Minutes

July Minutes

MATHERN COMMUNITY COUNCIL

Minutes of the Council meeting held on Monday 3rd July 2017
at Mathern Village Hall.
Present:
Councillors:

Councillors D Harris, F Sainsbury, D Merrett , C Morton, G Down and
M McHugh ( arrived at 7.35pm).

Also in attendance:

Clerk – Mrs J Kelley
1 Member of the Public
County Councillor Louise Brown
No Police representative

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

21/17 PROCEDURAL ITEMS
(i) Public Comment

A member of the public came once again to update Councillors since our last meeting on the work taking place at Border Waste, Crick: it is getting worse and reinstatement of the site is not being carried out. In the member’s opinion, the land can now never be brought back into agricultural use and ground levels are far too high and dangerous for animals to graze on. Large amounts of soil are being brought to the site and screened. It is thought that this will be sold, though it is currently still on site. The main concern is the safety of the M48 motorway users and, bearing in mind the recent tragic fire in London, the responsible legislative bodies need to take immediate action before a terrible accident happens here.
The member of the public advised that in 1960’s, when the motorway was built, the Welsh Office Highways contractors, it is assumed, used large amounts of boulders to ensure that the land next to the motorway was safe. All these have now been removed and sold by the owners, meaning that the restraining structure alongside the motorway now very unsafe.
As this site has had an Enforcement notice served on it, Councillors do not understand why a “ Stop” notice is being ignored and an injunction is not taken out again to compel the business to immediately halt the work and reinstate the land to original levels, as previously specified by the County Council.

Councillors noted that public comment lasted for 45minutes, rather than the 15 minutes stated in Standing Orders. They agreed that this should not be allowed to take place in future. Time is being currently being wasted by repeatedly covering the same ground and the meeting should complete the agenda by 9pm which is proving impossible Perhaps a smaller sub-committee needs to be formed or meetings started earlier to ensure they do not run past 9 pm.

ii) Visit by Community Police

No Police presence
19/6/17 – Report of a drive off without paying for fuel from Pwllmeyric petrol station .
20/6/17 – Report of a two vehicle RTC near to the New Inn pub. A vehicle waiting to exit from the main Mathern junction pulled out and hit another vehicle coming from the Garden centre direction. All parties were unhurt except for a young passenger who was taken to hospital with a bumped head as a precaution.
28/6/17 – Report of approx. 200 youths meeting up and congregating in the long field between Mounton and Pwllmeyric . This was an end of school gathering. Officers attended and eventually moved persons on. The farmer was updated with what had happened as there was an amount of litter left behind.
Please remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity/crime at the time via either 101 or 999 if you deem it an emergency
(iii) Apologies for absence

Councillors Ovenden, Jayne Harris and N Bailey

(iv) Declarations of Personal or Pecuniary Interest:

None

(v) Minutes of previous meetings
Minutes of the meeting held on 12th June 2017 were read and agreed as true records.
There were no matters arising.

Minutes to be displayed on the website.

22/17 COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT

County Councillor Louise Brown reported that she had been on further training – Corporate Parenting. The training covered County Councillors’ responsibilities towards children looked after by the Council. Louise was told at the training that the Council wanted to directly recruit more Monmouthshire Foster Carers and hoped that anyone interested would contact Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) about it.
The Lower Wye Area Committee has a meeting on the 20 September 2017 at 10am at St Arvans Village Hall. The Head of Operations for the Health Board is expected to attend, with the focus of discussion being on health facilities in Chepstow and surrounding area. Members of the public are very welcome to attend.

23/17 PROGRESS REPORT ON ACTIONS FROM LAST MEETING

(i) Speed volunteer – Response from PCSO A. Jones re. volunteer details
Forwarded via Councillor Down

Reminder sent to PCSO Jones. Programme to be started from scratch as list of volunteers is now out of date.
Clerk to place advert on noticeboards and on our Website.

ii) Progress re new road markings on A48

Councillor Down has contact Paul Keeble (MCC Highways) re. start date for commencement of work. Awaiting response.

iii) What’s On” Leaflet – including advert re community benefit requests.

