September 2005

Police and family members have expressed fears for Derek Upton, the well known amateur archaeologist, who has gone missing. His car was found on Caldicot moor, near the mudflats which he had spent much of his life exploring. It was reported that Mr Upton was in a depressed state following personal and health problems and that he may have been carrying a gun, although he is not thought to be a danger to the public. One of Caldicot’s most well known citizens, he has been responsible for a number of major discoveries in the Severn Estuary and has an ancient Severnside trackway named after him.

Monmouthshire County Council’s plan to levy car parking charges in Caldicot have led to fierce rows in the town. A group of Caldicot traders attended the September meeting of the town council to present a petition and call for the resignation of the mayor, Paul Tidmarsh, and the deputy mayor, Joanne Daniels, over their alleged failure to represent Caldicot’s interests on the matter. Councillor Daniels accepted responsibility for failing to send a letter protesting against the charges claiming that this was because she had been held up in London by the recent bombings. Councillor Tidmarsh also rejected the calls for his resignation. In a by-election James Harris, already a county councillor and until recently a town councillor was returned to the council on a “no car parking charges” ticket, narrowly defeating the challenge of Plaid Cymru’s Donald Stewart.

Caldicot Castle and country park warden Phillip Marshall has reported to the town council that the Nedern Brook, which runs through the castle grounds, has become badly polluted. He described it as being like “an open drain” and said that the pollution was coming from local housing estates. He is asking the town council to ensure that local people become aware of the consequences of putting pollutants down drains. The Environment Agency is also looking into the matter.

<< August 2005
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