Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Planning application - 85 Stacey Road 

A planning application has been received by the Council to demolish, and rebuild as new, No 85 Stacey Road. The new building will contain 8 one bedroomed flats, and have parking for 2 cars at the rear of the building.

If you have any comments on this development then please let Nigel know.

CCHA works - Diamond Street 

We have received notice from Cardiff Community Housing Association (CCHA) that work will commence this month on the demolition and rebuilding of 30 Diamond Street. The work will take approximately 8 months to complete.

The building contractors who will be carrying out the work are:

Tony G Harris Building Contractors Limited
8 Greenlawns
Tel: 029 2048 2483

If you have any queries regarding the work you should contact Julie Page of CCHA. Julie is supervising the work and can be contacted on 029 2046 8453.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Recent planning decisions 

The following Planning Committee decisions have been made in respect of the Adamsdown ward:

13B Broadway
The application for a change of use of the property into a take-away was refused. The reason given was that the proposals would harm the amenities of adjoining and nearby residents by reasons of noise and disturbance generated by customers during evening and night-time hours and it would harm the amenities of adjoining residents by reason of the adverse affects of cooking odours.

Former British Rail Club, Sanquahar Street
Although this is just over the border in Splott, it will have an impact on the Adamsdown ward. The application by Cardiff Community Housing Association to develop 40 affordable one and two bedroom apartments was granted.

Pay back allowances before lecturing us on council finance 

Responding to a motion tabled by Cardiff Labour councillors criticising the council’s Liberal Democrat administration for a projected overspend in social services, Liberal Democrat council leader Rodney Berman said:

“I am not going to be lectured by the Labour Group on finance when many of their members, including their leader Greg Owens, are refusing to pay back tens of thousands of pounds in allowances that were paid to them both unlawfully and unreasonably during the time the council was previously run by Labour. Before telling us what to do, I believe they need get their house in order and take steps to pay that money back.

“I also believe this is an attempt to deflect blame from the council’s current financial situation on the Labour Assembly Government. The root cause of the projected overspend in social services has been the imposition of more and more responsibilities upon the council by the Labour-run Assembly, without sufficient additional finance being given to us to fund them. As we head towards next year’s Assembly elections, Labour clearly wants to cover that up.

“It also needs to be remembered that Labour has repeatedly stood in the way of a stable administration on Cardiff Council since the last local elections. Labour councillors have used their influence with party colleagues in the Assembly to block the establishment of an all-party administration, continually stating that all they want to do is oppose. They are just wreckers without responsibility who seem to be repeatedly working to ensure that the council fails. Clearly they haven’t learned anything from being thrown out of office over two years ago.”

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Nigel Howells, added: “Labour also paints a warped view of the present Liberal Democrat administration’s record. In comparison to the previous Labour administration, the Liberal Democrats have significantly improved many of the council’s day to day services – just as we promised at the last elections. Social services, branded the worst in England and Wales under Labour four years ago, have now significantly improved and this has been recognised by the Welsh Assembly Government. For the first time since the unitary authority was formed, Cardiff has spent above the Welsh average on our schools – all down to the Liberal Democrats. In contrast under Labour, Cardiff was one of the lowest spenders on schools in Wales.

“Under Labour, Cardiff had the lowest recycling rates in Wales, but now recycling rates are beginning to soar across the city following the construction of a new £4 million recycling plant and the roll-out of free city-wide recycling collections by the Liberal Democrats. We have also ended the very costly legal dispute with our District Auditor over unlawful payments of councillors’ allowances under Labour and begun to restore trust with the people of Cardiff by cutting allowances for senior councillors back in 2004, freezing all allowances ever since and rejecting the introduction of pensions for councillors.

“The Empire Pool, knocked down by Labour in 1998 without firm plans in place for its replacement, is finally rising again in the International Sports Village – a project that Labour could only talk about but which the Liberal Democrats are now delivering. We also won ‘Britain in Bloom’ in 2005 and this year won gold in the competition’s European equivalent, the ‘Entente Florale’

“Not only that, but all these significant improvements have been delivered whilst the Liberal Democrats have kept down the average annual band D council tax increase to below 2% – a direct contrast to the average rise of around 11% under Labour.

Councillor Berman added: “Whilst bringing forward many changes to improves services, in many case sorting out problems left for us by years of Labour inaction, there have inevitably been some concerns from some quarters of the electorate. But sometimes this has been fuelled by Labour irresponsibility – it was Labour that called on us to introduced schools’ reorganisation on a city-wide basis, and then it was Labour that criticised us for publishing a city-wide proposal.

