Agenda and minutes

Lower Wye Area Committee - Wednesday, 14th December, 2016 10.00 am

Venue: Chepstow Leisure Centre, Wye Valley Room

Contact: Democratic Services 

No. Item


Declaration of Interest


There were no declarations of interest made by Members.


Public Open Forum


No matters were raised during the Public Open Forum.


To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 29th September 2016 pdf icon PDF 101 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on the 29th September 2016 were confirmed and signed by the Chair as a true record. 


Matters Arising:


·         Capital Funding Requests: It was agreed that responses should be within a set time.  It was noted that there were still two missing applications for Capital Funding requests.  It was agreed that Mrs. D. Hill-Howells should be contacted and requested to provide a response by e mail to all Committee Members.  The matter to be an agenda item at the next meeting.  It was advised that the is £5000 available until review of area committees is completed. 


The Committee was informed that Shirenewton Community Council had submitted an application under previous rules and an outcome is expected.


·         Tourist Information Centre: The Committee received an update that since the last meeting, there had been a constructive meeting between Walkers are Welcome and other interested parties, and attended by County councillor P. Farley.  The meeting facilitated useful dialogue on this and some other developments and progress had been made.  




Update from Aneurin Bevan University Health Board on Chepstow Hospital and Health Care in South Wales


The Committee welcomed representatives of the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board to the meeting - Mr. N. Wood, Chief Operating Officer and Mrs. P. Hapgood, Assistant Divisional Nurse, Community, to the meeting to provide an overview of community health facilities (Chepstow and South Wales) from the ABUHB’s perspective.


The Clinical Future Strategies for the future development and delivery of health services in the region were introduced.  It was explained that new and existing hospitals are being evaluated from an estate and service perspective to ensure they are fit for purpose for the future. It was explained that permission has been granted by the Welsh Government to construct a 462 bed Specialist and Critical Care Centre (SCCC) in Llanfrechfa.  This will provide a highly specialised environment to support the treatment of patients who need complex and acute emergency care in the region and will open in 2021. 


It was explained that Accident and Emergency services for ambulance patients will be provided in the SCCC with support from the regional hospitals for minor injuries (Ysbytty Ystrad Fawr, Ysbytty Aneurin Bevan, Nevill Hall and Royal Gwent Hospitals).   It was noted that patients referred via their GP will still go to the Royal Gwent Hospital.


It was explained that the Health Board is currently consulting upon a “Care Closer to Home” strategy for the Greater Gwent region.  The strategy proposes that as many services as possible would be delivered locally in integrated hubs in Monmouth and Chepstow. 


It was confirmed that there will not be a Minor Injury Unit in Chepstow Hospital.  A Member stated that a petition, with 2500 signatures had been met with indifference and questioned why there had been no public consultation on this important matter.  It was added that many residents in the Chepstow area travel to Lydney and District Hospital for minor injury services.  It was suggested that the decision was revisited particularly in view of the changing needs of the population and the availability of public transport services.


It was confirmed that the Health Board is aware of the use of Lydney and District Hospital and that discussions are in progress with GPs in Monmouth and Chepstow about delivering minor injury care locally in primary care centres to improve access to services in these areas.  Reference was also made to the difficulties in accessing a GP in Chepstow, noting that when GPs are nearing retirement, it is difficult to arrange replacements.


The Health Board representatives acknowledged and understand the concerns expressed regarding service changes and confirmed that engagement is a priority. It was explained that there are a number of choices in order to provide a more consolidated approach particularly in areas such as Monmouth and Chepstow.  It was explained that bigger, integrated centres that deliver more services can use the workforce more effectively.  It was explained that there are challenges to overcome in relation to elderly and mental health patients are availability, and also e.g. lack of availability of domiciliary care.


A Member queried how  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Overview of Rural Development Funding


The Committee welcomed Mr. A. Smith, Strategic Investment and Funding Manager to the meeting to report on the delivery of the Rural Development Programme (RDP). 


It was explained that the authority administrates the Leader Funding element of the RDP for 2014-20 covering all eligible funding areas north of Newport and Monmouthshire known collectively as the Vale of Usk for which £2.7m revenue funding has been secured.


It was explained that a local development strategy was needed and, consequently, consultees were asked to determine priorities to define where the funding should be spent.  It was concluded that the five main themes for Leader funding should be:


·         Adding value to local identity and natural and cultural resources. (£492K).

·         Facilitating pre-commercial development, business partnerships and short supply chains. (£492K).

·         Exploring new ways of providing non-statutory local services. (£492K).

·         Renewable energy at a community level. (£356K).

·         Exploitation of digital technology. (£630K).


It was explained that projects must be community led from the ground up and the main focus area is promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas with a focus on the following areas:


(a) facilitating diversification, creation of new small enterprises and job creation;

(b) fostering local development in rural areas;

(c) enhancing accessibility to, use and quality of information and communication   

      technologies (ICT) in rural areas.


It was further explained projects must address one or or more of the following cross cutting themes:


a)    Equal opportunities including Welsh Language.

b)    Sustainable development.

c)    Poverty and social exclusion.


It was confirmed that there was no maximum grant limit currently and award of funding is related to outputs from investment.  It was explained that eligible activities are subject to 20% match funding (RDP 80%).


It was explained that there is a 2 stage Process starting with an idea form which is assessed by the relevant theme sub group (team of officers).   If approved a full application is invited, again assessed and scored by the sub group with final approval of all projects by the full Local Action Group (LAG).   It was noted that online voting has been introduced for the LAG to speed up the process.


A copy of the papers from the presentation were requested to included contact details for further information.


In response to a query, it was confirmed that a Community Council is eligible to apply in both categories.  It was commented that the name Vale of Usk may confuse some potential applicants as it suggests it is not for our area.


It was questioned if the expenditure was on track and noted in response that difficulty was being experienced in getting ideas from groups but work was being undertaken to encourage applications.  In particular, it was reported that there is limited interest in renewable energy projects.  It was noted that a marketing adviser has been engaged and a press release will be issued through the MCC website and via social media.  It was suggested that the Tourist Information Centre would be a good conduit.






Petition - Reduced Speed Limit A466 Tintern - Old Station pdf icon PDF 1 MB


A petition requesting support for a speed limit in the vicinity of the entrance of the Old Station, Tintern.


It was reported that the matter is ongoing and that a survey will be considered in January.  It was commented that the speed limit should be extended to Brockweir Bridge.


It was noted that a road safety seminar was planned for the following week and any issues should be forwarded to County Councillor A. Webb.









To note the date and time of the next meeting as 13th March 2017 at 10.00am


The date and time of the next meeting was confirmed as 13th March 2017 at 10.00am.  It was suggested that the venue should be The Old Station, Tintern.