MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 30th NOVEMBER 2016

 

Present

Cllrs. Mr Frank Hemmings (FH), Mrs Suzanne Newell (SN), Mrs Barbara Humphreys (BH), Mr John Vant (JV), Mr Barry Evans (BE), Mr Mark Roberts (MR), Mr Deryn Poppitt (DP), Mr Brian Colley (BC), Mr Mark Holmes (MH), Mrs Sarah Williams (SW) & Mr Newman James (NJ).

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

No PCSO available to attend.

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

 

Chair of the Meeting - Cllr. Frank Hemmings will deputise in Cllr Allen’s absence.

 

Cllr. Hemmings asked all present to stand as a mark of respect over the news that Cllr. Dewi Evans passed away on Friday 28th October 2016.  He was a Community Councillor for Llay, Gwersyllt and Chirk over a period in excess of 30 years.  He was Chair of Chirk Town Council for 3 periods of office.  He will be sorely missed.  After a minutes silence and reflection the meeting commenced.

 

Apologies

Apologies for absence: Cllrs. Mrs Jackie Allen, Mr Michael Maxfield & Mrs Claire Gough.

 

Declarations of Interest

None.

 

80.      MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 28th SEPTEMBER 2016 & 26th October 2016

The draft minutes for the meeting held 28th September 2016 have been amended and now put to the Council as an accurate record of proceedings.  Proposed JV and seconded BC. Carried.

The draft minutes for the meeting held 26th October 2016 are now put to the Council as an accurate record of proceedings.  Proposed DP and seconded BH. Carried.

 

81.      MATTERS ARISING

DP has made a request to have any guidance notes on the use of social media to be distributed to all Councillors.  SJ to action.

 

TE advised that the walls making the alley way off Lloyds Lane have been checked, SN requested at last meeting.  They are deemed to be in a safe condition.

 

82.      REPORT OF GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD 24th OCTOBER 2016
Report accepted as accurate.  Proposed SN and seconded BE. Motion carried.

 

83.      NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING
No PCSO presence tonight.  The latest Local Policing Engagement Plan was discussed at the All Member Workshop on 6.9.16 at which WCBC Cllr. Ian Roberts was present.  It is understood that a PCSO will now only attend our Council Meeting on a quarterly basis beginning January 2017.  The monthly statistics report on Crime and ASB will continue to be published and presented to Council.  The local PCSO team have also had discussions with the Clerk concerning the provisions of the Crime & Disorder Act 1998 and their view that there is an onus upon Councils and Agencies to have plans in place to assist the overall piece relating to community safety.  SJ has made some initial background research and does see the Principal Authority as one of the 5 statutory responsible authorities noted in the Act.  Chirk Town Council do of course sit beneath and should play a part in contributing to plans.  The recent installation of the new CCTV system is a major initiative by Chirk Town Council in their efforts to make Chirk a safer place to live.

An update (via email) from PCSO Martin Griffiths was referred to Councillors over the actions taken by the Safer Neighbourhood Team with regard to concerns over the Black Van incident – noted.

The full report of Crime and ASB statistics were discussed.  MH does have a particular issue over illegal drug use and questions why little appears to be being done in Chirk.  He advises that in the vicinity of the Leisure Centre clear evidence is seen of dealing and use.  DP asks if it is known what class of drugs are involved ?  Mention of the Welsh Assembly Government prohibiting stop/search/use of sniffer dogs on school premises when it is known that students on school transport are taking drugs.  Are incidents being reported ?  It is suggested a meeting with the Police Inspector be arranged to raise these issues.  SJ will action.

Finally mention of the visibility of the Police in Chirk is compromised by the new location of the station premises at Glyn Wylfa – way out of the settlement.  Also the Council would like to understand the current priorities of the PCSO’s based in Chirk.

 

84.      REPORTS FROM COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES

 

·         BE is the Chirk Town Council representative on the Ysgol Y Waun Board of Governors.  He is concerned that no notices of upcoming meetings are being received.  FH is the Chair of the Board of Governors and will take this concern offline and it is expected to be fully resolved.

 

·         SN attended the Ysgol Dinas Bran CoPE Evening fundraiser at the White Waters Country Hotel in Llangollen.  The Year 10 students did extremely well.  SJ has just received a note that the overall amount raised has now exceeded £600 in aid of Hope House Children’s Hospice in Oswestry.

 

·         FH has completed Dementia Champion training.  He is proposing to organise a meeting in January to look into Chirk applying for “Dementia Friendly” accreditation.  He is also participating in the Wrexham Steering Group so hopefully we can replicate some of the good ideas coming forward.
 

85.      REPORTS – LOCAL MEMBERS WREXHAM CBC

 

·         IR reports that the level of funding cuts is confirmed as £5m.  This represents 0.5% reduction.  Looks to continue for at least the next 3 years.  Population figures affected the formula.  Gwynedd for example was a winner – up 0.9%.

·         Problems with the bins and recycling continue.  The service has been poor for 2 months.

·         TE has nothing to add.


Questions to IR/TE to take back to Wrexham CBC.

·         BE asked to know exactly where the cuts are to be made.  IR understands that via the Difficult Decisions consultation some £3.5m are being discussed and an additional £1.5m in efficiency savings are hoped for.  There is no concrete information available as yet.

·         BE asked for status on the planning application for Traveller Site pitches up by Black Park.  It was confirmed that this application was refused by WCBC Planning Dept.

 

86.      iBEACON  - LOCAL HERITAGE INFORMATION POINTS.
SJ introduced this agenda item having included DP in the initial analysis over whether a group of interested volunteers could be identified to spearhead for the locality of Chirk.  DP has also spoken with Sarah Jones of Cadwyn Clwyd to learn more about the initiative.  Recently we have received a Project Participation agreement which requests a contribution of £750 by Chirk Town Council for approx.. £2,500 of project value.  We anticipate 10-12 beacon sites – which could include a town trail.  The range of a specific beacon can be set between 10 and 200m depending on the point of interest.  It is understood that the Chirk & Ceiriog Valley Partnership may also be considering joining the IBeacon project so as a neighbour we have a good opportunity to collaborate on deployment.  DP confirms that he and 5 others are willing to be involved in the Chirk project.

BC outlined the drawbacks of keeping information up to date, based on his experience at Glyn Wylfa where a WCBC Tourist Info Point is sited.  He also wondered if there was overlap between the 2 systems ?  Hearing more from the iBeacon team should help clarify and JV suggests including some of the WCBC tourism team as well.

SJ explored the idea of Sarah visiting our January Council Meeting to present the project in greater detail and in principal she is happy to visit.  It was proposed by DP and seconded by SW that an invitation should be extended.  Motion carried.


 

87.      BUDGET/PRECEPT PREPARATIONS
SJ asked Councillors to consider any initiatives for our next financial year where money will need to be budgeted.  We have received a notice from WCBC Electoral Office concerning the May 2017 elections and a suggestion to budget in case of any contested election – for Chirk North & South the figure proposed is £5,500.  Other areas SJ suggests are considered are Burial Ground extension project – a very rough idea is £50,000 spend which would need to be raised over a 3 year period, CCTV expansion, Playground equipment renewal, Parish Hall improvements – Tea bar refresh and toilet block.

It is proposed that the December meeting be scheduled for Wednesday 14th and has an agenda specifically covering budget forecasting and setting the precept.

 

88.      CLERK’S REPORT

·         The Clerk was pleased to report to Councillors that the Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday events were successful.  Finally the gremlins were banished in the sound system and we received positive feedback from many of those that attended.  Thanks to those Councillors that were present. 

·         SJ received an invitation from Chirk Celebrations and Lights Committee to switch on the Christmas Lights in Chirk on Saturday 3rd December.  He has accepted although did feedback there were probably other far more worthy citizens of Chirk for this honour. 

·         SJ re-visited 2 quotations from Greenfingers Groundforce Ltd for adding fresh play bark to two play areas.  He had been asked to enquire whether Wrexham County Borough Council would be prepared to hand over the play areas in best maintained state and refresh the play bark.  Martin Howarth of WCBC explained to the Clerk that the Service Level Agreement in place clearly states Chirk TC are responsible and that no funds would be forthcoming.  3 years ago Chirk TC were offered the play areas to manage or they would be closed.  Because the quotations total £2,700 alternative longer term options should be considered.  If we continue with play bark as the surface we will continue to be faced by replenishment costs.  SJ to invite suggestions from play surface suppliers.

·         Councillors did express a wish to refurbish Black Park play area as this has been an issue raised for over 5 to 6 years.  Contributions explained that the community needs to be consulted and some kind of plan that would cover a wider age range – currently our play area is limited to 8 years and under.  SJ has been contacted by interested residents and a meeting does need to go ahead to explore options.

·         A program of bespoke One Voice Wales Councillor Training sessions were arranged based at Chirk Parish Hall and offered to Chirk Councillors and neighbouring Community Councils.  The courses were run on Mondays 7, 14, 21 & 28 November.  50 places were taken up – 20 by Chirk TC.  Each place was billed at £34.50 to break even.  The training cost to Chirk TC was £690 and approved by Councillors.  Thanks to Tina Earley, Clerk Bay of Colwyn TC our trainer, who did an excellent job.  BH & DP thanked the Clerk for initiating and for organising these worthwhile courses.

