Aberystwyth Roundup

Ceredigion Council continues to pursue the building of a multi-storey car park on the site of the current Mill Street car park. The Cabinet have now agreed the criteria for choosing the developer which will include stipulations on the quality of the building, use of local materials and support for the independent retail sector in the town. It’s hoped the building could be complete by 2014.

Plans to create a school for 3-19 year-olds in the Tregaron area have been passed in principle by Ceredigion’s Council Cabinet. Although the decision will involve closing several small schools in the area, it’s been far less controversial than similar plans for the Llandysul area passed three weeks ago because input from Assembly Member Elin Jones and County Councillor Catherine Hughes among others has succeeded in brokering two crucial concessions with the County Council’s education department.

A new federal primary school will be built at a site yet to be identified to the west of Tregaron to cover Llangeitho, Bronant and Penuwch schools. Similarly, a federal primary school will be created in Pontrhydfendigaid to cover the area to the north of Tregaron. There have been widespread concerns about the future viability of Tregaron secondary school which currently has over 200 vacancies and the plan is intended to end these worries. The planned new school will also be Welsh-medium, a step which will significantly help the long-term future of the language in North Ceredigion. Consultations involved a series of meetings with school governors and two public meetings. The Council will now proceed with a formal consultation, in line with legislation, to close the existing schools at Tregaron, Lledrod, Bronant, Llangeitho, Penuwch, Pontrhydfendigaid and Llanddewi Brefi.

Aberystwyth Town Council has moved to the (currently) stifling heat of the top floor of the Business Centre in Baker Street after being ejected from the Town Hall in preparation for the development of a new library there.

Hywel Dda Health Board's consultation on changing the official name of Carmarthen Hospital from ‘West Wales General’ to Glangwili Hospital has ended. On deadline day the internal staff poll was running at 58.3% in favour with 41.7% against whilst, the last time I looked, the public poll was running at a much clearer 80% in favour.

Siop y Parc in Blaenplwyf was the venue for the launch last week by Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones and Assembly Member Elin Jones of a scheme to offer grants of up to £1,000 to people and small businesses living in broadband not-spots. A total of £2 million is being made available by the Welsh Government to finance the cost of installation with individuals and businesses being able to combine their applications to buy a broadband solution for their wider community.

An exhibition of children’s drawings from Gaza will be on display at the Officers Club, Terrace Road, Aberystwyth from 12th – 17th July with support from the United Nations.

The Welsh Arts Council has announced that all four arts organisations in Ceredigion currently receiving support from them will continue to do so in the next financial year. The four are Aberystwyth Art Centre, Cwmni Theatr Arad Goch, Theatr Felinfach and Theatr Mwldan in Cardigan.

Plaid Cymru activists are meeting at Aberystwyth University this weekend for their Summer School, an event the party have been holding since the 1930s. Aberystwyth will also be the venue for the party’s annual conference from 9th – 11th September to be held at the Art Centre.

A recent report on the seaside industry has estimated that 1,200 jobs are directly supported by seaside tourism in Aberystwyth. The report also found that the seaside tourist industry adds £300 million a year to the Welsh economy.

Aberystwyth University have submitted a planning application for a ground source heat pump on land next to Pantycelyn hall of residence.