MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 28TH OCTOBER
held virtually on-line over video /telephone conferencing
Cllrs. Mr Brian Colley
(BC) - Chairman, Mrs Jackie Allen (JA), Mr
Gareth Baines (GB),
Mrs Barbara Humphreys
(BH), Mr Newman James (NJ), Mrs
Sarah Williams (SW),
Ms Eleanor Burnham (EB),
Mrs Dot Griffiths (DG),
Miss Lynne Painter (LP),
Evans (TE), Mr Chris
Mr Michael Maxfield
Mr Mark Roberts (MR)
and Mr Frank Hemmings (FH),
Also in attendance:
Mrs Karen Brown (KB) -
Clerk to the Council,
Mrs Rebecca Ap Gwyn
(RAG) – Administration Officer
Mr Jack Butler - Press
reminded Councillors of the Code of Conduct and the duty of care to
each other and to all Council staff.
To Accept Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received and
accepted from Cllr.
Mr Mark Holmes.
To make Declarations of Interest on items on
To confirm and sign the minutes as a true
record of the Annual Meeting held on 30th September 2020
The minutes were reviewed. The following
amendments were made:
Item 14/185 should read communication is
‘appalling’ not appealing, and the name in item 19 should
read ‘Tim Graycoles’ . With these two amendments SW proposed
that the minutes be approved as a true account. FH seconded
the proposal. All agreed.
To consider any matters arising from the
minutes received above not reported elsewhere
- Community Agent Hours – the hours of the Community Agent
were reviewed. JA proposed to keep the 16-20 flexible hours
for another month. EB seconded the proposal. All agreed.
– Surgery/Pharmacy – Members discussed the ongoing
complaints. JA reported that if people want to make a
complaint there is a complaint guide booklet or a pdf form
on the Community Health Council (CHC) website. JA confirmed
that the CHC is a statutory body in Wales to represent
health services and is not linked in any way to the Town
Council. SW reported that she had not experienced any
problems and thought that the Surgery was following the
government guidelines. The Council agreed to write to Chris
Stockport Director of Primary Care,
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board,
copying in Gill Harris – Acting Chief Officer, BCUHB and
request a response within fourteen days. If a response is
not received then it can be escalated to Vaughan Gething,
Clerk to draft letter.
Members still had concerns about the Pharmacy
with the cold weather approaching.
Item 24 – Longfields Play Area – A quote had
been received for the CCTV at Longfields, details shared,
£700 + VAT for the supply and installation of the camera and
£150 for the electrical connection into the lamppost. It was
agreed that a decision be taken by the Finance Committee
once the current budget position was understood. It was
agreed that if the budget allowed then the work could go
To receive oral reports from Council
JA reported that at the One Voice Wales Area
Committee AGM, she was re-elected as Chair. The meeting
discussed speakers to invite to future meetings and it was
agreed that Mr Ian Bancroft, Chief Executive of Wrexham
Council and Dr Chris Stockport of BCUHB would be invited.
To receive oral reports from Local Members –
TE reported that the Police have attended
Offas Dyke and all work has stopped. CADW is working up a
case for prosecution. GB added that the reason the work had
begun was that the CADW ‘stop notice’ had expired.
TE also reported that the fly tipping had
stopped and that COVID19 cases were on the increase in
Wrexham. NJ asked about the Wrexham testing facility at the
Memorial Hall – the website is showing that it is a drive
through test centre, but it is not. TE will check this
Green bin collections from Wrexham take ten
days from receipt of payment for the collection to commence.
FH reported that the Burger Van is going
through the appropriate planning process.
TE reminded Members of the new Resilient
Grant which went live today. LP fedback that she found the
process of applying for the grants very complicated, complex
and confusing. This was acknowledged.
To report on the recent Chirk Environmental
Liaison Group and response from Kronospan
BC reported that it was a poor quality
meeting as the video conference software did not allow for
full participation. Members present at the meeting expressed
a variety of views. BC took the Council through the main
Quarterly meetings – agreed
Venue – Parish Hall – agreed
Appointment of Independent
Chair – agreed to be independent, but concerns raised over
who would be suitable for such role and the process of
appointment would need to be agreed by the new Liaison
group. GB suggested the Environment Editor of the Guardian
is a local resident and could be approached for such a role.
It was suggested that any suitable nominations should be
taken to the Environment Liaison Group Meeting.
Membership of Chirk Town
Council on the new Liaison Group – detailed discussion took
place as Kronospan wanted a Chirk Town Council membership of
four including the two Wrexham Elected Members. This was a
reduction from the four Chirk Town Council Members plus two
Wrexham Elected Members. Members suggested rotating the
membership, however this would create a lack of consistency.
Currently the Vice Chair is also the Elected Member so this
takes out one position. It was suggested that a pre-meeting
of all Town Councillors could be held to prepare for each
quarterly Liaison Group meeting in order to share a
consistent message. Members felt quite strongly that
Kronospan was getting their own way. However, it was also
acknowledged that a compromise would be needed. CB proposed
to reject the membership proposal and keep to the four Town
Councillors plus two Elected Members. SW seconded the
proposal. All agreed.
SW added a further proposal that should
Kronospan not accept the six in total, then a reduction to
five would be considered acceptable. EB seconded the
proposal. All agreed.
Name of Group – Members did not
agree with the name, but recognised that this was in line
with NRW guidance and reluctantly agreed.
In view of the serious technical problems
experienced at the Liaison meeting, it was suggested that as
Chirk Town Council has a Zoom Licence, it would be willing
to host the Liaison meetings under this licence.
