Minutes September 2014

Meeting Monday 8th September 2014

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

County Councillor Down
Clerk Mrs Jane Kelley

Public- None

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

31/14 (i) Public Comment


II) Police Report

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

Councillors D Harris and F Sainsbury

iv) Declaration of Interests:


v) Minutes of Previous Meeting

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

32/14 County Councillors Report

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

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

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

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

Clerk to Agenda for next meeting

33/14 Progress report on actions from last meeting

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

MCC still considering all options.

2) Sewage pipes, Mounton.

Still being monitored by Welsh Water.

3) History Plaque War Memorial

Plaque now in place.

4) Willow Trees – entrance to Mathern

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

None received.

34/14 Highways

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

35/14 Councillors’ reports –

a)One Voice Wales – AGM 4th October

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

b)GAVO – Best Kept Village

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

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

Clerk to keep the Vaughan Hughes Cup in safe keeping.

b) Footpaths

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

36/14 Planning

a)New Submissions

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

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

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

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

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

. b)Decisions and Appeals


b) Enforcement

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


27/14 Financial Matters

Receipts and payments for August/September

Receipts – Precept £5760.00


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

Review of Budget spending to date:

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

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

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

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

38/14 Correspondence and Forthcoming Meetings

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

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

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

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

39/14 Other Matters for discussion

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

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

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

July 2014 Minutes

Meeting Monday 14th July 2014


Councillors Carolyn Ovenden
Christine Morton
Martin McHugh
David Harris
Frank Sainsbury

County Councillor Down
Clerk Mrs Jane Kelley

Public- None
Police- None

21/14 (i) Public Comment

A member had previously asked that the new refuse bin situated on the green at The Crescent be moved to the village hall side of the road. This would enable waste from the park and play area to be placed in it and collected fortnightly, as happened with the previous bin.

This refuse bin is owned by Wales in Bloom, so the Clerk will advise the member of the public that the Village Hall Committee should contact Wales in Bloom to see if they are happy for it be re-sited. If this is the case, the Clerk will then contact the County Council to ask them to commence emptying the bin again.

A member also stated that he was very annoyed that his hedge had been cut by the Wales in Bloom Committee without his permission. He felt strongly that hedges should not be cut without prior notification of the owner.

II) Police Report

13/07 – 3 males shooting birds in a field near St Tewdrics Church. Police attended but area search was negative.
11/07 – A vehicle hit the callers parked car at the St Pierre entrance, and drove off without leaving details. Staff at St Pierre saw the incident and managed to obtain details.
27/06 – A suspicious call was received by someone purporting to be a Community Police Liaison Officer. The caller spoke in an aggressive manner. No personal details were relayed to the caller and the call was found not to be a genuine one.
21/06 – Reports were received about a driver driving erratically on the A48 near Mathern. An index number was taken by the caller but was incorrect, so we were unable to trace the vehicle.
09/07 – Car heading up towards Chepstow veered off to the right and hit an oncoming lorry. Slight wrist injury sustained. No major damage to either vehicle, breath tests negative.

Councillors were concerned that cars that were parking on pavements throughout the village.
Also that people seemed to be parking under the motorway bridge and climbing up the embankment to the motorway to get pre-arranged lifts from drivers already on the M48.

iii) Apologies

Councillors D Merrett, N Bailey and J Harris

iv) Declaration of Interests:


v) Minutes of Previous Meeting

The Minutes of the meeting held on 9th June 2014 were circulated with the agenda. These were agreed as true and accurate.

22/14 County Councillors Report

The local Flood Forum meeting has taken place and the Environmental Agency has asked that, should any discharge been seen in the Mounton Brook area, they are notified immediately.

The Welsh Government has made its proposals in response to the Williams Report (Re-drawing of local Council boundaries). The report has been distributed to all Councillors who are asked to read it before the next meeting so that a draft response can be made by 1st October 2014 to the principle of merging many Community Councils.

The Police support the proposals by MCC Highways for changes to the line markings on Pwllmeyric Hill. However, as we as a Community Council are not happy with this. Highways are re-examining the idea. One Councillor suggested that the One Way system on Chapel Lane be reversed, as he felt that this would make its junction with the A48 safer. At present, its exit on to the A48 has extremely limited vision of traffic coming down Pwllmeyric Hill.

