Letters from the editor's postbag.

Flood failures

I HAVE watched over the last few weeks, with some concern, the effects of the recent flooding around the River Teifi.

What has been very evident is the community spirit, with volunteers comprising local people, church members, the Co-op and other community groups gathering together to support those affected with offers of accommodation, ‘clean-ups’, food and furniture – not to mention emotional support.

This very positive community response stands in stark contrast to the inertia of Ceredigion County Council.

In Carmarthenshire, those suffering flooding were offered a straight payment of £200 which obviously may not seem very much to anyone whose property has been flooded and is without insurance, but such a payment could be a lifeline in the critical short term after such a disaster.

Ceredigion Council did not offer any similar support. Sometime after the event, there were rumours of a reduction in council tax payments, but this was mistimed and failed to recognise the immediacy and severity of the situation.

I would refer to Ceredigion Council’s Corporate Strategy 2017-2022, where their vision is of supporting a ‘strong economy and healthy environment while promoting the wellbeing in our people and communities’.

In light of their inaction, notwithstanding the late involvement of the incumbent Plaid Cymru MP, the council has seriously let this community down.

The families forced from their homes have experienced a lack of immediate and necessary support. Support action appears to be coming from within the community, not from their elected members, or a desire to ensure their strategic strategy is implemented.

I was under the impression that local councils need to have an Emergency Plan ready to be activated in times of crisis.

Clearly any such plan would have to cover issues such as flooding in an area such as south Ceredigion.

It would be interesting to know more about Ceredigion Council’s emergency plan (or lack of it), and of particular interest would be the contingency for floods.

Is there an emergency fund of £281,000? If so, might it be an idea for the council to address their ‘Kensington and Chelsea’ approach to this issue and start making the funds available to families, individuals and groups who desperately need it at this time of crisis?

Andy Towse

Campaigns Officer

Ceredigion Labour Party

Hedgehog fears

I WAS horrified to hear on breakfast television the head of WWF reminiscing about leaving out a saucer of milk for a hedgehog.

This is a disaster for hedgehogs as it gives them diarrhoea. A feed of dog food is much safer.

Further information can be obtained from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, Hedgehog House, Dhustone, Ludlow, Shropshire.

Chrissy Leonard-Nelson


Train travesty

IT was with interest that I read the recent article (Calls for full steam ahead on

ambitious £775m trains link, October 30), concerning the proposed rail link between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen.

It seems to me to be an inordinate amount of money to spend on a project, at a time when council budgets are constrained and a squeeze is being put on social services.

It does not seem right that schools are not able to provide caretakers because of financial constraints and education is not getting the money that it needs to improve the levels of attainment.

The article does not spell out the benefits of this scheme or the financial gain to the economy locally.

Could it be an easy route for officials to connect between Cardiff and Aberystwyth?

I would have thought that some of this money would have been better spent improving the tortuous route from Cardigan to Carmarthen. I have long thought that this road is not fit for the amount of important transport that it serves.

Having recently returned from North Wales where I have seen great road improvements serving both tourist and industrial purposes, I think that the Carmarthen route to Cardigan is one of the most difficult and dangerous in Wales.

Cardigan deserves an improved economic link that would bring great benefits to the town and also serve the other coastal towns.

Reverend John Powell


Cover all angles

At the recent Cardigan Market hall project consultation there were plans on show for improving the market hall, but I feel that it would be a completely wasted opportunity if the courtyard between the Corn Exchange and the upper market was to be ignored.

I shared an idea for a tensile structure to cover the yard and everyone I mentioned it to seemed to support the idea.

This waterproof covering would make use of natural light and create an all year-round open forum for

l Performances of music, theatre, puppet, shows and spoken word

l A space for choral presentations

l Civic functions, mayor making etc

l A dry space for farmers markets

l Christmas markets

l Possibly weddings and numerous other events and gatherings attracting visitors and locals alike to enhance Cardigan’s reputation as a town where good things happen

It would in fact create something close to a town square, something that is sorely missing from Cardigan.

It is a relatively cheap option that would yet be an elegant design creating an inspiring space.

It may be classed as a temporary addition or one that could be “reversible” not leaving a trace, if at some point in the future it was to be taken away or reached the end of its life.

It would counterpoint the existing built heritage and not detract from listed building status.

Its fixing points would be minimal and discreet and would not have to interfere with the ground plan at all.

It would significantly help with the protection and preservation of the space.

Drainage would be channelled into existing outflow points

Strong, modern materials resist the effects of sun, other tensile coverings I’ve seen remain clean and bright after many years in place.

I was reminded at this event that a similar idea was proposed and approved in the past and I was surprised it was not already included in the architects plan on show. Surely this is what “consultations” are for, making sure we look at things from all angles and include ideas that add more life to a proposed design.

Cardigan now seems to be the envy of many other towns in West Wales and this would be a great addition helping enable our town to thrive.

It would not be very expensive and if the existing budget would not quite cover the cost it would surely not be so hard a stretch to raise the funds to make this happen and be part of the architect’s brief.

Bill Hamblett


GP surgery fear

YOUR article highlighting the forthcoming closure of local GP surgeries is a situation I view with a great deal of trepidation (Watchdog steps in over closure of GP surgeries, November 6), as, at age 98, I head into the final stages of a long life.

We arrived in this area in 1955 and registered with Drs Jones and Harries – the forerunners of the present Ashleigh Surgery which is scheduled for closure early in 2019 due to a lack of GPs.

I find it strange that while this lovely area is so attractive to so many who choose to move here for retirement, General Practitioners appear to view it in a different light.

Could it be be due to the machinations of our area Health Board, which continues to operate financially in ‘the red’, with quite pointless public meetings laid on from time to time?

All patients, especially those who have spent many working years paying into the system, surely deserve better

John B Armstrong