Please use the link below to find the last published news letter


Launch of Public Health Outcomes Framework Consultation

Abergavenny Museum to host 10 week art history course

To Gilwern Hall users

We are a brand new community group with a facebook, twitter and wordpress account. We would like to invite you to attend our event by holding an advertising table on Saturday 13th May at Gilwern Community Centre and Library starting from 10 till 2. Please feel free to bring any advertising with you to put up in the hall.

The idea of the event is to get people in using the centre and create a proactive space for people to give ideas and get involved in their local community. We intend to have everyone who currently runs anything at the centre represented and additional community groups local to Gilwern.

We have grand plans of maybe a management group to support the center, a library friends group and even an umbrella group that would market all Gilwern events, but we can't do any of this without pulling the community together and finding out what they want from the space and their community.

Please let know us know if you are interested in attending and what you require.

Please message us here and we'll be happy to help boost your signal we would prefer PDF copies of posters and as much information as you can give us. If you could also encourage to check out our pages then we might be able to really promote everything that's going on in our little village.

Look forward to hearing from you

Helen Pickering

Gilwern Roots HQ



Monmouth’s Shire Hall Honours Team GB

The London Olympics may have finished on a high note but the legacy of the fantastic effort made at the games by British athletes will continue for years to come.


Finishing third on the medal table - with seven of the medals being won by Welsh athletes - Team GB gave the best UK performance in over 100 years. To honour this, and to prepare for the Paralympic Games, Monmouth's Shire Hall will fly the Union Flag every day until the Paralympics begin. It is then hoped to replace it with an appropriate flag for the Paralympics.


Shire Hall Manager Mike Booth said:


"We don't normally fly a flag every day, but the achievements of Team GB have led us to make an exception. We'll be proud to fly the Union Flag until the Paralympics begin."


Cllr Giles Howard, Monmouthshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Culture and Environment said:

"Like everyone else, I've been glued to the Olympic coverage over the past two weeks. It's a small gesture, but flying the flag over Shire Hall recognises our thanks to all those who took part, whether in competition or organisation; and who made us proud to be British."


Those who wish to relive the Olympic spirit whilst waiting for the Paralympics to start can watch again the Olympic flame entering Wales through Monmouth. The short documentary film called ' Monmouth Flame' made of the event can be seen on This film has been entered for an international Film Festival award later this year in Bristol.

Published by MCC


Grant Shapps: Councils should help older people live at home for longer


17 January 2012


Housing Minister Grant Shapps and Communities Minister Andrew Stunell today called on councils to use every opportunity under the New Deal for Older People to give elderly people more choice and control over where they live, so they are not pressured to sell their home or move into residential care.

Mr Shapps said councils should learn from the Government-backed FreeSpace project piloted by the London Borough of Redbridge, where elderly homeowners will be helped to downsize to rented accommodation that better suits their needs, but without requiring them to sell their home.

Under the scheme the council will arrange for elderly people to move into rented accommodation, and take responsibility for maintaining and letting their property at an affordable rate. Homeowners will benefit from the rental income from their home, which will be passed back into their estate at an agreed date.

Ministers have hailed the win-win project as a future model for councils across the country - helping the elderly keep their homes while living in more comfortable accommodation, and at the same time increasing the availability of affordable family homes.

Under the New Deal for Older People the Government is providing funding for home adaptations so older people can live in their own homes for longer, and backing innovative schemes that offer elderly people the assistance they need to live independently.

Mr Shapps also confirmed allocations of an additional £20 million for Disabled Facilities Grants - bringing the total to £200 million this year. The grants enable councils to fund adaptations to peoples' homes, helping people live independently and saving them from an unnecessary stay in hospital or going into residential care.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps said:

"For too long the housing needs of the elderly have been neglected. Older people who should be enjoying their homes have watched helplessly as their properties have become prisons, and many have been forced to sell their homes and move into residential care.

"With nearly a fifth of our population expected to be over 65 by 2020, radical and urgent change is needed to ensure the nation's housing needs are met. So I would urge all councils to look at the range of opportunities under our new deal for older people, which is backed with millions of pounds of Government cash, to ensure elderly people in their area get the help they deserve.

