March 2016

Recently I was attracted by a bay tree in a large container outside the entrance of a hotel. From a distance it seemed in very good condition but on closer examination there were signs that it was becoming pot bound.

There was a pool of rainwater standing on the surface, a sure sign of inadequate drainage. Bay needs good drainage and I think that this tree should be re-potted into a larger container making sure that there is plenty of drainage in the form of crocks plus a free-draining compost mix, (50:50 potting compost and grit.)

Over the years I’ve planted a variety of trees and shrubs in containers. At one time if I came across a seedling, I couldn’t resist growing it on – from horse chestnut to rowan, from conifers to hazel and I have learned to make sure that I have kept re-potting into larger containers and that the vital drainage is a priority. I must admit that I’ve had to chop up a plastic pot to release a shrub that had become completely pot-bound and at one time I remember having to smash up a ceramic pot. That mistake cost me dearly- some of the most attractive ceramics are quite expensive. Now I make sure to only use plastic.

I have a 10 year old Acer palmatum which I would like to keep in a pot for as long as I can and it’s already been re-potted several times. Obviously some of my trees and shrubs have reached the stage where keeping them in pots is no longer viable. These are planted here and there around the village and have thrived – notably in upper Walston Road around the Pound Lane area. Footnote: You may remember my mentioning the squirrel and the coconut. Well I did get another coconut and it didn’t take long for the squirrel or one of his mates to spirit both halves away- this time within 24 hours! There was no sign of it on the ground so how he manages to cart it away is something of a mystery!

Woodland block decision

In July 2015 Redrow put forward proposals to remove a woodland block consisting of 27 mature trees from their Grange housing development in order to accommodate an additional 3 properties. This was contrary to Redrow’s original application which promised to retain and improve the woodland block as a wildlife corridor which provided an important visual buffer for Clos Llanfair residents.

The Vale council received a number of local objections including a petition from Clos Llanfair residents, and a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) was placed on the woodland block by the Council’s Tree Officer. Redrow made an objection but following letters of support from WRAG and local residents, planning committee then voted to confirm this order.

In October 2015 Redrow amended their plans and proposed to retain the woodland but to incorporate the trees as part of the rear gardens of the new properties. This was also deemed unacceptable by local residents and council ecology officers so our objections continued.

Finally, this month Redrow gave in and reverted back to a plan similar to their original proposals with only one additional dwelling. This reserved matters application was approved unanimously by planning committee and work can now continue on the next phase of housing at the development with the woodland retained and protected. Additional S106 payments will be granted to Wenvoe to compensate for the additional dwelling.

We would like to thank Tree officer Margaret Krzemieniewski, Ecology officer Erica Dixon, Councillor Jonathan Bird, and local residents who all played a part in the successful outcome of this case.

Full plans can be viewed via the Vale of Glamorgan Planning Register

2016-03-04 Village Whist

Although we were only four tables, we spent a very pleasant evening with old friends. Winners were Bert and Mieke, second came Gwynne and Marie. Congratulations!

I also want to call your attention to the Military Whist in the Golf Club on Thursday 31st March at 7.30pm. If you wish to take part in this event, you need to organize a table of four. If possible, let Beryl know. If not, just turn up and enjoy!

With Easter being so early this year, our Easter whist drive will take place after Easter, on Thursday 14th April. I also want to ask that the people who suggested last year’s charity, Welsh Hearts, get in touch with me to arrange the donation. Hope to see you all again next month!

Footsteps – Bedwas

Parking in Bedwas outside a church, we set off up hill walking towards Trethomas. Bedwas’s origins in the coal industry were clear as looking to our left huge spoil heaps crowned the hills; for the first time this year (on one of our walks) topped by a lovely blue sky.

As we progressed up the hill we came upon a ruin and this was to prove to be a feature of the day. It was a route dotted with ruins and even small slag heaps, one looking like a pyramid. From Trethomas our route took us northeast, west towards Ty canol, then in a generally northerly direction above the Sirhowy valley.

