Cardiff Council Updates

Cardiff Newsroom / Newyddian Cymraeg 


Cardiff Council Update: 14 June 2024 /  Cymraeg

Here is your Tuesday update, covering:

  • Travel advice for Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour
  • Organised Crime Group sentenced to a total 25 years in prison, with a further 9 years of suspended sentences
  • Traders at Wales’s biggest free food festival revealed
  • Lollipop Lady celebrates an incredible 50 years of dedicated service.

Travel advice for the Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour on June 18 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff

Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour will be playing at Principality Stadium on June 18th. With the gates to the stadium opening at 4pm, there will be a full city centre road closure around the stadium from 12 noon until midnight – but Cowbridge Road East, Castle Street and Duke Street will remain open until 3pm.

The M4 motorway is expected to be very busy due to this concert – so please plan ahead – and avoid the congestion in Cardiff by using the park & ride at Cardiff City Football Club in Leckwith – CF11 8AZ.

For up to date traffic information on the motorway and trunk roads go to the Traffic Wales website, or @TrafficWalesS on Twitter and Facebook.

Those attending the concert are strongly advised to plan their journey and get in early.  Please pay attention to the prohibited items listed at principalitystadium.wales, in particular the bag policy (no large bags permitted) before travelling into the city.

Read more here

Organised Crime Group sentenced to a total 25 years in prison, with a further 9 years of suspended sentences

Members of a South Wales Organised Crime Group (OCG) which sold illegal tobacco, cigarettes and Nitrous Oxide while money-laundering more than £1.5m were sentenced today to a total of 25 years of immediate imprisonment and 9 years of suspended sentences, at Swansea Crown Court.

All eleven members of the OCG initially pleaded not guilty to a fraud in excess of £1.8m carried out between September 6, 2013, and February 5, 2022. 

But during an initial trial three defendants changed their plea to guilty part way through, and two more defendants pleaded guilty during a second trial in which the remaining six defendants were found guilty of fraud by unanimous verdict.

Four members of the criminal organisation were also found guilty of money laundering offences to the value of more than £1.5million.

During the investigation, officers from Cardiff, and Bridgend and Vale councils’ Shared Regulatory Services (SRS) seized £600,000 of illegal tobacco, based on market cost, along with £12,500 worth of Nitrous Oxide cannisters.

Read more here

Traders at Wales’s biggest free food festival revealed

Serving up some of the tastiest treats in town and an eclectic line-up of local musicians, Cardiff Food and Drink Festival is back in Cardiff Bay for summer 2024 – and it promises to be a real feast for the senses!

Taking place in the Oval Basin from Friday July 5th– Sunday July 7th, Wales’s biggest free food festival supports more than 100 small businesses including festival favourites like The Mighty Softshell Crab, Café Cannoli, and bringing their garlicky goodness all the way from the Isle of Wight, The Garlic Farm.

There are also plenty of local heroes to celebrate, whether it’s renowned Cardiff eatery, Purple Poppadom’s street food with an Indian twist, Samosaco’s vegetarian and vegan snacks -including their famous Onion Bhaji Scotch Eggs – or the dangerously delicious premium brioche doughnuts and cookies baked by Cardiff Dough & Co less than 5 miles from the Festival site.

Notable new faces at the festival this year include Artur Brew & Co, a new independent microbrewery that have been selling high quality craft beers from their base in Crickhowell since April this year. If you’re in the mood for mead, make a beeline for fellow festival first-timers Hive Mind Mead who make their drinks from honey collected across the Wye Valley.

Read more here

Lollipop Lady celebrates an incredible 50 years of dedicated service

Pentyrch Primary School will celebrate a remarkable milestone this week, as Hazel Davies marks 50 years of service as a lollipop lady.

Known for her motto, “Safe Journey Home” Hazel has dedicated her life to ensuring the safety of children and their families on the roads and, regardless of the weather, she has become a consistent and reassuring presence at the school.

During her time as a Cardiff Council School Crossing Patrol, Hazel has been awarded the British Empire Medal for her services and her commitment and inspirational spirit have made her a beloved figure in the community. She has educated generations on road safety and has even inspired her daughter and husband, John to take up the role.

Sarah Coombes, Executive Headteacher of Pentyrch Primary School, praised Hazel’s dedication, stating, “Hazel is an integral part of the Pentyrch School Community and we would all like to congratulate her on this remarkable achievement as she celebrates 50 years as a Lollipop Lady.

“Hazel has given her life in service to the families of Cardiff schools, spending the last 27 years at Pentyrch Primary School. She makes a point of getting to know all of our families and goes out of her way to chat to everyone. Her spirit never wavers and come rain or shine she is out on the crossing day in day out keeping the children safe. The school community is hugely grateful to her for her dedication and commitment as she celebrates her special day.”

Read More Here


Cardiff Council Update: 31 May 2024 / Cymraeg

 Here is your Friday update, covering:

  • Babies Remembrance Service
  • Council launches new consultation document to tackle inequality in Cardiff
  • Recent Estyn inspection recognises Birchgrove Primary School’s shining stars
  • Cardiff Dogs Home residents have a new garden to enjoy

Babies Remembrance Service

A Babies Remembrance Service will be held at 11.30am on Sunday June 30th at the ‘Dear Mum’ garden at Western Cemetery.

Based around the story of a young mouse called Dora who wishes she could tell her mother how much she misses her, the ‘Dear Mum’ sculpture garden is designed to help young children cope with the loss of a loved one and provide a place of remembrance for parents who have lost a baby.

The memorial service is supported by the Stillbirth and Neonatal Deaths Society (Sands) and will be led by members of the University Hospital of Wales Chaplaincy team. Everyone is welcome to attend, and members of the Cardiff branch of Sands will be available at the service.

Cabinet Member with responsibility for Bereavement Services, Cllr Norma Mackie, said: “The ‘Dear Mum’ garden is a fitting location for this service, which offers families who have experienced the sad loss of a baby an opportunity to reflect and remember, in a caring and supportive environment.”

Read more here

Council launches new consultation document to tackle inequality in Cardiff

Cardiff Council has published a comprehensive new consultation document outlining how it plans to tackle inequality in the city over the next four years.

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (2024-2028) is designed to explain the measures that the authority is embracing to ensure its aim of a ‘Stronger, Fairer, Greener’ Cardiff is achieved.

A report on the consultation approved by the Council’s Cabinet yesterday (May 23) stresses that creating a ‘Fairer’ city means “ensuring that the many great opportunities of living in Cardiff can be enjoyed by everyone, whatever their background, where those suffering from disadvantage are supported and where every citizen is valued and feels valued.”

It also outlines that the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), which came into force in 2011, ensures the following characteristics are protected:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race – including ethnic or national origin, colour or nationality
  • Religion or belief, including lack of religion or belief
  • Sex, and
  • Sexual orientation

The PSED also requires councils to publish objectives at least every four years and to publish a statement detailing the steps it has taken or intends to take to meet them, including tackling any gender pay gap.

Cllr Julie Sangani, the lead Cabinet Member for Public Health and Equalities, said Cardiff already had a proud history of promoting equality and diversity. “We are the most ethnically diverse local authority in Wales and one of the oldest ethnically diverse communities in Britain, with more than 100 languages spoken here.

“We also rank as the top city in Europe for immigrants and families with young children and we are a top 10 city for members of the LGBTQ+ community to live.

“Like all UK cities, however, we face instances of long-standing and deep-rooted inequality. Some residents face barriers to living full and active lives and more needs to be done to ensure that no-one experiences discrimination of any kind because of who they are.

“The patterns of poverty and inequality that emerged a generation ago remain, having been compounded by the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. Closing the inequality gap will require the ongoing delivery of excellent education, creating jobs that provide opportunities for progression and delivering sustainable housing solutions which meet the needs of all, as well as reducing health inequalities.”

Read more here

Recent Estyn inspection recognises Birchgrove Primary School’s shining stars

Birchgrove Primary School has recently undergone a successful inspection by Estyn, His Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales which highlights the school’s positive culture and strong leadership.

