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Tintern Community Council Minutes
23 May 2005


Chairman Councillor T Evans, Vice Chairman Councillor P M O'Connor, Councillor B Young, Councillor D Floyd, Councillor D Bennett, Councillor J Saunders, Councillor A Webb and Councillor S Shewell, R Hopson clerk

In Attendance:

There were no public at meeting

16. Public Forum

There were no public at meeting.

17. Councillor Communication

It was unanimously decided that this matter would be discussed in private. This right is enacted by section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960.

18. Apologies for absence.

Constable Andrew Mason

19. Declaration of Interest on items on the agenda.

Councillor Webb signed the declaration of interest book regarding an environmental issue that was raised at the March meeting. Councillor Webb had declared an interest at that meeting.

20. Minutes of the Meeting of 25th April 2005:

Changes had been made at the request of Councillors Bennett and Saunders to items regarding the village questionnaire, car parking on the Trellech road and the AONB Lottery Heritage meeting. The clerk stated that these have been corrected in the minutes now being issued to councillors. The councillors then agreed these minutes of the April meeting as correct.

21. Matters arising from the Minutes:

i. Councillor Shewell expressed concern about the content of the latest newsletter issued by 'Friends of Tintern' and stated that it should contain impartial and non-prejudicial opinion. Councillors Evans and O'Connor reinforced this view. Councillor Bennett agreed to raise these concerns with the organisation.

ii. The clerk reported that he had received a letter from MCC Highways regarding parking on the Trellech Road. They had stated that the issue should be brought to the notice of the police but that if we supplied them with a map identifying the areas causing concern they would investigate the problem. Councillor Young commented that he and others had applied to MCC many years ago to enable car parking on their land adjacent to the Trellech Road but had been refused permission. Councillor Evans commented that there used to be lines on the side of this road at various points but that these had been covered with tarmac.

iii. The clerk reported that a meeting of interested parties had been arranged for 7th June to discuss conversion of the Sawmills area into an official car park.

iv. Councillor Webb stated that an estimate of £38K had been received for removal of Knotweed from the riverbank. This has been shown to MCC Environmental dept. for their comments.

v. Councillor Webb reported that the signs outside the Café Mango were being appraised by the MCC Conservation Officer to see if they are suitable for the area. The MCC Planning dept. had no objections.

22. Finance and Administration Reports:

i. Financial Statement for May:

A financial statement for the month was presented which stated that the council had funds of £6428.32 if the known payments for May were approved. The financial statement was approved as accurate.

ii. All of the payments for May were approved, that is:

Chairman's Honoraria for 2004/2005 Chq 100425 £200.00
W.E. Tansill for village maintenance Chq 100426 £210.40
R Hopson for clerks salary and expenses Chq 100427 £192.47

iii. Annual Accounts for 2004/2005:

The annual accounts for 2004/2005 were approved.

iv. Clerk's Salary:

The clerk's salary was raised to the NJC rate for clerk's grade SCP15 for the year commencing April 2005 of £7.622.

v. Budget 2006/2007:

It was agreed that councillors would put forward proposals for capital project work to be carried out next year at the August council meeting.
Ideas suggested included;
Enhancing footpaths
Restoring wells
Restoring village pound

vi. Grant application for cycle rack and disabled access to village hall:

Councillor Webb had agreed at the March meeting to follow up the application for grant assistance from MCC for the cycle rack and disabled access to the hall. Councillor Webb is doing this with Alan Browne from the Chepstow MCC 'One Stop Shop'.

23. Planning

i. Applications

M 11524: Single storey garden room under a slate roof in a timber frame structure. The Meads, Trellech Grange
Recommendation: Approve

M 11531: Garage/Store with lofted games room above. Pryces Bridge, Whitelye, Catbrook, Chepstow
Recommendation: Approve

M 11574: Side extension, Sunnybank, Raglan Road, Tintern
Recommendation: Approve

ii. Planning Withdrawals


iii. MCC Planning Decisions

M 10305: Conversion of barn to provide one dwelling and three units for holiday let, Great House Farm, Trellech Grange, Chepstow

iv. Enforcement Cases

No enforcement cases relevant to Tintern notified this month.