"Moving to more suitable accommodation can make a life-changing difference for some older people. The FreeSpace project in Redbridge shows what could be achieved - under this scheme older people will be able to live independently for longer and enjoy more disposable income without selling their home, and other families will benefit from living in an affordable home."

Communities Minister Andrew Stunell said:

"Too often older people struggling to live in their homes feel they have no option but to move into residential care. Giving older people more choice where they live is the right thing to do - but it also makes economic sense. Up to £26,000 can be saved each year for each person by offering an alternative to residential care.

"So I would urge all councils to help people move into suitable accommodation, or use the funding we have made available to make simple alterations so older people can stay in the home they love close to family and friends."

The Government has given £51 million towards handypersons services, and is extending support for Home Improvement Agencies who will provide help and advice to older and disabled people, housing associations and charities, including:

  • housing advice, including help to move to more suitable accommodation if needed
  • small home repairs, home safety and security adaptations
  • energy efficiency advice; and
  • arranging for adaptations and home repairs to be made, including grab rails, stair-lifts and major work such as ground floor extensions.

These agencies also offer hospital discharge services - ensuring older people leaving hospital care are given the support they need to be able to recuperate in the comfort of their own homes.

Ministers have made the call to councils on the day the University of Cambridge published a report praising the Government-funded service that offers expert advice to older people about how they can meet their changing housing needs.

The report said the FirstStop service is the type of resource that would become vital if the country is to withstand the emotional and financial challenges of a growing elderly population.

Notes to editors

  1. FirstStop, which is funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, is a free service offering information and advice to help older people make informed decisions about their housing, care and support options. A report today by FirstStop that analyses different options for meeting the housing needs of older people, including the FreeSpace scheme, can be found
  2. An evaluation report of the FirstStop service, published by the University of Cambridge, can be found here:

Statement by Minister


Environment Wales:

Supporting Sustainable Living Grants Scheme

The Supporting Sustainable Living grants scheme, which was launched recently is a newly commissioned grant scheme funded by the Welsh Government. This innovative new scheme will be delivered by Environment Wales, in collaboration with the initiatives’ new core partner Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales.

The scheme will support projects that will help reduce Wales’ greenhouse gas emissions – or build resilience to the impacts of climate change - through tackling specific behaviours or lifestyle choices. Through these pioneering projects, it is envisaged that citizens of Wales will be empowered to undertake changes to enable a more sustainable lifestyle.

The value of the scheme is £250,000 and will be made available to all sectors within Wales. It is expected that the majority of grant applications will range between £5,000 and £15,000. However in exceptional circumstances this figure can rise to up to £35,000.

Information about the new scheme will be made available through Environment Wales on 02920 431727 or will also be other opportunities later in the year to learn more about the scheme and how Environment Wales can assist with the development of your project.

If you would like to include anything in the next edition of ‘green news’ please contact Jessica McQuade at WCVA:



Solar panels for charities

Green energy company Freetricity has unveiled a £500m fund to install solar panels on the roofs of buildings, and is offering charities access to the first £100m.

The company has partnered with investor LightSource Renewables to offer 800 buildings grants of up to £150,000 to install and maintain solar panels. As well as reducing carbon emissions the company claims that solar panels can save organisations up to £6,000 per year. For more information,

Please visit the Civil Society magazine website


Gwent and South Wales Police

have launched a joint campaign,

to encourage people to stay safe this festive season.

Gwent Police and South Wales Police have launched a joint campaign today, to prevent crime and encourage people to stay safe this festive season.

They Don't Have a Nightmare This Christmas campaign comes with a festive twist, as a series of films and posters have been created to provide advice on the issues of theft of personal belongings, burglary, personal safety and alcohol related violence.

As part of the campaign, a dedicated website - – has been launched. Why not take a look at the crime prevention tips, and our short crime prevention films? We will be releasing a new short film every Monday throughout December.

Real Radio Wales will also be getting in the Christmas crime prevention spirit throughout December, with on-air and online activities, including four £50 shopping voucher giveaways for radio listeners who watch the films online and can prove they are safety savvy.

Information and top crime prevention tips will also be communicated via the Gwent Police and South Wales Police Twitter and Facebook pages.