MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD 30th MARCH 2022

Held at the Parish Hall and virtually on-line over video /telephone conferencing

 

Present

Cllrs. Mr Frank Hemming (FH) - Chairman,       Mrs Jackie Allen (JA),               Mr Terry Evans (TE),

Mrs Barbara Humphreys (BH),                           Mrs Dot Griffiths (DG),            Mr Brian Colley (BC),                                          Miss Lynne Painter (LP),                                        Mrs Deborah Cooke (DC),       Mr Mark Roberts (MR),         

Mrs Sarah Williams (SW),                                  Mr Mark Holmes (MH),           Mr Michael Maxfield (MM).

 

Also in attendance:

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

Mrs Rebecca Ap Gwyn (RAG) – Administration Officer   

 

 

147.

To Accept Apologies for Absence

Cllr Gareth Baines is currently suspended.

Apologies were received from Cllrs Chris Burgoyne and Newman James.

 

148.

To make Declarations of Interest on items on the agenda

None.

 

149.

To confirm and sign the minutes as a true record of the Council meeting held on 16th February 2022.

The minutes were reviewed. TE proposed the minutes as a true account, BC seconded. All agreed.

 

150.

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

Item 131 - JA asked who had applied for the £1,000 City of Culture grant.  DC advised that it was Fair Event Management for Chirk Carnival.

 

Item 136 - JA advised that the Community Health surgery is going ahead.  BC advised that he had passed the details onto a number of people. The surgery dates had been advertised commencing from 6th April 2022.  

 

151.

To confirm and sign the minutes from the General Purposes Committee held 29th March 2022.

The minutes were reviewed. MM proposed the minutes as a true account, BC seconded. All agreed.

 

BC asked if Ian Sykes email had been received.  The Clerk confirmed it had.

JA asked if Toby Zorn had shown any photos of the actual equipment and recommended other Councillors go and view the equipment.

BC asked if there was any progress with the site visit to Kronospan.  The Clerk advised that a site visit had been agreed by Kronospan to take place after the elections.

The Clerk confirmed the pre-planning consultation response had been submitted.

 

152.

Decision report from Finance Committee meeting held on 29th March 2022.

The Finance Committee presented its recommendations to Council for decisions. The full minutes will be presented to the April meeting.

 

6.3 - Interim Internal Audit Findings

The Clerk gave a brief overview of the satisfactory interim audit and recommendations. The Council noted that three quotes hadn’t been received for hybrid and noted the difficulty in getting one. BC proposed to accept the audit findings, JA seconded. All agreed

 

6.4 - Financial Risk Management Policy

The Clerk advised that this was an Audit requirement from last year. JA  proposed to adopt the policy, MM seconded. All agreed.

 

6.5 - Financial Regulations

The Clerk advised that a few minor amendments had been made to the Financial Regulations.  BC proposed to adopt the Financial Regulations, MM seconded. All agreed.

 

6.6  - Insurance and updated Council’s asset list

FH recommended a minimum value of £250 for asset register.

 

6.7  - Council’s Fee Increase Review

a)      Parish Hall Room Bookings

The Council discussed and acknowledged the financial loss for weekend bookings. After further clarifying the Committee’s discussion, BC proposed to agree the room hire charge increase as presented which were generally a 5% increase, MH seconded. All agreed. 

 

TE asked about Councillors using the Parish Hall for community business, not necessarily Town Council business – TE proposed this should be free of charge, JA seconded. All agreed.

 

b)     Parish Hall House

BC proposed to keep rent the same, MH seconded. All agreed.

 

c)      Cemetery

5% increase in all fees. MH proposed to agree the 5% increase, BC seconded. All agreed.

 

Action: Clerk to update price lists and issue to appropriate customers/users.  

 

6.8  - HSBC Bank fees

The Clerk spoke about the bank charges the Council were incurring and how staff were working hard to move to online payments.  Noted by all.

 

153.

Decision report from Staffing and Policies Committee meeting held on 29th March 2022.

The Staffing and Policies Committee presented its recommendations to Council for decisions. The full minutes will be presented to the April meeting.

 

7.3  - Social Media Policy for adoption

BC wants every Councillor to read the policy.  FH advised that a copy should be signed by the Councillor to confirm it has been read.  LP asked that Councillors sign all documents.  JA proposed adoption of policy, BC seconded. All agreed.

Action: Clerk to issue to staff and Councillors.

 

7.4  - Press & Media Policy for adoption

JA proposed adopting of the policy, BC seconded. All agreed.

 

MR left the meeting at 7.32pm.

 

 

7.5  - Staff Code of Conduct for adoption

The Clerk advised Council that this is a legal requirement. JA proposed adoption, BC seconded. All agreed.

Action: Clerk to issue to staff.

 

7.6  - H&S Policy & Management System for adoption

TE proposed adopting the policy, BC seconded. All agreed.

