The latest edition of the news-packed Gwent-Glamorgan Recorders’ Newsletter is available at http://www.sewbrec.org.uk/gwent-glamorgan-recorders-newsletter/g-g-recorders-newsletter-issues.page
A Welsh Government consultation in the process leading to a National Development Framework is open for consultation until 23 July. It can be found here: https://beta.gov.wales/national-development-framework-issues-options-and-preferred-option. The purpose of the NDF is to support the delivery of the Government’s Prosperity for All strategy by developing a clear long term spatial direction for Government policy, action and investment and for others who the Government work with. The NDF will achieve this by identifying key growth areas, the type and location of the infrastructure we need, by co-ordinating the delivery of housing, employment and connectivity infrastructure, and by directing key partners to help deliver the national spatial vision. Regional and local development plans will have to comply with the NDF.
This stage is about the main issues, options and preferred option, supported by environmental reports and assessment. A draft NDF will be consulted upon next year.
The Brecon Beacons National Park Authority in partnership with Glandwr Cymru, has launched an exciting new series of short animated videos that reveal the historic story of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal that will encourage people to visit historic landmarks.
The “Down to the Sea” project was part funded by Welsh Government as part of Visit Wales’ ‘Year of the Sea’. The animations focus on four tram roads and artistically demonstrate the reasons why the canal was originally built and how visitors and locals alike can now visit attractions such as the lime kilns or Blaenavon ironworks. The videos will be made available online along with a downloadable map for each route – www.breconbeacons.org/downtothesea
Nominations for the annual GAVO Volunteer Achievement Awards, which recognises the fantastic efforts of volunteers, have now opened, culminating in four celebratory evening events. The events will provide an opportunity to recognise local heroes who dedicate their time to helping others and highlight their impact on the community, and will be held throughout September.
Nominations are invited for categories including Young Volunteer, Adult Volunteer, and Environmental Volunteer. For Guidelines & Nomination Form please visit www.gavowales.org.uk/recognition. Nominations close 8 June.
Research published by Friends of the Earth has suggested that one well would need to be drilled and fracked every day for 15 years to produce enough gas to halve the amount imported to the UK. To reduce the amount of imported gas by such an amount, 6,100 wells would be required, according to analysis by Professor Calvin Jones, from Cardiff Business School. But if the gas produced per well was low, up to 16,500 wells would be needed. Friends of the Earth, advocate of renewable energy, points out that the government has said fracking would provide additional supplies, “reducing our reliance on imports”, but according to this research, fracking could significantly reduce imports only if “England’s countryside was littered with fracking wells”.
Currently, fracking in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has been stopped, which means the required number of wells would need to be built in England. The report can be found on the Friends of the Earth website (pdf).
Cardiff Capital Region has appointed a new city deal programme director. Kellie Beirne is currently deputy chief executive at Monmouthshire Council. She will be responsible for making a senior-level contribution towards developing and ensuring the delivery of the programme, helping to identify opportunities to promote the needs and potential of the Cardiff Capital Region.
Monmouthshire Meadows Group’s Spring newsletter (http://www.monmouthshiremeadows.org.uk/?p=3239) has an interesting article on ageing a meadow from its creeping buttercup population, as well as another on meadow butterflies and news of the Group’s activities.
Public services cabinet secretary Alun Davies has issued new plans for council mergers, under which Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire would become a single authority. The government has proposed three options: allowing authorities to merge voluntarily, a phased approach that would allow early adopters to merge in 2022 with others doing so by 2026, or a single merger programme taking place in 2022.
The Welsh Local Government Association is unhappy about the shake-up. In a statement it said: “Local government was already responding proactively to the previous reform programme of regional collaboration and is progressing with the City and Growth Deal agenda. Consequently, this announcement has caused disquiet and confusion. The proposals are yet to be fully costed and most academic analysis concludes that such reform programmes rarely deliver the savings or changes in performance that were hoped.’’
If you need to contact the Gwent Badger Group to report a badger in distress or injured on the road the new contact numbers are 01291 422290 or 07825529160.
Why not nominate someone for one of these annual awards? There is a ‘Green’ category. The Awards promote and celebrate the hard work and great achievements of inspirational volunteers from around the country. More information at https://www.wcva.org.uk/about-us/our-awards-schemes/wales-volunteer-of-the-year-awards. Closing date: 20 April