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CALDICOT NEWS 2021

January
COVID NEWS
Along with the rest of Wales, Caldicot remained on Level 4 restrictions. In the week leading up to 15 January Caldicot (including Caerwent) recorded 44 cases, amongst the highest infection levels in Monmouthshire. By week-ending 22 January this had dropped to 25, and by week-ending 29 January to 13. Vaccinations for Caldicot residents in the highest priority groups were being delivered at Caldicot Surgery, at Cwmbran and at Newport.
The mini market in Oakley Way Caldicot was given a formal warning relating to Covid-19 signage regulations. Customers commenting on social media defended the store, saying that it had taken all necessary safety measures. Police officers dispersed a group of youths who were breaking lockdown rules at Caldicot skate park near Caldicot Leisure Centre.
TRIBUTES TO FORMER TEACHER
Tributes were paid to former Caldicot teacher Eric Johnson, who died in December at the age of 83. Mr Johnson trained as a carpenter and cabinet maker and did National Service in the RAF. He worked on the construction of the Severn Bridge and also built his own house in Portskewett. He taught woodwork and metalwork at Caldicot Comprehensive School from 1974 until 2002.
PARK TO BE IMPROVED
Planning was underway for improvements to Cas Troggi Park as part of a wider project within Caldicot, known as the Church Road development scheme, to improve green infrastructure and active travel in the town. The work would involve the planting of new native trees and hedging, a “wild play” space for young children, and an outdoor gym.
CRIMEWATCH
Police were looking for Ryan Harrison, aged 26, in connection with an assault in Caldicot. Members of the public were sked to phone 101 if they had any information.
Gareth Worth, described by police as a “one-man crime wave” was jailed for 44 weeks after he went on a series of shoplifting expeditions in Caldicot, Chepstow and Monmouth which saw him steal a TV, alcohol and a packet of crisps.
A34-year-old man from Caldicot, was charged by Gwent Police in connection with three burglaries in Devauden and Caldicot.
HOUSE PRICES
According to the Zoopla website the average price for houses sold in Caldicot stood at £280,027, an increase of more than six per cent over the last 12 months.
The cheapest property advertised on www.rightmove.co.uk for sale in Caldicot at the end of January 2021 was a one bedroom flat as part of a new development at Holman House in the town centre, at £119,950. The cheapest house was a three bedroom semi-detached house in Woodstock Way at £234,950. The most expensive was a six bedroom detached house in Clos Lynfi at £475,000.

FEBRUARY
COVID-19
Along with the rest of Wales, Caldicot remained on Level 4 restrictions but transmission rates continued to drop significantly. During the final week of February there were 9 cases in Caldicot (including Caerwent) compared to 13 in the last week of January. Vaccinations for Caldicot residents in the highest priority groups were being delivered at Caldicot Surgery, Cwmbran and at Newport.
SERIOUS ASSAULT
A 30 year old man was arrested after what police described as a “serious” assault at a house in Longfellow Close at about 5 am on 22 February. A 29 year man was taken to hospital following the incident. His injuries were not thought to be life-threatening. Three more people, two men and a woman, were arrested a few days later in connection with the same incident.
JAILED FOR BURGLARIES 
34-year-old Jason Deakin, from Caldicot, was sentenced to 14 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to stealing a television, DJ equipment and cash from a house in Devauden, plus a coat, toys and a lamp from a shed in Caldicot. The offences took place in October 2020 and January 2021.
SEWAGE POLLUTES RIVER
Raw sewage and used sanitary products were discovered to be flowing out of a pipe near Caldicot Pill and into the River Severn. The discovery was made by Black Rock lave net fishermen while they were exploring the estuary. Welsh Water said that the pipe acted as a release point during periods of exceptionally heavy rain. An engineer would be visiting the site.
CARE HOME GETS APPROVAL
The construction of a new care home at Crick Road, on the outskirts of Caldicot, was set to go ahead after Monmouthshire County Council secured additional time to use £2.8 million funding for the project provided by the Welsh Government. Work was due to begin during 2021/22.
HOUSE PRICE WATCH
The cheapest property advertised on www.rightmove.co.uk for sale in Caldicot at the end of February 2021 was a one bedroom flat as part of a new development at Holman House in the town centre, at £122,950. The cheapest house was a three bedroom end terrace on Newport Road at £185,000. The most expensive was a five bedroom detached house in Heol Glaslyn at £485,000.

