Thursday, March 31, 2005

Cardiff and the Burges Connection

The hand of architect William Burges can be seen everywhere in Cardiff, from the grandeur of Cardiff Castle right down to the humble rows of Victorian terraces. To celebrate the city’s 100th birthday and 50 years as Capital of Wales, a series of talks, site visits and guided tours will give people a chance to appreciate just how influential Burges was in shaping the city.

The programme is launched on April 5 at Cardiff Castle with a talk by the Castle Curator Matthew Williams and will include a visit to some examples of Victorian gothic architecture, a walking tour of the city and a look behind the scenes at Cardiff Castle.

Glasgow is synonymous with Mackintosh, Barcelona with Gaudi and now in its centenary year Cardiff’s true debt to Burges can be celebrated.

The architect was originally employed by the 3rd Marquess of Bute to transform Cardiff Castle into a Gothic feudal extravaganza towards the end of the 19th Century. The Bute estate occupied a third of the land in Victorian Cardiff and housing was built on land leased, rather than sold, to developers. This ensured that the 3rd Marquess could set the architectural standards for housing in the city. Good quality Victorian housing attracted higher ground rents, so other land owners soon followed the fashion set by Burges and Bute.

Today a walk through the city reveals distinctive buildings such as the Castle, Insole Court and the Pier Head Building, plus echoes of Burges in the ornately carved stone mouldings and highly decorative tiled front porches of the much humbler Victorian terraces.

Councillor Nigel Howells, executive member for Sport, Leisure and Culture said: “It is very exciting to see William Burges becoming a household name in Cardiff at last. You can see his influence everywhere in the city and it’s an ideal opportunity to celebrate his contribution to Cardiff in its centenary year.”

John Edwards, Cardiff Castle Surveyor to the Fabric said: “Understanding and caring for Victorian architecture today isn’t just about castles, grand houses and churches; it’s about the humble terraced house too. Grand buildings like Cardiff Castle are privileged to have the best expertise available to retain its character and historic integrity. But the same technical approach can be shared with owners and occupiers of Victorian terraced houses everywhere to protect our architectural heritage.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

News from Wales Rally GB

Wales Rally GB sets an FIA World Rally Championship precedent with an indoor Special Stage in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

Cardiff's Millennium Stadium will set a precedent during Wales Rally GB when it hosts the first ever indoor Special Stage in the 2005 World Rally Championship on Saturday17th September.
Cars will start the1 kilometre timed test from the basement of the Welsh Rugby Union building and literally leap into view over a purpose-built jump before completing a figure of eight course on the concrete floor of the Stadium.

For spectator safety and better viewing, the lower tier of the Stadium - scene of the spectacular Wales Gram Slam last Saturday - will be removed, but still allowing a potential all-seated audience of 51,000 to see world rally cars in spectacular sideways action at one minute intervals, on the Saturday evening.

The "Cardiff Stage" - one of 17 timed to-a-tenth-of-a-second special stages in this year's 1249 kilometre rally - is scheduled to start at 18.58 hrs on Saturday 17th September.

Councillor Nigel Howells, Cardiff Council's Executive Member for Sport, Leisure and Culture said, "As host city, Cardiff is looking forward to welcoming Wales Rally GB back this year and we're delighted that this year's event will include one of the most unusual stages in the 2005 World Rally Championship. The Millennium Stadium has really helped put Cardiff and Wales on the map, and has built a fantastic reputation for hosting a wide range of sporting events, but a WRC stage will be one of the most challenging and is sure to provide plenty of dramatic action for spectators - and drivers - to enjoy. This year's Rally also looks like being one of the biggest in the 2005 World Rally Championship in terms of entries, and we're hoping that more spectators than ever before will come to South Wales, particularly the Stadium, to enjoy the action."

