AT A recorded vote this morning (Nov 20) Ceredigion’s Healthier Communities Scrutiny Committee voted to back the Cabinet’s decision to close Bodlondeb Residential Home by the end of March 2018.
In refusing to remit the decision to Full Council, the committee dashed the hopes of campaigners fighting to retain Bodlondeb until adequate replacement facilities are in place.
The vote was nine to seven with no abstentions.
Dinah Mulholland, the Ceredigion Labour Party representative on the Save Bodlondeb Campaign Steering Group,
said about the decision: “What an amazing battle the community and the campaign group has fought to try to save Bodlondeb Residential Home. I am blown away by their passion, creativity, kindness, knowledge, abilities, skills, and above all their sheer determination and tenacity. When Ceredigion Council began their consultation to close Bodlondeb Residential Home I think that the council were genuinely surprised at the strength of community feeling against the closure, and to be honest I think they then tried to railroad their decision through.
“The ‘consultation’ itself was a farce. The council were shocked by the community’s response, and the strength of the campaign, but their priority was to win what they perceived as a battle, at any cost, when they should as elected representatives have been listening to the overwhelming majority of their residents. Why they did this I am not sure. The stakes were clearly thought to be very high (and in the months to come we may find out exactly what it was that was at stake).
“Some of our elected representatives thought they knew better than the people who elected them, but there were others who fought long and hard with the Save Bodlondeb Campaign. It’s a very sad day for Penparcau, and for democracy in Ceredigion, and a day that people won’t forget.
“In times to come we may look back on the events surrounding the closure of Bodlondeb Residential Home, and see it was at this moment that the old guard of the Plaid Cymru led council found themselves to be profoundly out of touch with the electorate. That it was this expedient and undemocratic act that marked the end of that old guard’s control of the council and therefore the end of respect for them as a representative political force.
“Because people will only take so much, and how can any elected body disregard the strength of feeling and knowledge of residents to that extent and expect to be respected, let alone re-elected?
“Local government is so important in how it directly shapes our lives and impacts on our futures. Ceredigion Council needs new faces and fresh voices that can represent us in a respectful and benevolent way. It’s time for change.”
There will be more on this breaking story later and in this week’s Ceredigion Herald.
Views sought on proposed Ceredigion Language Strategy
VIEWS are being sought on the proposed Ceredigion Language Strategy 2018-2023.
Ceredigion County Council’s proposed strategy sets out how the Council – working in collaboration with other partner organisations – will actively promote the Welsh language and facilitate the use of Welsh more widely within the local area.
Producing the Strategy is one of the requirements of the Welsh Language Standards in accordance with the Welsh Language Measure (Wales) 2011.
The Ceredigion Language Strategy aims to sustain and to promote the Welsh language in all aspects of life and to demonstrate ways of strengthening social networks in a bilingual area. Ceredigion remains a stronghold of the Welsh language however communities are changing which can affect the Welsh language and culture. Responding to these challenges, mitigating the risks facing the Welsh language and securing the viability of welsh-speaking communities requires robust language planning, alongside taking positive action in all aspects of social and economic life within the county.
The Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Welsh Language Standards, Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, said: “In implementing this strategy, Ceredigion will be contributing towards the Welsh Government vision in its Welsh Language Strategy, which aims to reach a million Welsh speakers in Wales by 2050. This strategy is an opportunity for us to work across the county to increase the use of Welsh language and to ensure that it reaches those parts of public life where it may be less prominent at present. This vision is to maintain a truly bilingual Ceredigion, where the Welsh language can be seen and heard every day in communities as a natural means of communication.”
The strategy is designed to be as realistic and proactive as possible in order to contribute to the vision of a truly bilingual Ceredigion, however the actions identified are within the sphere of influence of organisations working in partnership through the Ceredigion Bilingual Futures Forum.
Councillor ap Gwynn continued: “We are inviting you to comment on the proposed Strategy and the identified actions to be delivered in Ceredigion. We value your opinion, and your comments will be taken into account when publishing the final Strategy.”
Closing date for the consultation is August 13, 2018.
