Agenda and minutes

Lower Wye Area Committee - Wednesday, 16th October, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Chepstow Leisure Centre - Chepstow. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


No declarations of interest were made.


Public Open Forum


No members of the public raised additional items not on the agenda, for discussion at this point.


Update on Chepstow Hospital: Bronwen John, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board


The Chair, on behalf of the Area Committee, welcomed Bronwen John, Head of Service, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, to the meeting to provide an update on progress against points identified at the Area Committee meeting held on the 17th April and the intentions for Chepstow Community Hospital.


It was explained that there is a clear role in the All Wales Strategy for community hospitals to be utilised as local health, wellbeing and social centres so that there is a locally available range of services delivered either at home, at the GP surgery or another local setting. 


Regarding the reduction in beds, it was explained that the new model is that many more people are looked after in own homes rather than in hospital.  In Monmouthshire, there is strong integrated care through primary, secondary and third sector care.


It was explained that two wards have been moved upstairs and now operate as one unit.  This is beneficial in terms of working practices and is safer for patients.  The move has created space for the establishment of a frailty assessment unit.  The project is currently awaiting funding and it is planned to appoint a consultant for very frail people living in the community who want to stay at home.  The unit will have the ability to access x ray and diagnostic tests so that the patient is enabled to have a short period for tests and assessments then is able to return home as soon as possible.  If a return home is not possible, a bed can be arranged in Chepstow or the Royal Gwent Hospital for further treatment as necessary.


It was explained that main services include Outpatient Services for a wide range of clinics, primary care, mental health services using the former Minor Injuries Unit.  There is also a large older adult mental health facility.  Extensive work is planned to increase capacity for consulting rooms and for the provision of local operations.  There is a bid to create more capacity in the day hospital area. 


One of the benefits of moving the wards upstairs has allowed the older adult community mental health team to have office accommodation in the former Caerwent ward which is working well next to the clinics on the same corridor.  There are likely to be other proposals for the remaining parts of Caerwent and St Arvans wards yet to be confirmed.


It is also hoped to develop an integrated children and families base similar to the pilot project in Caldicot where families experience seamless delivery of services from all sectors. 


Regarding the DVT pathway model, it was explained that this has changed and it is proposed that Monmouthshire GPs pilot this service instead.   This is awaiting costing and approval but the intention is to start before the end of February 2020 if agreed.


In terms of Audiology, additional timetabled slots have improved access for patients 


The Care of the Elderly Service with a specialist from the Royal Gwent Hospital continues and it was highlighted  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


High Turnover of Staff: Inspector Micah Hassell, Heddlu Gwent Police


The Chair welcomed Inspector Micah Hassell, newly appointed Inspector covering Caldicot and Chepstow, to the meeting to discuss the high turnover of staff.


It was confirmed that a cycle of change can be expected going forward as officers’ skills may be needed elsewhere and will be resourced accordingly; a 12-18 month deployment can be considered normal.  It was emphasised however, that regardless of staff changes, priorities set by the local inspectors don’t change and that they continue to drive services locally.


Inspector Hassell was thanked for his attendance, and that of PCSOs at community council meetings. Good communication with county councillors was encouraged with all agreeing that a wider network approach to policing is to be welcomed.


The Clerk was asked to provide a list to the Inspector of the County Councillors representing the Lower Wye area.


Committee Members brought up the following matters:


·         Parking issues in the town:  It was clarified that responsibility for enforcement of parking infringements has been moved from the Police to Monmouthshire County Council.  Committee Members commented on the wider issue of how to rejuvenate business in town, and encourage shoppers and visitors back to the town and the need for appropriate parking facilities.

·         Speeding: It was confirmed that there have been a high number of traffic enforcement calls.  Motorcycles were highlighted as a particular concern.  The Inspector referred to his plans for tactical approaches and intelligent deployment of staff to answer concerns.  The Inspector will be attending a meeting tomorrow to consider speeding in the Wye Valley.

