MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 24th FEBRUARY 2016

 

Present

Cllrs Mrs H J Spragg (HS), Mrs B Humphreys (BH), Mr J Vant (JV), Mr Mark Roberts (MR),
Mrs Jackie Allen (JA) Mrs S Newell (SN) and Mr N James (NJ).
WCBC Cllrs. Mr Terry Evans (TE) and Mr Ian Roberts (IR)

Mr S Jones (SJ), Clerk to the Council.

 

Robert Emrys Williams

Ahead of the regular Council Meeting the family of Leading Aircraftman Robert Emrys Williams, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, presented a photograph and citation of Emrys who was awarded the George Medal in 1944 and served the community of Chirk all his life – including his long association with the Scout troop and serving as a District Councillor.  The photograph will be displayed in the Council Chamber, it joins Major Davies and Mrs Paget MBE.

 

Appointment of Meeting Chair

For tonight’s meeting a Chair must be appointed.  Cllr John Vant was proposed by HS and seconded by SN – motion carried.

 

Apologies

Apologies for absence: Cllrs. Mr Deryn Poppitt, Mr Mark Holmes, Mr Dewi Evans, Mr Barry Evans, Mr Michael Maxfield, Mrs Claire Gough & Mr Frank Hemmings.

 

Declarations of Interest

Declarations of Interest: No declarations of interest to note.

 

120.    MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD 27TH JANUARY 2016

The minutes of the Council Meeting was confirmed as a correct record.  Proposed JA and seconded NJ.

 

121.    MATTERS ARISING

SJ brought Councillors up to date on open matters arising from recent meetings.  10 matters have been completed. 

 

Minute      108 – 27.01.2016 – JA mentioned the request made by Cllr. Barry Evans at the last meeting for a report of her recent attendance at Ysgol Y Waun School Governor meetings.  She advised that she had attended 3 Finance, 2 Staffing and 1 Governors meetings.  There has been quite a bit of activity with the recently announced new Head teacher to join the school after Easter.

                 119 – 27.01.2016 – Request the Traffic Warden to visit Chirk.  Email reply from Jo Rodgers WCBC advising that the Council’s Enforcement Officers do visit Chirk several times a week.  She will ask the officers to complete some focussed enforcement in Chirk over the next couple of weeks to try to get the message across.

 

122.    NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING

PCSO Martin Griffiths went over his latest crime figures for Chirk that were distributed to Councillors beforehand.  7 counts of Anti Social Behaviour, 4 Criminal Damage & 4 Thefts/Thefts from Motor Vehicles were the uppermost.  Amongst the Priorities noted the GoSafe vehicle has not been deployed on Holyhead Road for the lack of a site.  It is understood that the AAA car park will be used but even this may not give a clear sight for both directions of traffic flow.  The issues over selfish parking in Church St have resulted in both the Council and Police requesting the Wrexham County Borough Traffic Warden to visit Chirk to provide a visible deterrent.  The members thanked the PCSO for his attendance.

 


 

 

