June 2014

Meeting Monday 9th June 2014


Councillors Dave Merrett
Christine Morton
Martin McHugh
David Harris
Frank Sainsbury
Jayne Harris
Nina Bailey
County Councillor Down
Clerk Mrs Jane Kelley

Public- None
Police- None

11/14 (i) Public Comment


II) Police Report

08/06 – Logs fallen off back of a lorry along the A48 just before St Pierre. Logs were removed.
04/06 – Bulls have got out of a field onto the road in Mathern. Bulls returned to field and contained.
24/05 – Tree down, completely blocking the lane between Linnets Farm and Barnetts.
24/05 – A caller cleared a drain on the A48 at Mathern, and found a number plate stuck down it. Council attended to clear.
23/05 – A male was reported cutting the hedge on the wrong side of the road, from St Pierre to the Garden Centre. The driver of the tractor was spoken to but no offences were committed.
19/05 – Attempt garage break in Baileys Hay, between 17/05 and 19/05. No entry was gained.
17/05 – Approximately 12 youths were drinking alcohol in a field in Pwllmeyric. There were calves and cows in the field and the caller was concerned they may charge the youths. Police attended and words of advice were given.
16/05 – -2 vans drove on to a farm site in Hayesgate Lane, whilst no one was around. Index numbers were taken and observations were passed to local officers.

iii) Apologies

Councillor Ovenden

iv) Declaration of Interests:


v) Minutes of Previous Meeting

The Minutes of the meeting held on 12th May 2014 were circulated with the agenda. These were agreed as true and accurate.

12/14 County Councillors Report

MCC and the police have met regarding the speed on A48 in Pwllmeyric and it is unlikely that a speed restriction of 30 mph will be made through Pwllmeyric. However MCC Highways have proposed a narrowing of the carriageways by using a centre hatching from the entrance of Pwllmeyric at Mounton House entrance to the vicinity of the New Inn. They also suggest three yellow speed warning strips just before the hatching starts.

After a lengthy discussion, Councillors feel that the visual impact of this would be unsightly and so wish to propose that the warning speed strips be trialled initially and then this reviewed in 12 months time. Councillors still feel that the majority of the accidents are in the evening when speed and inexperienced drivers are the main cause. Councillors also feel that a stationary speed camera would be a better solution that the central hatchings proposed.

The Dell School has received its ESTEN report which is very disappointing. The school has been graded as “adequate” which is the lowest grade available.
A Mathern Community Councillor is due to be placed on the Board of Governors in the autumn of 2015 so consideration should be given to what area of expertise the school is lacking when the Community Council nominates its representative governor.

County Councillor Down was unaware of the proposed verbal information expected to be received at this meeting for plans to install a large wind turbine at the bottom of Mathern village. No planning application has been made to MCC. However the applicants could be seeking verbal advice before an application is made.

3/14 Progress report on actions from last meeting

1)Vacancy – Pwllmeyric Ward

No applicants have come forward. Clerk to re-advertise.

2) Response – P Keeble (MCC Highways) re traffic speed on A48, Pwllmeyric.

See County Councillors Report. This proposal is due to the Community Council’s concern about speeding and accidents on the A48 at Pwllmeyric.

3) Response – Gwent Police, Freedom of Information request accidents A48.

Report received with gaps when some accidents happened. Accidents are only reported if persons are injured so this information not totally comprehensive re. numbers of accidents taking place.

4) Response – reflective rings on electric cables, Mathern lakes.

County Councillor Down has written to Western Power Distribution and no response has been received.

5) Sewerage Pipes – Mounton

County Councillor Down advised that this is to be discussed at the next S Mon Flood liaison Group meeting on the 16th June.
He confirmed that MCC had not taken legal action again Welsh Water regarding this matter, However Councillors felt strongly that action should be taken with the regulatory body as work promised last October to take place within 6 – 8 weeks has not been undertaken.

Agenda for next meeting.

6) War Memorial – re turfing/chippings.

A quote from Stewart Hodges has been received.
This is to rotivate existing grass/soil and level out/remove undulations within the War Memorial garden without adding soil. Also to supply and lay medium grade turf and to supply and lay two new paving slabs at the entrance to blend in with existing kerb ending – cost £525.00

This quote was accepted and work to start immediately.

