CHIRK TOWN COUNCIL

CYNGOR TREF Y WAUN

 

MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING HELD 29th October 2014

Present

Cllrs Mr D Evans (Chairman), Ms H Pepler, Mrs H J Spragg, Mrs J Allen, Mrs B Humphreys, Mrs S Newell,   

Mr W N James, Mr B Evans, Mr M Holmes, Mr B Colley and Mr J Vant.

Cllr Mr Terry Evans, WCBC and Mr S A Hughes, Clerk to the Council

 

APOLOGIES.

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Mrs C Gough, Mr D Poppitt, Mr M Maxfield and                       Mr I Roberts.

 

On behalf of the Council the Chairman expressed sincere condolences to Cllr Mrs Barbara Humphreys on the loss of her mother.

 

The Chairman recommended and the Council agreed to take agenda item 4 first.

 

60.  NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING.

PCSO’s Lynne Mearia and Phil Jones (standing in for PCSO’s  Grace Jones and Dean Sawyer) were welcomed to the meeting. Details of crime statistics since the last Council meeting were given as follows:

October Shoplifting – 4: Criminal Damage – 2; Burglary – 2;  Theft – 3.  A total of 11 crimes for the month along with 15 ASB incidents.

    

Members drew the attention to the officers to the following: -

·         Damage to bench seat, plants together with littering at the Millennium Gardens

·         Hawkers cold calling in areas of Chirk including Maesywaun and Station Avenue areas with intimidation.

Members also asked for information about

·         policing for the coming Wales car Rally at Chirk Castle to prevent  the parking problems associated with last years event.

·         Parking problems at Pentre School.

·         Policing duty rota for Chirk North and Chirk South.

·         Whether the 50 new police officers had been engaged as promised by the North Wales police Commissioner and the officers appointed to this area of Wrexham South.

 

Member had noted that Inspector Jackie Downes had been appointed the Police Inspector for this area and agreed that the Inspector is invited to the November meeting of the Council.

 

The Chairman thanked the officers for their attendance and report.

 

61.  MINUTES.

The Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the Council held the 24th September 2014 were confirmed as a correct record.

 

62.  MATTERS ARISING.

45/1. Overgrown hedges, Pentre. Cllr Humphreys reported that the Wrexham CBC had said that the owner of the field was not known so legal formalities had to be dealt with before the Council can proceed to attend to the overgrown hedges.  Cllr Terry Evans said he would pursue the matter with the department.

46. General Purposes Committee Report.  Cllr Pepler informed the Council that she had not heard from Cllr Hemmings for dealing with the matter.

 

63.  REPORT OF THE PARISH HALL SUB-COMMITTEE.                                                                                           Cllr Pepler said that there was anxiety about the Parish Hall needing major repairs to roof, walls etc and the Committee had net to discuss what could be done to sustain the building.  The costs of the work would be enormous thus needing to obtain grant aid.  However, grants required detail as to ensure a sustainable entity with a business plan for its use. The Committee considered ideas for making more use of the building and ways of raising revenue such as Franchising for weddings, parties etc; providing a room for say the Circle of Friends Chirk Hospital for the sale of second hand goods a constant use of space and footfall;  having a community cinema monthly visit.

 

 

REPORT OF THE PARISH HALL SUB-COMMITTEE (cont).                                                                                           The Committee would welcome input from members and the public. For this to be successful the Committee recommend that the Council consider having a Management Committee to run the Parish Hall.  The Chairman thanked Cllr Pepler for the report and the matter of creating a Parish Hall Management Committee was discussed. This was agreed in principle by the Council and for members of the sub-committee to be members with other members being welcomed to join.

The terms of working of the Management Committee would need to be decided and brought to the Council for agreement and approval.

 

64.  REPORTS FROM COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES.

i)        One Voice Wales AGM and Conference. Cllr Mrs Jackie Allen reported to the Council that she and Cllr Pepler had attended the meeting.

ii)      One Voice Wales Area Committee. Cllr Mrs Jackie Allen reported on her attendance at the AGM when new officers were appointed and the meeting was addressed by the Chief Executive OVW.

iii)    Youth Service Monitoring Team. Cllr Mr Barry Evans informed the Council that he was invited by Cllr me Frank Hemmings to join with him in a meeting with Youth Workers from Wrexham CBC two youths from the area to identify accommodation  and with regard to lighting the skate park.  Cllr Evans said Cllr Hemmings is waiting a letter from the Youth Workers.

iv)    Celebrations and Lights Committee.  Cllr Mrs Suzanne Newel informed the Council that preparation for the Christmas lights were taking place with discussion with Mondelez with regard to the erection of the Christmas lights.

