MINUTES OF THE GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD 18th NOVEMBER 2020

held virtually on-line over video /telephone conferencing

 

 

Present

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

Mrs Sarah Williams (SW),                              Mr Gareth Baines (GB),                  Mr Frank Hemmings (FH),           

Mrs Dorothy Griffiths (DG)                           Mr Terry Evans (TE)                         Miss Lynne Painter (LP)                

Mr Newman James (NJ),                       Mr Michael Maxfield (MM),        Mr Chris Burgoyne (CB)

Mrs Karen Brown (KB), Clerk to the Council.
Mrs Rebecca Ap Gwyn (RAG) – Administration Officer

 

BC welcomed all to the meeting.

 

1.

To Accept Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Cllr. Ms Eleanor Burnham.

Cllr Mr Mark Holmes and Mr Mark Roberts  were not in attendance.

 

2.

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

 

3.

To consider speed gun, price, use and powers

The Clerk presented the information from PSCO Martin Griffiths on speed guns which other Councils have purchased and confirmed that the speed gun units are not enforceable as its not calibrated. Only a warning letter with words of advice relating to the manner in which they are driving could be issued as an outcome. It is more of a visual deterrent only.

 

Members asked who would use it and is there additional insurance cover for community members to use it. FH suggested that Arrive Alive is contacted as they have a community speed watch equipment. Members felt that monitoring speeding is a Police job and did not see any benefits of using this method as we already have an ANPR and a speed data sign. Members did not support the use of a speed gun. JA proposed to leave purchasing the speed gun as it is not supported. SW seconded the proposal. Committee agreed.

 

4.

To further consider a plaque to thank the people of Chirk

There was split opinion within the Committee; some Members wanted to wait until the Spring to review and others wanted to proceed with a plaque now.

 

GB proposed to leave consideration of a plaque until the Spring. LP seconded the proposal. This was not supported.

 

DG did not agree and explained that it could be another two years before we are fully out of the pandemic; the time was now.  SW supported this and as a lot of people are doing really kind helpful things within the community and did not want to have a plaque up once the kindness had stopped.

 

NJ noted the wording of the plaque would be very important and that it should not name individuals. Some suggested wording was discussed. It was agreed that the wording would need to be short and sweet.

 

SW suggested that the plaque be some sort of rainbow and Members liked this as it was a symbol of this pandemic.

 

JA proposed that the Millennium Garden would be a good place for the plaque to be located.

 

JA proposed to go ahead with the plaque now, to be sited at the Millennium Gardens. SW seconded the proposal. Committee agreed.

 

Action: Clerk to email out all Councillors asking for suggested wording within seven days. The Clerk to circulate suggestions and all Members to vote. The wording with the highest vote will go ahead. 

 

FH proposed that the Chairman & DG agree the style of the plaque once the wording has been agreed. This was agreed by all.

 

5.

To receive the Health & Safety Report and discuss next steps

The Chairman and Clerk gave an overview of the circulated report, and highlighted the overall recommendations and the list of specific recommendations (75 in total).  CB stated that he had read the report in full and felt it was a quality report. Due to the amount of work involved with addressing the recommendations CB suggested that appointing a project manager should be considered.

 

GB confirmed that he had read the report and shared it with his H&S director at work and commented that some of the recommendations were not applicable e.g. legionella – as the Council does not have a cooling tower or air conditioning there doesn’t pose a risk. A couple of other areas were mentioned and GB suggested a second opinion.

 

Members felt that some of the recommendations were already in hand for example tree inspections and play equipment.

 

FH stated that we don’t know if the Parish Hall has water tanks as a survey had not been undertaken and noted that this was the recommendation made.

 

CB highlighted that the Council and its Members would be liable if these recommendations are not actioned. CB added that our insurance cover would also require the Council to address these actions.

 

JA queried how much a project manager would cost and stated that three quotes would have to be sought.

 

TE stated that we must have the electrical and gas certificates for Parish Hall House as it’s a legal requirement at the time of agreeing the tenancy.

 

NJ asked how quickly the works needed to be addressed. It was agreed that as most recommendations are high priority as soon as reasonably practicable.

 

SW & NJ felt it was unfair to add this volume of workload on the Clerk and proposed to employ an external project manager for the safety of everyone.

 

GB disagreed and felt the report needed a sanity check.

 

It was discussed and agreed with a formal proposal from CB that the Clerk would go through the recommendations and list which tasks can be done internally and which tasks needed to be outsourced. The outsourced work can be turned into a scope of work upon which quotes can be received and brought back to Council. SW seconded the proposal. Committee agreed.

 

GB agreed to share his external findings with the Clerk.

 

6.

To commence plans for ‘Operation London Bridge’

JA said that before any decisions are taken the Council needed to be mindful of community views. Members discussed warm-heartedly the Queens Jubilee and other Royal events which have been well supported. It was noted that this would be commemoration/mourning rather than celebration.

 

TE suggested getting hold of Wrexham’s plan and align our plans. It was agreed that a committee of the Council Clerk, Church/Chapel and RBL meet to discussed a whole community approach as the Council does not want to duplicate plans.

 

Dress Code – It was agreed that black armbands and ribbons would be purchased for such a time they are needed and it was agreed that it would be personal choice to wear them.

 

Proclamation – After a discussion it was agreed that Chirk would like to hold its own Proclamation being the second biggest town in Wrexham. Clerk to discuss with community committee.

 

Flags – Members noted that it was important that the Union Jack is put on the mast the correct way around.

 

Church Service, Bells, Condolence books will be discussed further with community committee.

 

Flowers – The Council agreed to flowers being laid outside the Parish Hall.

 

Action: Clerk to commence an action plan and arrange a community committee to discuss further.

 

7.

To discuss Council Priorities for 2021/22

The Chairman made suggestions for next years priorities, the Clerk read out additional suggestions from Members. Each priority was discussed in detail.

 

JA proposed that the three priorities for 20201/22 be:

·    Health & Safety – addressing the recommendations from the report

·    Website – update and comply with regulations

·    Cemetery – plot available plots and commence work on the new paths, entrance etc.

 

The committee were happy to proceed with full Council approval given to priorities when the budget is formally agreed.

 

GB highlighted that he had put forward identifying an area for additional car parking in the town centre. All members agreed this is an issue but this had been looked at before and no land had been identified. Initial thoughts on available land were Chapel Lane play area, Library, Scout Hut – longer term option. Members also raised the issue of parking at West View and if additional spaces could be put in . A coach park would be ideal, however this had been looked into and rejected as there was not enough turning circle for the buses. It was proposed that car parking be put on a future agenda for continued discussion. Action: Clerk to agenda car parking in Chirk.

 

TE reported that a heritage fund had become available and suggested the slabs by the Cenotaph and lights be put forward for this grant.

 

 

Meeting closed 20:26

 

 

 

Signed                                    Chairman                                                              Date