Community Notices

For a copy of 2015/2016 external report please contact the clerk

Annual return 2015 2016


Training details Caerwent Army Base

Ministry of Defence
DIO SD/TRG Wales & West
Caerwent Training Area
Dinham Road
Monmouthshire NP26 5NY
United Kingdom
Ref.Training Noise 1st – 31st July 2017. Telephone

E-mail: 01291 431076
Caerwent Community Council.
ShireNewton Community Council.
Mathern Community Council.
Swansea Coast Guard.
Gwent Police. Date: 30 June 2017

Dear Sir/Madam


Noisy Activity on Caerwent Training Area

For the duration commencing Saturday 1st through to Monday 31st July 2017.

The level of Gun fire and Noise Activity will be as follows:

Saturday 1st through to Sunday 9th will be Medium (with illumination)
Monday 10th through to Sunday 16th will be High (with illumination)
Monday 17th through to Monday 24th will be Medium (with illumination)
Tuesday 25th through to Monday 31st will be High (with illumination)
We have helicopter activity in support of the training weather permitting

Please note we have a car rally organised by the local car club on Sunday 2nd first car starting at 0915.

Your support is greatly appreciated:

If you have any concerns please call on 07773348576 or by E-Mail.

Signed: Peter Davies
Peter Davies,
Deputy Training Safety Officer
DIO SD Training Wales & West
Caerwent Training Area

For: Senior Training Officer DIO Wales & West.

Please note change of date of next meeting to 3rd July 2017

May 2017


Minutes of the Council meeting held on Monday 15th May 2017
at 7.00 pm
at Mathern Village Hall.

C Ovenden Chairman
Councillors J Harris, N Bailey, C Morton, M McHugh, and G Down

Also in attendance:

Clerk – Mrs J Kelley
1 Member of the Public
County Councillor Louise Brown
1 Police representative

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

The Chairman congratulated Councillors on the recent elections and welcomed County Councillor Brown to her first meeting in office.

Election of Officers 2016/2017
A) Chairman – Nominated – Carolyn Ovenden – seconded by Councillor Morton
B) Vice Chairman – Nominated – David Harris – seconded by Councillor Down

Dates and times of ordinary meetings of Mathern Community Council for the ensuing year:
All agreed to continue meeting on the second Monday of the month at 7 pm.

All Councillors completed a new Acceptance of Office form following the elections and the Clerk will retain these. All were reminded of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct and the importance of the Declaration of Interest procedure. All adopted the and agreed to comply with the Code of Conduct.

(i) Public Comment

A public member informed the Community Council (C C) that work at Border Waste in Crick is still continuing, with hedges and trees being removed and top soil being screened. There appears to be no work taking place to bring the land back to original levels. His main concern is the danger to the public and users of the M48 motorway should a landslide happen due to inappropriate materials being used. He feels that Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) and National Resources Wales (NRW) are being negligent in protecting people’s lives when using the motorway.

Councillor Ovenden explained that CC had not contacted the Welsh Ombudsman as yet as it was felt that he would deal solely with the maladministration of MCC and NRW rather than ensure that the land was returned to its original state. See Enforcements for next actions.

Councillor Down expressed disappointment with this decision and was keen for the Welsh Ombudsman to be contacted to address the matter.

ii) Visit by Community Police

Ward Report Sheet
Mathern Community Council
7.4.17 Drive off without paying for fuel at Pwllmeyric Petrol Station.

13.4.17 Male seen Lamping in fields just of Baileys Hay and on several other occasions proceeding this date . Male has since been identified and spoken to and advice given regarding his activities.

15.4 Male caused criminal damage at St Pierre Hotel. Male located and arrested for the offences.

20.4.17 A bag containing needles and Sharps box located in Church lane in Mathern. Officers attended and removed the items.

5.5.17 Drive off from Pwillmeyric Petrol Station. Driver of the car spoken to genuine mistake returned and paid for the petrol.

5.5.17 Tree down near Mounton Village – removed by Monmouth Council.


Other matters of note

Councillors agreed that the three hours a police presence was needed in Mounton village because a fallen tree was blocking the lane was a waste of police resources. They suggested that a supply of suitable signage to indicate road closure could be held by the police should this situation occur again.

(iii) Apologies for absence

Councillors D. Merrett and D. Harris.

(iv) Declarations of Personal or Pecuniary Interest:

Councillor F Sainsbury – Broken stiles.