Inspectors found the school to be an inclusive and happy learning community, with pupils demonstrating excellent behaviour and a positive attitude towards learning. The school’s commitment to fostering a strong culture of care and understanding is evident.

The report gives praise for the engaging curriculum, which includes a wide range of authentic and stimulating learning experiences. Teachers provide diverse opportunities for pupils to develop their literacy, numeracy, and digital skills, which they enthusiastically apply across various educational activities. Additionally, the school offers a rich selection of extracurricular activities and educational visits, further enhancing the student experience.

Cardiff Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Sarah Merry said: “Estyn have acknowledged the good work taking place at Birchgrove Primary School and the report shines a light on the nurturing environment that has been established.

“I would like to congratulate the head, staff, pupils and families for achieving this positive report.”

The headteacher, Mrs Morgan, who has been with the school since 2012, was commended for her strong leadership and for fostering a vision centred around preparing pupils for their future lives and community-focused learning. The school’s governing body was also recognised for its effective collaboration with staff, pupils, and parents in supporting ongoing improvement.

Headteacher Mrs Sarah Morgan said, “The school community is delighted that inspectors recognised the excellent work of both pupils and staff as well as the school’s strong identity where pupils are clearly proud of being Birchgrove Stars. We are very fortunate to have a dedicated and talented team of staff who work closely with families and Governors to ensure that the school motto ‘Where every child is a star’ reflects the ethos of the school and enables all children to achieve highly.”

Mrs Christine Salter, Chair of Governors, added, “Governors are very pleased that the inspectors recognised that Birchgrove Primary School is a happy and inclusive community and that pupils have a positive attitude towards their learning.”

Read more here

Cardiff Dogs Home residents have a new garden to enjoy

Residents staying at Cardiff Dogs Home have a new garden to enjoy as they wait to find their forever home.

The garden, which provides the dogs with additional space to exercise and play with the Dogs Home team, has been made possible with support from the Home’s affiliated charity the Rescue Hotel, Dogs Home volunteers, Keep Wales Tidy and partnership housing developer, Lovell.

Cabinet Member with responsibility for Cardiff Dogs Home, Cllr Dan De’Ath, said: “Many of the dogs who find themselves at Cardiff Dogs Home have come from difficult situations and they deserve a little luxury during their stay.

“Having this new garden on site will help ensure the dogs can spend more time outside of their kennels, and give them a space where the team can work with them to ensure they’re ready to be rehomed – a big thank you to all our fantastic volunteers, the Rescue Hotel, Keep Wales Tidy, and the team at Lovell who generously supported the project.”

Read more here


Cardiff Council Update: 17 May 2024

Cymraeg

Here is your Friday update, covering:

  • Grant support to improve community buildings
  • New trail exploring the history of Cardiff’s Dock Feeder Canal
  • Green lit plans for a new Willows High School
  • Rugby Codebreakers statue wins Sporting Heritage Award

Grant support to improve community buildings

 Applications for grant funding to support voluntary-sector community organisations to improve their community buildings are now being invited.

Local community and voluntary groups across the city can apply for funding up to £10,000 to carry out internal and external improvements to their buildings such as improving accessibility, enhancing security, kitchen refurbishments, and energy efficiency measures, that would help secure or increase  the use of their facilities by the local community.

Supported by the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund, the Community Building Grants Scheme requires eligible applicants to fund at least 15% of the overall project costs from other sources.

Eligible community buildings include community halls, community centres and other facilities which are used by, and accessible to the whole community, and not just used by a single or restricted number of groups.

A council spokesperson said: “We want to hear from community organisations and local groups who need funding to improve their building so that the local community can make better use of the facility, and from those seeking to respond to the climate emergency by making changes to their building that will help reduce energy usage.”

Funding can be used to enhance or improve the structure of the building, upgrade of fire safety, health and safety or security provisions, install new kitchens, windows and doors or toilet facilities; improve access or upgrade electrical, drainage and lighting systems.

Funding cannot be used for routine maintenance and repair work, staff or running costs, projects benefiting a limited membership or work already underway or completed. Other exclusions apply.

For the grant application pack, visit here

For queries contact: regeneration@cardiff.gov.uk 

The deadline to apply is June 28.

Successful projects must be completed by February 21, 2025.

New trail exploring the history of Cardiff’s Dock Feeder Canal

Built in the 1830s, Cardiff’s Dock Feeder Canal entered a new phase in its history recently, when a section of the city waterway that had been hidden beneath Churchill Way in Cardiff city centre since 1948 was uncovered.

Now, QR codes which can be scanned by a smartphone to connect to information about the canal, have been placed along the entire route – from its source at Blackweir to the Pierhead in Cardiff Bay – to form a new ‘Cardiff Dock Feeder Canal Tour’ which makes the canal’s history even more accessible. The tour can also be followed virtually on the historypoints.org website.

Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Events, Cllr Jennifer Burke, said: “The construction of the Dock Feeder Canal was integral to the coal-trade that fuelled much of Cardiff’s development and the recent re-opening on Churchill Way means it is also very much part of the city’s future. Hopefully this new trail will enable people to discover more about the rich history that sometimes hides just below the surface.”

The new tour, created with the support of Cardiff Council whose property the codes are displayed on, is part of the ‘HistoryPoints’ project. Established in 2012 the project aims to help people connect with local history using their smartphones. Since then, the non-profit organisation has installed QR codes at more than 2,200 points of historic interest across Wales.

Read more here

Green lit plans for a new Willows High School

Cardiff Council’s Planning Committee have given the go-head for a brand-new home for Willows High School to be constructed on land off Lewis Road in Splott.

The scheme represents more than £50m investment and will see the existing school relocated and rebuilt, providing capacity for 900 learners aged 11 to 16 years in addition to a 30 place Special Resource Base for pupils with Additional Learning Needs and offering access to excellent quality education environments to support and enhance teaching and learning.

Delivered under Cardiff Council and Welsh Government’s Band B, Sustainable Communities for Learning programme, the new school will have a community focus and offer comprehensive sports facilities such as a sports hall, gym, drama studio, 3G and grass pitches, which will be available for public use outside of school hours. The scheme will also provide improved pedestrian facilities to support active travel arrangements in the area.

Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council, and Cabinet Member for Education Cllr Sarah Merry, said: “The reality of delivering an excellent brand-new, modern home for Willows High School moves one step closer with the approval of planning. This development represents a significant investment in the local area and will provide exceptional facilities, expertise and teaching opportunities for students and staff, as well as offering superb facilities for the whole community to enjoy and benefit from.

“The progression of the new school build, reaffirms our commitment to making sure all of Cardiff’s children have opportunities to learn in high quality school settings and supports Cardiff’s Child Friendly City status which prioritises the rights and needs of children and young people, putting them at the heart of everything we do.”

Read more here

Rugby Codebreakers statue wins Sporting Heritage Award

A statue honouring Cardiff’s legendary ‘Rugby Codebreakers’ – has won the ‘Celebrating Black Sporting Heritage Award’ category at the Sporting Heritage Awards.

Unveiled in Cardiff Bay in July last year, the statue of Billy Boston, Clive Sullivan and Gus Risman is the first in Wales ever to feature non-fictionalised, named black men.

The project was inspired by calls from the Butetown and wider Cardiff Bay communities for a fitting tribute to the players, who all grew up close to where their statue now stands, before leaving their hometown and going on to achieve sporting stardom.

Leader of Cardiff Council and Vice chair of the Cardiff Bay Rugby Codebreakers committee, Cllr Huw Thomas, was particularly pleased that the statue had been recognised in the ‘Celebrating Black Sporting Heritage’ category, saying: “These players accomplishments had been undervalued for far too long. They brought pride to themselves, their families, the sport, and the multicultural communities in Cardiff which they grew up in and they deserved to be celebrated in their own hometown.

“The statue will act as a source of inspiration for generations to come and I’m delighted that its contribution to celebrating black sporting heritage has been recognised with this award.”

