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by Rhys Llywelyn,

Aberaeron, Elizabeth Evans, and it was not difficult to foresee that there was a chance that there was a chance of some non-Liberal Democrat councillors in less secure seats in and around Dyffryn Aeron coming under pressure. Now, the Liberal Democrats are

determined joiners of bandwagons – particularly on local causes. Draenog is reminded of the late Alan Clark’s observations on Liberals, whom he memorably described as being almost impossible to eliminate once they got an electoral toe-hold. “The trouble is, once they get

stuck in, really stuck in, they are devilishly hard to dislodge. Their trick is to degrade the whole standard of political debate. The nation, wide policy issues, the sweep of history – forget it. “The Liberal technique is to

force people to lower their sights, teeny little provincial problems about bus timetables, street lighting and the grant for a new community hall. They compensate by giving the electorate uplift with constant plugging of an identity concept – no matter how minuscule – to which they try to attach a confrontational flavour: ‘Newton Ferrers mums outface Whitehall’.” Well that would never do in

Ceredigion, still less when there is the issue of where four councillors are due to be cut from the roster after 2022. Perhaps realising that its

preferred option on the question of Dyffryn Aeron would be – and let’s be charitable – a distraction for the local electorate come Thursday, May 4 – the council thought better of pressing ahead. As Ffred Ffransis observed,

that decision does not mean that the whole issue of Dyffryn Aeron’s schools is off the agenda for the foreseeable future, it means that the council has simply deferred a decision it seems hell-bound on making regardless of representations from the communities affected and in the teeth of a Welsh Government

policy which provides that there has to be a compelling case for removing a school from a small community. There is always a good case

for cynical electoral manoeuvring and Draenog is – by and large – in favour of politicians revealing their true selves before the electorate. Look at Donald Trump, for

example: he has not pretended to be anything other than a misogynist, dishonest, racist with a chip on his shoulder about what facts actually are. It has not done him any harm. Yet. Draenog is not comparing the

actions of Ceredigion Council to the deluded ramblings of a man barely in control of his hair, let alone his tongue; but what he would prefer is a little more honesty in the way the council conducts itself. Elsewhere in this week’s paper,

the Deputy Editor reports on the potential for the council to try to get out from under its own policy on where the Council Tax premium levied on holiday homes and long- term empty homes should be applied. On March 24 last year, the council voted to apply that money in communities where it was raised. There are sound electoral reasons behind the proposal of that measure, not least as it was suggested by Aberaeron Councillor Elizabeth Evans, whose ward is choc-a-bloc with holiday homes and which would benefit significantly from such a move. The abandonment of that policy

would be a betrayal of principle by the council every bit as cynical as the decision to kick the decision on Dyffryn Aeron’s schools into the long grass. The funnelling of money to an

unelected, unaccountable body with the sort of nebulous aims that could mean anything to anyone is not only profoundly undemocratic, it would be an act of betrayal. It’s no use the council banging on about how tough its financial bed is if it insists on stuffing fivers into somebody else’s mattress.

Hybu Cig Cymru A banquet for Chinese New Year

HCC’s Market Development Manager

WILL you be joining Chinese communities across the world to celebrate the Chinese New Year this weekend? Welsh inhabitants in Hong

Kong can enjoy a taste of home in a recently founded branch of HCC’s Welsh Lamb Club in the city. The club includes chefs and

restaurateurs who are dedicated to sourcing and using the finest PGI Welsh Lamb on their menus. At a reception at Hong Kong’s Grissini Restaurant at the Grand Hyatt, HCC Chief Executive Gwyn Howells inducted four new members into the Welsh Lamb Club – chefs Albert Au, Calvin Soh and Kenneth Law, and restaurant manager Kevin Lee. The establishment of a Welsh

Lamb Club branch in Asia is a sure sign that the brand is growing in this influential market. The most

recent members of our Welsh Lamb Club represent four top-quality restaurants across Hong Kong and Macau who are committed to serving the very best PGI Welsh Lamb, and will act as powerful ambassadors for our product. An increasing number of

retailers in Hong Kong also stock PGI Welsh Lamb and discussions have been taking place with leading food importers to expand the market for both Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef. A strong presence in Hong

Kong and Macau is potentially an important foothold for the future. We will continue to work with the Welsh Government towards gaining access for red meat exports to the huge neighbouring market in mainland China. Back home, your local Chinese

may be closed this weekend due to New Year celebrations. If you’re concerned about how

you’ll survive a Saturday night without a treat from the takeaway, HCC has devised a long list of Asian-inspired dishes to fulfil your desire for Chinese cuisine. Not sure where to start?

Take a look at the www. website for lots of mouth-watering recipes, including Welsh Lamb Kebabs with BBQ sauce; Crispy Welsh Lamb Breast with Fivespice; Citrus Welsh Beef Stir-fry; and Chinese Style Welsh Meatball Broth.

Eluned Morgan

Mid & West Labour AM IT’S WELCOME news that

over £1.2 million will be invested in maternity and neonatal services at Glangwili Hospital. I’ve visited the maternity units at both Withybush Hospital and Glangwili and I’m pleased that this money is available. It will help improve the neonatal

unit and labour ward at Glangwili, something that’s much needed. Expectant mums and dads need to know they will continue to receive the very best care in a facility that can accommodate new parents and babies from Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire. The staff have also been working in a difficult environment – they’ve been doing a great job despite the cramped conditions. When I met the Health Board Chief Executive recently, I told him of people’s ongoing concerns regarding patient transport. This investment will also help make the hospital more accessible to patients.

I asked the Chief Executive, Steve

Moore, to assure me that everything was being done to minimise the impact of the temporary reduced opening hours of the Paediatric Assessment Unit at Withybush, so I was reassured to learn that the temporary changes to paediatric services at Withybush Hospital have been working and that progress is being made on recruitment. Let’s hope this means the children’s service there will be back to full strength very soon. The Labour Welsh Government

will invest £36m to reduce infant class sizes and raise standards, we were told this week. Reducing class sizes is one part of our mission to improve standards by targeting classes where teaching and learning needs to improve and where there are high levels of deprivation. I want to see opportunities extended for all our young people. There is a positive connection between smaller classes and results, particularly for pupils

from poorer backgrounds. This is most significant for younger children, which is why the investment is aimed at infant class sizes. Wales’ first ever Bus Summit is

bringing the bus industry and others together to look at how they can work more effectively together to deliver the best, most robust bus service possible. There is no question that 2016 was a mixed year for the bus industry in Wales; the demise of some service providers left communities, services and bus users vulnerable, including here in Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire. The Economy Secretary has said the summit will look at longer term solutions to deliver a quality service across Wales. This includes hearing how young people can be encouraged to increase their bus travel. If you have ideas on this or on any other issues, I hope you’ll write to me at my constituency office - 19 Cartlett, Haverfordwest, SA61 2LH or at

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