7) History plaque – War Memorial

The following wording was agreed for the plaque:




Councillor Ovenden to arrange for the plaque to be ordered.

8) Representative – Dell School Governors

Ann Holloway, Chair of the Board of Governors for the Dell School, has confirmed that Paul Rutter, representing Chepstow Town Council, began his 4 years as School Governor on 26/10/2011. In line with the 4-yearly rotation of this post between Shirenewton CC, Chepstow TC and Mathern CC, we are due to have a representative on the Board from the autumn term 2015 for 4 years.

The governing body is made up of 4 parent teacher governors/2 teachers/the Head Teacher/4 LEA governors/3 community members/ 1 minor Authority

9) Stone Entrance Planters

Planters are near completion. All Councillors pleased with the work carried out.

The Builders advertising board to be removed within one month.

14/14 Highways

• Top layer of bricks on the wall at Baileys Hay is falling away and dangerous.
• Chapel Lane hedges need cutting back – dangerous for walkers.
• Hedge at the bottom of Barn Lane overhanging into road.
• Hedge reducing visibility at Newhall into road to Trelleny.
• For Sale sign on A48 bottom of Mathern obscuring visibility.
• Hedges overhanging A48 from High Beech Barns to Wyelands entrance.

15/14 Councillors’ reports –

a)One Voice Wales –

Next meeting – 10th July 2014 at Llanderry. 7pm

b) GAVO – Best Kept Village

Judging arranged for 16th July. Councillors to advise Councillor Morton of suitable gardens for judging before this date.

c) Risk Assessments

All completed.


a)New Submissions

DC/2014/00547 – Mathern Palace, Mathern – change of use from private hospitality /conference facility to single residential dwelling.


. b)Decisions and Appeals


b) Enforcement

17/14 Financial Matters
Receipts and payments for May/June 2014

Receipts – None


101421 424.47 Salary
101422 106.16 PAYE
101423 103.00 M J Trading – HP Ink
101424 358.79 Zurich Municipal
101425 42.37 3 Months telephone Bill
101426 35.00 Renewal Information Commissioners

Accounts have been sent to the internal auditor for her scrutiny and they are due to be forwarded to External Auditor by 30th June 2014.

18/14 Correspondence and Forthcoming Meetings

• Second Quote for work at War Memorial

Accepted – see 13/6

• M C C response Bus Shelter Mathern

Councillors checked this bus shelter and felt that, although the wood is rotting and needs painting, it is now MCC’S responsibility as ownership of all the bus shelters was transferred to them in 2013. Therefore no further action is required as MCC are aware of its condition.

19/14 Other Matters for discussion

Councillor Morton was concerned about grass cutting on The Crescent and Village Green. Both these areas are currently cut by MCC. County Councillor Down to investigate the impact of the CC taking over responsibility for this task themselves. This also to include the area by St. Tewdrics Well and verges to the War Memorial.

Councilor Morton was also concerned about the condition of the willow trees on the approach to Mathern. Clerk to contact Jim Keech to investigate.

Wind Turbine application – no Planning Application yet submitted and no representative attending this meeting to give further advice. No further details available.

20/13 Date of Next Meeting:

Next meeting: Monday 14thJuly 2014 at 7pm

Meeting ended at 8.45 pm.

Minutes May 2014

Meeting Monday 12th May 2014

Councillors Dave Merrett
Carolyn Ovenden
Christine Morton
Martin McHugh
David Harris
Frank Sainsbury
Jayne Harris

Clerk Mrs Jane Kelley

Public- None
Police- One

Councillors welcomed Jayne Harris as a new Councillor.

A) Election of Chairman
Chairman - Councillor D Merrett
Proposed Councillor F Sainsbury
` Seconded Councillor D Harris
Accepted Councillor Merrett
B) Election of Vice Chairman

Vice-Chairman Councillor C Ovenden
Proposed Councillor Morton
Seconded Councillor Merrett
Accepted Councillor Ovenden

Councillor D Merrett signed a declaration of acceptance.

C) Discussion to set dates and times of ordinary meetings of the Community Council for the ensuing year.

