September 2019


Minutes of the Council meeting held on Monday 9th September 2019 at Mathern Village Hall.

Present:  Councillors  – D Harris (Chairman) C Ovenden (Vice Chair),  D Merrett,  C Morton , G Down.

Also in attendance:         County Councillor L Brown

Clerk – Mrs J Kelley

3             members of the Public

2             Police representatives

The Chairperson welcomed all to the meeting and thanked them for their attendance.


  • Public Comment

Three members of the public came to the meeting.

The one introduced himself as Mr Flynn who had a planning application in for consideration at Crick for Horse stables.  He expressed his concern as he felt that the community was prejudice again him and his family as he was a traveller.

Mr Flynn explained that he has now purchased the 3 acre  piece of land next to the current area and he would use this for grazing the horses. 

A Member of the public asked him about the soak away on the stables and he said this was already installed.   He was also asked if the horses would be leaving the site directly onto the A48 he said they would not as the new field purchased would be used. 

He stated that Travellers didn’t have to comply with planning permission and he could build a house on the land should he wish.

The Chairman explained that the ongoing issue with Border Waste and works carried out without planning permission had meant that local residents were very sensitive regarding this area of land. 

The Chairman advised that the extra information given tonight would be considered when we cover planning later in our meeting.

ii)Report from Community Police

There is very little to report since the last meeting apart from the following:

20/8/19 – Report of a male going door to door in the Pwllmeyric area selling household cleaning products. An officer attended and the male checked out. He was reminded of the no cold calling zones and the male left the area soon after.

3/9/19 – We had a report of a possible rtc at the top of Pwllmeyric hill as the traffic was at a standstill. This turned out to be a male who had fallen and traffic was slowing down to take a look.

iii) Apologies

Apologies received from Cllr  F Sainsbury, Cllr J Harris

(iv)  Declarations of Personal or Pecuniary Interest:


(v)  Minutes of the previous meeting

Minutes of the meeting held on 8th July were read these were agreed as true record.    There were no matters arising.


Cheque Number                            Details                                                                Amount(£)

102026                                              Merlin Waste                                                  37.50

102027                                              T Bryant                                                            75.00

102028                                              C Wheeler                                                         70.00

102029                                              Internet – Phone (August)                     41.49

102030                                              Home Office Fee – Clerk                           150.00

102031                                              Stock It Ltd                                                       24.00

102032                                              T Bryant                                                            75.00

102033                                              Internet Phone – Phone (Sep)              41.49

102034                                              Viking (stationery)                                    52.87

102035                                              Mathern and District Club (rent)      78.75

It was agreed to pay Merlin Waste by regular months for the Bin collection fee of 37.50 first payment made 30th August to avoid interest charges.

D D  Pension For July £77.52 Employee 43.07 Employer

Online Payment Salary for July                      £649.04

Paye – July                                                    £136.40

National Insurance Contributions                 £17.08

NI Employee £19.64  .NI Employer

Online Payment Salary for August                 £532.61

Paye – August                                               £107.60

National Insurance Contributions                  NI Employee.NI Employer

Internet Payment £13.20 Stock it Ltd. License

Monthly Bank Reconciliation authorisation was approved by Cllr  G Down.

Grant Application from MMPVB – This was discussed and a award of  £500.00       was made.

External Audit – To approve the Annual Report 2018/2019 and accept the

findings of the external auditor to follow recommendations made.

External Audit results received and the Annual Return has now been approved and accepted by the Council.  Some small issues were arising and the report was presented to the Council. All recommendations made by the internal auditor were agreed and would be actioned.

The annual return and notice of conclusion of audit has been displayed in a conspicuous place for 14 days.

Budget to spending (analysis attached)

A full review if budget to spending was undertaken – All Cllr received the analysis sheets and excel spending to budget spreadsheets.

Underspending in Training was discussed – Cllr felt that with a new Co-opt Member for Pwllmeyric this budget would be used.

It was agreed that the War Memorial Wreath donation this year would be £30.00 as budgeted.

A review of the walks leaflets was undertaken at present new leaflets don’t need to be ordered.

We are still awaiting external Auditors Fees

Street Furniture a defib cabinet was agreed to be purchased for Mounton Brook Lodge at a cost of no more than £400.00.

Village Upkeep from Risk assessments benches need re staining and repainting.

Cllrs happy that spending to budget was on track.

37/19  Highways

  • Sweeper needed through Mounton
  • Pot holes – Mounton from church to roundabout.
  • Pot holes – Lower Mathern out side Strathearn
  • All white lines in community faded.
  • Gullies under bridge need emptying.
  • Overgrown hedges top of Pwllmeyric along pathway and against Welcome to Chepstow Sign.
  • Footpaths Issues – Graham to let me have the numbers  
  1. i) Response re digitalising copies of archive material for Mathern School.

Cllr Ovenden to contact County Archive to see it they are able to digically copy these.

  1. ii) Response MCC re replacement bus shelter, Pwllmeyric – Dog Waste Bin

Shelter now replaced however Cllrs very concerned with the drop around the concrete slad and highways to install a safety rail around the shelter.

Clerk to Chase MCC re dog bin being replaced and also the 30 mile speed sign.

iii) British Heart Foundation Donation for Defibrillator

Chepstow Lions have donated the £600.00 for a defibrillator. This sum has now been received by the Clerk.

