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​​Black bags ‘were rubbish’

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County Hall

County Hall

THE COUNCIL is to stop its supply of black bags to domestic households in a bid to save around £83,000 a year.

The council’s Cabinet met on Monday (Nov 30), to discuss stopping the supply and plans to increase fees for garden waste collection from £38 to £41.50 per year.

It was highlighted that Pembrokeshire County Council was one of few authorities in Wales to supply black bags and to stop it now would save money straight away.

Cabinet Member for Environmental and Regulatory Services and the Welsh Language, Cllr Huw George said: “Garden Waste Collections started in 2011, it’s a subscription only service and to date we have approximately 5300 customers and they pay £38 for a 40 week period where there garden waste is collected every fortnight.

“The position I have for Cabinet is that we amend the charges as follows; to increase the garden waste collection to £41.50 per bin per annum from the current £38.

“If the total number of customers remains around the same level it would generate an additional £18,500. In addition to that if we could increase that number it might secure the price of £41.50 as we move forward through the years ahead.

“It’s £2 per collection which is very reasonable. For £2 a fortnight we can take away your garden waste which would secure the service moving forward.

“Every year we supply 52 black bags to domestic properties and this is not a statutory duty and we are one of few authorities who still do so. We have downed the size and made them thinner.

“It is proposed that we, if we cease supplying black bags to households from 2016 onwards, we would save £83,000.

“The reason we are bringing this forward today is that we are about to go out and pay for the black bags coming on so if we can save paying them it means that the money is with us now rather than looking ahead 12 months.

“There are concerns that people, if they don’t have a black bag, would stick things into the orange bag but I must say that the people of Pembrokeshire have been absolutely brilliant with recycling.

“When we brought in fortnightly collections, there were some people who were saying it was the end of the world but the people of Pembrokeshire responded remarkably.”

Council Leader Jamie Adams said: “The costings are based on the net effect of the increase, not dissuading any customers from continuing with the provision of the service.

“We are one the last councils to supply black bags, recognising that we do need to encourage greater recycling, albeit the public has responded very well to that.”

Head of Environment & Civil Contingencies Richard Brown added: “We have increased the price in each of the last three years and each time we have seen an increase in numbers of people wanting to take the service up. This is because people realise how good it is. The service sells itself.

“We are not anticipating a drop, if we did that would be counter-productive but on previous performance we would expect this to be growing.

“In terms of the black bags, in Ceredigion they haven’t had black bags over the last 12 years so it is down to the residents there.

“A lot of people have been critical of the quality of the plastic bags which I would say are standard industry bags but I wouldn’t anticipate general disobedience from the public because we stopped supplying them with black bags.”

Cllr Jamie Adams said that this was part of a consultation process and added that members of the public had said that the council don’t need to supply black bags.

Cllr Alison Lee said: “I really don’t think this is going to be an issue and I think it would encourage more recycling and as Huw already said, the bags weren’t that good anyway.”

Cllr Huw George replied: “They were rubbish.”

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Lecture considers the future of war

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INTERNATIONALLY renowned war scholar and military conflict expert, Professor Christopher Coker delivered this year’s Kenneth N. Waltz Annual Lecture on Thursday (Nov 16).

Christopher Coker, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, is a prolific author on all aspects of war. He is a former NATO Fellow, a former twice serving member of the Council of the Royal United Services Institute, and a regular lecturer at Defence Colleges in the UK, US, Rome, Singapore, and Tokyo.

In his lecture entitled ‘Still ‘The Human Thing’? Thucydides, Waltz & the Future of War”, Professor Coker discussed war as a feature of what we call ‘human nature’ or ‘humanity’ in general, while focusing on urgent contemporary issues such as possible changes in the nature of war by the blurring of the distinction between humans and machines.

He also considered how, as Artificial Intelligence becomes ever more a fact of life, the traditional functions and forms of war could change, discussing such questions as: will we still need war and will war still need us?

