Minutes

May 2017

MATHERN COMMUNITY COUNCIL

Minutes of the Council meeting held on Monday 15th May 2017
at 7.00 pm
at Mathern Village Hall.
Present:
Councillors:

C Ovenden Chairman
Councillors J Harris, N Bailey, C Morton, M McHugh, and G Down

Also in attendance:

Clerk – Mrs J Kelley
1 Member of the Public
County Councillor Louise Brown
1 Police representative

The Chairperson welcomed all to the meeting and thanked them
for their attendance.

The Chairman congratulated Councillors on the recent elections and welcomed County Councillor Brown to her first meeting in office.

Election of Officers 2016/2017
A) Chairman – Nominated – Carolyn Ovenden – seconded by Councillor Morton
B) Vice Chairman – Nominated – David Harris – seconded by Councillor Down

Dates and times of ordinary meetings of Mathern Community Council for the ensuing year:
All agreed to continue meeting on the second Monday of the month at 7 pm.

All Councillors completed a new Acceptance of Office form following the elections and the Clerk will retain these. All were reminded of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct and the importance of the Declaration of Interest procedure.

01/17 PROCEDURAL ITEMS
(i) Public Comment

A public member informed the Community Council (C C) that work at Border Waste in Crick is still continuing, with hedges and trees being removed and top soil being screened. There appears to be no work taking place to bring the land back to original levels. His main concern is the danger to the public and users of the M48 motorway should a landslide happen due to inappropriate materials being used. He feels that Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) and National Resources Wales (NRW) are being negligent in protecting people’s lives when using the motorway.

Councillor Ovenden explained that CC had not contacted the Welsh Ombudsman as yet as it was felt that he would deal solely with the maladministration of MCC and NRW rather than ensure that the land was returned to its original state. See Enforcements for next actions.

Councillor Down expressed disappointment with this decision and was keen for the Welsh Ombudsman to be contacted to address the matter.

ii) Visit by Community Police

Ward Report Sheet
Mathern Community Council
Crimes
7.4.17 Drive off without paying for fuel at Pwllmeyric Petrol Station.

13.4.17 Male seen Lamping in fields just of Baileys Hay and on several other occasions proceeding this date . Male has since been identified and spoken to and advice given regarding his activities.

15.4 Male caused criminal damage at St Pierre Hotel. Male located and arrested for the offences.

20.4.17 A bag containing needles and Sharps box located in Church lane in Mathern. Officers attended and removed the items.

5.5.17 Drive off from Pwillmeyric Petrol Station. Driver of the car spoken to genuine mistake returned and paid for the petrol.

5.5.17 Tree down near Mounton Village – removed by Monmouth Council.

ASB

Other matters of note

Councillors agreed that the three hours a police presence was needed in Mounton village because a fallen tree was blocking the lane was a waste of police resources. They suggested that a supply of suitable signage to indicate road closure could be held by the police should this situation occur again.

(iii) Apologies for absence

Councillors D. Merrett and D. Harris.

(iv) Declarations of Personal or Pecuniary Interest:

Councillor F Sainsbury – Broken stiles.

(v) Minutes of previous meetings
Minutes of the meeting held on 10th April 2017 were read and agreed as true records.
There were no matters arising.

Minutes to be displayed on the website.

02/17 COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT

Our new County Councillor was welcomed to her first meeting.

Louise Brown, the newly elected County Councillor for Shirenewton Ward, wished to record in the Community Council minutes her thanks to the residents of Shirenewton Ward who supported her. Louise said she looks forward to working on behalf of all the residents.

In terms of contact details, Louise’s email address is louisebrown@monmouthshire.gov.uk and telephone no. 07598979719

Her first week with the County Council has been spent on induction and ethics training.

The Clerk noted a declaration of interest by County Councillor Brown regarding planning matters: she would give no opinion in relation to any planning matters considered by the Community Council, as she hopes to be a member of the MCC Planning Committee.

Councillor Jayne Harris left the room at 7.30 and returned at 7.40

Councillor Martin Mc Hugh joined the meeting at 7.45

101/16 PROGRESS REPORT ON ACTIONS FROM LAST MEETING

(i) Speed volunteer – Progress meeting

Councillor Down has now received a response from police and will be arranging a speed volunteers meeting shortly.

ii) To discuss progress on Community Benefit Agreement from Rhewl Farm – Solar Farm Development

The company dealing with this has requested our bank details so payment is due soon.

