MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 24TH MARCH 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),                          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)           Miss Lynne Painter (LP), 

Mr Mark Roberts

 

Also in attendance:

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

Mrs Rebecca Ap Gwyn (RAG) – Administration Officer

 

BC welcomed all to the meeting and noted that Zoom is not an ideal forum for Council meetings. Recently during the Council meetings, frustrations have overrun. BC reminded all Councillors of the Code of Conduct and beyond this, good civility and good manners should be shown to one another.

 

95.

To Accept Apologies for Absence

Cllr Mr Newman James was not in attendance.

 

96.

To make Declarations of Interest on items on the agenda

None.

 

97.

To confirm and sign the minutes as a true record of the Ordinary Meeting held on 24th February  2021

The minutes were reviewed.  JA recalled that the discussion relating to Longfield play area (including fencing) at item 86 concluded that a further discussion be held at a General Purposes Committee. JA proposed that the minutes be amended to reflect this. JA proposed with this amendment the minutes be approved as a true account, GB seconded, all agreed.

 

98.

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

Item 82 – Kronospan – The Clerk reported that no response had been received from Kronospan. Members were extremely disappointed that Kronospan had not organised a Liaison meeting. LP asked for clarification on the original Chirk Environmental Liaison Group. In summary it has merged into the new Liaison Group with new terms of reference. BC stated that following the fire, Kronospan committed to better communication, however communication had got worse. TE felt that if Kronospan did not respond, the Council has a duty to its residents to have the environmental issues discussed.

Members shared their frustrations at the way in which Wrexham County Borough Council unsatisfactorily deals with complaints. Members noted however that Wrexham are not the pollutants. TE highlighted the ongoing dust and chemical smell, residents are unable to sit out in their garden due to the smell. FH noted that Wrexham still have overall responsibility for public health. BC proposed that the Council send Kronospan a letter requesting a Liaison group meeting. FH & LP seconded. All agreed.

Action: Clerk to send Kronospan letter.

 

SW highlighted that it appeared that Kronospan were preparing to plant established trees along the hedgerow opposite Wern. Following previous public consultation with residents on Lodgevale, feedback confirmed that the residents did not want trees planted in this area, which was supported by Kronospan. SW asked for clarification to be sought. Council agreed.

Action: Clerk to seek clarification from Kronospan on the intention of preparation of land opposite Wern.

 

Item 86 – Longfields – concerns have been raised by residents in relation to the green space at Longfields play area. SW asked to find out what was happening with ATC building as the car park could be shared. SW thought that the Council had already granted permission for mini football to use Longfields.

Action: Clerk to investigate what approval was given and future use of the ATC building.

Action: Longfields to be discussed at a future General Purposes Meeting.

 

Item 87 – LED Lighting response from Wrexham was shared with Members. Members felt that it did not address the fact that the current lighting is not fit for purpose. Members discussed getting in a specialist consultant to check information. GB thought it was the spacing of the columns (LUX plot) which had not been taken into account. JA added if the Council was to get in a consultant then a risk assessment on safety for residents should be included. MH proposed getting a second opinion, TE seconded, Council agreed.

Action: FH to obtain second opinion and risk assessment.

 

Brief discussion took place about the Council taking over the lighting, however when this was looked at four-five years ago the lights were not fit for purpose and would cost the Council a lot of investment to bring them up to specification and would take years to recoup the costs.

 

Cllr M Roberts arrived.

 

99.

To confirm and sign the minutes as a true record of the General Purposes Committee held on 3rd March 2021

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

The Clerk provided an update on the first few weeks of the Community Cupboard which had gone very successfully and lots of positive feedback had been received.

 

100.

To note planning applications dealt through the Planning Committee

·         P/2021/0101 - Erection of Detached Dwelling Jarmay Station Avenue, Chirk, Wrexham

·         P/2021/0089 - Installation of two electric charging stations, McDonalds, Halton, Chirk

·         P/2021/0105 - Side Extension, 5 Hadley Close, Chirk, Wrexham

The Planning Committee recommended Council to support no objection. This was carried.

 

·         P/2021/0176 - Dwelling Connected With Equestrian Stud Business - Riverside Stud, Riverside Lane, Newbridge Road, Newbridge, Wrexham.

The Planning Committee had met prior to the Council meeting to discuss concerns with this application and recommended that objections relating to the access road and condition of the land and infrastructure are submitted. Council agreed.

 

101.

To receive oral reports from Council Representatives

TE stated:

·         Pot holes on Chapel Lane and Coronation Drive have been reported to Wrexham Council.

·         There is a community litter pick planned for Saturday 10:30am – appeal for volunteers was made. There will be two groups one meeting at the Hand Hotel with TE and the other group meeting at Chapel Lane with FH.

·         The asbestos which had been fly tipped had successfully been removed.

·         New legislation passed for fly tipping.

 

FH reported:

·         The potholes in Lodgevale had been filled.

·         There are ongoing talks with the Hospital Trust and Wrexham’s tree officer in relation to the management of the hospital wood trees.  The Trust has agreed to do the works required.

·         Pentre road junction traffic lights are causing an issue during works on the viaduct.

