MINUTES OF THE GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD 23RD SEPTEMBER 2020
held virtually on-line over video /telephone conferencing
Cllrs Mr Brian Colley (BC), Mrs Jackie Allen (JA), Mrs Barbara Humphreys (BH),
Mrs Sarah Williams (SW), Mr Gareth Baines (GB), Mr Frank Hemmings (FH) – from item 6
Ms Eleanor Burnham (EB), Mrs Dorothy Griffiths (DG) Mr Terry Evans (TE)
Mr Mark Holmes (MH), Miss Lynne Painter (LP) Mr Newman James (NJ),
Karen Brown (KB), Clerk to the Council.
BC welcomed all to the meeting.
Apologies received from Cllrs. Mr Michael Maxfield, Mr Mark Roberts and Mr Chris Burgoyne.
2. Declaration of Interest
3. To approve the 2020/21 National cost of living pay increase as agreed and published by The National Joint Council (NJC) and National Association of Local Councils (NALC).
The Clerk confirmed that the National pay increase was a flat increase of 2.75% on all pay points. In addition to this agreed pay deal is an increase of one day to the minimum annual leave entitlement (from 21 days to 22 days). The pay scales apply from 1st April 2020. The Clerk confirmed that the staffing budget had been set with a minimum of 3% uplift, so this is lower than budgeted. GB asked for the total cost effect. The Clerk did not have this information and agreed to send this out to all Councillors.
JA proposed that the Council adopt the pay and annual leave increase as published. SW seconded, all agreed.
Action: Clerk to ensure pay increase is actioned.
4. To review quotes received for a Health & Safety Consultant
The Committee reviewed the three quotes received. Councillors were concerned that a Health & Safety audit would be taking place without a site visit. TE asked to seek a quote from Peter Kempster. Councillors asked about the budget to pay for this consultant. The Clerk proposed that as the Admin Officer post had been vacant for six months, the budget could be used from this underspend. Action: Clerk to ask if a site visit would be possible and seek a quote from Peter Kempster.
5. To receive an update on the Skate Park and Longfield playarea - criminal damage incidents
5.a. Longfields Playarea – The Clerk confirmed that the criminal damage costs had been submitted to the Police. There were 12-15 suspects which were taking time to interview by the Police. However, further incidents occurred as a hole had been made in the safety rubber matting and the metal fence panel had been broken.
DG confirmed that a key witness statement had recently been made to the Police. The litter is an ongoing problem. Since the children had returned to school, the situation had quietened down on the playgarea. The mothers at Longfields want to call a residents meeting, which the Police are prepared to attend. Members commented that the seagulls and crows are pulling the rubbish out of the bins during the evenings and causing the litter mess.
EB proposed to seek a quote for CCTV on Longfields playarea. NJ seconded the proposal, all agreed.
Action: Clerk to seek quote.
DG and GB asked about the litter bin at Longfields which was agreed to approximately six months ago. Clerk to chase bin installation.
5b. Skate Park – The Clerk reported that the main suspect had been interviewed by NW Police and admitted to the Criminal Damage of the Skate Park. The Police will now forward a guilty file to the courts. The Skate Park had been cleaned so once the expenses claim has been submitted these costs can be sent onto the Police. JA advised that the volunteer time used to clean the Skate Park can also be claimed. BC commended Cllrs Allen, Griffiths and Humphreys on behalf of the Council for their efforts in cleaning the Skate Park.
BC noted that permission to undertake the cleaning of the Skate Park had not been sought from the Clerk or Council. JA confirmed that she had mentioned cleaning the Skate Park to the Chair. BC confirmed that he informed the Clerk and asked JA to discuss the matter before proceeding.
JA reported that a tree in the Recreation Ground looked in a dangerous condition.
FH arrived in the meeting.
6. To share the seven Playarea Inspection Reports
All seven inspection reports were circulated. The Clerk confirmed that there were no urgent / high risk (red) items showing, however there were some yellow/medium risk items and many other smaller items which need addressing. The Clerk proposed to collate all information into one document which can then be fully costed. The Clerk added that a copy of these reports have been shared with the caretakers.
LP stated that in relation to the Crogan/Offa report it stated that in a number of cases the matting had not been installed correctly. LP recalls that the Council paid a lot of money for this matting and considered the installation company should be brought back to rectify fix the problem. JA stated that company used to install the matting had indicated that the matting was to British standard. She agree with LP that contact be made to the original installation company.
GB noted that the equipment most in need of repair related to Pentre playground. BH asked for the play equipment to remain in Pentre. FH asked how much the school use the play area. BH confirmed very little as the school has the forest school. JA and BH had worked on two grant applications to improve the play equipment at Pentre but due to the low number of houses, the grants were not supported.
Non Agenda Items
· BH noted the new mobile eatery and the hazard caused by lorries parking on the main road. FH confirmed that Wrexham were looking into matter as no planning permission had been given nor food safety inspection. The legal process had commenced.
· TE and GB reported on the damage to Offa’s Dyke. CADW had issued a stop notice which had been removed. CADW had re-issued the legal notices.
Meeting closed 19:18
Signed Chairman Date