Minutes of the Council Meeting held on Wednesday 22nd June 2016 at 7:00pm in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Abergavenny.

Present: The Mayor, Cllr C Woodhouse.

Cllrs N Tatam, D Simcock, J Prosser, Ms S Dodd, P Jordan, Mrs S Woodhouse, D Edwards, Ms M Toombs (who arrived at 20:15), Mrs M Powell, S Horrell, M Hickman, Mrs M Harris and R Harris.  

In attendance:  G M James (Assistant).

Prior to opening the meeting The Mayor invited Members to join him in silent tribute to the MP, Mrs Jo Cox, who was brutally murdered last week.

The Mayor began by explaining a combination of technical issues and staff illness means it has not been possible to circulate minutes of the Council meeting held on the 11th May or the Projects Meeting held on the 26th May, therefore a re-run of these meetings is necessary in order for matters to progress. 

Some confusion ensued with several Members questioning whether decisions made at the previous meetings would stand.  The Mayor explained that as a minuted record is not available the Council has no option but to reconsider agenda items.  The decision on whether it is now necessary to hold a separate June meeting will be considered at the end of this meeting.

1821.    Apologies for absence:  Cllr Edwards reported Cllr Toombs will arrive late.

1822.    Declarations of interest to be made as and when necessary.

1823.    Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 13th April 2016 were received and adopted as a correct record subject to the following points of accuracy being made:   Page 1: 21 crimes recorded in Lansdown, not 312; “No turn left” sign from Princes St now in place; Page 2 Item 1814 (2) they seek support from “councils” not “communities”; (6) An opinion was voiced (not considered); Page 3 Item 1816 addition “9. R Hoggins: email re toilets”.

  1. Matters arising:

            The serious issue of drivers ignoring the new “No Right Turn” sign in Princes Street was raised by Cllr Edwards.  Cllr Prosser stated several tickets have been and will continue to be issued.

Cllr Jordan reported drug trading from a property in Brecon Road has stopped following a raid and arrests.

The Mayor informed Members during a recent engagement he had spoken with the Mayor of Crickhowell concerning services cuts.  They discussed the future possibility of both Councils working together to fund some form of joint road sweeping agreement.  

In response to confusion arising as to which page of the minutes was being referred to it was suggested pages be numbered in the future.  This was unanimously agreed.

1825.    The following minutes were received and adopted as a correct record:

a) Planning Committee held on 13 April 2016.

b) Projects Committee held on 28 April 2016.

1826.    Matters arising from the above minutes:

Projects Committee: 

1.    Cllr Prosser reported advertising has been facilitated.

2.    Cllr Jordan advised waiting until the County’s Annual Meeting for guidance before adopting the revised Model Code of Conduct.

1827.    Finance Report:

a)     The following payments were authorised:


                   Merlin Waste: dog bins                                   £508.50

                   NR&CA Bailey: civic functions                        £76.26      

                   NR&CA Bailey: gas for beacons                       £41.50

                   C&C Binley: repairs                                         £95.00

                   Angel Hotel: Mayor’s Reception                  £1,276.40

                   Jems Catering: three buffets                            £120.00

                   M D Bristow: salary                                     £1,227.13

                   HMRC: Tax and NI                                        £802.12

                   G M James: salary                                          £232.25

                   P Johns: salary                                             £1,597.56

                   Zurich Municipal: insurance                            £926.22


                   NR&CA Bailey: civic functions                       £277.32

                   C Woodhouse: Mayor’s allowance                £2,150.00

                   J Prosser: Deputy Mayor’s allowance               £215.00

                   M James: postage                                             £15.36

                   Kings Arms Hotel: community toilets               £250.00

                   Tithe Barn: community toilets                          £250.00

                   Watch & Glass Cutting: engraving

                   town awards, past Mayor’s medal                      £77.50

                   Ricoh UK Ltd: photocopier part                         £67.39

                   C Woodhouse: soft drinks Mayor’s Parlour         £14.92

                   Cable News: library papers                                £37.60

                   Merlin Waste: dog bins                                    £406.80

                   G M James: salary                                           £232.45

                   P Johns: salary                                             £1,597.56

                   M Bristow: salary                                          £1,227.13

                   HMRC: Tax and NI                                         £801.92

b)     Month 1 Finance Reports were received and approved.

1828.  Correspondence:  the following items were considered:-

1. MCC – May dates for Abergavenny Funfair – noted.

2. Clerk & Councils Direct Circular  – noted

3. Monmouthshire Scout AGM – noted.

4. WG letter to D McIlroy re Llanfoist Bridge – the Mayor has since written to D McIlroy stating there is nothing the Town Council can do – also referred to County Cllrs Hickman and Edwards.

