Published: 21 Jul 23

that a casual vacancy has arisen in the Office of Councillor for the Community Council. If by 9 August, 2023 (14 days excluding Dies Non, after the date of this notice) a request for an election to fill said vacancy is made in writing to the Returning Officer at the address below by TEN electors for the said Community/Town, or if warded said Community/Town ward, an election will be held to fill the said vacancy, otherwise the vacancy will be filled by co-option. Read More...

Monmouthshire’s Trading Standards

Published: 20 Jun 23

Press release by :– Monmouthshire’s Trading Standards case sees local man jailed for fraud The work of Trading Standards holds businesses, individuals and manufacturers accountable for the goods and services they offer. Martin Evans, aged 48, of Penperlleni, Monmouthshire was sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court to 45 months imprisonment for seven offences under the Fraud Act 2006; and 12 months imprisonment for one offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. The sentences are to run concurrently. He was taken into custody immediately and will serve half his sentence before being considered eligible for parole. The prosecution was brought by Monmouthshire County Council’s Trading Standards Department following a lengthy cross-border investigation involving multiple households with victims based in Monmouthshire, Caerphilly, Herefordshire and North Somerset. Evans traded under both his own name and the business name Ace Garden Spaces. He would engage in contracts for significant home improvements works including high quality garden rooms, new kitchens, roofing, and substantive home renovations. Significant deposits, of up to £10,000 were requested and whilst work would commence, attendance would quickly grind to a halt leaving victims with unfinished and poor-quality work they then needed to rectify and/or complete. In one instance a victim paid over £20,000 to Evans, when the work was assessed as part of the investigation it was valued as only being worth £1200, with some areas being of such poor quality it would need to be completely re-done. In another instance a skylight was secured with what appeared to be mastic sealant and consequently blew off in high winds smashing against another garden building, thankfully no one was injured. Multiple victims successfully sued Evans but were unable to recover any monies they’d paid him. Evans attributed the issues to health conditions which were acknowledged as part of the Trading Standards investigation, but whilst it was blamed for his non-attendance it did not prevent him generating further business and taking further deposits. Evans was sentenced last month following an earlier hearing in 2023 where he pled guilty to the eight offences. Evans has a previous conviction from 2017 following a prosecution by Herefordshire Trading Standards for eight offences under the Fraud Act 2006 when he received a sentence of two years imprisonment suspended for two years and 260 hours of unpaid work to be completed within 12 months. Sentencing Evans was Mr Recorder Hammond and below are a number of quotes from his sentencing remarks: “What lies behind it is a truly appalling story of greed, exploitation and human suffering.” “This was a case involving high culpability and high impact.” “Customers were abandoned and tried to encourage, cajole or beg you – you often claimed to be ill when working on a different customer’s job.” Monmouthshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Cllr. Sara Burch commented: “This was a complex case to investigate and the judge’s sentence highlights not only the incredibly serious nature of his crimes but also Evans’ selfish disregard for his victims. He has not just left their homes in a mess but seen them financially out of pocket. Not only did he take their money but they were then forced to employ other competent traders to finish the work he failed to complete. “This case underlines why the work of our Trading Standards team is so important to protect residents of Monmouthshire. I would like to thank our trading standards officers, for bringing this individual to justice. I hope that this case acts as a deterrent to any other builder who targets and defrauds residents in this way. The council will pursue you through the courts and ensure that you are prosecuted. “I’d urge anyone who is considering having work carried out on their property to do some detailed research first. Ensure the trader has a geographical address and provides paperwork, including a cancellation notice if the contract was formed away from the trader’s premises.” Trading Standards recommend that people take up references for contractors where able, ask for a detailed estimate, copies of the contractor’s public liability insurance, a written contract and for larger works employ a qualified surveyor or architect. For most people, their home is their largest investment and you should always ensure that works are carried out by qualified, reputable, insured contractors and checked by Building Control. If possible, pay for goods and services costing more than £100 and up to £30,000 on a credit card so you are covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 if things go wrong. Suspected rogue traders can be reported to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice by calling 0808 223 1133 or visiting Contact the consumer helpline - Citizens Advice ENDS Read More...

improve local paths and develop local routes.

Published: 20 Jun 23

A call for communities across Monmouthshire to submit their interest to improve local paths and develop local routes. Do you want to put walking at the heart of your community? Ramblers Cymru can help! Following on from the success of our pan Wales, Paths to Wellbeing project, we are looking to give communities across Monmouthshire the opportunity to develop the tools and training needed to identify and design new local walking routes and enhance and upgrade existing ones, all with support from Ramblers Cymru and Monmouthshire County Council. Read More...

Former Ford Garage application for the sale alcohol

Former Ford Garage application for the sale alcohol

Published: 6 Dec 22

Update: Most residents will be aware the owners of the former Ford Garage submitted an application for the sale of alcohol 24x7 Monmouthshire County Council Licensing Committee sat on Monday 5 December to consider the application. The Community Council made submissions. The Licencing Committee deliberated for some time but approved the application with conditions. The Supply of Alcohol/opening times to be permitted between the hours 06.00hrs-23.00hrs, Monday-Sunday. NOT 24x7 but the forecourt and shop will be open 24x7, with sales through a serving window between midnight and 6am. The delivery of goods to the premises will be restricted between the hours 09.00hrs-17.00hrs, Monday-Sunday. It was agreed the premises licence holder should engage with all Responsible Authorities (which include Planning Authority). The shop area and the forecourt will be open 24 hours allowing the sale of petrol and in time, it is expected to open as a mini supermarket. The Community Council will be making representations to the Planning Authority regarding the proposed opening for 24 hours and making several observations the licencing Committee would not accept in the meeting. Read More...