Closes: 17:00 hrs. Wednesday 24th December 2014

NB Our four one stop shops will close at 15:00 hrs on Christmas Eve
Re-opens: 09:00 hrs. Tuesday 30th December 2014

Closes: 17:00 hrs. Wednesday 31st December 2014
Re-opens: 09:00 hrs. Friday 2nd January 2015

Monmouthshire County Council is to improve signage on the Wye Valley Walk following the receipt of a £3,677 rights of way improvement grant from the Welsh Government. Monmouthshire’s stretch of the scenic route runs from Chepstow via Tintern, Whitebrook and Monmouth, to the English border near Symond’s Yat.

Field Officer Mike Noakes of the council’s Countryside Service said: “There has been a need to update and repair signage on this route for some time so we have surveyed and ordered new destination fingerposts for the Wye Valley Walk within the county. The walk is one of Monmouthshire’s biggest tourism attractions and it is important that the signage is kept in good order. The fingerposts are marked in English and Welsh, providing information on the status of the route and destination. They constitute a big improvement on the previous basic fingerposts and will satisfy quality standards for such trails.”

In addition, £14,500 is being spent on improving a bridleway near Redbrook and on footpaths in Llanishen, Wolvesnewton and Rogiet. The improvement works include drainage, surfacing and replacing furniture to make the paths more accessible.

Council Leader Peter Fox said: “We are justifiably proud of our marvellous rights of way network in Monmouthshire which provides an opportunity for residents and visitors to explore all corners of this beautiful county.”

Thanks to a Welsh Government Rights of Way Improvement Plan grant, Monmouthshire’s Countryside Access Team has received training to install equipment that indicates the number of walkers who use the county’s regional routes. Electronic sensors detect and record people as they pass fixed points.
Monmouthshire’s Principal Countryside Access Officer, Ruth Rourke said: “We are delighted to have received training and have the ability to collect data about routes. Now we will be able to see how many people are using our promoted walks and use this information for obtaining grants to make improvements. The equipment purchased also enables the authority to save money in the long term, as there is no need for ongoing maintenance and reporting contracts by the manufacturer. We also hope that we will be able to involve our community groups and volunteers to collect the data so they can also benefit from the results.”
Contact Monmouthshire County Council’s Countryside team – Countryside@monmouthshire.gov.uk – for information on rights of way and volunteering.

An Usk woman has been commissioned to design and create the Eisteddfod crown. Jeweller Deborah Edwards is currently constructing the crown, which will be awarded to the winning entrant in the competition for the Pryddest – poetry written in free verse – at the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

Deborah, who designs and makes all kinds of jewellery from her workshop near Usk, said: “Initially, I had to send the organisers a letter and images of previous work. The people who were shortlisted were visited in their workshops to discuss their proposals for the crown.

“I was commissioned to design the crown and have already started to create it. I’m really looking forward to finishing the piece and seeing it presented at the Eisteddfod. It will be a real honour.”

One of the world’s major festivals, the National Eisteddfod of Wales is coming Monmouthshire this summer, with about 150,000 visitors expected. They will enjoy the pinnacle of the Welsh cultural and artistic calendar, and whether English or Welsh speaking, the Eisteddfod has much to offer. It will be held on Castle Meadows in Abergavenny on 29 July – 6 August.

Deborah added: “As a Welsh jeweller, I feel very honoured to be chosen to make the crown, especially as the Eisteddfod is coming to my home county of Monmouthshire.

“It has been a challenge, but one that I am relishing.”

To help the county host the National Eisteddfod, residents are invited to join one of the county’s fundraising committees by contacting 0845 4090 400 or gwyb@eisteddfod.org.uk

For more information, go to www.eisteddfod.org.uk

Monmouthshire County Council is to switch off its street lights between midnight and 6am in residential areas of Caldicot and the village of Grosmont from Thursday, 7th April as part of a budget saving exercise. This is part of a wider initiative to save expenditure on street lighting, contributing to a budget saving for the council.
The policy to switch off street lights in residential areas during the early hours of the morning was approved by the council in February 2014. It was agreed that no lights would be turned off in areas of traffic calming, pedestrian crossings or other high risk pedestrian areas.
Council street lighting officers have engaged with county councillors as well as town and community councils to determine areas where they consider street lights cannot be switched off. Lights have already been turned off in residential areas of Abergavenny, Chepstow, Monmouth, Usk and other locations.
Monmouthshire’s cabinet member responsible for the county’s street lighting, Cllr Bryan Jones, said: “In previous years, we have been able to make significant savings through working more efficiently. However, the scale of cuts in recent years means that we can’t avoid making savings that could impact on the communities we serve. I understand entirely that many people won’t like the idea of streetlights being turned off but we have limited the hours when this will happen and I’m confident that we have done what we can to minimise the impact”.

Forecasted High Tides are due again on Thursday.  We will be monitoring the situation and if necessary, will arrange for the A466 through Tintern to be closed for a short period between the following times:-

Wednesday 10th February: 21.15 to 21.45 (9.15pm – 9.45pm)

Thursday 11th February: 09:30 to 10.00am

 

The closure points will be as follows:

North End closure: Trellech Road junction.

South End closure: Royal George junction.