To view the proposed strategy, visit the Consultation page on the Council’s website, www.ceredigion.gov.uk/
Individuals are welcome to contact the Council on 01545 570881 should they wish to receive further information or to receive the information in another format. You can also obtain a paper copy of the Strategy at any of the Council’s Public Offices or Libraries.
Archaeological sites revealed in drought
AN AERIAL ARCHAEOLOGIST has photographed ancient settlements from the air after the heatwave has revealed outlines as crop marks.
Dr Toby Driver, Senior Aerial Investigator, uses a light aircraft to find sites, flying from Haverfordwest Airport with stopovers made for fuel at Caernarfon, Welshpool or even Gloucester airports.
The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) has released photographs from Dr Driver’s discoveries.
Iron Age farmsteads has been discovered near Whitland in Carmarthenshire and coastal Ceredigion. The Llŷn peninsula has extensive crop marks of prehistoric enclosures, as well as a Bronze Age barrow cemetery.
In Gwynedd, another Celtic settlement has been found on the valley floor between the hillfort Craig yr Aderyn and the castle ruins of Castell y Bere.
A suspected Roman watchtower was also revealed on the nearby coast. Parch marks of Roman buildings are showing at Caerhun Roman fort in Conwy Valley, whilst crop marks of a prehistoric enclosure and a suspected Roman villa were found in the Vale of Glamorgan.
A Roman town and fortress between Caerwent and Caerleon have also appeared in the dry conditions.
Dr Driver said: “I’ve not seen conditions like this since I took over the archaeological flying at the Royal Commission in 1997. So much new archaeology is showing it is incredible; the urgent work in the air now will lead to months of research in the office in the winter months to map and record all the sites which have been seen, and reveal their true significance.”
The marks are the result of vegetation feeding on better nutrients and water supplies, that have been trapped in the old fortification ditches.
This leads to the lush green growth that results in the pronounced outlines of the prior settlements.
Despite this, the vegetation can quickly retreat as the weather changes.
This research is expected to prompt further research on the ground in the future.
Welsh Water advises customers to use water wisely
WELSH WATER is encouraging its three million customers to continue working with the company by using water wisely – even though it may soon start to rain. After such prolonged dry weather, it will be difficult for any rain to penetrate the ground and help restore reservoir levels.
The company – which provides drinking water to most of Wales, Herefordshire and parts of Deeside – is safeguarding water supplies following the hottest June in Wales since records began in 1910.
It has been proactively taking measures for the last two months to prepare for the hot weather, with 450 colleagues finding and repairing leaks and its 62 water treatment works being manned 24 hours a day to help supply a record 1 billion litres a day.
The company confirmed that a few of its 87 reservoirs are now lower than usual at this time of year but said this is to be expected given the prolonged dry weather. It will take some time for these reservoirs to recover to their normal levels, despite the expected rain over the next week.
Managing Director of Water Services Ian Christie, said: “Over the last few months, we have taken and will continue to take all the necessary actions to ensure there is enough water in our network during this very dry period. We’ve done a lot of groundwork in the background to prepare for this weather and still doing everything we can to safeguard supplies. This includes finding and fixing leaks and putting more water in the network every day than ever before.
“It’s really important that our customers continue to work with us during this period. If they spot a leak, please let us know. We’re also asking them to think about how much water they are using.
We want everyone to stay safe and drink water while it’s hot but we’re reminding everyone of the need to use water wisely and efficiently.
“Customers may notice that some reservoir levels are lower than usual but this isn’t a surprise given this continuing dry weather. We are all using more water and we’re putting 20% more water into the system. This is helping us meet higher demand in particular communities. We are also using our own fleet of over 30 tankers to help.
“Even if the weather starts to turn and it rains, it’s important that customers continue to work with us and use any water efficiently. Customers can get advice on our top ten tips of how to use water efficiently around the home and garden from our website, dwrcymru.com”
Customers can also help by reporting any leaks as soon as they notice them either through our website or by calling our leak line on 0800 052 0130. Our teams are out and about working around the clock fixing leaks on the network to make sure as much water as possible is available for customers to use.
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