July 2008

SCHOOL CLOSES
Sandy Lane Infants School closed as part of the reorganisation of primary education in Caldicot. The old school site is being adapted for use as the Welsh medium school, which is transferring from Sudbrook. Nursery children from Sandy Lane will, from September, go to a new unit at Durand School, while infants will go to Green Lane or St Mary’s School. St. Mary’s is to be renamed Castle Park School.

“FINGERPRINT” PROTEST AT SCHOOL
Proposals to introduce a “fingerprinting” system through which students at Caldicot Comprehensive School would pay for school meals led to a school gate protest by a small group of parents concerned over civil liberties issues. In response, the school reassured parents that no fingerprints were kept on record and sought views from parents on the issue. The school defended the scheme, which involves parents creating an account in advance for meals, either through the internet or by cheque, on grounds that pupils would no longer need to carry cash, reducing chances of bullying and money being lost or misspent.

PLAY FORT TO BE DEMOLISHED FOLLOWING PLANNING DISPUTE
The owners of the Castle pub have been ordered by Monmouthshire County Council to demolish a play fort they built in the pub grounds. The fort was built without planning permission and has led to complaints from nearby residents about noise.

FLAG DISPUTE CONTINUES
The row over proposals to fly the union flag next to the Welsh flag at Caldicot town council offices rumbled on following the withdrawal of the item from the agenda for the July meeting of the council. No reason was given.

THIEF STEALS FROM FINLEY
A collection box for donations to the “Finley Fund” was stolen from Wye Valley Foods in Caldicot. The fund was set up to help Finley Ellis-Hall from Llanmartin have an operation to restore his sight following cancer. The box is believed to have contained around £60.

CALDICOT MAN JAILED FOR HEROIN POSSESSION
Martin Bishop of Betjamin Avenue, Caldicot, was given a 12 month prison sentence and ordered to pay £1,160 under the Proceeds of Crime Act after being convicted of being in possession of £2,780 worth of heroin.

CORUS GRANT SAVES FESTIVAL
A donation of £3,000 from Corus, owners of Llanwern Steelworks, guaranteed that Caldicot’s annual August bank holiday festival would be able to go ahead for another year.

HOUSE PRICE WATCH
The cheapest house advertised in the local press for sale in Caldicot at the end of June 2008 was a three bedroom semi-detached property in Longfellow Road “requiring some attention and benefiting from double glazing” at £110,000. The most expensive was a “superbly renovated and refurbished barn conversion” with four bedrooms (all en-suite) at the old Church Farm at £525,000.

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