MINUTES OF THE GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD 27th MAY 2020

held virtually on-line over video /telephone conferencing

 

Present

Cllrs Mr Brian Colley (BC),     Mrs Jackie Allen (JA),             Mrs Barbara Humphreys (BH),

Mr Terry Evans (TE),              Mrs Sarah Williams (SW),      Mr Gareth Baines (GB),                         Mr Frank Hemmings (FH)            Ms Eleanor Burnham (EB),    Mrs Dorothy Griffiths (DG),

Mr Mark Holmes (MH),           Miss Lynne Painter (LP)         Mr Chris Burgoyne (CB),

Mr Newman James (NJ),      

Mrs Karen Brown (KB), Clerk to the Council.

 

BC welcomed all to the inaugural zoom meeting.

 

  1. APOLOGIES.
    Cllrs. Mr Michael Maxfield and Mr Mark Roberts

 

  1. DECLARATION OF INTEREST

None. 

 

3.    PROTOCOLS FOR REMOTE MEETINGS  

The Clerk explained that this document had been produced from guidance from One Voice Wales and best practice identified within the Clwyd SLCC (Society of Local Council Clerks) regional meetings.

JA proposed to adopt the ‘Protocols for remote meetings’ FH seconded the proposal. All agreed. 

 

4.    Q4 FINANCIAL POSITION REPORT

The Clerk presented the Q4 bank reconciliation and estimates v expenditure as a year end position. The full accounts will be presented to Council at the end of June. The Clerk reported on the following budget lines being more than 10% variance:

 

Burial

·         Grounds maintenance was underspent – one invoice received after year end.

·         Tree maintenance was underspent – some work not undertaken this year.

Recreation                       

·         Equipment repairs – underspent.

·         New equipment – overspent but £4,500 in earmarked reserves to offset.

·         Chirk in Bloom – underspent.

·         Christmas Lights – overspent – but this is directly offset by income.

·         Tree removal – overspend – due to emergency tree works required throughout the year.

Parish Hall

·         Caretaking – overspend – directly offset by increased income.

·         Heating oil – underspent.

Administration

·         Members’ Allowance – underspend – due to not processing.

·         Donations – underspent.

·         CCTV – overspent – but offset by grant income received of £2,500.

·         VAT – overspent – full reclaimed back.

 

Members asked about the allowance and discussed how this should be paid and the tax implications of this payment. The Committee agreed to leave it ring-fenced and speak to the auditor and One Voice Wales about processing the payment.

 


 

 

5.    REVIEW OF GOVERNMENT ADVICE RELATING TO COVID-19 LOCKDOWN AND CONSIDER:

A: Operations of the Parish Hall

The Committee acknowledged that the Parish Hall was still closed. The First Minister is due to make the next announcement tomorrow (28th May 2020) and therefore the Council would await this announcement before deciding next steps. All agreed.

 

B: Operations of Council Business

This was the first Committee meeting using Zoom; DG was not happy as it was a bad line and could not hear or fully participate in the meeting; all other members were able to join. It was acknowledged that this was new and should improve as we all become more comfortable with remote meetings.

Members asked about the public joining meetings. The Clerk explained the process as set out in the new regulations. A range of views were expressed on the current lockdown and what other Councils are doing. However, the General Purposes Committee unanimously agreed to wait until the outcome of the First Minister’s announcement before deciding on the future operations of the Council.  A further meeting will be called after the implications of the latest lockdown review are known to review Council Business.

 

C: HSE Covid-19 Secure Workplace/Staffing

The Clerk highlighted a recent Government publication called ‘Working safety during COVID-19’ guidance for employers. This document is UK wide and prepared with HSE and union support. It sets out guidance on how to work safely in an indoor working environment (like the Parish Hall). It looks at all elements of the workplace and helps to form the risk assessment. The Clerk will work through the document and present the draft to the Staffing Committee.

 

D: Operations of the Community Agent

The Community Agent Yvie, provided a written update for all members. The Council reviewed the additional 8 hours (previously agreed) and discussed the current position with the possible future emphasis changing from health to economic consequences. JA proposed to keep funding the additional 8 hours, to be reviewed on a monthly basis. This was seconded by EB. All agreed.

 

The Committee noted their thanks and wished Yvie continued success during this time.

 

The Committee also felt strongly that there are a lot of people in our community who are all doing their bit to help the vulnerable. Discussion ensued about a way of recognising this. It was agreed that a simple press release be issued thanking the people of Chirk - all local businesses, community groups and individuals. Action: Clerk to issue press release to Jack Butler. 

 

 

6.    NON AGENDA ITEM

EB raised concern about the ongoing lack of street lighting. TE has been chasing this up for weeks but it is a Scottish Power issue. The Clerk explained the knock on effect this is having on the CCTV. MH suggested a temporary supply. The Clerk will look into this option. EB also mentioned the drug taking at Millennium gardens, this had been reported to the police.

 

Issues around Chirk Hospital car park were discussed. The Police are aware of the situation.

 

BC reported that Glyn Wylfa had successfully been awarded the SE100 ‘top 100’ UK social enterprises’. Members congratulated Glyn Wylfa on its success. 

 

 

 

Meeting closed 8:00pm

 

 

Signed                                    Chairman                                                              Date