In a bid to use less single-use plastic bottles, four water fountains will be installed over the next 18 months around Monmouth.
The first of these will be officially ’launched’ on Saturday, 24th at the Blestium Street toilets between 12 and 1pm with the Monmouth Band providing what should be some pleasant water music to celebrate the first public water fountain.
The Monmouth Water Fountains project, run by Rotary Monmouth Community Champions in collaboration with Plastic Free Monmouth, Monmouth Town Council, the Off Street Project and others, is looking to install a drinking water fountain in four locations around town, urging people to ’don’t buy it, refill it’ with a view to providing drinking water ’on tap’ for anyone to use.
Although the installation at the ’Green Wall’ on Blestium Street has been paid for by the community champions, it will be handed over to Monmouth Town Council.
There was a lot of discussion at the meeting on how the council would find the £4 per day - two cleans a day at £2 - to keep the fountain in working order, but they agreed to pay £1,500 towards the cost of the upkeep of the Green Wall fountain maintenance and cleaning.
It was leaked at the meeting that the fountains would be taken away between the months of December and March as the fittings are not frost-free as used by Monmouthshire County Council.
The second of the four fountains proved to be more difficult to adopt as it was the Victorian Diamond Jubilee fountain in St Thomas’ Square.
Currently it lies within the curtilage of St Thomas’ Church, a Grade I-listed building.
The church was happy to see Monmouth Town Council take it over on a long term lease for a peppercorn rent. But Councillor Mat Feakins was a little hesitant in taking on the project whilst it was within an ecclesiastical setting and one which would require listed building consent if there was an element of work involved. "There are many downsides to this" he said.
Cllr Richard Roden suggested they should defer the decision "It’s a fantastic facility, I would like to see it working and there may be access to a lot of other grants but I think we should find out a little bit more about the costs involved in the long term," he added.
The others will be installed at Monmouth Skatepark by March 2020 and the fourth at Chippenham Park, late 2020.