Leader: Friday October 6. 1972


Villagers in the Cwmbran area are angered by the totalitarian attitude of the men who are deciding their future, a Monmouthshire county councillor said this week.

The wave of shock and frustration that hit Ty-Coch and Henllys after the publication of plans to extend Cwmbran to the south was unnecessary and avoidable claimed County Councillor Oliver James.
Cwmbran Development Corporation should accept some of the blame for failing to consult local opinion in advance.

Chief architect with the Deve-lopment Corporation, Mr Jim Russell, attended a meeting held on Friday by the Henllys villagers after they had read about the proposals in newspapers.

In Henllys, where villagers are already organising themselves to beat back possible urban development from their doorsteps, the Corporation might have won support for their scheme had they acted more democrat-ically,
" The people of the Eastern valley have never been told basically what the new born town is all about," Councillor James told the 'Leader '
The Development Corporation should have held local meetings where they could explain to the people concerned what was happening. Instead they are presented with what amounts to a fait accompli."
Many people at Henllys complained to the LEADER last week that the first they knew of the hosing estates that might come up to surround the village was when they read about it in the evening paper.
One lady in particular was so distressed by an incomplete account of the proposals that she lost sleep and spent two days in a state of extreme anxiety.
Councillor James

Said that the Corporation were in a position to avoid this type of local reaction.
"They have the knowhow, the manpower and the expertise in public relations to have handled the matter very differently. The county council send out officers to gauge reaction in advance, and this is what should have been done here.
"Where there is a disturbance of the normal pattern of life activity the people who are affected should be informed first of all.
"Before this goes any further I want to be quite satisfied that local representation are taken into account," he said.
A spokesman for Cwmbran Development Corporation said that county planning authority has specifically asked whether they could take over the job of consulting Magor and St Mellons Urban District Council which has responsibility for Henllys.
The Corporation were happy with this arrangement and saw no reason to duplicate with ant consultation of their own.

Cwmbran Council decided last week that they would not approve the proposals to extend the designated new town until they had been involved in full discussions with all interested authorities present.
This would involve the County Planning authority, the Development Corporation, the three councils who would make up the future Torfaen District Council and the Welsh Office.
"The last thing I want on this is just a straight dialogue between Cwmbran council and the Corporation," Councillor James told the council.
He went on to suggest that the target population figure of 55,000 people for Cwmbran was merely an excuse to perpetuate the life of the Corporation by another seven years.
In view of this amount of criticism, which the Development Corporation was coming in for, Councillor Brian Smith, recommended that the full council met in private to "decide what we feel about the Corporation."