Minutes

April 2015

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF MATHERN COMMUNITY COUNCIL HELD ON
13th April 2015

Present: Cllr D Merrett – Chairman
Cllr C Ovenden
Cllr C Morton
Cllr C Oakes
Cllr N Bailey
Cllr D Harris
Cllr J Harris
Cllr M McHugh

Clerk Jane Kelley
County Councillor Down

4 Members of the public
Adam Withers
Frank Monschauer (General Manager of Fraone ltd)
Ralph Doering (General Manager of Fraone ltd)
Gareth Adams (Landowner of Coombe Farm)

91/14

PROCEDURAL ITEMS
(i) Public comment
Four representatives attended the meeting to advice of a possible planning application for a 10 hectare solar farm near St Pierre Great Wood. The land owner also attended. The land would be leased from the land owner by a business group who would then sell on to an investment company for 25 years. The land has been chosen as it does not flood and meets radiance and other criteria. The proposed development is at a very early stage. A Public Meeting will be held in the small room of the Village Hall on Thursday 23rd April 3pm – 8pm.

Councillor Bailey disagreed that the area does not flood and confirmed that flooding has taken place in the past.
The Group asked to be invited back to a Community Council meeting once official plans have been drafted.
(ii) Police report
The monthly report was received prior to the meeting. No officers were in
attendance, although it had been confirmed that calls to Brookacre would continue to be included in future police reports.
Please find attached the Police report for Mathern, Pwllmeyric and Mounton for crimes between 8th March 2015 and 13th April 2015:
“There will be no police representative at this evening’s meeting, so please contact us if you have any questions, or require further information about anything on the report.
08/04 – Theft of 4 mountain bikes, a road bike and a chain saw from an insecure garage at a property in Mathern.
23/03 – Lead stolen from a property in Pwllmeyric, damaging the roof in the process.
21/03 – Males knocking doors purporting to be from the Red Cross. Police attended, the males were checked and their ID verified with the agency they were working for.
10/03 – Drive off from Texaco petrol station with £20 worth of fuel taken. CCTV captured the incident.
Please continue to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity or crime to us on 101, or 999 in an emergency. We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting if not before.”

(iii) Apologies
Apologies were received from Councillor Sainsbury.

(iv) Declarations of interest
There were none

(v) Minutes of previous meetings
The minutes of the meeting held on 9th March 2015 had been circulated with the agenda. They were agreed as true and accurate.
92/14 COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT

• The Education budget will not reduce. However, schools will be responsible for paying for more facilities themselves as the County Council is to provide less funding directly.
As a result, redundancies have been announced at Chepstow School. These are not teaching staff but class room assistants. The reason for the redundancies is the school’s large deficit which must now be reduce by the school itself.
• Councillor Morton asked County Councillor Down if he could follow up the problem with the stagnant ditch on St Pierre golf course discussed at the last meeting. This has been reported to the Environment Agency but foul leakage is still taking place.

83/14 PROGRESS REPORT ON ITEMS FROM LAST MEETING
(i) Sewerage pipes, Mounton
Photographs of the site have been sent to National Resources Wales. No response has been received.
As the weather is dry, the problem is not obvious at present.

(ii) Signage for Mathern Athletic Club/Cyclist warning signs

County Councillor Down will chase Graham Kinsella regarding this and report back to the next meeting.

(iii) Barn Lane – scalpings

Councillor Merrett to chase this and report back to next meeting .
Clerk to chase Highways re. drain clearance.

(iv) MCC Highways response re installation of Wales in Bloom winners plaque for Pwllmeyric.
Councillor Merrett to arrange for the sign to be attached to the Pwllmeyric road sign opposite the New Inn.

(v) Monmouthshire Housing re. clearing of garage area – Bailey’s Hay.

Monmouthshire Housing have agreed to clear the garage area. Matter now completed.

(vi) Feedback Lower Wye Area Committee.
No feedback which affects Mathern CC.

(vii) White paper Local Government reform, responses from all Councillors.
Councillor Ovenden to respond to the reform Paper before 28th April.

(viii) Costings for 2 Dog waste bins, Mathern
Clerk to apply to Tidy Towns for 2 dog bins and one normal waste bin. If application is successful, the matter of where these should be sited to be discussed at the next meeting.
The cost to empty the bins is £3.39 per bin per week, as quoted by Merlin Waste of Lydney.

