MINUTES OF A COUNCIL MEETING TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY 31st OCTOBER 2023 AT 7.30PM. VIA ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND AT THE VILLAGE HALL.
Present: Mrs Jane Dawkins (Chairperson), Mr David Williams, Mr Gene Taylor, Mr Mark Brian, Mr David Mantle, Mr David Filsell and Mrs Beth Carpenter.
In Attendance: CCllr Jackie Charlton, the Area Traffic Engineer, PCSO Lee Garrett, 1 Member of the public and S Dale (Clerk)
Public participation: Area Traffic Engineer from Powys County Council.
The Officer had kindly agreed to join the meeting and answer the Councillors questions about Llangynidr river bridge. Introducing the topic she described the bridge as a listed structure which cables could not span (due to it's listed nature). The A40 side of the bridge has no electricity and traffic lights cannot function using solar. The recently installed camera is to provide cueing information to the advisory lights that are there. It is known that drivers on the bridge can be courteous, or aggressive and intimidating. There is no better solution at the moment.
Cllrs observed that some drivers cannot reverse!
The signal may not be working on the Llangynidr side of the bridge. Foliage needs to be cut back on both sides on occasion as it can cause problems with visibility.
Do the lights give a false sense of security to drivers? Yes, replied the Officer, that may be. They could be de-energised and the results reviewed.
Technology will move on and there may be a better solution in time.
Cllrs are concerned about the amount of traffic crossing the bridge. Described as a rat run from the A465 to mid-wales, Cllr wanted to know if the traffic could be deterred or the bridge made residents only? The Officer replied not with out a traffic order.
Heavy traffic which can cause significant delays when confronted with the bridge could be diverted by their sat nav if the sat nav companies co-operated.
Additional signs or pinch points may be advantageous at the crossroads on the Bwlch side.
The Officer was thanked for her contribution.
Public Participation: Report from PCSO Lee Garrett.
The PCSO is covering a wide area at the moment. Cllrs were glad he was able to join their meeting. Lee hoped for a recruitment drive in the New Year for more PCSOs.
In the period 30/9 to 31/10 there have been 11 calls:
A van was stolen from a delivery driver, it has not been found.
Burglary of a shed where scuba equipment and a bike were taken.
Lee observed that as the clocks go back so crime goes up.
The blue van has gone from the car park in Llangynidr.
A lady who lives in Bwlch now has the care she needs.
An incidence of the blackmail of a very young person has been documented.
A road was blocked by a fallen tree.
Minor accidents happening very often on the mountain road, near the junction with the Llangattock Road. Cllrs asked for the use of a coloured coarse tarmac on the road, as it had helped elsewhere.
6 quads have been taken recently so Lee urged everyone to be careful.
A group of 8 motorcyclists drove through the village with no license plates. Thought to be off-roaders, a Cllr wondered if the practice is illegal. Yes.
Overtaking of the high school bus when children are disembarking was roundly condemned. It is a dangerous practice.
Cllrs asked Lee why the Dyfed Powys Police and the Blaina Gwent Police do not seem to co-operate enough. He replied that both sides are working on the matter and the root of the problem is lack of personnel.
Cllrs asked if the high school bus could be invited to enter the car park to enable children to disembark safely. JC offered to ask.
A request from the PCSO: Lee asked people to make statements or take pictures of anti-social behaviour and to send them on to the Police.
The Officer was thanked for his contribution.
1. Report from the County Councillor.
The Beaufort Road stock grid near Pen Rhiw Garn is to be corrected shortly. But the road will have to be closed for the day (possibly even longer). The access gate does not open readily, a councillor asked if it could be looked at before the work?
Over grown verges will be discussed at the Village Conversation.
The bus service will improve in the New Year with an additional service at about 5pm from Abergavenny.
The canal bin at the Forge Road junction with the canal will be exchanged for a larger bin. The bin be the pre-school entrance cannot be moved yet.
Beaufort Estate Common tree planting progresses.