 

Closure times are estimated based on the forecasted tide times.  Natural Resources Wales will be monitoring the situation and issuing Flood Warnings as necessary.

Again, please note road closures will only be temporary and only when tidal water actually overflows onto the highway.  The road will reopen as soon as the water has receded from the highway.

 

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We’ve been out and about all weekend dealing with surface water flood and fallen trees from the storm. Our standby crews in Abergavenny were out most of the day Saturday issuing sandbags. Our teams in Monmouth were out from 6pm Saturday evening. Teams have been out and about removing any fallen trees etc. that might be affecting roads this morning (8th February 2016). Please continue to drive extremely carefully.

Our passenger transport unit is experiencing delays this morning in the Chepstow and Caldicot areas. We thank passengers for their patience. Alternative travel routes are being used for pupils travelling to Monmouth Comprehensive and Shirenewton Schools.

Winds will slowly begin to decrease from late Monday afternoon onwards although the wind. However, further gusts to between 60 and 70 mph can be expected during the day. Winds will then decrease further overnight.

In addition heavy showers with hail and thunder will add to the very difficult conditions.

If anyone has anything to report, or has any concerns they can refer to:

 

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People living with disabilities will have an opportunity to meet candidates for the Monmouth constituency in this year’s Welsh Assembly elections and ask questions. The latest Access for All Forum will be held on Friday 4th March from 11am to 1pm in County Hall, Usk.

Organised by the local equalities organisation, SEWREC, which runs a project called Monmouthshire Voices, the forum offers a chance for people with disabilities to influence services, policies and decisions that affect them.

Pennie Walker of Monmouthshire Voices, who will chair the meeting, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for people to be able to quiz prospective assembly members on the issues that matter to them. I have had a very good response so far from people wanting to attend and I think it will be a lively debate. We have always held the Access for All Forum at County Hall so it makes sense to hold this event where it’s accessible and in a central location. I am very much looking forward to it.”

Those wishing to attend or to receive further details about the Access for All Forum should contact Pennie – email: monmouthshirevoices@sewrec.wales or telephone 07949 040538.

Lunch will be provided at 1pm and people who require transport should contact Pennie by Tuesday, 23rd February.

Following lunch, a forum for the county’s over 50 year olds will be held from 2pm to 4pm to discuss housing.

· Monmouthshire Voices is funded by the Big Lottery and run by SEWREC – the South East Wales Regional Equality Council.

Monmouthshire County Council is to host a meeting for people aged 50 and over to be held in County Hall, Usk on Friday 4th March from 2 to 4pm. On the agenda will be issues relating to housing and the meeting will be attended by representatives from Monmouthshire Housing Services, older people’s housing charity Care & Repair and local housing associations. The meeting will be streamed live via YouTube to allow those unable to attend to play a part.

Organised by the council and local equalities organisation, SEWREC, which runs a project called Monmouthshire Voices, the forum offers a chance for people to influence services, policies and decisions that affect them. Councillor Phil Hobson, cabinet member with responsibility for equalities, will chair the meeting.

Pennie Walker of Monmouthshire Voices said: “Since the Access for All Forum has proved very popular, it made sense to hold a Forum for Older People living in Monmouthshire for them to talk about issues and gather information specific to their needs. This is the second Older People’s Forum and the first proved very popular. I hope people will enjoy the opportunity to be able to discuss housing issues with the representatives joining us.”

Those wishing to attend or to receive further details about Monmouthshire Voices should contact Pennie via email: monmouthshirevoices@sewrec.wales or telephone 07949 040538.

Lunch will be provided at 1pm and people who require transport should contact Pennie by Tuesday, 23rd February.

Before lunch, The Access for All Forum for people in Monmouthshire with disabilities will meet from 11am to 1pm to meet the candidates for the Monmouth constituency in this year’s Welsh Assembly elections.

• Monmouthshire Voices is funded by the Big Lottery and run by SEWREC – the South East Wales Regional Equality Council.

A million pound facelift for Abergavenny is set to revitalise the bustling market town and enhance its already substantial attractions. Monmouthshire County Council has committed £1m to rejuvenate the pedestrianised area of High Street and Nevill Street while St John`s Square will be transformed into a pedestrian-friendly open space designed to host various events staged in the town.

The programme of works has been developed in close consultation with representatives from the community as well as county and town councillors. The most significant change will be in St John`s Square where the road will be narrowed to allow more space for pedestrians, seating and hosting events. Another priority – to ensure disabled and visually impaired people can move around as easily as possible – means that the whole area has been designed as a pedestrian-friendly zone.

Locally-sourced Welsh penant paving has been carefully selected to enhance the character of this important and historic town. Meanwhile, local construction company Alun Griffiths of Abergavenny has been appointed by the county council to carry out the works scheduled to commence in mid-February and completed before the National Eisteddfod comes to the town in August.

County Councillor Bryan Jones, Cabinet Member for Operations, said: “The council`s investment is going to transform the centre of Abergavenny and give a major boost to an area rich in culture and natural beauty. Local people, traders and visitors will benefit and I am delighted that the work will begin very soon.”

Further information is available on the council’s website and an ongoing public display and information bureau at the Alun Griffiths office in Nevill Street will be open to the public on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from mid-February.

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