AN ABERYSTWYTH woman has started a petition to get the new Tesco store in Aberystwyth to turn its lights out. Alexandra Parr asks: “Why does a small town need to be illuminated day and night by a big new Tesco shop and car park in the town centre, very close to residential areas?”
Stating that Tesco’s lighting is a waste of energy, Alexandra Parr also says that the supermarket is causing light pollution: “It just makes no sense to have these big lights on an open topped car park on in daylight, and then continue to be on all night when the shop is not open.” For the residents who live on ground-floor level near to the car park, she says ‘it is like daylight shining into their windows’.
“Tesco have gone ahead with this massive illumination with no thought for the residents of the town, the planet’s resources, and it doesn’t seem much thought at all.’
As of Wednesday (Dec 14), the petition had gathered 443 signatures. When complete, Alexandra Parr intends to deliver the petition to both Tesco Head Office and Ceredigion County Council. A regular visitor to Aberystwyth who lives in Bath
commented on the petition online: “I have been horrified that in this environmentally aware age that TESCO firstly, want to and second ly, that the Local Authority has allowed the indiscriminate floodlighting that now dominates the whole vista of the town from near or far. By the proper placement of the appropriate lighting fixtures, and by selective ‘as necessary’ switching all TESCO-specific requirements can be easily satisfied without having to detrimentally affect the Welsh environment, and at the same time annoy the town’s residents nearby and everywhere else within line-of-sight.”
Independent experts on carbon emissions, The Carbon Trust, state that, on average in the retail sector, 25% of an organisation’s electricity costs come from lighting. In 2013, France passed a law on the lighting of non-residential buildings that required shops and offices to turn off their lights one hour after the last worker leaves a building. Shop window displays should be turned off at 1am and shop windows may only be lit from 7 am or an hour before opening time. Back in 2013, experts calculated that if the UK adopted a similar law, it could save almost £1.20 billion per year. In terms of light pollution, the International Dark- Sky Association cites research which suggests that artificial light at night can negatively affect human health in a number of serious ways. Moreover, they point out that glare from bad lighting is a safety hazard. Glare decreases vision by reducing contrast, which limits our ability to see potential dangers at night. This is particularly the case for older people.
Tesco’s environmental policy states that: “Following the UK’s 2010 Climate Change Act, we made an ambitious commitment to become a zero carbon business by 2050 and have set medium-term 2020 targets to help us achieve this, specifically: To reduce CO2e emissions per square foot of our stores and distribution centres against a 2006/7 baseline by 50%.” So, by any measure, including their own, it seems that Tesco should consider switching off at least some of the shop and car-park lights to save their neighbours grief, save themselves a lot of money, and save a bit of carbon from entering the atmosphere and contributing to climate change: Every little helps! Now, who said that?
A brand new Welsh language ukulele orchestra
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.
Hanes Llambed meeting held
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.
Former AM charged with child porn offences
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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