Minutes Feb 2020


Minutes of the Council meeting held on Monday 10th February 2020 at Mathern Village Hall.

Present:  Councillors –   C Ovenden (Vice Chair),  J Anderson, J Harris, D Merrett and C Morton. County Councillor L Brown

Also in attendance:   

Clerk – Mrs J Kelley

2 members of the public

              No Police representatives

 The Chairperson welcomed Councillors to the meeting and thanked them for attending.


         (i)        Public Comment

A representative for the village hall committee came with a plan for introducing speed humps through Mathern.  The plan showed 7 speed humps which he would ideally like installed from Barn Lane to the entrance to the village.  In his opinion the speed of cars now using the village as a rat run is very dangerous and an accident is waiting to happen.

The cost of each bump is £230.00, so a total of £1400.00 which he says the village would fund.

Councillors were concerned with the suggestion for two reasons: the noise to  residents whose houses adjoin the road near the humps could be considerable. This would be most pronounced in the case of large lorries, tractors and emergency vehicles accessing the village. Also, many residents’ reaction to the present traffic calming measures through the village has been negative. This suggests that any changes made to the road to slow traffic would need to be fully consulted with residents.

County Cllr L Brown will contact MCC Highways for their advice on this proposal as councillors agreed that a flashing sign may be the preferred option as a first step. With all the traffic currently using Chepstow, these humps are not going to stop traffic from using Mathern as a rat run.

This matter to be discussed at the next coffee morning.

ii) Report from Community Police.

“ There will be no attendance from ourselves at the meeting tomorrow evening. Here is the report for between the above dates.

18/1/2020 – report of a drive off without paying for fuel from Pwllmeyric petrol station.

2/2/2020 – Report of a 1 vehicle rtc on Pwllmeyric Hill. Officers attended and the female driver was arrested at the scene for drink/driving offences.

2/2/2020 – Report of a 1 vehicle rtc near Parkwall roundabout. The vehicle was recovered by police as it was obstructing the road.

7/2/2020 – Report of parking issues at the Mountain View Lodge at the bottom of Pwllmeyric hill. A large funeral wake was going on.

We have had several reports of outbuilding / shed breaks in the Devauden/Earlswood area recently so please be aware.

Please remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity/crime at the time via either 101 or 999 if you deem it an emergency. If it is low level you can also report via email on contact@gwent.pnn.police.uk “ 

Clerk to contact PCSO re the incident at Mounton Brook Lodge and ask if the venue were spoken to or if any vehicles parked on the junction to Mathern were given tickets.

iii) Apologies

Apologies received from Councillor David Harris,

(iv)  v) Declarations of Personal or Pecuniary Interest:


vi)  Minutes of the previous meeting

Minutes of the meeting held on 10th January 2020 were agreed as true record.   

There were no matters arising.


Payee                                  Amount(£)                  Cheque number 
  Internet and Telephone          46.49                       102052 Greenbarnes                          206.80                     102053   D D  Pension for January       80.26  (Employee)                                                                                          64.59 ( Employer)                  Online Payment Salary  for January                             648.98 PAYE – January                     162.53                                                       Internet Payment        £13.20      Stock it Ltd. License Merlin Waste               £37.50 Monthly Bank Reconciliation authorisation by Cllr J Anderson   Update HSBC – Safeguarding request –  Clerk advised that this was all now complete.                                   


  1. Response from Living Levels grant application

Our application is still being reviewed.   Cllr D Harris thought that a TV screen may be used more than a projector. It was decided to ask if the Village Hall committee would agree to its installation on the wall in the small room. The computer screen could then be plugged into it to show Community Council planning and financial papers. It’s use by the Village Hall committee was assumed but use by others bodies would need to be discussed further. The Clerk advised that a sum of £350.00 plus VAT had been put on the grant application form for the projector.   Cllrs agreed that the Clerk should phone Living Levels to see if they were happy for a screen to be purchased rather than a projector.

Photograph of the plaque at St Tewdric’s Church has been forward to Living Levels as an example of the type of plaque we would like to be installed at St Tewdric’s Well and in Mounton village.

