Minutes of a meeting of the above Council held by telephone conferencing on Monday 29th June 2020 at 7.00pm.
Present: Chairman Cllr Mrs Shewell, Cllrs Hayward, Evans, Richards, Cobb, Ashman, Hillard, County Cllr Webb & the Clerk.
2890. Police Report: Attached.
2891. Public Forum: None.
2892. Apologies for absence: None received.
2893. Declarations of interest: None.
2894. Approval of minutes of previous meeting: Approved & signed as correct.
2895. Financial Report: Community A/C £12,139.71, BMM A/C £7,142.09. Amount spent to date £1,668.
2896. Accounts for payment:
Chairman’s Honorarium - £300 (Ch. No. 300179)
Clerk’s Home Allowance - £350 (Ch. No. 300180)
Churchyard Donations – St Michael’s Church Tintern PCC - £250 (Ch. No. 300181)
Trellech Grange Church - £125 (Ch. No. 300182)
Penterry Church & Restoration Field - £125.00 (Ch. No. 300183)
Merlin Waste - £31.20 (Ch. No. 300184)
Clerk’s Salary & Expenses – £463.33 (Ch. No. 300185)
Plants for Planters - £88.28 (Ch. No. 300186)
TCC Website Domain Name Fee – £11.99 paid by direct debit
- All approved for payment.
2897. Planning Permissions:-
DM/2020/00694 – Formation of new car parking area & creation of driveway, Beech House, Glynwood Lane – No objections, approved.
DM/2020/00614 – New Garage, access & driveway, Lagreach, Botany Bay. TCC have concerns about the extent of the development and would ask that it be referred to Planning Committee. They also feel that due to the extent of the proposed works there could be disruption of rare and protected species of flora and fauna if the works are allowed to progress without regular and systematic checks.
DM/2020/00479 – Agricultural Notification for Agricultural Hay Storage Unit, Llan-Y-Nant Farm.
A466 Future Closure - Confirmation received that the second closure will not go ahead this year as Habitat Regulations Licence from the Welsh Government and formal agreement from NRW for provision of compensatory habitat to mitigate loss of some habitat. Neither have been concluded to date. They are liaising with colleagues to try and carry out works in the Spring of 2021 to finish by Easter. Clerk asked to write to MCC requesting reassurance that the works will be started in early Spring 2021 and finished by Easter as if this is not the case it will have a disastrous effect on businesses and tourism. Also request they continue to put pressure on NRW to get the necessary licences in time. Clarification is also sought that from a habitat point of view works can be commenced in early Spring and the road only closed for four weeks.
Tintern Business Forum – Matthew Lewis, MCC Environment Manager had consulted TCC on MCC’s plans for identifying short-term adaptions that will be required to the physical infrastructure of Tintern as part of a wider plan looking at town centres to enable social distancing measures to be observed once visitors return. Cllrs discussed this and sent their recommendations to MCC. Concerns were raised regarding the re-opening of public toilets and guidance was requested. Email received from Roger Hoggins, MCC on 26th June stating that Tintern will only have the disabled toilet open for the time being. Emails received from MCC regarding arrangements for ensuring the safety of the public following the easing of lockdown. They have arranged for a 20mph signed zone through the village, initially for a 21 day period to assess the effectiveness of the measures with a view to providing it on a more permanent basis.
2899. Reports from outside bodies:-
Lower Wye Valley Building Preservation Trust – Discuss quotations for stream embankment repairs at Fryer’s Wharf. Clerk had enquired of NRW whether a permit would be required for repair works but this is not necessary. They informed her that MCC may require an Ordinary Watercourse Consent however. She spoke to Ross Price, MCC Flood Risk Manager, and he is of the opinion that the temporary works may involve disturbance to the watercourse and require a consent application. He & Martyn Evans met 2 Cllrs & the Clerk on site on the 5th June and confirmed that this would not be needed and was happy for the work to go ahead. He also checked with NRW’s Biodiversity Officer that there was no need for a temporary barrier to be in place when work was in place to stop soil going into the river as it is near an SSSI. (GPP5 document from EA). All Cllrs agreed that TCC accept the Digby quote. Cllr Hayward proposed & Cllr Ashman seconded this be accepted.
Village Hall – After discussion at the recent Finance Meeting when the unexpected expenditure on the stream embankment repair at Fryer’s Wharf was discussed it was felt that TCC will not now be able to give the £2,500 set aside under Projects to the Village Hall for work on the parking area and playground in the 2020/21 financial year. It is hoped that this can be set aside in the 2021/22 financial year. They will still however be able to give the £1,000 set aside in the budget for Village Hall expenditure.
The Village Hall remains closed at present and no events are currently planned. The VHC have applied for Covid business support grant of £10,000.
Llandogo School – Katie Pingree, the Head Teacher has now left and the Head Teacher from Kymin View School is taking on leadership of both schools. The Covid outbreak has brought challenges to staff and the governing body but they have worked hard to achieve a safe environment. From 29th June there will be a partial return to school with each class being divided so there are no more than 8 pupils in a classroom at a time. School meals will not be provided. Funds received from TCC have helped to purchase play equipment and learning aids for which the School is very grateful.
