MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING
HELD 20th October 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),               Miss Lynne Painter (LP),
Mrs Deborah Cooke (DC),                                 Mr Newman James (NJ),         Mr Michael Maxfield (MM)                                       

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

Draft

FH gave reflection time following the murder of MP Sir David Amess and used the opportunity to remind Councillors of the ongoing need for tolerance and respect to one another.

64.

To Accept Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Councillors Sarah Williams, Mark Roberts and Mark Holmes.  Apologies were accepted by the Council.

65.

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

66.

To confirm and sign the minutes as a true record of the Council meeting held on 29th September  2021.
TE wished to note an inaccuracy on item 59.  The double yellow lines will be outside Little Lambs nursery and beyond with two drop off points for the nursery.

LP proposed the minutes were an accurate account, subject to the amendment to point 59.  DG seconded, all agreed.

67.

To consider any matters arising for the Minutes received above not reported elsewhere.
Item 48 – Information relating to the grant proposal would be taken to Finance Committee as there is a matched funding element to the grant.

Item 50  - The evidence had been supplied to Cllrs GB & TE that the meeting papers had been sent. TE disagreed with the evidence sent.

Item 50  - FH had requested volunteers to remove the Pentre activity trail and a lot of people offered to help.

Item 53 – Chirk Surgery – BC met with Cllr Steve Davenport from Shropshire County Council who represents St Martins and Gobowen.  BC requests a formal meeting with him and the Parish Council of St Martins relating to the closure of the St Martin’s outreach surgery. Information has been provided that shows the Community Health Council had asked St Martins for a review for consultation.
JA expressed concern that information BC had been given was incorrect as the Community Health Council are not allowed to be involved. 
Action: BC to provide evidence to Councillors to be followed up.
Action: Clerk to arrange a meeting.

FH gave a summary of the meeting held with Chirk Surgery on 11th October 2021. It was a short meeting, key points were:
-          Facebook posts which were demoralising to surgery staff. 
-          All complaints should be signposted directly to the Surgery. 
-          Presentation slides had been provided and would be forwarded to the rest of Council.
-          The closure of St Martins will allow for more appointments to be made available in Chirk as there would be less travel between the two surgeries. 
-          The surgery is currently working to get prescriptions through quicker. 
-          Over 1,000 people had to have their flu vaccine postponed as the delivery of the flu vaccines did not turn up.
-          The surgery addressed not doing the Covid booster stating the difficulty in storing and procedures associated with the phizer booster but they are offering this to care homes.
-          The Clerk shared September 2021 statistical data from the surgery.
Action: Clerk to send presentation and data to Councillors.

68.

To note planning applications dealt through the Planning Committee.
The Clerk reported the Planning Committee had no objection to:
-          P/2021/0906 - Proposed customer shelter unit 1 St Marys Precinct, Church Street, Chirk, Wrexham

69.

To appoint a School Governor to Ysgol Y Waun.
DC was proposed by FH, and seconded by BC. All agreed.
Action: Clerk to notify the Clerk to the Governing Body.

70.

To receive oral reports from Local Members – Wrexham CBC.
TE reported:
-          He had been working on rights of way and footpath improvements including four new stiles.
-          Some potholes filled, more continue to be reported.  
-          Loose manhole cover reported.
-          Met with highways to discuss Station Avenue and Castle Road and white lines on the junction to the carpark.
-          Complaint has been put into housing about the hedge behind Longfields flats and parking.
-          Consultation by WCBC for City status, TE asked if everyone would comment.

FH reported:
-          He had been working to get white lines at the junction of Crogen and Wern.
-          Noted that hedge around Craig Close needs cutting and had been reported.
-          Regarding parking issues on Princess Avenue - it had been suggested that the road becomes  one-way and that this proposal will go to consultation with residents.
-          The shrubs in Black Park recreation ground have been removed, received a message of thanks from resident.
-          Supporting the Community Cupboard.
-          FH and KB met with Archwood Group, they want to be more involved with the community.  FH asked if they could help with new storage for the Community cupboard, they also provided a large fridge for the Community cupboard to use.
-          Update on landslip – test drilling taking place to see what caused landslip and how to rebuild the collapsed road. The sewer pipe has now been connected.

71.

To receive oral reports from Council representatives.
DG reported the workmen on Longfields are causing congestion on the road.  They are using the carpark, but also use the pavements to park on which can cause blockages.  Members advised DG that it is a police matter.  TE will raise with the Wrexham Parking Enforcement officer.

BC and FH spoke about the Kronospan site visit – Councillors appointed to the Liaison Group met with the Company Secretary and received a tour around the site and the area where the new warehouse building will be.  It was noticeable that the senior management present appeared more helpful and amicable.

JA provided an update on the Kronospan Liaison Group.  Everyone is getting frustrated with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) as they will not be tied down by a timeline to take over the permit.  GB raised concern that NRW suggested the consultation could take place after the May elections.
Consultation on the permit will only take place once they have granted the permit.
FH commented that two things came out of the liaison meeting:-
1) the site needs a greater power supply to reduce the gas engines used,
2) a new entrance road to remove congestion at Lodgevale.

