meeting notes

ACE Meeting Notes From 29 June 2023

Here are the minutes of the last ACE Open Meeting.

Meeting Title: ACE Open Meeting
Meeting date and time: Thursday 29th June 2023, 7pm
Venue Details: Zoom

Present: Rebecca Cunningham, Charles Emes, Vivien Mitchell, Cherry Taylor, Mark Lidley

Apologies: Clare Catto, Sue Parkinson, Jem Jenkin-Jones
Agenda and Notes

1. Welcome and apologies for absence

2. Introductions

3. Update on Chair

ACE is still looking for a new Chair. Do drop ACE an email at where any questions with regard to the position will be happily answered. If a Chair is not found by the end of September, the structure of ACE will need to be reviewed.

4. Air Quality Monitoring/ Anti-Idling Campaign

Over the last few months volunteers have been looking into options for air quality monitoring in Monmouth with a view to gathering data on which to base an anti-idling campaign. The feasibility of both portable and fixed monitors have been explored but as yet no conclusive decision made on how to move forward. It has been agreed that this initiative needs a working group and ideally a lead person to take this on and the next step is to review again after September’s Climate Festival. In the meantime the Schools Group will explore the use of anti-idling posters and banners in local schools and if anyone would be interested in being involved in this project, please do get in touch via email

5. Schools Group

This year ACE have been exploring ways in which to work with local primary schools with a view to focusing on two key areas, funding for individual school projects that fall within an environmental and sustainable remit and signposting to external resources, support and funding in these areas.

To date ACE have been working closely with Monmouthshire County Council, Green Grid Gwent, ANOB among others to come up with a joint approach thus limiting schools being bombarded by too many organisations all trying to achieve similar goals. This will also help to give the project a greater chance of being sustainable in the long term.

Conversations with these parties are ongoing but in the meantime we have been able to support Trellech School with their wonderful school garden and Overmonnow with their bike workshop. More information on the support available will be shared as and when it becomes available but in the meantime do email if you are interested in how ACE can help your school.

Action: Rebecca to enquire about how to engage with the local school’s cluster group.

6. EGIN Programme

ACE is pleased to say that we have been accepted into the EGIN programme, a new programme unlocking the collective power of communities in Wales to tackle climate change. The main focus is on helping those who will be the most impacted by climate change, yet may often feel they are not part of conversations around climate. Through EGIN, community groups can access Peer Mentor support to take their first steps towards taking action on climate change and living more sustainably. Due to ACE’s work with the wider community it is eligible to access the support being offered.

Rebecca has started initial work with EGIN to prep for the support being distributed to the wider group.

Action: Rebecca to enquire as to whether the farmers group would be eligible for the mentoring.

7. Sustainable Garden Scheme

Tentative enquiries have been made into the feasibility of an annual Sustainable Garden Scheme next year – whereby the local community could showcase their gardens and ways in which they have endeavoured to be more sustainable from growing their own vegetables, composting, drought resilient planting, water collection etc. MCC have expressed an interest. A possible direction would be to do this under the Wales in Bloom/RHS’s ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ campaign, closing entries for next year June 2024. To be explored further so anyone interested in being involved in a working group for this please do get in touch.

8. Farmers Group

Cherry Taylor updated the meeting on the progress of the Farmer’s Group. There is now a small working group up and running. Two events have been run so far, both at Regen Ben’s Farm, designed to raise awareness around regenerative farming. One was designed solely for farmers, the second for the wider community. Whilst still in early days it has been acknowledged that it will be a Monmouthshire wide initiative.

Cherry spoke about the mentoring programme – created in partnership with Size of Wales, MCC and Regen Ben with the aim to mentor two farmer’s who would like to move over to regenerative practices. Closing date for applications Fri 30th June.

Mark Lindley kindly gave an insight into his experience with the farming community and shared his advice on ways it could be taken forward.

9. Monmouth Climate Festival

Charles Emes updated the group on festival progress to be held on the weekend of the 23rd/24th September. The programme is now more or less complete with all venues secured, with speakers including Dr Emily Grossman. The promotional artwork is underway. The working group meets on a monthly basis, if you are interested in being involved in the run up or during the event please do get in touch.

11. Monmouth Placemaking

ACE Monmouth has been invited to be part of the Monmouth Placemaking Steering Group. The first meeting took place in June where initial discussions were undertaken on the structure of the group. The next meeting will be held in September once a consultant has been instructed. Rebecca will remain the point of contact for this up until the next Placemaking meeting when ACE will discuss whether a single person represents the organisation or members will rotate the responsibility.

10. AOB

  • Project Officer Role Handover – Rebecca Cunningham spoke about the handing over of the tasks undertaken in her capacity as a Project Officer to the wider group. It was agreed that as most of the focus will be on the festival for the next month or two so ACE would be okay for the summer but a review of the day to day running of ACE would need to be reviewed at the end of September.

Action: Rebecca to create and forward a list of all the tasks undertaken by the PO.

12. Date of Next Meeting

Thursday 20th July, 7pm via Zoom.