Andrew Coe, Chief Executive, IMS commented, "On behalf of the organising team of Wales Rally GB I am delighted that we have been able to secure the use of the Cardiff Millennium Stadium, which is a truly world-class spectator facility, for the 2005 event, which will take place between September 15th and 18th. This initiative, which will take the World Rally Championship into a covered arena for what we believe to be the first time in its history, will allow us to introduce rallying to new audiences and help secure the future development and growth of the sport within the UK. It is a hugely exciting development for Wales Rally GB."

Wales Rally GB, round 12 of the 16 round Word Rally Championship will again be an all-ticket event. Ticket prices for the Millennium Stadium and the other 16 special stages, run on Forestry Commission and M.O.D land, will be announced in April.

Increased entry capacity provides 40 guaranteed places for non-professional rally drivers from the UK and worldwide.

The governing body for world motor sport, the Federation International De L'Automobile (FIA) have approved a request from Wales Rally GB organisers to increase the entry capacity, previously capped at 90 cars, to 120 for 2005.

"This will allow us to accept and guarantee places for 40 non-professional rally drivers alongside the six professional Manufacturer teams who are registered for this years World Championship. To compete on Britain's round of the FIA World Rally Championship is aspirational for many UK drivers. Now all drivers with an International competition licence can be confident if they submit their entry form and entry fee on time, there will be a place for them." said Fred Gallagher, Clerk of the Course.

Wales Rally GB starts in Cardiff at 19.30 hours on Thursday 15th September and returns to the Welsh capital for the ceremonial Finish, at 14.10 hours on Sunday 18th.

The Tube Gears Up For The Urdd

Cardiff Bay Visitor Centre – the Tube – will have a leading role in the 2005 Urdd Gobaith Cymru National Eisteddfod when the festival comes to the capital at the end of May.

The Urdd Eisteddfod, the biggest annual celebration of music and drama for the young people of Wales and Europe’s largest competitive youth arts festival, will be based at the Wales Millennium Centre on the Bay waterfront from 30 May to 4 June. More than 120,000 visitors are expected.

Exhibitions and displays in the Tube are already being revamped in time for Easter, with special emphasis on the hugely popular World War II exhibition and an account of the massive regeneration of Cardiff’s docklands, both of which are presented in Welsh and English.

Further bi-lingual material is being prepared, including the latest visitor leaflets on heritage tours, public art, the Barrage, and birds and wildlife. The regeneration story benefits from new display boards and there will be a photographic record of the construction of the £220 million Barrage, one of Europe’s biggest civil engineering projects.

A large scale model of the regenerated Bay has been updated to include the £700 million International Sports Village site, the WMC and other recent developments, including housing and commercial buildings.

Councillor Nigel Howells, Cardiff Council’s Executive Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, said: “The Tube will be within a confined area for the Urdd in the Inner Harbour and will become one of the main focal points for thousands of visitors during the festival. We aim to make a good impression, contributing to the enjoyment of Eisteddfod visitors and encouraging them to come back to enjoy the many attractions of Cardiff and the Bay.”

The Urdd’s Director for the Eisteddfod and the Arts, Sian Eirian, said: “Normally we are located on a greenfield site, where we can arrange buildings and services where we need them to be. This year will be a new challenge, but we shall have the advantage of the best purpose-built auditorium in the country, surrounded by the many attractions of Cardiff Bay and the city. In addition to the usual attractions we hope to offer water-based activities in the Bay for our young people.”

The Urdd National Eisteddfod is one of the major events on the 2005 calendar for the new Wales Millennium Centre, where the youth festival will be staged every four years.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Planning applications received this week

Tha Council has received the following planning applications for the Adamsdown ward this week:

05/00567/C: Full Planning Permission
Applicant: City Lofts, Town Centre House, Cheltenham Crescent, Harrogate
Agent: Craig Jones, Holder Mathias Architects, The Bonded Warehouse, Atlantic Wharf, Cardiff
At: 38-42, Newport Road, Adamsdown, Cardiff

05/00581/C: Full Planning Permission
Applicant: Tribute Homes Broadway Ltd, 20 St Andrews Crescent, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3DD
Agent: CJS Planning Consultants Ltd, FAO Andrew Beard, 1 Host Street, Bristol, BS1 5BU
At:1 Broadway, Adamsdown, Cardiff

