MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING HELD 24th APRIL 2019

 

Present

Cllrs. Mrs Jackie Allen (JA), Mr Brian Colley (BC), Mrs Barbara Humphreys (BH), Miss Lynne Painter (LP),
Mr Gareth Baines (GB), Mr Michael Maxfield (MM), Mr Mark Holmes (MH), Mr Frank Hemmings (FH),
Mr Newman James (NJ), Mrs Sarah Williams (SW), Ms Eleanor Burnham (EB) & Mrs Dot Griffiths (DG).

Mr Shaun Jones (SJ), Clerk to the Council.  Mr. Jack Butler (JB) – Press – NWN.  PCSO Martin Griffiths (MG) & PCSO Gareth Jones (GJ) – North Wales Police.

 

Apologies

Apologies for absence: Cllr. Mr Terry Evans & Mr Mark Roberts.

Declarations of Interest
See minute 173 – Cllr. Lynne Painter declared an interest and completed the usual declaration.
See minute 174 – Cllr. Mark Holmes declared an interest and completed the usual declaration.

 

162.    TO CONFIRM AND SIGN THE MINUTES AS A TRUE RECORD OF THE ORDINARY MEETING HELD ON 27TH MARCH 2019.

The draft minutes for the Council Meeting held 27th March 2019 are now put to the Council as an accurate record of proceedings.  The motion proposed LP and seconded MH was passed unanimously.

 

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

No matters arising.

 

164.    TO CONSIDER NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING MATTERS.

JA welcomed PCSO Martin Griffiths and welcomed PCSO Gareth Jones who has taken the place of PCSO Dean Sawyer.  They both cover Chirk and the Ceiriog Valley, usually on different shift patterns.  The Police Update for Chirk was presented by GJ.  7 crimes are recorded and additionally 1 reported case of anti-social behaviour.  There was a question over the level of reported crime in Chirk and efforts being made to continually look at ways of reducing.  NJ raised this at the March meeting.  Both PCSO’s indicated that the reporting level in Chirk is low compared with other Wrexham County ward areas.  Using 101 to make a report is confidential and also the email address too.  JA suggested that GJ should be introduced to the community using the Newsletter.  Both DG and EB commented that it was good to see the presence of the locally based PCSO’s and gave their thanks.  GJ confirmed foot patrols are part of their job.  LP invited them to come to Lodgevale Park too.  EB advised that it has been noisy when the nearby licensed premises close late at night, comment was made that not a lot can be done though.  BH raised the traffic issues when the Car Boot Sale held on Ley Farm each Sunday.  It was advised that this is no longer policed and marshals should be employed by the organisers.  FH thanked GJ for already meeting with the Wrexham CBC Councillors for Chirk wards. 

 

165.    TO RECEIVE ORAL REPORTS FROM COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES.

None.

 

166.    TO RECEIVE ORAL REPORTS FROM LOCAL MEMBERS – WREXHAM CBC.

TE given his apologies.

 

FH suggested he will hold over his report for the Annual Town Meeting as there is an agenda item for a reports from local members - Wrexham CBC.


 


 

 

SJ mentioned the planning application for Pen y Bont development may make the WCBC Planning Committee agenda for Tuesday 7th May 2019 meeting.  He has been contacted recently on two occasions by the WCBC Planning Dept. seeking the Chirk Town Council response to the application ref: P/2018/0718.  This is of concern and members suggested that an acknowledgment request is made when we send a response to a planning application as a consultee.  SJ will implement but did say this introduced another follow up step – checking if an acknowledgement has been received.

 

167.    TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE ON THE COUNCILLOR VACANCY.
The day following the March Ordinary meeting SJ contacted the Electoral Dept. at Wrexham CBC and advised of the resignation of Cllr. Kirsty Cottam.  We were sent a notice declaring a vacancy on Chirk Town Council to be placed on Community Noticeboards and the CTC website, this was done immediately – dated 28th March, 2019.  This invited local constituents to call for an election (ten electors needed) within fourteen working days.  We were notified on 18th April 2019 that no request for an election had been received and that the council may now fill the councillor vacancy by co-option.  The notice inviting residents interested in being considered should now be publicised using the usual channels and the application window should be 2 weeks – closing Friday 10th May 2019.  A Special Council meeting will be called soon after so those that have applied may meet with members and then a decision made on who should be invited to fill the councillor vacancy.  Members noted the update and agreed the actions to be undertaken – Motion carried.

