I am glad Monmouthshire County Council is rethinking its controversial planned closure of the Wye Bridge. A proposal of this scale should not go ahead without allowing vehicular access for the local community.
Interestingly, it would appear resurfacing work has been postponed because of a “non-compliant tender” – although I am sure people power played a part and forced senior councillors to take note of the strength of feeling in Monmouth and Wyesham. Far better communication is required moving forward to ensure concerns are listened to and disruption to daily life is kept to an absolute minimum when work does eventually take place. I would expect the council to stick to its word and offer reassurance to residents and businesses on both side of the bridge that their needs will be respected and considered.
One of the many privileges of being Secretary of State for Wales is meeting people across the country and last week was no exception when I had the honour of spending time with 99-year-old veteran Dennis Stevens.
He told me how he landed in Normandy on D-Day at Gold Beach and saw a lot of his fellow serviceman get shot. He then fought this way through Europe, before helping to liberate the notorious Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp. Dennis recounted how he remembered bodies being piled high and is still haunted by the stench of death. Our brave veterans of WWII are now very elderly and unfortunately won’t be with us for much longer. I would encourage anyone who has a chance to listen to their stories to retell them, so their sacrifice is never forgotten.
A busy weekend in Monmouthshire took me to Caerwent on Saturday for the annual village show. Or is it a large fete? This was the question put by master of ceremonies and well-known local actor Terry Victor. Either way, it was a great afternoon with plenty of homemade cakes, line dancing and a Viking display.
The sun shone and there was a fantastic community spirit. A lot of money was raised for charity and I hope even more people will visit next year. On Sunday, the 56th annual Monmouth Raft Race was held on the River Wye.
While numbers are recovering, they are not quite back up to pre-Covid levels. But it was still a fantastic event organised by the Rotary Club of Monmouth and everyone had a good time. Even the weather got the memo!