January 2019


Minutes of the Council meeting held on Monday 14th January 2019
at Mathern Village Hall.
Present: Councillors – C Ovenden (Chair), D Harris, C Morton, D Merrett,
G Down. J Harris
Also in attendance: County Councillor L Brown
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
Clerk to contact Police as no report received.

Apologies from Police for the lateness of the report – now attached

“16/12/18 – Report of a drive-off without paying for fuel from Pwllmeyric petrol station.

18/12/18 – We have recently been having reports of vehicles parking up in the Mathern village area with possible drug activity going on. Patrols have been conducted by officers and on this date a male who was in a vehicle parked up on the lane to Moynes Court was given a cannabis warning. Also on the 9/1/19 a male in a vehicle parked by the pumping station near the church was also given a cannabis warning
We will continue to patrol when able going forward .

21/1/19 – Report of a vehicle breaking down on the A48 Pwllmeyric overnight . When the driver returned next morning, the vehicle’s driver’s side window had been smashed and items had been taken from inside.”

iii) Apologies
Councillors N Bailey, F Sainsbury, and M McHugh.

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

(v) Minutes of the previous meeting
Minutes of the meeting held on 14th November 2018 were read and agreed as true record. Minutes of the finance meeting held on 10th December 2018 were also read and agreed as a true record. There were no matters arising.

Report as below
County Councillor Brown advised:
• The publication of the stage 1 candidate call for sites has been postponed from December 2018 to January 2019 due to the volume of sites which have come forward
• In relation to the unallocated sites, the Welsh Government Minister will not call in the 130 houses at Caldicot but is still considering whether to call in the 111 houses at Raglan.( please see update for the January report).
• There are new SUDs/drainage requirements coming in January 2019 for developments in Wales to try to help prevent flooding by ensuring that drives are permeable and rainwater drains into soakaways. It will not apply to single dwelling developments. However, existing properties may be affected if new drives or extensions are above a certain amount of land space.
Adults Select Committee
• The Adults Select Committee had a special meeting on the 26 November to consider, firstly, the Crick Road development, which will eventually replace the Severn View Care home, secondly, Gwent homelessness strategy and thirdly, the local housing market assessment on affordable housing needs. The reports can be found at the following link: https://democracy.monmouthshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=140&MId=3835
• 468 affordable homes per year for the next 5 years are needed according to the report. In the last LDP for the period 2011 to 2021, the target number was 960, 96 per year, so in view of price levels, it is difficult to ever meet this level of need. The final report can be read at the following link:https://democracy.monmouthshire.gov.uk/documents/s18364/3b%20181114%20Final%20Report.pdf

Stronger Communities Select Committee
• The Stronger Communities’ select committee considered reports on waste. It covered firstly, new canvas reusable bags to replace the current purple and red bags, and secondly, recycled-plastic bags for food waste, which can be shredded and burnt with the food waste being treated so that the gas produced provides electricity.
• In addition, Monmouthshire residents in the next financial year will be provided with permits to ensure that MCC is not processing waste from cross county border traffic and to lessen the queues at the waste sites.
• There was also a cost saving options to possibly close all sites for a day or two or possibly close the Usk site completely and close the others for a day or two a week, but it was felt that full council, possibly at the meeting on the 20 December, should consider any decision on this. The following link provides the reports of this committee:
Lower Wye Committee meeting, 23 January 2019 at 10am
• By way of advance notice, this local meeting will consider the draft speed strategy for MCC and is open to the public. The meetings are normally held at Chepstow Leisure centre. Agendas can be found at this link:

County Councillor Brown advised of an update of the December report:
• The 111 houses at Raglan on the unallocated site not in the current LDP have been called in by the Welsh Government, particularly in relation to the issue of the transport hierarchy as set out in the Planning Policy Wales (Edition 10) December 2018, which puts the healthier forms of transport first.
• There is a consultation on a major development at Bayfield’s Chepstow for outline planning permission for 200 houses. It commences on the 14 January for 21 days.
• Outline planning permission is also being made for 11 houses on the outskirts of Shirenewton on land adjacent to Clearview Court. The public consultation period for this application commenced on the 7th of January for 21 days. A local press report on the 8 January 2019 failed to make clear the difference between the pre-application consultation and the consultation itself.
Lower Wye Committee and Budget Proposals
• The Lower Wye Committee meeting on 23 January will also consider the Budget as well as the draft Road Safety Strategy and the public are welcome to attend.
• In addition, there will be a “special access for all” forum on the budget for people with disabilities or parents of children with disabilities 10.30am to 12.30 am at the Memorial Hall Usk on the 25th of January 2019 with free transport available by contacting MCC if required.
• A full list of the budget proposals can be found at the following link:
• It includes changes on waste and recycling as well as introduction of a permit scheme for use at waste sites by Monmouthshire residents only, to save on the processing of waste of those who live outside Monmouthshire, who if they live nearby can pay for an annual permit, if they wish to do so.
• Changes on car park charges are part of the Budget proposals, including approx.10% increase in charges, charging from 8am to 6pm rather than between 9am and 5pm and introducing parking charges for the disabled and on a Sunday. It is important to respond to the budget consultation.
Schools and Secondary School Catchment areas
• A consultation on secondary school catchment areas is expected to open towards the end of January and it is important to respond in order to ensure our ward stays in the Chepstow Comprehensive school area. It is part of the agenda for the Lower Wye Committee on the 23 January but as there are a number of items on that agenda, it may possibly be covered at a later meeting.


