MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 25th JANUARY 2017

 

Present

Cllrs. Mrs Jackie Allen (JA), Mr Frank Hemmings (FH), Mr Michael Maxfield (MM),
Mrs Barbara Humphreys (BH), Mr Mark Roberts (MR), Mr John Vant (JV), 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).
PCSO Dean Sawyer (DS).
Guest Speakers Ms. Sarah Jones – Cadwyn Clwyd & Mr Simon Wingett – The Dragon Tower.
WCBC Destination Manager – Mr Joe Bickerton.

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

 

Apologies

Apologies for absence: Cllrs. Mrs Suzanne Newell, Mr Barry Evans & Mrs Claire Gough.

 

Declarations of Interest

None.

 

100.    MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 14th DECEMBER 2016

The draft minutes for the meeting held 14th December 2016 are now put to the Council as an accurate record of proceedings.  Proposed MM and seconded BH as an accurate record - Confirmed and Motion Carried.

 

101.    MATTERS ARISING

Minute 90 – 14.12.2016 – FH has offered to draw up some initial sign designs and with MH arrange for

                                           quotations for their manufacture and installation.  SJ also to input.

 

102.    NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING
2 statistics reports considered covering December and January.  6 Assaults, 3 Vehicle (all insecure – not locked), 4 Shoplifting/Theft, 1 Criminal Damage and 17 Anti-Social Behaviour (8 relate to neighbourhood dispute).  DS gave specific advice to not to leave cars unlocked.
Noted that the Police Inspector met with Councillors and Clerk last week and has been invited to attend our February meeting.

 

·         Kronospan vehicles have been unable to access the site while their weighbridge has been out of action.  This has seen many HGV’s having to park on the B5070 causing chaos for other road users.  The company has been seen stepping in to assist vehicles onto their site. This problem has happened on a number of occasions in recent weeks.

·         NJ made comment that robbery/burglary is on the rise in the Wrexham area.  Is there anything the community can do to safeguard from being a victim ?  DS advises that some pro-active work by the crime car based up at Johnstown is being undertaken in Chirk.  A more visual stance, maybe a marked police car would deter.  The culprits are from out of the area and residents need to be more vigilant.

·         TE advised lorries have been seen blocking pavements.  Photos were posted on Facebook.  Thankfully no queues since.  Today there is much evidence of mud on the road which has been reported to Wrexham CBC and Kronospan.  There is also nuisance parking by the Solicitors office on Colliery Road.  Mainly at the weekends and again pavements are blocked.

·         MH made mention of a news story about a resident of St Marys Close which was disturbing.  DS was not aware of this and it was suggested this be taken outside of the meeting.

·         DP asked for more information on the neighbourhood disputes reported.  DS said that 2 addresses with neighbours just not getting on.

·         JA noted illegal parking on the Pedestrian crossing zig-zags first thing – 7:15am-7:30pm.  Wagons parking and grabbing some breakfast.  Other Councillors also observe cars parking in the evenings including taxis.  JV some is down to blue badge holders misuse.

·         With the roadworks at Gledrid there will be higher traffic flows at night on the B5070 for 6 months.

·         SJ read out an email offer of Community Speed Watch from PCSO team.

·         DS advised of passing information on 2 fund sources for community crime prevention – PACT (max. £2,000 grant) and Crimebeat (max £500 grant) to SJ.  SJ stated they are aimed at engaging the youth in a community.  JA believes the Proceeds of Crime Fund have provided grants towards improving CCTV in a community.  This is an area of interest for Chirk Town Council.  DS explained that this source is not making grants at present.

 

103.    PRESENTATION BY SIMON WINGETT – THE DRAGON TOWER
Simon thanked the Council for the opportunity to come and present an update on the project to erect The Dragon Tower near to Halton on the A483.  Some bullet points that Simon shared with Council:-

·         The planning application was approved for a further 5 years

·         Integrity of the project unchanged – see www.thewelshdragon.co.uk

·         Presentations to Finance Wales and Business Angels due to take place in coming days at Celtic Manor

·         Estimated as £2.5m project with in excess of £1m to be raised through crowdfunding www.seedrs.com/welsh-dragon  – this offer will go live in the near future.

