MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 26th OCTOBER 2016

 

Present

Cllrs. Mrs Jackie Allen (JA), Mr Dewi Evans (DE), Mrs Suzanne Newell (SN), Mrs Barbara Humphreys (BH), Mr John Vant (JV), Mr Barry Evans (BE), Mr Mark Holmes (MH), Mrs Sarah Williams (SW), Mr Frank Hemmings (FH), Mr Michael Maxfield (MM) & Mr Newman James (NJ).

WCBC Cllrs. Mr Terry Evans (TE).

No PCSO available to attend.

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

 

Apologies

Apologies for absence: Cllrs. Mr Brian Colley, Mr Deryn Poppitt, Mrs Claire Gough & Mr Mark Roberts.
WCBC Cllr. Mr Ian Roberts.

 

Declarations of Interest

None.

 

65.      MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 28th SEPTEMBER 2016

Page 1 review:
Minute 52 – TE ahead of the meeting consulted with the Clerk over the matter arising concerning minute 36 from the August 17th Ordinary Meeting.  He contests that he has never lied and these minutes being a public record should not miss-represent him.  The Clerk made a revision of the wording used which TE could accept and this was brought to the meeting. 
JA advised the meeting of the wish of TE to have the drafted minutes amended and the Clerk’s amended wording was read out. 
BE recalls making the request that the Facebook post be deleted and also requested an apology.  His reference to the posting did include his belief that the post contained lies.  BE is satisfied that the posting has been removed and the matter closed.

Agreement seemed unreachable over how best to minute.  JV suggested using quotation marks to make clear it is what BE said – his view that TE had lied.

TE wished to make clear that any statements he makes on social media are his personal views.  After the meeting the Clerk will review the statements above and make an amendment that hopefully will be acceptable to both parties.  JA did make reference to this impasse and asked for the underlying matters are settled outside of this meeting.

Page 2 review:

Minute 53 – change “up near Brynkinalt Park” to “on Brynkinalt Park”.  Requested by JV.

Page 5 review:
Minute 63 – correct the miss-spelling.  Requested by JV.


SJ will present the revised draft minutes once again for passing as an accurate record at the November meeting.

 

66.      MATTERS ARISING

FH referred to the minute 64 and was pleased to advise that the hedge has now been cut.  A chance meeting with the farmer resulted in his contractor being asked to carry out the work.

 

SJ then advised members of updates to the Action Log – covers requested actions made at earlier meetings.  12 items have been marked as complete.

 


 

 

67.      NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING

SJ advised members that PCSO Martin Griffiths was unable to join the meeting this evening due to sustaining an injury in the course of duty which requires him to remain at the Police Station.  He has supplied the usual sheet of crime statistics for Chirk for this month.  SJ has been made aware of a decision that will most likely see attendance by a PCSO will be on a quarterly basis rather than monthly as at present.  WCBC Cllr. Ian Roberts attended the meeting where the announcement was made and he will no doubt update members when he next attends.

Statistics for the latest period: 1 burglary, 1 theft from motor vehicle, 4 theft, 1 criminal damage, 1 drugs and 4 anti-social behaviour.  JA commented that is was pleasing that the number of matters reported has dropped since the previous report.

 

68.      REPORT OF STAFFING SUB-COMMITTEE MEETING HELD 12th OCTOBER 2016
Report accepted as accurate.  Proposed FH and seconded JV. Motion carried.

 

69.      REPORT OF FINANCE SUB-COMMITTEE MEETING HELD 12th OCTOBER 2016
Report accepted as accurate.  Proposed FH and seconded DE. Motion carried.

 

70.      REPORT OF GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD 12th OCTOBER 2016
Report accepted as accurate.  Proposed MM and seconded BH. Motion carried.


Regarding item 3 – Saturday Market, BE advises that a meeting with Wrexham Town Centre staff is the next step and members will be updated on progress.


JV referred to the AOB item concerning Mr. John Pierce and requested the Clerk note in the minutes actions taken and that this Council has approved them.