Talking ahead of the the event, Professor Ken Booth of Aberystwyth University said: “Chris Coker is a very imaginative, interesting, and controversial thinker. Intellectually ambitious, he always addresses the biggest questions. The titles of some of his most recent books attest to this: Future War, Can War be Eliminated?, Warrior Geeks: how 21st Century Technology is Changing the Way We Fight and Think about War, The Improbable War: China, the US, and the Logic of Great Power Conflict and Men at War: what Fiction tells us about Conflict. We can be sure of a fascinating and challenging lecture about a supremely important area of human behaviour.”

The Kenneth N. Waltz Annual Lecture brings distinguished scholars to Aberystwyth to talk about issues that were central to the concerns of the late Ken Waltz, the leading theorist of international relations over many decades.
Hosted by the David Davies Memorial Institute and the Department of International Politics, this year’s lecture was held in the Main Hall in the International Politics Building on the Penglais Campus.

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Youth Service invited to international training event

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TWO Youth Workers from Ceredigion Youth Service have been selected to represent the UK on a week’s training opportunity in Horažd’ovice in the Czech Republic.

‘The danger of a Single Story’ is a training course funded by Erasmus+, that combines stories, media, global education and active citizenship to empower trainers, educators and youth workers with the tools to educate young people on issues such as cyberbullying, hate speech, and online harassment.

Elen James, Head of Youth Engagement and Continuing Education​,​ said​:​ “We are extremely proud of both Rebeca Davies and Guto Crompton, 270 people had applied, for 24 places, 2 were allocated for the UK and both places have been assigned to Ceredigion Youth Service staff.

“This is an excellent training opportunity for them, which will inform them and encourage them to reflect on the evolution of media and the consequences that it has on the formation of stereotypes and prejudices. We wish them all the best in Prague!​”​

Rebeca Davies and Guto Crompton will join 22 other Youth Workers from Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey. The week will be hosted at the PROUD Environmental Centre approximately 120km from Prague, from ​Sunday (Nov 19) for a week.

Rebeca Davies, School Based Youth Worker said​:​ “I’m really looking forward to visiting Prague, and meeting other Youth Workers from across the World. It will be a fantastic opportunity to learn new tools and techniques to encourage and empower young people back here in Ceredigion.”

Guto Crompton, School Based Youth Worker ​added​:​ “I’m looking forward to learning more about different Youth Work methods and approaches. I’m also eager to develop a greater awareness around education, active citizenship and democracy.”

Cabinet member for Learning Services, Children and Young People’s Partnership, Councillor Catrin Miles, ​commented: “As a Council, we are very proud of the hard work of our Youth Service to the young people of the county. This will be a very important and worthwhile opportunity for Rebeca and Guto to represent Ceredigion and Wales and we wish them all the best at the event.”

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Pot Noodles bought with theft proceeds

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ON WEDNESDAY (Nov 15), Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court heard that a 23-year-old man stole an HDMI cable from a store and sold it for a tenner to buy ten Pot Noodles.

Joel Alexander Owens, of Portland Street in Aberystwyth, pleaded guilty to stealing alcohol to the value of £24.96 belonging to his hometown’s B&M Bargains on June 29. He also admitted stealing an HDMI cable to the value of £14 belonging to Tesco in Aberystwyth on September 24.

Prosecuting, Helen Tench said a staff member at B&M was notified by a member of the public about a male who left the store without paying for items.

CCTV footage was checked, which showed Owens select a number of alcoholic items and leaving the store without making any payments.

Police officers later viewed the footage and identified the defendant.

On October 14, a member of staff at Tesco was informed of the incident at B&M. The Tesco CCTV footage was viewed as a result and the defendant was seen removing an HDMI cable from its box on September 24 and leaving without paying.

Ms Tench said Owens was interviewed on October 19, where he admitted committing the offences in his personal statement.

The defendant also admitted he sold the HDMI cable for £10 in order to buy ten Pot Noodles.

Defending, Katy Hanson said Owens pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and admitted to stealing beer and cider from B&M.

Probation officer Julian Davies stated that the defendant was currently serving a 12-month community order for two previous offences of theft and a breach of a conditional discharge.

Aberystwyth magistrates revoked Owens community order and imposed a 12-month community order with 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a four-week curfew.

Owens was told to pay prosecution costs of £85, compensation of £14 to Tesco and compensation of £24.96 to B&M Bargains.

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