(ix) Feedback from Coffee Morning 28.03.2015
Nick Ramsay, our Welsh Assembly member, attended together with 15 members of the public.
Main feed back was that dog waste bins should be installed in Chapel Lane Pwllmeyric and also one more waste bin.
County Councillor Down was asked to contact MCC Highways regarding the path falling away at the entrance to Mathern near the Texaco garage.
Local Police carried out surveys for the new initiative VOICE.

Next Coffee Morning to be arranged for October when local organisations will be invited.

94/14 HIGHWAYS
The following issues were discussed:

• Barn Lane drains still blocked
• Unplanned works at Crick, now encroaching onto motorway

95/14 COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS/CLERK’S REPORT

a) One Voice Wales
Next Meeting Thursday 16th April. Apologies to be sent

b) GAVO(Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations)
Application forms for Best Kept Village received. Clerk to complete and submit.
Councillor Mc Hugh to assist with maps which GAVO requires.
Councillor Morton to arrange for the judge for the Community Council’s Best Kept Garden (as seen from the road) competition to be confirmed and date for judging to be agreed.

c) Footpaths
No problems have been reported.

d) School Governors’ Meeting
Councillor Oakes has been elected to the Dell School’s Exclusion Committee, which has three members.

e) Risk Assessments
Councillor Ovenden has carried out her assessments – she will contact a local carpenter to ask him to carry out the works needed on the bench in Mounton.
Councillor McHugh and Harris to complete their assessments.
Clerk to obtain a quote for a new noticeboard for Pwllmeyric.

96/14 County Councillor Down left the meeting to attend Shirenewton’s Meeting.

PLANNING APPLICATIONS
(i) New submissions
DC/2015/0265 Erection of 45 sheds for use in association with the existing caravan site – part retrospective – St Pierre Country Park. NO OBJECTIONS NOT IN OR AREA.
DC/2015/00247 – Construction of a ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (Pv) generation project and associated works – Oak Grove Farm, A48 Crick to Parkwall Roundabout – REFUSED.
Councillors feel that this site is in open, unspoilt countryside, the visual attraction of which will destroyed by an industrial solar farm. They strongly feel that such a development is undesirable and should be resisted because of its intrusion into this rural area (against Policy EP1).

(ii) Decisions and appeals – None
(iii) Enforcement – Crick
Councillor Harris has received communications from MCC Planning Enforcement and National Resources Wales who have issued two waste exemptions on the site without our knowledge. Councillors are very unhappy that no planning permission has been obtained and are now seeking County Councillor Down’s help with ensuring that the appropriate planning is applied for.

MCC Enforcements have confirmed that no application for works has been submitted. Clerk to ask Shirenewton CC if they have received any complaints re. the site.

Councillor Merrett to speak to Nick Ramsay AM regarding the matter.
97/14 FINANCIAL MATTERS

March Budget
101484 82.50 Village Hall Rent
101485 26.35 M J Trading
101486 175.20 Griffiths Signs
101487 500.00 S Hodges
101488 13.34 J Kelley
101489 10.00 Coffee Morning

April Budget
101490 457.75 J Kelley – Salary
101491 108.61 Paye
101492 400.00 Mathern Church
101493 200.00 Mounton Church
101494 200.00 St Pierre Church
101495
150.00 J Kelley (Home use Fee)

End of the financial year. Clerk to complete year end accounts.
Annual Insurance received £371.03 – Clerk to pay.
98/14 CORRESPONDENCE AND FORTHCOMING MEETINGS

Open meeting Wednesday, 22nd April. Planning meeting for village Fete – 8pm at Mathern Athletic Club.

Accounts system update from Rialtas/Windows 7 update/2003 to make compatible.

99/14 OTHER MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

• Works have now been completed at St Tewdric’s Well – contractor has been asked to tidy path edges before payment of £500 is made.

• Banners for Village Hall ready for collection. Councillor Merrett to arrange.
100/14 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Monday, 11th May 2015. 7pm. Annual Community Meeting followed by normal monthly meeting.

