Friday, 24 February 2012

A truly new forest

I was tasked with doing a good news post after we covered some of the frustration Ceredigion residents are feeling in the last post. One reader suggested a link to us and we gratefully accept it! There is a massive forest planting scheme taking place in Powys (the largest tree planting project in Wales for twenty years). The new woodland will comprise of oak, ash, alder, field maple and cherry trees. Fantastic! Read more on the BBC. Now, if only Ceredigion County Council cared enough to do this too... (Sorry, we almost slipped into being negative again then!)

Friday, 17 February 2012

Over to you

Some people may be aware of some of the regeneration plans that are proposed, or taking place, in Aberystwyth. According to one of their leaflets, Aberystwyth is one of seven areas which has been identified by the Welsh Government as a key regeneration area and £10.3 MILLION has been awarded to Aberystwyth "to help rejuvenate the town." You can find out more here.

Some of these schemes have already started, including a sports and game zone in Penparcau, an unnecessary road from the National Library of Wales onto the Aberystwyth University campus (couldn't the buses just use Penglais Hill like other vehicles?), the Halfords cycling event which took place in town in summer 2011 (and will take place again in 2012, hopefully in less windy conditions for the cyclists!), a photography festival, and the 'transport gateway', which is the main subject of this blog post. These things are all happening, or have happened, so there doesn't appear to be much chance to have your say on them.

They also appear to be planning the seafront and promenade changes, changes to the town clock square, new entrance to the train station (cost estimated to be £3 million), and proposals to turn the current/old town library building into a youth facility. As far as we're aware, the only proposal that's had any public consultation is the promenade. So, who is making these proposals to spend this public money? The Aberystwyth Regeneration Area Partnership Board is made up of 12 people. One person pointed out that they are all men. None of the 12 represent the residents, or Aberystwyth town council. The minutes of their meetings are available here and you can see the list of the board members and all the plans, leaflets etc from the Aberystwyth page.

We have had our own rants recently about Ceredigion County Council's lack of consultation and their desire to encourage extra supermarkets into the area. We get a lot of emails from people and these kind of topics have come up a fair bit recently. As such we are going to hand part of this post over to some of the comments we have received. Many people feel that their voice is being ignored: at least this way you can have your say. Keep them coming in, we'll add any others to the end. We don't have answers to some of the questions, best to contact the council. Over to you!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Some good news! Vegan/vegetarian café for the day in Aberystwyth on Saturday

It seems that at the moment Ceredigion County Council are letting everyone down. From our perspective it is their determination to bring more blood-sucking supermarkets into Aberystwyth; the way they merrily waste our money digging up green areas (such as the bushes by the Aberystwyth bus stops); the fact that they give planning permission without requiring replanting of at least equivalent green areas to what is being destroyed by the application (the latest damage people are reporting is the mess the Council are allowing in Penglais Woods).

How about some good news then? Free food, cruelty free on Saturday! We may have a Council that insists on removing those pesky high-maintenance trees and bushes (their plan next year is probably to replace them with nice low-maintenance plastic or rubber versions), but at least we can eat well.

This great event is being run by Eat Out Vegan Wales, and will be at The Morlan Centre (Queen’s Road, Aberystwyth) on Saturday 11th February, 10am-4pm

Saturday, 4 February 2012

A second public meeting held

A second public meeting (both organised privately rather than by the County Council) about town developments and the Mill Street car park/Tesco controversy was held on Thursday 26th January, at 7pm, in the Morlan.

Approximately 140 people attended including: Leila Kiersch (Chair), Timothy Foster (Co-chair), Eurwen Booth (Translator), various councillors and representatives from groups such as Age Concern Cymru, Friends of the Earth, Over 50s Forum, Save Park Avenue Day Centre, local businesses, and many members of the public.

We'll relay some of the information given at the opening of the meeting.
  • Marks and Spencer has been unveiled as the second big name for the multi-million-pound development on the Mill Street Car Park in Aberystwyth, alongside Tesco.
  • Developers Chelverton say they have “agreed terms” with M&S to build them a 54,000 square-foot store, which will sell food, clothing and household goods. If the plans go ahead, the M&S would be at the front of the car park and the Tesco supermarket would stand behind it. The scheme would result in the demolition of the Park Avenue Day Centre, all the houses in Glyndwr Road and the Drill Hall.
  • Proposed floor plan below: