November 2008

COUNTY COUNCILLORS SEEK TO DITCH CASTLE
Monmouthshire County Council has rejected a proposal to devise a firm programme of repairs to Caldicot Castle after being told by its director of finance, Steve Greenslade, that the money was not available. The proposal had been made following a campaign by Councillor Tony Easson. Urgent work is required to prevent water damage to the south west tower, to repair rotting windows in the banquet hall and to deal with subsidence to the steps to the keep. The results of a structural survey are due shortly. Comments from a number of councillors suggest that the ruling group is seeking to relinquish its ownership of the castle and therefore its responsibility to maintain it in good repair. Councillor Giles Howard (Llanelly Hill) pointed out that the County Council could not access funding from sources such as the Heritage Lottery Fund, while Councillor Brian Strong (Usk) said, “If Caldicot town council bought the castle it could get help from organisations such as Cadw for the work”. Liz Hacket Pain, MCC Cabinet member, called for local people to “drive the project forward” by seeking funds from other sources. Councillor Easson responded to the decision by stating that “residents of Caldicot are constantly being short changed”.

GIFT TO CASTLE
The granddaughter of a man born at Caldicot Castle has presented a collection of family memorabilia to Caldicot Castle. They include photographs taken on board the Foudroyant, the training ship run by Mr Cobb, the castle owner.

HOUSING OPTIONS CONSIDERED
Monmouthshire County Council has considered options for local housing development. In the Draft Options Report for the Local Development Plan, options to be considered for further development include land between Caldicot and Rogiet, near the proposed new M48 junction. The report also pointed out that opportunities for development in Caldicot are restricted by the policy of maintaining a “green wedge” to keep Caldicot separate from Rogiet, by protection given to the Severn Levels as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and by the danger of flooding on the Levels.

CCTV UPGRADED
A new wireless CCTV camera, giving a clearer image than the existing cameras, has been installed in Caldicot town centre. Chris Norman, CCTV development officer for MCC, reported that the existing cameras had led to six arrests in the town.

TOP COP
Former Caldicot School pupil Derek Kitcher, now serving with Gwent Police at Monmouth, has received a Chief Constable’s Commendation in recognition of the enthusiasm and maturity he showed in his probationary period.

HOUSE PRICE WATCH
Local Estate Agents have stopped advertising properties for sale in the local press. Watch this space!

<< October 2008
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