NB. £1000.00 Payment received re Rhewl Solar Farm 16th May 2017.
Clerk to agenda for next meeting.

iii) What’s On” Leaflet

Councillor Down advised that this document is currently with the printers and should be circulated shortly.

v) Progress re. application for defibrillator via Chepstow Lions.

The Clerk has received confirmation that funding should be starting again at the end of May, at which time an application form will need to be completed.

vi) Dog Waste Bin Collection

Over the last two months, the Clerk has received several calls and e-mails re. overflowing dog waste bins. Councillors decided that, over the summer months, collection should be changed and take place weekly, rather than fortnightly, to rectify this.

vii) Replacement stiles/kissing gates – response from MCC and landowners.

Awaiting response from MCC. Landowners appear to prefer metal gates. However Councillors feel that wooden gates would be more in keeping. Councillor Sainsbury advised that, in most cases, only the posts need to be repaired as most of the gates are still in good order.

viii) New Bench – Mounton Village

A “Classic” bench in brown was chosen.
Clerk to order once a delivery site in Mounton has been agreed.
Cost of the bench is £369.12 excl. VAT.

ix) Signage, Barn Lane/Buses Turning Moynes Court

Relevant officers informed – awaiting response.

x) Response from Mathern Day Nursery re courtesy whilst parking to drop off and collect children by not blocking driveways. Staff using dedicated parking area?

No response received. Councillors to monitor the parking situation

04/17 HIGHWAYS

No matters reported.

05/17 COUNCILLOR’S REPORTS/CLERKS REPORT
a) One Voice Wales : next meeting – July. Councillors to take turns in attending future meetings which take place every 3 months.
b) Governors meeting – Dell School –
The Chair of the Governors has confirmed that Mathern’s formal seat on the Board started in January 2015, to last for 4 years. Mathern C C can now deal with the resignation of ex-Community Councillor Carole Oakes by electing another Mathern Councillor for the remaining time or rotate the seat back to St Arvans.
Councillors resolved that Carole Oakes would remain as governor until July 2017 and then we would pass our seat back to St Arvans for the next term of office.

c) Risk Assessments – 2017
Now complete.

Clerk to add Vaughan-Hughes silver cup and the Best Kept Garden winners shield to our list of assets to ensure these are also covered by our insurance policy.

Silver cup currently with Mr and Mrs M Edwards.

d) Best Kept Village – Gwent Association of Voluntary Services (GAVO)

Mathern, Mounton and Pwllmeyric are all registered for the GAVO competition. The Clerk thanked Councillor McHugh with his help in completing the application forms.
Councillor Morton is currently contacting suitable parties to judge the Community Council Best Kept Garden (from the road side) competition which will take place in early July.

06/17 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
a) New submissions

DC/2017/00302 New Inn Pwllmeyric – Planning permission The New Inn – demolition of single storey rear extension to provide reception/function room. Minor internal alterations, Change of use from public house to wedding/function venue for private and community bookings

Observation – Object

Comment – overall it is accepted that a pub in this location has not proved viable.
That said, should the building used as a wedding function venue, those arriving and leaving will do so generally at the same time. This will cause traffic problems at a proven accident black spot. Those arriving and leaving may also not be familiar with the road layout and tight access. On checking the paper work provided, we could not find any mention of proposed car park capacity. Hence, with so little on site parking available and the restricted access, this would be of great concern.
It is also concerning that, although the applicants have made reference to community use and interest, there has been no consultation or interface in any way with the community regarding the application. We would therefore question the integrity of these statements. The activities suggested by the applicant are all available at present within the Village Hall, Athletics Club and Millers Arms public house in Mathern village so that unneeded competition for local trade and services would be created.
Regarding the wedding venue function, there are also three other venues within our small community. These are at St Pierre Hotel, St Tewdric’s House and Mathern Palace.
We would suggest that, at a minimum, the junction to the A48 should be a left turn only, with full consideration to left turn only from the car park along the little lane so that traffic does not join A48 at this accident black spot. Consideration should also be given regarding the potential 30 mph limit for Pwllmeyric Hill and any impact the proposals would have on these measures. The parking provision/ratio relative to the enlarged facility should also be considered as there is no space for overflow parking. If buses were to be used, these would be unable to enter the car park at the rear due to the current road layout.
Mathern Community Council would therefore reject the application.

