Latest news & views


MonLife celebrates launch with multi activity school festival

On Friday 17th January MonLife celebrated its official launch with a Multi Activity School Festival at Monmouth Leisure Centre.

The festival saw 85 children attend from Osbaston, Kymin View and Trellech Primary. The children had chance to take part in a number of sessions that included boccia, learning, football, team building plus much more. The sessions showcased the diversity of MonLife and the fantastic services that we have to offer.

The strategic focus of MonLife is on physical and mental health and wellbeing, providing opportunities in learning and experiencing, achieving a more physically active lifestyle for all. Health and wellbeing are embedded in every service area of MonLife and this means that we are ready to play a part and support schools in the launch of the new curriculum.

Richard John, Cabinet Member for Education and Leisure, said “I was delighted to attend the official launch of MonLife, which brings under one umbrella our leisure and community services for the first time.

Our MonLife services are really important for the mental and physical wellbeing of all local residents and that’s why we’re investing and upgrading facilities, including our leisure centres. We want to ensure that as many residents as possible can take part, evidenced by our insport Silver Award for improving access for disabled people.

This launch embodies our commitment to protect locally accessible services for residents, including helping people lead more active and independent lives through our array of diverse services and facilities.

The whole day was of celebration of our services and enhanced the vision to enrich people’s lives and create vibrant places. I hope as many residents as possible will take up the opportunity to experience our wonderful facilities and services and see for themselves how MonLife can impact on the mind, body and soul of our community.”


Monlife awarded top accolade for supporting disabled people accessing sport

Monlife is celebrating being given a top award for helping people with disabilities accessing sport.

The service group managed by Monmouthshire County Council was awarded the insport Silver Standard at Full Council by Michelle Daltry Partnership Manager, Disability Sport Wales on Thursday 16th of January.

The insport Development programme aims to support and deliver inclusivity for disabled people through a toolkit developed by Disability Sport Wales, supporting the inclusive thinking, planning, development and delivery.  This means that MonLife Active staff can deliver across the spectrum to disabled and non-disabled people at whatever level they wish to participate or compete.

By achieving this standard opportunities are widened, participation will increase, disabled people become more active and engaged and we have a nation who are hooked on sport for life.  This will deliver a cultural change in attitude, approach and provision of physical activity and wider opportunities for disabled people.

Throughout the four standards; Ribbon, Bronze, Silver and Gold, each partner is supported by Disability Sport Wales to grow their expertise and understanding of disability sport. With the aim of Partners becoming progressively more independent and able to demonstrate improved delivery and support to disabled people.

Councillor Richard John, Cabinet Member for Education and Leisure said: “Achieving the Silver award demonstrates the commitment to inclusion from MonLife and Monmouthshire Council to increase sporting opportunities for disabled people and our ongoing commitment in  playing a significant role in building sustainable and resilient communities, reducing inequalities and supporting vulnerable people.  Cabinet fully supports the journey to the Gold Accreditation”.

Michelle Daltry, Partnership Manager at Disability Sport Wales said “Disability Sport Wales wish to congratulate MonLife on their achievement of the insport silver standard.  It is a real testament to the calibre of work they are currently doing and have committed to do in the future, and will ensure the ongoing development of inclusive sports to disabled communities in the Monmouthshire area.  Congratulations to all involved.”

As MonLife continues on its insport Development journey receiving the Silver standard is a real testament to all staff involved.  MonLife are committed that all service areas will illustrate the inclusive cultural change by going through the insport accreditation with core aims to include its partnership working with Education, Health and Social Services.


MonLife Active Plan To Reopen Leisure Centres

Following the Welsh Governments announcement on Friday 31st July, we are thrilled to announce all 4 MonLife Leisure Centres in Monmouthshire will begin to reopen on Monday the 10th August. We are working hard to mobilise our teams and open facilities and welcome our valued customers back.

Our staff are working tirelessly preparing your facilities, we want to make sure that you feel safe and comfortable. We will share these plans with you in the coming days so that you can see exactly what we have been doing and what to expect on your next visit.

 We look forward to seeing you very soon.

“We are delighted by the Welsh Government‘a announcement today giving our hardworking MonLife team the green light to begin reopening our leisure centre facilities from Monday 10th August.

“The lockdown has really taken its toll on people’s mental and physical health so the ability to take part in a wide range of leisure activities will be welcomed by many of our residents.

“I’d like to thank our leisure centre customers for their patience and support during this difficult time and we look forward to welcoming you back.”

