The Christmas season was dominated by a series of spats between traders
and the mayor. At the start of the month Hayden James, who runs a music
shop in the town centre, wrote to the press to complain that his business,
along with several others, had suffered from vandalism and anti-social
behavior by “gangs of youths” and “mindless individuals
intent on turning our town into a war zone”. He went on to complain
that, in spite of Councillor John Marshall’s efforts in raising
a 1,000-name petition, “nothing appears to have been done”.
He singled out the mayor, Councillor David Ashwin, for criticism, branding
his citing of a “conflict of interest” for not signing the
petition as “pathetic”. He challenged police claims that crime
was falling, saying that it was more a matter of people becoming too disillusioned
to report incidents.
Replying in defence of her
husband, Christine Ashwin, mayoress of Caldicot, pointed out that John
Marshall is Hayden James’ brother-in-law. She stated that local
government regulations would have prevented Councillor Ashwin from dealing
with the issue at County Council level if he had signed the petition and
that he was active in campaigning for improved CCTV coverage for the town.
This was followed by a row
at a special town council meeting over whether a sleigh for use at the
town’s Christmas celebrations was roadworthy. After the council
decided not to use the sleigh, Mike Rice, from the Chamber of Commerce,
and Councillor John Marshall walked out of the meeting. It is alleged
that Councillor Ashwin taunted them with comments that they were “babies”
who had “thrown their teddies from the pram” and that Mr Rice
told Councillor Ashwin to “stick the sleigh up his arse”.
Further argument erupted over
an embarrassing confusion over the annual Best-Dressed Shop Window competition,
with Jessica Morden MP and John Griffiths AM presenting the award to one
winner on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, only to find that the mayor
had chosen a different winner.
PLAN FOR CALDICOT
Monmouthshire County Council has approved a development plan aimed at
improving trade in Caldicot. The plan, which has been welcomed by Caldicot
Regeneration Group, includes a new drainage system to prevent flooding
and new facilities for the comprehensive school.
AT SEVERN TUNNEL
Members of Severn Tunnel Action Group have protested to First Great Western
over its decision to cut early evening through trains between Bath and
Severn Tunnel Junction. Commuters and shoppers will now have to change
at Bristol and wait half an hour for their connection.
LEFT FOR CEMETERY
Monmouthshire County Councillors were told that Caldicot Cemetery has
space for burials for another five years.
PC Stephen Jones has been commended by the Chief Constable of Monmouthshire
for his contribution to making twenty arrests for drugs related offences
in Caldicot in the last year.
PUTS CALDICOT IN THE PICTURE
Local historian Richard Jones has published the second volume of Caldicot
and the Villages of the Moors in Old Photographs. The first volume was
published by his father Malcolm in 1995. The book, which is selling well,
is available from several local shops at £14.95.
The cheapest property advertised in the local press for sale in Caldicot
at the end of December 2007 was a two-bedroom flat in Norman Court at
£104,950. The cheapest house was a three-bedroom semi-detached in
Estuary View at £142,000. The most expensive property was a four-bedroom
detached house in Heol Teifi at £264,950.
<< November 2007
Caldicot Community Website