Read more here

 

Cardiff Council Update: 14 May 2024 / Cymraeg

Here is your Tuesday update, covering:

  • Action plan designed by the local community for Ely and Caerau revealed
  • A new education investment strategy for Cardiff schools
  • Joint Inspectorate Review of Child Protection Arrangements (JICPA) acknowledge strengths in Cardiff
  • Council helps city cricket club bounce back from vandalism and racism

Action plan designed by the local community for Ely and Caerau revealed

A package of measures – designed to improve the lives of young people and the local community in the Cardiff estates of Ely and Caerau – has been agreed by Welsh Government and Cardiff’s Public Services Board.

The Plan – aimed at addressing the concerns and improving the lives of residents in the area – was created by the local community, working with the Public Services Board (PSB), which includes Cardiff Council, South Wales Police, and Cardiff and Vale Health Board.

Action for Caerau and Ely (ACE) – a local organisation with a long record of supporting the local community – undertook a lead role, working closely with the PSB while engaging widely with residents of all ages. This approach was designed to ensure that the community plan is deeply rooted in the needs and aspirations of the people of Caerau and Ely and was driven from the grassroots up.

Published on Tuesday, May 14, the agreed plan has set out 40 objectives which focus on six key themes:

1. Children and young people

2. Community safety and safeguarding

3. Spaces and the environment

4. Health and wellbeing

5. Employment, living standards and cost of living

6. Communications and community building

Read more here

New education investment strategy for Cardiff schools revealed

A new education investment strategy aimed at ensuring more young people across Cardiff will have opportunities to learn in high quality school settings now and in the future, has been published by Cardiff Council.

The strategy – which covers the next nine years up until 2033 – provides a framework for future decision making and supports Cardiff’s Child Friendly City status which prioritises the rights and needs of children and young people, putting them at the heart of everything we do. It builds on the good work already carried out across the city as part of Cardiff’s Sustainable Communities for Learning programme (previously known as the 21st Century Schools Programme).

Over the past ten years, more than £460m has been invested in completing construction of three new secondary schools, with two more underway, nine new primary schools, hundreds of additional specialist places for children and young people with complex Additional Learning Needs and upgrading works to many other schools across the city.

Cllr Sarah Merry, Cardiff’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, said: “The education investment which this administration has driven since 2014 has seen real progress made in Cardiff. The number of Cardiff schools which offer a high-quality educational experience to their pupils, as evidenced by Estyn reports, has grown significantly. This has been driven by strong leadership, our governors, our head teachers, our teachers, and our teaching support staff, alongside our hard-working pupils. We have always sought to do our best, within available budgets, to improve the environment for teaching and learning in the city, and this work, and this investment, has also played its part helping Cardiff leap up the education ranks in Wales to produce some of the best exam results in the country for A-Levels and GCSEs in recent years.”

Read more here

Joint Inspectorate Review of Child Protection Arrangements (JICPA) acknowledge strengths in Cardiff’s Education and Children’s Services

The findings of a Joint Inspection of Child Protection Arrangements (JICPA) by Cardiff Council, South Wales Police and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board have been published.

The extensive review focused on evaluating the city’s multi-agency response to abuse and neglect allegations, assessment and decision-making quality, protection of children aged 11 and under at risk of harm, leadership, and management effectiveness in child protection efforts and the robustness of multi-agency safeguarding partner arrangements.

Conducted by Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW), His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) and His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales (Estyn), key findings include:

High Demand and Complexity

Cardiff is facing persistently high levels of demand and increasing complexity in children’s safeguarding. Despite challenges such as budget constraints and workforce deficits, there is a positive focus on safeguarding across agencies.

Positive Partnership Working

Professional relationships across agencies are robust, with a culture of safeguarding promoted as a collective responsibility. Recent changes in governance arrangements aim to strengthen monitoring, accountability, and coordination across the partnership.

Effective Multi-Agency Response

The multi-agency response to safeguarding referrals is generally proportionate and thorough, with a focus on the needs of the child and timely action to reduce risks of harm.

Strengths-Based Approach

Cardiff adopts a strengths-based and solution-led approach, ensuring families are involved in the design and delivery of care and support protection plans. Evidence-based approaches are utilised to reduce risks and meet children’s needs.

Education Excellence

Cardiff schools prioritise safeguarding, ensuring learners are safe and supported. Strong partnerships between education and children’s services facilitate continuous improvement and targeted support for vulnerable pupils.

Promotion of Cultural Sensitivity

Practitioners demonstrate a good understanding of cultural needs and prioritise culturally sensitive practices, ensuring effective engagement with diverse communities.

The report highlights several significant achievements specifically across Cardiff Council’s Children’s Services and Education.

Cllr Ash Lister, Cardiff’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Services said: “Safeguarding children and young people is a collective effort, and this report highlights the importance of multi-agency working between the Local Authority, schools, police, and health board. The report recognises the continued challenges being experienced across the UK and the rise in demand and complexity of cases. However, inspectors have found Cardiff Council to have a positive focus on safeguarding where our front-line staff, managers and leadership have a good understanding of the experiences of children and families that need help and protection. Practitioners understand their roles, information is shared efficiently, and children’s voices are heard.”

Cardiff’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Sarah Merry added: “This report underscores Cardiff’s commitment to support, safeguarding and continuous improvement in education and children’s services and it reflects the significant work that has been carried out to establish a culture of safeguarding across the Local Authority, which is promoted as everyone’s collective responsibility.”

Read more here

Council helps city cricket club bounce back from vandalism and racism

Two years ago, at the end of a successful season, Llandaff Cricket Club was looking forward to a bright future, introducing the sport to women, boys and girls, in addition to continuing its senior teams’ rise up the local league tables.

Then, in October 2022, the club was attacked by mindless vandals who broke into its pavilion at Llandaff Fields, damaged its equipment and sprayed far-right graffiti on the walls, horrifying the club members, many of whom had spent years developing it into a mainstay of the local community.

Undaunted, the club resolved to bounce back stronger and embarked on a crowd-funding campaign to replace the equipment and, with the help of Cardiff Council which owns Llandaff Playing Fields, negotiate a 25-year lease, putting it on a secure footing for ongoing development.

Now, the future for Llandaff Cricket Club looks bright once more.

A key part of its recovery has been the creation of a new practice nets facility that overlooks its ground at Llandaff Fields.

Situated on land once taken up by unused tennis courts, and developed with the help of England and Wales Cricket Board, Sport Wales and Street Games Wales, it is as good as any of the artificial surface nets at the nearby headquarters of Glamorgan Cricket Club and was unveiled in a ceremony at the weekend attended by Cardiff Council leader Cllr Huw Thomas and Cllr Jennifer Burke, the Cabinet member for Culture, Parks, Events and Venues, along with the area’s Assembly Member, Mark Drakeford, and the Cardiff West MP Kevin Brennan.

“We’ve been delighted to help the club after the awful events of 2022,” said Cllr Burke. “Llandaff Cricket Club has long been a beacon of diversity in Cardiff and is bringing cricket to the wider community through its juniors, girls and women’s teams. We hope that with the new 25-year lease in place, the club now has a solid platform to grow and introduce even more people to the sport.”

In a speech at the event, Cllr Thomas praised the efforts of the council team which had repaired and decorated the pavilion to remove the offending graffiti, bringing it back into use for this season. The team also helped the club organise the lease of the land, which includes a parcel earmarked for a new pavilion.

Cllr Thomas also praised the club members who had worked hard to ensure it has emerged from the trauma stronger than ever.

He said the council wholeheartedly backed sport right across the city, hailing it as a ‘silver bullet’ which can bring communities and generations together, enhance social cohesion and embody the authority’s ‘Stronger, Fairer, Greener’ ethos.

Read more here


Cardiff Council Update: 12 April 2024 Cymraeg

Here is your Friday update, covering:

  • Quality of recycling in Cardiff increasing significantly due to the new recycling scheme
  • Cardiff residents need photo ID to vote at elections in May
  • Cardiff-based musicians commissioned to create new ‘Sound of the City’. 

