April Minutes

12 04 2021

Minutes of the Council virtual meeting held on Monday 12th April 2021 via Zoom.

Present: Cllrs David Harris, (Chairman) , Dave Merrett, James Anderson, Matt Sidwell, Gareth Page. Sylvia Stephens, Jayne Harris
County Councillor Louise Brown

Also in attendance:
Clerk – Mrs J Kelley
Members of the public–None
Police representatives – None

(i) Public Comment
Following an accident on A48 today, the Clerk was asked to arrange for a card and flowers to be sent to Carole Oakes, a past Cllr. for Pwllmeryic ward.

ii) Report from Community Police.
“Here is the police report for the Mathern, Pwllmeyric and Mounton area for between the above dates :

7/3/2021 – Report of a suspicious male in the area of Mathern Palace and village area .Officers attended and an area search was made with a negative result for the male . No offences commited.

17/3/2021 – Report of a drive -off without paying for fuel from Pwllmeyric petrol station.

20/3/2021 – Two separate reports one on the 20/3/2021 and one on the 27/3/2021 of youths on the railway crossing at the far end of Mathern village near Little Innage/Innage Farm area . Officers attended on both occasions and British Transport Police were also alerted, but youths had made off from the area . If any residents witness this activity could they please ring 101 or 999 at the time to report.

3/4/2021 – Report of a possible break in to Mounton House School. Officers attended and 2 youths were found in the area . No offences committed but youths were removed from the area.
We have continued to patrol Mathern Athletic club during the evenings when able, as well as the other hotspots in the area and will continue to do so going forward. If any residents witness any suspicious activity/crime please call at the time either 101 or 999 if you deem it an emergency. If it is low level you can also report via email on contact@gwent.police.uk( please note the PNN has now been removed from the email address )”

iii) Apologies
Cllr C Ovenden and Cllr C Morton.
(v) Declarations of Personal or Pecuniary Interest:
Cllr James Anderson – Planning application DC/2021/00412 Lime Kilns, Pwllmeyric.

vi) Minutes of the previous meeting

RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the Mathern Community Council meeting held on Monday 8th March 2021 as a true and accurate record.
a) County Councillors Report
April 2021
County Councillor Brown advised:
The County Council meeting in April has been cancelled but the Cabinet meeting in mid- April is still going ahead. Council business is normally quieter during the Purdue period, prior to the Welsh Parliament elections.
Cabinet on the 14 April 2021
The Cabinet report covers:
• The Whole Authority strategic risk assessment;
• The 21st century schools statutory consultation to establish an all through school (4-19) in Abergavenny;
• Leisure Centre upgrades for facilities in Abergavenny, Caldicot and Chepstow Leisure Centres;
• Investment in highways operations for the maintenance drainage network;
• The Welsh Church Funding group

Leisure Centres
• The Leisure Centre recommendations are to support preliminary investigative works and proceed with a feasibility study for minor refurbishments and upgrades to the fitness facilities at Abergavenny, Caldicot and Chepstow Leisure Centres.

• However, the second recommendation is to pause the major scheme “Caldicot Leisure Centre Refurbishment” and place the project on hold until a return to normal operating conditions and there is some resilience built into the market. A further assessment to determine funding levels will be undertaken once customer levels are restored to pre-Covid levels to determine whether the required contribution from additional future memberships can be secured.

• In Caldicot this will involve a refresh of fitness equipment, along with improvements to the layout of the gym and minor improvements of the swimming pool area. In Chepstow this would seek to enhance the café with the food and beverage offer, improve the reception area and an upgrade to the cardiovascular fitness equipment.

