MINUTES OF ORDINARY MEETING HELD 29th NOVEMBER 2017

 

Present

Cllrs Mr Frank Hemmings (FH), Mrs Jackie Allen (JA), Mrs Barbara Humphreys (BH), ,
Mr Michael Maxfield (MM), Mr Newman James (NJ), Miss Lynne Painter (LP), Mrs Dot Griffiths (DG),
Mrs Sarah Williams (SW), Mr Gareth Baines (GB), Ms Eleanor Burnham (EB), Mr Brian Colley (BC),
Mr Mark Holmes (MH), Mr Terry Evans (TE) & Mr Mark Roberts (MR).

Police Insp, Steve Owens (SO) & PCSO Dean Sawyer (DS).
Mr Shaun Jones (SJ), Clerk to the Council and 2 Members of the Public present.

 

Apologies

Apologies for absence: Cllr. Ms Kirsty Cottam (received at 19:02hrs).

 

Declarations of Interest

Declarations of Interest: Agenda item 13. Planning – Cllr. Brian Colley declared a personal & prejudicial interest concerning the Glyn Wylfa Planning Application P/2017/0916 and completed a declaration form.  He will leave the meeting when this matter is considered by Council.

 

101.    TO CONFIRM AND SIGN THE MINUTES AS A TRUE RECORD OF THE MEETING HELD ON 25TH OCTOBER 2017.

The draft minutes for the Council Meeting held 25th October 2017 are now put to the Council as an accurate record of proceedings.  The motion proposed JA and seconded BC was passed unanimously.

 

102.    TO CONSIDER ANY MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES RECEIVED ABOVE NOT REPORTED ELSEWHERE.

 

Minute 91 – 25.10.2017 – SW emphasised that the Chirk Court entrance on Holyhead Road should be

                                           Made more pedestrian friendly.

Minute 96 – 25.10.2017 – EB asked for clarification concerning the future status of 1 Hand Terrace held

                                           in trust by the Royal British Legion – Chirk Branch.

 

103.    TO CONSIDER NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICING MATTERS
Insp. Owens was welcomed.  DS Highlighted the new format for Crime Report.  Also gave background to the monthly crime figures for November.

·         JA asked about Anti-social Behaviour statistics sitting outside the crime figure.  This was the intention as ASB is not normally a criminal offence. 

·         EB queried the Fraud offence – DS stated he was not able to be specific but an elderly gentlemen was affected.  Also had concerns over time present and visibility of the PCSO’s in the community, it was explained that operations in Chirk are intelligence led which sees resource put where it is required.  There are also Police Patrol officers available if needed.  Finally some clarification over CCTV covering both wards – this was provided.  For Wrexham CBC SO advises a list of CCTV cameras is available as well as the temporary deployment of cameras for specific surveillance.

·         JA raised concerns over 101 call handling.  SO explained that he has no control over the 101 service and therefore cannot directly comment.  SO did offer the opportunity of a supervised visit to the 101 Control Room where Councillors can see the service in live operation and ask questions that hopefully will then give the hands on knowledge.  SJ to make arrangements.  JA has knowledge of long delays in answering – up to 25 minutes and also issues with crime reporting – e.g. not giving a crime number out every time.

·         EB not happy with the Intercom arrangement at the Chirk PCSO base at Glyn Wylfa.  It was suggested that emailing DS or PCSO Martin Griffiths was the best route to a local response.

·         Wrexham CBC are undertaking a budget review and the “Difficult Decisions” public consultation makes reference to the current financial support given to 9 PCSO posts in Wrexham County.  SO stated he has no expectation of an issue for Wrexham Rural if this support was withdrawn.  In fact SO is currently recruiting 4 new PCSO’s on his patch.

·         JA also commented on perception of PCSO and Police presence in Chirk, that over the last 5 years it has seemed to diminish almost to nothing.  The Police precept goes up but visibility goes in the opposite direction.  It is understood that as such this indicates a low crime area.

·         EB confirmed that in her experience visible presence has decreased.

·         SO made the point that in recent times Plas Madoc has much improved.  In Chirk North & South wards there is no great demand.

·         JA felt that possibly response times are affected by the current methods of deployment.  SO reassured that there a 5 mobile units who are Rhos based on duty and if additional resources are required there is back up from other units.  The Cefn Mawr based PCSO team do provided back up to the Chirk team.