 

7.7  - Self-evaluation Toolkit Action Plan

Noted by Council.

 

7.8  - Promotion of Parish Hall & Council Services

FH gave a brief overview of the new work required and the proposal of an increase of five hours for the Admin Officer.  TE asked that it be temporary to see if it increased revenue.  BC & DC noted the already heavy workload. The Clerk highlighted that this was additional work for new tasks, and although an increase in revenue is hoped, this extra work is also about engaging better with the community. LP & SW supported the need for improved community information. BC proposed an increase of five hours, DC seconded. All agreed.

Action: Clerk to issue appropriate paperwork.

 

7.9  - To consider options for gardening maintenance work on the Millennium Gardens

All agreed with Committee findings that it be reviewed again in May after the elections & consider linking with the new lengthmans post. Action: re-agenda item after May.

 

7.10          - Review of Administration Officer job description

The Council agreed with the Committee to review the job description in more detail.  Clerk will present updated job description to the Staffing Committee in April.

 

7.11          - Clerk Appraisal held on 31 Jan 2022

a)      To receive the outcome report of the Appraisal 

Summary of report provided to Council.

 

b)     Confirm changes to Clerk/RFO job description following appraisal

Additional items added to Clerks job description . Approved by Council

 

154.

To note panning applications dealt with through the Planning Committee.

The Planning Committee had no objection to the following application:

 

·         P/2022/0214 - Works to Walnut Tree (T1) in conservation area, Trevor House, Trevor Road, Chirk, Wrexham.

 

155.

To receive oral reports from Local Members – Wrexham CBC.

TE noted the potholes outside of Spar.  The lights on Holyhead Road had been repaired.

 

FH reported that he will be undertaking a walkaround with the housing officer to look at windows and a walkaround with PCSO Gareth Jones is also planned. FH added that the concerns about Pentre will be discussed with the PCSO.

 

LP asked what was happening about the lamp posts in Lodgevale? FH would look into and report back.

 

SW would like FH to look at drain lids along her road and seek immediate repair.  FH noted the request.

 

FH advised there had been an enforcement notice six months ago to the travellers site at Halton. Owners of the site have appealed against the notice, which has gone to Welsh Government.  FH has written to the inspector and await their outcome.

 

156.

To receive oral reports from Council Representatives.

JA chaired a meeting of One Voice Wales, the key note speaker was from Network Rail and an agenda item mentioned donations to Ukraine.  Paul Egan advised that it was not allowed to give donations to oversea aid.  The Clerk confirmed this was correct and money can only be donated to UK causes.

 

BC attended the light switch on at the bowling club and said that it was a great facility for Chirk. The new lights received a contribution from the Council.

 

DC gave an update regarding Chirk Carnival.  The banners had been ordered, jousting had been booked.  Fair Event Management are looking for a lorry to be used as a stage. Quotes for other large expenses for items like the security fencing, toilets etc are currently ongoing.  The tickets will be on sale online.  Letters need to be sent out to local businesses regarding event sponsorship.

 

147 @ The Parish update – four individuals have been on safeguarding training and interviews for DBS checks are due 24/25th April.  The start of the project will not be progressed until this has taken place.

 

FH gave an update on the Archwood meeting, they will be providing prizes for Easter Bingo and will support future events.

 

DG raised the issue regarding parking in main car park.  Bikers are now using the carpark during the week.  SW asked if it were possible to put a ban on trailers which could solve the problem.

 

157.

To agree Chirk Town Council priorities for 2022/23.

Clerk advised that there is now a legal duty to prepare an Annual report and agree priorities.

A range of priorities were discussed and the following were agreed as the 2022/23 Council priorities.

·         Cemetery – to continue the new phase expansion project.

·         Website – to launch the new website.

·         LED lighting – to upgrade all lighting in the Parish Hall to LED.

TE asked if any grants were available from the Carbon Trust? The Clerk and FH advised that no grants are available, only interest free loans.

·         Marketing & Promotion of Council services and the Parish Hall.

 

Council unanimously agreed all four priorities.

 

158.

To agree the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) pay award for 2021/22.

The Clerk gave an overview of the 1.75% agreed cost of living pay rise, which is to be backdated to 1st April 2021. BC proposed accepting the national pay award, JA seconded. All agreed.

Action: Clerk to make appropriate payments.

 

159.

To agree  the 2022/23 pay rate for the Community Agent and receive update on the grant.

The Clerk explained the current contract for the Community Agent with Wrexham Council ends on 31/03/2022. No new contract has been provided at this time.  The Clerk is chasing Wrexham Council regarding this.  As a Council we will have to progress on goodwill.  FH had spoken to the lead commissioning officer and was confident that the grant would continue. The Council were happy at this time for the Community Agent to continue out of contract. 

