PONTYPOOL REGENERATION STRATEGY: I wrote about this subject back in mid-February, and I have now received a further notice about the Consultation on the Initial Proposals.

Unfortunately, whoever sends these things out seems to wait until the last minute before posting them, or, in this case, e-mailing them.

I received the notification today (March 7) about a series of public exhibitions, which were due to take place during the week commencing March 10, and the earliest that I can get it into Grassroots is week commencing March 17.

Last year, Torfaen County Borough Council, in partnership with the Department of Economy and Transport (Welsh Assembly Government), commissioned LDA Design Consultants to help produce a Regeneration Strategy for the Pontypool Town Centre.

Phase 1 of the work was completed recently following extensive consultation, and resulted in the production of a 15-year Vision and Objectives for the town centre.

From Tuesday, March 11, they can be viewed by following the "Pontypool Town Centre Regeneration Strategy Consultation" link at the Pontypool Town Centre Regeneration's web page http.//www.Torfaen.gov.uk/ pontypoolregeneration and in hard copy at Pontypool, Cwmbran and Blaenavon libraries, at Torfaen Museum (Pontypool) and at the Pontypool Regeneration Team's office at Townbridge, Pontypool.

A second phase of work is now under way which will determine how the Vision and Objectives' will be delivered over the next 15 years.

The initial proposals included potential land uses, transportation issues, landscape and recreation issues and public access, as well as identifying a number of key projects, which many contribute to a successful future for Pontypool.

The team leader of Pontypool Regeneration, Dave Evans, said "We are not just looking at physical changes. The vision is to try and make the town the hub of creativity, as a place to live, work and visit.

"There is a lot more work to be done to see how feasible some of these ideas are, and how they are going to be funded."

Councillor Neil Lewis, executive member of TCBC for regeneration, commented that they had been delighted with the amount of interest shown so far in the plan, and he hoped that many people would now contribute to this exciting phase of the planning when they can comment on the initial ideas and proposals for changes and improvements to the town.

He feels that the input of ordinary citizens is important, so that they can create the kind of place that people will like.

It will be interesting to see how all this develops, but a year or so ago splendid plans were announced for the regeneration of the Clarence Corner area, but there has been no mention since of any work starting. It is a little like the scaffolding outside the Civic Centre.

I am sure that the council have to pay rent on it while it is in place, but after many weeks there is still no sign of the job starting.

As I said before, the safety tape on the bottom struts has long since gone. I just wonder what would the authority's position be if someone was hurt walking into it.

AMERICAN GARDENS OPEN DAY: To celebrate the success so far of the project of restoring the American Gardens in the Park, and to publicise the American Gardens Environmental Project, the organisers are holding an Open Day in the gardens in Penygarn, on Saturday, March 29, between 11am and 4pm.

There's a range of attractions, in-cluding an opportunity to have a go at dry stone walling, a demonstration of tree felling, lots of children's activities and refreshments at reasonable charges.

There will be short tours around the site, tractor and trailer rides and exhibition of the Master Plan', with accompanying explanations, and there will be volunteers on hand to answer any questions.

If you would like more information about the project or the Open Day, please go to www.americangarden. org or telephone Emma Davies, on 01495 758856, or you can e-mail her, it's emma@torfaenvoluntary alliance.org.uk