The Tintern News
Produced by the Friends of Tintern – June 2008
Tintern Community Council Annual Meeting
held on 12th May 2008 in the Village Hall
The Councillors elected on 1st May were in attendance. These were:
Councillors Mrs D Floyd, A Francis, A Hayward, J Hoskins, D Smith, Mrs J Saunders, Mrs S Shewell.
This left a vacancy and R Williams was co-opted to fill this.
The Chairman for the coming year is Councillor Mrs A Shewell and the Vice-Chairman being Councillor A Francis.
Councillors previously on the Community Council were thanked for their dedication particularly Mrs Pat O’Connor, other past members Mr David Bennett, Mr Adam Parker and Mrs Ann Webb, who was re-elected as our County Councillor, were also thanked.
The past Chairman’s report was noted. Mr Terry Evans, a long-serving Councillor, died suddenly in July and is missed both on this Council and on the Village Hall Committee. Terry was replaced by Mr Rhys Parry as Councillor for Penterrry Ward. Councillor Mrs Floyd outlined the work of the Council during the past year, particularly referring to the serious landslides, detailing meetings with businesses with regard to the siting of ‘A’ boards in the Village, the Tintern Angiddy Project, the new Youth Club with new premises planned and more recently the future of Fryer’s Wharf. Parking in the village remains a huge concern for Members as are various unresolved highways issues.
Meetings of the Community Council are generally held on the fourth Monday of the month, the next being on 2nd June at 7pm in the Village Hall. Members of the public are invited to attend all meetings and there is always a public forum for 15 minutes at the commencement of each monthly meeting.
C H A I R M A N ‘S R E P O R T 2 0 0 7 - 2 0 0 8
This will be a report on the events and issues that have prevailed in the last twelve months. I was re-elected chairman at the last Annual Meeting and relished the thought of continuing the major progress that had been made in 2006 implementing the council’s promises from the SURVEY 2006 report.
The Tintern Youth Project had started well and as well as plans for the new Youth Centre being prepared the Youth Club was established. Councillor Evans was working hard on the road safety and traffic management parts of the report and other sections were being pursued by other councillors. The landslip earlier in the year appeared to have been sorted out and the Forestry, although reluctant to say so, had intimated that there would be no further problems – how wrong could they be!
It was in May that Councillor Saunders brought her opinions to the attention of the Council over the state of confusion that existed the Tintern Angiddy Project team and the subject of village signage also gained importance. It was at a special meeting held on the 20th June that the Council withdrew its support from the TAP project. Chris Rastall appealed to the Council to reconsider its decision in November but this was rejected on the grounds that no further information had been made public and there were still lots of questions to be answered.
In July our longest serving council member Terry Evans died suddenly. Terry had served on the council on and off since the 1960’s and had knowledge and experience that none of us will be able to emulate. He served Tintern both as councillor, on the Hall Committee and other village organisations as a devoted servant and will always be remembered.
After the summer the Council seemed to regress into a state where communication by email overtook personal contact and internal arguments became very popular. The question of revision of the council standing orders was also raised. The future of the Wharf also started to become a popular topic. Rhys Parry was co-opted onto the Council to replace Terry as councillor for Penterry.
Since November and possibly earlier the Council has achieved very little in this community. The Council seems too have been hell bent on treating bureaucracy as a prime topic and spending more time on adjusting minutes to their own ends and ensuring that procedures are followed to exact specification. This seems to have become a game as if the rules didn’t fit then councillors seemed quite happy to ignore them. I think it is a sad indicator that the Council started the year with funds of £4000 and ended it with £11,000. We are not supposed to be a profit making organisation. Although we have put funds away for projects such as the Lower Wye AONB and the Hall this still leaves us with a large unspent surplus – a poor indicator of Council performance.
In January councillor Bennett announced he was to retire as a governor of Llandogo School and that Tintern would in future be represented by a resident of Llandogo, Trellech councillor Bob Dagger.
Another blow which hit the village was the second major landslip which had been indicated by the report issued to the Forestry by their consultants Halcrow. This has caused a major disruption both to villagers in Tintern but also those higher up the Valley at Llandogo and Brockweir. Hopefully we will see an end to this type of event in the same area after the works that are now being carried out but we can expect traffic and normal living disruption for several months to come.