County Councillor Surgery dates for the next year :
Saturday 16th December 23 10.00am to noon.
Saturday 17th February 24 10.00am to noon.
Saturday 20th April 24 10.00am to noon.
Saturday 15th June 24 10.00am to noon.
Saturday 17th August 24 10.00am to noon.
Saturday 19th October 24 10.00am to noon.
Saturday 21st December 24 10.00am to noon.
The street sweeper is on it's way but may not be able to do the gully clearance requested.
The clothes bin in the car park is to go, PCC will get it moved.
The next Village Conversation is set for Saturday, 13th January. The topic is Climate Emergency and Volunteering. The Guides and Rangers are coming to raise their objectives as are the Village Hall. There will be tea and cakes.
National Flood Management - flood mitigation in the area. There is a flood alert.
Speeding on the common and associated stock deaths have been investigated by a Police Officer. He found that the speed limit (60mph) was rarely broken but that it was too fast for the road and should be 40mph. Should there be stock fencing?
The 20mph limit seem to have been well received with only some negatives. The cost of signage across Wales was £32M, it is estimated to save some £92m per year. Defacing the signs has happened in the village no feedback on where the culprits come from.
Go Safe Report - A report has been included in Contact covering the last observation i.e. Thursday 31 August 5.30 to 6.30 pm. We noted 10 vehicles with 2 at 40 mph or above. Max speed 41 mph.
Observations coincided with use of the playground for football and village hall for judo. Several vehicles turning in and out of both car parks. Plus children crossing. Road was wet. A car overtook a car turning into the car park, speed recorded at 40mph. Vehicles slowed to pass volunteers, increasing speed as they approached the Forge Road junction.
Before observing the effect of the 20mph we await site reevaluations and the new speed limits to be embedded.
Training of new volunteers seems unlikely until after all the sites are reassessed which may not be until next year. Two (of the six) have submitted completed forms to Gemma (Go Safe Officer)
Re educating motorists on passing horses 'wide and slow' I have yet to see any councillors to gain their views.
I’m still awaiting a response from the British Horse Society to provide us with some awareness raising for re-educating motorists on passing horses. More on this on another day.
John Williams (Safety Officer) has provided me with a report regarding three sites he has visited, two 20 mph sites and up on the Mountain Road between Llangynidr and Llangattock. I have summarised here:-
B4560 Llangynidr to Beaufort and covering Llangattock to Beaufort:-
i. All subject to 60 mph national speed limit
ii. Routes used by commuters, tourists, motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders and livestock are across the whole area
iii. Crux of the reason for surveying this road is the stock deaths and perception of speed
iv. During visit time traffic levels quite low
v. There was no evidence of going above the national speed limit therefore no enforcement issues
vi. Will continue to survey
The Speed Watch volunteers will be out and about again as soon as risk assessments and other administrative details are in place for the new restricted 20 mph. The general feedback on 20 mph is positive. On Forge Road the speed generally is still too high but is apparently less than it was.
A member of the public asked if the speed watch report had been circulated. The clerk replied that it had been circulated to Councillors.
JS and HD
3. Declaration of interest in items of business listed below:
4. Signing of the minutes;
26th September 23, 23rd August 23, 2nd August 23, 19th July 23. Approved
a) Budget information and bank reconciliation for September 2023. Approved (cheque for the Village Hall was drawn, authorised in January 23)
b) Virement of £30 budget from car park rates to cover the car park hedge trimming cost. Approved
c) Cheques approved in October 2023:
Cleaning the car park (Oct) £40.00
Clerk’s wages and stationery allowance (Oct so) £478.60
Cleaning the public conveniences (Oct) £280.00
British gas (elec. for the public toilets Oct DD) £24.17
Car Park non-domestic rates (Oct DD) £86.00
Car Park flower bed and verge maintenance (Oct) £90.00
“Contact” support £150.00
Viking toilet supplies £118.78
Viking toilet roll holder £46.76
Zurich Insurance (see item 8) £446.43
Hedge cutting at the car park £380.00
d) Cheques approved in September 2023:
Cleaning the car park (Sept) £40.00
Clerk’s wages and stationery allowance (Sept so) £478.60
Cleaning the public conveniences (Sept) £280.00
British gas (elec. for the public toilets Sept DD) £24.17
Car Park non-domestic rates (Sept DD) £86.00
Car Park flower bed and verge maintenance (Sept) £90.00
6. Planning Applications:
Ty Canol, emergency services mast equipment, 23/22364/TEL. No objections.
