MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING OF ABERDYFI COMMUNITY COUNCIL HELD IN THE OFFICE IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, LITERARY INSTITUTE, ABERDYFI ON MONDAY,
11th DECEMBER 2017
Present were :- Cllr B Lloyd Chairman
Councillors :- J Bradbury Willis
AGENDA ITEM 1 – APOLOGIES
Apologies received from Cllr O’Reilly, Cllr Jones, Cllr Kelly and Cllr Owen
AGENDA ITEM 2 – CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
Chairman Cllr Lloyd noted how successful the public meeting, held on 23rd November at the Neuadd Dyfi, had been. It was attended by over 60 people from our community, and there were lively, open discussions on matters concerning the threat of public toilet closure on the wharf and at Neuadd Dyfi, Dyfi Bridge progress, the annual Aberdyfi Food Festival, the future of the old primary school building, the wharf steel piling, Morfa Gypsies grass verges and Gwelfor Road surface deterioration. There was a consensus view that the public meeting format will be repeated as an annual event as it was clear that the community felt it to be a positive opportunity to air views on matters of village importance. Cllr Lloyd took the opportunity thank all those who helped make the village and Christmas tree lights the best seen for many years. Special thank you to AA&I for funding the successful operation of the enterprise.
AGENDA ITEM 3 – RECEIVE AND CONFIRM MINUTES OF ORDINARY MEETING 20th NOVEMBER
It was agreed that the minutes were a true and accurate record of the ordinary meeting.
PROPOSED by Cllr Tyrrell and SECONDED by Cllr Reynolds
AGENDA ITEM 4 – MATTERS ARISING
- CL/88/(16.10.17) Cllr Dyfrug Siencyn
The Clerk has written to Cllr Siencyn inviting him to confirm an alternative date to be our guest speaker. The invitation will be followed up in the New Year.
- CL/85/(29.07.17) Village map
The Clerk confirmed that the draft map is ready for passing on to AA&I,
Cllr Bradbury-Willis, for inclusion in the forthcoming Aberdyfi brochure.
- CL/108/20.11.17 Network Rail Penhelig Halt
The public consultation planned for the public on Monday 11th December at the Penhelig Arms, from 3.00pm to 7.00pm was cancelled due to the bad weather. A revised date will be confirmed for the New Year and the Clerk will be advised accordingly.
- CL/115/20.11.17 Pen y Bryn school Governor position
Cllr Lloyd had been approached by the school to become a Governor. He confirmed that he had turned down the offer in writing.
Cllr Tyrrell noted that the Nantiesin car park had finally, after some pressure over the last four years, attended to maintenance issues, and that it was looking considerably tidier.
AGENDA ITEM 5 – THE FUTURE OF THE NEUADD DYFI
Cllr Lloyd opened the discussion in the context of the document prepared by Des George. He acknowledged the observations made in the document regarding the total reliance on Des George the running of this important village asset. The future running and funding of the Neuadd Dyfi must now be considered a matter of some importance.
Cllr Lloyd noted the following:-
- The Neuadd Dyfi pay & display car park revenues might represent an opportunity to assist, perhaps by allocating 50% of the net revenues on an annual basis.
- The precept could include a specific, additional commitment, to provide appropriate support funding on an annual basis.
- There may also be an opportunity for financial support from the AA&I.
- There is clearly, in the context of the success of the theatrical events over the last two years or so, a potential for events expansion which would enable the Neuadd Dyfi to generate further income for ticket sales from such events. As an example, the huge success of the annual Machynlleth Comedy, with the resulting ticket sellout, might open up an opportunity to enquire whether Aberdyfi’s Neuadd Dyfi might provide an additional venue for the event.
- Does the management structure of the Neuadd Dyfi require a revamp in order to plan for a profitable and stable future and should it encompass funding to pay for someone to run the operation, acknowledging that it may now be considered inadequate to rely purely on unpaid volunteers.
Cllr Tyrrell asked whether the Council was directly responsible for the Neuadd Dyfi. Cllr Lloyd said that it is a community asset but the Council was not directly responsible for its running or financial performance. Cllr Tyrrell suggested that there may be higher rate tax payers, either living in the village or regular visitors, who may be happy to make annual donations to support the Neuadd Dyfi, and hence take advantage of the tax benefits currently available through charity donations made via Gift Aid.
Cllr Pugh asked how the bookings situation was performing. Cllr Williams pointed out that community halls around Wales and the UK in general, very rarely had the luxury of significant revenue surplus on an annual basis.
The Neuadd Dyfi is no different. Regarding its future, Cllr Williams felt that it was important that the Council maintains its ‘arms length’ relationship with regard to it everyday management and day to day running. He advocated a carefully structured combination of volunteer and ‘paid for’ staff.
Cllr Bradbury-Willis asked why, if the Neuadd Dyfi was not, technically, the responsibility of the Council, it was under discussion. Cllr Reynolds pointed out that it was a community asset and as such came under the umbrella of the Council’s remit of responsibility to the community as a whole.
Cllr Lloyd said that the process could kick off at the forthcoming Council budget meeting which would consider how much of the car park revenues could be allocated for Naeuadd Dyfi support for 2018/19 and whether a precept allocation of funding for the same period could be viewed as an annual support commitment.