i) Sewage Pollution – Mounton Brook
Sewerage Pipe issue-
The pipe lining work has been rescheduled to spring (post winter). Also the replanting of the willow/reed on the banking.

ii) Telephone Box use
Cllr Merrett and Cllr Harris have met the contractor. Shelving to be installed ready for the spring and then used as a book and magazine exchange.

iii) Response from M C C re bench in bus shelter – as not on C C property.
Response from MCC is that they are happy for a bench to be installed if the Community Council wishes to fund this.
Councillors agreed that the contractor who is going to install the shelves in the bus shelter will also install a bench here.

iv) Installation of dog waste bin – top of Barn Lane
Bin now installed. Clerk has asked Merlin Waste to add this to the fortnightly rota for emptying.

v)Personal accident claim.
The claimant’s last appointment for related treatment is at the end of January. The final invoice will then be submitted to our Insurance Company.

Personal Accident cover on our insurance policy has been increased to £200,000.00 at no increase in cost for this year’s premium.

vi) Investigation of volunteer awards
The Clerk has found out that the Gwent Association of Volunteers (GAVO) present awards for community volunteers. Councillors felt this was unsuitable for their purpose and further investigation will be ongoing.

vii) Response from Planning Aid Wales re bespoke Place Plan training with Chepstow Town Council.
Chepstow Town Council would like to undertake this training later in the year and wish to open it up to the local cluster group of Community Councils. Chepstow Town Council are in liaison with MCC regarding this proposal.


• Gully clearance, lower Mathern village still not completed. Clerk to Chase.
• A48 – Pot Holes.
• Road surface very poor after works carried out for Brook House Pwllmeyric. Road already breaking up.

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

Apologies sent for the meeting on 17th January 2019.

b) Defibrillator- Monthly Checking
Monthly check on the defibrillator carried out by Cllr D Harris in December 2018.
Fully functioning.


a) New submissions:

DC/2018/01981 Planning Permission Rhewl Farm – conversion
of existing redundant farm building to four dwellings.

Councillors believe that the current proposal is an over-development of the site and existing buildings. They felt that three dwellings would be more appropriate as the fourth dwelling is one bedroom and very small and constricted.
Should the Planning Department not agree with our views regarding overdevelopment, we believe that the fourth dwelling should be allocated for social/affordable housing for benefit of local residents. The Community Council believe that should the application be approved in any respect that a community contribution to community facilities such as Mathern Village Hall would be appropriate.

DC/2018/01829 Planning Permission 19 Orchid Meadow – Proposed
First floor side extension.

Already approved.

DC/2018/02023 Planning permission 2 The Crescent. Mathern – existing attic
to be upgraded and used as a master bedroom. A second flight of stairs will be constructed as access. The roof structure will be adjusted to take 6 roof light windows for natural light and ventilation.

No Comment

DC/2019/000136 Outline planning – Land at Bayfield Chepstow
For 200 homes including public open space, new vehicular, pedestrian and cycle accesses and associated landscaping and engineering works


“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 residents, 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 practice. 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.”

b) Decisions and appeals – None.

c) Enforcement
Border Waste Crick- Hearing in December 2018, for breach of the notice in connection with planning, the owner of the site was fined and had to pay a specified sum towards costs.

Cheque Number Details Amount

101873 Merlin Waste 37.50
101874 Postage/ Thanks you cards 29.97
101875 Rialtas Solutions 198.00
101876 Telephone/internet 41.49
101877 S L C C – Clerk Training 408.00
D D Pension For December 104.92
Online Payment Salary for December 569.85
PAYE – NI 118.63
Internet Payment £13.20 Stock it Ltd. License

Monthly Bank Reconciliation for December – authorisation by Cllr J Harris

Confirmation received from Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) that our proposed 2019/20 precept has been accepted (£20,000.00)

Application for grant assistance for Wales in Bloom competition – for consideration
at February meeting.

Christmas Lunch, Millers Arms Mathern, 27th January at 1. pm Please email Clerk with your attendance details. Table booked for 12 at 1 pm

Clerk enrolled on the SLCC – CilCA portfolio Training Course. Dates for course are 25th January, 27th February, 26th March and 26th April. Each for a full day.

Councillors enrolled on Training with OVW Community Place Plan (module 12) 23.01.2019 Graham Down, David Harris, Carolyn Ovenden and Jane Kelley.
Introduction to Community Engagement (Model 8) 06.02.2019 Graham Down
Community Engagement (Model 13) 26.02.2019 Graham Down.

Notification received from MCC of review of recycling changes.


New Risk Assessment check List for Community Council administration circulated. The Clerk was thanked for her work in producing this comprehensive document.

Councillors to investigate local Local History Groups to see if such a group could assist Mathern in archiving documents held by villagers. To be agenda-ed for next meeting.

Community Council Coffee Morning booked for 23rd March in the Village Hall at 10.30 am.

The next meeting Monday 11th February 2019 at 7pm in the small room of the Village Hall.

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

Signed …………………………….. CHAIRMAN Date……………