 

The Community Agent has always followed the Living Wage Foundation pay scale, and this is expected from Wrexham Council. The new rate from 1st April 2022 is £9.90/hour. The Council agreed to accept this increase and hoped this would be reflected in the new grant award.

 

160.

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

The Clerk provided an overview of the written report which covered general updates, health and safety update, events 2022, correspondence and speed sign data.

 

The One Voice Wales membership renewal is due.  MM proposed we renew for another year. SW seconded, all agreed.

 

AG Royce grounds maintenance contractor have announced an increase in price of 5.4% for the contract.  The price increase was noted.

 

FH asked if another litter pick could be organised for a the Easter holidays. Clerk to action.

 

The Clerk gave an update on the speed sign data. The Council requested that the data be shared with PCSO Gareth Jones. Clerk to action.   

 

161.

 

 

To decide upon appeals for financial assistance received.

1)      Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod

TE proposed £500 MM seconded, All agreed.

 

2)      Climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Nightingale

      A discussion took place as to how a donation could be made, suggestion of payment to be       made directly to Nightingale House Hospice referencing ladies name.  JA proposed £200, MH       seconded. All agreed.

 

3)      Domestic Abuse Safety unit (DASU)

JA suggested that this appeal was not supported. FH wants to know more about it.  All agreed.

 

162.

To seek approval of payments made between 12.02.2022 to 24.03.2022.

A list of payments between 12/02/22 – 24/03/22 amounting to £16,543.41 (including VAT) was presented to the Council. BC proposed and MH seconded that the payments be approved. Unanimously agreed.

 

163.

To decide if a Council meeting is required in April, and if it is decide on date and present items for inclusion on the agenda.

RAG & FH had checked with the Monitoring Officer that decisions could be made in the run up to an election, it was decided that as they could, an April meeting would take place as normal.  Meeting agreed for 27th April 2022.

 

SW wants to propose a monkey puzzle tree as part of the planting initiative, in memory of local lady – donated from Nightingale House hospice.  The Clerk will help SW.

 

 

PART 2 – CONFIDENTIAL – PRESS & PUBLIC EXCLUDED

 

 

Meeting Closed: 21.10

 

 

   Signed                                                          Chairman                                                                    Date

 

 

 

Addendum to Council minutes 30/03/2022

 

Review of Charges 2022/23 – Approved

   

 

     

 

     

 

Cemetery

   

 

     

 

(Fees not increased in two years)

   

 

     

 

Burial for 99 yrs. inc Deed of Grant

Current Fees

Approved new fee

 

Earthen grave 9ft x 4ft

£225

£240

 

Earthen grave 9ft x 8ft

£450

£475

 

Cremated remains in earthen grave 2ft x 2ft

£150

£160

 

Walled grave 9ft x 4ft

£450

£475

 

Walled grave 9ft x 8ft

£900

£945

 

     

 

Interment (over age 17yrs)

   

 

Body

£150

£160

 

Cremated remains

£125

£135

 

     

 

Monument

   

 

Headstone or a Stone Cross  3 ft height max

£150

£160

 

Cremation Tablet 12 in. x 12 in.

£150

£160

 

Additional Lettering

£120

£130

 

     

 

     

 

Parish Hall House

(increased by 3% last year)

 

Current Fees

No increase

 

Rent

£515

£515

 
       
       

Parish Hall

     
       

(fees last increased in 2020)

     
   

Approved

 

 

Parish Hall - weekdays

Current Fees

new fee

 

 

Main Hall & Council Chamber per hour

£15

£16

 

 

Main Hall & Council Chamber half day

£50

£53

 

 

Main Hall & Council Chamber full day

£90

£95

 

 

Council Chamber with Hybrid per hour

n/a

£28

 

 

Meeting Rooms 1 & 2 per hour

£10

£11

 

 

Meeting Rooms 1 & 2 half day

£30

£31

 

 

Meeting Rooms 1 & 2 full day

£60

£63

 

 

Meeting Room 2 with Hybrid per hour

n/a

£23

 

 

Snooker - per game

£2

£3

 

 

       

 

Council agree to a half hour charge if a minimum of 2 hours booked.

 

       

 

Parish Hall - weekend hire

     

 

 

 new weekend rate

 

 

 

Current

Sat/Sun rate

 

 

Main Hall & Council Chamber per hour

£16

£28

 

 

Main Hall & Council Chamber half day

£53

£100

 

 

Main Hall & Council Chamber full day

£95

£190

 

 

Meeting Rooms 1 & 2 per hour

£11

£23

 

 

Meeting Rooms 1 & 2 half day

£32

£80.00

 

 

Meeting Rooms 1 & 2 full day

£63

£158

 

 

Events with alcohol - assume hall evening 6pm -midnight

 

£207

 

 

       

 

       

 

Parish Hall pricing clarifications

     

 

Chirk charitable organisation discount  - 30% discount will be applied