(The Community Council had borrowed a projector to see how it helpful it was in viewing plans before perhaps purchasing a projector. The projector worked well and Councillor Down is happy to bring it to the next meeting. )

b) Decisions and appeals –

None

c) Enforcement – Border Waste site, Crick

Action agreed: Clerk to liaise with Councillor David Harris to contact NRW Chief Executive to advise him that NRW have not received any transfer notices from Border waste since 2015. Contact names: Chief Executive – Dr Emrys Roberts,
Executive Director for Operations South Wales – Gareth O’Shea.
Also:
• A meeting with Paul Matthews, Chief Executive MCC, Head of Council – P Fox and Head of Planning, Mark Hands to be arranged.
• To set a timescale at the next meeting, after which, if the above consultations do not result in satisfactory action, the Community Council will contact the Welsh Ombudsman about the matter.

07/17 FINANCIAL MATTERS

Council resolved to make all payments as listed
101725 PAYE and NI 116.03
101726 Telephone and Internet 43.49
101727 Merlin Waste 40.68
101728 Zurich Insurance 353.41
101729 Paye – May 171.09

Internet Payment £569.74 Salary April
Smart Pensions £105.51 Pension April

Internet Payment £680.44 Salary May
Smart Pension £131.01 Pension May

Monthly bank reconciliations signed and agreed by Councillor Martin McHugh

Review possible grant payments 2017/2018 – Councillors to consider this for discussion at the June meeting.

Adoption of Community Council Accounts for 2016/2017
Council resolved to adopt the Community Council accounts for 2016/2017, as presented by the Clerk.
The Annual Return from the external auditors was presented to the Council and the document duly countersigned by the Chair and the Clerk.
This has now been submitted to the internal auditor.

08/17 CORREPONDENCE AND FORTHCOMING MEETINGS

Social Media Policy Template: this was distributed and will be discussed at the next
meeting.

Wales Audit office – Audit fees and other matters relating to 2015/2016 audit:
this was circulated and comments made in it noted.

Code of Conduct training for all new Councillors/refresher week, 22nd May – Councillors did not wish to attend this and felt that they were fully aware of their
obligations.

09/17 OTHER MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

Further to the advertisement on our web-site and notices on all village noticeboards of the vacancy for a Community Councillor for Pwllmeyric, a discussion took place. It was unanimously agreed that Frank Sainsbury, who had shown an interest in the vacancy, would be Co-Opted as Councillor for Pwllmeyric Ward.
He accepted this co-option so that the vacancy is now filled.

Consideration was given to the possible purchase of new benches for Mathern Play Area and St. Tewdric’s churchyard. Councillors agreed to look at the condition of the existing benches before the next meeting when a decision will be made.

CC representation at O V W meetings (held quarterly) – Councillors agreed to rota who would attend. ( see 05/17 above).

The subject of the new Solar Farm at Crick/Portskewett was brought up and it was unanimously felt to be an eyesore. Clerk to check if Portskewett C C receives any community benefit from the farm as Councillors felt that Mathern should have been approached for their views prior to its construction. All agreed that it had a detrimental visual effect on our community.

The Clerk had been contacted re. a number of millennium mugs (funded by the Community Council in 2000 for distribution to local children )which have been found in a deceased Councillor’s garage. Clerk to advise that we are happy for these to be donated to the Village Hall or Athletic Club

It was reported that Footpath 35 sign and stile is broken and also that the footpath has not be cut into the crop now planted. Clerk to inform MCC Footpath Officer and also ask him for an updated MCC footpaths map.

10/17 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next meeting will be held on Monday 12th June 2017 at 7pm at Mathern Village Hall.
There being no further business to discuss, the meeting closed at 9.30 pm.

