December Meeting 2019

Financial Meeting Monday 9th December 2019
At Mathern Village Hall 7pm
Present – Councillors. D Harris, C Ovenden, C Morton and J Anderson
Also present – Clerk Jane Kelley
Apologies – Councillor F Sainsbury, D Merrett , J Harris.
Review of current budget 2019/20. Discussion on year to date funds not yet spent.

All Councillors had been circulated with an Alpha Detailed Receipts and Payments schedule and an Excel spreadsheet showing 2019/20 spending -to -date.

The Clerk had also circulated a letter from the Welsh Government outlining Section 137(A) of the Local Government Act 1972 – Limits for 2019/2020.
The appropriate sum for the purposes of section 137(4) is calculated by applying the formula
set out in schedule 12B to the 1972 Act.
This means that the maximum Section 137 sum for 2019/2020 increases from £8.12 to £8.32 per elector.

The number of electors in our area is 851

Councillors were satisfied with the spending to date figures and agreed that these are on track for all precept monies to be allocated as budgeted. Areas highlighted were:
• Grants – Councillors expected that remaining funds would be allocated at the February meeting.
• Street furniture – Slightly overspent due to new cabinet to defib Mounton Brook Lodge.
• Village upkeep – Cleaning of road signs to be investigated, also extra road sweep, and spraying of weeds along pavements. Boards at war memorial to be replaced, notice board in Pwllmeyric to be fixed, benches through village to be restained/painted as per Risk assessments. The latter listed items to be paid for in this years budget.
• More frequent emptying of dog bin by the Mathern bus shelter may be required as it is often overflowing.
• Underspend on Training as the Clerk has decided due to work pressure to not do the Cilca training programme.

1) Budget setting 2020/2021

The three-year forecast was circulated to all councillors to help with setting the budget for 2020/2021

• The Clerk advised that cost of dog waste collection is to remain the same at £3.75 per bin from April 2020.
• It was agreed that Churchyard Maintenance (4105) would remain unchanged i.e. Mathern – £400, Mounton £200.00 St Pierre – £150.00. – Only to precept £750.00 next year.

• The Clerk’s salary would remain the same at spinal point (27) for 12 hours per week with overtime as needed. Notice of any increase has not so far been received but would be increased in April 2020.

• The 365 computer storage package is a new expenditure this year and will be included next year at a cost of £13.20 per month, payable by Bank transfer on the 1st of each month.

• Clerk’s salary, PAYE and pension payments will continue to be paid at the same rate and by online payment.

• Gwent Archive will charge £26.00 a year to store the box of archive literature regarding the closure of the old school in Mathern. Clerk was handed a memory stick by Cllr Anderson with the majority of the scanned documents.

• Clerk to get an alternative quote for insurance before renewal in June.

• Membership subscriptions still outstanding to pay OVW and RBS software (Accounts). Licenses 365 to be included in IT cost next year – Subscriptions slightly over budget but balanced by IT costs.

• Main projects for the villages next year will be:
A possible Place Plan for all three villages. Councillors agreed unanimously that they were unable to set any further projects until such a Plan had been made. It was considered that the Solar Farm monies could be used for this or monies taken from reserves.

(i) As per Community Council policy, grants will be allocated at meetings in December, February, May and August. Unallocated grant monies for 2019/2020 will be distributed at the February 2020 meeting so that a nil sum is carried over.
The following Councillors to be enrolled on: Code of Conduct Training – Cllr J Anderson.
Annual Pension fee to be paid to Arthur Goodman, Chartered Financial Advisers. This to be taken from Reserves.

Current Bank Balances HSBC Community Account £3648.00

Barclays Bank Deposit £10549.33
Current Precept £20000.00

Previously – £17800.00

Solar Farm Community Benefit of £1000.00 is due in April 2020.
In conclusion, Councillors agreed a Budget spend of £20995.00 for the year 2020/2021.
It was unanimously agreed that the 2020/2021 precept should be £ 20995.00

Authorisation for the Clerk to complete and submit the precept request for 2020/21
The Clerk informed the meeting that the precept request for 2020/21 should be received from Monmouthshire County Council before the end of the month. It would thus need to be submitted before the next Community Council meeting.
It was proposed by Councillor Harris and seconded by Councillor Ovenden that, as the required precept had been identified in the budget, which Community Councillors had approved, the Clerk should therefore complete the necessary documentation when it was received and submit it on behalf of the Community Council.

