Tuesday, 1 December 2009


On Saturday November 28th Buy Nothing Day 2009 was celebrated with an organized litter pick led by Student Liaison Officer Kieran McCann supported by Tidy Towns.

Over the course of the day over 35 bags of waste was collected by 15 community volunteers who concentrated their pick along the Taff embankment.

Volunteers aged from 9 year upwards picked up an assortment of waste that had been discarded and littered the bank side. Waste including a discarded bike, three chairs, a mop, carpet, umbrellas was removed, the group found a wallet containing a driving license and ID which was handed to police plus lots and lots of crisp packets, plastic bags, cans, general refuse and some more undesirable items.

Using 8ft and 10ft litter picks to reach the often ignored, but highly littered areas along the bank they tackled the brambles and freed the waste helping clean up the area.

On one of the year's busiest shopping days, ‘Buy Nothing Day’ asked people to stop shopping - for a whole day! The day gave everyone a chance to step off the treadmill and really think about what we are consuming and the environmental consequences.

Kieran McCann, Student Liaison Officer who organized the event said:

“My sincere thanks to the volunteers who helped make this day such a success. The rubbish that we were picking up was evidence of how wasteful our society is. We were shocked at what had been discarded and littered the Taff. Spending a day without spending allowed us to consider the environmental and aesthetic impacts that over-consumption and the waste produced has on our communities. Buy Nothing Day helped us to make a commitment to consuming less, recycling more and making more ethical and environmentally aware consumer choices”.

Councillor Judith Woodman, Executive Member for Communities said: “Buy Nothing Day highlights the environmental effects of consumption. Over the Festive Season we'll throw away over 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging, 6 million Christmas trees and 83 square km of wrapping paper. I would urge everyone to think about their about their consumption habits and consider recycling wherever possible.”

Special thanks to Indeg Jones for organizing the equipment, giving a safety talk and organizing the collection of our collected waste.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009


On Saturday 28 November 2009, one of the year's busiest shopping days, ‘Buy Nothing Day’ is asking people to stop shopping - for a whole day!

Why? Well it's a chance to step off the treadmill and really think about what we are consuming and the environmental consequences.

How many things do you buy without really thinking about whether you need them?

We live in a throwaway society where we buy convenience items and then discard them without a thought.

This year’s Buy Nothing Day will be celebrated with an organised litter pick led by Student Liaison Officer Kieran McCann supported by Tidy Towns.

The litter pick will take place along the Taff Trail and surrounding areas including Grangetown and Riverside between 12.30-15.30 on Saturday 28th November. All volunteers to meet outside 89 Corporation Road, Grangetown, CF11 7AQ at 12.00 for a 12.30 start.

Councillor Judith Woodman, Executive Member for Communities said: “Buy Nothing Day highlights the environmental effects of consumption. Over the Festive Season we'll throw away over 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging, 6 million Christmas trees and 83 square km of wrapping paper. This important campaign aims to help clear up the area littered with unnecessary waste, encourages recycling and gives people a chance to think about their consumption habits by stopping shopping for a day and partaking in positive actions.”

Indeg Jones, Cardiff Tidy Towns Officer for Keep Wales Tidy, said: “It’s great to see people getting involved in these events. By doing a litter pick we will not only be doing our bit for ‘buy nothing day’ but we will also be highlighting the amount of waste being produced in this high consumer society that we live in. Tidy Towns is always happy to support any event which results in less litter on our streets.”

On ‘Buy Nothing Day’ people around the UK will make a pact with themselves to take a break from shopping and the best thing is - IT'S FREE!!!

All equipment for the litter pick will be provided including litter pickers, bin liners, guidelines and a safety talk will be provided. Please bring your own gloves, waterproofs and sensible footwear and a home made packed lunch.

