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Counties in waste deal

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CEREDIGION and Pembrokeshire County Councils have struck a new deal to process and export residual waste overseas.council-bg

The innovative approach will save each council over £350,000 a year – and also create 11 jobs at Pembroke Dock. It will also benefit the environment at home and abroad.

Under the new contract which the two councils have signed with Potters Waste Management, waste from the two counties that cannot be recycled will be exported to Sweden. There it will be used in a high efficiency power station to produce both electricity and heat for local Swedish households.

Cllr Alun Williams, Ceredigion County Council’s portfolio holder for Waste and Recycling said; “Ceredigion is always keen to work together with our neighbouring councils and we’re very happy to be doing so with Pembrokeshire on this occasion, thereby saving money for both councils. In addition to the cost savings, this agreement is also the most environmentally benign option available to us. We will be extracting additional recyclate from the waste before exporting and, once the agreement is up and running, our intention is that none of our waste will be going to landfill at all”.

The new contract starts on 1 March 2015 with the first shipment expected to take place at the beginning of June.

Waste collected by the two counties will first be processed at sites at Pembroke Port and in Lampeter to remove certain recyclable materials. It will then be shredded, baled and wrapped at Pembroke Port to create a Refuse Derived Fuel which can be shipped overseas.

The contract has been let under an innovative framework contract that Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion have created with advice from private sector partners, Eunomia. Under the framework, any other council can buy waste disposal services from one of seven suppliers, including two UK based and five export solutions.

The framework contract is available to all other councils in Wales and Pembrokeshire County Council has already had interest from a number of other authorities about joining.

The new contract provides a flexible, low-risk, value-for-money approach that enables us to divert waste from landfill in the short term, but avoids committing too much waste to incineration in the long term as recycling rates escalate.

Using the excess capacity in Swedish incinerators allows the waste to be disposed of at reduced cost, while the use of combined heat and power technology enables far more energy to be extracted from the waste compared with most UK incinerators, making it both a green and economical solution.

Debbie Potter, Operations Director of Potters Waste Management said the company was delighted to have won the contract, saying: “This is a new venture for us and we are delighted to be working with Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion County Councils on this innovative scheme to make best use of waste, while also creating employment opportunities.”

“The framework contract gives us the opportunity to work with all other councils in Wales to help them secure savings and meet their financial and performance demands.”

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A level results still high in Ceredigion

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THE ‘A’ level examination results published today by the WJEC (15 August) show that high standards are being achieved in Ceredigion schools once again. 97.9% of entries for WJEC examinations were graded A* to E, with 27.9% of the entries achieving the top ’A’ grades.

Ceredigion pupils continue to outperform the Welsh average. More pupils in Ceredigion achieve the top ’A’ grades and A* to E grades. The below table shows a comparison with average Welsh figures. These don’t include Welsh Baccalaureate results and those from examination bodies other than WJEC.

Wales 2019             Ceredigion 2019

Grade A* – A           27.92%                    27.0%

Grade A* – B           56.0%                      n/a

Grade A* – C          77.5%                        n/a

Grade A* – E          97.9%                       97.6%

Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services. She said, “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations once again to Ceredigion’s sixth form students for their successes in this year’s A Level and AS examinations.

These results are the culmination of a long journey through school life which has seen them nurture and develop the academic and interpersonal skills that will enable them to move confidently into higher education, training or employment in fields of their choice. I wish them good luck for the future and would like to sincerely thank all who have contributed to their school journey in any way.”

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MP Ben Lake calls for reform of police funding

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HAVING recently shadowed Dyfed Powys Police officers in Aberystwyth, the Ceredigion MP has again urged the UK Government to review the police funding formula for rural areas.

Mr Lake visited Aberystwyth police station as part of the #GiveADayToPolicing campaign, a scheme for Members of Parliament to better understand the challenges currently facing police forces across the UK.

During his visit Mr Lake had the opportunity to experience a variety of aspects of local policing – from spending time with the neighbourhood policing team, meeting officers from different departments, and discussing policing challenges with front-line police officers.

Mr Lake has challenged the UK Government on several occasions to reform the formula for police funding – highlighting the need for the funding formula to take into consideration the seasonal pressures on forces, particularly the significant increase to the population of coastal areas during the summer months.

Mr Lake said: “I am very grateful to the officers of Aberystwyth police station for their welcome, and for taking the time to speak with me. I now have a better understanding of the challenges our police officers face, as well as a deeper level of respect and admiration of their work and commitment to public safety.

“As I have previously stated, we cannot expect a one size fits all approach to work effectively across the whole of the UK, and as such, it is imperative that the criteria used to allocate the Home Office police grant are revised so that they reflect the increased demands and unique challenges facing rural forces in areas such as Ceredigion, especially during summer months.”

Mr Lake added: “It is widely acknowledged that Welsh police forces have suffered under the present funding formula, and so it is high time that the UK Government either amends the formula accordingly, or devolves the responsibility for policing to the Welsh Government so that they may do so themselves.”

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New waste trial launched in Aberystwyth

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A NEW trial has been launched in Aberystwyth as part of the Caru Aber campaign, to help keep the town centre clean on waste collection days.

Heavy duty sacks will be placed on Aberystwyth streets on Monday afternoons before the black bag collection on Tuesdays in the following streets; Portland Street, Portland Road, Queen Street, Corporation Street, Eastgate Street, New Street and Cambrian Place.

Black bags should be put in the sacks by 8am on Tuesday mornings for collection. The intention is that the sacks contain the waste until it is collected. The sacks will be retrieved after the waste has been collected to avoid clutter and obstruction on the streets.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “We see this trial as a practical and relatively cost effective way of responding to long standing issues relating to domestic waste presentation in Aberystwyth town centre. The sacks will also provide a visible reminder to residents in the town centre on what days to present their black bags.

“The trial forms part of the Caru Aber campaign, and the wider Caru Ceredigion campaign, where the council looks to work with local communities to address issues which are of concern or are important to them.

“This innovative approach is another example of positive proactive action the council is taking. We hope that the residents of the town centre will play their part by making good use of the sacks as this will be the critical factor in measuring the success of the scheme.”

Clean recycling and food waste should continue to be presented on a weekly basis in the containers that the council already provides through clear bags and food caddies.

Ensuring that the right waste is presented in the right way and on the right day will help to make sure that the town’s streets are kept clean and that the waste is contained, managed and treated in the most cost effective and environmentally friendly way as possible.

The sacks were first used in readiness for waste collections on Tuesday 6 August 2019. The initial feedback is positive as they have worked to contain the waste on the streets, which were noticeably cleaner.

This latest initiative is developing on feedback and experience from two other trials undertaken. The success of the trial will be monitored on an ongoing basis and reviewed to reflect the experience which will include looking at ways of engaging all residents.

For more information about the new scheme, please contact the Customer Services Contact Centre on 01545 570 881 or by e-mail on clic@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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