Monmouthshire County Council has issued a reminder that residents have a duty of care to ensure that they dispose of their waste properly – or if they give it to someone else for disposal, to ensure they are a registered carrier of waste.  This follows a serious fly-tipping incident close to the Fox Hunter memorial on the Blorenge last week (17th May) which blocked the road between the Keepers Pond and Llanelen.  The council removed the rubbish promptly.

Recycling Strategy Manager, Carl Touhig said: “Our teams are sifting through the waste and if sufficient evidence can be found we will prosecute.  As well as the environmental and financial cost of removal the waste, emergency vehicles would have been unable to pass, putting life at risk in our rural communities.  If anyone recognises this waste please contact the council.  It is important to contact us early in the investigation process and pass on any available information.”

Councillor Bryan Jones, cabinet member for Operations said: “This is fly-tipping on a commercial scale.  It’s likely that householders have paid a rogue trader to have this rubbish removed and it has been dumped in a local beauty spot on the edge of the Brecon Beacons.  If you have relevant information please contact us so we can stop this blight on our communities.  We all have a duty of care to ensure that we dispose of our waste properly and if we give it to someone else to dispose of, to ensure they are a registered carrier of waste.  If your waste is dumped you could be fined.”

Call Natural Resources Wales on 0300 065 3000 or visit: www.naturalresourceswales.gov.uk to check if a person is a registered waste carrier.

For more information on fly-tipping log onto Monmouthshire County Council’s dedicated web pages: http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/recycling-and-waste/fly-tipping

Close work between Monmouthshire’s environmental health officers and a Chepstow food outlet has resulted in the premises achieving a vastly improved food hygiene rating.

Following an inspection on 8th December 2016 The Boat public house was awarded a zero food hygiene rating.  A subsequent hearing at Newport Magistrates Court on 5th May found Mrs Patricia Simpson of The Boat, The Back, Chepstow guilty of four offences.  She was fined a total of £1,900 and ordered to pay £1,000 costs.

Offences included supplying food that was unsafe for human consumption, failing to implement safe food management procedures to ensure food safety, failing to maintain the food premises in a clean condition and non-display of the current food hygiene rating.

Since the inspection, the business has worked closely with the council’s environmental health team to make great progress and the premises have now achieved a 4 (Good) food hygiene rating.

Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for food hygiene ratings, Councillor Sara Jones said: “The council’s Environmental Health department will always work with food businesses to maintain standards and protect public health.  However, we will not hesitate to use our statutory powers when conditions are found to be poor and businesses have not responded to our advice. Our goal is for all food outlets in Monmouthshire to achieve an acceptable standard of hygiene and aim for excellence.”

Food businesses requiring help or advice, should contact Monmouthshire’s environmental health team on 01873 735420.

Monmouthshire County Council has chosen a new Chairman to serve for the next twelve months.  Councillor Maureen Powell was elected at the council’s annual general meeting on May 16th following nomination by Council Leader elect Peter Fox.  Councillor Fox said: “It gives me great pleasure to propose Maureen who has been a county councillor since 2008.  I’ve rarely met such a hard working person as this lady.”

Born in Hay-on-Wye and educated in Hereford, Councillor Powell has worked in farming, a garage, a chainsaw business, and also ran a bed and breakfast concern before retiring from full-time employment in 2002.  Her consort for the year is husband John. Together, they have five children, thirteen grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

Maureen has extensive political experience having first been elected to Grosmont Community Council in 1995.  She represents Abergavenny’s Castle ward, serves as a school governor and sits on a number of the council’s committees.  This will be her second time as Chairman following her term of office in the year leading up to May 2013.

Maureen attends St Mary’s Church in Abergavenny on a regular basis and is also keen on swimming, reading, and following local and Welsh rugby.  Her chosen charities for her year of office are the Alzheimer’s Society and the Wales Air Ambulance.

