THERE should be no big events at an up and coming venue such as a recent concert by chart-toppers Little Mix unless there are guar-
antees that disruption to people living nearby will be kept to a minimum, a councillor has insisted.
Some 15,000 fans headed to Caldicot Castle for a recent concert by Little Mix but that meant road closures nearby which prevented residents getting to their cars and their homes.
It was the largest among several large-scale events at Caldicot Castle – which is owned by Monmouthshire County Council – this summer.
Caldicot town councillor Rachel Garrick said a survey carried out by her and fellow Labour Castle ward member Oliver Edwards found that three-quarters of residents living in the Church Road area – the main route for concert-goers – were unhappy about the arrangements.
She told a meeting of the town council: “At least 75 per cent of residents we spoke to felt they had been disrupted and were unhappy with the disruption.
“It was a short notice closure – they were not told until four or five days before that this was going to happen.
“I would ask that the town council request a full contingency plan from Monmouthshire County Council for future concerts of this size which guarantees disruption will be minimised
“If that cannot be produced then we should request the cessation because the county council clearly isn’t able to deal with them without disrupting residents.”
Cllr Maria Stephens said plans for the concert had been presented to the town council, including letters to be sent to residents, at least six months before.
Cllr Jim Higginson said: “That’s the largest ever event in this town. How many times have people sat in here and said there is nothing put on in this town?
“If you get an event like Little Mix – it’s a huge attraction, it sold 15,000 tickets and we are putting Caldicot on the map.
“The size of the event needed certain restrictions. We don’t want the cessation of events, we want Caldicot put on the map.
“A lot of planning went into that event but little issues will crop up.”
Cllr Garrick countered: “It’s not a little issue if you can’t get to your house.”
Town mayor Cllr Phil Stephens said restrictions were put in place following the atrocity at the Manchester Arena a few weeks before.
He said there were “deep divisions” between those who wanted large events in the town and residents who had to put up with disruption.
He added: “We have got to look after the residents but we have to look after the whole of Caldicot as well.
“It would be nice to have a contingency plan drawn up.”
The council is to invite officers of the county council to discuss what can be done to minimise future disruption.