August 2018


Minutes of the Council meeting held on Monday 20th August 2018
at Mathern Village Hall.
Councillors – C Ovenden (Chair), D Merrett, C Morton, N Bailey, F Sainsbury, J Harris.
Also in attendance:
Clerk – Mrs J Kelley

No members of the Public
No police representatives

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

(i) Public Comment
ii)Report from Community Police
31/7/18 – Report of a male selling items door to door in the Mathern village area. The male became abusive when the caller refused to buy anything. Always be firm but fair with these callers and if you don’t want to buy anything then be firm. If you have any problems, please call us and report it at the time especially if you are concerned about elderly neighbours .
iii) Apologies
Councillors D Harris, M McHugh and County Councillor L Brown

(iv) Declarations of Personal or Pecuniary Interest:
There were none.

(v) Minutes of the previous meeting
Minutes of the meeting held on 11th July 2018 were read and agreed as true records, subject to one amendment. There were no matters arising.
County Councillor Report August 2018
• County Councillor Louise Brown had attended the Lower Wye Committee meeting on July 18th.( Next meeting: 10am, Oct.17th 2018.)
Andy Smith, MCC officer handling grants, explained that the £5000 annual grant scheme from the committee would only be available as a last resort. He would though assist any organisation wanting to apply first with other grants e.g. Lottery for All.
• On July 30th, a special council Stronger Communities meeting re. street furniture took place. This was due to proposed permit charges for A boards and cafes with outside tables. Charges have been withdrawn in order to support local businesses, but non-compliance with permits may be charged. Full details of recommendations can be found in the following link. (Full minutes of the meeting not yet available):
• The Monmouth to Chepstow bus service has been retained as has been fully reported in the local press.
• A special joint Economy and Adults select committee meeting took place on the 7th Sept. at County Hall, Usk. It covered the issue of the suspension in Planning matters of the considerable weight previously given to the lack of a 5 year supply of housing. However, local authorities are able to decide themselves on what weight may be given to this lack of supply.


i) Ancient slipway and ownership of St Tewdric’s Well.
Cllr Morton reported that St Tewdrics Well is a listed monument, although ownership could not be established. MCC Highways inspect it biennially and the next inspection is due in 2019.
Matter to be left off the agenda until this inspection is completed. Community Council will then approach Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) to ask if we can install a new interpretation panel here.
Cllr Morton also reported that she had been investigating the ancient slipway behind the Village Hall: it is not listed or registered as a slipway. She will now contact Chepstow Archeological Society to see if the slipway might be of interest to them. If their response is positive, the Community Council will consider erecting an information plaque near the Hall advising of its historical significance.

ii) Maintenance, Mounton Village
C Jones to repair noticeboard.
Replacement signage on roundabout still awaited. Reported to Highways again.

iii) Sewage Pollution – Mounton Brook

Welsh Water (DCWW) would like it known that they carried out work last year to reduce the flood risk to Church Cottage in Mounton and will shortly commence bank stabilisation in the field roughly opposite Mounton Brook Lodge, Pwllmeyric.

With regard to sewage pollution, Welsh Water are consulting with a landowners’ agent for work required upstream and hope to start work in September ( but at least this side of winter).

iv) Restoration of war memorial
Work completed – Invoice received and paid. Remove from agenda.

v) Unauthorised road signage – Pwllmeyric
MCC advised as follows: “ The sign you refer to is not on the Highway or on Highway apparatus, therefore we are not at liberty to remove it or ask for it to be removed.”

Remove from agenda

vi) Wasteland at corner of Barn Lane
This has now been reported via MCC Enforcement.
Cllrs are keen to keep an eye on the situation as public members are concerned
at the state of the boundary walls and overgrown vegetation. This has also been detrimental to Mathern’s judging in the Wales in Bloom competition.

vii) Telephone Box use
Cllr Morton to investigate shelving suitable to be installed in the telephone box.

viii) Trees – Bishop Mead – Mathern
Monmouthshire Housing have visited the site and removed the dead tree.
Clerk to contact them to ask them to remove the stump which has been left.

ix) Defibrillator Registration
Now registered with the Welsh Ambulance Service.

x) Quotes – Noticeboard and bench, Mathern Bus Shelter
MCC own the bus shelter, not the Community Council – Clerk to write to MCC to ask if they are happy for us to install a seat within the shelter, as requested by some members of the public.
Cllrs to investigate ideas for the noticeboard inside the shelter which will stop posters blowing away – an elastic type cover was suggested.

xi) Dangerous Verges – Buftons to Baileys Hay
These have now been cut by highways.

xii) Road Markings – Badgers Meadow – Ref 028284
MCC have added this to the schedule of road markings to be completed (20.07.2018)

xiii) Village Plan

See notes from the area Cluster meeting, 18th June, circulated at the meeting.
Councillors to investigate websites suggested and this to be Agenda-ed for next meeting.

