Minutes

November 2014 Minutes

Meeting Monday 9th November 2014

Present:
Councillors Dave Merrett
Carolyn Ovenden
Frank Sainsbury – Left the meeting at 8.15
Christine Morton
Martin McHugh
Carole Oakes
David Harris

County Councillor Down – left the meeting at 7.45
Clerk Mrs Jane Kelley

Public- Two
Police-Two

51/14 (i) Public Comment

Two members of the public gave a presentation on a Planning application they will shortly be making to Monmouth County Council. This is for a single wind turbine to be sited at Mathern Palace Farm. The application is expected to be placed with MCC in 4 weeks time. By then, the applicants hope that various surveys required by Planners will have been completed.

The Community Council was told that, if the application is successful, the applicants will donate £10,000.00 per year for the next 20 years to the local community for its benefit.

A temporary road structure would need to be built across fields below the motorway bridge. This would carry the wind turbine and building equipment on to the site. The turbine itself would be 60 metres high and 45 metres diameter and would be sited less than 1.4 miles away from some residential properties. (By law, for health reasons, 1.4 miles is the closest such a turbine should be to any dwelling)

Councillors thanked these members of the public for their presentation. They suggested that a public meeting should be organized after the application is submitted to M C C. Local residents could then learn directly about the proposal, ask questions and pass comments on it.

II) Police Report
Mathern, Pwllmeyric and Mounton incidents between 13th October and 10th November 2014.
16/10 – burglar alarm activated at the New Inn, Pwllmeyric. All in order, unknown reason for activation.
19/10 – burglar alarm activated at Chepstow Garden Centre. Set off in error by staff.
21/10 – report of a distressed female on Pwllmeyric Hill. Before Police arrival, she was seen to go off in a red car driven by an older female, no further details.
29/10 – pedal cycle moved from the side of the road on the A48 near Mathern. It looked brand new. When officers came to collect it, it had gone!
30/10 – secure outbuildings broken into on a private estate in Pwllmeyric. Garden equipment stolen.
05/11 – report of two males selling door to door in the “Cold Calling Control Zone” in Pwllmeyric. They had gone prior to officers attending.

iii) Apologies

Councillor N Bailey.

iv) Declaration of Interests:

LDP: Councillors Sainsbury and McHugh.

v) Minutes of Previous Meeting

The Minutes of the meeting held on 13th October 2014 were circulated with the agenda. These were agreed as true and accurate.

52/14 County Councillors Report

• County Councillor Down reported that road surfaces in Mounton, Hayesgate and Barn Lane were very bad and that this matter was being looked into by the Highways Department.

• There have been further developments concerning the application for a photovoltaic park at Rhewl Farm. Originally, the Planning Committee had refused this, partly due to the comments from the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). These comments concerned the size of the development. The planned size of the park has now been reduced and, as a result, the AONB now say that the application is in line with Best Practice. The Planners decision has now been deferred until full details are received from the Chairman of the AONB, Mr. A Baker.

• MCC Budget proposals have now been issued.

• It has come to light that M C C has no set policy with regard to planning applications for renewal energy projects.
It has been recommended that such a policy should be introduced

53/14 Progress report on actions from last meeting

1)Sewage pipes, Mounton.
Investigation still ongoing. To be discussed at the next Flood Forum meeting which is to be held in late November.

2) Signage for Mathern Athletic Club
Signage to the Athletic Club is needed as emergency vehicles are having trouble finding the site. County Councillor Down chasing this on our behalf.

3) Barn Lane – Mathern

Scalpings have been used to level the pot holes. However, Councillors do not feel that this is an adequate repair and will watch the surface so that it can be reported if further repair work is needed.

4) Road Sweeper – all three villages.

M C C has confirmed that all three villages are due to be swept. Mounton drains are very full and silted up. This has been reported back to M C C

5) Street Lighting under Motorway bridge – Mathern

Light still not working. Clerk to report once more to One Stop Shop.

6) “What’s On” leaflets- any feedback from Clerk and County Councillor Down re other local council’s editions?

No response from Magor and Undy Clerk re. details of costings. Clerk to chase.

