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£1.6 million Warm Homes Arbed funding for Cardigan and Llanarth

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Dial on radiatorTHE CEREDIGION COUNTY COUNCIL Area Renewal Team has been successful in securing £1.6 million from the Welsh Government’s Warm Homes Arbed Scheme for improving homes in the Teifi Ward, Cardigan and Llanarth.

The scheme supports Welsh Government’s commitments to reduce the impacts of climate change, help eradicate fuel poverty and boost economic development and regeneration in Wales. The scheme considers a whole house approach to home energy efficiency improvement and has helped to tackle harder to treat homes where the impact of fuel poverty tends to be most severe.

Councillor Rhodri Evans, Cabinet Member for Lifestyle Services and Waste said, “I am delighted that Ceredigion was successful in securing this significant level of funding for Cardigan and Llanarth.  Residents within the county face daily challenges in living in draughty and energy inefficient homes which are costly to heat. The improvements under this scheme have made a substantial impact on the warmth and comfort of households within their homes along with a significant reduction in energy bills.”

Willmott Dixon was appointed as Main Contractor to deliver both schemes following the success of the Beeches, Llandysul scheme the previous year.

Both the Cardigan and Llanarth schemes targeted solid wall insulation, in the form of external wall insulation. This was installed on 109 properties between both schemes and provided a carbon saving of 1207 tCO₂. The external wall insulation insulates the walls which help to reduce heat loss in cold weather, resulting in much more comfortable living environment and a reduction in heating costs by up to as much as 40%. These improvements also reduce the risk of condensation and damp walls.

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) was appointed to undertake energy advice and guidance to householders who have received measures and others who lived within the area. Ymlaen Ceredigion provided behavioural change coaching specifically relating to energy efficiency to the CAB officers.

Under the scheme, CAB aimed to deliver energy advice and raise awareness of energy efficient measures in the home and support householders with advice that would increase household income and reduce expenditure. The scheme also aimed to improve the health and wellbeing of households.

The project’s success resulted in 9 clients receiving debt advice, 8 received housing advice, 2 clients received new heating systems as a part of the NEST programme. 68 clients received energy saving advice and benefited from savings of £35,575 and of the 51 clients, 92% had their income increased as a result of their advice.

The scheme focuses on the delivery of community benefits by using the local supply chain, and providing job growth and engaging with the communities and schools in the areas. As part of the contract with Willmott Dixon, Community Benefits was included in the contract. These community benefits included: apprenticeships and work experience, a play day with RAY Ceredigion in Llanarth, an open day and cash contribution towards the skateboard park in Cardigan, refurbishment of a snooker hall, including providing insulation, cash contribution towards materials for Maes Radley changing facilities and cash contributions for two further projects in Cardigan and Llanarth.

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A brand new Welsh language ukulele orchestra

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CAN you play the ukulele and would like to join a ukulele orchestra? Or would you like to learn a new skill and to socialise in a Welsh-speaking environment? Why not join Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl?

On Monday, October 15, Cered: Menter Iaith Ceredigion, Aberystwyth Arts Centre and Learn Welsh will launch Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl which is a brand new, Welsh language ukulele orchestra in Aberystwyth for free, for those aged 16+.

Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl will practice weekly between 6pm and 7:30pm every Monday night during the school term and practices will take place at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre. There is no need for any experience or ability on the ukulele and there will be instruments available to borrow so that you can have a taste before buying your own ukulele.

Welsh will be the main language of Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl but there is a warm welcome to everyone whatever your level of proficiency in Welsh. Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl is supported by Learn Welsh as a great activity for learners to practice their Welsh outside the classroom in a fun and new way.

Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl’s conductor will be Steffan Rees who has held a number of Iwcs a Hwyl workshops over the last year as Cered’s Community Development Officer. Steffan is also a musician who composes and performs as “Bwca” and he has been playing the ukulele for years.

Steffan said, “I have really wanted to start a Welsh ukulele orchestra in Ceredigion for a while having seen the successes and popularity of those in Cardiff and South East Wales. The ukulele is an instrument that excites people of all ages and with some patience and perseverance, it is an easy enough instrument to master. I’m looking forward to developing a repertoire with the orchestra and play a few gigs; the National Eisteddfod in Tregaron in 2020 perhaps!”

Numbers for the first term of the orchestra are limited so contact the Arts Centre Box Office on 01970 632 232 to book your place in Cerddorfa Iwcs a Hwyl.

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Hanes Llambed meeting held

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THE FIRST meeting of Hanes Llambed of the 2018/19 year was held in Lampeter’s Trinity Saint David’s Old Hall this week.

There was a good attendance as Cwrtnewydd resident Simon Evans gave the first of what will eventually be two talks about his home parish of Llanwenog.

Mr Evans spoke of how the parish was defined by the Afon Cledlyn and its tributaries, describing the region’s history from the Stone Age to the present day. The talk spoke of the several hill forts of the area, as well as Llanwenog church, founded around 500 AD, before it was built in its current form in the 14th century.

The Battle of Llanwenog in 981 AD between the Welsh and invading Danes was detailed, before the speaker went on to describe the Puritan struggle and the Civil War.

The talk then went on to the establishment of private academies by nonconformist ministers from 1750 onwards, and the founding of Unitarian chapels in the early 19th century.

The terrible agricultural situation of the 1840s was described, followed by the bad harvests, which led directly to the Rebecca Riots and emigration to the USA and elsewhere in Britain.

The next meeting of Hanes Llambed will take place in October when the subject will be the Cardiganshire War Tribunals of the First World War.

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Former AM charged with child porn offences

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SIMON THOMAS, the former Plaid Cymru AM for Mid & West Wales has been charged with three offences of making indecent images of children.

Mr Thomas, aged 54, was charged with the offences earlier today (Sept 18) at Aberystwyth Police Station.

He has been bailed to appear at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, October 3.

At the time of his arrest, Mr Thomas was his Party’s spokesperson on Rural Affairs and Energy policy and had recently taken up a role which would have seen him perform a significant role in Plaid Cymru’s future campaigns.

His arrest in July was a shock both to his political allies and those in other parties in the Assembly.

Following his arrest, Mr Thomas resigned immediately as an Assembly Member and from Plaid Cymru. He was replaced as regional AM by Helen Mary Jones.

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