Friday, May 26, 2006

Spring Bank Holiday - Waste collection and recycling 

Over the Spring Bank Holiday, the following revised collections for waste and recycling collections will apply:

Normal Collection Day Revised Collection Day
Monday - 29/05/06 Tuesday - 30/05/06
Tuesday – 30//05/06 Wednesday - 31/05/06
Wednesday - 31/05/06 Thursday - 01/06/06
Thursday - 01/06/06 Friday - 02/06/06
Friday - 02/06/06 Saturday - 03/06/06

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Monthly Unemployment Statement 

The unemployment figures for the ward of Adamsdown, for the month of April 2006, were as follows:

Male - 254 (up 5)
Female - 62 (down 8)
Total - 316 (down 3)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Four Elms Centre 

Local Councillors John Dixon and Nigel Howells have welcomed the decision of the council's planning committee to grant planning permission for the old building on Four Elms Road to be turned into Artist Studios.

Cllr John Dixon said: "We're delighted. This has been an eyesore in the decade or so since it was closed, and we've been working hard with the Council since we were elected in 1999 to find a new use, and new tenants, for the building. So this is a long-standing issue of ours that's been sorted out."
"We're looking forward to meeting our new neighbours when the renovation is complete. There's been a lot of stops and starts along the way over the last seven years - we know it hasn't been easy for the artists to raise the finances they needed, but we hope that we'll see a little extra colour in Adamsdown as a result of their arrival."

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Green fields from green waste 

Cardiff Council is helping to mark National Compost Awareness Week (7-13th May) with a major project to renew and restore football pitches at one of Cardiff’s most popular parks being given an unusual boost in the form of green waste which has been collected from all over the city, made into compost and then used as a soil conditioner for the project.

Careful analysis by the Council’s Park Service decided that the two football pitches nearest to the Community Centre and Penylan Library at Roath Park Recreation Ground would have to be completely renewed in order to restore them to a top-quality playing surface. Originally a landfill site the playing surface had become progressively uneven over time and had been unable to sustain any sports activities for several years. The work has now begun with the pitches being dug up and a total of over 1500 tonnes of sand being used to stabilise the surface. In addition some 300 tonnes of composted green waste from the Council’s Lamby way site has been added to the pitches to provide the ideal growing medium for the grass seed .

The pitches will be fenced off for around a year to enable the newly sown grass to become properly established and will be available for use only when it is in prime condition. It is hoped that they will initially open for baseball in the summer of 2007 before once again becoming football pitches in the autumn of that year.

Speaking about the innovative use of the green waste Councillor Nigel Howells, Executive Member for Sport, Culture and Leisure said, “We are committed to keeping all of our outdoor pitches in the best possible condition for everyone to enjoy and I am delighted that we have been able to make use of the compost produced by Lamby way. This is a classic opportunity for the people of Cardiff to see how their recycling efforts can positively help their facilities and local environment.”

Councillor Elgan Morgan, Executive Member for Environment and Transport said, “We are pleased the parks service has used the compost at Roath Park and we hope that this will continue to other parks and playing fields across the city. In the meantime we will continue to develop a marketing strategy and work with those who have a need for soil conditioners.”

Home composters 

On Sunday 21st May, residents will have the opportunity to buy compost bins at a fraction of the normal price.
Cardiff Council is organising a one day sale at the Lamby Way depot, between 10am and 3pm.
There, residents will be able to buy home composters from only £7.


Labour gang up with the Tories to stop you having your say
Labour councillors have voted with the Tories to stop you having your say on plans to improve education in Cardiff. Lib Dems wanted parents, children and teachers across the city to have their say on the plans, but Labour councillors ganged up with the Tories to deny people this right. Since the plans were published in early April, there have been growing calls for a full and open public consultation.

Consultation blocked
The Liberal Democrats planned to hold public meetings, set up a website and even a telephone hotline – but Labour has now stopped this from happening.

Parents angry
Many parents are angry and frustrated that their views will not now be heard.

Labour don’t want parents to have their say
Local Lib Dem campaigner Nigel Howells said, “There are many parts of this plan which are very good, whilst others need to be looked at further.”
“Politicians do no know all the answers which is why the Lib Dems wanted everyone to join the debate. I am disappointed that Labour won’t let this happen.”
Local Lib Dem councillor John Dixon added, “I think it is a disgrace that Labour and the Tories have stopped parents in this area having a say over the future of our schools.”
“I want to see schools right across Cardiff improve. I am worried this is now being held back.”

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Headteachers condemn opposition action 

Headteachers from all over Cardiff have criticised the move by labour and the Tories to deny Cardiff's residents a say on the schools plans. Here are quotes as reported in the South Wales Echo.

