Police and Crime Commissioner Elections on 2nd May

Police and Crime Commissioner Elections on 2nd May

On May 2, 2024, elections will be held in England and Wales for the positions of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC).

PCCs ensure that the community’s requirements are being met by the local police under their jurisdiction.

In Wales and England, there are 39 police districts that have a PCC. There is one commissioner for each area.

There are a bunch of duties for Police and Crime Commissioners. They:

Make sure the police force budget is spent effectively

Appoint the chief constables of the local police force

Engage with the public and victims of crime to help set police and crime plans

Work closely with the local council and other community organisations on these plans and projects

KNOW THE CANDIDATES

The following information about the candidates for this election will be accessible on the Choose My PCC website:

www.choosemypcc.org.uk

0300 1311323 is the phone number you can contact for any queries.

HOW TO CAST YOUR VOTE

One ballot paper will be given to you. A list of PCC candidates will appear on the ballot paper. Voting for a single candidate will only be possible if you place a cross [X] in the box next to your selection. Whoever receives the most percentage of the vote wins.

Entering your postcode into our search will reveal the location of your neighbourhood voting place as well as the names of the people running for office there. Additionally, voting by proxy or by mail is an option.

Remember to carry your voting ID while going for voting.

Cwtch Mawr, a Multi-bank, Supporting Thousands with Cost of Living

Cwtch Mawr, a Multi-bank, Supporting Thousands with Cost of Living

Thousands of people have already benefited from a new charitable effort that was introduced in Swansea last month, including young people transitioning out of foster care and families and individuals dealing with the challenge of rising living expenses.

Wales’s first multi-bank establishment, Cwtch Mawr, was created to give new surplus necessary items to people in need. Cwtch Mawr, which translates to “Big Hug” in English, is the first Multibank in Wales. It is a community donations hub that provides assistance to Swansea families who are struggling with poverty.

Driven by the Swansea nonprofit organisation Faith in Families, it has backing from Amazon as well as former UK prime minister Gordon Brown. In addition to helping to acquire the warehouse it uses for operations, Swansea Council is one of the original funding partners.

Cwtch Mawr has helped about 10,000 distinct people thus far. This comprises 124 individuals, 56 families, and 66 youth who receive direct support from Swansea Council.

Wales's first multi-bank establishment, Cwtch Mawr, was created to give new surplus necessary items to people in need. Cwtch Mawr, which translates to "Big Hug" in English, is the first Multibank in Wales. It is a community donations hub that provides assistance to Swansea families who are struggling with poverty.

Photo: Faith in Families website

Care leavers moving into their first homes are among those who have benefited thus far.

“I just moved into my new flat and had nothing,” one person stated. I can now use my money to personalise my home and have the necessary start-up things.”

Another said: “Cwtch Mawr provided extras that I wouldn’t have been able to afford, but I have access to help with my first home.” It’s difficult to leave behind the care and assistance that ends when you become eighteen.”

Donated by companies such as Amazon, the excess necessities offered comprise school uniforms, warm clothing, toiletries, and bedding.

The brand-new, never-used items are donated to nonprofit organisations and carers who then provide them to those in need when they need them.

Swansea cabinet members went to the warehouse this week to check on its progress as it continues to expand.

“We have heard stories from care leavers who have been supported into their new homes,” council leader Rob Stewart stated.

“A young person who has received new clothes to wear both inside and outside of school has expressed their sincere gratitude for the positive impact it has had on their wellness and self-esteem.

“A further instance involves a man who, for the first time in his memory, has a coat.

“While many people take these items for granted, many others find them to be costly or simply out of reach during the current crisis in the cost of living.

“I’m incredibly happy that Swansea Council was among the first financing partners to recognise the potential for our city to host Wales’s first multi-bank.

“The aim is to donate more than 300,000 surplus essential goods to 40,000 families in poverty this year and Cwtch Mawr is on track to achieve this.”

Gordon Brown and Amazon co-founded the third multibank in the United Kingdom, Cwtch Mawr. A second Multibank location opened in Wigan, Greater Manchester, in 2023, after the first one in Fife, Scotland, debuted in 2022.

 

Schools to receive most of £3.8m investment for building repairs

Schools to receive most of £3.8m investment for building repairs

Over a dozen schools will benefit the most from a £3.8m joint investment by Swansea Council and the Welsh Government for essential maintenance and building upgrades in the city over the next year.

The council has approved the major programme of the works meaning that around £1.7m will be directed to these schools for repairing roofs, electrical upgrades, and other improvements.

Cabinet Member for Education and Learning Robert Smith said, “As a council, we recognise just how important education is not just to pupils, parents and staff but also to our city’s future economic well-being.”

“The maintenance and repairs programme is in addition to the record £150m investment in new and improved school facilities in Swansea under the Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme,” he added.

More than a dozen Swansea schools will benefit the most from this investment. (Picture for representation purposes)

The council’s toilet strategy is also set to receive £50,000 in addition to the £100,000 that was provided last year to maintain and upgrade the council’s network of public toilets.

Leader of the Council Rob Stewart said, “Despite less funding being available from the Government for this kind of work for the year ahead, we are once again investing significant sums on essential maintenance improvements for our schools and public buildings.”

Additionally, £600,000 has been set aside for emergencies and to maintain listed buildings including war memorials that the council has pledged to maintain on behalf of veterans.

Another £50,000 has also been earmarked for the council’s toilet strategy on top of £100,000 last year to maintain and upgrade the council’s network of public toilets.

