Cardiff Council Update: 19 January 2024


Here is your Friday update, covering:

  • Cardiff scores highly in survey of European cities' quality of life
  • Pupils inspired by hottest Welsh music acts performing at their school
  • Severn Primary School Receives positive evaluation from Estyn

Cardiff scores highly in survey of European cities' quality of life

Cardiff has scored highly in a major new EU survey assessing the quality of life in major European cities - and been declared the best of all for families with young children.

The survey, by the European Commission, is the result of extensive polling of at least 839 residents in each of 83 cities in 36 countries - 71,153 interviews in all - on issues, including:

  • Safety
  • Jobs
  • Transport infrastructure
  • Culture
  • Health, and
  • Quality of local administration

Since the last survey, carried out in 2019, overall levels of satisfaction across most European cities have declined as events like the Covid-19 pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis, and Russia's invasion of Ukraine have taken their toll and put pressure on healthcare systems, economies and reduced tourism.

Yet the survey showed that between 91 and 93% of people in Cardiff agreed that they were satisfied living in the city, on a par with people in the Tyneside conurbation and higher than the other UK cities in the survey - Glasgow, London, Manchester and Belfast - and far higher than major European capitals like Rome, Athens and Belgrade.

In two categories, Cardiff outperformed all 83 cities, including all of Europe's principal capitals:

  • A good place for families with young children to live, and
  • A good place for immigrants to live

It was also placed in the top 10 in other categories:

  • A good place for LGBTIQ people to live (fifth)
  • Satisfaction with green spaces (ninth), and
  • Satisfaction with noise level (10th)

Cardiff Council leader Cllr Huw Thomas said: "It's good to see Cardiff score so highly in several areas of this report. Cardiff is a great city to live in and I welcome these independent findings which back that up.

"As a council, we have worked hard to earn Cardiff its status as the first UK city to be given UNICEF Child-Friendly status and, of course, we have a long tradition of tolerance and welcoming immigrants to the city."

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Pupils inspired by hottest Welsh music acts performing at their school

The music scene in Cardiff is vibrant, with the city the location for exciting festivals and scores of venues, recording studios and rehearsal rooms catering to every musical style - from classical to jazz, hip-hop and electronica.

Cardiff Council is supporting the scene through the Cardiff Music Strategy, which puts music at the heart of the city, championing and promoting music as a tool for growth, rather than a by-product of it.

Key to this is encouraging young people to embrace music, in line with the Welsh Government's National Plan for Music Education, and today the Council officially launched Little Gigs - a programme that brings music and musicians right into the heart of schools.

Llanishen High School was the venue for today's official launch of this exciting new project and it hosted performances from two of the hottest Welsh acts on the scene - Chroma (pictured) and Maditronique, who performed short sets in front of pupils.

In the audience for the hour-long ‘little gig' were more than 100 pupils, all of whom had expressed an interest in learning more about the music business, including being part of a band, writing for the music press or being part of the behind-the-scenes technicians who look after lighting and sound.

"Although today was the official launch, a number of high schools have housed their own Little Gigs over the autumn term already. These gigs are just the catalyst; inspired learners will now be encouraged to sign up to the Little Gigs programme of mentorships, training and support from industry partners," said Rhian Boyce, lead teacher for the project for Cardiff Council's Curriculum team.

"The gigs have been so incredibly inspiring, from youngsters at Ty Gwyn Special School wanting to start their own compositions to a literal stage-storming performance by rapper DFlexx at his own former high school, Cardiff West.

"I can't wait to see how our partners at CF Music, Anthem, Sound Progression and the music scene at large support the young people to find their own voices on the music scene."

Cllr Sarah Merry, the Council's deputy leader and the Cabinet Member for Education, was among those enjoying the performances at Llanishen High today. "It was wonderful to see the young people enjoying live music - some for the first time, I think.

"Little Gigs are a direct result of the Sound Diplomacy report we commissioned into Cardiff's music ‘eco-system' which recommended building partnerships with professionals in delivering music education in the city. To that end, we have joined with organisations including Clwb Ifor Bach, Music Box Studios and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to make that happen."

Her colleague, Cllr Jennifer Burke, the Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Events, said: "These Little Gigs will help nurture a whole new generation of music lovers but, going beyond that, the workshops and mentoring opportunities linked to the gigs will also play a key role in providing the pipeline of talent - both on-stage and behind the scenes - that is needed to ensure Cardiff's music sector continues to thrive in the future."

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Severn Primary School Receives positive evaluation from Estyn

Severn Primary School in Riverside has been commended by Estyn for its commitment to creating a safe, inclusive environment that prepares pupils for active participation in society.

During a recent visit, inspectors from Wales's Education Inspectorate, found a number of positive strengths at the school including:

  • Positive Learning Environment: Pupils at Severn Primary expressed enjoyment in attending the school, citing a sense of safety and care with the school commended for its commitment to equality and inclusion.
  • Effective Leadership: The headteacher, appointed in September 2018, leads the school with professionalism and compassion. Governors support leaders well, managing spending diligently and maintaining a robust safeguarding culture.
  • Engagement with Parents: Leaders and staff at Severn Primary have established strong relationships with parents with parents found to value the care and guidance provided by the school.
  • Teaching Quality: Many teachers at Severn Primary plan stimulating lessons with clear learning objectives, resulting in pupils making good progress, particularly in literacy and mathematics.

Overall, a positive report, a series of areas for improvement were identified which include:

  • Health and Safety: Addressing a maintenance issue relating to the roof.
  • Feedback Mechanism: The effective use of feedback to support pupil progress and foster independence requires development.
  • Digital and Numeracy Skills Integration: Opportunities for pupils to apply their digital and numeracy skills across the curriculum need improvement.

The school will now address the recommendations provided by Estyn by working collaboratively with its leadership, staff, the Local Authority and the wider community to enhance the overall learning experience for its pupils.

Nick Wilson, Headteacher at the school, said; "I am very pleased with our Estyn report. It reflects the fantastic teamwork, hard work and professionalism demonstrated by all staff, on a daily basis to improve outcomes for pupils.

"It is a privilege to work in such a diverse school community with parents and governors who are truly committed to working with the school in order to support their children to achieve not only their best work but to develop into kind, capable and ethically informed citizens of the future. I would like to thank all stakeholders for their commitment and support in helping Severn Primary School provide the best education possible for our wonderful pupils."

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