 

168.    TO RECEIVE A REPORT ON THE RECENT VISIONING EVENT HELD ON SATURDAY 23RD MARCH 2019.
JA tabled the written report on the recent Visioning Event.  Members that attended the event were very pleased with how it went and also the comprehensive report is welcomed.  As this Visioning Event has a strong theme of improving tourism to Chirk there were comments by members:-

·         Noted from a leaflet promoting leisure train excursions, possibly Royal Windsor Statesman, that there is no scheduled stop at Chirk but Wrexham, Ruabon & Gobowen are listed.

·         Chirk Castle had to close for a short while over the Easter holiday weekend because they had too many visitors.

Council members were encouraged to get involved and that Sub Groups were soon to commence.

 

169.    TO DECIDE ON WHO SHOULD REPRESENT ONE VOICE WALES ON THE BETSI CADWALADR HEALTH BOARD STAKEHOLDER REFERENCE GROUP.
JA is one of 5 candidates standing (this in fact increased to 6 when SJ received notification after this meeting).  After some statements from other candidates were read out by SJ, a motion to vote for JA was proposed by BC and seconded BH – motion carried.

 

170.    TO HEAR AN UPDATE FROM THE GRANT APPLICATIONS WORKING PARTY.

·         PACT – grant of £50 – the cheque has been received and SJ is requested to go ahead and order the Bike Security Marking kits – as detailed in the grant application.

·         North Wales Police & Community Trust grant scheme – Chirk Community Forum have been advised that their application has won the backing of the public vote and £2,500 is coming their way – adding at least one or possibly two new CCTV cameras in Chirk.

·         Airbus UK – the public vote finishes next week.  It is hoped we improve on the £1,000 grant guaranteed for being shortlisted. The winning project secures £7,000.

·         Defibrillators for Pentre and Black Park – Kronospan have kindly donated £500.  Approaches to Blakemore Foundation (Spar) and Co-op have been made in the hope they agree to make a donation.

·         Screwfix – a grant scheme being run out of the US.  An application for £5,000 that would secure a portacabin for a Manshed group.  Had to submit 50 issues around the topic of renewables.  

 


 

 

171.    TO RECEIVE A REPORT ON FEASIBILITY OF SITING AN EV CHARGING POINT IN CHIRK.
At last month’s meeting BH expressed interest an EV Charging Point being sited in Chirk.  JB published a piece in the Advertizer and this was picked up by an EV Charging Point supplier.  The email received by SJ was initially shared with BH and when the offer of a site meeting was made JA was updated.  As the visit would give more information on this topic the meeting was agreed to – but without giving any commitment from Chirk Town Council, purely exploratory.  JA, BH and SJ attended.  It was learnt there are already 150,000 electric vehicles on UK roads and around 15,000 charging points.  The site thought most appropriate for Chirk is on the Colliery Road Car Park, close to the Public Conveniences.  One EV charge post could supply 2 vehicles.  Checks on the electricity supply to the building need to confirm the load can be supported.  A quotation was provided where an outlay of just over £2,000 was indicated.  There have been discussions with Emma Williams Senior Carbon Reduction and Energy Efficiency. Officer at Wrexham CBC which further clarified how to progress this project.  She is supportive and believes the Environment Dept. who manage the Toilets on the Car Park will approve an approach from Chirk Town Council.  BH made mention of a recent instance where 2 electric vehicles were stranded because their batteries ran flat.  The EV Charging Point in Chirk should increase dwell time in the town.  Members were requested by JA & BH to take forward and extend an invitation to Emma Williams to make a presentation to the Council.  All agreed – motion carried.

