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Neath Port Talbot Council to bring leisure services back in-house by April

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Management of Neath Port Talbot’s leisure services will be transferred from Celtic Leisure back to Neath Port Talbot Council by April 2023 the council have confirmed.

The date was confirmed at a meeting of the council’s cabinet on Thursday (28 July), as an update to the original plan passed by councillors in February.

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Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Wellbeing, Cllr Jeremy Hurley, welcomed the report, saying: “There will be a number of benefits to existing staff – the majority of them being local residents – who will have the security of transferring into the council’s employment.

“The council will also have full control of leisure centres and other facilities allowing for a more coherent approach to opening hours, service delivery, fees and charges, ensuring our leisure offer helps reduce inequality and improves our residents’ health and wellbeing.”

The facilities to transfer are:-

  • Aberavon Leisure and Fitness Centre
  • Neath Sports Centre
  • Neath Leisure Centre (along with the new Neath Leisure Centre opening in 2022)
  • Pontardawe Swimming Pool
  • Pontardawe Leisure Centre
  • Vale of Neath Leisure Centre
  • Gwyn Hall
  • Port Talbot Bowls Hall
  • Aquasplash Aberavon Beach

The Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Cllr Steve Hunt, added: “We are pleased with progress on what is a complex handover process. Our aim is to make these centres of leisure and exercise part of the solution to local public health improvement.

“Investing in the facilities and working with our NERS (National Exercise Referral Scheme) and PASS (Physical Activity and Sports Service) teams it will put the centres at the heart of post-Covid recovery and future wellbeing planning.

“Also, bringing leisure services back in-house reflects one of the Coalition’s key priorities – adopting a fresh approach to leisure, tourism, culture and heritage.”

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(Lead image: Neath Port Talbot Council)

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Motoring

Revealed: The cars that will soon be extinct on UK roads

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New research reveals which cars the UK can expect to see for years to come, and which ones will soon disappear forever.

While 1.6 million new cars were registered in 2020 and 2021, this number is still 800,000 lower than the 2.3 million new cars registered in 2019.

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In contrast, the secondhand car market continues to grow, with the number of cars over 13 years old on Britain’s roads growing from 1.3 million in 1994 to more than 6.5 million in 2020 – an increase of 393%.

So, which cars will continue to grow old on UK roads and which ones will disappear never to be seen again? To find out, Van Monster has conducted research to predict which cars are on their way to extinction and which ones will be around for years to come. 

Van Monster has analysed DVLA data from How Many Left to discover the number of cars registered for 52 different models since 1994. The research then calculated the rate of increase and decrease of registrations over the years to predict how many of these cars will be on British roads from 2025 to 2050.

Cars Facing Extinction

Alfa Romeo 90

(Image: Charles01 / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Sunbeam Vogue

(Image: Charles01 / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Hyundai Pony

(Image: Charles01 / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

BMW 1500

(Image: nakhon100  / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Fiat 1300

 (Image: Aconcagua/ Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Skoda Estelle

 (Image: Asterion  / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Seat Marbella

(Image: Rudolf Stricker / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Kia Pride

(Image: Stahlkocher / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Fiat 133

(Image: Radek Weigel / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Lancia Trevi

(Image: Tony Harrison / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

By calculating the rate of decline, the research predicts when some of the nation’s most loved cars will be wiped from UK roads completely. Cars such as the Honda Concerto, Kia Pride, SEAT Marbella and Nissan Bluebird are not expected to make it through to the next decade alone.

It’s an even bleaker future when predicting which cars will no longer be seen driving around the UK by 2050. At their rate of decline, both the popular models of the Peugeot 205 and Ford Escort will no longer be driving around on British roads.

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Some are expected to even say their goodbye before then, with the Vauxhall Nova expected to be extinct by 2045. Although half a million of these cars were sold in Britain, now only 900 remain and this number is only expected to get even smaller.

Some vehicles are already clinging onto the road by the skin of their engines. According to the data, there are only three Lancia Trevis driving around on UK soil, two Fiat 133s and Fiat 1300s, and only one BMW 1500.

Cars Defying Extinction

Vauxhall Vectra

(Image: Vauxford / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Vauxhall Viva

(Image: SG2012 / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Ford Fiesta

(Image: Rudolf Stricker / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Ford Focus

(Image: Vauxford / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Fiat Panda

(Image: Rudolf Stricker / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Ford Mondeo

(Image: Vauxford / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Triumph Dolomite

(Image: Tim Green / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Ford Anglia

(Image: Alf van Beem / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Triumph Herald

(Image: Charles01 / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Fiat 124

(Image: Ermell / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

By analysing the rate of registrations cars since 1994, Van Monster has been able to calculate which cars are currently defying extinction and will continue to do so in the future.

The research reveals there are currently 463% more Vauxhall Vivas on UK roads than there was in 1994 and the Viva isn’t the only car still going strong. While production of the widely popular Ford Fiesta started in the 1970s, by 1994 there were over 1.6 million registered in the UK and there’s still a similar number in circulation today (1.5 million). In fact, the research predicts this number will increase by 1% every five years until the fleet returns to its original 1.6 million in 2045.

Likewise, there are currently more than a quarter of a million Ford Mondeos driving around today. While the research predicts this model will not see less than 100,000 cars until 2040 (85,182), production has now ceased with the last Ford Mondeo rolling off the production line in April 2022 – could this speed up the end for this popular family car?

