November Minutes 2020

Minutes of the Council meeting held on Monday 9th November 2020 by Zoom.

Present: Cllrs David Harris, (Chairman) Carolyn Ovenden (Vice Chairman), David Merrett, Christine Morton, Sylvia Stevens, James Anderson, Jayne Harris, Matt Sidwell.

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

The Chairperson welcomed Councillors to the meeting and thanked them for attending.
(i) Public Comment
A public member had requested details of the criteria for school free transport. They believe that, should a pedestrian crossing be placed on Pwllmeryic Hill, this would affect the availability of such transport because Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) might then deem this route a safe way for children to walk to school.
Action: Clerk to contact MCC and request a copy of the criteria.
It was confirmed that a pedestrian crossing provision had been placed on our Section 106 list for the community.
Action: Clerk to share the MCC School Transport document as the Community Council now has several new Cllrs since it was drafted.
ii)Report from Community Police.
There are a couple of incidents to note :

10/10/2020 – Report of a male knocking door to door selling household items in Badgers Meadow during the day. The caller was concerned as the male was quite persistent .

25/10/2020 – Report of a male cyclist coming off his bike near the entrance to Chepstow
Garden Centre . No other vehicles were involved and the male was taken to hospital with head and facial injuries. The road was closed for a time whilst the incident was dealt with.

The speed van (Go-Safe ) has been attending Pwllmeyric Hill periodically recently, monitoring and enforcing . If you would like the results you can email Chris at Go-Safe on who will be able to update you.

There have been several rural outbuilding breaks in recent months in the Devauden and LLansoy areas with lawnmowers, chainsaws and quad bikes amongst items taken. Please make sure your outbuildings and sheds are adequately secure and checked on a regular basis.

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

iii) Apologies

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

vi) Minutes of the previous meeting
Minutes of the meeting held on 10thOctober 2020were agreed as a true record.
There were no matters arising.

32/2020 Finance – November

31.10.2020 Salary £614.89
31.10.2020 Inland Revenue £180.13
06.11.2020 Stock It Ltd £13.20
06.11.2020 Merlin Waste £42.25
10.11.2020 Stock It Ltd £90.00
10.11.2020 Telephone and internet £47.09

09.11.2020 T Bryant (mowing Mounton) £112.50
09.11.2020 A R Utting (book) £10.00
09.11.2020 R B L Poppy Appeal £35.00

The setting of the three-year forecast document was discussed. All to review before the finance meeting in December. Please email the Clerk with any suggested items to be added before this meeting. The document will then be used when setting next year’s precept.

Excel working sheets attached for the setting of the precept 2021/22 December 2020. All Councillors to review this document and let the Clerk have any
ideas by Friday 27th November so that these can be included on the December Agenda.

Monthly Bank Reconciliation authorisation by Cllr C Ovenden when she signs the cheques as above.


i) Update – County Cllr Brown re. local traffic management.
Matter covered in County Councillors Report
The meeting with MCC and cabinet member had to be cancelled due to new lockdown in Wales. A new date has now been set.
A48 resurfacing completed – with rumble strips – ongoing issue of a No Right Turn from St. Pierre junction is still outstanding.
Clerk was asked to write to Mark Hand thanking him for the resurfacing work.
Councillor J Anderson informed councillors that he is still trying to arrange a joint speed volunteer group with Pwllmeryric – Chris Evans from Go Safe has been hard to contact. However hopefully before the next meeting more details will be available.
Councillor M Sidwell has a list of 20 interested potential SpeedWatch volunteers and has identified three suitable locations through Mathern for speed monitoring to take place. Cllr J Anderson and Cllr M Sidwell hold maps with these details noted.

ii) Update–Cllr Ovenden – Mounton Village.

Residents would like to see signs on the roundabout in Mounton celebrating the local wins in the Wales in Bloom competition
– Cllr Ovenden to investigate suitable signs and report back to the January meeting.

iii) Response – public transport visa County Cllr Brown
See County Cllrs Report.
34/20 Highways/Footpaths
• Pavements need clearing of leaves Step a Side, Mathern to motorway bridge.
• Footpath stile, Baileys Hay ( path 373/9) collapsed – also manhole cover off drain in the field needs urgent attention.
• Chapel Lane – hedges have been cut but a lot of branches still obscuring the street furniture – lamp posts and signage. A large oak tree also needs some of the branches looked at as in Cllrs opinion possibly unsafe.
• Collapsing footpath sign by New Inn at start of path 373/35A.


a) OVW. – No Face to Face meetings.
b) Defibrillator monthly checking
Cllr C Morton checked Millers Arms. All OK. Owners of Mounton Brook Lodge confirm the one there has also been checked.

