October 2009

DARK DEALINGS ALLEGED AT CASTLE
Concerns continued to be raised over the collapse of the catering contract at Caldicot Castle (see September 2009). A report to Monmouthshire County Council pointed out that the cost to the council of honouring existing bookings with Jameson’s Events, which has ceased trading, remained unclear. The search for a new company to take over the catering and banquets will begin after Christmas. Peter Ellis, Director of Community Learning, insisted the maintenance programme at the castle would not be affected. At a meeting of the Mor Hafren Area Committee, Mike Rice of Caldicot Chamber of Trade, called for a public inquiry on the issue. He said, “It has been alleged that there were close ties between Jameson’s Events, members of the castle management and also the consultants used to secure the contract.” MCC officials promised an official response in due course.

COUNCILLOR RESIGNS
Councillor John Marshall resigned from Caldicot Town Council. Councillor Marshall, who was elected as a Labour councillor but then became an independent, cited a number of complaints about the way the council was run, alleging that it had mismanaged issues such as the proposed supermarket, the cemetery and the flagpole outside the council office. He also argued that it had failed to address vital issues such as crime and flooding. He claimed that he had been “driven out” following personal attacks and complaints about his conduct. He keeps his position as a County Councillor.

MAN ON ASSAULT CHARGE
Malcolm Webb of Castle Lodge Crescent was remanded in custody charged with causing grievous bodily harm to a Chepstow man following an incident at Chepstow Bus Station on Sunday 18 October.

SCHOOL GOES FIZZICAL
70 pupils at Durand School were given ‘fizzbook’ laptop computers by computer firm Intel as part of a pilot project in e-learning.

HOUSE PRICE WATCH
The cheapest house advertised in the local press for sale in Caldicot at the end of October 2009 was a one bedroom end of terrace in Stafford Road at £109,000. A similar property was on the market in 2007 and again in 2008 with an asking price of £127,950. The most expensive was a four bedroom detached property in Mill Lane at £239,950.

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