24. Reports from Representatives on other bodies:

i. Village Hall Committee:

Councillor Floyd presented the annual accounts. This showed an income of £4036 and an expenditure of £4959 giving a deficit for the year of £923. This had been spent on the renewal of windows and upgrading of heating system.
At the Annual General Meeting of the Hall Committee a vote of thanks was given to the Community Council for their donation for hall insurance.
Councillor Bennett asked if hall was well used and was assured by Councillors Evans and O'Connor that there are regular bookings, which keep the hall highly utilised. Councillor Floydreported that she was very impressed with the amount of work done by the hall committee.

ii. Llandogo School:

Councillor Bennett reported that this was a quiet period for the school and reported no problems. The headmaster is currently convalescing from illness and consequently a member of the LEA is visiting the school on a weekly basis.

iii. Friends of Tintern:

Councillor Bennett reported that the cost of rewiring the Christmas lights was £350 and the cost of erecting and powering them for the Christmas period £1350. Councillors asked if the illumination of the village at Christmas, as done in previous years, was now proving too expensive.Councillor Evans suggested that the council look at funding a smaller scale Christmas lighting scheme. The clerk to establish costs.

The summer fete had been cancelled due to lack of volunteer support to organise and manage event.

25. General Reports/Issues:

i. Highways:

a) Councillor Evans remarked on the serious accident that had taken place at the bus stop opposite the Royal George hotel and stated that he had attended a site meeting with Councillor O'Connor, constable Andrew Mason, Tim MacDermott of MCC and the clerk on the morning following the accident. They had discussed the general problem of traffic at that point on the A466 and agreed to put forward various proposals to MCC and the police regarding the traffic flow in this area.

b) As a consequence of paragraph i(a) above a meeting organised by The Lower Wye Valley Committee of MCC presenting the operation of the Traffic Speed Camera Partnership and allowing public questioning of the police was attended by Councillor Evans and the clerk.
Sgt. Brown, who manages the scheme for Gwent Police, gave the presentation. He explained that the partnership covers areas covered by Gwent, South Wales and the Powys and Dyfed police. He reported that in Wales, last year, there were 195 deaths and 1620 serious injuries each costing £1M and £160K respectively. Other statistics supplied included the government target to reduce these figures by 40% by the end of the decade, that speed camera usage yielded a fine income of £35M which completely funds the scheme and that cameras had reduced vehicle speed by an average of 5.6mph.
Overall the use of cameras showed a 94% reduction of killing or serious injuries (KSI's) using static cameras and a 74% reduction using mobile cameras. These figures were questioned given the relatively few number of accidents involving KSI's in Gwent.
He also said that Gwent Police employs seven vans and one motorcycle that undertake speed surveillance with cameras.
He concluded by saying that police and local authorities can reduce accidents in three ways; Education, Enforcement and Engineering.

Councillors agreed that due to the high frequency of accidents in Tintern and the surrounding area they write to Sgt. Brown outlining the problems and potential solutions. The suggested highway changes include;
Extending the 30mph speed limit on the A466 and other roads.
Flashing speed lights for Dead Mans Corner from the Beaufort Pitch to the Reddings farm and elsewhere as appropriate.
Double Yellow lines outside of the doctor's surgery.
More use of speed cameras especially at times of high commuter road usage.
Building of a roundabout outside of the Royal George hotel with the inclusion of roundabout approach road redesign.

The clerk will compose the letter for Councillors to approve and send to the police and MCC prior to next meeting.

c) A letter had been received from MCC notifying the council that the Highways Manager Paul Frampton had retired and been replaced on a temporary basis by Paul Keeble. The letter also stated that the highways function at MCC is currently being reorganised.

d) A copy of a letter from J G Goodhind of 1 Trellech Road to Clive Campbell, Transport and Projects Manager for MCC, had been received complaining of the high usage of the Trellech Road by heavy vehicles and of the damage they are doing to the environment. It was decided that the reasons for this traffic should be established i.e. destination, source of vehicles, alternate routes. Councillor Evans asked the clerk to write to MCC asking if a survey could be undertaken.

ii. Other Issues:

a) Comment was made regarding the closure of payment facilities at MCC 'One Stop Shops'. Councillor Webb stated that a decision by MCC about whether to go ahead with the scheme will be made soon and that if approved the changes will take effect in November.

b) Councillor Bennett asked that, although MCC had now raised parking charges by 300% in the last three years they should still be written too expressing the council's concern at this increase. Clerk to write to MCC chairman.

c) It was agreed to ask MCC to attend a meeting to progress the village questionnaire. The clerk to arrange this.

d) The clerk was asked by Councillor Saunders to follow up the MCC plan to cease providing free school transport for the over 16's and use the money saved to provide transport for the 16/18 year olds to Newport/Bristol during the evening.

e) Comment was made that skips parked overnight on the public highway were not being illuminated. Councillors O'Connor and Evans stated that a light on skips parked overnight was a legal requirement.

f) Councillor Saunders stated that since taking over responsibility for issuing Abbey passes no requests had been received.

26. Correspondence:

No correspondence, other than those noted above, was discussed.

27. Date of Next meeting:

The Meeting closed at 9:45pm. The next meeting will be held on 27th June in the Village Hall at 7:30 p.m.