Monday, 28 February 2011

Official opening of Cathays Library was fortunate enough to attend the official opening of Cathays Library that took place this morning.

Following extensive refurbishment, Executive Member for Sport, Culture and Leisure, Cllr Nigel Howells formally opened the library by cutting a ribbon and making a thank you and welcome speech.

Since re-opening to the public in the summer, the library has seen over a thousand new customers, an 84% increase in average monthly visits

The £1m pound refurbishment funded by Cardiff Council, with an additional grant of £300,000 from the Welsh Assembly Government, includes an improved layout highlighting the dramatic architectural features complimented by modern furniture and a vibrant colours scheme.

Executive Member for Sport, Culture and Leisure, Cllr Nigel Howells said: “Feedback from members of Cathays Library has been very positive and the increase of people using the service proves why it is so important for the Council to continue to invest in libraries” has held a number of advice stands at the library, giving out the You’re In. Now What? poster (download here), security, safety and social responsibility advice to student residents and the wider community.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Bric-a-Brac donation

Bric-a-brac; some of life’s essentials raises a total of £498.65 for Lord Mayors Charity

Presenting the first cheque to the Lord Mayor

The Lord Mayor’s Charity, LATCH yesterday received a donation of £59.10 to add to a previous donation from the proceeds of a Bric-a-Brac sale.

Raise And Give (RAG) in association with Keep Cardiff Tidy,, Cardiff Self Storage, Cardiff SU and Get It Out For Cardiff held two Bric-a-Brac fetes in Cardiff Students Union.

The latest event was held during re-fresher week; an event targeted at getting students thinking about trying new things. During the ‘Refresh your diet’ day sale of reusable kitchen equipment that were donated and collected during the ‘Get It Out For Cardiff’ campaign by students leaving at the end of term last year and stored with Cardiff Self Storage over the summer were sold. Items included kitchen equipment such as saucepans, frying pans, cutlery and all those essential household items.

LATCH is a voluntary organisation set up to support the special requirements of the children's oncology centre at the Children's Hospital for Wales.

Darryl Light, Finance and Commercial Officer for Cardiff Students Union said: "This event is a fantastic opportunity for students to decrease their environmental foot print by donating used items which would otherwise go to landfill. It also gives students the opportunity to pick up essential items at a discounted rate. I want to thank RAG and Kieran McCann for the successful running of the event"

Student are being reminded that the Get It Out For Cardiff campaign will begin again towards the end of term. Items such as clothing, electrical items, kitchen equipment and food can be donated at various Green Zones across the unions and halls of residence. Please make sure you also sign up for the I Will campaign because everyone should do their bit to look after their local environment.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Hop on to the Census bus

The Census Purple Bus Tour is en-route to Cardiff.

Cardiff has been lucky to be selected for the tour and the bus will be in town on Thursday 24th February. Stopping at St John's Square in the morning at 10am (just near Ten Feet Tall) and Loudon Square in Butetown in the afternoon, the Census Bus will give people the opportunity to ask questions about the 2011 Census and get information on how to complete the form.

Help will be available in English, Welsh, Somali, Urdu and Bengali so jump on to the Census Bus and get your queries answered.

Census Day is Sunday 27th March, visit

For student specific advice on the census visit our cardiffdigs pages here

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

New food waste kerbside collection scheme

A letter to residents in streets across Cathays and Plasnewydd/Roath is being delivered today to alert people to the new food waste kerbside collection scheme.

Following a trial undertaken in 2010 across five areas in Cardiff, Cardiff Council has found that by providing residents with a separate food waste container, there have been a number of positive results:

• Increased recycling rates

• More people use the food waste service

• Reduced litter on the street and reduced spillages from bags

• Seagulls and pests are prevented from attacking the food and ripping open bags

Therefore this scheme is being rolled out across various streets in Cathays and Plasnewydd/Roath (the full list of streets is below)

The scheme will start the week commencing the 14th of March 2011 but on the 7th March 2011 those participating streets will be delivered;

• An information leaflet explaining how the scheme works

• A large brown kerbside collection caddy

• A small brown kitchen caddy

• Kitchen caddy liners (to line your existing kitchen caddy)

The new food waste kerbside collection caddy will make it easier for you to sort out your food waste at home.