Signed …………………………….. CHAIRMAN Date…………

Annual Report 2016/2017

MATHERN COMMUNITY COUNCIL ANNUAL REPORT
2016 / 2017

Financial restraints affecting Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) have had a notable impact on the work of your Community Council over the past year. Examples include reduced local road sweeping so that additional sweeps must be funded by the Community Council funds. Dog waste bins (and their emptying) are our responsibility and maintenance of verges, stiles and footpaths is now decreased so that some of this work must also be paid for. Fortunately, reserves are currently available and, for the third year running, the Community Council has not had to raise its annual precept. With more County Council cuts pending though, an increase is probable next year.
Continuing problems at the waste recycling plant in Crick has been of ongoing concern. Cllr. David Harris (supported by Cllr. Merrett) has worked tirelessly on this, writing numerous letters, attending meetings and sifting through the history of permissions granted to the site.
On a positive note it is hoped that a defibrillator will be donated to Mathern by Chepstow Lions Club, once funding is available again. It is hoped the machine will be installed outside the Millers Arms. It can only be put to use once a group of local residents are trained for this and can carry out cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The Lions will help us with this (free) training and anyone wishing to take part is asked to contact the Clerk as soon as possible please!
Traffic calming on the A48 Pwllmeyric Hill has been another issue, especially in light of recent accidents. The Community Council has been requesting action on the problem for many years and, at last, an effort will be made. This is to be in the form of road-markings. Whether this approach will have any impact on traffic speed remains to be seen. Hopefully, a team of Speed Watch volunteers will soon be set up to monitor traffic on the Hill. Monitoring equipment is to be shared with Shirenewton and High-Viz clothing will be supplied to all volunteers.
Your Community Councillors and Clerk have attended many external meetings: One Voice Wales, our umbrella organisation (Cllr. Sainsbury, who has also worked tirelessly around the villages to keep it tidy), Planning and Village Plan training (Mrs. Kelley), reduction of dog-fouling (Cllr. Ovenden). Also ways to improve road safety on the A466 Severn Approach link road (ex-Cllr. Oakes and Mrs. Kelley). Sadly, Mrs. Oakes was unable to stand for re-election to the Community Council although she will remain our representative as a governor at The Dell School until the end 2017. We shall miss her greatly.
Cllr. Morton, with the assistance of Cllr. Bailey, continues to do a superb job in organising the Best Kept Garden competition – a time-consuming task indeed, for which we thank her. Cllr McHugh clears verges and undertakes numerous manual tasks around Pwllmeyric whilst Cllr. J. Harris checks road conditions and general amenities in Mathern. On a personal note, may I give special thanks to my Vice-Chairman, Cllr. Harris, for his unfailing support to me and for his “can do” approach to practical matters whenever they occur.
To conclude, the Community Council has conformed to two statutory requirements: under the new Pensions regulations, our Clerk now has a contributory scheme in place. Also, the Community Council had to decide whether or not to undertake all its work, verbal and written, in Welsh as well as in English. It voted not to do this at present, but mandatory use of the Welsh language is expected in the near future.
May I thank all Community Councillors for supporting me over the past year. Thanks too to those members of the public who have made time to attend our twice-yearly Coffee Mornings to give us their opinions on local matters.Also to our past County Councillor, Graham Down, for his 18 years of unstinting work for the community. We welcome him as a new member of the Community Council and extend this welcome to our new County Councillor, Louise Brown.
Finally, special thanks must once again go to Mrs. Jane Kelley, our Clerk, for all her hard work, knowledge and enthusiasm. We just couldn’t manage without her! Thank you for everything, Jane.
Carolyn Ovenden.
Chairman, Mathern Community Council. May 2017

April 2017

MATHERN COMMUNITY COUNCIL

Minutes of the Council meeting held on Monday 10th April 2017
at 7.00 pm
at Mathern Village Hall.
Present:
Councillors:

C Ovenden Chairman
Councillors F Sainsbury, J Harris, C Oakes and C Morton, D Harris,
N Bailey. Cllr. M McHugh arrived at 8 pm

Also in attendance:
Andy Smith from MCC Strategic Investment and Funding Manager
Clerk – Mrs J Kelley
4 Members of the Public
County Councillor Down

The Chairperson welcomed all to the meeting and thanked them
for their attendance.
The Chairman thanked the Clerk for arranging the Easter Lunch at the Millers Arms which everyone enjoyed.

99/16 PROCEDURAL ITEMS
(i) Public Comment

A member of the public reiterated his concern for the material and levels being used on the Border Waste site at Crick. His main concern is the public safety of the M48 motorway users: the instability of the material currently being used near to it and the height of the mound being built up adjacent to it.

A meeting has been held with MCC (Monmouthshire County Council) and NRW (National Resources Wales) which is documented later in these minutes.

Due to the unsatisfactory responses from both MCC and NRW, the Community Council feel they have no alternative but to report this situation to the Public Ombudsman for Wales.

ii) Visit by Community Police

Ward Report Sheet
Ward Mathern Community Council Month 7th March 2017 –
6th April 2017
Crimes

15.3.17 Report of a drive off without paying for the fuel from Pwllmeyric petrol station

1.4.17 Report of 4 tiles missing off the roof of the Pwllmeyric petrol station. It was as if someone was trying to gain entry to the garage shop.

2.4.17 Report that sometime between 19.3.17 and 2.4.17 – a garden outbuilding was broken into at a property in Moynes Court. A lock was broken to gain entry and 3 white porcelain figures were taken from inside.

