Home Blog

Make recycling your new New Year’s resolution

Make recycling your new New Year’s resolution

30 January 2023

Image showing a recycling icon

Healthy eating, keeping fit, reading more books… whatever you are tackling this January, we are asking you to also add ‘recycling’ to your list of New Year’s resolutions.

Research suggests that nearly all of us will have abandoned our original New Year’s resolutions by now, so we would like you to consider adopting a new and easy promise to ‘recycle’ more in 2023. By pledging to make some positives changes, such as recycling more, we can not only feel better and more in control of our own actions, but also make a big difference to our environment.

“To many of us, recycling now comes naturally, we don’t even give it a second thought.” says Cllr Jackie Charlton, Cabinet Member for a Greener Powys. “In fact, Welsh citizens are some of the best recyclers in the world, with Powys residents currently recycling around 68.5% of their waste.

“However, the next Welsh Government targets require us to do even better, and by 2025 we must reach a county-wide recycling rate of 70%. This means, that we all need to make a determined effort to reduce the amount of waste we throw away and make sure we recycle as much as possible.

“By staying true to the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ mantra, we should all be able to stay on the right track, do our bit and help tackle the current climate emergency. Something positive to feel good about this new year.”

A few simple tips to get you on your way to a more sustainable and rewarding lifestyle could be:

Reduce: When food shopping, choose products that have less, or more sustainable, packaging such as loose fruit and vegetables rather than pre-packaged items. Reduce the amount of food waste you have by using up leftovers in homemade soups or other meals, there are some great recipes on www.lovefoodhatewaste.com

Reuse: Opt for a reusable water bottle or coffee mug to help reduce the number of single-use bottles or cups you get through. Consider buying items second-hand rather than new and selling or donating items you no longer use instead of throwing them out.

Recycle: Make every effort to recycle as much of your household waste as possible. It’s amazing how much stuff can be added to your recycling boxes for the weekly collection – if you’re not sure if it’s recyclable or not, check out our handy guide online: A to Z of waste and recyclable items

“We already know that we are a county of conscientious recyclers who take great pride in doing our bit for the environment, and we have no doubt that together we will continue to make every effort to increase our recycling further and build a more sustainable future for the generations to come.” added Cllr Charlton. “However, Welsh Government figures suggest that there is still room for improvement, with an estimated 36% of the residual domestic rubbish thrown out still made up of items which can be recycled in the weekly kerbside collections, over 21% or which includes food waste.

“Just imagine what a difference could be made to our recycling rates, and the environment, if we all added recycling to our New Year’s resolution list!”

For more details of what can and can’t be recycled through your weekly recycling collections and at our Household Waste Recycling Centres, please visit Bins, Rubbish and Recycling

Stop the Welsh Government imposing 20 mph speed restrictions

The Welsh Government has plans to change every 30mph road in Wales to 20mph and we here in Buckley are one of 8 unluckytowns whose councils decided to sell them down the river and bid to be the “pilot towns”.

It is causing chaos, people avoiding the area and people having to take new routes.

Many of these roads aren’t suitable for a 20mph speed limit. They are busy access roads on steep hills. The lorries are struggling to get up the hills in such a low gear and sticking to such a low speed downhill is hard on the brakes. This is doing nothing to reduce emissions, instead there will be more pollution from more cars struggling in a lower gear for a longer time.

Despite the Welsh Government having spent nearly £30,000 on sinage alone, these signs have not been thought through, there are completely unnecessary signs at the start of 50m long, single track, unadopted and untarmaced roads that you physically couldn’t drive down over 10mph, and yet there is completely inadequate signage at the start and finish point on the previously 30mph main roads – people are confused and are spending so much time looking at their speedometers that it is actually a cause of dangerous driving!

It has caused bus delays; making environmental commuting more inefficient than it was before. It is also going to affect property values on specific routes and traffic to be diverted into more residential areas to bypass this limit.

There have not been high occurrence rates of road traffic accidents, deaths or injuries on roads in and around Buckley that require a change to our regular 30mph limit on these roads. It’s entirely unjustified and was not supported by the community making it a non-democratic change. The community already support the 20mph zones outside schools and other significant areas and would fully support keeping these in place.