March
TEACHER GUILTY OF MISCONDUCT
A former religious education teacher at Caldicot comprehensive school was found guilty of professional misconduct following a hearing of the Education Workforce Council. The hearing was told that Andrew Jones allegedly simulated sex with a cardboard cut-out of the Pope in a ‘harem shake’ video that was filmed by pupils and released on social media. He was also alleged to have taken a pupil to a nightclub following a school prom night and sent personal Facebook messages to several pupils. Jones, who no longer works as a teacher, denied unacceptable professional conduct in relation to all the allegations. The hearing was told that the Pope incident was a joke video for Comic Relief. Although he was not struck off, he was told that he would only be allowed to apply for new teaching jobs in schools if he gave a full explanation of his Pope misconduct.
MAN FOUND DEAD
Police were investigating after a 36 year old man was found dead in a house in Betjeman Avenue. The death was being treated as unexplained.
DRUGS RAID

Two people were due to appear in court after drugs were found during a raid on a house in Caldicot.
NEW GREENGROCERS

Caldicot pub landlord Rob Stead opened a new fruit, veg and grocery store in the town centre. The idea for the shop began when he started selling fruit and veg from his pub, The Measure, during the enforced closure of the bars under Covid-19 regulations.
WHAT! NOT ANOTHER ONE?

Monmouthshire County Council’s planning committee gave permission for another takeaway to open in Caldicot town centre despite concerns raised by Caldicot town council and several county councillors that there were too many. It was reported that there were already 13 takeaways, four pubs and two cafes in the town.
HOUSE PRICE WATCH

The cheapest property advertised on www.rightmove.co.uk for sale in Caldicot at the end of March 2021 was a one-bedroom ground floor flat in Sandy Lane, at £120,000. The cheapest house was a one-bedroom end terrace in Keats Road at £149,950. The most expensive was Llanthony Secunda Manor in Church Road, an 800-year-old Grade II* Listed manor house at £875,000.

April
DRUG RAIDS
Police seized a quantity of cannabis plus a number of nitrous oxide (’laughing gas’) canisters, known as ‘balloons’, during a stop search in Sandy Lane. A man was issued with a fixed penalty notice for possession of cannabis. In a separate incident, three men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs after a police raid on a property in Longfellow Close. Two of the men, aged 29 and 20, were from Caldicot, while the third, aged 24, was from Magor.
COVID RESTRICTIONS EASED
April saw easing of government restrictions with local ‘non-essential’ shops reopening, pubs and cafes opening to outside trade and an announcement that the town’s market events would be returning, beginning with a May Day market on Saturday 1 May.
DAMAGE TO HUB
Considerable damage was done to the Monmouthshire County Council ‘one stop shop’ and library following a break-in.
HOUSE PRICE WATCH
The cheapest property advertised on www.rightmove.co.uk for sale in Caldicot at the end of April 2021 was a one bedroom flat at Holman House in the town centre at £109,050. The cheapest house was a two bedroom terrace in Alianore Road at £175,000. The most expensive was Llanthony Secunda Manor in Church Road, an 800-year-old Grade II* Listed manor house at offers over £875,000.

May
REPRESENTATIVES RE-ELECTED
John Griffiths (Labour) was re-elected as Senedd member for Newport East, which includes Caldicot, and Jeff Cuthbert (Labour) as Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent. There were complaints of long queues in some Caldicot polling stations, caused largely by the need for social distancing and other Covid-19 restrictions. Some people reported waiting more than an hour while others left without casting their votes.
EARTHQUAKE HITS CALDICOT

A small earthquake, measured by the British Geological Survey at 2.9 magnitude hit Caldicot and surrounding areas. Experts believe it occurred 9km underground. Houses shook and windows rattled but it all ended very quickly with no damage done.
COMMUNITY WELLBEING CENTRE

Monmouthshire County Council announced plans to open a Community Wellbeing Centre in the old ‘One Stop Shop’ next to the library. It was planned to open in the summer of 2021 and to be a centre for community involvement in recycling, art, making and wellbeing, and will include a Library of Things, a Repair Café, a Community Fridge and a Makers’ Space, with a wide range of opportunities for volunteering. It would also provide the chance for residents to meet wellbeing organisations that provide support services. Capital funding for the new centre came from the Welsh Government’s Circular Economy Fund.
GREEN BUSSES