Leaders of the council’s political groups paid tribute to the work performed by outgoing Chairman, Councillor Jim Higginson, on his year of office.

In reply, Councillor Higginson reflected on the previous twelve months.  “This year has been an honour and a privilege for my consort Pauline Collier and me.  The county hosted the National Eisteddfod last summer and we visited the festival on each of the six days – it was such an achievement by everyone to make it a success.  We had the pleasure of representing the council on many other occasions including at a royal garden party, the Lord Mayor’s House and the Royal Albert Hall.  There were royal visits by Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke of Cambridge as well as the 50th anniversary of the Severn Bridge and celebrations of the historic two hundred year old Chepstow Bridge.  I sincerely appreciated working with everyone, and to Maureen I send best wishes – I know that you’ll enjoy your experience.”

Councillor Peter Clarke who represents the Llangybi ward was elected Vice-Chairman of the council.

Welsh Commonwealth Games athlete, Clinton Purnell, visited Mounton House Special School near Chepstow on Wednesday 10th May and invited students to join him in a display of gymnastics.  Clinton attended on behalf of the Sports for Champions UK programme which organises school visits for top British sports performers to inspire children and raise awareness, motivating them into active participation.  Over £120 was raised through sponsorship, benefitting both the school and the Sports for Champions programme.

 Mounton House offers gymnastics and trampolining at school and Clinton commented on the high standards achieved by students.  Clinton also addressed students in the school’s assembly and introduced a video.

 Headteacher Beverley Randall said: “It was a privilege to welcome Clinton to Mounton House School to hear about his experiences and for our students to enjoy a training session with such an accomplished athlete.”

 

Monmouthshire County Council has warmly acknowledged the importance of its local tourism industry.  Wales Tourism Week takes place from May 15th to 21st and the council has taken the opportunity to say a big thank you to all involved within Monmouthshire’s visitor economy for their dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism and the high quality welcome they offer.

 Tourism makes a significant and growing contribution to Monmouthshire’s economy.  The industry was worth £187m* to the county in 2015 with 10% real growth in terms of economic impact, 8.7% growth in visitor numbers and 1.5% growth in FTE jobs since 2012.

 Tourism growth isn’t something that happens by chance though.  It’s important to have a strategic plan to guide the county’s destination management and marketing to address identified priorities as well as delivering year round sustainable tourism growth which maximises the economic, social and environmental benefits of tourism across all parts of Monmouthshire.

 Monmouthshire’s last Destination Management Plan covered the period 2012 to 2015.  This plan has since been reviewed and a revised draft has been developed in consultation with stakeholders.  Final consultation is now underway and will close at 5pm on Wednesday 31st May.  The draft Destination Management Plan 2017-2020 and consultation response survey can be accessed by logging onto: www.visitmonmouthshire.com/destination-intelligence

 The plan establishes a clear framework for a public, private and voluntary sector partnership working to ensure a coordinated approach and best use of available resources.

 As part of the council’s commitment to continual improvement, it launched the fully responsive www.visitmonmouthshire.com website before Easter.  The results of the 2016 Monmouthshire tourism business survey, undertaken to inform the revised plan, clearly show that the website is an important element of the marketing mix.  Respondents to the survey also revealed that visitmonmouthshire.com and visitwales.com were the second and third most important online sources of business after their own websites.  The product database which feeds the Visit Monmouthshire website also provides material for the visitor information kiosks at key sites around Monmouthshire as well as the Visit Wales website.

 Local tourism received a boost last week when the council’s tourism team received notification of approval of Rural Development Programme funding.  This two year EU-funded project covers Monmouthshire and the rural wards of Newport and includes a study on best practice visitor information provision, a local visitor information point scheme and the development of Abergavenny and Chepstow tourist information centres as hubs for coach tourism.  The project aims to identify a sustainable future for the tourist information service and expand the benefits of coach tourism through development of closer working relationships with coach operators and local businesses.

