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Neath Port Talbot

Neath Port Talbot and Swansea Council BOTH shortlisted for UK Council of the Year

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Neath Port Talbot and Swansea Council’s have both been shortlisted for the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) Overall Council of the Year in Service Delivery Award 2021.

The prestigious award recognises the best and most innovative local authority in the UK.

Focusing on their delivery of frontline services, the award seeks to celebrate those councils which are achieving excellent results in a wide range of different service areas.

The seven shortlisted UK councils are:

  • Neath Port Talbot Council
  • Telford and Wrekin Council
  • Swansea Council
  • Wigan Council
  • Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council
  • Lancaster City Council
  • East Ayrshire Council

APSE says all of the finalists have demonstrated their commitment to implementing innovative ideas, and excellence in public service delivery across a range of frontline services, supporting continuous improvement in local public services.

Paul O’Brien, APSE’s Chief Executive, said: “This year’s Overall Council of the Year finalists have proven themselves to be excellent at implementing exciting, innovative projects and new ways of working.

“Local authorities have been described by many as the ‘fourth emergency service’, and the pandemic has thrown into sharp relief just how much this rings true. From waste collectors to chief executives, there has been a coming together of operational expertise and strategy. The finalists are a credit to the communities they service.”

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As well as being shortlisted for the Overall Council of the Year Award Neath Port Talbot Council is also shortlisted for:

  • Best Collaborative Working Initiative (with other public sector or third sector) – The Immbulance mobile vaccination vehicle (Neath Port Talbot Council working in partnership with Swansea Bay University Health Board)
  • Best Service Team: Facilities Management and Building Cleaning Service – NPT Council Access Managed Services (Cleaning Services).
  • Best Service Team: The council’s Cemetery and Crematorium Service.
  • Best public/private working initiative – The NPT Buy Local Campaign (An online directory showing which local businesses were providing deliveries and support during the Covid-10 Pandemic.

Swansea Council is also shortlisted for:

  • Best Housing, Regeneration or New Build Initiative
  • Best Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship Initiative
  • Best Service Team: Housing, Construction and Building Service
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Swansea Council say the award nomination reflects Swansea’s commitment to implementing innovative ideas, and excellence in public service delivery across a range of frontline services, including the innovative More Homes scheme which has seen new energy efficient homes developed in the city.

The Council’s efforts to deal with climate change and its commercial operations have also been recognised within the award nomination.

Rob Stewart, Council Leader in Swansea said: “I’d like to congratulate our amazing staff for their efforts which have made it possible for Swansea Council to be shortlisted for the ‘U.K. Council of the year award’ 

“This is the second time in recent years we have been nominated for this award and goes a long way to illustrate our continued efforts to maintain the highest standards we can across the Council and for everyone in the city to benefit from our hard work.

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“It’s important to also recognise that this nomination comes at a time when councils around the country have had to deal with the added pressures the pandemic has brought with it and throughout this we have been able to continue providing high quality services.

“This is a great achievement and one I’m immensely proud of.”

Neath Port Talbot Council Leader Cllr Ted Latham said: “I am delighted that the outstanding hard work, innovation and determination to continue providing vital local services which was shown by this council during the Covid-19 pandemic has been recognised by being shortlisted for this extremely prestigious award.

“I would also like to thank our residents and the many volunteers who helped out in getting us through this unprecedented crisis along with our businesses who diversified and continued working during the pandemic doing deliveries and in some cases making personal protective equipment.”

Karen Jones, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Chief Executive, added: “In what has been, to say the least, an extremely challenging year, to be one of just seven councils shortlisted for Overall Council of the Year is a tribute to our staff’s dedication and commitment to keeping essential services like refuse collection, care and support and education services going for our local communities, residents and businesses.

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“Many members of the public showed their appreciation when our staff were out keeping these essential services going during this long pandemic period and this recognition from APSE is another acknowledgement of the commitment our staff have shown.”

The winner of the prestigious APSE Overall Council of the Year Award 2021 will be announced in Birmingham at the APSE Annual Service Awards Charity Dinner on Thursday 9 September

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Karen

    26th August 2021 at 8:31 am

    Neath port Talbot should NOT be included in this, they did nothing to help the communities during the pandemic. The local communities got through lockdowns through local people setting up support groups and shopping, supplying free food, picking up prescriptions, taking to appointments and setting up chat phone lines for to help with mental health. Not once did Neath Port Talbot do anything to support the local people!
    Neath port Talbot is now known as the worse for offending behaviour, closure of business premises as the council put extortionate business rates that no one can afford, highest housing rates and highest rent.
    Do not award this money grabbing council any award.

  2. Pingback: Top award for pioneering council homes – Swansea Bay News

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Dance

Doctors prescribe dance classes to keep patients on their feet

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Over 65s in Swansea Bay are being encouraged to attend dance classes in a bid to keep them on their feet.

Five of the health board’s clusters – groups of GP surgeries working together within a geographical area – are backing the scheme as the exercise to music is proven to aid falls prevention.

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Each class is led by a trained dance teacher with participants encouraged to follow a range of routines, designed to develop their strength and balance, with the option of using a chair for support if their mobility is limited.