Wrote to David Williams WCBC Planning, Jo Rodgers WCBC Enforcement and spoke to PCSO team based in Chirk and Sean Hanratty WCBC Rights of Way.  The issue of obstruction of the gateway is a civil matter as the vehicles are on private land.  SJ sent the following SMS message to Bart (PA for John Pierce) for the attention of Mr. Pierce on 18th October 2016:-

Bart, please advise Mr. John Pierce I have done all I can to see if the vehicles blocking the gateway at the end of Sycamore Drive can be removed.  Both Wrexham Council and the Police are stating they cannot assist.  There appears to be a legal dispute and only the Court can decide.  Shaun Jones Clerk Chirk Town Council.

Bart again visited my office on Friday 21st October requesting a copy of the Agenda for the upcoming October Ordinary Council Meeting.  Earlier I had the impression that Mr. Pierce had the intention to attend to witness the Council discussing the difficulties he is having.  As Clerk I asked Bart to explain to Mr. Pierce that there will not be an Agenda item as Chirk Town Council have no powers, the Wrexham County Borough Council Legal Dept. could advise on what steps to take next.


A formal Letter of Complaint from Chirk Airfield Museum of Aircraft, Machinery & Mining Ltd – Miss CJ Mawsbury – Director received by recorded delivery on Monday 24th October 2016.  The contents implicate Chirk Town Council and Wrexham County Borough Council in the Public Footpath issue adjacent to Sycamore Drive.  Holding acknowledgement letter sent while the matter is investigated.

 

71.      REPORTS FROM COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES

 

·         BH attended the “Our Picturesque Landscape” consultation event at Ty Mawr Country Park on October 4th 2016.  BC was also due to attend a similar session in Llangollen on October 6th but he is not present this evening.  BH reported that if successful monies to improve car parking, a good deal of landscape maintenance in much of the World Heritage Corridor is planned along with improving signage.  SJ advised that he is expecting to receive the report by Sue Haygarth shortly and this will be circulated.

 

·         FH and SJ attended The Wrexham We Want event at Coleg Cambria on 12th October.  The newly created Public Services Board are putting an initial report to get the ball rolling with regard to their responsibilities under the new Future Generations Well-Being Act in Wales.  Community Councils could yet be represented on the Wrexham PSB.  Larger community councils have a legal obligation to report annually on their actions and plans to safe guard for future generations.  The PSB is to present at the next Town and Community Council Forum meeting in December at the Guild Hall, Wrexham.

 

·         JA and SJ attended the One Voice Wales Annual Conference on 1st October 2016 in Builth Wells.  Mark Drakeford AM Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government was the keynote speaker.  An email summarising his contribution was circulated to all Councillors on October 17th 2016.  At the AGM in the afternoon, SJ reported that in order for motion 1 to be voted on, there needed to be a certain number of member Councils in the room.  Unfortunately the required number were not there so it is back to the drawing board on how to proceed.  All other motions put up by member councils were passed with little contention.  The final motion concerning the increase in membership fee was passed with some objections raised.

 

72.      REPORTS – LOCAL MEMBERS WREXHAM CBC

 

·         TE advises of concern over the removal of the Post Box on Colliery Road.  He has written to Royal Mail with a request that a replacement is sited in the Bron y Waun area.  It is understood that a letter box within the Spar store is expected to be installed shortly.  SJ can confirm that it has now arrived – today.

·         In contact with Welsh Water over the smelling drains in the vicinity of the Spar, Hand Hotel and British Legion.  Gas monitors have been deployed near to the Recreation Ground and Lodgevale.  Three drain covers are to have aluminium gaskets fitted in an effort to properly seal them and stop bad smells escaping.  A job number and traffic order have been raised and BE understands work is to commence on October 31st.

·         Bin Collections have been in disarray over the last three weeks.  Distribution of new boxes by an outside contractor has been wayward to say the least.  Today a press release by Wrexham CBC offers householders to register for reminder emails stating what bin colour is being collected and on which day.  There is also follow up work being undertaken by WCBC staff to audit where the contractors went wrong and put matters straight.  Some disquiet amongst members over their personal experiences of seeing boxes launched at their properties and being damaged in the process.  Hard to understand why more care was not taken.


Questions to TE to take back to Wrexham CBC.