 

65.  REPORTS FROM LOCAL MEMBERS WREXHAM CBC.  Cllr Terry Evans informed the Council that service repairs to estate roads and pavements at Black Park had been carried out and the hump at the entrance to Ceiriog Close on Castle Road was to be removed.                                                                                                                                                                              Cllr Evans said there was a need to provide more Old Peoples Bungalows for the elderly of Chirk near to the town centre and requested the Council to consider releasing the Longfield Play Field for this purpose.  This was a major issue that needed full discussion and the Council decided to agenda an item on the next Council meeting and for Cllr Evans to provide a report with all relevant information.

 

66.  WREXHAM CBC BUDGET CUTS 2015/16.                                                                                                                 The Clerk said that he and the Chairman had attended a meeting at the Guildhall with representatives from other community councils when the Chief Executive and officers of the Council along with Lead members of the Council providing information about the proposed cuts to various services and allowing representatives to comment and ask questions. The Clerk said he sat at the groups “Adult Social Care” and “Housing, Public protection and Environment”. In the first he expressed the Councils concern at the high amount of cuts being made and the affects it will have on those elderly persons in the community that need the service.  And the second the grass cutting programme and road repairs. The Clerk said there was no mention of the devolving of services to Town and Community Councils but he did remind members about the CCTV issue to be discussed by Council.                                                                                             The Chairman informed the Council that he attended the groups dealing with Support services and Council Tax and had discussed the issue of the Mayor position. He said that it was necessary for Wrexham to appoint a Mayor or Chairman.  The Mayor carries out many visits to local organisations and represents the Council at major functions however, it is intended to reduce the amount allocated to the mayors office and duties. Other savings were being made by the introduction of internet billing where after this coming financial year notices and billing of Council tax will only be sent out by internet email not by Royal mail – a £10k saving is expected.  This will be the same for housing benefit claimants; this year there was 14000 of them!  It is a question as to how those people not having internet access are to know how and how much council tax they will need to pay and about benefits they are to receive - a real problem for the latter.

 

67.  PUBLIC SPACE CCTV CAMERA PROVISION – WREXHAM CBC.                                                                     The Clerk referred to the letter from the Design and Facilities Management Manager Wrexham CBC with regard to the future maintenance of CCTV cameras and said that he had met Mr Simon Roberts and was told that Wrexham CBC due to the need to cut costs savings had to be made on the CCTV service. In considering this as a review of the functioning of the 80+ cameras in the county borough over the last two years had taken place.  This had revealed that some cameras in the rural areas had had little impact on crime and anti-social behaviour. This being the case Town and Community Councils are being asked to make a contribution to the costs of maintaining and running the cameras.       The cost for the two cameras in Chirk amounts to over £6,000.00 per annum though an average cost for the area would £1,500.00 each. Members were not willing to make decision and asked that the officer is invited to attend Council to discuss the matter further.

 

 

68.  REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY.                                                                                                                                         The Clerk informed the Council that he had met with the Mr George Rogerson, Chairman of the Chirk Branch Royal British Legion who was agreeable to attending the Service at St Mary’s Church.  They had met with Rev Wilkinson and Rev Parry to discuss matters for Remembrance Sunday. The programme was agreed  meaning  parade would form up at the Church to file into Church at 9.30am for the Church Service and afterwards march to the Cenotaph for the Service of Remembrance, Commitment and Dedication (the usual service as passed years).  Council were happy with the arrangements for the Council to attend the Church Service.  Members received a copy of the programme.

The Clerk reminded members that a service will also be held at the Pentre Memorial at 12 o’clock.

 

69.  APPEALS.

The Clerk reported receipt of appeals for financial aid that were duly considered by the Council as follows: -

·         Parent & Tot Group, Black Park Chapel – agreed donation of - £200.00.

·         Ysgol Dinas Bran Prince’s Trust xl Club – agreed donation of £50.00.

·         North Wales Deaf Association - agreed to let this matter lie on the table,donation of £500.00.

 

70.  CORRESPONDENCE.

    1. Notice of Variation of the revised Chirk Conservation Area Boundary from Wrexham CBC.  Noted
    2. Letter from Aled Roberts regarding the Welsh Government and Trunk Road  Agency with regard to a review of speed limits on trunk roads.  It was agreed to recommend speed limit of 50mph is imposed on the Chirk and Newbridge bypasses and no overtaking on the Dee River Bridge and the Ceiriog River Bridge with appropriate signage.
    3. Copy of Residents information letter from Wales Rally GB with information about the event and notice of road closures.  Noted.
    4. Letter  from the Commissioning and Planning Officer, Adult Social Care, Wrexham CBC with regard to the a Community Agent Pilot Scheme in 4 areas of Wrexham. The Council is asked if it wishes to take part and recruit and manage an agent for the area.  The Council decided not to apply for the pilot scheme.
    5. Letter from the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority with their consultation on the level of Fire and Rescue Services provided in North Wales 2015-16 and beyond.  The Clerk said that this is due to service budget cuts and 3 options were mentioned. The consultation was open to all in North Wales and there was an internet survey for individuals to complete. This was noted.
    6. Copy of a letter by Mr John Pierce, Ley Farm to the Health and Safety Executive, Wrexham with photographs of an ancient well on his land. The Clerk said that though not stated, the well apparently was suspected of causing a problem for which a complaint was made to the HSE. Mr Pierce has had the well pumped out and mud and silt removed.  The contents of the letter were noted.

