COP27 came to a close with pledges and promises similar to those of COP26 but little progress on
limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. However there was one victory – an agreement to set up a
fund in the next 12 months to provide finance to countries facing the worst climate impacts – a
demand that has been made for 30 years by countries in the global south. It is progress for Global
Justice, but with a long road and many political battles ahead to ensure that this fund is indeed set
up and financed on an equitable basis.
And our year draws to a close – it is our AGM at 7.30pm on Tuesday! – where does the time go?
We will receive reports from our Chair, Bryan Miller, and Treasurer, Claudia Blair – and then we
will be electing officers for the year so – don’t be shy, give it a go – nominations please for:-
The agenda together with notes of the last AGM are below the signature line. This will be followed
by a general meeting, the business being limited to Matters Arising from our November meeting
and Any Other Business. We expect that Angela Jones, well known for her work to save our
rivers, will join us. The zoom link is:
Time: Dec 13, 2022 07:30 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 857 4405 7287
On a personal note: Last week I was presented with the High Sheriff’s Award for service to the
community. It was very exciting! – but it is all about you, our members, volunteers, supporters
and the community groups that we work with. My grateful thanks to you all for making Transition
Monmouth the amazing success that it is today – which is all the more reason to attend the AGM to
get the full flavour of our achievements during the past year. Bryan has started on his report and
tells me he is impressed!
We have just heard there will be a drop-in session at the Shire Hall on Thursday 15 December
from 2pm to 7pm as part of the consultation on the Revised Local Development Plan. Please
come and meet MCC Officers, see the latest, and have your say. Details are up on our Transition
Monmouth Chat Facebook page, or I can email them to you.
It just leaves it for me to say we hope you have a lovely break over the Christmas period and thrive
in good health, and with much energy, in the coming year!
AGENDA: Transition Monmouth AGM
7.30 on Tuesday 6 December via Zoom
Join Zoom Meeting
Apologies for absence
Matters Arising from notes of the last AGM
Chair’s Report for the year
Election of Officers for the coming year:-
Close of AGM – followed by a Members’ Meeting
NOTES: Transition Monmouth Annual General Meeting – 23 November 2021 at 7.30pm via Zoom
Present: Bryan Miller, Claudia Blair, Waltraud Engelfield, Vivien Mitchell, Simon Durrant, Clare Catto,
Charles Emes, Barbara Cotterill, Richard Cotterill, Cherry Taylor, Haydn Cullen-Jones
Apologies: Kelly Jackson-Graham, Mary Boase, Beccy McDonald-Lofts, Janine Amos
Note taker: Vivien Mitchell
Bryan Miller briefly described the fantastic year we had despite the restrictions of Covid, taking forward our
amazing Community Fridge, numerous Green Grow projects – working with the ACE Green Spaces Group,
Plastic Free Monmouth, installing a new drinking fountain in Chippenham Park, apple pressing, managing the
Wyesham Community Woodland, and culminating with a high level of involvement with the Climate Future
Festival and an awareness raising event for COP26. Collaboration has been key together with involvement
and dedication from our ever growing band of members. The full report is posted on our website
Claudia Blair reported that we had £23,000 in the Transition Monmouth account but most of this is
earmarked for specific projects, in particular Claypatch Woods and the Monmouth Community Fridge. There
is around £700 in the General Sub-account. The Swap Shop Sub-account has been closed and the monies
transferred to the Green Grow Sub-account.
Election of Officers:
Chair: Deputy Chair, Simon Durrant, called for nominations. Bryan Miller, proposed by Vivien Mitchell, seconded by Barbara Cotterill, was elected unopposed
Deputy Chair: Bryan Miller called for nominations. There were none and it was decided to leave the post
vacant pro tem
Treasurer: Bryan Miller called for nominations. Claudia Blair, proposed by Bryan Miller, seconded by
Charles Emes, was elected unopposed
Admin/Secretary: Bryan Miller called for nominations. Vivien Mitchell, proposed by Bryan Miller,
seconded by Haydn Cullen-Jones was elected unopposed. Waltraud Engelfield and Charles Emes offered to
be note takers
The meeting closed at 8pm and was followed by a Members’ Meeting
. . . . . . . . . .