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While some cars will continue to line the streets in their thousands, others are predicted to slowly make a comeback. While there are currently 136 Hillman Hunters on British roads, by 2040 this is expected to be 210. Likewise, The Rover 2000 has declined at a slower than average rate and so 235 will be driving around in 2050, compared to the 742 today.

Gary Sullivan, Managing Director at Van Monster, says, “Everyone has at least one fond car memory– whether it’s from a holiday, or the first car we owned, there’s at least one that we look back on with nostalgia. Even those from our favourite TV shows can be sentimental, just like the Reliant Robin, which has been the joke of many comedies, now only has just over 1,000 left on our roads today.

“With so many new cars being released each year, it’s interesting to see when we may no longer get to see these cars from our past driving around on our streets. “

Van Monster has created an interactive graph so users can compare the extinction rate of some of their favourite cars here: https://www.vanmonster.com/en-gb/favourite-cars-facing-extinction-in-the-uk

Lead image: Peugeot 205 (Image: Vauxford / Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

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Lifestyle

The rise of self-trolling: new survey reveals Brits are their own biggest critics, saying more than 1,000 self-deprecating comments each year

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A study of 2,000 Brits found more than a fifth are their own biggest critic – especially when it comes to the way we look.

As a nation we struggle with our self-confidence, with the average adult saying more than 1,000 negative things about themselves each year.

From our hair to weight, new research from Tu Clothing has revealed that more than a fifth (21 per cent) of Brits are their own biggest critic, with 27 per cent admitting they wouldn’t dream of saying some of the things they say about themselves to others.

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A typical day sees the average man say or think three negative things about themselves – 1,095 times a year – while women do so four times a day, amounting to 1,460 insults a year.

Wardrobe blues

Our style is another area we’re very hard on ourselves about, with more than a fifth of adults (23 per cent) admitting they generally struggle to find clothes they feel comfortable in and the same amount again (23 per cent) admitting they care too much about what others think of them.

In terms of being bold with colour, the nation likes to play it safe with black being the most confidence-inducing colour to wear, followed closely by blue and grey. Only 21 per cent feel comfortable wearing yellow, and just 19 per cent would dare to wear orange.

Yet Brits’ outward appearance doesn’t always match their inner feelings, with a fifth (21 per cent) wishing they could channel their childhood freedom to chuck on what feels good.
Tu Clothing has teamed up with actress, TV presenter and mum of three Zoe Hardman to encourage the nation to dress for joy and embrace their inner child this summer.

Zoe Hardman said: “With summer approaching, many of us get nervous about getting body parts out that are hidden the rest of the year including stomachs, thighs and upper arms. We can also have those days when we lack confidence, especially when it comes to the clothes that we wear, which is why this summer I want everyone to tap into their inner child and adopt a carefree attitude when it comes to getting dressed. Kids love to wear what makes them feel great and don’t give a second thought to other people’s opinions.

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“I want to help encourage the nation to embrace their own unique style, care less about what others think and have fun putting outfits together. Summer is a great time to embrace bold colours and patterns which increase both positivity and confidence.”

Bold is beautiful

Tu has also teamed up with Sarah Powell, self-celebration expert and motivational speaker, to encourage the nation to embrace their inner child and dress in brighter, bolder colours this summer.

Sarah Powell said: “I love that kids wear whatever they want, whenever they want. A tulle skirt over wellies? Sure. Jelly shoes with green socks in November? Perfect. Kids don’t get bogged down with ‘what should I wear?’ or ‘what’s the weather doing?’ or all of those things which keep us dressing for practical, sensible reasons rather than dressing for joy.

“Lots of us have a playful side, and it means different things to different people. Your inner child is there and they are wearing something wonderful, so spend a little time and think ‘what would I wear if I didn’t care? What would I wear if it was just about making me feel good?’ That’s the attitude I want us all to have this summer.”

Emma Benjafield, Director of Product at Tu Clothing, said: “I’ve been really looking forward to making the most of this summer and there’s no better time to embrace your body and wear colours, prints and patterns. We want to encourage people of all ages to simply have fun with dressing up, to not be afraid to wear what they want, not to worry what others think.

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“The survey results show people think they’re ‘too old’ for certain clothing items but we want to change this myth – everyone should wear what they want, how they want and when they want. Fashion, after all, should be fun and make you feel good!”

Lead image: Tu Summer Clothing launch with Zoe Haardman and her family. (Image: Tu Clothing)

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Business

Aldi retains title of ‘UK’s cheapest supermarket’

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As Brits continue to look for ways to cut household costs, consumer group Which? has yet again named Aldi as the cheapest UK supermarket.

With savings of £12.62 compared to the average Big Four basket, Aldi says its shoppers can be confident they’re getting the best deal.

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Which? conducted its monthly Cheapest Supermarket price comparison and looked at the cost of a basket of 47 items, including groceries and household essentials, with Aldi coming in cheapest at just £74.23.

The same shopping cost a whopping £16.91 more at Morrisons and £12.54 more at Tesco.

The independent consumer group’s research also found Aldi to be a massive £25.23 cheaper than the most expensive supermarket, Waitrose, for an equivalent basket of items.

The full results of the research are as follows:

RankRetailerAverage £
1Aldi74.23
2Lidl75.61
3Asda83.22
4Sainsbury’s86.27
5Tesco86.77
6Morrisons91.14
7Ocado95.33
8Waitrose99.46

Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi, said: “We know that across the nation many families are finding things tough due to the cost of living crisis. At Aldi, we’re determined to help by keeping costs low and quality high for our customers. We’re thrilled to yet again be named the UK’s cheapest supermarket.”

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(Lead image: Aldi)

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