CEREDIGION County Council raised more than £300,000 from car parks in Cardigian in 2018/19. This equates to approximately a third of the total for the entire county.
Cardigan drivers coughed up £314,907.57. A large sum, especially when we consider that £944,824.50 was generated by the entire county’s car parks.
The news has been greeted with outrage by both the town council and traders, as the increase in car park charges isn’t the only recent price hike for the town.
There is a stark difference between Cardigan and it’s surrounding areas when it comes to this charge.
It now costs £1.50 to park for an hour in Cardigan, whereas across the river in St Dogmaels, The Pembrokehshire County Council only charge 50p an hour to park in the High Street.
Carmarthenshire County Council only charge £1 for a four hour stay, with free periods to encourage visitors to the town.
Martin Radley, the Cardigan Traders Chairman said: “Once again local people wanting to support local traders are getting hammered.
“Enough is enough. There has to be a fairer way of doing this, as we as businesses are the ones paying the price.
“We are trying so hard to invest in the town and attract people here.
“We have free Wifi, the town app, the maps and information leaflets, all of which traders are supporting, and then the county council comes along and puts up their price of parking.
“We are a market town” Martin continued, “and slowly but surely people are being driven out of the town centre.”
The fact that the machines do not give change makes the problem even worse, said Cllr Sian Maehrlein at a meeting of the town council: “The price of short term parking is too much and if you don’t have the right change, it becomes even more expensive.”
Mayor of Cardigan Cllr Shan Williams brought up another point that has further angered the people of the town: “The only car park in town that does not have pay and display is the county council car park, and yet they tell us they have to make cuts.
“How many car parking spaces do they have for free in the county? How much revenue is being lost because of this?”
A Ceredigion council spokesman said: “Car park charges are set by the authority’s cabinet as part of the overall fees and charges review and budget process.
“In 2018/19 £944,824.50 of revenue was generated by Ceredigion County Council’s public car parks. Of this, £314,907.57 was generated from car parks located in Cardigan alone.
“In 2018/19, £347,528.04 was spent on the maintenance of the council’s public car park portfolio.
“Any surplus income generated, after expenditure related to the provision of the service, contributes to the overall council budget.”
Ceredigion Youth Service’s Summer Activity Programme
THIS YEAR, Ceredigion Youth Service’s Summer Programme offers a wide range of activities over a period of four weeks during the summer holidays. There are 19 different projects, activities, workshops and events planned for young people aged 11-25 from across the county.
Activities this year focus on topics such as employability and upskilling, health and wellbeing, participation, sport and leisure and the environment. Young People will have the opportunity to develop new and existing skills including self-esteem, confidence, communication and problem-solving. They’ll all be held in fun environments where they’re able to meet new people, gain accreditation and participate in a range of activities.
Activities include a summer camp, an adventure residential stay, mountain biking, trips, taster workshops and more.
Gethin Jones is Ceredigion Youth Service’s Principal Youth Officer. He said: “The Summer Programme has been a big success for a number of years. It is of great importance to us that we continue to offer both targeted and open access opportunities for young people during school holidays, as well as term time so that support and engagement is available to young people throughout the year.
“The program offers a range of fantastic opportunities for young people from all across the county to get involved with, providing them with valuable opportunities and experiences that educate, build skills and develop confidence and esteem.”
Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services, Lifelong Learning & Leisure. She said: “The Ceredigion Youth Service is providing a quality service which is clearly beneficial to our young people over the summer. The activities are great opportunities not only to enjoy but also to develop educationally, personally and socially.”
Ceredigion Autism Conference 2019
ON JULY 5, 2019, Ceredigion Autism Spectrum Team and Aberystwyth University Accessibility Services hosted the Ceredigion Autism Conference at Aberystwyth University.
At the sixth annual conference, autistic people focused on what is important to them about how other people think about autism. They also looked at how they are supported if and when they need support, and how other people can help them to build self-esteem, confidence and identity.
The conference was attended by over 130 people, bringing together autistic people, parents, carers and professionals from health, education and social care services and the voluntary sector. The agenda promoted our shared ethos and vision of understanding autism as a different way of thinking, learning and being; different but equally valuable.
Councillor Alun Williams, Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for Adult’s Services and Champion for people with learning disabilities co-chaired the conference with John Harrington Head of Accessibility Services, Aberystwyth University. The conference was opened by Carys James, Corporate Lead Officer for Children and Adult Services.
Councillor Williams said: “This was the sixth autism conference to be held in Aberystwyth and once again was very well attended. Whilst the audience was a healthy mix of autistic people, friends and carers alongside professionals working in related fields, the speakers and panellists were all autistic people. This allowed them to set the agenda and provided a unique learning opportunity for professionals to better understand the kind of support that can make a positive difference and to further improve the services we provide in Ceredigion.”
John Harrington said: “It is always an immense privilege to co-host the Ceredigion Autism Conference at Aberystwyth University. This year’s line-up of key note speakers were all inspirational and thought provoking about their autistic journeys through life.”
Key notes speakers this year were Chris Bonnello, who gave his 11 top tips for building autistic adults and children; Marianthi Kourti, who spoke about the challenges of being an autistic autism professional; and Kieran Rose, who gave a moving and insightful presentation about the effects of ‘masking’ and about what needs to change for autistic people to be fully accepted and supported.
For the closing session of the day, local autistic individuals joined the key speakers to form an expert panel, giving their experiences and perspectives of support services and answering questions from the audience.
Ceredigion Leisure Centres Summer holiday programme
A BUSY TIMETABLE of inclusive summer holiday activities for children has been organised across all Ceredigion County Council-run leisure centres in the county.
From football to bouncy castle sessions, from cycling skills to archery, there’s a wide variety of activities to choose from over the course of the summer.
There will also be day camps and multi-skills activity days available at some of the leisure centres, for children to attend for the whole day. There’s even a day trip to the beach with Teifi Leisure Centre!
A range of learning to swim programmes are available at Lampeter Swimming Pool and Plascrug Leisure Centre across the summer holidays. A week of swimming lessons will be delivered solely through the medium of Welsh in Plascrug Leisure Centre starting on 5 August.
Councillor Catrin Miles is the council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for Leisure Services. She said: “Ceredigion Actif is once again providing a busy timetable of fun activities during the summer. It’s a healthy and worthwhile way for children to spend their time during the summer.”
Booking for sessions is essential and staff at leisure centres reserve the right to cancel any session if attendance is too low.
For further information on the summer holiday activities planned, visit the Ceredigion Actif website.
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