The issue of the future of Fryer’s Wharf has now become quite important in the village. The council decided that its future needs to be discussed earlier this year and an article indicating this in the Village News raised a lot of interest and I think some new councillors. Good -because I feel that the Council now needs new blood.
We seem to fight an endless battle about parking and ‘A’ board advertising both with Monmouthshire County Council and with ourselves and to make no progress. Indeed the question of limited parking on the Promenade has been ongoing for years and the County Council seem to operate a policy of ‘if we do nothing then it will go away’
I would like to thank Constables Andrew Mason and Mike Cowburn as well as Tim MacDermott of the MCC Chepstow One Stop Shop for the considerable help they have given the council during the year. Also the long service given to the Council by Pat O’Connor and service given by now ex-councillors Ann Webb, David Bennett and Adam Parker. They, like Terry, represented the voice of sensibility and desire to improve the lot of members of the community.
The report might seem pessimistic when we recall Council performance but I’m afraid the truth is not very pleasant at the moment. We still seem to be having councillors disregarding the declaration of interest when it concerns personal business matters and pursuing interests that are not of any relevance to the majority of the public.
I feel that each councillor should ask themselves why am I here? If it is not for the benefit of the community but for purely self motivated reasons they should NOT be here! Although I am no longer chairman I will not tolerate councillors putting items on the agenda for other councillor’s gains and self interests!
During the last few weeks my personal and business life have required a lot of attention and I am now glad to relinquish the burdens of chairmanship. I wish my successor luck and hope that they can get the Council back to its proper task of looking after the community as a whole.
Report of Meetings – March 2008
The public forum concentrated on two issues. The first was the way Monmouthshire County Council had set up traffic lights to allow the Wireworks area to be used as a car park at Easter. The Council expressed their regret at this happening without prior consultation. Secondly the Council’s wish to establish a policy for the future of Fryers Wharf had caused a lot of concern amongst residents. Councillors pointed out that they only wished to bring this issue to the notice of the community and that they had no plans for the area until the public had been consulted. A public meeting is to be held on the 23rd June in the Village Hall at 7:00 to discuss the future of the wharf.
The council considered three planning applications.
DC/2007/01246: Remove condition 1 of original consent M/9217 (condition required part of the public house’s Yard to be marked out to secure this area for the unloading and turning of vehicles) at The Cherry Tree Inn. The Council decided that the application should be refused. This was on the basis that it was a retrospective application. This was a majority decision made after the Council held a vote. Councillor Saunders asked that it be recorded that she dissented from the decision.
DC/2008/00217: Add first floor extension over single storey extension to give master bedroom and bathroom, Forest Cottage, Barbadoes Hill. DC/2008/00261: Erect a shed within garden, Gurlus Grove, Barbadoes. Both of these applications were approved.
Councillors decided that to lessen the parking problems on the A466 they will ask M.C.C. to make the weekend and holiday parking restrictions intermittent and leave spaces for continuous parking.
The Council also agreed that the land adjacent to the Village Hall allotted to the proposed Youth Centre be leased to the Tintern Youth Project for an annual fee of 1 guinea (£1.05).
Councillor Dawn Floyd
Chairman of the Community Council
Tintern Community Council will hold a Public Meeting in the Village Hall on Monday 23rd June at 7pm to discuss the future of Fryers Wharf. We know there is considerable interest in this and look forward to hearing your ideas.
You might have noticed that two large holes have been dug in the playground next to the Village Hall. This is not vandalism or a prank but an archaeological examination of the outer precinct of the Abbey which is a necessary pre-condition for planning permission to build the new Youth Centre.
The planning application for the new Centre was made to Monmouthshire County Council last November and was subject to two surveys. The first was requested by the Department of the Environment regarding the possibility of flooding. This was done by Howard Davies, land surveyors of Cardiff at a cost of £600. This was paid for by Rural Community Action, an organization within Monmouthshire which supports local community projects. This took place earlier this year and established that the application could proceed as flooding was a minor concern because of the height of the Centre above the Wye. The second survey was requested by the Gwent and Glamorgan Archaeological Trust as the proposed building will be within the outer precinct of the Abbey. This survey has cost £6,500 which has been paid for by a grant obtained from the M.C.C. Community and Environmental Development Scheme. The ‘dig’ is being done by archaeologists from Bristol Museum and has found no artifacts or building remains relating to the Abbey. Indeed they have backed villagers who have said that the whole area was landscaped prior to the Hall being built. But they have found two flints. An arrow head and a cutting tool. However, these date back thousands of years and are thought to have been washed down from the Angiddy. Let me know if you would like to see them. They belong to Tintern.
