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Two charged following soldier’s death

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Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 14.27.11DYFED-POWYS POLICE has charged a 23-year-old man with the murder of Matthew Boyd. A 22-yearold man has been charged with affray.

They have been remanded in custody to appear at Brecon Magistrates Court today, May 12.

The arrests follow an investigation after Mr Boyd, a solider with the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, was found unconscious and badly injured in Lion Street, Brecon, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Mr Boyd was taken to hospital but later died.

FAMILY THANK BRECON’S COMMUNITY

Police have released a statement provided by Matthew Boyd’s family.

‘We would like to thank the community of Brecon for their thoughts and condolences. It has given us such strength as a family at this horrendous time. Matthew was a kind and popular young man, and it has been wonderful to see his warm and kind personality being replicated through the kindness of complete strangers.

‘We would like to thank the police for all of the work that they have done in getting to this point, and will continue to do everything in our power to support them in getting justice for Matthew.

‘The people of Gibraltar have been fantastic to us, and we are grateful for their support. We are particularly grateful for the support from those currently in Brecon from Matthew’s regiment, the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, who have gone out of their way to support us. We look forward to bringing Matthew home to Gibraltar.

‘We now ask for time and space for us to come to terms with this devastating news’.

REGIMENTAL TRIBUTE

The Royal Gibraltar regiment released a detailed tribute to their former comrade.

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence confirms the death of 20 year old Private Matthew Ian Boyd from The Royal Gibraltar Regiment.

‘Pte Matthew Ian Boyd was born May 25 1995, and joined the Royal Gibraltar Regiment on the August 22 2012 and attended the Infantry Training Centre (ITC) in Catterick to complete his Combat Infantryman’s course.

‘He successfully passed out of ITC on the April 12 2013 and joined the Regiment in April 2013 on Exercise JEBEL TARIK 13 in Brecon. He was then assigned to 1 Platoon, I Company as a fully qualified Infantryman and immediately began to fit into the Regiment.

‘He quickly asserted himself as a reliable and competent soldier, who could always be relied upon to make light of a given situation. During his career he deployed on all UK and Morocco deployments with the Regiment where his keenness and affable character made him shine within not just his platoon but wider Regiment. He consistently performed to a high standard as a soldier, and had been earmarked to be trained as an Assault Pioneer, and as with everything, he would put his name forward for any opportunity to deploy that presented itself.

‘He had recently been put forward to be selected as a potential Junior NCO, and had deployed to UK to assist the Queen’s Division Courses Cell as part of the training support staff in order to gain experience before he attending the Fire Team Commander’s Course as a student.

‘Private Boyd was an engaging and outgoing individual with a charismatic personality. He had all the characteristics that make an exceptional soldier he was willing and keen with an optimistic view of life. The Regiment has lost an excellent member of its ranks and highly respected comrade. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends at this very difficult time’.

Commanding Officer of The Royal Gibraltar Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Ivor Lopez said: “The whole regiment is devastated to learn about the tragic death of Pte Matthew Boyd of The Royal Gibraltar Regiment.

Matthew or ‘Boyd’ as he was commonly known by his friends joined the Regiment in August 2012 when he was just 17 years of age. A committed and utterly reliable individual, Pte Boyd was an outstanding soldier with a bright future ahead of him.

Witty, full of life and with an outgoing personality, he was widely respected and an extremely popular member of this unit. His untimely death leaves a huge void in the regiment and his loss will be acutely felt by all of us. The regiment has lost a great soldier and a close friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with Matthew’s family and friends at this tragic time.“

Major Timothy Cumming, Company Commander, I COY said: “The thoughts of every Soldier and Officer within I Company are very firmly with the family and friends of Pte Matthew Boyd. All of us have been rocked by this and are at a loss for words after being made aware of this devastating news. Pte Boyd was a highly dedicated and professional soldier.

“He was a true character within the Regiment with a tremendously positive and amiable personality. As his Company Commander, it was an honour and a privilege to have been able to have known him at both a personal and professional level. That his life ended in this way was a cruel tragedy. He will continue to be an inspiration to all who knew and worked with him and will never be forgotten.“

Platoon Commander, Lieutenant Jon Roberts (29) said: “I first met Pte Boyd when he came back from Catterick and deployed on Exercise Jebel Tarik in the UK, just as I was taking over my Platoon for the first time. From the outset he shone out as a character and one that I knew go far.

“A reliable and competent soldier, he consistently performed to a high standard and I could always rely on him to perform any task that was given to him, regardless of how arduous. What made him shine above the rest is how he would always have a wry little smile on his face and give a quick witted response before cracking on; it was those qualities that endeared him to those around him.

“I have had the privilege of leading many soldiers but Pte Boyd will always be one that will stick in my memory fondly. He’d recently been earmarked as a soldier with the right potential for promotion, which is why we decided to send him to support a Queen’s Division Course to enable him to gather experience before he inevitably attempted to attend his own promotion course later this year.

“I honestly can’t believe that this has happened and that he’s gone. He epitomised the spirit of the Regiment and will be sorely missed by his friends and the Regimental family and my own thoughts and prayers are with his own family and friends at this time.”

