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23rd June 201
Two Labour Councillors Representing Fairwater Residents

Cllr Kelly Preston

and

Cllr Rose Seabourne
Thank you! For all your support.  We are here to help and support you


We would like to thank all residents who supported us in the recent Local Authority Elections.  We would also like to pay tribute to former Cllr Philip Seabourne who is now taking a long earned rest and acting as Rose's PA answering calls in her absence
Phil served the people of Fairwater as a County Borough Councillor for ten years and four years before that as a Community Councillor.
Kelly and Rose have started as they mean to go on and have already taken a Ward walk around Neerings and Oaksford and picked up a few jobs that you mentioned during the Election campaign.
  For those of you who use Social Media we have set up a Community Page for Fairwater and neighbouring Wards name FAIRWATER COMMUNITY check it out we try to update it with things happening within the area, also any news from TCBC you are welcome to contribute with any information within the boundaries of a Community Page.  We will try not to be political and will not remove posts that are thought likely to be offensive  We will retain and try and update this website a little more regularly but for more current news check out the Facebook page. 




27 February 2017

REMEMBER TO REGISTER TO VOTE
If you have changed your name or address or not applied to vote you can do so at the link below, Your right to vote is precious and our ancestors fought for the right to have you view heard please us it.    https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote




02 February 2017

Up and Coming Events

A number of EVENTS coming up organised by Cwmbran Community Council are:


Thursday 9th Feb ECO QUIZ held at The Congress Theatre Cwmbran commencing at 18.00hrs

Cwmbran Community Council Annual Civic Dinner March 2017 19.00 hrs - 22.30 hrs Greenmeadow Golf Club invitations to residents of various Cwmbran Community Group Representatives


Primary Schools choral festivals 21st,22nd,23rd March 2017 18.00 hrs to 20.30 hrs being held at The Congress Theatre



EVELYN WINFIELD M.B.E.

It is with great sadness that my first post for 2017 is to inform residents of the sad death of Former Councillor Evelyn Winfield MBE.  Evelyn was a Former Community Councillor and Leader of Cwmbran Community Council for a number of years.  Her funeral takes place at Gwent crematorium on Monday 6th February 2017 at 09.30 am.
Evelyn was Chairperson of Costar Community Partnership and on her retirement she was made a Life Member by her Trustee colleagues.  She was committed to working in the Community as a school Chair of Governors at Woodlands Primary School and was heavily involved in many other organisations.  She has suffered with ill health over the last few years and will be sadly missed.




11th December 2016
New Leader in 2017, for Torfaen County Borough Council


The Leader of the Council Cllr. Bob Wellington Greenmeadow Ward is to stand down as Leader on December 31st 2016.  The Labour Group have selected their new Leader which will be recommended to Council this week.  The newly elected Leader is Cllr Anthony Hunt Griffithstown Ward currently Cabinet Member for Finance,  Cllr Hunt will be stepping down as Deputy Leader on 31st December to take up his new position the new Deputy Leader selected by the Labour Group and to be proposed to Council is Cllr Richard Clark Croesyceiliog North Ward.  The newly selected Leader will appoint the new cabinet later this month.



1st December 2016


CHS Safe Routes in Communities Scheme

Update 30/11/16

The southbound bus stop on Ty Gwyn Road will temporarily be moved for a few weeks whilst works are being carried out within this area.

 

The temporary bus stop will now be located just below the school entrance (as can be seen on the link below).  This will be in operation after the school morning drop-offs on Thursday 1st December therefore, meaning the buses picking up in the afternoon will be at the new temporary location.

 

Should you wish to discuss this further do not hesitate to contact Clare Woodward, Senior Engineer, Torfaen Council.

Please click on link below

Temporary Bus Stop Relocation

 

Work to improve road safety measures on Ty Gwyn Way, Cwmbran, will begin on Monday 21 November and is expected to take up to 12 weeks.
The work is part of a Safe Routes in Communities scheme and will include a signal controlled pedestrian crossing in conjunction with a range of features to reduce vehicle speed such as gateway features, road narrowing, and additional signing and lining.
It also includes the placement of electronic signals to create a part time 20mph speed limit along part of the road during school operating hours.
Ty Gwyn Way will be kept open during the work and disruption will be kept to a minimum, however, some delays are to be expected.

Please read the document below for further information:

CHS SRiC general update 26 Oct 2016


22nd November 2016

Great News Specialist Critical Care Hospital Comes to Llanfrechfa Grange Hospital Site






26th September 2016

Paws on Patrol Event on October 7th 2016


 

Gwent Police and South Wales Fire Service are jointly launching the ‘Paws on Patrol’ initiative at New Inn Fire Station on 7th October 11:00 to 15:00.

 

‘Paws on Patrol’ is aimed at getting dog walkers to be the eyes and ears on the ground for Gwent Police, Torfaen Council and partner agencies. There will be a point of contact where they can report in any suspicious activity of problems in the area, including fly tipping, dog fouling, anti-social behaviour, graffiti, deliberate fire setting, crime etc. This initiative was set up in the South Wales Police Force area and it now has over 45000 members.

 

Any support for this event you could offer I know would be greatly appreciated.

 

Pauline Lohfink, a CSO within Gwent Police, has organised this alongside South Wales Fire & Rescue Service. Pauline’s contact email is Pauline.Lohfink@gwent.pnn.police.uk should you require any further information.

 




25th August 2016
SUMMER HOLIDAYS NEARLY OVER

It has been a reasonably peaceful summer.  We had a couple of good weeks in our caravan in West Wales with the family.  We hope our residents have had a good summer too.
We have received a few complaints about some anti-social behaviour at and behind Fairwater Square shopping precinct and arrangements are in place for a gating off of the area which hopefully will solve some of the problems that businesses are having.  A message from the Inspectors blog on Gwent Now, that I receive by email on a regular basis is:

On Monday 8th August 2016, a high speed police pursuit took place in the Cwmbran area. Several members of the public called Gwent Police to report the incident. Whilst I can’t disclose all the details, due to a court case pending, I can tell you that a 25 year old man from the Newport area has been charged on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a Class A drug, cocaine and a 32 year old man, also from the Newport area has been charged on suspicion of driving a motor vehicle dangerously and possession with intent to supply a Class A drug, cocaine. They have both been remanded into custody.

Councillor Surgeries will be back to normal on the first Saturday of the month at Fairhill Methodist Church 10.30am til 12.00.  Any residents with any concern about the work of Torfaen Council can come along and speak to Cllr Phil Seabourne.

Cwmbran Community Council are now planning the winter activities and a simple ceremony Flying the Red Ensign to help commemorate Merchant Navy Day will take place on Friday 2nd September 2016 at 10.00 am all are welcome to join us at Cwmbran Community Council Offices Ventnor Rd Old Cwmbran.

Remembrance Sunday parade continues to be an important event in the calendar and this years ceremony is being held on 13th November 2016 the parade sets off from St Gabriels Church at 10.25am moving along Commercial Street and Victoria Street pausing for prayers and unveiling of a wreath at the Cwmbran Community Council offices in Verntnor Rd before proceeding to Cwmbran Park for the act of rememberance which takes place at 11.00 am followed by a service at St Gabriels Church at 11.30am
Members of the public are requested to keep to the pavements at all times whilst observing the parade please.

More Events to add to your diary:

Events Calendar 2016-2017 Event

Date

Time

Venue

Summer Playschemes

1 – 25 August 2016

10am – 3pm

Throughout Cwmbran

Senior Schools Choral Festival

Thursday

10 November 2016

6pm – 8.30pm

Cwmbran High School

Community Awards Evening

Thursday

24 November 2016

6pm – 8.30pm

The Council House

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Friday

2 December 2016

6pm – 8pm

The Council House

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Wednesday

7 December 2016

6pm – 8pm

Outside Ladywell

Christmas Entertainment

Thursday

8 December 2016

6pm – 8pm

Cwmbran Shopping Centre

Christmas Entertainment

Saturday

10 December 2016

2pm – 5pm

Cwmbran Shopping Centre

Eco Quiz

Thursday

9 February 2017

6pm – 8.30pm

The Congress Theatre

Civic Dinner

Saturday

4 March 2017

7.30pm – 10.30pm

Greenmeadow Golf Club

(provisional venue)

Primary Schools Choral Festival

21, 22, 23 March 2017

6pm – 8.30pm

The Congress Theatre


Please note the provisional order of events and times have changed slightly to try and spread out events evenly in the Council’s calendar.

Please see the Clerk if Members have any queries on the above. The Members Handbook will be produced shortly which will include the events, plus Committee and Council dates.




17th June 2016

VOTE REMAIN THIS WILL BE THE MOST IMPORTANT VOTE IN YOUR LIFETIME!

So many people falling for the Leave campaign's lying propaganda that I feel I have to copy this status I saw on Facebook which is so true:

Wave goodbye to local authority and charity services you thought the government pays for, if you vote to Leave the EU. The government does not and will not pay for services you currently take for granted and you probably think are paid for by the government - the government cut funding in 2010 and repeatedly since then, forcing councils, schools and lots of other organisations to become charities in order to compete for funding from the lottery and from the major EU funding streams. I know because I write the funding applications! Goodbye services for children, disabled people, hospitals, the elderly, community transport, adult education, libraries, theatres and parks all paid for by the ESF. Goodbye town centre rejuvenation projects, small businesses, inland waterways and transport all paid for by the ERDF. And hello massive hikes in council tax and hello fracking companies and nuclear power stations on your doorstep, massive corporate building projects in the countryside and privatisation of schools as your council makes desperate attempts to make up the shortfall.
Even the Office for National Statistics has openly published a statement to imply that the Leave campaign are lying about the figures they're using.
 Please wake up to the social impact of leaving the EU and vote with your conscience not your pride.








16/03/2016

CWMBRAN HIGH SCHOOL EASTER HOLIDAY DATES 23rd March to 11th April


See letter on school website

http://www.cwmbranhighschool.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/LETTER-re-Easter-finish-return-dates-2016.jpg


06 March 2016


DO YOU QUALIFY FOR STATE PENSION?


Around 70,000 people in their fifties and sixties will miss out entirely on the new state pension between now and 2030, charity Age UK has warned.

Some 50,000 women and 20,000 men do not have the minimum number of qualifying years of National Insurance contributions (NICs), according to the charity's analysis.

Under the new system, coming into effect on April 6, people will need 10 qualifying years to get any new state pension.

This is a change from the existing regime which allows people to receive at least some state pension even with only a few years of NICs.

The full new state pension will be £155.65 per week, and the change applies to women born on or after April 6, 1953 and men born on or after April 6, 1951.

Age UK said it supports the aim of a simpler, fairer state pension, acknowledging it should benefit many people with low lifetime earnings due to low pay and caring responsibilities.

But the charity is concerned that there are many approaching retirement, particularly women, who do not have a full NI record.

Age UK's charity director Caroline Abrahams said: "Big changes are about to come in to simplify the state pension system, yet we know that many people in their fifties and sixties are completely unaware of how they will be affected.

"There is evidence suggesting that some people in this age group are so worried about what their finances will be once they retire that they are reluctant to think about it at all, but our strong advice is to take action now to find out exactly where you stand.

"The reality is that the news will be good for some but disappointing for others, which is why it is so important for everyone approaching retirement to check their state pension age and what they'll receive when they reach it."

A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said: "The new state pension will bring much needed certainty for savers and provide a solid foundation upon which people can build up their retirement savings.

?"People who haven't built up enough National Insurance can apply for Pension Credit, which works by topping up their other income and provides additional security in retirement."


FAIRWATER SHOPS

 

In answer to Cllrs Questions regarding the alleged anti-social behaviour at Fairwater shops the Executive Member gave this response at Council today.

"We have liaised with our Police colleagues and can advise as follow:"

"This is an emerging trend that has been identified as a priority and is being addressed by Gwent Police.  The local Neighbourhood team , assisted by response policing colleagues, have patrolled Fairwater shops every evening during this period and recorded activity in a daily diary.

These patrols are also supported by colleagues from the community tasking team ( community support officers) who focus patrols on the weekends.

The Police inform us that shop keepers and their staff have been spoken to during these patrols. The Police accept that groups of teenagers gather at the shops, especially so during inclement weather sometimes in groups of 30, however, when disorder occurs it is dealt with firmly by the attending officers.

In managing the youths, directions to leave orders and lower level engagement is used. Breaches of these Directions to leave have occurred and these have been dealt with at the youth bureaus, so far this has involved two young people.

Police colleagues inform me this remains a ward priority and the neighbourhood team will continue to patrol this area and reassure the shop keepers and residents"

Fairwater Progressive Walk

Location:Meet at Threepenny Bit Community Centre
Category:Guided Walk
Date(s):26/01/2016 (10:00-12:00)
Contact:For further information contact Lynne Mattravers on 01495 742483.

A moderate intensity 3-5 mile walk led by a qualified walk leader starting at Threepenny Bit Community Centre . A great way to relieve stress and combine exercise with meeting new people and taking in the local surroundings.

Age Restrictions:  Any age - children under the age of 14 years must be accompanied by an adult.




We would like to wish our residents a very Happy Healthy Christmas and New Year






15th December 2015



Torfaen Christmas waste and recycling collections



Refuse and recycling collections in Torfaen will continue as normal until Christmas Eve, and there will be no collections on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day. 

Between Thursday 24 December and Sunday 3 January collections will take place from 6am, so residents should ensure that their containers are at the kerbside for 6am. 
Collection days over the Christmas period will take place as follows:

Thursday 24 December - no change
Friday 25 December will be collected on Monday 28 December 
Monday 28 December will be collected on Tuesday 29 December
Tuesday 29 December will be collected on Wednesday 30 December
Wednesday 30 December will be collected on Thursday 31 December
Thursday 31 December will be collected on Saturday 2 January 
Friday 1 January will be collected on Sunday 3 January 

Residents can place out one additional bag of side waste next to their purple lidded wheelie bin on their first wheelie bin collection after Christmas.

The household waste recycling centre in New Inn will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day (Saturday 26 December) and New Year’s Day over the Christmas period. 

Residents planning to visit the HWRC in a van or using a trailer should ensure they obtain a valid permit prior to the December 24. No permits will be issued between Thursday December 24 and Monday January 4. Permits can be requested online via www.torfaen.gov.uk/en/Forms/Request/Van-or-Trailer-Permit.aspx via the Torfaen app, or by calling 01495 762200. 


For more details on waste and recycling in Torfaen visit www.torfaen.gov.uk

Telephone: 01495 766417 / 01495 742152
Fax: 01495 766059 www.torfaen.gov.uk

















Message from Torfaen County Borough Council Communications Team, Civic Centre, Pontypool, Torfaen, NP4 6YB


31st October 2015



Image result for Fireworks


Stay safe on Bonfire night


With Bonfire night almost upon us, Torfaen are reminding residents to be extra careful if you plan on using fireworks at home this year.

Safety should be top priority when it comes to using fireworks, especially when using them at home. The safest way to enjoy a fireworks display is to attend a professionally organised event; however here are some safety guidelines to follow if you do plan on using them at home this year.

  • Buy your fireworks from a reputable supplier and not off the internet - follow the manufacturers instructions.
  • Ensure you have enough space including space for fall out.
  • Make sure the debris will not fall into someone else’s property where it may cause damage or eaten by livestock.
  • Avoid the use of lanterns especially in rural areas. 
  • Tell neighbours – particularly important if they are elderly, have children or pets
  • Use appropriate fireworks – when buying fireworks try to avoid really noisy ones. 
  • Make sure pets and other animals are kept safely away from fireworks.
  • Consider timing – if you are using fireworks for a celebration, a Friday or Saturday is preferable, and make sure they are over by 11pm.
  • Avoid setting off fireworks in unsuitable weather – if it is still and misty or air quality is poor, pollution could be a problem. Strong winds can be hazardous.
  • Let off your fireworks in an open garden area – noise bounces off buildings and smoke and pollution can build up in enclosed spaces and you could become trapped.
  • If a neighbour complains that you are disturbing them, their pets or livestock, be considerate it may mean scaling down your display or maybe going to a public display.
  • After your display, clear up firework fallout and dispose of it safely.

Some extra tips can be found on the following website http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Fireworksafety/Pages/Planningdisplays.aspx

For more information call 01633 647623.

For more information please contact:
Lauren Mills, Trainee Communication Officer
Tel: 01495 766417
Email: Lauren.Beavan@torfaen.gov.uk

31st October 2015

THE TRADE UNION BILL
The Government are taking through a Trade Union Bill that would make most of our forefathers turn in their graves.

The Torfaen Constituency Labour Party believes that the Trade Union Bill is an ideologically driven attack on the fundamental rights and freedoms of British workers to take strike action.  It is also designed to reduce funding to and undermine the Labour Party, the main opposition to the Government and is a threat to our democracy.

The Torfaen CLP notes that the bill and the secondary legislation will:

·        Allow agency labour to be used to break a strike;

·        Introduce very high thresholds for industrial ballots, with an extra threshold in certain public services;

·        Severely restrict the right to picket and peacefully protest;

·        Significantly reduce trade union facility time and withdraw check off union contributions in the public sector;

·        Require union members to ‘contract in’ to their union’s Political fund every 5 years, thereby significantly reducing the ability of trade unions to support the Labour Party.

The Torfaen CLP calls for

·        The Labour Party locally to work with others opposing the Bill including trade unions, Trade Councils and the TUC;

·        The Council Labour Group to issue a statement outlining the positive role that trade unions play in industrial relations and how this Bill will damage the relationship with local government;

·        Our MP, and the PLP, to actively oppose the passage of the Bill, together with any associated secondary legislation;

·        The PLP to give a commitment to repeal the Bill at the first opportunity when Labour is returned to power.

It was stated that some Members have supported this motion already.  Paul Murphy absolutely opposed the Trade Union Bill and suggested we need to get as much support separate from the Labour Party, organisations and some employers will be totally against this bill.

The Torfaen Constituency Labour Party unanimously agreed to support the Unite Motion against the forthcoming Trade Union Bill.


Nick Thomas-Symonds MP
Nick has had a bit of a baptism of fire since becoming our MP in May.  Nick joined the rest of the newly elected MP's and soon became Shadow Pension Secretary followed quite quickly with his selection to present an Private members bill.  Nick has gained huge support for his Private Members Bill and it is
Great to have 40 leading clinicians backing his Private Members' Bill, the Off-Patent Drugs Bill: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/…/Drugs-costing-pennies-could-he…


Credit Union Autumn Newsletter preparing for Christmas

The nights are drawing in and it’s nearly Halloween, but we’re here to help make sure your finances aren’t scary and that you have more treats!

Lots of members have already started planning their Christmas. This year the first working day in November is Monday the 2nd – the first day you can access money in your Christmas Saver Account. Christmas savings now total over £125,000 which is a lot of presents. If you are wishing you had saved this year, why not pop in and open an account for 2016? You won’t be alone.

We’re lending for Christmas too, issuing loans for Christmas anytime between now and Christmas Eve (though we don’t promise to turn around loans for Christmas received after the 15th December). So if you need a little extra come and see us, or apply online at www.gatewaycu.co.uk.

Prepaid Cards

Our first prepaid Debit Cards are due to expire in November, so if you have one please make sure we have your current address.  The cards will be sent out automatically by our card provider.  In fact anytime you change your mobile, email or move house do please let us know.   

Membership Fee

Our Annual membership fee of £2 was debited to all adult members (other than those who had been a member for less than a year) at the end of September, as notified earlier in the year. We know this has not been a popular move, but it has enabled us to maintain the Life Insurance for members and continue to pay a dividend to our savers. The fee helps us to continue to support our members who need extra help and running savings clubs in schools- all the things that make your Credit Union a better choice than a bank, but are no longer supported by grant aid.  

 Gateway Savings top £2 Million!

Members total savings topped £2,000,000 in October for the first time, and are continuing to grow.  This means we have the  cash to lend out to other members so if you have borrowings elsewhere and would like to bring them home to your Credit Union (and get a better rate) give us a call or apply online.

 Online Services 24-7

More members than ever before are accessing our online services or emailing us. If you haven’t yet registered for online access to your account, why not give it a try? Though we know that lots of members prefer a more personal face to face service and it’s great when you come to see us too. Although your account is visible 24/7 we don’t offer online banking. All withdrawal and loan requests are dealt with on the next working day, by the same team you see when you come in.

 Come and see us in the Library

Our Cwmbran members are starting to find us now that we have moved across the square to Cwmbran Library. After a couple of desk moves we’re now in the reference library on the first floor. We’re open Mondays, Tuesdays Thursdays and Fridays.  The Torfaen Customer Care team have also moved so you can get bin bags, change your library books and pay into savings all at the same time. As always we greatly appreciate the support of Torfaen Council in ensuring we can still have a presence in the Town Centre. In a similar move, our Caldicot service has moved into Caldicot Library on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, alongside the Monmouthshire One Stop Shop team.  