For further details contact:
Kieran McCann, Student Liaison Officer(029) 2053 7061

Indeg Jones, Cardiff Tidy Towns project officer, Keep Wales Tidy
Tel: 07717 412270 Email: indeg.jones@keepwalestidy.org

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Additional Licensing Information for Students

What does additional licensing mean to you?
- Better housing conditions
- Improvements in Fire Safety
- Better health and Safety
- Nothing

The Council is consulting on additional licensing in Cathays so have your say via http://www.cardiff.gov.uk/haveyoursay/

Some properties in Cardiff need a licence from the Council. The licence makes sure that the house is brought up to a suitable safe condition, maintained and managed appropriately, so that it can be rented. The Council’s aim is to improve housing conditions by extending ‘Mandatory’ licensing to include ‘Additional’ licensing in the Cathays Community Ward that will initially run for a period of up to 5 years.

What is Licensing?

Cardiff Council operates a Mandatory Licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation (HMO) which consist of three or more storeys with 5 or more occupants the aim of which is to improve housing conditions.

But this licence does not cover all student houses because of the housing style’s we have in Cardiff.

However, the Housing Act 2004 enables Local Authorities to extend licensing to address particular problems that may exist in smaller HMO properties (and also in sub-standard converted self-contained flats). These additional provisions include “Additional Licensing”.

What are the aims of Licensing?

The aim of HMO Licensing is to ensure that all Houses in Multiple Occupation in the private rented market meet legal standards, are safe and are properly managed.

It ensures that HMO’s are suitably equipped with amenities and facilities for the number of occupants and to ensure they are effectively managed by fit and proper persons.

Why Licence HMO’s?

Improvements to Accommodation will be secured by licensing conditions including: - Fire safety and means of escape from fire
- Additional security
- Improved energy efficiency.

Improvements to Health & Safety (will be secured by) ensuring gas and electrical installations are safe.

Improvements to Management of HMO’s (will be secured by) ensuring that ongoing management standards are maintained.

Sustainable improvements to the Cathays area will be made through licensing conditions to improve the “street scene”

Licensed properties will abide by a common set of conditions meaning a consistent approach to Tenancy Management & Property Conditions

Improvements made through Landlord training

Eradication of bad landlords – Only fit and proper landlords will be awarded a licence

Any work required to bring your property up to standard will be enforced by the Council and require the landlord to bring standards up to scratch. The Council will work with landlords to ensure minimum disruption to students, although any serious health and safety issues will be dealt with immediately.

What happens Next?
The consultation period on the proposed implementation is open now until 15th December – have you say now by visiting http://www.cardiff.gov.uk/haveyoursay/

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

PACT meeting 4th floor Cardiff Students Union 23rd November 7pm

The next PACT (Partnerships And Communities Together) meeting is 23rd November 2009 in the Anuerin Bevan Room in the Student Union Park Place at 7pm.

All are welcome to attend this joint student/resident meeting.

PACT meetings are an opportunity for the Community to have a say on what matters most to us in our areas, helping paint an accurate picture of what is happening locally.
The problems encountered are discussed and solutions explored.

There are regular PACT meetings in student areas. This one is based at the Students Union and I would encourage any resident, student and member of the community interested in issues that surround the area to come, listen, discuss and give their opinion.

In addition I would like to advise you that Student Volunteers in partnership with Cathays Neighbourhood Policing Team will be in the Cathays area on the evenings of 3rd November & 17th November.

We will be knocking on doors advising students to put out their re-cycling in time for the bin collection on the following day. We will also be delivering further copies of the Green Bag Collection Calendar to students and residents during this exercise.

You can help by monitoring the success of this initiative and reporting back at the PACT meeting.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


Whilst students have being enjoying their long summer break, Cardiff Council’s Student Liaison Officer Kieran McCann has been busy preparing for the new term.

