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Pontypool and Torfaen news as reported in the FREE PRESS


Tributes as Lord Jenkins dies, aged 82

The main headline this week is the sad news of the passing of one of Pontypools most famous sons, Lord Roy Jenkins of Hillhead. Lord Jenkins who was born in Abersychan collapsed and died at his Oxfordshire home on Sunday. He has been described as "one of the most remarkable people ever to grace British politics".
Born as the son of a miner Roy Harris Jenkins was educated at Abersychan County School before going on to Balliol College, Oxford where he attained a first class honours degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
He was one of the original "gang of four" that left the Labour Party and formed the SDP Party.
Tony Blair described him as "a friend and support to me and someone I was proud to know".
Torfaen M.P. Paul Murphy described Lord Jenkins as "a distinguished Monmouthshire statesman who had fond memories of the Eastern Valley and he took great pleasure in coming back to Abersychan.
He is mourned by his wife Jenifer and their children Edward, Charles and Cynthia, as well as all the people of Torfaen.


Police still baffled by missing man case

Police are still baffled by the disappearance of Bleanavon man Richard Davies, who has been missing for more than two weeks. The father of two Mr Davies, aged 39, from Avon Road, went missing at around 11pm on December 20 while on a pre-Christmas night out with work colleagues in Cardiff city centre. His disappearance has been described by hos concerned family as "totally out of character".
Mr Davies was planning to take his family on holiday to visit his brother in Australia in April and had made the booking only days before he went missing.
Anyone with information should call 01633 838111.


Does Shanks pose a Risk?

Torfaen AM Lynne Neagle had called for an investigation into cancer rates in people living near the Shanks waste incineration site in New Inn. Her comments came as a news report into risks near the former Rechem site delivered a mixed message. The report concluded that the general level of incidences of cancer in people within a two kilometre radius of the site was no higher than the Welsh average. But it was also found that the death rate in women from Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a type of Leukaemia was significantly higher than the Welsh average. The study was published on Monday and commissioned by Gwent Health Authority and funded by the National Assembly.


Memorial for Jenna

Jenna Brookfield is to be remembered in a special memorial service at her former school, Abersychan Comprehensive School.
Jenna's body was discovered in a shallow grave beside the B4246 Blaenavon to Abergavenny road at around midnight on November 18, Jenna had been missing for ten weeks. Her step father Michael Baldwin of Limekiln Road, Pontnewynydd, Pontypool was arrested and charged with her murder, He is due to appear in Cardiff Crown court on January 17.


New year, new families.

Torfaen celebrated the arrival of two New year babies. At 06.30 on New Years day, Kyra Elizabeth Jane Smith was born at the Royal Gwent Hospital weighing exactly 8lb.
Than at 07.10 a baby boy was born to 20 year old Lisa Price. He weighed in at 6lb 10oz.


Customers frantic to know the millionaire

Lottery fever continues to grip Torfaen as a lottery prize of almost £2 million remains unclaimed.
The ticket was bought in Torfaen for the November 30 draw and had won £1.9 million. The numbers are 6, 7,. 20, 29, 37, 39. Lottery officials will not say which town or what type of shop the ticket was bought in. The winner is the eighth person from Gwent to be made a millionaire by the lottery.


£1 million park revamp is begun in earnest

A major £1 million revamp of Pontypool Park began in earnest last week as contractors moved in to start resurfacing the paths. The work is part of a four year project aimed at returning the Park to its former glory, complete with vandal-proof lights.
The project includes repairs to the dry stone walls, maintenance on the Nant-y-Gollen ponds and the appointment of a Park Ranger. Contractors Alun Griffiths of Abergavenny should take approximately 20 weeks to complete the path resurfacing. All the work is hoped to be completed by early May.


Tough game ahead

Fans might think this Saturday's game against Aberavon is the be all and end all of Pontypool Rugby teams season, but team manager Tony Clarks reckons the club is taking a different view. "The title does not hinge on this one game. If we lose I'll be the first to congratulate their coaching staff but it doesn't mean the championship is over. We have a lot of hard and important games left and so do they. It's far from being a title decider, maybe in hindsight it will be, who knows?".