54/14 Highways

• Leaves need removing – garages, Baileys Hay
• Grit bin outside Strathearn, Mathern is broken.
• Works carried out by Western Power in Mathern – reinstatement of pavements is poor. Joints not sealed.
• Drain covers, Barn Lane/Chapel Lane breaking away
• Drains, Mounton Village, need emptying

55/14 Councillors’ reports –

a)One Voice Wales –
No Meeting held
b)GAVO – Best Kept Village – Any response re judging dates?
No response. Clerk to chase.
c)Footpaths – Any response re new volunteer?
No response. Clerk to chase.

56/14 Planning

a)New Submissions

DC/2014/01210 Planning permission – Construction of new headwall to existing culvert plus new landscaped bund. Iceni – Home Farm Mathern Road.

COMMENTS – Approved

DC/2014/01219 Planning Permission – Remove roof from dormer bungalow and construct second storey plus two storey end extension – The Conifers, Pwllmeyric.
COMMENTS – Approved

b)Decisions and Appeals
DC/2014/00877 Amended Plans – 7 Chapel Close – removal of boundary conifer hedge and installation of retaining wall and fence –
Delegate Panel Approved

Councillors to check on internet as amended plans not received by Clerk. They will then instruct her as to how they wish to respond.
(Council’s response for amended plans scanned on to system – 14th October.)

b) Enforcement – Site near motorway bridge, Crick. DC/2012/00978
MCC Enforcement still investigating.

Lady Mill, Mounton – MCC Enforcement investigating.

57/14 Financial Matters

Receipts and payments for October/November

Receipts – VAT Refund £339.10

Payments:

101456 102.00 Stock It Solutions
101457 406.40 J Kelley – Salary
101458 101.65 PAYE
101459 101.00 Society of Local Council Clerks
101460 25.00 Royal British Legion

58/14 Correspondence and Forthcoming Meetings

Possible vacancy for Mathern Community Councillor to become Governor at The Dell School. (Due to resignation of Governor from Chepstow Town Council.)
Clerk to enquire further details of the position, including the number of meetings per year a Governor should attend.

Letter from Nick Ramsay AM (attached) re. the opportunity to discuss the possible devolution of tax raising powers to the Welsh Assembly Government.
Clerk to contact him and ask for a meeting to be arranged for the end of January/February 2015. Councillors felt a public meeting might be most appropriate.

New Chief Inspector for Chepstow – meeting, 8th December.

Clerk and Chairman to attend – venue, time to be confirmed.

Training programme

Clerk and Councillor Ovenden to attend Health and Safety Training Course run by One Voice Wales.

Charter Liason Meeting, Thursday 27th November. Clerk and Councillor Ovenden to attend at County Hall Usk.

59/14 Other Matters for discussion

Clerk to write to Mr Kibby thanking him for cutting the hedge at the rear of the war memorial.

Clerk to contact MCC Highways to ask for warning cycle signs to be erected in Mounton and Barn Lane.

Annual Christmas Lunch booked for Sunday 7th December at the Millers Arms in Mathern. Clerk to invite Chris and Carol Wheeler who maintain the War Memorial for the Council. Also Gregg and Moyra Howell, Robin and Jackie Lewis, Norman and Jean Stephens who work so hard on Wales in Bloom projects. Chairman to invite the new owners of Mathern Palace Philip and Helen.;
Meet at 1.30pm to eat at 2 pm. £18.00 per head. Clerk to collect menu choices and monies. There is live Jazz in the pub from 4 pm – Robin Reece Jazz band.

60/13 Date of Next Full Meeting: 12th January 2015 at 7 pm.
Carolyn Ovenden to Chair

Financial Meeting to be arranged Monday 1st December at Strathern Mathern

Meeting ended at 9 pm

Financial Meeting December 2014

MINUTES of MATHERN COMMUNITY COUNCIL FINANCE MEETING

MONDAY 1st December 2014

Present: Councillors – Merrett, Ovenden, Harris, McHughs
Clerk – Jane Kelley

Apologies: Councillors Bailey, Morton, Oakes, Sainsbury

1) Review of current Budget – 2014/15. Discussion on surplus funds not yet allocated:

On reviewing the current budget, councillors agreed that surplus funds should be allocated to various causes within the villages, as follows:

• A Grant of £25.00 to the bugler at the Remembrance Service if Mathern Church has not already made a donation.

• An advertising banner to be purchased for the Mathern Village Fete. Approximate cost – £100. After discussing this with the Fete committee, Clerk to ask Councillor Sainsbury to arrange to obtain the banner.

• Provision to be made for road signs which MCC may not replace. (Mathern Athletic Club/ warning of cyclists).

