MINUTES OF THE EXTRA ORDINARY MEETING HELD 16TH MARCH 2020
Cllrs. Mr Brian Colley (BC) - Chairman, Mrs Jackie Allen (JA), Mr Gareth Baines (GB),
Mrs Barbara Humphreys (BH), 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),
Mr Terry Evans (TE) and Mr Mark Roberts (MR).
Mrs Karen Brown (KB) - Clerk to the Council.
156. TO ACCEPT APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were accepted from Cllr Mark Holmes.
157. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
158. TO DISCUSS THE RECENT GOVERNMENT ADVICE RELATING TO COVID19 AND CONSIDER:
Cllr Colley highlighted the ever changing and emerging advice from Government. Following the Prime Ministers statement on coronavirus this evening (16/03/2020) to stop non-essential contact with others and avoid social venues, the Council needs to carefully consider its next steps.
A) OPERATIONS OF THE PARISH HALL
If the Parish Hall was to close, income could be lost and could result in a deficit up to £20K.
Wrexham County Councillors reported that Wrexham Council are only holding essential meetings.
After a detailed discussion, GB proposed to close the Parish Hall from Wednesday 18th March until the end of April (30/04/2020), this would be reviewed at the end of April. This was seconded by NJ and unanimously agreed by all.
Action: Clerk to notify all Parish Hall users who are booked in up to 30th April 2020 and put a post out on Facebook.
The Chirk Newsletter is going to print the following day and therefore it was agreed that a statement from the Council be written and emailed tonight so that it can be included. BC, JA & KB to draft statement.
B) OPERATIONS OF CHIRK TOWN COUNCIL
The Caretakers cannot work from home. They are all over 70 and classed as high risk. The Clerk reported that the caretakers want to continue working and suggested to use this time whilst no public in the building to undertake general housekeeping duties, tidying, deep clean and decoration type jobs as there is plenty to do. The Council unanimously agreed to this. Clerk to manage this period of work with the caretakers.
The Clerk does have the option to work from home, however the cemetery work cannot be undertaken from home due to the burial records being in the office safe. It was agreed that as the Clerk works alone, the Clerk’s office would close to the members of the public and Councillors and could safely continue to work from the office. The only exception would be Undertakers who could attend the office if a safe distance was maintained. Anyone wishing to speak to the Clerk must do so by telephone or email only.
The Community Agent is currently self-isolating; however, she is performing her role remotely via telephone/emails and social media. The coffee mornings and community lunch will be put on hold. There are the annual statistics to complete for Wrexham Council. She had created a new social media group and is seeking volunteers. Data Protection and Safeguarding was discussed as a potential issue with volunteers and agreed that anyone wishing to volunteer should register with AVOW who are Wrexham’s COVID19 appointed volunteer coordinators.
It was confirmed that the Council would pay staff who were off due to self-isolation.
ii) COUNCIL BUSINESS
The situation was discussed, the following points were unanimously agreed:
· The Council agreed not to hold any ordinary meetings of the Council.
· The Town Meeting and the Annual General Meeting would also be postponed. To be reviewed at the end of April.
· Only an emergency meeting would be called if the Chairman deemed it urgent and necessary.
· All day to day decisions to be delegated to the Clerk, Chair and Vice Chair.
· The Council delegates all payments. The Clerk should make all payments via internet banking and direct bank transfers once authorisation has been given by the Chair & Vice Chair (whom are both bank signatories).
· Frank Hemmings was reserve in case of the Chair or Vice Chair being unable to act.
· Planning applications support or objections would be sought via email.
All to be reviewed by end of April 2020.
iii) IT / BUSINESS CONTINUITY
Concerns were raised over several jobs in the event that the Clerk had to isolate for 14 days.
Payroll and the Cemetery were identified as the high-risk areas. CB suggested that appointing a payroll bureau would overcome the payroll issue. The Clerk suggested that either Edmund Rowlands maybe able to assist with the burial records in an emergency situation, or another Clerk who has responsibility for a Cemetery. The Council requested the following action to be taken:
The Clerk to look into payroll options and speak to other Clerks with a Cemetery.
C) OPERATIONS OF THE COMMUNITY AGENT
Most things were covered under staffing. However, members highlighted that the role of the Community Agent supporting our most vulnerable residents could become more than the 16 hours currently contracted for. It was agreed that KB would monitor the situation.
NON-AGENDA ITEM – DOCTORS/PHARMACY
It was reported that there is a note on the doctors’ door today to say repeat prescription to be dropped in outside box. Doctors will send to pharmacy or via a self-stamped addressed envelope.
Meeting closed at 20:20
Signed Chairman Date
‘Chirk Town Council Statement on the Parish Hall
Chirk Town Council is actively seeking advice from the Government and Wrexham Council on this ever-changing and escalating situation of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its serious implications to the community.
At an Emergency Chirk Town Council meeting held on 16th March 2020 it was decided, in the interest of the community, to suspend all community use of the Parish Hall to take immediate effect from Wednesday 18th March 2020 to Thursday 30th April 2020. The position will be reviewed by the Council at that time. The Council apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and trust that you fully understand this was taken in everyone’s best interest.
In addition, if you are considered an ‘at risk / vulnerable’ person and need any assistance, please call our Community Agent, Yvie on 07821 29 77 68.’