·         Traffic incidents: There have been less collisions at the Prince of Wales Bridge since the removal of the toll booths.  Station Rd has been identified as the location of a higher than average level of accidents and traffic light offences. A representative of Mathern Community Council reported that its members seek details of accident blackspots over a five year period.  It was explained that some accidents are noted as damage only and are non-recordable.  It was also noted that speed is not the sole cause of accidents.  The value of using local knowledge was acknowledged as a valuable resource. 


A member of the public asked at what point speeding motorcycles would be recorded stating that he had reported four motorcycles but received no further information.  The Inspector explained that the early notification provides the ability to identify future issues.  GoSafe vans will also produce prosecutions.  The member of the public was sceptical about the Speed Policy and the use of incomplete data sets.  It was confirmed that drugs and speeding vehicles are the highest priorities in the area.

·         A Member questioned the rationale of a high turnover of staff as relationships build over time.  It was reiterated that frequent staff changes are common in community policing nationally.   Notwithstanding, it was confirmed that there are no moves anticipated.


Roads Update: High Beech Roundabout/ Chepstow By Pass, M48 Link, A466, Road Surface between Bigsweir Bridge and Llandogo - Roger Hoggins , Head of Operations and Paul Keeble, Group Engineer, Highways and Flood Management


·         High Beech Roundabout: It was confirmed that as this is a trunk road, it is the responsibility of Welsh Government.  Welsh Government has commissioned a study to review options for improvement to improve traffic flow in the area.  Assurances were given that the study is during this financial year for works in the following year.  It was confirmed that the options (including those put forward by AB that were suggested at the Transition Chepstow event) have been passed to the consultants.  A commitment was given to circulate the report when available.


·         Feasibility M48 link/Chepstow Study: It was reported that the WelTAG and WebTAG Stage 1 studies have been undertaken and have produced proposals for further investigation.  Some “quick wins” have been identified e.g. better public transport as well as larger projects including a by-pass, rail and bus improvements and better links, and the junction on M48. Tenders have been invited to identify the likely costs of a Stage 2 study; these will be assessed this week.  Consultation with all stakeholders (Welsh Government, Welsh Office, Gloucestershire County Council, Forest of Dean District Council, Highways England) will be the next step.  If funding is confirmed, Stage 2 will involve more detailed consideration of the identified proposals, including Active Travel options for local journeys, to encourage increased walking and cycling opportunities.


A Member complained that updates are being provided to Transition Chepstow but not County Councillors and asked that proposals are made available to ensure that as much local knowledge as position is taken into account before implementation.


            It was queried if any S106 money was available especially from the Fairfield Mabey site.


It was queried if there is any opportunity to put an interim solution into place at High Beech to reduce risk for motorists.


·         A466 Wye Valley: Information was provided that following the works this year, a second tranch is planned for March 2020 dependent on ecology.  It was confirmed that the consultants had been asked about the feasibility of delaying the works for 12 months and there were initial concerns expressed in terms of stability of structure and permits.  A commitment was given to let communities know when the closure might be, before the end of the year.  It was agreed that there were many problems with drivers ignoring diversion signs.


Rail Update - Services to Bristol and Cardiff, Severn Tunnel Junction Development and Chepstow Station: Roger Hoggins, Head of Operations


Unfortunately the rail update was not available and a briefing note will be circulated after the meeting.  Any specific queries will be welcomed.


A Member complained that the lack of a lift at Chepstow Station discourages use by disabled people.  It was confirmed that this matter is under discussion.


An update on progress with the Metro was requested.



To note the record of the last meeting held on 17th July 2019 pdf icon PDF 85 KB


The notes of the previous meeting were agreed as an accurate record.



Items for the next agenda


·         The Clerk was asked to contact Members not present to encourage attendance at the next meeting and to enquire if there are any barriers preventing attendance.


·         Funding response for the Stage 2 WelTAG


·         Invite Welsh Government to attend re: High Beech Roundabout


·         Progress report on Metro.


To confirm the date of the next meeting as 22nd January 2019