(v) Minutes of previous meetings
Minutes of the meeting held on 10th April 2017 were read and agreed as true records.
There were no matters arising.

Minutes to be displayed on the website.


Our new County Councillor was welcomed to her first meeting.

Louise Brown, the newly elected County Councillor for Shirenewton Ward, wished to record in the Community Council minutes her thanks to the residents of Shirenewton Ward who supported her. Louise said she looks forward to working on behalf of all the residents.

In terms of contact details, Louise’s email address is and telephone no. 07598979719

Her first week with the County Council has been spent on induction and ethics training.

The Clerk noted a declaration of interest by County Councillor Brown regarding planning matters: she would give no opinion in relation to any planning matters considered by the Community Council, as she hopes to be a member of the MCC Planning Committee.

Councillor Jayne Harris left the room at 7.30 and returned at 7.40

Councillor Martin Mc Hugh joined the meeting at 7.45


(i) Speed volunteer – Progress meeting

Councillor Down has now received a response from police and will be arranging a speed volunteers meeting shortly.

ii) To discuss progress on Community Benefit Agreement from Rhewl Farm – Solar Farm Development

The company dealing with this has requested our bank details so payment is due soon.

NB. £1000.00 Payment received re Rhewl Solar Farm 16th May 2017.
Clerk to agenda for next meeting.

iii) What’s On” Leaflet

Councillor Down advised that this document is currently with the printers and should be circulated shortly.

v) Progress re. application for defibrillator via Chepstow Lions.

The Clerk has received confirmation that funding should be starting again at the end of May, at which time an application form will need to be completed.

vi) Dog Waste Bin Collection

Over the last two months, the Clerk has received several calls and e-mails re. overflowing dog waste bins. Councillors decided that, over the summer months, collection should be changed and take place weekly, rather than fortnightly, to rectify this.

vii) Replacement stiles/kissing gates – response from MCC and landowners.

Awaiting response from MCC. Landowners appear to prefer metal gates. However Councillors feel that wooden gates would be more in keeping. Councillor Sainsbury advised that, in most cases, only the posts need to be repaired as most of the gates are still in good order.

viii) New Bench – Mounton Village

A “Classic” bench in brown was chosen.
Clerk to order once a delivery site in Mounton has been agreed.
Cost of the bench is £369.12 excl. VAT.

ix) Signage, Barn Lane/Buses Turning Moynes Court

Relevant officers informed – awaiting response.

x) Response from Mathern Day Nursery re courtesy whilst parking to drop off and collect children by not blocking driveways. Staff using dedicated parking area?

No response received. Councillors to monitor the parking situation


No matters reported.

a) One Voice Wales : next meeting – July. Councillors to take turns in attending future meetings which take place every 3 months.
b) Governors meeting – Dell School –
The Chair of the Governors has confirmed that Mathern’s formal seat on the Board started in January 2015, to last for 4 years. Mathern C C can now deal with the resignation of ex-Community Councillor Carole Oakes by electing another Mathern Councillor for the remaining time or rotate the seat back to St Arvans.
Councillors resolved that Carole Oakes would remain as governor until July 2017 and then we would pass our seat back to St Arvans for the next term of office.

c) Risk Assessments – 2017
Now complete.

Clerk to add Vaughan-Hughes silver cup and the Best Kept Garden winners shield to our list of assets to ensure these are also covered by our insurance policy.

Silver cup currently with Mr and Mrs M Edwards.

d) Best Kept Village – Gwent Association of Voluntary Services (GAVO)

Mathern, Mounton and Pwllmeyric are all registered for the GAVO competition. The Clerk thanked Councillor McHugh with his help in completing the application forms.
Councillor Morton is currently contacting suitable parties to judge the Community Council Best Kept Garden (from the road side) competition which will take place in early July.

a) New submissions

DC/2017/00302 New Inn Pwllmeyric – Planning permission The New Inn – demolition of single storey rear extension to provide reception/function room. Minor internal alterations, Change of use from public house to wedding/function venue for private and community bookings

