shock to the nation and the world”.

Truss said, in a short speech outside Number Ten, that the Queen was “the rock on which modern Britain was built and our country has flourished under her reign”.

Truss added the Queen championed the development of the Commonwealth and “we are now a modern, thriving dynamic nation”.

Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour party, said: “Today, we mourn the passing of a remarkable sovereign.

“It is a deep, private loss for the Royal Family and all our thoughts are with them at this time. The nation shares in their grief.

“We will always treasure Queen Elizabeth II’s life of service and devotion to our nation and the Commonwealth; our longest-serving and greatest monarch.

“Above the clashes of politics, she stood not for what the nation fought over, but what it agreed upon. As Britain changed rapidly around her, this dedication became the still point of our turning world.

“So as our great Elizabethan era comes to an end, we will honour the late Queen’s memory by keeping alive the values of public service she embodied.

“For 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II stood as the head of our country. But, in spirit, she stood amongst us.”

Sir Tony Blair, the UK prime minister between 1997 and 2007, said: “We have lost not just our monarch but the matriarch of our nation, the figure who more than any other brought our country together, kept us in touch with our better nature, personified everything which makes us proud to be British.”

Sir John Major, another former prime minister, said: “For 70 years Her Majesty The Queen devoted her life to the service of our nation and its wellbeing.

“In her public duties she was selfless and wise, with a wonderful generosity of spirit. That is how she lived – and how she led.

“For millions of people – across the Commonwealth and the wider world – she embodied the heart and soul of our nation, and was admired and respected around the globe.

“At this moment of deep sadness, I believe we all stand hand in hand with the royal family as they grieve the loss of one so loved.

“For we have all lost someone very precious to us and, as we mourn, we should be grateful that we were blessed with such an example of duty and leadership for so very many years.”

Buckingham Palace (Image MGP)

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has sent his condolences to Britain after the “irreparable loss” of Queen Elizabeth II.

The president of the Irish Republic, Michael D Higgins, expressed his “profound regret and a deep personal sadness” at the Queen’s death.

“Her Majesty served the British people with exceptional dignity. Her personal commitment to her role and extraordinary sense of duty were the hallmarks of her period as Queen, which will hold a unique place in British history.”

The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, said the Netherlands remember the Queen “with the deepest respect”.

“During her especially long reign, she was a beacon of calm and stability for her country and the world, even at moments of the greatest historical upheaval… Today our thoughts are first and foremost with her children and grandchildren.”

The prime minister of Finland, Sanna Marin, sent her “deepest condolences to the royal family, people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth”.

President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, called the Queen “a close friend”.

“I extend my sincere condolences to the family of Queen Elizabeth II and the people of the UK,” he said.

Tributes from public figures in Wales. We will add to these as we receive them.

MARK O’TOOLE, ARCHBISHOP OF CARDIFF AND BISHOP OF MINERVIA

We have all been deeply moved to hear of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. I ask all Catholics to pray for her, that she may hear those words from her King and Lord, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant – enter into the rest of your Master.’ We pray too for King Charles and all the Royal Family, that they may be comforted at this time of loss.

I was giving a talk this evening in the Vatican to catechists, bishops and priests from across the world on what it means to try and pass on the Christian Faith. I paused my talk at about 6.20pm UK time for a moment of silence, so that we could recall Queen Elizabeth’s exceptional Christian witness and the way she so often spoke of her relationship with Jesus Christ. All 1,000 of us in the Audience Hall of Paul VI prayed for the Queen at that poignant moment.  Shortly afterwards we all heard the news she had died a few hours before. 

We entrust her soul to the mercies and blessings of the Lord.

PLAID LEADER ADAM PRICE

Her Majesty the Queen’s long reign saw a period of immense change for Wales, the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. 

Her deeply held sense of duty was recognised by millions across the globe, and many will remember her as a figure which provided comfort, stability and continuity during times of crisis.

On behalf of Plaid Cymru, I extend our deepest condolences to the Royal Family at this difficult time.

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL CHAIRMAN, CLLR. PAT DAVIES

I would like to pass on my condolences, those of the entire Council and the people of Pembrokeshire to The Royal Family on this saddest of days.