March 2015

MATHERN COMMUNITY COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF MATHERN COMMUNITY COUNCIL HELD ON
9th March 2015

Present: Cllr D Merrett – Chairman
Cllr C Ovenden
Cllr F Sainsbury
Cllr C Morton
Cllr C Oakes
Cllr N Bailey

In attendance: Clerk Jane Kelley
Andy Jones – Police

81/14 PROCEDURAL ITEMS
(i) Public comment

None
(ii) Police report

19/2/15 – Report of two males acting suspiciously at St Pierre Hotel. They were noticed by staff and left soon after. The index number of the vehicle was taken and the car was stopped and the males inside searched later that day in the West Mercia police area. The vehicle was confiscated as the driver was driving with no insurance.
2/3/15 – Report of two known male shoplifters in Pwllmeyric Garden Centre. They were noticed by staff who called us. No offences on this occasion.
Please continue to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity at the time by calling 101 or 999 if you deem it an emergency.

PACT meetings have been disbanded and from March a new scheme has been introduced called Your Voice. Questionnaires will be circulated to the public every 4 months and the main concerns highlighted from these will be investigated.
(iii) Apologies
Apologies were received from Councillors Harris and McHugh

(iv) Declarations of interest
There were none

(v) Minutes of previous meetings
The minutes of the meeting held on 9th February 2015 had been circulated with the agenda. They were agreed as true and accurate.
82/14 COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT
No report available

83/14 PROGRESS REPORT ON ITEMS FROM LAST MEETING
(i) Sewerage pipes, Mounton
County Councillor Down chasing

(ii) Signage for Mathern Athletic Club/Cyclist warning signs

County Councillor Down chasing

(iii) Banner for Mathern Village Fete.
Each banner will cost £43.80 Councillors agreed to donate four, printed with each date, to the Village Fete Committee. These to be paid for from the rent budget as, on review, funds which can be spent are available here.
Clerk to order these banners from Griffiths Signs in Rogerstone.

(iv) Barn Lane – scalpings

Councillor Merrett to contact MCC Highways to ask them to meet on site to discuss this matter further. The condition of the lane is now very poor.

(v) Winners plaque for the Pwllmeyric – Wales in Bloom

Councillor D Merrett to contact MCC Highways to investigate if their permission is required to fit a plaque on the “Pwllmeyric” signs at the entrance to the village.

(vi) Monmouthshire Housing re. clearing of garage area – Bailey’s Hay.
County Councillor Down chasing.

(vii) Feedback Lower Wye Area Committee.
There was none

84/14 HIGHWAYS
The following issues were discussed:

• Mud on roads throughout Mathern
• Barn Lane condition – site meeting to be agreed
• Street lights on all day and night – top of Mounton Road
• Lighting – entrance to St Pierre Hotel/Golf Course
• Road configuration at entrance to St Pierre Hotel/Golf Course

85/14 COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS/CLERK’S REPORT

(i) One Voice Wales
No meeting arranged – Annual Subscription Paid

(ii) GAVO
Clerk to chase application forms GAVO (Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations).

(iii) Footpaths
No reported problems

(iv) Dell School Governors’ Meeting
Councillor Oakes has attended numerous compulsory training courses. A full Governors’ meeting is to be held on Tuesday 10th March.

86/14 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
(i) New submissions
DC/2015/00144 Telecommunications Notification – St Pierre Golf Course – Approved

(ii) Decisions and appeal
None

(iii) Enforcement
Councillor Harris has received communications from MCC Planning Enforcement and National Resources Wales who have issued two waste exemptions on the site without our knowledge. Councillors are very unhappy that no planning permission has been obtained and are now seeking County Councillor Down’s help with ensuring that planning is applied for.
78/14 FINANCIAL MATTERS
Payments as listed in the agenda were approved.
101479 102.00 C M Maintenance
101480 47.11 3 Months phone
101481 457.75 J Kelley
101482 108.61 Paye
101483 40.62 2 Months internet
101484 82.50 Village Hall Rent
Financial summary of budget to spending was circulated with the Agenda.
Councillors were happy with this. Still to be paid are the works at St Tewdrics Well and the Village Fete banners. Councillors gave consideration to the installation of two dog waste bins, one at each end of Mathern village. This to be discussed at the Coffee Morning on the 28th March. Clerk to obtain quotes for the installation and emptying of these.

88/14 CORRESPONDENCE AND FORTHCOMING MEETINGS
Coffee Morning: Saturday 28th March at 10.15 – 12.00 Mathern Village Hall

Clerk to also invite David Davies MP. Local police have been invited.

Brown Community Volunteer Bags renewal – 31.03.2015

Clerk has registered this and they will be delivered shortly.