• St Tewdric’s Well – new pathway and any other works needed to ensure that it is kept in good order.

• The bench in Mounton to be rubbed down and stained.

• A Wales in Bloom winners plaque to be obtained for the Welcome to Mathern entrance sign.

• Any remaining reserves will be used for future village projects such as a village newsletter which it is hoped will be produced next year.

2) Budget Setting 2015/16

Councillors unanimously agreed that the Budget for 2015/16 should be set at £16080.00.
This means that the precept remains the same as last year. (Comparison figures were obtained from the “Budget Detail by Centre” section of the Community Councils financial computer programme.). It was also agreed that some funds should be carried forward in case planned works are not completed in this financial year.
The carried forward amounts were deducted to ensure that monies were not requested twice.

• New projects: it is hoped a newsletter can be produced (see above).
• Mathern Church to receive £400.00 grant for graveyard maintenance
• Mounton and St Pierre Churches to receive £200.00 each, as above.
• Provision for village upkeep because Monmouthshire County Council are reducing services e.g. provision for road sweepers/litter picks.

3) General discussion re. proposed wind turbine erection at Mathern Palace Farm – any actions we need to set.

Clerk to work with Councillor Harris to produce a poster to be placed on all notice boards in the community and on our website. This poster to explain that the Community Council has been approached with details of a future proposed Wind Turbine planning application. A web-site link to the booklet handed out at our meeting in November to be made available. As the application has not yet been submitted to M C C, we can do no more than make public aware of details contained within that booklet.

4) Planning Application

DC/2014/01333 – Modification or removal of condition – St Pierre County Park
Removal of condition 5 attached to planning permission M7740 (dated 9th May 2003) which relates to the requirements for the local planning authority’s prior approval of the proposed siting, design and appearance of any structures, buildings, fences and other means or enclosure, TV aerials and hard surfaces incidental or ancillary to the use of the caravans stationed on the Site. – Refusal
Comments – It is important that we keep control of the visual impact of this site.

DC/2014/01319 – Outline planning permission – The Rowans, Bayfield Road, Pwllmeyric. – Approved
Comments – Renewal of previous application

5) Councillor Carole Oakes has met the Headmaster and Chair of the Governors of the Dell School. She is happy to be nominated as our co-opted member on the school’s Board of Governors. Her decision was unanimously supported by Councillors and the Clerk will now notify Ann Holloway the Chair of the Governors at the Dell School that she is willing to take up the position.

The meeting closed at 9.00 pm

Next full Community Council meeting: January 12h 2015. 7pm. Village Hall

Minutes October 2014

Meeting Monday 13th October 2014

Present:
Councillors Dave Merrett
Carolyn Ovenden
Christine Morton
Martin McHugh
Jayne Harris
Carole Oakes
David Harris
Frank Sainsbury

County Councillor Down
Clerk Mrs Jane Kelley

Public- None
Police-Two

41/14 (i) Public Comment

None

II) Police Report
Mathern, Pwllmeyric and Mounton incidents between 9th September and 12th October 2014.
01/10 – Suspected thief from the area, thought to be in St Pierre, booking accommodation. Police attended and a male was arrested in connection with thefts at St Pierre and similar offences in other force areas.
29/09 – Female was spoken to by 2 males in a white van, whilst she was running through the village. She was unable to hear what they said to her and she ran off toward her house. Caller just wanted this logged for information. Noted by ward officer.
26/09 – Report of 2 school children throwing berries at the gardener, at a house in Pwllmeyric. The youths ran off in the direction of the school in Pwllmeyric.
22/09 – Alarm going off at a farm in Pwllmeyric. Police attended to find everything in order and that it was a personal attack alarm, activated accidently.
19/09 – Report of 4 males on Vespa motorcycles on the A48. Caller thought one was carrying a gun. No specific area of direction for police to attend so observations were passed.
16/09 – Report of dangerous driving at the junction of Chepstow Garden Centre on the A48. Driver traced and given words of advice.
15/09 – A white sports bag containing an empty X-Box package, was found in a hedge in Chapel Lane. No burglaries had been reported but bag is being held in the police station at the moment, in case any reports are forthcoming.
11/09 – Camper van broken down on the A48. Recovery arranged by driver.
10/09 – Report of 2 young males kicking and screaming at the entrance of St Pierre. The youths were being returned to their school by teachers after skipping lessons.

