MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING HELD 29th JANUARY 2020
Cllrs. Mr Brian Colley (BC) - Chairman, Mrs Jackie Allen (JA), Mrs Barbara Humphreys (BH),
Mr Gareth Baines (GB), Mr Michael Maxfield (MM), Mr Chris Burgoyne (CB), Mr Newman James (NJ),
Mrs Sarah Williams (SW), Ms Eleanor Burnham (EB), Mrs Dot Griffiths (DG), Mr Frank Hemmings (FH),
Miss Lynne Painter (LP).
Mrs Karen Brown (KB) - Clerk to the Council.
Mr Gareth Jones – PCSO – North Wales Police – Item 126 only.
120. To accept apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were accepted from Cllrs. Mr Terry Evans, Mr Mark Roberts and
Mr Mark Holmes.
121. Declarations of Interest
BC reminded all members of meeting protocols.
122. TO CONFIRM AND SIGN THE MINUTES AS A TRUE RECORD OF THE ORDINARY MEETING HELD ON 11TH DECEMBER 2019.
The draft minutes of the Council meeting held on 11th December 2019 were reviewed. JA proposed and LP seconded that the minutes were approved as a true account. The motion was unanimously agreed.
123. TO CONSIDER ANY MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES RECEIVED ABOVE NOT REPORTED ELSEWHERE.
124. TO RECEIVE REPORT FROM GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD 16TH JANUARY 2020.
The draft minutes from 16th January 2020 were reviewed. Item 3, page 4 - GB felt there was an inaccuracy in what was said. GB asked that his comment to be amended to question whether the accident rate was a reflection of Kronospan’s competence. JA proposed and MM seconded that with this agreed amendment the minutes be approved. The motion was unanimously agreed.
125. TO CONSIDER AND AGREE NEXT STEPS IN RELATION TO KRONOSPAN FIRE INCIDENT.
A lengthy discussion took place about the incident, members expressing their concerns about the Fire Service and Wrexham Council not relaying the seriousness of the incident and the delay in communication with residents. It was felt there were lessons to be learnt on their procedures as they were considered inadequate. However it was recognised that Chirk Town Council needed to look forward. BC reported that there was a lot going on behind the scenes with a meeting with MP Simon Baynes and AM Ken Stakes scheduled for Friday 31/1/20 which will focus on Kronospan finding a solution.
The Council discussed the next steps to be taken and unanimously agreed a letter be sent to the Chief Executive of Wrexham Council, Lawrence Isted, Lead Member Cllr. Huw Jones and copied to all Wrexham Councillors, AMs, MPs, and regional AMs requesting a meeting, at the earliest convenience to demand on behalf of the people of Chirk:
· Continuous independent monitoring (for gas, dust and noise) 24/7 – with community access to real time data.
· A full independent enquiry – which would also look into the process of declaring a serious incident and communication strategy with local residents.
· Full access to the readings of the air monitoring undertaken Wednesday 16th – Friday 18th January 2020.
· Results of the fire investigation.
Clerk to action letter.
It was also agreed that JA would call a Chirk Environmental Liaison Group meeting. A new memorandum of understanding for the group was suggested. JA to action.
LP reported that she had received an email this week from Wrexham Council containing two air quality reports; these reports had never been seen before. It was agreed that the Clerk would forward the reports onto all Councillors. Action: Clerk to circulate.
GB highlighted that he had already proposed to purchase independent cloud based pollution monitoring equipment. BC explained that if the Council were to purchase its own monitoring equipment, it would be responsible for its upkeep and publishing the relevant data. A debate ensued about how any equipment being purchased must be approved by Wrexham, NRW and Kronospan otherwise the data would be invalid. The cost for this monitoring equipment would be around £20-30,000. GB proposed that the monitoring equipment and cost should be paid for and owned by Wrexham/NRW or Kronospan. JA seconded this proposal. All agreed.
126. TO CONSIDER NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING MATTERS (INCLUDING ACTIVE SPEED SIGN).
The Police report was presented by PCSO Gareth Jones. The new scheme of downloading the published figures from the website, new layout and trends was discussed.