Hopefully if planning consent is given then the new centre will be paid for by a Welsh Assembly and Monmouthshire County Council backed grant from the European Union. The grant was applied for last year and is for £230,000. If the application is successful the Centre should be built by 2010. Plans for the Centre can be viewed on the M.C.C. website or please contact me.
You are also reminded that it is the young people of Tintern who have got the surveys done and are looking forward to their youth centre.
Roger Hopson – Treasurer – Tintern Youth Project
Trouble with non-Russian homing squirrels?
From Major-General Sir Michael Greaseby
I note with great interest the description given by A Nutter in the May issue of The Tintern News of the trouble and unreliability posed by UK homing squirrels as opposed to their Russian counterparts.
It is indeed my experience that the Russian homing squirrel is the message-carrying squirrel of choice by far. For many years, the British Army maintained a secret homing squirrel section made up originally of volunteer recruits from Belarus. They proved invaluable in getting up-to-the-minute news of the battlefront to field HQs and made decisive contributions in encounters from the Battle of Omdurman in 1898 right through to battles at El Alamein in 1942.
Discipline is the key word. Young recruits are fashioned into tight-knit teams sharing the same code of honour and dedication. Their reward is in the delivering, achieving exceptionally high success rates even under the most dangerous and unpleasant conditions.
It brought enormous pleasure to discover that Andy Furbelow has moved to the area with a team of Russian homing squirrels (Tintern News, April 2008) and my chest swelled with pride to know that these brave little fellas are at work on missions on behalf of commerce and government even today.
In April we visited the “Workhouse Design Studio” in Abergavenny. Here Charles & Patricia Lester make beautiful exclusive clothes. After a talk by Charles on the background of the business we watched a demonstration of hand printing. Then we were encouraged to try on some of the clothes. It is not every day that you can wear a jacket costing £4,000! Needless to say none of us bought anything. Afterwards we enjoyed a cup of tea in Waitrose.May has been a very busy month. On Thursday 15th May we provided tea for a group from Bristol. The food went down well and much tea was drunk. The afternoon was a great success and was enjoyed by all. We had our AGM this month. We met earlier than usual for a very good lunch before all the business. Jean Davey stepped down as President and was thanked for all her work. Pam Ansell is our new President and we all wish her well and will do our best to support her.
Finally in May we have been serving tea, coffee and cake in the Church over the holiday weekend when there has been an open Church and Churchyard event run in conjunction with Gwent Wildlife. The members have worked hard and it has been successful despite the awful weather.
We are not baking any more cakes in June! Our next meeting will be on Monday 16th June at 2.00pm in the Village Hall. There will be a talk on Love Spoons by Robert Davies. If you are interested do come along and join us. CMB
Over the holiday weekend of 24 – 26 May 2008 Tintern VPA members worked together with Tintern WI members, Gwent Wildlife Trust , the congregation of St. Michaels Church Tintern and others on a church open weekend on which the church was open to all from 12.00 – 16.00 hrs each day and was decorated with floral displays provided by members of Monmouth Flower Club and St Michaels congregation.
Tintern WI members provided teas/coffee and cakes and Tintern VPA members donated plants for sale. Members of St Michaels congregation donated a variety of gardening books and plant pots for sale.
Gwent Wildlife Trust were represented by Rebecca Price who provided information on the GWT Living Churchyards Project and the plan to manage part of St Michaels Churchyard to promote wildlife.
Steve Evans of Parva Springs has been supporting the GWT initiative by creating a computer database of the burial records from 1813 at both St Michaels and St Marys Chapel Hill . This database can now be searched on PC to identify records of those buried in the two churchyards (more than 2000 burials since 1813).
