October 2014  

ASDA OPENS AMIDST FEARS FOR TRADERS
The new ASDA supermarket opened in Caldicot on 13 October. Long queues formed as the opening time approached. Local sources cast doubt on claims that the supermarket would regenerate the town. It was reported that on the opening day Clarke’s Butchers lost 30% of its trade, Greggs’ takings were down by £1000 and Concorde Discount took only £40 over the till. The ‘Fudge Fairy’ sweet shop also reported a large fall in takings. Anxiety was expressed over how far this would be a permanent trend.

DECISIONS AWAITED OVER FUTURE OF CASTLE
Monmouthshire County Council agreed to allocate £30,000 to employ consultants to report on the future of Caldicot Castle and other ‘cultural assets’ (e.g. museums) in the county. Council officers made it clear that they felt MCC could not afford the investment required, which they estimated to be at least £30 million. Critics of MCC accused it of using Orwellian language with its talk of ‘liberating’ the castle so that ‘it is able to find its own future’ outside of council ownership. They pointed out that the council had failed to provide clear figures on the castle’s financial situation and that the consultation body, the Caldicot Castle and Country Park Advisory Group, had not met for over a year.

PENSIONER JAILED FOR RAPE
Laurence Pritchard, 81, of Caldicot was jailed for 16½ years for rape and indecent assault against a girl under the age of 13. The judge described him as a controlling, aggressive and bullying individual.

WIFI SCHEME FOR TOWN CENTRE BUSINESSES
Caldicot Town Team announced that it is in negotiations to provide free wifi for businesses in the town centre under the government-funded Super Connect Citizens project. It was also looking at the possibility of including the castle and country park in the scheme.

FIRST FOOD FESTIVAL
Around 750 people attended the Monmouthshire Food festival at Caldicot Castle. The organisers said they hoped to make it an annual event.

FAST DELIVERY
Sarah Woodman, 27, gave birth to a son in the lounge of her workplace, Cherry Tree care home. She was passing the home on her way to hospital when she realised that she needed urgent assistance.

APPEAL REACHES TARGET
An appeal to raise £40,000 to allow Caldicot toddler Imogen Ashwell-Lewis to have an operation to help her walk reached its target.

PROPERTY WATCH
The cheapest property advertised in the local press for sale in Caldicot at the end of October 2014 was a three bedroom semi-detached house in Durand Road at £134.950. The most expensive was a five bedroom detached cottage in Sandy Lane at £299,950.

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