As we headed across a waterlogged field we found an old green lane with trees arching overhead, casting dappled shadows in the sunlight and dry underfoot – lovely. We came upon a farm and a sheep dog decided to join us. I’ll refer to it as ‘he’ but in truth he had such a thick coat that we couldn’t tell whether it was a male or female and one of our party named him/her ‘Fluff’.

On came Fluff through the farm gates (which he could have got under), across a series of fast flowing streams and through an area overgrown with bracken and brambles, all this uphill. At this point he got fed up with the rough going and went through a hole in the fence and ran across an open field – as if to say ‘what on earth are you doing scrambling there when there’s this lovely field to run across’.

We assumed that he’d got a bit bored with us as we watched him run off to herd some sheep in the distance. We continued upwards and, as we looked back, could see Fluff looking at us from the other side of a fence around the field below us. Now we thought 'he’s on the wrong side of that fence so that’s the last we’ll see of him'.

Still climbing, we were confident we’d lost him until 5-10 minutes later there he was again walking alongside us. We decided that if he stuck with us for the whole walk we’d bring him back home by car. Then we arrived at a boggy bit of moorland where a farmer and his wife were putting out feed for their cattle.

Being farmers they were well equipped and produced a dog lead, put it on the dog and lifted him into their tractor cab. They were amazed at how far he’d followed us and promised to take him back home. We carried on over the top of the ridge at the head of the valley and headed south. We were exposed to a very cold wind and even though the sun was shining brightly, we kept moving to stay warm.

Dark clouds appeared in the distance and cleared off quickly. There were superb views out to the channel and we could see England clearly. As we started to descend we came through some very wet lanes, some flooded. One was so deep that we walked tentatively through it, trying not to create any waves which would have allowed water into our boots.

Soon we found a high sided lane, which became our refuge for lunch. Towards the end of our break we heard the sound of a hunting horn, moving away and then coming closer and closer. A shadow passing across us let us know they were in the field behind us. A lone hound went bounding up the lane in front of us.

footsteps02Some time later the master in his red coat came out of the field and passed us, followed closely by a pack of hounds, none of them paying us any attention so intent on their task were they. Four black jacketed riders and another red jacket joined them from the opposite direction and they disappeared back down the lane. One of them said they were out training and we hadn’t seen a fox. Some distance away we could see sheep on the hill flocking together and rushing across the hill side, we hoped none of them were pregnant ewes.

We packed up and continued, mostly down hill and crossing very full streams. Arriving in Bedwas we had walked 8 miles and climbed 1400ft. All day we’d been saying isn’t this marvellous – no rain and sunshine from start to finish magic!

2016-01-21 Council Minutes



held on 21st January 2016 at 7.30pm at Wenvoe Community Centre


Cllrs. C.Frost (Chair), J.Bird, T.Case, N.Harmer, E. Jervis, V.Jervis, I. Moody, L. Owen, C.Thomas

1/16              APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE.


3/16              APPROVAL OF MINUTES.
That the minutes of the Council meeting 17th December 2015 be approved.

4/16              POLICE MATTERS
CPSO Keiron Byrne, in attendance, explained he and PC Mark Goulding were now policing Wenvoe out of the Llantwit Major Police Station.

The period mid-December to mid-January saw only incident of note, the theft of clothing from the garden centre.

Cllr E. Jervis reported on an instance of vandalism to a vehicle in St. Lythans.

Resolved: CPSO Byrne be thanked for his attendance.

5/16              PLANNING MATTERS

(a)  New Planning Applications referred for consultation:

  Application No. Location & proposal Applicant
(i) 2015/01478/FUL



Style Gardens, Port Road, Wenvoe
Proposed alterations to the existing Style Garden Centreto include a single storey extension to the front of the


Garden Centre to provide a new and improved entrance

area; a single storey extension to the rear to accommodate

an enlarged coffee shop and the erection of a canopy over

the existing outdoor plant sales area at the rear of

Garden Centre

Resolved: Support.

