June 2000

Rhodri Morgan, First Secretary of the Welsh Assembly, visited Mitel Telecom to officially launch a 600,000 machine which will double the speed of production at the Caldicot factory. The machine is part of a 2.5 million investment programme at Caldicot, which will create 60 new jobs, bringing the number of workers at the plant to 843.

Fears of severe job losses at the Corus Steelworks at Llanwern did not materialise. The long-awaited announcement of cutbacks by Corus revealed that the redundancies would be in Yorkshire rather than in South Wales. However, concern continues to be expressed over the long term future of the plant, particularly given the problems created by the continued high level of the pound.

Governors at Caldicot Comprehensive School have decided that the phone mast on the school roof should be taken down once the contract with Orange runs out later this year. The decision was taken following a petition from staff which expressed concern over possible risks from radio waves to pupils' health.

The row over repairs to Green Lane School has continued. Councillor Bill Edwards of Caldicot opposed Monmouthshire County Council's decision to keep the school open during a period of major repairs. Councillor Edwards insisted upon a recorded vote so that he could register his fears of the possibility of accidents to children during the work.

A group of Caldicot parents are campaigning for a Welsh medium school to be established in the south of the county. At present, pupils who attend the Welsh language nursery in Caldicot can only continue with Welsh medium education beyond the age of five if they travel out of county to Newport or stay within the county but take the even longer journey to Abergavenny. There are fears that pupils from Monmouthshire will not be allowed to attend the school in Newport if Newport CBC needs all the places for its own children. An action group, Parents for Welsh Medium Education, has been formed.

Wildlife in the lake in Caldicot Castle Country Park is facing an unusual but deadly threat in the form of turtles. The South American turtles, known as 'snappers' can grow to up to four feet long. They were originally brought as pets during the craze for the Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series several years ago but have been released into the lake by their owners when they grew larger. Countryside wardens have been removing turtles from the lake.

<<May 2000
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