Minutes of a meeting of the above Council held by telephone conferencing on Monday 4th January 2021.
Present: Cllrs Shewell, Hayward, Evans, Ashman, Cobb, County Cllr Webb & the Clerk.
2300.Police Report: Attached.
2301Apologies for absence: Cllrs Hillard, Richards & Hoskins.
2302.Declarations of interest: None.
2303.Approval of minutes of previous meeting: Approved & signed as correct.
2304.Financial Report: BMM A/C £5,642.40, Community A/C £12,056.07. Amount spent to date on revenue £14,238.65, capital £1,547.76.
2305.Accounts for payment:-
Clerk's Salary & Expenses - £325.00 (Ch. No. 300207)
Christmas Tree - £180 (Ch. No. 300208)
Merlin Waste - £33.80 (Ch. No. 300209)
All approved for payment.
2306. Planning Permissions: None. County Cllr Webb reported that MCC are currently seeking a flood consequence assessment on the planning application at the Royal George Hotel so the earliest it will go to planning committee is March.
A466 Future Closure - MCC continue to be on track to undertake stabilisation works at the start of April 2021. They anticipate having the necessary consents from WG by late January and then be in a position to appoint a Contractor. They will also be submitting a bid to WG for funding in the new financial year to undertake the works. Some businesses had requested work be delayed until 2022, but they cannot support this request as works are needed urgently to make the A466 safe. Cllr Ashman asked for confirmation that if lockdown procedures get more onerous MCC will still continue with the work. County Cllr Webb will ask Mark Hand for confirmation from the contractor on this point. Cllrs present felt the work should be done this Spring. MCC will provide a press release of the proposed programme of works after their meeting with WG and appointment of a contractor. Cllr Shewell requested County Cllr Webb to seek assurance that the businesses would continue to get maximum financial support from MCC during the lockdown and works on the A466.
Tintern Business Forum/Business Resilience Forum - The next meeting of the MCC Business Resilience Forum will be held 8th January. The majority of businesses will receive some financial support from WG but this is far below the level of their continued outgoings. Some smaller businesses have still not qualified for any grants. Clerk ask Cllr Richards for a list of the active participants of the Forum. County Cllr Webb requested by Chairman to look into the circumstances of businesses who have had no relief.
Wye Valley Villages Project - Arup have been appointed to put together a masterplan. Meeting took place on 17th December via Teams hosted by MCC and Arup and took the form of a SWOT analysis. Attendees were asked to suggest strengths of the current environment, roads, etc and to suggest opposing weaknesses. These were taken away by Arup for analysis and to form the basis of their plans.
Highway 53.4, Pontysaeson & other Unclassified Roads - Consider whether there are any other unclassified roads in the area where off-road bikes and vehicles should be banned. Cllr Richards had requested Unclassified Roads 381/53-7/1 (from Limekiln Woods to Porthcasseg) and 381/53-17/3 (Churchgrove) and 381/53-14/1 (Chapel Hill) be reclassified as either footpaths or bridleways. Cllr Shewell asked whether Councillors wished to have all or some of the three routes down-graded. Councillors did not support any being reclassified at the moment, especially as some of the routes give access to properties, but would like them to be maintained and access restricted to prohibit off-road vehicles, except for genuine access. It was agreed the Clerk should ask Mandy Mussell, MCC for a TEAMS Meeting to discuss the issues and ways of possibly alleviating the problem. Cllr Shewell requested County Cllr Webb to raise the issues with MCC and for a follow-up site visit as soon as restrictions permit.
Tidal Power - Cllr Evans has approached the Wye Valley AONB for guidance on obtaining a grant. While they believe this may qualify for a grant they raised several obstacles. Given the weight of issues and amount of work and commitment needed TCC need to consider whether this is within the remit and expertise of the council, especially as TCC will cease to exist as a body following boundary changes. Cllr Ashman would like this to be taken forward and would be happy to get involved. Cllr Evans felt it is beyond his expertise. Cllr Cobb felt AONB would have more input. TCC would be happy to support the idea but as a council do not have the expertise to act on it. Cllr Shewell requested the community be asked if there is a community group who would like to become involved. Cllr Evans was asked to draft a notice to go on the website and in the Tintern News to ascertain whether there is a community group who would like to take this forward.
2308.Reports from outside bodies:-
Lower Wye Valley Building Preservation Trust - No report.
Fryer's Wharf - During the recent storms some of the rocks in the stream adjoining Fryer's Wharf that were installed by Digby Civils following last winter's floods have moved due to two lots of water converging. It was felt that if the drains had been cleared up Trellech Road this may not have happened. Clerk to contact Digby Civils and request a meeting with Cllrs Hayward & Ashman to discuss the matter. County Cllr Webb requested by the Chairman to raise this issue with MCC.
Village Hall - Closed under current restrictions for the foreseeable future. The Doctors Surgery has asked if the Hall can be used as a vaccination centre if required and VHC have agreed as long as appropriate steps are taken re Covid rules.