1828 Reports:

1. Cllr Edward informed Members a report is due to be circulated on options for Area Boards. The format is to change and will widen, allowing anyone to take part.  They are also considering changing the name from Bryn Y Cwm.

2. The Mayor and Town Clerk attended a Town & Community Council Event hosted by MCC.  Whilst MCC has saved 18 million it needs to save another 14 million over the next few years.  The management team has been reduced meaning it will not be possible for them to attend area committee meetings – they plan to request action points instead.  They propose operating a “hotline” to help Clerks monitor quality of replies/submit complaints.   Town/Community Councils will need to do more and prove good governance and transparency. 

Mark Draper’s report on the boundary review is due to be circulated soon.  Several Members reported they had heard these plans had been shelved. 

3. Cllr Hickman attended a meeting with Welsh Water regarding proposals for up-grading the sewerage works in Llanfoist.  It will have increased capacity although the “20 feet concrete box” is anticipated to prove an eye sore initially.   He also reported “Castle Oak” is proposing to build a 70 bed care home by the McDonald site in Llanfoist.   It will be 50/50 residential and dementia and provide 100 jobs.

4. Cllr R Harris reported changes to recycling from September means glass will need to be separated in to boxes.  Grey bags may be re-introduced.

5. The Mayor attended the Town Team presentation on plans for the hub reporting there to be a slight amendment in that the Town Clerk’s office is to be sited upstairs next to Mayor’s Parlour.   A secure area for artefacts has been requested. 

6. Cllr Dodd reported on the Cycling Festival noting bunting should be put up over the weekend.  She proposed a cycling themed window dressing competition is again organised with the windows judged by the Mayor and certificates presented.   This was seconded by Cllr Jordan.  As feedback from shopkeepers referred to previous prize monies being too high it was suggested £50 is awarded to each of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.  Cllr Hickman proposed the prize money be £75 for 1st, £50 for 2nd and £25 for 3rd place. This was seconded by Cllr Jordan and duly agreed.

Cllr Dodd informed Members she had spoken with Bill Owen who, despite receiving assurance the street refurbishment would be finished in time for the cycling weekend, had been told two weeks ago the town centre route could not be used under any circumstances.  Whilst this problem has been resolved it now transpires British Cycling has condemned Nevill Street because of the drainage channel.  Different options are currently being investigated, and if necessary a different street may be used and the finish line repositioned. 

7.   Cllr M Harris attended a CCTV meeting.  Due to its outstanding success there was nothing really to report, suffice to say the number of people apprehended is going down as hot spots are targeted.  There is however an ongoing problem with clustering in areas without cameras and Councillors were asked to inform her of any hotspots or problems.  If cameras can be moved they will be.  The next meeting is due in November.  The Mayor reported there is a hotspot by the old cemetery on Old Hereford Road, apparent even during school-time. 

1830.    a.     Members’ representation on other bodies for 2016/17 was reviewed.  The following changes were agreed:  “Communities First Partnership Board” changed to ACE; “Town Team” renamed “Team Abergavenny” and Cllr Prosser appointed Agi-Urban representative.  Its was noted Cllr D Simcock had been appointed Deputy to the MCC Planning Committee in a previous meeting.

            b.    It was agreed to defer approval of the Standing Orders 2016/17 until the County’s Annual Meeting has taken place for guidance on amendments (if any) required.

            c.    The annual attendance record for Councillors was received and noted.

1831.   Agenda Items:

1.Red Card for Dog Fouling:  Cllr Prosser attended a meeting of the Red Card for Dog Fouling Scheme with Members of the police force.  He reported it as interesting and recommended the Council join the scheme.  This was unanimously agreed. 

The Mayor attended the Action Day in Bailey Park with the Chairman of the Friends of Bailey Park who informed him he is chasing a sign from Tim Bradfield (MCC).  Cllr Prosser reported he has requested signs to keep dogs off the playing field and this is currently being looked into. 

Cllr Edwards recalled the Town Council has been battling dog mess for 25 years.  He reported levels of dog mess in Castle Meadows are now being described as horrific and questioned whether the time has come to introduce designated dog walking areas, like those in Belgrave Park and at the Mardy.

2. Abergavenny Agri Urban Project:  Cllr Prosser presented a verbal report on his visit to Barcelona and Mollet Del Valles where he attended various meetings and discussed various incentives, from which he reported there is a lot to be learnt. A written report will be circulated in due course.   He was presented with a book on Mollett Del Valles and had signed the Manifesto on behalf of the Council, which he asked the Clerk to retain.  He informed Councillors they were welcome to attend meetings should they choose.  A press release is due to be issued later this week.

