CHIRK TOWN COUNCIL
CYNGOR TREF Y WAUN
MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING HELD 30th July 2014
Ms H Pepler, Mrs H J Spragg, Mrs J Allen, Mrs B Humphreys, Mr W N James, Mr D Poppitt, Mr B Evans,
Mr B Colley, Mr F Hemmings and Mr J Vant.
Cllr Mr Terry Evans, WCBC and Mr S A Hughes, Clerk to the Council
Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Mr Dewi Evans, Mrs Suzanne Newell and Cllr Ian Roberts.
In the absence of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman Ms Hilary Pepler took the chair.
It was agreed to take agenda item 4.
27. NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING.
PCSO Sawyer was welcomed to the meeting and gave details of the crime statistics for the previous month that were as follows:
Shoplifting – 1: Arson – 1; Criminal Damage – 1;
With regard to Chirk Station PCSO Sawyer said that the incident referred to minimal damage to a flower display and a small amount of graffiti. The officer said that BR police had been informed and they would be keeping an eye there and he himself would be monitoring the area.
PCSO said that no complaints had been made about parking issues at the Leisure Centre and the mobile camera for use at the Millennium Garden was fully booked in other major areas.
Members commented about the two situations and it was agreed that Wrexham CBC is asked to provide additional parking at the Leisure Centre and for the Clerk to obtain permission from the planning department to fell the oak tree causing problems with the CCTV camera overlooking the Millennium Garden.
PCSO Sawyer was asked about high visibility patrolling that did not appear to be happening. PCSO Sawyer said that he was doing his duties including patrolling the area but his colleague PCSO Grace Jones was on sick leave leaving him and his colleague PCSO who serves the Ceiriog Valley in the Chirk Office.
In answer to other queries PCSO Sawyer said that “Cuppa with a Copper” is ongoing at Glyn Wylfa and that with regard to the Wales Car Rally at Chirk Castle in November the Rally people and the police were liaising about traffic control issues etc and that he would bring a report to Council when the information was to hand.
Also brought to attention was the dangerous fast speed that farming contractors drive their large equipment along narrow lanes.
The Council agreed that the officer’s priorities for the coming weeks should be:
· North, Chapel Lane Playground and recreation grounds; parking Chapel Lane, Lloyds Lane, Coronation Drive
· South, Millennium Gardens and recreation grounds and Brynkinalt Park.
The Chairman thanked the officer for his attendance and report.
The Minutes of the Ordinary General Meeting of the Council held the 25th June 2014 were confirmed as a correct record.
29. MATTERS ARISING.
Cllr Barry Evans informed the Council that land was available at the Leisure Centre that could be used for additional parking that would alleviate the problems with parking on the streets in the area. The Council agreed to write to Wrexham CBC to ask for additional parking to be provided at the Leisure Centre
25c. Clwyd Community Chest.
The Clerk informed the Council that the membership fee for the Council was £35.00. The £10 fee was for individual membership. It was agreed to apply for membership.
30. ANNUAL RETURN FOR THE YEAR ENDING 31st MARCH 2014.
The Clerk informed that Council that the Auditors UHY Hacker Young had returned the draft Annual Return after examining the details provided in accordance with the Auditor General for Wales. Their report said that “there are no issues arising which we believe the Council should consider prior to approval of its Annual return in accordance with the Accounts and Audit (Wales)(Amendment) Regulations 2010”.
Also, with regard to the Audit Certificate and opinion “it is our intention to issue an unqualified audit certificate and report with no other matters which we wish to draw to your attention”.
The Clerk said that he had certified the Return as required.
Members were pleased to receive the report noting the remarks by the Auditor and resolved to approve the Annual Return and for the Vice-Chairman to sign them.
The Chairman, on behalf of the Council, thanked the Clerk for his work in maintaining the accounts and preparing them for the audit.
31. REPORTS FROM COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES.
Wrexham Town and Community Council Forum. Cllr Ms Hilary Pepler informed the Council that she an with the Chairman and Clerk attended a meeting of the Forum on the 17th July when a large agenda was dealt with. The items included
1) A new form for council members Disclosure of Personal Interests in Meetings.
2) Access to Information on Community and Town Councils – this item is on the Council meeting agenda.
3) Budget Cuts for 2015/16. (This was an item the Council’s representatives had had included on the agenda).. This was a major item and a report was presented by the Head of Finance, Wrexham CBC.
The report referred to the fact that the budget cuts of £8.5m that were expected would increase to £13m due to the less amount being made available from the Welsh Government. The Executive Committee of WCBC has received reports on possible savings and will consider another report during August and the decisions made available for consultation on-line.
4) Impact of expenditure cuts on spending for the Care of the Elderly. (This was an item the Council’s representatives had had included on the agenda).The Head of Finance said that there were no changes in the eligibility criteria for the service but a review of the packages and provisions will be done. More community involvement is expected with volunteers taking part.
5) Work Place Reforms. This item referred to the provision of pension scheme for local authority employees for which a special seminar is being organised.
6) Youth Services throughout the County Borough. Donna Dickenson gave a report on the service since the major re-structuring of the service. Average attendance on youth evening had reduced from 14 to 13 though the Centres of Excellence at Ruabon, Wrexham Llay and Coedpoeth had better attendance figures. The information website dedicated for youth service is being re-vamped.
7) Overgrown Verges. Grass cutting will be limited with verges on A classified roads being more frequently maintained than B roads and unclassified roads with a metre wide cut!
With regard to 3) it was agreed that members should if possible look at the WCBC website to obtain information about proposed budget cuts and for a special meeting to be arranged to discuss matters as they may affect this Council and it’s budget for 2015/16.
