Monthly Archives: October 2015

Review of National Parks and AONBs Continues

The three-person independent review of designated landscapes in Wales has concluded that National Parks and AONB bodies should better understand their local economies and promote sustainable development. They should be empowered to be centres for enterprise and innovation and catalysts for development within their environmental limits. They should retain their separate identities but be collectively known as the National Landscapes of Wales. National Parks should also retain their local authority status and AONBs their flexible management models, but be set performance targets by Welsh Government. Full details are at Now the Welsh Government has asked Dafydd Elis-Thomas to chair another group that will explore the 69 recommendations and report its findings in 2016.

At the same time Welsh Government is advertising for members of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority at

Land for Local Food Wanted

The future of food is local and the Community Land Advisory Service Cymru (CLAS Cymru) wants to give landowners and estate managers an opportunity to play your part in providing a resilient and local food system here in Wales. Community Supported Agriculture brings farmers and communities together. Responsibilities, risks and rewards are shared. The farmer guarantees produce (dairy, fruit, vegetables, meat or honey) and people who live relatively locally sign up as members and pay every month for the food they receive. There is now a huge demand for CSA in Wales as people become more aware of the food they eat and desire sustainable lifestyles. CLAS are supporting communities to gain land for CSA and community growing in both urban and rural areas.

If you are interested in helping to provide land to create a more sustainable food system and have a local, more resilient model of food production then please come along to Caldicot Castle on Tuesday, 17 November (10.00am – 1.30pm). Please email to book your place.


Big Lottery Wants Your Advice

The Big Lottery Fund is currently developing a new programme where rural communities will be the focus. To ensure this programme reaches the right people, BIG wants to ensure that these communities are at the heart of its development. Your views are therefore wanted. It is likely that the programme will support the following groups: social enterprises; co-operatives; mutuals; community interest companies; local authorities alongside voluntary and community groups.  Further information:

MCC Engages on Budget

Monmouthshire County Council will be out and about during October and November engaging with residents, businesses and organisations over shrinking public service budgets and increasing funding challenges for next year’s services. Public meetings are planned to take place in November. The sessions will inform the public of the serious challenges the County Council is facing and inform them about how the council plans to work with the public and town and community councils to try and maintain services. Public meetings dates are:

Monday 16 November – County Hall, Usk, 6.30 – 8.00pm (this session will also be live streamed on YouTube)
Tuesday 17 November – Shire Hall, Monmouth 6.30– 8.00pm
Thursday 19 November – Grey Hill Hall, Caldicot School 6.30 – 8.00pm
Monday 23 November – King Henry VIII School, 6.30– 8.00pm
Wednesday 25 November The Dell Primary School, Chepstow 6.30 – 8.00pm

Town Centre informal chat sessions:

Tuesday 10 November – Caldicot Town Centre 10.00am – 12.00pm
Wednesday 11 November – Abergavenny Town Centre 10.00am – 12.00pm
Thursday 12 November – Chepstow Town Centre 10.00am – 12.00pm
Friday 13 November – Monmouth Town Centre 10.00am – 12.00pm

Live Twitter Question and Answer sessions will be held on 11, 18 and 24 November (all 6.00pm – 8.00pm).

All of the ideas are available at: and comments are welcomed on our social media channels: Twitter@MonmouthshireCC and Monmouthshire’s Facebook page. Contact Engagement Officer Rhian Cook 01633 644364 or 07789 922586 or email for more information about the events.

Committee Criticises Bill

The National Assembly’s Environment and Sustainability Committee has called for the Environment (Wales) Bill to be strengthened with extra provisions for the protection of biodiversity, and to ensure that progress can be measured.

JUST FOOD Event at Abergavenny

A day (Saturday, 31 October – 11.00-3.30) of talks, debates, films, stalls, food,  juicing with Incredible Edible: Abergavenny  Community Centre, Park Street, Abergavenny.  Bring all the family – Entrance free but donations gratefully received.  Featuring Sue Harrison from Bee Friendly Monmouthshire, the Local Food Manager from Gloucester M5 Services, and a speaker from Global Justice Now on the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.  Contact Sue at for details.


Vote for Gwent Wildlife!

The Gwent Wildlife Trust has  made it through to the final three for the wonderful Grow Wild project grant with their entry: Furnace to Flowers, at the former Ebbw Vale steelworks site.  The decision is now in your hands, via a public phone and web vote.  You can vote in different ways:

  • Telephone 0808 228 7203 for FREE (you are allowed to vote three times per phone!)
  • Online at and click on Furnace to Flowers (this can be done once each per computer, laptop, tablet and smart phone)