3.4.17 Report of entry gained to a house on Pwllmeyric hill whilst the resident was out. A partial footprint was found on the window sill and a partial finger print inside. Nothing was taken from inside.
ASB

18.3.17 Report of 3 youths acting suspiciously under the bridge in Mathern village. Caller thought they had paint canisters in their hands. Area search negative and no graffiti found on the bridge.
Other matters of note
The next round of ‘Your Voice’ has started where members of the public can have their say on issues within the area that they live. You can complete a survey by following the below link
www.gwent.police.uk/yourvoicesurvey
Actions from Last month

Councillors discussed items brought up at the Coffee Morning held last month re traffic problems outside the Day Nursery in Mathern in the mornings and evenings.
Clerk to write to the Nursery owners requesting that, when new parents start to bring their children, a letter is given to them, asking them to park carefully whilst dropping them off. Also that parent -parking doesn’t block residential driveways and they should try to park with child car seats on the pavement side to avoid obstructing traffic when opening doors.

Other suggestions from the Coffee Morning (double yellow lines and other road marking near the Nursery) were considered but Councillors agreed that such measures are not required at present. Also the suggestion that a flashing warning sign should be installed was felt unnecessary.

(iii) Briefing: Andy Smith, Strategic Investment and Funding Manager, MCC

Mr Smith gave a briefing to the meeting about various grants which are available. Please contact himandysmith@monmouthshire.gov.uk
He will be happy to assist any local organisation in completing grant applications.
The Village Hall representatives present at the meeting plan to arrange a meeting to start a grant application for disabled toilets.

(iii) Apologies for absence

Councillor D Merrett,

(iv) Declarations of Personal or Pecuniary Interest:

Councillor F Sainsbury – Broken stiles.

(v) Minutes of previous meetings
Minutes of the meeting held on 13th March 2017 were read and agreed as true records.
There were no matters arising.

Minutes to be displayed on the website.

100/16 COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT

This was County Councillor Down’s last meeting with us as our representative on MCC. He is not standing for election as County Councillor next month, having held our seat there for 18 years.

Projects he will still pursue however include:
Border Waste
Land at Barn Lane – currently with Legal Department at MCC
A48 speed restrictions and traffic monitoring volunteer group.
Mounton Brook pollution.

He reminded Councillors that the next Local Development Plan would be issued in 2021 and the Community Council should shortly start to consider the impact it could make on our area, bearing in mind some development is inevitable.

Councillors thanked him for his hard work and dedication during his time as County Councillor.

County Councillor Down has submitted nomination papers for the Elections on 4th May for Mathern Ward as a Community Councillor.

101/16 PROGRESS REPORT ON ACTIONS FROM LAST MEETING

(i) Speed limit on A48 and Community Speed Watch progress meeting

Paul Keeble at MCC has been updated on the comments and feed back received at our coffee morning. Both MCC and police wish to use the speed volunteer programme to work alongside this. With training jointly with Shirenewton C C.

ii) To discuss progress on Community Benefit Agreement from Rhewl Farm – Solar Farm Development

Both Mathern and Shirenewton Community Council have sent a invoice to the developers for the £1000.00 community payment due for 2016/2017. We await the response.

iii“ What’s On” Leaflet
County Councillor Down had previously advised that this will be circulated shortly.

iv) Matters arising from Coffee Morning 25th March 2017 – Signage/placing of defibrillator, parking Mathern Day Nursery and Bishops Mead.

• Clerk to check with Chepstow Lions Club for details needed for the application form to receive a defibrillator from them. Councillors Harris or Merrett to check with landlord of the Millers Arms that he is happy for defibrillator to be installed on an outside wall of the pub. This site was preferred by members of the public at the recent Coffee Morning. Electricity and telephone lines need to be available.

• Nursery parking: covered under Community Police Matters (99/16 (ii) )
However it was noted that Bishops Mead is a public highway and thus any vehicle is entitled to park or turn around there.

• Problems with the pavement at the Texaco garage will be rectified when the hatchings are completed on Pwllmeyric Hill.

• Suggested other signage: –

“Please drive careful through our village” for Pwllmeyric will be agenda-ed again once the main works on the A48 have been completed.
Signage for Barn Lane – County Councillor Down will request signage
advising “Single track lane with passing places”.

v) Response from Welsh Water re. problems at Mounton Brook

Problem of moved straw bales over sewerage covers has now been fixed. Councillors to monitor this.

vi) Road Signage cleaning

Signage has now been cleaned.

vii) Broken stiles – repairs
MCC have advised that, at present, there is no funding for replacing the broken stiles within the community. They have identified 6 stiles which need to be replaced at a cost of £280.00 per stile. MCC will fit the new stiles at no extra cost.

