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Environment

New drone footage shows Kingsway’s green transformation

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Stunning new drone imagery shows how one of Swansea city centre’s key areas has gone green – and the council says it’s a signpost to a greener future.

Where there were once four lanes of Tarmac, The Kingsway and Orchard Street now have broad pedestrian walkways alive with trees and other greenery.

As the trees mature the area will become even more green. It’s a result of a £12m Swansea Council scheme to improve the Kingsway and neighbouring streets.

Council leader Rob Stewart said: “We aim to transform Swansea into the one of the UK’s greenest cities. The Kingsway reflects our plans to increase green cover and biodiversity around the city centre.

“It’s great that other organisations and businesses share our ambition for a greener city centre – and that they have greenery as part of their development plans.

“Together, as a key part of our £1bn regeneration programme, they’ll help make Swansea a place where more and more people want to live, work and spend quality time.”

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New images show a much greener Kingsway (Image: Swansea Council)

As more people start to live in the city centre and shop at iconic locations such as the market, others will spend quality time in leisure facilities such as the new Copr Bay district complete with arena and coastal park the council has said.

This, they add, will bring footfall to encourage new business and support existing traders.

There’s more greenery taking root on the Kingsway too, including green walls in locations such as Copr Bay and – thanks to Coastal Housing Group – above the Potters Wheel.

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Other plans include roof and terrace greening at a high-tech office development to be constructed at the former Oceana nightclub site at 71-72 The Kingsway.

A “living building” office scheme is due to be constructed nearby, complete with an urban farm-style greenhouse set over four floors. Led by Hacer Developments, that scheme is being part-funded by Pobl Group.

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Plans are being progressed for a greener Castle Square – and Wind Street will soon have more planted areas, helping to make it an all-day leisure destination.

A greener Orchard Street in Swansea’s city centre (Image: Swansea Council)

The council has a green infrastructure strategy, designed to bring more nature into the Swansea central area.

The arena and 71-72 The Kingsway is being part-funded by the Swansea Bay City Deal, with the Copr Bay bridge being part-funded by the Welsh Government’s Active Travel Fund, whilst The Kingsway improvements have been supported by European Regional Development Funding.

Coastal’s plans for a green wall above the Potters Wheel are funded by the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns initiative, with help from the council.

WATCH: Drone footage of Kingsway’s green transformation

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Environment

Fly tipper caught on hidden camera claimed he was leaving waste to move later

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A man caught dumping waste by hidden cameras a fly tipping hotspot by Neath Port Talbot Council enforcement officers has been fined.

James Steven Daniel Gilheaney, 20, of Cae Garw, Kenfig Hill, Pyle, had pleaded not guilty at Swansea Magistrates Court before his trial on August 9th to illegally depositing controlled waste on land at Cae Garw Farm in February this year.

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The dumped waste included flooring, insulation, rugs, a settee, glass patio doors and a cable and monitor.

Mr Gilheaney claimed he had been asked to ‘leave’ the waste at the location and to move it later.

At the conclusion of the trial, where still images and video footage from the cameras was shown, the District Judge said he found the defendant’s account incredible, before delivering his guilty verdict and sentencing Mr Gilheaney to a 12 month community order with 120 hours unpaid work, a £95 victim surcharge and £500 towards prosecution costs.

The District Judge also ordered the forfeiture of the transit van used to commit the offence and additionally disqualified Mr Gilheaney from driving for 12 months.

The court heard that cameras were placed in the area near Cae Garw, known to be used regularly for dumping waste, which was often then set alight.  When the recorded footage was later examined, officers identified Mr Gilheaney depositing the waste from the vehicle.

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Cllr Scott Jones, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene, said: “I’d like to thank our officers for their painstaking work in this case. Fly-tipping is illegal and seriously damages our environment which is why I would appeal to anyone who sees fly-tipping to report it.”

Terri Harrison, a Dyfed Powys Police Sergeant, seconded to the Arson Reduction team Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service added, “Waste crime is a real challenge for MAWWFRS and partner agencies.  Every year there are reports of hundreds of refuse fires and we see a very clear and obvious link between refuse fires and fly tipping. 

