Meeting local businesses and changes to recycling

Meeting local businesses

One of the Council’s priorities is to create more and better paid jobs. We can only do this by working with new and existing businesses, supporting them, and creating the conditions for businesses to thrive. Engaging with local businesses, especially as we work towards delivering a City Deal for Cardiff and the wider region, is extremely important if we are to deliver our vision of Cardiff becoming Europe’s most liveable city.

During July the City Council, working with Business Wales and Business in Focus, has held a series of business roadshows across the city. This has been an opportunity to go and speak to businesses, understand their issues, and promote key projects, such as the development of a City Deal. It has also provided businesses with direct access to a range of council services and information about Cardiff Bus services.

Business Roadshow St Mellons

The final business roadshow will take place on the 29th July near Ocean Way in Splott – if you’d like to find out about how the Council and its partners can support businesses or the projects we are taking forward – you can find more details by following the Invest in Cardiff account.


The return of the Cardiff Bay Beach

Building on the success of last year, the Vueling Cardiff Bay Beach returns for another summer, bigger and better than ever before!

The urban beach, on Roald Dahl Plass, opens to the public this weekend until the 5th September and is free to enter. Boasting over 300 tons of sand, there will be even more attractions and entertainment on offer.

Urban Beach

Events and activities like these are important in bringing together communities and attracting visitors from all over the UK and further afield, and provide opportunities for family days out during the school holidays. The beach attracted over 250,000 visitors in its first year, a figure exceeded last year. I’m sure even more people will visit this year!

For more information about opening times and what will be available at the beach, visit the Cardiff Bay Beach website.


Recycling Changes – Get it out the black and move it into the green

You may have read about the changes to recycling and rubbish collection that are taking place in the city.

The City of Cardiff has a recycling target of 58% this year and for every 1% we miss this by we could be fined by the Welsh Government around £400k. This comes at a time when we need to meet a budget shortfall of around £117m over the next 3 years.

The recycling target for all Welsh Local Authorities will increase to 70% by 2025 as we aim to deliver the Welsh Government’s aim of becoming a zero waste nation by 2050. Cardiff currently recycles more than any other UK core city, including cities such as Manchester, Bristol and Glasgow; however, we are one of the worst performing areas in Wales. Therefore, we need to improve and fast!

Research has shown that in other areas where restrictions on the number of black bags that households can put out, or where the size of wheeled bins has been reduced, has led to significant improvements in recycling rates. In Trafford and Salford, where they introduced smaller wheeled bins, it led to a 10% increase in recycling.   Whereas in Monmouthshire, restricting the number of household waste bags (black bin bags) to 2 bags per fortnight per household has reduced household waste by 56% and increased recycling by 30%. Other Councils, such as Gwynedd and Falkirk, have taken alternative measures and decided to collect household waste every 3 weeks instead.

I’d encourage people across the city to do everything they can to recycle and compost more and ‘move it into the green’. If you’d like more information on these changes, or to find out more about recycling in Cardiff, please visit the Council’s website.

Cardiff: Connected to the World

Opening of the Honorary Consulate of Mexico

I was kindly invited to the opening of the Honorary Consulate of Mexico in Cardiff. Honorary Consulates aim to strengthen the promotion of a country, in this instance Mexico, and help develop strategic links in important areas such as education, trade and commerce.

It was a good opportunity to meet the Ambassador of Mexico to the UK, Diego Gómez Pickering, and the Honorary Consul for Wales, Glynn Pegler, and discuss the links between our two countries.

Glynn Pegler is notable for being one of Wales’ youngest and most successful entrepreneurs. He founded the Culture Group of companies when he was barely 15, and now is among the UK’s youngest Honorary Consuls.

He was selected for the appointment because of his strong track record in overseas trade and development, particularly his work in establishing social impact projects and campaigns with young people, not only in Wales but globally.

Cutting the Ribbon Ceremony at the official Opening of the Honorary Consulate of Mexico

Cutting the Ribbon Ceremony at the official Opening of the Honorary Consulate of Mexico

As you may be aware, there will be a trial launch of flights from Cardiff to Cancun on Mexico’s east coast next summer. Cardiff Airport has a long runway, which means that it can offer long-haul flights which connect Cardiff to the rest of the world. The opening of the Honorary Consulate in Cardiff is good news for the city – it is the 14th based in the city – and one which emphasises our growing international profile.

