OLD HAMLET OF LLANMARTIN RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION
MINUTES OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Date: 30 September 2020Venue: Via the medium of ZOOM
Present: Carol Bryant, Jacqui, Janet, John Harper, Mark, Brenda, Richard, Sue and Tony Ford
Apologies: Heather Jones, Hilary Prest, William Routley and Martin Stone,
1Chairman’s Welcome: Mark opened the meeting bywelcoming all those present and outlined the Agenda for the evening. Mark also outlined the procedures for using Zoom for those members who had not previously used the medium.
2Minutes of last meeting: Agreed for accuracy and signed off.
3Matters arising: These were covered by Agenda items.
This has been a strange and difficult period due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst the pandemic has affected many people in different and significantly difficult ways, the association has simply become more dormant. Much has gone on in the background as usual supporting the local community and keeping the community looking good.
The most significant event for us an association has been the recent passing of Carl Jefferson. Carl and Janet were the instigators of the association about 20 years ago and have been driving forces throughout the years since. Carl was always keen to include as many people as possible into the association and the events that we hold. His enthusiasm for the association was an inspiration and and an example for us all and he will be sorely missed. A report about recognition of Carl will follow in the secretary’s report.
From the date of the last AGM in March 2019 until the lockdown across the UK in March 2020, the association carried on with the usual events and activities. The summer lunch, harvest supper, bonfire night, lighting up the Christmas tree and Christmas carols in the barn were all successful events bringing members of our community together and raising some funds to enable us to keep the association going. Since the lockdown in March we have been unable to hold any events and as things stand the proposed bonfire night will probably not go ahead. No future events have been planned and will not be considered until there has been a relaxation of current lockdown restrictions.
The proposed AGM at the end of March was the first event to be cancelled and we have been waiting for the right time to hold it. Constitutionally it is a requirement to hold the AGM and have it open to all members of the association. This year it is being held by the media of Zoom. We have already held a couple of committee meetings by this media and found it very helpful, not quite the same as ‘live’ meetings but much better than nothing. Although the AGM has been delayed we have decided to change our year end date to 30th September. This will be the new year end date until further notice.
We continue to maintain the lay-by and the triangle at the top of the Lane. The lay-by is kept in good order thanks largely to the efforts of our current treasurer, Richard, who cuts the grass on a regular basis. He is assisted by Bryn who regularly does the strimming around the lay-by. We also maintain the patch where we hold our events. We have just commissioned a local farmer to help us cut back the overgrowth of brambles and the hedges. The patch has effectively become smaller over the years due to this overgrowth so this will help us when we get back to using the patch again.
We also have continued our interest in the Wales in Bloom project. Last year we were awarded our usual silver gilt award but the gold medal still evades us. This year the Wales in Bloom judging was cancelled but we hope that it will be back next year. We thank Wyneira, Janet and Carol J for their input and hard work in keeping our interest in the competition going. Our thanks also to Ian Neale for his hard work planting vegetables (courgettes, marrows, etc in the planters in Doug’s field and in the planters on Magor Road. Recently the committee decided that for next Spring we will plant clumps of bulbs in strategic parts of the community to give us some splashes of colour from January through to April. We have purchased a number of a variety of bulbs including snow drops, crocuses, daffodils and grape hyacinths. We will be asking for volunteers to plant some of these bulbs at the front of your properties for the visual benefit of all.
I would like to thank all members of the committee for all their efforts this year (and a half), much of this work goes unnoticed but this work is essential to keep the association going. Special thanks also to our treasurer, Jacqui, and secretary, Richard. I wish everyone well and hope we can get back to our usual activities soon.
I received an email dated 9thJune, asking if we would be interested in taking part in a new initiative concerning Neighbourhood Watch. I responded “Yes Please” on 11th June, and gave my name as our representative (provisionally) and my email address
They replied 15th June, to say sorry, but due to current situation they could not proceed, and they would be in touch as soon as it were safe to do so..
I received a further update on 25th September, apologising for delay. They were still unable to begin face to face prevention training sessions however they offered to send copies of crime prevention leaflets by post if required. I have replied and await the leaflets
Arnside, Magor Road
The new owners of Arnside applied for planning permission to develop the property. The alterations were to include a dormer window, overlooking Pencoed Lane, and French Doors out of the lounge into the front garden (overlooking Magor Road).
Jacqui Ford is litter picking along The Magor Road from the crematorium to the entrance to the village hall
Susan and I are covering the stretch from the village hall to the motorway bridge.
John Harper is doing Pencoed Lane from Magor Road to the corner at the top..
We would welcome additional volunteers to join the group, if anybody is interested.
The Sale of Pencoed Castle
As you are probably aware the castle and over 60 acres of land, (which has planning permission for development and the construction of 12 houses) was put up for sale on line by auction on 17th September, through Allsopps (a London auction house).
The reserve was £950,000, and bidding was initially slow (rising in £1000s). Bids then rose more quickly finally reaching £1,150,000.
We have not yet been able to discover who bought the property.
Watch this space!!
The Sale of the Guest House
The Guest House (adjacent to the Church and the Church Hall) has been sold with outline planning for building 2/3 houses.
