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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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Man denies £7,000 burglary

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A MAN from West Sussex has today denied carrying out a £7,000 burglary in Lampeter.

Kurtis Poat, aged 23, appeared at Swansea Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Paul Thomas.

Poat, of Osborne Crescent, Chichester, denied breaking into a house in Nantyglyn, Cwmann, in May, 2017, and stealing a tin containing £7,000 in cash.

Poat faces a two day trial scheduled to begin on April 11 and was granted bail until then.

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Campaigners urge air gun licensing following cat shootings

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CATS PROTECTION is urging the UK’s cat lovers to join a call on the Westminster government to introduce air gun licensing in Wales and England, following in the footsteps of Scotland and Northern Ireland where it is illegal to own air weapons without licence.

The government is currently holding a public consultation into air weapon regulation, including licensing, which closes on February 6, making this the ideal time for cat lovers to make their voices heard by sending an e-mail to the Home Office.

To take part people should visit www.cats.org.uk/airgunsconsultation where they can adapt and send the e-mail. People can also watch a video showing some of the feline victims of air gun shootings, which some may find upsetting.

Victims of air gun shootings include Jalapeno, a black-and-white cat from Bridgend who was shot in the eye, and Chaos, a black-and-white cat from South Wales who was shot between her eyes, shattering the bones in her nose.

Luckily both Jalapeno and Chaos survived their injuries after receiving emergency veterinary care.

However, in March 2017, a cat from Barry was fatally shot, as was a cat from Llanell in August 2017.

“Shocking air gun attacks like the ones on Jalapeno and Chaos are by no means rare,” explains Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations.

“Our monitoring of UK press reports shows that three cats are killed or injured by an air gun each week and this is likely to be an underestimate because most attacks are never witnessed or reported. Worse still, over 90% of these shootings take place in Wales and England where it is legal for anyone over 18 to purchase an air gun and ammunition without the need for a licence.

“These attacks cause immense pain and suffering to cats as well as anguish for their owners and fear in their local communities for the safety of people and pets.”

Cats Protection believes that if licensing were introduced, it would be easier to track down culprits who use these weapons to inflict harm on cats.

The charity wants to ensure that cats in Wales and England are fully protected. Those who have a legitimate reason to purchase, possess and use an air gun will be able to retain ownership and would simply need to apply for a licence.

Jacqui added: “Last year over 90,000 people signed an online and paper Cats Protection petition calling for the licensing of air guns in Wales and England, showing the depth of public feeling on the issue. Our hope is that as many people as possible email the government in support of air gun licensing so that we can make the whole of the UK a safer place for cats, animals and human beings.”

Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps around 190,000 cats each year through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 34 centres.

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Police crack down on drink and drug driving

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NEARLY 100 people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police for drink and drug driving in December, as a result of the All Wales Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Drive Campaign.

The month-long operation against driving under the influence ran from Friday, December 1, and police forces across the country used intelligence-led tactics and local knowledge of hotspots to detect people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol over the festive period.

98 people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police.

Supt. Huw Meredith, Specialist Operations, said: “We adopt a proactive, targeted and intelligence-led approach to drink and drug driving, using specialist Roads Policing resources and response officers.

“The number of arrests indicates that sadly some are prepared to risk the lives of others and themselves by driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

“Our message is the same all year round – don’t drink/take drugs and drive.”

In 2017 Dyfed-Powys Police arrested 452 people for drink and drug driving.

Operation Snap also launched in December, allowing members of the public throughout Wales to submit footage and images showing traffic offences being committed – from driving dangerously or carelessly to contravening solid white lines, using a mobile phone while driving or ignoring traffic lights.

To submit footage to any of the four Welsh Police Forces, visit https://gosafesnap.wales/ or https://gosafesnap.cymru.

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