Flintshire residents were not part of the closed Welsh Government survey, and we feel the questions asked were completely misleading. We all agree slower driving is appropriate in specific areas (schools, hospitals, around shops) but nobody supports a blanket 20mph zone across all our roads. It doesn’t make any sense and is leading to significant inconvenience, distress, and dangerous road conditions. We ask that more research is conducted, and a wider survey completed with more appropriate questions prior to this pilot taking place in Buckley. No research indicates that a 20mph limit will reduce accidents in Wales.

As you’ll know, setting speed limits should be “evidence-led and self-explaining”, according to the Department for Transport. Speed limits “should also be seen by drivers as the maximum speed rather than as a target speed at which to drive irrespective of conditions”. The evidence used in the Welsh 20mph Task Force Group Final Report appears to be based mostly on dangerously out of date research and statistics. Using a reference from 1991 to back up this statement “Child pedestrian deaths in deprived neighbourhoods are over four times those in affluent neighbourhoods.” is appallingly bad practice. If the information is older than 5 years it’s no longer current or relevant and new research studies should have been completed prior to the scheme being considered.

According to national statistics, there is one death per 20,000 cars on the road, making the UK’s road safety rating one of the highest in the world. Therefore, it is shocking that the Welsh Government would be so out of date that it would bring in a limit that was last seen in Law in 1903 (Motor Car Act). This law was scrapped when cars were made more safely with the current 30mph limit taking effect in 1934. Buckley is not alone in not wanting the 20mph limit. Motoring organisations the RAC and the AA have expressed support for 20mph limits outside schools, but completely oppose a blanket change from 30 to 20 based on their own research.

Improved road engineering, better cars and better brakes have brought about a significant decrease in deaths since 1934. These improvements have decreased accidents, not speed limits. The speed limit change in Buckley has caused more accidents in the 3 days it has been live than we would usually see in a year, including a child being hit on Bryn Road, now a 20mph. People are now spending more time looking at their speedometers than they are on the road ahead. This scheme is entirely counterproductive. The only road in Buckley to have a RTA resulting in a fatality in the last 10 years is one of only 3 roads to have had the speed limit left at 30mph.

We also feel this change is unlawful. Section 82(1)(a) (of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (RTRA 1984)) defines a restricted road in England and Wales as a road which is provided with “a system of street lighting furnished by means of lamps placed not more than 200 yards apart”. Section 81 specifically makes it an offence for a person to drive a motor vehicle at a speed of more than 30 mph on a restricted road. Therefore, whilst Wales are now able to set speed limits, what law change has taken place to make this 20mph zone legally enforceable in courts?

The signage is also not clear and given this is a brand new change, we would expect forbearance for a period of 6-12 months for residents to get used to a whole new way of driving. Especially as we live on the border of England where more sensible road speed limits currently apply meaning residents may be even more confused.

One of the biggest issues we have had with the scheme in Buckley is that Phase 2 was also not consulted on. Flintshire County Council pushed it through, opening the consultation period on the 17th December and closing it on the 7th January WITHOUT TELLING ANYONE. The county councillors didn’t know. The town councillors didn’t know. Because no one knew, no one could object. Therefore the main access roads, through roads and main commuter routes were all lowered to 20mph AGAINST the wishes of the town council.

People were also voting in favour of improved links between the primary schools and cycle paths to allow more children to be able to walk and cycle to school safely, thus also reducing congestion and emissions – this has not happened at all. Yet the Welsh Government are hell bent on “inviting the community into the roadspace” a line which no one has been able to give an explanation to as yet. The community has the pavements. The road users should have the roadspace!

We are also looking to seek legal support on the enforceability of this limit given it’s not UK Law but Devolved law. For a town on the Wales/England border, this is very confusing and dangerous.

Finally, the people of Buckley are absolutely disgusted with their MS, Jack Sargeant’s, repeated attempts to abdicate from responsibility of this scheme. This is a Welsh Government scheme, Jack is our elected Member of the Senedd, elected to represent the people of Buckley and to be their voice to feed back to the Welsh Government on issues that affect them. His copy-pasted responses denying any responsibility and offering no help or support to his electorate have been brief and disappointing. The people of Buckley already feel deeply let down by the Welsh Government in all it’s guises, we have seen no financial investment to the town centre, no youth services and despite all the lip service and fanfare, still no mobile bank.

