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​​Black bags ‘were rubbish’

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County Hall

County Hall

THE COUNCIL is to stop its supply of black bags to domestic households in a bid to save around £83,000 a year.

The council’s Cabinet met on Monday (Nov 30), to discuss stopping the supply and plans to increase fees for garden waste collection from £38 to £41.50 per year.

It was highlighted that Pembrokeshire County Council was one of few authorities in Wales to supply black bags and to stop it now would save money straight away.

Cabinet Member for Environmental and Regulatory Services and the Welsh Language, Cllr Huw George said: “Garden Waste Collections started in 2011, it’s a subscription only service and to date we have approximately 5300 customers and they pay £38 for a 40 week period where there garden waste is collected every fortnight.

“The position I have for Cabinet is that we amend the charges as follows; to increase the garden waste collection to £41.50 per bin per annum from the current £38.

“If the total number of customers remains around the same level it would generate an additional £18,500. In addition to that if we could increase that number it might secure the price of £41.50 as we move forward through the years ahead.

“It’s £2 per collection which is very reasonable. For £2 a fortnight we can take away your garden waste which would secure the service moving forward.

“Every year we supply 52 black bags to domestic properties and this is not a statutory duty and we are one of few authorities who still do so. We have downed the size and made them thinner.

“It is proposed that we, if we cease supplying black bags to households from 2016 onwards, we would save £83,000.

“The reason we are bringing this forward today is that we are about to go out and pay for the black bags coming on so if we can save paying them it means that the money is with us now rather than looking ahead 12 months.

“There are concerns that people, if they don’t have a black bag, would stick things into the orange bag but I must say that the people of Pembrokeshire have been absolutely brilliant with recycling.

“When we brought in fortnightly collections, there were some people who were saying it was the end of the world but the people of Pembrokeshire responded remarkably.”

Council Leader Jamie Adams said: “The costings are based on the net effect of the increase, not dissuading any customers from continuing with the provision of the service.

“We are one the last councils to supply black bags, recognising that we do need to encourage greater recycling, albeit the public has responded very well to that.”

Head of Environment & Civil Contingencies Richard Brown added: “We have increased the price in each of the last three years and each time we have seen an increase in numbers of people wanting to take the service up. This is because people realise how good it is. The service sells itself.

“We are not anticipating a drop, if we did that would be counter-productive but on previous performance we would expect this to be growing.

“In terms of the black bags, in Ceredigion they haven’t had black bags over the last 12 years so it is down to the residents there.

“A lot of people have been critical of the quality of the plastic bags which I would say are standard industry bags but I wouldn’t anticipate general disobedience from the public because we stopped supplying them with black bags.”

Cllr Jamie Adams said that this was part of a consultation process and added that members of the public had said that the council don’t need to supply black bags.

Cllr Alison Lee said: “I really don’t think this is going to be an issue and I think it would encourage more recycling and as Huw already said, the bags weren’t that good anyway.”

Cllr Huw George replied: “They were rubbish.”

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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