Church Magazine to resume publication in April. Contributions would be appreciated to oldfield-rout@btinternet.com

Clerk to send the police report

89/14 OTHER MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

A copy letter dated 15th February, has been received from a Caerwent resident in respect of artillery fire taking place before 5am on a Sunday morning. The comments of the email were discussed and Councillors felt that, as MoD’s response confirmed that the matter was being investigated and no further issues had been reported, no action was required.

Councillor Ovenden distributed a page from the Welsh Assembly Government White Paper local Government reform document. She asked Councillors to read this and let her have any comments before or at the next meeting so that she can respond on behalf of the Council. Clerk to forward the paper to Councillors who were unable to attend the meeting.

Clerk to distribute Risk Assessment forms to Councillors Ovenden, Harris and McHugh for Mounton, Mathern and Pwllmeyric as last year.

It was reported that a drainage ditch on St Pierre Golf Course was contaminated. Enviromental Health are aware of this

80/14 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Monday, 13th April 2015. Meeting ended at 8.00

February 2015

MATHERN COMMUNITY COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF MATHERN COMMUNITY COUNCIL HELD ON
9th February 2015

Present: Cllr D Merrett – Chairman
Cllr C Ovenden
Cllr F Sainsbury
Cllr C Morton
Cllr C Oakes
Cllr D Harris
Cllr J Harris

In attendance: Cllr G L Down
Clerk Jane Kelley
2 Members of the Public

71/14 PROCEDURAL ITEMS
(i) Public comment
Two members of the public had submitted a planning application and came to the meeting to explain these plans to the Community Council.

Councillors thanked them for their consideration in attending the meeting.
(ii) Police report

None

(iii) Apologies
Apologies were received from Councillors Bailey and McHugh

(iv) Declarations of interest
There were none

(v) Minutes of previous meetings
The minutes of the meeting held on 12th January 2015 had been circulated with the agenda. They were agreed as true and accurate (Proposed Cllr D Harris; seconded Cllr C Morton).

72/14 COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT

Welsh Government White Paper has now been produced. Consultation closes at 23.59 on 28th April 2015.
The White Paper seeks to set out the Welsh Government’s vision for local government in Wales and, crucially, give power to local people. It describes ambitions for:
• Activist councils engaged in delivering modern, accessible, high quality public services within their local communities.
• A more limited set of national priorities set for local government, with councils setting the bulk of local priorities with local people.
• More diverse membership of local authorities and cabinets.
• Reducing the cost of politics and management in local government.
• Councils committed to looking outwards at their place-shaping role, building community capacity and resilience.
• Councils open to new ways of delivering services based on Welsh traditions of cooperative and mutual services.
• Empowering local people to become more closely involved in decision taking.

More details can be found http;//wales.gov.uk/dsjlg/consultation/150203-power-to-local-people-response-en.docx:

73/14 PROGRESS REPORT ON ITEMS FROM LAST MEETING
(i) Sewerage pipes, Mounton

County Councillor Down has taken photographs of the affected area and forwarded these to Welsh Water and other statutory bodies.

(ii) Signage for Mathern Athletic Club/Cyclist warning signs

County Councillor Down is chasing these. Clerk to speak to MCC Highways regarding the cyclist signs as councillors are very concerned at the speed of cyclists using the lanes in Mounton and Barn Lane.

(iii) Banner for Mathern Village Fete.

Clerk to contact Griffiths Signs in Rogerstone for a quotation.

(iv) Barn Lane scalpings

Area still bad – Clerk to contact Highways regarding the blocked gully in the lane which is exacerbating this situation.

(v) Possible Invitation to Nick Ramsay – possible date for coffee morning

Coffee Morning to be either 21st March or 28th. Clerk to circulate when date confirmed.
(Coffee Morning since confirmed for 28th March 10.15am – 12.00 noon)

(vi) St Tewdric’s Well – quote for new pathway and remedial works

Quote of £500.00 from Stewart Hodges was accepted. Clerk to contact him to commence work.

(vii) Winners plaque for the Welcome to Mathern sign

Plaque now in place on Mathern Wall. Clerk to contact Martin McHugh to ask where to place the Pwllmeyric plaque. Mounton has no suitable site but Cllr. Ovenden felt that residents would not object to going without one.

(viii) Response from Passenger Transport manager re. school transport policy to change to mileage limits.

