February 2006

JOBS GO AS MILL CLOSES
Sudbrook Paper Mill, one of the area’s longest-standing employer’s is to close at the end of May with the loss of 135 jobs. The owners, DS Smith plc, blame the closure on heavily increasing energy prices which, in a fiercely competitive market, could not be passed on to customers. The mill, which opened in 1957, currently produces 150,000 tonnes of cardboard casing a year but is making an annual loss of £3 million.

DEBATE CONTINUES OVER SCHOOL SHAKE-UP
Monmouthshire County Council’s plan to reorganise primary education in Caldicot has been criticised by local councillors and parents. MCC is proposing to close Sandy Lane Infants and West End Infants by 2010, transferring pupils to other primaries in the town. The Welsh School, Ysgol Y Ffin, would move from its present home at Sudbrook into the Sandy Lane site. Sandy Lane PTA has organised a petition calling for the school to expanded into a 210 place primary school on a par with the town’s other primaries. Caldicot Town Council has expressed support for the parents’ proposals.

NEW DEFENCES FOR CASTLE
Caldicot Castle is to have additions to its Medieval defences in the form of a vehicle barrier at the front entrance to the country park and ‘alligator teeth’ at the rear entrance. The move follows complaints that staff and visitors attending evening functions have been abused and intimidated by youths who congregate in the grounds in cars. It is anticipated that the barrier will be closed each day at 5p.m. or after guests to evening events have arrived.

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