123.    WELSH AMBULANCE SERVICE NHS TRUST – PRESENTATION / Q&A

Karl Hughes Locality Manager Wrexham & Flintshire gave a presentation to Councillors on the new Ambulance & Fire Services Resources Centre (AFSRC) soon to open in Wrexham.  He explained that the decision made by the Ambulance Service Estate Assets Dept. to contribute to the £15,000,000.00 price tag was taken as the current buildings (in Chirk & Wrexham) were deemed to be no longer meeting their needs and costing a good deal in upkeep.  In addition it has been identified that an efficiency saving can be supported in the new station – this is that ambulance/paramedic crews no longer have to prepare/restock their vehicles, this will now be done by a make ready specialist team thus ensuring the crew can be available 20 minutes sooner than now – and for each shift throughout the year this will improve the service and make cost savings, a win win. Mr Hughes gave his honest view that by closing the Ambulance Station in Chirk overall emergency ambulance cover will not be affected as they continue to utilise strategically located deployment points across Wrexham.  Councillors asked for information of nearby deployment points, Halton roundabout was the closest and a social deployment point (SDP) in Johnstown.   Chirk will lose an element of cover as currently the vehicle is stationed in Station Avenue at the start and end of shift.  There was a general feeling by Councillors that such a large investment is at odds with the sight of queuing ambulances at Wrexham Maelor Hospital A&E Dept. – could such resources make improvements there ?  Mr Hughes explained all areas need to be touched on simultaneously, not concentrated on a single specific issue.  There is certainly work being undertaken to address the problem of handover of patients at the hospital but in parallel to projects like the AFSRC.  TE was concerned for the residents of Chirk & Ceiriog Valley – how well has this been thought through – will response times be adversely affected ?  He recalls in the ‘80’s fundraising for the first defibrillators’ to be carried on Ambulances – including the one stationed at Chirk.  This was a clear effort to save lives but the closing of the Chirk Ambulance Station seems at odds – especially if you live in the Ceiriog Valley.  The matter of Community based First Responders (CFR) seen as a key element in getting to patients faster.  It was learnt that despite a recently organised successful recruitment event for CFR’s none are currently based in Chirk, Pontfadog & Glyn Ceiriog.  Councillors are keen to hear how this gap can be addressed.  SN also suggested the current deployment point of Halton should be changed in favour of Whitehusrt A483/A5 giving more alternatives in case of backed up traffic.  Karl agreed to come back on both these matters.  JV thanked Karl for spending over an hour helping all the Councillors understand the plans.

 

124.    REPORT OF CONSULTATION & GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD 10th FEBRUARY 2016

Proposed MR and seconded BH as a correct record.

SJ has incorporated all suggested changes to the draft Cemetery Conditions but will ask Councillors for their final approval at a later Ordinary Meeting – there being time constraints this evening as the Welsh Ambulance Service item took up more time than expected.

 

125.    REPORTS FROM COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES

JA attended a recent meeting of the Aqueducks Assn. held at Chirk Parish Hall.  The view is that little progress/traction is underway – no further on from 3 or 4 years ago.  All centred on Trevor Basin, no mention of Chirk or Pentre.  Cefn Mawr – Plas Kynaston Canal Group also discussed.  There is no money, a volunteer force only.  This is the reality.  Ceri Postle, Wrexham County Borough Council's World Heritage site Community Development Officer should be contacted to request that she forwards minutes of meetings to us.  Also to be kept abreast of events.

 

A Chirk Environmental Liaison Group meeting took place on 16th February 2016 at Chirk Parish Hall.  A report to Council will be made at a future meeting – the Chair of the Council was not present this evening due to illness.


 

 

 

126.    REPORTS – LOCAL MEMBERS WREXHAM CBC

Cllr. Ian Roberts advised that the Council Tax for Wrexham County Borough has been set and the increase is one of the lowest in Wales – 2.9%.  This is impressive as £5million cut in budget has taken place – due to reduction is Welsh Government funding.  On Housing it is planned to spend £54million on improvements to the housing stock belonging to WCBC.  This is on top of a £33million spend last financial year.  Roofs have been replaced and a project to upgrade kitchens/bathrooms is underway.  Changes to the houses in Black Park are seen as greatly improved.  Given there will continue to be a squeeze on funds available to WCBC some job losses will come about.  Finally IR very pleased to see the television program – Griff’s Great Britain presented by Griff Rhys-Jones which featured our local area – great publicity.

 

Cllr. Terry Evans spoke on outstanding work on Street Lighting.  There is a backlog of work and the contractors are due to be dropped in shortly with WCBC taking the work back in-house.  Those jobs logged and ticketed should be completed before the current contract comes to an end.

The Cenotaph has a number of slabs broken which will be worked on.

Improvements to Colliery Rd and footpath in the pipeline.

 

BH asked a question of IR with regard to a broken section of wooden fencing on the last bend after Pen-y-Bont Works near to bridge over the River Dee.  This will be checked out – ownership/responsibility will need to be confirmed initially.  There is a sheer drop and the pavement is narrow.

SN added the path from the Vets to the British Legion is uneven, probably caused in part by tree roots.  Also the roofers working in Waldon Crescent have been using choice language in the earshot of children.

HS advised that the 30mph sign up from the Trap coming into Chirk is obscured by greenery.

 

127.    SYDNEY ROBERTS LOCAL POET

It was proposed by JA and seconded by SN that we agree to be the custodian of the collection of poems.  Carried unanimous.  SJ advised that they can be added to our website content on forthcoming upgrade to allow for easier access.