 Monmouthshire’s Chief Executive Paul Matthews said: “Monmouthshire has so much to offer visitors, whether they come for the day or longer.  The county is the food capital of Wales, boasts incredible scenery, offers wonderful opportunities for cycling and walking, is home to castles, abbeys, historic market towns and industrial archaeology, is easy to get to and is the venue for many enticing events and attractions.  The Visit Monmouthshire website identifies all that’s best about the county.”

 Contact Visit Monmouthshire – tourism@monmouthshire.gov.uk – for further information.  For information on what to see and do in the area visit www.visitmonmouthshire.com

 

Monmouthshire’s Public Service Board (PSB) – a partnership which includes the county council, health board, Gwent Police, the South Wales Fire & Rescue Service and housing associations – has just published a study which centres on the well-being of the county.  The Well-being Assessment is based on data, research, studies and residents’ views. It considers the economy, environment and culture of Monmouthshire and localities within the county. The PSB will consider this evidence and decide which areas should be priorities in the next few years before publishing the county’s Well-being Plan early in 2018.

 

PSB Chair Paul Matthews said: “Public services need to plan for the long-term and the Well-being Assessment gives a great insight into what well-being means to our county and its communities.  Decisions made today will have real implications for our children and grandchildren so we are working together to ensure we develop and deliver a Well-being Plan that will improve social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being for people in the county.”

 

The Well-being Assessment can be accessed by logging onto http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/our-monmouthshire – in addition, a short video giving an overview of the main findings is available on Monmouthshire County Council’s YouTube channel.

 

Monmouth Community Hub will celebrate a popular children’s fictional character on Saturday 27th May with stories and activities about Elmer the Patchwork Elephant.  The Monmouth event starts at 11am and will be one of hundreds of national Elmer Day celebrations taking place in bookshops and libraries across the country.

Created by David McKee, Elmer was first published by Andersen Press in 1989.  Since then, Elmer’s iconic patchwork and playful character have made him a firm favourite in millions of households across the world.  Elmer encourages children to accept others’ differences and practice tolerance and kindness.

For more information about Elmer Day contact Monmouth Community Hub Library Officer Eira Lewis on 01600 775215.

Children in a Monmouthshire village enjoyed an afternoon’s outdoor play session in the street recently (Saturday 6th May) after the council arranged for a section of road to be closed to traffic for three hours.

Organised by local residents and Bristol-based charity “Playing Out”, youngsters in Sudbrook were able to cycle and ride their scooters near the Severn Tunnel pumping station as well as enjoying skipping, quoits and creating colourful chalk artworks on the road.  In addition, a local resident brought her guinea pigs along for children to feed and pet.

Organisers estimate that twenty-five children came to play over the course of the afternoon.  The council assisted with signage, training and supervision.

Local resident and organiser Karen Chadwick commented: “Children in Sudbrook go to lots of different primary schools, so they don’t have a chance to meet and socialise often.  Today has been a great opportunity to make new friends and for parents to get to know each other too.”

As well as organising Saturday’s play session, Karen also runs a weekly parent and toddler group at Caldicot Castle – further information can be found at www.damselsanddragons.co.uk.

Jacob Lee, aged 10 added: “It’s been really fun and I hope we get to do it again.  My favourite things were riding my bike and chalking.”

All attending the session at Sudbrook were keen to see further similar events.  More information can be found at www.playingout.net while for more information about outdoor play in Monmouthshire contact Whole Place Officer judithlangdon@monmouthshire.gov.uk .

Monmouthshire County Council’s Chief Executive Paul Matthews said: “We were glad to help bring the people of Sudbrook together by employing this type of initiative and offer the children an afternoon of fun and activity.”

Monmouthshire County Council Fostering Team are proud to support Fostering Fortnight 8th – 21st May with a new campaign to address the shortage of foster carers locally. The campaign ‘Fostering, one small step for you one giant leap for them’  aims to encourage people who would like to foster to get in touch, to find out how they can help transform lives.