Celebrating 60 years of ‘twinning’ with Stuttgart

Continuing with an international outlook, Cardiff recently welcomed a delegation from the German city of Stuttgart, to mark the 60th anniversary of our twinning arrangement.

You might be aware that in Cardiff we have a road called Stuttgarter Strasse which runs past our civic centre and the Stuttgart gardens in Bute Park, were designed by apprentices from Stuttgart to celebrate our 50th anniversary. This relationship is really important to both our cities as it allows us to learn from one another. For example, Cardiff and the wider South Wales valleys can learn a lot from Stuttgart’s city region approach, which is a recognised world-leader, as well as undertake cultural, school and business exchanges. On our 60th anniversary, both cities have taken this co-operation further by signing a Memorandum of Understanding to; co-operate in the financial services and creative industries sectors and in EU funding applications and networks.

The visitors, led by Stuttgart’s Deputy Mayor, Dr Martin Schairer enjoyed Cardiff’s history and culture and had an opportunity to hear more about our city’s great history and exciting future during visits to places such as Cardiff Castle, Mansion House, Ely Hub, and the Millennium Stadium.

Under Cardiff Castle’s Keep with the Stuttgart Delegation

Under Cardiff Castle’s Keep with the Stuttgart Delegation

More activities to mark the 60th Anniversary are planned including ‘The Tale of Two Cities’ exhibition that is taking place as part of the Diffusion festival in Cardiff in October. It is set to be an exciting display, put together by Ffotogallery and Stuttgart’s Fotosummer which I’m sure, will be well worth a visit!

If you’ve got an idea which could build on our cities long standing links with Stuttgart – why not get in touch with the Cardiff/Stuttgart Association by visiting their website!

The International Food & Drink Festival

The visit of the Stuttgart delegation was timely, with the city bustling with excitement from a successful first Ashes test (expected to bring in up to £24m economic benefit) and with Cardiff’s highly anticipated International Food & Drink Festival taking place. One of the festival’s most popular stalls is from Stuttgart – so it was nice for our visitors to see so many people enjoying their food and drink.

Stuttgart Stand

It was the 16th International Food and Drink Festival and once again it was a great success with excellent food and entertainment on offer.

This year’s event also included the biggest outdoor street food piazza in Wales. I’ve blogged a couple of times about the success of the street food scene in the city, and so it’s interesting to see the latest video from the Cardiff Unscripted project!

Events like this, one of the headline events of the Cardiff Festival, really help bring people into our city. They also enhance Cardiff’s reputation as a liveable city as well as providing a welcome boost to local businesses and the city’s economy.



Chancellor’s budget cuts and your public services

Westminster Budget

Great communities are built on great public services, and we are determined to continue to build Cardiff’s reputation as a great place to live, work and do business. Whilst the City Council has been pro-active in trying to find new routes of funding – such as through a potential City Deal – this will not help us resolve the pressing budget shortfalls that we and other local authorities across the UK face. We also know that areas with the greatest need, such as the Cardiff Capital Region, demand higher levels of public spending and will therefore be hit hardest by yesterday’s news.

The Westminster budget will therefore undoubtedly have serious consequences for public services. With increasing requirements it is impossible to remove over £12 billion from the welfare budget without having an impact on some of the most vulnerable in society.  Many services people have come to expect from their councils may no longer be viable and we will now have some tough decisions to make.

Whilst we will continue to do our very best for the people of Cardiff it is essential that a debate continues on what is and isn’t possible given this latest round of painful budget cuts.

I will keep you informed as we learn more about what this budget will mean for our residents, our city and our public services.

Your chance to take part in ‘Ask Cardiff’

Given the challenges facing the City Council following the budget, it is more important than ever that we involve people in the tough decisions that now need to be made!

As a Cooperative Council, we are committed to engaging with residents on a wide range of issues that affect our communities. We’ve seen this during the Cardiff Debate, and the launch of this year’s Ask Cardiff Survey is another opportunity to have your say on Council services.

