News Archive (2009-2013)

  • January 2011

    Caerleon Play areas

    Gail has regularly lobbied for better play ground provision in Caerleon. Gail raised the matter with the Cabinet Member (Cllr Dr Hamilton) in Council and a meeting for ward members was subsequently held with Councillor Hamilton and the Head of Leisure. As a result there will be new equipment provided on Roman Way between the two schools.Consultation is underway with the schools,pupils and parents.

    Roman Way Post Office

    Caerleon Post Offices have played a very important role in our community for hundreds of years. It is very sad, therefore, that the Roman Way Post Office has closed, depriving the residents of the Lodge area with a local service.

    Gail has been making enquiries about any possible grants to assist local people or businesses to provide all or some of the post office services.

    Caerleon Police Street Survey

    Gail has attended a new initiative, organised by Sergeant Jon Skillett, in which Caerleon Police officers, assisted by Neighbourhood Watch members, have used the mobile police station in three areas of Caerleon over this weekend ( Jan 15-17th) providing the public with the opportunity to discuss issues and concerns.

    Gail has attended this welcome and helpful initiative which has proved popular with residents.

    Christmas Tree – ConDems cancel Christmas in Caerleon

    In 2009 Gail battled to ensure that the Caerleon Christmas tree had lights and flooding lighting was provided for the Annual Christmas carol signing on the Common. The ConDem council insisted that Gail paid for the lights out of her Neighbourhood Allowance, which should be used to support local organisations.
    In the summer of 2010 Gail started asking about the provision of the tree and lights for Christmas 2010. In October Gail was informed that Caerleon would not be getting either. Thanks to lobbying by Gail and Caerleon Labour Party the ConDem council relented. The tree and lights were provided. However, Gail has been put under pressure again to use her Neighbourhood Allowance, which she has refused to do to date in order to protect funding for local organisations and groups in Caerleon ward.

    Gail organised and sponsored the Carol Service again, with the help of Canon Edwards, Rev Michael Jarman and Sean O’Neill with the Caerleon Comprehensive School musicians as well as volunteers who assisted with the refreshments.

    It was another highly enjoyable and successful event with over 100 people attending to join in the festive singing.

    Gail fights proposals for new housing development on Ponthir Road

    Gail attended the Planning Committee and strongly objected to the application for 54 new houses on the McCready’s site, Ponthir Road. The Committee agreed to undertake a site visit which Gail also attended. Gail was the only Caerleon Ward Member to attend these meetings and object to this large development. Unfortunately, the application was approved.

    Hanbury Garage

    Gail continues to monitor planning applications for the Hanbury Garage site, including a proposed 40 bed nursing home. Gail, along with other residents and Caerleon organiations, has objected to the proposals.Meanwhile, action has been taken in regard to excessive advertising displays

    September 2010


    Gail continues to monitor applications throughout Caerleon Ward, working closely with residents and the Civic Society. Gail has submitted comments and concerns in regard to the proposed Hanbury Garage application for a residential home, an application to knock down the Drovers pub for two retail units and supported the planning enforcement notice served by the Authority against Caerleon Nursing Home which has developed the site outside the planning agreement.

    Ryder Cup

    Gail has been actively assisting Caerleon residents, particularly those living in Caerleon Village/ Ultra Pontem, and local businesses who have raised concerns about restricted access and parking that may be incurred during the Ryder Cup.

    As a result Gail has arranged for a public meeting to be held on Tuesday September 21st at 6pm in Caerleon Town Hall where all interested parties will have the opportunity to discuss issues with Council officials and police.

    Air Pollution

    Gail continues to raise the problem of air pollution in Caerleon with Authority Officers and Cabinet Member. Rosemary is also pursuing the matter at the Assembly and local residents have been actively stating their concerns. Subsequently further monitoring is being undertaken, including Castle Street.


    Gail has raised a number of leisure related concerns over the last year, including increasing fees for users of the Town Hall, the possible threats to Caerleon’s Branch Library and the closure of Lliswerry Leisure Centre.

    Licensing Issues

    Gail is working with residents, police, neighbourhood watch and Licensing officers to stop the problems that continue, particularly at weekends, in the square. Gail has raised the matter recently with Inspector Muirhead.