Clerk was asked to contact M C C to ask that, if we purchased new kissing gates ourselves, who would be liable for upkeep and any future liability with these. Also Councillors asked the clerk to obtain a quote for wooden kissing gates, to compare the cost before a decision was made.

Councillor Sainsbury left the room when this was discussed.

102/16 HIGHWAYS

Clerk to contact MCC Highways re school buses turning at Moynes Court. The buses are not using the road but crossing the verge which they are cutting up with their tyres.

Mud on pavement: Anglecott.

103/16 COUNCILLOR’S REPORTS/CLERKS REPORT
a) One Voice Wales – Update from meeting 6th April 2017 at Sessions House Usk. Guest Speaker is J Cuthbert, Gwent Police Crime Commissioner. Apologies sent.
b) Governors meeting – Dell School –
Clerk has written to The Dell, advising that Councillor Oakes is not standing for re-election in May. However, as a Governor her time on the committee is 4 years whether she is a Community Councillor or not.
Carole agreed to continue to report back to the clerk any feedback required.

c) Risk Assessments – 2017
Forms distributed to Councillors Harris, McHugh and Ovenden.

Clerk to number all assets to Community Council Asset Register.

104/16 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
a) New submissions

None

Monmouthshire County Council response re. cost of providing paper copies of Planning Application s

The clerk can obtain a hand held projector at a cost of £249.00.
Community Council to borrow a projector to see how this works before the purchase is agreed.

b) Decisions and appeals –

None

c)Enforcement –

Update on Border Waste Management:

Councillor Harris to register this with the Welsh Ombudsman as the Community Council feel that both NRW and MCC are not taking adequate action regarding this.

105/16 FINANCIAL MATTERS

Council resolved to make all payments as listed plus

Mathern Chruch 400.00 101719
Mounton Church 200.00 101720
St Pierre Church 200.00 101721
J Kelley 150.00 101722
Merlin Waste 27.12 101723
Internet/Telephone 47.49 101724

Smart Pensions Direct Debit

Monthly bank reconciliations signed and agreed by Councillor Martin McHugh

HSBC account telephone and internet banking now all activated

Clerk to produce annual accounts and submit to Internal Auditors.