You can still put all cooked and uncooked food into your small kitchen caddy. Please use the caddy liners provided to line your caddy - DO NOT USE PLASTIC BAGS. Once the caddy liner is full, place it into your the large brown kerbside collection caddy, instead of the white bio-bag. The kerbside collection caddy is then placed out on the kerbside each week, on your normal collection day.

Your collection day will not change. The white bio-bag, black bag and green bag will still be collected in the same way. Your white bio-bags can still be used for any compostable garden waste.

Please contact C2C on 2087 2087, if you need a new or replacement kitchen caddy.

If you require any further information about the new service or have any questions please contact C2C via or on 029 2087 2087.

Don’t forget to sign up to Tidy Text to help remind you when your collection days are.

Tidy Text is a free texting service. This easy to use service sends text messages to remind you when your recycling bags and waste are being collected.

You can make full use of this service to help understand waste and recycling responsibilities. Sign up is free when you subscribe online at:

Sign up is free when you subscribe online but alternatively, you can register by texting ‘Tidy' with your house number and postcode to 60066. This service is also available in Welsh.

For more details visit here or the council’s website here
Streets in Cathays and Plasnewydd that will be participating in the new food waste kerbside collection scheme

Bruce Street

Brydges Place

Cathays Terrace

Catherine Street

Coburn Street

Colum Place

Corbett Road

Cranbrook Street

Crwys Road

Dalton Street

Daniel Street

Darran Street

Fanny Street

Fitzroy Street

Flora Street

Florentia Street

Gelligaer Street

Gladys Street

Glynrhondda Street

Gower Street

Gwennyth Street

Hazeldene Avenue

Hirwain Street

Letty Street

Lisvane Street

Lucas Street

May Street

Merthyr Street

Minister Street

Minny Street

Miskin Street

Monthermer Road

Mundy Place

North Road

Rhymney Street

Rhymney Terrace

Richard Street

Robert Street

Salisbury Road

Senghennydd Road

Spencer Street

Tewksbury Street

Thesiger Court

Thesiger Street

Treherbert Street

Treorchy Street

Whitchurch Place

Whitchurch Road

Woodville Road

Wyverne Road

Arabella Street

Bangor Lane

Bangor Street

Boverton Street

Braeval Street

City Road

Cowper Place

Crwys Place

Crwys Road

Dalcross Street

Daviot Street

Diana Street

Donald Street

Elm Street Lane

Essich Street

Fairoak Road

Grouse Street

Hendy Street

Inverness Place

Kelvin Road

Lochaber Street

Lowther Road

Montgomery Street

Morlais Street

Moy Road

Newport Road

Ninian Road

Oakfield Street

Oxford Lane

Oxford Street

Partridge Lane

Partridge Road

Pen Y Wain Place

Pen Y Wain Road

Shirley Road

Snipe Street

Southey Street

Teal Street

Tullock Street

Tydfil Place

Tyn Y Coed Place

Voilet Row

Wellfield Place

Wellfield Road

Werfa Street

Woodcock Street

Woodland Place

Wordsworth Avenue

Mackintosh Place

Richmond Road

Princes Court

Richmond Crescent

Gordon Road

The Walk

West Grove

The Parade

Abany Road

Alfred Street

Angus Street

East Grove

Connaught Road

Claude Road

Claude Place

The Parade

Monday, 21 February 2011

Have you been refused a taxi hire or overcharged?

Crackdown on Taxi Drivers who refuse fares

Thanks to feedback from students Cardiff Council is cracking down on taxi drivers who refuse to be hired or overcharge passengers.

The Council’s Licensing Department is now working closely with taxi companies to address these issues – many of which have been raised by local students who use taxi facilities.

Cardiff Council is keen to ensure that the student community and all Cardiff residents and visitors enjoy the highest standards from licensed hackney carriage and private hire drivers.

It is also vital that students use only properly licensed taxis driven by licensed drivers to ensure they get a safe journey home.