Quote from Richard John, Monmouthshire elected member for Leisure and Education.

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) to #MakeYourComeback. Click the link to find out more.


Your new look Caldicot Leisure Centre

Your new look Caldicot Leisure Centre

Today MonLife launched their new website that allows you to take a look at the proposed multi-million pound re-development plans for Caldicot Leisure Centre.  This site gives you the opportunity to have your say via our online survey and also answer any questions you may have. 

The consultation will take place from the 10th June and we want to hear your feedback.  By completing the survey or signing up for our regular updates you will also be entered into a prize draw for a chance of winning a MonActive Annual Membership worth £335 or a Fitbit charge 4.

Here at MonLife we are committed to investing in projects which will benefit the health and wellbeing of our community, not only for now but also for our future generations.  Our Leisure Centres provide a vital hub to support physical and emotional wellbeing across all age demographics.  MonLife is excited to be focusing on the re development of Caldicot Leisure Centre and look forward to developing the project to provide state of the art facilities for our existing and future customers. 

The proposed new facilities will include:

  • Children’s Adventure Play
  • Extended Fitness Suite
  • Power Assisted Exercise Studio
  • Spin Studio
  • Fitness Changing
  • Studio / Community Room
  • Changing Village for the pool
  • Outdoor Changing Facilities
  • Café
  • New Reception Area
  • Viewing for the pool
  • New Skatepark
  • Additional Parking spaces
  • Light refurbishment to the pool

This development follows the successful completion of the project at Monmouth Leisure Centre, which was completed in 2019. Councillor Richard John, Cabinet member for MonLife  “We want the new Leisure Centre in Caldicot to be at the heart of the community and that’s why we’re proposing this multi-million pound investment in exciting new facilities. We now want to hear the views of as many people as possible before we make any final decisions about the new Leisure Centre. I’d urge everyone in Caldicot and surrounding communities to have their say.”

Richard John Cabinet member for MonLife and Monmouthshire Elected Members are committed to investing in and developing Leisure facilities across our county to support the health and wellbeing of our citizens.  The continued investment in to Leisure facilities will have a significant impact on wellbeing for not only now, but also for our future generations.

To have your say and to be in with a chance of winning please visit
www.monlifeleisuredevelopment.co.uk

Two winners will be drawn on Monday 3rd August 2020 and contacted via the email provided.


Monmouthshire’s Countryside Access Network Covid Information

Stay Active, Stay Safe

To help you and others have a safe and enjoyable visit to our countryside sites, or using public rights of way, please remember this guidance and follow these rules:-

  • Always observe social distancing;
  • Be vigilant with hand washing and hygiene;
  • Stay at home if you or anyone you live with has Coronavirus Symptoms;
  • Please be respectful of other people’s space and wait at a safe distance in places such bridges, kissing gates, or steps, until it is safe for you to continue on your walk;
  • Please do not leave litter and be a responsible dog owner following the Dog Walking Code
  • If our car parks are full or busy please come back another time and do not park on access roads or surrounding roads;
  • Please do not linger in car parks so that others can safely come and go.

Many footpaths and bridleways cross private land and in some cases working farms are close to private homes.  Please keep to the paths, follow the countryside code, keep your distance from landowners and continue to follow the restrictions and measures in place to protect you and others. 

Thank you for following these rules

By virtue of the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020 the following restricted byways are closed, from April 2020, until further notice:-

Restricted Byways 20 & 21 Monmouth

All of our countryside car parks and sites are now open

All closures are kept under weekly review and any amendments will appear here.

Closures on paths due to flooding, dangerous bridges etc. can be found here.

For information on where to walk, or to report issues, please use our Countryside Access Map information on locally promoted routes can be found on Visit Monmouthshire.


MonLife Venue Closures Update

Dear MonLife Customer

The decision has been made to close all 4 MonLife Leisure Centres from Friday 20th March at 10pm

This was not a decision that has been taken lightly, over the last few weeks staff have been working relentlessly to provide a safe environment for you and we would like to thank you for the support that you have shown them.

Our customers and staff as well as the community are our priority. Due to staff shortages, protecting health, and redistributing resources to support priority areas across Monmouthshire County Council, we have to close until further notice.

Memberships

We would like to reassure you that there will be no direct debit payment taken during the period that the Leisure Centres are closed and we will be automatically freezing your membership from tomorrow. You do not need to do anything we will arrange any alteration to your direct debit payment when we are back open to ensure you have not lost out during the time of closure.

