Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Aberdyfi Community Council held virtually via teleconferencing on Monday, 15th February 2021
Present were: Cllr Dewi Owen – Chair
Cllr James Bradbury-Willis
Cllr Sara Bradbury-Willis
Cllr Gareth Jones
Cllr Brian Kelly
Cllr Catrin O’Neill
Cllr Dai Owens
Cllr Megan Reynolds
Cllr Bob Tyrrell
Cllr Dave Williams
Cllr Simon Worman
Public: Pat Hellen
AGENDA ITEM 1- Apologies
No apologies – Full attendance
AGENDA ITEM 2- Chairman’s Announcements
The Chairman welcomed everyone and remarked how quickly the meetings come round. He noted that the vaccination programme in Tywyn seems to be going well with most people in the top categories having had their vaccinations already. He thanked the councillors for their good behaviour and decorum during meetings and referenced a recent council meeting that was widely seen on the internet where standards of behaviour were well below those expected of councillors.
The Chair paid tribute to Brian Bates, who passed away recently. Brian served on the Council for over 30 years, as well as on the RNLI and Coastguard. He was always willing to help anyone and was a great asset to the whole village.
AGENDA ITEM 3 – Receive & confirm minutes of meeting 18th January 2021
Proposed: Cllr Kelly Seconded: Cllr Tyrrell
AGENDA ITEM 4 – Matters arising
M/51/(15.06.20) Request for drinking water fountain
Clerk has emailed Snowdonia National Park again but still no response.
Action: Clerk to keep trying to contact the National park.
Will be discussed under Agenda Item 8
EV charging points
Chair reported that he has spoken to Cabinet members at Gwynedd Council and reported that Gwynedd Council representatives will be, or may well already have done a site visit, to look at where to site chargers in the main car park. They assured the Chair they would contact him again in March with an update.
Action: Chair will give an update next month
Cllr S. Bradbury-Willis informed the council that recently 4 quick chargers have been installed in the main car park in Machynlleth and suggested the Clerk talk to the clerk in Machynlleth to find out any information that might be useful about the installation and running of them.
Action: Clerk to contact Machynlleth Council clerk.
New swings are now in place, with the work also having been completed on the climbing frame and the roundabout. Cllr O’Neill reported that the new seating should be installed in the next couple of weeks.
M/107/(16.11.20) Subway improvements
Clerk has emailed Gwynedd Council again and tried to phone Sean Wilkes, but no reply from either. The Chair spoke to Mr. Wilkes recently and was told he will do a site visit to see what work needs to be done there.
Action: Clerk to contact Sean Wilkes again.
Letter from Alan Turnbull
Chair met with a Gwynedd Council representative about siting Mr. Turbull’s bin at the far end of the car park by the fire station and was told that this shouldn’t be a problem. He was told that the fence will be replaced soon.
Gwynedd Council also agreed that the green bins opposite the chemist should be re-sited to behind the wall and they will arrange for this to happen in the next few months and will inform the owners of the bins. Cllr Williams pointed out that Outward Bound should be consulted, to make sure that there is enough space for them to swing boats in and out of the building, as the doors are directly opposite where the bins will be going. Cllr J. Bradbury-Willis pointed out that the sand may potentially build up against the bins and stop them being moved. The other option is for the bins to be moved to beside the recycling bins by the Fire Station but the owners of the bins may not be happy having to walk this far. It was agreed to try the bins behind the wall and monitor the situation.
Action: Chair to discuss with Outward Bound their requirements of the space behind the wall
M/131/(18.01.21) Gwynedd Council Report
The Chair has spoken to Gwynedd Council about the lamp-post that has been sited in the road by the Penhelig and there are no plans to move the lamp-post. Concern was also raised about the extent of the excavations and the Chair informed the Council that Gwynedd Council have done a site visit and that the excavations are to build a retaining wall which will be infilled behind afterwards. Snowdonia National Park assured the Chair that they will be monitoring the situation closely.
Cllr Tyrrell has spoken to the manager at the Penhelig Arms and there are no plans for the brewery to contest the building work. Cllr Williams pointed out that the lamp-post is the responsibility of Gwynedd Council, as they sold the land with the lamp-post on it, so it is their responsibility to fix the problem.
Concern was raised about cars and bikes potentially crashing into the lamp-post, though it may have the effect of calming the traffic, causing cars to slow down. Cllr. Tyrrell pointed out that if it is to be used as a traffic-calming measure, it needs to have signs indicating that the road narrows etc.
Action: Community Council to monitor the situation closely
The Chair informed the Council he will report on the sand shift next month.