The PCSO explained the week long police presence in Chirk and the focus each day on particular areas (e.g. drugs, trading standards, speeding, community safety etc). This will occur on a regular/random basis going forward. So far, there had been very positive feedback from the pub landlords and residents.
BC attended the quarterly police meeting which was very useful. This new strategy for rural areas is very good. CB asked about the drug readings from the pubs; what are the next steps and what are the ramifications? PCSO confirmed there is follow up work currently being undertaken.
Members asked about the Go Safe van; the results are not shared with the Council. Action: PCSO to forward Go Safe results. Discussion took place regarding a handheld speed gun; future consideration would need to be given and agreed to find out more about purchase costs, use and powers in a General Purposes Committee.
Members thanked Gareth Jones for his attendance at the meeting and for the support the PCSO’s provide to Chirk.
The active speed sign data was shared and the clerk reported the positive impact the sign is having as both speed and the number of occurrences had reduced. The sign had been moved to Chirk Bank, just after the Welcome to Wales sign.
127. TO RECEIVE ORAL REPORTS FROM COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES.
JA attended the One Voice Wales regional meeting. The meeting looked at good practices and there was a presentation from an insurance broker specialising in Community Council insurances.
GB attended the morning session of MP Simon Baynes’ surgery. Parking opposite the Co-Op is insufficient.
Following the recent bequest received by Chirk Town Council for the purchase of a defibrillator. The family has requested a brass plaque be placed on the defibrillator. GB proposed that the agreed wording of the plaque is referred to the General Purposes Committee. NJ seconded the proposal, all agreed.
JA has a contact to purchase the defibrillator.
BC attended the Police meeting; drugs, modern slavery and speeding were the three priorities. The Police were recommending motorists install dash cameras.
128. TO RECEIVE ORAL REPORTS FROM LOCAL MEMBERS – WREXHAM CBC
FH has had a meeting about the results of speed in Pentre.
- The average speed after seven days was 46.9mph.
- 7% of vehicles over the speed limit.
- 1.4% were 10% over and
- 0.3% were 15mph over the limit.
- There were 3,670 vehicle movements over the seven days.
No further action will be taken as the average was below the speed limit. However, it was noted that this will be the next location for our Active Speed Sign.
FH reported that the Christmas Lights Committee is celebrating 25 years and plan to do something special. MH and another colleague will be replacing the lights on the Coronation Oak tree. Mondelez has taken down all the lights.
Ysgol Y Waun has agreed the transmitter at Chapel Lane and FH is chasing Wrexham officers for the final agreement for the new phase CCTV.
TE was not in attendance but provided the Chairman with a written report which was read out. Key points were:
Summary for the 2020/21 proposed budget
- The net expenditure is £250,245k and results in an increase in council tax at Band D of 6.95%. This is aimed at protecting front line services.
- Extra £1million into repairing potholes,
- Extra £200k into cleaning the streets around the estates plus addressing the weeds, this money is ring fenced.
- Libraries are still under review but it is looking promising.
- Black bin collection has been reviewed and will stay the same collection every two weeks. Charge for (Green bins) @ £25 per bin per year.
- School increase in funding, adult social care increase in funding, education early intervention increased funding, looked after children increased funding,
- This budget takes into account average pay increase of 2.5 %.
Special expenses for street lighting in the community of Chirk £18,228 (£0.34) per column.
A payment of £60k is made to Citizens Advice Bureau in the current year which is funded from a grant reserve. It is proposed to establish a specific budget for advice services and increase to 80k.
Members noted that you cannot register for your green bin collection until 17th February 2020.
129. TO RECEIVE THE INTERNAL AUDITORS INTERIM REPORT
The Council noted the content of the interim audit report. The recommendations are being actioned.
130. TO CONSIDER THE DECISION REPORT ON A NEW ACCOUNTING PACKAGE
There were no questions on the decision paper. EB proposed and GB seconded that the Council purchase the licence for Scribe Accounting. Unanimously agreed.