“Waste crime has a real adverse impact on the quality of life for those affected by the illegal activities.  It damages our environment, community and economy. Positive outcomes such as this send a clear message that we all work closely together and these activities will not be tolerated.”

(Lead image: Neath Port Talbot Council)

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Gower

Preening pooches celebrated at National Trust’s Rhossili dog day

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crop woman taming collie on pathway in countryside

Is your dog the best behaved, the cutest, the healthiest looking? This Wednesday, 17 August, a family friendly Dog Show will be held at National Trust Cymru’s Rhosili on the Gower. 

From 9.30am to 12.30pm visitors can enjoy a range of free activities, including a dog show, dog agility course and stands hosting a range of dog-related businesses and community groups.  

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The day will provide the opportunity for dog owners to meet up and talk with experts from different areas. This includes local organisations that will be on hand to offer top tips and advice on how to explore the countryside safely with your four-legged friends, including The Wildlife Trust, Gower Seal Group and RSPB. 

The event is supported by natural pet food maker and National Trust partner, Forthglade, who are working together on a Dogs Welcome project, helping people and their dogs get even more out of the places cared for by the National Trust. 

Suitable for all the family, fun free classes to enter on the day include the best-behaved dog, the cutest puppy and the waggiest tail. Prizes will be presented by the local MP for Gower, Tonia Antoniazzi.  

Alan Kearsley – Evans, National Trust Cymru’s General Manager for Brecon Beacons and Gower said:  “We are looking forward to welcoming everyone to Rhosili for the Dog Show. Thank you to Tonia Antoniazzi for her support and joining us on the day to present prizes. It is fantastic to work with many community groups in the area, who will each bring something different to the day and highlight how we can all visit the countryside safely with dogs.  

“Our family-friendly event will encourage everyone to join in and have a fun day out on Gower. There are some fantastic classes and activities to get involved with, alongside interesting advice, tips and guidance. We hope everyone has a fantastic day out surrounded by nature at Rhosili”. 

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To ensure the safety of all visitors and dogs to the Dog Day the Trust are asking owners to check that their dogs are up to date with their vaccinations and are kept on a short lead.

On arrival, visitors will be directed to the events field near the Rhosili car park. A pink National Trust flag will indicate where you can register your dog for the competitions.  

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Business

Energy intensive industries could get further relief under new Government proposals

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High electricity using businesses like steel and paper mills could see further relief under new proposals to help subsidise their electricity costs.

The UK Government is consulting on the option to increase the level of exemption for certain environmental and policy costs from 85% of costs up to 100%.

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This reflects higher UK industrial electricity prices than those of other countries including in Europe, which could hamper investment, competition and commercial viability for hundreds of businesses in industries including steel, paper, glass, ceramics, and cement, and risk them relocating from the UK.

The proposal would help around 300 businesses supporting 60,000 jobs in the UK’s industrial heartlands. Looking at ways to reduce the cost of doing business for key industries would help secure the future of domestic manufacturing and maintain a competitive business environment in the UK, ensuring economic growth and protecting thousands of jobs across the country.

The Energy Intensive Industries Exemption Scheme provides businesses with relief for the costs of renewable levies, including Contracts for Difference, the Renewable Obligation and Feed in Tariffs, in their energy bills.

UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “British manufacturers are the lifeblood of our economy and central to our plans to overcome this period of economic uncertainty.

“With global energy prices at record highs, it is essential we explore what more we can do to deliver a competitive future for those strategic industries so we can cut production costs and protect jobs across the UK.”

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Director General of UK Steel Gareth Stace said: “The publication of this consultation is a significant step forward in delivering competitive electricity prices for the UK steel sector and should provide some much-needed relief in the face of extremely challenging circumstances at the current time. While there remain difficulties, this announcement demonstrates that UK Government understands the challenges of British industry and continues to support steelmakers and steel communities across the country.”

(Lead image: Gareth James / Geograph / Creative Commons 2.0)

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