MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 25th NOVEMBER 2020

held virtually on-line over video /telephone conferencing

 

Present

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),

Mr Terry Evans (TE),                                          Mr Chris Burgoyne (CB),         Mr Michael Maxfield (MM),

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

Mrs Yvonne Bernett (YB) – Chirk Community Agent

 

BC reminded Councillors of the Code of Conduct and the duty of care to each other and to all Council staff.

 

40.

To Accept Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Cllr. Mr Mark Holmes.

 

41.

To make Declarations of Interest on items on the agenda
None.

 

42.

To confirm and sign the minutes as a true record of the Ordinary Meeting held on 28th October 2020

The minutes were reviewed. MM proposed the minutes as a true account, FH seconded, all agreed.

 

43.

To consider any matters arising from the minutes received above not reported elsewhere

Item 30 – Surgery/Pharmacy – JA read out a statement from Chirk Surgery relating to December opening procedures.  Members noted that the statement was a step in the right direction. Clarification was sought over the ‘to let’ signage on the surgery building and it was confirmed that the property is owned by a pensions company who are renting out the top floor and has nothing to do with the doctors.

 

Overall, Members were still very concerned over the ongoing situation outside the surgery and noted that the arrangements are poor. Members did agree that the medical care is seen as very good. YB added that the elderly are struggling to wait outside without seating and it is very difficult for residents on a mobility scooter but acknowledged the need to protect the front line staff.

 

Members recognised that the surgery staff are working under difficult circumstances and wondered if the Council could offer any support.

 

Members noted that the member of staff on the window is also answering the phone, making the people in the queue late for their appointment and questioned why couldn’t the repeat prescriptions be sent directly to the chemist.

 

BC proposed to write to BCUHB to share the Council’s views and concerns, welcome the move forward and offer to assist the Surgery. GB seconded the proposal, All agreed. Action: Clerk to send letter.

 

44.

To receive the report from the Emergency Planning Sub-Committee held on 4th November 2020.

NJ gave a brief summary; it’s early days and the group needs to focus on fully understanding the responsibilities, potential scenarios and partners. NJ proposed the report as a true account, JA seconded. All agreed.

 

45.

To receive the report from the Finance Committee held on 11th November 2020 and present recommendations for approval

GB proposed the report was a true account of the meeting, SW seconded the proposal. All agreed.

BC highlighted the spending recommendations as detailed in item 4 for the following items:

4a. CCTV at Longfield

4b. Electrical Quotes x 2

4c. Headsets for Councillors using Zoom

4d. izettle & tablet (contactless payments for Parish Hall users)

4e. Lift maintenance

NJ proposed to support the recommendation made by Finance Committee, MM seconded the proposal. All agreed.

Action: Clerk to make the necessary purchases.  

 

46.

To receive the report from the General Purposes Committee held on 18th November 2020.

The report was reviewed, NJ proposed the report as a true account, SW seconded, all agreed.

Health & Safety Audit – Members agreed for the Clerk to continue to convert  the recommendations into an action plan - split between work to be out-sourced and work which will be undertaken in-house. Members also requested a monthly update on the H&S tasks. Action: Clerk to provide a monthly H&S update to Members.

 

47.

To receive a verbal update from the Community Agent – Yvie Bernett.

YB was welcomed to the meeting by the Chairman. YB took Members through key points from the very difficult year and detailed:

·         How her worked had changed, all events and face to face meetings had stopped and work was more phone, email and social media based with a few exceptions.

·         The Chirk Coronavirus Support Facebook page which had been used to supply ongoing health information and for community volunteers is reaching over 3,000 people.  

·         Support of all local businesses making deliveries throughout the pandemic.

·         Collecting and delivering prescriptions.

·         The first social distance coffee morning event had commenced today (25/11/20) which proved to be very successful.

·         Main focus at this time of year is the Christmas Hampers. There has been a lot of support from local people and organisations assisting along with the Neighbourly Trust grant and this year the aim is to deliver 50 hampers (usually 25).

·         The criteria for the Christmas hamper has broadened – nominations open to anyone (including families) in the community who are isolated, lonely, financially struggling or who have assisted others during this year.

·         Rev. Matt Wilkinson will be considering the nominations and YB asked for Councillors to be part of the panel. FH, DG & GB agreed to assist.

 

BC gave thanks to the great work YB had done this year. All Members praised YB for her work and contribution to the community during this year.

 

 

48.

To receive oral reports from Council Representatives

EB highlighted the clogged drains with the fallen leaves.  

 

49.

