4 News A NOT GUILTY plea was entered

by a 53-year-old man charged with driving a vehicle without due care at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (Jan 25). Kevin Peter King, of Perthygleision

Cottages, Merthyr Tydfil, denied an offence of driving a vehicle on a road without due care and attention. Aberystwyth Magistrates had


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Review proposes smaller council Careless driving denied

adjourned the matter on January 11 for a case management hearing. The incident is said to have

occurred on August 26, 2016 on the A487 near Llanddeiniol junction, Aberystwyth. King will reappear before

Aberystwyth Court on February 28 for his trial and was released on conditional bail until then.

Halloween assault denied AN ABERYSTWYTH man will THE PROSPECT of a reduction

in the number of County Councillors was the subject of a presentation by the Local Government Boundary Commission for Wales on Wednesday (Jan 25). The news that the Commission is

considering a reduction in the number of councillors in Ceredigion is scarcely new news. The findings of a previous

Commission review, which was only abandoned by the Welsh Government last year, suggested that Ceredigion Council was overstocked with councillors and proposed a reduction to either 37 or 38 councillors with a concomitant reorganisation of wards. After it wasted untold sums of

public money on the last review and its subsequent ill-fated policy of forcing local government mergers, the Welsh Government is now tasking the Boundary Commission with redrawing the electoral map of Wales in a bid to resolve the sort of anomalies in local government democracy that see the Padarn Ward with 792 electors (based on 2011 figures) and the neighbouring Faenor Ward with 2,300. Under the new review programme,

Ceredigion is first to be considered and the report before the council on Wednesday contained nothing that should have been startling to councillors since the last review. Not least as the number of councillors projected for Ceredigion County Council remains the same as it was under the last (and abortive review) of

Aberaeron was recommended to merge with the Llanddewi Aberarth ward of the Dyffryn Community;

Cardigan would lose one of its three councillors;

The Ciliau Aeron electoral division would merge with the Trefilan ward of the Community of Nantcwnlle to form a new electoral division;

Lampeter and Llanwenog would combine to make a single dual-member ward;

Jon Coles

38, a reduction of four councillors. The restructure of council wards

is an emotive subject, not only for local communities but also for those councillors who represent them in County Hall. Certainly, Cllr Gareth Davies,

whose ward of Llanbadarn Fawr (Padarn) has the fewest electors in Ceredigion, made a determined plea that his ward should not be carved up and subsumed into another locality. The issue of maintaining their

wards was picked up on by a number of councillors, each of which was determined to stress the uniqueness of their own electoral district above others that might be affected by any change. While it is unlikely that the sort of bitter back-biting that saw some county councillors in Pembrokeshire actively lobbying for the break-up and dissolution of rival councillors’ wards, with Ceredigion’s council finely balanced and small any switch could have considerable reverberations for the make-up of an administration after 2022. If the Commission followed the

pattern of recommendations made in its previous review, there would be a significant rejigging of the electoral map.

That issue was in the mind of some

members, who expressed considerable misgivings at the approach the council adopted to the previous review in

Te previous recommendations: •

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which, it was alleged, wards were carved up on the floor of the chamber regardless of local opposition to change. Of the 13 responses recorded

to the consultation that would have produced an electoral map based on those proposed changes, there were 12 substantive or conditional objections and only one offered unequivocal support.

While there has been some change

in population sizes since the last review, if the logic of the previous review’s recommendations are followed, there is likely to be considerable controversy involving the rural communities near New Quay, any changes to Llandysul, and strong opposition to a change in and around Lampeter. The presentation given on

Wednesday clearly flagged much the same issues as the previous review. However, when we asked for a comment from the council on its stance, Council Leader Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn said: “There are no recommendations to comment upon as the Commission is yet to commence its review. They are tasked to review all 22 Welsh councils by the 2022 County Council elections.” If the recommendations put

forward by the Local Government Boundary Commission vary significantly from its previous ones, it will be a considerable surprise and it is likely the previous pattern will be – if not repeated exactly – fairly closely followed.