Thank you to all from the VPA , WI , St Michaels and others who provided help with this event. Saturday was a good day in terms of weather but Sunday and (particularly) Monday were unkind in terms of wind and rain. Over the three days however many people came to buy our very good value plants, books and pots and to sample the excellent WI cakes. This raised over £300 from the sale of plants, books and pots and over £100 from sales of WI tea and cakes to be divided between VPA, WI and the church.
The financial outcome of this event is but a small part of its benefits to those involved. It also provided the opportunity for many from diverse parts of the village (and from outside of the village) to meet and communicate in the special setting of St Michaels church. Thank you to all involved.
The next meeting of Tintern VPA will be a visit to Dewstow Gardens on Friday 20th June. Members will meet at the gardens for 6.00pm. There will be a short talk and then we will visit the underground grottoes and gardens. The entry cost per person will be £6.00 and £5.00 for pensioners. Unfortunately we are not able to have tea afterwards as we usually do. Many members already have the directions but if you need directions or any other information please get in touch with Bernard or Christine Bradshaw on 689877.BDB
6th May 2008 – Itton Forest Office, Llanymddyfri Forest District
Attending: Dai Jones – Forest District Manager, Forestry Commission Wales
Richard Gable – Local Area Manager, Forestry Commission Wales
Anthony Wallis – Senior Land Agent, Forestry Commission Wales
Howard Siddle – Project Director, Halcrow, Consulting Engineers
Stephen Chambers - Project Manager, Halcrow, Consulting Engineers
Grove Risby – Monmouthshire County Council Highways
Monitoring operation on slip site March to April 08
Diversion work to redirect
surface water continues to prove successful
The affected are of the slip remains closed under CROW and a temporary closure order for the public right of way running through the slip is in place.
b. Both closures remain in force until the end of August 08
Monitoring markers in place
across the unstable area of the slip continue to be monitored weekly by FC
(Forestry Commission) staff and MCC (Monmouthshire County Council). There is
evidence of some minor slippage at the head of the debris flow and this
continues to be monitored.
Halcrow Group Limited – Stability Report
a. Halcrow have been commissioned by FC Wales to act as consulting engineers for this project
b. Stephen Chambers, the Project Manager for Halcrow, presented the draft stability report to the Project Team. Following all the site investigation works, Halcrow are now comfortable with the working model
c. The observed marginal stability of the landslide has been confirmed and modelled quantitatively by the results of the stability analyses
d. Various options were considered for stabilising the landslide. Taking all the circumstances into account, the optimum solution appears to rely primarily on soil nailing to provide the necessary increase in long term stability to the landslide, whilst adopting relatively minor earthworks and drainage improvements where feasible
e. The key elements of the preferred solution are:
i. Slackening of quarry spoil slope above previous track alignment
ii. Trimming of the track embankment batter where space permits above the northern area of the landslide
iii. Lowering of the access track that descends from borehole BH01 across the landslide to reduce head-weight on the slipped material below, and securing of that slope by soil nailing in its southern part
iv. Soil nailing of slopes below the old access track
v. Further improvements to surface drainage
vi. Removal of loose debris at the head of the second slip
vii. Minor trimming and erosion protection to the mid slope
Clearance of debris from
grounds of Spring Cottage and restoration of masonry walls and vegetation
ix. It is anticipated that preparation for a detailed conceptual design and preparation of tender details for the remediation work will take a further two and a half months
x. Remediation works on site are planned to commence in September 2008
The duration of the works
cannot be estimated at this stage until the modelling and design stages are
a. FC Wales and Halcrow to liaise with the planning authority to determine whether planning permission for works on the landslide site is required and to set up a site visit for MCC planning department, FC civil engineers and Halcrow
b. MCC to utilise their powers under the Highways Act to gain the right to enter on to private land below the slip to carry out a survey for potentially dangerous trees. MCC and Halcrow will discuss possibilities of integrating works on FC and private land and the means of providing a stable channel of the watercourse that will discharge water from the slope
c. MCC are continuing to investigate the construction of a chamber at the base of the landslide adjacent to the highway to collect water and then to divert it to an existing watercourse and culvert
d. Communications: Richard Gable with assistance from Halcrow Group Limited to set up a public drop-in session at Tintern Village Hall. A proposed date to be arranged in July 08
Date of next meeting: Friday 6th June 2008. Itton Forest Office. 10.00am
Telephone 01291 689559
Thank you to everyone who voted on 1st May when there was just over a 50% turnout. As your elected Member to Monmouthshire County Council my wish is to represent your views and assist wherever possible.