·         JV – really annoyed over the latest postponement of the Chirk Environmental Liaison Group meeting – scheduled three months ago for November 1st and now to take place on December 1st.  A meeting date planned with such notice should not suffer cancellation within a week of it taking place.  It is the 2nd time this year.  Chirk Town Council are obliged to their residents to report back on the air quality monitoring and this delay is wrong.  Ask that our disquiet is conveyed to the Chair of the CELG and Nick Minshall of WCBC.  This delay also means that the chance to include an update in the upcoming Community Newsletter is missed.  The proposal to write in these terms was made by JA, seconded by BE and motion carried.

·         SW – receiving a number of complaints over the workmen driving the whole length of the Rec near to Rhos y Waun.  TE agreed to look into this.

 

73.      DOG CONTROL AND DOG FOULING PROPOSED PUBLIC SPACES PROTECTION NOTICE (PSPO)
Chirk Town Council have received a letter from Wrexham County Borough Council as a consultee over the Proposed Public Spaces Protection Notice (PSPO) concerning Dog Control and Dog Fouling.  The Clerk expanded on the proposals which cover off three existing Orders that date back to 2009 and cover the whole County Borough.  Comments from Councillors did suggest that there may be some specific bye-laws for green spaces in Chirk.  It is understood that JA has requested information on these from Mr Trevor Coxon of WCBC but no answer has yet been received.  In addition do we accept that WCBC can deploy Enforcement Officers on the green areas that the Town Council own and manage ?  SJ advised Councillors of 2 instances that have been brought to his attention over dog walkers being ticketed for walking with their dogs on Chirk Recreation Ground – under the Order that stipulates dogs cannot be walked on a marked sports pitch.  There is no marked sports pitch on the rec, just 2 goal posts.  One ticket was challenged at the time and rescinded while the other was cancelled on appeal.  Members were conscious that signage needs to be upgraded or re-introduced.  TE states that on Chirk Rec there are 7 access points where signs would be needed.  If memory serves correctly for the Chirk Rec signs stated ‘No dogs “unless on a lead”’  NJ suggests that any new sign should reference that the Rec has CCTV monitoring.  SJ advised that the project to improve signage is getting pushed back, and if any Councillor is willing to assist this may speed matters up.  FH said he can spare some time and MH mentioned a sign company he recently used that could be approached.


 


 

 

In summary JA stated that the invitation to express views on the introduction on the Borough wide PSPO is noted.  If Councillors wish to respond directly this is acceptable by 11th November 2016.

 

74.      CLERK’S REPORT

A request from Friends of Chirk Station to replenish their water butt levels from the Parish Hall supply if levels fall to critical during the summer.  The Clerk should respond that being on a water meter it is difficult to simply agree when higher bills may result.  The Councillors suggest looking to property owners nearer the station (and preferably not on a metered supply) and make a polite request to replenish their water butts on an occasional basis.  If this does not bear fruit may be a local business could be approached to source some additional butts to increase the stored water onsite.

 

An invoice originated via the activities of Chirk Celebrations and Lights committee for £580 plus VAT has been received.  The Clerk asked for information over whether there are annual amounts (like standing orders) allocated to assist with Christmas Lights and likewise the Forum that have invoices for plants settled by the Council.  The Clerk was referred to the budget documents that give details for both and are treated as donations – LGA s.137.

 

75.      APPEALS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

North Wales Miners Association Trust Ltd – request assistance in providing funds to procure additional display equipment and literature to further the support given at many Community and Heritage events.  It was recalled that at a Fun Day in Chirk NWMAT did participate and proved of great interest.  Proposed by FH and seconded by MH a donation of £50 be made.  Motion carried.

 

Nightingale House Hospice – financial support requested to continue to provide palliative care for people within our Community and supporting their families and carers.  MM proposed a donation of £100 followed by an amendment proposed by FH and seconded by BE that a donation of £200 be made.  The amendment was put to the vote and motion carried.

 

Family Friends for 5’s to 11’s – to continue the support given to needy, disadvantaged families and their children living in Chirk North and South wards.  A donation of £100 was proposed by BE and seconded by MM, motion carried.

