Minutes July 2019


Minutes of the Council meeting held on Monday 8th July 2019 at Mathern Village Hall.
Present: Councillors – D Harris (Chairman) C Ovenden (Vice Chair), D Merrett, C Morton , G Down.

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

Here is the latest report for the Mathern, Pwllmeyric and Mounton area:

19/6/19 – Report of a break in overnight at Chepstow Garden Centre. Approx. 20 garden water features were taken.

22/6/19 – Report of a drive off without paying for fuel from Pwllmeyric petrol station.

24/6/19 – Report of suspicious activity in a bid to steal a caravan from a farm in Mathern. The caravan had been moved from its original position and the caller believes the intruders had been disturbed and left empty handed thankfully.

3/7/19 – Chepstow Neighbourhood policing team did a speed monitoring operation at various locations in the rural and town areas. The average speed of vehicles clocked on Pwllmeyric Hill was 28 mph with one driver reported for speeding offences.

County Councillor Brown felt that the speed monitors figures were incorrect as the speed volunteers have also been monitoring Pwllmeyric Hill and the number of vehicles above the average speed was excessive.

Councillors felt that the speed of traffic going up the hill has reduced. However downhill, the speed is still in excess of 30 mph.

iii) Apologies
Apologies received from Cllr F Sainsbury and Cllr J Harris.

It was resolved by the full Council that apologies from Cllr Sainsbury and Cllr McHugh would be accepted over the 6 months due to both Cllrs having extenuating circumstances. This would be reviewed in 3 months time.

(iv) Declarations of Personal or Pecuniary Interest:
(v) Minutes of the previous meeting
Minutes of the meeting held on 10th June were read. Clerk to make some amendments and then agreed as true record. There were no matters arising.

Report as below
County Councillor Brown advised:
County Council
• At the last meeting of the County Council on the 20th of June, the Council passed a motion on the need for better road infrastructure and transport issues which included the Chepstow area to ask for the Welsh Government support for improvements, the motion itself can be found at the following link at item 5a:
I have continued to lobby Nick Ramsay AM and David Davies MP to ask them to ask the Welsh Government to support road infrastructure in the Chepstow area including improvements to High Beech roundabout and an M48 link.
Monmouthshire Revised Local Development Plan (LDP).
• The Cabinet had various reports in their meeting on the 3 July including changing the Monmouthshire Revised LDP visions and objectives paper of June to take account of the climate change motion passed by the Council (item 3d).
Monmouthshire Replacement Local Development Plan (LDP) Growth and Spatial Options Consultation -8 July to the 5 August:
• Also this Cabinet report of the 3 July included the Monmouthshire Replacement Local Development Plan Growth and Spatial Options, it is to allow for a non-statutory 4 week consultation on the preferred strategy. It will come up with the options of how many houses should be built in Monmouthshire in the next plan period and whereabouts in very general terms, so it is an important consultation. The item 3e and appendices can be found at the following link:
The 4 week consultation timetable is as follows:
03 July – Cabinet to endorse consultation on Growth and Spatial Options
08 July to 05 August – 4 week consultation (non-statutory).

The link to this 4 week consultation can be found here:

There is a drop in session at Usk County Hall from 1pm to 7pm on the 16 July. Also it is on the agenda for the Lower Wye Committee on the 17 July at 10am at Chepstow Leisure centre, the public are welcome to attend:

The argument is based on different growth options and in very general terms what the strategy is as to where it should be developed in the County area, but not at all site specific, because that follows on from what is the adopted strategy. It is an interesting fact that only 3% of land in Monmouthshire is developed but 80% of that is in the South of the County.
Hence, the 4 week consultation is available on the Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) website on the 8 July to respond to.
In February 2019 there was a register of sites submitted by any landowners but not assessed by planning. Sites considered at a later stage will take account of the adopted growth and spatial strategy when sites are later consulted upon. The list of sites can be found at the following links:
The index of sites can be found at the following link including new settlements:
The site proposer for a potential new settlement in the Portskewett/Shirenewton area is MCC, as MCC owns a number of Council farms in this area (with up to 6000 houses).
Other new potential settlements are Magor with Undy (up to 8000 houses) and in Raglan (up to 1500 houses).
The location of these potential new settlements can be found in the following link:
List of candidate sites for Shirenewton Ward can be found in the following link:

