Mathern Community Council Chairman’s report for 2019 to 2020

The past year and my first as Chair of the Community Council, has been a year peppered with high and low spots.

The lowest spot was the loss of Councillor Frank Sainsbury, a true community spirited individual with his own unique personality. Frank served as a Councillor for over 14 years and his local and rural knowledge will be much missed by this Council.

This year Graham Down also resigned as a Community Councillor and I thank him for all the hard work and commitment he has invested in this community as both a County and Community Councillor. Again, his input to our work will be greatly missed.

Nina Bailey also resigned her position as Councillor this year and I thank her for her many years of service to this Council.

The losing of these Councillors has provided an opportunity to introduce new Councillors to the Council and I take great pleasure in welcoming James Anderson and Sylvia Stevens. I look forward to working with them for the benefit of the Community as a whole and I welcome their input.

There is one vacancy yet to fill for Mathern so I would ask anyone interested in this role to contact the Clerk for more details.

This year we have successfully provided an additional defibrillator sited at the Mounton Brook Lodge, Pwllmeyric. We are currently upgrading our web site to make it more user friendly thus allowing it to be kept more up to date, in a timely manner. We have secured through a grant a large flat screen tv for the Village Hall which can be used for presentations in the small meeting room. We also provided a grant towards the refurbishment of the toilets in the Village Hall together with supporting Villages in Bloom.

This year planning issues have continued to be a key focus of our work together with parking and speeding issues in Pwllmeyric and Mathern. There have been several key consultations regarding the Replacement Local Development Plan, Boundary Commission and Electoral Reform which we have contributed to. We have also reviewed our key policies and updated the same to ensure they are current and relevant. I must thank particularly Councillor Ovenden for her continued work in this respect.

I would like to thank Chris and Carol Wheeler for meticulously looking after the War Memorial in Mathern. The memorial has looked superb this year as always and it was regrettable that the planned celebrations for VE Day could not go ahead due to the Coronavirus lockdown. The decoration of the memorial by Chris and Carol for this day was most fitting.

On behalf of all Councillors and myself, I must thank our Clerk, Jane Kelley, for her solid support and guidance throughout the year. Jane’s support has been invaluable, particularly during the Coronavirus lockdown period when we have not been able to meet. Jane has kept up to date with all matters and ensured that all Councillors are informed in the absence of our regular monthly meetings.

I would also personally like to thank Councillor Carolyn Ovenden, Deputy Chair, for her support to me throughout the year and offering guidance from her past tenure as Chair.

I thank all Councillors for your support during the year and look forward to working with you for this and next year when hopefully our regular meetings can recommence.

I think the one thing that the Coronavirus issue has taught us all is the value of our community. Many people have stepped up to support those who are having to shield and I know that some very strong friendships have developed from this pandemic. A key example of this is Shaun and Amanda at the Millers Arms who turned the pub into a shop to ensure that the village had the essential supplies it needed using their established supply chain. The village environment, both physically and socially, is the envy of those that are touched by it and one I know we are all proud to protect and support.