  1. Date Time for Coffee Morning and topics for discussion.

This has been agreed as Saturday 18th April 2020 at 10.30 – 12.00

Topics for discussion are: Traffic calming through Mathern, Community Plan, and Monmouthshire recycle/upcycle.  Local PCSO to be invited.

  1. Progress Notice Board, Pwllmeyric

Work all completed – Cllrs thanked Cllr J Anderson for carrying out the work.

  1.  Co-option of new councillor for Pwllmeryic

Clerk to advertise the vacancy with written application letters to be received by her by 2nd March 2020.

v)  Update from County Cllr Brown re Sewerage work at Pwllmeyric

See County Cllrs Report.

77/19 Highways

Below still outstanding

  • Trees-  centre of Mathern – Hedges Barn Lane

                                   Trees have been cut. Work in Barn Lane not completed

  • Gully cleaning. This has been carried out. However following more rain, they need to be cleared of leaves again.
  • Mounton Village trees.     Work on the trees has started.
  • Fence alongside Mounton Brook from Mounton roundabout to Trap Hill has collapsed.
  • Rumble strips still not completed at bottom of Pwllmeyric Hill.
  • No Through Road sign damaged (R143 – 68.1) Bottom of Moynes Court drive
  • Mature trees overhanging in Barn Lane  – Tree officers to check
  • Under motorway bridge- debris following recent storms blocking drains.
  • Leaves – Mounton village. Roads very dangerous.

                                   New item

  • Roads flooding – Crick, from run- off water, land near Sunnybank.


  1. One Voice Wales –Rota next meeting 2nd April 2020 in Usk at 7pm

 b) Defibrillator- Monthly Checking

Monthly check on the Millers Arms defibrillator carried out by Cllr C Morton for January. Fully functioning

.Mounton Brook Lodge defibrillator also checked and in full working order.

County Councillor’s Monthly Report


County Councillor Brown advised:


  • The MCC Cabinet, on the 8th of January sadly confirmed the expected decision to close Mounton House School, Pwllmeyric. Consultees have subsequently been informed of the closure date of the 31 January 2020. Please see the following link at item 3c:

County Council

  • The County Council on the 16 January considered a number of reports and motions as can be seen from the following link:
  • The above included a report on the refurbishment of Caldicot Leisure Centre and Chepstow Gym and Café upgrade study. The remodelling of Caldicot Leisure Centre proposes to convert 2 squash courts to soft play.
  • A motion was supported at 9c in the above link for the Leader and Cabinet to support making representations to the Welsh Government on the funding floor in view of the fact that Monmouthshire consistently receives the worst funding per head of population of any of the 22 Welsh Authorities.


  • The council has been consulting on its budget proposals, which include a 4.95% increase in Council Tax and unfortunately additional car parking charges. Unfortunately the Council is left in a tight budget position due to the budget pressures such as an increase in looked-after children and having the lowest contribution per head of population of all the Local Authorities in Wales. Details on the budget proposals can be found in the following link:


  • It is expected that the preferred growth strategy for the whole of Monmouthshire for the   next LDP- Local Development Plan will go to Council in March 2020. However, the National Welsh  Development Strategy for the whole of Wales is not expected to be published until April 2020

Adults Select Committee

  • The Adults Select Committee had a meeting on the 21 January which considered the scrutiny of the disabled facilities grant and also budget matters relating to adults:

Children and Young People Select Committee on the 28 January 2020

  • The meeting considered the budget proposals for 2020/21  and savings as shown in the following link:
  • The draft savings and pressure budget can be found in the following link, which includes a 2% reduction in individual school budgets;
  • The individual mandate forms provide further detailed information on these draft savings and pressures including impact on individual schools and the ALN pressures can be found in the following link :

Lower Wye Committee on the 23 January 2020

  • The agenda for this meeting can be found at the following link and covered, metro, road and rail issues;

On the Chepstow general road study, the second stage appeared to have the commitment to go ahead. There were discussions about transport issues and we were told of a proposal to locate the bus station next to the railway station. The response to this proposal/ idea was that it was best for the bus station to be kept in the centre of Chepstow but with links to the railway station. The High Beech roundabout idea of additional lining was going ahead and the Welsh Government Highways would be looking into more detailed proposals for High Beech roundabout.  The next agenda is expected to include an item from the Community Health Council on an overview of its role and future proposals.