 Welcome to Celtic Manor staff

We now offer payroll savings and loans to staff at Celtic Manor Resort, working in partnership with Newport Credit Union. We’ve also been working to make more local employers aware of the benefits of payroll saving for their staff. If you would like us to approach your employer let us know. 

 Thank-Yous and Farewells 

Gateway Credit Union recently celebrated 18 years of operation-in fact it’s around 20 years since the founder members started working towards opening a Credit Union in Pontypool. It was great to see so many of our founder members and retired volunteers at the birthday party, and to have the good wishes of so many members. Many people have made their contribution over the years, but this summer we have said goodbye to two familiar faces, our Loans Officer Megan York and Credit Controller Liuda Atkins who have moved on to new employment after 5 and 7 years respectively.

 While we only occasionally have vacancies on the staff team (which are advertised on our website) we’re always looking for new volunteers. Whether you’re looking for an admin role or customer service experience, or just want to get out of the house and meet new people, we have a job for you.  We’re also looking for people who can be ‘Champions’ for the Credit Union in your area or your workplace – encouraging colleagues to save or putting up posters. If this would appeal to you, give us a call.

 

ow u T         Follow us on Twitter (@GatewayCU_Wales) and Facebook (Gateway Credit Union Wales).       

 Contact us on 01495  742500 (Pontypool)

 01873 858938 (Abergavenny) or 01291 409582 (Chepstow) or email info@gatewaycu.co.uk .

 Thank you for choosing Gateway Credit Union.   

 

Gateway Credit Union Ltd 21 Commercial St., Pontypool Torfaen.


27th October 2015



CWMBRAN COMMUNITY COUNCIL BY-ELECTION

Thank You to all resident of lower Fairwater who voted in today's By-Election

The results of the By-Election was  Plaid Cymru 79 votes Conservative 28 votes Labour 88 votes Independent 52 Votes.

Rose was therefore was duly elected as Fairwater Community Councillor.

Fairwater has four Councillors two County Borough Councillors and two Community Councillors.  Three of these are Labour Party representatives  Rose will be joining me at my surgery on the first Saturday of the month where she will represent Cwmbran Community Council.  If any residents wishes to speak with either or both of us please come along 10.30 to 12 noon on the first Saturday of the month (except August) at Fairhill Methodist Church Fairhill Fairwater.  We also plan to have a shared Facebook page in the near future for all those who enjoy Social Media.



17 October 2015


CWMBRAN COMMUNITY COUNCIL BY-ELECTION

A vacancy has arisen for the Fairwater Ward on Cwmbran Community Council.  The Plaid Cymru councillor elected in May 2012 resigned from her position on 31st July 2015. A By-Election will take place on 27th October 2015.

The allocated polling station for voting is Blenheim Road Community Primary School.  The access to the school is suitable for disabled residents or those residents with pushchairs or prams.

The Welsh Labour/Llafur Cymru candidate selected is Mrs Rosemarie Seabourne.  Rose is well known within the community mainly for her tireless volunteering and charity work.  She has worked consistently for many years as a school governor of Fairwater High School and Greenmeadow Primary School and has recently been selected to sit on Cwmbran High School Governing Body.  Rose is also a founder Trustee Director on the Costar Partnership the charity that works out of the Threepenny Bit Community Hall and a Trustee Director of Torfaen Leisure Trust.

Please Support Rose by sending off your Postal Vote or voting on 27th October 2015

This is a TUESDAY and it is half term week so if you are on holiday you can apply for a Proxy Vote by the 20th October 2015. If you are taken ill or are hospitalised you may apply for a Proxy Vote up to 17.00hrs on the 27th October.  If you have not received a Polling Card or Postal Vote already Please contact Electoral Registration by telephoning 01495 762200 and asking to speak to Richard Gwinnell.
                                           
                                                
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Rosemarie Seabourne

 VOTE 27th Oct
 
X
 

Who and What is CWMBRAN COMMUNITY COUNCIL?

Cwmbran Community Council was formed following the reorganisation of Local Government in 1974 and is one of the largest Community (town) Councils in Wales.  Covering the main part of Cwmbran, the Council serves approximately 30,000 residents.  As a democratically-elected statutory body of 21 Councillors, the Council raises its funds through setting an annual 'precept' which is collected by Council tax paid to Torfaen County Borough Council and passed on to the Community Council.  The Council then uses this money on a wide variety of services which "add value" and "make a difference" in the community.  Cwmbran Community Council provides services for the whole community, from the very young through to our senior citizens. Here are some examples:

Summer Playschemes one of their ‘flagship’ services for their youngest clients. Professional staff providing a range of activities such as arts & crafts, sports, drama and games. The children also take the opportunity to raise funds for charities such as Ty Hafan

  • Cwmbran Centre for Young People  provides drop-in facilities and much more besides to young people from the whole Cwmbran area.


        Cwmbran Community Council’s Community Task Scheme provides a valued gardening and interior decorating services to all, but particularly to older and/or less able folks who can no longer do the work themselves.

 


    Cwmbran Community Council’s core grants are always well-received within the community. Core funding’ grants are made each year to local                organisations such as Torfaen Citizens Advice Bureau, the Congress Theatre and the Cwmbran Big Event.

The Council also makes general grants to local voluntary organisations every year.

The busy Events & Community Projects Committee organises and oversees events which are enjoyed by all ages. Cwmbran Community Council also support events organised by others in the community, such as the annual Remembrance Day Parade.

The Council’s Environmental Awareness & Planning Committee considers matters of planning and environmental interest, representing local views.  The Council also holds an “Eco Quiz” each year 

 











7th May 2015


ELECTION DAY !  PLEASE USE YOUR VOTE TODAY

for

NICK THOMAS-SYMONDS

Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Torfaen


Nick's pledges to you:

  • Stand up for a properly funded NHS true to the principles of Nye Bevan
  • Vote to Scrap the Bedroom Tax
  • Back an energy price freeze to help with the cost of living
  • Work to bring more and better jobs
  • A rise in the minimum wage
  • An end to Zero hours contracts.
  • Fight to end the need for Foodbanks

Nick who is a Barrister with a Law firm in Cardiff was born in Blaenavon and lives with his wife Rebecca and their two children in Abersychan - so he cares about our area and wants to work hard for you as our MP.

With Your Support he will stand up for local people!

Only a VOTE for LABOUR can prevent a Tory Government


If you have already voted Labour with your Postal Vote THANKYOU

If you have forgotten to post your postal vote you can take it to the Polling Station to post



29th October 2014


Preparations for the Winter Weather are under-way in Torfaen


The Council is prepared with a stock of 3800 tonnes of salt, and a further 2000 tonnes stored in a shared barn in Ebbw Vale if needed. 

All 710 salt bins across the borough are in the process of being checked and filled, and the public are being reminded to use the salt sensibly.

The Council maintains a fleet of seven large gritters and two smaller ones for narrower, busier routes, as well as a standby workforce ready to react to changing conditions. Last year it purchased three new snow blades to attach to its ride on mowers to help keep the town centres clear.

Councillor John Cunningham, executive member for neighbourhoods, said: “Hopefully we will have another mild winter like last year but we are ready and prepared for whatever the weather may bring. 

“As always we would like to remind drivers to take extra care during the winter months. While we make every effort to keep main roads free from ice and snow, drivers should reduce their speed, increase the distance between cars in front, and not automatically assume roads are free from ice as appearances can often be deceiving. 

“We also ask the public to remember that the salt in salt bins is only for use on adopted roads and footways, not private driveways and paths. A thin layer, spread over an area that has been cleared of snow, is most effective.”

In an average winter Torfaen’s gritters are called out between 60 and 70 times but last year, due to the mild conditions, they were only called out for 47 full gritting actions. The council now uses information gathered from its weather monitoring stations to determine air and road temperatures to ensure that grit is only used when it will be most effective.

As usual, any updates will be posed on the Torfaen council website, Facebook page and Twitter. 

 

Telephone: 01495 766417 / 01495 742152

Fax: 01495 766059

www.torfaen.gov.uk


Don't forget to Check out the Christmas Activities at Co-Star

Christmas Lunch and Festive Quiz taking place on the 10th and 17th December get your booking in now to reserve your place!  ONLY £7.50


03 October 2014


CHANGES TO THE WAY YOU REGISTER TO VOTE


As you may well know, the way electors register has changed from 10 June 2014.  Now each elector is responsible for registering individually. 

 

For this year, the majority of residents in Torfaen were automatically passed over onto the “new” electoral register.  In other words they did not have to complete any forms to stay on the register.  Those people would have received a confirmation letter and will only need to re-register if they move properties. The easiest way to re-register if needed is by visiting www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

 

Electors who could not be passported automatically were sent an Invitation to Register form. They could respond on the paper form or register themselves at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote   

 

For the properties where we had no electors registered (e.g. empty houses) a Household Enquiry Form (HEF) had to be sent. A HEF is similar to the old annual canvass form. Electors receiving a HEF need to insert the names of all eligible residents and then the HEF must be returned in paper format.  Residents can then either go on-line and register individually or wait until we forward them a personal Invitation to Register form.   

 

Whilst the majority of electors we have handled so far and registered through the web go through without any problem, a few electors have needed to give us extra evidence (e.g. copies of driving licences or passports) to support their registration.  As you will understand this may cause a delay in electors registering and may cause them a problem in their ability to vote if they are trying to register just before any election.  This is the reason why we must get the message to electors of the importance of registering immediately whenever they move property – or get themselves registered now if they haven’t registered in the past.   

 

If you send out newsletters to your electorate, could you remind them of the importance of registering and inform them of how easy it is to register, especially if they go on the web?  We have timed this and it takes under 2 min.  to complete.

 

We are trying this message to encourage electors to register:

 

Knock knock ….. Who’s there?  If you are not on the register you may be refused a mortgage, you may struggle to get a loan or mobile phone contract and you will not be able to vote.  DON’T BE A NOBODY. Register at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

 




29 July 2014

 CoStar Open Day at The Three Penny Bit

Deerbrook, Greenmeadow

 Saturday 16 August 2014

11.00 am – 3.00 pm

Café Open

3.30- 4.30pm

Award winning Elvis tribute artist Dean Mack

 

Competitions, Raffles, Prizes, Home Made Cakes,

Craft Stalls, Spinners and Weavers, Farm Animals,

Peppa Pig, White Elephant Stall, All Our Histories, Music Workshop, On the spot Portraits, 


23rd May 2014


FLOODING



http://www.cwmbranlife.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/10377005_10152137979321527_8449490222920267591_n.jpg


For those affected by the flooding, Torfaen County Borough Council have a page of useful information on their website including details of how to safely clear up after a flood and links to public health information.

In terms of the clear up, today TCBC have a large number of their workforce and officers dedicated to ensuring culvert grills are clear, the worst of the damage to our highways is being made safe, sweepers are removing debris and we are continuing to cleanse gullies.

 TCBC are collating a full list of your requests for sandbags and will assist where we can on a priority basis within the resources we have available, however, please note it's not a statutory requirement for them to provide sandbags to private residents and businesses. Thanks.

Flooding in Torfaen can be caused by prolonged heavy rainfall, high river levels, blocked culverts and drains and sudden downpours leading to flash flooding and surface water build up. Torfaen County Borough Council understands the impact flooding can have on the community and business premises and…
torfaen.gov.uk

Torfaen County Borough Council understands the impact flooding can have on the community and business premises and tries to ensure that effective arrangements are in place to co-ordinate resources in both preventing flooding and responding to requests from the community.

Make sure you are prepared

Flooding can happen very quickly and unexpectedly so the time to think about what you would do in the event of flooding is now. Don't leave it until you are already flooded. The better prepared you are the easier you will find it to cope with the effects of flooding.

  • Find out the likelihood of flooding in your area. Visit the Natural Resources Wales  website for more information.
  • Check your insurance documents are up to date and that you are adequately covered in the event of a flood.
  • Try and store valuables and other sentimental items in a high cupboard or upstairs.
  • Make sure you know where and how to turn off your Gas, electric and water supplies.
  • Consider purchasing sand bags, or flood boards to direct water away from your property if flooding is a high risk.
  • Keep household documents upstairs in a safe place

Sandbags

There is no statutory requirement for local authorities to provide sandbags for flood protection to assist private residents or businesses. We will however assist where we can on a priority basis, within the resources we have available.

If you receive a flood warning

  • Check for flood warnings in your area by tuning into local radio and TV, contact the floodline number on 0345 988 1188 or visit the Natural Resources Wales  website. Move valuables upstairs, check pets and move them to safety. If you can, move any vehicles to higher ground and any other items to safety.
  • Alert your neighbours.
  • If you have sandbags or flood boards put them in place.
  • Be prepared to turn off gas and electricity supplies.
  • If flooding is likely after darkness carry out preparations before while you still have light.

Flood safety

  • Floods can kill always try and remain safe. Don't walk or drive through flood water. Even very shallow fast flowing water can knock you over and two feet of water will float your car.
  • Floodwater is often contaminated with chemicals and sewage so avoid contact as much as possible and seek medical advice if you have been in contact with flood water.
  • Never try to swim through flood water. Not only might the water be contaminated but you could get swept away or struck by a floating object in the water.

Further information on the risks to health from contact with flood water can be found on the following sites:

Cleaning up

  • Contact your insurance company's emergency helpline and take advice on what you should do.
  • When it's safe ventilate your house by opening doors and windows but take care of security.
  • Contact your gas electric and water companies so that they can be tested before you turn them back on.
  • Always take advice from your insurance company and find out what you should do. They will normally send a loss adjuster to assess any damage to the property and its contents.
  • The insurance company should then arrange the disposal of contaminated items and replacements, and any work needed to the property following the flood.

Natural Resources Wales Flood Information Guides

Natural Resources Wales produces flood guidance and flood plan templates for homes, businesses, farms, schools and communities.

The guidance includes practical advice on preparing for a flood and what to do during and after a flood. This guidance is available to download from the Natural Resources Wales flood pages .

Three Day Flood Risk

A Three Day Flood Forecast for England and Wales is now available from the Environment Agency. This shows, county by county, where there is a risk of flooding over the next three days. The three-day forecast is updated at least once a day and is available online on the Environment Agency website.



29th April 2014

CONSULTATION REPORT

The consultation report is now available on the Torfaen County Borough Council website by following the link:

http://www.torfaen.gov.uk/SecondarySchoolConsultation

 

Alternatively, a hard copy can be provided by telephoning 01495 766910 or emailing: mark.horton@torfaen.gov.uk



15th April 2014

CABINET DECISION 6th May 2014

Torfaen Cabinet will be taking the report on closing Fairwater High School and Llantarnam Comprehensive School and re-opening a new school on the Fairwater Site at their meeting on 6th May 2014.

If the proposals go ahead both schools will close in July/August 2015 and the new school will re-open with a refurbished building on the site at Ty-gwyn Way,  Fairwater, Cwmbran. in September 2015.

There is a great deal of work to be done getting both communities to come together starting with the appointment of a shadow Governing Body who have to start by appointing the Head Teacher and Senior Leadership Team, followed by curriculum planning, staffing appointments etc.



21st February 2014

Have your say

Fairwater High School and cluster feeder schools should not be complacent and should be campaigning to retain the Secondary School provision in Fairwater.  Llantarnam will have the most impact if proposals go through.  But if you believe it is a done deal you may be wrong and if the Llantarnam site supporters shout loudest Fairwater could lose their Secondary School provision so please have your say in the consultation process we have one month to let the Council hear our views.

https://mysay.torfaen.gov.uk/consult.ti/SecSchoolConsult/consultationHome


Dear Parents/Carers,

I am writing to you to highlight the proposals in the consultation document regarding the removal of surplus secondary school places in Torfaen.

It is important that you are aware that the proposal to locate the new school on the Fairwater site will understandably, have more of an impact on the Llantarnam area and if there are a significant amount of appeals from the community specifically parents of Llantarnam pupils the council may well turn the proposal around and suggest building the new school on the Llantarnam site.

I am encouraging you to support the current proposal for the following reasons as highlighted in the consultation document your sons/daughters brought home from school:

 

- Fairwater School site is at the centre of the learner population.  The majority of pupils live nearer the Fairwater site.

- Fairwater High School is fully Disability Discrimination Act compliant and already successfully accommodates a number of wheelchair users.

- The school has previously catered for 1,400 pupils in the current buildings so easily has capacity for the estimated numbers of pupils in Sept 15 without any further building work or portable classrooms needed.

- Educational standards have made phenomenal improvements at Fairwater over the last couple of years and in November 2013 Estyn said; Fairwater was a "very good school with outstanding features"

-  Fairwater has moved up from band 5 to 3 and should be in Band 1 by the end of the year and also has inspirational teachers delivering high quality teaching and learning in the classrooms.

In an ideal world we would all love a new build but we have to realistic as well as aspirational The best teaching and learning should be the aspiration and the right for all our children wherever they live.

I am asking you to support your son/daughters future educational provision in Fairwater by doing the following:

- attending the consultation event at Fairwater High School on Wednesday 19th March at 6pm in Upper School Hall.

- respond to the proposals by using the response proforma in the back of the consultation document and sending to Head of Education Services FAO Mark Horton C/o Torfaen County Borough Council Civic Centre Pontypool Torfaen NP4 6YB. Or by email to secondaryreview@torfaen.gov.uk  Or by giving your views online at https://mysay.torfaen.gov.uk/consult.ti/SecSchoolConsult/consultationHome (English or Welsh)

 

Along with the review on the catchment areas, the Council are also considering increasing the mileage allowance from the generous two miles to the statutory three miles allowance, which means transport allowance will no longer be available to a large number of students who are entitled at present.

Even if you are happy with the proposals if you do not make sure your views are heard it may be interpreted as you do not mind what happens.

 

Please support the Council proposal for the new school on the Fairwater High School site for your child's future in education!

 



29th January 2014

EDUCATION UPDATE


Secondary School Consultation

Following the Cabinet decision to begin  on the proposal to remove secondary school places in the south of the borough a consultation document is being developed with the intention of running a six week consultation period before the end of the Spring Term. Before moving ahead with the proposals the views of all stakeholders will be sought to ensure that these views are taken into account before decisions are made.  Dates are currently  being finalised for public events to be held at Croesyceiliog, Fairwater and Llantarnam Secondary Schools. The consultation events will be advertised widely and the consultation period will begin with the issue of the  document. Information will also be available on the council website.

If you require any further information please contact Mark Horton or Steve Tong on 01495 766910 or 01495 766945.


Torfaen Recovery Board

As you are aware since the Local Authority was placed in Special Measures back in March 2013 the Minister has been considering establishing a Recovery Board to provide support and challenge to the LA. However, the LA has been given time to progress a number of actions and to prepare its post inspection action plan (PIAP) and it is only now that the Recovery Board has been established by the Minister. The membership of the Recovery Board is as follows;

 

·         Steve Dalton – Managing Director of Sony UK Technology Centre, Pencoed

·         Mel Ainscow – Professor of Education & co-Director of the Centre for Equity in Education at Manchester

·         Associate Professor Sue Davies – Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Wales Trinity St David

·         Councillor Huw David – Cabinet Member for Children & Young People, Bridgend County Borough Council

·         Eifion Evans – Director of Education & Community Services, Ceredigion County Council

·         Joyce Redfearn – Former Chief Executive of Wigan Council and Monmouthshire Council

 

The Recovery Board will support the LA in addressing each of the recommendations made by Estyn which are the focus of our PIAP. The first meeting of the Recovery Board is set to take place next week.

Headteacher changes

Gill Ellis is currently Acting Headteacher at Blenheim Road Primary School and at Coed Eva Primary School Clare Moses is Acting Headteacher. Many of you will have met the Acting Headteacher at Penygarn Primary School; Louisa Sellars. Louisa popped in to say hello to Pearl House staff last week.

 

Forthcoming school inspections

In case staff are intending to visit the following schools please be aware that Two Locks Nursery will be having an ESTYN monitoring visit on 30 January. Similarly George Street Primary school will be inspected week commencing 3 February and Blaenavon Heritage VC Primary School week commencing 3 March 2014. Please be mindful of this when arranging visits.

 

29th January 2014

Williams Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery

The Commission on Public Service Governance and Delivery has this week published its much anticipated report commonly referred to as the ‘Williams Report’. The headlines in the report suggest that Councils in Wales should merge into larger units by merging existing local authorities and not redrawing boundaries from scratch. The suggestion is for the existing 22 Councils to be reduced to either 10, 11 or 12 newly merged local authorities. The suggestion is that Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly should merge as one of the newly formed local authorities. It is a significant report and it will take some time to go through it in detail and absorb all its findings and recommendations. Obviously the report will impact on the delivery of LA services in the future and will have an impact on how we work and we will use future news briefs to keep you all updated of developments. The report can be found on the Welsh Government website.


02 January 2014


Happy New Year to All

We would like to wish all our readers a very Healthy Happy New Year.

Please look out for the start of the consultation process and leave your views.

