CHIRK TOWN COUNCIL

CYNGOR TREF Y WAUN

 

MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 16th DECEMBER 2015

 

Present

Cllrs Mr Dewi Evans (Chairman) (DE) Mr Barry Evans (BE), Mrs H J Spragg (HS), Mrs B Humphreys (BH),
Mr F Hemmings (FH), Mr J Vant (JV), Mr Mark Roberts (MR), Mr B Colley (BC), Mr M Holmes (MH),
Mrs Jackie Allen (JA), Mr N James (NJ) and Mr D Poppitt (DP).
Mr S Jones (SJ), Clerk to the Council.

 

Apologies

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Mr M Maxfield & Mrs C Gough.

 

98.  MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD 25TH NOVEMBER 2015

The minutes of the Council meeting was confirmed as a correct record.  Proposer FH/Seconder BH.

 

99.  MATTERS ARISING

Minute       73 – 28.10.2015 – The Clerk has been informed that a Partner (GP) will accompany the Practice Manager (Julie Webster) when attending the General Purposes Committee meeting.  The likely date is the last week of January 2016 and venue and time are Castle Health Centre and 2:30pm.  After some discussion the Chair and JA jointly proposed and seconded by BE that it be stated the GPC meeting must take place in the Council Chamber at the Parish Hall – after all we have extended the invitation and motion was carried.  The suggested time is also very difficult for those Councillors who have work commitments and BH proposed the alternative of holding the meeting directly after Surgery hours – believed to end at 6pm.  NM seconded and motion carried.  The Clerk will write and await to hear back.  A list of points/topics should be agreed upon prior to the meeting.

81 – 28.10.2015 – BC advised that Ken Skates AM has written to him on the subject of High Speed Broadband specifically in Castle Road and serving Glyn Wylfa building.  The matter has been raised with the Deputy Minister at the Assembly and a BT Director.  There is a follow up by Mr Skates over proper information on timings.  It is understood a 2nd Cabinet will require installation to provide the service.  BC then went on to explain that Chirk is not unique in these issues, across North Wales there are many similar instances of service unavailability – including Wrexham Ind. Estate, one of the biggest in Europe.  BT will continue to be put under pressure to deliver.

81 – 28.10.2015 – SJ advised of new information concerning a Trunk Road Safety review in Wales.  The website details have been added to the comments.  Further correspondence with the Minister is his next action.

81 – 28.10.2015 – SJ gave a brief update that progress on the logo design is underway.  An initial illustration was held up to the meeting but further refinement is continuing, including the addition of the Welsh language text.  Probably this matter will be an agenda item at the next Ordinary meeting in January.

 

100.   BUDGET FOR 2016/17

The Clerk presented a summary of income and expenditure for 3 financial periods, 2014/15 Actual, 2015/16 Probable and 2016/17 Estimated.  The Councillors discussed the 6 categories/cost centres, Parish Hall, Parish Hall Renovations, Parish Hall House, Recreation Parks, General Administration & Burial Ground.  Some highlights were :-

·        Change of electricity supplier for the Parish Hall will see a reduction of 27%

·        Rationalising of Telecoms at the Parish Hall should see significant savings in the New Year.

·        Heating Oil consumption is likely to rise because the Clerk has an office in the Parish Hall.

·        Parish Hall House rent, it is noted that in 2014/15 figures used that monies owed were not included.  The Clerk noted the omission and will correct.

·        The reserve fund for Parish Hall renovations should reach £148,000.00 by 31.3.2017.  It is suggested that we revisit the original survey work undertaken by Wrexham CBC and bring it up to date.  Is the roof still the priority ?  What about staging the work section by section.  Consider grant monies and maybe borrowing ?  To be put on as an Agenda item in the New Year.

Some expenditure has been agreed but probably won’t all complete in the current financial period.  It was proposed by JA and seconded by BE that we carry over such commitments into the next financial period.  Primarily these relate to the replacement of one piece of play equipment at Longfield, the CCTV project and Cemetery fencing work.  Motion carried.

 

101.   PRECEPT FOR 2016/17  

On the tabled financial information it is estimated that £86,864 will be required to meet the financial commitments of the Council.  In 2015/16 the Precept raised £83,308.  This was a lower figure than the 2 earlier financial periods which both raised £89,880 (2014/15) and £89,131 (2013/14).  The Average Band D Community Council Tax was lowered to £49.50 in 2015/16 taking account of the difficult financial climate faced by constituents.  For the 2 earlier periods the Band D figure was £53.50.  The projected funding gap of £86,864 would see the Band D figure rise to £51.70 but in view of taking on responsibility for all Recreational Play Areas, 7 in all, and the CCTV implementation project it was proposed by JV and seconded by JA that a Band D property should revert to the £53.50 figure, raising £89,880 for 2016/17 financial year.  There is also a desire by the Council to participate in the Community Agent initiative which is estimated to cost £7,000 annually.  The motion was put to the Council and carried unanimously.  The Chair took the opportunity to thank the Clerk for all the work undertaken in bringing this up to date financial information before the Council.