“I am bitterly disappointed and disillusioned that this plan has been prevented from going to public consultation for political reasons.
“It is an investment plan which aims to manage issues that need to be addressed urgently.”

Headteacher of Oakfield Primary School, Echo, 26/4/06

“My calculations show that by wasting £3m each year that is the equivalent of around one extra teacher for every primary school. It was clear when the council started out on this process that doing nothing is not an option. Nobody supported that view but that is where we are now. And as a result every child in this city is being disadvantaged as money is being wasted.”
Headteacher of Rhydypenau Primary School, Echo, 29/04/062004.

“We still have crumbling buildings, empty classrooms in some parts of the city, over-subscribed schools in other places, schools in the wrong places and children at Welsh-medium primaries with not enough places in secondary schools to cater for them.”
Headteacher of Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr,Echo, 26/4/06

“It would have made so much more sense to let this plan go to consultation and then to dump the parts that were unworkable rather than to dump the whole plan before it was considered fully.
“It seems unfair that the council was asked to provide a city-wide plan and then this plan was dismissed. It is not fair that some schools are thriving while others are struggling to survive.”

Headteacher of St David’s Church in Wales Primary School, Echo, 29/04/06

Official report slams Labour council for unlawful payments 

Cardiff’s former Labour council has been rapped for making £2.7 million of unlawful payments to councillors when Russell Goodway was in charge.

The District Auditor – an independent financial watchdog – has said that during the time the council was controlled by Labour, it ‘failed to act with transparency or in an accountable manner.’ She also said that Russell Goodway’s conduct ‘fell short of what it should have been’.

Referring to the huge costs run up by the council at taxpayers’ expense in fighting her findings, she said, ‘I am critical that for some three years the council mounted, at significant expense to the public purse, hostile opposition to my conclusions as to the legality of expenditure on members’ allowances and related increases in officers’ remuneration.’

As a result of Labour’s failure to admit that the council had done anything wrong, a legal bill of over £4 million was run up – paid for by Cardiff’s taxpayers.

In her report, the District Auditor also welcomed the change in attitude adopted by the council after the Liberal Democrats took control in 2004. She ‘expressed her appreciation to those officers and members who promoted a settlement which involved acceptance by the council that all of the challenged expenditure was unlawful.’

Local Liberal Democrat councillor John Dixon said, “It’s disgusting that Labour ran up a bill of over £4 million at the taxpayer’s expense challenging these findings.”

Our area - let down by Labour 

Labour councillors have voted against the Liberal Democrats’ proposed consultation over the schools programme. The consultation has been defeated, meaning that local residents will no longer be able to have their say over the future of schools serving Adamsdown and Roath.

Labour’s decision to vote against these plans going out to consultation means the council is unable to start solving the problems facing local schools. Money set out in the programme for improvements will no longer be available. Labour voted against people being given a say on:

- £2 million of improvements at Adamsdown Primary.
- £600,000 of improvements at Stacey Primary
- Over £7 million invested expanding and improving Willows High.
- Additional funding to be given to Tredegarville CW Primary towards its repair backlog.

Local Lib Dem councillor John Dixon said, “Labour have not just opposed specific details in the plan, they have voted against the consultation. They have voted against you having your say on tackling schools problems in our area.”

Fellow Liberal Democrat councillor Nigel Howells added, “The problems will only get worse. Labour’s decision to vote against these plans means that the council is now unable to solve the problems in our schools, and Cardiff’s children will not be given the education they deserve.”

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Licensing Application – Toucan (formerly Journeys),1–2 Upper Clifton Street 

A licence application for the sale of alcohol for consumption on and off the premises and the provision of regulated entertainment (including live music, recorded music and dancing) until 12.00 midnight Sunday–Wednesday and 2.00 am Thursday–Saturday has been submitted to the council by Toucan (formerly Journeys), 1–2 Upper Clifton Street. The licence also seeks permission to open for an additional hour on various nights throughout the year including bank holiday Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.

If you have any comments that you would like to be taken into account by the council’s licensing committee before it decides whether or not to grant these applications, then please send them in writing to: Licensing Section, Regulatory Services, City Hall, Cardiff, CF10 3ND. Alternatively, you can submit comments by e-mail to: licensing@cardiff.gov.uk .

The Focus Team would also be interested to know your views on these applications so that we can make representations to the council’s licensing committee on your behalf. You can contact us by email to nigel@adamsdown.org.uk or write to us at 59 Cecil Street, Adamsdown, Cardiff.

Under new regulations, local elected representatives can only make representations on behalf of local residents in relation to licensing applications if specifically authorised to do so. Therefore, if you are submitting any comments to the council, please state in your comments that you authorise your local councillors, local Assembly Member and local MP to make representations on your behalf.

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