May 2008

LOCAL ELECTIONS: CALDICOT BUCKS THE TREND
While the Labour Party was licking its wounds nationally after an electoral meltdown throughout England and Wales, Caldicot Labour supporters were celebrating local gains on Monmouthshire County Council and retaking control of the town council. In the County Council Elections, Labour’s John Marshall took Green Lane ward from Plaid’s Dave Ashwin while David Evans took West End, formerly held by Independent turned Conservative James Harris, for Labour. The County Council as a whole remains firmly under Conservative control. The Plaid Cymru/Independent coalition lost control of the town council to Labour. Labour now has 9 seats, Plaid 5 and Independents 3. Conservatives and Liberal Democrats failed to put up any candidates.

FULL RESULTS

COUNTY COUNCIL

CALDICOT CASTLE WARD
Ron Stewart (Plaid) 214 (Elected)
Pauline Watts (Labour) 201
Gail Harris (Conservative) 192
Pamela John (Lib Dem) 45
Electorate: 1432
Turnout: 46%

DEWSTOW WARD
Tony Easson (Labour) 225 (Elected)
Julia Haskey (Plaid) 182
Anthony Perrett (Ind) 107
Peter Butcher (Lib Dem) 35
Electorate: 1419
Turnout: 39%

GREEN LANE
John Marshall (Labour) 264 (Elected)
Dave Ashwin (Plaid) 224
Bronwen Jones (Lib Dem) 84
Electorate: 1611
Turnout: 36%

SEVERN
Jim Higginson (Labour) 219 (Elected)
David Chipp (Conservative) 94
Joanne Daniels (Plaid) 94
Pamela Johnston (Lib Dem) 40
Electorate: 1254
Turnout: 36%

WEST END
David Evans (Labour) 158 (Elected)
Kenneth Thomas (Ind) 140
Mike Rice (Ind) 80
Sandra Orme (Lib Dem) 56
Electorate: 1385
Turnout: 32%

TOWN COUNCIL

CALDICOT CASTLE
Elected: Ron Stewart (Plaid) 306
Jillian Bond (Lab) 362
Not elected: Deborah Jones (Plaid) 257
Thomas Thomas (Plaid) 225
Pauline Watts (Lab) 292

DEWSTOW
Elected: Julia Haskey (Plaid) 285
Tony Easson (Lab) 276
John Marshall (Lab) 241
Anthony Perrett (Ind) 205
Not elected: Michael Jones (Plaid) 180
Earl Harvey (Plaid) 172
Martin Peters (Plaid) 170

GREEN LANE
Elected: David Ashwin (Plaid) 284
Victoria Lloyd (Lab) 248
Susan Webb (Lab) 241
Maria Stevens (Lab) 236
Not elected: Julian Porter (Lab) 231
David Gale (Plaid) 215
Florence Harvey (Plaid) 190
Colin Babb (Ind) 159
Paul Tidmarsh 138

SEVERN
Elected: Jim Higginson (Lab) 291 Not elected: Bill Llewellyn 166
Joanne Daniels (Plaid)241 Robert Llewellyn 148
Christine Ashwin (Plaid) 196

WEST END
Elected: Ken Thomas (Ind) 189
Dave Evans (Lab) 167
Kay Harris (Ind) 142
Mike Rice (Ind) 125
Not elected: Julia Carpenter (Plaid) 140
Julie Roberts (Lab) 133
Rachel Pullen (Lab) 133

FORMER MAYOR SENTENCED
Paul Tidmarsh, former mayor of Caldicot, was given a twelve month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and a two year supervision order after pleading guilty to wounding his wife in a domestic incident in January. Mr Tidmarsh lost his seat on Caldicot town council on 1 May.

‘SLEIGH’ CLAIM REJECTED
The local government ombudsman has rejected complaints from town councillors John Marshall and Tony Easson against the mayor of Caldicot, Dave Ashwin. The complainants alleged that the mayor had treated Mike Rice, of Caldicot Regeneration Group, in a “bullying manner” over the use of a motorised “sleigh” in the Christmas lights ceremony. The ombudsman’s report stated that the allegation was “not sufficiently serious to warrant investigation” and that Councillor Ashwin’s comments amounted to no more than “the robust expression of political differences”.

NEW MAYOR TAKES OVER
Councillor David Evans was appointed mayor of Caldicot at the May meeting of Caldicot town council. He promised to stamp out “petty arguments” between councillors and to work hard to combat anti-social behaviour and bring a new supermarket to the town.

CARNIVAL SCUPPERED BY RAIN
Heavy rain on Bank Holiday Monday forced the cancellation of Caldicot carnival. Organisers promised the event would be back next year.

POLICE RAID YOUNG DRINKERS
Between 100 and 150 young people gathered in the grounds of Caldicot Castle following the Year 11 ‘leavers’ day’ at Caldicot Comprehensive School. Police confiscated more than 50 litres of alcohol but did not report any serious outbreaks of anti-social behaviour.

RECYCLING CONTINUES TO GROW
Monmouthshire Community Recycling, which employs twenty people at its Caldicot depot, handled over 4000 tonnes of household waste in 2007-8, its best year yet. For details visit www.monrecycling.co.uk.

COUNCIL AGREES TO SAND EXTRACTION
In spite of concerns expressed by local county councillors over the possibility of increased erosion to the banks of the Severn along the Caldicot Levels, Monmouthshire County Council approved an application to increase the amount of sand dredged from the Bedwyn Sands from 150,000 tonnes to 250,000 tonnes.

SEARCH CONTINUES FOR MISSING MAN
Dyfed Powys police are reported to be following up three new leads in the search for missing Caldicot man James Nutley, who disappeared while on a golfing holiday in Tenby in October 2004. The leads emerged after the case was featured in BBC TV’s Missing Live programme.

NOT SO USELESS
Aled Shern, the Caldicot man who was badly injured after falling from a refuse collection vehicle last December has now recovered sufficiently to perform again with his punk rock group Useless Abusers.

HOUSE PRICE WATCH
The cheapest houses advertised in the local press for sale in Caldicot at the end of May 2008 was a one-bedroom house in Cobb Crescent and a similar property in Stafford Road, each at £127,950. The most expensive was a six-bedroom house in Chepstow Road at £375,000.

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