A bench in memory of Carl and all he has done for the Asssociation, has been designed and made by Tony Ford. It will be positioned on the lay-by, and will be unveiled at a time to be agreed early in 2021
Funds have been allocated to two Road Safety contingency projects by Lanhstone Community Council.
The first is the installation of Junction VASS units where both Hendrew Lane and Llandevaud Lane meet the A48, together with pedestrian safety improvements. Newport City Council is preparing a submission to Welsh Government for part funding of this project.
Second, is the reduction of speed through the length of Hendrew Lane, Llandevaud Lane and Pencoed Lane from 60 mph. The ideal new sped would be 20 mph, but it is probably sensible to aim for 40 mph as a step in the right direction.
Jacqui outlined elements of the financial report for the year, a copy of which can be viewed on the Hamlet Website when the Minutes of the AGM are posted, or in the Hamlet Newsletter.
(a)As a result of the recent pandemic and the severe restrictions that we are all facing, it was decided to suspend Hamlet activities in March 2020. Our financial year end was 31 March 2020 and the accounts would have been accepted and audited following the AGM at that time. Discussion took place on the date of our new financial year which will commence on 1 October 2020. Our Statement of Accounts for the year 2019 – 2020 will now be for an 18 month period.
The annual accounts have not yet been audited but will be audited in the near future.
(b)The cash book currently stands at £1,167.81 which is a decrease of £77.20 on the previous year and well in line with the figure required by the Committee (£1,000 balance) to allow for contingency plans.
(c)The main source of income remains membership fees with funds collected for 2019-2020 from 26 homes. There were 2 age exemptions. Subscriptions for this year (which remain at £20) are now payable and forms have been distributed to every household in the Hamlet. So far 13 residents have paid in advance for the financial year 1 October 2020 – 30 September 2021.
(d)We all benefit from income received – which covers the excellent Hamlet Newsletter, our Hamlet website and maintenance of the green and cemetery which enhance the Hamlet and, of course, the social occasions.
(e)Other sources of income include Grants from Langstone Community Council for maintenance of the Green and Churchyard and receipt from an insurance claim for the damage done to the planter on the top triangle caused by a vehicle crashing into it.
(f)Our events such as the Harvest Supper Auction are generally charity events with the income this year going to the Mayor’s charity - our special thanks must go to the Auctioneer extraordinaire, Graham Lynch. Income was also generated from Bonfire Night and the raffle at Carols in the Barn, and charitable donations were made to St David’s Foundation and an animal charity chosen by Jean Morris (Vet) following her talk at last year’s AGM.
(g)Expenditure throughout the year consisted mainly of maintenance of the green spaces, which include the planters, hanging baskets and Bethel cemetery. We received delivery of topsoil for the planters in Doug’s field and we entered Wales in Bloom but our entry has been deferred to 2021.
(h) We have Public Liability Insurance with Zurich – payment relates to 2019/20, but owing to the pandemic Zurich have given us 15 months insurance for the payment made.
7Election of Officers:
Chairman: In the light of the suspension of our activities from March – September and the reduced activity caused by the continuing restrictions, Mark agreed to continue with the role of Chairman.
Secretary: Richard has also agreed to stand again in his role.
Treasurer: Jacqui will continue in this role.
Sue will continue as a committee member and Janet will continue with her role as coordinator of our website, newsletter etc.
Wyneira and Carol will continue supporting the Association, with a particular interest in Wales in Bloom and Hamlet events.
Carol Woods will be approached to see if she would like to maintain her interest in attending committee meetings. Eirlys will be approached to see if she would like to remain as a member of the Wales in Bloom Sub-committee. Richard is to approach Mike Gracia to see if he would like to join the committee and build on his excellent work with his website.
8 Any other business:
• Mark has agreed a price of £130 to be paid to James for the clearing of Doug’s field. It was agreed that this was a very competitive price. Mark has ordered topsoil for the damaged planter to that it can be replanted. Mark has also ordered a large quantity of bulbs (as minuted at the last meeting) which will be distributed around the village for planting. Photographs will form part of our Wales in Bloom portfolio and add a touch of colour to the hamlet. Tony has offered to make ‘dibbers’ to aid everyone planting bulbs.
• Richard was concerned about the damage caused to the village green when the Christmas tree was erected last year. As Newport CC have to erect the tree and the Garden Maintenance company use a cherry picker to put the lighting on the tree, it causes further damage. Jacqui will approach the Garden Maintenance company, via Langastone CC, to see if they can roller the green after the tree/lights have been removed.
• John raised the issue of large lorries using Pencoed Lane which were too heavy and noisy. Carol Bryant highlighted that this was also a problem through to Llandevaud and had approached Will Routley. Carol agreed to take our concerns to Will Routley again.
• Janet raised concerns about the dogs which run around the top of the village unsupervised. They were joining Pencoed Lane from the large open gates of the Johnsey residence. She was concerned that this may cause an accident. Uncertain what action can be taken.
Date of next general meeting: To be determined as the need arises, again by the medium of Zoomom.