THE 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.
Proposed work on dangerous Dorglwyd Junction set to be delayed
ELIN JONES AM and Ben Lake MP have expressed their frustration following a recent statement from the Welsh Government noting that work on the A487 Dorglwyd junction from Comins Coch, would be delayed.
The junction has witnessed several crashes and close-calls over recent years, with local residents calling for the development of a roundabout or similar traffic-calming measures.
The Welsh Government announced in September 2016 that a feasibility study would be undertaken by the following Summer as to consider potential options to improve the junction.
However, a recent letter from Ken Skates AM, Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport to Elin Jones AM and Ben Lake MP noted: “We are aware of the issues at the junction and an improvement scheme has been within our upgrades programme for some time. Unfortunately, due to limited financial resources and competing priorities, it has progressed slowly.”
“We are currently reviewing the scope of a possible improvement and considering solutions which are affordable and minimise environmental impact. When we are in a position to present outline solutions, a workshop with local stakeholders will be held. This is likely to be in early 2019.”
Elin Jones AM said: “Whilst I do welcome such clarification from the Cabinet Secretary on the next steps for Dorglwyd junction, it is disappointing to read that no major works for the transformation will happen due to the expense of the project. It is positive however to see that a smaller scale improvement is now to be pursued, with consultation likely to be undertaken in early 2019.”
John Roberts, local Ceredigion County Councillor for Faenor ward, added: “I share both Elin Jones’ and Ben Lake’s disappointment at the response from Ken Skates AM. The original plan was to encapsulate a more global project including the Llanbadarn bypass therefore we need to be more realistic in our aspirations for Dorglwyd corner. Having discussed the project on site with both Elin Jones AM and Ben Lake MP last week we were of the opinion that a much smaller project which could solve the Dorglwyd issue was feasible and be much cheaper than the present scheme. We will wait for the consultation period in 2019.”
Museum lights up the past
CEREDIGION MUSEUM has had a full refurbishment of its lighting thanks to £116,558 of grants from Welsh Governments Museums Archives and Libraries Division and the Rural Community Development Fund.
Museum Curator, Carrie Canham, said: “Lighting has been a problem for us for some time; the system was so old that we couldn’t get new bulbs for some of the fittings. Also, we love to put on theatrical and musical performances at the museum but we couldn’t create an atmosphere with just strip lights and footlights. We’ve now got great stage and display lighting and it’s transformed the whole experience for our audiences.
“The new lighting system is all LED, so not only does it look much better it is also more suitable for the more delicate exhibits and it saves us money on our lighting bill.”
The lighting was designed and installed by DBNAudile, who specialise in museum lighting.
The team managed to install the system with minimal disruption to visitors.
KeolisAmey awarded Wales and Borders Rail contract
KEOLISAMEY is pleased that the Welsh Government has announced its intention to award the contract to operate the Wales and Borders rail service and the South Wales Metro to KeolisAmey.
Upon successful completion of a 10-day standstill period, the contract will run from June 4, 2018, to October 14, 2033, with rail services transferring on October 14, 2018.
This standstill period is normal procurement practice.
KeolisAmey is a joint venture partnership of international public transport operator Keolis, and infrastructure asset management specialist Amey.
KeolisAmey currently runs the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in London, which has one of the best records in UK rail – consistently better than 99% reliability. Additionally, we operate and maintain Greater Manchester’s Metrolink – the largest tram network in the UK.
Alistair Gordon, Chief Executive of Keolis UK, said: “This will be a transformative new rail service for Wales and its borders which will see Keolis once more combine its worldwide expertise in passenger operations with Amey’s engineering excellence.
“We look forward to the successful completion of the procurement process – this exciting contract will deliver for all of Wales. The procurement process was rigorous, resulting in transformative solutions for the benefit of all in Wales, and indeed, future generations.
“While the proposed changes won’t happen overnight, the railway will be unrecognisable in five years thanks to the vision of the Welsh Government.”
Andy Milner, Amey’s Chief Executive, said: “Building on our successful partnership with Keolis, which already sees us deliver two high performing services – the Greater Manchester Metrolink and London’s DLR – we are honoured to be asked to operate the Wales and Borders service.
“This is a great opportunity for us to use our joint capabilities to deliver a first-rate service for Wales. We will be focused on working with Transport for Wales to transform the existing infrastructure and introduce new trains to significantly improve the passenger experience, as well as creating hundreds of new jobs and apprenticeship opportunities.”
KeolisAmey is unable to make any further comment until the procurement process has concluded and the contract has been awarded.
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