County Councillors Report September 2020

COUNTY COUNCILLOR REPORT – AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 2020
County Councillor Brown advised:
LOCAL ROAD WORKS FOR RESURFACING
Multiway traffic lights for resurfacing works is listed in MCC roadworks from 1/10/20 to 26/10/20 on the A48 from Chepstow Garden Centre to Pwllmeyric Hill, St Pierre to Chepstow Garden Centre, Parkwall roundabout to St Pierre.
Details can be found in the link below in the MCC roadworks report for the week ending the 18 September, (towards the last part of the report). Also white lining works are mentioned from the A48 Crick to Parkwall roundabout on a stop/go basis.
https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/app/uploads/2020/09/roadworks-report_wkend-18.09-ext.pdf
Other details of works mentioned in the above link are at Mathern Road, Mathern and at St Peter’s Church Road, Mathern and other roads in the wider local area.
SPEEDING AND TRAFFIC CALMING
Local residents have raised the issue of Mathern village being used as a rat run to avoid the pinch-point of the High Beech roundabout and it increasing in both the volume and speed of traffic through the village from “racer” drivers and even being referred to by one resident as a “danger to life”. This has also been taken up by one resident with our MP and myself.
The Head of Highways, Mark Hand, has responded to indicate that a representative on behalf of the police have investigated and that there is already traffic calming in the centre of the village with 2 give way signs.
Mark Hand indicated in response that he “will arrange for equipment to be installed over coming months to measure traffic speeds to see if there is any new evidence to justify further action. I should however take this opportunity to make you aware that this year’s traffic & road safety budget has been fully allocated. As you may be aware, the Welsh Government is proposing to change the speed limit in built up areas from 30mph to 20mph. This initial stage of this proposal recently successfully passed through the National Assembly however it seems it will not come into force until 2023.”
I have recently responded to say that such monitoring equipment will not assist because it will come out with an average speed and the danger is due to those drivers who are described as “racers” using it as a rat run and those higher speeds are not taken enough account of on an average speed measure. It only takes one fast driver to increase the risk of serious injury. Also that the problem is at either end of the village where the speed limit changes from 60mph to 30mph.

In addition, I have asked if we can have a highways assessment as requested by the MP and myself as soon as possible and that we are after technical highways advice of what is best to do and where including the pros and cons of what is recommended and a map on siting to be most effective and the least noisy option for nearby residential properties, so that local residents can be consulted about these highway recommendations.

A request has been made to meet with local residents on this subject but have responded to say that I am working together with the community council so it is something I will need to consult with them about. There was a previous public meeting on this subject of traffic calming on a coffee morning being arranged by the community council but was cancelled due to lockdown. Any meetings have to consider how they are conducted and currently county council meetings are being undertaken remotely. The new rules in Wales from the 14th of September in meeting indoors now restrict the number of people to 6 and for extended households. So more consideration will need to be given to this subject of the best way to consult together with the community council, dependent on any further response from highways and Welsh government guidance on meetings due to Covid 19.
The intention from the Welsh Government is that the default speed limit in built up areas with the required street lighting will become 20mph instead of 30mph in 2023.
HOUSEHOLD RECYCLING CENTRES
A booking system for the Household Refuse Sites is still in place in order to manage the requirement for social distancing but the requirement for this to be just those with hazardous waste has been removed:
Household Waste Recycling Information on booking a slot:
https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/recycling-and-waste/household-waste-recycling-centres/
GARDEN WASTE COLLECTION
An online survey with closing date of the 25 September2020 has been sent to customers who use the chargeable garden waste collection service due to the cost of it being more than is charged. The survey mentions wheelie bins which have 3 times the capacity of garden waste bags being used on a fortnightly collection rather than weekly basis. The survey link can be found here:
https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=eQBNLCzFs0uzytjq8ba31Qs94Av2gd5PpArae_B-yNNUOUtEUFo2SVRYTFZKNVc2NEVZVlJVM1VZUS4u
Monmouthshire County Council Revised Local Development Plan
The consultation on the preferred strategy has been postponed due to Covid 19, it was expected that a report would go to the County Council in September 2020 with a new delivery timetable to be agreed with the Welsh Government, but this has now been amended to later in 2020:
https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/planning-policy/planning-policy-current-consultations/
National Development Framework Plan
It is expected that a new draft of the NDF will be laid before the Senedd for a 60 day scrutiny period from the 21 September. The NDF will be renamed the Future Wales- the National Plan 2040, following consultation with children and young people.
There will be a revised timetable for public participation as a result of Covid 19 found in the following link with the current expectation of the final version being published in February 2021:
https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2020-09/national-development-framework-statement-of-public-participation.pdf
In the meantime the Minister has issued the following statement which links into the Building Better Places document:
https://gov.wales/national-development-framework-ndf-update
The reason the NDF is important is because revised LDP’s should follow this National Plan.
County Council
The County Council on the 16 July 2020, covered various reports including an update on the Climate Emergency, the section 151 financial report and the Electoral Review consultation (the boundaries for County Councillor ward areas). The report can be found at the following link:
https://democracy.monmouthshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=143&MId=4220
The County Council on the 10th of September 2020 covered the confirming of the appointment of councillors to council committees and outside bodies, as well as an audit annual report:
https://democracy.monmouthshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=143&MId=4221
Cabinet
Cabinet on the 29 July 2020, considered financial reports on the problems of the financial impact of Covid 19 and also on a digital plan to improve Broadband infrastructure: The reports can be found at the following link:
https://democracy.monmouthshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=144&MId=4206
Article by Monmouthshire County Council
Digital Infrastructure improvement steps:
https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/2020/07/councillors-pleased-to-acknowledge-significant-steps-forward-in-improving-digital-connectivity/

Active Travel Consultation
MCC is currently consulting about active travel which is about improving walking and cycling routes. Unfortunately, the law in this area specifies densely populated areas such as towns and cities. So would apply to towns such as Chepstow and Caldicot.
Link from MCC
https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/2020/07/active-travel-consultation/
Link on Explanatory notes for the Active Travel Law in Wales:
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/anaw/2013/7/notes/contents