106/16 CORREPONDENCE AND FORTHCOMING MEETINGS

Update of the meeting held with MCC and NRW re Border Waste

Those present
Caroline Drayton – NRW
John Jowett – NRW
Mark Hand – Monmouthshire County Council. MCC
Guy Delamere – Monmouthshire County Council. MCC
Councillor Frank Sainsbury – Mathern Community Council
Councillor David Merrett – Mathern Community Council
Councillor David Harris – Mathern Community Council
1.0 Introduction
A general discussion took place where Mathern Community Council shared their continued frustration regarding the lack of any tangible progress to cease operations on site and return the site to its previous agricultural use. We also shared our frustration at the waste of resources expended by all parties on this matter to little benefit. We noted that the neighbours in the vicinity of the site were now extremely angry with false hopes they had been given and mixed messages from authorities involved. Communication generally remained poor.
The meeting then focused on two elements NRW and MCC.
2.0 NRW
2.1 Caroline Drayton stated that NRW had been issued a ‘Standard Rules Permit’ in 2015 which allowed the operator to accept inert waste, process it and export it from to site (i.e. A waste transfer site). NRW have visited the site, after receiving complaints and are satisfied that the operator is operating within his current licence. NRW are now not treating this site as a high priority. Planning consent is needed for this operation however which Border Waste do not have hence the issuing of the Enforcement Notice in May 2016.
2.2. David Harris raised the issue of the licence that MCC advised the Community Council had been revoked in 2016. Mark Hand advised that this related to the licence to remove extracted material from the site. NRW were unaware of a licence being revoked.
2.3. NRW confirmed when questioned that they had not checked any transfer notes or paperwork relating to waste movements on or off the site when they have visited. They purely looked at the material. Caroline Drayton confirmed that quarterly records have to be submitted to NRW by the operator under the terms of its permit. Records of materials coming into the site and leaving it can be obtained from ‘accesstoinformation@nrw.gov.uk’. These have not been specifically checked by NRW. David Harris said the Community Council would apply for these records.
2.4. Now that MCC have approved revised levels for the site an application for a ‘Deposit for Recovery Permit’ will now be applied for by Border Waste. This licence will allow Border Waste to bring in the extra material required to achieve the levels approved by MCC. NRW said they would grant application for this permit once applied for.
3.0 MCC
3.1. Mark Hand confirmed that the Enforcement Notice issued to Border Waste came into force in May 2016 and should have been complied with by August 2016. Level drawings were not issued to MCC for approval until late 2016. Revised levels were approved by MCC two weeks ago. No timetable to carry out these works has been agreed with the operator. Similarly a specification for the material to be used as fill had not been agreed. Guy Delamere advised that he had been trying to contact the operators agent to agree a timescale and specification but had not been able to contact them as yet. Guy Delamere confirmed he would confirm back to Mathern Community Council once a timetable and specification had been agreed.
3.2. On studying the new levels approved by MCC, David Harris questioned the A4 drawings tabled. G. Delamere verbally confirmed that the levels approved were from existing levels at the lower part of the site adjacent to the motorway to existing levels at the top of the site. The drawings tabled however did not appear to show that and in fact showed fill on top of the existing fill bought into the site. David Harris raised concern regarding this for surcharge, stability and rainwater run off reasons. Mark Hand confirmed that no other parties had been consulted when approving these drawings and the decision was made by him and Guy Delamere. Mark Hand said that he would leave the meeting and reassess the approved drawings and report back to the Community Council.
3.3. Now these new levels have been approved this constitutes planning consent. David Harris noted Mathern Community Council’s dismay that in effect planning permission had now been granted to fill the whole site and raise levels without input from and consultees despite MCC being fully aware of the neighbours and consultees views.
3.4. The issue of continued operations on site was discussed and MCC were questioned why continued flouting of planning law and policy was being tolerated. Mark Hand confirmed he had corresponded with the operator asking for a response regarding these allegations to which he has had no response. Mark Hand said he would visit the site on leaving the meeting to further investigate claims. He would also check transfer note paperwork relating to 13th March 2017. Mark Hand asked if witness statements would be provided by the Community Council and any individuals in respect of breaches of conditions. David Harris said that he was sure that parties would if requested. Video evidence is available but it was questioned if this could be used as evidence. Mark Hand was to investigate this.
4.0. Schedule of agreed actions
1. Jane to contact NRW on the address noted in point 2.3 to gain full records of materials bough on and taken off the site from 2015.
2. David Harris to speak to Mr Bartlett to see if he has any confirmation of any licence being revoked as noted in point 2.2.
3. Guy Delamere to confirm timetable and specification of fill material once agreed with Border Waste as noted in point 3.1..
4. Mark Hand to come back to Mathern Community Council confirming what levels have been approved and agreed and with Border Waste, as noted in point 3.2..
5. Mark Hand to confirm if video evidence if sufficient evidence for prosecution and to feedback on any response from Border Waste, as noted in point 3.4.

107/16 OTHER MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

Elections May 2017: All nomination forms are now with MCC.
Pwllmeyric and Mounton Wards are uncontested. Mathern Ward: 6 candidates standing for 5 seats.

It was agreed that, after the elections, an advert would be placed on the website and on Notice boards for the co-option of a Councillor for Pwllmeyric . In the case that more than one person applies, a secret ballot will be held on 15th May at our Annual Community Meeting (A C M).

The One Voice Wales Welsh Language policy was circulated. It was unanimously decided that, as this is a non-Welsh speaking area of Wales and the Community Council has never received a request for the Welsh language to be used, we would not adopt this policy at this time.

Offer by Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations (GAVO) to send a speaker to the meeting to explain their policies: at this time, the offer was refused.

Following risk assessment, it was agreed that a new bench be placed in Mounton.

It was noted that there was fly tipping at the top of Moynes Court drive.

The Chairman thanked Councillor Oakes, who is not standing for re-election, for her hard work and dedication to the Community Council over the past 3 years

108/16 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next meeting will be held on Monday 16th May, 2017 at 7pm at Mathern Village Hall. This will be the Annual Community Meeting.

There being no further business to discuss, the meeting closed at 9.30 pm.

Signed …………………………….. CHAIRMAN Date……………….

