Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Aberdyfi Community Council held at the Literary Institute on Monday 18th December 2023
Present: Cllr Brian Kelly – Chair
Cllr Sara Bradbury-Willis
Cllr Roman Hackelsberger
Cllr Ian Hewins
Cllr Dewi Owen – Gwynedd Councillor
Cllr Bob Tyrrell
Cllr Dave Williams
1 member of the public was present.
AGENDA ITEM 1 – Apologies
Apologies received from Cllr Dunton, O’Neill, Porter and Reynolds
AGENDA ITEM 2 – Chair announcements
The Chair welcomed everyone and congratulated everyone involved in the Tractor Run at the weekend, saying it was spectacular and hoped it raised a lot of money for charity. He noted that the lights in the subway are not working at all and some of the CCTV cameras around the wharf area need maintenance or replaced. It was agreed to ask Phil Pugh to look at the cameras and for the clerk to inform Gwynedd Council about the faulty lighting in the subway.
The Chair reported that the lights on the Christmas Tree had been vandalised and were not working any more. The perpetrators were caught on CCTV and this footage has been passed to the police, and it looked as though boats and other items on the wharf had been damaged too. The clerk reported the incident on Facebook and received offers of help from various local and national businesses to replace the lights. Unfortunately new lights had been bought before the offers were received but it was agreed how appreciative the council are of the support from the community.
AGENDA ITEM 3 – To receive and confirm minutes of the ordinary council meeting on 20thNovember 2023.
Proposed: Cllr Owen Seconded: Cllr Hackelsberger
AGENDA ITEM 4 – Matters arising
M/87/20.11.23 – To approve licence for use of football field by golf club
The clerk has sent the draft licence to the golf club but has not yet received a reply
M/88/20.11.23 – To approve change of lease with Gwynedd Council
The clerk has sent the draft licence to Gwynedd Council and has requested the lease be changed to contain a generic clause regarding the licence. They felt this would be acceptable and are in the process of amending the lease for the approval of the Community Council.
M/90/20.11.23 – To discuss installation of speed signs
The clerk has received examples of the speed signs Gwynedd Council intend to use and she has arranged to meet with Mr Gregson of Gwynedd Council early next year to discuss where they could be sited and how much installation and ongoing costs would be.
M/93/20.11.23 – Sharing CCTV system with the harbour authority
The Chair has spoken to the harbour master and it has been agreed that the harbour authority will buy their own system.
Cllr Owen reported that the harbour office is not fit for purpose and a portacabin will be placed close to the office early next year and this will be used until a new office can be found / built.
M/94/20.11.23 – Removing grass cuttings from Maes Newydd playground
The clerk has not heard back from Aled if he is agreeable to doing this work
Action: Clerk to chase up
M/95/20.11.23 – Village noticeboard
The clerk has not had time to talk to the pharmacy about putting a monitor in his window. Cllr Owen reported that he has been told by Parc Eryri that the digital noticeboard included in the recent Tourist Information Centre planning application is for Aberdyfi Community Council, not Parc Eryri. It is not clear if they will pay for the digital noticeboard, so it was agreed to wait to see who will have to pay for it.
Wooden noticeboard by the toilets: it was agreed to wait to see what happens with the digital noticeboard before doing anything about this board.
Large white cork board in the covered area: It was agreed to ask Stuart Myring if he could clean up this noticeboard and repaint it.
Proposed: Cllr Williams Seconded: Cllr Owen
Action: Clerk to contact Stuart Myring
M/96/20.11.23 – Main car park planting
Gwynedd Council have given their permission for the Community Council to go ahead with this work. Cllr Hackelsberger reported that the plan is to set a date, hopefully in February, and ask the village residents to come along and help on that day. A small digger has been offered and a call for hardy plants will be made in Rushlight, although plants will also be bought and Cllr Hackelsberger will apply to the AA&I for funding for this.
Action: Clerk to put something in Rushlight and to inform Bob Nickless that this work will be happening and ask for his suggestions / help.
M/96/20.11.23 – Public toilet concerns
The clerk has contacted Gwynedd Council and they confirmed that they have been successful in obtaining funding to refurbish the main toilets in Aberdyfi and the work will be carried out next Autumn / Winter to avoid the tourist season. The work will not include the toilets by the Neuadd Dyfi and the clerk will be meeting with Gwynedd Council to discuss how much it would cost to refurbish these ones and to find out exactly what work is planned for the main toilets.
The clerk reported that both sets of toilets were given a deep clean in the spring and then again in the autumn and she has arranged for the same to be done next year.
Action: Clerk to meet with Gwynedd Council
AGENDA ITEM 5 – Treasurer’s report
Proposed: Cllr Bradbury-Willis Seconded: Cllr Owen
AGENDA ITEM 6 – Gwynedd Council report
Cllr Owen reported on Gwynedd Council matters as the Gwynedd Councillor for Aberdyfi. The report included:
The recent full meeting of Gwynedd Council lasted over 5 hours. BCUHB reported that the situation at Tywyn hospital and Health Centre is improving steadily and 2 more nurses have been recruited. The plan is for them to start at the beginning of next year.
