MONMOUTHSHIRE council has been criticised for publishing a report ‘cut and pasted’ from a similar document issued by a neighbouring authority almost 10 years ago.

The council has published a ‘long-awaited’ speed management strategy, which proposes changes to how speeding concerns are recorded, including greater use of local knowledge from residents and councillors.

But the policy document has come under fire for its similarities to Caerphilly council’s own speed management strategy, which was first published in May 2009.

Shirenewton resident Nick Vincent pointed out to the Lower Wye area committee that the cover is almost identical to Caerphilly’s, even including pictures of pupils from a Caerphilly school.

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The contents of both reports are also similar, though some points raised in Caerphilly's strategy have been removed in the Monmouthshire version.

“This policy has been long awaited in Monmouthshire but what has been produced is 80 per cent the same as the one Caerphilly created in 2009,” said Mr Vincent on Wednesday.

“The pictures on the front are the same, including one of a school which I assume was also taken in 2009. Some of these children are probably now parents themselves.

“It also refers to a study conducted in 2002, which applies in 2009 but not in 2019. Not much has been updated, it’s just been cut and pasted. It’s a sloppy approach.”

Mr Vincent welcomed the strategy’s proposal for a single point of contact for complaints, claiming to have been ‘pushed pillar to post’ by Monmouthshire council, Gwent Police and road safety watchdog GoSafe when raising traffic issues previously.

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But following a presentation at the meeting, he criticised the use of the term ‘complainant’ when referring to those trying to help with speeding issues.

“If you call for a lower speed limit, you’re a complainant, but if you complain about litter, you’re a litter champion,” said Mr Vincent.

“There needs to be a friendlier approach.”

Paul Keeble, Monmouthshire council’s traffic and network manager, agreed that the term was the wrong one, adding that information gathered by residents and communities was welcomed.

The meeting heard that the strong communities select committee had looked through policies produced by other Welsh authorities, including Caerphilly, while the policy was drawn up.

A council spokesman said after the meeting that the speed management strategy was still being consulted on.

“We have adapted Caerphilly council’s document as an example of good practice but have extensively modified it to reflect the position in Monmouthshire.

“So far, the proposed policy has been recognised as a positive step to address the concerns of communities regarding speeding.

“When the policy is agreed and approved it will feature a picture of a Monmouthshire scene on the front cover.”