MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 17th AUGUST 2016

 

Present

Cllrs Mrs Jackie Allen (JA), Mr Frank Hemmings (FH). Mrs Suzanne Newell (SN), Dewi Evans (DE),
Mr Michael Maxfield (MM), Mrs Barbara Humphreys (BH), Mr Brian Colley (BC), Mrs Claire Gough (CG),
Mr Barry Evans (BE), Mr Mark Holmes (MH), Mr Mark Roberts (MR), Mr Deryn Poppitt (DP)
& Mr John Vant (JV).

WCBC Cllr. Mr Terry Evans (TE) & Cllr. Mr Ian Roberts (IR).

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

Apologies

Apologies for absence: Cllr. Mr Newman James.

Declarations of Interest

Agenda item 12: Financial Appeal made by Lτn Y Bugail Trust – Cllr Suzanne Newell & Cllr Terry Evans WCBC.  Requisite form completed and both Councillors took no part.

 

36.      MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 29th JUNE 2016

SN asked for some amendments to the account of exchanges noted under minute 22 Matters Arising.  SJ agreed to update and bring to the next meeting for approval.
On a matter related, BE requested that a Facebook posting by TE (paper copy distributed by BE) be taken down.

 

37.      MATTERS ARISING

SJ brought Councillors up to date on open matters arising from recent meetings.  9 matters have been completed.
51 – Housing – particularly Sheltered, what is allocation policy?
Advised that the Applying for Housing leaflet published by WCBC has been reviewed.  
Applicants are only placed in Bands 1, 2 or 3 if they have a local connection with Wrexham County Borough. IR advised that a revision to include a fifth band is soon to be published.

 

38.      NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING

Statistics for latest period: 2 assaults, 1 burglary/1 other than dwelling, 2 theft from motor vehicle, 3 theft, 3 criminal damage and 12 anti-social behaviour.  PCSO advised that a neighbourhood dispute counted a number of times.  The Go-Safe vehicle has been sited on Holyhead Rd and 12 detections were made as well as 3 of non-wearing of seatbelts. There were no ASB issues reported from Richmond Drive.

·         BH noted a Car For Sale on A5 near Whitehurst and asked for this to be investigated and removed.

·         JV mentioned some youths on bicycles not exactly following the Highway Code along Colliery Road.  If the PCSO’s see this they challenge and it is possible to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice for riding on the footpath.  It would be seen as positive if the message of safe cycling and respect for pedestrians was given in schools.  Noted.

·         DP sees parking on pavements as still a problem, in Rhos Y Waun, causing prams and mobility scooters to go onto the road.  If people report issues as seen and take registration numbers, these will be dealt with.

 

39.      REPORT OF STAFFING COMMITTEE MEETING HELD 27th JUNE 2016
Report accepted as accurate.  Proposed FH and seconded JV.  Motion carried.
Another Staff Committee meeting should be arranged soon to take forward some ideas concerning support for the Clerk – e.g. appointment of a minutes secretary.


 

40.      REPORTS FROM COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES
JA attended Glyn Valley Tramway Trust who are formulating an Heritage Lottery bid.  The One Voice Wales AGM due to be hosted in Wrexham was cancelled on the evening because access to the venue not possible.

41.      REPORTS – LOCAL MEMBERS WREXHAM CBC
TE reported street lighting is out by Rhos Y Waun.  It is understood to be a Scottish Power issue and they are aware.  Friday is the designated day for repairs in our area.  The Clothing Bank has been removed from the Colliery Road Car Park.  The overgrown hedge line along Station Ave has been reported to Mondelez and Chirk TC.  Mention of similar issues on Trap Bank and Shepherds Lane.  The safety alarm test at Kronospan was not heard in some areas.  This will be raised at the next Chirk Environmental Liaison Group meeting.  It was suggested that the Clerk write to Kronospan over the volume level – test or real life used on this occasion.  Motion carried. 
IR has nothing to add.
FH – Commented on recent attempts to use Contact Wrexham line into WCBC, called three or four times and got no answer.  Is this the result of staff numbers being reduced ?  TE is happy to hear directly from Chirk Councillors and would welcome timely action so that matters can be addressed soonest.
BE – Would like to ask of WCBC Public Protection, what is the effect upon the local environment with the use by Kronospan of bore holes to extract water for industrial use.  Is the water table directly affected ?   
In addition Kronospan have not re-issued their advice leaflet should an emergency situation occur.  Are there any plans to publish soon ?  Another viewpoint is that the publicity for the test was patchy at best. 
 Was the school informed as a special body within the community ? 