·         Mr Wingett asked to be invited back to Council meeting in a few months time, maybe May 2017, to provide even more detail on progress and with a 3D CGI presentation. Finance offers should also be firmer by that time.

·         VisitWales have pledged 20% purely on the job creation aspect of the project.

·         Confident that this project is going to happen – BC requested the detailed business plan.

·         Those that have made donations over the 7 years of the project thus far will see credits listed on a plaque when the project is opened to the public.

JA thanked Simon for taking the time to come along and present and take questions.

 

104.    PRESENTATION OF iBEACON INITIATIVE – SARAH JONES, CADWYN CLWYD
Sarah Jones, Natural Resources Officer with Cadwyn Clwyd and Jo Danson have been invited this evening to present the iBeacon project rollout and take questions from Councillors.  In addition Joe Bickerton of Wrexham County Borough Council who is Destination Manager was invited to clarify points surrounding the Tourist Infopoints (one installed at Glyn Wylfa Cafι) and if these work alongside the iBeacon plans or maybe duplicate ?  Some bullet points that Sarah, Jo and Joe shared with Council:-

·         It was noted that the Chirk & Ceiriog Valley Partnership have also expressed interest in the iBeacon initiative and would welcome linking up with Chirk Town Council to have a seamless rollout in our locality.

·         Councillors were shown a presentation with commentary from Sarah and Jo.  This helped bring all Councillors up to speed on the proposal and that Chirk Town Council were being invited to take part in the pilot rollout stage.

·         Joe expressed satisfaction that the current Infopoint and an iBeacon network are complementary.

·         DP has indicated that he can muster up to 6 volunteers to form the initial team to work on the content and implementation in Chirk.  Up to 12 beacons can be deployed.

·         The match funding formula asks for £750 from organisations participating which should unlock some £2,500 of value.

·         Councillors asked to allow for more in depth discussion for this to added to the agenda of an upcoming General Purposes Committee meeting where a decision whether or not to proceed will be made.

JA thanked Sarah, Jo and Joe for taking the time to present and take questions.

 

105.    REPORT OF STAFF SUB-COMMITTEE MEETING HELD 17TH JANUARY 2017
The draft report for the meeting held 17th January 2017 is now put to the Council as an accurate record of proceedings.  Proposed FH and seconded MR as an accurate record - Confirmed and Motion Carried.

 

106.    REPORT OF FINANCE SUB-COMMITTEE MEETING HELD 17TH JANUARY 2017
The draft report for the meeting held 17th January 2017 is now put to the Council as an accurate record of proceedings.  Proposed FH and seconded BH as an accurate record - Confirmed and Motion Carried.

A matter arising from item 5 – arrangements for the Interim Audit to take place on Friday 3rd February 2017 have now been made.

 


 

107.    REPORTS FROM COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES
BC reported on attending the Open House at the Engine House, Bersham on the 18th December 2016.  Very good to meet people who have personal recollections even though it is 30 years ago that the last mine in the Wrexham & District closed.  There was also discussion of an upcoming 50th anniversary of Ifton Colliery which may create a new memorial commemoration.

FH reported on his recent accreditation as a Dementia Friend and he announced an initial event to spread the word in Chirk on 6th February 2017 at 12 noon – all welcome.

 

108.    REPORTS – LOCAL MEMBERS WREXHAM CBC
TE nominated to give the report this evening.

·         A tidy up by WCBC Environment Dept underway – public space gardening and hedge cutting has seen much improvement.

·         Thanks to JV and partner Carol for pruning the roses.

·         A litter pick by TE & IR collected some 12 bags of rubbish near to the Canal Wood Ind. Estate and both ends of the Aqueduct.