Councillor Down advised that this leaflet has now been delivered to him and he hopes it will be distributed shortly.

iv) New Bench Mounton Village

Awaiting confirmation of size of bench to be ordered.
Councillor Ovenden and Councillor McHugh to liaise.

v) Signage, Barn Lane/Buses Turning, Moynes Court

Relevant officers informed – awaiting response.
Councillor Down to chase.

vi) Work to Benches – Park and Churchyard, Mathern

Clive Jones has agreed to carry out the relevant work on these benches.
Matter closed.

vii) Grass cutting – Mathern Crescent

M C C advised that they cut this at least 12 times a year from March to September.
Councillors thought that this is sufficient.

Viii) Progress with defibrillator – delivery, cabinet costings, CPR and training in use of the apparatus.

The defibrillator has now been delivered together with the CPR training kit.
It was agreed to purchase the lockable cabinet at a cost of £395.00 Clerk to order this.
Councillor D Harris to obtain a quote for an electrician to fit this once received.

ix) Receipt of footpaths maps from M C C
These were distributed to Councillors who had requested them.
Clerk to hold remaining.

x) Baileys Hay – Rubbish Collections
In relation to concerns about the amount of waste being left at a house in Baileys Hay, County Cllr Brown has been told that education officers are expected to attend the address. She is waiting to hear from Michael Richardson, Educational Health Officer from the County Council, who has agreed to co-ordinate concerns.

xi) Reply – Mathern Day Nursery
Mrs Gore replied to our letter stating that she would insert a paragraph in her next parent newsletter asking for care to be given by parents when driving and parking in Mathern.

24/17 HIGHWAYS

Overhanging ivy in Barn Lane has been reported, reference – MCC 025180
Blocked drains in Pwllmeyric reported – MCC 025161

Drains in Mathern below motorway bridge need to clearing.

25/17 COUNCILLOR’S REPORTS/CLERKS REPORT
a) One Voice Wales : next meeting – July.
Councillor Sainsbury to attend. 13th July 7pm sessions House Usk
b) Governors meeting – Dell School –
No report available.
c) Best Kept Garden Competition – Entry GAVO Best Kept Village
Councillors Morton and Bailey to liaise with the judge to arrange a suitable date in July for judging the competition.

GAVO judging can take place any time in June. Results in October.

26/17 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
a) New submissions

DC/2017/00603 – 3 Mounton House Cottages – LBC
Alteration of a rear window to provide French doors at the rear of the property. Retrospective approval sought for the installation of a chimney flu liner and cowls and the replacement of the rear door joinery. No Objection

DC/2017/00605 – 1 Mounton House Cottages – LBC
Alteration of a window to incorporate French doors to rear of property, installation of a shower room with WC at first floor level with the addition of a roof light above. Alternation of internal stud walls at ground floor and retrospective approval for the installation of a chimney flu liner, pot and cowl for wood burning stove. No Objection.

b) Decisions and appeals –

Regarding the application for New Inn DC/2017/00302, delegated panel met on Friday 30th June. No decision has been made as yet.

c) Enforcement – Border Waste site, Crick

County Cllr. Brown reported that MCC’s Chief Executive has emailed both the Welsh Government Minister for Highways and the Chief Executive of National Resources Wales (NRW), asking for a meeting with a nominated senior official in relation to the above.

27/17 FINANCIAL MATTERS

101738 Andrea Fry and Co 350.00
101739 PAYE 144.54
101740 K C Jones – Benches 228.41
101741 Postage/Stamps 8.36
101742 Merlin Waste 27.12
101743 Chepstow Garden Centre 25.00

DD Smart Pension £118.69
Online Salary June 2017 £550.66

Monthly bank reconciliations not available. This to be completed at the August meeting.

Clerk circulated the internal auditors report and the implementation of all recommendations made in it were unanimously approved.

Points arising from report:

Regarding the overpayment of Clerks salary of £ 87.93, this was noted and all agreed that it should not be repaid.

Regarding Item B – Clerk and Chairman to review the Community Council’s Standing Orders and report back to the August meeting with updated copies, time permitting. Alternatively, September meeting.

Due to Clerks salary now being paid at the end of each month and meetings held on the 2nd Monday each month, it was resolved that a pink paper would be submitted for previous month salary. This to be placed with the Minutes of the appropriate meeting. Also that the online Banking transaction page would be initialled and checked at the subsequent meeting.

The Clerk confirmed that the annual accounts have now been sent to the External Auditor.