Maintenance Drainage Network

Investment is required for:-
• An additional an 18t road sweeper machine with operator (these are the large HGV sweepers that Highways use to sweep the carriageways ).The cheapest and most effective way to lessen debris, leaf, grass and hedge cuttings, stone, road chippings, dirt or mud etc. from blocking or entering the drainage system.
• 18t MVC combination tanker / chassis with operator and driver (these are the large HGV gulley emptier and jetter machines that Highways use to empty gullies and jet pipes), with latest electronic tracking to support asset monitoring. The only way to remove debris that has entered the drainage system or to investigate blockages and damage.
• Traffic management team (5 ton flatbed truck with two operatives), to support MVC and sweeper. These teams will target the Primary Pre-salting network, which tends to be high speed and present the greatest risk to traffic and workers.

Comment: Any extra resources for the stretched maintenance of the drainage network are to be welcomed.

Welsh Water

• A zoom meeting is being arranged in mid- May 2021 with Welsh Water representatives, the County Councillor, the EHO and a representative/s from both of the community councils. The meeting is due to the concerns about the main sewerage pipe which serves the villages of Pwllmeyric, Mathern, Mounton and Shirenewton. Available times/ dates will be requested at the community council April meetings.

72/2020 Finance – March – April
BACS due to Covid
Viking Stationery 37.96
Batteries Defib 48.10
Viking Stationery 19.79
S J Smith Staining benches 290.00

OVW Membership (invoice 01/21) £151.00
Home office Fee J Kelley (invoice 2/21) £200.00
Telephone/internet April (invoice 3/21) £56.41

D D Pension for March £83.45 Employee £ 46.36 Employer
Online Payment Salary for March £659.01
PAYE/ NI March £211.79

Internet Payment £56.40 Stock It Ltd. License and emails
Merlin Waste £43.33 (an increase 10p to £4.00 per bin from April 2021)

Invoice sent to ReneSola re. Rhewl Farm Community Grant

Monthly Bank Reconciliation authorisation by Cllr J Harris – Clerk delivered this to home address.

Clerk to start end of year accounts and arrange for them to be submitted to the Internal Auditor, Mrs. A Fry.


Responses to queries raised at previous meetings

a) Signage for Mounton re Wales in Bloom.

  • Still outstanding

b) Response from MCC re. adherence to SUDS regulations, new- build, Pwllmeyric Hill
MCC advised SUDS agreement complete. Also advised to please contact again if the Community Council believes that rainwater run-off is still an issue here.
C )Response from Welsh Water re. sewerage issues Pwllmeyric /Mounton
Welsh Water suggested that this issue is caused by a fallen tree which was due to be removed on 8th March. Once this has been removed, a flow test will be completed under reference number 1846348 -2088939. They will then report their findings to us.
Councillors do not believe the issue is the fallen tree as the raw sewage is leaking into the open field and water course from the manholes. Councillors requested that Environmental Health are kept informed of this as it is a serious health issue which Cllrs find completely unacceptable.
A Zoom Meeting to be arranged via Welsh Water with Chairman, Shirenewton C C, Cllr G Page and County Councillor L Brown – Date agreed

d) Response from land owner, Mounton House re removal of felled trees
Work to be carried out at a weekend – contractors to liaise with Cllr G Page before the work commences.

74/20 Highways/Footpaths
Any County Council advice re obstructions by traffic in speed calming areas?
No feedback from MCC on this. Issue to be taken forward once statistics from speed watch volunteers collected and measure tapes installed.

Progress on road sweeping three villages and drain clearing
Matter still outstanding. Clerk to chase.

Previously notified to Clerk: 
Footpaths, entrance to Mathern – overgrown verges affecting size of pavement
Footpath from Garden Centre to Hayesgate - as above.
Hayesgate road sign damaged
Road sign opposite Buftons turned around
Pot Holes -  Mounton Village and Chapel Lane
Entrance to Mathern. by brook area been taped off for 12 months. Please advise any action being taken.


a)OVW. – Next meeting 15th April 2021
Councillor D Harris to attend.

b) Defibrillator monthly checking
Clerk checked Mounton Brook Lodge. Millers Arms checked by Cllr. Morton. Both working.
Recent risk assessments in Pwllmeryic carried out by Cllr. Anderson highlighted a problem with the Mounton Brook Lodge defibrillator. New batteries have now been installed and system is up and running. Clerk is holding a spare battery pack for future installation.


