MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 24TH FEBRUARY 2021

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),
Mrs Dot Griffiths (DG),                                     Mr Terry Evans (TE),               Mr Chris Burgoyne (CB),
Mr Michael Maxfield (MM),                             Mr Frank Hemmings (FH),      Mr Mark Holmes (MH)

Also in attendance:
Mrs Karen Brown (KB) - Clerk to the Council,  
Mrs Rebecca Ap Gwyn (RAG) – Administration Officer
Jack Butler - Press

79.

To Accept Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received and accepted from Cllrs Lynne Painter and Mr Mark Roberts.

80.

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

81.

To confirm and sign the minutes as a true record of the Ordinary Meeting held on 27TH January 2021
The minutes were reviewed. JA proposed the minutes as a true account, BH seconded, all agreed.

82.

To consider any matters arising from the minutes received above not reported elsewhere
Item 71 – Sandbags – RAG had done some initial research and there are a few things to consider in terms of storage, types of bags, lifetime of bags, disposal.  The Council agreed to discuss further in a General Purposes Committee.

FH & TE arrived at the meeting.

Item 72 – Kronsopan response – The Clerk reported that the letter from the Council had been sent to Kronospan, but no response had been received. Members shared their disappointment that no notification of the next Liaison Group had been received.
Action: Clerk to follow this matter up.

83.

To confirm and sign the minutes as a true record of the General Purposes Committee held on 10th  February 2021
The minutes were reviewed. FH proposed the minutes as a true account. TE seconded, all agreed.

84.

To receive the report and recommendations from the Finance Committee held on 22nd February 2021 – including the interim 2020/21 internal audit report
The Finance Committee report was presented and recommended the Quarter three report be accepted.
The Clerk drew attention to the interim audit report which states the Council’s system of internal controls are in place, adequate for the purpose intended and effective. Audit recommendations were highlighted.

FH proposed that the Council agree the Q3 budget report and accept the interim audit report. TE seconded and all agreed.

85.

To note planning applications dealt through the Planning Committee

  • P/2021 /0012 - Outline application (all matters reserved) for One dwelling 17 Duke Street, Chirk, Wrexham.
  • P/2020 /0267 - Section 78 appeal at: adjacent to, The Old Post Office, Halton, Chirk, Wrexham
  • The Planning Committee had no objections and recommended Council to support no objection. This was carried.

    86.

    To receive oral reports from Council Representatives
    MH updated the Council on the Chirk Youth football, they want to utilise Longfield’s Park for the under 12’s. NJ welcomed the development of Longfield’s Park. DG was strongly opposed due to the elderly  people living around the park. MH stated that the ATC could be a parking area.  JA proposed that Longfield’s play area is discussed further at a General Purposes Committee, GB seconded, all agreed.
    Action: Clerk to agenda Longfield’s play area to a future General Purposes Committee.

    GB confirmed that the application to North Wales Police for outdoor gym equipment has been successful. Discussion took place about the visualisation photo on social media which didn’t quite reflect the application. GB explained that additional pieces of equipment can be purchased which could possibly be funded through other sources.

    87.

    To receive oral reports from Local Members – Wrexham CBC
    FH reported that highways have been monitoring Barracks Lane twice a day as it should be for residents only.
    Litter picking is a major issue. A member of McDonald’s staff was bitten by a dog during litter picking so this has been suspended.  
    Pot holes and flooding continue to be an issue.  Members asked if the Wrexham programme for remedial works on pot holes is sufficient?
    TE reported that potholes are an ongoing issue. Ditches and culverts have been cleared. Early morning and late at night the LED lights in are not bright and people are reporting they feel unsafe.
    FH had reported the lack of brightness and some bulbs are not working, however Wrexham confirm that they meet the required standards.
    Action: Clerk to chase Wrexham street lighting.

    TE highlighted the excellent work of local volunteers who cut the grass verges across Chirk. TE suggested to purchase a lawn mower for these volunteers. It was agreed to discuss further at the General Purposes Committee.
    Action: Clerk to add to a future General Purposes Committee.

    FH highlighted the unknown ownership a piece of land two-thirds of the way up Offa. Wrexham Council do maintain the grass cutting, however it is not on their land register. People are now parking on this land and this is causing problems.

    88.

    To consider ways to improve Chapel Lane Pitch
    SW commented on the amount of dog fouling and power scooters ripping up the grass on Chapel Lane which is being ruined . It is a children’s sports facility and SW felt something needed to be done, and suggested a fence. Discussion took place about land ownership, grass cutting, signage, monitoring etc. Signage was agreed to be the way forward as a first step.
    BC commented that dog fouling is a problem across the whole of Chirk and the pavements are also an issue. The Council agreed that dog fouling is a serious issue.
    Action: FH agreed to assist the Clerk with getting the signage design, quotes and installation.

    89.

    To receive an update on the Bike Track youth project
    FH reported that Wrexham Council was initially approached to provide any land. The National Trust was also approached and a meeting took place at Canal Woods with two rangers. This project was supported by National Trust who are now seeking the highest level authorisation. A letter has been sent to Kronospan as part of the woods is in their land. This is still in the very early stages of development but encouraging how much support is available. There is ongoing negotiations and a bank of volunteers growing to assist with gates, fencing, trees, footpaths etc.