Review of possible grant payments 2017/2018 –
A letter has been received from Cruse Bereavement Care requesting a donation.
After a lengthy discussion, it was unanimously agreed that an advert be placed in the Church magazine and on our website site inviting applications for grants for 2017/2018. Councillors do not wish to continue giving ad hoc grants without receiving applications. This will need to be written into our Standing Orders for future use. The criterion for a successful grant application would be that local residents would benefit either locally around the villages or in a South-East Wales-based context.

Laptop still to be purchased.

28/17 CORREPONDENCE AND FORTHCOMING MEETINGS

List of forthcoming training sessions run by O V W were circulated:
Financial Training, Module 21, Bridgend 15th November 2017

Andrea Fry, our internal auditor, to attend a meeting to help Councillors with next year’s Budgets etc. Clerk to invite her to our November meeting.

The MCC Lower Wye Valley Area meeting update attached for Councillors Information.

29/17 OTHER MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

A letter has been received from MCC Planning re the planting at Rhewl Farm Solar Farm, Shirenewton. The Landscape Implementation condition requires the planting is completed in the first planting season following completion of the development.
Enforcements are checking that this condition has been adhered to.

The Clerk had received an email re. road closure for Mathern village fete – Clerk to respond and advise that the organisers must apply to MCC for a road closure themselves. Also a request to use the Crescent on Fete day for Band and fete parade – Clerk to advise that the Community Council does not have any authority over the use of the Crescent.

Coffee morning to be booked for 28th October – however the Clerk will be unable to attend due to prior commitments.

Clerk was asked to purchase an 80th Birthday card and £25.00 Garden centre voucher for Mrs Dorothy Harris. This is in recognition for her help with catering at coffee mornings.

30/17 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next meeting will be held on Monday 14th August 2017 at 7pm at Mathern
Village Hall.
There being no further business to discuss, the meeting closed at 10.00 pm.

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

June 2017

MATHERN COMMUNITY COUNCIL

Minutes of the Council meeting held on Monday 12th June 2017
at Mathern Village Hall.
Present:
Councillors:

C Ovenden Chairman
Councillors D Harris, F Sainsbury, D Merrett ,J Harris, N Bailey, C Morton,
M McHugh, and G Down.

Also in attendance:

Clerk – Mrs J Kelley
3 Member of the Public
County Councillor Louise Brown
No Police representative

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

11/17 PROCEDURAL ITEMS
(i) Public Comment

A local resident came to advise that, since our last meeting, Border Waste at Crick are actively bringing soil onto the land and screening it ready to be moved off site. Large boulders are being used as a retaining wall. The member is very concerned about the safety of road users on the M48 motorway as material which is being used is not suitable and a land slide on to the carriageway with fatal results could so easily happen.

“County Councillor Brown was told that Welsh Government highways officials had only expressed concern about the fence/barrier but thought that the response needed looking into further. Cllr Brown explained how she had been working on this issue as a County Councillor in the short time since being elected. Cllr Brown had seen the Leader of the Council who had agreed that a meeting with the Chief Executive and representatives of NRW and Welsh Government Representatives should be pursued.”

A second local resident came to introduce herself as the new joint owner of The New Inn. She explained the planning application – on which we had submitted objections last month, May 2017.
In addition to the plans already submitted, the owners are considering re-siting the vehicle entrance to the car park and also erecting mirrors on the A48 to make visibility better for cars leaving the car park to join the A48. She advised that maximum event size would be 150 people with parking spaces for 35 vehicles.

ii) Visit by Community Police

No Police presence
Report Below

Ward Report Sheet
Ward Mathern Community Council
14/5/17 to 12/6/17 Month May 2017 to June 2017
Crimes

16/5/17 – Report of a break in at outbuildings on a farm in Mounton. A Honda quad bike, welding equipment and power tools were amongst the items taken.
21/5/17 – Report of a break in at the farm shop at Chepstow Garden Centre. Access was gained via the roof and walls were broken through to get to the safe. A large amount of cash was then taken from inside.
25/5/17 – Several reports of a red car on fire near the New Inn on the A48. An electrical fault had caused this.
10/6/17 – Report of a 1 vehicle non injury RTC near to Pwllmeyric Garage. The vehicle had driven through water , skidded and ended up in a field .

(iii) Apologies for absence

There were none

(iv) Declarations of Personal or Pecuniary Interest:

County Councillor Brown (Planning)

(v) Minutes of previous meetings
Minutes of the meeting held on 8th May 2017 were read and agreed as true records.
There were no matters arising.

Minutes to be displayed on the website.

