November 2017


Minutes of the Council meeting held on Monday 13th November 2017
at Mathern Village Hall.
Councillors C Ovenden(Chair), D Merrett, D Harris , N Bailey, C Morton, M McHugh (arrived at 7.20), F Sainsbury, G Down

Also in attendance:
Clerk – Mrs J Kelley
3 Members of the Public
No Police representative
One guest speaker

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

(i) Public Comment

A resident came to say that practices at the Border Waste site, Crick had gone from bad to worse. However, the Enforcement and Stop notice are now in place and work there does appear to have stopped.
The resident asked several questions: was it known if the land was to be left in its current poor state? What are National Resources Wales (NRW) doing about the breach of compliance? What are the motorway agencies doing about the safety of the M48 motorway for road traffic users? Is more waste material to be brought onto the site?
Councillor Harris advised that, in his opinion, the land will be left as it now is by the land owner due to the County Council agreeing levels which they didn’t understand with the landowner. In light of this agreement, a further planning application would not be legal. The new levels were agreed even though plans on the original application show levels as they actually were before any work was started.
Mathern Community Councillors agreed unanimously that the Enforcement department of County Council have been both negligent and incompetent.

ii) Visit by Community Police
12/10/17 – Report of a drive-off without paying for fuel from Pwllmeyric Petrol Station.
15/10/17 – Report of the theft of a gas cylinder by a customer at Pwllmeyric Petrol station.
18/10/17 – Report of a possibly injured swan on the road near to Mathern fishing lakes. Swan rescue authorities were informed

The Clerk was asked to contact the police representatives to request a police presence at the next meeting.
It was noted that the report is incomplete as a break- in has occurred in Moynes Court and Cold Callers were reported in Baileys Hay. These incidents are not noted in this month’s Police report

iii) Apologies
Apologies: County Councillor L Brown and Councillor Jayne Harries

v) Declarations of Personal or Pecuniary Interest:

(vi) Minutes of the previous meeting
Minutes of the meeting held on 11th October 2017 were read and agreed as true records.
There were no matters arising.

viii) Talk by Mrs Andrea Fry, our Internal Auditor – general account and budget summary

Andrea gave a brief outline of responsibilities of Councillors and ways in which we could improve our budget setting and monitor spending more easily. She explained that we can transfer any amount between categories by virement as long as we cover this with a resolution in our minutes. If we feel that reserves are for Ear Marked items, we should use the computer account package to put reserves in EMR (Ear-marked Reserves) with clear minutes. Also record what this EMR money is to be used for in our 3 year plan.
Clerk to investigate Reserves Risk Assessments as this is a new item which the clerk had noticed in recent article published by One Voice Wales.
Clerk to meet with Andrea prior to our Finance meeting next month to work on a simple spread sheet which can be clearly read by all Councillors. This will be used to make clear decisions when setting next year’s precept. The spread sheet will be a working paper to be used alongside the normal Finance package.


County Councillor Report for Mathern Community Council on the 13th of November 2017
Pwllmeyric Speed Watch
County Councillor Brown was pleased to report that the first meeting of Pwllmeyric Speed Watch volunteers took place on the 10th of October at Chepstow Police Station. She writes:
“My thanks go to an enthusiastic Co-coordinator who will undertake the administration, to ensure that the13 volunteers have completed police vetting forms, which the Chepstow police now have and we will have to wait for them to be processed.
The Highways section of the Council are still anticipating that the new 30mph speed for Pwllmeyric, A48, will be in place this side of Christmas. So all being well, I am hoping that will be turn out to be the case.
In addition, the double white lining in the centre of the A48 road from High Beech roundabout to Pwllmeyric Hill lay-by has recently been renewed.”

Border Waste Crick
A meeting at County Hall took place on the 9th of October between Mathern Community Councillor David Harris, County Councillor Louise Brown and the following: Mark Hand (head of Monmouthshire County Council Planning Dept), representatives from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Welsh Government Highways. As promised by Mark Hand at the October meeting, a joint briefing note from that meeting has been provided today in time for the 13th of November, Mathern Community Council meeting.

Mounton Brook
A member of the public came to the last Community Council meeting with a concern about Mounton Brook which had previously flooded on grass, near the entrance driveway to his property.
County Councillor Brown went with a Council Officer on a site visit to the property in question and a follow up meeting at County Hall is in the process of being arranged.
Health and Other Issues
The Health Board is consulting on the proposal to close St Pierre Dementia Ward at Chepstow Hospital. If it happens, patients will then have to go to St Woolos Hospital, Newport instead of Chepstow Hospital. The closing date for the consultation is on the 26 January 2018. Unfortunately, the public meetings have not been well advertised and are day time meetings. The Chepstow consultation meeting is tomorrow, 14th November. County Cllr. Brown urged interested parties to attend if possible.
County Cllr. Brown had been asked today by Mathern Community Council Clerk to find out from Monmouthshire County Council about motorhomes parked/occupying highway, as this has been raised by local residents. She undertook to do this.

i)Speed watch volunteers – Update from County Councillor Brown.
Speed volunteers group going well. All forms have now been completed by
Volunteers and identification taken.
Re. Coffee Morning comment “What is involved in being a speed watch volunteer?” County Councillor Brown advised that no more volunteers are required at this time. However should a second phase of training be available, she will let interested people know.
ii)Progress with defibrillator – delivery, cabinet costings, CPR training.
Councillor Harris still chasing the electrician.
Clerk to investigate training for January.

