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News in brief: Wood Street, ‘My Things Matter’, good neighbours

Cardiff Council has been awarded Civil Project of the Year Award for 2023/24 for the Central Square Transport Scheme.

The award relates to the transformation of Wood Street, which includes a new road layout; new bus lanes; rain gardens to manage surface water drainage; improvements to the ‘public realm’ and a highway network which gives priority to buses ready for when the new Transport Interchange opens to the public.

The scheme is the first of its kind in Wales, with a pedestrian crossing built specifically to accommodate blind and partially sighted people, with additional planting and ‘bee bus stops’ to increase biodiversity in the city centre.

Cardiff Council contracted Knights Brown to undertake the work, which took place during the COVID pandemic.

◼️ Cardiff Council has pledged its support for the ‘My Things Matter’ campaign, an initiative that helps to make sure children and young people in care are treated with respect and dignity when they move home.

Run by NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service), ‘My Things Matter’ pushes to end the use of bin bags when children in care move home and asks local authorities to give formal written guidance for staff and carers to support children experiencing moves.

By signing up to the campaign, Cardiff pledges to children and young people in their care to:

  1. Keep their most precious belongings safe during their move and promise they will not be moved in bin bags.

  2. Provide written guidance for them and anyone helping them to move.

  3. Never move or throw away their belongings without their consent and always respect their personal property.

  4. Support them to make a complaint if any of their belongings have been lost or damaged during their move. And finally,

  5. Communicate with them about their move and ask how the move went.

◼️ New research out today (29 June) reports that 65% of UK adults agree where they live is friendly, and our sense of belonging to our immediate neighbourhood has increased by five percentage points since 2019 to 67% in 2023.

An even higher number (74%) also say that they trust their neighbours and feel safe (71%) in their neighbourhoods.

Furthermore, of those who had a Big Lunch to bring people together where they live in 2023, 81% said their event had a positive impact on their community, and 75% said they are now more likely to give their time to help neighbours or good causes.

But less than half (46%) believe people are pulling together to improve their neighbourhoods. Only a similar number of us are exchanging favours (45%) with neighbours, despite the current cost of living crisis putting strain on household budgets including rises in rent or mortgages, fuel and food costs.

Eden Project Communities, one of the partners behind the Month of Community in June to encourage people to make local connections and support good causes, conducted the research to explore attitudes towards neighbourliness.

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