Kieran is Wales’ only Student Liaison Officer and his role is to ensure new and returning students to Cardiff are informed and advised on issues relating to them (Safety, housing, security) . He is also tasked with making sure students are aware of their responsibilities within the community (Neighbourhood relations, Waste and recycling etc)

Students bring a lot to a community and its Kieran’s task to make sure students and local residents form good relationships.

Kieran Says: “As well as the financial benefits students bring to a community they bring a wealth of skills, volunteering hours of their own time to help within the community. It’s my job to encourage good relations between new and existing residents, by educating students about responsibilities and encouraging active participation within a community. I have also developed a new magazine called UNITY to keep residents and students updated on what work is going on where they live.”

In his role Kieran regularly attends PACT meetings and discusses issues that students and local residents may have, during meetings Kieran has distributed his Cardiff living pack. The pack contains useful information and practical tips about living in rented accommodation with details of things that should be done as soon as you move in, including community responsibilities, ground rules etc. The universities, student unions, letting agencies, accommodation services, and private landlords have worked with Kieran in distributing these special packs to students.

Cardiff Living is produced in association with http://www.cardiffdigs.co.uk/ a one stop website for student housing and living needs. The website is a great source of information, giving advice tailored to students. Local residents and parents may also find relevant information on the website.

Another unique and innovative approach to further spreading this advice is through Kieran’s podcasts. The podcast’s are available to download from cardiffdigs.co.uk and can be imported into iTunes and listened via any Mp3 player or opened via any audio/media player.

Kieran has the full support from Cardiff University, UWIC and The University of Glamorgan who along with Cardiff Council have funded his role, with Kieran regularly working with the three student unions on initiating campaigns.

Executive Member for Communities, Housing and Social Justice, Cllr Judith Woodman, said: “Cardiff is a great place to live and study, with thousands of people moving to the city each year it’s essential that this process is made easy for both new and existing members of the community. Kieran has played a key part in ensuring good relationships have been formed and I know we have received some very positive feedback about Kieran’s role from students, local residents and landlords.”

Kieran is available for interview please contact the press office on 029 20 87 2965 to arrange a time.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Unlocked doors – an open invitation to be burgled

Last week cardiffdigs along Cardiff Students’ Union Welcome Crew and South Wales Police tested front doors in student areas to highlight the need to keep doors and windows locked to prevent burglaries.

If doors were unlocked the residents were warned about the risks of opportunist burglaries. These ‘walkin’ or ‘creeper’ burglaries often gain access to properties through an open door needing only a few seconds to pilfer a range of items close to hand.

Residents were given an information pack to help them protect their property and instructed about safety issues.

This highlights the continued need to warn residents and students about their personal safety: http://www.cardiffdigs.co.uk/safetynew.htm

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Security advice

Following an attack on a student at Glamorgan University, South Wales Police have issued the following advice:

• Always ensure your doors and windows are locked when you leave.

• If you are returning home late at night, it’s always best to walk in a group or take a taxi.

• If you go out together, come home together.

• If you think you’re being followed, cross the road to see if they follow. If you are still worried, go to the nearest public place and call the police.

• Do not let anybody into your building/house (if they haven't got a key direct them to reception/security)

• If you are suspicious of any person/activity inform the Manager or Security of your halls of residence straight away.

Further advice from cardiffdigs.co.uk

If you are living in private rented accommodation and have security concerns contact the police, your university also runs its own security service contact details for the local police and security can be found here: http://www.cardiffdigs.co.uk/contacts.htm

In an emergency contact 999

Remember many types of front/rear doors do not lock automatically when pulled shut. Even if you are at home make it a habit to lock the door.

Personal security attack alarms can be obtained via your student unions, support services and advice centres.

Book taxis in advance from a listed company, try not to travel or walk home alone

Monday, 10 August 2009

Neighbourhood Volunteers - could you???

There are currently opportunities for Neighbourhood Volunteers to work with the Neighbourhood Policing Teams in your area.