A letter has been received from Richard Cope, Passenger Transport Manager for M C C. He advised that no changes have yet been made and that the change in policy would go out for consultation during the next few months. One of the proposed changes is to move the statutory distances for free school buses from 1.5 miles to 2 miles for primary schools and from 2 to 3 miles for secondary schools. This would bring the authority in line with the current statutory distances in the Learner Travel Wales measure. Any changes would not come into effect until September 2016 at the earliest.

(ix) Monmouthshire Housing re. clearing of garage area – Bailey’s Hay.

County Councillor Down has written to the Chief Executive of Monmouthshire Housing, John Keegan, regarding the uncared for area by the garages. Awaiting response.

(x) What’s On leaflet – contents needed by Mrs Pitt before 14.02.2015.

Councillor Morton has written a résumé for the Magazine. Clerk to pass this on to Mrs Pitt together with the date for our Coffee Morning.

(xi) Wind Turbines Planning Application.

No application has been received. To be removed from future agenda’s.

74/14 HIGHWAYS
The following issues were discussed:

• Broken street light – Parklands.
• Large stone wall at the top of Mounton Road collapsing
• Mathern salt bins – broken and need filling.
• Gully in Barn Lane needs jetting out
75/14 COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS/CLERK’S REPORT

(i) One Voice Wales
Apologies sent.
(ii) GAVO
Article to be placed in What’s On leaflet.
(iii) Footpaths
No feedback re. footpath volunteer received.

76/14 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
(i) New submissions

DC/2014/01388 Planning permission: Treffgarne, Pwllmeyric – Extension and renovation to a 3 bed bungalow, providing more accommodation and upgrading the property to be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. – Approved

DC/2015/00082 Planning permission: proposed front entrance porch Barnetts Farm Mounton – Approved

(ii) Decisions and appeals
None notified

(iii) Enforcement
Enforcement matter at Crick: Clerk has spoken to Kate Young, Planning Officer at M C C, who has advised us that the County Council have requested a planning application to be made as it is obvious that works outside the current application are being carried out at this site.
Councillor Harris to telephone as Councillors wish a time limit to be placed on this application and also that the Environment Agency be notified of the current works here. Also no planning application has been made for the advertising banners currently in place. As the land adjoining the site has also been cleared, this needs to be checked with Planning Enforcement too.

77/14 FINANCIAL MATTERS
Payments as listed in the agenda were approved.
101473 343.32 J Kelley – Salary
101474 85.80 PAYE
101475 26.79 Stamps/storage box
101476 17.69 M J Trading
101477 24.00 Stock It Ltd
101478 119.00 One Voice Wales

78/14 CORRESPONDENCE AND FORTHCOMING MEETINGS

Meeting of Lower Wye Area Committee to be held Wednesday 11th February at 10 am at Chepstow Leisure Centre.

79/14 OTHER MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION

The following Notice has been received from the MCC Tree Officer:
TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990, SECTION 211 TREES IN CONSERVATION AREAS.
“Please be aware that the Council has received a written notice of intent from the resident of Eastwood Lodge, Mathern Road, Mathern NP16 6HY stating his intention to remove 12 small to medium sized Ash and Sycamore trees from the garden of the property.
On receipt of a notice, the Council has six weeks to decide whether or not to place a tree preservation order.
I have visited the site and decided to allow the work for the following reasons:
• Many of the trees are of poor form and some are diseased.
• The presence of many other trees in the garden and adjacent woodland will ensure that there will be no detrimental effect on the local landscape.”
Councillors were happy for this work to be carried out.

Willow Trees on the Main road into Mathern have now been pollarded.

Church Magazine to resume in April. Contributions would be appreciated to oldfield-tout@btinternet.com.
80/14 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Monday, 9 March 2015.

January Minutes 2015

MATHERN COMMUNITY COUNCIL

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF MATHERN COMMUNITY COUNCIL HELD ON 12 JANUARY 2015

Present: Cllr C Ovenden – chairman
Cllr F Sainsbury
Cllr C Morton
Cllr C Oakes
Cllr D Harris
Cllr J Harris

In attendance: PCSO S Parker
Cllr G L Down

In the absence of the Clerk, County Cllr Down took minutes of the meeting.

