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Councils strike deal on waste PEMBROKESHIRE and

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Bin and gone: councils to ship waste overseas.

Bin and gone: councils to ship waste overseas.

Ceredigion County Councils have struck a new deal to process and export residual waste overseas.

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 Huw George, Pembrokeshire’s Cabinet Member for Environmental and Regulatory Services said the new contract would be a massive benefit to the county.

“It will create jobs, make savings and ensure an environmentally improved alternative to landfill for the disposal of our black bag waste,” he said.

The new contract starts on March 1 this year 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.

Richard Brown, Pembrokeshire Head of Environment and Civil Contingencies, said the contract provided an opportunity for achieving cost savings for the County Council while also creating jobs and boosting recycling rates.

“It 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,” he said.

He added that using the excess capacity in Swedish incinerators allowed the waste to be disposed of cheaply, while the use of combined heat and power technology enabled far more energy to be extracted from the waste compared with most UK incinerators, making it both a green and economical solution.

Kevin Hobbs, Short Sea Director at the Port of Milford Haven said. “This is an excellent demonstration of effective collaboration between Pembrokeshire County Council and the Port of Milford Haven, in a scheme that will benefit the county’s ratepayers and create jobs within the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone too. It’s also a great example of how having a well serviced port in the County can connect the region with new markets far away.”

Debbie Potter, Operations Director of Potters Waste Management said the company was delighted to have won the contract: “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 user of waste, while also creating employment opportunities,” she said.

“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.”

The contract takes place against a background of increased financial and performance pressure on Welsh local authorities over their management of their municipal waste.

Authorities face landfill tax of £80 per tonne, fines for any biodegradable waste that is landfilled above a set allowance, and challenging statutory recycling targets.

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Changes to bus services in Ceredigion confirmed by local authority

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THERE will be changes to local bus services in Ceredigion from Tuesday 3 January 2023.

The tenders received as part of a procurement process for operating several services have shown significant cost increases. This has resulted in substantial increases in subsidy levels being requested at a time when public finances are under tremendous pressure. The higher costs are largely reflective of particular challenges affecting the bus industry currently which includes considerable increased operating costs, lack of qualified and available drivers, uncertainty around future funding mechanisms as well as declining passenger numbers and changing travel behaviours.

Bus passenger numbers have been in decline across Wales and essentially halved in the period between 1982, where there were 181 million passenger journeys and 2019/20 where there were 91 million passenger journeys. This has been severely compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw a drop to 26 million passenger journeys in 2020/21, that has further impacted on the viability of local bus services.

The 22T (Aberystwyth-Devil’s Bridge), 27T (Penrhyncoch-Penbontrhydybeddau) and T29 (Tregaron Circular) demand responsive services will stop at the end of December 2022. This is due to the significant costs associated with providing them and the very low level of usage, which equate to unviable levels of public subsidy per passenger journey.

There will be changes to the timetables on the 525 (Aberystwyth-Ponterwyd), 526 (Aberystwyth-Penrhyncoch) and 585 (Aberystwyth-Tregaron-Lampeter) services. The timetables for these services, subject to submission by the operators and approval by the Traffic Commissioner, are attached. These timetables are based on proposals provided by the local bus operators and reflect what is operationally deliverable with the resources available, in terms of buses and drivers, at this time.

The T21 (Aberystwyth-Llanafan-Tregaron) and 552 Cardi Bach (New Quay-Cardigan) services will continue as currently.

All these contracts have been awarded on a 6 month basis to allow for a wider review.

Councillor Keith Henson, Cabinet Member for Highways and Environmental Services and Carbon Management said: “I would like to thank the local bus companies for their ongoing engagement in what is very challenging operating environment. We continue to work with them and in partnership with the other key stakeholders including the Welsh Government and Transport for Wales, seeking possible solutions and a way forward. Bus services and networks are dynamic and subject to change. Further changes are likely as the reality is that, in addition to the sparsity of resources, the amount of subsidy now required to provide the services is unaffordable, unjustifiable and unsustainable in the current financial climate.”

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Urgent police appeal for missing Ceredigion man

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POLICE in Ceredigion are appealing for help to find Dyfed who is missing from the Talybont area.

He was last seen at his home address in the Ceredigion village at around 10.30pm or 11pm on Saturday, 3 December.

Dyfed is described as being 5ft 10ins, of medium build, with short mousey brown hair with short ginger beard, and was wearing grey waterproof trousers over jeans, a blue-check padded shirt and woolly hat and wellies.

Have you seen Dyfed, or do you have info that might help us find him? Please, let us know:

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New Rural Health Economics Professor builds on University healthcare provision

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AN ACADEMIC who played a key role in decision-making in the adoption of medicines in NHS Wales and NHS England has been appointed as Professor of Rural Health Economics at Aberystwyth University.

Professor Murray Smith, an expert in the use of economics and statistics to predict outcomes in health and health-related behaviours, joins Aberystwyth Business School.

His recent research has centred on the quality of use of pharmaceutical medicine, with one project exploring the use of an inhaled analgesic for acute pre-hospital trauma pain, and others on topics that have spanned medicine use across a number of chronic disease areas.

After beginning his career in Australia, Professor Smith moved to the United Kingdom in 2007 and has worked at the universities of Aberdeen, Nottingham and Lincoln.

Professor Smith said: “I am delighted to join Aberystwyth Business School. Health economics is a vital subject because it provides methods and tools to help decision makers in the choices they face when trying to deliver high quality healthcare in a modern resource-limited economy.

“I am excited about adding to Aberystwyth Business School’s existing portfolio of expertise in research and to being given the opportunity to continue to use my skills to help the NHS to identify and deliver cost-effective healthcare and services to the people of mid Wales.”

Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University said: “It is vital as a society that we continue to innovate in our approaches to healthcare and Aberystwyth University is stepping up to the challenge with the launch of our first ever nursing degrees in September 2022 and through interdisciplinary research into combating diseases, using artificial intelligence to improve patients’ health, and exploring new techniques to improve human health through diet.

“The appointment of Professor Smith demonstrates our continuing commitment to developing and delivering high quality healthcare education and research at Aberystwyth. His expertise will focus on the economic aspects of healthcare, and his teaching and research will benefit our students and beyond.”

Professor Smith’s appointment coincides with the awarding of Honorary Professorships to three executives from Hywel Dda University Health Board, further strengthening Aberystwyth University’s expertise in healthcare as well as building on its partnership with the local health board.

Dr Helen Munro, Consultant in Community Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare at the Board; Dr Leighton Phillips, the Board’s Director of Research, Innovation and University Partnerships, and Huw Thomas, its Director of Finance collectively have decades of expertise in the health sector in the United Kingdom.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda University Health Board, added: “On behalf of the Board I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to Helen, Leighton and Huw on their appointment as Honorary Professors at Aberystwyth University. Our partnership with Aberystwyth University continues to go from strength to strength and we look forward to continuing our vital work together in the future.”
Professor Elizabeth Treasure added: “I am delighted to welcome our new Honorary Professors, who together will bring decades of experience to our research and teaching. Their expertise will further contribute to the role we have to play as a University in helping improve healthcare provision for everyone.”

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