SW suggested that headsets could be purchased
for Members using Zoom at the Parish Hall.
Clerk to look into costs and take to a Finance Committee
GB sought clarity on how the six members of
Liaison group will be chosen. It was confirmed that
appointment to the new Liaison group would need to be a full
To discuss the future of the Parish Hall
EB raised concern about the future of the
Parish Hall which has been closed since March 2020; it is
costing a lot of money to run and the Council needs to
consider the future costs in relation to the Precept and
asked was now a good time to consider its future. DG felt
that the Parish Hall had been a community facility for many
years and can not see the community wanting it to go. EB
said that the community would need to be consulted on any
major considerations, but the Council must look at the
BC stated that, in fact, the Parish Hall does
not cost a lot of money to run. Under normal conditions
(prior to the current COVID restrictions) income is
approximately £20K and running costs are approximately £35K
resulting in a net cost of £15K. However if the Council was
to move its six members of staff who are currently located
at the Parish Hall to another property, the costs would be
at least £1,000 per month for a minimum of three rooms
including a meeting room.
BC added that he was confident that room
bookings would return once restrictions had been lifted. The
Council owe it to the community of Chirk to look after the
FH stated that Chirk is very lucky to have
such a building as other communities have lost their
community buildings. Members suggested that we could improve
income revenue. JA stated that the Parish Hall is going to
cost large amounts in the near future to undertake some of
the external works. SW stated that the building is looking
fantastic after the upgrade during lockdown and its an
iconic building in Chirk, however she would like to see the
Hall modernised to encourage more people to use it.
As there were such varying views, it was
agreed to discuss this matter further at a future General
To discuss how to support the children’s bike
track in the woods
SW told Members about the bike track for 9-18
year olds and asked what the Council can do to support and
work with the children to help them develop the track. TE
said that it was a great idea; the track is on National
Trust land and it could be developed as a community project.
JA agreed it was a great idea and said that the National
Trust and Kronospan would need to be involved to discuss
safety and liability on their land, therefore, the Council
can not commit to anything. If the National Trust land it
not suitable then the Council could approach Brynkinalt.
GB proposed to speak to Trevor Bates in the
Ceriog Valley to find out how best to approach the project
as they have done something similar. The Council agreed for
this approach to be made and to try and get things moving.
However if this approach drew a blank then it would be
brought back to a General Purposes Committee for further
To receive the report of the Clerk – includes
updates, correspondence, speed sign data
The Clerk went through key updates, meetings
and events attended. Details on re-opening the Parish Hall
and progress on the health and safety audit was provided.
The migration to Office 365 was overall very successful
expect for one incident which meant that the Chirk Town
Council website was brought down, however the backup website
has been restored. The Council is already aware that the
website does not meet current Welsh Government Regulations
and a brief discussion took place about options for a new
Speed sign data – The Clerk presented the
latest data from Station Avenue which showed the V85 at
28mph and that almost 8% of drivers were over the speed
limit. The Clerk had received a quote for six additional
speed sign brackets which would cost £345 plus VAT. The
Council unanimously agreed to purchase these brackets.
Action: Clerk to order brackets.
To decide upon appeals for financial
The Poppy Appeal – General donation requested
from the Chirk Branch, Royal British Legion. TE proposed a
donation of £500, CB seconded the proposal. All agreed.
Family Friends – General donation requested.
JA proposed to not support this appeal. TE seconded the
proposal. All agreed.
Ifton Colliery Band – General donation
requested. DJ proposed a £500 donation, NJ seconded the
proposal. All agreed.
Clerk to notify outcome of their appeals.
To note planning applications dealt through
the Planning Committee
Members of Planning Committee recommended no
objections to the following.
• P/2020/0562 – Erection of a
replacement dwelling - 2A Llwyn Y Cil Chirk Wrexham
• P/2020/0558 – Two storey side
extension - 25 Cilcoed Lodgevale, Chirk
The Council has no objection to the presented
To present items for inclusion on the next
NJ wanted to agree a date for the first
Emergency Planning sub committee – it was agreed that it
would be held on 4th November 2020.
Members asked about Remembrance Sunday and
what the Council could do to prevent people from attending.
It was agreed that the Council would issue a statement on
social media, asking people to avoid 11am on Sunday. The
Clerk updated Councillors on the arrangements for
Remembrance Sunday. Members asked if they could attend the
service on Sunday. The Clerk confirmed that the Chair and
Vice Chairman would be representing the Council and sadly
other Members were asked to remain at home. Members of the
public can attend the Cenotaph at any time over the weekend.
One representative from each organisation who have ordered a
wreath have been invited. We are confident that we will be
under the maximum of 30. Test and trace data will be
collected from all attending. The Police have been informed
of our plans.
CB asked about food banks and if Chirk had
considered having one. FH said that Chirk have good links
with Oswestry food bank. The Community Agent works with the
food bank if individuals/families have been identified in
Chirk. NJ stated that Chirk Charities support food donations
at Christmas and highlighted the stigma associated with food
banks – people don’t want to be seen accessing them in their
FH highlighted that Erddig is doing a reverse
grotto where people turn up with a donation.
TE reported how impressed he is with the
condition of the Cemetery, with 235 fantastic comments and
would like to praise the people who maintain in.
SW asked if the Council would make a small
donation for sweets for Santa. This was agreed.
Toffee apple appeal was highlighted and the
Council agreed to sponsor a box of toffee apples.
Clerk to purchase a box of toffee apples and sweets for