Minutes of a meeting of the above Council held on Monday 22nd February 2021 at 7.00pm by telephone conferencing.
Present: Chairman Cllr Shewell, Cllrs Hayward, Hillard, Evans, Cobb, Ashman, Richards, County Cllr Webb & the Clerk.
3033.Police Report: Attached. Cllr Shewell stated that she was not happy about the way the Police had dealt with the filming incident in Tintern when she had reported it and proposed registering a complaint. She had been referred to the Sergeant by the Community Team and despite assurances given, he did not return her call. Councillors were happy for her to do this.
3034.Apologies for absence: Cllr Hoskins.
3035.Declarations of interest: Cllr Richards re 2344 (Fete).
3036.Approval of minutes of previous meeting: Approved & signed as correct.
3037.Financial Report: BMM A/C £5,642.40, Community A/C £13,907.85. Amount spent to date on revenue £15,382.72, capital £1,547. £3,165.73 paid in on 3rd February 2021 from Axa Insurance to cover the cost of stream embankment repairs at Fryer's Wharf.
Cllr Richards asked if TCC have any spare money as a contingency. Cllr Shewell confirmed that there is a sum of about £2,000 set aside.
3038.Accounts for payment:-
Village Website Hosting Fee - £71.86 (Ch. No 300213)
Merlin Waste - £42.25 (Ch. No. 300214)
Digby Civils - Fryer's Wharf repairwork to stream embankment - £4,554 (Ch. 300215)
Clerk's Salary & Expenses - £309.25 (Ch. 300216)
Councillor Allowance for Cllr Richards - £150 (Ch. No. 300217)
Earth Anchors Ltd - 2 Noticeboards - £626.40 (Ch. No. 300218)
MCC -Dog Waste Bin - £226.80 (Ch. No. 300219)
All approved for payment.
3039. Planning Permissions:
DM/2021/00118 - Barbadoes Meadows - Alterations/rebuild. Approval recommended.
DM/2021/00214 - Lagreach, Botany Bay - Removal of Condition 3. Approval recommended.
DN/2020/01829 - Agricultural Building at Llan-Y-Nant Farm, Trellech Grange. Approval recommended subject to more detailed information being provided by the applicant with regard to discharge of slurry from the site and landscaping/screening of the site and TCC would like MCC to take this into account.
3040. Updates:- A466 Future Closure - MCC have confirmed that essential safety works to stabilise the rock face are to be undertaken commencing 6th April 2021 with a 4 week full closure followed by 2 week single lane closure with traffic lights. They have issued a press release detailing the work. County Cllr Webb was asked to check that this can be put on the website immediately.
Cllr Shewell stated she was not happy about the detail of the work as no guarantees have been given and no contractor appointed and are still waiting for final approval from the Welsh Government. All Councillors registered their disappointment at the lack of certainty.
Tintern Business Forum/Business Resilience Forum - Business Resilience Forum have not met since Xmas due to Covid and probably will not do so until the end of lockdown. There is a Social Media Training Course on the 3rd March and Cllr Richards is intending to arrange an online meeting of Forum Members in the near future.
Tintern Ambassador Scheme - Hope to start advertising early March.
Wye Valley Villages Project - MCC had a Teams meeting on 9th February with Arup to give feedback on their Stage 1 Plan. Cllr Evans has been contacted by Rita Edwards, St. Arvans CC as they understood the original plan was road safety and this now appears to have become secondary. They are arranging a meeting with MCC to discuss this.
Highway 53.14, Church Wood Road - Following request for this route to be downgraded in February 2020 a response was received from Graham Kinsella, MCC on 8th February 2021. He reported that this is a highway with all associated rights of passing over it and is available for any vehicle, bicycle or pedestrian to use. In order for vehicular rights to be removed a Traffic Order would need to be introduced and physical barriers installed. Cllr Richards felt a site meeting is needed so that TCC can explain to MCC the issues with off-road bikes on Chapel Hill. Highway 53.14/1 branches off from Highway 53.17/3 and is a dead end, leading only to Church Grove Cottages. Off-road bikes tend not to use it but illegally drive straight up Bridleway 64/1, which also leads from Highway 53.17/3, to connect to the forestry road, causing damage to the surface of the bridleway. To prevent this problem Highway 53.17/3 and 53.14/1 should be downgraded. Cllr Shewell pointed out that arrangements were already in place to try and set up a Teams Meeting with MCC and County Cllr Webb agreed to follow this up.
