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You need to be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel, or download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer.

This could be on any device, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder. If you do any of the above without a valid licence, you risk prosecution and a maximum penalty of up to £1,000, plus any legal costs and/or compensation you may be ordered to pay. You will also still have to buy a TV Licence if you need one.

To find out more, go to tvlicensing.co.uk/info

How can I buy a TV Licence?

There are lots of different ways to buy a TV Licence. Whether that’s through weekly cash payments, using your nearest PayPoint outlet, spreading the cost with monthly, quarterly or yearly direct debit, credit/debit card or by post – just choose the one that suits you best.

For more information on the ways to pay, go to tvlicensing.co.uk/payinfo

Could I get a concession?

Are you, or is someone you live with:

·         75 years old or older? You are eligible to apply for a free Over 75 TV Licence. Call 0300 790 6112 with your National Insurance number to hand or visittvlicensing.co.uk/over75info

·         74 years old? You can apply for a short-term TV Licence to cover you until your 75th birthday. Call 0300 790 6112 to find out more.

·         Blind and can provide the appropriate evidence? You are eligible to apply for a 50% blind concession on your TV Licence. If you are partially sighted (sight impaired) you are not eligible. To apply, go to tvlicensing.co.uk/blind  or post a photocopy of your document of blind registration or a certificate from your ophthalmologist with your licence number, phone number and cheque payment to TV Licensing, Blind Concession Group, Darlington DL98 1TL.

What if I don’t need a licence?

If you don’t need a TV Licence, you still need to let TV Licensing know.

Monmouthshire’s libraries are to survey the county’s young people to discover what they need from the service.

 The Young People’s Library Survey is held every three years and will run for two weeks from Monday 17th October.  It is aimed at children undertaking key stages 2, 3 and 4 of the national curriculum.

 Children visiting their local library will be asked to fill in a quick, easy and confidential survey so library planners may discover how and why they use the service and how they regard it.  The results will help shape developments and offer guidance for the future.

 Councillor Bob Greenland, cabinet member with responsibility for library services said: “The opinions of Monmouthshire’s young people are very important to us and I urge them to take this opportunity to make their feelings known.  This will allow us to bear them in mind when we consider how the service is run and may be improved.”

 Monmouthshire’s library service is delivered through community hubs in Abergavenny, Caldicot, Chepstow, Monmouth and Usk, as well as at Gilwern Library.  For further information on the Young People’s Library Survey, contact Fiona Ashley – FionaAshley@monmouthshire.gov.uk – or 01633 644906.

 

 

Public bodies in Monmouthshire are engaging residents, businesses and organisations to gain information for the area’s wellbeing plan and will visit local communities until mid-October to discover how they feel about their neighbourhoods and services.  The engagement process, entitled Our Monmouthshire, will help shape how current decisions affect future generations, so councils and other public services need to begin planning at least 10 and ideally up to 25 years into the future.

The Monmouthshire Wellbeing Plan is a statutory document produced by the local service board – a partnership which includes the county council, health board, Gwent Police, the South Wales Fire & Rescue Service and housing associations.  Similar documents are being prepared by public service boards across Wales following the passing of The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act April 2015.

Teams from organisations representing the public service board have already visited Caldicot’s town centre, Monmouthshire Show, Abergavenny market, Chepstow Show, Usk’s community hub and Raglan’s livestock market asking the questions:

– What’s good about your community?

– What would make it better?

So far, the Our Monmouthshire events have been very well-received with many people expressing their thoughts and opinions on specially produced postcards featuring scenes from around the county. Forthcoming venues include Usk Show, Tintern, Abergavenny Community Centre and Monmouth’s Shire Hall.

Residents are also encouraged to engage online via the council’s engagement platform Monmouthshire Made Openwww.monmouthshire.madeopen.co.uk/ or the council’s website – http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/our-monmouthshire – or on Twitter #OurMonmouthshire and Facebook.

Monmouthshire County Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for engagement and community development, Councillor Phil Hobson said: “Decisions made now will have real implications for our children and grandchildren so we need to work together to make sure we get this right.  This means that all public services must plan for the long-term and understand what well-being means to our county and its communities.  Your thoughts will help us make sure we address some of the really big challenges facing Monmouthshire.”

Contact Communications & Engagement Officer Rhian Cook – rhiancook@monmouthshire.gov.uk – for more information.

Monmouthshire County Council has secured the prosecution of a private hire firm following an investigation by licensing officers.

Abergavenny business M D Travel was fined a total of £3,000 plus £884:54 costs with a £150 surcharge at Cwmbran Magistrates Court after being found guilty of three offences at a hearing on Monday, 5th September.  Offences included dispatching a licensed private hire vehicle using an unlicensed driver in Abergavenny on 14th February 2016, allowing a private hire vehicle to be driven by an unlicensed driver in Abergavenny on 14th February 2016 and dispatching a licensed private hire vehicle using an unlicensed driver In Cwmbran on 19th July 2016.  No one from the firm attended the hearing.

