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College: We are being proactive in solving budget gap

The deputy principal of Cardiff and Vale College has defended the management of the further education provider.

Mark Roberts insisted fears about falling standards for students due to cost-cutting measures and redundancies are unfounded.

The restructuring that we're doing is based on trying to focus staff efforts more on frontline learner support, reducing the amount of time spent on internal processes, and making sure that we're focused on meeting students' needs.

– Mark Roberts, Deputy Principal of Cardiff and Vale College

He also defended the fact that more than £25,000 has been spent on overseas flights this year, and insisted that business class tickets are appropriate for long-haul flights, when going into meetings with senior government and partner officials.

The overseas trips will be generating over £500,000 of new income for next year which will help offset some of the funding reductions.

We've got to make £3m savings, and I recognise that's going to be very uncomfortable and worrying for some staff.

But that's why we're doing something about it, that's why we've invested in a new campus, that's why we're getting income from overseas.

– Mark Roberts, Deputy Principal of Cardiff and Vale College

Concerns over running of Cardiff and Vale College

An ITV News investigation has found significant concerns about the way further education provider Cardiff and Vale College is being run.

A member of staff contacted us to raise their fears, describing it as "a really unpleasant place to work, with morale at an all-time low," due to pressure from management, cost-cutting that affects teaching, and worries surrounding redundancies.

More than 80 academic and support staff have been given voluntary redundancy since 2011, with the college currently considering further employee reductions.

The UNISON Union says many of its members have "deep-seated fears" that cutbacks mean the college cannot continue delivering the standard of education that students should expect.

Cardiff and Vale College offers further and higher education courses to 20,000 students. Credit: Cardiff and Vale College

College leaders say they have to make up a £3m budget gap next year, due to Welsh Government funding cuts.

Money-saving measures have included changing the college's toilet paper supplier - while spending has increased elsewhere.

The college principal's salary rose by £20,000 to £140,000 at the end of his probation period.

Information obtained by ITV News under a Freedom of Information request shows spending on overseas travel for the principal and other senior members of staff has increased from nothing when the college was formed by a merger in 2011, to more than £25,000 this year.

£10,522 was spent on return flights to Malaysia, in business class.


Appeal after partially-sighted man's stamp collection stolen

South Wales Police are appealing for information after a theft of a 'valuable' stamp collection album from a flat in Barry.

It belonged a partially-sighted elderly man living at Court Mews on Court Road in the town.

Police say he had a number of visitors during recent weeks, and believe the theft to have taken place during this time.

The album is described as a brown photo album style book with a name inscribed in gold on the first page.

Man injured in fall from tree onto railings

South Wales Fire and Rescue are dealing with an incident in Barry, where an elderly man has become injured on railings.

Watchtower at Barry sells for £60,000 at auction

There are restrictions and what the new owner can use the building for. Credit: Paul Fosh Auctions

An architect has paid £60,000 for an old watchtower in Barry after it went up for auction with a guide price of just £1,000.

The un-named buyer, who is from London and has family connections in Barry, bought the 150-year-old coastguard watchtower after it went under the hammer in Cardiff.

The winning bidder fought off competition from14 other buyers to take home the keys to the watchtower overlooking the Bristol Channel, which was owned by the Vale of Glamorgan council.

The building has previously been used by Sea Scouts. Credit:


Appeal for kitten's owners after engine trouble in Barry

The kitten, estimated to be around 7-8 weeks old, was found stuck in a car engine in Barry Credit: RSPCA Cymru

A kitten has had a lucky escape after getting stuck in the engine of a car in Barry.

The female, estimated to be 7-8 weeks old, had to be rescued by South Wales Fire Service after she was discovered in a Peugeot.

Staff at RSPCA Cymru are now trying to trace her owners.

Inspector Danielle Baber said: ”Kittens are curious by nature but luckily this cheeky creature’s adventure didn’t result in any harm coming to her.

"She is a very vocal little cat, with lots of personality, but sadly she isn’t microchipped or wearing ID so we have no idea where she came from. If anyone in the Barry area is missing a black kitten, I would urge them to contact us immediately.”

Anyone who thinks they know who this kitten belongs to is asked to contact the inspector’s information line on 0300 123 8018.

Schoolchildren hoping for a festive number one hit

Now with only a week to go before doubt the music world's already starting to wonder what song will top the charts this year. Hoping for airplay is a group of schoolchildren from Penarth and Barry.

The Rocketeers formed as a band 12 months ago and now they've released their very own Christmas track. Hannah Thomas went to meet them.

Schoolchildren in South Wales record Christmas single

Children from three schools in Penarth and Barry have recorded a new song in time for Christmas - and are aiming for the number one spot!

The group, who all have physical and learning difficulties,teamed up to write, perform and record the single 'It's Christmas Time' with the help of producer Gethin Jon, who has worked with a number of stars including Charlotte Church.

Ashgrove School, Ysgol Erw'r Delyn and Ysgol Maes Dyfan will host a major launch for the song this week as part of the school's Christmas concert.

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