  • An item was presented on playing out sessions. These are temporary road closures to let children play safely and freely in the street and have been successfully tried in the Sudbrook area on a street located there.

Welsh Water

  • The sewerage pipe lining works for the main sewerage pipe covering the villages of Pwllmeyric, Mathern, Shirenewton and Mounton were repaired last year. However, it was discovered that there is still some outstanding work needed but in view of winter conditions, the Water Board expect these to be in the spring/summer months and are being asked for updates. In a previous meeting with Welsh water we were told that this does not impact planning issues on new developments in the area, as the pipe has “capacity” which is the main planning consideration, even if it’s in need of the completion of the repairs.


a)       New submissions:


Rhewl Farm – installation of glamping pods, amenity block, hot tubs, cosy cocoon with associated works and change of use from agricultural to camping.


The Council note that the level of detail submitted with this application is limited however the principle concern of the Council would be that adequate utility services and drainage are in place to support the proposed development.


Pwllmeryic House – proposed conversion of detached double garage to self-contained dwelling and proposed single story garage replacement.

   No Comments

  • Decisions and appeals –  
  • Enforcement– None


Email from Mathern Village Hall committee re speeding cars through Mathern suggested new traffic calming.

See public comments

Local Democracy & Boundary Commission (LDBC) published its final report on the Community Review of Monmouthshire in January 2019 see link below to LDBC website and report:-


O V W have advised that MCC did not consult correctly with local Councils and comments made were not included in the document.

 OVW has contacted all relevant Town and Community Councils, asking if they wish to take the matter forward and a request a new enquiry.

 Cllrs agreed that Cllr Ovenden would write a letter to OVW expressing our disappointment on how poorly MCC handled the process  but that Mathern CC is of the opinion that requesting a new review would be pointless.

Credit Note from Albert Goodman re Clerks Pension.

The charge for the Diligence Report produced by Albert Goodman was revoked as we had not requested it. It was agreed however that we should receive a report from them in 2023 which Cllrs will be happy to pay for.

Councillors letters issued for opt in/out of Cllrs annual allowance.

(to be returned to the Clerk by 28th February 2020)

Forms were circulated to all Councillors present.

Application in our area – Planning committee Site inspections – 3rd February – Planning meeting 4th February to discuss Applications DM/2019/01480 – Change of use of land, Crick 

Correspondence re the Closure of Mounton House School

Cllrs were very disappointed with MCC’s decision especially when the majority of consultees agreed the school should not close.

Freedom of information request.

A request had been received by the Clerk and is being processed.

Councillor training Courses.

Course dates were circulated. Cllr J Anderson has booked on a course 


Traffic Calming measures – Larkfield (High Beech)  Roundabout.

Cllr Morton advised that, following a recent meeting she attended, two lanes would be installed on this roundabout. The central roundabout island will be made smaller and new road markings will be installed.

In her view, if people left for work earlier and drove slower, these changes would not be needed.

Public Transport i.e. bus services to Mathern

Cllr Morton would like to see hourly buses coming into Mathern.  Cllrs asked if there was a need for this and asked if villagers contacted her about the poor bus service.   Cllrs are aware that some villages use the Grass Routes service, which collects passengers from their door and queried how well used such a service would be.

County Cllr Brown to contact Passenger Services and report to the next meeting.

This topic to be discussed at the next coffee morning to find out if villagers have any appetite for a more freqqent bus service..

Proposed Closure of Squash courts at Caldicot Leisure Centre.

Clerk had been contacted by a member of the public as the 2 squash courts presently at Caldicot are to be removed and replaced with a soft play area.    The person advised that they would like to see one court kept and the fees increased.  There are already a number of soft play areas in Caldicot and surrounding area, whereas, if the closure goes ahead, there will be no Squash courts.


Nomination for work within the Community.

Cllr Ovenden has investigated this: the process is very long and can take up to 18 months. For discussion at the March meeting, Cllrs having decided how they wish to proceed.  

Eddie Parry Plaque – Ivy Cottage Pwllmeyric.

No  progress


The next meeting will be held on the 9th March 2020 at 7pm in the small room of the Village Hall. There being no further business to discuss, the meeting closed at 9.35 pm. Signed …………………………….. CHAIRMAN