 

172.    TO RECEIVE THE NOTICE OF ANNUAL AUDIT 2019/20.
The Auditor General has appointed a standard period for the public inspection of Town & Community Council accounts across Wales.  It is Monday 1st July 2019 to Friday 26th July 2019.  SJ raised a query with the Wales Audit Office because the Annual Return and enclosures are to be sent to Grant Thornton on Friday 5th July 2019 at the latest, GT require receipt by Monday 8th July 2019.  For this reason, SJ asked if using copies of the submitted documents for the public to inspect is acceptable.  In previous years the public inspection period was completed prior to the despatch to GT.  SJ received confirmation that copies are acceptable.  Another point of clarification SJ sought concerns the Annual Governance Statement.  Point 5 states, “For all contracts awarded during 2018/19, evidence that the body complied with its standing orders e.g. copy of advertisement, reports to the body and minutes approving award of the contract.”  To SJ this implies the Wales Audit Office wish to see compliance with a full tender process.  This is what is stipulated in the Model Standing Orders and in the case of Chirk Town Council this is invoked in cases where the contract value exceeds £25,000.  SJ suggested making the following amendment for clarification - “For all contracts awarded during 2018/19, that are above the threshold for a formal tender, evidence….”  In the period 2018/19 Chirk Town Council did not award any contracts above £25,000, so this is a Nil return.  However the advice from the Welsh Audit Office was to make mention of all contracts awarded that are subject simply to the Council’s Financial Regulations.  For information, we did award a grass maintenance contract in this period and SJ will gather all the evidence that due process was followed.  It is hoped by raising these points for clarification upon receipt of the notice we should be given the benefit of the doubt if there is reason for the external auditor to request additional information.  SJ is doing all he can to ensure we return to an unqualified audit for FY2018/19.  Members formally received the Notice of Audit plus noted and approved the RFO’s actions – motion carried.

 

173.    TO DECIDE UPON APPEALS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE RECEIVED.
LP declared a personal interest (declaration completed), she is a Trustee of Lon Y Bugail Trust which manages the Scout and Guide HQ in Chirk.  She took no part in the decision over a request for a grant from 1st Chirk Scouts.

·         Eileen Wiggins – 1st Chirk Scouts – request for financial support towards camping events as well as other challenge events for all sections, Scouts, Cubs and Beavers.  Proposed FH and seconded DG to make a grant of £200.  An amendment proposed MH and seconded NJ that a grant of £500 be awarded.  The initial motion was withdrawn and Council voted on the amendment.  A majority voted in favour to make a grant of £500.

·         Janos Barber – The Chirk Fun Day Team 2019 request for financial support through a sponsorship proposal.  Proposed FH, seconded BH to a simple grant of £100, an amendment proposed DG and seconded EB to grant £200 tabled.  The amendment fell and members carried the original motion to grant £100.  BC also suggested to the Fun Day team that a grant request be made to the Glyn Wylfa Board.  They have recently supported Friends of Chirk Station and Chirk Youth Football.

 


 

 

174.    TO RECEIVE THE ORAL REPORT OF THE CLERK – INCLUDES CORRESPONDENCE.
Matters to note:

·         A request from the secretary of the newly formed Chirk Town FC to use the Chapel Lane football pitch for pre-season training, June 17th to September.  MH declared a personal interest and completed the requisite declaration.  Members asked of the Clerk to research professional opinion on the level of use a public recreation football ground can sustain without having to take remedial action to repair.  Members are conscious that the pitch must be kept in good condition to support the youth of Chirk to play on.  This request must be put on the agenda for the next General Purposes Committee meeting.  Members wish to provide a response as soon as possible.

·         Repair of broken stone step – Millennium Gardens.  The Clerk originally received a quote to perform a thorough restoration, repair and clean-up of the steps.  Members felt the quote was on the high side and looked for a minimum fix – the broken step.  Mossford Memorials have now quoted £150 plus VAT to repair the broken step.  For health & safety members agreed to proceed, SJ to engage Russell of Mossford Memorials soonest. 

 

ORDINARY BUSINESS SUSPENDED AT 6:55PM FOR THE ANNUAL TOWN MEETING AGENDA, COMMENCING 7:00PM.

 

GB and MH had earlier advised that they had prior appointments commencing 7pm and withdrew.

 

MM joined the meeting.