NOTES: Transition Monmouth Members’ Meeting
8 November 2022 at 7.30 via Zoom
Present: Bryan Miller, Mary Boase, Vivien Mitchell, Haydn Cullen-Jones, Charles Emes, Kelly Jackson-
Graham, Waltraud Englefield, Mike Dunsbee, Steve Garratt, Catherine Fookes, Emma Bryn, Lisa Hicks
Apologies: Charles Boase, Catrin Maby, Janine Amos, Claudia Blair, Beccy MacDonald-Lofts
Note taker: Vivien Mitchell
Notes of the last meeting and matters arising
Local Development Plan: Since our last meeting the following statement has been issued:
Monmouthshire County Council has taken another step forward in developing its proposals for a Replacement Local Development Plan. The Council recently agreed to produce a new growth strategy and has now published those proposals for consideration by the Place Scrutiny Committee on 10 th November 2022.
The new strategy aims to make provision for up to 2,200 new homes by 2033 in addition to the 3,700 homes already in the pipeline or completed since 2018. On new site allocations, approximately a third of the new homes will be social housing for rent and another 17% will be affordable housing available at less than market price. The Plan will also make provision for 6,240 jobs and will be accompanied by an Infrastructure Plan, updated Local Transport Plan and an Economic Development Strategy.
The Council has appraised all the sites which have been offered for development and the new strategy proposes three strategic sites for future housing. These sites will be:
Abergavenny East – 500 homes together with employment, retail, leisure, education and community uses
Caldicot East – 925 homes together with employment, retail and leisure uses
Bayfield Chepstow – 145 homes
Cllr Paul Griffiths, Deputy Leader of Monmouthshire County Council, said: “These sites have been selected because they will add to the sustainability of existing settlements. Residents of these new homes will be well connected to existing town centres, schools and transport facilities. It is my ambition that the homes that are built on these sites will be zero carbon and built to the highest possible standards of design and construction. The Council will work with the Design Commission for Wales, housing developers, and everyone else who can work with us in making these developments the very best places to live – homes that are affordable, well
connected to local facilities and making a positive contribution to our environment. The next two years will be an exciting and creative journey as we ensure that the very best homes are built here in Monmouthshire – homes that will lead the way for every other development in the United Kingdom.”
The new Preferred Strategy will be reported to Council on 1 st December 2022 to seek agreement to commence public consultation. If agreed, this will run from 5 th December 2022 to 30 th January 2023. For more information visit Latest News – Monmouthshire Mark Hand has provided us with the following update link: Agenda for Place Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, 10th November, 2022, 10.00 am (monmouthshire.gov.uk) (agenda item 7). The main report and Appendix 2 are possibly the best parts to read.
Orchard Management Plan: Please let us know if you are interested in participating. Bryan will set a
date for a meeting with Helena Ronicle to discuss – action: Bryan
Skenfrith Flood Prevention Plan: Catrin Maby writes: MCC officers plan to set up local meetings to
update communities on a review of the last flood (MCC do a report on each one – available on website), and
plans for alleviation going forward. This will include Skenfrith and Monmouth – they will let me know as soon
as dates fixed. Essential for us to get NRW along at same time of course. We did have a proposed date late
Nov, but it looks like that may not work now.
Mandarin Stone Boundary: Charles Boase has spoken to Alma Small, the Mandarin Stone owner. They
have a planning application in for the car park area and talked about planting trees in tubs. I asked her
about planting a hedge around the site, but although she considered the idea, it sounded as there was quite
a lot for them to do on the site before they got to thinking about the hedge. So still work to do there. I will keep at it. She responded positively to the request for apples from the site and provided cooking apples to
Monmouth Town Council: Bryan’s presentation on Transition Monmouth to the Full Council meeting on
Monday 24 October went well, with considerable interest from the Councillors. We can, he feels, look
forward to a closer relationship with the Town Council. Vivien did a follow-up email giving further
information on natural flood management and supermarket packaging.