26 November 2013


Cabinet Decision to Close Fairwater High School & Llantarnam Comprehensive School

Torfaen County Borough Council Cabinet took the decision this morning to go out to consultation to close both Fairwater High School and Llantarnam Comprehensive School the consulatation is to start in January 2014.  The recommendation to go out to consult and to then reopen a re-furbished new school on the Fairwater High School site with a £6 million investment to the new school.

Anyone with concerns are welcome to contact me or the Head teacher Mrs Coulson to share their views.


Cabinet Decision to Close Fairwater High School – 26/11/13

FHS PRESS RELEASE

Closure of any school is always a difficult and emotive subject.  However, with a declining pupil population, the issue of surplus places has to be addressed within Torfaen LA and difficult decisions will have to be made.

Whatever the outcome the key priority in this is to ensure the best quality education is provided for all pupils in the borough.

Here at Fairwater High School, we will continue to improve standards and build on our excellent GCSE results from August 2013.  We will ensure we have put our pupils in the best possible position to move forward, whatever the outcome may be.

Pupils, parents / carers, staff and governors will need to be consulted with, informed and reassured every step of the way to make sure we all move forward collectively.

Mrs H Coulson

HEADTEACHER

26 November 2013

 

 

Fire Cover Review Update Stage 2: Blaenau Gwent & Torfaen.

 

Over the last couple of months we have been engaging with our communities affected by fire cover proposals in Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen.  They have been sharing their views with us about these.

It is now our intention to feedback to the Fire Authority on 24th March 2014 detailing the views of those who have taken part.  This will ensure that the opinions of the communities affected will be fully considered before any final decisions are made.

There have been a large number of responses to our proposals via e-mail, social media, letters and our survey.  There have also been meetings with community members, Members of Parliament, Assembly Members and local Councillors.  We have listened to what has been said and now need to consider the many issues raised by these proposals. It has now been agreed that we will not report our final conclusions from this consultation at the Fire Authority meeting in December to allow us time to do this.

It is important to us to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has participated in this consultation.  Whilst we will not be able to provide any detailed information on the final report until after the Fire Authority meeting in March, you can be reassured that your views will be considered.

Adolygiad Cwmpasiad Tân Cam 2 - Diweddariad:Blaenau Gwent a Thorfaen

Dros y misoedd diwethaf rydym wedi bod yn ymgysylltu â'n cymunedau sy'n cael eu heffeithio gan y cynigion cwmpasiad tân ym Mlaenau Gwent a Thorfaen. Maent wedi bod yn rhannu eu barn â ni ynglyn â'r cynigion.

Mae'n fwriad gennym nawr roi adborth i'r Awdurdod Tân yn y cyfarfod ar 24 Mawrth 2014, gan fanylu ar farn y bobl sydd wedi cymryd rhan yn y broses ymgysylltu. Gwnaiff hyn sicrhau y bydd ystyriaeth gyflawn o'r safbwyntiau a fynegwyd gan y cymunedau a fydd yn cael eu heffeithio cyn y gwneir unrhyw benderfyniadau terfynol.

Rydym wedi derbyn nifer fawr o ymatebion i'n cynigion drwy e-bost, cyfryngau cymdeithasol, llythyron ac ein holiadur. Rydym wedi cynnal cyfarfodydd ag aelodau'r gymuned, Aelodau Seneddol, Aelodau'r Cynulliad a Chynghorwyr lleol. Rydym wedi gwrando ar beth a ddywedwyd ac yn awr, mae angen i ni ystyried y materion niferus a godwyd gan y cynigion yma. Erbyn hyn, cytunwyd ni fyddwn yn adrodd ar ein  casgliadau terfynol yng nghyfarfod yr Awdurdod Tân ym mis Rhagfyr. Bydd hyn yn caniatáu i ni roi ystyriaeth gyflawn i'r materion a godwyd yn ystod y broses ymgysylltu.

Mae'n bwysig i ni ein bod yn manteisio ar y cyfle hwn i ddiolch i bawb sydd wedi ymateb i'r ymgynghoriad hon. Er ni allwn ddarparu unrhyw wybodaeth fanwl ynglyn â'r adroddiad terfynol nes bod yr Awdurdod Tân wedi cwrdd ym mis Mawrth, gellwch fod yn sicr y byddwn yn ystyried eich barn chi.


£20 charge for replacement bins

Torfaen residents will now be charged £20 for replacement black wheelie bins and housing developers charged £55 per property for all waste and recycling 
receptacles.  The council collects more than one million black bins a year, or 20,000 every week.

Last year residents requested about 2,700 replacement black bins that were either lost, damaged or stolen.
Reducing these requests and charging property developers is expected to save the council £60,000.
Bin wear and tear is the most common request for replacement and there will be no charge for replacing bins damaged and removed during collection.

Bins damaged during collection will be recorded by the crew pushing a button in the vehicle and an automatic request for a replacement will be generated and a 
card posted.

For further information please contact: Rhodri Guest on 01495 742153

Missed black bin collections to stop next week

From next week, Torfaen council will no longer return to collect black bins reported as missed and is urging residents to put bins out in the right place at 
the right time.

This means bins need to be out before 7am on their collection day and where their property meets the pavement or other designated area.
The council collects more than 20,000 black bins a week. Returning for missed black bins costs the council about £77,000 a year, with between 50 and 75 requests per week. The council will no longer return to collect waste from properties whose bins were not out on time, not in the right place, had the wrong materials in it or had waste lodged in the bin. The council will return within 48hours for a missed collection only if there was: * Access issues due to roadworks, major incidents or adverse weather such as snow * A record that a bin was damaged and couldn't be collected * A missed assisted collection. The council will not return until the next scheduled collection for any other reason. Residents can dispose of their general waste at the
Household Waste Recycling Centre in New Inn. For further information please contact: Rhodri Guest on 01495 742153



25 November 2013


New vehicles help council prepare for winter weather

Torfaen council has bought three new gritters to help it deal with the cold winter weather and any problems it causes.
 
The new gritting vehicles have replaced older vehicles that were ten years old and had become unreliable and expensive to maintain. The council has seven large 
gritters and two smaller ones, plus a standby workforce available to react to conditions at any time.
 
The council also has three new snow blades, which can be fitted to the ride-on mowers to help snow clearing in pedestrianised areas and other busy high 
priority footways.
 
The executive member for neighbourhood services, councillor John Cunningham, said: “These new vehicles will help us keep Torfaen moving regardless of the 
weather. Our winter maintenance teams are extremely dedicated and are once again preparing for what could be another difficult winter.  “There has already been seven gritting actions
in the last two weeks, with many more predicted over the next few months. However, we are fully prepared. We have 4,000 tonnes of salt in our barns, plus a reserve stock of 2,000 tonnes in a shared regional barn in Ebbw Vale.” In an average winter, the gritters are called out 60 to 70 times; however, last year’s prolonged winter saw 82 full gritting actions. An average gritting action uses about 35 tonnes,
although a lot more is used in periods of snow. The council treats 52 per cent of the highway network, the national average is about 35 per cent. All 700 salt bins have now been checked and filled. Residents are reminded to use the salt sparingly, clearing snow first to get the best results. Councillor Cunningham added: “The salt only needs to be spread thinly to be effective; putting some in a bucket and spreading with a small scoop or gloved hand is the most effective method. Lying snow should be cleared first if possible before applying the salt. “I would like to take this opportunity to remind residents to exercise caution while driving in winter. Even though we constantly monitor conditions and crews are on standby 24hrs a day to treat the roads as required, we cannot guarantee to keep them free from snow or ice at all times.” Should Torfaen experience heavy snow again this winter, visit www.torfaen.gov.uk, like facecook.com/torfaen and follow @torfaencouncil on Twitter for up-to-date information on roads, refuse collections, school closures and more.

23 November 2013


Cabinet to consider Cwmbran secondary school closures

The Council’s cabinet is due to consider a report next week on proposals that could see the closure of Llantarnam secondary school and Fairwater High school and a new secondary school redeveloped in Cwmbran. The new school would be redeveloped on the current Fairwater High school site with a £6m investment from Torfaen’s 21st Century Schools programme, and could open in September 2015. The council’s cabinet will be asked to approve consultation on the proposals which form a key part of the council’s 21st Century Schools programme. The closure of the schools would be accompanied by a review of the Fairwater, Llantarnam and Croesyceiliog catchment areas. The council’s 21st Century Schools programme highlighted that closing Fairwater and Llantarnam and creating a single secondary school would help to tackle the issue of surplus places for both schools. The Welsh Government has set a target of having no more than 15% surplus places in all schools in Wales by 2015. Fairwater is being proposed as the most suitable site because of its more central location – having the right sized schools in the right place is a key principle of the 21st Century Schools programme. The report can be accessed from this link : http://www.torfaen.gov.uk/en/CouncillorsAndCommittees/Meetings/Cabinet/2013/11/26/Agenda/Agenda-26-11-2013.pdf

If you want any more information please contact Forward Planning on 01495 766910.  If you have concerns and need to contact me you can do so by emailing phil.seabourne@torfaen.gov.uk




25 October 2013

CWMBRAN FIRE SERVICES AT RISK

One of Cllr Seabourne's job as a Councillor is representing Torfaen on the South Wales Fire & Rescue ServiceThere is currently a consultation taking place on services within South Wales and residents are being urged to take part in the consultation process. We need as many people as possible to respond to the consultation by the closing date on November 15. If you have any comments please answer the consultation alternatively, contact Cllr Phil Seabourne who will make your views known to SWFR.  Our Labour representatives have some serious concerns about the proposal and below is the report from the Free Press about a recently held meeting.

Cwmbran firestation (1227351)


Cwmbran Fire Service at risk of losing one of the two Fire Tenders and Retained Crew


A MEETING has been held over plans to axe the fire engine at Cwmbran Fire Station.

The meeting was called by Torfaen’s Assembly Member, Lynne Neagle, and MP, Paul Murphy, with Chief Fire Officer, Huw Jakeway, after it emerged that the future of the engine, and the jobs of its 17 retained crew, were threatened as part of a Fire Cover Review currently being consulted on by the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

The review could also see the closure of Blaina Fire Station.

The Save our Sirens campaign has been set up to save the engine and has attracted widespread public support locally, with many expressing fears over the ability of the fire service to cope in the event of major incidents, given that Cwmbran will effectively see its local fire cover reduced by half, with only one appliance remaining.

A final decision on the Fire Cover Review is expected to be taken at a full meeting of members of the Fire Authority in December.

Speaking following the meeting last week, Ms Neagle said: “I’ve been working closely with firefighters at Cwmbran ever since the threat to the second engine emerged, so this was an important opportunity to express the concerns of the community directly to the Chief Fire Officer.

“I also intend to keep up the pressure at Assembly level. Having already questioned the First Minister directly about these proposals.”

Mr Murphy added: “Although it was a constructive meeting, we made it quite clear that many of our constituents are deeply worried about the impact of removing the second engine at Cwmbran, and that we will do everything we can to support the Save our Sirens campaign in the weeks ahead.

“I’ve been contacted by a number of constituents worried about these plans. We need as many people as possible to respond to the consultation by the closing date on November 15.”

Lynne Neagle, AM for Torfaen, told the Senedd today that she was unconvinced that the data analysis underpinning proposals at Cwmbran fire station gives sufficient weight to the critical role of the second engine which the service plans to cut.

Local government minister Lesley Griffiths replied chief fire office Huw Jakeway had confirmed to her that he had undertaken a “very robust risk assessment” regarding the consultation proposals.

She urged everyone to take part in the consultation if they have concerns.





20 October 2013


Welsh Language in Torfaen

TORFAEN council’s investment in the Welsh language comes with a price tag of £37,000 per year.

A report highlighting the Welsh language services in the council will be presented to the resources overview and scrutiny committee today.

The aim of the report it to move the council towards the equal production of documentation in English and Welsh across its public services.

But it will need to invest £37,000 initially to put this in place.

Currently the council does not provide access to all council business and services in Welsh and has resulted in 20 complaints in 2012/13.

The cost includes a full bilingual equivalence of services, including the maintenance of the council’s Welsh-language website, Welsh minutes and agendas of all council meeting, and Welsh-language customer support.

It also includes two officers from customer services undertaking a six-week immersion course.

Welsh-language training in 2014 at a cost of £900, and that one additional full-time translator is recruited on an 18-month contract.

The proposal also suggests to add the requirement to be able to speak Welsh for all future customer service vacancies until sufficient capacity is developed and that eight fluent-Welsh-speaking officers should be identified.

Torfaen council is currently subject to a statutory investigation by the Welsh Language Commissioner in relation to the recent implementation of its automated telephone system.

This investigation was triggered by a public complaint that the council did not introduce the automated telephone system bilingually, but instead introduced the English system in advance of the Welsh system.

Further to this, the Wales Audit Office stated in the council’s Annual Improvement Report for 2011/12 that the council’s progress in improving Welsh-language services has been slow.

Currently, the council employs one full-time Welsh-language officer and one Welsh-language translator.

As a result of increased demand for translation a significant amount of translation is outsourced to external translators, with 2012/13 expenditure amounting to £10,000.

The total expenditure for corporate Welsh-language services in 2012/13 was £114,000.


Keeping our Young People Safe


Cyber Safety Lessons


Children in Gwent are being educated about staying safe online as part of the All-Wales cyber safety lessons.

The All-Wales School Liaison Core Programme run cyber-safety lessons to teach children about potential online dangers. For 14-16 year- old's they offer lessons in 'Dangerous Deception' for those who may be at risk of sexual exploitation and warn them about those who put pressure on them to send sexualised images.

The NSPCC conducted a study into young people, children and 'sexting' in 2012, which showed a range of between 15 and 40 per cent of young people were involved in sexting. This is defined as sexual messages or images shared through mobile phones and on the Internet.

The joint report by NSPCC and Childline has found that the majority of sexting came from peers and that girls were the most affected. A recent BBC Newsnight report found that six out of ten teenagers had been asked for sexual images or videos.

The All-Wales cyber safety lessons also run for 11-14 -year-old's about the dangers of talking to people online with a video of Bethan, a secondary school pupil who is tricked into an online relationship which is not what it appears to be.


Legal Highs

The Police and parents are seriously concerned for our young people who are getting their kicks from  drugs known as Legal High.  This is a concoxtion of chemicals used to burn as an incense but some people are smoking it.  It has certain chemicals in it that gives a "high effect" on young people but has a different effect on people not in their teens, making them ill.  These drugs are being sold locally and are clearly labelled "NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION" but unfortunately some younsters are buying these drugs specifically to smoke and it is only a matter of time before we have a death in the area.


06 July 2013

More Arson Attacks at Greenmeadow Community Farm


POPULAR Greenmeadow community farm in Cwmbran has been the subject of arson attacks, staff say.

The attacks started five weeks ago, with fires set after opening hours in outlying areas of the farm site. Staff say they have seen young firesetters running away.

But as the weeks have gone on the fires have become more frequent and more brazen, with fires being lit while the attraction is open to the public and in stables where animals can be kept.

Kate Holly, the farm’s commercial manager, said: “Last Sunday we had three fires, two of which were while the farm was open. Wewere dealing with one then we had a call from the fire service saying we had another out where the tractor ride goes.

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“ We are worried if they set light to the main buildings obviously the animals could be in danger. It’s terrible really.

They just run when anyone comes out, although they did throw stones at the dog trainer recently.”

  The fires started several weeks ago and are becoming more frequent and brazen. Hay bales have been set alight and perimeter fences have been damaged which is costing the farm money to replace. With the attacks escalating we are concerned for the welfare of the animals and worried the farm buildings will be next.

We are appealing to the public in the hope someone knows who is responsible for this. An appeal over vandalism at the boating lake reached over 100,000 people on our Facebook page in a matter of days and provided valuable information which has led to arrests.”

03 July 2013

Colleagues at Greenmeadow Community Farm the Police and Fire service are appealing for the public to be vigilant following a spate of arson attacks and damage at the farm.

Fires started at the farm several weeks ago and are becoming more frequent including two fires during opening hours on Sunday. Hay bales have been set alight and perimeter fences have been damaged or removed which is costing the farm money to replace.

Thanks to your shares and support, an appeal about vandalism at the boating lake reached over 100,000 people on this page in a matter of days and provided valuable information which has led to two arrests.

Please share this appeal and if you have information please contact the police on 101.



23 June 2013

Government Green Deal

The Government has a scheme to replace old boilers to save on their annual emmissions tax.  It is cheaper to replace old boilers than pay the excessive tax billHowever people in the area are receiving telephone calls offering the Green Deal but are being told that there is an administration fee to pay.  This is an offence and should be reported to trading standards immediately.  The deal is completely free to people on certain benefits as long as their bolier is over eight years old.  



04 June 2013

Major Boost For Specialist Critical Care Centre for Cwmbran





23 May 2013


Health Plans for Consultation South Wales Programme

Letter from Lynne Neagle AM

Dear colleague,

 As some of you may already be aware, the formal consultation on plans to reorganise hospital services across South Wales was launched this morning.

 I thought it would be helpful to share a briefing that was delivered to AMs in the Assembly yesterday, as well as the consultation documents which give you a chance to have your say, before the consultation closes on July 19th.

 The ‘South Wales Programme’ is a joint plan developed by the all five health boards covering the South Wales and South Powys area, and is the result of an 18 month process involving hundreds of clinicians from across the region, coming together to discuss how best to shape hospital services in the future to ensure that they are both safe and sustainable.

 With the Specialist and Critical Care Centre planned for Cwmbran featuring at the heart of all four proposed options put out for consultation, this represents really good news for Torfaen.

 The £270 million, 480 bed, state of the art facility will transform the delivery of healthcare in Torfaen and represents the most significant investment in the NHS locally for generations.

 Having fought tooth and nail for the Critical Care Centre over many years, I know how much it means, to people in Torfaen more widely. Today’s news means that the first class hospital facility residents in Torfaen and the wider Gwent area so badly need has moved a significant step closer.

 I think it’s really important that we demonstrate the widespread support for the new hospital amongst communities in Torfaen so I would encourage as many people as possible to respond to the consultation.

 Please do get in touch if you have any questions.

 Lynne Neagle AM

Assembly Member for Torfaen




30th April 2013

Fairwater High School


MATHS GCSE RESULTS TARGET SMASHED!

A massive congratulations to our Year 11 students who received their Maths GCSE results last week. The school target was to achieve 53% A* - C. They have already achieved 56% A* - C and a number of students are going to resit their exam in June to further improve their grade. This should take us to 60% A* - C or more, which will be one of the best results in Torfaen. Well done Year 11 and well done to the Maths Department.

Thank you to those who volunteered for the Parent Governor vacancies


Keep in touch with what is happening at the School check out their website on our useful contacts link:




26th February 2013

PARENT GOVERNORS

Fairwater High School Cwmbran are looking to appoint Parent Governors.  If you have a child or children in the school and would like to contribute to raising educational attainment  and take an interest in your local school Please let us know.


25th February 2013



Consultation has taken place on the Single Integrated Plan for the Statutory Services within Torfaen.


BELOW IS THE EASY READ SINGLE PLAN: DRAFT ONLY: Version 1.2

 

21 February

Torfaen Together – a ten year plan for your public services

    All the organisations that provide services for people in Torfaen have come together to create a plan that aims to improve the lives of everyone who lives         and works here.

   It’s called ‘Torfaen Together’ because no organisation can achieve these aims on their own – everyone has to work together to tackle the big issues facing           communities today.

   This brief guide sets out what we want to achieve and how we want to achieve it. If you’d like to know more contact the Public Service Support Unit on            01495 762200 or email pssu@torfaen.gov.uk

Our vision

·    Torfaen has a healthy population with a good quality of life

·    People in Torfaen are safe

·    People in Torfaen are educated for life

·    People in Torfaen enjoy a prosperous economy

·    People in Torfaen live in quality affordable homes

·    People in Torfaen live in clean, green, sustainable communities

·    Frail people in Torfaen are happily independent

How did we create the plan?

