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Cardiff Council Update: 13 January 2022

Here's your Friday update, covering: Council's Annual Report on Cardiff's Education Investment is published; Results of Alternative Weed Control Trial Published; New Children's Services Strategy for 2023-26; Council workers work around the clock to fix the issues caused by the storms.


Council's Annual Report on Cardiff's Education Investment is published

Cardiff's multi-million pound investment in education, including new schools and improvements to existing school buildings, has been outlined in a new report published this week.

The Annual Report on Investment in the Education Estate provides an update on the progress of investment across the city and next steps of future investment.

Since 2012 Cardiff Council and Welsh Government have worked collaboratively to deliver a major, long-term and strategic, capital investment programme with the aim of creating a generation of excellent zero carbon learning facilities at the heart of the community.

Band A of the Sustainable Communities for Learning Investment Programme (formerly known as 21st Century Schools and Education programme) saw £164million spent in Cardiff and the second phase, Band B, represented a further £298.6m investment for the city funded through a combination of traditional capital investment, along with a revenue funding stream known as the Mutual Investment Model (MIM).

To date, seven new primary schools and two new secondary schools have been delivered with the new Fitzalan High School nearing completion to be ready for pupils in the spring/ summer 2023.

Proposals are progressing for the delivery of new builds for the Fairwater Community Campus (Cantonian High School, Riverbank Special School, and Woodlands High School), Cathays High School, Willows High School, The Court Special School and St Mary the Virgin CiW Primary School, with others to follow.

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Results of Alternative Weed Control Trial Published

An independent scientific report assessing three different types of weed killer to manage plant growth on Cardiff's highways and pavements has concluded that glyphosate is "the most effective and sustainable weed control method currently available."

The scientific trial assessed the viability of two ‘eco-friendly' alternatives to the glyphosate-based approach used by the majority of local authorities in the UK. It found that glyphosate has a smaller overall environmental footprint than the two alternatives trialled, which were acetic acid (a highly concentrated vinegar) and a hot foam treatment (a plant-based product which combines hot water with a biodegradable foam). Glyphosate was also the least expensive product tested and ranked highest for customer satisfaction.

The trial, carried out following a recommendation from a Cardiff Council Environmental Scrutiny Committee inquiry into the management of biodiversity and the natural environment, was conducted by Dr Dan Jones, an Honorary Research Associate in Swansea University's Department of Biosciences, and Commercial Director of Advanced Invasives, a consultancy founded in 2016 to bring evidence-led thinking to the commercial management of invasive plants.

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New Children's Services Strategy for 2023-26

Cardiff Council have developed a new strategy setting out its vision and direction for the delivery of Children's services over the next three years.

The Striving for Excellence in Children's Services Strategy will help to ensure that Cardiff Council can manage and respond to the growing levels of demand for services, meet the needs of children who require care and support, and continue to make sure that Cardiff's children and young people are safeguarded.

A report to be considered by the Local Authority's Cabinet when it meets on Thursday, January 19, has identified a number of priority issues relating to children and young people:

  • Significant increase in the number of children and young people experiencing serious emotional wellbeing and mental health issues.
  • Significant increase in the number of children and young people at risk of exploitation.
  • Significant increase in the number of children and young people who have a range of additional needs.

This is in addition to other challenges being experienced such as significant budget pressures, market sufficiency issues, and difficulty recruiting and retaining experienced social workers.

If agreed, the strategic plan will set out how Children's Services will work with partners to address these issues, using a preventative, early & low level intervention approach known as "shifting the balance of care ".

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Council workers work around the clock to fix the issues caused by the storms

Following the heavy rain and high winds on Wednesday and Thursday this week, the council's Highways Team worked out of hours to respond to the issues that arose from the Yellow Weather Warning from the MET Office.

The main road in Gwaelod Y Garth was closed due to flooding. Council officers worked with the fire service to pump the flood water to the low spot. A diversion route was put in place to ensure the school could be accessed.

Nant Y Garth in Tongwynlais was breached and was running onto Merthyr Road. A council team attended to clear and dealt with the situation.

The Harbour Authority shut Mermaid Quay boardwalks, but these were re-opened at 11am on Thursday morning. The shops and businesses in the area were advised to take necessary precautions, as this is private land.

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