A poll was conducted in the Facebook group over the first 3 days after the scheme went live. The results were 70% of respondents were in favour of returning the 30mph speed limit to the main access roads in and out of Buckley and the surrounding areas, such as Mold Road, Liverpool Road, Church Road and Bannel Lane and keeping the 20mph limit only outside schools and in heavily built up residential estates such as St. Matthew’s Park. 10% of people want the 20mph to stay outside schools only and almost 20% of people wanted to scrap the scheme entirely. Just two people, in a town of 21,000, were in favour of the scheme as it stands.

Calling it a “pilot scheme” is truly insulting when the government has said “20mph is a legislative change across the nation” coming into force 2023. A Pilot is done as an experiment or test, evaluating the results before making plans to implement more widely.

They made plans to implement it nationwide before the pilot was even in place.

The Task Force Group Report says that the Welsh Government should commission an independent study, five years after the implementation of the national default 20mph speed limit for restricted roads, to provide an assessment of the programme both in terms of outcomes and process. It should be recognised that the programme is an internationally-important intervention in generating data, not just for Wales.

5 years is NOT an experiment. It is not a pilot. It is not temporary. Not when the Welsh Government is aiming to achieve the following key milestones to enable a 20mph default speed limit on restricted roads to be introduced across Wales by April 2023:

Police and Crime Panel supports proposed 2023/24 precept

Police and Crime Panel supports proposed 2023/24 precept

Members of the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel have supported the Commissioners proposed precept increase of 7.75%.

During the panels first meeting in 2023, held on Friday January 27, members discussed the precept and scrutinised Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyns budget plans for the coming year.

The panel is made up of members nominated by the four councils, in the force area, plus two independent members and has the power to approve or veto the proposed police precept.

Local policing is funded by a Home Office grant, as well as contributions from the public via the Council Tax, known as the police precept.

The precept accounts for approximately 50% of the total revenue available to the Commissioner. Combined with Home Office and Welsh Government funding this will provide the police budget for 2023/24.

Most of the budget is spent on staffing costs, predominantly those of warranted police officers, of which Dyfed Powys Police currently has a force of over 1,300 such officers. The force is projected to generate an underspend of approximately £800,000 against its planned budget for 2022/2023, due to efficiency measures already being implemented.

Whilst Dyfed Powys Police is affected by the same inflationary pressures as every other sector of society, it is particularly affected by increases in fuel costs and nationally agreed pay awards.

In scrutinising the Police and Crime Commissioners budget plans for the coming year, the Panel noted several factors that represents value for money from the precept, which include maintaining the historically high levels of warranted officers employed by the force; overall public satisfaction with the Dyfed Powys Police is high and that overall crime levels are low.

The current precept level in Dyfed-Powys remains the lowest in Wales.

Thanking the Commissioner and his Chief Financial Officer for their openness and transparency in their presentation, the Chair of the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel, Professor Ian Roffe, said:

“Everybody is experiencing the effects of the current economic environment, including the police service. After constructive discussions between the Panel and the Police Commissioner, the Panel supports the 7.75% precept proposed by the Commissioner. This should allow sufficient resources for the Chief Constable to maintain an efficient and effective police force in Dyfed-Powys.”

The meetings are open to the press and public, and with the prior permission of the chair, people can ask questions or make a statement in relation to a matter being considered by the panel, with the exception of personnel matters.

Visit www.dppoliceandcrimepanel.wales for more information about the Panel, its membership, forthcoming meeting dates, agendas and webcasting links, as well as submitting questions for the Panel to put to the Commissioner.

Swansea marks Holocaust Memorial Day

Swansea marks Holocaust Memorial Day
Holocaust Memorial Day Penllergaer School

Pupils from Ysgol Bryn Tawe, Bishop Gore, Pentrehafod, Gowerton, Olchfa and Penllergaer Primary School (pictured) took part in the commemoration of those who have lost their lives in acts of genocide.

The theme for this year was Ordinary People – reflecting on how ordinary people were perpetrators, bystanders, rescuers, witnesses and victims of the Nazi Holocaust in Germany and of the genocides that took place in countries such as Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

The pupils were joined by Swansea Council’s Deputy Leader Andrea Lewis, The Lord Mayor of Swansea Mike Day and the council’s Human Rights Champion Louise Gibbard.