 

102.   CORRESPONDENCE

·        Mr Shane Hughes – Keep Wales Tidy. Groundworks Tesco grant scheme being promoted.  Any groups/organisations with access to public land that might benefit from funding.  Noted.

·        Historic Environment Newsletter Issue 3 - WCBC. Contact the Clerk if you would like a copy. Noted.

·        Community Health Council. News Release on Women’s and Maternity Consultation.  No temporary change to current configuration.  Noted.

·        Family Friends for 5’s to 11’s.  Thanks for the generous donation of £100.  Noted.

·        Police Report 25.11 – 12.12.2015. ASB reduced.  Some increase in Theft and Criminal Damage.  Meeting these increases head on.  Noted.

·        Christine Ashford. Robert Emrys Williams request to display photograph and citation. SJ to action.

·        Sarah Jones – Cadwyn Clwyd. Any red phone boxes unloved in the area ?  Not aware of any.

  • Christmas Card – SA Hughes. Noted.
  • Steve O’Neill – Cambrian Cleaning Services – Action taken to ensure Colliery Rd Toilets are being locked each evening.  Will give consideration to the proposed fall back of a spare key being made available to a Councillor who lives close by.  Noted.
  • Kevin Hughes WCBC Planning Dept – personal commitments prevent him accepting the invitation to attend a Planning Committee in Chirk.  Replied that Chirk Town Councillors feel let down.  Noted with one comment from JV that the Clerk always be seen as impartial (the reply could be construed as having some bias).

     

103.   ANY OTHER BUSINESS

FH wished to highlight the process of receiving supporting papers for the meeting Agenda.  Would it be preferable for some, if not all, Councillors to use email/internet instead of receiving a printed paper pack ?  SJ did accept that for this meeting supporting papers were late in being published because the figures work was still being worked on.  SJ has it in mind that there may be a software solution to present papers optimised for touch screen use as well as ad hoc printing of key papers.  He will investigate.  In the meantime Councillors are to be asked individually of their preference of an e-book over a printed version and best efforts to accommodate will be made.  Currently there are 4 Councillors who do not use email.

 

MH asked for an update on when the new goal posts are to be installed on the Chapel Lane football pitch.  SJ advised that Toff Groundworks of Oswestry are expected to install them free of charge for the U13 Footballers.  SJ will chase this up.  There was a small piece in the Advertizer this week which related to the new goal posts – the U13 squad put £120 towards the cost of replacement.

 

DP highlighted the damaged iron railing sections on Holyhead Rd adjacent to the Chapel Lane Recreation Ground.  SJ advised that this is a work in progress but will make additional effort to see when the contractor can install the 3 new sections that have been ordered. On another matter DP had learnt of an event in Black Park at the weekend where local representatives, including Ken Skates AM and Susan Elan Jones MP attended.  It was a Children’s Christmas Party and he asked if other members were aware of the event.  SJ did advise that posters were on all 5 Notice Boards advertising the event.

 

BC backed up the suggestion made by FH concerning moving to use less paper.  The use of a small iPad would avoid having to print out many of the papers the Councillors receive.

 

BE commented on a recent email from the WCBC Planning Team which commented on the Airgrading Cyclones having a negligible visual impact.  This text has been seen so many times in the past and shows real disregard for the constituents living next to the Kronospan complex.  While efforts in Paris are being made to reduce overall CO2 emissions it seems fine for the people of Chirk to be subjected to increases from industrial processes on their doorstep.

 

BH updated the Councillors on the Land Fill site at Pen y Bont.  The recent planning application to extend operations for a further 2 years has been passed.  There is a desire on behalf of the operators to maybe complete the fill cycle in 6 – 8 months instead of 12 but note that 18,000 tonnes is required.  There may well be a significant increase in lorry movements in this phase.

 

FH added that a new Headteacher for Ysgol Y Waun has been appointed to start from Easter 2016.  His name is John Roberts who is based in Whittington.

 

DE and SJ attended the Wrexham Town and Community Council Forum on 10th December 2015 at the Guildhall, Wrexham.  Presentation by the preferred bidder Freedom Leisure who would run the 4 main Leisure Centres and 5 shared with schools in WCBC from 1st March 2016.  At Chirk Leisure Centre some planned investment in the bid to replace the artificial surface on outdoor football pitch.  A Leisure Trust is seen by WCBC as securing the best future for its leisure services.

 

Meeting closed 8:45pm.

 

The Chair invited those present to some refreshments as this was the last meeting before Christmas.

 

 

 

Signed                                    Chairman                                                                              27th January 2016