Swimming Lessons

As with the memberships your swimming lesson membership will be automatically frozen. If you have a direct debit with us then we will not be taking any payments during the time that we are closed. As soon as we know when we will re-open we will let you know so that you can restart your swimming lessons at MonLife.

If you have any bookings with us then please bear with us as we will be in touch with you, however if your query is urgent then please call the relevant Leisure Centre

Your health and wellbeing is very important to us and we have been exploring opportunities for you to carry on with your wellbeing journey at home. We have created a MonLife YouTube channel click here where we will be regularly posting videos. As well as this click the following link and you can have free access to World Class Les Mills https://watch.lesmillsondemand.com/at-home-workouts

As a valued customer we would like to thank you for your continued support, we will be dealing with a high volume of calls please bear with us. For further updates please follow is on social media or visit www.MonLife.co.uk

We look forward to welcoming you all back soon


Coronavirus MonLife Customer Update 18/03/2020

Please be advised that as of tomorrow 19th March 2020 all Monmouthshire Museums will be temporarily closed. The grounds of Abergavenny Castle will remain open for you to use and enjoy but please follow the advice from Public Health Wales.

The Country Park only at Caldicot Castle and the Old Station Tintern walk will be accessible to public.

The Guided Walks programme has also been cancelled until further notice including the walk this Sunday 22nd March from Wern Y Cwm Forestry Car Park.

Also following Public Health Wales measures all NERS Programmes have been suspended, all customers that are currently part of this scheme have been notified.

The DofE Programme has also been cancelled until further notice.

Further updates will be given as and when we receive them. We would like to thank you for your support and apologise for any convenience caused but our priority is our customer and staff safety.


Coronavirus update for MonLife Leisure Centre customers

As most of you will be aware yesterday the UK Government announced a social distancing policy, however, they did not announce closure of public buildings.

All of our MonLife Leisure Centres are currently open and operating as normal. We are aware of how important it is to protect our customers and staff, therefore we have increased measures across our sites with enhanced cleaning procedures and we ask that all of our customers follow the advice and guidelines from Public Health Wales. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms then please stay at home and refrain from attending our facilities.

The current advice from UK Active is that being active is an important part of staying healthy and protecting against the risk of Coronavirus. Therefore until the UK Government tells us otherwise, we want to continue to play an important role in keeping our MonLife members fit and active.

We are obviously assessing this on an hour by hour basis and will take a lead from the UK Government as to next steps.

We want to thank you for your continued support and for adhering to the current guidance regarding social distancing and please continue to keep an eye on social media channels for the latest information.

If you are looking for further information then please visit https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/services/planning-for-emergencies/coronavirus/


Ash Dieback At Old Station Tintern

Old Station Tintern is currently undertaking some important work to help ensure we protect our special environment for our future generations to enjoy

What’s going on?

Much of our mixed woodland is made up of what is known as Fraxinus excelsio, or as we more commonly call them…..ash trees.

Recently we have noticed that a lot of our trees have succumbed to what is known as ash die back, an aggressive tree disease that is spreading quickly throughout Europe and the UK.

So what does ash die back look like and what is the problem with it?

Trees with ash die back are quite easy to spot. Some of the tell tale signs are a thinning out or dying-back of the branches at the top of the tree.

Once ash trees have reached this stage, unfortunately they cannot be saved, and as they deteriorate, there is a high likelihood that the tree will collapse.

This would be a huge risk to us as members of the public so we need to make sure we can keep our lovely site open by keeping it safe and enjoyable for all.

What are we doing about controlling ash die-back?

We are currently in the process of a removal and replanting programme. All the affected trees are in the process of being replaced by replanting two trees for every one that has died.

The new trees we are planting are of a mixed variety native to the UK which will positively benefit our local environment, help towards countering climate change and contribute to biodiversity in our local habitats.

By managing this problem we are not only preventing the spread of the disease to other areas, but we are also countering climate change and making our Old Station safe for everyone to enjoy now and in the future.

Ash dieback, also known as Chalara dieback of ash, is a fungal disease that affects all species of ash trees (Fraxinus). The disease has spread west across the country and is now affecting almost all parts of Wales.

The fungus (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) attaches itself to the leaves of ash trees and spreads through to the branches. Ash dieback is a Europe-wide problem and 90% of ash trees are expected to die from it.