We have always known this day would come but it does not make it any less painful.

For millions of people, as our longest reigning monarch, Her Majesty has been a constant and reassuring figure in our lives.

We are thankful for her many decades of public service and the example she set.

SAM KURTZ MS

A life of dedicated, dutiful service to our nation and the Commonwealth.

Her Majesty was the strength and stay of our nation during her 70-year reign. She was a mother to her family and to our country. 

I will remember her with profound respect and admiration.

Together, we mourn the sad death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

My deepest condolences to the Royal Family at this sad time. May she rest in peace.

THE FIRST MINISTER, MARK DRAKEFORD MS

Incredibly sad to hear of the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II. As our longest reigning monarch, she firmly upheld the values and traditions of the British Monarchy. On behalf of the people of Wales I offer our deepest condolences to Her Majesty’s family during this sad time.

JONATHAN EDWARDS MP

Her Majesty the Queen dedicated her life to public service making an unrivaled contribution which is recognised all over the world.

Ultimately our thoughts will be with her children and grandchildren as they grieve at the loss of the head of their family.

ELUNED MORGAN MS

Thank you for selfless service and reassuring presence throughout decades of change. You will be sorely missed Ma’am.

PAUL DAVIES MS

I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

A remarkable woman, who served us all with dedication and devotion.

My sincerest condolences to the Royal family at this very sad time.

CHARLIE EVANS, CHAIR, CWSP CONSERVATIVES

Well done good and faithful servant

Our beloved HM The Queen now sees her Saviour face to face.

God bless her. God bless her family. God save the King.

STEPHEN CRABB MP

I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The nation mourns a remarkable Sovereign who served the United Kingdom and Commonwealth with the greatest devotion, strength and selflessness for more than 70 years. In times of national trial and hardship she never faltered, instead rising to the occasion to provide the country with stability and reassurance.

I offer my deepest condolences to the Royal Family at this incredibly sad time.

Rest in Peace HM Queen Elizabeth II.

NFU CYMRU PRESIDENT, ALED JONES

There is a deep feeling of melancholy amongst the Welsh farming community following news of the passing of Her Majesty the Queen.

Her Majesty was a symbol of dedication and commitment to public service, she has been a stoic servant to the country for an extraordinary seven decades, a remarkable reign at the throne of our monarchy.

The Queen’s warm affiliation with the Great British countryside is well documented and that connection has been valued and appreciated by the nation’s farmers.

On behalf of farmers across Wales, I send my deepest condolences to the Royal Family at this very sad time and offer my heartfelt best wishes at this time of national mourning.

WELSH LIBERAL DEMOCRAT LEADER JANE DODDS

I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. My thoughts are with the King, her majesty’s other children, grandchildren and all those close to her at this difficult time.

Her Majesty’s passing, without a doubt, does mark the end of a very long, and indeed a seminal chapter in the history of our nations and for most people her presence has been one of the few constants throughout their lives.

Throughout her life, Her Majesty served the country with the absolute greatest dedication, honour and dignity. From serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War Two, to taking the time to speak to local schoolchildren at the opening of the Senedd last year, she never once shied away from public duty.

Her life will forever be interlinked with that of a period of great change within the UK and although many today would struggle to recognise the world she had been born into, she always seemed to belong very much here today in the present.

Her Majesty was always a great friend to Wales and she will be deeply missed within the UK, the Commonwealth and further afield. I pray that her journey into the next stage has been peaceful and that she is at rest.

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Three charged with Aberaeron robbery

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FOLLOWING reports of a robbery in Aberaeron in July 17, along with an incident involving a knife on September 11, we can confirm that two men and a youth have been arrested and charged.

Dylan Tapp, aged 18 of Bow Street, and Christopher Samuel, aged 18 of Heol Isfoel, Llanrhystud, have been charged with robbery. Both have been remanded in custody.

A 17-year-old has also been charged and released on bail.

Our enquiries are ongoing. If anyone has any information about these incidents that they have not yet shared with us, please get in touch with Aberaeron CID:

Report online: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline

Email: 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk

Call: 101

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908

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Health

Local Businesses help raise astonishing £10,000 for Cardio-Respiratory Ward at Bronglais Hospital

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THE ORGANISERS of the 2021 Aberystwyth Businesspersons’ Lunch have donated the £10,000 proceeds to the Cardio-Respiratory Ward at Bronglais Hospital.