Cllr Williams, responding to a question from Cllr Bradbury-Willis, said that as matter of course there were ongoing discussions with other community halls around Wales which provided guidance on matters such as ticket pricing.
Cllr Lloyd suggested that perhaps bingo nights might be instigated to generate revenue. He also noted that the budget cost for a full time manager for the multi-generational hub Big Lottery Project at the old school had been in the region of £25k per annum.
Cllr Williams noted that there was a balance to be struck between the work conducted by unpaid volunteers and those who were to be remunerated. Cllr Richards asked whether there was a written job description for the work that Des is responsible for. In essence there is no job description as such. As the work pressures have escalated, Des has tended to take it all on board, adding to his already excessive work load.
In response to a question from Cllr Tyrrell regarding charitable donations, Cllr Williams confirmed that much of the support funding for the Neuadd Dyfi had been sourced from the community through AA&I.
Cllr Lloyd wound up the discussion by concluding that in the context of Des George’s draft document outlining his views, and the ideas from the floor today, there was a consensus that a cohesive plan of action needs to be instigated to ensure a positive and expansive future for the Neuadd Dyfi, one of Aberdyfi’s most valuable community assets.
AGENDA ITEM 6 – GWYNEDD COUNCIL TREPORT
In the absence of Cllr Owen there was no Gwynedd Council report.
AGENDA ITEM 7 – PLANNING
NP5/50/558e Cae Mewydd, Aberdyfi
Erection of porch/single storey extension
AGENDA ITEM 8 – TREASURER’S REPORT
The Treasurer’s report for was accepted and minuted as a true record.
PROPOSED by Cllr Reynolds SECONDED by Cllr Richards
AGENDA ITEM 9 – COMMITTEE REPORTS
Cllr Reynolds reported on the Health Committee collaborative meeting held in Welshpool. There are concerns regarding the provision of dementia care, but more concern over the shrinking numbers of carers in the community as a whole. There are suggestions regarding the provision of a neighbourhood care service on a successful Dutch model. More details to follow.
The Mid Wales Health Care Collaborative is to be renamed the Mid Wales Health Care Committee from next year, to meet in Machynlleth.
Harbour Consultative Committee
Cllr Williams summarised Barry Davies’ roundup of the year in the context of very poor weather, but generally satisfactory financial performance.
The Harbourmaster’s pickup vehicle had been de-commissioned in June and has created difficulties in carrying out his duties.
The Wharf piling structure has been recently re-assessed and the steelwork degradation is accelerating at rapid rate. The plans for the new structure have at last been submitted. 75% of the project costs of approximately £2.2m will be funded by European money, and Gwynedd need to seek how best to match fund the remaining 25%. Cllr Williams pointed out that the wharf is an integral part of the coastal flood defence system and that all avenues of potential financial support will be examined. The NRW environmental survey has been completed to the satisfaction of all parties in order to enable the project to move forward. The match funding is critical but a deadline for project commencement has been set for March 2019.
Cllr Tyrrell brought up the matter of the sand dunes boardwalk opposite the cemetery car park which has been closed for much of the summer due to its structural degradation. Gwynedd are committed to its replacement as its primary, essential, function is to prevent dunes erosion. Gwynedd will be sourcing support funding from interested parties. After 17 years the existing support structures have rotted, hence the current situation.
Cllr Lloyd met with the Clerk and Barry Davies at Penhelyg Parc to discuss the renovation of Penhelyg shelter. Barry Davies has agreed to co-fund the restoration of the shelter and will be seeking appropriate project costings. Cllr Lloyd had indicated to Barry Davies that there are funds available in the community to assist in the financing of the work.
Cllr Richards asked whether the matter of the storage area in the village, which has caused concern, is to be cleared and re-fenced to prevent fly-tipping
AGENDA ITEM 10 – CORRESPONDENCE
Ambulances Service Union Request for donation to Ambulance Service Charity
Gwynedd Head of Finance Deadline reminder for 2018/19 Precept
Tom Jones Quotation for installation of Burma Road parking control posts
AGENDA ITEM 11 – PUBLICATIONS
AGENDA ITEM 12 – ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Cllr Pugh Cllr Pugh has discussed the matter of the rubbish bins relocation with the Harbourmaster and requested that the Clerk liaise accordingly.
He also noted that the Gwelfor Road footpath gulley was blocked and required clearing. The Clerk is to address the problem.
Cllr Richards Cllr Richards noted that Burma Road was in need of clearance. The Clerk indicated that Burma Road maintenance should be taken over by the Community Council – at least until the sale of the Catholic Church building has been completed.
Clerk The Clerk updated the meeting regarding Michael Barnes situation and the likelihood of his move to Tywyn in the context of his wife’s health, necessitating the move to more suitable housing.
Cllr Lloyd Does any know how best to dispose of the village Christmas tree – preferable after Christmas!
Cllr Pugh Cllr Pugh noted how much better the village has been presented this Christmas and also how well the shop window decoration competition has been received.
AGENDA ITEM 13 – ITEMS FOR RUSHLIGHT
- The village Christmas tree
- Shop window competition
- Poppy Appeal update
- Penhelyg Christmas lights
- New Year’s Eve fireworks
- Searson Thompson’s 106th birthday
- Carol singing on the wharf
- Carols by candlelight
The meeting closed at 8.45