• Pot holes – A48, top of Pwllmeyric Hill, opposite entrance to vets practice.
• Pot Holes – Mathern Lane (Barn Lane)
• Pot Holes – Orchid Meadow entrance
• Pot Holes – Mounton Village
• Pot Holes – Buftons to Baileys Hay
• Ruts in the tarmac, Parkwall roundabout to Crick – very dangerous in wet weather.
• Road markings faded- unable to see, Orchid Meadow entrance

a) One Voice Wales – Representative to be selected
Next meetings 4th October 2018, 17th January 2019, 4th April 2019,
18th July 2019.
Cllrs to try and rotate attendance at these the meetings. Clerk to agenda for next meeting.

b) Risk assessments – Mathern, Mounton and Pwllmeyric
Risk assessment for Mathern still outstanding.
Chairman to consider splitting these up into Noticeboards, Seats and Assets (war memorial, entrance wall, telephone box, defibrillator) so that this isn’t such a big task.
c) GAVO Best Kept Village Competition.
No date has been confirmed for this award presentation – Clerk to circulate once available.
Mathern C C Best Kept Garden (as seen from the road) competition – winners to be announced at Mathern Fete, 8th Sept. 2018.
Cllr Morton was asked to contact the Royal Horticultural Society to ask if there are updated guidelines for such competitions as members of the public have queried how gardens with lawns and flower beds can be directly compared with gardens consisting of hanging baskets only.

Clerk was asked to keep the competition on the Agenda for the year.

d. Defibrillator Monthly Checking
Monthly check on the defibrillator carried out on 17th August by Cllr N Bailey.
In full working order.
Next training session in its use -27 September 2018, 7.00 –8.30pm.

e. Possible funding from MCC for digital infrastructure
Awaiting MCC response for our request for digital items for the Village Hall.

f. Revised LDP – potential candidate site applications now requested.
This to be included when working on a Place Plan.
Agenda for September.

g. Reply from MCC Planning re events for 300 + people at Mounton Brook Lodge.
Response from MCC (email) 26.07.2018 – They are not concerned about advertised guest numbers. Although the capacity is well over that suggested in the Planning application, this is for the owners to manage, they say. Adherence to Fire regulations is not the responsibility of MCC Planning Dept. who also stated that parking for any events is the responsibility of the owners.
Cllrs discussed this and are still very concerned about the parking and fire regulations. They have done as much as possible by pointing out their concerns to MCC Planners.


a) New submissions:
DM/2018/01013 – Demolish concrete garages – Baileys Hay and
replace with new concrete sectional garages.

No objections as long as garages replaced in a reasonable time.

Note that MCC have already approved this as a fast track application. 14.08.2018.

Clerk to advise officers that the notice for this application was placed away from the garages. This could affect the public comment as residents may be unaware of the application.

DM/2018/01068 – Replacement of the front door to the dwelling from
timber framed to metal framed. The replacement of a section of masonry
to the upper level of one of the original large threshing door openings
with timber framed glazing which would be an extension of the existing
ground floor timber framed glazing – West Tithe Barn, Moynes Court
No objections.
Note- this is retrospective planning but presumably the conservation officer is happy that the work is in keeping with the listed building status here and with surrounding properties.

DM/2017/01143 – To save 16th century ornate pastel ceiling from possible catastrophic damage. St Pierre Hotel –
No objections

b) Decisions and appeals – None.
c) Enforcement
The Border Waste court is due to be heard on 17th September 2018.

Cheque Number Details Amount (£)
101833 Andrea Fry (Internal Audit) 360.00
101834 P Blatchly (War Memorial) 3489.30
101835 Cancelled
101836 Merlin Waste 37.50
101837 Internet and Phone 38.99
101838 J Kelley – (voucher, H Counsell) 20.00
101839 First Stop Stationers Ltd 75.56
101840 Mathern Village Hall (Rent) 86.25
101841 Cllr C Morton – Garden competition23.99

D D Pension for July 124.65
Online Payment Salary for July 655.37
PAYE – NI 180.78
Internet Payment £13.20 Stock it Ltd. (Licence)

Council resolved to make all payments as listed.
Monthly Bank Reconciliation for July – authorisation by Cllr F Sainsbury

Internal Audit review circulated. All actions to be introduced and this to be discussed further once External Audit is received from BDO.

External Audit submitted to BDO. Still awaiting this to be returned to us.

Independent Remuneration Panel – Statutory requirements of records of councillors expenses (if any) due to be returned by 30th September 2018.
Nil form completed and submitted 21.08.2018

• MCC – Sections 106 agreements – Town and Community Councils in Monmouthshire to compile registers of existing and potential community projects and aspirations in their localities.
This to be agenda-ed for the next meeting. Councillors to suggest ideas for local projects the Community Council would support.

• MCC – Update on MonLife – MCC have approved the setting up of a new company to deliver Tourism, Leisure, Culture and Youth Services
Clerk to invite a speaker from MCC to speak on this at our next Coffee Morning in March.

• Monmouthshire revised Local Development Plan 2018-2033
The invitation to submit candidate sites (stage 1- initial call for candidate sites) has now been issued. Details available as follows:


• Update from Councillor J Harris – Plans for event in November to commemorate end of World War I.

Plans underway. A donation of £500.00 from the Community Council was agreed. More funds could be made available, up to £750.00

• Community Council presence at Mathern Fete, 8th Sept.
Cllrs Ovenden, Morton and Bailey to assist at a “stall”. Main focus to be training for CPR and use of defibrillator.

• Code of Conduct training – Clerk to investigate suitable dates for this to take place and ask if neighbouring Community Councillors would like to attend. The total cost for this course, run by One Voice Wales, is £399.00 plus travel expenses.

Next Meeting Monday 10th September 2018 at 7 pm in small room of the Village Hall

There being no further business to discuss, the meeting closed at 9.20 pm.

Signed …………………………….. CHAIRMAN