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Community Housing Trust
Cllr O’Neill reported that the recent meeting of the Community Housing Trust was well attended and that Gwynedd Council are deciding soon whether to fund a scheme to buy back houses to rent to local people. She also reported that the Trust will be doing a community needs analysis in conjunction with the Neuadd Dyfi and they have been successful in obtaining £2,500 of funding from wales Coop to help with set-up costs.
There will need to be a Community Regeneration Group set up in the village at some point after the needs analysis has been done. During the meeting the question was raised as to who the land above Craig Y Lanch belonged to. Cllr Craig ab Iago checked on this and informed Cllr O’Neill that all available development land in Aberdyfi has been sold by Gwynedd Council to Adra for £1.
Wharf Development Project
The Chair reported he will have more news next month as there is a Harbour-users meeting is on 2nd March.
Crack in the sea wall
Chair has spoken to the harbourmaster about the crack in the sea wall opposite Cliffside Terrace and is hopeful that something will be done about it before Easter.
Cllr J. Bradbury-Willis pointed out that the pavement around one of the bollards on Seaview Terrace is badly cracked and will send a photo to the Clerk to pass on.
Action: Clerk to inform Gwynedd Council about the crack in the pavement.
AGENDA ITEM 5 – Treasurer’s Report
Proposed: Cllr. Reynolds Seconded: Cllr Jones
Cllr Williams asked if the Council have changed bank yet. The Clerk reported that she is planning on changing bank after the end of the financial year.
AGENDA ITEM 6 – Gwynedd Council Report
The Chair reported that Gwynedd Council have provided some figures by the finance department on the issue of second homes and a proposed increase in the Council Tax premium on those homes. There are 368 second homes in Aberdyfi, which is the second highest in Gwynedd, with Abersoch having the highest number with 454. Tywyn has 163. 131 of the 368 second homes are classed as businesses, so do not pay any rates at all (figures from November 2020). There are also 27 empty houses in Aberdyfi. In Gwynedd as a whole, there are 4,718 second homes, of which 2,166 are classed as businesses and pay no rates. The head of the finance department in Gwynedd Council said this equates to ball-park figure of £280,000 loss for Aberdyfi and over £3 million loss to Gwynedd and estimated it would go up to £5 million if the increase in premium is introduced. Gwynedd Council hope to make £10-12 million by increasing the premium, most of which will be spent on affordable housing in Gwynedd.
The decision about the increase will be taken by the Cabinet of Gwynedd Council on 16th February and by the full Council at the beginning of March.
The Community Council agreed that they would rather see council tax increased for all residents rather than the premium on second homes, but acknowledged this is unlikely to happen.
Cllr O’Neill asked if it is possible to get a list of the 27 empty houses in Aberdyfi so that possibly Gwynedd Council could buy them back.
Action: The Chair will try to find out the addresses
Cllr S Bradbury-Willis asked if there are any figures on the proportion of money that will be spent in Aberdyfi, given that the second home owners in the village will be providing a large portion of the income for Gwynedd Council. The Chair replied that he knows of no figures like this at present.
The Chair reported that Gwynedd Council are to change the system of charging for their car parks in April to a fee of £5 for up to 12 hours, so no matter how long someone parks in the car park, they will have to pay £5. In Winter months, the fee will be £3. Annual parking permits will go up from £125 to £140. The Chair noted that there is now no excuse for Gwynedd Council to keep the car park clear and tidy and will be contacting Gwynedd to ensure they do this by Easter.
Action: Chair to arrange to meet Gwynedd Council to discuss the upkeep of the main car park
Cllr Williams informed the Council that Nantiesin car park has finally been cleaned after 3 years of trying to get it done.
Cllr Tyrrell reminded the Council about the Residents Car Pass, which allows residents to park in a named car park for about half the price of the annual car park permit.
The Chair has been informed that in April Gwynedd Council is likely to increase the Council Tax by 3.7%, equating to £52.90/year or £1.02/week for a Band D house.
AGENDA ITEM 7 – Planning
NP5/50/E610A Land adjoining Plas Panteidal Lodge
To build a low voltage overhead line
No objections were raised
NP5/50/371B 5 Treflan LL35 0PN
Extension to front raised patio and installation of balustrade
No objections were raised
NP5/50/147P Nyth Robin Campsite, Panteidal LL35 0RG
Construction of rural enterprise dwelling (re-submission)
No objections were raised
NP5/50/479A Ty’r Enfys, 4 Copperhill Walk LL35 0LG
Alterations including new Juliet balcony & installation of cladding at first floor level
No objections were raised
Premises Licence Application: Coast to Go, 9 Glandovey Terrace
No objections were raised
AGENDA ITEM 8 – To consider Installing CCTV in the village square around the Neuadd Dyfi
The Clerk and Cllr Kelly have been approached by members of the public, asking if CCTV can be installed around the Neuadd Dyfi area, due to concerns about anti-social behaviour and members of the public have also approached Cllr J. Bradbury-Willis about installing CCTV in the square.