    Gail continues to tackle the serious problems suffered by residents including noise, disturbance and antisocial behaviour associated with some of the licensed premises in Caerleon.

    Main Sewerage Provision -Isca Road

    Rosemary Butler and Gail organised a meeting for residents to meet with Dwr Cymru officials prior to work commencing which has now been completed.


    The development of the cycleway through the grounds of St Cadoc’s is continuing. Meanwhile, Gail has requested the Cabinet Member, at Council,that information boards are made available along the cycle route. Gail has also submitted her support for a further extension of the safe routes to school pathway from the Fosse, passed the amphitheatre, to Caerleon bridge.

    Police Station

    Gail has continued to raise the issue of moving Caerleon Police Station at Council and recently with Caerleon’s new Inspector Ian Muirhead.

    May 2010


    A planning application has been submitted to the Authority in regard to keeping the car wash at the Hanbury Garage. Meanwhile, the car wash can continue until a decision is made.

    Gail and local residents have attended a Licensing sub committee meeting in regard to an application to change the Goldcroft pub into a quality bistro. Residents concerns were discussed and acknowledged by the sub committee and the applicant who also agreed to reduce the evening opening hours.
    The application was upheld and the Bistro is due to open in 3 months time after approximately £250,000 worth of renovation work has been completed.

    Caerleon Library

    The Authority was not successful in its bid for funding and the plans to move the library to Caerleon Town Hall will not therefore being taking place.

    Gail raised the importance of keeping the library in Caerleon with the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Councillor Hamilton, at this month’s Full Council meeting. In response Councillor Hamilton confirmed there were no plans to close Caerleon Library.

    School parking

    Gail has raised the problems of school parking with Superintendant Julian Knight, Gwent Police, at today’s Full Council Meeting. Local residents and Caerleon police have also been active on this issue and a study has been undertaken resulting in a number of tickets being issued. Superintendent Knight acknowledged the work undertaken so far and stressed the importance of educating the public and parents on the dangers of illegal parking for school children, in particular.

    April 2010

    Hanbury Garage

    Gail continues to work with Planning Officers who have served an Enforcement Notice requiring the car wash to cease and restricting the hours of operation of the other businesses within the site to 8.00am-6.30pm Monday to Saturday and 9.00am-5.00pm on Sundays. Planning Officers are also in the process of taking action in regard to advertisements on the site.

    Caerleon Library Update

    A public consultation meeting has now taken place. Comments and concerns raised will be taken into account before any final decisions are made.

    Opening of Cycle Route

    This stage of the cycleway has now been completed thanks to, Newport City Council, Sustrans, the Welsh Assembly Government and Capita Symonds. The official opening took place on the cycleway on Thursday 15th April 2010. The opening was attended by the Mayor of Newport, Councillor Glyn Jarvis, Rosemary Butler AM, Councillor David Atwell, Cabinet Member for Highways, NCC, Councillor Gail Giles, Councillor Charles Ferris, Councillor Bill Langsford, Lee Waters, Director Sustrans Cymru, NCC Officers , including Senior Manager Glyn Stickler and other representatives from NCC, Sustrans, Capita Symonds and Caerleon Tourism Forum. Invited cycling enthusiasts and pupils from Caerleon Comprehensive School were also present.

    The sun shone and the tide was high as speeches were given by Rosemary Butler AM and the Mayor, who then cut the ribbon to open the cycleway.

    A reception was held at Newport University’s, Caerleon Campus, hosted by Dr Peter Noyes, Vice Chancellor and which included presentations by John Palmer, Connect2 Newport Champion, Sustrans and David Price, Capita Symonds who outlined the next stage of the cycleway which will link to Caerleon Comprehensive School.

    The works have begun and should be completed by this time next year. Meanwhile,Gail has asked if it would be possible for information boards about flora and fauna etc to be positioned along the route.

    Caerleon Town Hall Update

    An information meeting has taken place and as a result Town Hall users’ concerns have been taken into account. Common sense has prevailed and a more reasonable fee has been negotiated.