Consultant Cardiologist Dr Donogh McKeogh; Aled and Rose Rowlands;

John Davies’ widow Ann; Frank Bridle; John’s daughter and son, Angharad

and Rhodri; and Iestyn Leyshon

The lunch last December was in memory of well-known local businessman, jeweller and musician John Davies, who had helped organise the annual lunch for many years but sadly passed away just a few months before.

“John was such a lovely man, a pillar of the town and so well thought of, that we decided it was fitting that the lunch should be in his memory and that the proceeds should go to the cardiac unit where he had been treated for so many years,” said Aled Rowlands, who organised the lunch along with Frank Bridle, Layla Mangan, Gary Pemberthy, Huw Bates and Iestyn Leyshon.

“It was a very successful day, with nearly 200 people enjoying a lunch, comedian, band, auction and raffle. It was a fitting tribute to John who was such a big part of the town.”

John Davies joined his parents’ business at T J Davies at the age of 16 where he worked for 64 years after leaving Llandaff Cathedral School. He passed away in August 2021, at the age of 80.

John’s wife Ann and children Angharad and Rhodri said: “We were delighted at the generous amount that was raised in his memory at the Businesspersons Christmas lunch.

“Charity work was important to John, through his membership of the Lions Club and it is fitting that the money raised went to a department where he personally received such care and attention from Dr McKeogh and his team.

“John will be remembered not only as a businessman but also as a keen and talented trumpeter, playing with Aberystwyth Town Band, Aber Jazz and Philomusica, to name but a few, as well as playing carols with the Town Band every Christmas Day around Bronglais Hospital wards and care homes in the town.”

Pictured at the cheque presentation at Bronglais Hospital are (from left) Consultant Cardiologist Dr Donogh McKeogh; Aled and Rose Rowlands; John Davies’ widow Ann; Frank Bridle; John’s daughter and son, Angharad and Rhodri; and Iestyn Leyshon.

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News

Wales stands firm in support for Ukraine

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IN THE latest update on the Ukraine crisis, Wales’s Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt thanked all those households across Wales who have come forward to offer their homes to Ukrainians fleeing the War and encouraged more households to provide this vital support.

APPEAL FOR MORE HOST FAMILIES

The Minister for Social Justice said: “I’m delighted to say that over 5,650 people from Ukraine, sponsored by the Welsh Government and Welsh households, have already arrived in the UK.
“More than 8,200 visas have now been issued to people from Ukraine who have sponsors in Wales, so we expect the number of arrivals to continue to grow in the coming weeks.
“Thousands of Welsh households sponsored Ukrainians to arrive in Wales and committed to hosting them for at least six months.
“As we move into the autumn, we approach the end of that initial period.
“We hope hosts and Ukrainians will agree to extend many of those placements, but we need additional hosts to support those who cannot continue living where they are.
“To ensure a warm welcome to Wales, I’m inviting households across Wales to come forward and open their homes to welcome those seeking sanctuary.
“We’re immensely thankful to all those across Wales acting as hosts to Ukrainians, but more households must come forward.
“I completely understand that there are those who want to help but may not have the resources to do so, given the circumstances we’re all facing with the cost-of-living crisis.”

WALES WILL STEP UP TO THE PLATE

Jane Hutt continued: “What we all know, and has been proven countless times, is that the people of Wales are one of the most generous across the globe, and I’m sure we will step up to the plate once again.
“The idea of hosting can be daunting. That’s why we have funded Housing Justice Cymru to provide a Host Support service which includes expert and reliable information, training, advice, and guidance for people hosting, or those considering hosting, Ukrainians in Wales.
“More information on sessions and training can be found on the Housing Justice Cymru website. We also publish regularly updated guidance for hosts and sponsors at gov. wales/ukraine.
“We still need many more households to consider whether they could provide a home for those in need. This would normally be a commitment to hosting for 6 to 12 months.
“If anyone is considering this, we encourage them to register their interest at gov.wales/offerhome, and to attend one of the ‘Introduction to Hosting’ sessions, facilitated by Housing Justice Cymru. You won’t need to continue the process if you decide it is not for you.
“We have also partnered with Airbnb.org to ensure very short-term emergency placements can be provided to prevent homelessness.
“If you cannot host for more than 6 months but you could offer your property for up to 30 days at a time, you may also be able to contribute. Visit gov.wales/offerhome and follow the link to the Airbnb.org platform.”
Finally, the Minister stated: “We will continue to communicate with those who host Ukrainians, with updated guidance and information to support the valuable role you are undertaking.
“To all those that are already hosting and to those that are considering hosting, thank you, we owe you all a huge debt of gratitude.”