Remember when hiring a taxi:

• Contact a reputable company when pre-booking a private hire vehicle

• Ensure the taxi has a licence plate displayed on the rear of the vehicle

• Check the identity of the driver against the photo displayed in the left-hand side of the windscreen. The driver should also be wearing an identification badge displaying his photograph.

• If you are travelling alone it is advisable to sit in the rear of the vehicle behind the driver.

• If you feel uneasy ask to be let out in a busy well lit area, where there are plenty of people.

• Don’t take food or drink into the taxi and if you feel unwell ask the driver to pull over, you may be fined for mess.

Anyone who suspects a driver of operating without a licence, or who wishes to report issues of overcharging or drivers refusing fares should contact the Council’s Licensing Section on (029) 2087 1651 e-mail

To enable officers to investigate fully, the following details should be provided

• Vehicle details – plate number and/or registration number.

• Driver details – drivers badge number and name (if obtainable),

• Time and place of hiring.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Go Global

Cardiff Students’ Union is bringing together students from different backgrounds and cultural heritages for a week-long celebration of culture and diversity.

Go Global, the Union’s annual festival of culture and diversity, runs from 19-27 February 2011. In conjunction with the Cardiff Guild of Societies and the international student community, the Union will be hosting more than 35 events, including music from around the world, art workshops, taster sessions and debates on international issues.

One of the highlights of the week will be Global Village which takes place on 27 February. As well as introducing visitors to food from more than 20 countries, this event will also showcase some of the University’s talented students, with performances including Bollywood, Chinese dancing and singing, a masquerade, break dancing, an international fashion show and many others.

Cosimo Montagu, the Union’s Societies, Events and Activities Officer, said: "Thousands of students get involved with Go Global each year. It is an excellent way to present the identity and strength of culture of our student body to the University and to the wider community in Cardiff."

Cardiff has a long-established tradition of welcoming students from overseas. There are currently more than 3000 international students studying at the University, representing over 100 countries.

A full list of Go Global events is available online here
All the week’s events are open to staff, students and members of the public. There is a charge for some events.

Cardiff Rivers Group

Cardiff Rivers Group in action with a sample of items removed from the Taff
Cardiff Rivers Group held their first event of 2011 two weeks ago with well over 70 volunteers turning up, pulling out a bath among other things from the river. They have announced their second event will take place this Sunday 20th February where they will be tackling the riverbank and Taff Trail from Radyr Weir downstream towards Forest Farm.

Meeting point: Car park of Radyr railway station

Meeting time: 9.45am

Finish time: 12pm

The group will provide equipment and insurance. Just turn up in suitable clothing, wear sturdy footwear/wellies and bring some water.

For more details contact Louise Tambini 07824 504790

Ps Don’t forget to sign up to Keep Wales Tidy’s ‘I Will for Wales’ campaign. How will you help the Welsh environment in 2011? You can make you resolution here

Monday, 14 February 2011

PACT meetings

Last week I represented at two Partnerships And Communities Together (PACT) meetings; Cathays and Plasnewydd. I try and attend these and the Gabalfa PACT meetings on a regular basis to hear the concerns of the community related to student issues.

Partnerships And Communities Together (PACT) meetings are an opportunity for the Community to have a say on what matters the most in their areas, helping paint an accurate picture of what is happening locally.

I would encourage anyone to attend these meetings to view any concerns you have or to hear about the work that is taking place in your locality. To find the next meeting please visit:

At both meetings I distributed the latest edition of Unity news now available here. Last term was extremely busy, work continued on highlighting safety messages via immobilise, various Housing Advice weeks alerted students about the need to make the smart move and not to rush, cardifference about sustainable travel was launched and a housing and welfare NUS conference was held among other campaigns and activities.

At these meetings the community and panel identify three of the most pressing concerns affecting their locality and priorities are set. At Cathays this week Parking issues associated with Wyverne Rd and in residents bays was reported, letting signs causing a nuisance was identified and other issues included street cleaning, the poor state of the paving stones and takeaways on Salisbury Rd operating beyond their legal opening hours.

At Plasnewydd priorities identified included speeding, Mackintosh Place, Fly tipping and Oxford Lane; cars travelling the wrong way down the one way system.