- Training courses from OVW November and December. Send on to HD, no requests for training.
- Powys Local and Nature Partnership funding.
Powys Teaching Health Board Minor Injuries Survey report by 3/11. Councillors ask, please remain at 24 hours, it is a highly valued service.
8. Insurance renewal, Zurich have offered £446.43.
Last years cost was £431.68. Next year a competition must be held. Approved
9. Vans overstaying in the car park.
Make signage bigger? There is also a car (silver Audi) which has stayed a long time. To be reported to the PCSO.
10. Green man traffic plan to be discussed.
DM and GT will represent the community council if a meeting can be arranged. The egress is the major portion of the problem, it is not just for one day but extends the 2 weeks after the festival, including the large lorries taking equipment away.
11. Community Garden site.
The Village Hall Committee and the Burial Ground Committee have told the Community Council that their land may not be used for a Community Garden. The Community Council would like to offer Llangynidr Veggies a home in the narrow end of the car park. CC Garden Design and Construction Limited came up with 2 alternative plans which are available on request. The next step would be to write a mutually agreeable lease and check the planning status of the land. The Community Council hopes that Llangynidr Veggies considers the idea and associated plans and awaits their decision.
12. Five Councils' liaison panel hosting for November 23.
Wednesday 22nd November at 7.30pm Llangynidr Village Hall. Agenda to be confirmed.
13. Remembrance Day arrangements.
MB, HD and JD will attend. The Chairperson, JD, will lay a wreath on behalf of the Community.
14. RAAC investigations at the public toilets for Welsh Government.
Clerk to ask a local Architect if they can recommend a suitable qualified professional. The CC has no early documentation on the toilets which might reveal the date of build or the quality of the materials used. Clerk to report back at the end of November.
15. Review of Democratic Health in Town and Community Councils.
Clerk to respond by 27/11. Particularly noting the demographics in rural Powys.
16. Special Water Training request for access to the riverbank.
Approved, Clerk to inform the NHS.
17. Book project for the bus shelter progress.
Adjourn to next time as HD is away.
18. Volunteer group needed for bracken clearing project.
Adjourned to the January meeting.
19. A tree inspection is required.
A local expert may be persuaded to inspect the trees. DM will ask. Clerk to supply the details.
20. Bannau Brecheiniog National Park Authority decision feedback.
Councillors are keen to see the officer reports, Clerk to circulate.
21. Pen March Turbines development consultation 24/11/23.
Clerk to write to the Pen March Wind Turbine Project to revisit the case for financial assistance to re-build the public toilets.
22. Persondy Field millennium hedge query.
BC has had a look at the hedge, it is some 200m long. It needs cutting by hand, and there are not many people who can do it. There is a lot of dogwood in it and some hawthorn. JD will speak to a local person who could be interested in the work.
23. Go Safe, Speed watch and 20mph restrictions.
Covered in JC's report at item 1.
24. Any other business (for information only)
Litter picking date 2nd December 23. To be published.
Public Toilet lights are on very late at night and early in the morning, is it necessary? Deters vandals and costs about £25/month.
There is a live local band at the village hall on Saturday 18/11/23, all are welcome.
25. Reports from other meetings.
26. Any agenda items for the next meeting.
Date of next meeting; Tuesday November 28th, 2023.
There being no further business to discuss the Chairperson closed
the meeting at 9.15pm.