Newport Transport’s new electric busses were seen on the X74 route between Newport and Chepstow via Caldicot.
COMPANY EXPANDS FLEET OF VEHICLES

In a major investment programme Caldicot based Chepstow Plant International (CPI) agreed a £20 million deal with Volvo CE involving the acquisition of 52 articulated dump trucks, seven excavators and 12 dump trucks.
HOUSE PRICE WATCH
The cheapest property advertised on www.rightmove.co.uk for sale in Caldicot at the end of May 2021 was a one bedroom flat at Holman House in the town centre at £109,050. The cheapest house was a two bedroom terrace in Alianore Road at £175,000. The most expensive was Llanthony Secunda Manor in Church Road, an 800-year-old Grade II* Listed manor house at offers over £875,000.

June
COVID CASES INCREASE

In the week leading up to 2 June fewer than 25 cases per 100,000 were recorded in Caldicot. By the end of June the weekly figure had risen to 94.1 per 100,000 people in North Caldicot (including Caerwent) and 36.6 per 100,000 people in South Caldicot.
OBE AWARDED
Chief Superintendent Paul Griffiths of Caldicot, president of the Police Superintendents’ Association for England and Wales, was awarded the OBE. Chief Superintendent Griffiths led one of the largest modern slavery investigations in Britain, leading to two convictions. He also raised money for police charities by walking 870 miles around the Welsh coastal path, completing the 24 hour Three Peaks Challenge, cycling 2100 miles around every Police Headquarters and walking 86 miles of the Hadrian’s Wall Path in 36 hours.
SCHOOL STUDENTS ALLEGE SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Caldicot School was among five secondary schools in Gwent (including two private schools) named in the Everyone’s Invited sexual harassment in schools report.
IN COURT
Lahrne Dobbs, 31, of Oakley Way, Caldicot, appeared via video link from Cardiff Prison charged with attempted arson at the filling station at Rogiet in April. He did not enter a plea. He was remanded in custody with a trial date set for 24 November.
Kate Davidson, 37, of Newport Road, Caldicot, was sentenced to an 18-month community order, a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement and a fine and compensation payment of £275 after she was found guilty of burglary at Mills News.
Josh Baker, 24, of Cobb Crescent, Caldicot, was found guilty of being in possession of a Stanley knife in Newport Road, Caldicot in December. He was fined £320, ordered to pay £34 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
WELSH SPEAKERS IN CALDICOT
Results from the 2011 census indicated that around one Caldicot resident (including children) in every nine was identified as being able to speak Welsh.
The figures for each ward were as follows:
Dewstow 9.1%
Severn 10.6%
Caldicot Castle 11.7%
West End 10.7%
Green Lane 10.9%
The figures were based purely on self-identification and there was no distinction between those who were fluent and those who could only speak a few words. Further information from the census would be issued in 2022 and 2023. No personal information will be made public for 100 years.
HOUSE PRICE WATCH
The cheapest property advertised on www.rightmove.co.uk for sale in Caldicot at the end of June 2021 was a one bedroom flat at Holman House in the town centre at £109,050. The cheapest house was a two bedroom terrace in Alianore Road at £175,000. The most expensive was Llanthony Secunda Manor in Church Road, an 800-year-old Grade II* Listed manor house at offers over £875,000.

July
BID FOR TOWN IMPROVEMENTS
Monmouthshire County Council placed a bid for more than £14 million from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund to improve Caldicot town centre. The bid covered:
*Refurbishment of some residential units and shops in the town centre to create new shop fronts and signage, the ground floor shops would be refurbished to provide “high quality commercial space”. The residential upper floors would also be refurbished.
*Improvements to Church Road and Newport Road designed to “deliver or improve cycle and walking infrastructure” The cost would be £4.3 million, with another £1.9 million from match funding.
*Upgrades and improvements to Caldicot Leisure Centre and skate park, resurrecting plans which were put on hold due to financial difficulties.

