top of page

News 2024

  • Facebook Social Icon
Here you’ll find all the latest news and information from Caerleon  Civic Society.

June 2024

The Civic Society held its May meeting on Monday the 13th. Items of business included the further discussion of the Society’s objectives. The aim will be to make our aims more readily understandable to everybody – members, potential members and the wider community – and hopefully help the Society to attract more interest and more members through its local publicity and activities.

Members also discussed the initiative ‘Roman Caerleon – Working in Partnership’, mentioned in last month’s Community Times, and were eager to begin the task of identifying the many problems, large and small, that should be addressed in the future as part of this project. By the time that you read this article, it is hoped that a range of local individuals and groups will have expressed an interest in becoming volunteer ‘Community Advocates’ as part of the management of the project. Details can be found on the Cadw website and social media.

 

Suggestions for future speakers were made by members. It is hoped that we will have guest speakers at our meetings at least 4 times a year.

 

Also since the May meeting the City Council has opened a consultation on an Air Quality Action Plan for the whole City. The previous Plan was published in 2008 and an update is long overdue. The Plan is particularly important for Caerleon as the central part of our community is an Air Quality Management Area with levels of air pollution, from road traffic, amongst the highest in the city. The Plan puts forward 4 themes which it is hoped will address this complex issue through to 2028. Some of the suggested actions are particularly relevant to Caerleon. For example – reducing emissions from Heavy Goods Vehicles which travel through Caerleon’s one-way system; making sure that any new development makes a positive contribution towards easing the pollution that it causes; making sure that all opportunities are grasped for increasing education and awareness about the problem; and promoting active travel across all sections of the community. Read more about this important Plan on the City council website under ‘open consultations’ and complete the survey to express your own views.

Chris Thomas

Chair, Caerleon Civic Society

May 2024

CADW look for Caerleon Community Advocates.

The Governance Board (of the Partnership) held its first meeting on

April 24th 2024 and this focussed on governance matters (chairing, terms of reference for the Board and the Steering Group, etc). The Board's decisions including the recruitment of four members of the Caerleon community, two to join the Governance Board in an advisory capacity and two to join the Steering Group, to help ensure local views are well represented as projects or activities begin to be scoped, planned and delivered.

 

We (CADW) are now calling for expressions of interest from people aged 18+ who live and/or work in Caerleon to take up these roles as 'Caerleon Community Advocates'. Although this is a voluntary role, expenses will be paid. Role descriptions and further information are available on Cadw's website Caerllion Rufeinig| Roman Caerleon - Working in Partnership Needs You | Cadw (gov.wales) and will also go up on our social media channels.

 

The deadline for expressions of interest is May 31st 2024 and the

Governance Board will hopefully be making the appointments in June 2024".

amphit.jpg

 

The March meeting and Annual General Meeting of Caerleon Civic Society was held the 11th. All the Society’s officials were re-elected and the list is available on our website.

 

Unfortunately our guest speakers, from the Acorn Property Group, had to cancel at the last moment due to business commitments. You can read about the work of the Group on their website http://www.acornpropertygroup.org  .

 

It is hoped that we will have another opportunity to hear about their work in converting the college building into flats. Meanwhile perhaps we could all think of the most appropriate way of acknowledging the former use of this iconic building as a teacher training college and later part of the University. A ‘blue plaque’? A permanent interpretation board describing the history of the building? Commemorative tree planting?

 

The March meeting also discussed the Society’s aims. It was decided to review the aims and work has started on this to produce a simpler form of words which could be more attractive and understandable for future potential members.

 

You may have seen in the local media that three important organisations have agreed to work together to ‘promote and protect Caerleon’s Roman history’. Newport City Council, Amgueddfa Cymru (which runs the National Roman Legion Museum) and CADW (which manages the Roman Fortress Baths, Amphitheatre and Barracks) will be leading the new partnership. Cllr Jane Mudd, Leader of the City Council, said that ‘we recognise that residents and other stakeholders need to be part of the process as we seek to help more people discover the area’s treasured history.’

 

The Civic Society is extremely pleased that this new partnership has been established and believes that this is an important milestone in the development of a successful and sustainable future for our community. The opportunity is now there for the Civic Society and all the other organisations in Caerleon, including individual residents, to be vocal, express their views and get involved in planning the future. The Society looks forward to more details about how the new partnership is going to work.

 

Chris Thomas

Chair, Caerleon Civic Society

April 2024

acorn.jpg

March 2024

The Society’s February meeting was held on Monday the 12th.

Amongst a number of current issues that were discussed, members considered the arrangements to be made for the Society’s Annual General Meeting on Monday, March 11th at the White Hart barn at 7.00pm.

Prior to the AGM there will be a discussion about the work that has started at the old College building, which has planning permission for conversion into 42 flats. The firm undertaking the work is the Acorn Property Group and its Managing Director and Senior Project Officer will be with us to provide up-to-date information and to contribute to the discussion.

 

Members also indicated that the opportunity should be taken at the AGM to review the Society’s stated aims – both for the benefit of new or intending members, and existing members. The Society’s aims date from its inception in 1973. They were apparently developed in support of an application for Charity status, although the society is not currently registered as a Charity.