·         Next week an engineer will be looking at the drainage in Lodgevale.

·         The new Mayor of Wrexham is Ronnie Prince with Brian Cameron being Deputy Mayor.

·         Dog fouling signs for the football pitches have been received and will be installed shortly.

 

102.

To receive oral reports from Local Members – Wrexham CBC

Discussion ensued about littering across Chirk but particularly in the lay-by near McDonalds and near the aqueduct. It was noted that bins are not emptied at the weekend and this is something to consider with the Lengthsman post. It was confirmed that an improvement notice had been served on the traveller site. McDonalds regularly undertake clean ups and are very conscientious. It was noted by members that it is McDonalds customers who are the problem and added that lockdown has increased take-away food usage as it is the only thing allowed at the present time. Wrexham collect Monday to Friday, McDonalds collect rubbish at the weekend, it was felt that the Council should not have to fund additional staff to carry out this work.

 

BC highlighted another feature of lockdown which is that more people are walking around the local area. The walk into the Castle grounds via Station Road has no pavements and the cars speed along and is dangerous. BC asked if this could be looked into. TE agreed.

Action: TE to write to Wrexham Council regarding the safety of pedestrians.

 

103.

To discuss what the Council can do regarding engagement with the Play Development Team for children who’ve been isolated through the pandemic

GB asked for the Council to consider a formal approach to the Wrexham Youth & Play Partnership for support for local parents whose children are isolated during this period and do not like sports. It was noted that most children, sporty or not are feeling isolated at this time due to the lockdown restrictions and Members noted the wide variety of non-sport activities available in Chirk (e.g. arts, dance, music, guiding/scouting etc.) as well as a range of voluntary groups which children can join. Concerns were raised about the Wrexham Partnership due to costs, which in previous years was not good value for money. GB thought it was a free partnership. Members considered that if there is a gap in the system then perhaps parents could start something themselves . The Council was not keen to engage any further on this matter, but agreed that GB provide more detailed information about the membership of the Partnership.

Action: GB to seek more detailed information about becoming a member of the Wrexham Youth & Play Partnership and send onto the Clerk to agenda at a future meeting.

 


 

 

104.

To approve and adopt the Council’s Financial Regulations.

The Finance Committee had gone through the new Financial Regulations in detail and recommends for adoption. LP proposed to adopt the new Financial Regulations, JA seconded, unanimously agreed by Council.

 

105.

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

The Clerk presented her report which covered general updates, health and safety, Community Food Cupboard, Operation London Bridge, training, major correspondence/emails and active speed sign data. 

 

LP asked about new legislation relating to no smoking in children’s play areas. The Clerk will check the regulations and requirements for signage.

Action: Clerk to establish if new signage is a requirement.

 

Correspondence from Tina Rogers was discussed. SW elaborated that the vision is an artists show day, displaying and celebrating the faces of Chirk. Members felt that this could be wider than just Tina’s work as many people have used art and craft as a way of spending time during the pandemic. Overall the Council thought this was a good idea to put on a weekend of art and craft displays celebrating the end of the pandemic, family and history of Chirk.  Once restrictions have been lifted, the Council agreed for plans to be made for such an event. SW felt that a poster should go out soon to give an indication of this event as it would motivate people to get through the next part of the lockdown. In summary the Council fully supports hosting an event for local artists.

 

The Clerk drew attention to the reports of the un-safe football goal posts in Station Road Recreational Ground and sought permission to remove the goal posts before there is an accident. The Council agreed for these and the singular posts in Longfields and Offa/Crogen to be removed at the same time. A future decision will need to be taken about replacements.

 

LP asked if the broken rocker at Chapel Lane will be repaired. The Clerk confirmed it would be repaired in due course.

 

TE raised concern over the grass maintenance contractors strimming grass in Chapel Lane play areas whilst toddlers were running about. Clerk agreed to speak to the contractor.

Action: Clerk to speak to contractor about the incident and request a copy of their risk assessment.

 

106.

 

To decide upon appeals for financial assistance received

Vic Studios in Wrexham – general donation requested – JA proposed not to support on this occasion, LP seconded. All agreed.

Action: Clerk to notify applicant of decision.

 

107.

To seek approval of payments made between 01.02.2021 to 24.03.2021

 

A list of payments between 01.02.2021 to 24.03.2021 amounting to £22,265.41 (including VAT) was given to the Council. CB proposed and JA seconded that the payments list be approved. The motion was passed unanimously.

 

108.

To present items for inclusion on the next agenda

Members noted that there were posts on ‘This is Chirk’ asking about memorial plans. The Council has commissioned the memorial bench and plaque, and discussed how the Council should notify the community.  It was felt that a press release was required.

 

DG suggested that a two minute silence be held every 12 months on the anniversary of the pandemic at the cenotaph to commemorate and remember the community.

 

TE requested that the replacement of the slabs at the cenotaph be discussed at a future General Purposes Committee.

Action: Clerk to add to future agenda.

 

FH said that a community fun day should be held when the pandemic is officially over.

 

JA asked if the Annual Town Meeting would be held this year in April. It was confirmed that this would go ahead.

 

 

Meeting closed 20:44

 

Signed                                        Chairman                                                                    Date