    March 2010

    Library update:

    An application for funding has been made to move Caerleon Library from Caerleon Comprehensive School site to the upstairs of Caerleon Town Hall. Whilst the school site is not ideal concerns have been raised about the loss use of use of the upstairs rooms for other members of the public. Gail has requested that a meeting for members of the public with Council officers is to be arranged.

    Town Hall

    Gail arranged for NCC officers to hold an information session to be held for users of Caerleon Town Hall to address their concerns about the proposed rise in fees.

    Planning Issues

    Gail Chairs Information Evening attended by over 300 residents

    Newport City Council has commenced public consultation on its next 15 year Unitary Development Plan ( UDP) for the city which will including potential sites for housing development.

    Several sites have been submitted to the Planning Department for potential inclusion in the Local Development Plan ( LDP) for Caerleon and Christchurch including Park Farm, Penrhos Farm, Broadway Farm, Cambria Close and two in Christchurch.

    Gail supported calls by local residents and assisted in arranging a information meeting at Caerleon Town Hall in which Planning Officers explained what the Unitary Development Plan was, the consultation process and how the public can submit their comments.

    This was followed by a question and answer session. Gail pledged to support the residents and continue to object to further development in Caerleon. Councillor Ferris refused to say he would oppose development in Caerleon and Councillor Angela Jones did not attend the meeting.

    Gail also asked for another detailed study of the infrastructure, traffic and air quality in Caerleon to be undertaken by the Authority, prior to the new LDP being finalised, to assess the impact of new development on the town.

    Information about the UDP and LDP can be found on the Newport City Council website:, , you can email Lucie Taylor, Planning Officer, on: [email protected] or Gail on [email protected]

    Ryder Cup

    Gail continues to raise the concerns of residents with the Authority and also attended a recent meeting at the Civic Centre with Ryder Cup Officials to ensure that traffic and parking issues are addressed so that as little disruption and inconvenience as possible is experienced by Caerleon residents.

    New Pedestrian and Cycleway (Home Farm – Malpas)

    The works for this stage of the cycleway are very nearly completed and funding from the Welsh Assembly, Newport City Council and Sustrans in place for the next stage which will run through St Cadoc’s grounds to a footbridge over the rail line to Caerleon Comprehensive School. It is hoped that the works will be completed by this time next year which will provide a much needed safe route for young people to and from Caerleon Schools without having to use Lodge Road. Hopefully it will also encourage more to walk and cycle rather than getting into cars, which in turn will relieve our roads of traffic.The completed cycleway/ footway is fabulous. It provides wonderful access to the river Usk, a site of special scientific interest ( SSSI) and its wildlife including herons, geese, ducks, swans and waders. Its a great way to keep fit whether walking, strolling, cycling, walking the dog or taking the kids out for some fresh air, and accessible for all.

    January 2010

    Licensing Issues

    Thanks to the work of Licensing Officers and the police, the licensee of the Goldcroft pub, Samantha Jane Starbuck, has been in court and fined for breaching pub licensing conditions. This is a very good result and sends out a clear message that action will be taken against those who break the law and cause distress to others. Meanwhile, Paul Flynn MP is continuing to pursue the effect of the licensing laws with the Minister.

    Ryder Cup

    Gail continues to assist residents in regard to various issues associated with the Ryder Cup, included proposed parking restrictions in the Belmont Hill/ Bulmore Road areas. Gail meets regularly with senior council officers in order to raise local concerns.

    Town Hall

    Gail continues to monitor the situation at Caerleon Town Hall to ensure that the vital social events and services that are provided by various groups and organisations, with most as a result of hard work and commitment of volunteers, are able to continue.

    Main Sewerage Provision -Isca Road

    Works are due to commence to lay a sewerage pipe in Isca Road. Residents in the area have to opportunity to connect their houses to the pipe, at their own cost. Gail continues to raise the need for the whole of the area to have access to mains sewerage.

    Cycle route

    Despite the snow and prolonged cold weather spell we have experience since December the work on the cycle and foot way has continued. It has proved to be very popular and well used already, even before the surface dressing has been laid. The works are due to be completed soon.
    photo- Gail Giles

    November 2009

    Ultra Pontem

    Much of the old village of lay sewerage pipes in the Isca Road area and Gail and Rosemary Butler, Assembly Member for Newport West, are assisting residents in negotiating where the pipes will run and how they can be connected to people’s homes.

