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Schemes commended for commitment to promoting energy efficiency

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CEREDIGION COUNTY COUNCIL were commended at an awards ceremony for their efforts based on a number of schemes and interventions which have been delivered within the County.

Nominated by Warm Wales, the Council were commended for an Energy Efficiency Award at the Regional (Wales) event which was held in Cardiff at the start of February. This award was given for the Council or Local Authority Body for showing a true commitment to promoting energy efficiency within their region.

Ceredigion has seen a number of schemes being delivered that were commended.

Applications were submitted to Welsh Government for the Warm Homes Arbed schemes and areas decided on based on the need. Llandysul, Llanarth and Cardigan were the areas that were successful for the scheme. The works included the installation of external wall insulation and other minor measures, such as loft insulation and upgrading heating systems within 212 properties.

Within the Warm Homes Arbed scheme, Citizens Advice was employed to deliver energy advice and raise awareness of energy efficient measures in the home to reduce carbon emissions and in turn, global warming. They also supported householders with advice and interventions that would increase household income and reduce expenditure, to make warmth more affordable and help improve householders’ and their families’ health and wellbeing, thereby preventing and alleviating fuel poverty.

There were 3 successful National Energy Action schemes. These included the installation of 16 biomass and solar panels in Tregaron and Hinterland area; 40 draught proofing installations in properties in the Borth area; and 100 heated seat covers for vulnerable residents targeting Disabled Facilities applications.

Ceredigion was with the first Council to launch the ECO Flexibility scheme in Wales and undertook a procurement exercise to produce a framework for companies to deliver the works. OFGEM realised that Councils are better able to identify fuel poverty within their areas. The ECO Flexibility was introduced where Councils can relax the ECO criteria and establish their own criteria that would benefit the fuel poor and vulnerable households within their areas. The scheme included distributing letters to households living in energy inefficient properties with an Energy Performance Certificate with a Band E, F or G. A great deal of interest was generated and many households are benefiting from heating systems/upgrades and loft insulation. The scheme was deemed very successful in Ceredigion and other Councils have been in contact to share best practice, criteria and Framework.

Councillor Rhodri Evans, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Lifestyle Services said, “Receiving this commendation for the hard work that has been put into schemes to promote energy efficiency within Ceredigion at a regional event is wonderful and shows the hard work of our staff. I would like to thank these members of staff for their hard work in ensuring these schemes are delivered in rural West Wales to provide a healthy and happy lifestyle for our residents.”

The Judges considered the nature, scale and scope of the work carried out, based on factors including the impact that the work has had on the local community; satisfaction of customers and local community; the level of expertise possessed within the team; and the priority the Council gives to tackling fuel poverty within its plans.

Over the past few years, the Council have also launched the Oil Syndicate for all areas of the County as well as delivering various other energy efficiency schemes and advice.

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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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