Chief Inspector Declan Cahill of South Wales Police read the Pan Wales Pledge while Norma Glass, MBE, a leading light in Swansea’s Jewish community, closed proceedings.

Cllr Lewis said: “Just last month Swansea was declared Wales’ first Human Rights City and it is vital that we here in Swansea do not forget The Holocaust and other acts of genocide which have cast a dark shadow on humanity.

“It is through events such as Holocaust Memorial Day we remember and challenge ourselves to stand-up against such tyranny to prevent it from taking hold again.”

Cllr Day said: “January 27 marks the day in 1945 when Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp in Poland, was liberated and the remaining prisoners set free.

“It is an important day across the globe to remember all those who have suffered and died due to acts of genocide.

“We want a strong message to go out which we hope is listened to and that is we never want such atrocities to be repeated. World leaders must do all they can to achieve this.”

Cllr Gibbard added: “After several years where we have staged our commemoration remotely due to the pandemic I was very honoured to attend the Guildhall and join with others for this important day of reflection and remembrance.”

Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 - Pentrahafod School
Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 - Ysgol Bryntawe
Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 - Penllergaer Primary School
Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 - Olchfa School
Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 - Norma Glass MBE
Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 - Gowerton School
Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 - Louise Gibbard
Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 - Crowd
Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 - Bishop Gore School
Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 - Andrea Lewis
Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 - Lord Mayor Mike Day

New office development build reaches street level

New office development build reaches street level
71/72 Kingsway street level

Developed by Swansea Council, initial building work for two basement floors of the 71/72 Kingsway scheme has been completed, paving the way for construction of three more storeys at street level and above.

Bouygues UK are main contractors for the project, which is taking shape at the site where a number of nightclubs were once located. These included Top Rank, Ritzy’s, Time and Envy, and, most recently, Oceana.

With construction due for completion by the end of 2023, the development will provide space for 600 jobs in sectors like tech, digital and the creative industries.

Once complete, the scheme will be carbon zero in operation and worth £32.6m a year to Swansea’s economy.

It will include 114,000 square feet of commercial floor space featuring flexible co-working and networking opportunities. A new link between Oxford Street and The Kingsway will also be constructed.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader,  said: “This is a another milestone for the construction of the new development at 71/72 Kingsway, which means progress in future will soon be even more visible to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians who pass the site every day.

“We know from our discussions with local tech and digital companies and entrepreneurs that there’s a need for this kind of flexible, modern office space in Swansea.

“This development will meet that demand, help stop businesses of this kind from relocating to other cities and create more footfall and spending for other city centre businesses.”

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said: “The scheme follows-on from a major transformation of The Kingsway to create a more business-friendly environment as Swansea’s £1bn regeneration programme continues.

“Other features of the new development will include a green roof terrace and south-facing balconies overlooking the city centre and Swansea Bay.”

The 71/72 Kingsway development is being part-funded by the £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City Deal and supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

Construction is also ongoing nearby on a ‘living building’ project led by Hacer Developments that will be among the UK’s first schemes of its kind. Made up of the former Woolworths unit and a new adjoining 13-storey structure, the scheme will include green walls and green roofs, an educational facility, retail, offices, a landscaped courtyard, rooftop solar panels, battery storage and gardens. Pobl Group will manage 50 affordable apartments forming part of the scheme.

Police and Crime Panel supports proposed 2023/24 precept

Police and Crime Panel supports proposed 2023/24 precept

27 January 2023

Police

Members of the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel have supported the Commissioner’s proposed precept increase of 7.75%.

During the panel’s first meeting in 2023, held on Friday January 27, members discussed the precept and scrutinised Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn’s budget plans for the coming year.

The panel is made up of members nominated by the four councils, in the force area, plus two independent members and has the power to approve or veto the proposed police precept.

Local policing is funded by a Home Office grant, as well as contributions from the public via the Council Tax, known as the police precept.

The precept accounts for approximately 50% of the total revenue available to the Commissioner. Combined with Home Office and Welsh Government funding this will provide the police budget for 2023/24.