Dates for meetings were set for the year. They will be held on the second Monday of the month except for August and December when there is no meeting. Timetable attached.

If meeting dates needed to be changed, notification will be given at the previous meeting.

01/14 (i) Public Comment


II) Police Report

Hope this message finds everyone well , Sally will be attending the meeting this evening so if anyone has any local issues please let her know .

Mathern , Pwllmeyric and Mounton incidents between the 14th of April and May 12th .

15/4/14 – Report of credit cards stolen from a locker at St Pierre Golf Club.

16/4/14 – Report of credit cards and cash again stolen from a locker at St Pierre Golf Club .

16/4/14 – Report of a male calling door to door selling household items in Pwllmeyric . He was working for a company called Creating Work UK .
His identity was checked and all was in order. He was reminded of the No cold Calling zone and agreed to leave.

17/4/14 – Report of a quad bike with driver and passenger causing damage to a window at the Murco Garage. Details were exchanged.

19/4/14 – Report of 2 persons attempting to break into a garage in Badgers Meadow. They were disturbed and shouted at by an occupant of the house and they ran off towards the A48. No entry gained thankfully.

19/4/14 – Report of shoplifting at Chepstow Garden centre by 2 males and 2 females. Yankee Candles were taken. Enquiries are on-going.

20/4/14 – Report of a silver hatchback vehicle in a field as you enter Mathern Village. The vehicle had spun off the road after allegedly hitting a diesel patch. Owner organised recovery.

22/4/14 – Report of builders rubbish fly tipped at the entrance to St Pierre Woods. Council informed to remove.

24/4/14 – Several reports of vehicles parking too close to the junction as you enter Badgers Meadow. Officers attended to access. No tickets were issued on this occasion .

5/5/14 – Report of vehicles travelling too fast down the track towards the fishing lakes in Mathern in the early morning.

6/5/14 – Report of a vehicle with 3 youths inside acting suspiciously in the Mathern area . No other details supplied. Area search was made with a negative result.

8/5/14 – Report of an abandoned vehicle in St Pierre Woods car park .Owner was spoken to to organise removal .

Councillors advised that youths have been camping again near Mounton Brook leaving a lot of rubbish.

Councillors asked for a review of the details received from the Freedom of Information Officer re vehicle incidents on the A48 from Parkwall to Larkfield roundabout. No incidents were recorded for 2012/13 in the list we have received and Councillors know that incidents did occur during this period.

iii) Apologies

Councillor Bailey and County Councillor Down

iv) Declaration of Interests:

Councillor M Mc Hugh – Quote for planters for Welcome to Mathern Sign

v) Minutes of Previous Meeting

The Minutes of the meeting held on 8th April 2014 were circulated with the agenda. These were agreed as true and accurate.

02/14 County Councillors Report

Apologies – County Councillor Down

Clerk to contact County Councillor Down for clarification on:-

Reflective rings on electricity cables near fishing lakes
Sewerage from Mounton House
White line – Baileys Hay
Any information on Community Councils being amalgamated in the near future

03/14 Progress report on actions from last meeting

1) Response – Highways re road problems, Mounton village.

The majority of work now completed. Outstanding to be diaried by MCC for future maintenance–

Councillors to review and keep Highways informed of any problems.

2)Vacancy – Pwllmeyric Ward

Clerk to email advert to Councillor McHugh who will circulate in Pwllmeyric

3) Response – Mathern Fete Committee re Vaughan Hughes Cup

No response received so it was decided that the Cup should be stored this year – review this next year.

4) Response – P Keeble (MCC Highways) re traffic speed on A48, Pwllmeyric.
Response received I would however say that the sites at High Beech and through Pwllmeyric are different and also that measures in addition to the flashing advisory signs previously provided are currently being considered. Gwent Police have a key part to play in any subsequent changes as the enforcement authority and officers are in discussions with them on this matter.

Clerk to chase in view of another car leaving the road at the bottom of Pwllmeyric Hill on the 20th April 14.

5) Response – Gwent Police, Freedom of Information request accidents A48.

Report received. However Councillors do not think that it is sufficiently up to date as no data for incidents from 2012 on included. Clerk to ask for details to be checked.

