Monthly Archives: November 2017

CALM Fail to Convince Newport

A CALM attempt to persuade Newport City Council to change its position and oppose the M4 Black Route has failed.  CALM maintain that as well as damaging the Gwent Levels the new motorway will offer no economic benefit to Newport, which will be by-passed, and that it is an outdated response to transport needs.

Well-being Plan Engagement Sessions

MCC are holding community engagement sessions on the plan (see Nov 17 post):

  • Monday 27 November        Caldicot Hub     10.30am – 2.30pm
  • Tuesday 28 November       Abergavenny One Stop Shop 10.30am – 1.00pm
  • Tuesday 28 November       Abergavenny Library    1.30pm – 4.00pm
  • Wednesday 29 November  Monmouth Hub 10.30am – 2.30pm
  • Monday 4 December          Chepstow Hub   10.30am – 2.30pm
  • Wednesday 6 December    Usk Hub             10.30am – 2.30pm

Fly-tipping Increases

Welsh Government figures show that fly-tipping is getting worse – 37% worse in Monmouthshire compared to 80% worse in Newport, hardest hit of the Welsh counties.  Waste tipped on farms costs landowners an average of £844 to clear, says the CLA.  Fly-tipping of domestic waste has decreased slightly.  An Abergavenny man was recently fined £200 plus £2,000 costs for tipping garden waste on the Blorenge.

What Next for CALM?

As the M4 public inquiry draws to a close, the Campaign Against the Levels Motorway is considering post Inquiry campaigning via three subgroups who would like your help:

Direct political influencing – led by Catherine:;  Making our arguments across Wales – led by Natasha:;  Local grassroots campaigning – led by Sarah:

The joint Closing Statement of The Wildlife Trusts, Friends of the Earth, CPRW and the Woodland Trust, which is available at:

The Well-being Plan is Online

Following the production of Monmouthshire’s Well-being Assessment in March, Public Service Board partners have been working together to develop the Well-being Plan for the County.  This sets out four objectives and steps that the PSB will take to deliver these objectives.  The Well-being Plan is now online at   A survey to respond is also going online.  The partners want to know what people think of the draft Plan.

If you would like to find out more, go along to a public meeting that Transition Chepstow have kindly organised next Thursday, the 23rd, at 7.30pm at the Beaufort Hotel in Chepstow.  Hazel Clatworthy will be giving a bit of background on the well-being assessment and what the evidence is showing, and then talking about the Well-being Plan and how you can get involved.

New Top People for the New Year

Clare Pillman, currently Director for Culture, Tourism and Sport with the Westminster government, is to succeed Emyr Roberts as Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales.  Julian Atkins, currently the Park’s Countryside and Land Management Director, will take over from John Cook as Chief Executive Officer of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Good News for Pollinators

Bee-friendly Monmouthshire and over a million campaigners are pleased by Michael Gove’s announcement that the UK Government will back a permanent European ban on the use of neonicitinoid pesticides.  Gove has accepted that the scientific evidence of the threat of the loss of pollinators to our food industry is greater than the government has previously thought.

Chepstow Traffic Concerns

High levels of air pollution at Chepstow, caused mainly by A48 traffic climbing Hardwick Hill, and the new threat of a rising demand for housing in the area as Severn Crossing tolls are removed, are provoking renewed pressure for a Chepstow and Sedbury bypass.  Concerned local residents and their elected representatives are pressing the local authorities and the UK and Welsh governments for action.

Usk Shares the Gold

Usk has shared with Market Bosworth the gold award in this year’s Britain in Bloom large village (under 2500 electors) category.  The town has won the equivalent Wales in Bloom award for 36 consecutive years.