Llandogo School - The School is closed as of Monday 4th January under current Covid restrictions. The consultation document for the federation of the School with Kymin View issued by MCC to parents and interested parties. The federation has been actively sought by the governing body to bring together the like-minded ethos and strengths of both schools for the benefit of the children and staff. The School is already benefiting from the strong leadership of the head teacher supported by an experienced deputy from Llandogo's team. Subject to agreement by all parties full federation should be completed by September 2021. The School gave thanks for the recent grant from TCC.
St Michael's Church - Due to lockdown no services could be held over Christmas. Not yet been given a completion date for the restoration work, but hopefully not far off.
2309.Reports from Sub-Committees:- Finance. Discuss the 2021/22 Precept. Due to likely further costs being incurred at Fryer's Wharf (see above under Agenda No. 2308) it was felt TCC should put in a contingency amount of £5,000 therefore bringing the amount of precept required to £25,810. This reflects significant essential expenditure required at Fryer's Wharf and the Village Hall.
2310. Present & Approve Annual Return for 2019-20: Finalised accounts have now been completed by the external auditor and returned to TCC. Two minor issues were raised, ie prior year's minutes not available on website and Trust Funds Disclosure Note incorrectly answered. Councillors agreed to the approval of the annual return.
2311. Tintern Ambassador Scheme: Bridges Charity will continue to bear the continuing cost of participation in this project. The only future possible cost to TCC may be PPE. A virtual meeting is pencilled in for 20th January.
2312. Relocation of Litter Bin to Wireworks Bridge & installation of concrete pad: MCC have agreed to relocate this bin but stated the cost will be £70 and asked if TCC are prepared to pay this. Councillors agreed that they were prepared to bear this cost. Clerk confirm this with MCC provided MCC's operatives are prepared to empty the bin at its new location. The relocation of a bin on the riverside promenade to the Wireworks Bridge is in hand with MCC. Cllr Richards had asked if TCC would be prepared to purchase more dog waste bins but as agreed at the November Finance Meeting it was felt TCC could only afford to purchase one at the moment to be located up Chapel Hill to replace a bin which was formerly there. Clerk to check with MCC as to whether they still have a spare dog bin available and if so arrange for its installation.
2313. Proposal for Wye Valley Internet Radio Station: Email received from Rob Campbell, Wye Severn who is trying to set up an internet radio station to cover local interests in the Wye Valley. They are hoping to have a Zoom meeting to discuss it. Clerk say we note it is proposed and ask him to keep TCC informed of progress.
2314. Issue with off-road bikes: Further reports from residents of off-road bikes travelling up the unclassified route by St. Mary's Church. This has been reported to the Police on numerus occasions and they say they patrol the affected areas on a regular basis. Clerk raise this again with the Police as this is an ongoing problem (as discussed under Agenda No. 2307).
2315. Continuing drugs issues in the village: It has been reported that groups of people have been seen gathering for drugs use, ie village hall car park, the Abbey car park, the former Abbey Hotel car park and St Mary's Church. Clerk to raise this with the Police.
2316. Correspondence: Welsh Government - Draft proposals for review of electoral arrangements in Monmouthshire. First stage of review of electoral arrangements completed.
One Voice Wales - Notification of postponement of local government by-elections until May 2021.
2317.Any Other Business: Email received from AONB with details of a scheme they have with Western Power to underground some lower voltage power lines. Any suggested locations welcome.
Cllr Shewell reported on the damage done to the road at the bottom of Trellech Road and adjacent properties due to recent flooding. Cllr Hayward had already reported it to Roger Hoggins at MCC who has briefly visited the site. The Wye Valley Hotel are concerned about damage to the parking bay outside Gothic Cottage and possible costs to them. Councillors requested that TCC ask for a meeting to look at these specific issues and ask when work will be done to address the damage. County Cllr Webb will ask for a meeting and also ask MCC to clear the roads of debris. Cllr Shewell requested County Cllr Webb to liaise with the Wye Valley Hotel re the damage.
Cllr Evans reported that Mark Belcher has planted a number of native oak and horse chestnut saplings that were donated to him.
Cllr Ashman reported that another tree has fallen on Restricted Byway 381/49. There is a concern that where MCC have carried out a temporary fix of the original damage this has moved the problem further down the byway. Alan Carter has already reported the problem to Richard Garner at MCC but awaits a reply. County Cllr Webb will raise the issue and ask them to contact Cllr Ashman and the Clerk.
Cllr Ashman asked what the rules were on the shooting of crossbows in the woods. Clerk report this to the Police.
Cllr Richards had raised an issue about the rules regarding the holding of remote meetings and/or holding them in the Village Hall and felt TCC should have carried out a proper risk assessment. The Village Hall when open have carried out their own risk assessment. Cllr Shewell proposed and all Councillors present agreed that TCC continue to hold meetings remotely for the forseeable future. Councillors present felt undertaking a risk assessment at present is unnecessary as rules are constantly changing. Councillors decided a risk assessment re future meetings post lockdown was not reasonable or required at present as any future restrictions are as yet unknown. The matter to be reviewed when the Village Hall is open again and conditions as to its use are publicised.
2318.Date of next meeting: 25th January.