6) Response – reflective rings on electric cables, Mathern lakes.

Clerk to email Councillor Down to ask for an update.

7) Sewerage Pipes Mounton

Clerk to email Councillor Down for an update

8) Response Tidy Towns – Litter Pick

No response. To be removed from agenda as Tidy Towns will carry out litter pick as and when resources are available.

9)Welcome to Mathern stone planters.

A quote has been received from Stewart Hodges for £520.00 to erect a dwarf wall around Mathern Wall in a semi circle pattern tapered in to the embankment. This quote was accepted subject to extra digging out and cultivating.

Councillors to cut back overgrowth in a semi circle and treat with Round Up before work commences.

Councillors to ensure that the wall is only dwarf so that planting will not obscure wording on wall.

10) War Memorial – re turfing/chippings.

Councillors to visit the War Memorial and measure before agreeing to re-turfing. Councillors to notify the Clerk of outcome.

11) History plaque – War Memorial

Councillor Ovenden has obtained a quote for a plaque to be erected at the War Memorial.

It was unanimously decided to proceed with this as follows: stainless steel plate and light oak surround, A3 size. Wording to be circulated and agreed before purchase.

4/14 Highways

• Barn Lane – road edges worn away.

05/14 Councillors’ reports –

a)One Voice Wales –

Councillor Sainsbury attended in April and, following discussions, was concerned that local Community Councils would be amalgamated.
Councillors view is that, until boundary changes are agreed, we would be unable to act.
Next meeting – 10th July 2014 at Llanderry. 7pm

b) GAVO – Best Kept Village

Councillor Morton has arranged for Gill Dodds to judge the Best Kept Garden (as seen from the road) competition in mid July.

c) Risk Assessments

Councillors agreed to use the One Voice Wales risk assessments forms.

Councillor Harris to complete Mathern risks.
Councilor Mc Hugh to complete Pwllmeyric risks
Councillor Ovenden to complete Mounton risks.

When risk assessments are completed, Clerk to agenda any works found necessary for next meeting.


a)New Submissions

DC/2014/00455 – Yew Tree Cottage, Mathern – Construction of rear conservatory and porch/utility area. Internal alterations and improvements.

DC/2011/00927 Chepstow Garden Centre – re discharge of condition to provide landscaping –
Refused – MCC advised. Enforcement in progress as this work should have been completed prior to any building work starting.

. b)Decisions and Appeals


b) Enforcement –

Land at Crick (by motorway bridge): large lorries leaving site but no planning application has been submitted. Enforcement to investigate.

07/14 Financial Matters
Receipts and payments for April/May 2014

Receipts – None


101418 424.47 Salary
101419 106.16 PAYE
101420 M J Trading – memory stick

Clerk has submitted a request for refund of VAT to the HMRC.

Accounts have been sent to the internal auditor for her scrutiny.

Insurance: renewal with Zurich Municipal now due on June 1st. Cost – £388.48 plus VAT.
Comparative quote for £242.58 received from Aon. Clerk to check like for like.
All agreed to change back to Aon if possible.

8/14 Correspondence and Forthcoming Meetings

09/14 Other Matters for discussion

• Councillor Morton advised that it was National Mill weekend last week. She felt that it would be a benefit to the village for the Mill in Mathern to be restored. Councillors would be happy to support any works at the Mill and would consider making a grant towards this. They have already endorsed an earlier approach from the owners who are keen to carry out restoration.

• Clerk was concerned that The Dell School has not been sending minutes of Governors meetings. She was unsure when a Mathern Councillor should be elected on to the Board of Governors.
Clerk to contact the school to ascertain this.

Clerk contacted the Dell School and was told of Governors meeting on 13th May. Our concern was noted and it will be agenda-ed for this meeting. From school records, Mathern was last represented on the Board in 2008.

• Councillors feel that it is important that the brook between Mathern pumping station at The Mill is dredged to stop future flooding.

Clerk to ask Councillor Down how we can enforce this.

• Councillor Harris has been approached regarding a planning application for wind turbines at the bottom of the village, on the estate of the late Bill Jones. The venture would create a £10,000.00 kick-back to the community for the next 10 years. A new road would be created from Moynes Court drive to the planned site near the wharf. This application is still in an
early stage and a representative may attend our next meeting to give us
more information.