TAP Project Update – June 2008
The surveys to support the Planning Application and Environment Agency licence applications will continue over the coming months. They are mostly concerned with ecological / environmental issues, although some archaeological questions remain to be resolved in the area of the ancient furnace site.
The recent tree survey, carried out by Broadway Tree Consultancy, has indicated that 100 trees along the route of the proposed pipe route should be felled. The following summary indicates the extent of the recommended work.
In total, 100 trees have been earmarked for felling, and they can be divided into the following categories:
· Dead or Dying 11
· Hazardous 35
· Removal as good woodland practice 6
· Pipeline impact 48
As can be seen from the figures above, the number of trees being removed as a direct result of the pipeline trenching will be 48, with the remaining 52 being removed for public health and safety or good woodland management reasons.
The felled trees will be cut up into lengths and these will be stacked away from the path to form habitat piles in the undergrowth. Such dead wood piles provide homes and food for a large number of fungi, worms, insects, mammals, mosses, lichens and plants, and are an important part of the woodland ecosystem.
The stumps that result from the felling will be left in-situ, and the majority of these are species that will re-sprout (coppice) from the stump. The coppice re-growth will then provide a valuable understorey layer to the woodland and provide shelter or food for a wide range of insects, birds and mammals.
In addition, roots from the stump retention ensure that the river bank, and soil of the woodland floor, remains anchored in place and less likely to be washed away by flash floods or heavy rainfall.
Finally, a more uneven age structure to the woodland will be achieved by removal of the large over-tall trees. This will open up gaps in the canopy thereby allowing daylight to reach the woodland floor and encourage new seedling growth. Were it in place, such works would normally be part of a good woodland management scheme.
Letters in support of the Project could be helpful to the success of the Planning Application. This can be done on line by visiting the TAP web page www.tapenergy.org Click on the Planning Application heading and follow the instructions. Alternatively, you may write to Monmouthshire County Council, Planning Department at County Hall, Cwmbran NP44 2XH. Quoting the reference number 2007 / 01452
Norman Williams Marketing & Publicity Director
Tintern Angiddy Project Ltd
Telephone 01291 680016 E Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
I am responding to the possible evidence of homing squirrels reported by Adrian and Elsa Wood of Wye Valley Surveys in the May issue of The Tintern News.
They are quite right in suggesting that all Western European individuals of the Russian homing squirrel are domesticated and not nowadays to be found in the wild unlike so many other members of the family Sciuridae. My own team (which I described in the April issue) works under strict controls and is only allowed out unsupervised for rest and recreation on Sundays.
It is possible that the surveyors came across evidence of homing squirrels during the national training month held in the Wye Valley. Although quite discreet, it is inevitable that upwards of 450 homing squirrels leave traces of footprints and nut casings, especially at the sites of their overnight bivouacs.
About becoming a Tintern Community Councillor!
I would like to thank the people of Trellech Grange and Tintern for the privilege of representing their views at Tintern Community Council. Thank you!
It is all quite exciting and I have been given this enormous book to read, it’s about 1 ft high and 8.3 inches wide and a quarter inch thick. Thank goodness it is half in Welsh!!!
Having digested it (ISBN 0750435038) it makes for both interesting and commonsense reading, I really wish I had read it before. Under the code of conduct you may be interested to know that Councillors agree to:
Selflessness, Honesty, Integrity and propriety, A duty to uphold the law, Stewardship, Objectivity in decision making, Equality and Respect, Openness, Accountability, Leadership.
The essence is to act openly and honourably in the public interest.
You must also; Promote equality; Treat others with respect; Provide access to information where required; Make decisions on the merits of the case and in the public interest; Make decisions with regards to the advice of officers; Abide by the rules on allowances and expenses; Avoid accepting unofficial gifts, hospitality and other benefits and services; Report possible breaches of the code by another member; Report possible criminal behaviour by another member. And it goes on with many interesting facts. One essential part talks about developing a plan for our community and involving every bodies views and how the public can call a meeting.
We are your representatives and I hope that I can contribute to our beautiful valley in a fresh and positive fashion!
