MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 29th September 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 Dot Griffiths (DG),            Mr Terry Evans (TE),           

Mr Chris Burgoyne (CB),                                    Mr Brian Colley (BC),               Mr Mark Holmes (MH)   

Miss Lynne Painter (LP),                                     Mrs Deborah Cooke (DC)        Mr Newman James (NJ)    

Mr Michael Maxfield (MM),                             Mr Mark Roberts (MR),          Mrs Sarah Williams (SW)

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

42.

To Accept Apologies for Absence
No apologies given.

43.

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

44.

To confirm and sign the minutes as a true record of the Council meeting held on 30th June 2021.
The minutes were reviewed. BC proposed the minutes as a true account, BH seconded. All agreed.

45.

To consider any matters arising for the Minutes received above not reported elsewhere.
Item 31 - TE asked if the local electrical contractor had been used.  The Clerk advised that the new heaters had been installed and work was satisfactory.  TE questioned the continual use of other contractors, moving forward he wants all work to go to local contractors.  JA agreed. KB advised that she will endeavour to use local whilst ensuring value for money.

46.

A)  To receive the report and recommendations of the Cemetery task & finish group held on 28th July 2021.
The Clerk provided an overview of the suggested plans from the group:

  • to extend current drive and add additional paths and not have a second entrance.
  • garage to be demolished.
  • the area where the garage stood would be grassed over.
  • the new area for cremated remains.

In reply to a question by TE the Clerk advised that on speaking to the undertaker he had liked the plans and asked for a turning circle to allow the hearse to turn around.

B) To agree the outline Cemetery proposals
GB proposed that the Council give permission to proceed as presented in the plans. DG seconded, all agreed.

47.

To confirm and sign the minutes as a true record of the Planning Committee held on 11th August 2021.
The minutes were reviewed. BH proposed the minutes as a true account. JA seconded – all agreed.

Matters Arising:

  • FH provided an updated on the Ysgol Y Waun new classroom  and explained that the type of building  proposed was the only type of building they could have. The Clerk screen shared a photo of the proposed building.  FH said that there is talk of undertaking some planting in front of the building to make it look less industrial. None of the neighbours had objected.  The difficulty had been the placement of the building due to a gas main.  The school need to proceed as the funding runs out March 2022.  Members of the Planning Committee said they initially objected because they thought it would look more factory like and closer to the road – they now have no further objections.

MR arrived at 19.19

MR advised that he had just called the Police as youths have set the hedge by the skate park alight.

48.

To confirm and sign the minutes as a true record of the General Purposes Committee held on 11th August 2021
The minutes were reviewed. BC proposed the minutes as a true account. JA seconded – all agreed.

Matters arising:

  • TE reported that the residents were delighted with the new goalposts at Longfields Recreational Ground. 
  • Cenotaph slabs - FH and KB had a meeting with Andrew Harradine of Wrexham Council relating to funding opportunities.
  • The Clerk confirmed that the Community Agent has obtained the basic food hygiene certificate, which is a requirement of the Fareshare agreement.

FH asked if the litter picking equipment had arrived and who was liable for insurance?  KB advised that the equipment from Keep Wales Tidy had arrived. Keep Wales Tidy insurance would cover litter pickers as long as they do not go near the main road.

GB asked about the current plans for Remembrance Sunday? RAG advised that we had been unable to contact Wrexham Council to organise an official road closure but plans for the traditional service are in progress.

SW entered 19.29

49.

To receive the report and recommendations from the Finance Committee held on 1st September 2021.
The report and recommendations were reviewed. TE proposed the minutes as a true account and CB seconded – all agreed.

50.

To confirm and sign the minutes as a true record of the General Purposes Committee held 22nd September 2021.
KB advised there was a spelling mistake on top of page 2. With this amendment CB proposed the minutes were a true account, JA seconded.  All agreed.

TE reported his did not receive the notice for the above meeting. GB also said that he had not received the meeting agenda and link.
Action: Clerk to investigate and report back. 

Matters arising:

  • Clerk advised Councillors that the dangerous tree in Longfield’s play area had been removed.   DG reported that for safety reasons the residents were pleased the tree had been removed. She herself had been shown the tree trunk which looked like ‘sponge’ and that the workmen had done an excellent job.
  • TE asked about a replacement tree? The Clerk advised on the biodiversity duty and stated the necessity to replace the tree later in the year.
  • FH confirmed he has volunteers for removing the old play equipment at Pentre Recreational Ground. The Clerk advised that the new play equipment would be installed January 2022.

51.