The South Wales Police Student Initiative Team aims to form stronger links between the police and student communities in Cardiff; reduce crime targeted at students, specifically burglaries, robberies and auto crime; ensure student safety whilst at home or in their place of study.

They are looking for volunteers for this academic year

Likely Volunteer Duties:-

Distribution of crime prevention material
Promote awareness of the need to secure property and prevent criminal activities
Promotion of PACT Meetings
Setting up and attending Student PACT meetings.
Target “Target Hotspot” areas to communicate the needs for the public to remain vigilant against criminal behaviour.
Promotion of contact details for local police, partner agencies.

They are looking for students with good communication skills, currently a student studying in Cardiff, an interest in Community policing issues

You will be required to attend monthly Pact meetings and some previous experience of community based activities is desirable.

If you think you are the right person for this opportunity then call 01656 306059 or contact Steph Samuel on Steph.Samuel@south-wales.pnn.police.uk or Cathays Police station on 029 2052 7439 to find out more information and for an application pack.

Monday, 13 July 2009


With over 300 tonnes of waste removed from student areas of the city, the ‘Get it Out for Cardiff’ Initiative has recycled and composted approximately 90 tonnes of waste.

Charity collections were arranged at 20 student halls of residences across the city. Two tonnes of reusable clothes and textiles have been recovered, with charity bins in place for the rest of the summer.

The scheme involved an education and marketing drive to publicise extra waste collections in Cathays, Plasnewydd and parts of Gabalfa so students could dispose of their waste responsibly before they left the city for the summer holidays.

Councillor Margaret Jones, Executive Member for Environment at Cardiff Council, said: ‘This scheme has been running for 5 years now and extra collections are strategically chosen to coincide with the Leavers Ball and when tenancy agreements finish at the end of June’.

‘The recycling and composting rate of approximately 30% is encouraging and by removing waste that has accumulated over the year in a controlled way, we can ensure these areas remain clean and tidy for other residents living in them.’

Kieran McCann, Student Liaison Officer working in partnership with Cardiff Council, Cardiff, UWIC and Glamorgan Universities, said: ‘By engaging directly with the universities and student unions to ensure that the majority of students are aware of the scheme, the Get it Out for Cardiff scheme has been a success this year’.

‘The Salvation Army is still providing a recycling collection for clothes, shoes, bags, belts, bedding and textiles in student Halls of Residences throughout the summer months, so it is expected that the recycling rate for the scheme will increase further.’

Diane Blackmore General Manager at Liberty Living whose student halls house students from all three universities and participated in the charity collection said:

‘Our students have wholeheartedly backed this successful initiative, helping donate over two tonnes of clothing to the Salvation Army. This is our first year supporting Get it Out which has been exciting for our students and the team at Liberty Living. We look forward to our involvement and participation next year’

Lee Cecil, Wales’s representative for the National Landlord Association and Chair of the Landlords Forum in Cardiff, said: ‘As a partnership, we will continue to educate landlords about Council services, to ensure tenants are aware of their waste recycling collection day.”

Keep Cardiff Tidy will also be engaging directly with letting agents, so that waste collection calendars and information on other council services are given to tenants at the start of their tenancy. There is a quick turn around of tenants in student areas, so educating landlords and letting agents about waste collection days is key to keeping these areas clean and tidy.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Noise Pollution Team Competition 2009 – your chance to win £500

Cardiff Council’s Noise Pollution Team are pleased to announce details of a new competition to celebrate Noise Action Week 2009. Entrants are being asked to create a short film no longer than 40 seconds, to raise awareness of Cardiff Council’s out of hours noise service and to promote considerate neighbour behaviour. They are appealing to all students particularly students interested in film, media and art to enter the competition to be in with a chance of winning £500 to promote noise awareness in Cardiff.

‘Silence is golden’ was never truer if your neighbour forgets that you are sharing a wall/community; not everyone likes loud music/constant shouting or noise bellowing down the road.