05/00593/C: Full Planning Permission
Applicant: Mr. M. Verma, Daluca Developments Ltd., 36 Llandennis Road, Cyncoed, CARDIFF
Agent: The Design Group Three Ltd, 53 Corporation Road, Grangetown, Cardiff, CF11 7AP
At: 27 Moira Place, Adamsdown, Cardiff

Further details can be seen at City Hall during normal working hours

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Cardiff Council And Ice Hockey Fans Pledge To Work Together

Cardiff Council and SORAC (Save Our Rink Action Committee) have held a productive meeting to discuss the way forward for establishing a temporary ice rink in the city.

Concern had been raised about the future of both ice hockey and ice skating in Cardiff once work on the planned St David’s 2 shopping centre, which includes the site of the existing ice rink, is underway.

The Council has guaranteed a temporary ice rink will be made available from September 2006, until a permanent facility can be built, as well as ensuring that the lease for the existing ice rink can be extended until April next year to enable the ice hockey season for 2006 to be completed.

At a positive meeting between Council Leader Cllr Rodney Berman, Executive Member for Sport, Culture and Leisure Cllr Nigel Howells, senior officers from the Council and SORAC committee members, the Council reassured SORAC of their intentions.

Council Leader Rodney Berman said, “I am delighted that we were able to hold such a positive meeting. There is no doubt that the issue of ice hockey and ice skating is something which is very important to a great many people in Cardiff and we have made it clear we will ensure that provision for this sport and leisure activity is continued.

“The meeting was very constructive and it was important that we heard the views of the committee so we can best understand what is needed within the temporary facility.”

Executive Member for Sport, Culture and Leisure Cllr Nigel Howells added, “It is crucial that we all work together and it was vital that we heard the views of the committee concerning what is needed in a temporary ice rink facility. We look forward to holding further meetings with SORAC and continuing this constructive and invaluable dialogue to deliver the best result for ice hockey fans and ice skaters within Cardiff.”

Dave Newton, chairman of SORAC said, “Yesterday’s meeting was very constructive. A channel of communication has now been opened up between the Council and representatives of all users of the Wales National Ice Rink. There is a long way to go but open and constructive dialogue between all parties is the best way to ensure that the Council fully appreciates the requirements for accommodating all the age group teams from u10 upwards, as well as the sledge hockey, recreational teams, figure skaters and the social ice skating community. We are delighted that the Council has given a commitment to ensure that adequate facilities will be provided so that Cardiff Devils can continue to proudly represent the city of Cardiff and South Wales in the Elite Ice Hockey League. We look forward to further meetings with the Council in order to progress these matters.”

Plans for Castle Interpretation Centre approved

Cardiff Council’s plans to build an exciting family-friendly interpretation centre, plus improved visitor facilities at Cardiff Castle, have been given the go-ahead by the Planning Committee.

The proposed new building is part of an overall strategy that involves conservation of the 2,000 year old site, improved public and disabled access and better facilities for the increased number of visitors it aims to attract. The plans involve opening up the North Gate for the first time, free entry to the Castle Green and linking Bute Park with the castle in line with its past. A connection with Cardiff Bay is also planned via boat stages within Bute Park and on the River Taff .

The interpretation centre will be built next to the main entrance (South Gate) on Castle Street. The centre will provide a dynamic educational experience for adults and children, offering a range of multi-sensory visitor experiences relating to three historic periods - Roman, Norman and Victorian.

The interpretation designer Laurie Stewart said “Imagine a journey which takes you back through 2,000 years of history. We will give visitors an exciting fly through a visual feast of kings, invaders, battles, changing landscapes and stunning architecture. Reclining seats with a built-in sound system will allow a very personal experience for visitors before the screens move away to reveal the castle outside, ready for them to explore.”

