MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 30th June 2021

held virtually on-line over video /telephone conferencing

 

Present

Cllrs. Mr Frank Hemming (FH) - 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 Brian Colley (BC),          Mr Mark Holmes (MH)                                      Miss Lynne Painter (LP),          Mr Mark Roberts (MR)      Mrs Deborah Cooke (DC)                                  Mr Newman James (NJ).

 

Also in attendance:

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

Mrs Rebecca Ap Gwyn (RAG) – Administration Officer

 

 

25.

To Accept Apologies for Absence

Apologies were presented and accepted from Cllr Mr Michael Maxfield.

 

26.

To make Declarations of Interest on items on the agenda

None.

 

FH advised Councillors that agenda item 14 ‘To receive an update on the Bike Track project and to seek agreement to submit a Youth Support Scheme Grant for the Council’ had been withdrawn.

 

27.

To confirm and sign the minutes as a true record of the Special Council meeting held on 19th May 2021.

The minutes from the Special meeting were reviewed.  GB proposed the minutes be approved as a true account. JA seconded, all agreed.

 

28.

To confirm and sign the minutes as a true record of the Annual General meeting held on 26th May 2021.

The minutes from the Annual General meeting were reviewed.  GB proposed the minutes as a true account. JA seconded, all agreed.

 

29.

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

Item 8a - FH informed the Council that DG would be stepping down as a Governor of Ysgol Y Waun.  The vacancy will be addressed at a future Council meeting.

 

SW joined the meeting.

 

Item 16 - FH updated the Council that the planning application for a new classroom at Ysgol Y Waun was going to be refused planning because of an issue with a gas main.  TE & JA both suggested that the former caretaker’s bungalow should be converted rather than it remaining empty.

 

Item 17 - BC stated the painting by Jim Heath depicting residents of Chirk social distancing outside the Pharmacy during the first lockdown in 2020 has been purchased and is in the Parish Hall.  A new frame is being sought by FH and a suitable place will be found in the Parish Hall for the picture to be hung.

 

Item 18 - FH reported that the litter pick was quiet, the few volunteers that did attend struggled to find litter. TE had a report from a resident that the volunteers picking up litter were doing a fantastic job.

 

Item 19 - FH advised Council that the Ysgol Y Waun leavers hoodies had been ordered.  The Clerk also advised that the bibles for Ysgol Pentre have been dispatched.

 

Item 20 - JA asked for an update on the holding of hybrid meetings. The Clerk went through a couple of suggestions. JA requested that the equipment is in place for the next meeting as she is concerned we are behind other Councils.  FH advised that we are not behind other Councils, as he has been informed by many local Councils that they are currently waiting before purchasing equipment.  GB suggested Jabra equipment, although it would only provide audio; the current regulations only require audio.  JA proposed that the equipment it is in place by August.  NJ suggested we should not rush as Zoom is working well.  TE mentioned possible restrictions being lifted by July. The Clerk stated that the new Local Government & Elections Act states that hybrid meetings are required regardless of the pandemic.  JA proposed that we look at both video and audio equipment. The Clerk to obtain quotes to present to the next meeting.  NJ seconded. All agreed.

Action: Clerk to obtain quotes.

 

Item 24 - Black Park - FH  advised that the gate still needs to be fixed. FH also informed Council that he has received compliments for the installation of the goalposts.

Action: Clerk to arrange fixing of gate.

 

MR joined the meeting.

 

30.

To confirm and sign the minutes as a true record of the Planning Committee held on 7th June 2021.

FH notified the Council that the letter to Kronospan had been successful. This had resulted in the plans being available in the Parish Hall and had obtained a two week extension. The Clerk informed Council that seven people had come to view the plans so far, and the deadline was 1st July 2021.

 

FH advised that the application for the bungalow in Pentre was going to Wrexham Planning Committee due to the number of objections received.

 

GB proposed the minutes were a true account of the meeting, JA seconded, all agreed.

Action: Clerk to send formal objections to relevant bodies.

 

31.

To receive the minutes and recommendations from the Finance Committee held on 23rd June 2021 – including the 2020/21 internal audit report.

The Clerk gave a brief overview of the Finance Committee meeting and highlighted the outcome of the internal audit report which concluded that ‘the council’s system of internal controls is in place, adequate for the purpose intended and effective’ The Clerk drew attention to the one recommendation relating to supplier fraud.   

 

JA asked if the second quote for the office heating had been received. FH raised the point that the Council already had an electrician for the Parish Hall, SW asked how long the current electrician had been the Council’s contractor? The Clerk confirmed that it had been over a year.  JA said it was agreed during the Finance Committee meeting that quotes would be obtained from Chirk contractors.