RUGBY DEBUT
Caldicot’s Ben Carter made his Wales debut against Canada. The 20 year old Dragons player responded with a man of the match performance.
POLICE ACT ON ANTI-SOCIAL DISORDER
A house in Longfellow Close was boarded up after repeated complaints of anti-social disorder led to a closure order being granted at by Newport magistrates. Anyone who attempts to enter the house during the three-month closure would be liable to arrest.
SUSPENDED SENTENCE FOR SPITTING AT POLICE OFFICER
Charlie Edmunds, 21, of Taff Road had an existing suspended prison sentence extended after an assault on a police officer. Police were called to the house and found Edmunds intoxicated and in a "highly emotional state". As they tried to settle him down he spat in the face of one of the officers.
Edmunds was already the subject of a suspended sentence for a drugs offence. Edmunds' suspended sentence was extended for six months, and he was ordered to carry out a further 150 hours of unpaid work, including 20 days of rehabilitation requirements, to pay the officer £300 in compensation, and to pay a £95 victim surcharge.
MEADERY MOVES TO CALDICOT
Wye Valley Meadery moved from Chepstow into new larger premises in Caldicot's Severn Bridge Industrial Estate. Brothers Kit and Matt Newell, who began as beekeepers, explained that they used locally sourced honey and yeast to create a modern version of the ancient drink.
SCHOOLS IN SURPLUS
All of Caldicot’s schools showed a surplus at the end of 2020/21:
Caldicot School – £229,564
Durand Primary School – £77,884
Ysgol Gymraeg Y Ffin – £15,638
Dewstow Primary School – £237,811
Castle Park Primary School – £121,853
With schools largely closed during much of the 2020/21 financial year because of the coronavirus lockdown, spending on staff cover, premises, supplies and examination fees fell. Additional grants to deal with Covid issues were also received from the Welsh Government. However, a Monmouthshire County Council spokesperson explained that the current surpluses did not necessarily mean that long term financial problems had been resolved.
HOUSE PRICE WATCH
The cheapest property advertised on www.rightmove.co.uk for sale in Caldicot at the end of July 2021 was a one bedroom flat at Holman House in the town centre at £109,050. The cheapest house was a two bedroom terrace in Alianore Road at £175,000. The most expensive was Llanthony Secunda Manor in Church Road, an 800-year-old Grade II* Listed manor house at offers over £875,000.

August
ALDI OPENS
The long-awaited Aldi store in Caldicot opened and was met with a very favourable response from customers. The store, which employs 20 staff under manager Oliver Walters,, replaced the Waitrose store, which closed in December 2020. Opening hours:  Monday - Saturday 8am – 10pm and Sunday 10am – 4pm.
ARSON CHARGE DENIED
Lahme Dobbs, 32, of Oakley Way, Caldicot, pleaded not guilty to two counts of attempting arson with intent to endanger life and one count of assault on an emergency worker. All three charges relate to offences at Rogiet filling station on 15 April 2021. A pre-trial review was ordered for 1 October.
RUGBY CLUB AWARD
Caldicot Rugby Club was awarded £8,000 from the Welsh Government Community Facilities Programme for the refurbishment of its washrooms and baby changing facilities.
COVID FIGURES
During the last full week in August (21st-27th) there were 22 new Covid cases in Caldicot North/Caerwent (259 per 10,000 population) and 23 in Caldicot South (281 per 100,000). The average for Wales was 323 per 100,000.
CONCRETE PLANS
Plans for a temporary concrete manufacturing facility on the site of the Old Pill House Inn have been approved despite objections that dust generated from the plant will damage vehicles belonging to neighbouring businesses.
HOUSE PRICE WATCH
The cheapest property advertised on www.rightmove.co.uk for sale in Caldicot at the end of August 2021 was a one bedroom flat at Holman House in the town centre at £109,050. The cheapest house was a two bedroom terrace in Alianore Road at £175,000. The most expensive was Llanthony Secunda Manor in Church Road, an 800-year-old Grade II* Listed manor house at offers over £875,000. According to Zoopla, prices in Caldicot rose by more than five per cent over the previous 12 months to an average of £293,000.
Llanthony Secunda Manor was also advertised as a holiday let at an average rate of £650 per night. It was advertised as King Henry VIII’s holiday home on the grounds that it once belonged to the crown. There is no evidence that Henry VIII or any other king ever visited the site.