The new building will incorporate a number of new and improved facilities including:
- undercover ticketing
- an interactive visitor experience that tells the 2000-year story of Cardiff Castle
- a heritage retail outlet and café
- an exhibition area focusing on architect William Burges
- access for disabled visitors for the first time in the castle’s history to many parts of the site such

as the remains of the Roman Fort and the House.

The Council is also working with the 1st The Queens Dragoon Guards (The Welsh Cavalry) to provide a military museum inside the new building.

The Council related to earlier comments of the Planning Inspector on the previous planning application submitted and all parties have since worked together to create a solution which addresses the accepted need to improve facilities and access and to accommodate increasing visitor numbers, while remaining faithful to the castle’s heritage.

Councillor Nigel Howells, Executive Member for Sport, Leisure and Culture said: “The number of people visiting the castle is increasing all the time. This exciting new development will allow visitors to enjoy access to more of the castle site and to really experience the events and characters that have shaped the castle’s history. We hope these changes will ease pressure on the more fragile house, which is currently the focus of visitor activity.

“These plans should result in an increased income for the castle, which will help to pay for the opening of new areas to the public and the cost of future specialist conservation work and maintenance of the capital city’s most important historic building.”

The Council is working closely with the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Wales Tourist Board to bring forward the proposed development.

Join in, just a drop kick away from the action

The Western Mail reports the Big Screen for Saturday's match here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


The party of the century has already begun in a street near you. Make sure you’re not left out of Cardiff’s 100th birthday celebrations by picking up one of thousands of brochures being distributed across the city today.

Cardiff’s newly appointed capital poet Gillian Clarke is launching the brochure, containing more than 30 workshops and projects that everyone can get involved in.
Whether you like music, dance, art or sport there is something to capture your imagination in the biggest cultural festival that Cardiff has ever seen.

You can write a poem for 2005, record your very own Cardiff story or learn how to skate board with the help of a professional coach! There will be carnivals, music in the park and the chance to draw some of the city’s most beautiful buildings under the watchful eye of an artist.

But if you prefer why not grab your trainers and make the most of facilities down at your local leisure centre? It’s all free of charge on Healthy Living Day June 26.

There will be plenty of celebrities helping Cardiff to celebrate this special birthday. Will Self, Fay Weldon and John Humphrys will be attending the Bay Lit Festival starting on April 16 and there will be a rare chance to hear the incredible voice of Bryn Terfel at the Welsh Proms in July.

Wherever you live you can step into a unique communal dance project in which groups throughout the city learn a different part of the dance, all coming together like pieces of a jigsaw to perform the whole dance on July 17.

Why not trace your family tree to find out where your ancestors lived or wander down to Roath Park Open Day, on July 9, to see international baseball, professional skaters, plus a mixture of arts and craft stalls?

Councillor Nigel Howells, Executive member for sport leisure and culture said:
“This is the most exciting year for Cardiff residents because they have two reasons to celebrate. The city is 100 years old and has been the capital of Wales for 50 years. It is wonderful to see such a variety of workshops and community events on offer for people to get actively involved all over Cardiff. It should make 2005 a year to remember.”

Director of the Cultural Programme for Cardiff 2005, Yvette Vaughan Jones said: “We want 2005 to be the year that people in Cardiff re-discover their city and share the jewels that exist - the tranquility of the parks and gardens; the treasures of the castles, the beauty of the Bay and the real gems who are people that live here. We hope you will all get involved and create new friends and experiences through joining some of the many activities designed to open up the city and get people connected with each other. Make 2005 the year you celebrate your city and the people who make it the exciting place it is.”

St Germans Church Hall

Following an intervention by local Councillors Nigel Howells and John Dixon, the "Ambulance Only" road markings outside St Germans Church Hall are to be reinstated next week.

The markings disappeared when the road was recently resurfaced but were essential for the safe transport of users of the Adamsdown Day centre that meet there every day.

Success On Broadway

At last, after years of neglectt by the previous Labour administration, parts of Broadway have now been resurfaced.

Local Councillor, Nigel Howells, has campaigned for the stretch of Broadway between Richards terrace and Clifton Street to be resurfaced for some time.

