October 2019


Minutes of the Council meeting held on Monday 14th October 2019 at Mathern Village Hall.


Present:  Councillors –   D Harris (Chairman) C Ovenden (Vice Chair),  D Merrett, J Anderson, J Harris,


Also, in attendance:       County Councillor L Brown

Clerk – Mrs J Kelley

No members of the Public

No   Police representatives


The Chairperson welcomed Councillor James Anderson to the meeting as the new Co-opted member for Pwllmeyric and thanked all Councillors for their attendance.


(i)      Public Comment


ii)Report from Community Police

There is very little to report since the last meeting for the Mathern/Mounton area apart from the following:


1/10/19 – Report of an attempted theft of Yankee candles by two females at Chepstow Garden Centre. The females left empty handed when seen by staff.


2/10/19 – Report of a male selling household items door to door in the Chapel Lane area of Pwllmeyric. The caller felt intimidated when she refused to buy anything from the male. Officers attended and spoke to him and advised him of his actions and he was asked to leave the area which he did.


Please remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity/crime at the time via either 101 or 999 if you deem it an emergency .If it is low level you can also report via email on contact@gwent.pnn.police.uk


Clerk to email re the increased cold calling in Mathern and Pwllmeyric to check if any further signage would help with this.

iii) Apologies

Apologies received from Cllr G Down, Cllr F Sainsbury, Cllr Morton, Cllr M McHugh


(iv)  v) Declarations of Personal or Pecuniary Interest:


  1. vi) Minutes of the previous meeting

Minutes of the meeting held on 9th September 2019 were agreed as true record.

There were no matters arising.



Payee                                       Amount           Cheque number

Cllr C Morton                      12.50                     102036

MMPVB                             500.00                   102037

Wales Audit Office               269.25                   102038

Telephone and Internet         51.43                     102039

Replacement Q C Wheeler     70.00                         102040

Stamps                                   15.72                          102041



D D Pension for September    £64.50 Employee   £ 35.83 Employer

Online Payment Salary for September          £542.18

PAYE – September                                    £110.00

Internet Payment         £13.20 Stock it Ltd. License

Merlin Waste             £37.50

Defib cabinet            £502.80


Monthly Bank Reconciliation authorisation by Cllr J Harris


  1. Response re digitising copies of archive material for Mathern School.Cllr J Anderson advised that he would be happy to do digitise these records.
  2. Cllr Ovenden contacted County Archive Office to find out if they could digitally copy these.  Their response was that this is not a service they offer although they can store the original documents.
  3. Response from MCC re replacement bus shelter, Pwllmeyric – Dog Waste BinClerk to chase MCC re replacement dog bin.
  4. County Councillor L Brown to ask for a bus timetable to be installed in the shelter.
  5. Shelter now replaced and handrail has been installed. Speed sign has also been replaced.
  6. British Heart Foundation Donation for DefibrillatorThe owners will carry out the monthly checks on our behalf and e-mail the results to  the Clerk for our records.48/19 Highways
  8. The defibrillator and cabinet have now been passed on to Mounton Brook Lodge – They will advise us when this is installed so that we can update the Welsh Ambulance data base.
    • Dangerous trees in Mounton –  Clerk to write to Jim Keech as well as entering the problem on the Highways report.  Ash dieback affecting trees above churchyard steps into the village.
    • All gullies in lower end of Mathern need urgently clearing – together with Pwllmeyric and Mounton.
    • White lines throughout villages very dangerous.
    • Large potholes – Mounton Village
    • Large deterioration of road surface – Barn Lane due to water escape.
    • Footpath behind village hall – Old stone bridge stone broken and dangerous.
    • Footpaths Issues – Board Walks Bishops Mead very dangerous (MCC do not  agree with this and do not have funds at present to carry out the repairs They have asked us if the Community Council would be prepared to contribute to cost .)
    • Stile behind pumping station towards St Pierre has been demolished by landowner.
  • Finger post opposite Strathearn is broken. 48/19 COUNCILLOR’S REPORTS/CLERKS REPORT


  • a)  One Voice Wales – Representative to be selected. Awaiting next meeting date.

b) Defibrillator- Monthly Checking

Monthly check on the defibrillator carried out by Cllr C Morton for October. Fully functioning.

  1. GAVO Proud of Your Community Gwent Awards scheme. County Councillor Brown advised:
  2. Mounton House School Pwllmeyric
  3.                                          d)County Councillors Louise Brown Report
  4. MMPVB still awaiting results from this competition.
  • The Cabinet on the 18th of September decided to follow the recommendation to publish notices of closure on the 7th of October, with this statutory notice consultation closing on the 5th of November. The timetable and link to the statutory notice can be found at the following link:



County Council

  • Leisure centres


At the last meeting of County Council on the 19th of September, a number of topics were dealt with including the MonLife Business plan with proposals in the next 5 years to invest £5.5m in updating Caldicot Leisure centre ( subject to the business case) and £8m in Abergavenny Leisure Centre. I voted against the plan due to the fact that there was no investment sum proposal for Chepstow Leisure Centre in the next 5 years, just a note on refresh fitness equipment and redesign café and reception area.

https://democracy.monmouthshire.gov.uk/documents/s22398/1c.%20Appendix%20C%20MonLife%20Commercial%20and%20Investment%20strategy%20and%20Action%20plan.pdf (see page 18 of this link).

