Friday, 30 May 2014

Cheese review (no palm oil, no-dairy)

We sometimes review products (as we did with Fry's). This time we decided to look at three new dairy-free cheeses made by Bute Island Foods which they informed us do not contain any palm oil.

Melty Smoked Cheddar, Melty Strong Cheddar,
and Spring Onion & Cracked Black Pepper soft cheese

We passed them on to our hard-working testers and will let them supply the rest of this blog post.

Spring Onion & Cracked Black Pepper soft cheese
"This has a subtle flavour and is as good as all the other soft vegan cheeses. I enjoyed it on crackers, fresh bread, toast, and as a sandwich filling with cucumber. I even put it on some olive focaccia and it was lovely!"

Soft cheese on focaccia

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Greens do well

In the European elections last week the Green Party got 1,646 votes in Ceredigion, which is 8% of the total vote for this county! It's good to see so many people caring about green and social issues.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Badger cull company used constabulary "as a private police force"

Well worth reading - it is incredibly worrying that the police work with vested interests against protesters (the same thing occurs with anti-fracking demonstrations).

Friday, 16 May 2014

Vote for Policies

We first came across the Vote for Policies site via A Welshman's Blog. It's an interesting idea - forget what you know about political parties. Instead you select things that are important to you, then it matches your preferences up to the policies of the main parties and shows you which have the closest match. It's not connected to a political party, just based on a different way of doing things.

Vote for Policies hasn't been updated for the European election but might still be of interest, and will be updated for the next UK general election. said “The test is well worth taking”; according to Channel 4 News “Vote for Policies is an interesting survey based on policies alone - allowing users to find out who they would vote for if the policies were anonymous.”

Friday, 9 May 2014

Where does your council money go?

Do you know how Ceredigion County Council (CCC) spends your money?

Money spent on smoothing the way for developers

We have been covering Mill Street developments (Aberystwyth) for some time. Recently we received a copy of a Freedom of Information request about how much the county council is spending (of taxpayer money) in order to push through these developments. It's very interesting.

The request was for the total cost to the council of all the work to turn Mill Street car park and its environs into new land for supermarkets, including money spent on trying to push through compulsory purchase. They were requested to break it down into as much detail as possible under categories such as:
- Council legal costs (e.g. hiring of barristers such as Melissa Murphy, solicitors etc)
- Money spent on reports and advisers
- The cost of the total council staff time e.g. people had to hire external people, write or commission reports, brief people, gather information etc.

This is the response:
£1,159.33 Advertising costs associated with promoting the development
£9,662.16 Planning application consultancy fees
£102,846.37 The Council acquired leasehold interest in the Lucas depot, Riverside Terrace, 2008
£140,941 The council acquired leasehold interest in former gas showroom park Avenue, 2011
Subtotal: £254,608
However, that figure does not include the costs of council staff time, future estimated costs, or other purchases: e.g. the council purchased lots more land "to support this development" but refused to give the figures. We could easily be talking half a million pounds.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Pen Dinas walk, 17th May

17th May, 2pm, Aberystwyth: a free stroll up Pen Dinas nature reserve. Go along, it should be lovely! More information here, including details of future free events.