 

THE ANNUAL TOWN MEETING

 

No members of the public present.

 

First item of business – Chairman’s Report – Chirk Town Council.  JA read from a prepared report, then the Clerk was provided with a copy for the record.
SW joined the meeting at 7:05pm.

 

Second agenda item – Reports from Local Members – Wrexham CBC.

TE not present.  FH provided his report from prepared notes.  Areas covered:-

·         WCBC finances

·         Housing – bringing up to Welsh Government standards

·         Committees FH serves on.

·         Wrexham looking to improve their Markets.  Tour of other market towns to discover best practice.

·         Ysgol y Waun – improving standards.

·         Chirk Court – Intergeneration project

·         Dementia Friends Group established right across Wrexham County – working with Fire Service and Wrexham Football Club.

 

FH then took Members questions, mainly concerning Housing matters.

 

The Town Meeting closed at 7:25pm

 


 

 

ORDINARY BUSINESS AGENDA RESUMED.

 

TO RECEIVE THE ORAL REPORT OF THE CLERK – INCLUDES CORRESPONDENCE – Cont’d.

·         Members advised of receipt of a One Voice Wales advice document on Payments to Members of Community & Town Councils – Implementing the Determinations of The Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales.  In the case of our members we have delayed payment of the Basic Allowance until HMRC have responded formally to representations for this payment not to be subject to income tax deduction.  SJ will keep members updated if there are developments.

·         Two planning applications, P/2019/0250 and P/2019/0270 have been reviewed by the Planning committee by email exchange.  Both received “No Objection to the Proposal” responses back to the Planning Dept. officers at Wrexham CBC.
 
Correspondence:-

·         One Voice Wales/SLCC Joint Event – May 15th 2019 – Liberty Stadium, Swansea – Email outlining reasons to attend the conference.  Due to the distance both members and Clerk have elected not to attend this year - Noted.

·         Family Friends 5 - 11 – Email thanking Chirk Town Council for the donation of £100. Noted.

·         Carers Trust North Wales – Email thanking Chirk Town Council for the generous donation of £250.  Noted.

·         Llangollen Eisteddfod 2019 – Letter of thanks for the kind donation of £250. Noted.

 

175.    TO REVIEW Q4/YTD EXPENDITURE AGAINST BUDGET AND BANK RECONCILIATION REPORT.
SJ presented the Bank reconciliation report detailing income for FY2018/19 of £153,842.66 and expenditure £129,557.80.  The expenditure against budget report across the 6 lines and bar chart illustrated overall financial control.  SJ then walked members through the more granular report where within a cost centre line spend against specific account is detailed.  Members raised some points for clarification and were satisfied with the response from SJ.  This work will now feed into the preparation for the full accounts pack for FY2018/19.  Members were satisfied and determined the review complete.

 

176.    TO APPROVE PAYMENTS TO BE MADE AS ON LIST ATTACHED.
A list of invoices and payments (to 31.03.19) amounting to £3,212.60 and invoices and payments (to 24.04.19) amounting to £8,471.65  & £177.08 (using pre-paid creditcard) was given to the Council and were passed for payment (see addendum).  The motion proposed FH and seconded SW to approve was passed unanimously.

 

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

To note:

·         SW has some queries which she will forward to SJ.

·         FH – Mentioned that a British Heart Foundation stall he recently visited was offering free CPR kits.  SJ advised that after the installation of the defibrillator at the Spar we were provided with a CPR kit.  Available to any community group if more CPR training is to be given.

·         NJ – raises the Major Incidents Policy which was mentioned at last month’s meeting. The clerk will include on an upcoming General Purposes Committee agenda.

·         BC commented on the Glyn Valley Tramway Trust work being undertaken alongside Platform 1 at Chirk Station.  A lot of trees and shrubs have been cut down.  Asks what the timescales are to complete this phase of work ?

·         LP reports that the Brynkinalt Estate have plans to manage the woodland adjacent to Shepherds Lane during the Summer.  Part of their woodland management plan.  She also tenders her apologies for the May AGM meeting.
 

Meeting closed 7:45pm.

 

 

Signed                                    Chairman                                                                                    29th May 2019