December Minutes 2018

Financial Meeting Monday 10th December 2018
At Mathern Village Hall 7pm
Present – Councillors Ovenden (Chair), D Harris, G Down, C Morton, M McHugh and D Merrett.
Also present – Clerk Jane Kelley
Apologies – Councillor N Bailey, F Sainsbury, J Harris
Review of current budget 2018/19. 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 2018/19 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 2018/2019.
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 £7.86 to £8.12 per elector.

The number of electors in our area is 851

The annual Band D figure for next year is £611.57

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 – more expenditure expected this year- for bench in bus shelter and work on telephone box to make it a village book/magazine swop depot.
• Village upkeep – Cleaning of road signs to be investigated. Also extra road sweep, and spraying of weeds along pavements.
• More frequent emptying of dog bin by the Mathern bus shelter may be required as it is often overflowing.

1) Budget setting 2019/2020

The three-year forecast was circulated to all councillors to help with setting the budget for 2019/2020

• The Clerk advised that cost of dog waste collection is to remain the same at £3.75 per bin from April 2019. We are due to have 1 more bin installed at Barn Lane which needs to be added to the cost of the emptying collection each fortnight. It was noted that some bins are overflowing if left for two weeks and more frequent emptying may be required next summer.

• It was agreed that Churchyard Maintenance (4105) would remain unchanged i.e. Mathern – £400, Mounton £200.00 St Pierre – £150.00.

• 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.

• The 365 computer storage package is a new expenditure this year and will be included next year at a cost pf £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 internet payment.

• 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.
(Clerk to chase Planning Aid Wales for training on this)
Expenditure will be made for:
1. Walks Leaflets re-print
2. Plaque for St Tewdrics Well
3. Councillor and Clerk ongoing Training.

Items hoped to be completed by the end of this year (2018/19):
1. Bus shelter bench – centre of Mathern
2. Extra sweeps with road sweeper – especially Mounton which is only swept biennially.
3. Purchase of a projector for Community Council meetings, as the County Council charges for paper items for discussion (e.g. planning applications)whilst those sent electronically are free.

(i) As per Community Council policy, grants will be allocated at meetings in December, February, May and August. Unallocated grant monies for 2018/2019 will be distributed at the February 2019 meeting so that a nil sum is carried over.
(ii) Clerk stated that she wished to attend further training events. Also to be considered for the new Clerks training programme. All agreed. £1000 was allocated for training, as Councillors too will attend certain training courses
Clerk to be enrolled on the SLCC – Cilca Portfolio Course – cost of £340.00

The following Councillors to be enrolled on:
Community/Place Plan (Module 12) 23.01.2019 – Graham Down, David Harris, Carolyn Ovenden, Jane Kelley – Cost £160.00
Information Management (Module 15) 11.02.2019 Jane Kelley – Cost £40.00
Introduction to Community Engagement (Model 8) 06.02.2019 Graham Down cost £40.00
Community Engagement (Model 13) 26.02.2018 Graham Down cost £40.00

Total £620.00 – This will mean a slight overspend for this year which will be paid from reserves.
Annual Pension fee to be paid to Arthur Goodman, Chartered Financial Advisers .This to be taken from Reserves.

Current Bank Balances HSBC Community Account £7040.08

Barclays Bank Deposit £10514.13
Current Precept £17800.00

Previously – £16080.00

2) Transfer of funds to EMR (Earmarked Reserves) with detailed items as follows. Also General Reserves. ( Approximate amounts – exact amounts will be confirmed at end of full financial year.)

No transfers to EMR needed this year

Already in EMR from previous years.
Defibrillator – £1500.00
Walks Leaflets – £4000.00
War Memorial cleaning and restoration – £ 1590.00 (£3489 spent this year. VAT to be claim back )

3) Review of 3-year forecast – to include ideas on village projects using community benefit monies (currently £1000 p.a.) from solar farm development at Rhewl Farm.
Suggested use of Community Benefit Monies:
At the Community Council Coffee Morning held in October 2017, members of the public supported the installation of disabled toilets in the Village Hall. The Village Hall Committee is preparing plans and costings for this and Councillors supported the use of this year’s £1000.00 to help finance this project in 2018/2019. As of today’s date, 10.12.2018, these plans and possible costings have not been received.
Councillor G Down registered an interest in this as a Trustee of the Village Hall.