But now there is a more effective way than banging on the wall or ceiling to ‘turn it down!’ Noise Enforcement Officers from Cardiff Council are on duty from 7 pm onwards from Wednesday to Sunday operating as late as 3am on the weekends. This new out of hours service means officers can respond to incidents such as noisy parties and noisy neighbours; in extreme cases they can seize noise equipment.

If you have a problem with noise pollution contact Pollution Control 029 2087 1650. Outside office hours contact 101 to access the out of hour’s noise service.

The competition is sponsored by ‘Keylet’ a specialised student accommodation letting agency and the winner will receive a cash prize of £500. The chosen film will be used to promote noise awareness in Cardiff providing an excellent opportunity to showcase the talent of its creator.

Please note that this competition is only open to non-professionals and the content will be copyright protected by Cardiff Council. To register your interest please contact Pollution Control on tel: 029 2087 1650 as soon as possible.

FINAL entries must be received by 4pm on Monday 30th November 2009.

Monday, 8 June 2009


To deal with the build up of waste in Cathays, Plasnewydd and parts of Gabalfa, as the student population leave Cardiff for the summer holidays the Get it Out for Cardiff campaign 2009 is coming.

Now in its 5th year the campaign works closely with the Keep Cardiff Tidy partners including Cardiff digs and the three universities, Cardiff, UWIC and Glamorgan University, the scheme involves extra waste and recycling collections in Cathays, Plasnewydd, and parts of Gabalfa between June 12-14 and June 26-29.

Adam Painter UWIC president, Rebecca Rees Societies, Postgraduate and International Officer and Andy Button-Stephens Cardiff Student unions president encourage students from the three universities to take part.

The Salvation Army will be collecting clothes, shoes, bags, belts, bedding and textiles on Saturday June 13 and June 27, charity bags will be distributed to all houses in those areas. Cardiff digs is excited to announce that this new charity collection service has been extended to 20 halls of residences across the city including 11 at Cardiff University, six at Liberty Living halls and two at UWIC. Charity bins will also be located at these halls throughout June, so you can continue to get rid of unwanted items.

Cardiff digs is a partner backing the campaign and encourages students to take part in the scheme. There is a facebook page under Keep Cardiff Tidy groups – Get it Out for Cardiff which you can join and we are inviting students living in halls to spread the Get it out message by door knocking your neighbours to encourage participation.

'Green zones' have been set up in the unions to give out green bags/charity bags for recycling and inform you of waste collection days. Council Officers will be visiting properties in Cathays, Plasnewydd and parts of Gabalfa door knocking to inform you of the campaign and to give out charity bags and green recycling bags so look out for them so you can pick up recycling and charity bags.

Below is a list of the halls participating in the campaign with a location of the bins. You can collect charity bags at your receptions.

There are 20 different halls of residences participating so GOOD LUCK collecting – which hall will be the largest charity collector?!? We have a bit of healthy competition to become the GET IT OUT hall champion

JOIN OUR STREET TEAM – i.e. to go door knocking around the halls to drum up support and donations and encourage participation, see your reception for more details

Essentially you will need to be enthusiastic, sociable, willing to shout the GET IT OUT message. All you need is a loud voice and a lively attitude – you need to know the location of the bin, will be given extra charity bags to distribute and lots of praise for helping out – you will then be told to knock the doors of your hall to get people to CLEAR OUT WHEN THEY GET OUT.

Kieran McCann, Student Liaison Officer working in partnership with Cardiff Council, Cardiff, UWIC and Glamorgan universities, said:

‘The three universities are proud to support the campaign. We encourage all our students to participate and focus on recycling and donating unwanted clothing to the charity collection. This year we are especially excited to extend the charity collection to twenty halls around Cardiff and hope this will have a massive impact’.

