Minutes of a meeting of the above Council held on Monday 27th July 2020 at 7.00pm via telephone conferencing.
Virtually Present: Chairman Cllr Shewell, Cllrs Hayward, Hillard, Cobb, Evans, Richards, County Cllr Webb & the Clerk.
2907. Police Report: Attached. Cllr Shewell reported that she had received a number of complaints of drug users in the Abbey, former Abbey Hotel, St. Mary’s Church & Village Hall Playground. Residents stated that when they spoke to the Police they said they could not do anything unless names and addresses of the people involved were provided. Clerk asked to write to Inspector Micah Hassell asking for a meeting to discuss the problem. Cllr Evans proposed and Cllr Hillard seconded this.
2908. Public Forum: No one attending.
2909. Apologies for absence: Cllrs Hoskins & Ashman.
2910. Declarations of interest: Cllr Hillard re 2916.
2911. Approval of minutes of previous meeting: Approved & signed as correct. Cllr Evans proposed and Cllr Richards seconded this.
2912. Financial Report: Community A/C £10,519.91, BMM A/C £7,142.09. Amount spent to date on revenue £2,900.71, capital £509.99 making a total of £3,410.70.
2913. Accounts for payment:-
RoSPA Play Safety Ltd - £94.80 (Ch. No. 300187)
SLCC Annual Membership - £92.00 (Ch. No. 300188)
Clerk’s Salary & Expenses - £289.00 (Ch. No. 300189)
Merlin Waste - £31.20 (Ch. No. 300190) - All approved for payment.
2914. Planning Permissions:- DM/2020/00827 – Agricultural Notification, Forestry Building on Land to East of Trellech Road. No objections.
DM/2020/00932 – Mill House, 1 Firgrove, Forge Road – replacement of first floor extension. No objections, approval recommended.
A466 Future Closure – Mark Hand, MCC will attend the September meeting, at the request of the Chairman. Cllrs Shewell & Cobb & County Cllr Webb met Jane Pratt, Cabinet Member, on the 8th July to discuss the updated proposals by MCC not to carry out the second phase of works until early May 2021, despite promises that work would be finished by Easter. A Freedom of Information Request had been put in in respect of communications with NRW as the time delay over this was felt unacceptable and a date for commencement of the works is needed. County Cllr Webb will chase this up. Tintern Community Council had requested an assurance either that the works which require a total closure be completed by the Easter Bank Holiday or the work be delayed until 2022.
Tintern Business Forum - The Local Authority have been discussing the idea of a Discretionary Fund to enable them to support local businesses and they have requested the necessary evidence. The businesses are beginning to open now and there have been a lot of visitors to the village recently.
Business Resilience Forum & Ambassador Programme - Meeting held 8th July 2020 and minutes circulated. A meeting also took place of the Visitor Ambassador Programme. The requirements are slightly more onerous than originally anticipated and a support and management programme for volunteers is required which involves providing toilet and refreshment facilities. In excess of 20 volunteers could be required so the £100 agreed to be set aside may not be enough. Cllr Richards has spoken to the volunteer manager and was told there is a local charity (Bridges) who could provide volunteers for which there would be a minimal cost involved. Cllr Shewell had concerns about where volunteers could use the refreshment and toilet facilities. Also decide times we would want volunteers to be present. Cllr Hillard queried the insurance for volunteers and Cllr Richards agreed to check on this point. Cllr Evans asked what the scheme would achieve. Cllr Richards explained it is to assist the businesses and residents and identify visitor behaviour. Cllr Cobb felt only one site should be focussed on, ie The Abbey. Cllr Shewell asked if Cllrs wish to support this and set aside the £500 allocated from the Business Forum towards this scheme as well as the £100 already set aside. All were in agreement. Cllr Richards will relay this back to the Business Forum. Also happy for her to organise the local volunteer training programme.
Wye Valley Villages Project – Email received from Sadie Beer, MCC Projects Officer on 8th July saying tender documents have gone out via the Sell2Wales Portal with closing date for submission of the 27th July 2020. Once received they will review the bids and provide a summary and recommendations on award of the tender.
Works to riverbank opposite Stella Books – Email received 2nd July from MCC regarding a way of finding a permanent solution to the erosion problem. MCC conducted some initial work with mixed results. They intend to revisit in August to supplement the temporary fix. A permanent fix will require a marine licence and is likely to be expensive and there is uncertainty where funds will come from as it is in private ownership. They will give an update as soon as possible.
2916. Reports from outside bodies:-
Lower Wye Valley Building Preservation Trust – No meetings held.
Fryer’s Wharf – Updated quotation received from Digby Civils for £8,300 + VAT. This has now been accepted and the contractor instructed to go ahead. He has confirmed he can commence work in about 6 weeks time, but possibly starting the work earlier if able to work at weekends. The fill material from the bank is not suitable and cannot be used in repair works so will be stockpiled on site. Cllr Hayward reported that the minimal amount of soil involved can be deposited lower down the riverbank. Clerk notify him TCC would be happy if he did the work at weekends, provided the price does not increase. Ask for confirmation on this point and also confirmation of a starting date. Clerk then inform residents when we have a confirmed date and say it is possible he could start earlier if he can work at weekends and ask if they have any objections.
Village Hall – RoSPA Playground Safety Inspection has now been carried out. There is a protocol to be adhered to by the Welsh Government before Halls can be opened and the VHC are working at ways of opening the Hall safely. No enquiries have been made yet by regular groups wishing to use the Hall.
