March 2012  

DEATH OF LEADING POLITICAL FIGURE
Graham Powell, who had dominated Caldicot politics for many years died on Monday 27 March.
Graham Powell was born in Aberdare in 1925. He followed his father onto the railways, becoming a ‘lad porter’ at the age of 14. He was transferred to Severn Tunnel Junction in 1942 and quickly became involved in the local Labour Party. He was elected to Rogiet Parish Council in 1949.
After moving to Caldicot, he was elected to Caldicot Parish Council in 1954. The following year he was elected to Chepstow Rural District Council and in 1963 to Monmouthshire County Council. When Gwent County Council was created in 1973 he became Chairman of Education, a position he held until 1990, except for 1979-81 when he was Leader, then Chairman, of the County Council.
In 1990 he again became Leader of Gwent County Council, holding the position until the council disappeared as the result of local government reorganisation in 1995. He subsequently became the first leader of the new Monmouthshire County Council.
Over the years he gained a reputation as a forceful and pugnacious figure who was never far from controversy. He frequently encountered opposition within his own party, a member of which once referred to him as ‘the Darth Vadar of local politics’. He lost the leadership briefly in 1997, following a ‘coup’ within the Labour group, regained it in 1998 but lost it again in 1999 when the Conservatives gained control of the council. In 2004 he failed to win nomination for a County Council seat from the local Labour party. He stood as an independent but was defeated. After that he continued to play a role in local politics including playing a leading role in opposition to the sale of school land for a supermarket.

POLICE STATION CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC
Gwent Constabulary announced that, as part of its cost cutting measures, the ‘front desk’ at Caldicot police station would be closed. Members of the public who needed to present documents would have to travel to Newport to do so. A spokesman for Gwent Constabulary stated that “We want to reassure the public that our 24/7 presence will remain as strong as ever. Only the places and ways we interact with them will change.”

CALDICOT WOMAN CARRIES OLYMPIC TORCH
It was announced that Mrs Dorothy Turner of Caldicot would be amongst the 8,000 people selected to carry the Olympic torch around Britain. Mrs Turner, who taught yoga for over 25 years in Caldicot and Chepstow, retired last year. On 25 May she will carry the Olympic Torch for 300m in Abergavenny.

SCHOOL GIVEN IMPROVEMENT GRANT
It was announced that Caldicot Comprehensive School, placed in Band 5 in the Welsh Government’s controversial system for grading secondary schools, would be given a £10,000 grant to help it to improve its performance in return for drawing up and implementing an action plan.

HOUSE PRICE WATCH
The cheapest property advertised in the local press for sale in Caldicot at the end of February 2012 was, as in February, a one-bedroom mid-terrace house in Alianore Road at £104,950. The most expensive was a four bedroom detached house in Taff  Road at £224,950.

CRIME WATCH
The online “crime map” published by the Home Office showed that in February 2012 there were 72 reported incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour in Caldicot.  (www.police.uk).
(Note that from September 2011 new categories have been added, giving more details of offences formerly listed under ‘Other Crimes’.)

 

Burg-
lary

Anti-Social Behav-iour

Rob-
bery

Vehicle Crime

Violent Crime

Public Disorder and Weapons

Shop-
lifting

Criminal Damage and Arson

Other Theft

Drugs

Other
Crime

Total Crime

Dec 2010

10

48

1

3

9

 

 

 

 

 

21

92

Jan 2011

9

57

0

7

5

 

 

 

 

 

32

110

Feb 2011

3

35

0

2

3

 

 

 

 

 

16

59

Mar 2011

1

54

0

0

1

 

 

 

 

 

11

67

Apl 2011

1

51

0

4

3

 

 

 

 

 

16

75

May 2011

3

29

0

1

1

 

 

 

 

 

21

55

June 2011

6

32

0

3

5

 

 

 

 

 

14

60

July 2011

6

53

1

5

8

 

 

 

 

 

35

108

Aug 2011

5

55

0

3

5

 

 

 

 

 

32

100

Sept 2011

9

34

0

3

2

0

1

8

6

5

1

68

Oct 2011

3

53

0

4

1

0

5

8

3

5

1

83

Nov 2011

4

19

0

2

3

0

4

3

7

2

1

45

Dec 2011

1

30

0

1

0

0

3

4

5

3

0

47

Jan 2012

2

43

0

3

3

0

3

4

4

3

1

66

Feb 2012

2

47

0

2

4

0

2

5

5

4

1

72


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