 

128.    CCTV PROJECT - UPDATE

SJ updated the Councillors on the project.  It is expected that Phase 1 implementation will be live at the end of March 2016.  We have permission from WCBC to utilise the current CCTV column in Church Street.  Our Contractors have visited the Parish Hall to ascertain that a line of sight antenna with the column can be accommodated.  The antenna on the Parish Hall will be subtly installed and the relevant WCBC dept advised – as the Hall is a listed building.  The budget for the CCTV contractors has been agreed previously.  Phase 2 involves a new LED flood light column (with a CCTV camera on top) to be installed adjacent to the Skate Park on Chirk Recreational Ground.  There is a figure of £2,300.00 quoted as proposed by Chirk AAA Club to facilitate – electricity supply and lamp).  SJ to check if this figure has already been approved.

 

129.    SIGNAGE/LOGO/WEBSITE

There was general agreement for the logo design and a preference for the monochrome version.  There may be a place for a colour logo, e.g. on a re-launched web site.  SJ will take this project on to the next stage.

 

130.    APPEALS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Urdd National Eisteddfod 2016 – Proposed NJ and seconded HS that a donation matching what was last donated (£100) again be made.  Motion carried.


 

 

 

131.    CORRESPONDENCE

·        Ray Parry Playground Services Ltd. Formal confirmation that quote for Longfield Playground see-saw replacement still valid, £5,350.00 plus VAT and the option of Edge repairs £1,670.00 plus VAT.  SJ requested approval for the add-on option of doing the edge repairs, proposed NJ – seconded MR and carried.  SJ is awaiting a 3rd quotation but has Ray Parry as preferred supplier for this work.

·        Jean Davies – 4 Councils Meeting – 10th March 2016. Agenda items by 1st March 2016.  Suggested that Closure of Chirk Ambulance Station and vacancies for Community First Responders be discussed.  SJ will put these forward.  Chair and Clerk to attend the meeting.

·        Lindsay Haveland – Community Transport Association Wales. Community Transport bid  - to extend the scope of community transport - views on moulding the final project. This topic should be raised at the upcoming 4 Councils meeting – under Any Other Business.

·        Ombudsman Wales – Principles of Good Administration and Good Records Management – new edition.  Contact the Clerk if you require a copy.  Noted.

·        Wrexham Housing, Public Protection and Environment – Introduction of 3 hour parking tariff at Waterworld and weekend reduced all day charge.  Comments invited by 11th March 2016. Noted.

·        Cllr. Hugh Jones WCBC – What is important to you ? – Consultation on the Council Plan.  Event March 3rd 6pm – 8pm, Guildhall.  Offer of 2 representatives to come along.  Noted and JA & SJ are to attend.

·        Anna Irwin – WCBC Conservation Officer – Renovation of 2 milestones in Chirk – Castle Rd/Church St and Maes y Waun/Holyhead Rd.  Noted and mention of other Milestones in the area – SJ will confer with WCBC.

·        Nicola Corbishley – WCBC Planning Policy Manager – Promise to consider using Chirk Parish Hall for the next round of LDP Consultation Event.  Noted.

·        Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales – Annual Report 2016/17.  9 Determinations related to payments to members of community and town councils.  SJ agreed to circulate to Councillors.

·        Kevin Hughes – Pennaf Housing Group – response to request for information, see minute 108 from 27th January 2016 Ordinary Council meeting.  SJ agreed to circulate to Councillors.

·        Elaine Stokes – National Eisteddfod – email 22.2.16 expressing thanks for £50 donation.

 

132.    ACCOUNTS/PAYMENTS

·        Payments

A list of invoices and payments (to 24.02.16) amounting to £5,761.42 & £96.77 (using pre-paid credit card) was given to the Council and were passed for payment (see addendums).  Proposed JA and seconded HS - carried.

 

133.    ANY OTHER BUSINESS

JA advised of a complaint with respect to angled parking directly in front of the Parish Hall.  It was agreed that the practice of angled parking be suspended.

 

 

Meeting closed 9.30pm.

 

 

 

 

Signed                                    Chairman                                                                              30th March 2016