St Michael’s Church – The Church have now heard that the restoration work can start and this will commence on the 6th July 2020. They will advise neighbours and formally advise TCC of necessary works to connect foul drainage from the gate to the manhole on Fryer’s Wharf.
2900. Reports from Sub-Committees: Finance - Three requests for donations received from Tenovus Cancer Care, SARA & Gwent YFC. It was decided to postpone a decision on which charities to support at this stage until the Fryer’s Wharf embankment invoice has been paid. All Councillors present agreed. Report back from the Finance Committee Meeting held on the 15th June. The Internal Auditor’s Report was discussed and minor comments noted. It was recommended that TCC consider if a maximum period be set when Standing Orders are reviewed (see below under Agenda No. 2901). It was also recommended they consider the adequacy of the insurance cover annually. This had been done. The Finance Committee have had to re-visit the budget to make some savings to take into account the expenditure on Fryer’s Wharf embankment repair, but there will now be some events not now taking place, ie the Village Fete & Sacred Sight & Sound Festival and the Education Grant may not be needed. When setting next year’s budget TCC have indicated to MCC that they may possibly be able to make a donation towards the cost of replacing the Vehicle Actuated signs (see below under 2904).
2901. Discuss frequency of review of Standing Orders: Following discussion by Councillors attending the June Finance Meeting and then further discussion at this meeting it was decided these should be reviewed every 2 years. Clerk circulate a copy in readiness for discussion at the August meeting.
2902. Discuss proposals by MCC for re-opening of Businesses & High Streets – Update received from Mark Hand & Matthew Lewis, MCC (see above under 2898 – Business Forum). As shops in Wales are able to open from the 29th June measures have to be put in place to make the village safe for members of the public recommendations had been received from MCC. TCC discussed these and the Clerk was asked to respond requesting the 30mph signs be bagged over to avoid confusion, the barrier outside the Doctors Surgery be lowered to improve visibility, the sign on the Quayside be altered as it is pointing the wrong way, and signs explaining the reason for the 20mph speed limit be put up, together with repeater signs as concerns were raised that the new speed limit is not being adhered to. Concerns had been raised by the White Monk Café about the proposed temporary pavement widening on the road leading down to the Abbey from the A466 as it is felt it will cause congestion, especially as The Abbey is unlikely to be opened before October. Requests had been made to Cadw to at least open the car park but no response had been received on this yet. Clerk asked to thank MCC for their efforts in bringing the new rules into force.
2903. Monmouthshire Business Resilience Forum – Cllr Richards has volunteered to be the Business Forum Representative for the Ambassadors Scheme as it was felt it would be helpful to have representation from Tintern, especially as Tintern are now getting consideration alongside towns in the county. County Cllr Webb is also a representative on this scheme which is a county wide scheme funded by MCC. There is a particular focus on tourism and its aim is to ensure a strong environment for businesses to thrive. Most Covid related costs will be borne by MCC but Cllr Richards requested that Tintern could do with some hi-vis vests & umbrellas for use by volunteers. Councillors agreed to set aside a sum of £100 for this with the proviso if the costs were significantly more they would have to re-visit the matter.
2904. Correspondence: Email on 7th June 2020 from Steve Shaw, Power of People regarding the re-introduction and debate of the Local Electricity Bill which was discussed at the House of Commons on the 10th June. TCC had previously given their support, but the request now was for Councils to request their MP to attend the debate and give their support. This the Clerk did on 8th June. Response from David Davies, MP received.
Paul Matthews, MCC re Monmouthshire Community Boundary Review.
Phaedra Cleary, MCC re Vehicle Actuated Units, Tintern. A complaint had been received that the two speed units in Tintern were not working. After reporting to MCC response received saying that as the units are old they are unrepairable. They can include a request to replace them with SIDS (speed indicator signs) in next year’s financial year if required. An approximate cost for the two would be £6,500-7,000). TCC responded saying they are unable to assist in funding this year, but may possibly be in a better position to offer some financial support next year.
2905. Any Other Business: Response received from David James, MHA following a suggestion by Cllr Shewell that Fryer’s Terrace might be a suitable property for their purposes. He has only today returned to work after being furloughed but will get MHA to look at it.
Cllr Ashman requested that MCC be asked to clear the overhanging vegetation on the pavement running from Wye Lodge to Spring Cottage. Clerk to do this.
Clerk also asked to remind Martyn Evans & Nathan Freeman to clear the soil/water from the roadside below The Old Rectory.
Cllr Shewell asked if the issue of potholes in the road leading to the Abbey past the White Monk Café had been reported. Clerk had put in a request for their repair and received acknowledgement. Reminder to be sent.
Cllr Richards reported that there is overgrown vegetation on the path leading past the Electricity Sub-Station. Clerk to report this to Western Power.
Cllr Shewell asked if anyone had expressed an interest in taking the oak saplings that had been offered by a resident and if so had anyone any suggestions for suitable locations for them. Cllr Evans agreed to contact Mark Belcher who may be interested.
Cllr Hayward had received a complaint about a road closed sign being put on Highway 534, Pontysaeson-Fairoak. County Cllr Webb had already reported this to MCC.
2906. Date of next meeting: 27th July 2020.