Notes from Coffee Morning

COFFEE MORNING 25TH MARCH 2017
PRESENT: 33 PUBLIC MEMBERS
COUNTY COUNCILLOR DOWN
COUNCILLORS OVENDEN, MERRETT, SAINSBURY, HARRIS
Clerk Jane Kelley
Notes
All were thanked for attending. Good to see so many new faces.
County Councillor Down circulated plans which MCC have drawn up re widening the gap in middle of the road by using hatching markings. This would narrow the carriageway and help reduce the speed on Pwllmeyric Hill. These yellow markings would be from just past Mounton House turn off to the New Inn Public House.
Previously, the Police have always said they wouldn’t support a speed restriction on this road but now say they will if the above amendments are carried out.
If was noted that:
Racing cars need enforcement and these changes would not put a stop to this type of driving.
Dangerous and careless drivers will always be present.
It was suggested that signage be erected in Pwllmeryric saying “Please drive slowly/carefully through our village.”
The hatching work is due to start after 1st April if residents are happy to support the scheme. All present were in agreement that it should go ahead.
(after the meeting a couple arrived who were cyclists and gave feed back against these changes)
They commented that hatchings in the middle of the road will push traffic towards the pavement – as they often walk into Chepstow and are already often close to wind mirrors from coaches and lorries – this would make it even more dangerous.
They suggested making it legal for cyclists to go Down Chapel Lane.
Create a wider pavement/cycle lane into Chepstow to make road narrower – joint cycle path.
They suggested a island by the bus stop would help – as visually impaired people live in Pwllmeyric and currently the crossing the road to the bus stop is very dangerous.
County Councillor Down advised that, should the planning for the 17 houses at Hill Farm be approved, he would push for the developer to fund a pedestrian cross ing near the entrance to the site.
Public were asked to contact the Clerk should they wish to become a speed volunteer within Mathern or Pwllmeyric – information obtained would be fed back to the police and re offenders would receive a letter or call from the police reminding them of the speed limit on this stretch of road.
Public were updated on situation re Solar Farm community benefit of £1000.00 per annum. Items suggested for its use at the meeting were:
Signage for Pwllmeyric
Raised Kerb at Texaco Garage
Markings on road near Mathern Day Nursery to help parking problems.
Signage for Barn Lane to reduce traffic dangers -Weight and Width signs could be installed
Road markings/ Keep Clear on pavement near house entrances by Mathern Day Nursery

The Public were advised that Monmouthshire County Council have a new App for smart phones where any problems within the community can be reported. The app is called MY MONMOUTHSHIRE

Public were updated on the situation at the Border Waste site at Crick. The Community Council met with MCC Enforcement and National Resources Wales (N R W) re. the ongoing un authorised quarrying works being carried there. This matter is ongoing and Councillors will continue to chase this for the residents of Crick.

County Councillor Down advised that he would not be standing for re election in May, All thanked him for the successful 18 years he had committed to the betterment of the community.

The public were asked where they would like the defibrillator (to be donated free, thanks to Chepstow Lions) which we hope to be installed in May. The options were the telephone box or the Millers Arms outer wall. The majority opinion was the Millers Arm should be the site for this. Councillor Merrett to speak to Mike (the landlord) to seek his permission for this.
Anyone interested in receiving First Aid training ( including use of defibrillator) to contact the Clerk.

Open Forum
Speeding traffic through Mathern Village – too many cars parked in centre of village especially around the traffic calming sites. – coming through the village from Barn Lane, cars are unable to pass safetly due to inconsiderate parking all along the carriage way.
Barn Lane traffic usage has increased greatly – speed needs to be reduced – suggested that a sign at both ends with weight and width restriction to be erected.
Pavement at Texaco very dangerous – County Councillor Down advised that this has already been agreed to be fixed when the work starts on Pwllmeyric Hill. This work would however, only be a thick white line painted to define the pavement.
Problem with cars parking in Bishops Mead – Parked there day and night. Cars from the nursery parents driving in and turning around – residents stated this was a senior citizen housing area and should have residents parking only/restricted entry.
(Another resident felt that the problem at the nursery was for a very short time in the day – morning and evening and that by marking roads, more traffic would use Bishops Mead as a turnaround area. (Some parents take two children to the nursery and therefore one child has to be got out of the car into the road). It was suggested that perhaps the owner of the school could put a polite word in documents issued to parents re parking and speed through the village as new childrens’ parents may be unaware of past problems with Nursery traffic and parking.
It was suggested that a flashing light be installed at Wyelands and Step a Side warning of the school.
Residents were reminded of the Charity of Charles Pratt Fund which is open for children in the village from age 4 – 25 who have resided in the village for 2 years or more.
Residents were invited to attend the next Community Council Meeting to hear a spokes man from the County Council update the community on grants that are available e for village clubs and amenity groups.
Next Coffee Morning October 2017