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Month: September 2017

Bits & Pieces: North Wales Housing, Trivallis, Castle Bingo, Cadw, Homeless Squaddies

This is a bumper issue to keep you going as the nights draw in and I get on with a couple of jobs that must be done ere winter tightens its icy grip. The post consists of a number of items enabling you to take it in in easy, bite-sized chunks. (‘Bite-sized chunks’!) Enjoy! ♦ NORTH WALES HOUSING LTD News reaches me of another housing association heading for the rocks, this time it’s North Wales Housing Ltd. A body all too representative of ‘Welsh’ housing associations, especially with the retirement properties built by its wholly owned “commercial subsidiary” Domus Cambria. (Though it’s nice to see a bit of Latin being used.) Looked at more critically, Domus Cambria helps explain what’s wrong with housing in Wales. The Welsh NHS is stretched to breaking point by the demands made on it by, among others, English retirees, yet in Conwy, where almost two-thirds of the pensioners were born in England (2011 census), the council is still giving planning permission for retirement flats that are marketed over the border! ◊ Domus Cambria recently sold the last of its leasehold flats on Llandudno’s West Shore . . . after years of trying. Which explains why it is finally showing a slight profit, though as with Mill Bay Homes in Pembrokeshire, this ray of financial sunshine may be due to cash transferred from the parent body...

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Conference focuses on spirituality and addiction

The link between spirituality and recovery from addictions will be explored at a conference next month. Titled Nurturing and Maintaining Spirituality, the event will focus on how people can recover and how churches can help. Speakers from a cross section of Christian denominations will contribute their insights and experience. Wynford Ellis Owen The free event is organised by Wynford Ellis Owen, founder and former CEO of the Living Room, Cardiff, a recovery centre for people with addictions. He says, “People are often intrigued why people who attend the Living Room – some, who have never attended church or ascribed...

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Business as usual?

“It does look like ‘no’. Those were the shattering words of a BBC journalist covering the 1997 referendum. For this snapshot in time, the course of Wales seemed guaranteed to be a monotonous and tedious path along a road already tread many times before. Several minutes went by and the opposite began to come true. The opposite being the very meaning of unpredictability and excitement for something new and different: something called Devolution. Though the devolution referendum was won in 1997, it is clear that was not the start of Wales’ journey to partial autonomy, nor could it be regarded as our destination en route to a settlement whereby consensus intertwines with practicality. The pendulum of public opinion has gradually swung in the direction of affirming support for devolution. From a staunch rejection in 1979 to a perceived vote of confidence in 2011, the people of Wales have become more and more willing to accept the notion. I was born shortly before the millennium, in 1999, so should be in no way regarded as an expert in the matter, but it is undoubtedly clear that the tumultuous clash of visions has not been remedied. Very few people view the current setup of devolution as one that would span generations, avoiding major overhauls. On the week where we celebrate, or rather note, the 20th birthday of devolution, one striking pin...

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Llais y Sais

HORNY TEACHER ‘OF TREGARON’ Whilst relaxing over a coffee a while back, and reading Llais y Sais, mine eyes alighted upon the report you see below. Straightforward enough, a story we read all too regularly; horny young teacher gets involved with pupil. click to enlarge This report in Llais y Sais suggests that the accused, Christopher Wood, “lives in Tregaron” and started working at the school in Solihull, Birmingham, in September 2015. Yet on the website of its Daily Mirror sister-paper we read the prosecutor saying, “Wood, previously from Dorridge, Solihull, but now from Tregaron in Ceredigion, Wales, had started working at the school in September 2015.” The difference is obvious. The Daily Mirror report tells us that Wood has recently moved from Solihull to Tregaron, while Llais y Sais hopes we’ll believe that he’s native to Ceredigion. However, when I went to the WalesOnline website, I was confronted with a story that was similar, but all references to the alleged offences having taken place in Solihull had been removed. We were left with a naughty teacher from Tregaron. There’s no point in giving a link because the original version has now been updated to more closely follow what appeared in the print version. In a normal country, any journalist writing up – even copying and pasting – this story would have asked himself or herself, ‘Hang on, why is this guy now living on...

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Provincial office move

After almost 100 years, the national office of the Church in Wales is moving to a new address. Next week (September 25), the Representative Body of the Church in Wales relocates into the heart of Cardiff and to a modern, accessible work space. The move became necessary as the converted residential properties the Church had occupied on Cardiff’s Cathedral Road, were no longer fit for purpose, either as offices for its staff or as a meeting venue to which people travel from all over Wales. After exploring many options, the Trustees decided that the most expedient solution would be to...

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