·         Some miss-information about changes to Bus route 64 noted.  A leaflet posted on Facebook.  Fears allayed as no changes are expected – the route is safe in its current form.

·         WCBC and National Trust are jointly bidding for one of the Poppy Sculptures to be installed at Chirk Castle in 2018.

·         HMP Berwyn is a category C prison to house 2168 male prisoners.  It is to be a rehabilitation centre of excellence.  It is estimated the project is bringing £25-30 million into the local community and 1,000 new jobs.

·         Work to provide for disabled access close to the Opticians on Station Ave – i.e. dropping the kerb approved.

Chirk Councillors invited to raise any questions/matters with the WCBC Councillors.

·         FH made comment on Bin Collecting Day where he noted some instances of black bins full of material suitable for recycling.  He questioned if households are towing the line ?  IR commented that overall WCBC are performing well for rate of recycling – now 73% and this is hailed a success.

·         NJ requested an update on the planning application for Traveller Pitches near Halton.  The WCBC refusal centred on Highways impact and now this application is being appealed against it is expected to be upheld.  There is some traffic monitoring/survey underway now close to the proposed site (probably the wrong time of year though).  Simon Wingett’s Dragon Tower could be adversely affected and of course the 135 jobs at McDonalds Restaurant – would they be impacted ?

·         SW notes there are no litter bins from Whitehurst into Chirk along the Chirk Canal.  It was confirmed that the Canal & River Trust refused to install bins as employees are not willing to empty.

·         SW mentions Waldon Cres. Could another street light in the cul-de-sac please be installed ?  What lights in place have recently been upgraded.  It is understood that WCBC have refused installation of more.

·         MH (who recently met with the Police Inspector & Sgt.) put forward the suggestion that the railings be extended in front of the Spar supermarket to discourage drivers parking on the zig zags by the pedestrian crossing.  It was requested this be put to Highways please.

·         MH, with reference to Walden Avenue, also drew attention to lack of street lighting exacerbated by poor drainage – pools of water and broken tarmac.
 


 

109.    APPEALS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Macmillan Cancer Support – financial support requested.  BC proposed a donation of £100 and this was seconded by SW.  Motion carried.

 

Home Start – Support and Friendship for Families – financial support requested.  FH proposed a donation of £50 and this was seconded by MR.  Motion carried.

 

Tenovus – financial support requested.  JV proposed this request be left on the table and this was seconded by DP.  Motion carried.

 

Black Park Community Centre – financial support requested.  SJ understands that previous requests have had a specific project proposal linked to the appeal.  It is understood that the building requires some external pointing work undertaken and it has been suggested to the Treasurer who wrote in that this request be re-submitted when the contractor to be appointed has provided a written estimate.  This approach was approved by Council.

 

110.    CORRESPONDENCE

·         Wrexham CBC – reply to our request for information with regard to Byelaws and this states that no information on any specific Byelaws implemented by Chirk Town Council is held and encloses details of the Borough-wide Byelaws. Noted.

·         Wrexham CBC Public Rights of Way Improvement Plan – Initial Consultation, submit by 30th January 2017.  FH/DP/SJ to agree on reply.

·         Wrexham CBC – Public Transport Officer – Confirmation that so far as Bus route 64 is concerned – no proposed changes are being considered.  Noted.

·         Wrexham CBC – Traffic Management – Confirmation that funding for an interactive sign for Pentre corner has been found.  Due to the number of accidents the funds were made available. Noted.

·         A resident on Chirk Bank – Expressing concerns over recent alteration of traffic flow at the Hand Hotel Carpark.  SJ has received responses from WCBC Rights of Way and Highways which indicate there is little chance of success in claiming a public right of way and being private land there is no power to request a roll back to the previous informal arrangement. The resident asks Chirk Town Council to request a Modification Order.  It was stated Chirk Town Council can’t act in this instance as we do not represent residents of Chirk Bank.  Also, in the light of the advice received we accept there is little chance of success.  It was proposed to reply to the correspondent along these lines. All agreed - Motion Carried.