Councillor Margaret Jones, Executive Member for Environment at Cardiff Council said: “The collection days have been organised to coincide with the Leavers Ball and the ending of housing tenancy contracts, with the intention to get all the waste out on the streets cleared and street cleansing teams in place to clean up any remaining litter.
“By organising specific collections we can remove the waste on the dates provided, to ease the disruption to other residents who live in these areas.”

Collection calendars will be distributed to letting agents, so they can provide information to new tenants about waste recycling days for the new academic year.

Lee Cecil, Wales’s representative for the National Landlord Association and Chair of the Landlords Forum in Cardiff said: “As a partnership, we will continue to educate landlords about Council services in order for them to actively encourage use of the facilities provided. Throughout the year, unwanted items accumulate naturally. This excellent scheme will remove this waste in a controlled way, avoiding spill- out onto the streets through out the summer period.”

Locations of Bins

CARDIFF UNIVERSITY (charity bins located at the laundry rooms)

Aberdare Hall.
Aberconway Hall
Cartwright Court
Senghennydd Court
Gordon Hall
Hodge Hall
Talybont North Talybont South Talybont Court University Hall
LIBERTY LIVING (charity bins located in reception or the common room)

Cambrian Point
Severn Point
The Bakery
Allensbank House
Tŷ Pont Haearn
Evelian Court

UWIC (charity bins located at reception)

Plas Gwyn

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

You are invited to Cathays and Cardiff University’s PACT meeting

PACT MEETING (Partnerships and communities together)
Tuesday 7pm-9pm
Students Union
Aneurin Bevan

Are you tired of the mess down your street? Or the quality of housing around Cathays?

Are you unhappy with the way that Cathays is policed? Or have specific safety concerns down your street?

Are you fed up of noisy neighbours or inconsiderate individuals?

Do you think no one is listening to your complaints?

PACT meetings are designed so that you can have your say and get those people that can to take action. There will be members from the local police, the local council, ALMA (letting agents) and Cardiff’s noise pollution initiative, to listen to you and do something about the issues that really matter to you.

So come along to the PACT meeting to have your say!

For any more information please contact studentinitiative@hotmail.co.uk

South Wales Student Initiative- Keeping student’s safe!

Monday, 12 January 2009

FREE ALARMS - Protect your Property

FREE ALARMS - Protect your Property

The police have provided Cardiff Digs with 1,000 free alarms for distribution to student residents in Cardiff.

At this time of year burglary becomes a concern for the Police.

The mini door chime is a loud door entry chime with selectable alarm suitable for doors and windows and a 130+ decibel alarm, easily fitted to your property via a doubled sided sticker with batteries provided. Fitting instructions are provided and we encourage you to use this alarm to protect your property.

This scheme has been set up with the help of the Student Liaison Officer, the Landlords Forum and South Wales Police.

If you require free alarms for your property please e-mail kmccann@cardiff.gov.uk with the title FREE ALARM in the subject, your name, property address and how many alarms you require.

Landlords have received and taken up this offer via the Landlord forum newsletter. If you are a landlord with a student property and would like to take up this opportunity to send your tenants a free alarm then please e-mail the address above with the lead tenants name and how many alarms are required.

The Police are encouraging students to be aware of safety advice at this time of year because of the erratic movement of residents.

Please help this campaign by working with your landlord to ensure that:

● The house frontage is tidy, obvious signs that the property is student occupied are removed e.g. posters or bottle displays

● Good relations are established with your neighbours; they could keep an eye on the property while unoccupied.

● Lights are operated using timer devices, set for a couple of hours in the evening to make the house looked lived in – ask your landlord if they can provide this for you

● All valuables are removed if you return home

● All windows and doors, especially any rear entrances are secure

It is unfortunate but some students will be a victim of crime or have their safety compromised whilst studying; using your common sense and the advice from the South Wales Police will help in reducing the crime rate, making you a less likely target or victim.
More advice about safety can be found here:

Kind Regards
Kieran McCann
Student Liaison Officer; working in joint partnership with your University and Cardiff Council.