Be a Local Councillor in 2017
With the 2017 Local Elections on the horizon, One Voice Wales has prepared a booklet for anyone considering becoming a Local Councillor, and wants to know more about the work. Click here to read the booklet.
The Living Levels Landscape Partnership project
At the end of last year, a partnership of 12 organisations and local authorities in Wales, was awarded £321,100, with a further £2.5 million ringfenced, from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help recapture, enhance and tell the story of the unique Gwent Levels landscape – a patchwork of tranquil fertile fields and historic watercourses sweeping the Severn Estuary coastline between Cardiff and Chepstow.
Unlike most of Wales, this is a place of big skies and wide horizons. The landscape is one of the finest examples of a landscape crafted by man and is the largest area of coastal and floodplain grazing marsh in Wales. Reclaimed from the sea in Roman times, the maintenance of this ancient drainage system of field ditches is vital to protect communities from flooding - a threat which is becoming ever more pertinent with climate change and rising tides.
Including seven Sites of Special Scientific Interest, the mosaic of ditches supports aquatic plants and insects unique to Wales which boasts populations of lapwing, otter, water vole, the great diving beetle and one of the UK’s rarest bumblebees, the shrill carder bee. The area also hosts a number of specialist plants including frogbit, arrowhead and Wolffia arrhiza – the smallest flowering plant in the world.
The project aims to reconnect the communities and visitors to the landscape by working with volunteers, farmers, local groups, businesses and communities to collectively showcase the historical heritage. It aims to bring the stories from this fascinating landscape to life, many of which are yet untold and promises to engage and captivate both old and new visitors to the Gwent Levels.
We want to make sure that we celebrate all that the Levels has to offer; its wildlife, its people and its economy. Over the next twelve months, the Partnership will be developing a programme of activities to help shape the project. This will involve a series of community engagement events to ensure the views and wishes of local people are embedded into the heart of the project. If you would like to find out more about the project or tell us a story about the Levels, we would love to hear from you. Visit our Twitter page @ourlivinglevels / Facebook page ‘Our Living Levels’ , give us a call on 01633 292982 or look out for us ‘popping-up’ in your locality!
Bumblebee Conservation Trust http://bumblebeeconservation.org/
Cardiff Story Museum http://cardiffstory.com/
City of Cardiff Council https://www.cardiff.gov.uk/
Gwent Archives www.gwentarchives.gov.uk/
Gwent Wildlife Trust www.gwentwildlife.org/
Monmouthshire County Council www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/
National Trust https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/
National Resources Wales https://naturalresources.wales
Newport City Council www.newport.gov.uk/
RSPB Cymru www.rspb.org.uk/Wales
THREE WEEKS LEFT TO APPLY FOR CASH SEIZED FROM CRIMINALS
Community projects in Gwent have three weeks left to apply to the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for a share of £250,000 in cash seized from criminals and from the sale of unclaimed found property.
The clock is ticking and applicants only have until 4pm on Friday 27th January 2017 to submit their bids for a share of the cash from Gwent PCC Jeff Cuthbert’s Partnership Fund. The grant scheme is funded by the proceeds of crime awarded to the police and from the sale of unclaimed found property. It is open for bids from charities, voluntary organisations and community groups involved in activities that have a positive impact on their communities whilst at the same time contributing towards delivering the Commissioner’s priorities.
Each group will be able to apply for between £250 up to £10,000 from the £250,000 available and will need to demonstrate how their project will deliver against the Commissioner’s police and crime priorities which are:
• Crime Prevention;
• Supporting Victims;
• Community Cohesion, and;
• Dealing with Anti-social Behaviour.
Since the Partnership Fund was launched by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent three and a half years ago by the first Commissioner, nearly £750,000 has been awarded to nearly 250 community projects across the Force area. The money has been seized from criminals who have been ordered to pay back their ill-gotten gains from activities such as organised crime and drug dealing.
Specifically for 2017-18, the fund is aimed primarily towards projects that focus on crime prevention, community cohesion (communities working together / groups from or working with ethnic minorities) and protecting vulnerable people (e.g. mental health / disability / the elderly or children and young people). The Commissioner is also proactively welcoming applications for projects that are delivered through the medium of Welsh or are bilingual.
Some of the projects funded through the previous round of the Commissioner’s Partnership Fund include:
• £5,000 for the Vision of Hope Animal Assisted Therapy project in Gilwern, Monmouthshire, to buy more equipment for the farm where they support young people with substance misuse issues and ex-offenders;
• And £3,000 for the Newport Street Pastors to purchase new equipment and uniforms for their volunteers so that they can continue their work on Friday and Saturday nights in being a calming influence in the streets of the city and assisting vulnerable people to make their way home safe.
Urging community groups to apply, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “I know that small amounts of funding can often make a big difference to people’s lives and can sometimes be the catalyst which can help small community projects to develop, grow and help even more people The Partnership Fund is a fantastic way of putting money we have seized from criminals back into the public purse so it can be used for positive community action. Under this round I am specifically looking to fund projects which primarily focus on crime prevention, community cohesion and the protection of vulnerable people. My message is simple- if you’ve got a project in mind which meets the criteria - I definitely want to hear from you.”
The electronically downloadable application form and accompanying guidance notes for applicants are available on the Gwent PCC website www.gwent.pcc.police.uk . Hard copies can also be obtained by emailing the Commissioner’s office directly on email@example.com or calling 01633 642 200. The closing date for receipt of the application form is 4pm on Friday 27th January 2017.
Have your say on Newport City Council's budget
Public consultation on Newport City Council’s savings proposals is underway and residents, organisations and partners are all encouraged to have their say.
At December’s Cabinet meeting, savings proposals totalling nearly £3.5 million were discussed, as the council looks to close a budget gap of almost £5.7 million in the next financial year.
Those proposals are now part of a consultation process which will run until Friday 20 January 2017.
No final decisions on the budget saving proposals being consulted on will be made until all responses have been fully considered. Cabinet will meet again in February and the final proposals will then go before full Council in March where all councillors will have the opportunity to vote.
Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council, said: “Any decisions that may impact on our city and its residents are not taken lightly. As a Cabinet we have given much consideration to the proposals on the table – but now we want to hear from the public and our partners.
“These proposals represent areas where we think we can make savings while limiting the wider impact. We must remember that for every service we continue to deliver, cuts will have to be made elsewhere – it can be very difficult to get the balance right.”
Newport City Council will receive a cash reduction to its year-on-year revenue support grant from Welsh Government. This funding accounts for the largest part of the council’s budget, equating to around 80 per cent of its total revenue. Council Tax from residents only raises around 20 per cent of the council’s annual budget, with some income coming from fees, charges and other grants.
Coupled with the increasing financial pressures and demands on our services due to an ageing population, increases in demand led services, care for the elderly and children, schools funding, National Minimum Wage and inflationary costs, the council has to make savings in order to deliver a balanced budget.
To take part in the consultation, read the full Cabinet Report or view a presentation on how the council spends its money and the challenges being faced, visit www.newport.gov.uk/budget