  • Planning and the Strategic Development Plan


Monmouthshire council agreed on the 19th of September to provide representation on the Cardiff Strategic Development Plan (SDP) involving 10 Local Authorities


In terms of an approximate hierarchy of different levels of consideration on planning, a village or town plan has to align with the revised LDP, the LDP has to align with the National planning framework and a later SDP in 2025 would sit above the LDP which would then have a lighter touch. For example, If MCC did not obtain its desired housing growth options in the LDP due to having to align to the national planning framework then it is likely to try to aim to do so through the Strategic Development Plan in 2025.

The draft national planning framework is currently out for consultation which ends on the 1st of November. This draft national planning framework does not envisage Monmouthshire as a housing growth area and also suggests green belts in this area. Green belts last from one LDP plan to another unlike green wedges. So if you prefer our South Monmouthshire area not to be overdeveloped with housing due to current traffic congestion, it’s important to respond to this consultation which can be found at the following link:



Archaeology and Planning

  • In the near future there will be a consultation on  sensitive areas in MCC including villages, which need to be mapped for an Archaeology Planning advice note




  1. a) New submissions:



  1. Decisions and appeals –
  2.  Cllrs discussed the recent decisions made by the planning department.  It was unanimously decided to write to the MCC planners to advis them of our dissatisfaction on their decisions regarding recent applications within our area.  It seems that public comment is not being listened to and that planners are approving applications which are not in keeping with the surroundings and building line. Also over development in two instances.
  3. Enforcement
  4. Chairman to write to planners explaining our dissatisfaction with Planning decisions and Enforcement within our area:
  • Border Waste where the site has still not been rectified.
  • Palace Farm where no action or update of alleged unauthorised work has been given.
  • Development at Bridge House site, Pwllmeyric
  • Treff Garne, Chapel Lane



Received from OVW: new Model Financial Standing Orders.


These to be adopted and circulated with October Minutes at the November meeting.


Proposed closure Mounton House Special School – Consultation statutory objection

to be received by 5th November 2019.


Following response was sent

 Mathern Community Council to object to the decision to close Mounton House School. The basis of our objections are:-


  1. On the basis of the information published as part of the consultation there is no costed plan identifying how much any alternative provision to accommodate the children currently attending the school would be. The cost of adapting the current facility is noted but we cannot see how a decision can be made by the Council in the absence of such a a costed alternative plan. A clear spread sheet identifying the respective costs of ‘staying as is’, ‘developing the school’ and ‘closing the school in line with an alternative plan’ should be produced. Until such time as this is available no decision to close should be made.
  2. ESTYN note the arguments for closing the school but do not support its closure without details of what the alternative provisions for the children will be.
  3. In the survey carried out as part of the consultation, 88% of responses did not support the closing of the school.


On the basis of the above we believe the decision to close the school should be suspended until the alternative proposals for accommodating the children who attend this school are produced and costed.



Email received re.  residents’ concerns about parked cars in traffic calming and speeding vehicles through the village. 


Cllrs discussed this reoccurring topic – Clerk to forward the letter received to the PCSO advising of the concerns regarding the parked cars and speeding through Mathern.    When this was investigated previously the owner of the school told us she had updated her handbook which is given to all parents. This asks them to think where they park, not block entrances and to park on the side of the road which would ensure children are safely taken from the cars directly onto the pavement.   When this topic was discussed at the last community council coffee morning, residents did not want cars parking in Bishops Mead as this causes problems to the residents.

Cllrs would support the idea mentioned in correspondence that parents use the Village Hall for drop off and walk the remaining short distance to the nursery.

Cllrs would be happy to use this as a topic for the next Coffee Morning in March next year as previously residents have felt that the parked cars had the advantage of slowing the traffic down.




Update: Community Plan and quote for advice in developing the plan

Quote was circulated. Cllrs to consider this when the 3-year forecast is discussed at the next meeting.


Notes from Chepstow Town Council re planning meeting with them last spring

These were circulated.

Advertising the new Book Exchange in Mathern telephone box

Clerk to advertise this on the website.



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

Eddie Parris Plaque – Pwllmeyric. Clerk has written to the new owners of the house where he lived. No response received.

Update of Community Council website. – Clerk to contact OVW to ask the scale of compliance and guidance for smaller Councils.

Still awaiting quotes for bench repairs highlighted on Risk Assessment – Clerk has confirmed that the decorator would not wish to do this until the Spring – Clerk to chase quote so that we can budget for this.

Pwllmeyric noticeboard: hinges broken – Cllr J Anderson advised that the door is broken Clerk to contact supplier to obtain as quote for a replacement door.

Remembrance Day service – Sunday 10th November at 10 am





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


It was agreed to hold the annual Finance Meeting on Monday 9th December 7 pm in the Village Hall


There being no further business to discuss, the meeting closed at 9.35 pm.

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