The new Chief Inspector for Chepstow introduced himself. He is Giles Rowland and has been in office since May. However he is now being transferred and a new inspector, D Morgan, has been promoted to look after Chepstow. A short discussion concerning local crime took place.

County Councillor Down asked if a quarterly report of crime could be produced within our community. This was agreed and will be forwarded on an ad hoc basis.

iii) Apologies

Councillor N Bailey

iv) Declaration of Interests:

LDP: Councillors Sainsbury and McHugh.

v) Minutes of Previous Meeting

The Minutes of the meeting held on 10th September 2014 were circulated with the agenda. These were agreed as true and accurate.

42/14 County Councillors Report

The planning application for a photovoltaic park on land belonging to Rhewll Farm has been refused by the MCC Planning Committee. This is against Planning Officers advice. The application will now go back to committee for their final decision.

The 2015 County Council Budget reduction is now set at 4.3%, mainly due to Welsh Government provision for improvements in NHS services. The Education budget is ring- fenced. A number of public consultation events are being held within the area and there has been mixed attendance figures to those events which have already taken place.

County Councillor Down to chase signage improvements to Mathern Athletic Club as once again an ambulance was unable to find its location.

43/14 Progress report on actions from last meeting

1)Sewage pipes, Mounton.
Investigation still ongoing. To be discussed at the next Flood Forum meeting which is to be held in late November.

2) Willow Trees – entrance to Mathern

Trees have been cut back and made safe. Councillors to keep on eye on this, as they still consider them to be unsafe.

3) Possible annual “What’s on” leaflet as mentioned in County Councillor’s Report in September.

Councillors feel that this would be a good way of advertising the clubs and events within the Villages.
Annual cost considered to be £600.00 for printing/design.
Clerk and CC Down to investigate other local councils who produce a booklet. Suggested a small sub committee is then formed to work on items for inclusion and a dedicated person to obtain advertising material to offset again printing costs.

4) Response re. the Williams Report and Dr Del Williams’ response on behalf of One Voice Wales.

Response sent from Mathern CC, copy attached. Clerk to email One Voice Wales to thank Dr. Williams for hisr comprehensive and appreciated response to the report.

5) Hedge – Rear of War Memorial

Work now completed by Mr Kibby.

44/14 Highways

Councillor Merrett had an on site meeting with an MCC Highways representative to discuss the state of the road surface in Barn Lane. It was agreed that MCC would put scalpings down as a temporary fix and review this road in the New Year.

• Clerk was asked to clarify how often road sweepers were used within the community.

45/14 Councillors’ reports –

a)One Voice Wales – Meeting 16th October 2014
Meeting has been cancelled. No new date available.

b)GAVO – Best Kept Village – Results attached
Mathern won Best Kept War Memorial category.

All other village results were disappointing. Clerk to contact GAVO to ask if judging could be later in June when the planting has been completed.

Clerk was given the War Memorial winners plaque to be passed on to the Village Hall committee for them to display inside the hall.

Clerk asked if alternative maps could be produced before next years competition as GAVO always comment negatively on the maps which we give them. It was suggested that the Clerk investigate using the maps produced with the LDP.

c) Footpaths

A new Volunteer, Neil Grant from Hayesgate, has come forward. The Clerk has given his details to MCC Countryside so that they can give him information about the role and the training required.

46/14 Planning

a)New Submissions

DC/2014/00877 Amended Plans, 7 Chapel Close – Removal of boundary conifer hedge and installation of retaining wall and fence.

COMMENTS – No details of the amendments have been received. Clerk to ask Planning for full details.

DC/2014/001020 Planning Permissions – 20mw gas fuelled capacity mechanism embedded generation plant to support the National Grid – Caerwent Lane, Mathern –
Refused. Screening would be needed to reduce visible impact on entrance into Wales. When approaching Chepstow from the Second Severn Crossing, drivers and their passengers would be looking directly down on to the proposed development which makes screening difficult.
In addition, there are no details of overhead transmission cables. Are any proposed or will all services be underground? A visual impact assessment should be completed.
DC/2014/001173 Planning permission Demolition of existing conservatory. To be replaced with a garden room with lantern roof. Laburnum Cottage – Approved

b)Decisions and Appeals

None.

b) Enforcement – Site near motorway bridge, Crick. DC/2012/00978

Councillors asked the Clerk to contact MCC Planning re. the above application. This was for in-fill and a return to agricultural use of the land. However, a sign is now in place advertising waste management works. Councillors would therefore like this to be investigated to check that original planning conditions are being kept. Large numbers of lorries are entering the site and there are no wheel-wash facilities. This means that the road is sometimes dangerously muddy.