“And Labour seems to be ignoring the fact that the Liberal Democrat administration has already moved swiftly to bring this year’s budget back into line once the projected overspend in social services was identified. We have already approved a raft of measures to ensure the council can reach a balanced budget by the end of the year but in a way that will still allow us to meet all our statutory obligations in social services. We certainly won’t support the approach that Labour followed in the past of failing to meet our social services responsibilities – have they now forgotten that this was one of the reasons they were thrown out of office by the people of Cardiff in 2004?”

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Halloween or Bonfire Night nuisance? Call 101 

Plans for a safer Halloween and Bonfire Night are ongoing in Cardiff, with 101 forming part of a growing partnership involving the Police, Cardiff Council, Community Safety Partnership and the Fire Service.

The number (101) is the number to call to report non urgent anti-social behaviour and noise nuisance.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Labour Assembly Government responsible for restriction of care service provision - not local councils 

The Liberal Democrat leader of Cardiff Council has moved to clarify the reason why along with other local authorities in Wales, Cardiff is moving to only providing care services for those whose needs are assessed as critical or substantial. “This is entirely a consequence of policy decisions taken by the Labour Assembly Government,” he said.

“Under the Assembly’s Fair Access to Care policy, all councils have been forced to ensure that they only provide care services in line with strict eligibility criteria.

“If we provide services for anyone who is now assessed as having a medium or low need, then the Assembly is telling us we have to provide services for everyone in those categories. However we simply couldn’t afford to do that. With no prospect of the Assembly giving us the tens of millions of pounds of additional funding that would otherwise be required, we have taken the same decision as other local authorities in Wales and are now only able to provide funding for those whose needs are assessed as either critical or substantial.

“And whilst I can accept that in the long term, this is probably a fairer way of assessing whether or not we should provide care services, the transition is difficult because some people who have been receiving care services in the past will not be able to receive them in future. Unfortunately, because of this Assembly policy, that’s not something we have a choice about.

“That’s why some people in Cardiff will no longer be receiving home care in the future, and not because of the current projected overspend we are facing. Because of the rules imposed upon us by the Labour Assembly Government, we are simply unable to provide home care for as many people. And because we can’t carry on providing as much home care, then we don’t need to employ as many people to provide it.

“So whilst its true that we are now looking to make savings by reducing our home care workforce, that would have to happen anyway because the new Assembly rules mean we will in future have to provide home care for fewer people.

“People who are unhappy with this situation shouldn’t just be taking their concerns to local authorities – they need to take them to Rhodri Morgan and the Labour Assembly Government who have imposed this new system upon us in the first place.”

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Cemetery Park bulb planting 

Come and help us brighten up your park
Cemetery Park Bulb Planting Day
On 17th October 2006,
11.30am to 1pm
Meet at Cemetery Park, Moira Place
All welcome, wrap up warm and wear boots.
Gloves provided.
There is also an opportunity for you to give your ideas for the use
of potential ‘Public Art’ in the west Adamsdown renewal area.
For further information contact:
Simon Bedford or Hannah Dineen on Tel: 2087 3266 or email sbedford@cardiff.gov.uk

Monday, October 02, 2006

Insight for young people 

A group of young people from Cardiff have gained a better understanding of the work of councillors following a shadowing exercise at County Hall. Young people from Cardiff’s Youth Forum were given a glimpse into the day to day lives of local politicians having spent time with members of Cardiff Council’s Executive.

The exercise was part of a campaign across the country – I Vote Wales - to encourage people to register to vote by raising awareness of the importance of voting. The young people learned why it is important for over-18s to register to vote to have their say in how the city is run.

Youth forum member, 18-year-old Jack Baker spent time shadowing Executive Member for Leisure, Culture and Sport, Cllr Nigel Howells.

Jack said: “Before the shadowing exercise I didn’t know much about councillors or what their day to day work entails.

“Nigel explained to me what his portfolio involved and all the different aspects of his job. I really enjoyed the time I spent with him, I gained an invaluable insight. I asked loads of questions about the work of the Council which I feel are relevant to me.

“I asked him about his thoughts on consulting young people and listening to our views. All in all, I had an excellent time and I hope in the future more shadowing opportunities will come along. I think it empowers young people to voice their opinions and to get a basic understanding of what councillors do in their day to day lives.”

Local Councillor Nigel Howells said: “It was a pleasure to have a young person shadowing me for the day for them to have a better understanding of what my job entails.

“I hope that the exercise showed the young people that their views are important to us and helped them realise how important it is to exercise their right to vote.”

If you are 18 or over, make sure you register on the electoral roll. For further details log on to www.Ivotewales.com.

Community grants 

We are pleased to report that Cardiff's Lib Dem controlled council has approved the following community building grants for 2006/07:

St Germans Church Hall - £5,341 towards new windows and fire doors; and
Adamsdown Community Garden - £5,341 towards access improvements for the disabled.

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