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Cardigan’s £300k car park charges ‘an outrage’

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Costs have risen to £1.50 an hour in many Cardigan car parks

CEREDIGION County Council raised more than £300,000 from car parks in Cardigian in 2018/19. This equates to approximately a third of the total for the entire county.

Cardigan drivers coughed up £314,907.57. A large sum, especially when we consider that £944,824.50 was generated by the entire county’s car parks.

The news has been greeted with outrage by both the town council and traders, as the increase in car park charges isn’t the only recent price hike for the town.

There is a stark difference between Cardigan and it’s surrounding areas when it comes to this charge.
It now costs £1.50 to park for an hour in Cardigan, whereas across the river in St Dogmaels, The Pembrokehshire County Council only charge 50p an hour to park in the High Street.

Carmarthenshire County Council only charge £1 for a four hour stay, with free periods to encourage visitors to the town.

Martin Radley, the Cardigan Traders Chairman said: “Once again local people wanting to support local traders are getting hammered.

“Enough is enough. There has to be a fairer way of doing this, as we as businesses are the ones paying the price.

“We are trying so hard to invest in the town and attract people here.

“We have free Wifi, the town app, the maps and information leaflets, all of which traders are supporting, and then the county council comes along and puts up their price of parking.

“We are a market town” Martin continued, “and slowly but surely people are being driven out of the town centre.”

The fact that the machines do not give change makes the problem even worse, said Cllr Sian Maehrlein at a meeting of the town council: “The price of short term parking is too much and if you don’t have the right change, it becomes even more expensive.”

Mayor of Cardigan Cllr Shan Williams brought up another point that has further angered the people of the town: “The only car park in town that does not have pay and display is the county council car park, and yet they tell us they have to make cuts.

“How many car parking spaces do they have for free in the county? How much revenue is being lost because of this?”

A Ceredigion council spokesman said: “Car park charges are set by the authority’s cabinet as part of the overall fees and charges review and budget process.

“In 2018/19 £944,824.50 of revenue was generated by Ceredigion County Council’s public car parks. Of this, £314,907.57 was generated from car parks located in Cardigan alone.

“In 2018/19, £347,528.04 was spent on the maintenance of the council’s public car park portfolio.

“Any surplus income generated, after expenditure related to the provision of the service, contributes to the overall council budget.”

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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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