By providing us with your opinions, we can make informed decisions on the future of the city and how services are delivered.  The deadline for completing the Ask Cardiff survey is Monday 7th September 2015 and you can complete it online or pick up a copy at your local library, leisure centre or Hub.

If you have any questions or difficulties in completing the survey, please contact:

It is important that you have your say!

DON’T FORGET! Have your say on Cardiff’s new bus and cycle interchange!

There is also an opportunity throughout July to discuss proposals for a new bus and cycle interchange in Central Square. These views will help inform the detailed design planning of the interchange – so please take the opportunity to visit our mobile Information Centre and see the model of the new station on the following dates:

  • Sunday 5th July until Friday 10th July, 8:30am to 5:30pm – at stand A at Cardiff Bus station
  • Saturday 11th July until Friday 17th July, 8:30am to 5:30pm – at the top of Churchill Way (outside the Capitol Centre)
  • Saturday 18th July to Friday 24th July , 8:30am to 5:30pm – at the Hayes
  • Saturday 25th July to Friday 31st July, 8:30am to 5:30pm – opposite Cardiff Central Train Station



Road to Cardiff 2017

Cardiff to host 2017 Champions League final

Rumours have been surfacing for several weeks, but following a meeting of European football’s governing body UEFA, I am pleased to be able to officially say that Cardiff will be hosting the 2017 Champions League final.

Cardiff has a proven track record of hosting major events, such as the NATO Summit, FA Cup Finals and the Rugby World Cup. This well-deserved reputation means that we can now look forward to hosting the pinnacle of club football. In the 2014 final, when Cardiff’s Gareth Bale scored one of the winning goals, it was confirmed again as the world’s most-watched annual sporting event, shown in more than 200 countries with an estimated global average audience of more than 165 million!

A packed house at the Millennium Stadium during the press conference on the Champions League final

A packed house at the Millennium Stadium during the press conference on the Champions League final

Work will now accelerate with the Football Association for Wales, UEFA, the Millennium Stadium and partners in the public and private sector to ensure that Cardiff delivers the best Champions League final possible. This is another opportunity to showcase our city to the world, and will bring a large number of visitors and international media to the city, as well as giving a significant boost to Cardiff’s economy. It is estimated that the final, which was most recently held in Berlin, is worth around £40 million to the city’s economy. Berlin also hosted the Champions League festival, a free four-day event, which included games featuring football legends, and events with the community to ensure the final leaves a lasting sporting legacy.

The final will help deliver our priority of driving the economy and creating jobs and will further raise Cardiff’s international profile – as some of Europe’s leading football clubs compete on the ‘Road to Cardiff’ . In two years time, maybe just maybe, Bale, Ramsey, or the next Welsh superstar, will score the winning goal on home turf.

Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour

In other major sporting news, this week the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour came to Cardiff.

Cardiff is set to host eight matches at the Millennium Stadium during the tournament, including Wales’ pool games against Uruguay and Fiji, and there will be a dedicated fan zone in the city at Cardiff Arms Park.

The trophy will remain in the city for the next few days before continuing its journey into England. For an opportunity to see the trophy, you can see a full itinerary by visiting the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour website.

Rugby World Cup Trophy

Cardiff and Vale College launch a new city centre campus

Cardiff and Vale College (CAVC) opened its brand new city centre campus on Dumballs Road this week.

The college’s £45m campus is the latest state-of-the-art landmark in the city centre with a range of facilities for individuals, communities and employers to learn.

The 16,000m2 campus includes:

  • A rooftop fine dining restaurant with views across the city
  • Dedicated science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) centre
  • Unique conference facilities with flexible indoor and outdoor spaces
  • An employment centre
  • Commercial hair and beauty salons and a state-of-the-art gymnasium to enable vocational training for students taking courses such as hairdressing

In a recent blog I talked about the Cardiff Design Guide and the importance of high-quality, sustainable design in the city – so it is really positive that this entire building has been designed with a focus on sustainability. A key feature of this is a 1,850m2 photovoltaic array (useable solar power supply), built into the ‘over-sailing’ angled roof that will provide a sustainable energy source for the site and help towards our commitment to become a one planet city. As you can see, this really is more than just a college and has the qualities of a world class facility.

It will open this month, with students arriving in September, and if you want to know more – watch the launch video that CAVC have put together below: