Annual Report 2018 2019

ANNUAL REPORT 2018 – 2019

Over the past 12 months, your Community Council has continued to work for the welfare of the three villages. This has not always been easy; financial cutbacks have hit Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) hard, thus increasing our liabilities. Financially, though, the Community Council is on a sound footing and the small increase in this year’s precept should cover any additional expenditure MCC may well require of us throughout this coming year.
The Community Council has been instrumental in pointing out several breaches of Planning regulations. Matters like this, which MCC has not always dealt with satisfactorily, have been time-consuming. Legislative requirements e.g. protocols to comply with the 2018 Data Protection Act have also had to be covered and Community Councillors are now required to undertake, in their own time, a range of training courses.
This does not mean that day-to-day problems have taken a back seat: the War Memorial has been cleaned and re-inscribed, new dog waste bins have been installed and the villages kept reasonably clean and tidy. Footpaths have been rather neglected, as we do not now have a volunteer to check them. Please let us know if you discover any problem whilst out walking. Due to MCC’s current dilatory nature and apparent uncertainty as to who is responsible for which particular task, projects such as obtaining permission to install a noticeboard in Mathern bus shelter have been lengthy processes. As I write, we still await repairs on the A48 caused by a road traffic accident in January. Work by Welsh Water to patch the main sewer which runs through all three villages should have started over a month ago but has not yet done so.
Our twice yearly coffee mornings have been poorly attended by the public, so the Community Council has decided that these should now take place annually, unless requests to the contrary are made. That being said, a public meeting will doubtless take place next year, when MCC announces the final list of Candidate Sites for development under their new Local Development Plan. Meanwhile, the Community Council has submitted a lengthy response to the Boundary Commission which has plans to considerably reduce the size of Mathern Community. Presumably, this is due to the massive proposed building development in the Crick/Portskewett/ Caerwent area. We have also voiced strong objections to the proposed closure of Mounton House Special School.
Finally, my list of thanks: my Vice-Chairman, Cllr David Harris for both his all-round support and his knowledge of all matters relating to Planning, Cllr Jayne Harries for preparing the What’s On leaflet, Cllrs. Morton and Bailey for overseeing our Best Kept Garden competition, Cllr Down for attending extra-curricular meetings on our behalf and Cllrs D. Harris and Bailey for regularly checking our defibrillator at the Millers Arms. Then there is our indispensable Clerk, Mrs. Jane Kelley. She has so very hard this year, despite an injured shoulder. Her enthusiasm and dedication is boundless and she is currently undertaking a demanding training course which will make her one of only 20 qualified Clerks currently in Wales. We wish her well in this and thank her so much, both as a Community Council and on behalf of all residents, for all she does.

Carolyn Ovenden
Chairman, Mathern Community Council May 2019