September
NEW COMMUNITY SPACE
The “TogetherWorks” community space opened in the old MCC “One Stop Shop” next to the library. The space included provision for a community fridge and meetings for small groups.
IMPROVEMENT BIDS
Monmouthshire County Council submitted bids to the UK Government ‘Levelling-up Fund’ for an £8-million upgrade of Caldicot leisure centre, the purchase and redevelopment of a retail block in the town centre and improved town centre and active travel links.
FOLIC ACID CAMPAIGN SUCCESS
A Caldicot family welcomed the UK government’s decision to add folic acid to flour to help prevent spinal birth defects in babies. Paul Walbyoff's daughter Sara has an extremely rare condition called Currarino syndrome, which affects her spinal cord. Although the condition was present from birth, she wasn’t diagnosed until she was seven at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). The government decision followed a campaign in parliament by local MP Jessica Morden.
DRIVING BAN
Lewis Antell 19, of Kipling Road, Caldicot, was banned from driving for three months after he admitted being in charge of an Audi A3 on Denny View on August 14 after consuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in his breath, 40 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, exceeded the prescribed limit. He was ordered to pay £199 in a fine, costs and a surcharge.
HOUSE PRICE WATCH
The cheapest property advertised on www.rightmove.co.uk for sale in Caldicot at the end of September 2021 was a one bedroom flat at Holman House in the town centre at £109,050. The cheapest house was a three bedroom semi-detached in Tennyson Road at £209,950. The most expensive was Llanthony Secunda Manor in Church Road, an 800-year-old Grade II* Listed manor house at offers over £875,000.

October
NO LEVELLING UP FOR CALDICOT
Bids from Monmouthshire County Council to the UK Government ‘Levelling-up Fund’ for an £8-million upgrade of Caldicot leisure centre, the purchase and redevelopment of a retail block in the town centre and improved town centre and active travel links were rejected. County councillors from Caldicot demanded answers from MCC over future plans for the long-overdue renovation of the leisure centre.
MEN JAILED FOR KNIFE ATTACK
Three men were jailed their part in an attack in Caldicot in which their victim was stabbed with a hunting knife. Thomas Franklin, Ryan Harrison and Samuel Callaway had attacked David Samuel at his girlfriend’s house in Caldicot. Newport Crown Court heard that the gang had one blade and the victim another. After the fight Mr Samuel was rushed to hospital with a punctured lung. It was stated in court that the roots of the dispute came about three weeks after an alleged attack carried out by Samuel on Franklin. The three men pleaded guilty to violent disorder. More serious charges were dropped when Samuel “declined to come to court”. Franklin had four previous convictions, Harrison 13 and Callaway one. In passing sentences, Judge Michael Fitton QC said: “This was a revenge attack in that both the victim and the property were deliberately targeted.” Franklin, of Station Road, Rogiet, was jailed for three years and four months. Harrison, of no fixed abode, three years, and Callaway, of Rogerstone, two years and eight months.
ROAD CLOSED FOR TRIAL PERIOD
Part of Newport Road in Caldicot was closed for a three week trial period as a part of a Monmouthshire County Council scheme aimed at encouraging active transport and creating a more pleasant environment. The trial was introduced to assess the impact on local businesses, on traffic on other roads in the town and test public opinions on the scheme. A consultation process has begun.
DRIVING OFFENCES
Victoria Farrell of Sedbury, Chepstow, was banned from driving for 42 months after she was caught with traces of cocaine in her system after being stopped by police on Chepstow Road, Caldicot, on 30 March. She was also sentenced to a 12-month community order, a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement, and to pay £300 in fines and costs.
Chelsea Furnival of Shelley Close, Caldicot, was ordered to pay £816 in a fine, costs and a surcharge after she failed to give information relating to the identification of the driver of a vehicle who was alleged to have been guilty of an offence.
HOUSE PRICE WATCH
The cheapest property advertised on www.rightmove.co.uk for sale in Caldicot at the end of October 2021 was a one bedroom flat at Holman House in the town centre at £109,050. The cheapest house was a three bedroom end of terrace ‘town house’ on the site of the old White Hart pub at £247,500. The most expensive was Llanthony Secunda Manor in Church Road, an 800-year-old Grade II* Listed manor house at offers over £875,000.


 

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