23/14 Progress report on actions from last meeting

1)Vacancy – Pwllmeyric Ward

Mrs Carole Oakes from Pwllmeyric has written to express her interest in becoming a co-Opted Councillor for the Pwllmeyric Ward. Councillors were delighted that she wished to fill the position and a vote was taken. All were in favour of her co-option.
Clerk to write to Mrs. Oakes confirming acceptance and giving details of Standing Orders and Meetings timetables.

2) Response to M C C suggestion of speed markers only, A48 Pwllmeyric Hill

See County Councillor’s report

3) Sewage pipes, Mounton.

See County Councillor’s report

4) War Memorial – returfing/chippings

Work now completed and contractor has been paid.

5) History Plaque War Memorial

The Draft artwork was distributed and all were happy with the inscription to be ordered.

Once received, Councillors will decide who is to erect the plaque..

The Centenary of the start of WW1 is the 4th August 2014. Vice Chairman to contact Rev J White to see if he can conduct a short Service of Remembrance at 6.30 pm at the War Memorial on that day. Clerk to invite a representative from the 1st Rifles at Beachley Barracks to attend.

6) Willow Trees – entrance to Mathern

MCC Highways Ground Works team has been asked to remove fallen branches. Also to check and remove any dead branches from trees and those liable to fall.

24/14 Highways

• Clerk to complain about the quality of work carried out in recent hedge cutting at Baileys Hay – Buftons Lane.
• Trees overhanging main road before motorway bridge and at the junction of Mathern Road (Barn Lane). Need trimming.

25/14 Councillors’ reports –

a)One Voice Wales –

Meeting – 10th July 2014 at Llanderry. 7pm – Apologies sent.

b) GAVO – Best Kept Village

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

As Most Improved category is not being run this year, the Vaughan Hughes cup will be placed with the Clerk for safe keeping.

Councillors recognised the hard work put in by all villagers prior to the Wales in Bloom judging later in the week. They noted that The Crescent, Athletic Club, Pub and War Memorial looked particularly splendid.

c) Footpaths

Path from Trelleny to Garden Centre – banks very overgrown and steps dangerous at Trelenny end.

Councillors noted that C Jones has cut a walkway along the footpath in the maize field heading towards the fishing lakes.

d) Risk assessments

A new Control page to be created in the front of the Risk Assessment file. This will lists all items which are being risk assessed and will note the last date that this was done. Also details of assets not covered by insurance and reason for this or if covered for public liability only.


a)New Submissions

DC/201400600 – The Old Tractor Barn, High Beech – Provision of new patio doors. – Approved

DC/2014/00665 Cliff House, Mounton – Erection of a lightweight timber structure for agricultural purposes. – Approved

DC/2014/00696 –Sweet Briars, Mathern – - Change of flat roof over kitchen and garage to a 30 degree pitched tiled roof. – Approved

. b)Decisions and Appeals


b) Enforcement

Land at Crick: Planning Enforcement to write once ownership of the land has been established..

27/14 Financial Matters
Receipts and payments for June/July/August 2014

Receipts – None


101426 35.00 Information Commissionor
101427 1045.00(see below) ** War Memorial/stone planters
101428 234.00 CrownHill (Golden Flint War Memorial)
101429 45.93 Internet
101430 451.56 J Kelley – July
101431 112.94 Inland Revenue Only
101432 300.00 Internal Audit
101433 18.05 Postage
101434 406.40 J Kelley – August
101435 101.65 Inland Revenue Only

Last year’s accounts have been submitted to external Auditor. (Annual Return). Approved by Responsible Financial Officer (RFO –Clerk) and Chairman prior to submission.

Clerk advised of the following recommendations made by the internal auditor.

Recommendations Summary

The accounts and record keeping are to a very good standard – The following recommendations will assist the council in meeting its obligations in budget maintenance and risk assessment.