Quality of recycling in Cardiff increasing significantly due to the new recycling scheme

The latest roll out of the new ‘sack sort’ recycling scheme to 37,000 properties across Cardiff has resulted in a significant improvement in the quality of recycling collected from residents’ homes, Cardiff Council can reveal.

After running the scheme for six weeks the council’s latest household recycling figures show that around 92% of waste collected from residents’ homes via the new system can be recycled. Under the co-mingled green bag collection scheme only 70% of material collected is able to be recycled, via our internal processes.

The rollout is producing similar figures to the pilot project which took place last year showing the scheme’s clear value when it comes to improving the quality of the recycling collected.

A spokesperson for Cardiff Council said: “The figures we are seeing are making a big difference and we want to take this opportunity to thank residents for getting on board with the scheme and adapting to it so quickly. The figures right now show a significant and continuous improvement compared with the co-mingled (green bag) collection system.

“Residents are doing a brilliant job. Separating recyclables into different streams is leading to less contamination. Thirty per cent of what we pick up in the co-mingled, green, plastic bags is unrecyclable. In many instances those bags would contain food waste or dirty nappies among other things, causing a nuisance to our staff, costing the council further money to incinerate the non-recyclable waste, and creating issues with animals and birds breaking open bags on the street. The new system makes it harder for animals and birds to break open the sacks, but the fact they contain less food waste than we were finding in green bags is also helping fix this problem. The scheme is working and will help us get closer to achieving Welsh Government’s recycling targets and will reduce the environmental impacts relating to the carbon emissions of producing new raw materials.”

More here: https://www.cardiffnewsroom.co.uk/releases/c25/33370.html

Cardiff residents need photo ID to vote at elections in May

Residents in Cardiff will need to show photographic ID to vote in the Police and Crime Commissioner election on May 2.

Residents are being urged to make sure they are ready to vote by checking they have an accepted form of ID, which includes a UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Commonwealth passport or drivers’ licence; and some concessionary travel passes, such as an older person’s bus pass. Voters will be able to use expired ID if they are still recognisable from the photo.  The full list of accepted ID is here: https://www.cardiff.gov.uk/ENG/Your-Council/Voting-and-elections/Elections-Act-2022/Pages/default.aspx

Anyone who does not have one of the accepted forms of ID will be able to apply for free ID online at www.voter-authority-certificate.service.gov.uk/ or by completing a paper form. The deadline to apply is April 24.

Paul Orders, Returning Officer at Cardiff Council, said: “With elections taking place in Cardiff on May 2, it is important that those who want to vote in a polling station make sure they have an accepted form of ID, and if they don’t, they should apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate. Anyone needing help with applying for the free ID or who wants to request an application form, can email electoralservices@cardiff.gov.uk

 “Details on a voter’s photo ID must be the same as the information we hold for them on the electoral register, so if anyone has changed their name, or moved house recently, we encourage them to update their details on the register before the deadline on April 16 to ensure they can cast their vote in a polling station on May 2.”

More here: https://www.cardiffnewsroom.co.uk/releases/c25/33356.html

Cardiff-based musicians commissioned to create new ‘Sound of the City’

Four talented Cardiff-based musicians have received ‘Sound of the City’ commissions to support the creation of experimental new work, some of which will be presented later this year as part of the recently announced Cardiff Music City festival.

The ‘musicians-in-residence’ awarded commissions are N’famady Kouyaté, Natalie Roe, Eugene Capper and Gemma Smith.

The commissions, which are supported by Welsh Government, Cardiff Council and Cardiff Music Board, form part of Cardiff Council’s music strategy and aim to nurture and sustain development in the city’s music sector.

More here: https://www.cardiffnewsroom.co.uk/releases/c25/33361.html


Cardiff Council Update: 05 April 2024

Cymraeg

Here is your Friday update, covering:

  • Bomb hero honoured on 100th birthday as World War II saviour of City Hall
  • Pentwyn community gives views on leisure centre plans
  • Flexible learning opportunities to boost career prospects
  • Stateside Success for film makers from Cardiff’s Youth Services

Bomb hero honoured on 100th birthday as World War II saviour of City Hall

Cardiff Council has honoured a man who saved City Hall from destruction when he tackled an incendiary bomb dropped on its roof during a German air raid during World War II.

On the night of February 2, 1941, 16-year-old Ronald Brignall was walking home from college where he was studying for his plumbing qualifications. As he passed City Hall, the air raid sirens heralded the onset of a German bombing attack and he saw an incendiary bomb land on its roof.

With no thought for his own safety, he grabbed two sandbags and, holding one under his arm and another gripped between his teeth, he scaled a drainpipe and climbed 25 feet to the roof and doused the flames – cheered on by the official fire-watchers standing below.

As if that wasn’t heroic enough, Mr Brignall then went down and carried a fire hose back up the drainpipe – again gripped between his teeth – and finished the job while the fire-watchers supplied water via a stirrup pump on the ground.

By the end of his mission, despite the ongoing raid, a crowd had gathered to hail him as a hero but, despite local newspapers at the time recording his exploits, there has been no official recognition of a feat that averted the destruction of one of Cardiff’s grandest and most historic buildings.

Until now.

Today, as Mr Brignall celebrates his 100th birthday, the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Cllr Bablin Molik, travelled to the care home in Sussex where he now lives to present him with a special certificate thanking him for his heroism and recording the events of that day in 1941 for posterity.

At the time, Mr Brignall’s only comment was that his jaw was sore from carrying the 12lb bag of sand up to the roof – and he’d ruined his suit – but today he said that at the time he was excited at being able to make some small contribution to the war effort. “I was only a teenager,” he said, “and I didn’t have any fear. I just wanted to make sure the bomb didn’t do any damage to City Hall.”

Determined to make even more of a contribution to the war effort, he later became an official fire-watcher, helping to protect Cardiff, and In 1944, he joined the RAF and became a rear-gunner on Whitley and Halifax bombers, featuring in Operation Varsity, the crossing of the Rhine by the Allies, in 1945.

Read more here

Pentwyn community gives views on leisure centre plans 

More than 180 people attended a two-day Cardiff Council drop-in session last week to examine plans and give their views on the proposed refurbishment and re-opening of Pentwyn Leisure Centre.

The sessions were a chance for local people to discuss with council officials the details of the refurbishment, planned to take place after the centre is vacated in May by Cardiff Rugby Club, which has been using the centre for its training sessions.

Among the new facilities planned are:

  • A 25m pool with an adaptable moving floor which allows for the depth of the water to be varied, enabling it to be used for a wide range of activities and saving heating costs. The pool slide will also be retained
  • Retaining the existing sports hall and outdoor mini-3G pitch
  • Re-opening the studio and gym facilities and refurbishing the changing rooms
  • Investing in roof-mounted solar panels and an air source heat pump to heat the pool

A Cardiff Council spokesman said: “We were pleased that so many people turned up and that we were able to listen to their views and explain the new plans for the centre. We received positive feedback on our decision to change the pool design and on increasing the size and depth of the new pool. We hope to get on site soon to begin works.”

Read more here

Flexible learning opportunities to boost career prospects

Enrolment is now open for adult learning courses starting later this month.

Adult Learning Cardiff provides courses suitable for learners of all abilities in Cardiff and is currently offering a wide range of vocational training and digital support that can help individuals improve their employment prospects.

Summer term courses start from April 15 and enrolment is happening now for courses such as Food Safety, First Aid, Health and Safety-related training, Childcare , various numeracy training courses, and many more.

Courses are free to eligible learners and are designed to help people  take their first steps back into learning, take part in further training or access employment opportunities.

The service also provides digital support to Cardiff residents, including introductions to basic computer skills for those looking to upskill to get in to work, or for anyone who wants to get to grips with the latest technology.

Courses are held in hubs and community buildings across the city.

