AN ABERYSTWYTH woman has started a petition to get the new Tesco store in Aberystwyth to turn its lights out. Alexandra Parr asks: “Why does a small town need to be illuminated day and night by a big new Tesco shop and car park in the town centre, very close to residential areas?”
Stating that Tesco’s lighting is a waste of energy, Alexandra Parr also says that the supermarket is causing light pollution: “It just makes no sense to have these big lights on an open topped car park on in daylight, and then continue to be on all night when the shop is not open.” For the residents who live on ground-floor level near to the car park, she says ‘it is like daylight shining into their windows’.
“Tesco have gone ahead with this massive illumination with no thought for the residents of the town, the planet’s resources, and it doesn’t seem much thought at all.’
As of Wednesday (Dec 14), the petition had gathered 443 signatures. When complete, Alexandra Parr intends to deliver the petition to both Tesco Head Office and Ceredigion County Council. A regular visitor to Aberystwyth who lives in Bath
commented on the petition online: “I have been horrified that in this environmentally aware age that TESCO firstly, want to and second ly, that the Local Authority has allowed the indiscriminate floodlighting that now dominates the whole vista of the town from near or far. By the proper placement of the appropriate lighting fixtures, and by selective ‘as necessary’ switching all TESCO-specific requirements can be easily satisfied without having to detrimentally affect the Welsh environment, and at the same time annoy the town’s residents nearby and everywhere else within line-of-sight.”
Independent experts on carbon emissions, The Carbon Trust, state that, on average in the retail sector, 25% of an organisation’s electricity costs come from lighting. In 2013, France passed a law on the lighting of non-residential buildings that required shops and offices to turn off their lights one hour after the last worker leaves a building. Shop window displays should be turned off at 1am and shop windows may only be lit from 7 am or an hour before opening time. Back in 2013, experts calculated that if the UK adopted a similar law, it could save almost £1.20 billion per year. In terms of light pollution, the International Dark- Sky Association cites research which suggests that artificial light at night can negatively affect human health in a number of serious ways. Moreover, they point out that glare from bad lighting is a safety hazard. Glare decreases vision by reducing contrast, which limits our ability to see potential dangers at night. This is particularly the case for older people.
Tesco’s environmental policy states that: “Following the UK’s 2010 Climate Change Act, we made an ambitious commitment to become a zero carbon business by 2050 and have set medium-term 2020 targets to help us achieve this, specifically: To reduce CO2e emissions per square foot of our stores and distribution centres against a 2006/7 baseline by 50%.” So, by any measure, including their own, it seems that Tesco should consider switching off at least some of the shop and car-park lights to save their neighbours grief, save themselves a lot of money, and save a bit of carbon from entering the atmosphere and contributing to climate change: Every little helps! Now, who said that?
New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards
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.”
Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs
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.”
New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions
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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