The problems encountered are discussed and solutions explored. From the issues raised at the meeting and those brought to the meeting by the Neighbourhood Police Officer we decide these three priorities.

At both meeting it struck me that solutions also need to be brought to the table and discussed. Therefore it was great to hear that Plasnewydd PACT Chair Martin Gower has received funding from ‘Tidy Towns’ for litter pick equipment. He is keen to organise a series of community litter picks if you can spare an hour to help improve your environment please contact Martin at This is an example of how a community can become empowered to enact change and take ownership of their environment so I would encourage anyone, students or non students to get involved.

The PACT meetings have secured a number of successes across the city and without this open communication we would be less empowered to help elicit change. Everyone can help get the message of community out. We all benefit from a thriving city but it is easy to fall back on negative perceptions not just related to students but in a wider context. I believe this benefits no-one. Everyone can help by making your neighbours more socially aware, so that we all contribute to a sustainable community, where we come together to help create cleaner, greener and safer places to live for us all.

To find the next meeting please visit:



The fifth edition of UNITY news your opportunity to find out about how the universities and student unions of Cardiff engage the community is now available here

My name is Kieran McCann; Cardiff Council’s Student Liaison Officer, I am employed by Cardiff Council, Cardiff, UWIC and Glamorgan Universities and work in partnership with the student unions to produce this newsletter.

Last term was extremely busy, work continued on highlighting safety messages, various Housing Advice weeks alerted students about the need to make the smart move and not to rush, cardifference about sustainable travel was launched and a housing and welfare NUS conference was held among other campaigns and activities.

With many students finishing exams this month we want to wish them all the best. If New Year resolutions of community engagement weren’t high up on everyone’s agenda, in this issue you can learn about how you can make a community pledge through the ‘I Will’ campaign.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Getting to know you...

In the third in a series of guest blogs we would like to introduce you to the community work and engagement of Dan Bowen the Vice president sabbatical officer for Glamorgan Union. Sabbatical officers or Sabbs are an Executive Committee of elected student representatives, responsible for addressing the issues that affect students at their University, and for representing students’ views and voice on an institutional, local and national level. Dan covers the Glamorgan Cardiff Campus – The Atrium as well as their Treforest site.

I am Daniel Bowen or as most will know me Dan Bows, and I am the Vice President Student Support at the University of Glamorgan Union. This involves quite a wide remit from Education to Welfare so I am pretty much an all singing all dancing student representative.

The Union is constantly looking to establish links with the community and develop volunteering and fundraising. We are really looking to do more again this year, and with our swish new building we have better facilities to do so!

The first term was rather hectic with having to come to terms with the new Union and the way we worked but I’m glad to say we have got there and even managed to focus on some fundraising. In October we supported the ‘wear it pink’ campaign for breast cancer and our Halloween Spooktackula saw a fair bit of money raised for the cause.

This was immediately followed up by Movember, in the month of November, in support of testicular cancer and was rounded off with an epic Dodgeball competition which was fiercely contested but also a fun way of raising awareness. Some of the rascal moustaches on display were priceless!

As we finally got settled in our new home the Union began embarking on further engagement with the community and as a result a number of campaigns have been put in place. First and foremost, engagement with the local police authority has increased with the union operating a ‘Cuppa with a Copper’ scheme where students are actively encouraged to come along on a Thursday morning to have a chat with our local officer. This scheme is still in its infancy but we hope to see improved links and a greater ease of communication between the two parties.

Also with the support of the police we have recently embarked on a drink spiking campaign. Essentially this involves dropping a straw into un-attended drink with a little reminder that they could have been spiked, and to be more aware. We can see early signs of success as we didn’t manage to find very many drinks left un-attended so hopefully that’s a sign of good things to come.

Finally, before I fill a whole website, we arranged a Health & Well-being day in the Union. This was led by Stuart Brooks (Student Activities) alongside myself and was a resounding success. We opened the event to students, staff and the local community in order to raise awareness on physical, mental and social well-being. Over 200 people attended, it’s a good solid start to the campaign.

Over the coming weeks and months we will be looking to carry on with the good work and introduce more campaigns where we will be looking to work again with the community. If there are any projects in the community we can help with then please get in touch!!!!