The Padarn Ward would combine with Faenor to create a two-member ward;

The Llanfarian ward would be reorganised;

There would be a significant reorganisation

Communities around Llanarth;

The Llandysul wards would be restructured;

Llanddewi Brefi would merge into the Llangybi Ward, while Llangeithio would merge with Tregaron into a single ward;

• the • The Community of

Llanllwchaiarn would combine with the Community of New Quay into a New Quay Ward;

The wards of Goginan and Penllwyn would be retained with the Communities of Blaenrheidol and Pontarfynach to form a new electoral division called Melindwr, while the Community of Llanbadarn y Creuddyn Uchaf would be joined with Llanfarian;

The Pontshaen and Tregroes wards in the Llandysul Community would merge with the existing Troedyrau ward.

have his case heard at a Magistrates’ Court trial after he pleaded not guilty to common assault on Wednesday (Jan 25). 19-year-old Leo James Burton, of

Vulcan Street in Aberystwyth, pleaded not guilty to a charge of common assault by beating, which was alleged to have taken place on October 31, 2016 at

Aberystwyth. Burton faced another offence of

possessing 0.4g of herbal cannabis at Cardigan on October 31, to which he pleaded guilty. Burton will reappear before

Aberystwyth court on March 9, 2017 for his trial and was released on conditional bail until then.

Defendant praised for progress A 19-YEAR-OLD drug offender

reappeared before Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (Jan 25) for failing to comply with the requirements of a community order made by the court on August 3, 2016. Jordan Patrick David Allen, of

Penrhiw in Aberystwyth, pleaded guilty to failing to attend appointments on December 12, 2016 and January 7 without a reasonable excuse. Allen has additionally failed to

keep in contact with his Probation Officer since December 21, 2016. Addressing the court, probation

officer Julian Davies explained to Magistrates that the 12 month community order was imposed on August 3, 2016 for the offence of possessing cannabis with intent to supply. The community order required

Allen to complete 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days, 120 hours of

unpaid work and a thinking skills group programme. Mr Davies stated that this is

the defendant’s first breach of the community order and that the thinking skills group programme proved to be problematic to Allen for medical reasons. Allen has currently completed 18

days out of his 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days and 23.5 hours of unpaid work. Defending, Janem Jones added that

Allen accepted the breach and added that things have moved on since the order was imposed. Magistrates stated that they were

'pleased with the progress so far' and revoked the present community order to make amendments for the requirements. Allen was told to complete 35

rehabilitation activity requirement days, a two month curfew and was ordered to pay prosecution costs of £85.

Conditional discharge for drug possession A DRUG offender was caught out

by police officers at his property when, after struggling to speak and claiming he had no drugs, traces of a Class B drug were found hidden in a bin. Bryan James Eccleston, aged 25,

of Maes Y Deri in Cardigan, pleaded guilty to the offence of possessing 3.5g of herbal cannabis at Llechryd on September 21, 2016. Prosecutor Helen Tench told the

court that officers visited the defendant’s property for an unrelated matter on the day in question, and when Eccleston opened the door, he seemed very animated and could barely speak due to his slurred speech. Finding it very hard to focus,

Eccleston told the officers when questioned that there were no drugs at

the property. When a search was conducted,

officers found a clear bag in a bin containing 3.5g of herbal cannabis and a grinder with traces of cannabis on it. When interviewed, Eccleston stated

that the herbal cannabis was for his own personal use and made no other comments. Defending, Katy Hanson said to the

court that the defendant has stated that he no longer uses cannabis and is anxious to not appear before court again. Magistrates imposed a 12 month

conditional discharge on Eccleston, along with issuing a destruction order for the drugs. The defendant was also ordered

to pay prosecution costs of £85 and a surcharge of £20.

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