 

71.  PLANNING MATTERS.

The Clerk reported that the Plans Committee had met this evening and had dealt with three applications received from the Planning Officer under the consultation procedures for the Councils consideration and comment.

P/2014/0731Change of Use of Domestic Garage to Dog Grooming Parlour as small rural business – 

Greenacres, Green Lane, Halton, Chirk, Wrexham.

The Council has no objection to the application and supports the proposal.

P/2014/0739 Residential Development of 73 Dwellings including new access from Sycamore Drive and associated landscaping, play area and public open space – Land West of Ley Farm, Green Lane, Chirk, Wrexham.

The Council has serious concerns about this development and also the affects it will have on the existing Lodgevale Park residences.

1.       The proposed development site is on steeply sloping ground. Ground and surface water run off from the site is a serious flooding problem to properties on Sycamore Drive and nearby.  This water eventually gets into the combined sewerage system that surcharges and floods the area and properties with polluted water.  This a fact.

The building of 73 dwellings will exacerbate this serious problem.

The Council recommends that planning permission is not granted until the sewerage system for Chirk is made capable of dealing safely with all sewage flows at all times without causing flooding or other nuisance.

2.       The Council is wary that the proposed sustainable form of drainage system included in the development proposals will not be able to accommodate the ground and surface water and recommends that some other way of dealing with this water by installing a SW sewer should be considered necessary.

3.       The Council considers that provision in the proposals should include for some social housing and recommends that due consideration is given making social housing available.

 

4.       The proposed site for the play area is on higher ground than the existing dwellings at Ash Grove and could be a cause of nuisance to the residents.  The Council recommends that further consideration is given to the siting of the play area.

No details of the proposed play area are provided with the application. The Council recommends that full details of the play area and play equipment that needs to be provided for approval before planning permission is granted.

5.       Access to the site is from an un-adopted road that serves 25 dwellings at Sycamore Drive and Ash Grove. The Council considers that the access road must be upgraded to an adopted standard and recommends that this is done before planning permission is granted.

6.       Lodgevale Park is a large residential development with 100’s of dwellings but has only one main access from the B5070.  The Council considers that there should be another access provided from the B5070 to cope with the additional traffic the 73 dwellings will create.   The Council recommends that another main access is provided at Lodgevale Park.

7.       Details of Street Lighting proposals have not been provided.  The Council recommends that details are required to show Street Lighting is provided and to be installed to the correct and proper standard for Street Lighting and including for future maintenance.

8.       The amenity areas are mainly on the steeply sloping ground and therefore be a greater problem for maintenance.  The Council recommends that the Planning Authority ensures that proper agreements are in the development proposals for the future maintenance of all amenity areas, trees, shrubs etc including the play area and play equipment so that the cost of this does not be the responsibility of the local authority nor the Town Council.

The Council trust that you will inform Dwr Cymru Welsh Water about the serious concerns Chirk Town Council has about the sewerage system, it’s existing overloading problems and the need to ensure that works are carried out to provide an adequate sewerage system before any more development is allowed at Lodgevale Park or indeed any area served by the present sewerage system.

 

P/2014/0752 Replacement, Restoration and Rebuilding of Barn Building (in part), to be used as Residential Accommodation (2 bedrooms) plus Carer Accommodation – Ty Maen, Pentre, Chirk.

The Council has no objection to the proposal but draws attention to the planning authority that the building has social history in that the premises were used as a schoolroom in the 1860’s with signs that that use is still evident.

 

72.  ACCOUNTS.

a)      Payments. A list of invoices and payments amounting to £5977.68 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 £55123.00 and receipts £83,719.00.                                                                                                                                 The Council accepted the report and thanked the Clerk.

 

73.  TRANSFER OF COMMUNITY FACILITIES.                                                                                            

      The Clerk informed the Council that Wrexham CBC were now dealing with the transfer of the playsites that    

      the Council had agreed to take over and be responsible for.                                                                                 

      The transfers included legal matters for: -

·         Transfer of the freehold of the Black Park Play Area.

·         Granting 25 year leases for the Play areas at Lodgevale Park (Crogen and Offa).

·         Transfer by way of Deed of Gift of the Skate Park equipment and Shelter on Chirk Recreation Ground (Station Avenue).

The Clerk said that the Council would need to appoint and pay a solicitor to act for the Council as Wrexham CBC could not do this.

The Council were not happy about this situation but decided that the Clerk should be given powers to act and engage a solicitor to deal with the legal matters.

 

 

 

Signed                                                Chairman                                                                             26th November 2014