3. Town Team Relationships:  Minutes of the Town Team meeting held on the 21st March 2016 were received and noted. 

4. Medium and Long Term Plan for the Town:  The Mayor reported the Town Team and Council are working together as one body to produce a Town Plan. Matters are progressing well with talks due to take place with representatives from Aneurin Bevan Health Board.

1832. There were no questions for County Councillors.

1833. Members Reports:

1. Cllr Tatam attended Team Abergavenny and Transition Town Meetings.

2. Cllr Simcock attended the Mayor’s Charity Evening

3. Cllr Prosser spoke with Roger Hoggins about the repairs required to the monument –grant funding is being sought and whilst a price has been provided by Mr Prys-Williams the grant application requires three specialist quotes to be obtained. Investigative works are ongoing on the sewers in Ross Road.  He attended the Eisteddfod and had been very proud to present the Douglas and Edna Edwards Shield to Cantref.   He also attended the Armed Forces Raising the Flag event on behalf of the Mayor, Usk Civic Service, visited Barcelona, a Friends of Bailey Park meeting and is looking forward to the Royal Welsh Freedom March next May.

4. Cllr Dodd reported she had judged the art competition, attended Mons Day, Cllr Powell’s Charity Evening, met with Bill Owen and attended the ADTA Social Evening.

5. Cllr Jordan attended the former Mayor’s Charity Evening and KHS Governors Meeting.

6. Cllr Edwards attended Cllr Powell’s Charity Presentation.

7. Cllr Powell attended the Charity Presentation Evening.

8. Cllr Horrell attended the Mayor’s Charity Presentation, Mons Day, OLSM Governors Quiz Night.

9.Cllr Hickman attended and presented prizes at the Eisteddfod/Eisteddfod  Art Competition, Mons Day, Charity Presentation, KHS Sports, Town Area meeting. He reported the British Legion will be holding a Freedom March on 6 or 7 May 2017 at midday. 

10. Cllr R Harris attended Cllr Powell’s Charity Evening.

11. Cllr M Harris attended Cllr Powell’s Charity Evening

12. The Mayor and Mayoress attended:  OLSM Symphony Orchestra, Mons Day Service, Installation, Public Realm Meeting, MCC Chairman Installation, Salvation Army Car Wash, excellent Eisteddfod Concert, Cllr Powell’s Charity and Town Clerk Retirement Presentation, Eisteddfod drop-in event, Give Dog Fouling a Red Card, Elvis Concert, Crickhowell Open Galleries Launch, Community Education Centre Art Exhibition, Steam Rally, Town Team meeting re town plan (Mayor only), MCC Civic Service, Town Hall re-development meeting, Cibi Walk Toilets (Mayor only), KHS Sports Day (Mayor only), Filipino Independence Day celebrations, Gwent Young Farmers Rally, Abergavenny Theatre Group, LDP meeting re Town Plan (Mayor only), KHS Governors Meeting, Lady Llanover Exhibition, Usk Scouts AGM, Boots Opticians opening, Alzheimer’s Coffee morning, Mediaeval Wedding, Eisteddfod Winners Concert, Tourism Association Social evening, Alzheimer’s Singing Group, Team Abergavenny meeting, Town and Community Councils Information Sharing meeting, Homestart AGM, Town Plan meeting.

1834.    Any Other Business:

1. The Mayor informed Members Mrs Tina Meredith, the founder of Abergavenny’s twinning association with Sarno, had recently died, reporting she was a remarkable lady.  Cllr Edwards agreed, recalling she raised over £10,000 for Sarno when a landslip resulted in over 200 deaths.

2. The Mayor asked Members to consider an addition to the Honours Board.  He proposed Mrs Jeanette Massocchi for her work in the Eisteddfod   Cllr Edwards reported he would be very happy to second this proposal.  It was suggested this be placed on the agenda for formal approval in the July meeting.

3. Cllr S Woodhouse informed Members the Council needs to hold a meeting in order to receive and approve the Annual Return prior to despatch to the external auditor. It was agreed to hold this on Wednesday, 29th June at 7:15pm. 

4. Members were asked if they wished to hold a June meeting or leave the next meeting until July.  Cllr Hickman proposed the Council next meets in July (2nd Monday as normal).  This was seconded by Cllr Dodd and duly agreed.

As there was no urgent business to report it was agreed to cancel the Projects meeting scheduled for the 24th July.  The Town Clerk Advisory Meeting was also postponed.

The business of the Council Meeting being concluded Members proceeded with a re-run of the items discussed at the Projects Meeting on the 26th May 2016. 

Following conclusion of business the Mayor thanked Councillors for attending and closed the meeting at 8:30pm