·         One Voice Wales – Training Opportunities – email promoting the training courses available for Councillors.  Noted.

·         Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB – Event Feb 2nd 2017 – Froncysyllte Community Centre – SJ plans to attend and offers the chance to Councillors to come along.  Noted.

·         One Voice Wales – Reform of School Governance Regulatory Framework – email outlining a consultation on proposed changes.  To be replied to by February 17th 2017.  Noted and convene Consultations Committee to draft a response.

·         One Voice Wales – Consultation on changing the name of the National Assembly – email outlining a consultation on proposed changes.  To be replied to by March 3rd 2017.  Noted and convene Consultations Committee to draft a response.

·         Letter from Gareth & Angela Hughes – Response to outline planning permission application off Station Avenue.  Noted.

·         Report on Chirk Community Agent activities – Cath Gleaves has been in post since June 2016 and this written report provides summary details of the assistance provided to those requesting her sign posting service.  41 households have used the service.  WCBC also write – providing news that the Intermediate Care Fund have made their assistance recurring so WCBC are offering financial support for a Community Agent in Chirk beyond the already agreed 2 year initial funding agreement. Noted and SJ to accept the extension to the funding beyond March 2018 changing to in place until notified.  Councillors made positive comments on Cath and the CA role.

·         Marie Curie – Letter of thanks for donation of £100.  Noted.

·         British Red Cross – Letter of thanks for donation of £50.  Noted.

·         National Eisteddfod – Letter of thanks & receipt for donation of £100.  Noted.

 


 

111.    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/2016/1094 Listed Build Consent for Rear Hall/Link Block Extension, Replacement of Lean To Roof with New Lead Covered Flat Roof and Associated Alterations
The Forge Pont y Blew Chirk


Comments:
The Council comments that if this application is acceptable to the Conservation Officer then they have no objection to the proposal.

 

·         P/2016/1095 Single Storey Extension
The Forge Pont y Blew Chirk

Comments: The Council comments that if this application is acceptable to the Conservation Officer then they have no objection to the proposal.

 

The report of the Plans Sub-committee meeting held on 17th January 2017 was passed as an accurate record. Motion carried.

It was noted that P/2015/0225 Land West of and Adjacent to The Bungalow, Old Black Park Road, Halton, Chirk, Wrexham where the WCBC Planning Authority refused permission for 7 Traveller Pitches is now being appealed.  See Minute 108 above.

 

112.    ACCOUNTS

·         Payments
A list of invoices and payments (to 25.01.17) amounting to £17,033.03 & £19.34 (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.

·         Quarterly Accounts Report
The Bank Reconciliation and Budget report were presented to end of December 2016.  Receipts of £133,775.43 and payments of £88,373.96 noted up to completion of Q3 of the 2016/17 financial year.  Expenditure against Budget was run through the 6 categories, all noted as on track.

 

113.    ANY OTHER BUSINESS

·         MH notes some concern over news reports of a resident of St Mary’s Close breaching court conditions with regard to having access to a computer and smart phone.  The Leader states this person is on the sex offenders register.  JA states caution over this matter and allow the law to resolve.  Comments on social media can certainly attract a charge of libel and again the Police may well act.

JA wished to update the Council on discussions with the new operators of The Boat House.  They are establishing an Activity Centre that could be considered as part of Chirk Town Councils provision of activates for the youth.  Archery, shooting, adventure training and canoeing are likely to be offered.  Possibly a twice weekly slot.  There is also a function room for indoor pursuits, e.g. table tennis.  The team are happy to present to Chirk Town Council.  Transport to the venue is noted as an issue.  Similar programs are being developed with Dinas Bran School.  The sub group looking at the possibility of setting up a Youth Club based at Chirk Parish Hall are invited to look at this and bring along representatives of the Chirk Youth to give their opinion.  It is suggested that this is put on the agenda of an upcoming General Purposes Committee meeting.

 

 

Meeting closed 9:12pm.

 

Signed                                    Chairman                                                                               22nd February 2017