To note the planning applications dealt through the Planning Committee.
In addition to the items covered by the Planning Committee, no objections were received for the following applications:

  • P/2021/0704 - Two Storey Side Extension And Single Storey Rear Extension - 23 Cilcoed,  Lodgevale Park, Chirk.
  • P/2021/0834 - Two Storey Side Extension - 15 Bron Y Waun,  Chirk.
  • P/2021/0844 - Variation of condition 2 of planning permission P/2001/0474 to amend occupancy restrictions – The Coach House, Bryn Eglwys, Castle Road, Chirk.

In reply to a question by GB the Clerk reported that the objections raised in relation to the Kronospan planning application had been submitted to WCBC the day after the Planning Committee meeting.

52.

To acknowledge the letter and donation from Chirk Newsletter.
The Clerk read out correspondence from Chirk Newsletter confirming its closure and a donation of £5,662.00 towards adult outdoor gym equipment in Chirk Recreational Ground.  TE stated it was a very difficult decision, lots of volunteers have ill health and lots of businesses now use social media to advertise.  JA informed the Council that only one person asked during covid if the newsletter was coming back.  BC proposed the Council use its website to promote news – all agreed.

GB highlighted that Cefn Mawr has a digital newsletter.  The Clerk advised that the Council are not currently looking to run a digital newsletter as the Council needs to focus on getting a compliant website first.

FH thanked all those involved in the newsletter. BC proposed, MR seconded – all agreed.
Action: Clerk to write a letter of thanks.

53.

To discuss the ongoing issues with Chirk Surgery
MR summarised reports he had received from residents relating to prescription and communication problems with Chirk surgery. 

It was noted that links with the pharmacy had improved but there is concern that some elderly residents are not able to use online facilities.

The Clerk advised that a meeting with the surgery was requested but no confirmed date had been received. BC felt the Council need to express our disappointment to the surgery.  FH advised his personal experience had been positive.  DC raised the issue that staff are getting abuse when it is not their fault.

BC also expressed his concern about the closure of the surgery at St Martins. St Martins residents will be forced to go to Chirk and put further pressure on all local services. BC considered that this matter needed to be discussed urgently with the surgery.  GB asked to extend this invitation to the three surrounding Community Councils to discuss issues at a cross party meeting.  LP agreed with BC regarding a meeting. 

LP sought clarification on the ratio of doctors referred to in the previous minutes - was the ratio the same for part-time doctors?  JA said that it’s not the maximum, it’s the recommended.  The doctors ratio is pro rata on sessions.  LP questioned that the minutes read like there were 11 full time doctors.  JA advised it is a training surgery so not all 11 doctors are practising. 

SW asked Council if they are aware of the catchment area of Chirk GP surgery as it extends further into Oswestry, Weston Rhyn and towards Wrexham etc. JA responded that it’s a longstanding problem that is being addressed currently.  People who have moved outside of the catchment area have stayed with Chirk doctors.  JA advised letters were being sent to patients advising them that they were no longer in the catchment area and needed to move to another surgery.

Members asked a range of questions and commented about covid booster vaccine being given in the Catrin Finch Centre and not in Chirk.  JA advised that covid boosters are being controlled by the Health Board.

BC proposed that the Council make contact with the surgery. FH agreed that the Clerk needs to write again.  JA asked that covid booster vaccine issue is also be included. All agreed.
Clerk to action.

GB advised that when new patients want to register at the surgery, this is done centrally through the Health Board and not at the surgery.

54.

 

To consider offering Dementia Friends training
FH informed Council about the Dementia Friends project.  FH sought support of the Council to expand the project across the community. In addition,  a training session to be arranged which would allow Chirk to become a dementia friendly community. Unanimously agreed.
Action: FH & KB to arrange dates.

55.

To consider the Welsh Government Grant to fund further defibrillators.
GB requested that the Council explore the grants for further defibrillators.
FH spoke to the lighting engineer at WCBC and who has agreed to install an electric point by the Offa play area.  SW asked if we could procure telephone boxes and possibly have two defibrillators.  It was advised that purchasing telephone boxes for a peppercorn price was only available to communities with telephone boxes in situ and that it would be very expensive to procure them otherwise. TE asked about the Scottish Power sub stations in Lodgevale? SW advised that permission was refused on the main substation. LP stated that a second location had been identified but the land ownership is an issue.

56.

To appoint a School Governor for:

  • Dee Valley Federation – Pentre School

            GB proposed Cllr Barbara Humphreys, JA seconded. Unanimously agreed.

  • Ysgol Y Waun

No appointment made.  FH to speak to DC about what the governor post entails.
Action: to be placed on agenda for next meeting.

57.

To decide on Chirk Town Council’s Social Media presence
SW wants all Council information to be shared via  Chirk Town Council’s own social media and website.  The Clerk advised we will need a new policy.  BC agreed that this needs progressing asap.  JA asked about the One Voice Wales social media model policy; the Clerk confirmed this will be looked at. BC proposed the Council create a new Facebook page with associated policies.  MH seconded – all agreed.
Action: Clerk to update policy and create a new Chirk Town Council Facebook account.