1.  All the organisations involved work together as the Torfaen Local Service Board

2.  They shared their own plans and looked at what they are trying to achieve, individually and working together

3.  Lots of useful information was gathered to create a detailed picture of what needed to be done

4.  A draft plan was created and everyone in Torfaen was invited to say what they thought of it

5.  Some changes were made, but lots of people liked it

6.  A final version was produced that all the organisations agreed with


Torfaen has a healthy population with a good quality of life

 

·         There will be less people with cancer because people will have stopped smoking, they’re drinking less alcohol and live healthier lives

·         Less people will be overweight or suffering from long illnesses because they’re doing more exercise and eating healthier food

·         Mums-to-be will be supported so their babies are born healthier and not underweight. That means they will grow up healthier and stronger

·         People won’t become ill or die younger just because they live in poorer parts of Torfaen. They’ll have more information and services to help them live               healthier lives

 

People in Torfaen are safe

 

·         Problems like graffiti and vandalism are spotted early and tackled quickly
·        
There are less people taking drugs or drinking too much, helping to cut crimes like theft and violence

·        
People who are victims of violence in the home will want to tell the police, who will not just deal with the case but work to stop it happening again

·         People will tell the police if someone is racist or abuses them because they are disabled or different in some way

·         If young people are getting into trouble, they will receive help to try and change their behaviour before it becomes more serious and they start breaking           the law
·         Less children are at risk of abuse in the home

 

People in Torfaen are educated for life

 

·         Young people aged 16-19 won’t leave education, unless they are going onto college, university, training or have a job
·         Children and young people don’t miss out on lessons because they are going on holiday or they just don’t like school
·         Children who are badly behaved in school are supported and helped to change so less are being excluded
·        
Children aged 14-16 will get better results in their exams because of better teaching and better schools

 

People in Torfaen enjoy a prosperous economy

·         There will be new jobs for people because new businesses will be given more help and support to be successful
·        
People on benefits will be helped to go on training courses that will improve their chances of getting a job

·         The poorest families will also have help in managing their money and given help to find work and training

 

People in Torfaen live in quality affordable homes

·         People won’t become homeless and those who might will get help to avoid it through advice on things like not getting into rent arrears
·         People can afford to buy or rent quality homes that have low energy bills because they don’t use up so much gas and electric to heat and light 

 

People in Torfaen live in clean, green, sustainable communities

 

·         The amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere falls because people are using things like solar, wind and water power to create electricity               for homes and businesses
·         When rubbish is dumped it will be cleared in five days, making communities better places to live

·        
People are throwing away less rubbish meaning less is being buried in the ground and more is recycled

·        
Where there are fields and open spaces, work will take place to encourage more wildlife and natural habitats to grow



Frail people in Torfaen are happily independent

 

·         More people can be cared for at home and not have to go into care homes
·         If an old person falls over and hurts themselves, action is taken to try and stop them falling again
·        
People over 75 don’t stay in hospital beds for more than 28 days when they could be treated somewhere else, ideally at home

·        
Old people don’t feel lonely or cut off from family and friends

         There are also three big issues that need special attention. They are:

 

Helping frail people live happily independent lives

·             People are living longer which is a good thing, but we need to make sure everyone is getting the care and support they need to help them stay living                  in their communities

 

Empowering families with complex needs to achieve their potential

·         Some families need lots of support in their lives for many different reasons. It’s important that all different organisations work together so these families            can tackle the problems they are facing.

 

·    Enabling people to manage the impact of welfare reform

     The government’s Welfare Reforms will leave some of the poorest families with less money, making it harder for them to make ends meet. That means             people will need more support and advice from different organisations who will need to work together to meet this new challenge. 

 How we will do this?

    When the plan is up and running, we’ll be gathering lots of information and data to tell us if we’re on the right track.

     We’ll ask people what they think and act on what they say and will be regularly checking our progress. We’ll make sure that people in Torfaen are told             whether we are achieving our aims and if we’re not, what we intend to do about it.

 What is the Torfaen Local Service Board?

     There are lots of organisations providing services for people in Torfaen. The police, health board, council, voluntary organisations, housing associations all         help and support people every day of the year.

      As members of the Torfaen Local Service Board, these organisations can ensure they are working together to tackle the big issues facing communities across        the borough and help make Torfaen a better place to live and work for everyone.

 

Ends




14th January 2013


http://www.yourbenefitsarechanging.co.uk/aboutus.htm




29 JANUARY 2013

FAIRWATER HIGH SCHOOL APPOINTS NEW HEADTEACHER

Mrs Helen Coulson was appointed as the new Head Teacher of Fairwater High School after a rigourous two day assessment centre process.

Mrs Coulson has worked at the school for two years as a Deputy Head.  The previous Head Teacher Dave Marshall retired earlier in the year and Governors appointed an Interim Head Mrs John Barnbrook for eight weeks, to take the school up to the Estyn monitoring visit allowing the school time to advertise for the position of a permanent Head Teacher.

Mrs Coulson and the relatively new Senior Leadership Team have already made a noticable difference in the school with improved behaviour and a tightening up of the school uniform policy, all pupils aware of the targets grades and what they have to do to improve.

This year is the 40th Anniversary of the school and pupils staff and Governors are working together on how to celebrate this momentous milestone in the history of the school after achieving the "Best Results" in the history of the school last year.

At the time of writing the Governors are seeking replacement of parent Governors whose terms of office have come to an end, any parent with children at the school is eligible to stand as a parent Governor if you are interested contact Mrs Rosemarie Seabourne Chair of Governors for more information. 



09 January 2013


HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL READERS OF ilovefairwater.com



08th Oct 2012


FREE SCHOOL MEALS DATA IS USED AS AN INDICATOR FOR A NUMBER OF GRANTS

Are You or Someone you Know Entitled to Free school meals

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THIS INFORMATION IS TAKEN FROM THE WELSH GOVERNMENT WEBSITE (Last updated 06 April 2012)

Children and young people, whose parents or carers receive certain benefits, are entitled to free school meals.

A child/young person may be eligible for free school meals provided certain eligibility criteria are met. If  these criteria are met, the parent must apply for their child to receive free school meals.

The following frequently asked questions will help you decide if a child/young person is entitled to have free school meals:


What are the eligibility criteria for free school meals?

Children whose parents receive the following support payments are entitled to receive free school meals in maintained schools in Wales:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and their annual income does not exceed £16,190. (HM Revenue and Customs are responsible for assessing the level of annual income.)
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit.
  • Working Tax Credit 'run-on' - the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.

Young people who receive Income Support or Income Based Job Seekers Allowance in their own right are also entitled to receive free school meals.

Who is entitled to Free School Meals?

Free school meals are awarded where the parent or pupil meets the eligibility criteria and a request has been made by, or on behalf of the parent or pupil for free school meals. (A person acting on behalf of the parent or pupil would normally be a relative or friend, or someone working with/on behalf of a family to help them access all benefits they may be entitled to, for example, a representative from the Citizens Advice Bureau).

What age must a child/young person be to receive free school meals?

Free school meals are available to any full-time pupil who is still at school and eligible. This includes nursery children who attend full days and also sixth form students.

Free school meals are not available for students in further education institutions.

Further Education students from low income households should contact the Student Support Officer at the Institution attended as help with the cost of meals might be available.

How does a parent apply for free school meals for their child?

The parent can collect a form from the child’s school or contact their local authority.

Can a local authority register a pupil for free school meals, whose parent/carer is known to be eligible, without a request having been made?

Free school meal eligibility cannot be awarded for a pupil without a request for free school meals having been made by, or on behalf of the parent or pupil.  A local authority may contact a parent/carer to ask them if they would like to apply for free school meals for their child(ren).

What are the new rules around Working Tax Credits?

Families that receive Working Tax Credit are not entitled to free school meals
With effect  from 6 April 2012, the rules around Working Tax Credit have changed.  For couples with at least one child, to qualify for working tax credit their joint working hours will need to be at least 24 hours a week.

This means:

  • if both parents work their joint weekly hours must be at least 24, with one parent working at least 16 hours a week
  • if only one parent works, that person must be working at least 24 hours a week
    Single parents, will continue to qualify for Working Tax Credit if they work at least 16 hours a week.

Working Tax Credit remains the responsibility of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Entitlement is assessed against a number of criteria including the number of child dependants, a claimant’s age and annual income.

For further information on Working Tax Credit, please refer to HMRC’s website.

Entitlement to working tax credits acts as the passport to many benefits.  A claimant may feel that their entitlement to Working Tax Credit leaves them at a financial disadvantage. In this case, they should visit their local Job Centre Plus to determine whether they are in receipt of the most appropriate financial support.

When a parent receives Child Tax Credit, how do they know whether their family’s annual income is less than £16,190?

When calculating entitlement to tax credits, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) look at a family’s “taxable earnings”. Some benefits, such as incapacity benefit, are considered to be a taxable income. Most benefits, including all of those leading to entitlement to free school meals, are non-taxable.

Therefore the non-taxable benefits are not considered when determining if an applicant is under the ‘income’ threshold of £16,190. HMRC’s website explains in more detail which benefits are considered taxable income and which are non-taxable.

Changes to HMRC’s rules mean that from 6 April 2012, where a family’s income decreases during the year, HMRC will ignore the first £2,500 of the reduction in calculating annual income for tax credit purposes.

This means, for example, that if a family with an income of £18,000 has a salary reduction of £3000 to £15,000, HMRC will ignore the first £2500 and so will use a 'derived' income of £17,500 for the remainder of the tax year. The family’s ‘annual income’ of £15,000 will  be changed in the following tax year.

What happens if the family has a change of circumstance?

Where there is a change in personal circumstances of a family they must advise HM Revenue and Customs immediately.

This includes a change in:

  • relationship status
  • child care costs
  • working hours
  • income levels
  • the young person’s circumstances
  • whether a parent is leaving the UK for more than eight weeks.

On notification of a change in circumstances HMRC will decide whether a reassessment of tax credit, or income, is appropriate. If it is, HMRC will issue a revised award notice.  This could lead to a change in eligibility in free school meals.

How is eligibility for free school meals checked?

The Welsh Government has made available to all local authorities in Wales, an online electronic eligibility checking system (ECS).  Where the system is in use claimants do not need to provide proof of benefit entitlement.  The system allows a claimant’s eligibility to be checked using a date of birth and national insurance number.

Where the ECS is not used, the claimant will need to provide proof of benefits and renew their claim annually.

How does a parent renew their claim for free school meals for their child?

Where a local authority utilises the eligibility checking system, checks can be undertaken to check a claimant’s ongoing entitlement. This eliminates the need for a claimant to reapply annually.

Where the eligibility checking system is not in use claimants will be required to re-apply annually. Reapplication is usually assessed in line with the start of the new academic year.

A child/young person may live in one local authority area but attend a school in a neighbouring authority. Which local authority is then responsible for the free school meal?

The authority in which the pupil attends the school, not where the pupil resides, is responsible for:

  • providing the free school meal
  • assessing the eligibility of a claimant.

What happens when a child/young person moves to a school in another local authority area?

When a child/young person, who has been entitled to free school meals in one local authority area, moves to a school in another local authority area, the entitlement to free school meals does not automatically transfer with the child/young person. If they are eligible, the parent/carer should make an application for free school meals to the second local authority where their child is now based.

A parent may meet the eligibility criteria but their child attends a private school. Is the local authority then required to provide funding for free school meals?

No.  Legislation stipulates that local authorities should provide free school meals to eligible pupils attending maintained schools.

Independent schools in Wales are run by either independent companies or charities. If a child/young person has obtained a scholarship or bursary the parent should first check whether this funding includes an allocation for free school meals.

If it does not, the parent then needs to establish whether further financial assistance is available by contacting the:

  • scholarship awarding body
  • school.

What is the definition of a ‘parent’ for free school meal purposes?

The definition of ‘parent’ in section 576 of the Education Act 1996 includes any person who has care of the child. This includes foster parents. The child does not have to be living with the parent who qualifies for free school meals.

There is no discretion on the part of the local authority; if a parent satisfies the criteria, the child is entitled. A free school meal must then be provided.

What happens when a child/young person is being fostered?

Free school meal legislation allows foster parents to claim free school meals. As long as a parent is receiving an eligible benefit, then their child is eligible for free school meals. A child could potentially have four parents; two foster parents and two natural parents.

If any one of these four parents meets the criteria, then their child is eligible for free school meals. This would equally apply if the child was being cared for by grandparents or other family members.

However, there is confusion around foster parents who are paid an allowance, which includes covering the cost of school meals. The foster parent and local authority may want to come to an agreement about this. The child could have the free school meal and the element of the allowance in respect of school meals wouldn’t be paid to the foster parent.

Alternatively, the foster parent could agree not to claim the free school meal and be paid the full allowance. This is something which needs to be resolved between the authority and the foster parent. 


01st October 2012

What Is The Single Integrated Plan?

Consultation starts today on the ten year service plan that provides your services from Torfaen County Borough Council, Aneurin Bevan Health Board, Gwent Police and Torfaen Voluntary Alliance.  The consultation runs until Christmas Eve 24th December. A taste of the consultation is below but the full survey can be accessed via  http://www.mysay.torfaen.gov.uk/ and clicking the Torfaen Together consultation.

Sharing a vision for Torfaen public services

 

Torfaen Local Service Board (LSB) is where the leaders of public and third sector organisations come together to improve services and the quality of lives for citizens.

The LSB organisations deliver all the services that you and your family rely on every day – from policing and health to schools, social care and housing.

 This makes it essential that they are working in partnership to make sure the services you receive are efficient and effective.

 Torfaen LSB partners works together to achieve the following:

 • Torfaen has a healthy population with a good quality of life

• People in Torfaen are safe

• People in Torfaen are educated for life

• People in Torfaen enjoy a prosperous economy

• People in Torfaen live in quality affordable homes

• People in Torfaen live in clean, green, sustainable communities

• Frail people in Torfaen are happily independent

 A new Single Plan is being created setting out how this will be delivered over the next ten years.

The plan contains detailed information on how the organisations will address the key challenges and issues that facing Torfaen communities.

 The LSB wants to know what you think about the priorities and the activities that your local public services intend to take. With public sector budgets under huge pressure, the LSB must make sure that the plan is shaped by citizens. The draft plan can be viewed at www.mysay.torfaen.gov.uk

Torfaen Single Integrated Plan question set

There are many public  sector and private sector organisations that deliver services for you, your family, the people who live and work in your communities such as health services, education, policing, social services and housing.  These organisations have been working together to develop a single plan for the way these services are provided for you in the future.

 Across Wales Local Service Boards have been established .  The Local Service Board partnership between Torfaen County Borough Council, Aneurin Bevan Health Board, Gwent Police, Welsh Government and Torfaen Voluntary Alliance gives us a new way to develop our single plan and deliver joint services. 

The new single plan replaces what was previously our Community Strategy which contained the Health, Social Care and Well-being strategy, Corporate plan and Children and Young People’s Partnership plan.  This single plan is different from all those other plans because it contains a single set of shared priorities and ambitions for how we can improve services and deliver better outcomes for you, your family, the people who live and work in your communities. 

 In developing our previous plans we have collected your views and available data to describe what life looks like in Torfaen and the challenges and issues you face. This  ‘evidence’ has helped us develop the shared outcomes and priorities contained in our single plan - Torfaen Together.

 We need your help again at this crucial stage to make sure that this plan reflects the real needs of people living and working in Torfaen.  We want to know if you think we’ve got it right and how you think we could improve it. 

 Torfaen Together  has a vision and seven key outcomes and within the outcomes we have developed a range of shared priorities. 

There are a huge range of important issues under each outcome.  We know this from what you’ve told us in the past and information that’s available to us.  Many of these important issues are dealt with by individual organisations  and, therefore, not included in this single plan.  In this plan, we have focussed on priorities that are significant, affect a lot of people and importantly, are the things we can achieve by working together in partnership.

 

I hope you take the time to take part in this survey it is the plan for our services for the next 10 years help us get it right.


6th September 2012

Commission Information Day
The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales is an independent champion for older people across Wales.
We want to hear from you Find out more about how we can help you, tell us what is important to you and learn about our work.

10 September 2012 | 10am to 12pm Community Council Chambers Commercial Street Pontypool


Diwrnod Gwybodaeth Comisiwn Mae’r Comisiynydd Pobl Hŷn Cymru yn bencampwr annibynnol i bobl hŷn ar draws Cymru
Rydym ni eisiau clywed oddi wrthoch chi Dewch o hyd i fwy o wybodaeth am sut rydyn ni medru helpu chi, dwedwch wrthym
ni beth sydd yn bwysig i chi a dysgu am ein gwaith


10 Medi 2012 | 10yb to 12yp Ystafell Cyngor Cymunedol Stryd Masnachol Pont-y-pwl
The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales Comisiynydd Pobl Hŷn Cymru


03 June 2012

DIAMOND JUBILEE WEEKEND ARRIVES                    

Street Parties and celebrations are taking place all around the Country this weekend and Fairwater is no exception.  The weather could be better and it is hoped that it will brighten up and the rain holds off for sometime but I am sure all plans cater for the good British weather.

Costar are holding celebrations at the Threepenny Bit.  Tickets £1.50 so if you fancy partying and no party arranged down your street why not join in.

Windsor Road and Rolls Close have applied for street closures so we assume something is organised for those areas.  If you are not in the mood for a wet street party, why not enjoy the telly where a Thames spectacular celebration is planned with boats of every size and structure joining the Royal Family for their day of celebration.

If you are celebrating we would love to here about it and maybe have some of your photographs to share on the website.




19th May 2012


AROUND WALES BIKE RIDE

We would like to thank Kevin Weaver for his amazing gift offering to cycle around Wales for the Mayor of Torfaen's Charity TENOVUS.

IF YOU HAVE BEEN TOUCHED BY CANCER PLEASE GIVE GENOROUSLY AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO GIVE ALSO THIS HERO HAS CYCLED THE WHOLE OF WALES FOR TENOVUS
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We would also like to thank all the people in the Civic Centres that met Kevin supplied him with food and hospitality as well as giving to the appeal.  To the Mayors and Chairs of Council who have supported us during our year in office and gave so kindly of there time hospitality and money.  Thank you also for Kevin's family allowing him to take on this challenge.

Thank you to all who have donated through the Kevin Weaver just giving website Please take a look and click on the link above and keep it coming in and make it all worthwhile Thank You.



06th May 2012

Torfaen Customer Care Centres

The Cwmbran Customer Care Centre will close at 4.30pm on Friday 4 May (cash offices close at 4.15pm) and will re-open on Tuesday 8 May at 9.30am. 

The Pontypool Customer Care Centre will close at 4.30pm on Friday 4 May (cash offices close at 4.15pm) and will re-open on Tuesday 8 May at 9.00am. 

The Blaenavon Customer Care Centre will close at 2.30pm on Friday 4 May (cash offices close at 2.15pm) and will re-open on Tuesday 8 May at 9.30am. 

Call Torfaen will close at 6.00pm on Friday 4 May and will re-open on Tuesday 8 May at 8.00am.

Refuse and Recycling Collections

  Normal Collection   Will be collected on
  Monday 7 May 2012   Tuesday 8 May 2012
  Tuesday 8 May 2012   Wednesday 9 May 2012
  Wednesday 9 May 2012   Thursday 10 May 2012
  Thursday 10 May 2012   Friday 11 May 2012
  Friday 11 May 2012    Saturday 12 May 2012

Please ensure that your wheelie bin and recycling box are put out for collection by 7.30am on the morning of your collection. 

Waste Disposal Arrangements

The Civic Amenity bays at the Household Waste Recycling Centre, New Inn will be open throughout the holiday period for the disposal of household waste. 

Times of opening are: 

Monday to Saturday - 7.30am - 6.00pm
Sunday - 9.00am - 6.00pm 

Recycling Facilities 

Please use the recycling facilities available throughout the County Borough of Torfaen. Remember that bottle banks fill very quickly.  

Libraries 

All Libraries will be closed on Monday 7 May 2012.

Leisure Centres

All Leisure Centres will be closed on Monday 7 May 2012. 

Pontypool Indoor Market 

Pontypool Indoor Market will be closed on Monday 7 May 2012.




04th May 2012

Welsh Nationalists Increase their grip on Fairwater & Ty-Canol with Cwmbran Community Council Seats

Jeff Rees and Fiona Cross the Welsh Nationalist Councillors retained their seats in Fairwater and Coed Eva, David Standing winning the Welsh Nationalist a Cwmbran Community Council seat for Coed Eva polling more votes than Fiona did for the County Borough Election, with Jeff Rees retiring from Henllys Community Council seat, changing to Fairwater, his fellow candidate Natalie Selkheld failed in her attempt at the County Borough but succeeded in the Cwmbran Community Council for the Fairwater Ward, beating sitting Labour Councillor and Community Midwife, Janet King who served Fairwater well for twelve years.  Congratulations to Michelle Day who retained her Welsh Labour seat but in the new ward of Ty-Canol.  First time candidates for Welsh Labour in the Coed Eva and Ty-Canol Ward had respectable votes of 299 missing out on their selection.



THANK YOU TO ALL THAT VOTED

After a long very night, we wake this morning to see great changes in the Political landscape across the country.  The Councillors for the next five years for Fairwater Ward are unchanged with Jeff Rees the Welsh Nationalist, Plaid Cymru and Phil SeabourneWelsh Labour see results below, unfortunately we do not have the Labour Team we were hoping for with Rose Seabourne coming in with a respectable third place.