Dan Bowen

Dan can be contacted at Glamorgan Union on 01443 483511

Dan is also featured in the latest issue of Unity news where the universities and unions of Cardiff can engage the community. The latest issues is available here:

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

RAG Dolls

Rag Dolls is a clothes exchange and fashion show event. It cost £3 to enter, and will be held in Solus at the Cardiff Students Union on Wednesday 9th February.

Today and tommorrow members of RAG – Raise And Give will be collecting unwanted clothes at the Union reception in exchange for tickets which can be used to exchange for other peoples clothes during the event. On top of this there will be various boutiques both selling clothes and having clothes modelled on the catwalk. This will be accompanied by various university dance societies performing. At the end of the evening there will also be an opportunity to buy any remaining clothes. All the ticket sales and any further donation will go to the charity 'Labour Behind the Label'; you can see the good work they do at this address:

Student Housing Advice

Anne Rowland from Landlord Accreditation Wales (LAW) giving housing advice
With the surge in students starting to look for housing to rent for next academic year there has been a number of housing advice weeks with key advice about what to avoid.

The most important piece of advice is Don’t Rush – make the smart move.

We have recently seen lots of enquiries about housing so here are a few reminders and some helpful advice.

Remember there is more housing than demand: So don’t panic.

We have been giving out ‘Avoiding the pitfalls’ information, but it is worth reminding you that this information is available here in the section from halls to house

A podcast with housing hunting advice and avoiding the pitfalls is available here

The Advice and Representation Centre has also created a housing booklet relevant for all students and an interview and transcript with Jane Harding from the advice centre about housing tips can be found here

Anne Rowland has also been on hand at the various events making sure students are aware of The Landlord Accreditation Wales Scheme, advice about Letting Agents and Additional Licensing
For example there are over 90 unaccredited letting agencies in Cardiff. Anyone can open up a letting agency (you can even have a criminal record)

So ensure your letting agent is registered with a regulatory body such as ALMA (Cardiff) ARLA, NALS, RICS or NAEA (search here) who provide minimum set standards to abide by.

Also make sure your landlord is accredited through Landlord Accreditation Wales (LAW).

You should see landlords and agents who are part of the Landlord Accreditation Wales (LAW) scheme as the people to approach first when finding accommodation to rent. They will treat you professionally and you know that they have all the knowledge necessary to ensure that your time in their property is enjoyable and hassle free.

To assist you in finding accredited landlords in your area, covering different types of accommodation, please use the search facility here just search Cardiff as your local authority.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Tidy Text

Remember to sign up to Tidy Text

Tidy Text is a free texting service available to all Cardiff residents. This easy to use service sends text messages to remind you to put your recycling bags out on the correct day. Information will be available in 'real time` via your mobile phone ensuring that you never forget to put out your recycling again!

Sign up is free when you subscribe here. Alternatively, you can register by texting 'Tidy` to 60066.

For further information please contact Lucy Prisk, Tidy Towns Officer on 029 20717755.

Please note that normal text message charges will apply for your initial sign up text - after that all texts are free depending on your service provider.

Friday, 4 February 2011

UWIC Student Union awareness week

Claire and Nichola UWIC Union Officers
Starting on Monday for the week UWIC Student Union is hosting an awareness week.

The event will run from February 7th- February 11th in order to show students exactly what services the Union offers, how you can get involved, what clubs and societies are available and to ensure you are taking full advantage of the Union. will be on hand to offer housing advice and to promote the website and how we can assist with the move into the Private Rented Sector. The Police and Waste Management will also be on hand helping you with any security and safety concerns and understanding waste social responsibilities.

Plus UWIC is offering you the chance to pick up a SID card for FREE!!

SID stands for Student Identification and Discount card and was launched by UWIC SU in 2008. This is the first time they have ever offered this card for free so make sure you do not miss this opportunity. The SID card can be used in all union outlets and in hundreds of high street stores to gain you a 10% discount.

All you have to do is visit Zen on Llandaff campus between the hours of 11am and 3pm, Feb 7th -Feb 11th and locate the promotion team. You will be asked to enter your details and upload a picture for your card and that’s all there is to it, within 10 days you will be saving money every time you shop.