Read more here

Stateside Success for film makers from Cardiff’s Youth Services

Six young people aged 13-17 from Cardiff Youth Services have returned from a unique youth exchange to Carlsbad, California where they scooped the Broadcast Excellence Award at the Student Television Network Convention.

The 11-day trip focussed on film making and attendance to the convention, held at Long Beach Convention Centre, provided a wealth of opportunities for the budding film makers to develop skills, compete in national competitions, attend workshops from industry experts and share culture.

The Broadcast Excellence Awards, presented by the Student Television Network was awarded to the young people from Cardiff Youth Services for their work on Butetown Buzz, a news show co-created with young people where they write scripts, film, report and edit.

The awards celebrate outstanding achievement in student-produced television programming, recognising creativity, innovation, and technical skill across various categories, including news, sports, entertainment, and documentary. Winners showcase the next generation of media talent and inspire excellence in broadcasting.

Whilst in California the group were hosted by American families, attended school, appeared on a young person lead daily television show and took part in cultural activities including trips to Disneyland and Lego Land.

Read more here


Cardiff Council Update: 22 March 2024

Cymraeg

Here is your Friday update, covering:

  • Pierhead Clock restored to its former glory
  • Live music to provide city soundtrack this weekend
  • Revised plans for Pentwyn Leisure Centre to be presented to community
  • First for Cardiff as store caught selling illegal tobacco products is closed down by council

Pierhead Clock restored to its former glory 

A famous Cardiff landmark – the Pierhead Clock – has been fully restored and is being reinstalled in its protective glass box in Lower St Mary Street later today (18 March).

The clock’s casing will also feature new lighting which will see it lit up at night for everyone to enjoy.

The 19-century time piece was built in 1896 for the Bute Docks Building in Cardiff Bay, now known as the Pierhead Building, which was completed in 1897. The bell within the clock was forged by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, the same company that forged the historic Liberty Bell in New York.

Designed by the renowned architect Williams Fame, the Pierhead Building was the headquarters of the Bute Dock Company, which played a crucial role in the development of Cardiff Docks, for the export of coal from the South Wales Valleys to destinations around the world.

The Pierhead building was a recognised landmark for sailors who knew they had reached home safely when they saw the tower.

More recently, the clock, also known as the Monkey Clock, was bought by an American collector, Alan Heldman, who held the time piece in his workshop for 30 years until the council bought the clock back to Cardiff in 2005. Read more here

Live music to provide city soundtrack this weekend

Imagine a city soundtracked by music. A city where the sound of hip-hop and drum ‘n’ bass rumbles over the walls of a 2,000 year old castle, where gypsy jazz floats from the balcony of Victorian arcades, and shoppers are serenaded by string quartets and blissed-out Americana-tinged folk. That city is Cardiff, this weekend.

Local artists including Rona Mac, Pigeon Wigs, Keys Collective, Kitty, Junior Bill and Siglo 6 will all take to pop-up stages across the city centre, along with brass bands, Welsh language folk and classical performers, as part of a ‘City Soundtrack’ event supported by Welsh Government and Cardiff Council.

The event, from midday to 4pm on Saturday March 23rd and Sunday March 24th, is part of Cardiff’s music strategy development work.

City Soundtrack is the first of many musical interventions planned for the coming months, all of which are designed to showcase some of the talented musicians who call Cardiff home, and put music at the heart of Cardiff’s development.

Performances will take place at Cardiff Castle, Churchill Way, Castle Arcade, Cardiff Market (St Mary Street entrance), Cardiff Train Station/Central Square and the Hayes/Barry Lane. Read more here

Revised plans for Pentwyn Leisure Centre to be presented to community

Revised plans for Pentywn Leisure Centre will be presented to the local community at two drop-in events next week.

The events will take place at Pentwyn Leisure Centre on Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th March from 10am – 6pm.

The plans, which have been revised following Cardiff Rugby’s recent decision to withdraw from the centre, include a 25-metre swimming pool.

The pool will feature an adaptable, moving floor which allows the depth of the water to be varied. This feature enables the pool to be used for a wide range of swimming and ‘splash’ activities, as well as reducing the energy needed to heat the water. The current slide will also be retained.

The existing sports hall and outdoor mini 3G pitch will be retained and the studio and gym facilities re-opened. The changing rooms will also benefit from a full refurbishment.

The energy performance of the centre will be upgraded through roof mounted solar panels and an air source heat pump to heat the pool. Together these investments will help to reduce the operational cost of running the centre and improve the carbon performance of the building. Read more here

First for Cardiff as store caught selling illegal tobacco products is closed down by council 

Kermashan Mini Market, 136 Clifton Street, Cardiff, has been closed down by Shared Regulatory Services after complaints about the sale of illegal tobacco and nitrous oxide cannisters.

This is the first time that enforcement powers have been used in this way by Cardiff Council.

The shop will be closed for a minimum of three months, for selling Class C drugs and other illegal and dangerous products to its customers.

The ‘Closure Order’, imposed by Cardiff Magistrates’ Court today (21 March) means that the shop must close with immediate effect and any trading for three months thereafter could result in the owner receiving three months in prison, a fine, or both.

The case came to light when complaints were received that the shop was selling illegal tobacco products and Nitrous Oxide canisters.

Trading Standards opened an investigation and test purchases were made. The results showed that the shop was selling counterfeit tobacco, illegal vapes, duty free cigarettes smuggled into the UK and Nitrous Oxide. The cost of 50g of counterfeit Amber Leaf tobacco was being sold for as little as £5 when the average retail price is £40. Read more here


Cardiff Council Update: 15 March 2024

Cymraeg

Here is your Friday update, covering:

  • £1billion investment in delivering affordable homes for Cardiff
  • Council pledges to combat racial discrimination in the workplace
  • Travel advice for Wales vs Italy on 16 March in Cardiff
  • Plans for a ‘Green Paper’ into Green Energy investment revealed

£1billion investment in delivering affordable homes for Cardiff

Building new council homes at a time of unprecedented demand for housing and homelessness services remains paramount for Cardiff Council over the coming year.

In its Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan for 2024/25, the authority sets out the key priorities for its wide range of Housing services, helping to deliver the strategic commitments set out in the Council’s ‘Stronger Fairer Greener’ vision.

Following an extremely challenging year in which the Council declared a housing emergency due to exceptional pressures and unabating demand for homelessness services, delivering more affordable housing at scale and pace is at the top of the list to address the significant levels of need.

An ambitious development programme that will ultimately deliver more than 4,000 new homes over the next 10 years reached the 1,000 new council homes milestone in 2023, with the Council’s stock now up to 14,000 homes across the city.

Work to increase the number of sites within the development programme is ongoing, to ensure the delivery of 2,800 council homes and 1,200 homes for sale.

Dealing with homelessness features heavily in the plan, both in terms of preventing households from losing their home and alleviating homelessness when it does happen.

The rapid installation of modular homes at the Gasworks site in Grangetown to support homeless families demonstrates the innovative solutions the Council is utilising to increase temporary accommodation while the alignment of Housing Solutions, Homelessness Prevention and Advice services now provide a complete package of help and support to people who are experiencing homelessness issues.

Read more here

Council pledges to combat racial discrimination in the workplace

Cardiff Council has become the latest local authority to sign up to UNISON’s anti-racism charter.

The charter, which aims to tackle racism in the public sector, commits organisations and their leaders to having a clear and visible race equality policy, as well as to a programme of anti-racism initiatives.

It was developed in response to a survey by UNISON – the largest public sector union – of 1,000 black workers in London which revealed that only 30% felt their employer took race equality seriously.

Included in the charter are a series of pledges committing the council to introduce measures within the next 12 months, including:

  • Recognising the need and benefit in championing a racially diverse workforce
  • Challenging racism internally and externally wherever it arises in the organisation
  • Providing unconscious bias and anti-racism training for all staff members
  • Reviewing recruitment processes to identify and address race disparities in equality of opportunity, and
  • Being anti-racist, not just non-racist in everything it does

Read more here

Travel advice for Wales vs Italy on 16 March in Cardiff

Wales will be taking on Italy on Saturday 16 March at Principality Stadium.