I would like to thank all residents who voted for us and promise to represent you and all reseidents of the Fairwater Ward.  Thank You


Fairwater & Greenmeadow Ward

ELECTION RESULTS


Votes
Steven Robert Bonera ElectionsModule Party Logo Independent 130

David Charles Brown ElectionsModule Party Logo Independent 174

Anthony Michael Devlin ElectionsModule Party Logo Independent 294

Jeff Rees - Winner ElectionsModule Party Logo Plaid Cymru 530

Natalie Salkeld ElectionsModule Party Logo Plaid Cymru 382

Phil Seabourne - Winner ElectionsModule Party Logo Labour 474

Rose Seabourne ElectionsModule Party Logo Labour 392


Greenmeadow

Candidate Party Votes
Polly Cunnington ElectionsModule Party Logo Independent 172

Catherine Lewis ElectionsModule Party Logo Independent 364

Mandy Owen - Winner ElectionsModule Party Logo Labour 365

Bob Wellington - Winner ElectionsModule Party Logo Labour 424

Keith Richard Williams ElectionsModule Party Logo Independent 231



The exciting conclusion of this vote which found Catherine Lewis and Mandy Owen drawing their names out of a ballot box to decide the dead heat made the national news but I am a firm believer in " what goes around comes around" and Congratulations to Mandy Owen on winning the 2012 Election and Bye Bye to Ex Councillor Catherine Lewis.








These results are taken from the Free Press online results.  The results for the Cwmbran Community Councillors is taking place in Pontypool Leisure Centre today commencing at 12 noon and the webpage will be updated once those results have been counted.  There is a change in the Electoral Boundary for the Fairwater Ward at Cwmbran Community Council level where the ward has been split from what used to be known as Fairwater and Oaksford Ward into two Wards Ty-Canol which has two Councillors and Fairwater which has one.








The breakdown of seats for Torfaen County Borough Council are:

  • Labour - 30 
  • Independent - 8 
  • Conservatives - 4  
  • Plaid Cymru - 2























































































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2nd May 2012

FACTS YOU MAY NOT KNOW

  •           Steven Bonera & Cllr Catherine Lewis (Greenmeadow Ward are Married & live in Old Cwmbran

  •         Independent Cllrs Catherine Lewis & her sister  Cllr Elizabeth Haynes St Dials Ward were Censured for paying Small Schemes money into a business that Cllr Lewis  was a Director. (Wecan) never traded
  •         Cllr Lewis (also known as) Mrs Bonera was suspended for one month for failing to update the public register and declare a personal interest(Steven Bonera is quick enough to blame others to cover up their discretion’s)
  •         Steven Bonera, family & friends  cost the public purse at least £10,548.10 (Freedom Of Information) reporting other Councillors to the Ombudsman
  •         Genuine Independents do not share Election leaflets or Vote 21 times with the Tories
  •         Fairwater High School has received a much improved Estyn Inspection(March 2012)


  • Jeff Rees Plaid does not live in Fairwater he lives in Pontnewydd (How is he a local champion?)
  • Jeff Rees has resigned from Fairwater High School Governors
  • Rose & Phil Seabourne are still supporting the school and have fought the LEA against removing the Governors and therefore your voice
  • Jeff Rees has stood in other Elections (e.g.Welsh Assembly) in an attempt to further his political career.  Does he really care about Fairwater?
  • Phil & Rose help deliver the road safety initiatives on Fairhill & Henllys Way to stop boy racers racing around the estate in the early hours of the morning disturbing residents and possibly injuring themselves (Jeff Rees could not hear them in Pontnewydd!)
  • The Growing Team of Plaid Councillors at the moment total 2 on the Council it is a two horse race.
  • Bron Afon already has a Community Caretaker who checks on the area.
  • Cardboard recycling was always planned by Labour to be introduced next followed by plastics see Recycling Targets. 
  • Cllr Phil Seabourne supports the Oaksford and Neerings residents with their safe access to the shops and Doctors surgery.



20th April 2012

POSTAL VOTES

The Postal Votes are being received by residents.  Can we, Phil and Rose Seabourne respectfully ask you to consider putting your trust in us and give us your Vote for Fairwater Please

IMPORTANT FOR SECURITY REASONS

Please remember to sign and give your Date of Birth to verify your vote.


08 April 2010

MAY 3rd Election Time is here again!  Please Use Your 2 Votes

Torfaen County Borough Council Fairwater Ward Election

May 3rd 2012 is the date of the Local Council Elections this is your opportunity to vote for your local County Borough and Community Councillors.  This time around Labour has selected the sitting and a former councillor, Cllr Phil Seabourne and Mrs Rose Seabourne as Candidates for the Fairwater Ward at Torfaen County Borough Council Elections.

Please use you two votes for our Labour Team to stand up for you and speak out for you in Fairwater.

Check out our Election Manifesto at this link:  Fairwater.pdf,


Independent Cllr Catherine Lewis's Husband Stephen Bonera Candidate for Fairwater Ward has no shame.

The manifesto of Independent Candidate Stephen Bonera I am led to believe is nothing less than a slating of sitting Councillors and candidates.  He needs to change his record now because it is becoming an embarrassment to him and his wife.

Please find below the statement that Cllr Philip Seabourne read out to Council unforunately many Independent Councillors absented themselves from that meeting so here it is for the residents of Fairwater to read.

Statement by Cllr Philip Seabourne for Council

 

It gives me no pleasure at all to stand and read this today.  The amount of pressure on my family and I has been immense, affecting us financially, and affecting our both health.  Indeed, one set of answers had to be provided during the Ombudsman’s investigation whilst I was in hospital.

Since October 2009 I have received six complaints regarding Declarations of Interest from the relatives or friends of Cllr Catherine Lewis.  Two of these complaints were sent to the Ethics & Standards Committee where a Censure was imposed on 10 March 2011.  I have never denied I made mistakes when I filled in two Small Schemes Forms for donations to the Torfaen Access Coalition and Fairwater High School.   I apologised unreservedly to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, the Ethics & Standards Committee and to the Adjudication Panel for Wales and I apologise to you today.  However, I would point out that there has never been any suggestion that I acted dishonestly or for personal gain. 

Councillors’ small schemes money is there to be used for the benefit of the community, and it did not help that the small schemes donation forms were unclear.  For the Torfaen Access Coalition donation I used an old form which was not fit for the new two-stage personal and prejudicial interest test. The other form for the Fairwater High School donation was a newly adapted form which was a little ambiguous: nevertheless I filled it in and signed incorrectly. I am pleased that at my request the relevant forms have been clarified.

I appealed the decision of the Ethics & Standards Committee as all material facts were not placed before it when the decision of 10 March 2011 was made.  I had updated my Declaration of Interests on 14 October 2009 but the relevant form was missing from the file of documents available to the Ethics & Standards Committee.

The Adjudication Panel also for Wales accepted that I had updated my Declaration of Interests on 14 October 2009 but that this had not been included in the documents before the Ethics & Standards Committee. 

As I have said, I apologise unreservedly for errors made by myself.

However I feel, there are still questions to be answered by others involved in the process.

Firstly, I ask why the Ethics & Standards Committee failed in their duty to read through all evidence and realise such an important piece of evidence was not included.  It was obviously missing, and it was even referred to in a letter sent by the Monitoring Officer to the Ombudsman.

Secondly, I ask why the Monitoring Officer did not notice the omission, particularly as she had referred to the document herself.

Thirdly, my understanding is that there is a duty as stated in the role of the Monitoring Officer under “Omissions” to report all omissions to Council.  There has been no such report to my knowledge.

I also feel that the Ethics & Standards process is being used for political purposes and public money is being wasted on unnecessary complaints. Remarkably, after my appeal had been lodged, Mr Steve Bonera, the husband of Councillor Catherine Lewis, lodged yet another complaint against me alleging that I had misled the Ethics & Standards Committee.  This was a very serious allegation, and I am pleased that it has been totally quashed by the Adjudication Panel for Wales.  I quote from the Appeal Tribunal’s written decision dated 3 January 2012:

“With regard to the additional complaint that Cllr Seabourne had misled the Ethics and Standards Committee, the Tribunal was satisfied, on the balance of evidence given by Cllr Seabourne, that he had not misled the committee…”

It is also essential that in any hearing before Ethics & Standards, all relevant evidence is presented and considered before a decision is made. I do ask what action can be taken to ensure that a situation like this does not arise again.

 

Cwmbran Community Council Fairwater & Ty-Canol Ward

At Community Council Elections things are slightly different as you have an opportunity to vote for two Community Councillors if you are eligible to vote and registered on the Electoral register and live in the Ty-Canol part of the Fairwater Ward and one Community Councillor for the lower half of the Ward.  The Boundary Commission made the decision on the number of electorate within the ward and they have placed the new boundary as Ty-Gwyn Way.  The residents on the Fairwater High School side of Ty-Gwyn Way and below are entitled to vote for one Cwmbran Community Councillor and the Labour Candidate is sitting community Cllr Janet King The other side of the road is the boundary for Ty-Canol and you are entitled to vote for two Community Councillors, the Labour Candidates selected are sitting community Cllr Michelle Day and joining her is Labour Candidate Mrs Melanie King.

Please also use your Cwmbran Community Council two votes for Ty-Canol (upper Fairwater) or your one vote for Fairwater (lower).



20 March 2012

Estyn Inspectors Post Inspection Visit by Rose Seabourne Chair of Governors

Fairwater High School was pleased to received the Estyn Post Inspection during the week March 6th to 8th as Chair of Governors I was interviewed twice during the week.  Firstly at the beginning of the week in line with the Inspection guidelines and secondly at the request of the Minister's Office to ask specific questions on the Leadership and Management of the School in relation to the application made by the Chief Education Officer for an Interim Executive Board.

The inspection culminated in verbal feedback at 4pm on Thursday 8th March where the Senior Leadership Team, Myself as Chair accompanied by the Vice-Chair Mark Poulton along with two Local Authority Officers.  We were made aware of the confidentiallity of the verbal report which we had to respect until the letter repoting the results came through.

I was delighted to hear of the improvement Estyn Inspectors found in the school and the recognition of the hard work of the staff and SLT in getting us to that position.  Obviously we all realise this is just the beginning of expected continous improvement.

To date we have received no decision from the Welsh Government Ministers regarding the application for the IEB and Governors still remain in the school committed to raising attainment and aspiration of our pupils, parents and staff.

It was agreed to write to all parents informing them of the situation at the school and to publicise the Estyn Inspection Feedback. The judgements that the Estyn Inpectors were to make were categorised as Fully Addressed, Largely Addressed, Partly Addressed and Not Met.  It was going to be difficult to come completely come out of the measure because we have not received the outcome of exam results which will be available after the summer.

Letter reads as follows:

As you are aware, a team of inspectors, led by Nigel Vaughan HMI, carried out a re-inspection of the school during 6 to 8 March 2012 to inspect progress since the section 28 inspection of the school in January 2011.

During the visit, my colleagues inspected the work in a number of classes, examined samples of pupils' work and scrutinised school documentation.  In particular, they concentrated on aspects of leadership and management and other areas identified with important shortcomings.  My colleagues also held discussions with the headteacher, other members of staff and representatives of the Governing Body.  At the end of the visit, they reported their findings to the headteacher, to you, as chair of the governing body and to representatives of from the local authority.

Outcome of inspection

While Fairwater High is judged to have made progress in respect of many of the key issues for action from the inspection of January 2011, many of the improvements are at an early stage of development.  As a result, the school will remain on the list of schools in need of sidnificant improvement and Estyn will re-visit the school in about six months' time to inspect progress.

In order that further progress can be made, it may be useful to you and other members of the governing body to have a written summary of the team's findings.

Progress since the last inspection

Recommendation 1: implement actions to raise standards in all subjects, particularly in English, matematics and Welsh, and to raise the attainment of boys;

This recommendation has been partly addressed.

The school has implemented all the actions outlined in its post-inspection action plan.  These actions are starting to have a positive impact on provision, which has improved since the time of the Section 28 inspection.  At present, these actions have influenced performance at key stage 3 and standards of literacy across the curriculum.

There have been improvements in the outcomes at Key stage 3 where there was a sharp increase in performance against the core subject indicator in 2011 by camparison with previous years.  Performance in English and matematics are now close to the family average.

Standards of literacy across the school have risen so that the majority of pupils now make good progress in written tasks.  A minority of pupils, from across the whole ability range, still make basic errors in punctuation and especially spelling. but a majority have improved since the time of the Section 28 inspection.  Although the standard of presentation is improving, for a minority of pupils, it is still not good enough.


The actions implemented as a result of the post inspection action plan have not yet had the intended impact on performance at key stage 4.  In 2011 performance fell, against nearly all the main indicators.  Since September 2011 the school has improved further its provision for English and matematics at key stage 4 and this has been supported by the introduction of challenging end-of-key stage targets based on FFT D and of a well-organised pupil tracking system.  Indications from current Year 11 pupils' acievements in GCSE units already taken in English and mathematics indicate that outcomes have improved compared with the situation at the same stage last year and that targets, especially those for English, are likely to be met.

In Welsh second language at key stage 3, there have been some further improvements, but performance is still in the bottom quarter when compared with that of similar schools.  At key stage 4, only 12% of pupils achieved the level 2 qualification in Welsh.

At key stage 3, the gap between the performance of boys and girls has closed to the point where it is similar to the famil and Wales averages.  At key stage 4, the gap between the performance of boys and girls has also closed.


Recommendation 2: implement strategies to improve attendance and behaviour;

This recommendation has been largely addressed;

Attendance improved significantly in 2011.  It is now in the top half of similar school based on free school meal benchmarks and it is above modelled expectations.

The school established suitable arrangements to improve, including the appointment of an attendance officer,  The officer monitors pupil attendance closely, identifies specific issues and undertakes any follow-up actions, such as contacting parents and working with the education welfare officer.  There are suitable arrangements for reporting this work to senior leaders and pastoral managers.  Form Tutors set targets for attendance for all pupils and monitor progress towards them.

Expectations about behaviour have been clarified and there is regular monitoring of any incidences of unacceptable behaviour.  The school has organise useful professional developmental activities based on behaviour management.  The new strategies are starting to have a positive impact on the behaviour of most pupils, particularly on those who are most disruptive.  Behaviour in classes and around the school is generally good.  There are still too many instances of low level distruption but they are fewer than at the time of the Section 28 inspection.

Recommendation 3: strengthen provision to develop pupils' skills, particularly in literacy and numeracy;

This recommendation has been largely addressed.

The school has a suitable strategy for pupils to develop their literacy and numeracy skills.  The additional learning needs co-ordinator identifies pupils who have significant difficulties in developing their literacy and numeracy skills and provides personalised programmes to address them.  Pupils who have moderate difficulties are identified by the English and Mathmatics departments and support is provided through specific programmes such as Read, Write, Inc and Springboard.  Targeted pupils in Key stage 4 receive additional teaching time to develop and improve their skills.  Other pupil skills are developed through the provision across the curriculum.

There has been significant improvement in the provision to develop pupils skills in literacy.  The provision to develop pupils numeracy skills has also improved, bbut it is not as advanced as that for literacy.  The school has appointed co-ordintaors for literacy and numeracy and they carry out their roles effectively.  Following consultation with all teachers, the school has updated its literacy and numeracy policies.  There are in service taraining events and support to help identify and implement strategies to develop pupil skills across the curriculum.  A literacy group, representing staff from all curriculum areas and a governor, meets regularly to agree on consistent strategies and to share and disseminate good practise to all departments.  Teachers in a few subject areas have received training from the "Tactical Teaching Programme" with a specific focus on developing reading skills and there are suitable plans to extend this provision.

Recommendation 4: futher develop the curriculum at key stage 4 and the 6th form by extending collaboration with other schools and the further education college;

This recommendation has been largely addressed.

Before the section 28 inspection in 2011, the school had broadened the curriculum at key stage 4 and post 16 to meet the learning skills (Wales) Measure with an appropriate range of vocational and general courses.  Since then, in key stage 4, the school has made good progress in extending the range and number of vocational courses to better suit the needs of pupils.  In particular, it has made further improvements in the range of provision at level 1 in "work skills" and "Information and communication".  The school now provides a wider and more appropriate range of level one skills courses at key stage 3 and this forms a good foundation for progression to Key stage 4. In 2011, more pupils achieved the level 1 threshold than in the previous year.

Corses available for pupils through collaboration with other schools and the local further education college are now promoted actively by the school at options events.  A small number of pupils follow courses deleivered by other providers at key stage 4.

Recommendation 5: Improve the quality of teaching and learning to increase the level of challenge for all pupils;

This recommendation has been largely addressed.

The section 28 inspection in 2011 found that teachers had generally good subject knowledge and that the majority planned lessons well and set clear learning objectives using a variety of suitable learning resources.  Since then, the quality of lesson planning has improved and now nearly all teachers plan lessons well.  The section 28 inspection also stated that the majority of lessons progressed at a good pace and had a suitable sequence of activities to engage pupils throughout the lessons.  These strengths have been maintained.

Since the section 28 inspection in 2011, the schools senior leaders have carried out a range of activities to improve the quality of teaching.  They focussed particularly on the weaknesses identified in the report about low teacher expectations and how teachers were not adapting materials and tasks to meet the needs of all Pupils.

Senior leaders have been trained to carry out lesson observations and make consistent judgements.  They have identified areas for improvement in teaching and then monitored progress.  In cases where the standards of teaching were judged to be not good enough, they have used robust procedures, including capability procedures, to support improvement in teachers practices.  The current standards of teaching identified by the schools records of lesson observations match closely those of the inspection team.  The quality of teaching has improved, especially in relation to the pace of learning and degree of challenge to pupils of different abilities.

The standard of teachers marking is consistently good.  Senior leaders carry out regular audits of pupils work to check the standard of marking and this has had a beneficial effect.

Recommendation 6: make sure that all staff fully understand their roles and responsibilities and implement policies consistently;

This recommendation has been largely addressed.

The headteacher has ensured that all staff fully understand their colllective responsibility to improve standards.  Nearly all staff have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities and of the line management arrangements.  The headteacher regularly reviews the work of senior leaders.  Senior leaders meet regulaly with heads of departments and offer a suitable level of challenge and support.   However, the records of these meetings do not always include specific action points and timescales.

The senior leadership team has implemented robust procedures to monitor the quality of teaching and learning.  These procedures include systematic lesson observations and book scrutiny.  Since the section 28 inspection in 2011, nearly all middle managers monitor the work of their teams well.  This has ensured there is greater constistency in the implementation of whole school policies, including the marking of pupils work and the tracking of pupil progress.  The school has taken appropriate action to address the very few instances of unacceptable performance in teaching and management.

Recommendation 7: further develop self evaluation procedures and the rigour of improvement planning;

This recommendation has been largely addressed.

The post inspection action plan is appropriately focussed on the schools key priorities and the school has made good progress in implementing the planned actions by the agreed timescales.  All departments use a common template for implovement planning and most plans include specific actions, timescales and clear lines of accountability.  However, a few plans do not fully explain the actions needed to bring about the necessary improvement.

Since the section 28 inspection in 2011, the school has improved the clarity and rigour of its self evaluation processes.  Leaders at all levels increasingly use data to analyse pupil performance well.  The recently-introduced data management system has ensured that all staff understand pupil targets clearly and monitor progress towards them.  Since the introduction of this system, pupils have a secure understanding of their progress towards meeting their individula subject targets and many know what they need to do to improve.

Pupil and parent questionaires now feature on the calendar of self evaluation activities.  The most recent survey shows an increase in parental satisfaction.  The school has made good progess in addressing recommendations from the section 28 inspection of 2005 that had not been addressed by the time of the 2011 inspection.  Attendance has improved and compares well with similar schools.  There are indications that standards in English and Mathematics at key stage 4 are improving.  However, standards in Welsh remain an area of concern.

Recommendation 8: Meet statutory requirements for teacher assessment at the end of key stage 3, for the daily act of collective worship and for the action plans identified in this report.

This recommendation has been fully addressed.

Statutory requirements for key stage 3 teacher assessment have now been met for all pupils and the assessment data is routinely scrutinised by the senior leadership team.  The daily act of collective worship is delivered through assemblies and the "Through the day programme".  There are approved up to date diability and race equality action plans in place.

Recommendations:

In order to improve, the school should continue to implement the strategies that are designed to address the recommendations from the section 28 inspection from January 2011.

Inspectors will return to the school in approximately six months by that time we should have the results of the exams and have the evidence of sustained improvement.

I would like to place on public record my thanks as Chair of Governors to the staff and pupils of Fairwater High School who have worked contiuously and constructively towards improvement and to the Governing Body of the school who have supported me in what has been a very difficult time for the school.




 



01 February 2012


Fairwater High School by Rose Seabourne Chair of Governors

Yesterday saw reports on the television from Estyn the School Inspection Service highlight concerns about the Literacy and Numeracy levels of some of our children coming out of our Primary Schools.  Some of whom leave their Primary School with a Reading/Literacy age of below 9 years old.

Today you will see reports on BBC Wales News highlighting that the Chief Education Officer for Torfaen County Borough Council has requested that the Minister for Education Leighton Andrews agrees to his request to remove the Governing Body of the School.

The Governing Body of the school is made up of dedicated local representatives consisting of Local Education reps including the Labour Councillor for the Ward of Fairwater, Parent Governors, elected by the parents of the school, Community reps, people who live and work in the Community and staff reps.

These people in my opinion are dedicated intelligent people who give up their time freely to give a public service to the community and have only the pupils of the school at heart.