92/13 Date of Next Meeting:

Next meeting: Monday 9th June 2014 at 7pm

Meeting ended at 8.45

Annual Report 2013/2014

Mathern Community Council
Annual Report 2013-2014
The past year has, as usual, been a very busy one for the Community Council. Most of the items on the agenda have been concerned with the routine maintenance of our beautiful village with the usual emphasis on Planning and Environmental Well-being.
It seems incredible that my fourth year as Chairman has come to an end I have been helped by a wonderful committee with each Member providing expertise in their own field.
Mathern is now a Cold Calling freezone.Thanks to the hard work of Martin McHugh Pwllmeyric is now also a Cold calling free zone. Mouton has decided not to follow their example due its isolated geography.
Public comment gives all residents a platform to air their grievances & put forward their own interpretation of viewpoints on local issues. The Committee are always pleased to hear & debate these comments & take action where appropriate. Whenever possible our Community Police Officer, P.C. Louise Thorpe, attends our monthly meetings or if unavailable e-mails a Report. Her report is discussed & debated & any matters of concern we may have are forwarded to be acted upon.
The Villages again entered Wales in Bloom. We achieved a well-deserved merit & received some very positive comments from the judge.
I am pleased to say the web-site for our Council is now up & running. Our site address is www.matherncc.co.uk and email info@matherncc.co.uk & we hope to expand its features during the next year.
There is also the on-going problem of mud & debris left by tractors. The County Council recently issued a booklet to all farmers in the County, reminding them of their responsibilities in this area but the problems still remain.
Speeding through all three villages & on the A48 is discussed regularly. We continue to press both the County Council & Traffic Police to monitor this danger & to provide solutions. It seems unlikely that the speed limit on the A48 will be reduced but we continue to ask for a speed camera to be sited on both Pwllmeyric Hill & Crick Road from time to time. We have also asked Police to monitor & take action on motor cyclists along the A48.4
Two Coffee Mornings were held at the Village Hall during the year. These presented opportunities for members of the public to raise various issues with their Councillors. They provided an opportunity to seek resident’s opinions on several topics. In particular, villagers concerns regarding waste disposal & recycling, parking etc. We owe enormous thanks to Jane & her team for undertaking the catering at these village meetings.
The Community Council is in a financially sound position. Both our internal & external audits went well & our thanks go to Mrs Andrea Fry for all her work on our behalf. The Community Council has now adopted Financial Standing Orders as recommended by our umbrella body, One Voice Wales, & we are pleased to conform to these nationally accepted standards.
Unfortunately we have lost two councillors due to resignations . Both John Charters & Justin Gittins will be greatly missed & I would like to thank them for their service to the Council.
They say that a Council is only as good as it’s Clerk. Never was that more true in Mathern’s C.C. case. I am certainly in great debt to our Clerk Mrs Jane Kelley for making the Council run smoothly & for keeping me under control. I would also like to thank Carolyn for her wise council & advice as my Vice- Chairperson.
Finally I would like to thank you all for your support during my year in Office.
David Merrett
May 2014

Special Thanks to Councillor Sainsbury for clearing out the Brook at Mathern, and Councillor Mc Hugh and Harris for the grass cutting they undertake throughout the year.

Annual Community Meeting 2013


HELD ON MONDAY 13th May 2013

Present: Councillors Councillor Merrett(Chairman)
Councillor Ovenden
Councillor Bailey
Councillor Gittins
Councillor Morton
Councillor Harris
Councillor Sainsbury
Councillor McHugh
Councillor Bailey

Clerk Mrs Jane Kelley

1 Members of the Public –

1. Apologies
County Councillor Down

2. Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 14th May 2012 having been circulated with the agenda, were taken as read and signed by the Chairman .

3. Matters arising there from


4. Annual Report

The Chairman circulated his Annual Report.
5. Any Other Business

Councillors noted that over 70 villagers have attended the two coffee mornings held this year and all other villages had been positive regarding the work of the Community Councillors.

Councillors felt that the fly tipping problem has reduced and that One Shop Shop were quick to get this sorted very quickly.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 7.10