Most of the budget is spent on staffing costs, predominantly those of warranted police officers, of which Dyfed Powys Police currently has a force of over 1,300 such officers. The force is projected to generate an underspend of approximately £800,000 against its planned budget for 2022/2023, due to efficiency measures already being implemented.

Whilst Dyfed Powys Police is affected by the same inflationary pressures as every other sector of society, it is particularly affected by increases in fuel costs and nationally agreed pay awards.

In scrutinising the Police and Crime Commissioner’s budget plans for the coming year, the Panel noted several factors that represents value for money from the precept, which include maintaining the historically high levels of warranted officers employed by the force; overall public satisfaction with the Dyfed Powys Police is high and that overall crime levels are low.

The current precept level in Dyfed-Powys remains the lowest in Wales.

Thanking the Commissioner and his Chief Financial Officer for their openness and transparency in their presentation, the Chair of the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel, Professor Ian Roffe, said:

“Everybody is experiencing the effects of the current economic environment, including the police service. After constructive discussions between the Panel and the Police Commissioner, the Panel supports the 7.75% precept proposed by the Commissioner. This should allow sufficient resources for the Chief Constable to maintain an efficient and effective police force in Dyfed-Powys.”

The meetings are open to the press and public, and with the prior permission of the chair, people can ask questions or make a statement in relation to a matter being considered by the panel, with the exception of personnel matters.

Visit www.dppoliceandcrimepanel.wales for more information about the Panel, its membership, forthcoming meeting dates, agendas and webcasting links, as well as submitting questions for the Panel to put to the Commissioner.

Powys Public Service Board Well-being Plan Consultation Launched

Powys Public Service Board Well-being Plan Consultation Launched

27 January 2023

Powys Public Service Board Logo in front of an image of Lake Vyrnwy

A consultation on the new Powys Well-being Plan is launched today (Friday 27 January) and runs until midnight on 19 April.

The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, requires all Public Service Boards (PSBs) across Wales to prepare a local Well-being plan setting out plans to improve the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of our communities.

Powys PSB is responsible for developing a local Well-being Plan for the area to help the residents of Powys achieve their well-being goals. To achieve the ambition of a “Fair, Healthy and Sustainable Powys”, the objectives below have been set as the core aims of the plan:

  • People in Powys will live happy, healthy, and safe lives
  • Powys is a county of sustainable places and communities
  • An increasingly effective Public Service for the people of Powys

Councillor James Gibson-Watt, Leader of Powys County Council and Chair of Powys PSB, said: “Following last year’s well-being assessment work, and associated engagement activities, we have developed a comprehensive picture of the well-being of local people and communities across Powys and have used it to produce an updated well-being plan.

“As a PSB, we are committed to taking proactive steps to support the county and its people that not only serve the needs of the current situation and population but that are relevant and appropriate to the needs and wishes of future generations. 

“I encourage everyone to read the updated well-being plan for Powys and complete the survey. Your views will help us to determine how well the new objectives and draft plan have been received, and what may need to be changed so that we can make sure that the final plan works for the people of Powys.”

Alongside this period of public engagement, the PSB has been engaging with schools to give the county’s young people an opportunity to support the development of the well-being plan by asking them to produce art or poetry based around the theme “What do you want the future of Powys to look like?”.

The work will be entered into a county-wide competition in the below categories:

  • Early Years and Primary Poetry 
  • Early Years and Primary Art
  • Secondary Poetry 
  • Secondary Art

Entries are welcomed from anyone who has yet to participate by posting to: Powys Public Service Board, County Hall, Llandrindod Wells, LD1 5LG or by emailing [email protected].

There will be an overall winner (announced next month) for best poem and best artwork per category above, with overall winners being featured within the new Well-being Plan.

To respond to the consultation and for more information visit www.haveyoursaypowys.wales/powys-well-being-plan-survey or email [email protected].

For more information about Powys PSB and the well-being plan, please visit the Well-being in Powys web page: en.powys.gov.uk/sustainability

Foster Wales ‘Time Is Right’ Launch

Foster Wales ‘Time Is Right’ Launch

“There are lots of children who would benefit from your life experiences, whatever walk of life you are from.”

Relocating, retiring, re-marrying, or simply wanting to give back to the local community?