WESTMINSTER MUST BACK HOSTS
DURING COST-OF-LIVING CRISIS

Conservative MS Mark Isherwood raised how the cost-of-living crisis affects Ukrainian refugees.
Where families had taken in those fleeing Russian aggression, he noted a risk of sponsorships not continuing beyond six months because the hosts cannot afford the rise in fuel costs.
He asked the Minister what discussions she’d had with the UK Government about increasing the £350 contribution to households who’d taken in Ukrainian refugees.
The Minister agreed with Mark Isherwood that ending a specific ministerial post dealing with refugees was regrettable.
She noted a lack of information from the UK Government over the summer months and since Liz Truss replaced Boris Johnson as head of the Conservative Government.
Ms Hutt said: “We asked for an increase at least to £500, or up again, doubling to £700 per month. An urgent decision is needed regarding this as they reach the end of their six-month period.
“That period is underway, so we’re writing to all hosts to see if they will continue.”

UK GOVERNMENT URGED
TO PICK UP THE PHONE

The Minister thanked Mark Isherwood for introducing her to a charity offering support in North Wales, Link, and hoped that he and his colleagues would bring pressure to bear on their Westminster colleagues to ensure those in need from Ukraine and those in Wales helping them received support.
She added: “I look forward perhaps that we might have some telephone calls from the Prime Minister and other Ministers to us in Government. We must engage with them and follow this through.
“There is a huge job of work to be done here. We’re taking responsibility in the way I’ve outlined, funding our welcome centres and paying thank-you payments to hosts if they support a family who initially arrived in Wales under the Ukraine family scheme.
“That’s not happening in England. The commitment that we’re making is considerable.
“I hope everyone will join us today, saying that we need to press for those answers in terms of financial support.”

THE THREAT OF HOMELESSNESS

Sioned Williams of Plaid Cymru raised the spectre of Ukrainian refugees becoming homeless in Wales due to a lack of financial support and the end of existing hosting and housing placements.
The Minister praised the work of local authorities across Wales supporting refugees.
She said: “There are very imaginative programmes. That includes a whole range of issues like repurposing empty buildings.
“Local authorities are really coming up with a whole range of ways in which we can support people, perhaps, from a welcome centre, or a host family, into that intermediate accommodation, and then on to other longer-term accommodation.”
Pembrokeshire currently houses around 200 Ukrainian refugees, with the demand for assistance outstripping the availability of suitable accommodation.

NOT ONE PENNY FROM WESTMINSTER
TO SUPPORT FAMILIES FLEEING WAR

Responding to a question from Mabon ap Gwynfor about problems housing family groups, Jane Hutt hit out at the lack of support from the UK Government and how it’s u-turned on a commitment to help families.
“The UK Government has never given a penny towards the family scheme.
“The former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, in one of his last PMQs, actually said that he thought the Ukraine family scheme should get the same funding and support as the Homes for Ukraine scheme. It’s never happened.
“We have provided thank-you payments to people who are hosting Ukrainian families. It’s all Welsh Government money; it’s not UK Government, because they don’t provide a penny. And also, the British Red Cross—£246,000—who are actually supporting Ukrainian families who are hosting family members under the Ukrainian family scheme.”
On Wednesday, September 28, Eluned Morgan, Wales’s Health Minister, announced the continuation of free healthcare in Wales to Ukrainian residents displaced by the ongoing conflict.
The exemption will continue to apply unless there’s a significant change in circumstances in Ukraine.

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