With the kick-off taking place at 2.15pm – there will be a full city centre road closure from 10.15am until 6.15pm to ensure all ticket holders can get into and out of the stadium safely.

The M4 motorway is expected to be very busy – please plan ahead – and avoid the congestion in Cardiff by using the park & ride at the former Toy’s R Us site car park in the Sports Village.

Gates open at 12pm, those attending the rugby match are strongly advised to plan their journey and get in early. Please pay attention to the prohibited items listed at principalitystadium.wales, in particular the bag policy (no large bags permitted) before travelling into the city.

Read more here

Plans for a ‘Green Paper’ into Green Energy investment revealed

Plans for a ‘Green Paper’ to explore investment opportunities around the green energy transition linked to Cardiff Council’s response to the climate emergency and carbon neutral targets have been revealed.

The Green Paper aims to provide a clearer picture of:

  • the scale of funding required to meet carbon neutral targets;
  • the economic opportunities of a green energy transition; and
  • the impact of national policies and initiatives.

Carbon emissions generated directly by Cardiff Council have reduced by 11.7% since work began on its One Planet Cardiff strategy in response to the climate emergency in 2019/20, but a report due to be discussed at a Cabinet meeting on March 21st, outlines a number of significant emerging challenges.

The report also highlights the risk to Cardiff from flooding as a result of climate change, regardless of the city’s efforts to reduce emissions. To mitigate this risk the Council is in the process of developing a number of flood prevention schemes including a major coastal flood defence scheme on spanning 1.5 kilometres along the foreshore.

Read more here


Cardiff Council Update: 12 March 2024

Darllen yn Gymraeg

Here is your Tuesday update, covering:

  • Work begins on new flood defences to protect Cardiff homes
  • Cardiff’s plan to improve key bus routes revealed
  • New design and build partner set to be appointed for Cardiff Crossrail

Construction of new flood defence system to protect Cardiff homes begins

Construction of a new Flood Defence scheme that will protect 2,800 homes from the risk of flooding has begun.

Spanning 1.5 kilometres along the foreshore, from Tidefields Road to the River Rhymney estuary, the £35 million scheme, the majority of which is funded by Welsh Government, will take around three years to complete and is designed to:

  • protect properties from rising sea levels for the next 100 years.
  • provide defence against a one-in-200-year severe weather event, including allowing for the effects of climate change.

The work will see 150,000 tonnes of rock armour protection installed along the coastline to manage erosion and high tides as well as sheet piling and maintained earth embankments along the river estuary.

As part of the project, improvements to the condition of the stretch of Wales Coast Path located within the boundaries of the scheme will also be made, alongside access improvements to the path.

Read more here

Cardiff’s plan to improve key bus routes revealed

A new plan to improve six key bus routes into Cardiff city centre, designed to boost passenger numbers and deliver quicker journey times, has been revealed.

The Bus Infrastructure Plan, which sets out a series of possible on-street interventions aimed at improving key bus corridors into Cardiff, will be discussed by the council’s Cabinet at its meeting on Thursday, March 21.

The plan, that has been produced in consultation with Cardiff Bus, Transport for Wales, and other operators, sets out a series of improvements which could make bus travel quicker and more reliable.

If approved by Cabinet, authority will be given to consult with the public on the plans.

An outline of the proposed six key bus routes:

Route 1) Ely to the City Centre – This route will connect Ely, Trelai, Canton and Riverside with onward connections to the city centre.

Route 2) University Hospital for Wales to the International Sports Village – This route has been chosen to ensure a vital bus route to the University Hospital of Wales, and provide a key connection to Grangetown, The International Sports Village and on to the Vale of Glamorgan.

Route 3) City Centre to Newport Road, onto Cardiff Parkway and Newport – This route will run from the City Centre down Newport Road to Cardiff Parkway and onto the Newport boundary. This will provide services to Pentwyn, Pontprennau, Rumney and St Mellons.

Route 4) City Centre to Cardiff Bay – This route would look to future proof current bus routes to support future developments and existing railway routes.

Route 5) City Centre to North Cardiff, RCT and Caerphilly – This route is the most established bus route so far and is made up of several routes that connect with North Cardiff through Gabalfa Roundabout and on to the city centre, with ongoing travel to both RCT and Caerphilly.

Route 6) City Centre to Plasnewydd and Northeast Cardiff – This route will connect the highly-populated areas of Plasnewydd and Penylan, providing access to key educational facilities.

Read more here

New design and build partner set to be appointed for Cardiff Crossrail

The first phase of Cardiff Crossrail has taken a step forward today – with news that a design and build partner is set to be appointed, to deliver the detailed design for the first phase of the scheme from Cardiff Central to Cardiff Bay railway station.

Cardiff Council’s Cabinet will receive an update on the scheme at its meeting on Thursday, March 21, with recommendations to procure and appoint a delivery partner to deliver the first phase of the scheme, and to give authority for the council and Transport for Wales (TfW) to start the consultation and engagement process with the public.

In January 2023, Cardiff Council, in partnership with TfW, secured £100m of funding for the Cardiff Crossrail project. £50m was secured from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund, with Welsh Government match funding a further £50m for the project.

The £50m UK Government funding must be spent by the middle of 2026 and the Welsh Government’s funding will be awarded in four annual instalments of £12.5m each from 2026.

Read more here


Cardiff Council Update: 05 March 2024

Darllen yn Gymraeg

Here is your Tuesday update, covering:

  • Long-term empty properties face 300% council tax premium in bid to bring homes back into use
  • Cardiff Council’s key role in securing Rolls Royce for St Mellons
  • Travel advice for Wales vs France on 10 March in Cardiff

Long-term empty properties face 300% council tax premium in bid to bring homes back into use

Cardiff Council is proposing tough new measures to help bring long-term empty houses in the city back into use.

At a meeting of the Council’s Cabinet, councillors agreed recommendations to raise the council tax premium on some empty properties to as much as 300%.

In 2019 the Council introduced a 50% Council Tax premium for homes left unoccupied and unfurnished for a year, and last March increased this to 100%. The new proposals would see the premium increase incrementally the longer the house has been left, meaning homes that have lain empty for two years face a 200% charge while homes that have been empty for three years or more will face the maximum 300% premium.

Cllr Chris Weaver, the Cabinet Member for Finance, Modernisation and Performance, said: “Our aim is to help bring empty homes back into use. We are facing a housing crisis and we must do everything in our powers to help house those people who need accommodation. Bringing empty homes back into use is one way of helping.

“The longer these properties remain out of use, the more they become a blight on our communities and become a focus of fly tipping, nuisance, vandalism and criminal activity and if they are boarded up they can reduce the appeal of an area for everyone.”

Read more here

Cardiff Council’s key role in securing Rolls Royce for St Mellons

Rolls Royce Submarines decision to open a new office in St Mellons Business Park, Cardiff, creating 130 new jobs has been warmly welcomed by Cardiff Council.

The investment in St Mellons will support the ongoing UK Submarines Programmes including the AUKUS programme recently announced by the Governments of the UK, Australia, and USA.

Cardiff Council has been actively working with the company, the site developer, and our partners, to land this project and the decision is a ‘great endorsement’ for partnership working and in the capital’s skilled labour market and the Cardiff City Region.

A key requirement of the company was that the location needed to attract people with a background in mechanical design, materials engineering, structural integrity analysis, thermal analysis and fluid dynamics and we were able to demonstrate these skills exist – and importantly – can be grown here in the Capital city.

As part of this process the Council worked with the company to establish a trial recruitment fayre in City Hall, supported by Cardiff University and Cardiff and Vale College, which allowed Rolls Royce Submarines to meet local talent and test the skills pipeline at an early stage of the process to show the company the skills available here. It was a great success and it was also clear from the council’s early discussions with Rolls Royce Submarines that the development of the station infrastructure at Parkway was also an important ingredient in the company selecting Cardiff and St Mellons for this exciting project.