Fairwater High School was inspected by Estyn in January 2011 this was the same week the Minister gave his speech about Education in Wales.  The inspection was a totally different inspection to what we have become used to.  The school received the published inspection in March 2011

Governors realised that there was a job of work to be done and decided to set up a sub group consisting of myself the Vice-Chair and the third person with the Senior Leadership Team of the school.  We worked together from March putting the (PIAP) post inspection action plan together.  Meeting first on a fortnightly basis and more recently weekly.

An agreed action plan was accepted by Estyn in June 2011 and not in time to make any changes with pupils GCSE and A level examinations and our English and Maths results had dropped below the 30% marker to 29.6% we were all very disappointed.  However many of the other subjects had excellent results.

We have been working to this PIAP and have reached our agreed set targets, however this whole process of warning letters and applications to the Minister have gone some way in attempting to derail us from our job in hand.

The Local Authority were also notified that they were to be inspected and that report is due to be published on the 14th February 2012.

In Early September Governors received a Warning letter that contained the Chief Education Officers (CEO) concerns and it was clear that this letter contained inaccuracies, which Governors invited the CEO to meet with them, so they could challenge him on the content of the letter, he came to the school and agreed that mistakes had been made.

I as Chair, was later called in to meet with the Chief Education Officer and he suggested I call in an IEB because it would look better for us as Governors.  I took this proposal to Governors who unanimously turned down the recommendation.  We had already been informed that he had arranged a Cabinet meeting to request the Minister to remove the Governing Body.

Governors thought it was premature as we were due for the LEA team to come into school with a planned review.  So the CEO had not even waited for the report from his own officers which incidently reported improvements in November.  We are also due for a Post Inspection, just weeks away now.

The CEO keeps referring to the school profile which was part of the work of the TCBC Scrutiny Committee March 2010, some two years ago, the Headteacher helped with this profile but at no time were Governors parents or pupils consulted.  This profile has a number of inaccuraccies in the report and Governors challenge the LEA and attempted to correct, we were never allowed and the report is nearly two years old and as far as I am aware not been reviewed.

Fairwater High School like all schools have some excellent teachers who keeps producing excellent work for our students.   We know where our weaknesses are, more so now Since September, because we have the benefit of data and set targets for individual students.  We are banded as a band 4 school like all other schools in Torfaen with the exception of the regional Welsh School YGG.

Governors, SLT and staff of FHS are dedicated and committed to giving students the best possible outcomes, we are aware of our shortcomings and are working hard towards improvement.  We are aware like all other schools of the falling numbers of pupils in schools and the surplus places and we are working on a new staffing strategy and financial plan to cope with these issues as responsible committed people.

As far as the comments in the Torfaen Talks newsletter and submission to the Minister. Governors are aware of the low Literacy levels of some pupils coming into the school and have put whole school strategies in place to try and improve the situation.

It is wrong for the CEO to state that there is an attendance problem at Fairwater High School – we have exceeded our target as agreed with the LA (92.1%)  Both Estyn and the LA Review were complimentary about the behaviour of pupils.  Sixth Form class sizes are not an issue.  Several large groups enable us to  run a number of small groups, as is the case in other Torfaen Secondary Schools.

However we are still awaiting the LEA committment to completely fence off the whole school site, identified by Governors and Estyn as something to pursue with the LEA.  I have written half termly letters to the CEO and Cllr Phil Seabourne has requested details of the fence completion on numerous occasions. I can assure you that this Governing Body is a strong challenging body that seeks the best possible outcomes for our children.

There is other underlying issues that are at work, such as the LEA being told to get tough with schools and the imminent publication of there own Estyn Inspection.  The 21st Century plans to close one Seconday School in Cwmbran either Fairwater High or Llantarnam with refurbishment of a one school on either site to be decided and even the proposals for a Regional Education Service and possibly a top job on offer we can just surmise whether it is any or all of these issues.

The thing we know is, in this whole debarcle, unfortunately it is our children and our Community that is affected by this request to the Minister. 

Governors are committed to fight for the children, parents and staff of Fairwater High School in an attempt to protect their rights to a good eduacation in their community with Excellent Teachers.  We all have a committment to raise standards as Governors, as Staff and as Pupils and Parents, with the support of the LEA and with everyone pulling together in partnership we can achieve the excellence we seek.

I have submitted a complaint to the Council for it's report in the Council Newsletter of Torfaen Talks and have received an apology for the heading from the Chief Executive Alison Ward. The report still contains inaccurate statements.

We also have an issue with some local Independent Councillors writing complete inaccuracies in their newsletters, easy when they do not even give their time to local school governing Bodies.

If you are a parent, student or a resident of the area you can be certain of the fact that Fairwater High School Governors and School staff will fight for what is the right of ours and your children.


10 January 2012


HAPPY NEW YEAR

Cllr Phil & Mrs Rosemarie Seabourne would like to wish all residents a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year 

We kick off the new year with news today of the Boundary Commission Report published this morning.  Check out the Newsletter page.

Boundary Commission Recommendations

The report from the Boundary Commission has published the proposals today and consultation on the new proposed boundary for Torfaen is as follows:

The existing Torfaen CC consists of the electoral divisions of the County Borough of Torfaen of Abersychan (5,286), Blaenavon (4,479), Brynwern

(1,368), Coed Eva (1,695), Cwmyniscoy (1,064), Fairwater (4,051), Greenmeadow (2,925), Llantarnam (4,088), New Inn (4,881), Panteg (5,663),

Pontnewydd (4,818), Pontnewynydd (1,163), Pontypool (1,449), St. Cadocs and Penygarn (1,129), St. Dials (2,777), Snatchwood (1,581), Trevethin

(2,518), Two Locks (4,729), Upper Cwmbran (4,077) and Wainfelin (1,903) with a total of 61,644 electors which is 20% below the UKEQ of 76,641

electors per constituency and 15% below the minimum of the statutory electoral range of 72,810 electors per constituency.

6.104 It is proposed that a county constituency is created from:

1. the existing Torfaen CC;

2. the City of Newport electoral division of Caerleon (6,889); and,

3. the County Borough of Torfaen electoral divisions of Croesyceiliog North

(2,762), Croesyceiliog South (1,487), Llanyrafon North (1,621) and

Llanyrafon South (2,236).

This constituency would have 76,639 electors which is 2 electors below the UKEQ of 76,641 electors per constituency. The suggested name for the

constituency is Torfaen.

2013 REVIEW INITIAL PROPOSALS can be found on Page. 38 of the publication at 6.105

The Commission proposes to create a constituency which includes all of the electoral divisions of the Unitary Authority of Torfaen. However, these

divisions are insufficient in themselves to create a constituency within the statutory electorate range. The Commission considers that the most

appropriate course is for the electoral division of Caerleon to be included in this constituency.



01 December 2011

DEVELOPMENTS AROUND TORFAEN


Torfaen County Borough Council is consulting on 4 draft Development Frameworks that have been produced to support developments included within the Deposit Torfaen Local Development Plan. The sites and corresponding allocation references are:

 

  • Llantarnam Strategic Action Area (SAA3)
  • Mamhilad Strategic Action Area (SAA4)
  • County Hall and Police HQ Strategic Housing Site (H1/1)
  • Former Police College and adjacent land Strategic Housing Site (H1/2)

 

The Development Frameworks are intended to establish the broad form and structure of how development will be delivered at the sites whilst integrating with the existing communities and environment. 

 

Individual letters are being despatched to nearby residents (within 100m of sites) and site notices are to be posted in the relevant areas. Further details in relation to the consultation are included on the attached site notice and the development frameworks will be available from the the 23rd November on the Forward Planning webpages http://www.torfaen.gov.uk/EnvironmentAndPlanning/Planning/ForwardPlanning/Home.aspx

 

Representations in respect of the Development Frameworks, should be made on-line or in writing to arrive by 4:30pm on 6th January 2012.

 

Following the consultation period a report of all responses received will be prepared and will be utilised in assessing and amending the development frameworks. The finalised development frameworks along with the report of consultation will subsequently be presented for formal approval by Full Council.

 

If you have any comments or suggested amendments to the Development Frameworks please can you send these to me by 6th January 2012. If you have any queries, suggestions for people to consult or wish to speak to me about the proposals please come to the Forward Planning office on the 3rd floor, County Hall or give me a call.

 

Robert Murray

PRINCIPAL PLANNER - FORWARD PLANNING

Tel: 01633 648805 (Internal 8805)

Fax: 01633 648062 (Internal 8062)

Ext E-Mail robert.murray@torfaen.gov.uk

www.torfaen.gov.uk/EnvironmentAndPlanning/Planning/ForwardPlanning/Home.aspx



01 December 2011

LIGHT UP A LIFE

We were pleased to accept the kind invitation from the St David's Foundation to one of their Light up a Life Services held at Llanyrafon Methodist Church.  The very moving service was conducted by the Revd. Cathy Gale and I was pleased to join others with a reading from Luke 2 v 8-14.

Members of the congregation were then offered a candle to light in memory of lost loved ones whilst names of who they wished to be remembered were read from a list.  Readings of poetry and beautiful singing from the choir followed by a warming cuppa and a mince pie made for a very pleasant evening.


09 November 2011

Children Keep Giving

Garnteg Primary School pupils, parents, teachers and staff gave genorously over a number of fundraising activities.  We were invited as Mayor & Mayoress to the events that presented much needed money to the Help the Heroes fund and the Mayor invited pupils into the Parlour where they presented a cheque to a local serviceman.

Once again this morning Cllr Phil & Mrs Rosemarie Seabourne, the Mayor & Mayoress of Torfaen were invited to the school assembly where we were delighted to see children receiving their Good Conduct Awards and were very pleased to accept a cheque for £350.00 towards the Mayors Charities which this year is:

The British Heart Foundation Cymru, Tenovus Mobile Support Unit and the MS Society Torfaen.

We would like to thank very much all those pupils and parents who gave so generously THANK YOU.




29th October 2011

It Will Soon Be Christmas

I find it hard to believe that we are approaching Christmas and another year has passed.  However, there is still lots to think about and plenty to do before we even consider the Yuletide festivities.  After that we will be on the home stretch to Local Government Elections in Wales and here in Torfaen we must apply ourselves to the task and make absolutely certain that our victory at the polls in May 2012 is decisive. 

 

This month I want to look at Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday which I think is very special this year because TCBC have made a supreme effort to identify funding in order to refurbish all of our outside War Memorials across the County Borough.  We have also updated inscriptions on cenotaphs to recall the names of those who have given their lives in conflicts since 1945.

 

 

ARMISTICE DAY AND REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY


I attach details of the various parades and church services across Torfaen which will take place on Sunday13th November.  There is little departure from tradition and I think that this is actually the point about “Remembrance”, which should be entirely predictable in its general solemnity.  As I mentioned in my introduction, we have made great efforts to refurbish our Cenotaphs and War Memorials across the borough and from the Mayors Parlour window, I can see the Stonemasons putting the finishing touches to Pontypool Park Memorial Gates.

 

The Cenotaph in Cwmbran Park has been cleansed and a new plaque installed to commemorate all conflicts since World War II.  Pontnewydd Cenotaph has been similarly cleaned and – particularly moving – a new inscription now appears in beautiful and sympathetic lettering on the west-facing upright to commemorate three names, G Edwards (Cyprus 1956), Kyle Adams and James Prosser, both killed in action in Helmand Province in August and September 2009.  Both sets of parents will be present when the Cenotaph is rededicated and I am certain that this will be a most moving occasion.

 

Blaenavon War Memorial Clock has been revealed in all its Portland Stone original splendour and the clock face enamelled and painted to Cadw standards.

 

Panteg Cemetery boasts a fine War Memorial in Forest of Dean stone and this too has been cleansed and repaired to the highest standard.

 

With the bronze plaques at Pontymoile suitably refurbished this completes the project.  It is hard in these difficult times to allocate resources correctly and we as a Council make no apology for funding a project which sends a clear message that the Council holds dear the memory of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  As the Kohima says

 

 

When you go home, tell them of us and say:

“For your tomorrow we gave our today”

 

It will be my great honour as Mayor to lay wreaths at both Cwmbran, Pontypool and Henllys I am certain that many of you will want to join with  us at any of the venues for the Service of Remembrance across the Borough.


REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY – 13th NOVEMBER 2011

 

The arrangements for Remembrance Sunday Parades and Services in Torfaen are as follows: -

 

                            CWMBRAN

                    10.15am       Parade assembles at Clomendy Road

                     10.30am       Parade moves off via Commercial Street, Victoria Street, to War Memorial Clock for prayers.  Parade moves off                                              via Oldbury Road, Henllys Way to Cocker Avenue Park for a service and wreath laying ceremony.  A two-minute                                              silence will be observed at 11.00am.

 11.15am    Parade moves off via Henllys Way, Cocker Avenue and Wesley Street to St Gabriel’s Church.  The Mayor of                              Torfaen (Councillor Phil Seabourne);  the Rt Hon Paul Murphy MA MP; Ms Lynne Neagle AM Member of Assembly for                  Wales (Torfaen); the Leader of Torfaen County Borough Council; the Vice-Chair of Cwmbran Community Council;                      the Leader of Croesyceiliog/Llanyrafon and the Chairs of Henllys and Ponthir Community Councils will be                                   present and will lay wreaths

                        Contact Ian McGill (Lead Officer Member Development and Civic Responsibility, Torfaen) 01495 742775

 PONTNEWYDD

10.15am           Parade assembles

10.30am          Parade from Pontnewydd Royal British Legion Club, Station Road, Pontnewydd for wreath laying ceremony and                           service at the Cenotaph.  A two-minute silence will be observed at 11.00am

                     Torfaen Councillors representing the Pontnewydd and Upper Cwmbran Wards and representatives of Cwmbran                        Community Council will be present and will lay wreaths

                        Contact Martin Davies (Royal British Legion, Pontnewydd) 07887 947177

 

                    PANTEG

10.30am          Service at St Hilda’s Church conducted by Reverend Anne Golledge (Vicar of Griffithstown)

11.45am          Wreath laying at Panteg Cemetery (Reverend Anne Golledge will officiate)

                        Torfaen Councillors representing the Panteg and New Inn Wards, together with Councillors of Pontypool                                 Community Council, will be present and will lay wreaths

                        Contact Reverend Anne Golledge; 01495 763641

 

                    PONTYPOOL

10.30am          Service at Crane Street Baptist Church

                                            Contact the Reverend Alvan Richards-Clarke 01495 764553

 

11.00am          Mass at St Albans RC Church, George Street, Pontypool

                        Contact Father David Hayman 01495 762280

 

11.45am          Parade assembles next to the Riverside Car Park, Pontypool.

12.00noon      Parade from assembly point to Memorial Gates, Pontypool for service and wreath laying ceremony; return via                             Clarence Roundabout

                        The Mayor of Torfaen, Cllr Phil Seabourne, the Rt Hon Paul Murphy MA MP, Lynne Neagle AM and the Chair of                        Pontypool Community Council will be present and will lay wreaths.  At a particular point in the Service of                           Remembrance, the Chair of Pontypool Community Council, accompanied by the Mayor of Torfaen, will lay                             wreaths at the Civil Defence Memorial opposite Pontypool Park Memorial Gates

                        Contact Ian McGill 01495 742775

                       

1.00pm       The Mayor of Torfaen Cllr Phil Seabourne will lay a wreath at the Pontymoile Gates entrance to Pontypool Park                           (at the junction of Rockhill Road and Usk Road); Torfaen Councillors and Pontypool Community Councillors from                         the New Inn Ward will be present. - All welcome

                        Contact Ian McGill 01495 742775

 

PONTNEWYNYDD

10.45am      Service and wreath laying at St Cadoc’s Church, Trevethin Torfaen Councillors representing the Trevethin                                  Ward, together with Councillors of Pontypool Community Council, will be present and will lay wreaths.

                Contact the Rev’d Canon Brian R Pippen (Rector of Pontypool and Chaplain to the Royal British Legion                                 (Pontypool Branch)) 01495 762228

 

BLAENAVON

10.50am       Parade from the Top Car Park, marching via Broad Street and Ivor Street to the Cenotaph. 

                       

11.00am     Wreath laying and service at the Cenotaph, followed by a service in St Peter’s Church.  The Deputy Mayor of                             Torfaen, Members of Torfaen County Borough Councillor together with the Mayor of Blaenavon Cllr Stuart Evans                          and Members of Blaenavon Town Council will also attend and will lay wreaths

                      Contact Susan Price (Clerk to Blaenavon Community Council) 01495 790643

 

                    NEW INN

10.00am       Parade assembles at St Mary’s Church Hall, The Highway, New Inn

10.10am       Parade moves off to St Mary’s Church

10.30am       Church Service at St Mary’s

11.20am       Parade returns to St Mary’s Church Hall.  Torfaen Councillors representing the New Inn Ward, together with                               Councillors    representing Pontypool Community Council will be present and will lay wreaths.

                                        Contact the Reverend Canon Jennifer Mole 01495 763724

 

                ABERSYCHAN (GARN WEN MOUNTAIN)

                11.00am

                                    A short service of Remembrance will take place at the stone commemorating the Blenheim Bomber crash in 1940 on                                        Garn Wen above Abersychan. 

 

                                            A wreath will be laid and a two minute silence will be observed.

                                            All are warmly welcomed to meet at the stone for the Service of Remembrance.

                                            Contact Judy Cox 01495 773495

 

                             HENLLYS (COMMUNITY HALL)

                          15.00 hrs     A service of Rememberance will be held in the Henllys Community Hall.  The Mayor of Torfaen Cllr Phil Seabourne                                                 will be in attendance along with Henllys Community Councillors

A SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE WILL BE HELD ON ARMISTICE DAY (Friday 11 November 2011) AT 11AM AT PONTYPOOL PARK MEMORIAL GATES.  CANON BRIAN R PIPPEN (THE RECTOR OF PONTYPOOL) WILL OFFICIATE



12th October 2011

BUS SHELTER

As you pass the Ty-Canol Housing Complex you will no doubt have noticed the new long awaited Bus Shelter.  I am pleased to have been instrumental in achieving this and hopefully residents will have some shelter, whilst waiting for the bus during the winter months.


12 October 2011

OLD TIME MUSIC HALL

Millenium Hall Garndiffaith
7pm on
3rd December 2011

The Mayor will be holding an Old Time Music Hall Event at the Millenium Hall Garndiffaith on 3rd December 2011.  This has been genorously organised by Cllr Gwyneira Clark and members of her Community of which I am most grateful I am aslo grateful that  Rev. Harald Thomas has agreed to compere the event.  This event is on behalf of his Charity Appeal which he is hoping to raise much needed funds.  The Bristish Heart Foundation Cymru: Tenovus Cancer Support Unit and the MS Society (Torfaen Branch) Tickets are on sale from Chris Slade MAYORAL SUPPORT OFFICER at the Civic Centre Pontypool 01495 762200 Cost £5.00  to include a delicious portion of Faggots & Peas. The audience are invited to attend in period costumes if they wish, (optional) Tickets are selling fast so if you fancy a night out and a good old sing song get your tickets now.


28th September 2011

NIGHT OUT / NOSON ALLAN

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 TUNES

with

THE CARNIVAL BAND

MOUNT PLEASANT HALL PONTNEWYDD CWMBRAN

DATE: 14TH OCTOBER 2011

TIME: 19:30

TICKETS £4.00/£3.00 AVAILABLE FROM THE COSTAR PARTNERSHIP FAIRWATER CWMBRAN

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE ARTS COUNCIL FOR WALES & TORFAEN COUNCTY BOROUGH COUNCIL

Come along and support the community charity at the same time enjoy the Big Night Out with The Carnival Band organised by The Costar Partnership based in Fairwater Cwmbran. Further detail can be obtained from Costar 01633 869227


20th August 2011

Copied from report in The South Wales Argus


TORFAEN A LEVEL RESULTS  WELL DONE!

‘A* made my year’

THE A*- E pass rate in Torfaen fell slightly on 2010, with 96.5 per cent of 5,044 pupils taking part achieving the grade – down from 96.6 per cent.

Pupils who attended Fairwater High School in Cwmbran were celebrating as 97 per cent of them passed their A-levels and 80 per cent of pupils achieved between two A*-C grades.

Coming top of their year group were Rhys Poulton and David Banwell-Clode, who both achieved one A*and three A grades, and Eleanor Mosely, who achieved one A* and two A grades.

Rhys Poulton said: “I will now go on to study mathematics at Cardiff University. I was aiming for all A grades, but that A*has made my year.”

At Croesyceiliog Comprehensive, the A*-E pass rate for the 116 pupils sitting their exams was 98 per cent.

A total of 75 per cent of pupils achieved an A*-C grade.

Llantarnam Comprehensive School, St Albans RC High School and Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw could not be reached yesterday.





16th July 2011

Cwmbran Big Event Finale

We attended the Cwmbran Big Event on Saturday where the Mayor was delighted to be invited to present awards to some of the event Winners.

Around 7000 people turned out on Saturday to join in the Big Event finale celebrations at Cwmbran Boating Lake.