·         FH made a point of raising the issue of parking transgressions and if Police would back up the Wrexham CBC Parking Wardens ?  For those parking on zig zag zones a ticket can be issued by either Parking Warden or Police Officer.  A WCBC Parking Warden was present by Ysgol Y Waun this afternoon.

·         JA asked to speak with SO outside of the meeting over some plans to potentially collaborate with other Town & Community Councils in funding, via a cluster, an enforcement officer which could help with dog fouling hot spots.

·         TE recalls the original PCSO job description which emphasised high visibility in the community.  This now seems not to be the case today.  He also asks if the crime figures are down, is this because the 101 service is being shunned because it is ineffective.

·         LP does think it a retrograde step that PCSO’s not seen on the street so much.

·         SO - the PCSO role has changed and the service relies more on the PCSO to support Police Officers in the Safer Neighbourhood Team.

·         DS advises he was visible on Church St today using the speed gun.  He added that the issue of Off Road Vehicles in the Glyn Valley are soaking up resource.

·         TE – he understands the difficult position the North Wales Police force finds itself in.  Personally he would be in agreement for a precept rise of £1 to keep the visible presence.

·         JA also understands that other agencies have withdrawn resource due to funding constraint and the Police find themselves the first point of help.  Training and support to pass on cases should be provided.

·         EB referenced a recent TV program highlighting that Care in the Community has seen a greater number of mental health sufferers coming into contact with policing – requiring extra training for Police Officers.  SO stated that there is a Mental Health Nurse employed by the Contact Centre.

 

104.    TO RECEIVE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS FROM GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD 7TH NOVEMBER 2017.
The draft report for the General Purposes Committee meeting held 7th November 2017 is now put to the Council as an accurate record of proceedings.  The motion proposed JA and seconded EB was passed unanimously.
Matters arising – Item 6 Council ratifies the decision – proposed JA and seconded GB – all agreed.  JA also wished it to be recorded in the minutes that it is the intention of the Council to continue to set aside funds to improve the CCTV provision in Chirk.  Councillors also suggested some additional possible sites for CCTV monitoring, Chapel Lane Recreation Ground and Play Area and the entrance to Lodgevale.

 

105.    TO RECEIVE ORAL REPORTS FROM COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES.

·         EB attended the Annual Forum of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty recently held at The Pavilion, Llangollen.  This is the first event EB has attended as our Community & Town Council AONB Champion.

·         JA attended the recent meeting of the Chirk & Ceiriog Valley Partnership (CCVP).  Topics covered included the new road signage for visitors’ project, their iBeacon project and a new leaflet print run.  A report of consultants working on the Wrexham Destination Plan commissioned a survey that highlighted 18% of respondents had head of the Ceiriog Valley but only 3% had visited.  This shows that more work on promotion activities is needed.  

·         BH reported that she and SJ attended the Wrexham Area Civic Society Awards 2017 last Friday evening.  Chirk Town Council nominated Chirk Court in two categories – New Build and Sustainability.  Delighted to report that a Commendation was awarded in the New Build category to Chirk Court.  BH thank SJ for the work undertaken.

·         EB representing Friends of Chirk Station attended the Keep Wales Tidy Awards and is delighted to report that the dedicated group of volunteers once again were awarded the Best Unstaffed Station in Wales Award, sponsored by Arriva Trains.  Congratulations to all involved.

·         SW attended her first Ysgol Y Waun School Governors meeting.  EB asked if the school was doing well – both FH and SW stated their view that they feel it is improving.  

 

106.    TO RECEIVE ORAL REPORTS FROM LOCAL MEMBERS – WREXHAM CBC.
TE the foot path on Maes-y-Waun has been repaired.  Will attend the Chirk Environmental Liaison Group meeting on Monday.  If you have any questions please advise TE or the Clerk.  Mention of the Difficult Decisions consultation exercise being undertaken by Wrexham CBC.  Encouraged all to respond as this gives residents the chance for their voice to be heard on where cuts may fall.  TE continues his regular tour of the ward with WCBC Highways and Streetscene officers highlighting issues that need attention.  SW highlighted an issue with the footpath near to C&S on Colliery Road – TE agreed to look into this.  Also encourage residents to report any issues with Footway Lighting via the Wrexham CBC website.  Noted that stone is being removed (stolen) from near to the Pistal.  Maybe a mobile CCTV camera should be set up – request to SO. 