47/14 Financial Matters

Receipts and payments for September/October

Receipts –

Payments:

Receipt £30.00 Wales Audit Office 17/09/2014
101448 24.49 Best Kept Village Prizes/engraving
101449 45.93 3 months internet use
101450 17.55 Postage
101451 246.00 External Audit
101452 514.78 J Kelley – salary
101453 128.75 PAYE
101454 180.00 John Reece (Hedge trimming Mathern Road/Chapel Lane)
101455 54.00 Stock it Ltd -Dropbox

Drop Box installed.

External Audit completed.

48/14 Correspondence and Forthcoming Meetings

• Wales in Bloom Results

Mathern won their category in the Wales in Bloom competition. Councillors wish to thank all involved as this is an amazing result. Well done, All!!

• Clerk distributed an “ Adopted Local Development Plan” leaflet to all councillors. This is a summary of the Plan adopted in February 2014

The full LDP can be viewed on the Council website www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/planning
Also at One Stop Shops in Abergavenny/Caldicot/Chesptow/Monmouth
To purchase a paper copy pf the LDP please contact the MCC Development Plans Team.

49/14 Other Matters for discussion

• Our annual Service of Remembrance will be held at the War Memorial on Sunday, 9th November 2014 at 10.15am.

• Also Service of Remembrance at St Tewdrics Church, Mathern at 6 pm on Sunday November 9th

• Presentation from Martyn James re. possible future development of wind turbines in Mathern will be arranged for the next meeting. Mr. James will attend with his architect. Chairman D Merrett to contact.

• Councillor Harris to contact Millers Arms concerning our annual Christmas meal .Preferred date – Sunday 7th December, for lunch.

• Street lights under the motorway bridge still not working. Clerk to contact One Stop Shop.

50/13 Date of Next Meeting: 10th November 2014 at 7 pm.

Minutes September 2014

Meeting Monday 8th September 2014

Present:
Councillors Dave Merrett
Carolyn Ovenden
Christine Morton
Martin McHugh
Jayne Harris
Carole Oakes
Nina Bailey

County Councillor Down
Clerk Mrs Jane Kelley

Public- None
Police-One

Chairman welcomed Mrs. Carole Oakes to her first meeting as Councillor for Pwllmeyric Ward.

31/14 (i) Public Comment

None

II) Police Report

Mathern, Pwllmeyric and Mounton incidents between 14th July and 8th September 2014.
16/07 – report of a van parked in Bishops Mead, Mathern since 11/07. The vehicle keeper was not local, but it was not causing any offences and was secure.
20/07 – report of a dog shut in a car in the Chepstow Garden Centre, car park, and it was very hot. Several calls were put out by staff at the garden centre but no-one came to the car. The window was eventually smashed (by me) and the dog was taken to the Police Station to await the owner. They arrived some time later and were given strong words of advice.
28/07 – report of a fail to stop collision in St Pierre’s car park. It was witnessed and details of the offending vehicle were passed to police.
02/08 – a handbag was stolen from St Pierre, at a wedding. Enquiries were made and a possible offender identified.
03/08 – theft of a wallet from the changing room at St Pierre.
07/08 – break in to the Chepstow Garden Centre in the early hours – the alarm was activated – a small safe was stolen.
16/08 – a vehicle was parked, at night, under the motorway bridge in Mathern and the passenger door was left open. The vehicle was checked and the owner was relatively local – it is believed that the occupants were out lamping.
25/08 – report of a rowdy wedding at St Pierre where staff requested Police presence in the area.
29/08 – report of suspected drug taking going on in Hayesgate, St Pierre end. Although no-one has been seen, items have been left behind.
Clerk was given leaflets to be displayed on noticeboards in the community regarding leaving valuables on display in cars.
Police are going to organise a litter pick with Tidy Wales. Areas to be included: New Inn – St Pierre, behind St Tewdrics Church Mathern and New Inn – St. Pierre Wood.
iii) Apologies

Councillors D Harris and F Sainsbury

iv) Declaration of Interests:

None

v) Minutes of Previous Meeting

The Minutes of the meeting held on 14th July 2014 were circulated with the agenda. These were agreed as true and accurate.