No decisions or consultations are yet being considered for the list of candidate sites as a growth and spatial options consultation is being undertaken for 4 weeks from the 8 July to determine what the adopted growth strategy will be. Candidate sites are considered and consulted on after the strategy has been adopted.

i) Response re digitalising copies of archive material for Mathern School.
Cllr Ovenden has not made contact with potential assistance yet. The Archive box was handed to her for safe-keeping..
ii) Response MCC re replacement bus shelter, Pwllmeyric – Dog Waste Bin
Monmouthshire Council has kindly circulated details of a stainless steel bus shelter they are hoping to replace the damaged one with. Cllrs all agree that this would be most acceptable. They asked County Cllr Brown to just check that it can be installed on the current slab of the bus shelter. MCC have advised that the shelter is now on order.
It was hoped that the wrecked dog waste bin would also be replaced at the time of the installation of the new bus shelter. However MCC have agreed to re-site this now as a matter of urgency as two in this position have been demolished in road accidents.

iii) British Heart Foundation Donation for Defibrillator
Chepstow Lions have donated the £600.00 for a defibrillator. This sum has now been received by the Clerk.
Clerk to contact Chepstow Lions to pass the defibrillator on to them.
Mathern C C will discuss purchase of a suitable cabinet at the next meeting in September. Clerk to also ask Mounton Brook Lodge to carry out a monthly check on the machine and report to the Clerk each month that this has been carried out.


• Weedkilling needed, Pwllmeyric Hill
• Pot Holes – Mounton Village
• Pot Holes lower Mathern – corner of road outside Strathearn
• White lines need reviewing throughout our three villages.
• Gullies need clearing lower Mathern – under motorway bridge/Barn lane.

a) One Voice Wales – Representative to be selected
Next meetings 18th July 2019.
Cllrs to try to rotate attendance at these the meetings. Clerk to agenda for next meeting.
Cllr D Harris is hoping to attend.
b) Defibrillator- Monthly Checking
Monthly check on the defibrillator carried out by Cllr D Harris in June. Fully functioning. Cllr C Morton to take on the monthly defibrillator check.
c) Risk Assessments for Mathern, Mounton and Pwllmeyric
Forms had been distributed to Cllrs McHugh, Ovenden and D Harris and all forms now completed.
Clerk to agenda actions from the assessments for next meeting.

d) Councillor C Morton – Best Kept Garden (as seen from the roadside) and GAVO new Proud of Your Community Gwent Awards scheme.
Cllr Morton is happy to continue to coordinate these events. All agreed that both events should continue.
GAVO have now circulated the new scheme – Proud of Your Community Award. As the Community Council has paid staff, which excludes it from the format of the competition, we are unable to enter any of the categories.
N.B. Since this change was first announced, GAVO have changed the entry criteria and closing date has been extended till end of July. MMPWB have entered the villages and War Memorial. The Clerk has also forwarded the details to the PCC’s in the hope that they will enter the Churchyards within the community.


a) New submissions:


b) Decisions and appeals – None.
c) Enforcement
MCC Environmental Health Dept. is investigating the complaints of the tannoy noise from Newhouse Industrial Park. Matter ongoing.

Cllrs have been contacted by numerous concerned residents about the number of large lorries and tractors speeding through Mathern. The concern is that a large amount of material is apparently being dumped near Palace Farm. Clerk to contact Enforcement and ask them to investigate.
Cllrs have also been contacted by residents re the untidy garden and building a St Tewdrics Place. Chairman to speak to MCC Planning re. our response to a recent application when it was asked if a three months covenant could be placed to complete the work and tidy the area.


Cheque Number Details Amount(£)
102017 Andrea Fry Internal Audit 390.00
102018 Postage and files 12.65
102019 Mileage – Training, Usk 21.42
102020 Merlin Waste 37.50
102021 Internet and Phone 41.49
102022 J Reece – 120.00
102023 Stock It Ltd 36.00
102024 Mathern and District Club 5500.00
102025 C M Maintenance (Bench Village Bus) 100.00
D D Pension For June 78.11 Employee
43.40 Employer
Online Payment Salary for June 634.32
PAYE – NI June 137.60

Internet Payment £13.20 Stock It Ltd. License

Monthly Bank Reconciliation for May – authorisation by Cllr G Down

The Clerk reported that she has completed overtime of 12 hours in April, 6 hours in May and 14.5 hours in June. This included two training sessions. This to be reviewed at the next budget-to-spending meeting to ensure that, should viaments be needed, this can be agreed.


