The National Assembly’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee is launching an inquiry into forestry and woodland policy in Wales – http://www.assembly.wales/en/newhome/pages/newsitem.aspx?itemid=1688&assembly=5. This will include looking at the Welsh Government’s delivery of its Woodlands for Wales strategy. The Committee’s aim is to assess the delivery of the strategy in terms of its four strategic themes. It would like to know to what extent people feel the Welsh Government is delivering against these themes. They are: Responding to climate change; Woodlands for people; A competitive and integrated forest sector; and Environmental quality – making a positive contribution to biodiversity, landscapes and heritage, and reducing other environmental pressures. Closing date for submissions: 7 April.
Public consultation has started on a development of more than 1,500 homes planned for a brownfield site near Pontypool. The drop in consultation sessions will take place on March 1 and 2 (4.00 – 8.00pm) at the second floor boardroom, Mamhilad House, Mamhilad Park Estate. For more information contact 01495 763275. Property company Johnsey Estates UK wants to transform a 52-hectare site at Mamhilad into a new community comprising more than 1,500 homes, a neighbourhood centre with shops and leisure facilities, a primary school and enhanced employment opportunities. The 52 hectares includes the vacant former Parke-Davis site, the former Nylon Spinners factory and the Mamhilad Park Estate site. The site, which runs alongside the A4042, is located within the Mamhilad Strategic Action Area, which is allocated for mixed-use redevelopment in the adopted Torfaen County Borough Council local development plan.
The Gwent Wildlife Trust’s Magor Marsh reserve, the last remnant of the natural fenlands that once covered the Gwent Levels, has received £5,000 fro Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative funded by the 5p plastic bag levy. The money will be used to teach children about the reserve’s wildlife, including the endangered water vole.
Sophie Howe, the Future Generations Commissioner, has submitted written evidence to the inquiry beginning on 28 February. She does not ‘believe that the proposed scheme appropriately applies the principle of taking decisions in a way that benefits future generations.’ Instead she favours investment in public transport, more useful for the 25% of Welsh families who have no access to a car, while also supporting obligations we have to reduce our carbon footprint.
The county council has placed a policy statement on private street furniture (A boards, tables, chairs, etc) on its web site at http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/2017/02/15/the-councils-street-furniture-policy.
Here are a couple of local funding opportunities for community groups:
1 – https://viridor.co.uk/our-operations/energy/energy-recovery-facilities/cardiff-erf/community/ – a community fund grant from Viridor of up to £3,000 for community groups in the authority areas of Cardiff, Newport, Vale, Caerphilly and Monmouthshire.
2 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO9lOYNINHM – the Rural Development Programme can fund renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainability projects. Have a look at the video for a short overview and contact Mark Lloyd for more information – email@example.com or 01633 644865. They need more projects to come through for this theme of the RDP.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is currently developing a commissioning model designed to support sustainable management of natural resources funding. They are proposing moving from the current approach of outward funding (grants and other funding) to a commissioning approach which involves greater collaboration and co-production for project funding in the period after April 2018. They are holding public stakeholder events on this approach in February and March so that they can get input from external organisations and stakeholders. That in South Wales will be at Sports Wales National Centre, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff CF11 9SW on Friday, 17 March (9.30am-12.30pm). Places are limited – contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register. For those unable to attend either event, there will also be a Webinar in March (date to be confirmed).
Opponents of the M4 Black Route are being encouraged to show the strength of their feelings by attending the opening of the Public Inquiry on 28 February. The aim is to gather at the Lysaght Institute, Orb Drive, Newport from 8.30am in order to enter the Inquiry at 9.45am before it starts at 10.00am. Independent Magor councillor FrancesTaylor@monmouthshire.gov.uk would like to hear from you if you will be there.
A local group – The Black Mountains Land Use Partnership – has announced that its application has been successful in getting through to stage 2 of the Welsh Government’s bidding process for its Sustainable Management Scheme. The partnership are chasing funding for a million pound project which, if successful will allow them to run a wide range of novel, practical activities across the whole area of the Black Mountains. This pioneering partnership could influence land management elsewhere. To find out more about how the Partnership are working follow them on Twitter – https://twitter.com/BMLUP
The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens has secured Welsh Government/EU Rural Communities funding to create a new programme to support community growing in Wales. Called Tyfu Fyny, which translates as ‘Growing Up’, the new programme will strengthen and expand the vibrant community food sector in Wales and build on the success of their previous Tyfu Pobl programme, increasing skills and sharing knowledge, strengthening the network and providing advice and support to community growing groups to help them achieve their goals.