To receive oral reports from Local Members – Wrexham CBC

FH informed Members that:

·         The Christmas Light switch on will take place on 5th December at 6pm. It will be a virtual event streamed on Facebook live.

·         Further ‘no litter’ signs have been put up in the Millennium gardens.

·         Planning is underway for a new building at the School for wrap around provision in one space for Rainbows and Nursery.  

·         WCBC new Director of Education is progressing quickly and the authority should be out of special measures within 12 months.

 

TE reported:

·         Lights out on Bryn Coed for past 12 months are due to a Scottish Power problem.

·         Road repairs by Hand Hotel went very well.

·         Lots of complaints about the LED light modifications. Large parts in darkness and people now feeling fearful to go outside. Concerns over compliance with duty of care to the residents.  SW reported that she fell down the kerb and videoed how dark the streets were. SW added that the lights on main road seem to have three times amount of bulbs and are every effective.

NJ proposed to write to WCBC Paul Rogers to express residents views on the lights, also question the illumination compliance and request a copy of the light survey as it was felt that the new lights are not fit for purpose.  Members noted that residents pay an additional fee for the lights and there was no public consultation on the change of the lights.

 

50.

To receive Your Community Your Choice – Chirk Forum application proposal.

GB reported to Council that he would like to apply for this grant and that it had previously been agreed that should any further grant be available outdoor gym equipment for the Recreational Ground would be applied for. The £2,500 would fund 4 pieces of equipment from Sunshine Gym.  PCSO’s have supported the idea as it targets boys aged 16-20 and senior citizens. GB asked the Council if it is happy for the application to be submitted on behalf of the Council. TE proposed to support the proposal. NJ seconded the proposal. All agreed. Members requested that if the application is successful that the siting of the equipment is agreed by Council before installation.  Action: GB to submit the application.

 

51.

To receive the report of the Clerk – includes updates, correspondence, speed sign data

The Clerk went through general updates, re-opening of the Parish Hall, Remembrance Sunday feedback and You Tube statistics. Members gave thanks to everyone involved in the wonderful ‘Lest we Forget’ video.

 

Correspondence:

The Clerk read out a letter of apology from the second individual involved in the skate park graffiti. NJ proposed that the Council accept the apology. SW seconded the proposal. All agreed.  

 

The Clerk drew attention to the One Voice Wales remote survey results. GB highlighted that the Parish Hall does not have sufficient technology to hold hybrid remote meetings and maybe the Council should look into a large TV screen and webcams for each meeting room. JA noted that the information from One Voice Wales stated that they are seeking financial support from Welsh Government and therefore the Council should not rush into purchasing anything.

 

DJ asked about the Members allowance of £150 which had not been paid. The Clerk confirmed this money is ringfenced in earmarked reserves and will ensure payments are made by March 2021. SW remembered that the delay was due to a tax issue which Shaun Jones was looking into. KB would find out about the tax implications before making the payments.

 

The latest active speed sign data for Station Avenue showed that for the period 23/10/20 to 23/11/20 the V85 was 29mph with 8.27% of vehicles travelling above the speed limit. The additional brackets for the speed sign had been ordered and paid and are just awaiting delivery.

 

52.

To decide upon appeals for financial assistance received

·         Relate – relationship support. EB proposed a donation of £500. JA proposed to leave on the table. NJ proposed an amendment of a donation of £150, SW seconded the amended proposal. The Council agreed by majority to support Relate with £150.

 

·         The Clerk read out an email from a Councillor proposing an additional £500 for Ifton Colliery Band for their performance on the Remembrance Sunday video which enhanced the moving  video. GB agreed and seconded the proposal. Members discussed that £500 was the maximum donation which can be given in one year and therefore agreed to pay this on 1st April 2020.

Action: Clerk to notify all.

 

53.

To note planning applications dealt through the Planning Committee

None this month.

 

54.

To seek retrospective approval of payments made between 01.04.2020 to 30.09.2020.

The Clerk presented the payments from 1st April to 30th September 2020 for retrospective approval. NJ asked if the Finance Committee had gone through the detail of this list. BC confirmed that it had been scrutinised. JA added that before the Clerk makes any payments,  pre-payment authorisation is given by email from BC & JA .

GB proposed to approve the payment list, MM seconded, all agreed.

 

55.

To present items for inclusion on the next agenda

BC stated that following the December meeting, a Christmas virtual get together will take place over Zoom.

 

NJ stated that the Welcome to Wales sign is in need of renovation. TE confirmed that Sid Lloyd had already agreed to renew the sign.

 

 

 

 

Meeting closed 20:55

     

 

 

 

Signed                                        Chairman                                                                    Date