Read more here

Travel advice for Wales vs France on 10 March in Cardiff

Wales will be taking on France on Sunday 10 March at Principality Stadium.

With the kick-off taking place at 3pm – there will be a full city centre road closure from 11am until 7pm to ensure all ticket holders can get into and out of the stadium safely.

The M4 motorway is expected to be very busy – please plan ahead – and avoid the congestion in Cardiff by using the park & ride at the former Toy’s R Us site car park in the Sports Village.

Gates open at 12.45pm, those attending the rugby match are strongly advised to plan their journey and get in early.  Please pay attention to the prohibited items listed at principalitystadium.wales, in particular the bag policy (no large bags permitted) before travelling into the city.

Read more here


Cardiff Council Update: 01 March 2024

 Here is your Friday update, covering:

  • Council agrees its vision for next three years
  • The small things making a big difference for Cardiff’s homeless
  • Our City: Our Language – Capital’s new one-stop-shop website for all things Welsh
  • ‘Apple Tree Man’ planted at heart of new Community Orchard site in Bute Park

Council agrees its vision for next three years

Cardiff Council has published its Corporate Plan, outlining the priorities and goals it has set itself for the next three years and beyond.

The document sets out how the Council will deliver its ‘Stronger, Fairer, Greener’ vision for Cardiff, to improve the lives of all its residents through its broad programme of works.

It was discussed initially by the Council’s Scrutiny committees, before being agreed by Cabinet. The plan will now go forward to the full Council meeting on Thursday, March 7, to be debated and voted on.

Council leader Cllr Huw Thomas welcomed the approval of the plan and said it was a vital part of the Council’s commitment to deliver a ‘Stronger, Fairer, Greener’ city for its residents. “We have made good progress since our re-election in 2022. Despite the cost-of-living crisis and the after-effects of the pandemic we believe Cardiff is well-placed to lead the recovery in Wales.

“There is much work to do, however, and these seven clear well-being objectives acknowledge the challenges facing the city but also demonstrate what we want to – and can – achieve.”

Read more here

The small things making a big difference for Cardiff’s homeless

A cooker, a bike, a passport, and a new suit. Relatively small value items can make a big difference to the life of someone experiencing homelessness. This St David’s Day sees the launch of the Small Things Make a Big DIFFerence campaign, with the opening of six new donation points across Cardiff city centre to help tackle homelessness in the Welsh capital.

The campaign is part of the relaunch of Give DIFFerently’s partnership approach to tackling homelessness in Cardiff between FOR Cardiff and existing homeless charities and organisations.

First launched in 2018, Give DIFFerently has since raised over £12,000 and issued 32 grants to Cardiff based organisations and charities working with people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Six new donation points across Cardiff city centre will allow people to use their smartphones to scan a QR code and make a quick and easy payment directly to the Give DIFFerently fund knowing that 100 per cent of their donation will go directly towards supporting people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The Give DIFFerently fund is managed by Community Foundation Wales, an independent non-profit organisation who support grassroots community groups with funding to help create equality and opportunity in Welsh communities. Cardiff based charities and organisations can apply for grants of between £25 – £2,000 through Community Foundation Wales to purchase essential items and vocational training to support people in their journey away from homelessness.

Now for the first time Cardiff Council’s Housing and Communities team can apply for funding through Give Differently, meaning that more people will benefit from the fund.

Read more here

Our City: Our Language – Capital’s new one-stop-shop website for all things Welsh

There’s a new dragon in town this St David’s Day, and her name is Tesni!

Tesni is the face of a brand new website launched today, on our patron saint’s day to promote the Welsh language in the capital city.

Following a citywide competition for school pupils to give the dragon a name, won by Annabel from year one at Whitchurch Primary School, Tesni guides visitors to the new website Our City: Our Language.

The site provides a wealth of information on services, activities, events and opportunities to use Welsh in Cardiff for citizens of all ages and includes sections on early years provision, education, student life and more.

As well as English and Welsh, a welcome message to the site is also available in nine languages commonly used in Cardiff, to promote the language and Welsh language services and opportunities to all communities in the city.

Read more here

‘Apple Tree Man’ planted at heart of new Community Orchard site in Bute Park

Sixteen heritage fruit trees have been planted at a new Community Orchard site at Blackweir in Bute Park, including the ‘Apple Tree Man’ which is the traditional name given to the oldest apple tree in an Orchard.

Bute Park’s ‘Apple Tree Man’ is a Gower apple tree with mistletoe, which was planted alongside four other heritage apple varieties, as Cardiff Council’s ‘Coed Caerdydd’ urban forest project hosted local residents at the new orchard site on Saturday (24 February).

A range of different pear trees, cherries, plums, greengages, and damsons were also planted. Beneath the trees, wildflowers will also be grown, creating a biodiverse, colourful and inviting space for visitors to the park to enjoy.

The idea for the orchard was developed by the community in 2021, as a positive response to serious vandalism that left many trees in the park damaged.

Read more here


Cardiff Council Update: 27 February 2024

Here is your Tuesday update, covering:

  • Planned protest around the Senedd tomorrow – Wednesday February 28
  • Construction work has begun to build Roath Park Cycleway
  • Portrait of Cardiff retail legend unveiled in Mansion House
  • Cardiff Education: Collaboration and Federation Strategy

Planned protest around the Senedd tomorrow – Wednesday February 28

The council has been made aware of a planned protest being held in Cardiff Bay tomorrow – Wednesday February 28.

The protest is expected to start at 12.30pm and due to the large number of people that may attend, there will be some disruption on routes to Cardiff Bay, as well as the wider South Wales road network.

Council officers will be in attendance to support South Wales Police while the protest takes place. The extent of the disruption is not known, but roads around the Senedd will be closed to ensure public safety.

The South Wales Police has issued the following statement:

“South Wales Police respects the right to peaceful protest, and we are in discussions with the organisers to ensure that the protest takes place safely, lawfully with minimum disruption to the wider public.

“While there is an agreement to facilitate protest activity outside the Senedd, I would urge protestors not to bring tractors or other agricultural vehicles to the protest. There are concerns that they pose a risk to the safety of other road users and restrict the movement of emergency services in a busy city environment.

“We will monitor the situation across the day and motorists should check for any disruption on the road network and plan their journeys accordingly. We will advise the public of any delays or disruption throughout the course of the day.”

Construction work has begun to build Roath Park Cycleway

Building work has started on the first phase of Cardiff’s Roath Park Cycleway.

As well as delivering a new cycleway within Roath Park Recreational Ground and improving the footpaths, the work will also see improvements to footways, highway junctions, and bus travel, as well as significantly increasing the capacity of the drainage system around Penylan Library and Community Centre which was prone to surface water flooding.

The new footpaths in the playing field will also include drainage measures which will address some of the existing issues where some footpaths flood and are impassable when it rains.

When completed the wider cycle route will run from the north of Roath Park, near Cardiff High School, to Newport Road, where it will connect with another cycleway (Cycleway 2) that will run to Rumney, Llanrumney, and then on to St Mellon Business Park.

The first phase of the new Roath Park cycleway scheme includes:

  • A new segregated cycleway between Wellfield Road and Alder Road and improved footpaths in the playing field
  • Improvements to Penylan Library and Community Centre car park
  • Significant improvements to the drainage system around the community centre using sustainable drainage techniques and new collection chambers.
  • Improvements to the junction of Wellfield Road, Marlborough Road, Penylan Road and Ninian Road to improve pedestrian waiting areas, junction capacity and bus travel
  • A new cycleway crossing across this junction that will connect the existing Wellfield Road pop-up cycleway with the new Roath Park cycleway
  • Replacing the priority narrowings on Ty-Draw Road with four ramped up pedestrian crossing points
  • Improvements to bus travel, including a new bus stop travelling northbound on Ninian Road and building out some of the existing stops to improve access
  • Improving the zebra crossing on Ninian Road at Pen-Y-Wain Road and building a shared footway for cyclists and pedestrians towards Roath Park Primary School.