In a brand new series of vlogs, foster carers from across Wales have come together to explore the reasons, life experiences and changes that led to them becoming carers.

The six-episode series will allow potential Foster carers to recognise the valuable life experiences they already possess, which could help them become well-rounded and supportive foster carers in their communities.

The series has been produced by Foster Wales, the national network of not-for-profit fostering services, comprising the 22 local authority teams in Wales.

The episodes will be released weekly on the Foster Wales website, social media and You Tube channels, and capture an honest and open conversation between foster carers from all walks of life.

The conversations were recorded in December 2022, with experienced journalist and presenter Mai Davies hosting the chats.

In one particularly moving episode Cath from Denbighshire discusses her journey. Cath says she’s aware that some people have an idea in their head of what a foster carer looks like.

Cath says she’s aware that some people have an idea in their head of what a foster carer looks like.

“I think people’s perception of being a foster carer is something that they’re not.

“A lot of people say when you’re out and about, ‘I’d love to be a foster carer but I’m not sure’ and I always say, ring up and ask, nobody will ever knock on your door and ask if you want to be a foster carer.

“Some of these children have had experiences by the age of 5 that people will never have in their lives, and it’s just having that empathy, understanding and non-judgemental attitude really.”

Beth and James (both 51) from Carmarthenshire commented:

“Fostering is something we both wanted to do but full time work didn’t allow the time or energy that’s needed however we were able to proceed in 2017 when we moved back to Wales. We both have so much to give and feel investment is the key.  We also felt we could offer a long term forever home; it’s our opportunity to help a young person grow and develop offering stimulating and stabilising opportunities. It’s hard at times but overwhelmingly it’s the chance to embroider our experiences on to a young person’s tapestry in hope we help build resilience for their future”.

 

Meanwhile Jenny from Flintshire began fostering when she was 66 after her husband passed away, after initially thinking she may be too old. 

Now, Jenny thinks her age has advantages for fostering.

“Where I live, the children on the street will play with the children who come to me, and they’ll say, ‘is that your Nan?’ And course, they say yes because it’s easier, they then don’t have to explain and say well no actually it’s a foster carer looking after me because that’s awkward.

“They see me as a kind of grandma-type figure, and I do spoil them quite a bit because that’s what grandmas are for.”

Jenny also speaks warmly about the level of support available from the local authority and also the foster care community.

“People don’t understand the level of support, it’s not just about social workers supporting you, it’s about other foster carers supporting you because you make friends within the community.”

“Other people with different experiences will be able to advise you how to work with particular children because they’ve met similar children before.”

Roger, 70, lives in Ceredigion. He feels his adverse childhood experiences actually led him to want to help and care for foster children.

Roger said:

“I didn’t have a happy childhood, and I actually feel I’d like to help children who aren’t having a happy childhood, there is that empathy for them.”

As a single foster carer, Roger says that whilst it can be difficult at times, it can also have its advantages.

“There’s still some prejudice about men fostering on their own.

“In some ways, it’s easier fostering on your own as everything doesn’t have to be done by a two-person committee, you can just make the decisions and the responsibility obviously comes on to you, but it’s simpler.”

“It’s very much part of a team, I think as a single carer, without the team you couldn’t do it.”

Head of Foster Wales, Alastair Cope, said:

We have foster carers from all walks of life caring for our children within Foster Wales.

“We need people from different backgrounds, cultures and with a variety of life experiences to foster because we have a diverse range of children needing that care, support and love within our local authorities- children who need the opportunity to thrive and stay in their own local communities. That’s what fostering for your local authority is all about.

 

Whether you’ve thought about fostering recently or for the last ten years we’d love to ask you to contact your local Foster Wales team. We’ll help you consider if the time is right for you and support you every step of the way throughout your fostering journey.”

 

To find out more about fostering in Carmarthenshire visit carmarthenshire.fosterwales.gov.wales/ or call 0800 093 3699.

Have your say on plan to boost South West Wales

Have your say on plan to boost South West Wales
Swansea at night

The draft corporate plan developed by the Corporate Joint Committee for South West Wales sets out a vision for the region along with measures to best realise it in the coming years.