The finale marked the culmination of a packed week of events and activities which saw local clubs opening the doors for people, young and old, to come along and try out a huge range of new activities.

The Big Event was billed as the biggest celebration of physical and cultural activity ever in Torfaen and didn’t disappoint with everything from tug-o-war to dodgeball, zumba to angling and a full programme of music and dancing to offer something for everyone.

There was a host of players from the Newport Gwent Dragons joining in the fun and crowds of people cheering on the raft racing and football tournaments and enjoying taekwondo and street dancing exhibitions.

Cllr Bob Wellington, leader of Torfaen Council, said:

"I was delighted to see so many families out enjoying the Big Event Finale and we were treated to some superb shows by so many talented performers while the Boating Lake looked stunning and was a perfect venue for the event. Most of all I would like to say a huge thank you to all the clubs, organisations, performers, council officers and everyone who played their part in making it such a resounding success – even the weather played its part!"

The Cwmbran Big Event is the new addition to the council’s summer events programme which includes the World Heritage Day in Blaenavon and Pontypool Carnival. The event was funded by the Valleys Regional Park and Cwmbran Operational Group in partnership with Torfaen Council.

Cllr Wellington added:

"This was the first year for the Big Event and we can look forward to building on this for next year and it can takes its place as part of a diverse and fun packed summer events programme that spans the length of Torfaen."

You can see photos of the event online by visiting www.facebook.com/torfaen


11th July 2011



CIVIC SERVICE SUNDAY 3rd July 2011

We were honoured on Sunday 3th July to hold our Mayoral Civic Service at Fairhill Methodist Church on Fairhill in Fairwater.  Reverend Superintendant Minister of Gwent Hills and Vales Methodist Circuit Cathy Gale who has kindly agreed to be the Mayors Chaplain for this year, officiated and was ably accompanied by Fr Brian Pippen the Torfaen Council Chaplain and a Welsh speaking, Jamaican born Minister Reverend Alvan Richards-Clark.

We were very grateful to our friend Paul Murphy MP who read the first lesson.  The second lesson was read in Welsh by Rev Alvan Richards-Clark.  We were then honoured by members of the Senior school choir from Fairwater High School who performed a Musical Interlude.

We owe our sincere thanks to the Members and Church Wardens of Fairhill Methodist who gave up their time and helped tremendously with the organisation of our service.  We were so pleased to welcome so many of our fellow Councillors, our colleague of the "Chain Gang" Lord Mayors and Mayors of neighbouring South Wales Authorities, our family friends and our local organisations that do so much good work within our community, as well as representatives from our nominated charities.

Our Charities for this year are the British Heart Foundation Cymru, The MS Society Torfaen & District and The Tenovus Mobile Support Unit we hope to raise funds to donate to these organisations. At the end of our year we will total the amount raised and share between these organisations at the same time supporting all other charities and events along our way.

We followed the Church Service with a reception at the Greenmeadow Golf Club Croesyceiliog where we were welcomed by Blaenafon Town Brass Band and were treated to a medley of songs by a Member of Boys Aloud Scott Howells.

Without the dedicated hard work of our Mayoral Support Team of Hywel, Chris and Ian this event would not have been such a success and we thank everyone for their contribution.

We have hit the road running and have already attended over seventy events ranging from visiting a playscheme, school awards events, schools performances, Civic Services of other Mayors across Wales.  The opening of the Welsh Government term at the Senydd in the presence of The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. Charity Events by the Mick Morris Trust, The Welsh Charitables, The McMillan Nurses and many more.  A list of our activities is on the TCBC website where the Mayors webpage is now up and running.  We would not be able to cover all engagements and are extremely grateful for the assistance of the Deputy Mayor Cllr. Wayne Tomlinson and the Deputy Mayoress Mrs Erika Tomlinson who cover for us when we have double appointments for the same time.


25th May 2011


MAYOR OF TORFAEN

Torfaen County Borough Council held their Annual Council Meeting in the Council Chamber, Civic Centre Pontypool last night 24th May 2011.  I was very honoured and proud to be nominated for the position of Mayor of Torfaen and even more so to receive the support of many of of my fellow councillors in the majority vote for selection.  This is an accolade that I accept with great humility and with a sincere determination to do my very best for Torfaen, for its residents and the Members and Officers of the Council.  It is also a very proud time for my family and friends.

I look forward to the year.  Another plus for Fairwater is that the Reverend Cathy Gale, Minister for Fairhill Methodist Church who has agreed to be my chaplain and spiritual support.  With my wife Rosemarie who now takes up the position by my side as the Mayoress.

I am working with staff in the Mayor's office to produce a programme that will support the Council's Corporate Values.  I am taking as my theme for this year what strikes me as the underlying principle throughout the Corporate Plan, namely the protection of the Vulnerable in our Society.  It is this particular feature that I want to emphasise in my approach and I am certain that the constituents of Torfaen and of our Ward of Fairwater will want to support me in this work for the year ahead.

My Civic Service on 3rd July at Fairhill Methodist Church will be structured around vulnerability in our choice of hymns and lessons and I am pleased that I can share this celebration within the Community that I represent.

The beneficiaries under the Mayor's Charity Appeal for 2011 - 2012 continue the theme of vulnerability and I have chosen:

The British Heart Foundation Cymru, The Torfaen & District Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Tenovus Mobile Cancer Support Unit.

Here again, I will be working up a programme of events and look forward to your support in raising funds for charity in these difficult times in recession and ever increasing competition for the pound in the pockect.  Along with the budget cuts the Council has had to make, the Mayors Office has not been immune, taking a reduction in its budget.

I will make myself available for events and functions, if you feel the Mayor can help, assist or promote your project in any way, please contact the Mayoral support Officer Mr Chris Slade in the Civic Centre.

More than anything I would like to serve the people of the Borough and to act as an Ambassador for Torfaen.


18th May 2011

Small Schemes

I have had the pleasure of donating my small schemes to a number of Groups within the Ward and hope that this goes a little way in helping our community groups to continue their excellent work.  If you are a member of a Community Group and operating out of Fairwater to benefit the residents of Torfaen and would like your club or group to be considered please contact me with some details of the work you are involved in.


 

Fairwater Talking Hearts and Friends of the Threepenny Bit Arts & Craft group receiving their Small Schemes donations from Cllr Phil Seabourne

Donations were also made to the following groups: Ty-Canol Court residents group, Silver Birches Residents Association, Torfaen Swim Squad, Gwent Dolphins Swimming Club, Coed Eva AFC, Fairhil Methodist Church, Fairhill Children's Fun Club



TORFAEN BOUNDARY REVIEW

Consultation is taking place on the Ward Boundaries and numbers of Councillors Have Your Say. Submissions to be made no later than July 1st 2011


http://www.lgbc-wales.gov.uk/electoral/torfaen/torfaen_draft_proposals_e.pdf




6th May 2011


CO-STAR COMMUNITY CLEAR-UP

 

Co-Star are very pleased to say that we will be having a large community clear up on Wednesday 11 May 2011.  The clear up will take place in the woods behind cheeky monkeys in Fairwater.  (Please see attached photograph).  We will be concentrating on the brook running through the woods.

Steve Chamberlain of Keep Wales Tidy will be leading the day, he is bringing along 20 -30 volunteers from Macdonalds restaurants.

Steve says about the site “I started this project two years ago but haven’t returned since. The task is to remove the smaller items left behind from before. The undergrowth is quite dense in places and parts of the stream are difficult. There are about a dozen obstructions in the stream which have built up into dams over the years. With the return of otters into Cwmbran (confirmed two months ago) this project is more important than ever seeing as beneath the rubbish is the perfect habitat for these rare creatures. Volunteers should wear clothes they don’t mind getting messy and ideally with sleeves. If anyone can bring wellies it would be a great help.”

We will be meeting at 10am in the playing fields car park, Fairwater. (past fairwater shops and cheeky monkeys, 1st exit off roundabout then first turning on left).  If you would like to join in with us, please let us know you will be very welcome.

CoStar

01633 869227

 


  1 Attached Images
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

I would like to thank residents for their Good wishes and patience during my recent bout of ill health and subsequent surgery.  I have dealt with residents concerns if contacted whilst at home unfortunately I spent a number of days and nights in hospital from July to November and apologise if residents have tried to contact me and failed please accept my apologies but I am now back to good health and taking up my full duties from this week.

Fairwater Shops Car Park

The cost to the Council and therefore to residents for clearing up the car park at Fairwater Shops over the Christmas period for illegal Fly Tipping was costed at over £1200 this facility is for the public to re-cycle unfortunately some residents are using it simply to fly tip.  If Council Officers discover any evidence of where the fly tipping originated prosecutions will take place.

30th December 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL FAIRWATER RESIDENTS

Cllr Seabourne and family would like to extend the Compliments of the Season.

4th December 2010

Councillor Surgery

Can I offer my apologies for cancelling the December Councillor surgery at Fairhill Methodist Church.  Unfortunately due to my recovery from major thoracic surgery which I underwent two weeks ago I was unable to attend the monthly Councillor surgery.  I am answering any email or telephone contact if you have a problem I can help with please contact me via telephone or email for the next few weeks.  I thank you for your patience at this time and hope you are all coping with the adverse weather conditions.

1st November 2010

 

 

Santa Appeal

 

There are children and young people living in your area of Torfaen who will not receive any gifts this Christmas. These are children and young people who are in Care and will not see their Mums and Dads on Christmas Day. Torfaen Social Services are appealing to the local residents to donate a Christmas Present to a child from the age group of your choice. You can participate in this appeal by phoning the telephone numbers below. You will then be given the first name, age and the reference number for the child you wish to buy a gift for.

 

The deadline for the appeal is FRIDAY 10th December 2010. All presents can be delivered to Gwent House, Cwmbran Shopping Centre, County Hall in Cwmbran, Careers Wales in Pontypool and the Customer Care Centres at Blaenavon and Cwmbran.

 

Telephone -01633 647537 & 647539 between 8.30am and 4.30pm

 

Thank you for your help.

                  

 NEARLY 2000 UNREGISTERED PROPERTIES IN TORFAEN

It is illegal not to register that you are living in a property.  There are nearly 2,000 properties that are not registered with the Electoral Registration Office.  You may be one of those! if you haven't filled in your electoral registration form.  You can check by calling the office at Torfaen Civic Centre.
If you have moved house recently or someone in your family has died you may have forgotten to report this.

What is the electoral register?

The electoral register is the list of everyone who is registered to vote in a council area. You must be on the electoral register to vote at elections, and not being on the register can also affect your credit rating. You are not automatically registered, even if you pay council tax.

 

Electoral registration takes place on a local basis by each local council electoral registration office, and the electoral register is updated on a monthly basis, except between August and November when councils perform an annual canvass of their area. You can register to vote in future elections at any time of the year. You may have moved house or perhaps are unsure if you are registered. You can check this by contacting us on 01495 766083/766077.

 

There are two versions of the register - the full version and the edited version. Your details will appear on the full version of the register, but you can choose whether or not your details appear on the edited register by ticking the 'opt out' box on your registration form. The full register is used for elections, preventing and detecting crime, and checking applications for credit. The edited register is available for general sale and can be used for commercial activities such as marketing.

15th October 2010

NEXT PACT MEETING

Fairhill Methodist Church Thursday 25th November 19.30 hrs

15th October 2010

Greenmeadow Community Farm Win Two V Awards

Greenmeadow Community Farm is celebrating after winning two V Awards including ‘best family day out’ for the third year in a row.

The farm, one of Torfaen’s most popular visitor attractions, also picked up the ‘Eco award’ for its outstanding work in encouraging people of all ages to live a more sustainable lifestyle - its new plastic bottle greenhouse is just one great example of how it promotes greener, cleaner ways of life.

Councillor Bob Wellington, leader of Torfaen council, said:

"I’m delighted that the Farm has once again been voted the best family day out. It’s fun, educational and a real hands-on day out for people of all ages. Everyone who visits can’t wait to come back again, and with the investment we have made in new facilities, there are even more reasons to pay the Farm a visit. I know the staff are really proud of the award, and congratulate them for all their hard work and commitment."

The Farm has recently benefitted from a £220,000 investment to improve facilities including a new and improved Eye Paddock which has been redesigned to provide an arena for events, permanent animal housing, upgraded footpaths and a shelter to provide cover from the rain or sun.

The woodland and pond area next to the Eye Paddock has also been upgraded. Works to the Haybarn have resulted in an all new activity room, ‘the LOFT’ (Learning Outdoors for Tomorrow), a fantastic hatchery and small animal facility and a new base for the Gwent Guild of Spinners, Weaver and Dyers.

The works were funded by Valleys Regional Park, Welsh Assembly Government and Torfaen council.

To find out more, visit www.greenmeadowcommunityfarm.org.uk| or why not become a Facebook friend or Twitter users can follow @greenmeadowfarm

3rd September 2010


TCBC Forward Plan Updated

See Council website for details   http://www.torfaen.gov.uk  or the useful contacts page of this website.


Security at Last

Residents and pupils will notice that at long last Fairwater High School has had the long awaited fence around the school not quite finished when I visited yesterday but should be finished soon.  This will be a great asset to the school and the community.

Thank you for all the good wishes received during my recent bout of ill health and hospitalisation.

Just a reminder that there will be no monthly surgery in August

24th July 2010

Newsletter

Hopefully by now the majority of homes within the Fairwater Ward have received a delivery of my latest newsletter, thank you to my family for helping with the delivery whilst I have a few days in the Royal Gwent Hospital undergoing tests.  I was keen to advertise the website and already I have had contact from residents commenting so thank youIf you haven't received a newsletter my apologies but you can read them by downloading on the link on the Newsletter page on this website.


CWMBRAN FESTIVAL

Cwmbran Festival kicks off with a range of events organised and run by local community groups in various venues throughout Cwmbran.  Look out for an event in or around your area with wide variety to suit all ages.  The festival ends with a celebration for all the family providing a range of free activities including sport, arts and craft, dance tasters, face painting, walking entertainment, inflatable’s, crèche and much more.  To end the day there will be a special performance from renowned R n’B artists ‘The Root Doctors’. Tickets from £3.  A bar will be provided.  Come along to Cwmbran Stadium on Saturday August 28th at 13.00pm until 19.00 pm.

 

All this on your doorstep and free!  A great way to end the August celebrations.

29th June 2010

COSTAR AMNESTY SKIP

We are pleased to say that we will be having an amnesty skip in the centre of Fairwater 3.  There will be 2 x eight yard skipsOne skip will be paid for by the Keep Wales Tidy, “Tidy Towns” fund.  The other will be paid for by Bron Afon housing.  Bron Afon’s community caretakers “the two Pauls” will be helping us man the skip on the day.

 The skips will be situated at the top of Pace Road at The Gaynors car park; they are booked to arrive at 10.00 am. on 1st July 2010 and will be filled on a first come first served basis.

29th June 2010

Congratulations to Tyler Holpin

It was a pleasure to be part of a Council commendation to a young man who last year selflessly rescued five young children from a burning house fire in the Greenmeadow area.  Tyler was joined by his mother Alison the Head Teacher and Chair of Governors of Fairwater High School and the Chief Fire Officer from South Wales Fire & Rescue Service.

Tyler recently received national recognition of his bravery at an event held in Wembley Stadium followed by a visit to 10 Downing Street.

Tyler a pupil at Fairwater High School where Mr Barry Holroyd, who is a Governor, he is also Grandfather of Tyler's girlfriend Jessica, informed the Chair of Governors Mrs Rosemarie Seabourne and the Head Teacher Mr David Marshall of Tyler's bravery and his modesty in taking credit.

He also informed Governors that Tyler was hoping to attend a course with the Youth Theatre in Aberystwyth University during the summer but was having difficulty raising the £400 plus fee the deposit was required at short notice.

Whilst the HeadTeacher was making the necessary arrangements for today's Council presentation, information on funding from the Council's Music and Arts Fund became available and Governors were pleased to top up the £250 received from the Council's Music and Arts Trust Fund to make it possible for this modest young man to attend the Summer School.

At this morning's citation he also received an invitation to attend the South Wales Regional Award Ceromony by the Chief Fire Officer Mr Andy Marles.

The Leader of the Council was asked by the Mayor to inform Members of Tyler's courageous endeavours

The Leader explained that Tyler without any thought for his own safety, set up the hose pipe and climbed the ladder to the neighbours bedroom window on hearing the screams of the children, he then carried them all to safety prior to the Fire Brigade arriving.

It was a pleasure to listen to Tyler's citation and wish him well with his Performing Arts.

18th June 2010

 PACT MEETING

Your next PACT meeting is to be held in Fairwater Methodist Church 1st July 2010 19.30. For any changes to this proposed date check the link on useful contacts link.

Please contact me if you have any issues with Council Services the next surgery is being held at Fairhill Methodist Church on July 3rd 2010 there will be no surgery in August.

Costar

Don't forget to check out the COSTAR link to see loads of activities in the area.  Costar is a Community Partnership that works in our area and it is made up of local representatives including myself and my wife who are trustees.  The Trustees work with a number of local organisations and are responsible for Community Skips, cleanups and the subway painting and fruit n veg scheme.  All done in conjuntction with the Community.

Here is an update of recent activities:

3D Bit Community Centre

Thanks to the hard work of around 60 McDonalds staff lots of work was undertaken on the 25th May and this included painting the main hall, reception, kitchen and offices, removing the old kitchen and clearing out all the unwanted items onto the skips, replacing the fascias, clearing an area for our growing space, clearing out the woodland, painting the 2 subways, planting up the window boxes and jetwashing off the walls.

We’ve taken our first booking this weekend and have taken on a casual cleaner to prepare the hall for bookings. 

We’re in talks with a few Instructors to put on a range of activity sessions and have submitted a funding bid to make up the shortfall needed to set up a  community bike scheme which takes local residents out on instructor led bike sessions to increase their cycling confidence.

Sue one of our staff has taken part in a Walking Coordinators course and will be planning a number of walking routes with the intention of starting our own classes in the next couple of weeks from the Centre.

OPEN DAY

We’d like to hold an Open day on 6th August to invite the community down to have a look at the Centre and invite a number of agencies such as Want to Work and Communities 2.0 along to help make the day a success. 

We are looking for memories of the Threepenny Bit over the past.  My children went to the playgroup I remember the Brownies using the Centre a local Bingo Group used it.  If any of you have memories or even better photographs we would be pleased to hear from you.

Our Community Gardener Scheme is now up and running and building up a large client group so if you need help with your garden or are happy to volunteer please contact COSTAR.

Growing for the Veg Box Scheme

Watering the farm continues to be our growers main priority and we are in the process of submitting funding bids to help fund a watering system to make this task simpler.

Dave our grower is working on establishing a new growing station at Garnsychan whilst maintaining our existing local sites.

A meeting has been set with Woodlands School next week to start some growing sessions with the young people and Dave.  We would be delighted if other local schools became involved.

We’ve had some mysterious goings on with growing the garlic.  Some type of creature is eating the garlic but Dave’s  at a loss as to what can be doing this?  There’s no prints around but the 4 lines of garlic which had been planted have now been reduced to 1!  Whoever’s taking them does not like potatoes as these have all been left alone.  If anyone has any ideas please let us know!

We lost quite a few crops over the winter period and these included, shallots, peas, sprouts, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.

We’ve set up some raised beds and are using them to grow chard and cauliflower and will be putting cucumbers into the beds shortly.

If you haven't tried our fruit, veg and salad bags why not place your weekly order NOW!

Domestic Gardening Project

Work is progressing well on the Gardening enterprise.  We have taken on Marcus Morgan through the Future Jobs Fund and this means that a 3 man team are able to carry out garden maintenance.  Joe and the team have a busy summer ahead with a large number of clients asking for regularly fortnightly maintenance.

If you require help with your garden why not give COSTAR a call!

RePaint Enterprise

We have just received the planning decision from TCBC and are now able to secure a placement to help administer this enterprise.  This is a scheme that re-cycles unused or end of line paints, preventing them from being sent to landfill which we will sell to the public at low cost.

Up and running soon!

Creative Design Services

Lucy is working hard to increase her client database and has been working with CcAT, CCYP, Stroke Support, the MS Society and SMUG to develop promotional material including website design and newsletters. Contact Lucy at COSTAR for more details.

 Environmental Projects

We are working up a programme of projects with A4E to help undertake some of our environmental projects and these include improving Fairwater shops and establishing a wildlife area on the edge of Fairwater High School.

We’re waiting to receive confirmation from Tidy Towns that our skip amnesties, clean ups and other identified environmental projects can proceed.

We’ve been invited to attend Cwmbran Shopping’s Sustainability Day on 30th July for the 2nd year running and will be taking along the Smoothie Bike and our promotional material.  Look out for us and have a go on the smoothie maker!