    School Parking

    South Wales Argus 18th November

    “One of Caerleon’s Tory Councillors has described local parents as ‘stressed out near psychotic parents with a resolve to deliver children to the school gates that would put a kamikaze pilot to shame’.”

    Whilst there certainly are driving and parking issues in Caerleon, describing parents in such an offensive manner is not helpful. Gail continues to work with the Council and other agencies to find ways of alleviating problems. Meanwhile the new cycleway is well under construction and once the third phase is completed, hopefully by 2011, school children, parents, pedestrians, wheelchair users and cyclists will have a safe route around the town and to and from schools, thus
    alleviating the traffic problems.

    Bus Shelters

    Many residents are concerned about the standard of replacement bus shelters that are being erected around Caerleon. Gail is looking into the issue and understand that a new contractor has been employed by the Council. Gail is checking to see if the specifications for the shelters have been reduced or changed as a result.

    Ryder Cup

    Concerns have been expressed about how the Ryder Cup will affect Caerleon residents, particularly those in the Christchurch/ Belmont Hill/ Bulmore Road and Ashwell areas.

    Gail has raised the matter with Tory Coalition Lib Dem Councillor Ed Townsend, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the Economy and the Managing Director of Newport City Council and continues to push for improved communication and the provision of information for residents. Meanwhile, you are very welcome to write to Gail with your queries or concerns.

    Leisure Services

    Gail has raised the issue of the Town Hall fees with Councillor Mike Hamilton at Council again. Councillor Hamilton is now refusing to have the promised meeting with users of the Town Hall. Gail is pursuing the matter.

    Meanwhile, Gail questioned Councillor Charles Ferris, Conservative Caerleon Ward Member, on his suggestion that organisations should use the Glebelands rather than Caerleon Town Hall. Gail asked for assurances that organisations are welcome in Caerleon and will be given the support they need.

    Caerleon Police Station

    Following reports in the South Wales Argus that there was a proposal to shut Caerleon Police Station, Gail has raised the issue with Superintendent Julian Knight at Council this month. Superintendent Knight stated that there is no plan to close Caerleon Police Station. However, a different site, within the town centre, may be considered in the future following public consultation.

    Caerleon Library

    Hypocrisy at its highest level; Tory Coalition / Lib Dem Councillor Mike Hamilton announces his love of books and libraries in ‘Newport Matters’ this month. This is the man who wanted to close Caerleon Library down ( see below) and expected the residents of Caerleon to travel to St Julians library in order for us to enjoy our books. Any suggestion of depriving the people of Caerleon of a library will be fought all the way.

    Lliswerry Leisure Centre

    Along with Lliswerry Labour Ward Members, Gail has questioned Lib Dem Councillor Hamilton on leisure provision for older people at this month’s Council meeting. A meeting is to be arranged to discuss the matter.

    Newport City Council’s Tory/ Lib Dem coalition is also intenet on closing Lliswerry Leisure Centre which is particularly popular with older people, including residents of Caerleon Ward. Gail has challenged Cllr Mike Hamilton’s insistance to close down the swimming pool, in particular, which provides warmer water than other swimming facilities in the City.

    October 2009

    Cycle route

    The new Cycleway is now under construction and being well used even before it has been completed. It should be fully surfaced by February 2010.

    Hanbury Garage

    The Planning Appeal to continue the various activities and businesses at the Hanbury garage site has been turned down by the Welsh Assembly Government. Planning enforcement officers will be taking appropriate action. Meanwhile we hope that this site, situated at the entrance of Caerleon and the Usk Valley, can be improved and kept in order.


    Gail has asked planning officers to investigate developments at the Star Trading Estate to see if the continuous encroachment onto land is legitimate. A site visit has been held with the officers and Gail is monitoring the situation.

    Gail has objected to a number of planning applications for new developments and has also raised concerns with planning officers about the design of some of the proposed houses in the Lodge Road/Trinity View development.