    As the project progresses, regular updates will be provided to the Council. A project plan will be developed and an agreement with the landowners and the Council. Risk assessments and insurance will all form part of this agreement.

    The Council thanked all involved in pursuing this project.

    90.

    To appoint five Councillors as Members of the new Kronospan Liaison Group
    JA noted that it was five including the two County Councillors, therefore as FH & TE automatically had a place this left only three spaces. This was acknowledged.
    Members discussed the Chair and Vice Chair being members, consideration of a fair rotation of members and the option of a pre-meeting to allow all Councillors, who are not member of the liaison group,  to raise concerns they may have.
    TE proposed SW & GB in addition to the Chair.
    BH proposed JA as she is currently the Chair of the Liaison Group . This was discussed and it was felt that JA would remain in place until a new chair is appointed.
    The membership will be reviewed every 12 months at the AGM after the Chair and Vice Chair have been appointed. It was also agreed that should appointed members be unable to attend that a reserve member could attend in their place.

    The Council agreed to Cllrs Terry Evans, Frank Hemming, Brian Colley, Sarah Williams and Gareth Baines being the five appointed members.
    Action: Clerk to notify Liaison Group and update membership list for review at the AGM.

    91.

    To receive the report of the Clerk – includes updates, correspondence & speed sign data
    The Clerk presented her report, key updates reported were the fence repair works on Chirk Recreational Grounds had been completed and emergency boiler call out to the Parish Hall.

    Trees - A detailed summary of the meeting with the tree officer was provided to Council, tree scanning needed to be undertaken on the three veteran Oak trees on the Recreational ground before works could commence due to serious health and safety concerns of these trees. The tree officer also discussed a re-planting scheme. The other tree works require planning permission due to being in a conservation area and therefore it is recommended that the tree scanning works be undertaken immediately and results reviewed to decide next steps.

    The Coronation Oak has a metal tree guard which is now cutting into the tree trunk. The tree officer states this is not required for the tree as it is well established and is just for decorative purposes. Removal of the tree guard is recommended. The Clerk sought opinion from Council if they would like a replacement railing or to remove and leave? The Council would like to consider the cost of a replacement railing and discuss further in a General Purposes Committee.
    Action: Clerk to get quote for the replacement of a decorative tree guard on the Coronation Oak.

    Chirk Community Cupboard – The Clerk drew attention to the proposal document and gave an overview of the project. BH stated that she was disappointed to hear about the foodbank through a neighbour who had seen it on Facebook and that people in Chirk knew about this project before Councillors. There were a lot of questions and concerns raised about this project; in summary Councillors were concerned about other businesses in Chirk already doing food banks, unsure if the Parish Hall was the right venue for this project for a range of reasons, not sure if people in Chirk needed access to a food cupboard, food storage facilities etc. Councillors liked the idea in principle but wanted more information on a range of matters. SW felt that the Community Agent was just doing her job and didn’t need further discussion. GB proposed and TE seconded that the decision be taken to a General Purposes Committee. Majority agreed.
    Action: Clerk to arrange a General Purposes Committee.

    SW left the meeting.

    Correspondence – Trudy Ellis – letter to confirm she can no longer volunteer to do the gardening at the Millennium Garden. Members commented on the superb job she has done for the community by maintaining the gardens. The Council agreed to send a letter of thanks and a bunch of flowers.
    Action: Clerk to send letter and flowers.
    Discussion took place regarding options for replacing the gardening work. Options included recruiting new volunteers, caretakers to undertake quarterly maintenance or new Lengthsman post. It was agreed that this would be discussed at a future Staffing Committee.
    Action: Clerk to arrange Staffing Committee.

    Speed Sign data -  Lodgevale – February 2021 data showed that 25.35% of vehicles were speeding. The V85 data showing 32mph. Members felt that as over a quarter of traffic was speeding this data needed to be shared with the Police.
    Action: Clerk to share recent data with Police.

    92.

    To decide upon appeals for financial assistance received
    Offa Community Council – Memorial Garden bronze sculpture – JA proposed to leave on the table and not support this request. NJ seconded. Council agreed.

    Macmillan – General donation request. JA proposed to support with £100, DG & TE seconded the proposal, all agreed.

    Action: Clerk to notify both organisations.

    93.

    To seek approval of payments made between 01.01.2021 to 31.01.2021

     

    A list of payments between 01.01.2021 to 31.01.2021 amounting to £10,221.94 (including VAT) was given to the Council. JA proposed and GB seconded that the payments list be approved. The motion was passed unanimously.

    94.

    To present items for inclusion on the next agenda
    JA passed on thanks from Julie Day – Chirk Surgery to all the Councillors who have volunteered on vaccination days. The Council thanked JA for her efforts in coordinating the successful volunteer programme.

     

    Meeting closed 21:05

             Signed                                               Chairman                                                        Date