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Externalising refuse services

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L-R: Talat Chaudhri, Janice de Haff, Bethan Williams, Linda Ingram and David Hanlon

L-R: Talat Chaudhri, Janice de Haff, Bethan Williams, Linda Ingram and David Hanlon

CEREDIGION People’s Assembly (CPA) welcomed the decision by Ceredigion County Council on Tuesday (Jun 28) to shelve plans to privatise refuse collection and other services.

A CPA call-out to members who attended the Cabinet Meeting in the Aberaeron Council Offices noted that the proposal for privatisation came from the professional services firm PwC. CPA contended that outsourcing refuse services would mean job losses, degraded working conditions for staff, and a loss of public control. The callout directed members to ‘Meet outside the offices at 9.30am to remind the councillors that we think the proposal is rubbish!’

Several members of CPA did attend the Council meeting, where the Cabinet voted on the ‘Re-Design of Technical Services’. This included a vote on whether to ‘externalise delivery’ of refuse collection, street lighting, fleet maintenance and parking services. Altogether, the cabinet agreed not to proceed with the externalisation of refuse collection, transport and fleet management, and parking services. Rather, the decision taken was to look towards making substantial savings in those service areas rather than go ahead with privatisation.

Councillor Alun Williams, who led the discussion on Tuesday, told the Herald: “I’m very pleased that the Cabinet has agreed not to go ahead with the externalisation of services. It was not wrong to consider all options in the light of the huge financial cuts we face from central government, which have amounted so far to £34 million over three years. However, we will now be seeking to find the latest savings needed by working innovatively within the departments affected and retaining their staff within the council wherever possible.”

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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