FH reported on the continuing housing improvements underway in Chirk – replacement of kitchen and bathrooms and adding external insulation – all in an effort to meet the Welsh Housing standard.  Attended a Citizenship Ceremony at the Guildhall, Wrexham.  A Chirk resident received UK citizenship.  Found the event very interesting

 

107.    TO REVIEW AND APPROVE BUDGET/PRECEPT PREPARATORY WORK – OPPORTUNITY TO PUT FORWARD PROJECT IDEAS – SET DATES FOR FINANCE COMMITTEE AND DECEMBER FULL COUNCIL MEETING TO PRESENT FINAL PROPOSALS.
JA and TE brought forward the suggestion that Chirk would benefit from a Town Plan. There was a Visionary Event, where a new list of priorities for Chirk were agreed, some years back.  It is something we should revisit.  It was agreed that the Finance Committee should meet on Wednesday 6th December to work through the proposed budget line by line and then hold a Full Council meeting on Wednesday 13th December to agree the budget and determine the precept for 2018/19

 

108.    TO RECEIVE INFORMATION ON PARKING PROVISION AT CHIRK LEISURE CENTRE – PROGRESS REPORT.
FH recently met with Freedom Leisure.  It was agreed that more publicity of the new evening and weekend overflow parking onto both school car parks is needed.  At 5pm the school gate is closed onto Lloyds Lane and the barrier raised allowing access to the parking spots on the school site.  In addition the Infant school site has parking available too.  They will target cars parking on kerb side close to the Leisure Centre and pop a leaflet explaining the availability of extra spaces at evenings and weekends.  When 2 football matches are being played at the weekend this extra provision seems not to have made a great deal of difference.  The Library car park is also available.

 

109.    TO DECIDE UPON APPEALS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE RECEIVED.
SJ reported to Council that annually we have in recent years made a total donation to the Royal British Legion of £200, made up of a donation of £40 for 2 wreaths placed upon the Chirk & Pentre War Memorials on Remembrance Sunday and a further £160 to the Chirk Branch of the RBL.  This request is to approve the £160 donation.  It was proposed by JA and seconded by EB to approve and all members agreed. Motion carried.

A request for financial support from Welsh Hearts.  Councillors agreed to leave on the table.

Black Park Chapel Trust have recently been awarded a Wrexham CBC Community Inclusion Grant to support the Chirk Dementia Support/Activity/Social Group based at the Chapel.  They were awarded £2,280.00 which is some £690.00 shy of the estimated cost to extend the morning provision to all day care (including a light lunch).  Chirk Town Council are being asked to kindly contribute towards the project shortfall.  A donation of £100 was proposed by TE and seconded by MH then followed by an amendment proposal to make a donation of £200 proposed by EB and seconded by DG.  The amendment was voted on first and carried – 9 in favour.

SW advised Councillors that Father Christmas (FC) was planning a visit to Chirk on Monday 4th December in the evening.  An appeal to the community to donate sweets and treats which will be given out by FC has been posted on Facebook.  SW asked if Chirk Town Council might be willing to help. It was proposed by JA and seconded by EB to make a donation of up to £50 (an accurate cost was not to hand for 10 boxes of Haribos !).  All agreed - motion was carried.

 

110.    TO RECEIVE THE ORAL REPORT OF THE CLERK – INCLUDES CORRESPONDENCE.

Summary of matters raised.

·         An update on progress on the iBeacon project.  Now at the stage where the narrative written by our local historians will populate cards linked to the 10 chosen iBeacon sites.  It is hoped additional images can also be included and the initial example for each card can be reviewed in the New Year.  With the knowledge of the CCVP’s soft launch also planned for Spring it is hoped the Chirk Town Council project can get completed in a similar timeframe.

·         Attended the Wrexham Area Civic Society Annual Awards Evening with BH.  Chirk Town Council nominated Chirk Court in New Build and Sustainability categories for the Wrexham Area Civic Society awards.  Ian Lucas MP was present.  Chirk Court received a Commendation in the New Build category.  Craig Sparrow Pennaf Group and Dr Sarah Horrocks Chair of Clwyd Alyn Housing Assn. accepted the award.  Phil Oliver an Architect with Munro Associates also attended.

·         Minutes from the recent CCVP meeting received.  Much of the business discussed has been reported in minute 105 above.

·         Friends of Chirk Station have once again lifted the Keep Wales Tidy National Award for the Best Kept Unstaffed Station.  Congratulations to all involved.