In conclusion, Councillors agreed a Budget spend of £20,000.00 for the year 2019/20.
Although the budget set for the year will be £22,660.00, any short fall will be used from carried forward monies and reserves, with approximately £817.00 being carried forward from this year 2018/2019.
Should carried forward monies be spent before end of year 2018/2019, Councillors resolved that current reserves are available to meet any shortfall.
It was unanimously agreed that the 2019/2020 precept should be £20,000.00

Authorisation for the Clerk to complete and submit the precept request for 2019/20
The Clerk informed the meeting that the precept request for 2019/20 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 Down and seconded by Councillor Harris 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.
Stock it Ltd 90.00 101866
Wales Audit Office 274.05 101867
Travel Training Clerk 36.90 101868
J Kelley (Cards) 10.40 101869
Merlin Waste 37.40 101870
Telephone internet 41.49 101871
OVW Training 40.00 101872
7) Planning

Town and County Planning publicity and consultation before applying for planning permission notice – Land at Bayfield.

Councillor M McHugh registered an interest in this.

Response to be submitted to the pre –application panel:
( Clerk to copy comments below to County Councillor Brown and Clerk to Shirenewton Community Council. )

“Mathern Community Council has considered the proposal and would raise the following objections to the development. All objections essentially relating to the current infrastructure and lack of spare capacity in the locality.

1.School placements

The children of Mathern, Pwllmeyric, Hayes Gate and Mounton villages currently attend The Dell Primary School and Chepstow Comprehensive School and have done so since the Mathern village school was closed a number of years ago. Should this development proceed we believe the children from the villages noted above may be diverted to other schools that are believed to have capacity such as Thornwell Road, Pembroke Road and Caldicot Comprehensive School. This is unacceptable to our community as siblings may be allocated to different schools and the village will be disadvantaged due to this development. Bus transport is provided to and from the schools for the children thus reducing peak time travel journeys.

Any school demand from this proposed development should not displace current arrangements and should be catered for either within the development or utilising spare capacity that may exist. Failing that, a Section 106 provision should be levied to expand current capacity within local schools so as not to displace current arrangements.

2.Traffic Congestion

The contents of the Transport Assessment are noted but the fact remains that the current road infrastructure, particularly around the Larkfield/High Beech roundabout, is inadequate to accommodate current capacities. Severe congestion can be witnessed at every peak time during the week and on race days. No matter by whatever degree, 200 dwellings on this site will add to the congestion and will impact on the amenity of existing residents.

Without improvements to the main roundabout in particular, no further significant capacity should be added to it.

Very few of the residents of the new development will work in walking, cycling or public transport commuting distance as that employment does not exist. The prime resident, at least, of these dwellings will be car commuters meaning that the projections in the Travel Assessment could be viewed as being conservative by at least 100%.

3.Healthcare and Dentist availability

There is no spare capacity locally in any GP surgery or dental practices. This development will therefore place further pressures on these facilities and may result in existing residents suffering longer waiting than current at best or may result in facilities out of the locality having to be used (if available) thus increasing car travel yet further.”

8) Any other business
• Councillor D Harris will carry out the regular checks of the defibrillator in Councillor Baileys absence.
• Clerk to investigate local Volunteer Awards as Councillors would like to nominate Mrs Mary Pitt for an award for the exhibitions which she held to mark the Remembrance Day celebrations on weekend of 10 th and 11th of November.
The Clerk confirmed that the annual Community Council lunch had been booked for 27th January 2019 at the Millers Arms for 1.00. Please advise the Clerk if you are able to attend.

Signed …………………………………………………………… Dated …………………………………….