6) Payments Made since November meeting
£ Cheque No.
Internet/telephone 46.49 102047
J Kelley 50.00 102048

Electronic payments
Clerks salary November £582.42 Paye November £119.67
Pensions Clerks £67.46 Employers £37.48
Merlin Waste £37.50
Stock It £13.50

7) Planning

DM/2019/01480 Planning Permission – Land Adjacent Sunnybank – change of use of land to accommodate two park homes and up to four touring caravans – Traveller’s needs.
This Council considered the above application at its meeting on the 9th December 2019 and would make the following comments. We have structured our comments round the criteria set for considering such sites as noted in policy H8 (Policy for Gypsy and Traveller sites).
a). Would enable the established need to be met at a location that is accessible to schools, shops and health care, by public transport, on foot or by cycle.
Assuming a need has been established in this location, the site is well connected to local amenities and transport routes.
b). Have a safe and convenient access to the highway network and will not cause traffic congestion or safety problems.
We do not believe that safe and convenient access to the site can be afforded and that extended vehicles accessing and egressing the site will pose safety problems.
Large and long vehicles will have to slow down completely to access the site and will similarly have to leave the site at very low speed, entering or exiting onto a 60mph stretch of road, potentially crossing the line of traffic.
Due to the scale of the development proposed on such a small site and based upon the layout drawings contained in the application there is no available, allocated area on site to turn long vehicles to ensure that they can enter and leave the site in forward gear. This may force vehicles to have to reverse onto the main road with obvious severe safety implications.
It should be noted that a number of years ago a fatal accident occurred just up the hill from this site, in the 60mph zone, where a motorcycle collided with a tractor and trailer. The tractor and trailer at that time were turning across the flow of traffic.
On the basis of the above we believe that safe access both on and off the site is not possible for extended vehicles.
c). Are of a suitable size to allow for the planned number of caravans, amenity blocks, play area (for children on sites housing multiple families), the access road and include sufficient space for the parking and safe circulation of all vehicles associated with occupiers within the curtilage of the site.
The information supplied with the application notes the location of the Park House units and amenity blocks. Theses are located on the relatively flat plateau area of the site. As the site overall falls sharply to the A48, the area above the proposed Park Homes is not developable and the grass area noted to the lower section of the site is very steep and not considered suitable for housing 4 visiting caravan pitches. Certainly in wet times of the year this grassed area of land would not be accessible by vehicles as it becomes very wet and would just cut up. Caravans would not be able to be levelled or accessed on this site without hardstanding and terracing works.
The site overall is not large enough to house the proposed two Park Homes, two amenity blocks, 4 traveller pitches plus the necessary vehicle parking and circulation/turning areas. On this basis we believe that the proposal represents a complete overdevelopment of the site posing associated health and safety and visual amenity issues.
d). Do not occupy a prominent location and are consistent with the LDP policies for protecting and enhancing character and distinctiveness of the landscape and environment. Where necessary the proposal will include mitigating measures to reduce the impact, and assimilate the proposal into its surroundings e.g. screening and landscaping.
The current land use is agricultural/stabling. The reference in the application to the use of the site as a quarry was not a permitted/authorised land use.
The site is in a very prominent position at the entrance to (or exit from) the village of Crick. It commands an elevated position clearly visible from the A48. The proposed development would not be in keeping with the vernacular of houses with the village, many of which are of a significant age and heritage. The mix of modern Park Homes, masonry utility blocks and caravans would significantly impact the visual amenity of the village especially in such a rural setting in a prominent location The proposed buildings and caravans are out of context and would have a significant impact on the character and distinctiveness of the village of Crick.
e). Avoid areas at high risk of flooding and proximity to uses with potential sources of pollution or emissions.
The land is not at risk of flooding but the lower grassed area of the site does experience significant water run off from the upper sections of the site, restricting its use in wet periods.
f). Are of an appropriate scale to their location and do not have an unacceptable impact on the amenities of neighbouring land uses.
As noted under headings c). and d). above this Council believe that there will be a significant visual impact on the village in general and neighbouring properties. This Council believes the proposal represents an overdevelopment of the site and poses a safety risk to road users.
g). Are served, or can be served, by adequate on site services for water supply, power, drainage, sewer disposal, and waste disposal (storage and collection), and for travelling show people that there is a level area for outdoor storage and maintenance of equipment.
We are not aware of any services issues regarding the site.
We would note that on the basis of the information contained within the application, there is not any level area allocated for the outdoor storage and maintenance of equipment. Again any such area could have a detrimental effect on the visual impact of the site if provided. There are similarly no level, accessible areas identified for visiting caravans.

On the basis of the above Mathern Community Council would recommend that this application is refused. Should Monmouthshire County Council have a commitment to meet the accommodation needs of the Gypsy and Traveller community, a more suitable and appropriate site should be sought’
M/2019/01838 Reserved Matters Building Plot at Pwllmeyric Close
Approval of reserved matters conditions 2, 5, 6, and 7 relating to outline planning permission DM/2018/01662
No Comments

DM/2019/01914 Additional vehicular Access – Newlands Chapel Lane

The proposed new access is considered too dangerous and a highway risk. When exiting the proposed entrance the camber of the lane coming from Mathern dips away and cars can approach very quickly on what is a blind bend. This is exacerbated by the sharp incline of the proposed entrance from the house to the road.
On the basis of highway safety, the recommendation of the Council is the refuse the application

8) Any other business
Quote for damaged Noticeboard.
Clerk to order the parts and Cllr Anderson is happy to attach the new parts