MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 12th DECEMBER 2018

 

Present

Cllrs. Mrs Jackie Allen (JA), Mr Brian Colley (BC), Mr Frank Hemmings (FH), Mrs Barbara Humphreys (BH), Miss Lynne Painter (LP), Mrs Dot Griffiths (DG), Mrs Eleanor Burnham (EB), Mr Newman James (NJ)

& Mr Gareth Baines (GB).

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

 

Not Present: Cllrs. Ms Kirsty Cottam, Mr Terry Evans, Mr Mark Holmes & Michael Maxfield.

 

Cllr. Allen asked all present to stand as a mark of respect over the news that former Chirk Town & Wrexham County Borough Councillor Mr Ian Roberts passed away on Saturday 1st December 2018.  Ian joined Chirk Town Council in 1990 and later Wrexham County Borough Council in 1995.  He stood down from Wrexham CBC at the May 2017 elections.  He was Chair of Chirk Town Council for 2 periods of office – 1995/96 and 1999/2000.  In July 2017 Ian received from Chirk Town Council a Special Award for long service & outstanding contribution for the benefit of the community of Chirk, presented by the then Chair – Cllr. Frank Hemmings.  He will be sorely missed.  After a minutes silence and reflection the meeting commenced.

 

Apologies

Apologies for absence: Cllrs. Mr Mark Roberts & Mrs Sarah Williams.

 

Declarations of Interest

None.

 

111.    TO CONFIRM AND SIGN THE MINUTES AS A TRUE RECORD OF THE MEETING HELD ON 28TH NOVEMBER 2018.

The draft minutes for the Council Meeting held 28th November 2018 are now put to the Council as an accurate record of proceedings.  The motion proposed LP and seconded BH was passed unanimously.

 

112.    TO CONSIDER ANY MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES RECEIVED ABOVE NOT REPORTED ELSEWHERE.

None.

 

113.    TO CONSIDER BUDGET FOR 2019/20.
The Clerk presented a summary of income and expenditure for 3 financial periods, 2017/18 Actual, 2018/19 Probable and 2019/20 Estimated.  The Councillors discussed the 6 categories/cost centres, Parish Hall, Parish Hall Renovations, Parish Hall House, Recreation Parks, General Administration and Burial Ground.  Already work undertaken by the Finance Sub-Committee at two earlier meetings and a further fine tune by the Chair and Clerk has resulted in the tabled information.  Councillors understood that much of the business as usual (recurring costs) has been revised to take account of estimated increases (with some lines lowered) – includes nationally agreed pay scales, electricity contract (up 21%) and grass maintenance contract being re-negotiated.  This leaves a review of lines providing for planned one off expenditure.  Some highlights were :-

·    Parish Hall – to allow for the potential of licensing the Council Chamber to conduct wedding ceremonies an estimate of £1,500 was agreed.  BC suggested as this was an initiative to raise the income generated from the use of the Hall a corresponding uplift in the projected income should be included.  It was agreed to increase projected income by £1,000.

·    In the light of advice from our insurers provision for a tree condition survey and potential remedial work of £1000 for each has been agreed.

·    The cost of replacing bark/wood chips with a grassed square on Offa and Black Park play areas has resulted in half of the projected amount (£4,500) being added to the 2019/20 budget.

·    In the General Administration section lines agreed are Replacement of signage and the notice board outside the Parish Hall (£1,500), an illuminated Reduce speed sign/data logger (£3,000), Tourism imitative (£1,500) to unlock grant monies close to 5 figures and CCTV improvements (£1,500).

·    Under Burial Ground a provision for tree maintenance (£1,000) and likely groundworks to allow access to the remaining piece of consecrated ground (£10,000) were included.

 

114.    TO AGREE THE PRECEPT FOR CHIRK TOWN COUNCIL FOR 2019/20.
On the tabled financial information it is estimated that £112,356 will be required to meet the financial commitments of the Council.  In 2018/19 the Precept raised £96,796 which equates to £57.72 for a Band D property.  The projected funding gap of £112,356 would see the Band D figure rise to £67.50 annually.  This equates to each Band D household being charged £1.30 per week to fund all the place based services and facilities undertaken by Chirk Town Council, a rise of 19p.  It was agreed by members that each line making up the estimates for 2019/20 budget were made on a sound basis.  In some cases, the amounts stated may not be spent and other sources of income may be higher.  It was proposed by FH and seconded by EB that a Band D property should be set at the £67.50 figure, raising £112,860 for 2019/20 financial year.  The motion was put to the Council and carried unanimously.  The Chair took the opportunity to thank the Clerk for all the work undertaken in bringing this up to date financial information before the Council.