58.

To decide on the future of the Bike track project.
FH gave an overview of the bike track issues.  Suggested alternative locations were discussed. MH advised we do nothing as the cyclists will not move from the canal woods. NJ asked if there is a possibility to invite the youths wanting the bike track to a meeting and see what they want.  LP thinks the Recreational Ground is unsuitable for a bike track. GB suggested that landowners surrounding Chirk be asked if they would be willing to rent/lease some suitable space.  JA suggested that this matter be discussed further at a General Purposes meeting.  GB seconded – all agreed.
Action: Clerk to agenda for future meeting.

59.

To receive oral reports from Local Members – Wrexham CBC.
TE reported:

  • He is working with both the Police and Housing Association on issues of fly tipping at St Marys Close. 
  • The scaffolding is still up at St Mary’s Close two months later, whilst doing the weatherboards bats have been found which has delayed works.   
  • B4500 requested double yellow lines outside the Church. 
  • Working with residents about missed bin collections. 
  • Positive drug arrest in Linden Avenue. 

FH reported:

  • The trial experiment at the layby by McDonald’s – the bins have been removed approx. two weeks ago and it has been pretty clear since.  Litter is still an issue on the bridge. 
  • Ward rounds completed with Streetscene and met inspector of highways. 
  • The brown world heritage sign on Whitehurst roundabout needs covering up due to road closure, no longer accessible on this route.
  • Walk around with PCSO. 
  • Looking into parking problems in Princess Avenue with senior housing officer and surveyor to add off street parking.
  • Assisting Community Agent with Craig Close Community Lunch and with Community Cupboard.

NJ asked about timescales for Newbridge road closure? FH advised it is open ended.  NJ asked if it were possible to put a skip in Chirk at weekends due to the length of time to get to Plas Madoc.  Action: FH to look into possibility of a temporary skip in Chirk.

BH mentioned that she has had two complaints that people are leaving their cars just down from the farm and walking. It was advised that as this was a public road, nothing could be done.

SW reported the road repairs on Castle Road are breaking up.  TE advised that it is getting difficult to get road repairs done.  If potholes are less than 50mm the Council will not repair them.

GB advised parking on Station Avenue is problematic and dangerous.  JA agreed and has seen wagons mounting the Cenotaph slabs to get past.

60.

To receive the report of the Clerk – includes updates, correspondence & speed sign data.
The Clerk went through her report which covered general updates, meetings, training and events attended, health and safety, update on hybrid technology. 

Members provided some ideas to control the empty water bottles around the water butt in the Cemetery.  SW suggested a wooden stake to put the bottles through.  NJ asked for polite signage.

GB asked if there was a deadline for the use of hybrid technology.  Clerk advised there is no deadline and that the Council remains compliant with the law whilst meetings remain on zoom.

JA asked how members of the community are aware of the Council’s zoom meetings?  The Clerk advised that all meeting agendas with zoom links are on the Council website, as per the Regulations.

The Clerk reported that there was an error with the last download of data from the speed sign therefore, no data was available.

61.

To decide upon appeals for financial assistance received.

  • Chirk AAA – request for contribution towards the costs of replacement fencing. GB asked that ownership of fence first be ascertained.  NJ proposed to leave on table until further information is available. All agreed.
  • Calon FM – appeal for support with studio conversions. TE proposed to not support this request, JA seconded. All agreed.
  • Hope House Children’s Hospice – support for the Dark Run event. GB proposed £500. SW seconded. All agreed.
  • Chirk AAA Bowling Club – appeal for contribution towards flood lighting project. NJ proposed £200, MM seconded. GB amended proposal to £500,  NJ seconded. £500 agreed.
  • Friends of Chirk Station – contribution towards new planters - SW proposed we leave on the table. NJ proposed £100, BH seconded.  MH amended proposed  to £250, NJ withdrew original proposal and seconded. All agreed.

Action: Clerk to notify all organisations of decisions and make payment where agreed.

62.

To seek approval of payments made between 20.06.2021 to 25.09.2021,
A list of payments between 20.06.2021 to 25.09.2021 amounting to £34,030.51 (including VAT) was presented to the Council. CB proposed and JA seconded that the payments be approved. The motion was passed unanimously.

41.

To present items for inclusion on the next agenda
None.

DC requested a letter of thanks to Chirk Celebration Lights Committee. Clerk to action.

SW thanked DC for organising a very successful charity fashion show.


 

Meeting closed 21.14   

      

 

Signed                                                    Chairman                                                   Date