12/17 COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT

County Councillor Brown reported that she had been appointed to County Council Committees as follows: Planning, Children and Young People Select Committee and Adult Select Committee as well as an MCC authority representative for the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service Authority which itself has a number of committees. Louise will also be attending Lower Wye Area Committee meetings.
As a new County Councillor, she has attended training for planning, as well as the scrutiny committees. New County Councillors have also been told about alternative service delivery vehicles being looked at by the Council including wholly owned Council companies and charitable trusts.
In view of the concerns about speeding/speed limit on the A48, Cllr Brown has had a meeting in the local area with Paul Keeble from MCC Highways. This highlighted local concerns which were again reinforced to Mr Keeble by Cllr Brown following an email from yet another concerned resident.
13/17 PROGRESS REPORT ON ACTIONS FROM LAST MEETING

(i) Speed volunteer – Progress meeting

Councillor Down has passed volunteers’ details to PCSO Andy Jones –
The list may now be out of date as the matter has been ongoing for some time. This is due to the police latterly taking authority over the project.

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

£1000.00 Payment received re Rhewl Solar Farm 16th May 2017. (see 13/17 (xi) )

iii) Progress re speed limit A48

Councillor Down has contact Paul Keeble (MCC Highways) re. start date for commencement of work. Awaiting response.

iv) What’s On” Leaflet

Councillor Down advised that this document has now been delivered and he hopes it will be distributed shortly.

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

Funding has been agreed and a cheque for £600, which is a donation to us from Chepstow Lions Club, has been sent to the British Heart Foundation.
Clerk to write to Chepstow Lions to thank them for this donation.

Once the defibrillator is received, Councillors to liaise with Millers Arms re. its erection. A cabinet needs to be purchased and fixed to the outside wall of the Millers. Clerk to obtain quotes for this.

Training to be arranged for villagers. For this, 10 inflatable manikins and other training kit are due to be delivered shortly. Chepstow Lions will liaise with a First Responder to arrange the training.

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

M C C Countryside officers have reported that they have spoken to landowners and are planning to replace the relevant gates with metal ones.
(N.B. Community Councillors noted that, in several cases, it was the support posts rather than the kissing gates which needed replacing.)
Community Council to monitor that this work is completed.

vii) New Bench – Mounton Village

A “Classic” bench in brown was chosen and a delivery site in Mounton agreed.
Clerk will order when it is decided if any other new benches are required within the community.
Cost of the bench is £369.12 excl. VAT.

viii) Signage, Barn Lane/Buses Turning Moynes Court

Relevant officers informed – awaiting response.

ix) Social Media policy

It was decided that we would not adopt this policy. We do not wish to use Social Media for Community Council business.
Review this in two years.

x) Consideration of New Benches Park and Churchyard Mathern

Both benches need to be rubbed down and painted.
Clerk to contact C Jones to see if he can undertake this work.

xi) Community Benefit funding – £1000.00 received re. Rhewl Solar Farm

It was agreed that an advert should be placed in the new What’s On leaflet to advise that the benefit has now been received and that it is payable annually for 20 years. Suitable schemes for the Community Council to consider should be made to the Clerk for discussion at the next meeting.

xii) Response from Footpaths Officers re update of Maps.

Maps have now been received – Clerk to request two more – and also a supply of smaller ones.

xiii) Response from Portskewett CC re any community benefit from MCC solar farm at Crick/Caldicot

No benefit was put in place with Portskewett C C by MCC before this project was approved.

14/17 HIGHWAYS

Drains are fully blocked with silt/mud at Pwllmeyric.
The “Give Way” road markings through Pwllmeyric, especially at the junction of Brynderwen Lane (Mounton House) and the A48 are non-existent adding to the potential for accidents on the junction. Road markings from Badgers Meadow are also very faded.

The pavement beside the A48 between the top end of Pwllmeyric and Chepstow is becoming difficult to navigate in places due to overhanging trees.
The speed restriction sign at the top of Pwllmeyric Hill just beyond the veterinary surgery has been turned and is not visible. The similar sign in the lane at Trellenny is faded and cannot be read.

15/17 COUNCILLOR’S REPORTS/CLERKS REPORT
a) One Voice Wales : next meeting – July.
Councillor Down to attend.
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 could now deal with the resignation of ex-Community Councillor Carole Oakes by electing another Mathern Councillor for the remaining time, if they wished, or rotate the seat back to St Arvans.
However, Councillors resolved that Carole Oakes would remain as governor until end of the 4 year term as she had offered to do. She will report back to the Community Council after each Governor’s meeting. In 2019, our seat will pass on to St Arvans CC.

c) Best Kept Garden Competition – Entry GAVO Best Kept Village
Councillors Morton and Bailey to liaise with the judge to arrange a suitable date in July for judging the competition.