Sergeant Paul Grech (29) said: “I was lost for words when I heard the news about Boyd, I was his Platoon Sergeant for the last year and he was one of the best Private’s in my Platoon. He was full of life and always had a smile on his face. He was good tempered no matter where we were, whether it was boiling hot in Morocco or freezing in the UK he never complained and lifted the whole Platoon’s morale with his unique sense of humour.

“I am honoured to have served with such an individual. He has definitely shown me that life is too short to dwell on the bad times, but to smile at life and enjoy the time we have. He was loved by so many and will definitely be missed by all.”

Private Paul Barber (21) said: “I was devastated to hear about Boyd, he was like a brother to me. I remember meeting him in Basic Training and I had no idea at the time that we would become such good friends, even though I only knew him for three years, it felt like a lifetime. Boyd was real character; he was hilarious and our sense of humour was well matched.

“I trusted him and have a box full of memories of our time shared together. Words can’t really explain how much I will miss him and he will be a real loss to our Regiment and a difficult person to ever forget.”

Private Scott Wylie (20) said: “Still can’t believe he’s gone, he was my only childhood friend and we were together since we were six. We were in the same class in school, went through everything together, we joined the Army at the same time and still had so much still to do together. He was meant to be my best man and my first child’s godfather, he was more like a brother than a best friend; you’ve taken part of me with you, but this isn’t goodbye, love you brother RIP.”

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Aberglasney Gardens delighted to win 2022 Trip advisor Travellers’ Choice Award

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ABERGLASNEY Gardens is thrilled to have been recognised by Tripadvisor as a 2022 Travellers’ Choice Award winner for being in the top 10% of attractions worldwide.

The Award recognises businesses that consistently deliver great service with the Gardens being rated ‘Excellent’ by 342 visitors.

The award celebrates businesses that have received great traveller reviews from around the globe on Tripadvisor over the last 12 months. As challenging as the past year has been, Aberglasney stood out by consistently delivering positive experiences to visitors.

Aberglasney’s Director of Operations Jim Stribling said: “We are delighted to have once again won an award from Tripadvisor. It is fantastic recognition for the team’s hard work and dedication. To rank among the top ten percent of those listed on Trip Advisor as one of the best places to visit is outstanding.

“We are grateful to all those who take the time to leave us a review after visiting. It is no cliché when I say all the team, be it in the gift shop, the gardeners, the tearooms and the administrative team, all take the reviews on board to help make a visit to Aberglasney the best possible experience for everyone.”

Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel guidance platform, helps hundreds of millions of people each month become better travellers, from planning, to booking, to taking a trip. Travelers across the globe use the Tripadvisor site and app to discover where to stay, what to do and where to eat based on guidance from those who have been there before.

With more than 988 million reviews and opinions of nearly eight million businesses, travellers turn to Tripadvisor to find deals on accommodation, book experiences, reserve tables at restaurants and discover great places nearby.

As a travel guidance company available in 43 markets and 22 languages, Tripadvisor makes planning easy no matter the trip type.

“Congratulations to the 2022 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Winners,” said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. “The Travellers’ Choice Awards recognise the best in tourism and hospitality, according to those who matter most: your guests.

“Ranking among the Travellers’ Choice winners is always tough – but never more so than this year as we emerge from the pandemic. Whether it’s using new technology, implementing safety measures, or hiring outstanding staff, I’m impressed by the steps you’ve taken to meet travellers’ new demands. You’ve adapted brilliantly in the face of adversity.”

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Education

Council’s plan to expand bilingual education will be a gradual journey over 10 years

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Carmarthenshire County Council

CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council’s vision to increase bilingual education in Carmarthenshire will be a gradual journey over 10 years.

The Cabinet met yesterday (Monday, July 4) to discuss the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP), and emphasised that it was important to give all children and young people the opportunity to develop their Welsh language skills.

However, members stressed that families will still have a choice on the language in which their children will be taught over the next decade and after 2032.

The plan sets out how the council will develop Welsh language provision in schools based on the outcomes and targets set by the Welsh Government.

All councils across Wales have to submit 10-year Welsh language education plans to the Welsh Government in order to meet its target of one million Welsh speakers by 2050.

The outcomes include more nursery and reception children being taught through the medium of Welsh; more young people studying for qualifications in Welsh as a subject, and subjects through the medium of Welsh; increasing provision for learners with Additional Learning Needs; and increasing the number of teachers able to teach Welsh and through the medium of Welsh – with continuing support to develop staff through a comprehensive and flexible training programme.

The Cabinet said it was important for the council to provide more opportunities to be bilingual and referred to the various benefits it brings – from educational attainment to employability and health.

Cabinet Member for Education and Welsh Language, Cllr Glynog Davies said the aim was to meet and exceed the target set by Welsh Government on the percentage of Carmarthenshire pupils receiving their education through the medium of Welsh by 3032 (10-14%).

It included changing the language provision at 10 schools over the next 10 years creating an opportunity for a further 300 learners to be educated in Welsh.