Resignation of Cllr N Bailey – Pwllmeyric Ward
If was with regret that the Chairman had received Cllr Bailey’s resignation following the last meeting. MCC have placed the necessary notice and the Clerk awaits their instructions. If 10 residents request an election, this will be arranged. Alternatively the Clerk will circulate a poster for the position to be advertised locally for co-option.
Awaiting for confirmation from Mrs. Bailey whether she wishes to remain as a Trustee for Pratt’s Charity.

(Clerk has now been contacted by Mrs N Bailey who will continue as a Trustee for Pratt’s Charity until her term of office is completed 20th September 2020.)

The Community Council External Audit has been sent to BDO

The Internal Audit Report was circulated –
The Clerk was congratulated on the results of this report.
All recommendations were discussed. The precept planning would be agenda-ed for the October meeting and the three year forecast would be reviewed and strengthened with full details of future planning.

Clerk update – Meeting with Matt Phillips – Head of Law and Monitoring Officer at MCC including update from Welsh Audit Office and WLGA.
Papers were circulated for Cllrs to read.


Update Website to ensure compliant. Clerk to complete this over the summer.

Clerk to contact Stock It Ltd to update polices on our website.

Community Plan – Clerk to contact Shirley Hughes – Project Consultancy, to ask for a quote to start the process for a Community Plan.

Clerk to contact Chepstow Town Council to ask for the information from Councillors’ training session with Planning Aid Wales in January 2019 to be forwarded to us as this will help us with the process.

Cllr G Down advised that at the last Cluster meeting (4th July 2019) which he attended, Chepstow Town Council advised that they are already in the process of making a Place Plan. As a Hub, the Town Council felt that the inclusion of local surrounding Community Councils would/could add to this plan. Other matters discussed were sharing a street cleaner with Chepstow Town Council and making a contribution towards the cost of this to benefit our community with more regular street cleaning.
Matter to be agenda-ed for next meeting.

Below: next stage of new LDP consultation
Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) is in the process of preparing a Replacement Local Development Plan (LDP) for the County (excluding the area within the Brecon Beacons National Park). It will cover the period 2018-2033.
The Council is currently consulting on the Growth and Spatial Options Paper which was endorsed for non-statutory public consultation at the Cabinet meeting on 3 July 2019. The paper sets out the growth and spatial options for the Replacement LDP, together with the implications of each option and the extent to which they will achieve the Replacement LDP objectives.

The Growth and Spatial Options Paper, together with an Easy Read version, are available to view on the Council’s website via the link at:
· https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/planning-policy/planning-policy-current-consultations/

Copies of the paper are also available to view at:
· MCC Planning Reception, County Hall, Rhadyr, Usk, NP15 1GA
· MCC Community Hubs in Caldicot, Chepstow, Monmouth and Usk;
· MCC One Stop Shop and Library in Abergavenny and Library in Gilwern.

Comments are invited on the questions set out in the Growth and Spatial Options Paper. The document is available for public consultation from Monday 8th July 2019 to Monday 5th August 2019. Please submit any comments via the Replacement LDP Consultation website which can be accessed via the following link: http://monmouthshire.planning-register.co.uk/
Please register on the Replacement LDP Consultation website to enable the submission of comments. If you need any assistance with this please contact the Planning Policy Team either by email planningpolicy@monmouthshire.gov.uk or by phone 01633 644429.
All responses must be received by midnight on Monday 5 August 2019. Responses cannot be accepted after this date. Please note that all comments received will be available for public inspection and cannot be treated as confidential.

Cllrs to email Cllr D Harris who will then draft a response on behalf of Mathern Community Council.

The Clerk was asked to write to St Pierre Hotel regarding the problem of Himalayan Balsam along the river course of the Golf Course (12th and 13th holes).

Cllr Morton advised that she will not be standing for re-election to the Community Council at the next elections in 2021.


Shelving in the telephone box has now been completed. This will be advertised as a book exchange.

Nomination for work within the Community: Cllrs to investigate this and discuss at the next meeting.

Mathern School papers to be digitally copied.

Eddie Parry Plaque – Pwllmeyric.

The next meeting to be Monday 9th September 2019 at 7pm in the small room of the Village Hall.
There being no further business to discuss, the meeting closed at 9.35 pm.