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Monmouthshire offers half term activities for busy youngsters

12th February 2018

Monmouthshire County Council has organised a range of great activities for children over February’s half term!

Caldicot Community Hub has planned two events for youngsters.  On Monday, 19th February, popular story teller Louby Lou will relate the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears from 1.15pm to 2pm for ages two to five.  This event costs £3.75 per child and booking is essential.  To book a place contact Caldicot Community Hub or book online from the ticket store - https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/louby-lous-interactive-storytelling.

The following day – Tuesday 20th February – features a free story and craft session for four to eight year olds.  “Wintry Tales” runs from 10.30am to 11.30am.  Booking is not required but this event and the Louby Lou session require children to be accompanied by an adult.

Usk Community Hub in Maryport Street is offering bookmark-making using beads for five year olds and over.  The cost is one pound per session and the hub is open at the following times:

  • Monday 9am to 5pm

  • Wednesday 9am to 5pm

  • Thursday 9am to 7pm

  • Saturday 9am to 12.45pm.

Chepstow Museum offers its popular Drop-in-and-Make craft afternoons from 2pm to 4pm on Thursday, 15th February and Thursday, 22nd February at the Drill Hall in Lower Church Street. This opportunity to get creative with friends and families is suitable for children over three years old who must be accompanied by an adult. Donations of two pounds are welcomed towards the cost of materials and refreshments.

Once again, MonLeisure provides the Monmouthshire Games based on learning new skills, developing confidence, meeting new people and, most importantly, having fun through sport. These run at the council’s four centres in Abergavenny, Caldicot, Chepstow and Monmouth from Monday 19th February to Friday 23rd February giving children and young people aged 5 to 12 years the chance to engage in a range of sporting activities. The cost per day is £16 (9am to 3pm) and £19.50 (8am to 5pm) with discounts for early payment. To book, visit MonLeisure.co.uk or call:

  • Abergavenny: 01873 735360

  • Caldicot: 01291 426850

  • Chepstow: 01291 635745

  • Monmouth: 01600 775135 - due to building work no aqua-based sports will feature at Monmouth.

Abergavenny, Caldicot and Chepstow leisure centres offer intensive swimming lessons from Monday 19th February to Friday 23rd February.  These provide children with a thirty minute session on five consecutive days and the daily contact with an ASA qualified teacher allows them to vastly improve their swimming and advance over a short period. Designed for youngsters of all abilities, the sessions are ideal for current swimmers on MonLeisure’s programme looking to improve or newcomers who want to progress quickly.  The cost is £23.50 for the whole week with a discount available for holders of a Monleisure aqua membership. To book, call the appropriate leisure centre.

The Monmouthshire Youth Service has organised a free major family engagement event - Safe ‘n’ Sound - in Abergavenny’s Bailey Park from 10am to 4pm on Friday 23rd February.  The emphasis is on fun with a bouncy castle, face-painting, a climbing wall and many other activities with representatives from Gwent Police, the South Wales Fire & Rescue Service, Monmouthshire Housing Association, Charter Housing and Monmouthshire’s sports development team in attendance. This event based on community safety will gather feedback on what people need and think about the area and promote existing services for young people.

Monmouth’s Attik Youth Centre offers a free tie-dyeing session for young people from 12noon to 4pm on Tuesday 20th February.  There’s no need to book and all they have to do is bring a plain item of clothing they would like to dye!

Other events in the county suitable for children and families can be found on the Visit Monmouthshire website - www.visitmonmouthshire.com/events/ - and highlights include:

  • Brother Thomas, the cellarer at Tintern Abbey provides a treat for history buffs, young and old - Saturday 17th February

  • Winter Fun Day at Magor Marsh with toasted marshmallows around the campfire, storytelling, a trail around the reserve and lots of crafts. – Saturday 17th February

  • Time-travelling magicians Morgan and West present a show at Monmouth’s Blake Theatre brimming with baffling magic and a totally genuine ability to travel through time - Friday 23rd February

Council to investigate options for Chippenham Mead play area

9th February 2018

Monmouthshire County Council's cabinet members have visited Monmouth's Chippenham Mead children's play area to inspect the site which is due to benefit from investment following recent housing developments. Original proposals to renew the existing play area are opposed by some who want the play area relocated to a more environmentally suitable part of Chippenham Mead. Meanwhile, other residents are opposed to the move in order to protect the area as an open space. Chippenham Mead enjoys legal status as a village green.