The Objects of the Society, which are published on our website as part of our Constitution, are as follows :-

 

The Society is established for the public benefit for the following purposes in the area of the Caerleon ward of Newport City Council (or arising in areas outside Caerleon which, in the view of the Society, affects Caerleon)

  1. To stimulate public interest in the area of benefit

  2. To promote high standards of planning and architecture in the area of benefit

  3. To secure the provision, preservation, protection, development and improvement of features of historic or public interest and community facilities in the area of benefit.

 

It may be considered that, after 50 years, the wording, and intention, of our Objects are due for an overhaul. Are they too ‘legal’ in tone? Should the Objects be more understandable to everybody? Should the Objects be wider, or narrower, in scope in order to be relevant for the future period? Should our whole Constitution be reviewed?

There is certainly much here to consider and discuss. That process can be started at our March meeting.

 

If you are interested in joining the Caerleon Civic Society, and contributing to its work, please come along to the AGM on March 11th.

 

Chris Thomas, Chair, Caerleon Civic Society

logo.jpg

February 2024
 

The Society’s January meeting was held on Monday the 8th. A good discussion about current issues took place – with a few new faces. Always welcome.

Members were saddened to hear the news that a former Chair of the Society, Liz Luck, had recently passed away.

 

By the time that you read this article the group campaigning for a new railway station for Caerleon will have held its inaugural meeting and begun to make decisions about its next steps. The Civic Society wishes the new group well.

 

Some time was spent at the meeting considering Newport’s Replacement Local Development Plan and its possible implications for Caerleon. Although our comments on the Council’s Preferred Strategy have now been submitted, and we will await the Final Strategy due to be published for further consultation later this year, there are a number of issues that are worthy of closer examination. The Plan includes a number of ‘candidate sites’. The Council states that these sites are not being allocated in the Plan but are ‘simply a record of land submitted to the Council’. However if any of these sites are brought forward for development over the next 15 years then the Civic Society will need to have done some prior work to refine its views.

For example, one of the candidate sites is called ‘land north of Caerleon’. It is a 321 acre largely greenfield site beyond Lodge Hill in the area of Park Farm. A new development of up to 2000 houses is being proposed by the Church Commissioners of England. This same site was considered in the late 2000’s. The Civic Society currently considers that this site should not be developed at all and should be protected by a Green Belt designation. The Civic Society will want to have a good look at this rarely visited area – although it is crossed by public rights of way – and will arrange a walk later in the Spring.

Another candidate site which has also been considered in previous plans is the wider 34 acre site of St. Cadoc’s Hospital – including an established wood, operational hospital buildings (with a handsome façade) and a separate chapel. What should be developed here and should any of the site be protected from development? The Civic Society appreciates that another housing estate could be an option, from the developer’s point-of-view, but currently considers that ways should be found to maximise the community benefits to be gained from its development – the site for a new station?; links to the nearby cyclepath and opportunities to promote other forms of active travel?; re-using parts of the existing buildings, like the chapel, for other uses? There is a lot here to discuss further. What does the wider community of Caerleon want to happen here? We are usually clear about what we don’t want, but what do we want to see and are we prepared to campaign for it?

The Civic Society’s February meeting is due to be held on Monday, February 12th at 7.00pm in the Barn at the rear of the White Hart, High Street. Hope to see you there?

 

Chris Thomas, Chair, Caerleon Civic Society

Untitled.jpg

January 2024
 

The Civic Society held its latest monthly meeting on Monday, December 11th. Our meeting venue, in the barn next to the beer garden at the rear of the White Hart on High Street, is proving to be a suitable and comfortable place to meet, even on these cold winter evenings.

With the support of the Civic Society, a small but enthusiastic and energetic group of members has set-up a campaign for a new railway station in Caerleon. This is an exciting, but nevertheless long-term, project for the Civic Society to be associated with and members were very interested to hear about the initial progress being made. In order to get an impression of community support for a new station, a public meeting had been held at the Town Hall on November 25th. This meeting was attended by over 100 people and there was an overwhelming expression of support for a campaign to be developed.

 

Dozens of people signed up to be kept in touch with progress and many indicated their interest in volunteering their skills and expertise towards furthering the work of the group.

 

Please let me know at chris.thomas0@tinyworld.co.uk if you would like to be added to the list of supporters, and volunteers. The group will be publicising its own contact details soon.

The new group also had a stall at the successful Caerleon Festival Christmas Market on December 9th. The response from visitors to the Market was very positive with many people saying how pleased they were that a campaign was being started.

On a wider front, the Civic Society has recently responded to consultations by the City Council about the City’s Development Plan for the period up to 2036, and by Transport for Wales on the planned improvement of train services in the Newport area. The Society views improvements to public transport as a key part of a sustainable future for Caerleon, and sees such improvements as absolutely necessary in order to accommodate the inevitable growth of the whole area.

 

All best wishes for 2024 from the Caerleon Civic Society.

Chris Thomas, Chair.

Caerleon meeting.jpg.article-642.jpg
bottom of page