Among the measures are the production of regional transport and strategic development plans to better connect the region’s communities and maximise the potential of regional growth opportunities to leave a long-term legacy for future generations.

The delivery of regional energy and economic development plans would also help further decarbonise the region, seeking to exploit the benefits of the emerging floating offshore wind sector and related developments in carbon capture and hydrogen technologies.

This has the potential to create thousands more green and secure jobs to benefit local people and local businesses.

The draft corporate plan and a series of questions are now available here for residents, businesses and other organisations in Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Swansea and beyond to give feedback by Wednesday March 8.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Chairman of the Corporate Joint Committee for South West Wales, said: “Our goal is to create a decarbonised region that’s prosperous and well-connected with as many well-paid job opportunities as possible for local people.

“Building on City Deal investment in projects throughout South West Wales and the strong track record we have in partnership working, the vision and objectives outlined in this draft corporate plan are aimed at further boosting our region over the next decade or so.

“All residents and businesses across the region stand to benefit from the work on energy, economic development, strategic development and transport we’ll be carrying out, so it’s important we take people’s views on board before taking next steps.

“That’s why I’d encourage people to take a look at the consultation that’s now live and fill out the questionnaire that’s available to ensure all feedback is taken into account.”

All responses to the consultation will be considered before an updated draft plan goes to the Corporate Joint Committee for approval in March.

Formally constituted in January 2022, the Corporate Joint Committee for South West Wales includes the Leaders of Carmarthenshire Council, Neath Port Talbot Council, Pembrokeshire Council and Swansea Council, as well as senior representatives of The Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire National Park authorities.

Introduced by the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021, it’s one of four such bodies established in Wales.

Are you eligible for a £200 winter fuel support payment?

Are you eligible for a £200 winter fuel support payment?

But thousands more who are eligible for a £200 fuel support payment or a cost of living grant are being urged to get their applications in.

Last year the council has paid out almost £20m in grants to hard-pressed families and individuals, including more than 76,000 cost of living payments, a further 40,000 discretionary cost of living payments, 20,000 fuel payments and 4,500 unpaid carers’ payments.

The fuel payment scheme runs until 5pm on February 28 and the discretionary cost of living payments scheme closes at the end of March. Anyone who thinks they might be eligible but have not yet applied, should get their applications in soon.

The Welsh Government-funded support is in addition to any UK Government winter fuel payments made to pensioners via the Department for Work and Pensions.

Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council, said those eligible for the grant would be paid as quickly as possible.

He said: “The Cost of Living crisis is affecting everyone. It is awful that many householders are having to make difficult decisions about how to heat their homes and feed their families.

“That is why our teams are working hard to ensure tens of thousands of Swansea families have benefited from the scheme already. But with Christmas and colder winter weather coming, we want to make sure that everyone who is entitled to help gets it.”

Over the last few months the council’s Revenues and Benefits Team who are administering the Welsh Government grants scheme has sent out 21,000 letters to people eligible for the fuel support payment and around 20% of them have still to apply.

In addition the team has fielded more than 141,000 phone calls, emails and face-to-face meetings to help people get what they are entitled to.

Cllr Stewart said: “I want to thank the team for doing a great job supporting residents, it makes a difference in people’s lives every day. The team is still available and ready to step in to answer queries and support people through the process if they need it.

“It’s vital that people apply for the grants that are still on offer. If they don’t, they can’t be paid. We will also not be able to accept late applications.”

He added: “Throughout the pandemic Swansea Council was there for the people of Swansea and businesses communities, supporting them through unprecedented times.

“We will also be side-by-side with them through the cost of living crisis.”

Under the scheme, households eligible to apply are those where the person who has to pay for the fuel for their home, or their partner, is entitled to one or more of a range of benefits at any time between September 1, 2022, and January 31, 2023.

These include Income Support, Income-Based Job Seekers’ Allowance, Universal Credit, Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits, Pension Credit or Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance but there are other benefits that make people eligible. People may also be entitled if other adults or children living with them are receiving certain benefits.

More details about the schemes, the online application form and FAQs are on the Council’s website: www.swansea.gov.uk/fuelsupport . 

Anyone who is eligible to apply for a Winter Fuel Support Payment, whether they are sent an invitation to claim the payment or not, can use the form to apply. 

Latest posts