Style Gardens Ltd.



(b)  Planning updates, previously reported applications:

  Application No. Location & proposal Applicant



























Land south of Old Port Rd/A4050 Roundabout, Culverhouse Cross
5 no. stand alone sale boards and 7 no. flags


McDonalds Restaurant, Valegate Retail Park,  Culverhouse Cross
Minor extension (11.5sqm)to accommodate an additional booth, for fast forward lane and improved operations.


Wenvoe Quarry, Wenvoe
Proposed continued implementation of planning permission No. 1999/00957/FUL without compliance with condition No. 2 which stated “No operation authorised by this permission, with the exception of restoration and after-careworks, shall take place after 27th. March 2016”.

Style Gardens Ltd.






McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd.






Cemex UK MaterialsLtd

Resolved: That the decisions of the Planning authority as above be noted.

Consideration was given to a report from the Clerk and Responsible Finance Officer detailing receipts and payments since that reported to the previous meeting of Council.
Resolved: Approved.

7/16              PRECEPT  and SCALE of CHARGES 2016/17
Consideration was given to the recommendations of the Finance Committee held 14th. January 2016.


(i)              That the minutes of the Finance Committee held as above be approved.(ii)             That the recommendations of the Finance Committee be accepted.
(iii)            That, as recommended by the Finance Committee, the Council’s precept 2016/17 be £26,000.

8/16              DRAFT LOCAL GOVERNMENT (WALES) BILL – Consultation
The Clerk reported on the above and an invitation to attend a Welsh Government Engagement Event 2nd February 2016.
Resolved: That the matter be referred for discussion to an informal meeting of all Members to be held 9th February 2016, 19.30hrs at the Community Centre.

9/16              CHAIRS URGENT MATTERS

10/16            HEALTH & SAFETY MATTERS
(a)  Whitehall Quarry – Vehicles routing southbound from St. Lythans Rd. via Old Port Rd. to Wenvoe village are turning in error towards the quarry.
Resolved: Clerk to contact Cemex regarding suitably placed signage north of the junction in question. 

(b)  Defibrillator – Clerk updated Council on quotations received. (Minute 133/15 (c) December 15 refers)
Resolved: Clerk to contact WG to enquire regarding possible sources of funding, Cllr Owen to make enquiries of the Ambulance Service.

(c)  Twyn-Yr-Odyn children’s play area, new swing seat still awaited – (Minute 109/15(a) October 15, 133/15 (c) December 15 refers)

 Resolved: Clerk make arrangements as necessary.

11/16            CORRESPONDANCE
(a) S106 –  update regarding correspondence from Vale Council officers regarding securing funding for a replacement library building.

(b) WG Play Sufficiency Assessment – Clerk to respond re play areas at The Twyn and the Grange.

(c) Holocaust Memorial Day – Events at Arts Central , Barry.

(d) Chapel Terrace proposed redevelopment –  update received from Newydd Housing.

(e) Mr S Jones, School House, Wenvoe, access licence (Minute 119/15 November 15 refers) – Legal exchange imminent.

(f)  WG Great War ongoing commemorations – Partnership Day invitation to attend.

(g) HM Queen’s 90th Birthday, WG invitation to light  beacons – Cllr Bird obtaining quotations for gas fired burners.

(h) VoG Rural Communities Development Fund, invitation to apply for funding – applications to be made in respect of car parking at the Community Centre and at Station Rd. playing fields.

(i) WG inviting applications for paid posts of Vice Chair and Independent Members to NHS Wales.

Resolved: All noted.

12/16            REPORTS OF CHAIRMAN, CLERK AND MEMBERS                   

                    The Clerk withdrew whilst the following matter was discussed


Clerk to the Council, Review – Chair updated Council regarding progress and that One Voice Wales had been engaged for the purpose.

Resolved: That the actions of the Chair be endorsed.

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