c) County Councillors Report
County Councillor Brown advised:
On the 21st of October 2020, the Cabinet considered budget and garden waste matters. The Cabinet Report can be found in the following link:
Garden Waste Collection
The printed Cabinet decision for garden waste supported Wheelie Bins at a capacity of 240 litres per bin on a fortnightly basis at a cost of £28 per bin annual collection charge. The current bags are 80 litres so if you had 3 bags a week the annual charge for bags is currently £18 x 3 = £54 a year. To have the same amount of garden waste collected on a fortnightly basis would be 2 wheelie bins at an annual charge of £28 x 2= £56 a year. One wheelie bin a fortnight at an annual cost of £28 would be equivalent to one and a half bags a week, meaning that it would be more than the £18 a year for one bag but on a proportionate basis the current charge for 1.5 bags would be £27 but for the Wheelie bin will be £28. It means that there will be just a marginal change in cost of collection.
MCC are gradually changing different areas over Monmouthshire to reusable canvas bags to replace the purple and red plastic bags. No notification for our ward area has yet been received but will happen in the not too distant future.
County Council
On the 22nd of October 2020, the County Council considered a number of reports including the Corporate Plan annual report, audit statements and the MCC Revised local development plan, the reports can be found at the following link:

Monmouthshire County Council Revised Local Development Plan (RLDP)
The current timetable for the RLDP is as follows:

  • Growth and Spatial Options- December 2020- January 2021
  • Preferred Strategy Consultation and Second Call for Candidate Sites- May-July 2021
  • Deposit Plan- Political Reporting- July 2022
  • Deposit Plan- Consultation- July – September 2022
  • RLDP Submission to Welsh Government – February 2023
  • Examination- Spring 2023
  • Inspectors Report-Autumn 2023
  • Adoption- Autumn 2023
    The non-statutory consultation for the growth and spatial options is expected to be from the 4th of December to the 18th of January 2021, following an answer to my question on it at the County Council meeting. MCC have asked for a further report from Edge Analytics in view of the population projections for MCC changing from the flat level 2014 figures to the somewhat increased 2018 figures.
    Joint Select Committee
    There is a Joint select committee on the 2 November to discuss the early stages of a car parking review. The details of the report can be found in the following link:
    Chepstow Transport Study
    Quoted from Roger Hoggins- MCC Highways:
    “..The Chepstow Transport Study Exhibition and Consultation event goes live on the 2nd November and continues until the 13th December.
    It is a ‘virtual’ exhibition so by going on line the public can visit an exhibition room where they will find numerous boards describing the various options that are being considered in the study and have the opportunity to provide feedback and complete a questionnaire. Those that visit the exhibition can ask questions using the webchat function. Although electronic feedback is preferred, for those that do not use the internet the information and questionnaire are available in hard copy and this is being advertised in the press.
    It has been named the Chepstow Transport study and it does refer to local travel issues on both sides of the Wye but it also looks at regional travel including the traffic congestion that has been encountered by traffic movement funnelled through Chepstow. So whilst the study is of particular relevance to Chepstow, Bulwark, Tutshill, Sedbury residents, it is also of interest to commuters and motorists that travel through Chepstow to their destination (hence the wider distribution to members in the South East of the county).
    The options discussed in the exhibition include generic issues such as behaviour change as well as active travel (walking, cycling), better public transport (local and regional – bus and rail). It also looks at road based options – a by-pass.
    I write simply to bring the event to your attention should you not read of the event advertised elsewhere. You may also wish to bring the event to the attention of your constituents; the outcome of the consultation will form part of the final report and will influence the recommendations arising from the report.
    This is the link to the website: (live on Monday) “. From Monday the 2nd of November 2020.

d) Accessibility Policy
Clerk has chased Stock it Ltd. The policy should be completed in next few weeks.
The Chairman has investigated each Cllr having his/her own Council email address. The cost of this would be £4.50 each month per user. All Cllrs agreed that this should be implemented – Chairman to liaise with Stock It Ltd to get this set up. The precept to be increased to take into account this cost. All agreed that the main benefit of this being implemented is the accessibility of Cllrs to the public.
It was agreed that full names would be used for the email addresses and a privacy statement agreed.
e) Co Option of Vacancy – Pwllmeyric Ward
Clerk has advised MCC Democratic Service of the vacancy. An advert for applicants has been placed on noticeboards and website dated 1st October.
MCC have advised that the normal co-option policy can be used. Clerk to place posters on the noticeboard in Pwllmeyric and on the Website

36/20 PLANNING MATTERS – To include any received after Agenda is circulated
a) New submissions: –
DM/2020/01450 – Planning permission – 4 Mounton House Park, Mounton Road, Chepstow
New twin track across the paddock, new service yard for the garden and greenhouse, bothy, potting shed, cart shed and emergency generator building. New summerhouse on existing building foundations.
No Comments