 

42.      NEW FIBRE BROADBAND PROVIDER – VIRGIN MEDIA
FH as well as TE & IR were contacted by a concerned constituent over the recent announcements of Project Lightening by Virgin and WCBC.  He asked if Chirk should make a concerted effort to invite Virgin to include our locality in their plans.  Also having a competitor to BT was seen as useful.  Currently areas such as Llay, Rossett, Coedpoeth & Gwersyllt are expected to benefit.
SJ provided Councillors with details on how to register interest through weblinks.  It was left to Councillors to register and also promote to their network of contacts.

·      BC commented that with respect to BT in Chirk he has written to the local AM and BT on many occasions as well as tenants of Glyn Wylfa Centre.  Seem only to get promises.

·      JA suggested Chirk Council should write a letter to BT and copy the AM, MP and Neil Rogers Lead Member – WCBC outlining disappointment over lack of progress over deployment of fibre broadband in Chirk.  Maybe this should also be highlighted to the press to try and shame BT into taking more positive action.

 

43.      ONE VOICE WALES – ANNUAL CONFERENCE
A brief run through of the 6 motions that will be put to the meeting on October 1st 2016 took place.
1. One Voice Wales

Conference calls upon member councils to consider and, if thought fit, to pass the following resolutions.

1) That the business and assets of the Association be transferred to Un Llais Cymru – One Voice Wales Limited (the “Company”) (a copy of whose constitution is appended to this notice) on the terms and subject to the conditions set out in the transfer agreement to be entered into by the Association and the Company, (a copy of which is appended to this notice).

2) That, following the transfer of the business and assets as set out in resolution 1 above, the Association be dissolved pursuant to rule 7 of the constitutional laws of the Association.

2. Mold Town Council

One Voice Wales calls upon the UK Government to ensure that sufficient funds are made available at a national level in Wales to replace the EU funds which could be eventually lost as a direct consequence of the Brexit vote in the referendum. This is to ensure that Local Authorities, organisations and other groups in Wales will be able to continue to bid for much needed funding for local projects for community and environmental improvements as we have in the past under the EU.

3. Solva Community Council

At present ‘the power to trade’ is not exercisable by a Community or Town Council. If buying or selling of goods or services is classed as ‘trade’ then the powers of Community and Town Councils to address the concerns of their community are severely limited. Conference calls upon One Voice Wales to appeal to the Welsh Government to review and amend current legislation to allow Community and Town Councils to have the power to trade in order to enable local councils to respond to local need, support well- being and deliver sustainable local solutions to local problems.

4. Kidwelly Town Council

Conference calls upon One Voice Wales to urge the Welsh Government to impose a levy on fast food outlets to help cover the costs of removing fast food packaging from the highway.


          5. Langstone Community Council

One Voice Wales urges the UK Government to take urgent action to repeal Section 8 (1) (i) of the Local Government Act 1894 which effectively prevents Community and Town Councils from contributing financially towards the maintenance of Church buildings or property held for an ecclesiastical charity.

6. One Voice Wales

That membership fees are uplifted by up to 3% for the financial year 2017-18.

Amendment by Barry Town Council that One Voice Wales fees should not be raised more than inflation based on the CPI figure (at the time of proposing this motion, 23rd June 2016, this was 0.3%).

Council guided JA, who will attend, on their view for each.  For motions 1 & 2 – it was left for JA to decide upon hearing the presentations.  For motions 3 & 4 the view was to vote in favour and for motions 5 & 6 to vote against.

 

44.      CLERK’S REPORT

·         Cemetery – Contractor Aled Lewis engaged to undertake tree works.  A very positive reaction by many users of the Cemetery over the completed works.  One report of concern raised and the Clerk has sent a letter.

·         Councillor Vacancy – Election 8th September 2016.  Candidates listed.  Spoke today with Gaynor – Election Services Manager WCBC who will provide more cost information.  Electorate approx. 1800.  Postage costs £666 for polling cards – requested.  281 Postal votes – 1st class post out and return postage.  3 Polling stations, room hire and staff costs (6).  Email received today estimates £4,000 total cost.

·         Station Ave – Lime Tree trim.  Contacted Greenfingers Groundforce Ltd

·         SLCC 2016 Conference for Wales Llandudno 14.9.16.  Permission for Clerk to attend. £69 + VAT. Council approved.

·         Public Services Ombudsman Annual Report. Noted.

·         External Audit – submitted on time.  No further word apart acknowledged receipt on 12.7.16.

·         Code of Conduct.  Advert published and Ombudsman Wales formally advised.

·         Register of members Interests – missing submissions. Councillors concerned were notified.

·         Cllr. Newall – Clarification over CELG member list.  SN is now able to attend daytime meetings and will attend CELG meetings.

·         OVW Annual Conference – 2 delegate fees - £80 (early bird discount) each. Council approved for JA and SJ to attend.

·         Re-arrange Play Provision meeting To be arranged.

·         Bark replenishment in Offa and Black Park play areas.  SJ continues to work on this.

 

45.      APPEALS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

·         Lτn Y Bugail Trust – SN & TE declared an interest, remained in the room but took no part in discussions.  Requested to contribute towards £2,000 required to add external wall insulation.  Proposed FH and seconded BH that £500 donation be made.  Motion carried.

 

46.      CORRESPONDENCE

·         One Voice Wales – AGM Motions 2016. See minute 43 above.

·         Chirk AAA Ltd – Letter confirming receipt of £2,710 as contribution towards the Flood Lighting now installed at the Skate Park.  Noted

·         Mrs Alison Jones, West View  – Requests the bench in front of the Taxi Office be removed.  Noted and sympathise with wish to help stop anti-social behaviour recently seen in the locality.  The bench is owned by Chirk Town Council – it is understood Terry Hedge, Blacksmith built and installed some time past.  Wrexham CBC own the land.  Councillors ask for the area to be noted as a Hot Spot by PCSO team for some additional focus.  It was not thought to be right to sanction the bench’s removal at this stage.

·         Sarah Williams – Email containing a number of points.  Noted the original email and reply by the Clerk on 7th July 2016.  The minutes of the meeting made reference to, 29th June 2016, have also been made clearer – see minute 22.

·         Aled Betts – National Library of Wales – Request for Chirk Town Council’s website(s) to be included in a UK Web Archive.  Noted and approval given to take forward.

·         Bryan Grew – One Voice Wales – Fly a Flag for Commonwealth Day 2017.  Noted and Clerk to enquire over the cost of a flag and then it will be decided on whether or not to proceed.

·         Jody Woollam – Black Park play area.  Unloved and asked Cllr Terry Evans who to contact.  Noted and will Clerk will revert with the latest information.

·         Kronospan – Emergency Alarm test notification  Noted

·         Luned Evans – One Voice Wales, Wrexham/Flint Area Committee – Notice of AGM set for 7th September 2016.  Noted.

·         Katie Wilson – Concern over maintenance of play equipment on Chapel Lane.  Noted and SJ has provided an update and all matters now resolved.

 

47.      PLANNING MATTERS

The following applications for planning consent received from the Chief Planning Officer, Wrexham County Borough Planning Authority under the consultation procedures for consideration and comment was dealt with.

 

·         P/2016/0597 Beech (T18) Crown Clean, Removal Of Epicormic Growth To A Height Of 5M Above Ground Level, Lateral Crown Reduction By 2.5 M Max On East Side Of Crown, Re-Shaping And Balancing (Protected By Tpo Wcbc No 170)
Llys Y Waun, Maes Y Waun, Chirk, Wrexham.

 

Comments: The Council has no objection to the proposal.

 

·         P/2016/0642 Beech Tree (T1) - Crown Lift Southern Canopy Overhanging Boundary Fence To A Height Of 3 M In Order To Allow Pedestrian Access Beneath And Removedamaged Scaffold Limb Located 10 M South East To Prevent Future Failure (Tpo Wcbc No 22)
Yew Tree Cottage, Chapel Lane, Chirk, Wrexham.

 

Comments: The Council has no objection to the proposal.

 

·         P/2016/0670 Display Of 9 No Internally Illuminated Fascia Sign
Mcdonalds Restaurant, Chirk Park, Halton, Chirk, Wrexham.

 

Comments: The Council has no objection to the proposal.

 

·         P/2016/0671 Installation Of New Folded Roof Concept Comprising New Aluminium Cladding To Roof.
Mcdonalds Restaurant, Chirk Park, Halton, Chirk, Wrexham.

 

Comments: The Council has no objection to the proposal.

 

·         P/2016/0757 Listed Building Consent To Refurbish And Restore Existing Windows To Bring Them To Working Order, Installation Of Slim Profile Double Glazing In Existing Window Frames Retaining Original Character, Replace Existing Softwood Timber Frames And Doors In Conservatory with Better Quality Hardwood, Like for Like, With Double Glazed Panes in a Matching Design to Existing Pritection of Hips of Roof with Ridge Tiles to Closely Matching Existing Slates.
Bryn Coed, Castle Road, Chirk, Wrexham.

 

Comments: Provided the proposals are acceptable to the Listed Buildings Officer - no objection.
 

48.      ACCOUNTS/PAYMENTS

·         Payments
A list of invoices and payments (to 17.08.16) amounting to £18,715.21 & £473.37 (using pre-paid creditcard) was given to the Council and were passed for payment (see addendum).

·         Quarterly Accounts Report

SJ presented both Bank Reconciliation (showing that expenditure totalled £33,412.10 and receipts £47,707.46) and Expenditure vs. Budget reports to 30th June 2016 and were both noted and approved.

 49.      ANY OTHER BUSINESS

·         BH referred to a hedge in Pentre on a lane there where it is growing out.  The farmer is not contactable.  Could TE offer any help please ?

·         MR also spoke of a hedge issue in Castle Walk.  Could a meeting with TE be arranged to see what can be done ?

·         MH mentioned Station Ave also needed some work to keep the pavement fully usable.  Went on to update on the use of Longfields for mini football sessions for 4 to 6 year olds – really going well.  Asked for permission to run a Thursday evening session for under 8’s – granted.  Mention of some concern over the Health Centre which can be a bit chaotic at times.  Missing appointments can lead to being removed from their lists.  Encourage use of suggestion box to help improvements.
Also mentioned the Ysgol Y Waun football pitch and the goal posts.  Freedom Leisure question who is responsible for marking up and maintenance.

·         DP mention of overgrown hedges outside 3 John Street which even obscures the double yellow lines.  Also the hedge close to 31 Westview/Bus Stop/Postbox is top heavy by 2’.
The public footpath by the Trap towards the Glyn has been reported as briars are growing back.

·         SN wonders if it should be asked of Parish Hall caretakers to use their own vehicles to transport waste collected off recreational grounds ?  SJ believes this is not a regular action taken by John or Glyn.  Bags can now be left at specified locations near to the parks and they are collected along with WCBC litter collection team bags.
Referring back to the email sent in by Sarah Williams, SN felt what took place at the June Council meeting (see minute 22) was premeditated and requests this to be noted in the minutes.
Also questioned the Clerk over an email to all Councillors which linked the candidates standing in the upcoming Chirk North election to the recent Public Meeting on Air Quality.  SJ was simply passing on information that he has corresponded in the past – helping those Councillors that may have no knowledge of the people. 

·         DE mentioned the Old Post Office site on Colliery Road as becoming an eye sore.  Suggest contacting Paul Rogers at the Chirk Service Station to see if something can be done.  It is known that the Post Box adjacent is to be moved.

·         JV mentioned a recent article in the Advertizer about 619 fixed penalty tickets issued by Kingdom Security who have been engaged by Wrexham CBC to tackle littering.  He is dismayed that 568 related to cigarette litter and sees this as easy pickings.  Litter from food outlets is evident but the statistics show few tickets being issued for this problem.  Following the council recycling lorry is shameful as a much litter is left on the street.

·         FH noted a sign adjacent to a hedge in Pentre suggesting the blackberries should not be eaten as they have been sprayed – presumably weed killer.  Sees this as dangerous for younger children.
 

Meeting closed 7.50pm. (Meeting commenced at 6pm rather than the usual 7pm)

 

 

 

 

Signed                                    Chairman                                                                            28th September 2016