61/14 PROCEDURAL ITEMS
(i) Public comment
None

(ii) Police report
The Police report covered the period 10 November 2014 to 11 January 2015. Incidents reported were:
13/11 – An accident between a vehicle and a moped occurred on the A48 at the brow of the hill, as the moped went into the back of the vehicle. The Police and an ambulance attended. No life threatening or life changing injuries occurred.
19/11 – A sound level monitor was stolen from a plot of land in Mathern. The meter was left unattended, but secured to a fence by a chain. The chain was cut and left in situ. There was no CCTV or witnesses to the incident.
22/11 – A drive-off worth £31.53 of fuel was stolen from Petrol Express, Pwllmeyric. CCTV was obtained.
24/11 – School youths were throwing stones at passing vehicles from the top of a bus stop in Pwllmeyric. The youths ran away but were by the head teacher and dealt with by the School Liaison Officer.
06/12 – A male was disturbed breaking into a shed at a property in Pwllmeyric. The male was caught and detained by the Police.
09/12 – At 0740hrs in Mounton, a suspicious male in a dark Volvo estate pulled up and was taking photographs. The caller approached him to ask what he was doing, and he replied “taking pictures” before heading off. No index number was taken by the caller so we were unable to trace the vehicle.
09/12 – An accident between a motor vehicle and a motorcycle occurred on the A48. The motorcyclist was knocked off their bike. Details were exchanged. No complaints and no offences committed.
10/12 – A suspicious vehicle was seen driving down the lane beside the Church in Mathern, towards the water pumping station. Police attended but there was no vehicle seen. The index number obtained by the caller was incorrect, so we were not able to trace the driver.
10/12 – A youth from a local school attended at a property in Mathern. Police attended and returned the boy to school.
20/12 – An alarm was activated at a farm in Pwllmeyric. Police attended to find that it was a false alarm.
30/12 – At a property in Mathern (approx 1600hrs) 3 males approached the caller at his home via his back door, to enquire about rabbiting in the area. No vehicles, dogs or other equipment were apparent. Intelligence was submitted.

Members received the report and raised further issues:

• A member reported that there was evidence that someone had been sleeping rough in a shed in Pwllmeyric. The incident was not reported. It was requested that similar incidents be reported for intelligence purposes.
• There were reports of youngsters parking at Moynes Court driveway and leaving litter. They had been approached by residents. Members of the public were cautioned to be careful for their own safety, and to take index numbers and report incidents to the Police.
• Police were requested to monitor vehicles leaving the re-opened New Inn because of the dangerous junction with the A48.

Members noted that, in future, the Police would be attending only alternate meetings of the Council.

(iii) Apologies
Apologies were received from Cllrs Merrett , McHugh and Bailey

(iv) Declarations of interest
There were none

(v) Minutes of previous meetings
The minutes of the meeting held on 9 November 2014 had been circulated with the agenda. They were agreed as true and accurate (Proposed Cllr D Harris; seconded Cllr C Morton).

The minutes of the finance meeting held on 1 December 2014 were agreed as true and accurate,. Subject to noting Cllr Merrett as having chaired the meeting (Proposed Cllr D Harris; seconded Cllr C Morton).

62/14 COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT
Cllr Down presented his report. He explained that there had been a number of public meetings to explain the County Council’s budget proposals. He explained that the ruling administration proposed to increase council tax for 2015/16 by 4.95% over the previous year. Amongst the proposed savings were to cease supplying grey refuse bags. Households would still be limited to two bags per fortnight, but would be expected to supply their own bags. The weekly nappy/hygiene collection would be stopped. A key issue of interest to the community would be to increase the distance from home to school for free transport purposes (to 2 miles for primary pupils; 3 miles for secondary pupils). Members discussed this proposal and resolved that, if implemented the Council should write to the County Council and point out that, because of the A48 and A466, there is no safe walking route from the community to either The Dell or Chepstow Comprehensive.

Members asked about progress with the proposed reorganisation of local government, and were advised that there has been none.

63/14 PROGRESS REPORT ON ITEMS FROM LAST MEETING
(i) Sewerage pipes, Mounton
There has been no progress in dealing with this matter. It was reported that there had been a recurrence of raw sewage being discharged. Cllr Down agreed to report the matter to Natural Resources Wales.

(ii) Signage for Mathern Athletic Club
Cllr Down reported that he had again taken this matter up with Highways. He asked Members to clarify their request for cyclist warning signs and was advised that there was a concern about the downhill speed of some cyclists.

(iii) Street lighting under motorway bridge
This matter had now been resolved.