It was reported that more houses than ever in Gwynedd are not paying any rates at all. Cllr Owen asked who is responsible for checking that houses are being let for the full 182 days in order to claim rate relief and was told that there are not the resources to check them. Cllr Owen pointed out that quite a few businesses in Aberdyfi are potentially coming up for sale soon and this is being echoed in other sea-side towns, so he has asked for an impact assessment to be done into the effect of businesses closing down on the local communities.
Gwynedd council reported that they have bought over 30 houses with a view to letting them to locals, but couldn’t give a figure of how many are currently unoccupied, as most are being refurbished. Cllr Owen pointed out that as many second homes are now being sold and becoming holiday lets, local communities are being eroded and lost. He reported that Parc Eryri are thinking of following Gwynedd Council in implementing Section 4 of planning, whereby people will have to apply for planning permission to change from residential use to a second home or to a holiday let, but they will wait to see how it works first.
Cllr Owen reported that he has been voted in as Chair of Network Rail’s Cambrian Coast Committee. The council congratulated him on his appointment. He
reported that more coaches are currently being built so that the trains on the Cambrian Coast can have 4 carriages rather than 2, but these will not be in service until 2025. Cllr Tyrrell asked if the railway bridges in Aberdyfi could be painted.
AGENDA ITEM 7 – Planning
NP5/50/165C Glygyrog Ddu, Aberdyfi LL35 0RL
Retrospective application for part single / part two storey side extensions including balcony / terraced areas, two storey rear extension, front porch, alterations to roof of existing dwelling including installation of 3 rooflights, and associated work.
Action: Clerk to contact Parc Eryri expressing disappointment that we were not given a chance to comment on the application had it come though in the normal manner
NP5/50/10M Outward Bound Centre Aberdyfi LL35 0RA
Formation of additional car parking areas in connection with the Outward Bound Centre
No objections raised
NP5/50/647B Existing highway verge adjoining A493 between Aberdyfi & Tywyn
Formation of a footpath (Active Travel route) between the communities of Tywyn and Aberdyfi adjacent to the A493
No objections raised
NP5/50/L89B 3 Copperhill Street, Aberdyfi LL35 0EU
Retrospective application to retain condensing unit at side of property
No objections raised
AGENDA ITEM 8 – To discuss councillor’s consumables renumeration
The clerk reported that councillors will be paid £156 expenses going forward, but they will be able to decline this payment. If they do, it will be up to the full council to decide what to do with the money, not the individual councillor.
In addition, councillors can either be paid a flat rate of £52 for consumables, or can claim this back from the council. If a flat rate, it is exempt from PAYE, but if reimbursed from the council, this will be subject to PAYE.
The clerk informed the council that each individual councillor will be able to choose what they want to do about both payments, which will come into force in the next financial year.
AGENDA ITEM 9 – To approve budget for 2024/25
Proposed: Cllr Owen Seconded: Cllr Hackelsberger
AGENDA ITEM 10 – To discuss opening two savings accounts
The finance committee proposed opening two instant access accounts to allow the ring-fenced money from Aberdyfi Tourism and the Playground appeal to be kept
separate from working capital and everyday savings.
The finance committee proposed reviewing the situation next year with a view to opening a notice account then.
Proposed: Cllr Hackelsberger Seconded: Cllr Owen
Action: Clerk to open two instant access savings accounts
Action: Finance committee to discuss notice accounts next year
AGENDA ITEM 11 – To discuss purchase of a council laptop for CCTV access
It was agreed to purchase a laptop which runs Microsoft software up to £200.
Proposed: Cllr Bradbury-Willis Seconded: Cllr Kelly
Action: Clerk to purchase laptop
AGENDA ITEM 12 – To approve payment for storage of mobile kitchen
It was agreed to pay 3 years back-dated rent for storage and to pay yearly going forward at a rate of £10 per month.
Proposed: Cllr Williams Seconded: Cllr Hackelsberger
Action: Clerk to arrange for payment to be made
AGENDA ITEM 13 – Correspondence
* Parc Eryri Recreation Strategy
* Coastal path above Hillside Park is overgrown
Action: Clerk to contact Aled and ask him to cut it back
AGENDA ITEM 14 – Items for consideration at future meetings
* Ask a representative from BCUHB to come to our meeting
AGENDA ITEM 15 – Items for release / Rushlight / Website / Facebook
* Advent windows
* Fireworks New year
* New Year’s Day fundraiser
* Nurses recruited for Tywyn
* Tractor Run
* Vandalism of tree lights
* Cycle path update
* Car park planting
AGENDA ITEM 26 – Date of next Meeting
Monday 15th January 2024 at 7.00pm
There being no further business, the Chair closed the meeting at 8.50pm