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£1.5m for improving Ceredigion’s roads

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Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 12.12.17ALMOST £1.5 million of grant funding from Welsh Government to deliver highways and transportation improvement schemes is heading to Ceredigion in 2016/17.

Local Authorities were invited to apply for grant funding from the Welsh Government’s Local Transport Fund and Safe Routes in Communities Scheme, and Ceredigion County Council was successful in several of its grant applications.

The final section of improvements for the A486 Post Bach to Synod Inn scheme along the Ceredigion link road will receive £1.077 million of this funding. The County Council will also provide £325,000 in match funding for this scheme.

Residents in Cardigan will benefit from £109,575 for active travel improvements within the town centre, a scheme which is aimed at providing 20mph traffic calming measures and improved footways in the vicinity of Cardigan Primary School. These measures will encourage increased active travel journeys to school and the funding will include new scooter and cycle shelters at the school. The County Council will provide £6,675 in match funding, in addition to a £5,000 contribution by Cardigan Town Council.

Funding has also been received for work to make routes safer in local communities: the second phase of the Rhydypennau Primary School footway scheme will receive £104,400 and match funding of £11,600 from the County Council.

New footway improvements and 20mph traffic calming measures at Ysgol Bro Pedr will benefit from £116,250, including £9,500 in match funding from the County Council and an £8,000 contribution from Lampeter Town Council.

Work for a new footpath to Talgarreg Primary School will receive £31,500, and £3,500 of County Council match funding. This will improve pupil safety on their journeys between the school and the village hall which is used regularly by the school, following partnership working with the Village Hall Committee, who have agreed that staff and parents can use the village hall car park.

Ceredigion has also been awarded £57,637 to support its road safety education, training and publicity programme including local delivery of the Pass Plus Cymru, Kerbcraft child pedestrian training as well as motorcyclist safety and national standard cycle training and a Young Driver Initiative event.

Huw Morgan, Strategic Director for Sustainable Communities, said: “Ceredigion residents, particularly those in the south of the county, will benefit from this commitment to invest in improvements to roads and routes in these communities. The funding towards the final stage of the A486 link road improvements recognises the importance of this infrastructure to the county’s economy, while the various grant funding to improve routes and roads in local communities will help to ensure safer traveling conditions for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike.”

Also, the County Council has recently submitted a technical report regarding the Welsh Governmentfunded development work for the proposed new railway station and passenger transport interchange at Bow Street. The technical report was accompanied by a joint letter from the Council and the Mid Wales Railway Implementation Group recommending a small programme of works to complete the technical and business planning work by the end of July 2016. In response to this, the Welsh Government has decided to publish the technical report on the Welsh Government’s website and make additional funding of £111,235 available to the County Council in 2016/17 to enable this additional programme of work to be completed.

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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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