Observation – Object

Comment – overall it is accepted that a pub in this location has not proved viable.
That said, should the building used as a wedding function venue, those arriving and leaving will do so generally at the same time. This will cause traffic problems at a proven accident black spot. Those arriving and leaving may also not be familiar with the road layout and tight access. On checking the paper work provided, we could not find any mention of proposed car park capacity. Hence, with so little on site parking available and the restricted access, this would be of great concern.
It is also concerning that, although the applicants have made reference to community use and interest, there has been no consultation or interface in any way with the community regarding the application. We would therefore question the integrity of these statements. The activities suggested by the applicant are all available at present within the Village Hall, Athletics Club and Millers Arms public house in Mathern village so that unneeded competition for local trade and services would be created.
Regarding the wedding venue function, there are also three other venues within our small community. These are at St Pierre Hotel, St Tewdric’s House and Mathern Palace.
We would suggest that, at a minimum, the junction to the A48 should be a left turn only, with full consideration to left turn only from the car park along the little lane so that traffic does not join A48 at this accident black spot. Consideration should also be given regarding the potential 30 mph limit for Pwllmeyric Hill and any impact the proposals would have on these measures. The parking provision/ratio relative to the enlarged facility should also be considered as there is no space for overflow parking. If buses were to be used, these would be unable to enter the car park at the rear due to the current road layout.
Mathern Community Council would therefore reject the application.

(The Community Council had borrowed a projector to see how it helpful it was in viewing plans before perhaps purchasing a projector. The projector worked well and Councillor Down is happy to bring it to the next meeting. )

b) Decisions and appeals –


c) Enforcement – Border Waste site, Crick

Action agreed: Clerk to liaise with Councillor David Harris to contact NRW Chief Executive to advise him that NRW have not received any transfer notices from Border waste since 2015. Contact names: Chief Executive – Dr Emrys Roberts,
Executive Director for Operations South Wales – Gareth O’Shea.
• A meeting with Paul Matthews, Chief Executive MCC, Head of Council – P Fox and Head of Planning, Mark Hands to be arranged.
• To set a timescale at the next meeting, after which, if the above consultations do not result in satisfactory action, the Community Council will contact the Welsh Ombudsman about the matter.


Council resolved to make all payments as listed
101725 PAYE and NI 116.03
101726 Telephone and Internet 43.49
101727 Merlin Waste 40.68
101728 Zurich Insurance 353.41
101729 Paye – May 171.09

Internet Payment £569.74 Salary April
Smart Pensions £105.51 Pension April

Internet Payment £680.44 Salary May
Smart Pension £131.01 Pension May

Monthly bank reconciliations signed and agreed by Councillor Martin McHugh

Review possible grant payments 2017/2018 – Councillors to consider this for discussion at the June meeting.

Adoption of Community Council Accounts for 2016/2017
Council resolved to adopt the Community Council accounts for 2016/2017, as presented by the Clerk.
The Annual Return from the external auditors was presented to the Council and the document duly countersigned by the Chair and the Clerk.
This has now been submitted to the internal auditor.


Social Media Policy Template: this was distributed and will be discussed at the next

Wales Audit office – Audit fees and other matters relating to 2015/2016 audit:
this was circulated and comments made in it noted.

Code of Conduct training for all new Councillors/refresher week, 22nd May – Councillors did not wish to attend this and felt that they were fully aware of their


Further to the advertisement on our web-site and notices on all village noticeboards of the vacancy for a Community Councillor for Pwllmeyric, a discussion took place. It was unanimously agreed that Frank Sainsbury, who had shown an interest in the vacancy, would be Co-Opted as Councillor for Pwllmeyric Ward.
He accepted this co-option so that the vacancy is now filled.

Consideration was given to the possible purchase of new benches for Mathern Play Area and St. Tewdric’s churchyard. Councillors agreed to look at the condition of the existing benches before the next meeting when a decision will be made.

CC representation at O V W meetings (held quarterly) – Councillors agreed to rota who would attend. ( see 05/17 above).

The subject of the new Solar Farm at Crick/Portskewett was brought up and it was unanimously felt to be an eyesore. Clerk to check if Portskewett C C receives any community benefit from the farm as Councillors felt that Mathern should have been approached for their views prior to its construction. All agreed that it had a detrimental visual effect on our community.

The Clerk had been contacted re. a number of millennium mugs (funded by the Community Council in 2000 for distribution to local children )which have been found in a deceased Councillor’s garage. Clerk to advise that we are happy for these to be donated to the Village Hall or Athletic Club

It was reported that Footpath 35 sign and stile is broken and also that the footpath has not be cut into the crop now planted. Clerk to inform MCC Footpath Officer and also ask him for an updated MCC footpaths map.


The next meeting will be held on Monday 12th June 2017 at 7pm at Mathern Village Hall.
There being no further business to discuss, the meeting closed at 9.30 pm.

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