The recently-released census figures showed how the population of Ceredigion is changing, and there has been much comment about the effect of this.
So who is moving here, or rather, where have they come from? This page on the Office of National Statistics website (pointed out by the improbably named but excellent Oggy Bloggy Ogwr blog) gives a tool for finding out, albeit slightly delayed.
In the year ending June 2011, 5,600 people moved into Ceredigion and 5,500 moved out. Of course, with two Universities in the county, a great many of those in both directions will be students. Anyway, below are the top movers into Ceredigion from Wales and England by local authority area for that year. The figures seem to be rounded to the nearest ten.
560 - Carmarthenshire
230 - Pembrokeshire
200 - Cardiff
160 - Powys
130 - Shropshire
100 - Birmingham
80 - Rhondda
70 - Bridgend
60 - Caerffili
50 - Bristol
Vale of Glamorgan
Lower down the scale, those moving here are remarkably evenly spread through all corners of Wales and England. The tool does not record people moving in from elsewhere.
Image source - http://bit.ly/VdBWKJ
Communities in inland Ceredigion and areas on high ground were worst hit by Friday’s snow, while coastal areas escaped quite lightly.
Measures taken by the Council included:
- 100 Council staff using 16 gritters and snow ploughs were out ensuring the road network remains open.
- 200 tons of salt were spread on the county’s roads
- 33 schools in Ceredigion were closed whilst 27 remained open
- Refuse collections were suspended for the day on Friday to allow the Council workforce to concentrate on keeping the roads open.
- Meals on Wheels continued to be supplied, with the help of Council staff using 4x4 vehicles.
All A roads remain open although some require care. Four B roads in the middle and north of the county are closed at the time of writing.
“The Council’s labourforce has worked continuously from mid-day on Thursday to ensure that the county’s main road network remained passable and will continue to work throughout the night into Saturday morning to ensure that roads are open.
"The main problem encountered was drifting snow. Most roads are now open and passable with care but high winds are still causing a problem with drifting.”
To be kept in touch with weather developments in Ceredigion, the following can be used:
Latest information on road closures etc is available on the Council website by clicking on the Winter Weather Update at the top of the main page:
Twitter Road alerts:
Twitter Schools alerts:
Facebook School Alerts page:
Text alerts to mobile phones are also available via the website
Thanks to Hefin Williams for the snow angel in the photo
Thanks to Hefin Williams for the snow angel in the photo
Aberystwyth Students' Union has published a critical report on student accommodation in Aberystwyth.
Using data collected by 308 students living in private acccommodation around the town, the report highlights problems with:
- Condition of properties, damp being a particular problem
- High rents – they varied between £48 and £160p.w.
- Charging full summer rents whilst not allowing the property to be occupied
- High admin fees – up to £200 non-refundable
- Pressure to sign contracts quickly.
The agency with the highest proportion of positive comments, out of the 12 reported upon, was Aber Student.
The report hopes that rents will decrease in future with a lower intake of students this year and new accommodation becoming available in Northgate Street.
The Union now plans to work towards a Good Landlords Award this year and, in the longer term, the setting up of a Student Union Letting Agency by awarding accreditation to landlords. The Union’s current policy is to not recommend one agency over another in the interests of fairness.
Student Union Support Officer Laura Dickens says in the report,
“It is my intention to ensure that future accommodation campaigns focus on the standard of accommodation and that we maintain a good working relationship with Ceredigion County Council and the Citizens Advice Bureau.”
“This report has highlighted a need for the University and Students Union to work together to provide more support and training for students when it comes to the private sector. The more educated students are when it comes to housing, then the better the treatment they are likely to receive.”
The Students' Union welcomes responses from landlords and letting agencies to the survey, particularly ideas for how things could improve. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Following on from this post, Ceredigion Council is now consulting on its draft Design Guide for Aberystwyth Shop Fronts.
The idea is raise the town's economic performance by ensuring all future building improvements and alterations have a positive visual impact and to assess this when deciding on planning applications. The guidance asks developers within the town to consider these kinds of questions:
Has the relationship of the proposed design taken into account the rest of the building as well as those adjoining it? Has the design considered the overall character of the immediate environment?
Is the scale and design of any shopfront in proportion to the facade of the building? Do the upper floors and shopfront complement one another to create one harmonious building frontage?
Are there any historic shopfront elements that are capable of being retained and remediated? Are there any historical photos which give clues about the original design of the shopfront? Are the design materials and features employed in the scheme of high quality? Do they respond to the historical context of the shopfront?
Is the graphic design style, advertisement and illumination appropriate to the rest of the shopfront, building and streetscape? Does it contain the Welsh language?
Canopies and Blinds:
Have they been considered within the overall design of the shopfront and the building as a whole? Are they appropriate to the use of the premises?
Do security devices obstruct any architectural features on the building or have a negative visual impact?
The consultation is open until 15th February and can be accessed here.
The photo shows Y Siop Leol, a nice-looking new shop selling Welsh produce in Pier Street