·         SJ attended the recent consultation event at the Guildhall, Wrexham concerning Difficult Decisions 2018-20, the reshape of Council services in the light of a further budget reduction of £13 million.  With respect to the “invest to save” program of installing LED street lights SJ spoke with Cllr. Bithell to ascertain how this program maybe rolled out in Chirk.  He had no concrete information at this stage but keeping in touch with Paul Rogers WCBC will give notice of conversion work planned in our wards.  Additional clarification over the plans to charge for the second green bin was given.  WCBC are unwilling to follow the example of neighbouring authorities and levy a charge for every green bin as this may result in a shortfall in tonnage collected that has been contracted to FCC Recycling (UK) Ltd.  The review of Country Parks and introducing car parking charges at these sites amongst others was hotly discussed with members and staff.  A visit to all stands was achieved and if Chirk Councillors have any questions the Clerk is pleased to advise.

·         The Consultation Draft dated October 2017 of the Supplementary Guidance Note covering the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has been received.  Members are welcome to review this in the Clerk’s Office.

·         Mr Amer Nazir of Castle Road, Chirk has initiated a Permaculture Project he has called Raising Crops on land adjacent to the Chirk Aqueduct.  He is making a grant application to Wrexham CBC under their Together in Wrexham scheme offering Enabling Grants of up to £5,000.00.  Chirk Town Council are asked to countersign the application.  Members were pleased to undertake and wish Mr Nazir success.

·         Concerning an earlier request to put the topic of Chirk Parish being surveyed as to its current condition – it was suggested by JA that MR be invited to conduct an aerial visual inspection using his drone.  Information gathered can then feed into the overall discussion when placed on a future agenda.
 
Correspondence:-


 

·        Leon Elford – Cambridge & Counties Bank – Regarding the 120 Day Notice Business Savings Account, notice given that the interest rate will rise from 1.55% 1.8% effective 1st December 2017.  Noted.

·         Cllr. Liz Roberts – Armed Forces Champion – Conwy County Borough Council – Newsletter No. 1 dated November 2017 advising readers of plans for a Ceremonial Parade in Llandudno on National Armed Forces Day on Saturday 30th June 2018.  Noted.

·         Chirk AAA’s Bowling Section – Letter of thanks for recent donation of £200.00. Noted.


 

111.    TO CONSIDER PLANNING APPLICATIONS P/2017/0866 9 CASTLE CRESCENT, CHIRK & P/2017/0916 GLYN WYLFA, CASTLE ROAD, CHIRK AND PRE-APPLICATION CONSULTATION OLD FIRE STATION AND FORMER CHAPEL, BRON Y WAUN, COLLIERY ROAD, CHIRK.
P/2017/0866
SJ advised members that this application has already been determined and permission granted.  He apologised for missing the time window to submit any comments and recommendation from Chirk Town Council.

 

Cllr. Brian Colley left the meeting ahead of the remaining items on the agenda.

 

P/2017/0916 Change Of Use Of Vehicle Repair Workshop (Unit D) Into Two-Storey Office Building Including Raising Height Of Roof, Internal And External Alterations

Glyn Wylfa Castle Road Chirk Wrexham LL14 5BS
Comments: Members were engaged in a lively discussion over how this proposed conversion to Office Accommodation may impact the visual amenity of householders backing onto the Glyn Wylfa site.  In order to gain a better understanding it was proposed by TE and seconded by MM for a site visit at 9am the following morning.  This motion was carried along with agreement that those Councillors present agree on the submission to WCBC Planners.

 

Pre-Appllcation Consultation – Outline permission for ten dwelling ranging from 1-3 bedrooms in size.
Old Fire Station And Former Chapel, Bron Y Waun, Colliery Road, Chirk.
Comments: Members were in favour overall for the plans to re-develop the site.  Some were concerned with some buildings being 3 storey, as such height may not be in keeping with nearby properties.  There was concern, which will be submitted, over the access onto Colliery Road – it being a blue light emergency & bus route.  If understood correctly four parking places and the road access for the other blocks are shown directly accessible from Colliery Rd.  Members suggest this is reviewed to see if all parking can be accessed from a single roadway access off Colliery Road ?

 

112.    TO APPROVE PAYMENTS TO BE MADE AS ON LIST ATTACHED.
A list of invoices and payments (to 29.11.17) amounting to £11,423.66 & £479.79 (using pre-paid creditcard) was given to the Council and were passed for payment (see addendum). Proposed JA and seconded NJ for approval – motion carried.

 

113.    TO PRESENT ITEMS FOR INCLUSION ON THE NEXT AGENDA.
None presented.

 

Meeting closed 9:03pm.

 

  

Signed                                    Chairman                                                                           13th December 2017