The presiding magistrate commented that M D Travel clearly had no regard for the safety of members of the public.

Leader of Monmouthshire County Council, Councillor Peter Fox said: “The council’s licensing officers will always work with travel operators to maintain standards.  However, we will not hesitate to take legal action when businesses have breached legislation and undermine public safety.”

For further information on the licensing of vehicles visit: www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/taxi

Data released today by Welsh Government shows that most of Monmouthshire County Council’s services maintained their performance levels in 2015-16.  Well over 50% of all comparable measures fall within the top half of performance indicators for Wales as a whole.

Performance across all key stages of education is now an absolute strength reflecting the focus and priority attached to this area.  The council has now seen three years of successive performance improvements against a backdrop of £17m of cost reduction.

The council has continued to focus on its core purpose of ‘building sustainable and resilient communities’ as well as its four priorities of education; protecting the most vulnerable in society; supporting enterprise and maintaining locally accessible services.

Performance has improved in some key areas.  For example:

  • 66.9% of pupils obtained five good GCSEs including English or Welsh and Maths in summer 2015 – the best outcomes in Wales
  • 91% of adult social care users had their support reviewed compared to 84% in the previous year

Some areas remain broadly similar to the previous year:

  • 99% of highways inspected were of a high or acceptable standard of cleanliness – it would be difficult to improve on this
  • 9.2% of roads were assessed as being of poor standard compared to 9.7% last year.

The council recognises there are areas of performance that require improvement:

  • It has seen an increase in staff sickness to 11.6 days per full time employee which is higher than the Wales average of 10.2 days
  • It has seen some marginal declines in a number of measures attached to children’s social services.  The council is confident that these changes have not exposed any child to harm – which is clearly what really matters – but it continues to improve social work practice, management capacity and the range of preventative services available.

Over the past four years the council has reduced the amount it spends while striving to protect front-line services and focus resources on its priorities.  Over this period the council has delivered improvement against 74% of its performance indicators.

Commenting on the published data, Council Leader Peter Fox said: “I am pleased to see that most of our services continue to perform well.  We know from this data and our own regular performance information that there are still service areas that require improvement and we are starting to see these improvements being made.

“During the last four years of this administration we have seen nearly three quarters of service performance indicators improve.  Faced with unprecedented financial challenges, increasing demand and the rural nature of the county, continuing to maintain and improve performance in all service areas is becoming increasingly challenging but it is a challenge we are up to.

“We remain committed to prioritising our resources on our four priority areas, while I still expect every service to be efficient and cost effective.  We continue to talk to residents about what’s good about their community and what would make it better as we develop long-term objectives for our county.”

The council will publish a full evaluation of its 2015/16 performance in October on www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/improvement

Monmouthshire’s waste and recycling service is to collect glass separately in selected areas of the north of the county during a trial scheduled to last six months.  Glass is a valuable resource and separating it from paper and card will add value to these materials too.

 The trial starts the week beginning Monday 19th September and will embrace a wide range of households and businesses in areas of Abergavenny, Gilwern, Govilon, Llanellen, Goytre, Little Mill, Glascoed, Coed-y-Paen and Llangybi.  Over 6,500 properties will receive a new green box for glass jars and bottles, to be collected on the same day as red and purple bags.  No properties will see changes to collection days.

 Boxes delivered to participating properties will contain supplies of red bags and special purple bags which clearly state “No glass”, as well as grey bags for rubbish, food waste bags and a leaflet explaining the changes.  No black bags or purple bags containing glass will be collected from the trial area.

 Councillor Bryan Jones, the council’s cabinet member with responsibility for waste and recycling said: “The trial is an important step towards increasing both the quality and quantity of our recycling.  Glass can be recycled over and over again and saves the planet’s finite resources, so this trial is an important way to assess if this method of collection will work in the whole of the county.  Residents have always risen to the challenge of increasing recycling when we introduce new services, and we are confident they will do so again”.

 Residents seeking further information are asked to visit the council’s website – www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/recycling-and-waste/glass-recycling-box-trial – or telephone 01633 644644.

 

A government fund established to set up projects that strengthen relationships between current and former members of the armed forces and the wider community in which they live will be open for applications this month.  The £10m per annum Covenant Fund consists of four priorities and applicants for funding can apply for one of these elements – Community Integration/Local Service Delivery – from Friday 23rd September.

Grants of up to £20,000 will be made available for projects that help integrate armed forces and civilian communities and deliver valuable local services to the armed forces community

Monmouthshire’s Armed Forces Champion, Councillor John Prosser said: “This stage of the 2016 Covenant Fund focuses on two areas: Community Integration applications must demonstrate they will create strong links between the armed forces community – both serving and former members and their families – and civilian communities while overcoming barriers to better integration as well as improving perceptions, attitudes and understanding.”

