Friday, September 29, 2006

Who will foot the bill Mr Reid? 

Despite forcing the South Wales Police Authority to spend over £434,000 preparing for the controversial merger of the Welsh Police Force, the Labour Government has only offered to reimburse the Police Authority for a small percentage of the costs.

When Cathays Councillor Joseph Carter asked the representative of the South Wales Police Authority who was going to foot the massive bill for the abandoned merger plans, he was told that the Government would only pay for some of the costs.

County Councillor Carter was told that over £100,000 of opportunity costs would have to be met by the Police Authority. Some of the £320,000 Marginal costs would be paid for by the Home Office, but at this stage the Police Authority can not confirm what percentage will be reimbursed.

Cllr. Joseph Carter commented, “I think it’s scandalous that the South Wales Police Authority should be forced to pay the cost of a scheme that was forced on them by the Labour Government. Even if the Police Authority is only forced to pay the £100,000 opportunity costs, this is money that could have been spent on five new police officers or six Police Community Support Officers.”

“The Labour Government should reimburse the Welsh Police Authorities for the full costs of the failed merger. This bill should fall on John Reid’s Home Office, not at the expense of police in Cardiff.”

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Labour Minister says No to smaller class sizes 

Labour Welsh Assembly Education Minister, Jane Davidson, has rejected an appeal from Cardiff's Liberal Democrat-controlled Council to discuss the reduction of Primary School class sizes to a maximum of 25 pupils.

Following a motion passed at the June meeting of Cardiff Council, the Liberal Democrat Executive Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, Councillor Bill Kelloway, wrote to Jane Davidson seeking to establish a dialogue between the Assembly and the Council with a view to reducing maximum class sizes to 25 pupils.

In her reply the Minister refused to agree to a meeting and rejected consideration of setting a maximum class size of 25. She stated that in her view there is no proven link between class sizes and pupil achievement and cited the high cost of reducing class sizes as grounds for taking no action.

Commenting on the Minister's letter, Councillor Bill Kelloway said:

"I am disappointed that the Minister has dismissed Cardiff Council's appeal without even agreeing to a meeting. In the past when the Council has discussed the need to reduce surplus places with teachers and parents the point has often been made that falling pupil numbers should be used as an opportunity to reduce class sizes and not just to consider closing school accommodation. The Council alone does not have the legal power to limit class sizes below thirty - this requires a change in the law by the Assembly."

"The Labour Minister has effectively stated that reducing surplus places in Cardiff by reducing class sizes is not an option and that the Lib Dem-run Council has no alternative other than closing schools to reduce surplus places. "

"Ominously, the Minister states in her letter that she has the power to direct the Council to take action to reduce surplus places."

Kerbside recycling - coming to Adamsdown soon 

We are pleased to report that it won't be long before homes in Adamsdown will be covered by the Lib Dem council's new recycling scheme.

As Adamsdown is an area of terraced houses, the scheme being introduced here is a "Tri-Bag Collection Service".

This means that every house will be provided, free of charge, with three different sets of bags:

- Green bags - for recycling
- Biodegradable bags - for compostable waste
- Black bags - for waste

All residents in the area will be contacted before the scheme starts.

The scheme is intended to be implemented in the next few months. As ever, we will keep you posted on developments.


Home-Start is a voluntary organisation that supports families who are experiencing difficulties and who have at least one child under 5 years of age.

Big Lottery funding has recently allowed them to expand into the Adamsdown area. Part of the grant has enabled them to set up a Fathers Group. The Fathers Group is held on Tuesday mornings from 9 am to 11 am at Tremorfa Nursery School, Mona Place.

They offer seasonal activities for 0 to 5 year olds, along with their dads. A Healthy snack and refreshments are provided free of charge.

For more information contact 029 2063 0903.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Cardiff Council’s Services for Children – Intervention comes to an end 

Cardiff Council is pleased that the Welsh Assembly Government has confirmed that the Council’s Children’s Services are improving and that improvements are now sufficiently resilient for the Assembly Government’s intervention under the protocol agreed with the Wales Local Government Association (WLGA) to come to an end.

Cllr John Dixon, Executive Member for Health, Social Care and Wellbeing said: “I am delighted that our progress has been recognised in this way. We will be continuing the improvement journey in Children’s Services and are confident that the Council’s arrangement for scrutiny of its services will both support managers and staff and provide a level of challenge that will help ensure we achieve our aspirations for children who are in need.

“This is a very positive recognition of the hard work that has enabled the Assembly Government to bring its special monitoring of children’s services in Cardiff to an end. It allows us to return to the routine arrangements that are in place between the Assembly and local government for the monitoring of social services. I congratulate the staff for their positive response to the intervention. I know that they are committed to continued improvement so that children and families in Cardiff receive services of the right quality to meet their assessed needs. This is an opportunity for the service to leave behind the unfortunate legacy of the joint review of 2002 and build on the progress it has made towards being an efficient, effective and a responsive service.”

Progress and performance in Cardiff’s Children’s Services will continue to be reported in public to the Council’s Scrutiny Committee every 3 months.

The Assembly Government will continue to have a role in the scrutiny of Children’s Services through its annual programme of performance evaluation of social services authorities in Wales and its programme of service and joint reviews. Children’s Services will, together with the Council’s Adult Services, be the subject of a Joint Review that is expected to commence in the latter half of 2007/8.

BBC Wales News

Clifton Mews confusion 

Following an enquiry from a local resident, Cllr John Dixon has been in touch with planners at Cardiff Council over the naming of the housing development on the former Cardiff Trade Centre forecourt.

The developers of the flats at the corner of Broadway and Clifton Street have been told that the name they're promoting - 'Clifton Mews' - is not suitable as the official address, as there is already a Clifton Mews in the area at the junction of Diamond Street and Nora Street.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Latest planning applications 

The council has received the following planning applications:

06/01917/C: Advertisement
Received: 17/08/2006
Applicant: The Carphone Warehouse, 1 Portal Way, LONDON, W3 6RS
Agent: Helen Cusano - SGP Property Services, Enterprise House, Sunningdale Road, LEICESTER, LE3 1UR
At: 8 City Link Ind. Park, Newport Road, Adamsdown, Cardiff

06/01920/C: Full Planning Permission
Applicant: Cardiff Community Housing Association, 2 Ocean Way, Ocean Park, Cardiff, CF24 5TG
Agent: White Young Green Consulting Limited, 21 Park Place, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3DQ
At: The Railway Club, Sanquahar Street, Splott/Butetown, Cardiff.

A/06/00119/C: Advertisement
Received: 17/08/2006
Applicant: The Carphone Warehouse, 1 Portal Way, LONDON, W3 6RS
Agent: Helen Cusano - SGP Property Services, Enterprise House, Sunningdale Road, LEICESTER, LE3 1UR
At: 8 City Link Ind. Park, Newport Road, Adamsdown, Cardiff

Full details of these proposals can be viewed at City Hall during normal working hours.

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