Trees from Kronospan site opposite Lodgevale will be removed and  the Council is welcome to replant.

BC reported that during the Ian Bancroft Wrexham Council meeting it was discussed that the end of October was the deadline for NRW, and the delay in the permit is the biggest issue currently.
It was further stated that the barrister advising WCBC would decide whether legal action was going to be taken against Kronospan in relation to the fire incident.

TE asked if anyone had a hard copy of his email sent to Kronospan on 28th October 2019 about the chemical smell.

GB highlighted the next round of PACT grant.  GB suggested targeting the money for the skatepark. There is a possibility that this year’s grant may require match funding which would be brought to Finance committee.  GB sought permission from Council to make progress with this application and present to the November Council meeting. It was noted that the youths who use the skatepark want signage to brand it ‘ElChirko’.  BC proposed that GB progress the grant application on behalf of the Council , NJ seconded,  All agreed.

72.

To agree the Community Agent 2021 Christmas Hamper Scheme.
FH went through the Community Agent’s proposal for Christmas 2021 to give a ‘Christmas shoeboxes’ filled with gifts/treats rather than a ‘Christmas food hamper’ as people now have access to the community food cupboard. People would be nominated as in previous years.  JA asked where funding to purchase the items to put in shoeboxes would come from?  The Clerk advised no Council funding will be required as this would wholly be covered by donations. The Council was happy to support the Community Agent’s proposal .

73.

To consider purchasing Eco bloks for flood defence in Chirk.
RAG went through the quotes and key questions in relation to private home owners, loan agreements, disclaimers, emergency contact etc.  

TE advised the pumping station is opposite Lodgevale where flooding happens and advised to leave the responsibility with Wrexham Council. FH stated that the drainage system is not fit for purpose.

LP highlighted that the gutters need to be cleared.  FH to investigate, as he believed the gutters had been done.

BC proposed the Council does not purchase the Eco bloks and instead provide a general flood defence leaflet to be given out to residents.  JA asked for advice from WCBC because of liability. FH advised that any leaflet would include disclaimer that Chirk Town Council would hold no responsibility.  JA seconded the proposal. All agreed. Clerk to action leaflet.

74.

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, Christmas lights, Remembrance Sunday, correspondence and speed sign data.

A verbal update was given on the plans for Remembrance Sunday; there will be reduced capacity at  the Church so only two representatives from the Council will be able to attend. The names of the fallen will be read out at the Cenotaph .
Pentre service will take place as usual at 12pm.
The Clerk is seeking some volunteers to marshal at the road closures.

FH spoke about National Arboretum and that there is no reference to anyone from Chirk.  FH asked the Council if he could approach the National Arboretum about putting a plaque their to commemorate Chirk people. JA proposed FH go ahead and find out what can be done.  All agreed.  

One Voice Wales is looking for pilot Councils to trial the new self-evaluation toolkit. CB proposed the Council express an interest. NJ seconded.  All agreed.

The Clerk reported that she had been contacted by the Rainbow Centre in Penley who are looking for a venue in south rural Wrexham to have a day opportunity centre for the elderly and that the Parish Hall is being considered. The Clerk sought Council permission to agree a long term hire agreement and negotiate the best hire charge. Members felt this would be very positive for Chirk and recognised the current care crisis. Members were in full support for the Clerk to negotiate.  GB noted to be mindful of storage.  JA did not want to see a constant request for reduction in room hire charges. GB suggested that we could have break clauses built into the agreement.   LP suggested a trial basis for six months. BC proposed that the Clerk negotiate and bring the final agreement to a Finance Committee. NJ seconded. All agreed.

Speed sign data - 30% of people are speeding.  Kronospan at the liaison meeting said they may possibly provide a speed camera. BC proposed writing to Kronospan with information.  JA seconded. All agreed. Clerk to action.

75.

To decide upon appeals for financial assistance received.
a)      Catherine Price – local resident is undertaking a sponsored sky dive in aid of Alzheimer’s Society. NJ proposed £100 to Alzheimer’s Society.  BC seconded. All agreed.

Action: Clerk to notify and make payment.

In reply to a request, DG was advised that the Pantoholics need to officially write to the Council to request a donation.   
Action: Clerk to speak with John Gibbens regarding an appeal letter and in relation to quotes for upgrading the stage lighting. GB suggested the Council provide the lighting as it is a Council asset.

76.

 

To seek approval of payments made between 21.09.2021 to 14.10.2021.
A list of payments between 21.09.2021 to 14.10.2021 amounting to £13,199.99 (including VAT) was presented to the Council. JA proposed and CB seconded that the payments be approved. The motion was passed unanimously.

77.

To present items for inclusion on the next agenda.
The Clerk reported that Jo Goodchild from Unite the Union will be attending the next meeting in relation to Kronospan. A 30 minute timeslot before the meeting to be allocated.

GB requested the PACT grant be an agenda item.

FH may have grant details for war memorial refurbishment.  


 

Meeting closed 20.40   

 

     Signed                                            Chairman                                                    Date