Wireworks Bridge - Glos CC's Contractors will be carrying out some investigation works on the bridge between 22nd-26th February. Clerk thank them for the update and ask they let TCC have a report with future proposals when available.
3041.Reports from outside bodies:-
Lower Wye Valley Building Preservation Trust - No report.
Fryer's Wharf - Repairwork to the stream embankment. £3,165.73 received from Axa Insurance to cover this work. Work carried out weekend of 13/14th February.
Village Hall - The Hall remains closed for bookings and events except for use by the GP Surgery for Covid vaccinations.
Llandogo School - Foundation Phase children will return 24th February starting with Year 2 only. 25th February for Years 1 & 2 and 26th February for Reception and others. Online learning will continue for foundation until their first day back and will then be continued in school. In order to maintain social distancing for adults the staggered start and end with the current one-way system will continue.
St Michael's Church - Services continue to be held by Zoom and are well attended. An Extraordinary General Meeting of the PCC was held on 21st February to ensure they have a properly functioning PCC. They anticipate restoration works will be finished by 24th February apart from connecting the sewage pipe. Possession of the Church should take place on 26th February. They are planning a soft Covid-safe re-opening in the near future for members of the congregation with a proper celebration in September to hopefully coincide with Patronal Festival St Michael's Day.
3042.Reports from Sub-Committees:- Finance. The amended precept totalling £20,810 has been submitted to MCC to take into account the reduction of the £5,000 set aside for Fryer's Wharf embankment repairs in the precept.
3043. Film Crew at Tintern Abbey: A lot of concerns had been raised by members of the public about the complete disregard to public safety and the fact TCC were not informed in advance that this number of vehicles and people would be in the village. Cllr Shewell had spoken to Midge Ferguson, TV Locations Manager and expressed TCC's concerns, but he denied there were any breaches. However matters were significantly improved on the second visit. Clerk & Chairman to send a letter to him asking that they liaise with TCC in future and acknowledging that issues arising from their first visit appeared to have been resolved and a greater following of rules appeared to have been adhered to and are happy to welcome the film crew. TCC accept that filming in the village is good for Tintern as long as rules are followed, access is restricted and adequate signage erected.
3044. Tintern Fete: The Fete will not now be held on the 26th June 2021 in view of the uncertainty regarding Covid 19 restrictions. The Committee provisionally plan to hold a mini-Fete for local residents on the 4th September so will not be widely publicised. The aim is to make the event free of charge where possible. A limited range of free entertainment and live music will be organised if permitted. They are planning a high profile Fete for the 25th June 2022. The Committee hope that TCC will still be prepared to give the £500 budgeted for. All Cllrs agreed that this amount could be given.
Highways Gloucestershire - notification of temporary A466 closure for embankment stabilisation works, between Redbrook & Bigsweir, March 2021. Also temporary closure of road from Bigsweir to Whitebrook from 22nd February for 3-4 weeks for repair to a slip.
Census Engagement Manager, MCC re Census 2021.
Philip Thomas, MCC Dev't Services re water quality and phosphate levels in Rivers Wye & Usk and implications for planning.
Ruth Waycott re Greenways Route to Tintern. Funding may be available through SDF and she asked if there is any infrastructure which could enhance the visitor experience. Cllr Richards has done some research into possibly installing some bicycle lockers as there will probably be an increase in the number of bicycles visiting the area. She also asked if any Councillors wished to join a zoom meeting when and if any funding is forthcoming for Tintern and asked if TCC would like her and another councillor to attend. All Cllrs were in agreement that she and Cllrs Cobb & Ashman attend and she will reply accordingly.
3046.Any Other Business: Mrs Janet Saunders had previously asked whether there was any possibility of TCC publishing draft minutes on their website in advance of final approval. Agenda for discussion in March.
Cllr Ashman re Restricted Byway 381/49. Another tree came down last weekend and roots have taken out some of the path and he has arranged for a tree surgeon to take some trees out on his property at the end of May. County Cllr Webb is pressing for a meeting with MCC.
Cllr Hillard re Fryer's Wharf and work left to be done to the drainage from the Church. They are waiting for Welsh Water to do some work before they can appoint sub-contractors.
Cllr Richards reported that ambassadors had commented on the tiredness of facilities around Tintern Abbey, ie road signs with paint rusted off, rotting plants on pavement edging, fence behind the car park nearest to the Abbey is leaning towards the river and installation of some hardstanding to gain access to the dog bin and interpretation panel. She asked whether MCC could be approached to do some work whilst in lockdown. County Cllr Webb agreed to approach MCC with a view to some work being carried out.
3047.Date of next meeting: 29th March.