·         Christmas Lights – it was confirmed that the usual budget contribution by the Council was £1,000.  SJ will invoice for any excess to Chirk Celebrations & Lights Committee.

·         Tree management on Chirk Recreation Ground being undertaken in 2 phases.  The first has been completed at a cost of £500 and further £300 has been estimated.  Approved.

·         SJ briefly covered the Ongoing Matters report which details all outstanding actions from previous Council Meetings. 

·         A Framed Photo has been presented to Chirk Town Councillors by Stephen Davies who is responsible for the U13 Squad.  They are pictured proudly wearing their new football kit which has the Council as their sponsor.  BC, JA, BH & FH are pictured with the team.  All noted this as a nice gesture.

 

89.      APPEALS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Royal British Legion Annual Appeal – SJ advised that of late the payment made for the 2 wreaths presented by Chirk Town Council at Chirk and Pentre War Memorials on Remembrance Sunday are invoiced and paid for - £40 while our usual donation is £200 annually.  It was proposed by BC and seconded by DP that we make a top-up donation to the appeal of £160 – motion carried.

 

British Red Cross – North Wales Office – financial support requested.  DP proposed a donation of £50 and this was seconded by MH.  Motion carried.

 

Anglesey National Eisteddfod 2017 – SJ advised our usual annual donation was £50.  This can sometimes be raised to £100 when the event is staged closer to home.  JV made a proposal that we double our £50 donation this year for the Angelsey event in memory of Cllr. Dewi Evans who was a long term supporter of the National Eisteddfod (as well as the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod). This was seconded by all present and carried.

 

Marie Curie – Local NE Wales Service – financial support requested.  SN proposed a donation of £100 and this was seconded by MH.  Motion carried.

 

90.      CORRESPONDENCE

 

·         Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914 – 1918’s Programme 2017 Brochure – invited to submit information on any planned events for next year.  Also Partnership Day 2017 is to be held on 26.1.17 at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells.  Any organisations or individuals working on WW1 Centenary projects are invited to attend.  Noted.

·         Bruno Peek, Pageant Master – issues on update 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. Suggested that the Clerk writes to Chirk Castle to enquire if there would be interest in hosting in 2018.

·         Christine Ashford – Friends of Chirk Station – informs the Council that the group have received a number of accolades this year including success at the recent Keep Wales Tidy Awards.  They were presented with the award of “Best Unstaffed Station”. The Clerk was asked to write a note of congratulations from the Council.

·         Wales Community Health Councils – Gwen Clements – writes to inform of the process of reviewing National Atandards for CHC’s in Wales.  Views are invited. The Clerk was asked to circulate to all Councillors and they can contribute any views they might have on the standards.

·         Wrexham Fairtrade Coalition – Renewal of Status – see http://wrexhamfairtrade.org.uk. Noted

·         Youth Support Services – 4 letters dated 28.10.16, 3.11.16 & 14.11.16 (2). – these will form part of the ongoing evaluation of how Chirk Town Council will consider the redeployment of budgeted funds that were allocated to the WCBC School Holiday Playwork Scheme which we have decided to no longer participate in. The Clerk will make reference in planned future meetings.

 

91.      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/2016/0998 Change of Use from Dog Parlour (Use Class A1) to Food and Drink (Use Class A3).
Unit 4 Colliery Road Chirk Wrexham

Comments: The Council has no objection to the proposal.

 

92.      ACCOUNTS/PAYMENTS

·         Payments
A list of invoices and payments (to 30.11.16) amounting to £7,633.13 & £330.23 (using pre-paid creditcard) was given to the Council and were passed for payment (see addendum).  Proposed JV and seconded DP for approval – motion carried.

 

93.      ANY OTHER BUSINESS

·         JV had a statement to acknowledge that it was good to see children on cycles being trained - close to his home although an adult was also noted as cycling on the footpath at the same time !

·         FH reported that crocus planting (Holyhead Rd and Cemetery) and the replacement of 2 oaks on Chirk Recreation Ground has been undertaken.  A purple Spring supporting the eradication of polio is eagerly awaited.  IN addition a reminder to members that the Christmas Lights will be turned on this Saturday preceded by the Ysgol Y Waun choir singing in St Marys Church.

 

Meeting closed 8.25pm.

 

Signed                                    Chairman                                                                            14th December 2016

.