GAVO judging can take place any time in June. Results in October.

16/17 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
a) New submissions

None

b) Decisions and appeals –

E mailed received from MCC – I refer to your council’s objection dated the 15th May, can you please ask your members of the community council if anyone would like to speak against the proposal in full planning committee on the 4th July? If there is no one who wants to speak, rather than the application going to committee it will go to a delegation panel site meeting instead – time to be confirmed, which is more informal and your members are also invited to attend this and can speak against the proposal to the members of the delegated panel on site.

After a vote, it was decided that a delegated panel site meeting would be preferred. Clerk to contact David Wong to advise this. Date to be confirmed. Councillor Harris to attend this meeting if on a convenient date.

c) Enforcement – Border Waste site, Crick

Letters issued 26th May 2017. So far no replies from MCC other than to say they are awaiting NRW response.

• A meeting with Paul Matthews, Chief Executive MCC, Chief Executive of NRW, Head of Council – P Fox and Head of Planning, Mark Hands to be arranged. Also a Welsh Assembly representative to be invited. Councillor Harris to represent both the Community Council and the residents of Crick.

17/17 FINANCIAL MATTERS

101730 Information Commissioner 35.00
101731 M J Trading 21.06
101732 Merlin Waste 27.12
101733 Postage / Stationery 18.42
101734 Telephone / internet 43.49
101735 Work War Memorial – replace boards 172.58
101736 W Bentley – Tree Cutting 325.00
101737 W Bentley – Hedges and Verges 300.00

Monthly bank reconciliations signed and agreed by Councillor Martin McHugh.

Review possible grant payments 2017/2018 – Carried forward to next meeting.

Review of budget to spending, March 2017 – June 2017:
Budgets reviewed and spending to budget accepted by Councillors.

Grant allocations to be agreed at the next meeting.

Pending costs:
Defibrillator – cabinet to be purchased. Installation costs.
Laptop for Clerk. This may cost more than the £600.00 available in the Reserves.

NB.The purchase of a new laptop and subsequent cost of an increased financial package to run two computer systems will incur an additional cost of £25.00 for this part-year, with this sum increasing for next year.

Clerk to circulate dates for financial/ budgeting training for all Community Councillors, as recommended by internal auditor.

18/17 CORREPONDENCE AND FORTHCOMING MEETINGS

Give Dog Fouling the Red Card meeting, 25/5/17.
Minutes were distributed. Councillors noted that they were happy with reduced dog fouling throughout our community since bins have been installed. Any enforcement issues would be sent to MCC for them to deal with. The Community Council would not be issuing warning letters to individuals who allow their dogs to foul. Councillors agreed that this was the responsibility of the County Council.

Mathern Day nursery has replied to our letter in April.
Clerk to respond noting Mrs Gore’s comments and reiterating that the Community Council were passing on comments made to it at its April coffee morning.

Black Bags – Baileys Hay Mathern
A resident in Bailey’s Hay is leaving out 6 bags per week for collection. MCC have been collecting these as a “one off” favour. County Councillor Brown to liaise with MCC Educational Officer to try and work with the resident so that she cooperates with the “2 bags each fortnight” rule.
MCC to collect on a temporary basis until issue resolved.

19/17 OTHER MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

Grass cutting, the Crescent, Mathern
A map has been received from MCC outlining the areas which they currently mow 12/14 times a year weather permitting. The map is incorrect as it shows they mow Baileys’s Hay – St Tewdrics Place. Clerk to ask for correct details and discuss at next meeting.

Councillors Morton and Bailey to collect Walks leaflets from Councillor Ovenden for local distribution.

Matters to be added to the 3 year forecast:
Walks leaflet reprint 2018
Painting the railings –War Memorial
Benches to be restained: Mathern village – War Memorial – The Crescent.

20/17 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE FOR JULY MEETING. 1ST MONDAY.
The next meeting will be held on Monday 3rd July 2017 at 7pm at Mathern Village Hall.
There being no further business to discuss, the meeting closed at 10.00 pm.

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

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. All adopted the and agreed to comply with the Code of Conduct.

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