Read more here

Portrait of Cardiff retail legend unveiled in Mansion House

For more than 150 years, James Howell’s department store on St Mary Street was synonymous with the best retail experience Cardiff could offer.

The ambitious Pembrokeshire-born draper established his business in the city in 1865, building it up into a sprawling family-run concern based in a magnificent building that could rival anything London had to offer.

But did you know that Howell made his mark on Cardiff in another way? He built a magnificent double-fronted house on Richmond Road as a family home, for his wife and children. Originally called The Grove, it was bought by the old Cardiff Corporation in 1912 and a year later was officially opened as the Mansion House – the official residence of the Lord Mayors of the city.

While the Mansion House today is used by the Lord Mayor to host civic functions, James Howell’s link to the Grade II-listed property has now been officially recognised thanks to the donation of his portrait.

The painting, by noted Victorian artist Parker Hagarty, once hung in the offices of Howell’s store but when the store – by then rebranded as House of Fraser – closed in March 2023 it was given to the council in the hope it would be hung in his old home.

Read more here

Cardiff Education: Collaboration and Federation Strategy

A new approach to delivering education in Cardiff could see more schools working together through formal collaboration and federation, to deliver a highly effective and sustainable education system.

If agreed by Cardiff Council’s Cabinet, the Collaboration and Federation Strategy would provide a framework to encourage more schools to come together through collaborative working, building on the achievements and success of partnership arrangements and formal federations already operating effectively across the city.

Research and practice has demonstrated the benefits of collaborations, federations, and other arrangements where schools are brought together to deliver education. This has included the Estyn thematic review (2019) and the Federation Process of Maintained Schools Guidance for Local Authorities and Schools (2023) which critically considered the research and concluded the following key benefits:

  • Strong strategic leadership, governance and management structures to focus on teaching, learning and raising standards
  • Broader learning and social experiences for learners
  • Attractive recruitment opportunities and retention of staff
  • New opportunities for staff to work together, increasing motivation, reducing workload through shared planning and activities
  • The sharing of resources
  • Shared responsibilities and accountabilities for children across communities
  • Extended services across schools and a variety of activities, childcare, parent support and community access supporting community cohesion and helping to sustain education provision

The Collaboration and Federation Strategy would build on this evidence using the experience and knowledge of Cardiff Council and Central South Consortium (CSC) professionals, and headteachers who are skilled in collaborative working and that have a demonstrable ability to lead high-quality teaching and learning organisations. It recognises the role of strong leadership and governance in advancing educational outcomes for children and families, harnessing the skills and experience of Cardiff’s most talented education leaders and highly capable governors.

Read more here


Cardiff Council Update: 23 February 2024

Here is your Friday update, covering:

  • Cardiff Council’s Budget proposals revealed as authority looks to bridge £30.3m gap
  • Coed Glas Primary School Pupils gear up for adventure during demolition site visit at Tŷ Glas
  • City Primary School Praised for ‘Calm and Happy Environment’

Cardiff Council’s Budget proposals revealed as authority looks to bridge £30.3m gap

A budget which safeguards schools and education, supports social services, and protects the most vulnerable – has been revealed by Cardiff Council – as it faces up to a ‘public sector funding crisis’ affecting local authorities across the UK.

Rising costs and demand for services like social care has left the council with ‘extremely difficult decisions to make’ if it is to bridge a £30.3m gap in its budget.

Earlier in the year the council consulted citywide with residents who were asked for their views on several cost-saving proposals and money-generating ideas.

More than 9,000 people – a record amount – took part in the four-week consultation on the difficult choices ahead.

Now, following that consultation, the council is bringing forward proposals to safeguard key services while bridging the budget gap.

The proposals include setting any Council Tax rise at 6% – around £1.60 a week for a Band D household. This would be among the lowest council tax increases seen in Wales this year and will play a key part in maintaining some of the services residents asked to be protected or saved from cuts. These include:

Giving schools a 4.3% uplift of £12.8m a year to help deal with rising costs matching Welsh Government’s funding increase to the council and removing any budget requirement for efficiency savings. Adults and Childrens Social Services will also receive an extra £26.3m in the coming financial year.

Other key proposals in the budget include:

  • No cuts to youth services
  • Spending £6.7m on the city’s parks, improving and protecting our Green Flag parks
  • Spending £7.1m on highways repairs
  • £308m for school delegated budgets next year

Some services will see increased charges, including:

  • Increasing the cost of hiring sports pitches – 10% increase
  • Increasing the price of burials (+10.6%) and the cremation service (+6.1%)
  • Increasing the cost of school meals by 10p, although this service will continue to be subsidised
  • Increasing some parking charges.

Several factors including inflation, energy prices, demand pressures, and expected pay increases for teachers, carers, and other public sector workers, mean the council’s budget for delivering day-to-day services like education, social care, refuse collection, parks and libraries is set to cost over £57m more in the next financial year (April 2024-March 2025) than it has this year.

Welsh Government’s 4.3% grant uplift for Cardiff – less than half of what the council received in the current financial year, will bring in an additional £27m, leaving the council with £30.3m to find. Doing so will require cuts to services, efficiency savings, and increases in charges.

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Coed Glas Primary School Pupils gear up for adventure during demolition site visit at Tŷ Glas

Pupils from Coed Glas Primary School in Llanishen have enjoyed a unique opportunity to visit the demolition site at the former HMRC office building at Tŷ Glas.

Equipped with child size hard hats and hi-viz vests, around 120 children visited the site including pupils from Reception, Year five classes and the school’s Deaf and Hearing Loss Resource Base

Hosted by Erith, the demolition contractor chosen to undertake the works, the visit saw the children escorted to a safe zone where the children were given the opportunity to sit in the cab of a tipper truck and learn about the safety aspects of the vehicles. They also watched the high reach demolition process of Gleider House from a safe area and were able to ask senior project personnel, questions before being given a goodie bag. When asked what they thought of the visit, Reception pupils Jude and Theo exclaimed; “Its super-duper.”

Coed Glas Primary Headteacher, Sophie Notley, said: “The children have been fascinated with the demolition site and they loved their visit.  One parent commented that it was her son’s favourite trip so far! Having local and relevant experiences for the children is really important.  We are very grateful to Erith for the generous donation of Chromebooks which have made a real difference to the children in their classrooms.”

The visit is part of Erith’s social value commitments associated with the scheme worth around £200,000 investment. 22 Chromebooks and licences have been donated to Coed Glas and Erith are also looking to work with other local schools including Llanishen High School and Cardiff & Vale College. 

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City Primary School Praised for ‘Calm and Happy Environment’

A calm, purposeful and happy primary school in Cardiff has earned praise from Estyn inspectors for its inclusive, nurturing learning environment where pupils make good progress.

Gabalfa Primary School, in Colwill Road, had 252 pupils on roll at the time of inspection with 43.8% eligible for free school meals and 16.8% with English as an additional language.

The school has earned praise for its ethos, its curriculum, the quality of its teaching staff and the effectiveness of its governing body.

Inspectors praised the school for providing an ‘inclusive, nurturing environment’ for its pupils, where they feel ‘safe and valued.’ They noted that pupils make ‘good overall progress within a calm, purposeful and happy environment,’ and that staff have ‘high expectations of themselves and their pupils.’

The report noted that “staff and pupils celebrate the different cultures, languages and faiths represented in the school community well.” Pupils also develop strong digital skills, while older pupils begin to use coding. They also develop their physical and creative skills well.

Pupils’ behaviour is a strength of the school said the report, and most understand the school’s expectation of their behaviour in school and are keen to do their best. (The school’s motto is ‘Only Our Best is Good Enough’)

The school’s nurturing and caring ethos extends to encouraging pupils to take on roles and responsibilities. The School Ladder Groups (School Council) works closely with school leaders and governors to share the impact of pupil participation on school improvement.

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