Welcome to the last update of the week from Cardiff Council, covering: Llandaff Fields among the latest play areas to reopen, bringing the total open to 100; funding approved for the first phase of Cardiff's District Heating-Network; this year's Cardiff A-Level results; Adult Community Learning Cardiff develops range of exciting new learning opportunities; and local samba band ‘Barracwda' re-establish their community group at Bute Park's temporary outdoor courts.
Another nine children's play areas in Cardiff, including the popular facilities at Llandaff Fields, are to reopen at midday this Saturday. Once opened, it will bring the total number of play areas available to use in Cardiff to 100.
A total of nine play areas will open from midday on Saturday (15thAugust). They are:
Play areas have been opened on a phased basis, following a safety first approach and with a view to ensuring that children across the city have some play provision in their local area as quickly as possible.
In line with Welsh Government guidance and health and safety legislation, all sites have gone through a COVID-19 risk assessment and the equipment and safety surfaces have been inspected by a qualified playground inspector, prior to re-opening.
Changes have been made to some play areas to help maintain social distancing and minimise risk of transmitting COVID-19. For example, some swing seats have been removed to ensure a 2 metre distance is maintained.
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A new £26.5m district-heating network, which will use underground pipes to transport heat from an energy recovery facility to businesses and homes in Cardiff, has secured £15mto begin the first phase of works.
Cardiff City Heating Networkwill use heat generated at Viridor's Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) at Trident Park, which divertsapproximately 350,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste from landfill every year. The plant generates enough electricity to power around 68,448 households.
Buildings that connect to the network will no longer need to use gas to heat their property, reducing energy bills and the city's carbon emissions.
The new project - the first of its kind in Wales - has received support via a £8.6m loan from the Welsh Government and a £6m grant from the UK Government.
Cabinet Member for Clean Streets and the Environment, Cllr Michael said: "This is an exciting opportunity for Cardiff to develop a new, low-carbon, energy infrastructure, fueled by an existing facility in the city. The Heat Network is one the council's key projects in our response to Climate Change, so this is really exciting news.
"Analysis shows that if all the heat available from the plant is fully utilised, we could save 5,600 tonnes of carbon each year and the customers signed up to the network could cut their annual energy bills by five per cent on average, while reducing their heating system's carbon emissions by up to 80%."
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Pupils across Cardiff have today received their A-Level results, many of which have been delivered virtually due to COVID-19.
Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: "I would like to congratulate all of Cardiff's students who have received their A-Level results today, in what has been an extraordinary few months for young people across the city.
"Schools, regulators and exam boards have worked diligently to ensure that their results will be regarded with equal importance as previous years. This cohort of Year 12 and Year 13's will be acknowledged for succeeding, having faced an exceptional series of challenges caused by the pandemic and now they can celebrate their determination and hard work over the last few years.
"I have enjoyed hearing of so many success stories from across the city and whether our students are moving onto university, employment or training, I would like to wish them the best of luck as they begin a new chapter of their lives."
Given the decision to cancel examinations this summer as a result of the pandemic, the WJEC have developed a process which allows grades to be based on Centre Assessment Grades and Rank Orders which have been submitted by teachers/ lecturers.
Following a consultation with young people and education professionals conducted by Qualifications Wales, the WJEC has developed two statistical standardisation models, which have been approved by Qualifications Wales, which have been applied as part of the process for the issuing of grades for the summer 2020 exam series.
A specific appeals process for the summer 2020 exam series has also been developed.
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Adult Community Learning Cardiff has developed a range of exciting new learning opportunities, with courses due to start next month.
The Learning for Life course brochure is now available online and enrolment is open for a number of online courses including art, crafts, gardening, ICT, languages and more, with further classes to be added in coming weeks.
The service has adapted to deliver online learning in the light of the current health measures and are encouraging learners to sign up to learn using their own devices from home. Classes will be delivered via Google classrooms and Microsoft Teams.
Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: "This year's Learning for Life autumn term will be a little different due to the current circumstances but thanks to technology, we can continue to deliver engaging and enjoyable courses for learners and hopefully widen access to our learning opportunities.
"More and more people have become familiar with using their devices and online platforms to connect with family or for work purposes and we are really pleased to have been able to develop a range of interesting courses that our expert tutors will deliver online for learners."
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The Afro Brazilian percussion troop ‘Barracwda' have found an alternative home for their rehearsal at the temporary outdoor courts in Bute Park near Blackweir changing rooms.
Around 30 of the samba band's members come together to mix funk, reggae and jungle music but were unable to rehearse and socialise indoors due to lockdown and the ongoing social distancing measures.
The seven outdoor activity courts have been designed as part of a scheme to make use of outdoor areas that are not currently being used, providing a private space for group activities to continue in a safe environment.
Since the launch of the courts last month they have been a welcome addition to Bute Park and the team are taking bookings for any groups who are experiencing difficulty practicing activities that may usually take place indoors.
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