“Our capital maintenance budget spending demonstrates how the council’s priorities match those of the people of Swansea and, at the same time, help make inroads into the backlog of maintenance improvements our schools and public buildings need,” the leader of the council added.

Important Venues in Swansea bounce back after the Pandemic

Important Venues in Swansea bounce back after the Pandemic

Swansea Council continues to fund major leisure and tourism sites to help them recover from the pandemic hit. Many visitors have flocked to these sites, thus helping the businesses grow.

Freedom Leisure, Wales National Pool Swansea (WNPS), Plantasia and the National Waterfront Museum are some of the sites that have benefited from the Council’s help.

https://www.plantasiaswansea.co.uk/exhibitions/

Exhibition at Plantasia. Photo:https://www.plantasiaswansea.co.uk/exhibitions/

Let the numbers do the talking.

In the fiscal year 2022–2023 of Freedom, the number of visitors to the city centre LC and its other community leisure facilities increased by about 30% to over 1.8 million over the prior year. Revenue reached almost £8 million, up about 36%.

WNPS saw a rise in revenue of over £300,000, reaching over £1.3m.

Photo: https://www.swanseabaysportspark.wales/facilities-and-events/wales-national-pool-swansea/

Parkwood Leisure’s Plantasia experienced an increase in attendance from over 98,000 in 2022 to over 117,000, and income increased from over £200,000 to nearly £950,000.

The number of in-person and online visitors to the free-to-enter waterfront museum increased by around 10% to nearly 277,000.

Many venues and sites continue to face challenges in meeting energy bills and drawing visitors; however, the council is ready to extend its support to them.

Councillor Francis-Davies remarked: “We continue to be there for our leisure services partners during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis because they play a critical part in the life of our city and our local communities.”

The cabinet reviewed the Leisure Partnerships Annual Report, which examined the financial performance and visitor numbers for the city’s institutions that the council supports financially in a variety of ways for the year 2022–2023.

Cover Photo: https://museum.wales/swansea/

Council to set aside £1m for thriving sports clubs

Council to set aside £1m for thriving sports clubs

Several sports clubs at council-owned community playing fields across Swansea are set to receive a boost as the council plans to set £1m aside for changing room renovations. 

The funding will see facilities repaired, modernised and tidied up as community sports hubs are available to the whole community.

“Since the end of the pandemic and during the cost of living crisis, many sports clubs have been at the heart of their communities supporting the health and wellbeing of thousands of people in city neighbourhoods,” said Leader of the Council Rob Stewart.

“We’ve been talking to clubs about what the next steps should be and many called for changing rooms to be upgraded so they could be more easily used by women and girls and be more in line with the expectations of sports’ governing bodies,” he explained.

The council has previously allocated over £7m for over 50 new community play areas for children and planned to allocate £1m for a new generation of skate and BMX park facilities.

“Taken together they are the biggest investment in outdoor community play and sports facilities by the council in more than a generation,” said Councillor Stewart. “We’ve made this commitment because we saw just how important outdoor facilities have been to groups, families and individuals during the cost of living crisis.”

The changing rooms project was introduced last month at Swansea Council’s budget meeting and was approved by the full council; a report seeking funding for the scheme is set to be seen by the cabinet soon.

If the report is approved, an additional £1 million fund will be made available which councillors will be able to apply for to support more community projects and schemes in their areas.

Currently, the community budget scheme allows each member to use up to £15000 each year on qualifying projects.

Councillors have previously used these funds to support initiatives such as the provision of defibrillators, expansion of local wildflower planting programmes, sponsoring community events, and making small streetscape improvements such as sprucing up community gardens or giving public seats.

 

New Recruits appointed for the Maintenance of Beaches and Parks

New Recruits appointed for the Maintenance of Beaches and Parks

This month, approximately 30 recently hired operatives will head out to our parks and beaches to assist in maintaining the cleanliness and well-being of some of Swansea’s most beloved landscapes for both residents and visitors.

In February, over 180 individuals applied for seasonal positions with the Parks and Cleaning teams, with the goal of assisting in maintaining our most well-liked locations throughout Easter and the summer.

The six-month stay will run from now until September, to match the busiest season of the year.

According to Cyril Anderson, Cabinet Member for Community Services, everyone must do their part to leave our parks and beaches in the condition that they would like others to find them when they leave.

He remarked: “Littering is not only unsightly but it can also be dangerous. Bottles, disposable barbecues and dog messes are what people are concerned about the most because they put others at risk.

“In particular disposable BBQs buried out of sight at the beach retain their heat for many hours and can cause life-changing burns to children and other people who have no idea they’re there until they step on them.”

Anderson urges everyone to treat the parks and beaches with respect. For instance, take the dog poo home if you see that the bin is full. everyone can contribute a little.

In addition to picking up garbage, the summer beach cleaning crews will also help maintain the cleanliness of the council’s expanding network of Changing Places at locations like Knab Rock and Rhossili and remove weeds and sand from walkways and roadside areas.

Additionally, park recruits will assist our regular staff in maintaining our award-winning parks so that both humans and wildlife can take in the beauty and blooms.

Visit this link to learn more about the four award-winning Blue Flag beaches in your area: https://www.swansea.gov.uk/beaches

Visit this link to learn more about Swansea’s wonderful open spaces, including its Green Flag parks: https://www.swansea.gov.uk/parks

Cover Photo: Rhossili Bay https://www.swansea.gov.uk/article/24408/Rhossili-named-among-worlds-best-beaches