(iv) Leaves at garages, rear of St Tewdric’s Place
Monmouthshire Housing Association denied responsibility for clearing leaves on the site. Cllr Down agreed to contact the Chief Executive of MHA about the issue. It was reported that a quote had been received from the County Council for undertaking clearance of leaves twice at £121.80 per time.

(v) “What’s On” leaflets
No progress

(vi) Banner for Mathern Fete
The dimensions of the proposed banner are to be advised to Cllr Sainsbury

(vii) Drains/road sweeper, Mounton
It was reported that the roads had been swept and that the drains would be cleared on the next run.

(viii) St Tewdric’s Well – quote for new pathway and remedial works
A quote would be forthcoming shortly, and provided to the Clerk.

(ix) Winners plaque for the Welcome to Mathern sign
In the absence of Cllr Merrett, it was agreed to defer this matter to the next meeting.

(x) Rhewl solar farm application
Cllr Down reported that the application had been refused by the Planning Committee. He reminded Members that the applicants had a right of appeal although he was not aware of any such appeal having been made.

(xi) Scalpings in Barn Lane
It was reported that the condition of the Lane remained poor, and that the drain above the Athletic Club was blocked. It was believed that flooding under the motorway bridge was attributable to water flowing down the Lane. Cllr Down agreed to investigate and take up the issue with Highways.

(xii) Planning application for a wind turbine at Mathern Palace Farm
No application has yet been made.

64/14 HIGHWAYS
The following issues were discussed:

• The provision of a village entry sign for Pwllmeyric in Chapel Lane was noted. Some concern was expressed at the height of the sign.
• The blocked drain in Barn Lane.
• A Member asked whether anything could be done in terms of maintenance of the willow trees at the approach to Mathern.

65/14 COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS/CLERK’S REPORT
(i) One Voice Wales
A meeting was due to be held in the near future and Cllr Sainsbury would attend.

(ii) GAVO
It was reported that GAVO have advised that they would consider rotating the dates for judging. It was agreed that they should be reminded closer to the time of the 2015 judging.

(iii) Footpaths
There had been no response to requests for a new footpaths volunteer.

(iv) The Dell School Governors
Cllr Oakes had been appointed to the Governing Body as the minor authorities’ representative. She reported that she had attended her first meeting and that the proposed new admissions criteria was amongst the issues discussed. Cllr Oakes was requested to provide a list of the dates of future meetings and to report back to the Council.

66/14 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
(i) New submissions
• DC/2014/01444 – Non Material Amendment in relation to planning permission DC/2014/00877: It was agreed that the Council has no objection to the amendment as far as it goes, but remain of the view that the development as a whole is out of keeping and recommends that the dry stone wall should be extended into Chapel Close.
• DC/2014/01515 – Modification or removal of condition – the variation of condition 1 is sought to extend the time period within which can commence by a further 5 years DC/2010/00230, Stable Block, Wyelands Estate: It was agreed that the Council has no objection to this application.
• DC/2014/01498 – Planning permission to install a pipework array within paddock to serve ground source heat pump within adjacent dwelling, Land adjacent to the Old Gym, Mounton House: It was agreed that the Council has no objection to this application.

(ii) Decisions and appeals
None notified

(iii) Enforcement
A Member raised a question about the banners which had appeared at the entrance to Wyelands Estate advertising the property as a wedding venue. County Cllr Down agreed to query this with the Planning Department.

Concern was raised about developments at Crick. There had been no further response from the Planning Department and yet it appeared that the land was being reshaped. There had been no planning application for the signage.

67/14 FINANCIAL MATTERS
It was reported and noted that a further instalment of the annual precept, amounting to £5,360, had been received.

Payments as listed in the agenda were approved.

It was noted that the Clerk was entitled to a pay increase as set by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services. The Clerk is currently on spinal point 26. A non-consolidated payment to employees had also been agreed and a payment of £100 had been made to the Clerk.

68/14 CORRESPONDENCE AND FORTHCOMING MEETINGS
Confirmation had been received from Monmouthshire County Council that the Community Council precept for 2015/16 had been set at £16,080.

69/14 OTHER MATTERS FOR DISCUSSION
It was agreed that a coffee morning, to which Nick Ramsay AM could be invited, should be placed on the agenda for the next meeting for discussion.

Members wished to record their thanks to the clerk for organising the Christmas Lunch.

70/14 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Monday, 9 February 2015.