He said: “We want to build on the progress made in early years education provision, and my ambition is clear – equal opportunities across the county.

“It is worth noting that we have the largest percentage 57.5 percent of nursery age children taught through the medium of Welsh. Immersion education is key to the strategy, and it is important that we continue to see an increase in the percentage of children transferring from the Meithrin groups to Welsh-medium education in the Foundation Phase.

“These early years are so important, the children are like sponges, absorbing information and absorbing a new language.

“We must then continue to see an increase in numbers in our reception classes, we say this even though we are the authority with the largest percentage (62.5 percent) of children receiving their education through the medium of Welsh.

“Children must continue to improve their Welsh when going from one school phase to another, and we need to make sure all children have the opportunity to pursue their secondary education through the medium of Welsh.

“At the same time, we need to give children and young people the confidence to use Welsh, in school and in the community. That’s what we want to see isn’t it, more and more using Welsh, hearing Welsh on the street. We need to develop and build on skills and confidence.”

Cabinet Member for Rural Affairs and Planning Policy, Cllr Ann Davies said: “I am extremely pleased to see this document and have a pleasure in supporting it. Working with young children, that is children under three-years-old, I can say that children pick up language very quickly, they absorb it, and the process is very different to learning a language. As they get older the process in the brain is completely different. I am pleased to see that there is an emphasis on early years, that is when we need to start.”

Cabinet Member for Resources, Cllr Alun Lenny said: “It is very important to state that there are many advantages to learning a language, obviously for careers, especially in health and social care where patients and clients must have a choice of language, it’s important particularly for older people, and young children, and people with dementia.

“The Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police has stated he is keen for all his staff to speak a certain level of Welsh, so we have a duty here to support that.

“The advantages of being bilingual are multiple, socially and in the world of work, and this strategy is very much welcomed.”

The WESP has come back to the cabinet for discussion following feedback from the Welsh Government, mainly to include some additional data and detail. It will now be submitted to the Welsh Government for final approval. A public consultation was held last year.

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Warning of serious disruption on M4 and M5 today due to fuel prices protest

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POLICE have warned of “serious disruption” to drivers using the M4 and M5 on Monday 4 July due to a planned protest.

Protesters intend to block the Prince of Wales Bridge from 7am until 7pm as part of a nationwide campaign against rising fuel prices.

The protest is due to start at the M4 Magor services at junction 23A eastbound and the Clevedon Interchange at junction 20 of the M5 westbound.

It is also expected to cause disruption to the M48 Severn Bridge and the M32.

Drivers are being urged to avoid the area or plan alternative routes.

Bristol Airport has issued a warning urging travellers to allow extra time if heading to or from the airport.

Police said additional officers will be brought in to ensure the protest is carried out legally.

Drivers have been advised by Gwent Police to work from home where possible and avoid the area between 7am and 7pm, with protestors planning to block parts of the road between M4 Magor services, junction 23A eastbound, and Junction 20 of the M4 between those hours.

Chief Superintendent Tom Harding said: “Gwent Police, and Avon and Somerset Police, are working jointly with neighbouring police forces and partner agencies to ensure emergency and critical services continue and to reduce disruption to both road users and local communities, however we are preparing for serious disruption throughout the day.

“I would encourage drivers to reconsider their journey, consider working from home and avoid the area where possible.

“The right to protest under UK law must be balanced with the rights of the wider community who may be affected. We have additional officers and support in place on Monday to ensure the protest is carried out in accordance with the law.”

The planned protest is thought to have been organised by the Facebook group Fuel Price Stand Against Tax, and has attracted both criticism and support online.

The latest travel disruption comes following the closure of the Severn Bridge for a second consecutive weekend, as well as the Severn Tunnel rain line which will be out of use until July 10 due to essential work. Motorists will be unable to cross the M48 Severn Bridge until 6am on Monday as it is undergoing essential work for eight months.

The bridge was first shut last weekend as painstaking work to repair and replace corroded suspension cables began. Traffic on the bridge is likely to be very heavy on Monday due to the fuel protest.

Police have told protesters banners must be tightly secured to vehicles and nobody should be walking around on the bridge during the demonstration. Protesters will stay inside their vehicles or stand beside them.

An organiser said: “We will now only be doing it on the Prince of Wales Bridge. We have to keep in mind everyone’s safety and if we block the bridge totally and there is an emergency there would be hell. Yes it means only one bridge but [due to the amount of traffic caused] there will still be a massive impact.”

Two weeks ago one of the initial M4 bridge protest organisers Ashley Fowler said : “We’re all car enthusiasts and we have all been worried about fuel prices and when I saw the post about blocking the bridges we began talking about it. Then people started asking me to make an event so we could update each other.

“I made the event because I run a car club in Cardiff which I started on social media during the pandemic lockdowns to help people’s mental health. When we can we go out to car parks and just meet up and have a chat but during the pandemic we weren’t able to do it so I made the group.

“Now we can’t meet up so much again because of the cost of fuel. I know some of them can’t drive so much because they need to feed their kids. It’s serious. People are getting really depressed about it. One of the boys in the group has actually sold his car due to fuel price rises.”

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