 

76.      CORRESPONDENCE

 

·         Helen Odunaiya – Partnerships and Equalities Lead (PIPS), Wrexham County Borough Council – letter explaining the work of the Wrexham Public Services Board.  There is also statutory guidance under The Well Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act for Community Councils to contribute to the local well-being plan.  Helen will present at the next Town and Community Council Forum meeting in Wrexham on 8th December.  Finally there is a suggestion that Community Councils are represented on the PSB and views on this will be sought at the Forum event.  Noted

·         Bruno Peek, Pageant Master – writes with information on “Battle’s Over” A Nations Tribute, 11th November 2018 – 100 Years of Remembrance.  It is proposed a chain of beacons are lit at 7pm to commemorate and remember. Noted

·         Christine Ashford – Friends of Chirk Station – informs the Council that Friends of Chirk Station have been nominated in the Unstaffed station category of the 2016 Keep Wales Tidy awards. Noted

·         Lynne Painter – Lôn Y Bugail Trust – writes to thank the Council for the generous donation of £500 towards the cost of the installation of external wall insulation. Noted

·         Melanie Salisbury – Partnerships Support Officer – Wrexham County Borough Council – invites the Council to submit a response giving views on the draft School Organisation Strategy (2017-2025).  The Clerk has the details if members wish to participate. Noted

 


 

 

77.      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/2016/0925 Display of 1 No. Internally Illuminated Facia Sign.
26 & 27 West View Chirk Wrexham

Comments: The Council has no objection to the proposal.

 

·         P/2016/0929 Amendment to Planning Permission (Appeal Ref No. H6955/A/215246) To Allow For The Lowering of the Boundary Hedge fronting the Development Site to 1 Metre in Height
Llys Y Waun, Maes Y Waun, Chirk Wrexham

Comments: The Council has no objection to the proposal.

 

Pre-application Consultation.

A presentation by Mr Richard Lomas, Planning Manager, Commercial Investment Property – Co-operative Group Ltd to the Planning Sub-committee took place.  This relates to land West of Chirk Recreation Ground where a planning application to build up to 24 houses is under preparation.

 

78.      ACCOUNTS/PAYMENTS

·         Payments
A list of invoices and payments (to 26.10.16) amounting to £7,918.75 & £132.34 (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.

·         Bank reconciliation and Budget Report to end of September 2016
Receipts of £94,495.57 and payments of £60,271.09 noted for the first half of the 2016/17 financial year.  Expenditure against Budget was run through the 6 categories, all noted as on track.  JV did note the Burial line as perhaps at risk of overspend but the Clerk explained the exceptional item of tree works undertaken in the first half which is a one off item of expenditure.

 

79.      ANY OTHER BUSINESS

·         NJ was expecting to see Remembrance Sunday as an agenda item for this meeting.  SJ accepted this was normally the case and due to an oversight was omitted.  He offered to bring members up to date on arrangements.  Meetings with the Royal British Legion and conversations with the Rev. Matt Wilkinson have taken place.  Great efforts to smooth out glitches seen in previous services are being made.  The wording in the order of service is being matched to the music that will be played.  The PA system has been upgraded to offer separate channels for personal address using the microphone and the playing of hymns.  A thorough test of the equipment will be rehearsed beforehand.  The church service begins at 9:45am and the service sheet for the Cenotaph Ceremony will be given to the congregation upon arrival for the Service of Remembrance.  Volunteers (likely the Scout/Guide/ATC groups) will distribute leaflets to members of the public at the Cenotaph ahead of the Church service attendees joining them.  300 leaflets will be printed.  The service will end at 10:50am or sooner to give enough time for the short march to the cenotaph.  Rev. Wilkinson will take the service.  SJ has also communicated with the Tower Captain at St Mary’s to ensure the clock strikes 11am accurately. The usual invitations to voluntary groups will be sent out next week.

·         JA also remarked that a short service on November 11th at 11am – Armistice Day will take place as usual and members are invited to attend also.

·         TE, on behalf of Chirk Community Forum he conveyed thanks to the Council for the donation towards the floral displays seen this Summer.  100kg of daffodil bulbs were planted this week which should see a nice Spring display.  SJ mentioned the crocus planting referenced at the last meeting.  The bulbs have been delivered so those that volunteered should now make plans for them to be planted out.

·         SN asks TE on a future walk around to look at the walls of the alleyway off Lloyds Lane.  Are they safe ?

·         SW advised that as a result of the special meeting held on Monday concerning some activities for the youth of Chirk that are being planned, she has suggested a contact willing to participate to meet with SN.

Meeting closed 8.22pm.

 

Signed                                    Chairman                                                                            30th November 2016