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Ceredigion: Liberal Democrats hold seat

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Re-elected: Liberal Democrat Mark Williams

Re-elected: Liberal Democrat Mark Williams

MARK WILLIAMS has once again been elected as the MP for Ceredigion. The Liberal Democrats proved popular amongst the voters across the county gaining 35.85% share with 13,414 votes.

Second place went to Mike Parker for Plaid Cymru who gained 27.65% of the vote with 10,347.

Henrietta Hensher for Conservative managed to bag 4,123 votes with 11.02% share and spoke of how ‘hectic’ it has been juggling politics and business commenting: “Any MP who says they sleep the night before is a big fat liar, I was awake at 4am, 3am and 2am.”

UKIP’s Gethin James came in ahead of Labour’s Huw Thomas by just over a couple of hundred votes gaining 10.23% share with 3,829 crosses to his name.  The Herald caught up with Mr James prior to the results when he said that he was expecting a 10% share in Ceredigion which he thought was realistic compared to the 2.6% in the last election. “It will probably increase four fold.”

When asked if he would do it again he did not hesitate in saying yes but would like to see more people on the ground but that’s difficult with a budget as little as £1,200.

Mr James agreed that he’s had some negative experiences whilst canvassing but said: We are a bit like Marmite, if people don’t like us, they’re quite happy to tell us.”

Huw Thomas for Labour gained 9.66% of the vote with 3,615 overall. He said he was pleased with the increase in votes for the party since the last Parliamentary Election when Richard Boudier received 2,210.

Daniel Thompson for The Green Party told the Herald that he thinks the outcome was a positive move forward for the Green Party. The ‘Greens’ received exactly three times more votes than last time with 2,088 votes gaining a 5.58% share.

Mr Williams did not want to comment before the results and it was said that he does not like to turn up too early to these things because the nerves get the better of him.  During his speech he thanked polling staff for their hard work, he thanked Dyfed-Powys Police for their support on the evening and also thanked his fellow candidates and wished them well for the future.  He then went on to thank Elizabeth Evans, his campaign manager who he had joked earlier in the evening often gets mistaken for his wife and finished by saying: “It’s one thing to win by a big majority which is a huge honour and privilege in itself. I will do my best for everybody in this county, as I have done for the past few years, and I look forward to the months and years ahead.”

Ceredigion is the only Lib Dem constituency in Wales.

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Ongoing incident closes busy Haverfordwest road

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A MAJOR road in Haverfordwest has been closed due to a police incident this afternoon (May 5)

A man was seen holding onto the outside railings of a bridge, talking to police officers.

The police said: “We are dealing with an ongoing incident, with concern for the welfare of a male, which has meant the A487 between Cartlett Road and Thomas Parry Way in Haverfordwest has been closed.

“Motorists are asked to avoid the area and find alternative routes.

There are reports of long queues for motorists in and around Haverfordwest with some drivers messaging The Herald saying “Town is gridlocked.”

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James Oulton found not guilty of 30 counts of sexual assault against 11 ex-pupils

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JAMES OULTON, 34, the primary school teacher who was accused of 30 charges of sexual assault against pupils has been found not guilty of all charges at Swansea Crown court today, following a lengthy trial (May 4).

The charges, now dismissed, had related to his time as a Haverfordwest primary school teacher, between 2012 and 2018.

Mr Oulton had described the accusations as a “witch-hunt”.

He confirmed he had made a formal complaint against one officer involved.

Speaking after the verdict, James Oulton said: “I am glad two years and eight months of hell for my family, colleagues and friends has come to an end.”

“I’m just glad it’s over and that the jury came to the right verdict.”

The press was only able to report on the prosecution case, but not the defence case – because Oulton him self via his barrister had made an application to the court for a press restriction.

The Herald feels that this press restriction on the reporting of both sides of the case, once granted, was unlawful, and is appealing to the Court of Appeal on a point of law.

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Nineteen arrests and weapons seized during knife crime action week

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NINETEEN people were arrested and a number of weapons were seized as police took part in a national week of action against knife crime, police have said.

Dyfed-Powys Police has released its results from Op Sceptre, which ran from April 26 to May 2, during which officers across the force took part in activity to crack down on crime involving blades.

The week was led by the force’s roads policing units (RPU), with a focus on targeting operations in key areas throughout the four divisions.

Neighbourhood policing teams were instrumental in engaging with shopkeepers, creating educational videos for communities on social media, and working with RPU on joint patrols in crime hotspots.

Inspector Andrew Williams said: “There have been some excellent results forcewide  from this year’s Op Sceptre, and as a result of the increased proactivity in key areas, there has also been a vast amount of other offences detected.

“This was thanks to some outstanding work by roads policing units, neighbourhood policing teams, the joint firearms unit and response officers.

“Our approach was to educate our communities on the laws around carrying and selling knives, and the dangers associated with having a blade on your possession, which was backed up with operational activity across the force.

“This has been very well received, and will be continued during the next operation.”

During the week 20 stop searches were carried out, resulting in seven arrests and numerous weapons being seized.

Twelve people were arrested for drug driving following stop checks on vehicles, one of which led to the discovery of a cannabis cultivation in the Cardigan area.

Traffic offence reports were issued to 41 drivers, and two people will be dealt with for failing to stop for officers when requested.

Neighbourhood policing activity saw engagement with 95 shop owners and community leaders, with officers and PCSOs reassured to find that most businesses were complying with the Challenge 25 policy. Those who were not will be dealt with accordingly.

Insp Williams said: “Our work to tackle knife crime will continue as we consider intelligence logs that were submitted during the operation and develop targeted plans to deal with concerns in our communities.

“We would also like to remind people that while our knife amnesty has now concluded, the best way to dispose of an unwanted blade is to take it to your local recycling centre.”

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