The Welsh Government’s latest proposals for reforming local government are at https://consultations.gov.wales/sites/default/files/consultation_doc_files/170130-white-paper-en.pdf. Responses are required by 11 April. The approach is focused on more regional working where collaboration is shown to be beneficial. Areas where this may be the case include economic development and transport, both of which have or had regional arrangements, and most aspects of land use planning, where it is less well developed. The White Paper is over sixty pages long with much to consider.
Abergavenny’s popular annual Seedy Sunday will be at the Community Centre, Park Street on 12 February (11.00-3.00). Lots of great seeds and plants will be available for a small donation of seeds or cash (in aid of Transition Abergavenny and other local charities).
A series of public consultation events that will allow residents to shape a new Management Plan for the future management of the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape World Heritage Site are being held in February. The informal drop in sessions will allow residents to give their ideas for how the site can be best managed for the benefit of the landscape, building conservation, health and wellbeing, and economic development. Sessions will be held on:
• Monday, 6 February between 3:30pm – 6:30pm at the Llanfoist Village Hall in Monmouthshire.
• Tuesday, 7 February between 3:30pm – 6:30pm at the Blaenavon Workmen’s Hall.
For further details contact Rebecca Hartley on 01633 648293.
Steven England is running three-week courses entitled ‘Green to Sustainability’ at the Chepstow and Monmouth Library/Hubs from 25/26 January. The associated wording is ‘We are living in revolutionary times where across the planet there is a growing demand for positive change’. To book your place go to http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/adult-education.
Monmouthshire’s Public Service Board, made up of organisations like the county council, police, NHS, housing associations and the voluntary sector, would like your views on their understanding of what people value about their local areas and what needs to be improved – a well-being assessment. This will be used to set objectives and priorities for services in the future. The assessment and a questionnaire are available at http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/our-monmouthshire or you can share your thoughts via #OurMonmouthshire. The consultation runs until 28 February.
The news that the Hendry report has recommended plans for Swansea’s tidal power lagoon brings the prospect of similar projects for Cardiff and Newport closer. However, it is clear that if the Swansea project is fully approved and funded further lagoons will not be built on the estuary until monitoring has satisfied concerns about the first. Wildlife conservation interests have called for at least eight years of such monitoring.
The Brecon Beacons National Park Upland Volunteers’ are looking for new recruits to join their team. More help is needed as the new year will see the group take on important conservation work and further footpath repairs in the Black Mountains. Each year, thousands of people visit the National Park to get outdoors, explore and climb the mountains. All those feet leave their mark and that’s where the Upland Path Volunteers step in. Working a few days each week the volunteers carry out repairs and maintenance on footpaths across the Central Beacons and Black Mountains.
If you are interested in joining the team, have a good level of physical fitness and are happy being outdoors in all weathers, then get in touch with the Volunteer Coordinator, Jackie Thomas at the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.beacons-npa.gov.uk/the-authority/volunteering/.
The Welsh Government is consulting on proposals to allow authorised officers to issue fixed penalty notices for small scale fly-tipping, to enable local authorities to set the fixed penalty amount (between £150 and £400), and for local authorities to retain the receipts from fixed penalty notices to help pay for enforcement and the clear-up of fly-tipping. Details at https://consultations.gov.wales/consultations/fixed-penalty-notices-small-scale-fly-tipping – deadline 6 April.
The National Assembly’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee is convening a group to provide it with expert advice in support of its scrutiny of Welsh Government progress towards meeting climate change policy commitments, statutory targets and duties. This includes climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. See http://www.senedd.assembly.wales/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=16721 for more information.
Wildlife Trusts Wales is resubmitting to NRW an application to release ten beavers somewhere as yet undisclosed in the south of Wales. The application will be subject to public consultation. Wildlife experts cite many ecological, landscape and tourism benefits from beaver reintroduction, but farmers and anglers can be concerned about landscape and fish migration damage, preferring conservation to be focused on existing wildlife. The Welsh Beaver Project is currently fundraising to facilitate the return of beavers to the Welsh landscape – https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/radnorshire-wildlifetrust/welshbeaverproject.