 

GB proposed that the Finance Committee minutes and recommendations be approved by Council, JA seconded, all agreed.

 

32.

To approve the 2020/21 Annual Return & Annual Governance Statement.

The Clerk provided all Councillors with a copy of the return.  The Clerk gave an overview of the Annual Return & Annual Governance Statement which had been scrutinized by the Finance Committee. 

CB proposed Council approve the 2020/21 Annual Return. JA seconded, all agreed.

CB on behalf of the Council thanked KB and RAG for all the work on the year end financials and clean  audit, noting the change in accounting systems this year.

 

33.

To note planning applications dealt through the Planning Committee

The Planning Committee had no objections to:

·         P/2021/0481 – Alterations to existing Caravan Park including new pitches, alterations to existing pitches, new toilet block, compounds, water tank, service points, widening of internal road and new security barriers – Lady Margaret’s Park, Chirk Castle, Chirk.

·         P/2021/0582 – Front porch extension and single storey rear and side extensions – 48 Maes Y Waun, Chirk, Wrexham.

·         P/2021/0586 – Demolition of existing garage and erection of new garage.  Bryn yr Eos, Whitehurst, Chirk, Wrexham.

 

The Planning Committee discussed the following two applications:

·         P/2021/0545 – Outline application (All matters reserved) for up to 8 dwellings – Site of Old Fire Station and Former Chapel Colliery, Chirk, Wrexham.

BC naturally thought that the eight properties needed another meeting, but didn’t object.  TE  suggested that it had already been agreed through Wrexham. BC asked that we look at why it has come back to Planning.

Action: FH to look into and report back through KB. 

 

·         P/2021/0482 – Erection  of bungalow – Land to the rear of 5 & 6 New bungalows, New House Lane, Pentre, Wrexham

The Planning Committee had met to discuss concerns with this application and recommended that objections relating to the size of the plot and the boundary fence are submitted. Council agreed.

Action: Clerk to submit objection to WCBC.

 

34.

To receive oral reports from Council Representatives

BC went to Kronospan liaison meeting Chaired by Ian Bancroft to improve communication after fire.  BC felt the meeting was a revelation. Natural Resources Wales confirmed that any community consultation meetings will not be held until the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022. Simon Baynes put Kronospan on notice about pollution, dust and noise. BC supported Mr Baynes. It was noted that it took seven months to have a Liaison Group meeting rather that the quarterly meetings as agreed in the Terms of Reference. Jo Goodchild from the Unite Union had same objectives – they want Kronospan to continue with business, but want them to acknowledge dust, smell and noise.  BC proposed that the Council organises a meeting with Jo Goodchild.  FH asked that the union stewards also be invited to attend.  TE seconded and added that Kronospan is a disgrace.  All agreed.

Action: Clerk to organize meeting.

 

SW raised concern that the new warehouse is planned for another operational line.

 

JA reported that she and DG had been accosted by local residents about having a museum in Chirk.  SW thinks it’s a great idea, but a) where? b) who pays for it? c) who pays the wages?.  JA thinks it should go to a General Purposes Committee to be further explored.  BH said to look at Cefn as they have a museum.  FH suggested a visitors centre somewhere.  JA said there are heritage grants available for setting up a museum.  FH agreed that it be brought to a future meeting.

Action: Clerk to put on agenda for future General Purposes meeting.

 

JA raised the issue of car parking in Chirk.  She pointed outer that bikers were taking up two parking spaces and expressed concern that if we want tourism to come to Chirk we need to find a better way to utilise parking.  JA requested this matter be discussed by a General Purposes Committee. FH agreed.  SW asked if we could employ a parking officer?  JA explained the car park belongs to WCBC.  DG said the car park was full first thing on Saturday morning 26.06.2021.  She spoke to bikers and they informed her that the other car parks charge for parking and Chirk is free.  MH stated there is a camera system in Llangollen which is free for a certain time and then requires the vehicle be moved.  GB asked about looking for land to lease for extra car parking. He also proposed looking into the UK Government Levelling up Fund and Industrial Grants fund. TE agreed with GB, however to get an extra car park needs more discussion.

Action: Clerk to put on future General Purposes agenda.

 

35.

To receive oral reports from Local Members – Wrexham CBC

TE stated:

·         Highfields car park has new white lines.

·         Pot holes are being looked at.

·         The summer plants around Chirk are looking fantastic.