32/14 County Councillors Report

Monmouth and Newport Council Funding for Rural Business Development are holding a drop-in session on Wednesday, September 10th between 6 and 8.30 pm.

The County Council budget for next year was due to be reduced by ½%. This will
be raised to a 1½% reduction over the next few years, year on year. This is an early warning that some services will be dramatically reduced in the future.

Car Park charges are to be increased. This is the first increase in 7 years. Car parks will be categorised as short stay and long stay and charges for each will differ. Disabled drivers will also be charged to park. More details of categories to follow.

A leaflet was produced for the 50 year Mathern fete – County Councillor Down thought it could be used as a basis to produce an annual leaflet which would provide information of forthcoming events, clubs and facilities within the village.

Clerk to Agenda for next meeting

33/14 Progress report on actions from last meeting

1) Response – MCC suggestion of speed markers on A48 Pwllmeyric Hill

MCC still considering all options.

2) Sewage pipes, Mounton.

Still being monitored by Welsh Water.

3) History Plaque War Memorial

Plaque now in place.

4) Willow Trees – entrance to Mathern

Some minor work has been carried out. Clerk to chase to see if trees now considered safe.

5)Feedback – Open meeting in August re. solar farm at Rhewl Farm Shirenewton.

25 – 30 people attended the open meeting which was in exhibition format.
Councillors are concerned that this land may be partially within the Wye Valley AONB They wondered if this organization had been notified of the application. The general concensus was that the proposed development is in open, unspoilt countryside which should not be industrialized.
Councillors remarked that the developer did not advertise the open meeting well enough and did not give sufficient prior notice of it. It was held in an out-of-the-way location (Earlswood Village Hall) at a time which was inconvenient to many interested members of the public.Hence, publicity for the proposed development has been poor.

6) Response re the Williams Report on proposed changes to local government area boundaries – document circulated prior to meeting for all councillors to read.

Councils need to respond to this report by 28th September. The Clerk and County Councillor Down to work together on a letter outlining the benefits of altering some services whilst not merging Monmouthshire County and Newport City Councils. They will also explain that this Community Council feels there can be no advantage in merging local Community Councils to save money. It was given as an example that a reduced number of Clerks would need to work longer hours, thus increasing salaries and costing more.

Councillors to email Clerk with any points they wish to be included in this.

7)Feedback – reduction in street lighting time (pilot).

None received.

34/14 Highways

• Barn Lane – verges breaking up in a number of places. Now very dangerous
• Lane to Lady Mill, Mounton – verge on brook side very overgrown. Hard to see where verge ends and brook starts. Dangerous

35/14 Councillors’ reports –

a)One Voice Wales – AGM 4th October

Clerk to send apologies for the AGM as no councillors are able to attend.

b)GAVO – Best Kept Village

Representatives required from the three villages for Presentation Evening, Friday 12th September. See below – correspondence.

Clerk to agenda for October when Mrs. C Morton will present a report of the judge’s comments for Best Kept Garden (as seen from the road) competition.

Clerk to keep the Vaughan Hughes Cup in safe keeping.

b) Footpaths

• Footpath to rear of Village Hall overgrown with nettles.
• Thorn Apple weed to be reported to Environmental Health for them to investigate and eliminate.

36/14 Planning

a)New Submissions

Tree Officers recommendation for removal of trees at Little Innage, Mathern – Councillors noted and agreed with this recommendation.

DC/2014/00877 Planning Permission, 7 Chapel Close – Removal of boundary
conifer hedge and installation of retaining wall and fence. – REFUSAL –
COMMENTS Height will restrict visibility, out of keeping with surrounding properties, will be removing an historic dry stone wall.

DC/2014/00939 Planning Permissions – Rhewl Farm Shirenewton – Provision
of photovoltaic Solar Park and ancillary infrastructure. – REFUSAL
• COMMENTS – The solar farm is an intrusion into open unspoilt countryside ( against Policy EP1). Such development should be resisted as it could set a precedent for further industrialisation in a rural location. It will destroy a wide, spectacular vista across many miles of Monmouthshire farmland.
• The site directly abuts St. Pierre Great Wood and the Wye Valley AONB. It will be highly visible from the Crick road to Shirenewton and several dwellings in this vicinity. This detrimental impact is contrary to Policy DES1.
• The size of the solar farm covers a bigger than expected acreage (at least 40 acres apparently) with 42,000 solar panels. This huge industrialisation is unacceptable in a green belt area.
• The company making the application has not, as yet, given any assurance that all equipment will be removed and the ground restored to its original condition at the end of the lifespan of the project. “Farmland” beneath the panels in likely to become unkempt and scrubby because tractor access beneath the panels (necessary for pasture maintenance) would not be possible.
• It appears that land designated as green belt will become as brown belt with the potential for further industrialisation. This too is unacceptable in such a location.

