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Some of the first new Swansea Council homes in a generation officially opened by Lord Mayor

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Lord Mayor of Swansea, Cllr Mark Child paid a visit to sixteen new council properties at Parc yr Helyg in Birchgrove to have a look around and see the quality for himself.

The homes are among the most energy-efficient ever built by Swansea Council and are powered using green energy sources including solar power generated from panels on the roofs of the properties. The power will be stored in batteries installed in each of the homes.

All the homes will also be heated using ground source heating technology drawing heat from more than 50m below the ground.

The Council secured £1.5million from the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme, enabling the properties to be developed as ‘Homes as Power Stations’.

Cllr Child said: “With thousands of households on the housing waiting list we must celebrate new council homes being built. And these are truly 21st century homes, built with care and an astonishing attention to detail so that tenants can enjoy some of the most energy-efficient homes available anywhere.

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“I’m sure tenants are going to be thrilled by them and their low energy bills.”

Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Homes and Energy, said the properties at Parc y Helyg are part of the council’s overarching ambition to invest tens of millions of pounds in the coming years on new, affordable energy-efficient homes for rent to local people.

She said: “This is a significant investment in our housing stock using the most modern green energy technologies which will give tenants the opportunity to benefit from very low energy bills.

“In the coming years we’re aiming to build 1,000 new homes in communities across the city. Thanks to the energy-efficiency that will come as standard residents will see lower fuel bills which will help ensure they avoid fuel poverty and we help reduce the council’s carbon footprint.

“An important element of this development has been the use of local supply chains where 75% of the workforce has come from within a 10-mile radius and more than 90% of the spend was within a 15 mile radius.”

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Eighteen new homes are also being developed at Colliers Way (phase two) and more recently the Council has secured further Welsh Government IHP funding which is being used on a new site at Beaconsfield, Clase, with the development of 25 new homes. 


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South Wales Police

Cash and mobile taken in late night Carmarthen Road assault

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South Wales Police are appealing for information after an alleged assault between 1am and 2am on Carmarthen Road in Swansea on Tuesday 12 October.

A 60 year-old man was reportedly attacked while walking up Carmarthen Road near to the first bus stop after Dyfatty lights.

A woman is alleged to have approached the man, then assaulted him before making off with money and his mobile phone.

Police are appealing for anyone with dashcam footage, anyone who witnessed the incident or who may have more information to contact them online, by emailing SWP101@south-wales.police.uk or by calling 101 quoting reference 2100358315.

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Coronavirus

Health board using converted shipping containers as ‘local vaccination centres’

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Swansea Bay University Health Board say they are making it easier for older people to get their Covid-19 booster vaccinations with the use of converted shipping containers.

Three containers, known as Local Vaccination Centres (LVCs), have been located in communities across the Swansea Bay area for those who may find it difficult to get to a mass vaccination centre.

The containers build on the success and experience of the Immbulance, the health board’s mobile vaccination unit.

And they are able to free up the Immbulance to be deployed to cover new areas.

The units can be located in one place for several days and include staff facilities, which means they can stay there longer and don’t have to be driven away each night and be brought back the following morning.

Staff are providing Covid booster vaccinations for those with an appointment only and aim to deliver 60 jabs every day.

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People can then wait the usual 15-minutes after a vaccination either in their cars or in the container itself.

One of the units has been placed in Seven Sisters Rugby Club car park to serve those in the Dulais Valley and neighbouring communities.

Another of the LVCs has been placed near the Guildhall in Swansea, which has proven to be a popular location for the Immbulance.

James Ruggiero, Swansea Bay University Health Board’s Assistant Head of Operational Planning for the vaccination programme, said: “This project is part of our ongoing effort to increase access to vaccinations across the Swansea Bay area. 

“These units are helping us in our aim to get as many people vaccinated as possible, particularly those who may have difficulty in travelling to our mass vaccination centres.”

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Lead image: Matthew Armstrong, immuniser; Andrea Howells, clinical supervisor; Ian Worthing, immuniser (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

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Food & Drink

MP pledges support for local pubs in Gower

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Tonia Antoniazzi MP has pledged her support for the Long Live the Local campaign to help pubs and breweries in Gower recover and thrive.

Tonia joins over 125,000 people who have signed the petition so far, including 137 in Gower alone.

Ms Antoniazzi is calling on the Government to lower VAT for pubs and for an overall reduction in Beer Duty.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on brewers and pubs throughout the UK and continues to do so as the sector tries to kickstart its recovery.

The campaign argues that the sector needs an immediate boost and the fact that a local pub adds £100,000 to its local economy, creates jobs and acts as a social hub, underlines how directly investment in the form of lower VAT and an overall cut to beer duty can help pubs and their communities to recover. It will also boost Britain’s world class brewing sector, a homegrown manufacturing success story that brews over 80% of the beer we drink.

Brewing and pubs in Gower supports 1344 jobs and contributes £29m to the local economy. With £1 in every £3 pounds spent in UK pubs going to the taxman, British drinkers and pub goers are overtaxed and this is hampering the recovery of our cherished locals and Britain`s brewers.

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Commenting on the campaign, Tonia Antoniazzi MP said: “Pubs are at the heart of communities across Gower, but with pubs bearing a disproportionate burden as a result of the pandemic the Government should consider cutting unfair taxes on pubs that are hampering their recovery. I’m supporting the Long Live the Local campaign and calling on the Chancellor to lower VAT for pubs and reduce Beer Duty overall at this year’s Budget to support the recovery of pubs.”

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said: “85% of pubs are based in community and rural areas, bringing jobs to the parts of the UK that need them most. They employ over 600,000 people, of which 43% are under 25. Cutting VAT and an overall reduction in Beer Duty would go a long way to helping pubs and brewers across Gower that are desperately trying to recover.

“We are very grateful to Tonia Antoniazzi for her support for the Long Live the Local campaign, and hope that the Government listens to MPs across Parliament and the thousands of people across the country who are calling on the Chancellor to lower VAT & Business Rates for pubs and reduce Beer Duty overall.”

Lead image: Emma McClarkin with Tonia Antoniazzi. 

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