“Meanwhile, Local Service Delivery projects should offer support for serving armed forces personnel, veterans, and their families.  These will assist with financial help, housing, mental and physical health, employability and social isolation.”

The application process is a single stage and the deadline for applications is Wednesday 2nd November 2016.  Bids can be submitted from registered charities, local authorities, community interest companies or armed forces units.  For guidance on how to apply visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covenant-fund-guidance-on-how-to-apply

 

 The Stage 5 Tour of Britain cycling race passes through Monmouthshire on Thursday 8th September 2016.

   The route enters Monmouthshire at Mamhilad along the A4042 to Little Mill.  From there, it follows the A472 through Usk and then on minor roads to Gwernesney – Llansoy – Trelech – Tintern – leaving Monmouthshire at Bigsweir Bridge near Llandogo.

 Rolling road closures will be in place along the route between 11:30am – 1:00pm while the race passes through. 

 Having previously hosted a stage of the Tour of Britain, we know the value it adds economically and socially and therefore, once again, we welcome its passage through.  For more information and a detailed map of the route visit the Tour of Britain website:  http://www.tourofbritain.co.uk

 

 

Monmouthshire County Council is to consult the public over its plans to build a walking and cycling footbridge over the River Usk at Llanfoist.  Public consultation events will be held in Llanfoist Village Hall from 10am to 7pm on Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th September.

The council aims to develop a safer walking and cycling route from Llanfoist to Abergavenny’s town centre and the proposed crossing will provide a welcome alternative to using the Grade II-listed stone arched bridge spanning the Usk and carrying the busy A4143.

The new footbridge is proposed to be constructed 300 metres east of the existing road bridge and will be linked to current routes by the construction of a new path along the river towards to The Bridge public house.  Two options – a stress ribbon bridge and a box girder bridge – are considered as most suitable for the 55 metre span over the river.  The structural design has been influenced by the risk of flooding, visual impact, access for disabled people and cost.  Building is likely to take place within the next two years.

Councillor Bryan Jones, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for operations said: “This scheme will improve facilities for pedestrians and cyclists traveling between Llanfoist and Abergavenny.  We urge residents, stakeholders and interested parties to attend the consultation events and provide us with valuable feedback.”

For further information visit www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/ email activetravel@monmouthshire.gov.uk or telephone 01633 644727.

Over twenty youngsters enjoyed the thrill of a Tales and Teapots party in Abergavenny Library on Wednesday 24th August in the company of staff from Boots Opticians.  Based in the town’s Frogmore Street store, optical staff Zara Ahmed and Helen Wilkins read entertaining stories and focused on the importance of eye health with a light-hearted question and answer session.  Everyone returned home happy with a goody bag containing crayons, a zookeeper activity pack, vouchers, a thank you leaflet, balloon and colouring sheets.

Tales and Teapots gatherings are promoted by the National Literacy Trust.  Supported by Boots Opticians, its aim is to raise UK literacy levels.

Joshua Meats of Abergavenny brought along his six year old daughter Robyn and nephew Elijah.  Elijah who enjoyed the party loves reading and is currently working his way through the Harry Potter series.  The seven year old Cantref Primary pupil is very keen on his visits to the library and when he’s not buried in a good book his favourite activity is drawing.  Meanwhile, Robyn displayed her delight in reading as she has enrolled for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. The theme – the Big Friendly Read – celebrates the world’s favourite storyteller Roald Dahl, born in Cardiff one hundred years ago.  The challenge continues in all the county’s community hubs until Saturday 17th September, allowing children plenty of time to enjoy a summer of reading.  In Abergavenny alone, 321 children have taken up the challenge and 87 have already completed it.

Monmouthshire’s community hubs have lined up further events and activities for youngsters as the summer comes to an end.  The Monmouth and Chepstow hubs as well as Abergavenny Library are participating in The Search for the Giant Peach competition from 1st to 30th September.  Open to all existing or new members aged 12 and under, entrants must inform staff of the whereabouts of the giant peach within each hub.  Winners will receive a selection of prizes including a full set of Roald Dahl’s works.

Monmouth’s community hub will celebrate Roald Dahl Day from 4 to 6pm on Tuesday 13th September with a craft session inspired by the author to include word searches, quiz and songs.  Meanwhile, Chepstow’s hub will hold a Roald Dahl-inspired story time on Friday 16th September to mark his 100th birthday.

On Saturday 3rd September from 10.30am Abergavenny Library will welcome back interactive story teller Louby Lou who will explore magical worlds within a mythical beast-themed one hour long session.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.  To book a space telephone 01873 735980.

Councillor Bob Greenland, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for community hubs said: “Children’s events at our community hubs offer a great deal of fun but they also encourage us to pick up a good book from an early age.  Reading is a thoroughly pleasurable lifelong activity and provides people with a source of information, inspiration, enjoyment and satisfaction.”

For more information on events and activities provided by Monmouthshire’s community hubs contact:  communityhub@monmouthshire.gov.uk