DC/2014/00797/00790 – Planning permission – Woodside, Crick. Proposed part two storey side extension and part first floor rear extension with canopy porch roof and entrance forecourt. – APPROVED.

DC/2014/00939 – Planning Permission – Cliffwood Usk Road – continuation of use by planning consent DC/2010/01147 for the storage and processing of inert landfill materials – APPROVED

. b)Decisions and Appeals

None.

b) Enforcement

Land at Crick: Response received –“ Having spoken to a colleague of mine regarding this site, it has been noted that permission was granted for the tipping of top soil & subsoil in 1998. This permission has been renewed several times since then, most recently in 2012.
If the tipping is in line with the conditions granted (link attached) then there is no enforcement action that can be taken.”

http://idox.monmouthshire.gov.uk/WAM/showCaseFile.do;jsessionid=937F314C0848D16FC6E18435FD6574B6?action=show&appType=Planning&appNumber=DC/2012/00978

27/14 Financial Matters

Receipts and payments for August/September

Receipts – Precept £5760.00

Payments:

101436 Wasted
101437 56.25 Village Hall Rent
101438 590.16 Memorial Plague
101439 105.69 M J Trading – shredder
101440 41.63 Telephone Invoice
101441 388.35 J Kelley
101442 97.11 PAYE
101443 37.50 Grass Cutting,Mounton
101444 150.00 Clerks working from home office Fee
101445 100.00 GAVO
101446 500.00 MMPVB
101447 25.00 Severn Tunnel Band

Review of Budget spending to date:

• GAVO (Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations) has requested donations towards the running of the Best Kept Village competition. Councillors agreed a one-off donation of £100.00 and asked the Clerk to suggest that an entrance fee for the competition is made in future years.
• £500 Grant was made to MMPVB (Mathern, Mounton & Pwllmeyric Villages in Bloom)
• £25.00 grant was made to Severn Tunnel Band in thanks to the bugler who played at the War Memorial service to commemorate the start of World War 1 on 4th August.

Clerk to transfer £415.00 from Insurance category to Grants category as a saving has been made on insurance this year.
The detailed receipts and payments by budget were signed by the Chairman to form part of the minutes for audit purpose.

External audit has been completed. Chairman and RFO signed annual return prior to submitting it to external auditors (Mazars). These have now completed their review and found that, in their opinion, the information contained in the annual return is in accordance with the proper practices. No matters included in it give any cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements have not been met.

Back-up of our computer records away from home. Two options available are:
1. An automatic online backup based on the amount of data. Cost from £20 per month for 5 Gigs
2. A “ dropbox” can be set up for a one-off fee of £60. This however is not an automatic backup! But it’s great for people starting off backing up online
Councillors all agreed that the Clerk should contact our IT specialist and ask for the dropbox to be ordered.

38/14 Correspondence and Forthcoming Meetings

• Request for donation to Gwent Best Kept Village Competition 2014 to cover its overall cost. See above.

• Invitation from GAVO for presentation of Best Kept village competition prizes – Friday, 19th September at Chepstow Garden Centre.
6pm for Buffet. 7pm for Presentation.
2 representatives from each village to attend.

Councillor Morton to attend
Clerk to ask Robin Lewis, Greg Howell, Chris Wheeler
Councillor Mc Hugh to ask Mr and Mrs Sweeting.

• One Voice Wales Charter agreement Meeting, 11th September at 6pm, Council Chambers Usk.
Clerk and Councillor Ovenden to attend.

39/14 Other Matters for discussion

• Chief Inspector, Gwent Police will now attend our October meeting as, due to a prior engagement, he was unable to come to this one.

• Hedge at the rear of the War Memorial very overgrown – Councillor Merrett to contact Mr Kibby to ask him to cut it back.

40/13 Date of Next Meeting: 13th October 2014 at 7 pm.