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Keeping Ceredigion’s coast clean

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TWO types of new bins have been sited near some of Ceredigion’s main beaches to help keep the county’s coast clean.

The large bins, forming what will be known as beach litter collection points, are being installed near the key access points to beaches at Borth, Clarach, Aberystwyth, Aberaeron, New Quay, Llangrannog and Tresaith and will provide temporary additional capacity when it is most needed.

Councillor Ray Quant MBE, Cabinet Member for Technical Services said: “We are seeing an increased awareness of the detrimental impact humans are having on the marine environment. Arising from this, more and more people are wanting to get actively involved in addressing the situation by taking part in activities such as beach litter picking. Providing these bins is a way of supporting this whether people are doing this on a one off basis or more regularly on their own or as part of a group.”

The Dolphin bins were designed with the aim of encouraging people to deal with their waste responsibly.

The location choice of the bins is to minimise the detrimental visual impacts that siting large numbers of permanent bins in such aesthetically pleasing locations can have as well as being mis-used and attract fly-tipping.

The provision of the new bins forms part of Caru Ceredigion whereby those visiting, living and enjoying all that is fantastic about Ceredigion can play their part in keeping it clean. The Council works closely with other key stakeholders including Keep Wales Tidy and volunteer groups including the Aberystwyth Beach Buddies and Surfers Against Sewage who have a mutual and shared interest in protecting and maintaining Ceredigion’s local environment.

Alan Cookson from Aberystwyth Beach Buddies is regularly involved in litter picking activities as an organiser and participant. Alan is very eager to raise awareness of what people can do to preserve the marine environment and said, “This is a great initiative by Ceredigion County Council and shows not only their recognition of the vast increase in people taking action to protect our local marine environment, but also their own commitment to doing so.

Marine plastic pollution is a worldwide problem and every tide in Ceredigion brings more ocean plastic to our coast. Since Blue Planet 2 was screened on the BBC at the start of 2018, the UK and its citizens have responded in many ways to reduce their use of plastic, and none more so than in our own county.

Ceredigion County Council are already supporting and organising large beach cleans with their own litter picks, by providing equipment to community groups to undertake their own cleanups. They also direct services to collect what the general public’s action are removing during such events run by other marine conservation groups.

People have, in their own time, taken to spontaneously and autonomously engaging in mini beach cleans all along our coast. These new bins facilitate and support these actions and the messages and images displayed on them will also encourage others to become part of what is a fast-growing, local, national and worldwide movement.

We commend Ceredigion County Council for being at the forefront of encouraging and supporting these actions. Every piece of marine plastic removed is important and every action counts.”

The use of the bins will be monitored and if the initiatives are successful, consideration will be given to other locations.

Those wanting to find out more about the support that can be provided can contact the Council via Technical.Services@ceredigion.gov.uk or 01545 572572.

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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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