Cllr Kelly informed the Council that it is not possible to include the Neuadd Dyfi area in the existing CCTV provision in the village, as the wifi connection will not extend that far. He suggested buying a self-contained system at a cost of approximately £250-£300 which would not have any ongoing maintenance costs like the existing system. He has spoken to the Neuadd Dyfi, who are happy for the recording box to be sited in the Neuadd and also for the Neuadd wifi to be used. Cllr J Bradbury-Willis reminded the Council that the system needs to comply with GDPR. The Clerk informed the Council that she has spoken to the police and has been told that in order for the CCTV to be used in a Court of Law, the footage needs to be of good quality, clear and have signage declaring that CCTV is in operation.
It was proposed for Cllr Kelly to buy and install such a system.
Proposed: Cllr Kelly Seconded: Cllr Tyrrell
Action: Cllr Kelly to buy and install a CCTV system in liaison with the Neuadd Dyfi
Cllr Kelly explained that there is a similar problem in the square but it is not possible to link it into the existing system so he is going to liaise with businesses in the square in order to move forward with installing CCTV in that area.
Action: Cllr Kelly to liaise with businesses in the square
Cllr Williams reminded the Council that the cameras currently in place were put in place following national guidelines on privacy, GDPR etc. Cllr Kelly informed the Council that a draft CCTV policy has been sent to Cllr J Bradbury-Willis for comments before circulating to the rest of the Council for approval and adoption.
Action: CCTV policy to be discussed for approval at the meeting in March.
AGENDA ITEM 9 – To consider events for NHS Day, 5th July
The Clerk informed the Council that rather than signing up for the whole day, as previously thought, it is expected that organisations sign for up individual events during the day. It was decided to make a decision closer to the time, at the May meeting and Cllr S Bradbury-Willis asked it be put in Rushlight. Cllr J Bradbury-Willis asked the clerk to check the stands for the banners as they were in a state of disrepair last time he saw them.
Action: Clerk to check banner stands and put NHS Day celebrations on agenda for May meeting and in Rushlight.
AGENDA ITEM 10 – To confirm donation to the Neuadd Dyfi
Cllr Williams declared an interest in this item.
The Clerk confirmed that the Council had agreed in 2018 to give a yearly donation of £2,500 from precept and half of the net proceeds from the Neuadd Dyfi car park revenue to the Neuadd Dyfi. The income from the car park in the 2020 season was £5219.80, so the donation should be £5219.80 x 50% = £2609.90 + £2500 = £5109.90.
Proposed: Cllr Kelly Seconded: Cllr O’Neill
AGENDA ITEM 11 – Correspondence
- Email from Jon Starbuck regarding EV chargers. Cllr Williams suggested it may be an idea for the Community Council to work with Gwynedd Council on this, as there is a small sub-station next to the Neuadd Dyfi car park and potentially a problem with electricity supply in the main car park. There was concern that people would not vacate the spaces once their car was charged and that it would be impossible to police. Cllr S Bradbury-Willis suggested this issue will perhaps need a sub-committee to move it forward as it is such a big project with many infrastructure issues. It was agreed to wait to see what Gwynedd Council proposes to do before moving forward at the moment.
- Email from Nick Aitken asking if the Council would like some defibrillator training. It was agreed this was a good idea, but would need to wait until after restrictions are lifted, so would be revisited then.
- Email from One Voice Wales for survey for the Land Registry about what land the Council owns and she asked if someone with more knowledge about this would help her fill it in. Cllr Worman asked if the land between the football field and the old running track was common land and this was confirmed.
- The Clerk informed the Council that she will not be going ahead with buying a small memorial for Elaine Foote which was agreed in December, as she has found out that a Council cannot spend money on individuals.
AGENDA ITEM 12 – Items for consideration at future meetings / urgent business
- Cleaning up of the car park
- Wharf development project
AGENDA ITEM 13 – Items for Rushlight / Website / Facebook
NHS Day celebrations
AGENDA ITEM 12 – Date of next meeting
Monday 15th March 2021, 7pm
There being no further business the meeting closed at 9pm