FH reported:

·         He had showed WCBC officer around Chirk to position the new bins purchased by the Town Council.

·         Wood for fencing at Pentre had been collected from Kronospan and is being stored at the Parish Hall

 

DG reported that scooters could not get through the Hand Hotel bollards due to three cars blocking this area.

 

Following a recent incident by Telford Rise, local residents on the estate want to know why the nearby premises is now a residential home for young people without a planning change of use. TE confirmed that there was no requirement for a change of use.

 

NJ informed Council that the bullring grass was being cut and strimmed by Wrexham Council just as the local children were going to school.  Concern was raised that it was a health and safety issue.

 

GB advised Council that a number of residents were having difficulty obtaining compensation from WCBC regarding damage to their vehicles from pot holes.  On average it is taking 8-9 months to resolve. GB to send some examples to FH.

 

DC wondered whether painting the pot holes would draw Wrexham’s attention to the state of the roads in the area and would also warn drivers of their existence.

 

DG raised the issue of the sticky floor outside Spar.  NJ suggested it was tree Sap.  SW suggested that Spar should clean it.

Action: TE to see manager of Spar.

 

36.

To discuss the ongoing issues with Chirk Surgery

MR had received three complaints from residents regarding the number of prescriptions going missing and the lack of communication between the Pharmacy and the Surgery. 

 

MR asked Council if we can write to or have a meeting with the Surgery so we can inform residents of current procedures.  BC supports MR as feels administration is appalling.  MH raised that issue that the Surgery require online booking, however feels this can’t be compulsory as older residents do not have the ability to use online services.  LP agreed.  CB said to write a letter to the practice partners rather than the manager. JA mentioned the closing of St Martins surgery as it is not fit for purpose and doesn’t meet current government requirements.  This will have a knock on effect to Chirk Surgery.  SW wanted to know the catchment area of Chirk Surgery.  JA reported that Chirk surgery has 10,000 patients.  1,750  is the maximum limit for patient to doctor ratio. With 11 doctors in Chirk there is capacity for Chirk to take on more patients.

Action: FH and Clerk to write to Chirk Surgery to arrange a meeting.

 

37.

To receive an update on the Bike Track project and to seek agreement to submit a Youth Support Scheme Grant for the Council.

This item was removed from the agenda at the beginning of the meeting.

 

38.

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

The Clerk went through key points from the circulated report. The emergency tree works was discussed. WCBC tree officer had issued a planning exemption notice under section 198(6) of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990. Three quotes were sought, due to urgency the Clerk and Chairman have appointed a contractor.  KB further explained how the tree will look a mess after the works completed, but this is done for biodiversity purposes. With the loss of 50% of Oak tree the Council will need to plant six smaller trees. GB asked if a new Oak can be planted for Jubilee in 2022. The Clerk explained it needed to be six trees this year plus a new Oak.

 

The Clerk highlighted the three letters from Chirk youths requesting new goalposts but explained that no contact details had been provided. MH asked that replacement goal options are considered at the next  General Purposes Committee. NJ wants Goalposts on Longfield’s. A discussion ensued regarding Longfield’s park and youths.

 

JA left the meeting.

 

The Clerk asked Council if they would be interested in a Beacon for the Queen’s Jubilee in June 2022.  GB suggested speaking to Chirk Castle as a potential site as they have previously had a Beacon. Clerk to action.

 

The Clerk noted that the Speed Sign data is currently the worst data Chirk has had.

 

39.

To decide upon appeals for financial assistance received.

None received.

 

40.

To seek approval of payments made between 20.05.2021 to 25.06.2021,

The Clerk apologised for the mistake on the report. Transaction 87 and 67 were duplicate entries; with these removed the payment list for approval was £10,071.16 Net, £84.20 VAT, Total £10,155.36.

GB proposed subject to amendments, the payment list be approved.  CB seconded, all agreed.

 

41.

To present items for inclusion on the next agenda.

GB requested the Clerk to send a letter to Stuart Wilson who has served Chirk as an optometrist for 30 years at Francis Opticians. Council agreed.

 

GB asked if Council could write a letter of congratulations to Lady Hill-Trevor for her recent award of MBE.  The Clerk asked for clarification as to whether a photo would be needed for the Council Chamber.  FH advised that precedent dictates we should. Clerk to action.

 

FH has asked for updated Chairman’s photo’s of BC, JA and himself.

 

The July meeting date was discussed. FH to speak with KB regarding possibly moving it to August.

 


 

 

 

Meeting closed 20:44  

      

 

 

 

Signed                                        Chairman                                                                    Date