This week, Nancy Lagdon will join the ranks of Montgomery’s retained firefighters as the first female to join the station, having successfully completed her initial training. Nancy, who lives in Montgomery and works at the Dragon Hotel in town, said, “I was thrilled to be accepted and the crew has been really supportive and welcoming. The fact they all love what they do is inspirational.” She added, “The training has been tough at times, but - as they tell you from the beginning - if it was easy, everyone would be a firefighter!” Montgomery fire station works with retained firefighters, and the team regularly attends call-outs to fires, road traffic accidents and other incidents - on average over 100 incidents a year - as well as providing fire safety checks for householders. Nancy told the Community News Team, “I am proud to be the first female firefighter in Monty, but let's get some more in! You get a chance to help your community and start a career that you can thrive in. I'm super excited to start my career in the service and can't wait for more women to get involved!”
After years of planning and consultation with local residents, Montgomery Town Hall is being extensively refurbished, bringing this Georgian building into the 21st century with modern facilities. Over a number of years, funds have been set aside by the Town Council and Montgomery Community Buildings and Preservation Trust in preparation for this work, but the plans finally coming to fruition means there will be a necessary uplift in the precept (the Town Council proportion of Council Tax) this year for residents which is above inflation. The increase for 2019-20 is equivalent to approximately £1.13 a month extra for the average household, though the figure will vary according to each property’s Council Tax band (for example, it will be around 94p a month for a band D property). The Montgomery Town Council budget, about 75% of which comes from the precept, also pays for the two children’s playgrounds in the town, grounds maintenance in and around the town, the part-time town clerk’s salary, amenity and recreation sites, tourist information and floral displays. It additionally covers repairs and maintenance to items such as defibrillators, benches and signage. Cllr Mike Mills explained “We know nobody wants to see an increase in their Council Tax, but we also know how much this building means to the community. This will mean we can make this iconic building, sitting at the heart of Montgomery, sustainable for the future.” He adds, “Montgomery Town Hall will be more accessible to users, and complying with best practice. It will be a facility that can be maximised for a range of social, economic and community uses in the future.” ===== Average household figure based on 603 households as quoted in Powys County Council’s Local Area Profile for Montgomery (which uses 2011 census data) Band D figure based on the 2019-20 council tax base (number of Band D equivalent properties) for the Montgomery Town Council area
Montgomery Town Council and the community will be working with Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust to survey species and look at the ecology and the environment to see if Whitegate Pool meets the criteria to be designated a Local Wildlife Site. MWT has trained a large number of Montgomeryshire volunteer surveyors over the last couple of years and will look to engage the community as widely as possible in this venture. The area is important to local people and is seen as offering a tranquil haven with its delightful wooden birds and animals and picnic table adding to the attraction. "We look forward to surveying the site in the summer and working with Montgomery Town Council for the benefit of the site, the wildlife that lives there and the local people." - MWT Considerable thanks are due to Jeny Heard who for some 12 years has organised regular local volunteer work groups at the Pool and advised on correct management to ensure a good environment for wildlife whilst keeping trees, hedgerows, invasive species and reed growth within bounds. Jeny has had many years working as a volunteer with MWT, and is currently a Warden at Roundton Reserve so she has brought an immense amount of knowledge and experience to benefit the site. She is also a bird recorder and will be regularly seen down at the somewhat larger lake on the Lymore Estate noting species and numbers. After many years Jeny is stepping back from an organising role but is sure to continue to take an active interest, particularly with MWT involvement. The site is owned by the Town Council who send a resounding vote of thanks to Jeny for all she has done both at the Pool and in engaging the community with the site. Photo: Jeny Heard at Whitegates Pool (Image credit: David Wilson)
"Already we are a month into 2019. The lights and decorations have been put away for another year. The community supported the Christmas Lights switch on and the Live Advent Calendar door openings – they all seem a long time ago now – how time flies! "None of these go ahead without the work of the people who give up their time to organise them, and I know that most of the clubs and societies in Town would be glad of more help and new members. Any sort of help you can give would be much appreciated. "The work on the new toilets and the Town Hall is progressing. The old asbestos has been removed and work will continue apace to get the refurbishment complete. Short-term disruption will mean long-term gain: please bear with us. "There are still a minority who are fly-tipping in the area, and also letting dogs foul footpaths and play areas (especially under the cover of darkness). If you see any fly-tipping or dog-fouling, please report it to Powys County Council using their online form; they will investigate as soon as possible. "Please be aware that if the bins at the recycling area are full, any rubbish left by the side of the bins will not be collected, and is classed as fly-tipping and could lead to prosecution. Either take it home and bring another day, or take it to Potters. Powys County Council are monitoring this. "From a Mayoral point of view, it has been a relatively quiet time. All councillors are volunteers who give up their time freely to help the community. They are not paid and are all trying their best for our Town. We are still two councillors short, so if you would like more information on becoming a councillor, please get in touch with any of the councillors or the Town Clerk." - Lionel Weaver, Mayor
Montgomery Town Council has launched its new website for the town at https://www.montgomery-wales.co.uk/ The site, aimed at both local people and visitors to the area, was designed and built by Adam Cusack of G17, with support from a small working group from Destination Montgomery. It brings together a host of information about Montgomery, from its history, architecture and beautiful countryside to things to do and places to stay and eat, as well as news articles and a great programme of events. It will also be a tool for the Town Council to use to share information and communicate with the community. Cllr Claire Weston commented, "I was very pleased to be involved with the project and I am proud of what has been achieved. The website will continue to evolve, and I encourage people to follow our progress as new developments and content arrive on the site." Cllr Mike Mills continued, "I'm thrilled to see the new website up and running thanks to all the hard work of Adam at G17 and the Destination Montgomery team. The new site will allow us to publicise events, facilities and businesses within the Montgomery community and it really is a magnificent asset to our Town." With versatile venues available to hire for a variety of uses and some great independent shops, take a look at the website and discover for yourself what Montgomery has to offer.