Cost of Living Summit: Catherine Fookes thanked us for attending. Much useful information on local
activities has been summarised in a report which will be used by MCC to determine further actions – in
particular details of the various Warm Places where people can go in the winter months.
Pollution in the Wye and Usk: Martin Sweeney has been in contact with Angela Jones who, as part of
her will known publicity efforts on river pollution, has been funding water quality sampling kits – using these
in citizen science projects and awareness raising work with schools, as well as travelling to schools and
community groups to deliver assemblies and talks, paying for promotional literature, and liaising with media
organisations to raise the profile of the issue. Due to water quality issues, she has been unable to operate
her business, Swim Wild Wye. She is not a constituted group and hence is not eligible to apply for grant
funding. Would Transition help?
Mike Dunsbee praised Angela’s awareness raising activities. His group, Friends of the Lower Wye does little
of this but concentrates on working with the authorities to undertake improvements. He too is not a
constituted group and feels they don’t have the resources to do this, so again, they too would be interested
in Transition helping with their grant applications.
It is clear that the work of both groups is necessary, and yes, pending further discussions, Transition would
be happy to help.
Members were urged to attend the Symposium at Bridges on Friday 25 November with a wide range of
speakers to discuss the issue and the ways forward.
Green Grow/Green Spaces:
Name of the Group: When the two groups, from Transition and ACE respectively, merged, the name of
the new group was chosen as Monmouth Nature Spaces. This has not caught on. It was agreed that the
group be called Green Grow/Green Spaces
Peter Morgan Community Orchard: Much activity:-
Conveyancing is proceeding, with the solicitors for both sides finally talking to each other
Mr B, who claims rights over the property, has been arrested for trespass
We have had notification that 50% of our grant funding from Heritage Lottery has been paid and we
have been given instructions on how to claim the remainder
An AONB grant for a shelter and bench is being applied for
We hope to plant the trees in the next couple of months. Emma to find out whether these will come
bare-rooted or in pots
Overmonnow Primary School: No further developments
Osbaston Primary School: Has been working with Size of Wales. An inaugural tree planting will take
place shortly with representatives from ACE and Transition invited
Monmouth Comprehensive School: Following a complaint from on of the neighbours, we have
undertaken to do some planting round the Phoenix Building. Cheryl Cummings has produced a Food for
Birds planting plan. The only viable way is for the MCC Grounds Maintenance team to undertake the work.
The total cost is likely to be around £1,200 for which we have applied to You Decide. We have also been
working on the removal of docks and thistles on the wildflower meadow and further prepping of the tree
nursery area. We look forward to our first tranche of saplings on 19 November.
Plastic Free Monmouth: Beccy (Chair) has been in touch with Steve Garratt with a view to meeting soon.
In the meantime, Beccy has continued to write articles for Living magazine to raise the profile of being more
eco conscious and going plastic free. She is also in early talks with MCC about possible opportunities and
funding support for running PF Business sessions across the county with the aim to cover Monmouth first.
These conversations have been happening as part of other conversations around the motion for Rivers and
Oceans that MCC has declared.
Community Fridge: Currently, the Fridge costs £430 a month, mainly rent and utilities. Costs continue to
rise while donations have fallen off so funding is a problem. Kelly reported that:-
Monmouth Rotary have been helping out with funding in recent months
The Fridge has obtained a grant of £1,000 from Neighbourly, the organisation that organises the
Funding of £3,000 has been applied for under the Town Council Community Grants scheme
A funding application has been submitted to You Decide – members are being urged to vote – the
more votes, the more money
Period products, supplied free of charge by MCC, are being collected from Chepstow this week for
distribution via the Fridge and other channels.
We ran out of Zoom time so the meeting came to an abrupt end. We will be better organised next month!
Date of next meeting: Tuesday 6 December. Post meeting note: We weren’t after all better
organised and the meeting is now scheduled for Tuesday 13 December