131. TO DISCUSS THE ‘NORTH WALES WAY’ NEW TOURISM PUBLICATION
GB highlighted that another publication which only mentions the Castle and misses off Chirk’s biggest selling point, the aqueduct/viaduct has been issued. Chirk gets left out of tourist material and he gave examples of Wrexham and Welsh Government recent publications. What as a Council can we do? SW suggested doing our own publication. JA confirmed that whilst there is positive support for doing our own publication, it was felt that the parking issue needed to be solved first. The Council agreed to write to the authors of the latest publication stating that as a community we are being ignored. The letter to be copied to Ken Stakes AM.
Action: Clerk to send letter.
LP highlighted the work of Chirk bunkhouse to promote Chirk tourism by issuing badges.
132. TO APPOINT A GOVERNOR AT YSGOL Y WAUN
FH reported that for personal reasons SW can no longer attend governor meetings and has not completed the mandatory governor training. Therefore SW has resigned as a school governor. JA proposed Cllr Dot Griffiths as the new governor. DG asked what was involved; KB and FH offered to speak to DG about the role. The proposal was seconded by GB. All agreed subject to DG’s consent after seeking information on the role.
Action: Clerk to notify Ysgol Y Waun’s Governing Body Clerk.
133. TO DECIDE UPON APPEALS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE RECEIVED
Chris Hughes - Manager of the newly formed football team, Chirk Town FC, requested a general donation. JA proposed and SW seconded that the request be left on the table as it was not specific enough.
Eisteddfod Powys 2020 Committee – JA proposed and LP seconded to not support this request.
Urdd National Eisteddfod 2020 – NW proposed £100, FH seconded the proposal. All agreed.
134. TO RECEIVE THE REPORT OF THE CLERK – INCLUDES CORRESPONDENCE
The Clerk’s report covered general updates, meetings and events attended, wheelchair swing reconciliation of funds and correspondence.
Members commented that links within the report could not be accessed.
Action: Clerk to email out the embedded documents.
Comments raised in relation to correspondence:-
3.4 - VE day – Graham Greasley is doing a new book, Chirk Hospital and Chirk Court are holding events.
3.5 - Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales – Two new Local Authority councillors.
3.9 - Pentre School PTFA - JA proposed to grant permission to Pentre PTFA to a place a banner up in Chirk and agreed that the bus stop opposite the Tavern would be the most appropriate location. SW seconded the proposal. All agreed.
3.10 - Visit Wales – potential money for a carpark in Chirk.
135. TO MAKE COMMENTS ON THE PROPOSED EXTINGUISHMENT OF AN UNNUMBERED FOOTPATH IN CHIRK.
CB proposed and GB seconded that the Council support the request from Wrexham. All agreed.
Action: Clerk to notify Wrexham Council.
136. TO MAKE REPRESENTATION IN RELATION TO APPLICATION OF PREMISES LICENCE. PREMISES.
The Clerk reported background information from Wrexham Council following questions from Members. There was still a query relating to the hours of business. Further clarification was to be sought by the Clerk. Subject to a satisfactory response the application was approved with no objections.
137. TO REVIEW Q3 EXPENDITURE AGAINST BUDGET AND BANK RECONCILIATION REPORT.
Action: to be carried forward to the next meeting as the reports were not finalised in time.
138. TO APPROVE PAYMENTS ON LIST ATTACHED.
A list of invoices and payments to 27.01.2020 amounting to £23,055.32 & £53.84 (using pre-paid credit card) was given to the Council (see addendum). The Clerk clarified that these payments presented had already been paid and this is retrospective approval. The Council clearly understood this and confirmed this was part of the Standing Orders. CB did not think this was the case. The Clerk to check. JA proposed and GB seconded that the payments be approved/noted. The motion was passed.
139. TO PRESENT ITEMS FOR INCLUSION ON THE NEXT AGENDA
Members requested the following items to be included on the next agenda
- Flooding - Castle Road, Rhos Y Waun and drainage. Agreed to write to Wrexham before next meeting
- Parking on main road by Spar
- Dedicated Chirk Town Council social media presence.
- Review of room/hall hire charges and review cemetery charges.
For information there was an update that the cancelled fast train to Holyhead was now stopping at Chirk (although not on timetable).
Meeting closed at 21:07
Signed Chairman 26th February 2020