See Minute 71a /20

c) Risk assessments – Pwllmeryic
Councillor J Anderson has carried these out..
Cllr D Harris– to complete Mathern, Cllr C Ovenden to complete Mounton.
d) New Cllrs email addresses – confirmation that all are working.
All reported that they now had access to the new email portal.
Cllr C Ovenden has issues with reading and saving documents – Clerk to request Rob assists with this.
e) Best Kept Garden Competition 2021
Agenda next meeting as Cllr C Morton sent apologies.

76/20 PLANNING MATTERS – To include any received after Agenda is circulated
a) New applications

DM/0201/00379 – Conversion of existing garage/store/carport to residential annexe ancillary to Lady Mill, Mounton

Comments following the ongoing issue with Welsh Water: Cllrs concerned that this application adds more pressure on the already broken infrastucture of drainage in this area.

DM/2020/01258 – Construction of new detached storage building with offices and staff room. – Mounton Brook Lodge.

Comments: We record that previous concerns raised made in respect of car parking provision still remain valid. The Council is particularly concerned at the allocation of additional car parking on the front of the building facing the A48 where the only way of accessing/egressing these car parking spaces is either reversing on to the A48 from a blind angle or stopping on the A48 and reversing into the spaces, each action being equally hazardous.
We also note that the accommodation within the facility is now being let as a six bedroom, self contained accommodation, not necessarily linked to any function being held within the facility. This will provide a further burden on parking spaces.

DM/2021/00412 – Demolition of existing porch garage conservatory. New garden room, replacement garage with annexe/ancillary accommodation above – Lime Kilns Pwllmeryic.

Councillors happy with the application assuming that the new annexe is to be used for residential purpose. Councillors would not wish to see any commercial activity as this would potentially increase the traffic that would be detrimental to the small access lane.

DM/2020/00883 – Modification or removal of condition 4 of the previous planning consent (DM/2020/00883) – Land adjacent to Sunnybank, Crick.

No Comments

b) Decisions and appeals – None

c) Enforcement-
MCC have advised that the landowner’s agent for the area adjacent to Barn Lane is aware that the land needs clearing and is arranging for the works to commence.

MCC have also advised that the landowner’s agent for the area of land behind Birdwood Gardens will shortly be arranging for ditch clearance to be carried out here.


8/03/2021 Highways issues – hedges 7673250
09/03/2021 SUDS. Checks completed – M Jeffs 8333705
12/03/2021 Planning notice – DM/2020/01258
15/03/2021 O V W membership April 21
18/03/2021 Planning notice DM/2021/00379
18/03/2021 Thank you letter – Wales Air Ambulance Service for Grant £100.00
26/03/021 Planning Notice DM/2021/00412
29/03/2021 O V W – Changes to Summary of Key Provisions of the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 for the Community and Town Council Sector.

30/03/2021 Audit Notice – Audit Wales – three year cyclical basis postponed until next year.


Progress – Mathern speed watch group:
All applications now submitted. Awaiting licenses from GO SAFE.

Digital records from old school passed to Stock It
Cllr J Anderson to liaise with R Stock re. articles for website – then a header to be created. Archive concerning closure of Mathern School to be added to website.

Changes to summary of key provisions of the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 for the Community and Town Council sector.

Road closure, Mounton – Chepstow. Road has been temporary closed because of possible danger to life due to an unstable roadside wall. ( MCC log no. 9486869)

Storage of articles re. Mathern School – no progress due to Covid restrictions. Digital addition to our website of these records. (See above).
Accessibility Statement–Completed March 2021

Registration of land assets by 2025

80/20 DATE OF NEXT MEETINGTo enable the next meeting to be face to face, the date has been changed to 17th May 2021 – small room Mathern Village Hall – Annual Community Meeting followed by May Community Council meeting – .Monday, 17th May at 7pm
There being no further business to discuss, the meeting closed at 8.50 pm.
Signed …………………………….. CHAIRMAN Date……………….

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