July 2001

At a presentation held by the Environment Agency, people of the Caldicot area were told that villages, farmland and wildlife along the Caldicot Levels would be in danger from rising sea levels if plans for improved flood defences were not carried out. The Agency is proposing to construct a new sea wall on top of the existing defences and to reinforce existing riverside earth banks. The proposals are still at the consultation stage but it is anticipated that work will begin in April 2002 and will take six months to complete.

Caldicot Leisure Centre is undergoing a face lift, with 200,000 being spent on upgrading its facilities. The first stage of work, involving the upgrading of changing rooms, is already underway and should be completed by September. Stage two will mean enlargement of the reception area, ready for the installation of a computerised booking system. A new entrance road has also been laid, meaning that leisure centre traffic will not need to drive through the school campus, and there are plans to add 28 spaces to the car park.

Builders have begun to construct a 70,000 skatepark behind Caldicot Leisure Centre. The park, which has been funded by Monmouthshire County Council, is due to open in September. It will be floodlit at night and will be checked by closed circuit television cameras already installed at Caldicot Leisure Centre. Police are concerned that at present youngsters are using the roof of the disused Kwik Save supermarket in the town centre and have warned the youngsters that they are putting themselves in grave danger, risking a 25 foot fall from the roof.

Both sections of Mitel, Caldicot's biggest employer, are to change their names. Mitel Telecom is to become March Networks, while Mitel Semiconductors is to become Zarlink. The two sections of Mitel have been under separate ownership for some time and the name change is being carried out in order to help the two companies to more firmly establish their own identities.

Derelict land near Severn Tunnel Junction is to undergo major improvements in a scheme funded by Monmouthshire County Council. The area is the first land in Wales seen by passengers travelling form England through the Severn Tunnel and is visible from the Second Severn Crossing. The renovation will help to present a positive first impression of Wales to travellers. Most of the area will consist of woodland and grassland, with provision for a static locomotive display, a skatepark and a cycle track.

Thompson & Thompson of Lydney are expanding their car sales business by taking over the site vacated by Wales -West Cars. Thompsons will use the site initially for the sale of used cars, concentrating on SEAT and Renault models.

1. A 62 year-old Caldicot woman has been convicted on six counts of scratching obscenities on local cars. Elaine Meredith was caught after one of her victims carried out a citizens arrest after his own car had been damaged. She denied all charges, but police said she had been found in possession of a Stanley knife. Forensic tests showed that paint found on the blade matched that from a damaged car. She has been remanded on bail for pre-sentence reports.
2. Nicholas Vickery of Caldicot was convicted of cruelty to animals after strangling his family's pet dog after it had bitten him. Chepstow magistrates fined him 1,000 and banned him from keeping a dog for ten years.

Repeated vandalism to the clubhouse at Caldicot Rugby Club is forcing club officials to reconsider allowing free use of the building to community groups. Over 3,500 worth of damage has been done, including, in one incident on 1st July, the smashing of 15 windows and the smashing of a gas bottle. Anybody who has information should contact Caldicot police on 430999.

<<June 2001
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