Cardiff Bus Service Changes

Cardiff Bus has recently applied to the Traffic Commissioner to register a number of variations to bus services in Cardiff which will take effect from 10 April 2005.

The following changes will affect the Adamsdown ward:

Route 30 : The service will operate out of the city via North Road and Boulevard De Nants (instead of Greyfriars Road) and via Westgate Street (instead of St Mary Street).

Route 45 : The evening journeys will omit Caeglas Road, Nevin Road and Rhyl Road due to parking problems and attacks on buses.

Route 49 : Minor revision of Monday to Friday, am and pm peak journeys.

Route 50 : Minor revision of Monday to Friday, am and pm peak journeys.

Route X46 : 12:15 journey from the Station to St Mellons Business Park and 12:51 from the Business Park is withdrawn.

Disabled Parking Place - 11 Sapphire Street

We have received notification that the Council intends to provide a Disabled Persons' Parking Place outside No 11 Sapphire Street.

We will be supporting the proposals.

Wales V Ireland Six Nations Match Day - Saturday 19 March

With a possible Six Nations title and a grand slam on the cards for the Welsh rugby team plus a sell-out crowd inside the Millennium Stadium and thousands in the clubs and bars soaking up the atmosphere, this is going to cause some disruption in the City Centre.

Kick-off is at 3:30pm - but due to the volume of visitors there will be a total city centre road closure operating from 1.30pm until 6.30pm.

These are:Kingsway from its junction with North Rd / Boulevard de Nantes to its junction with Duke St. Cowbridge Road East from its junction with Neville St to its junction with Westgate St. Tudor St from its junction with Clare Rd to its junction with Wood St, Plantagenet St and Beauchamp St from their junctions with Despenser Place to their junctions with Tudor St.The following roads will be closed in their entirety: Duke St, Castle St, High St, St Mary St, Caroline St, Wood St, Central Sq, Westgate St, Quay St, Guildhall Pl, Golate, Park St, Havelock St and Scott Rd.Between 6am and 9pm: King Edward VII from its abutment with Boulevard-de-Nantes to its junction with Corbett Road. Museum Ave from its junction with Gorsedd Gardens to its junction with Corbett Road. City Hall Road / College Road from their junction with Museum Avenue to their junctions with North Road.

If you have friends travelling to the capital by car, park and ride sites are available at various locations around Cardiff.County Hall (Green car park) and Queensgate (Purple car park) are well signposted from Junction 33 of the M4. The drop-off point for County Hall is at the Eversheds lay-by on the north side of Callaghan Square (shoppers will be dropped off and picked-up at the usual drop off in The Hayes).Queensgate is at Tresillian Way at the rear of the railway station. The cost is £3 per car.Due to the closure, the public are advised that ALL buses travelling into, out of and around the city WILL be affected. On occasions when major events are held at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Bus services operate from special city centre temporary terminal points during the period of closure. Cross city services are split at the city centre with each section operating from separate city centre temporary terminal points.


As Grand Slam fever takes a grip on Wales in the run up to Saturday’s potentially historic encounter with Ireland, Cardiff Council has teamed up with BBC Wales and the Millennium Stadium to give the many thousands of fans without a ticket a taste of the big match atmosphere and a chance to paint the town red.

The Big Screen is going up on the lawn of City Hall with free public access, catering, bars and toilet facilities provided to make the most of the occasion. The site opens at 11am with a free entertainment programme. The feast of rugby will include highlights of Wales’s triumphs this season and a live screening of the Italy v France game at 1pm, followed by Wales’ bid to land their first Grand Slam in 27 years, which kicks off at 3.30pm. It will provide an ideal atmosphere for families to celebrate a great occasion.

Councillor Nigel Howells, Executive Member for Sport, Leisure and Culture said: “This is a historic day for the city and for Wales in a year of celebration for our centenary and golden anniversary as the capital. With the game well over-subscribed we wanted to give everyone a chance to see the match properly, and indulge in the party atmosphere, just a drop kick away from the action. We’re working in partnership with BBC Wales, the Millennium Stadium and South Wales Police to create what we all hope will be a memorable day. Come on Wales.”