Budget Maintenance
The Financial Regulations state that the RFO should provide receipts and payment reports that compare actual to budgeted spend. The software will do this, but it is not clear form the minutes what reports are distributed during the year for the council to discuss. A copy of any financial report that is discussed should be attached to the approved minutes and the report signed as approved at the same time as the minutes are approved.
The Financial regulations state that expenditure on the revenue account can be incurred up to the budgeted amount, but it does not make clear what actions should be taken if there is an overspend or need for an overspend. At present there does not appear to be a monthly running of a report that compares actual to budget expenditure. A monthly run of this report should be made to check that there is no overspend. The RFO and the person who approves the cheques can monitor the situation on a monthly basis, and if necessary, approval can be sought promptly at the meeting.

The budget report used for the annual Finance meeting in December in which the budget for the following year is set, needs to be tidied up. The software should be updated at the end of each financial year with regard to final budget figures, to ensure that the comparatives as discussed at the meeting reflect the prior year budget and the prior year accounts. Once the meeting has decided on the budget for the next year, the budget report should be updated for these figures and a final report circulated to all councillors. Where specific items are discussed rather than a general provision for a category, a list should be provided in the minutes with a note as to which expenses category it is allocated to.
The final budget report should form part of the minutes of the financial meeting and should be approved as noted above.

Where there has been a larger than normal budget provision, for example IT/office equipment, the budget does not appear to have been adjusted back to normal levels. The reporting has a feature in the budget expenditure which can be carried over to the following year if unspent, so that it can be kept a track of, without affecting the total precept requirement calculation. This should be used if applicable. The final agreed budget should reflect as much as possible the intended spend. If the council prefers to ask for a similar amount each year, then a larger contingency category should be provided otherwise money could potentially be allocated to a category that is unlikely to be used in the year. E.g. IT/equipment.

It is recommended that the Clerk has training on the use of the budget function within the software as it should provide an invaluable tool for providing the council with better financial reporting and control over spending.

Risk assessment

Again it is recommended that a control page is used at the front of the risk assessment file which lists all the items that are being risk assessed and which notes the last date that this was done. This should enable matching of assets on asset list for the annual return, and items that are being insured. Where an asset is not covered by insurance, then the reason why should be noted on the risk assessment file. Also the risks of assets not being insured must be considered eg the entrance to Mathern feature.
At the moment these are items that are not on each list.

It is not obvious from the risk assessment file whether there are contact names and telephone numbers for someone to take over the Clerk’s role if she is incapacitated. There are notes as to what to do but nothing in the file as to whom to contact and who will do the contacting. An older note mentions that a council member has some kind of basic training. Also that the Clerk for Tintern could deputise until a replacement is found if this is necessary, but there is no information as to who is trained or whether the Clerk for Tintern is still in post and able to deputise.

Clerk to attend a training course with Software provider later in the year.

28/14 Correspondence and Forthcoming Meetings

• Consultation Meeting Earlswood Village Hall Tuesday 15th July 2014 between 8 – 10pm for proposed Solar Farm in Shirenewton and Mathern Community – Rhewl Farm – Councillors D Harris and F Sainsbury to attend.

• New Chief inspector Chepstow to attend next C Meeting 8th September 2014.

• Judging, Wales in Bloom – Wednesday 16th July.

29/14 Other Matters for discussion

• Councillors agreed that they would like the poppy wreaths removed from the War Memorial at the end of January each year.

Clerk to notify Mr and Mrs Wheeler.

• A letter has been received from M C C regarding turning off street lighting in Mathern at midnight. This does not include the main road through he village.

Clerk to write to advise that Councillors were not in agreement with this and felt it could result in an increase of crime levels. Also accidents involving pedestrians late at night. Clerk to also advise that the lights within the traffic calming feature do not and have never worked.

• Councillor Harris has been approached re a future planning application by M James for wind turbines on land at the bottom of Mathern village. Councillors agreed that a presentation could be made to Councillors at 7.30 on 8th September. This is by no means a public consultation with regard to any future planning application.

30/13 Date of Next Meeting:

No Meeting in August

Next meeting: Monday 8th September 2014 at 7pm

Meeting ended at 8.45 pm.

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