Throughout Wales there is a shortage of at least 500 foster carers and Monmouthshire Council would like to recruit more foster carers who live in Monmouthshire to meet the needs of Monmouthshire children. By remaining within their own local area it can significantly enhance the life chances for babies, children and young people.

In Monmouthshire foster carers are desperately needed to care for babies, older children and teenagers on a short or long term basis. Carers are needed to provide short breaks for children with disabilities, similarly carers are needed to care for teenagers moving into independence on a supportive lodging basis.

There is no special requirement to becoming a foster carer, people from all walks of life are welcomed to get in touch. The team are looking for people who have ‘life experience’ to support vulnerable children and who are committed to making a difference to them. Foster carers need to have ‘a strong commitment’ to children and be willing to go that extra mile: to take that small step to enable a child to take a giant leap to a secure future. In return we will support you throughout your journey to become a foster carer and beyond…….

Fostering Fortnight is a National campaign which aims to encourage more people to think about the difference they could make by fostering. The theme of this year’s fortnight is ‘Transforming lives’. To support Fostering Fortnight Monmouthshire foster care team are producing a short film explaining the process and how foster carers can really transform lives. The film will be available on the Monmouthshire County Council social media channels, Facebook – Monmouthshire, Twitter @MonmouthshireCC  and You Tube Monmouthshire CC.

Clare Marchant, Chief Officer for Social Care and Health said ‘Fostering Fortnight is a fantastic campaign which is much needed to raise awareness of our unsung heroes, our foster carers who are transforming the lives of the children and young people in their care.’

For more information contact Amy Maqueline, 01873 7 35950 or email familyplacement@monmouthshire.gov.uk  Amy is happy to answer questions and also arrange for existing foster carer to answer questions about what it’s really like to foster.

Each site, where possible, will be accompanied by a small area of wild flower planting

Like many other councils, Monmouthshire has agreed a similar policy called ‘THE VERGE SPONSORSHIP POLICY’.  This policy aims to allow companies to use locations made available, adjacent to the public highway by MCC, for the purpose of sponsorship.  This would be in a safe, reliable and local way to advertise your business while removing the risks, hazards and liabilities associated with flyposting.  Each site will be prepared with a small area of wildflower planting to help enhance the location and help pollinators flourish.

As a purely commercial decision, supplying an opportunity for local companies to sponsor a verge, we would hope to:

Provide needed opportunity for Local business to advertise, by allowing verge sponsorship, while enhancing Bio diversity in an active way.

Produce a meaningful annual income that can be invested into frontline services.  In providing this opportunity we will ensure that the services that all our stakeholders have come to expect are protected a little more.

Many sites are available throughout Monmouthshire, although you may be aware that some main roads, (e.g. A48 in Chepstow, A465 Heads of the Valleys, A40 Monmouth) and some others are maintained directly by Welsh Government and we cannot use them.  Please see the plan and schedule that show you where opportunities are available. Locations on roadsides in the south of the County are available now, the North of the county and MCC carpark opportunities will be available later in the year.

The signs would be of your design and initially installed by us.  The area and signs would be maintained by us for an agreed duration.  A contract would be signed and a fee, of a commercial value, would be paid to MCC. Discounts of 10% are available for multiple sign contracts and two or three year contracts. Each sign location will have been chosen by Monmouthshire County Council’s engineers and assessed for suitability, including a site specific risk assessment for safety.

Should you be interested in receiving more information, or would like to meet and discuss, then please use the contact details below.

We are expecting these signs to be oversubscribed, so I request that you please contact us soon should you be interested in this opportunity.

Contact Highways via Telephone: 01633 644385 and Email: highways@monmouthshire.gov.uk

Verge Advertising Locations

Verge Sponsorship Licencing Agreement

Verge Sponsorship Pricing

Sign Example