Council acknowledges street rubbish problem

Ceredigion Council has acknowledged that litter from black bags has increased recently in Aberystwyth and says it is actively looking at solutions.

In response to concerns expressed by someone working in the Pier Street area, a senior Environmental Services Officer writes,

"Like you, I am concerned about the problems that appear to have escalated in Aberystwyth in recent weeks. The situation was particularly bad on Tuesday but we haven’t been able to identify the exact cause. It has been suggested that quantities of refuse had been placed out by some landlords cleaning properties earlier vacated by students, although this has not been substantiated.

"There are ongoing discussions with colleagues in the Housing Division and the Highways Property and Works Department to try to identify measures that the County Council can implement that will help to address the problems. However we do need the cooperation of local residents, landlords, property owners, businesses, etc. I’m not convinced that everyone in the town places a sufficiently high priority on civic and community pride. This is a challenge if the ambitions of the Aberystwyth Master Plan are to be realised.

"A programme of activity is being prepared by the County Council for the coming months to raise awareness and focus people’s minds on appropriate ways to store and present their refuse for collection. We are also engaging with various individuals and groups who have an interest in or could offer collaborative and sustainable solutions to a complex issue that does not have a single answer."

[Thanks to Harry James for the picture]


Call for Faster Progress on Fair Trade

Alun Williams has called for Ceredigion Council to speed up its work on becoming a Fair Trade County after Wales was last week declared the world’s first Fair Trade Nation.

“A motion to look at making Ceredigion a Fair Trade County was first agreed by the Council in October 2006 – 20 months ago. Although a Council committee has been working on it, progress has been extremely slow. It clearly hasn’t been prioritised by the Council and Ceredigion has been overtaken by many other counties in Wales.

Eleven Welsh Counties have already achieved Fair Trade status. All the others are working towards it. After all the work put in by local groups in places like Aberystwyth and Lampeter – both Fair Trade towns - we must make sure that Ceredigion doesn’t finish near the end of the list. Now that Wales has been declared the world’s first Fair Trade nation, due to all the support there is for Fair Trade around the country, I want to see Ceredigion catch up and do its bit.”

The qualify as a Fair Trade nation Wales has had to demonstrate to the Fair Trade Foundation that all its counties have achieve, or are working towards, Fair Trade status and that Fair Trade groups are established in 55% of its towns. The Fairtrade Foundation awards Fairtrade status to Nations, Towns, Counties, Schools and Churches that meet five goals developed to raise awareness and support for Fairtrade. Fair Trade supports small farmers in the developing world who produce food we cannot produce at home and who are disadvantaged by international trading conditions that benefit big business. The movement is making a significant impact in helping the developing world and is strongly backed by churches.

Mwy gwybodaeth / More information:


Sue Jones-Davies voted Mayor of Aberystwyth

Plaid Cymru's Sue Jones-Davies has been voted the new mayor of Aberystwyth for 2008/09. Sue is a highly respected personality in the town, a former actress who now teaches yoga amongst many other things. She represents the Bronglais area. She was elected unanimously by the Town Council following the recent resignation of Lorrae Jones-Southgate.

Meanwhile, the former Mayor's resignation letter has been released by the Council....

Mr Town Clerk and fellow councillors,

It is with great deliberation and sadness that in the light of the outcome of the unfortunate by-election in my Rheidol ward, where I have proudly stood as their Town Councillor these past four years and having served this Town of Aberystwyth with honour and pride. The dedication I have given to my position of Mayor and Deputy, before that as Mayoress goes without saying. I was immensely proud of having a second term of office as Mayor for 2008/2009. Sadly I now find that I do not have the full support of many of my fellow Liberal Democrat Councillors and the members of our Local and Executive branch to stand as their selected candidate for County Council in my ward being Rheidol ward; thus find myself in this impossible situation. Thus it leaves me with no other choice that after much thought and immense sadness I resign from Aberystwyth Town Council, thus relinquishing my Chains of Office.

I wish to express my gratitude to our excellent Town Clerk and Assistant, both Jim Griffiths and Carol Prime, for the great support and hard work during my affiliation with them. I pray you will continue to support and respect them as they very much deserve to be.

I had great vision for our new Town Council and for the future development and betterment of our beautiful Town and my name of Aberystwyth of which I had great pride and even greater pride in my self-respect and good name.

I wish you my fellow councillors well in the future and that my participation and contribution will be remembered with respect. One has to make great personal sacrifices when holding high office and when you stand as a Representative of the people who elect you to do so.

Therefore, I am now going to stand down in order to concentrate on my family life and my University degrees in politics and law, and ensuring that both my children succeed in their University years with my undivided love and support.

My best wishes to you all
it is with much regret.

Lorrae Jones-Southgate


Mayor of Aberystwyth Resigns

Lorrae Jones-Southgate has today resigned as both the Mayor of Aberystwyth and Town Councillor after failing in her bid to win the Lib Dem nomination to stand in the Rheidol ward County Council by-election. Lorrae was voted top of the poll in the ward in last month's Town Council elections and followed this by being voted Mayor for the second year running. The resignation will come as a further shock to residents of Rheidol ward who only two weeks ago saw the resignation of their Lib Dem County Councillor Eric Griffiths. The resignation will mean a further by-election in Rheidol ward which is due to elect a new County Councillor on July 10th.

Although Lorrae's style is not to everyone's liking, there is no doubt that her tremendous work-rate and commitment as Mayor in the past year has won her the respect of many in the town, including that of councillors from other political parties.


Aled Davies is Plaid candidate in Rheidol By-election

Aled Davies has been selected as Plaid Cymru's candidate in the forthcoming Rheidol ward County Council by-election. Aled is a former mayor of the town and only narrowly failed to win North ward in the recent Council elections, losing by just 23 votes.

The Rheidol ward by-election has been caused by the resignation of the sitting Lib Dem councillor Eric Griffiths who won the seat by a majority of 293 in May over Plaid Cymru candidate Sue Jones-Davies. However this majority was down by 105 compared to the previous election in 2004 and the momentum in Aberystwyth is with Plaid Cymru who gained 45% of the vote across the town at the recent elections compared to 31% for the Lib Dems.

The by-election will take place on July 10th. The polling station will be the Sea Cadet's Hall in Riverside Terrace from where the result will be announced at around 10.30pm.


Ysbyty Diweddaraf / Hospital Latest

Bronglais Hospital has revealed modifications to their plans for a major new extension. At a recent meeting with local residents, attended by 35 people, the scheme's architect explained that the new block would be set back five metres from Caradog Road compared to the current Biochem Lab and that a small garden would be created between the Ty Geraint palliative care centre and the road. They also intend stripping the white wall in front of the Biochem Lab to reveal the slate underneath.

These adjustments to the plans met with approval from the meeting. However there was dismay that, despite putting an extra layer on the bottom car park, the hospital now intends to provide just 22 extra car parking spaces compared to the present. This figure is a considerable reduction on the originally proposed 70 extra spaces. When questioned about this the hospital cited the contraints of the site and the need to provide large parking spaces for the disabled.

The meeting asked the architect to consider reducing the overhang of the building, painting it a light colour and providing a pathway for people to want to walk from Caradog Road to Penglais.

The latest announcement from the Health Minister is here:


LLwyddiant Castell Rock Success

The Castell Rock festival in the castle grounds was once again a big success this year with a record attendance of all ages. The Castle is a fantastic venue for festivals of this kind and everyone involved deserves credit for putting on such a well-run event.

You can see my pictures of the day at: