MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 28th SEPTEMBER 2016

 

Present

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

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

PCSO Mr Martin Griffiths 2532 (MG).

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

 

The Chairman (JA) extended a warm welcome to Mrs Sarah Williams who was elected on Thursday 8th September 2016 to serve on Chirk Town Council.

 

Apologies

Apologies for absence: Cllrs. Mr Michael Maxfield & Mr Newman James.

 

Declarations of Interest

Agenda item 13: Financial Appeal made by CoPE Group, Ysgol Dinas Bran – Cllr Suzanne Newell.  Requisite form completed and Cllr. Newall took no part.

 

50.      CHIRK NORTH ELECTION RESULT
Sarah Jayne Williams with 186 votes was duly elected.  Jonathan Mark Maddocks received 81.
The declaration of office was signed by Cllr. Williams.  Supporting information was also given to SW.
For information half of the votes cast were postal.  Of those cast personally at the three polling stations, Methodist Chapel 94, Pentre School 24 & Black Park Community Centre 17.  3 ballot papers were rejected.  Turnout was 14% of the c1,800 on the electoral roll.

 

51.      MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 29th JUNE 2016 & 17th AUGUST 2016

The draft minutes for the meeting held 29th June 2016 have been amended and now put to the Council as an accurate record of proceedings.  Proposed SN and seconded FH.  Carried.

The draft minutes for the meeting held 17th August 2016 have been amended and now put to the Council as an accurate record of proceedings.  Proposed DE and seconded FH.  Carried.

 

52.      MATTERS ARISING

SJ brought Councillors up to date on open matters arising from recent meetings.  3 matters have been completed.
Minute 36
BE asked if TE had removed the posting on social media.  BE alleges the contents of the post are not truthful and TE should apologise
.  TE confirmed the posting in question has been removed.

Minute 42 TE has recently written to BT over the lack of Superfast Broadband in some parts of Chirk.  Soon after he observed 5 vans outside the Hand Hotel where a new Fibre Cabinet was being commissioned.  BC confirmed that Glyn Wylfa tenants have finally been connected to a fibre service.  FH - Still a question over when Pentre will have fibre made available.  IR – told 5 months back that all work had been completed.

 

53.      NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING

Statistics for latest period: 4 assaults, 3 other than dwelling, 2 theft from motor vehicle, 2 theft, 5 criminal damage and 10 anti-social behaviour.  The Go-Safe vehicle has been sited on Holyhead Rd and 14 detections were made as well as 3 of non-wearing of seatbelts in September. The residents close to the green space by Richmond Drive/Maes Hyfrydd have requested “NO BALL GAMES” signage.  Age group of children playing there is 5 – 9 years.

·         FH – The Headmaster, John Roberts, of Ysgol Y Waun made unsuccessful attempts to raise PCSO’s on Thursday evening last.  Called the mobiles of our 2 PCSO’s and 101 and got no response.

·         BH – Speeding Offences – how often does the Go-safe team visit ?  Believed to be twice a month.

·         Richmond Gardens /Maes Hyfrydd.  WCBC have been written to, to check on the ownership of the green space.  TE wonders if it is subject to common ownership in the householders deeds, as is often the case ?

·         JV – noted a small child on a motorised 3 wheel tricycle on Brynkinalt Park.  Councillors advised this park is overseen by Ty Mawr Country Park staff.

·         TE – noted a spate of graffiti in some parts of Chirk – mostly tags.  Much has been removed, although there is more near to the bus stop on Station Avenue.

·         IR – It would be appreciated if it were possible to make comparison of statistics year on year to highlight trends.

·         MH – Top field(AAA) – mini pitches – broken glass.  Anything noted on CCTV ?

·         DP – Roof contractors – poor parking causing concerns.  IR will see if this can be looked into.

·         SW – saved her contribution as not strictly a police issue.

·         SN – ASB issues – have the <16’s been quieter ?  PCSC responded that not really – still problematic.  Instances of hanging around in groups has been seen less of late.

·         DE – Had comments passed by concerned residents over the Greengrocers having deliveries before 7am.  Just a noise and mess issue.  However then moves the lorry into St Mary’s Close and parks on double yellow lines and half on the pavement too.  Sometimes there is a van also parked behind.  An observer also concerned that these vehicles have been seen reversing into Church St – pretty dangerous.  The display of produce on the pavement does impede pedestrians.  The PCSO states that only Parking Enforcement Officers from WCBC can issue tickets for these parking infringements and that St Mary’s Close maybe be private land owned by Wales & West Housing Assn.

·         JA – Also concerned over increase in numbers – closely monitor.  It would be nice to see year on year comparison.

 

54.      REPORTS FROM COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES
FH – Jo Lane visited Chirk Town Council.  Since then Cllr Hemmings has registered to work on attaining Alzheimer Champion accreditation.  Also very much willing to push forward on Chirk attaining “Dementia Friendly Community” status too.  The next step is to have an initial meeting to establish a steering group to start the process.  It should bring in other people – e.g. Local business’ and other community organisations.  It is suggested that Mandy at Chirk Court be contacted and also publicise via social media and the Advertizer.  SN commented that she thought it was great.  BE asked what is being proposed ?  FH will now attend a course in early November.  TE also happy with the idea and commented that Chirk Court are doing a wonderful job.

 

BE – Welsh Water have been contacted over the waste water smell in Church St.  This has been a problem for over 14 years.  There is now a promise that 2 man hole covers will be properly sealed down and monitors will be installed in Chirk.

 

JA – Attended a One Voice Wales officer meeting.  They are keen to keep abreast of “Place Plans” as they evolve in Wales.  Mention of some grant monies being made available by Police Crime Fund to support CCTV.  SJ asked to investigate.  Asked for experiences of the firms used to perform the external audit – BDO/Grant Thornton.  How helpful were they.  Next years audit will have a special look at PAYE scheme operated by Community Councils.

 

55.      REPORTS – LOCAL MEMBERS WREXHAM CBC
IR – Cause of worry is that a further £4.5m - £5m of cut backs are being sought and there is fear that this estimated figure could rise.

Mention of graffiti in Chirk.

Colliery Road, no idea when works there are expected to finish.

Station Avenue is having pavement repairs undertaken.

Happy to report that Chirk is receiving its fair share of the limited funds available.

 

Roof replacements ongoing Rhos-y-Waun but concern over the scaffolding erected and no lighting – danger.  DP reports that the street lamps are c1920’s and should be updated/brought up to standard.  The lights have been out for nearly 2 months and Scottish Power will put them back on next week.

 

Footway lighting repairs in general are well managed.

 

DP addressing IR and TE over the fact that there are 8 street lights – 2 of which are working serving 120 houses.  With the fault mentioned and roofing repairs ongoing, matters are extremely dangerous.  Should the roofing work be halted ?  These are real health and safety concerns.  An official complaint has been lodged via WCBC and Scottish Power have a contact – Nicola Sutherland who is liaising on the status of the repair work.  The work is understood to be sub-contracted to Jones’.  Should I publish on social media ?  On the latter point it was thought prudent not to but if there is no positive outcome soon this advice could be revisited.

 

SN – darkness does facilitate unwelcome visitors and urged for action.

 

BE – 3 points, Footpath repairs along Colliery Road – already covered.  Also Maesywaun has need for some foot path repairs.  Hoping this will be picked up.  Numbers of people sleeping rough in Wrexham Town Centre.  Any figures on the numbers in the County Borough ?  This is estimated at 40+.  It is believed in the survey undertaken last year that some 10-15 persons were counted.  It is a very upsetting sight.  When a count is made, many move away to avoid being counted.  There are beds available and not all wish to avail.  There is some evidence that Wrexham is attracting rough sleepers from other parts of N. Wales.

 

JA – contributed that in Llandudno there is a Halfway House with 61 beds but 50 remain unused.  Also the Dragon Kitchen.  Often simply folks choose to sleep rough even if hostel accommodation is available.

 

IR – also anecdotally believes some even have their own homes, an example of a father and son who sleep rough by choice.

 

TE – The issue does require a multi-agency approach:-

·         Provision of a Day Centre

·         Breakfast offered

·         5pm meal

 

Still the folks are on the streets all day – could something else be thought of ?

A lot of work is going on.  Not sure if solutions are all there.

 

FH – No care appears to be demonstrated by the team operating the WCBC Recycling truck.  I personally have to sweep up after their visit.  Maybe it could be regarded as fly tipping ?  The new recycle containers (on trolley) are unfriendly.  It is understood that the Welsh Assembly Government contributed 50% of the cost.  They are not suited to all property types.

One additional matter that Cllr. James asked me to raise, concerns the smelly drains in the vicinity of Hand Terrace.  See minute 54 and statement by BE.

 

JV – Received a letter by post concerning the new arrangements for re-cycling.

 

56.      SATURDAY MARKET – COLLIERY ROAD CAR PARK
The Clerk advised of a recent meeting with two Wrexham County Borough Council officials where they made the proposal that Chirk Town Council took over the management and administration of the Saturday Market sited on the Colliery Road Car Park.  Since April no representative of Wrexham Markets team has visited to collect rents.  In addition to this, it is understood there has been no stall holder presence in recent weeks.  At its peak there were 5 or so stalls, Fruit & Veg, Meat & Veg, Hardware, Flower/Plants & Clothing.  Each stallholder paid £12 in rent each week.  Some legal agreement/service level agreement would need to be put in place.

BE states that Chirk has the market town designation.

JA would like to see this taken on and also grow – e.g. a meatman would be welcome as this is a draw,

It was proposed to put this matter on a future General Purposes Committee meeting agenda so that councillors can explore this matter in greater detail.  Proposed by BE and seconded by SN – motion carried.

An overall risk assessment will need to be drawn up.  DP asked if initially we may have to spend money to get these ideas off the ground.  IR touched on whether some insurance is in place as Wrexham County Borough are the land owners.  This will be checked.  The stall holders themselves most likely have insurance cover too, this would need to be verified regularly and documentary proof provided.

BE is happy to investigate further.  The current Wrexham Town Centre manager is understood to be Amanda Davies and the Clerk will provide the contact details he has.

57.      ANNUAL RETURN 2015/16 – EXTERNAL AUDITORS REPORT
The Clerk updated Councillors on the completion of the External Audit of Accounting Statements 2015-16.  No matters were raised by Grant Thornton who conducted the audit and they have signed the Annual Return.  Their invoice for £231.00 plus VAT is to follow.  SJ will now put up the statutory “Conclusion of Audit Notice” on our notice boards and website.  It must be displayed for 14 days.


JV proposed a vote of thanks to the Clerk for having achieved an unqualified audit taking account that it was unchartered waters having only been in post for 6 months at the start of the internal/external audit processes.  All Councillors added their approval.

 

58.      CONSULTATIONS
A number of upcoming consultations were reviewed in turn by members.

 

“Our Picturesque Landscape” – a Heritage Lottery bid for £1.3m. The project centres on the landscape of the Dee Valley and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site.

 

BC agreed to attend the consultation event at Plas Newydd, Llangollen on October 6th.

SJ to call Sue Haygarth to request survey and also consider inviting local business owners to participate as well.

 

The Wrexham We Want – consultation closes 24th October 2016 and an invitation to attend an event on Wednesday 12th October 2016 at Coleg Cambria, Yale, Wrexham.  FH and SJ to attend.

 

Difficult Decisions Budget consultation.  In view of time limitations it was moved this be added to the agenda of the next General Purposes Committee meeting.

 

Two further Consultations covering Parliamentary Constituency Boundary Changes and Affordable Fire & Rescue Services for North Wales were deferred to be added to an upcoming meeting agenda as the closing dates are some way off.

 

59.      CLERK’S REPORT

Due to time constraints much of what the Clerk wished to report has been deferred.

 

For the record SJ attended the following meetings/events since our last monthly meeting:-

·         Society of Local Council Clerks – Regional Meeting, Llandudno

·         Place Plans – Planning Aid Wales – Colwyn Bay

·         Quarterly meeting SLCC Clwyd Branch – Colwyn Bay

·         British Legion – Remembrance Sunday planning

·         Youth Provision – Wrexham CBC

·         Town & Community Council Forum – Wrexham CBC

·         Cemetery matter – family meeting

 

60.      APPEALS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

·         North Wales Deaf Association – proposed FH and seconded SN that this appeal be left on the table.  Motion carried.

·         Year 10 CoPE Group, Ysgol Dinas Bran. 

SN declared a personal interest – form completed.

JV proposed that we repeat what was done last year – the Council send a donation of £20 (the equivalent of 2 ticket sales).  Motion carried.

 

61.      CORRESPONDENCE

·           Wendi Huggett – One Voice Wales – Training Courses schedule. Noted – there is interest in maybe Chirk TC hosting some bespoke Councillor training – SJ to investigate.

·           Helen Belton – Coedpoeth CC – Free car park but wish to make ticketed short stay. Noted and reply that Chirk Town Council are not in favour at present.

·           Karen Humphreys – Chirk AAA Ltd – Plans to hold a Bonfire evening on Sat. 5th November 2016. Noted

·           Christine Ashford – Friends of Chirk Station – Emails relating to her appointment as Chair of Governors for Ysgol Dinas Bran, Llangollen and Crocus planting for Health & Well Being. Also recent RHS awards. Noted – if additional planting sites in Chirk are needed, it was proposed that some could be planted in the Cemetery – along the inside of the fence line (turn right upon entering the main gates).  JV, SW & SN can be approached to assist.  SJ to let Christine know.

·           Sheila Dee – Community Rail Officer – Update on signage renewal. Noted

 

62.      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/2016/0802 Removal of 2 No Trees – T1 Chamaecyparis and T2 Ash (Protected by Chirk Conservation Area)
Ty Ririd, Castle Road Chirk Wrexham


Comments: The Council has no objection to the proposal.

 

·         P/2016/0832 Replace Existing Timber Door with New UPVC Door
1 Oakcroft Station Avenue Chirk Wrexham


Comments: The Council has no objection to the proposal.

 

63.      ACCOUNTS/PAYMENTS

·         Payments
A list of invoices and payments (to 28.09.16) amounting to £7,502.13 & £112.33 (using pre-paid creditcard) was given to the Council and were passed for payment (see addendum).  Proposed JV and seconded DE for approval – motion carried.

 

64.      ANY OTHER BUSINESS

·         FH - Just a mention of the upcoming Chirk Celebrations & Light Committee organised event at St Marys Church this coming Friday.  Just £5 for a family of 4.
- The farmer’s hedge in Pentre is still to be cut.  TE to report again.

·         BH – the brambles need to be strimmed. 

·         BC – for information, on 19th October 2016 the National BIG Lottery Awards will be hosted at Glyn Wylfa.

·         MR – reports that the land dispute has been resolved (Castle Walks area) and thanks TE for his assistance.  Also the faulty street light has been fixed.

·         DP – repeating from last meeting, the brambles along the path known as the Glen needs attention.  Also poor parking by the Take-Aways on Colliery Road.

·         SW – just to report while canvassing in Chirk North to discover such a beauty as the village of Pentre.

·         SN has concerns over limited visibility on junction behind where there is a bungalow being constructed on Maes-y-Waun.  Requests for the youth provision special meeting to be convened sonnest. 

·         BE has been contacted over the recent grass maintenance work at Chirk Cemetery.  SJ advised this was reported to him too and he posted on This is Chirk group :-
Sept 15th Grass cutting - Chirk Cemetery. Just to let residents know that the team from Greenfingers Ground Maintenance have been contacted over the poor standard seen last Tuesday. We should see a cut every 11 working days in the grass growing season but due to a family bereavement the team did miss our usual slot. This meant that on Tuesday there was more grass to cut and by half way through the job there was a heavy downpour/storm to make matters worse. So sincere apologies for those familes with loved ones farthest away from the main gates as wet grass has not been blown off the memorials sufficiently well. The Greenfingers team will pay particular attention to this area when they next visit and I am sure the job all round will be much improved. I am asking you for your understanding. Shaun Jones Clerk - Chirk Town Council.

·         FH one extra point to mention, the fact the new floodlights over the skatepark are extending the ability to use the facility by some hours each evening.
 

Meeting closed 9.20pm.

 

 

 

Signed                                    Chairman                                                                            30th November 2016