DM/2020/01503 – Section 106 relaxation -Land adjacent to Tullyvin 4
Application to modify the S106 planning obligation relating to application DM/2018/01662 (revised SPG)
Comments – The Council considered this proposal at its meeting on the 9th November and would make the following comments.
This Council believe that the Section 106 sum agreed at the time the Planning Consent was approved should remain in place. Social Housing is a key need in areas such as ours and valuable sums agreed commercially at the time the land value was enhanced as a result of the granting of Planning Consent should not be negotiated away as a result of new Policy.
This Council would recommend refusal.
DM/2020/01258 – Planning permission – Mounton Brook Lodge.
Construct new detached storage building with offices and staff room.
Comments – The Council considered this proposal at its meeting on the 9th November and would make the following comments.

  1. The principle concern of this Council to the original planning application relating to this building and site was the extent of car parking provision. At peak times of use, cars are parked on adjacent roads and pavements which supports this view. The owners have on occasions used the adjacent field for parking to mitigate any issues but this cannot be seen as a permanent solution as it is an agricultural field and is subject to consent and land transfer issues. The storage containers on site were installed when the development of the building took place and were considered temporary stores. These have not been removed however and we believe do not have consent to be in place permanently.
  2. We believe that a two storey structure in this location, being placed hard onto the front elevation would detract from the aesthetics and setting of the existing listed building when viewed from the road and particularly when travelling from Chepstow direction.
  3. Although the Council does support businesses in our area, we believe that the proposal would represent an overdevelopment of the site when put into the context of the site in full operation.
    This Council would recommend refusal.
    b) Decisions and appeals – None

c) Enforcement-
Clerk to chase Guy Delamere re the new road near St Tewdrics Well.
Pre-Planning consultation
An email with plans had been received regarding YewTree Cottage Mathern
Clerk to contact the owners to clarify the following points –
The Council took note of the proposals and would seek clarity in respect of the impact of the proposals on the structural trees currently sited in the rear garden area of the barn facing Birdwood Gardens?
A query was also raised as to the purpose of the renovation, be it for residential purposes or commercial (ie. B & B or Air BNB)?
Response received from applicant:
“This renovation is an annex for personal use only. Not for letting in anyway whatsoever.
We will lose two trees for this renovation.
One large Ash tree that is in our front garden, not bordering Birdwood Gardens. Because of Ash die-back it would be cost prohibitive to remove after renovation is completed, so we have been advised to remove it beforehand.
There is a smaller ash in the corner of the border of our property and Birdwood that we planned to remove at the same time as our big ash.
Again due to ash die-back issues.
I believe No.6 will be relived of this as it has been a nuisance in the past to them.
The remaining two beloved, Chestnut trees in our back garden will remain
(but will be pruned for maintenance and health )
All of the hedges are dead, on our side mostly and also along the sides bordering No. 5 & No.6 Birdwood Gardens.
We intend to remove and replace them along with a fence matching the style of current fence (natural wood )
Again I think this will be welcomed by No.5 Birdwood Gardens as it has been untidy for some time and desperately needs replacing.”

Letter received from resident re St Tewdrics Well plaque.
Matter resolved and a copy of the St Tewdrics book purchased for all Cllrs to read. Resident happy to assist us with any future wordings for plaques.

Email from resident re. Active Travel Monmouthshire initiative
This survey was for Town and Urban areas only. No representation at coffee mornings or public comment have been received regarding the urban areas and towns. Clerk to email resident with this update.

Cancelled – meeting with MCC Highways re new government restrictions, Wales.

This has now been rearranged.

List of works and costs re war memorial garden for consideration with three year plan. Clerk to include these on the plan.

Code of Conduct training via Zoom – With Matthew Phillips MCC. Clerk has also extended invitation to Shirenewton C C


Go Safe enquiry call from Tidenham Community Council
Cllr J Anderson to speak to Tidenham CC and explain the process – however as they are in England they will need to check that their process is the same.

Clerk to send cards of Condolence re the passing of Jean Stephens and Nesta Marendaz.


• Benches re staining re risk assessments – Awaiting completion.
• Archive material old Mathern School –to be delivered to Gwent archive – Ebbw Vale when Covid restrictions permit.
• Placing of old Mathern School records on Website – to be investigated
• Awaiting invoice to pay for the E Parris plaque.

Next Meeting (Finance only) – 7th December 2020 7pm via Zoom.
There being no further business to discuss, the meeting closed at 9.00 pm.
Signed …………………………….. CHAIRMAN Date……………….

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