Clerk to contact Chepstow Lions to pass the defibrillator on to them.

Clerk to investigate the cost of a cabinet from Ebay as the cheapest new cabinet available is £400.00 If no other available this one to be purchased.

  1. iv) Speeding Pwllmeyric Hill

A Public member had asked why the volunteer speed watch results were not appearing in the C C Minutes.    The speed watch group is a volunteer group and not

Part of the C C Committee.


  • One Voice Wales  – Representative to be selected Awaiitng next meeting date.
  • Defibrillator- Monthly Checking

Monthly check on the defibrillator carried out by Cllr C Morton August and September. Fully functioning.

  • Risk Assessments for Mathern, Mounton and Pwllmeyric

Items identified on Risk assessments Benches in Mathern all need repainting/restaining.

Clerk to contact  S Smith for a quote for this work.

  • Councillor C Morton – Best Kept Garden (as seen from the roadside) and GAVO new Proud of Your Community Gwent Awards scheme.

Cllr Morton advised that the winners this year were Mr and Mrs M Edwards and the

Runners up were Mr and Mrs Hardy.  The prizes were awarded at the village fete.

  • County Councillors Louise Brown Report



  1. New submissions:


Planning permission Change of use of land for the keeping of horses and erection of stables – Land Adjacent to Sunnybank.


Following points noted re. the above:

         Plans submitted are for a site of 0.23 hectares. This equates to 0.56 acres, not 1 acre as summarised in the latest Planning document received.

         MCC describe the site as having a “gentle gradient”. In my opinion, the gradient is a steep one.

         Regular hosing of the yard and stables will be necessary. Drainage is stated to be by soakaway. On such a steep site in winter, a soakaway is unlikely to cope with this large volume of water, which will inevitably run off and down to the pavement alongside the A48 as well as the road itself.

         Stables are stated to be for winter use only. MCC Highways carried out a safety assessment in the bright summer months and appear not to have taken into account reduced available light in winter. Traffic approaching from the Newport direction in winter will be much less likely to see ponies  (possibly pulling traps) as they drive beneath the M4 bridge towards Chepstow. The site entrance is only a few yards beyond this bridge which has a dark canopy at that time of year and is most likely to have maximum vehicular usage before sunrise and after sunset.

MCC Planning state the animal welfare is not part of their remit. This seems irresponsible and Mathern Community Council highlights the following, noting that the Environmental Health dept. have not responded to the application.

         Unless the ponies are well-exercised daily, the amount of land is far too small for three ponies. (See BHS guidelines). In winter it will quickly become poached and churned into mudbath by the ponies, bringing them health problems.

         The stables themselves should have a solid base for equine health reasons. This is not categorically stated in the application.

         As stated by a nearby resident, the environment is extremely stressful, being close to a busy A road and the M48 bridge with accompanying noise and flashing lights.

         In the event of fire, there is nowhere for the ponies to be allowed to escape, except the A48.

         The post and rails fence adjoining the A48 must be re-inforced at least by an inpenetratable hedge as frisky, over-confined ponies with little paddock area to work off excess energy will push post and rails over, especially as it ages.

         Storage of stable waste in a trailer may attract few flies in winter, but it will undoubtedly attract vermin.

Mathern community council recommendation is to refuse this application

Following the meeting additional comments were made

Attach Comments


Planning permission Erection of single storey rear extension to great barn introduction

Of pitched roof over existing garage to form annex accommodation and alterations to existing internal access to Eastwood House.

No comments or objections

  1. Decisions and appeals –

DC/2019/00796            Bridge House Pwllmeyric –

Comments required re Amended Site layout.

Attach Comments

  • Enforcement

MCC Environmental Health Dept. is investigating the complaints of the tannoy noise from Newhouse Industrial Park.  Matter ongoing.

Cllrs reported that they haven’t heard these lately.

Cllrs have been contacted by numerous concerned residents about the number of large lorries and tractors speeding through Mathern.   The concern is that a large amount of material is apparently being dumped near Palace Farm.   Clerk to contact Enforcement and ask them to investigate.

Cllrs reported that this seems to have stopped now.

Cllrs have also been contacted by residents re the untidy garden and building a St Tewdrics Place.  Chairman to speak to MCC Planning re. our response to a recent application when it was asked if  a three months covenant could be placed to complete the work and tidy the area.


Co-option Pwllmeyric Ward.   One application was received the Clerk was asked to contact the applicant as he was unanimously voted on as a Cllr for Pwllmeyric.

Review Welsh Language policy – Attached

Document was reviewed and agreed that Mathern C C would not be adopting this policy.

All other items were carried over as the meeting time of 2 ½ hours had passed as per our Standing Orders item 37.

Received from OVW New Model Financial Standing Orders.  Carried forward to next meeting

MCC – Email re consolidation Order road traffic response by 23rd August.

MCC – Update on Boundary Commission review

Review Welsh Language policy – Attached

Email from MCC re information on dog waste collection.


Update Community Plan Quote.

Still awaiting this

Notes from Chepstow Town Council re planning meeting with Chepstow Town Council.

Advertising the new Book exchange in Telephone box Mathern.


Nomination for work within the Community:  Cllrs to investigate this and discuss at the next meeting.

Eddie Parry Plaque – Pwllmeyric.

Update Website.


The next meeting to be Monday  14th October 2019 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               Date……………….