Llandogo School – Pupils were attending the School on a part-time basis up to the summer break. Schools will return in September but it is unclear how social distancing will work. The Head Teacher of Kymin View School has now taken over the headship along with her other duties and will spend at least two day each week in Llandogo.
St Michael’s Church – Restoration work commenced on the 7th July 2020 and is due to finish in February 2021. Arrangements can be made for funerals and burials to be held in the churchyard, but weddings and baptisms cannot be held until after restoration work is complete. The congregation is meeting occasionally in the churchyard and on Zoom, but they have been offered the use of the Milner Lodge at the Botany Bay Activity Centre and are also looking at other venues. Councillors discussed the letter sent to residents informing them that spaces would be reserved on The Wharf for the Contractors to park. This had led to complaints to TCC who had not agreed to this and had not been informed of the proposal. Acknowledgement received of TCC’s donation in 2018 of £3,000 towards W.C. and kitchen facilities at the Church.
2917. Reports from Sub-Committees:- Finance. No report.
2918. Discuss Local Democracy & Boundary Commission’s proposed review of electoral arrangements for MCC with a view to considering and formulating proposals for future arrangements. The consultation period runs from 7th July-28th September 2020 and comments are welcome. Notification received 20th July that in the light of current circumstances with Covid 19 the RLDP Preferred Strategy Consultation which requires local planning authorities to undertake an assessment of the RLDP evidence, has been delayed due to the current pandemic and the preparation timescale delayed and the Delivery Agreement amended to reflect a revised RLDP timetable. The Revised Delivery Agreement will be reported to Council in September 2020 for endorsement to submit to the Welsh Government for agreement.
2919. Containers at the rear of former Abbey Hotel: County Cllr Webb had received an email regarding the containers in the former Abbey Hotel Car Park which are owned by MCC and were originally put in place by the Police. It was suggested they be removed and Cllrs feelings were asked for. Cllrs were all in agreement that they be removed. County Cllr Webb will inform Martyn Evans, MCC.
2920. Land adjacent to Village Hall: The owners of the Filling Station have approached TCC with a view to buying or leasing the small garden area below the Café as due to social distancing they do not have enough room to safely open. Cllrs were approached and agreed they were happy for Mr Kennedy to use the land on a temporary basis as from the 6th July, but put in a proposal to TCC for a short term lease of not more than 5 years, on the understanding they are responsible for any accidents to customers. The area involved does not include the hexagonal bed used by children from the Church Lads Brigade and is only up to the first steps. Clerk ask Vin Kennedy to provide some proposals for the next meeting. All Cllrs present were in agreement with this proposal as long as it was on a lease basis.
2921. TCC Website & Social Media: Cllr Richards had asked if a link to Facebook could be put on TCC’s website to view the Visit Tintern Page in order to support and publicise the tourism businesses. Cllrs felt this was inappropriate and the proposal was withdrawn.
2922. Tintern Old Station: Several complaints have been received about the amount of human excrement being deposited in the fields below due to the fact the toilets are not open. This has been reported to the Police & County Cllr Webb and she will raise the issue with MCC. Cllr Richards has also raised it with the Business Forum and Roger Hoggins. Councillors felt the toilets should be opened as they can be safely accessed without going through the café. It was also felt the car park should be kept open and County Cllr Webb will raise this with Matthew Lewis.
2923. Donation to Passage of Pilgrim Project: A donation to the 2020 Sacred Sight & Sound Festival of up to £500 had been agreed in the budget but this is not now going ahead so TCC had agreed to make some of this available towards the Passage of Pilgrim Project. Email received from Vanessa Dodd asking whether this grant is still available to go towards a poetry and orchestral workshop or whether it can be carried forward until next year if not used this year. Clerk inform her we do not have the money available now for this year due to unexpected works needed on Fryer’s Wharf, but TCC can budget up to £500 for next year if she can give us detailed costings in time for the finance meeting prior to the budget being set.
2924. Correspondence: Guy Delamere, MCC Enforcements re works in progress behind The Rock & Abbotswood. He visited the site and spoke to the owner and was shown the work being undertaken and is satisfied this is maintenance work. Suggested the Tree Officer be approached regarding the trees. Clerk ask the Mr Keech to investigate the removal of the trees. All Cllrs were in agreement with this course of action.
Huw Gwillim, Welsh Government regarding re-opening of Tintern Abbey and works required at the monument. Clerk acknowledge letter and ask if they could keep us apprised of developments.
Mark Hand, MCC regarding free car parking in some towns to support local businesses.
Steve Shaw, Power for People with update on Local Electricity Bill and asking that Councils put a motion before their Council supporting the Bill. Cllr Evans proposed and Cllr Hillard seconded this resolution.
MCC Highways – Notification of temporary road closure Trellech to Botany Bay for telegraph pole repair works on 2nd September 2020.
Mark Hand, MCC re 20mph signed zones in anticipation of proposed 20mph default limit for residential areas currently in discussion at the Senedd and Go Safe and the Welsh Police Forces are working with Welsh Government to develop a policy to cover the new zones. Cllr Richards asked if there is a time scale for this review to be completed. Cllr Evans agreed to contact Go Safe about this. Also ask Mark Hand to ask on our behalf what the time scale is for the review to be completed. We are concerned at the speed of cars and pedestrians.
2925. Any Other Business: Cllr Evans was told by a resident that people with push chairs are misunderstanding the signs by the Surgery & Village Hall. County Cllr Webb will raise this with Matthew Lewis tomorrow.
Cllr Richards - There was a meeting recently and Monmouthshire is considering introducing stricter regulations with regard to dog fouling and enforcing them.
2926. Date of next meeting: 24th August.