Sincerely, Andi Francis.
To the residents of Tintern.
I would like to use this newsletter to record a minor accident, which occurred on Sunday 20th May, in the hope that it will raise the awareness of those walkers using the pavements along the main road in Tintern. Everyone knows that they are far too narrow for anything but walking in single-file particularly between The Old Station and Tintern village. But even this can expose one to considerable danger as my partner and I experienced whilst walking home. He was hit on the elbow by the wing mirror of a passing car. The driver stopped to apologise and to retrieve his mirror. (Would he have done so, I wonder, if the car had been his own and not a hired one?) No serious damage was done to the elbow and the apology was accepted. However, I believe this to have been a lucky escape. Probably not much can be done to widen the pavements but certainly it might help if the foliage were kept cut back . Otherwise I would suggest extending the 30 mile per hour speed limit further on towards the Old Station. I hope this will be on the agenda of the next Parish Council meeting. Traffic is increasing in volume every year and if, as the Council claim, efforts are being made to increase tourism, something must be done and soon. It's a chilling thought, but the next accident may require more than an apology.
Church Services – United Benefice of Tintern and Llandogo with Whitebrook
St. Oudoceus Church, Llandogo – Communion Service 9.00am every Sunday
Rev. John Dearnley
Everyone is warmly invited to all of these services.
St. Michael’s Church - Cleaning Rota - fortnight beginning:
2nd June Trudy and Nina Phelps
16th June Ann and Barry Richardson
30th June Elspeth and Karen
14th July Janet, Sue and Barbara
28th July Tintern WI
25th August Jude Spooner
Daisy Morgan would like to thank all her family and friends for her surprise 80th birthday party held at the Anchor. Also, thank you to Gill and Steve at the Anchor for a very nice buffet and thank you too for the fabulous cake that was made in the shape of a bingo ticket. It tasted gorgeous.
Thank you to everyone.
Sue and David Ball have acquired a grandson, Alexander Steven, on the 26th April, weighing 8lb 13oz. A son for Steve and Sonya and a brother for Layla.
Layla Ball – Happy birthday – three years old on the 4th June.
Tintern Youth Club every Wednesday from 6.30 – 8.00pm – Village Hall
Monday 9th June - – Friends of Tintern AGM – 7.30pm – Anchor (postponed from April)
Wednesday 11th June – Bingo at the Anchor from 7.30pm
Monday 16th June - WI at 2.00pm in the Village Hall.
Friday 20th June -Tintern VPA - visit to Dewstow Gardens
Monday 23rd June – Public Meeting to discuss Fryer’s Wharf – 7.00pm Village Hall
If you wish to book the Village Hall please ring 07512 856024 or email: Tintern.email@example.com. Please note the following: Bookings need to be made at least 7 days in advance. Payment will need to be made in advance except for regular users.
£10.00 per head.
Bring your own drink.
Coffee Mornings held on the third Tuesday of each month at 10.30 a.m. All welcome.
Yoga Classes with Ruth Routh on Tuesday evenings and Thursday mornings. Details contact Ruth on 01600-860648.
For details of all other events or to hire the hall contact Rosemary Stephens on 01600-860451.
The Tintern News is delivered to approximately 250 houses in Tintern. If you would like to advertise something in the News the current rates is £5.00 for a small ad./half a page, and £10.00 for a full page (per month). Please send items to the editor at the address below with full contact details.
From August the cost of advertising in the Tintern News will rise to £12.50 for a full page and £6.25 for a half page or small ad.
Items for the Newsletter – dates for the June 2008 edition
Items for the Tintern Newsletter can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org delivered to Wye Barn, Tintern. Items for the July Newsletter should be received by Thursday 26th June, 2008.
The Tintern News is a vehicle for the expression of opinion by all members of the Tintern community. While it does not necessarily endorse the views of any particular contributors, it does wholeheartedly support the promotion of lively debate on the development of the village and of freedom of speech in general. However, it will reserve the right to edit any contributions in order to preserve moderation and a spirit of good intent in the presentation of arguments. Thoughts from everyone in our community will continue to be very welcome. ER
Tintern News is sponsored by Monmouthshire County Council Welsh Church Act Fund.
Remember Alan Knight and Ian Gregory