The Dance for Health programme is a collaboration between the health board, clusters, local authorities, and Aesop, an arts focused charity.

Alyson Pugh, Programme Manager at Aesop, said: “We are delighted to be working with our partners in the health sector to improve the health and wellbeing of people aged over 65 through the medium of dance.

“During each class participants will move to a variety of music from all around the world. The classes are fun and vibrant, increasing fitness, mobility and strength.

“Afterwards, participants will have a good chance to get to know one another over a cup of tea or coffee. No previous experience is needed, everybody is welcome.”

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So far classes are held in Pontardawe, Morriston, Seven Sisters, Cwmavon and Briton Ferry, Upper Killay, Reynoldston, Mumbles and the Waterfront Museum.

Alyson said: “The health board asked for 12 classes across Swansea Bay and funded the management side while the GP clusters are funding the delivery of the classes. They wanted it to be grass roots up.

“Anyone can walk in but they wanted the main referrals to come from the virtual wards and local area coordinators and social prescribers, a whole community approach.”

Lizzie MacMillan (Image: Swansea Bay HNS)

Dance artist Lizzie MacMillan (left), a development officer for Dance for Health, said: “It’s for older people and people who are struggling a little bit with perhaps balance issues, mobility issues as well, so we are not expecting them to foxtrot along the floor on the first class or anything like that. It builds up over the weeks.

“We start off quite gently, just seeing where everyone is in the class – I like to gauge the class first of all to see if people are having problems with balance or perhaps giddiness or joint problems. I like to get to know each person in the class so that I can look after them and know their capacity for movement.

“We use the chairs quite a lot if someone is unsteady on their feet. They can still do a variation using the chair for support. We also do a standing variation if people are a little fitter or a little bit more able to push themselves further in the class.”

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Over 65s in Swansea Bay are being encouraged to attend dance classes in a bid to keep them on their feet. (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

Mike Garner, Cwmtawe Cluster lead, said: “We are delighted to be participating in this programme as it fits in perfectly with our goal of improving well-being and helping people remain fit and healthy.”

One participant, Pauline Anderson, said: “I’ve been to four or five classes. I thought I would try it to see what it’s like and it’s been very good.

“As you get older you become more immobile. I’ve been struggling with my knees and joints, so I have found it helpful.

“I would advise anyone thinking about it to just come along.”

Another participant, Betty Didcock, said: “I try to keep active as much as I can. I used to enjoy dancing when I was younger. I’ve made friends here. If you’re a bit shy, it’s a wonderful place to come to get used to talking to people. I’m a quiet one. I don’t always do it right but I have a go.”

While Amber Davies said: “I thought I’d come along to see what it was like. It’s important to keep busy and remain active. It’s also a good way of meeting new people.”

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(Lead image: Swansea Bay NHS)

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Construction

Housebuilder reports “exceptional demand” as Aberavon development launched

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“Exceptional demand” has been reported as the first homes at a new development on Aberavon seafront were released for sale.

All appointments were fully booked on Saturday as Persimmon Homes West Wales opened the doors to the sales office.

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Two homes were purchased at the Awel Afan development and a further 10 reserved on the Early Bird scheme over a busy weekend.

A total of 137 homes are being built on the former Afan Lido Leisure Centre site on Princess Margaret Way.

Sharon Bouhali, Sales Director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “We’re pleased to have launched our Awel Afan site.

“The demand has been exceptional. Right from the moment we acquired the site and announced the plans, we have seen a phenomenal amount of interest from a wide range of people wanting to live in his amazing location.

“The housing market remains buoyant in West Wales but, even so, the buzz around Awel Afan is almost unprecedented.”

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Opened by the Queen in the 1970s, the Afan Lido was destroyed in a fire in 2009 and the site has been unused since.

Persimmon say the development will bring a massive boost to the local economy through the construction industry and its multiplier effect. According to figures from the House Builders Federation, for every £1 spent on housing, £3 goes back into the economy.

The national house builder says that each home built also creates 1.5 full-time direct jobs – and at least twice that number in the supply chain.

The development will be made up of two, three and four-bedroom houses, as well as a range of two-bedroom flats.

Homes currently on sale include the popular two-bedroom terraced Alnwick with its modern open plan kitchen/diner and the four-bedroom detached Hornsea with ensuite and integral garage.

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Persimmon Homes recently supported Afan Lido Girls FC with a game-changing grant of £20,000 through its Building Futures campaign.

(Lead image: Persimmon Homes)

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Port Talbot

Police launch appeal to find missing disabled woman

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South Wales Police have launched an appeal to find missing Waunarlwydd woman, Kelly Randell.

45 year-old Kelly was last seen in Port Talbot on Tuesday 3 May.

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A wheelchair user with one leg, Kelly is described as being around 5ft of medium build with brown hair which is tied up – possibly in a bun.

She was last seen wearing black jeans and a black coat.

She has links to both Swansea and Port Talbot.

South Wales Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen Kelly, or who has information which will help them to find her, to contact them online or by calling 101 quoting occurrence number 2200149152.

(Lead image: Family photo / South Wales Police)

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