Happy birthday … and more good news!

Dear Transitioners

As I write, it was 15 years to the day when Simon Brown declared that during his year as Chair of Monmouth Partnership Forum he would be ‘setting up something green’.  Little did we envisage the amazing community group that Transition Monmouth has become.  Thank you all for your devotion and hard work in making this happen!

And the latest bit of good news is that we have received funding to develop the new Peter Morgan Community Orchard on a strip of land along the Redbrook Road – whooppee!  The land was donated to us for this purpose but we had to find the funding for all the legal formalities, clearing the site, purchasing appropriate trees etc.  It is full steam ahead now, and we are very happy!  Please let us know if you would like to be involved in this marvellous new project – there will be plenty to do and many hands make light work.

At our last meeting, Mark Hand provided us with an enormous amount of information on the current status of the Local Development Plan and other planning issues.  We are very grateful for this – thank you, Mark!  We await developments with eagerness, and optimism!  If you missed the meeting you might like to watch the recording on https://www.dropbox.com/s/vc3cljy3sjdtdey/TM%20Meeting%20Sept22.mp4?dl=0&fbclid=IwAR1GQ-nuXTR3ZrVkv7wXgGdX36ukF7wYV5AYna-FQoTeejV-tisFN3O4L3M  

Since then we have had a very successful apple pressing event but there’s another one – 10.30 to 1.30pm on Sunday 9 October at the Rockfield Park Community Centre.  Bring your apples or pears, some clean containers, see how it’s done, and go away with your very own freshly pressed juice.  If you need some apples please contact mail@transitionmonmouth.org and we will tell you where there is fruit for picking.

You are encouraged to attend a Cost of Living Summit, 6.30 to 8pm on Monday 10 October at Bridges Community Centre.  Part of Monmouthshire’s Community Action Network, and hosted by GAVO, Monmouthshire Housing, and the MCC Communities Team, this is part of a county effort to ensure that, as a community, we provide the best possible support for each other in these increasingly difficult and dark times. 

Then on Tuesday 11 October, the Community Fridge is holding a celebratory Skittles Night for all the wonderful volunteers that put so much time and effort into this project, and who never meet other members of the team.  Well, there is much to celebrate – since launch just two years ago, over 50 tons of lovely food saved from landfill along with over 6,000 bunches of flowers for use and enjoyment by our community.

To catch up on all the latest and plan for the future, please come to the next Members’ Meeting, 7.30 on Tuesday 4 October.  The agenda plus notes of the September meeting are given below the signature line, and the Zoom link is:-

Topic: Transition Monmouth – October Meeting
Time: Oct 4, 2022 07:30 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 869 7935 4103
Passcode: 955344

We look forward to seeing you soon!

AGENDA:  Transition Monmouth Members’ Meeting

7.30 on Tuesday 4 October via Zoom

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 869 7935 4103
Passcode: 955344


Apologies for absence

Note taker

Notes of the last meeting (copied below) and matters arising

Cost of Living Summit


  • Community Fridge
  • Redbrook Road new orchard site
  • Other Green Spaces

Any other business

Date of next meeting

NOTES:  Transition Monmouth Members’ Meeting

6 September 2022 at 7.30 via Zoom

Present:  Bryan Miller, Mary Boase, Charles Boase, Vivien Mitchell, Charles Emes, Claudia Blair, Martin Sweeney, Alison Ellis, Sian Damon, Rebecca Cunningham, Mark Hand, Catrin Maby, Alison Ellis, Catherine Haynes, Haydn Cullen-Jones, Monmouth Town Council, Dick Cole, David Cummings, Emily Fairman, Laura McCartney

Apologies:  Kelly Jackson-Graham, Waltraud Englefield, Emma Bryn

Note taker:  Vivien Mitchell

Local Development Plan (LDP):  Update by Mark Hand

Submissions to the LDP by developers and the community have been completed;  it is to be emphasised that these are a ‘wish list’ and in no way represent the final contents.  A map including all of the submissions is available in the document for each main town.  The procedure now is:-

Factors affecting decisions:-

  • Water quality in the Usk and the Wye:  Much work is being undertaken jointly with various agencies – Welsh Water, NRW, the Environment Agency etc and also across county borders to include particularly Herefordshire and Powys
  • The amount of housing required for a (currently) declining population but one with a severe shortage of social housing
  • Because of the phosphate problem in the rivers, there is currently a moratorium on house building north of Bigsweir Bridge
  • Energy efficiency of housing with work being undertaken with Zero Homes, a preferable design to the Solcer House
  • Impact of the Climate Emergency on the LDP must ensure development and growth are in the right place particularly in regard to infrastructure and active travel and public transport

Sites for protection:  We thanked Mark Hand who has throughout been very supportive of our RECS project on Natural Flood Management and has been of great help in our submission of eight sites for protection. 

Under the Transforming Towns Welsh Government regeneration package, a bid has been submitted for ambitious projects in Monmouth to include refurbishment of Monnow Street, an active travel link with Kingswood Gate, a cycle/footbridge across the Wye.

Much information for us to absorb, much work being undertaken by the new County Councillors.  We look forward to developments, and thanked Mark for his time and care.

Updates from our meeting in July:-

Apple Pressing:  Sunday 18 September at St James’ Hall, Wyesham and on Sunday 9 October at the Rockfield Community Centre, both from 10.30 to 1.30 have been booked and volunteers arranged

Orchard Management Plan:  Bryan requested those interested in discussing the Plan written by Helena Ronicle to let him know and he will arrange a meeting

Skenfrith Flood Prevention Plan:  A report in the Beacon said that NRW is planning on building flood defences.  Charles Boase asked whether NFM (natural flood management) measure had been considered.  Action:  Catrin agreed to find out from Ian Chandler

Mandarin Stone boundary:  A large area of trees has been cut down to create a lorry park.  Action:  Charles Boase suggested a hedge round the park would make the area less unsightly and agreed to approach Mandarin Stone about how this could be expedited

Monmouth Town Council:  Bryan will make a presentation to the People and Places Committee on 10 October to bring the activities of Transition Monmouth to their attention

ACE Monmouth:  Meeting at 7pm on Tuesday 13 September at the Priory to finalise their Action Plan to present to the Town Council – all welcome!

Overmonnow Primary School:  Martin reported that the school is keen to undertake more growing projects and he undertook to obtain a Starter Pack from Keep Wales Tidy for them

Community Fridge:  Claudia reported that:-

  • they were holding a Skittles Night on 11 October as an opportunity for volunteers to get to meet each other
  • they were very pleased to get a visit from Mark Drakeford recently
  • funding needed to be applied for to cover the increased costs, particularly energy.  Martin explained about the procedure for applying to Monmouth Town Council

Redbrook Road orchard site:  The funding application was submitted at the end of July and we expect to hear the outcome very shortly

Date of next meeting:  Tuesday 4 October