David A Elston

Saints – St Athan Parks Trust

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I recently helped set up and became a Trustee of a local charity in St Athan. It is the brain child of Chairperson & Trustee Lisa Austin, who has worked tirelessly to see it become a success, along with two other Trustees; Charlotte Jennings and Sally Gardiner. Since it's creation we have received over 3500. Over 1,500 pounds has been raised as a result of the Family Fun Day in St Athan for the Saints – Parks Trust. It was a huge success. The car park and side streets were packed with cars, the field and community centre was rammed full and everyone was providing really great feedback. Stall holders, volunteers and not just residents but people from as far as Bridgend and Barry turned up to take advantage of the fun in the sun.

Bus un-fare

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Recently it was announced that the bus fare to St Athan Primary School was going to have an increase around three times its current price.

The new fee of £2.00 return bus fare, previously 80p return for comprehensive schools and 40p single or 70p return primary will be introduced in September after the new tender was accepted.

It is standard for the council to seek a new tender/renew an existing tender every 3 years. Regrettably cuts from central government have meant the council is no longer subsidising bus fares and now parents will need to pay the full amount if they need to use the bus.


I've looked into how families on low incomes may be able to seek financial assistance here.

Firstly all children between 5 and 16 qualify for free school transport if they go to their nearest suitable school if:

Aquatrine Respond to East Camp

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After going through the office of Jane Hutt we managed to get through to Aquatrine PFI, Richard Upton, Assurance Team Manager who has responded to my letter, their full reply is to the end of this post.

A summary

The original letter contained an error in the e-mail address, the correct address to send your concerns to is DIOSDTFM-AquatrinePMO@mod.uk and they apologise for this and the length of time it has taken to resolve.

Should the scheme go ahead, EVRCL would no longer supply, bill or be any way involved in the fresh water management to East Camp. I believe this to be in the best interests of residents, however no evidence has been provided for how they believe it would positively influence house prices and conceed the debt may also reduce salability so I do not see residents having to pay for this scheme as beneficial as the original leaflet alluded.

Snooper for PM

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Despite the zombie IP Bill (Snooper's Charter) being knocked back to the depths from whence it came repeatedly, Teresa May's dark magic managed to revive the bill time and time again. Sadly the lack of opposition from Labour helped facilitate this bill and now it's creator is set to be our next Prime Minister.


Her coronation to PM is a sad day for privacy advocates. While our ISPs will be keeping hordes of data on us, Teresa May will get to decide as she leads the country into paranoia and a lack of privacy what to use that data for.

Make Votes Matter - Open Letter

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Thousands are now calling for equal votes in all our democratic processes. Will the Tory leaders live up to their referendum rhetoric?

David Cameron has announced that he will resign as Prime Minister by October, meaning a leader chosen by the Conservative Party will become our new PM - with the public unable to give or withold its consent.

Following the EU Referendum the most important questions still have to be answered, including decisions about trade and immigration, foreign policy and sovereignty. The 2015 General Election manifestos did not include plans for a Britain out of Europe and the people have endorsed no particular exit plan.

Today I signed this open letter from the Make Votes Matter cross-party alliance.

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East Camp Private Parking

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Bad news unfortunately. I wrote to EVRCL regarding the private parking situation on East Camp - specifically on Drake Close where people get blocked in or their private spaces are occupied by someone else. Much to my regret they insist there is not an issue and no one has ever said there was an issue with parking here, contrary with what residents have told and shown me.

I offered a number of solutions to EVRCL that would not cost residents, shareholders or EVRCL anything to implement but they were rejected in whole, saying it was down to the residents to sort out.

 

An Independent UK - What that means for wales

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Wales has a very difficult time ahead. Naturally all EU funding possibilities for St Athan I have since abandoned or put on hold until new funding opportunities present themselves. Wales used to get more money out of the EU than it put in, even when you completely discount trade, as Wales is counted as either the first or second poorest area in the UK, depending on which measure is used, sometimes second to Cornwall.

The Welsh Government will have to negotiate hard over the formula with central government to ensure Wales continues to make this net gain in terms of payment; replacing the EU with England.

Many of our civil liberties and rights were inherited from the EU and we'll need strong Unions and people ready to fight to protect these when Parliament divorces from the EU. There is no guarantee these will be retained, even the EU laws which are enshrined in our own laws will be subject to review.

 

Eglwys Brewis Road safety concerns

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My contribution to the Eglwys Brewis Road safety concerns from residents


Image: Eglwys Brewis Village that joins Eglwys Brewis Road
Image Source: Geograph

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Subject: 5652754 - Road Safety
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2016 14:31:22 +0100
From: David A Elston <d.elston@pirateparty.org.uk>
To: c1v@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk

Dear Vale of Glamorgan Council

I have been approached by residents regarding some road safety issues.

As you may be aware a community mapping survey took place with over 200 responses and we believe to have reached approximately 400 people. One of the serious and obvious trends was a concern over road safety in St Athan Community.

EU Referendum - Silence Broken

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It's a miserable day down here in South Wales. Rain, then humidity, then more rain... warm rain at that.

Amongst it all, amazingly a man had cycled part way up the A48 with a gigantic “Vote Leave” banner and was standing in this sticky rain, in high-vis. I thought because he seemingly believed so strongly in getting us out being the right thing to do and he wanted to express that to others.

 

I parked up and took a bit of a walk over and asked with a smile “Hello. Are we voting Leave?” and we shared a laugh over the obvious answer.

I asked the man why and he had a three pronged approach:

  1. We aren't a self-respecting country
  2. We cannot control our own laws or taxes
  3. We cannot control our own boarders

I was a bit puzzled and asked... “...can't we?”. He explained the EU does all that. He further explained that because of the six presidents of the EU which I won't be able to name even one of them (I could and did but that's not important, his point was most people can't and I happen to agree there) we have given away our sovereignty and we have been defeated over 75~ times.

What a difference a Dave makes

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While our single Pirate MEP delivers huge reform across Europe, I'm making my own little humble contribution down here in South Wales.

Before I write any further, I think it's important to answer the question of expenses. I have travelled quite a bit over South Wales, especially recently and that does beg the question on if I am claiming for this travel, especially as a community councillor is an unpaid government role.

I want to say on the record, that I have never claimed any expenses while being a member of the Pirate Party UK. I have not claimed any from the public purse through my community council, none from the party itself and when offered expenses from institutions such as the University of Bath after a recent talk there, I kindly declined. Politicians have a bad reputation over expenses and I did not want to contribute to that, regardless of how legitimate a claim may be.

Anyway, enough bureaucracy and more on what's been happening!

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