"Cabinet members took the view that the existing site has shortcomings due to its proximity to noise and possible vehicle emissions from the busy adjacent trunk road", commented Councillor Bob Greenland, deputy leader of the council. "We also felt it was hemmed in by the high rear walls of the adjoining school, the A40 and earth bunding around the site. Having inspected the whole area we have asked officers to investigate the feasibility of other sites on Chippenham Mead so that we might identify a preferred option."

Councillor Greenland continued: "We have a duty towards our children and that is enshrined in the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. We also respect the ideals of legislation designed to protect Chippenham Mead from development. Legislation is pulling us in opposite directions. We will have to make a decision, balancing the well-being of children with the protection of this valuable open space."

Members of the public and other interested parties will have the opportunity to comment prior to the preferred option being considered by Cabinet.

If an alternative site is proposed by the Cabinet it will require planning approval and Welsh Government consent under the Village Green Scheme of Regulation. This process will also include an opportunity for comments.

Council urges residents to Talk to Us at well - being forum

Monday 8th January 2018

Monmouthshire County Council will be hosting a Talk to Us well- being  forum on Friday 19th January 10.00am – 2.00pm at County Hall, Usk.

The event will provide residents with an opportunity to hear about the Monmouthshire County Council Budget process, Monmouthshire Wellbeing Plan and the Happiness Pulse well -being survey and share their thoughts and ideas too.

In previous years the Access for All forum and Ageing Well forum has taken place for residents over 50 and those with disabilities. This event welcomes individuals and groups who have previously attended this event.

The day will begin at 10.00am and include lunch and refreshments, transport is also available.

Cabinet Member for Social Justice Cllr Sara Jones said: ‘The Talk to Us event will provide an opportunity for our residents to have their voices heard, share ideas and suggestions whilst becoming informed about things that affect them.’

For transport contact Connor Leacock This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Monday 15th January.

For more information about the day contact Rhian Cook This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 01633 644364.

Monmouth Community Hub provides cure for winter blues

8th January 2018

Monmouth Community Hub is hosting an event on Monday 15th January designed to dispel the winter blues and give people the chance to meet new friends and have fun.  The morning starts with coffee, tea and cakes at 10am followed by a game of bingo.  Later on, there will be an opportunity to learn knitting and crochet, experience a taster session provided by the council’s community learning team and play a selection of board games in the afternoon.  In addition, advisors will provide advice on debt and on mental health.  All are welcome to this free event.

Like all of Monmouthshire’s hubs, Monmouth provides the opportunity to sign up for a library card and enjoy the benefits of membership.  This allows people to borrow library materials, to read a book to make them smile or achieve their goals for 2018.  Monmouth Community Hub is stocked with materials to suit everyone and provides a digital online service offering free eBooks and audio downloads.

Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for community hubs, Councillor Bob Greenland said: “Our community hubs and libraries are the very cure for winter blues!  They’re within close proximity of most people in the county and they offer education, leisure, fun and great events for all ages.  This occasion is a good example of how our hubs support local communal activity, even in the depths of winter.”

For more information, contact Monmouth Community Hub on 01600 775215 and speak to a member of the team.

Council seeks views on Monmouth play area facilities

22nd December 2017

Monmouthshire County Council is inviting residents, businesses and organisations to submit comments on a report to be put before cabinet at its meeting on Wednesday, 7th February.  Comments must be provided by 5pm on Thursday 18th January.

The report will consider the future position of the play area on Monmouth’s Chippenham Mead.

Councillor Bob Greenland, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for leisure said: “This issue has generated strong opinions in the town over an extended period and it is important that the decision-making report put before cabinet captures the full range of views so that an informed decision is made.”

Anyone who wishes to offer comments should email the council’s Community Infrastructure Coordinator Mike Moran - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - or write to:

Mike Moran
Monmouthshire County Council
County Hall
NP15 1GA

by 5pm on Thursday 18th January.

The report may be accessed by visiting: http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/app/uploads/2017/12/Chippenham-Play-Area-Report-070218.docx