32. REPORTS FROM LOCAL MEMBERS WREXHAM CBC.
Cllr Mr Terry Evans informed the Council that the budget cuts would leave a big hole in the provision of services. He also said the amalgamation of local authorities will happen in 2018 with Wrexham CBC joining with Flint CC.
Cllr Evans reported that
· the problem of water oozing from the hill at Low Barracks had been solved and the road surface made good.
· The GVTT station platform is to be resurfaced.
33. CHAPEL LANE PLAYGROUND REFURBISHMENT.
Cllr Mrs Jackie Allen informed that Council that the application to WREN for a grant towards the scheme of improvements to the Chapel Lane Playground as previously approved by the Council would be dealt with by the WREN Wrexham Advisory Panel and the Board of Directors on the 11th August. She asked that if the application is successful that the Council give the Clerk is given powers to act and to proceed with the contractor so that works can start as soon as possible.
This matter was considered and it was decided that the Clerk be given authorisation to proceed with the scheme and is authorised to sign the WREN Funding Agreement and related documents on behalf of the Council. The Clerk will report to the Council in due course.
34. ONE VOICE WALES.
The Clerk reported receipt of an invitation for the Council to send representatives to the Annual Meeting and Conference to be held at Builth Wells on 4th October 2014. It was agreed that Cllrs Mrs Jackie Allen and Ms Hilary Pepler attend the event as the Council’s delegates.
35. GRESFORD COLLIERY DISASTER MEMORIAL SERVICE.
The Clerk reported receipt of an invitation from the Friends of Gresford Colliery Disaster Memorial to members to attend the Memorial Service, Gresford Disaster 80th Anniversary to be held at All Saints Church Gresford on Monday 22nd September 2014 at 2pm. An informal service will also take place beforehand at 11am at the Gresford Memorial Wheel. This invitation was accepted with several members wishing to attend.
36. CHURCH SERVICE SUNDAY 3rd AUGUST 2014.
The Clerk reminded members of the invitation to attend a special service at St Mary’s Church on Sunday 3rd August 2014 that the Council had decided to attend with regard to World War 1 to honour those who fought for freedom and recognise the brave men who lost their lives for the cause.
37. WELSH GOVERNMENT.
a. White paper – Reforming Local Government.
The Clerk gave a brief description of parts of the White Paper that were of some interest. The main point being, the re-organisation of local government by the reduction of principle councils from 22 to 12, affecting this area by the amalgamation of Wrexham CBC with Flintshire CC. The reasons given for this were “the Welsh Governments ambition is to make Wales a better place, to deliver real change to improve the lives of people now, and leave a better legacy for our children and grandchildren. This means a Wales which is more equal, prosperous, and innovative, with healthier people living in safe, cohesive and resilient communities, who have more opportunities to use the Welsh Language”.
The timescale for the re-organisation will start after the election for the Welsh Government in 2016 followed in 2017 for Local Government and Town and Community Council Elections in 2017 and Shadow Principle Councils 2018 with final elections in 2022.
This proposed legislation was noted.
b. Access to information on Community and Town Councils
The Clerk informed the Council that Community and Town Councils will need to make information about the Council members and services for the public including the having information published on websites. Some information is already on the website www.chirkinfo but more will need to be added by 1st April 2015. This will also include information on council members.
The Clerk said he was dealing with matters and hoped to be able to provide the necessary information for inclusion on the website.
The Council agreed that the information should be provided and published.
The Clerk reported receipt of appeals for financial aid that were duly considered by the Council as follows: -
· Nightingale House Hospice – agreed a donation of £300.00.
· New Steps –Life After Stroke Club at Maesgwyn Community Centre, Wrexham – agreed to let this matter lie on the table.
39. CHIRK STATION ACCESS
The Clerk reported receipt of a communication from Sheila Dee, Community Rail Officer, advising that a public information event is taking place at Chirk Parish Hall on Monday 4th August for the community to learn about details of the new access etc that will be built at the station. This information was noted.
The Clerk reported receipt of letter from the Society that advised that activities held at the Parish Hall required a Licence for Music and that he had made arrangements for the licence to be obtained from the Society at a cost of £135.50 for a year. The licence will need to be renewed annually. This information was noted.
41. PLANNING MATTERS.
The Clerk gave a report of the Plans Committee held 30th July 2014 as follows: -
· Chirk Conservation Area Proposed Boundary Amendments. The Committee decided that residential property owners should be consulted so that they may object to their property being included in the amended conservation area plan.
· Planning Application received from the Wrexham CBC Planning Authoorityunder the consultation procedures.
P/2014/0504 Extension to rear of property – 4 Pen Y Waun, Chirk.
The Council has no objection to the proposed development.
P/2014/0467 Variation of condition 2 of appeal decision App/A/12/216921 to allow hours of opening to be extended 16:00 hrs to 23:00 hrs Mondays to Thursdays 16:00 hrs to 23: Fridays and Saturdays and 16:00hrs to 22:30hrs Sundays – 26 West View, Chirk.
The Council considers the hot food take-away premises to be in a predominately residential area and that the hours of opening should remain as at present and as approved and conditioned by the Inspectorate of Planning.
a) Payments. A list of invoices and payments amounting to £11,269.98 were given to the Council and were passed for payment.
b) Accounts. The Clerk provided members with details of expenditure to 30th June 2014 compared to the annual budget agreed by the Council. The Clerk also provided detail of the bank reconciliation showing that expenditure totalled £20,656.24 and receipts £38,104.79. The Council accepted the report and thanked the Clerk.
Signed Chairman 24th September 2014