Keep an eye on the COSTAR link for future events http://tinyurl.com/costarcwmbran

 PRIDE OF THE BOROUGH

It was a great pleasure to attend the Freedom of the Borough Parade held in Pontypool on 5th June in my capacity as Deputy Mayor accompanied by my wife Rosemarie the Deputy Mayoress, you can find all the photographs taken by Adrian the official council photographer who holds the copyright for the photographs on the Torfaen Website. Link available below:  Here is a sample of The Royal Welsh

 

                 

 
                                                                

 Also in attendance were local cadet organisations, veteran soldiers, and the force we are most familiar with our local Police Force

 

 Above left to right

Inspector Kevin Warren Deputy Mayoress Mrs Rosemarie Seabourne Cllr Philip Seabourne and PC Daryl Dewar

Find more photographs on the Council Twitter site

http://twitter.com/torfaencouncil

 

3rd June 2010

Cancelled Surgery 5th June 2010
I will be in attendance at the Freedom of the Borough on Saturday morning therefore I will not be holding my monthly surgery this month.  If anyone wishes to speak with me I am available via my contact details.

Deputy Mayor

It is with great pleasure that I accepted the Honour of the appointment to Deputy Mayor at the Annual Council held on 25th May 2010.  I look forward to supporting the Mayor during this year of office.

24th May 2010

The Annual Council will be taking place tomorrow 25th May at 5pm in the Civic Centre PontpoolIn this meeting members will be selecting the positions of Leader, Deputy Leader and Cabinet positions as well as Chairs of Overview & Scrutiny Committee and Chairs of other standing Committees such as Planning etc. At this meeting Members also vote in the Mayor and Deputy Mayor for the incoming Municiple yearFollowing the Annual Council Meeting the Council sits for the ceremonial Mayor making where the present Mayor Cllr Robert Jones hands over his robes and office to the newly elected Mayor.

10th May 2010

Caravan Owners Alert

Caravan owners in the area are being asked to check their battery lockers.  There has been a number of thefts of leisure batteries stored in the outside lockers of Caravans within the Fairwater area the lockers are usually closed after the theft therefore probably not noticed immediately.  If you are unlucky enough to experience such a theft Please call Gwent Police on 101 and log a call about the theft.

22nd April

Amenity Skips

Costar has once again provided a Community Skip for St Dials unfortunately this skip planned for the Powerstation had to be relocated across the road into Amoth Walk at the last moment and has proved very usefull to residents.  Costar apologies if this move inconvenienced residents but we are a small charity and this move was unavoidable.  The skips were filled within two hours and only forty four homes were leafleted in the area.  This service is a very valued service particularly for people who are unable to drive or deliver their refuse to the amenity bay in New Inn 

 

20th April 2010

Councillors Surgery
Due to the May Day Bank holiday there will be no surgery at Fairhill Methodist Church on May 1st however residents of the Fairwater Ward can contact me at anytime by telephone, email, text or at home or by appointment in their own home.

20th April 2010

Ethics & Standards

I do not wish this website to become a tool for criticism but feel I must answer some recent accusations made against me. 

Some residents may have read the Newsletters of the two sisters who are the Independent Ward Councillors for Greenmeadow and St Dials.  They are informing the residents of these Wards that I and others are under investigation by the Local Service Ombudsman and that my wife was the person who reported them to the Ombudsman. 

What they are failing to say is that the accusations against me for giving small schemes money to local schools, the church, disabled groups and sports organisations in Fairwater have been made by Steven Bonera, Cllr Catherine Lewis's husband and Anita Barnard  a friend (not sure whether a relative) of Cllr Elizabeth Haynes.  Other Councillors have had similar unfounded accusations made by Robert Haynes the husband of Cllr Elizabeth Haynes.  Amongst others, the mother of the two sisters Mrs Margaret Berry has also deposited accusations with the Ombudsman. 

We must not be sidetracked into thinking any of these accusations are actually substantiated in fact I have already received a letter as I am sure Anita Barnard has been informed by the Ombudsman stating that one of the accusations she made is not true.  I will keep you informed of other accusations once they have a decision.

It is obvious that by publicising their accusations they are trying to take the spotlight off themselves.

However complainants were asked for confidentiality by the Ombudsman until any cases were proven or disproven.

Unlike the accusations made against them, where they were found guilty of breaking the Code of Conduct for giving funds to the Business that Cllr Catherine Lewis was a Director without declaring their interest in the Company.  The Company has never traded but approximately £1000.00 of Public money out of a £2000 allocation, that should have been used for small groups or projects within the Greenmeadow and St Dials Wards was given out of their small schemes allocation.  They were both Censured and made to pay back their donations. 

For FULL DETAILS see the Ethics & Standards minutes at TCBC.

 I can assure my constituents that I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of in relation to my allocation of small schemes.

If you are a member of a local group or charity in Fairwater and need a little help for some equipment or running costs give me an email, telephone call or write a letter with some information.  Contact Us

15th April 2010

ELECTION NEWS

If you hadn't noticed the Election Campaign is on.  Your Vote has never been so important make sure you are registered. See our Labour News page for Election information. Fairwater Labour News

 

2nd April 2010

Councillors Surgery
Due to the May Day Bank holiday there will be no surgery at Fairhill Methodist Church on May 1st however residents of the Fairwater Ward can contact me at anytime by telephone, email, text or at home or by appointment in their own home.

Police Surgery

Ward Police Officers for Fairwater will be holding a Ward Surgery at Bronafon Offices at 2pm 18th April.
Any residents with any issues the Police can help with are welcome to drop in.

Road Traffic Calming Works

The Road Traffic Calming measures put in place on junctions of Fairwater Way and Blenheim Road have been completed and residents are now benefitting from reduced speed of traffic travelling down Henllys Way.

Robbery at Fairwater Shops

Police have in custody two youths in connection with the Robbery at Fairwater Shops and local House burgularies.

Amenity Skip


Just to remind everyone that our amnesty skip organised by COSTAR will be in the car park of the Hollybush Community Centre on Thursday 8th April from 10.00 am.  On a first come first served basis.

4th March 2010

Community Clear Up

CoStar has received a grant of £750 from O2 as well as grants from other funders to paint the walls outside the chip shop in Fairwater.

 

We are organising a community clear up on Saturday 6 March 10.00 am – 2.00 pm to paint the walls.  It will be a good chance to meet other members of the community and we have chosen a day when Wales are not playing rugby!  If you are able to come along and help or would like to be there to support us we will be very pleased to see you.

 

4th March

Amenity Skip

Costar amnesty skip in Fairwater shops was a great success.  Our next amnesty skip will be at the Threepenny Bit in Greenmeadow on Thursday 11 March from 10.00 onwards.  And following that in Upper Cwmbran on the 25 March on the junction between Mynydd Maen and Heol y Pwca.

 

2nd March 2010

PACT MEETING

A reminder that the next PACT meeting for the Fairwater Ward is being held on 9th March 6.30pm at the Henllys Church in Wales School. 

Council Tax

The Council this morning had full agreement except for the abstention made by three Conservative Councillors who chose not to make any decisions around the Council budget debate.  After a full Budget process that has lasted many months under what has been the most difficult budget since devolution, the Council agreed a Council Tax increase of 3.35% which equates to about £30.00 per annum. 

Councillors Break Code of Conduct 

At the same Council Meeting Councillors received a report from the Ethics & Standards Committee where two Independant Councillors from St Dials and Greenmeadow Ward were censured for breaking the Code of Conduct in not declaring a Personal and Predudicial interest when paying in Public money from Members Small Scheme Allowances to a business that they had family interests in.

30th January 2010

Following a public exhibition held earlier this month, mini roundabouts will now be built along Henllys Way at junctions with Blenheim Road and Fairwater Way.

The aim of the scheme, which is also being funded by the Assembly, is to improve road safety in the area where there has been eight accidents resulting in injury since 2006.

Executive Member for Operational Services, Cllr John Cunningham said: “Comments about the scheme have been mainly positive.

“We feel this is the best way of improving local road safety.”

I would like to thank those residents who took the time to visit the exhibition and support the proposals.  Work is expected to start in early February.  After the initial distruption of the necessary roadworks we hope to see an improvements in the road safety with reduced speed on Henllys Way. 

 

11th January 2010

Henllys Way Traffic Calming Scheme

After a number of accidents on Henllys Way.  Torfaen County Borough Council have succeeded in acheiving Welsh Assembly Government funding for a proposed road safety scheme.  A Public exhibition is planned for 18th January 2010 the exhibition will take place in the Foyer of the Powerstation, Blenheim Road, St Dials between 2.00pm and 8.00pm.

This will give people the opportunity to attend throughout the day and early evening to view the proposals and give their comments on the scheme.

 

11th January 2010

Fairwater High School

Fairwater High School has stated they are hoping to be open for all pupils on Tuesday 12th January after what has been a very difficult week.  The school have catered for pupils sitting exams by clearing areas and staffing with examination invigilators. 

The site itself is a very difficult site unlike other school sites, it has outside steps to most areas and the special ramp for people with disabilities turned into Fairwater High's own ski slope.

Staff from the Leisure Centre have been working alongside school staff in clearing the snow, trying to make the site as safe as possible.  Hopefully we have experienced the worst of the bad weather and can get things back to normal as soon as possible.

5th January 2010

FLY TIPPING

I was appalled to see the mess left by some residents at the clothing, can and glass recycling site at the Fairwater Shops Car Park.  Residents should be aware that these facilities are placed within the Ward for the benefit of local residents and are for recycling only.  It is not for general waste and any contact details found within the dumped items will be used in prosecution for fly tipping.

Please use these facilities for recycling or we may lose it, Fly Tipping is an offense and prosecutions may result.

28th December 2009

HAPPY NEW YEW

We hope you have had a good Christmas and that Santa was good to you all.  There is a couple of days rest now before we go into the New Year. We would like to wish you all a HAPPY, HEALTHY and PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.  Take care, see below for details of the Cab Safe Scheme.

 7th December 2009

Children's Carol Service and Tree Lighting

The Methodist Church Fairhill welcomes all to a service at 4pm on Sunday 13th December 2009. The Lights will be switched on with the help of a countdown by the children in the company of his Worship The Mayor of Torfaen Cllr Robert Jones.

You are also invited to attend the service on Sunday 20th December at 10.55am for Carols and Celebration.

Christmas Eve Carol Service at 6.30 pm with coffee and mince pies to follow.

Christmas Day service at 10 am.

New Year's Eve Service at 11.30pm

HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

 26th November 2009

Stay safe with Cab Safe

Enjoy a safer night out over Christmas and New Year by using the Cab Safe scheme.

Cab Safe allows people to text a simple number - 83222 - to receive contact numbers for the three nearest licensed taxi and private car hire companies in their area.

This scheme is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. By providing contact details for licensed safe reliable transport, people avoid unlicensed vehicles that ply for hire illegally and could potentially be unsafe.

"This is a fantastic initiative that helps people travel safely - store 83222 in your mobile phone today and enjoy a hassle-free journey home this Christmas."

Run in conjunction with Gwent Police, the scheme works by locating the sender via their mobile phone signal and replying automatically from a list of local licensed.

Partnership Inspector Marc Budden from Torfaen Local Policing Unit said

"Torfaen is a very safe place to live, but we want you to feel safe too. Cab Safe is an excellent initiative, giving people peace of mind and a reassuring feeling of safety on a night out."

Text cost 50p, plus standard network charge.

12/11/2009

 

SOUTH WALES FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE

 

BONFIRE/REFUSE TYPE INCIDENTS IN CWMBRAN

 

TOTAL INCIDENTS      30/10/2009  - 05/11/2009    15

AVERAGE 2005/09                                              17

INCIDENTS ON 05/11/2009                                  59 (3 after 6pm)

AVERAGE 2005/09                                                7

 

 

·        There was an anti social behaviour incident in Thornhill on 30/10/09 when youths interfered with fire service work and verbally abused crews. The incident was reported to the Police who are dealing with it and are making some progress.

 

·        On the evening of 5th November 2009 the Fire Service assisted a Police operation with the aim of reducing anti-social behaviour.

A PCSO was placed on Cwmbran Fire Station from 18.00hrs – 00.00 hrs to provide a direct link to Police activities, and also respond with fire crews to any bonfire type incidents with potential for anti-social behaviour.

The low number of incidents suggests this was a success.  South Wales Fire & Rescue Service website can be found on  Useful Contacts  page.

 

 

 

6th November 2009
Work to Start on New Cemetery
Work is due to start on a new £1.7 million cemetery in Torfaen next week.

Development of the site at Hollybush Heights, Cwmbran, is scheduled to begin on Monday with the aim of opening it in 2010/11.

A Torfaen Council application for the cemetery was rubber stamped at a planning meeting last month.

Plans for the site were drawn up because there is only three years capacity left in the Council's current cemetery, Panteg in New Inn.

Green burials and more conventional ceremonies will be offered at the Council-owned site.

The cemetery will also include woodland and meadow areas, See Torfaen Council Website at: Useful Contacts

6th November 2009

Off Road Motorcycles

Do you have issues with off road motorcycles?  If so and you have any information contact me in confidence
Have your voice heard in the Fairwater PACT Meeting see below for details.

November 9th 2009 Henllys Church in Wales School 18.30 hours.

29th October 2009
 
Britain's Best Dish
 
Congratulations to Former Councillor for Fairwater and Past Mayor of Torfaen our very own Bill King who competed on Monday to go through to today.
Bill a keen cook beat off all the other competitors in the South West Region earlier in September when he competed in the heats of Britain's Best Dish becoming one of two National competitors in the Starter's section going through from Monday's semi-final.
His dish of Welsh Smoked Trout and Salami Risotto with Delicately Poached Quails Eggs was a favourite with the judges throughout the competition.   The standard of cooking is first class.
Well done Chef Bill.
  
28 October 2009
 

HALLOWEEN & FIREWORKS SEASON

 Staying Safe in Torfaen
 

Introduction

 

In the run up to Halloween and 5th November, residents can become concerned about anti-social behaviour, personal injury and damage to property. This leaflet is intended as a brief guide to who is responsible locally for enforcement of this area of the law in Torfaen County Borough and for providing further information and advice.

 

Who Does What?

 

Torfaen County Borough Council will be working with Heddlu Gwent Police and South Wales Fire & Rescue Service to ensure the season passes as safely and trouble-free as possible. The table overleaf sets out in detail the main areas of responsibility. To summarise:-

 

Heddlu Gwent Police - deal with antisocial behaviour relating to Halloween and work with retailers to reduce the sale of flour and eggs to youngsters at this time of year.  The force responds to complaints about firework misuse in public as well as illegal possession and anti-social times of discharge, and through its work with youngsters seeks to prevent problems continuing in the future.  Useful Contacts

 

Torfaen County Borough Council - registers all trade premises in the area where fireworks are to be stored, ensuring they are fit for the purpose. The authority seeks out illegal storage and ensures the supply of fireworks is restricted to permitted times of the year and to those old enough to buy. Useful Contacts

 

Public health is safeguarded by dealing with cases of statutory nuisance caused by noise and concerns over the siting / content of bonfires. Guidance is provided to pubs, clubs and voluntary organisations in the planning and preparation of public fireworks displays.

 

South Wales Fire and Rescue Servicedeal with the problems associated with antisocial building and use of bonfires and of course issues arising from lit bonfires. Useful Contacts

 

 *In case of an emergency dial 999

 

 

Organisation

 

 

Contact

 

Telephone

 

 

Torfaen County Borough Council

 

 

 

Main Switchboard 

 

 

 

 

01495 762200

 

 

 

 

 

TCBC Trading Standards

 

 

01633 647623

 

 

 

 

 

 

01633 647624

 

 

 

 

 

TCBC Environmental Health

 

 

01633 647621

 

 

 

 

 

 

01633 647622

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heddlu Gwent Police

 

 

Main Switchboard

 

    01633 838111 or 

101 ( non emergency)

 

 

 

 

 

South Wales Fire & Rescue Service

 

 

Community Fire Safety

 

01443 232459

 

 

 

 

 

01443 232458

 

 

 

 


Area of Concern

 

 

 

 

Responsibility

 

Antisocial behaviour at Halloween /

Initiatives to control the sale of eggs and flour to youngsters

 

 

Police

 

 

Throwing a firework in a public place*

 

 

Police

 

 

Letting off a firework in the street

 

 

Police

 

 

Possession of a Category 4 (professional) firework

 

 

Police

 

 

Fireworks causing Injury/ Danger/ Annoyance on the highway*

 

 

Police

 

 

Use of fireworks after 11pm at night, or:-

 

·         On 5th November, after midnight

·         On 1st January after 1.00 am

·         On the day of Chinese New Year, after 1.00am

·         On the day following Diwali, after 1.00 am

 

 

Police

 

 

Possession of firework in a public place by person under 18

 

 

Police

 

 

Sales of fireworks from private houses

 

Trading Standards / Police

 

Hawking of fireworks e.g., sales in pubs, from vans etc

 

Trading Standards / Police

 

Safety of fireworks storage at retail premises

 

 

Trading Standards

 

Keeping of fireworks in unregistered premises

 

 

Trading Standards

 

Sale of fireworks to under 18’s

 

 

Trading Standards

 

Sale of professional (Cat 4) fireworks to members of public

 

 

Trading Standards

 

Sale of banned fireworks e.g., mini rockets, air bombs etc

 

 

Trading Standards

 

Sale of fireworks other than at permitted times of the year,

(only lawful if an all year licence to supply is held by the retailer)

 

 

Trading Standards

 

Bonfire nuisance (unlit) – e.g. in close proximity to homes / cars; concern over content of bonfire, e.g., foam, tyres, gas canisters

 

 

Environmental Health

 

Bonfire nuisance / danger (lit)*

 

 

Fire Service

 

Fireworks noise from premises causing statutory nuisance

 

 

Environmental Health

 

Health and Safety Guidance – firework displays in pubs, clubs etc

 

 

Environmental Health

 


23 October 2009

Fight to save fish at Boating Lake

Torfaen Council officers and the local community scrambled to save the lives of fish at Cwmbran Boating Lake after more than 100 were discovered dead this morning.  

Using nets, officers and residents transferred some of the surviving fish to a nearby pond and removed dead ones. 

Water was then sprayed onto the lake in a bid to oxygenate the water. 

The Environment Agency was called out and is now investigating the cause. 

The lake has been cordoned off while tests are carried out and will remain closed until oxygen levels have returned to normal. 

Christina Harrhy, the Council's Head of Technical Services and Performance, said: "A Council officer discovered the dead fish first thing this morning and then there was a desperate scramble to save as many as possible.

"It was distressing to see the fish struggling but we are hoping the problem can be resolved quickly.

"I would like to thank the band of officers and local residents for doing everything they could to help.

"We are now working closely with the Environment Agency to determine the cause so we can resolve the problem and stop any further suffering."  

Fisherman Gareth Swithin, 43, of Coed Lee, Cwmbran, was one of the volunteers. 

"I was shocked to see the dead fish while out walking my dog and I just wanted to do something to help," he said.  

"I've been fishing for eight years - it's distressing to see the fish struggling."

Tests results revealing the cause are expected in a few days.  

Fish including Bream, Carp and Roach can be found in the lake.


  
Swine Flu

The UK is now at the treatment phase where cases of H1N1 Swine Flu are being diagnosed based on symptoms – GPs are no longer being asked to swab people they suspect may have swine flu. Symptoms of Swine Flu are similar to those of seasonal flu, usually a feverish illness accompanied by one or more of a cough, sore throat, headache or muscle aches. 

If you have flu-like symptoms, stay at home, phone your GP or NHS Direct Wales| and you will be assessed and receive treatment if necessary. Do not go into your GP surgery or Accident and Emergency department unless you are advised to do so or are seriously ill, as you may spread the illness to others. 

People should not go to Accident and Emergency Departments or to their GP surgery without ringing first, as this may risk spreading the infection. It also places undue pressure on the emergency services. 

The Welsh Assembly Government has now produced a swine flu community update |which helps community groups understand the likely impact of swine flu on individuals and their wider communities. It also provides advice to people on how they can look after themselves during the outbreak.

See link to Torfaen Council Website on Useful Contacts 

Pact Meeting 
The Partnership and Communities together is partnership meetings between the Police, Council Community Safety Officers, Bronafon Housing and local Councillors, held throughout Torfaen in individual wards.  It is your opportunity to share your concerns.  In Fairwater we hold the meetings at a number of venues and the next meeting is due on November 9th 18.30 hours at The Henllys Church in Wales school.  Why not come along and have your say.  You can keep updated on future PACT meetings by logging on to the Gwent Police on the useful contacts liink at the bottom of page. 
The proirities for Fairwater are:-
                                                        1.    Anti-Social Behaviour Fairwater Shops
                                                        2.    Anti-Social Behaviour Neerings
                                                        3.    Litter Fairwater Shops/school
 
See Police website on Useful Contacts
 
 
Ty Canol Court

 

Ty Canol Court has just celebrated 21 years in the Fairwater Community.  Happy Birthday My wife and I along with the Mayor and Mayoress  were delighted to attend the celebrations.  We would like to congratulate residents and Pauline Furley the home manager of the home for 21 years.

  

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