Some rural councils in England think as many as 500,000 ash trees on their land have been affected by ash dieback. In Monnmouthshire, to manage the risk from trees infected by Ash Die Back we are starting a programme of ash tree inspection and felling to achieve this that will take a number of years to complete. But by acting now we’ll be able to protect people and property from a disease that can’t be ignored.

How are ash trees affected by the disease?

The disease affects ash trees by blocking the water transport systems, causing leaf loss, lesions in the wood and on the bark. This leads to the dieback of the crown of the tree.

Trees affected become brittle over time and branches can break away from the main body of the tree. Trees affected can also be prone to secondary infection increasing the likelihood of them falling. If they are not dealt with, trees are at risk of collapsing, presenting an immediate danger to the surrounding area.

How we are tackling ash dieback

There is no known cure or practical way to prevent the disease from spreading. It is estimated that around 90% of ash trees in the UK will be killed by ash dieback.

There are thousands of ash trees on public land and many more on private land throughout the country.

We will only be dealing with trees on Authority owned public land – parks, housing estates, schools, on roadsides etc.

Surveys are ongoing to identify ash trees that require urgent felling. The surveys will take many months to complete and then we will be regular re- until the disease has run its course.

Over the next few years, ash trees on public land will be assessed to establish how the disease has affected them to help us improve our response to the disease

Ash trees are very important for their ecological value. Ash trees that show good levels of resistance to the disease should not be considered for removal as they as they may help repopulate the species in the future.

What happens if you don’t do this?

There will be several thousand large dangerous trees standing and potentially falling close to roads, schools, properties and public spaces.

How quickly does it spread from tree to tree?

The disease is caused by airborne fungal spores and can easily spread more than 20km per year. The spread from tree to tree depends more on the natural resistance of the particular tree as the spores are released in the billions and are literally everywhere.

How long will it take to deal with affected trees?

We don’t yet know how many trees will be badly affected or when they will become affected and how long it will take for trees that become affected to become a danger and require work. Evidence shows that trees decline by 10 to 20 percent each year depending on several environmental factors. Our monitoring programme will help us get a better understanding of the problem .

Is the council using this an excuse to get rid of more trees?

No, the council have committed to increasing the number of trees on public land as part of the response to climate change. This disease is highly regrettable and a disaster for the natural environment. The loss of so many trees and the ecosystems they support cannot be underestimated.

Are you going to cut down other species of trees?

Not due to ash dieback. The County Council will only remove trees if they have been assessed as unsafe to leave standing, are damaging built infrastructure or causing a hazard to the highway and there are no other practical solutions. Trees may also be removed certain special circumstances for example, to manage succession in planned landscapes.

Are you cutting down ash trees that don’t need cutting down?

Definitely not. We want to retain ash trees to see if any recover from the disease as these will provide an important seed resource for re planting Ash trees. All trees felled will be assessed prior to any work and retained for as long as safety permits.

Are some ash trees going to be resistant to the disease and how will we protect them?

There are some ash trees that appear to be resistant or highly resistant to the disease. These trees are incredibly important for the ecological value they retain in the landscape. We will continue to monitor the decline or resistance of all the retained trees over a number of years. All trees showing good resistance will be noted and departmental owners of those trees will be notified.

Are you going to replace what is lost?

We will replant trees where possible and the Council has a commitment to a new tree planting target as part of its Climate Emergency Strategy

What happens to all the wood?

Wood from tree work usually goes to contractors for processing into firewood. Some of the chipped wood goes for biomass where it is economical to do so.



Monmouth Leisure Centre membership update

Following on from the flooding incident that took place at Monmouth Leisure Centre please be advised that as the centre was closed from the 16th – 27th February we will be issuing you with a reduction in next month’s direct debit as a proportion of time lost. The swimming pool still remains closed but we are hopeful that it will reopen on Monday 16th March. As per the list below this will be the amount taken on your next Direct Debit

Aqua Adult – £0
Aqua Junior – £0
Aqua Senior – £0
Corporate – £17.11
Committed Adult – £19.76
Committed Senior – £14.75
FIT 4 Life – £9.44
FIT Adult – £23.01
FIT Junior – £9.44
FIT Senior – £17.11
Passport to Leisure – £11.50
MCC Staff – £13.90
Toning DD – £14.75

If you currently have an Annual Membership with MonLife then we will add 12 days on the end of the year.

We would like to thank you all for your support and if you have any further questions then please call the membership team on 01633 644499

Thank you