Keith Jones, BBC Wales Head of Welsh Programmes, said: “Fans in Cardiff can now join others across the country who have been following Wales in record numbers with the BBC this season. We’ve organised a BBC Big Screen in Cardiff for major rugby occasions before and they have been a great success.

“But, in the past, it has taken weeks of planning. The fact that all the partners have cooperated to arrange this in a matter of days shows our determination to make this a great day for everyone in the capital and across Wales.”

Paul Sergeant of the Millennium Stadium said: “We could have sold-out this fixture two or three times over. We will have a packed house of more than 74,000 fans inside the Millennium Stadium willing Wales to win the Grand Slam, and now there will be space for thousands of others to share a special atmosphere and join forces to support their country just a stone’s throw away.

“This is a great idea for the fans and another good example of the way in which the Council, the Stadium, Police and other commercial partners can come together for the good of the game and the sporting public.”

The Big Screen is used every year at Cardiff’s Big Weekend when 250,000 people fill City Hall lawn and the surrounding Civic Centre to enjoy three days of music and Europe’s largest funfair.

Chief Superintendent Bob Evans, Divisional Commander, Cardiff Division, South Wales Police said: “Anyone who wishes to enjoy the atmosphere of Cardiff on a match day and is without a ticket, for this tremendous event, should come to the Civic Centre and watch the game on the big screen. Arrive early and by public transport if you can. Do not be tempted to buy any tickets offered to you by touts as there is a good chance you may be refused entry to the Stadium and be subject to an investigation.”

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Get Active

The Council has launched a new and innovative project called Active Life Cardiff. This is funded by a Big Lottery Coronary Heart Disease grant of £300,000 for a three year programme.

The aim of the project is to get more people physically active and hence reduce the risk of Coronary Heart Disease.

In the first year of the project, one of the areas targeted is Adamsdown where new activities are being developed through working closely with individuals and groups to identify their needs and to reduce barriers to participation.

The following have been identified to date:

- Women only basketball at the STAR Leisure Centre - Sundays 4.30pm to 5.30pm - Contact 2048 4637

- Yoga at Coleg Glan Hafren on The Parade - Tuesdays at 5.45pm to 7.15pm - Contact Jill Boone on 2041 0072

- There will also be physical activity taster sessions at St Germans Church Hall - To Be Confirmed

- There will be a swimming session for young Yemeni men at Spoltt Swimming Pool - To Be Confirmed

Newport Road Crossing

We are pleased to inform you that the Lib Dem controlled County Council will be providing disabled facilities for the pelican crossing on Newport Road (the one by St Peter's RC Primary School).

The work is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

Monthly Unemployment Statistics

The monthly unemployment statistics for Adamsdown in January 2005, as compiled by the Office of National Statistics, are as follows:

Male - 215 (up 19)
Female - 64 (up 2)

Total - 280 (up 21)


Cardiff Council Social Care staff will be bidding against each other to take a day’s leave from their managers for Comic Relief. The volunteer managers will have to give one of their annual leave days to a successful staff bidder – and then spend that day covering the bidder’s job!

To compete in the draw for one of six extra day’s leave, staff must make a £5 donation to Comic Relief. On Comic Relief night the six winners will be drawn. The winners can take an extra day’s leave, donated by one of the six managers taking part. While the lucky staff member is enjoying their extra day off, the manager who contributed it will have to cover their job.

Executive member for Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, Cllr John Dixon, said: “I am proud that our staff are helping the Comic Relief appeal in this way and I would like to thank them for their commitment. We all work hard and it is a real sacrifice to give up a day’s holiday – especially when you are going to spend it doing someone else’s job!”

He added: “One of the themes of this year’s appeal is Elder Abuse. Elder abuse is one of the most appalling yet most hidden problems facing the UK today. It is estimated that up to 1 in 20 older people are victims of some form of abuse, yet few of us are even aware that this happens on a daily basis.”

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