iii) Cost to re-gild St Tewdric’s Well Plaques
Ian Watts (Monumental Masons) of Caldicot kindly agreed to carry out the re-gilding free of charge.
The work is now completed and the plaques have been replaced.
Clerk to write to Ian Watts to thank them.
iv) Actions on matters raised at Coffee morning
The recent Coffee Morning was poorly attended – just 8 people.
Rhewl Farm solar Farm community benefit (£1000.00) – attendees felt that the Village Hall would be a suitable recipient of this. First priority is building a toilet for the disabled. Village Hall committee to investigate and feed back to Community Council.
The Village Hall committee representative advised that a regular Saturday booking has now been taken and future Coffee Mornings would need to be at another time. Consideration to the Hall being opened for refreshment after the Remembrance Day service next year.
Clerk to contact Caerwent Clerk to investigate the running of a Community Council Facebook page to advertise forthcoming events. Also to enquire about how successful their Trim Trail is and how Health and Safety matters are covered.
Clerk to email Village Hall committee re a joint End of World War 1 commemoration event next year. A tea dance was suggested.

v) Response from Mathern P C C re dog waste bin near St. Tewdric’s churchyard
No response as yet. Clerk to order a green bin from MCC so that this is ready for installation once a suitable site has been found.

i) Fly Tipping, Moynes Court
This has been dealt with by MCC.
iii) Ancient Slipway- Mathern
MCC advised that the slipway, as far as they can see on records, is not a designated heritage asset, such as a listed building or a scheduled ancient
monument. However double checking the website Cof Cymru http:// was advised.
It would then depend on whether any work carried out constituted an engineering operation which could require planning permission. This would depend on the extent of the groundworks.
viii) St Tewdrics Well Ownership
MC C unable to assist with this.
Ownership to be investigated
ix) Response from MCC and NRW re Mounton Brook Gabions
See County Councillors Report

Clerk to chase outstanding issues from September:
• Signage top of Pwllmeyric Hill covered by overgrown hedge.
• Pavement Texaco Garage – MCC to complete with road markings to make this safer for pedestrians
30 mile speed limit sign – top of Pwllmeryic Hill turned around. Now resolved.

a) One Voice Wales : No Report
b) Governors meeting – Dell School: no report available.
Minutes of future meetings to be circulated to Mathern C C.

66/17 a) New submissions:
DC/2017/01198– Planning permission -10 Orchid Meadow Pwllmeyric
NMA Increase size of bathroom window (obscured glass) Relating to application DC/2016/00154
This application is for information only
DC/2017/01319 Renewal of planning permission – The Rowans, Bayfield, Pwllmeyric.
Agree a repeat renewal application

b) Decisions and appeals –

c) Enforcement –

• Border Waste Crick. (See also 62/17 County Councillors report)
Clerk to write to Mark Hand, Head of MCC Planning Dept advising him that his briefing statement should also have identified a forward plan to resolve the condition of the site relative to its original agricultural use.

Mathern Community Councillors are aware that there can now be no obligation to return this site to its original levels because MCC has already agreed revised levels with the landowner. However we need to be informed about the ultimate goal of attempting some restoration of the site and how it is planned to achieve this.
Alternatively, is it now accepted, despite all the time and effort put into this unfortunate matter by all parties, that stopping any further activity is the best that can now be achieved?

101771 Wreath – Royal British Legion 30.00
101772 SLCC -Annual Membership 108.00
101773 Stock It Ltd – License 365 13.20
101774 Stock it Ltd – Annual Hosting Web 126.00
101775 M J Trading – paper – Laminates 38.22
101776 Merlin Waste – Collection 27.12
101777 Internet/Telephone 24.21
101778 St David’s Foundation 30.00
101779 C Morton (Engraving Cup) 8.50
101780 Mathern Athletic Club (Grant) 500.00

D D Pension For October £ 111.67
Online Payment Salary for October £ 596.46
PAYE – NI £145.53

Monthly bank reconciliations for September 2017 reconciled by Councillor Martin McHugh .

It was agreed to make a regular monthly payment of £13.20 for the new 365 computer programme.

From December 2017, Grant applications will be considered every 3 months (January, March, June, September, December) rather than monthly. This complies with the Community Council’s Financial Standing Orders as revised in August 2017.

• It was noted that a “thank you” letter had been received from Mathern PCC for our cheque to them, given as a grant towards a replacement computer for their Clerk.

• A Grant application had been received for Mathern Athletic Club
This was discussed and a grant of £500.00 was agreed.

• A letter has been received suggesting work which needs to be completed at the War Memorial:
Etching poor on the Memorial – needs re-etching.
Plaque to say please “ All are welcome to enter the garden”.
Clerk to email Ian Watts and ask for a quote to clean memorial and restore
Railings need repainting – this is to be completed by Community Council
next year.

• One Voice Wales – review of Community and Town Council Sector consultation event Tuesday 5th December 2 – 4 Cwmbran.
Clerk and Chairman to attend.

• It was noted that an increased charge by Merlin Waste for dog waste bins to be emptied is to be introduced in April 2018 – increase from £3.39 to £3.75 per bin.

• A resident has written outlining a problem with dogs fouling the verges at Wyelands View, in Mathern – Clerk to ask MCC for suitable signage which could be placed along the verge.


The Clerk advised that the dog waste bins and new laptop computer have been added to the Zurich Insurance policy at no extra cost.
Mathern Patchwork Circle have confirmed that their new storage box (grant towards this made last month) has now been purchased. Clerk to issue cheque.


The next meeting will be held on Monday 4th December at 7pm at Mathern Village Hal. This is the annual Finance meeting, for Community Councillors only. It is hoped that all will attend.

There being no further business to discuss, the meeting closed at 9.15 pm.

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