 

115.    TO RECEIVE THE ORAL REPORT OF THE CLERK – INCLUDES CORRESPONDENCE.

 

Summary of matters raised.

 

·         SJ followed up with results of research into practice for staff asked to work on a Public Holiday.  The hourly rate is double the standard hourly rate paid and a day off in lieu.  Members agreed unanimously to pay staff in line.

·         For the 2018/19 holiday year it is proposed to assign the 2 additional statutory holidays on Monday 24th December and Monday 31st December.  Accordingly the Parish Hall will be closed on these dates and all staff normally rostered to work receive full pay.  The motion proposed LP and seconded GB was passed unanimously. 

·         Following up on the motion passed to pay a Christmas bonus at the previous meeting – minute 108, members discussed the amount to be paid (SJ was not present).  The agreed amount is a £50 Christmas box to be paid to all staff.  The motion proposed GB and seconded EB was voted on and passed by majority and one abstention.

·         2 Planning applications have been received – P/2018/0995 and P/2018/1022.  Each have as the applicant a serving Chirk Town Councillor but neither are present at this evenings meeting.  A short discussion over how best to manage this type of case took place.  FH did refer back to a similar instance where he was concerned that proper declaration of interest may not have taken place – the member is usually expected to declare a personal and prejudicial interest and leave the room while the matter is discussed.  SJ is confident that proper procedure had been followed but agreed to inform FH once the matter had been looked into in detail.  Members resolved to make no comment in future where the applicant is a serving member on Chirk Town Council – carried unanimously.

 

Correspondence:-

 

·         Louise Simons of Ifton Colliery Band – writes to thank Council for the agreed donation of £250 to the Youth Band.  She gives instructions on how this should be paid.  Noted and SJ asked to now make the payment along the lines mentioned.

·         Sian Emlyn of Mudiad Meithrin – wrote on the topic of an 8 week Welsh language course using Chirk Parish Hall as the venue in the New Year.  The quotation provided of £30 for the hire of a meeting room for up to 2 hours is understood to fall outside their budget for room hire of £20 per session.  SJ suggested to Sian that she wrote to the Council to request acceptance of a reduction of £10 per session. Noted but members were not wishing to set any precedent by agreeing to a reduced rate.  They did suggest directing Sian to seeing if the Community Room at Glyn Wylfa might fit the bill.  Coleg Cambria already run Welsh leaner classes based at Glyn Wylfa.

 


 

 

116.    TO PRESENT ITEMS FOR INCLUSION ON THE NEXT AGENDA.

·         DG is concerned at the growing number of dogs being exercised in Chirk Cemetery.

·         BC again asks for urgent consideration over the road traffic dangers in the vicinity of Chirk Station since new double yellow lines have been introduced.

·         The path leading from St Mary’s Churchyard to Castle Health Centre is suffering from leaf litter and the surface is treacherous – reported by a resident.  It is not clear who owns and is responsible for this path.  Members suggest asking Cllr. Terry Evans as he may know.  Lately the Clerk has agreed to a Caretaker undertaking work to clean up.  This will be looked at while awaiting clearing up whose path it is.

·         LP suggests Council agrees a policy to prioritise any requests for Financial Assistance from locally based groups.  Funds are limited and any support given is better kept close to home.

For information

·         LP also advised that an adjacent path that runs behind Castle Health Centre is also treacherous.

·         BC advises that 3 new defibrillators have been purchased and installed at Glyn Wylfa, Chirk AAA Sports and Social Club and Chirk AAA Bowling Club.  All three are located in external cabinets and offer 24x7 access.  Members did discuss that ideally a defibrillator should be located at the Co-op store opposite West Street.  Earlier suggestions have been made to the Co-op management but these should be made once more.  It is estimated that Chirk has some 8 or 9 defibrillators now in place. 

·         Finally BC reminded members of the ceremony marking the official opening of Wylfa Newydd tomorrow morning at 10:00am where members are invited to attend.

 

Meeting closed 8.40pm.

 

Signed                                    Chairman                                                                                 30th January 2019