    Newport City Homes (NCH)

    NCH has taken over responsibility for what were council houses in Newport, including those in Caerleon. Gail works closely with NCH supporting Caerleon tenants and representing their needs.

    Anti Fascist BNP Rally

    Gail, Rosemary Butler AM and Paul Flynn MP say no to fascism and racism at the peaceful vigil and rally held in Newport in October 2009.

    September 2009

    Anti-social behaviour

    Gail continues to tackle the serious problems suffered by residents including noise, disturbance and antisocial behaviour associated with some of the licensed premises in Caerleon. Gail organised a residents’ meeting with Licensing Officers following residents’ complaints. Gail has raised the matter in Council and with Newport City Council’s new Managing Director, Tracey Lee. Paul Flynn MP, Labour Member of Parliament for Newport West has taken up the case with the Minister responsible for Licensing Legislation. NCC Officers are also working with police to ensure the distress caused to local people is minimised.


    Gail continues to work with Council Officers, Neighbourhood Watch and Caerleon police to alleviate the various parking problems around Caerleon, which have recently included Ponthir Road and Brooklea.

    Cycle route

    Gail has been instrumental in the development of the Caerleon cycle route which started as a campaign for safe routes to school for Comprehensive School children, in particular. Thanks to funding from various sources including NCC, Welsh Assembly Government and Sustrains, the second phase of the Caerleon cycle route is now underway ( from Pillmawr Lane along the back of Home Farm Estate to the St Cadoc’s Hospital boundary fence) is due to be completed in the new year. The third phase through St Cadoc’s hospital grounds to Lodge Road, with a pedestrian bridge over the railway to Caerleon Comprehensive School, should be completed by 2011. Gail continues to monitor the works.

    Tory/Lib Dem Coalition votes to keep extra allowances for Councillors

    Labour councillors voted to amend the current extra allowance scheme in which Councillors on outside bodies such as the Police Authority and Fire Authority get paid on top of their Councillors allowance. The Labour opposition, including Gail, voted to stop these payments, particularly because of the present economic climate. However, the Tory/ Lib Dem coalition , including Councillor Ferris ( Councillor Jones did not attend), voted to keep them whilst at the same time talking about all the cuts they would need to impose on the tax payers of Newport.

    Caerleon Town Hall

    Following Gail’s request, a meeting took place with Tory Coalition Lib/Dem Cabinet Member for Leisure and Continuing Learning, Councillor Mike Hamilton, and organisations who hold meetings in Caerleon Town Hall. Gail lobbied hard with the organisations representatives to persuade Cllr Hamilton to change his mind and consider the difficulties raising the fees would pose for residents. Despite both Conservative Councillors, Charles Ferris and Angela Jones, openly supporting the rise in fees, Councillor Hamilton agreed to postpone increases until next year , with a further meeting to take place in the Autumn.Meanwhile, Gail raised the matter again with Councillor Hamilton at the September Council .

    Caerleon Library

    Following written objections and questions at full Council by Gail, Tory Coalition Lib/Dem Councillor Mike Hamilton, Cabinet Member has backed down so Caerleon Library which will not now close.We will be keeping a very close eye on the situation to ensure there are no further moves to get rid of this very important facility in our community.


    Gail continues to work with Planning Officers to ensure action is taken in regard to the unofficial activities taking place on Hanbury Garage site.

    Gail has asked planning officers to investigate developments at the Star Trading Estate to see if the continuous encroachment onto land is legitimate. A site visit has been held with the officers and Gail is monitoring the situation.

    Gail has objected to a number of planning applications for new developments and has also raised concerns with planning officers about the design of some of the proposed houses in the Lodge Road/Trinity View development.

    The late Jim Waggett 1922-2008

    Gail with the help of Caerleon Labour Party members recently marked the late Jim Waggett’s remarkable contribution to the community by planting a rosebush in the precincts of St Cadoc’s Church. Jim was a Labour Party member for more than fifty years, a member of CaerleonUrban District Council (and subsequently of Newport County Borough Council) as well as a church warden at St Cadoc’s.

    January 21st, 2011 | Caerleon Labour | Comments Off on News Archive (2009-2013) |

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