MINUTES OF THE THIRTY-FIFTH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE ABERDYFI COMMUNITY COUNCIL AND THEREAFTER THE MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING OF THE SAID COUNCIL HELD VIRTUALLY VIA TELECONFERENCING ON MONDAY, 18TH MAY 2020
Councillors Present :-
Cllr Dave Williams (Chairman)
Cllr Dewi Owen
Cllr David Owens
Cllr Bob Tyrrell
Cllr Brain Kelly
Cllr Megan Reynolds
Cllr James Bradbury-Willis
Cllr Sara Bradbury-Willis
Cllr Nigel Pearson
Cllr Catrin O’Neill
AGENDA ITEM 1 – Apologies
No apologies – full attendance
AGENDA ITEM 2 – Chairman’s Announcements
The Chairman, Cllr Williams, welcomed the new Clerk, Sandy Andrews, and the two new Councillors, Nigel Pearson and Catrin O’Neill. He thanked his fellow Councillors and the Clerk for their support during his tenure as Chairman as he will be handing over to a new Chair during this meeting.
AGENDA ITEM 3 – Annual Return
The draft Annual Return for 2019/20, done in conjunction with Steve Lister, was presented to Council for approval. The final Annual return will be approved at the next meeting and then sent on to the external auditors.
Proposed: Cllr Kelly Seconded: Cllr Tyrrell
The Chair paid tribute to the work that Neil Storkey has done over the last 7 years while he has been in post and proposed a formal vote of thanks at a future date, as Neil will still be around for a while, helping Sandy to settle in to her new role.
AGENDA ITEM 4 – Election of Officers 2020/2021
Cllr Dewi Owen was nominated for the position of Chair.
Proposed: Cllr Jones Seconded: Cllr Kelly
The new Chair thanked Cllr Williams for all his hard work over the last 2 years and Neil Storkey for his work over the last 7 years.
Cllr Jones was nominated for position of Vice Chair, but declined due to being unable to guarantee attendance at all meetings in the summer.
Cllr Kelly was nominated for position of Vice Chair, but declined due to imminently becoming Chair of AA&I
Cllr David Owens was nominated for position of Vice Chair.
Proposed: Cllr Williams Seconded: Cllr Jones
The whole Council
Aberdyfi Advertising and Improvements Committee
The whole Council, except for Cllr Tyrrell
Aberdyfi Literary Institute Management Committee
Cllr G Jones (Chair)
Harbour Advisory Committee
One Voice Wales
Cllr D Owen with Cllr Williams as deputy
Neuadd Dyfi Management Committee – Councillors with a vote
Cllrs Owen, Reynolds, Williams, Kelly and J. Bradbury-Willis
Richard Williams and Richard Roberts Trust Fund
Cllrs Owen, Jones with Cllr Reynolds as Chair and Cllr Williams as Trustee
Lewis Lloyd Trust
Meirionnydd Access Group
This committee has not been represented since Cllr Bates stood down in 2017. It was decided to continue to hold in abeyance until such time a permanent decision regarding its future can be made.
Tywyn and District Memorial Hospital Appeal Fund
Cllr Reynolds to continue with Cllr Tyrrell as deputy
Cllrs Jones, O’Neill and J. Bradbury-Willis
Cllrs Owen (Chairman), Owens (Vice Chair) and Cllr S. Bradbury-Willis, though it was agreed if it became too onerous due to work commitments for Cllr Bradbury-Willis, Cllr Tyrrell would step in.
Caravan Site Committee
Cllrs Reynolds, Owen, Williams, Kelly, O’Neill and S. Bradbury-Willis.
Re-appointment of Internal Auditor
Council re-appointed Mr Steve Lister for the year 2020/21, in accordance with minute CL/133/20.1.20
Standing Orders and Financial Regulations
The Council agreed its willingness to adopt these documents, copies of which are available for inspection in Council office.
THE BUSINESS OF THE ORDINARY MEETING IS NOW RECORDED
AGENDA ITEM 5 – Minutes of Ordinary Meeting 16 March and 20 & 21 April
As the April meeting was conducted via telephone and email, the minutes of the March meeting were unable to be approved at that meeting, so both March and April minutes needed to be approved at this meeting
It was agreed that the minutes were a true and accurate record of the March and April regular meetings.
Proposed: Cllr Jones Seconded: Cllr Williams
Action: It was agreed that in future the minutes would be sent out to Councillors 2 weeks ahead of the next meeting for amending and then the amended minutes would be sent out prior to the meeting. It was agreed that this would require discipline from both the Clerk and Councillors for the system to work.
AGENDA ITEM 6 – Matters Arising
M/151/(16.3.20) Tree Sculpture
This project is effectively on hold due to Covid-19, but can be reactivated at any time, though may need to be reviewed in view of revised budgets for the next year. Cllr S. Bradbury-Willis enquired if anything needs to be done to the trees to make them safe, but was assured by Neil Storkey that the tree surgeon said they are safe until at least next year, though need to come down within the next 5 years. Talk of reducing them to a certain height was for artistic reasons, not safety.
M/155/(16.3.20) Blocked Drains
Sean Wilkes, Gwynedd Highways Inspector, has informed us that the gully crew has cleared all the village drains apart from 2 on the seafront where access was hindered by parked vehicles.
M/155/(16.3.20) Public Toilets
The situation awaits clarification from Gwynedd. Covid-19 has delayed a written response, but Neil Storkey has had a conversation with Amanda Murray of Gwynedd Council and the revenue expected for 2019/20 will be provided shortly.
Neil pointed out that the revenue from this source will be lower next year due to Covid-19, which will require adjustment of budgets.
Cllr Tyrrell asked if we will still have to pay £6K for the toilets, as they haven’t been open.
Action: Neil Storkey to re-examine the contract with Gwynedd Council
Cllr Tyrrell asked if the counters in the toilets were still being maintained.
Action: Neil Storkey to contact Alun Wyn Jones to ask for access to check them.
AGENDA ITEM 7 – Future Council Meeting Dates
Cllr Owens confirmed the summer meetings as follows:
Monday 15th June
Monday 20th July
August – no meeting during summer recess
Monday 21st September
AGENDA ITEM 8 – Website Management
The website is now live and has had a very favourable response.
A discussion was had about the provision for Welsh translation on the site, as there are some errors in the translation. Currently the website uses Google Translate to translate the page of the website being looked at and this is done via an algorithm in Google, rather than a real person. To have the website translation done by a real person would require, in effect, 2 websites, one in English and one in Welsh, both of which would need to updated at the same time. Cllr J. Bradbury-Wills informed the meeting that this would be a costly project, as it would mean completely re-writing the website. Cllr Kelly informed the meeting that it is possible to amend the Google Translate dictionary, but this would likely take time to take effect, but worth trying.
Action: Try to amend Google dictionary and monitor the website situation over the next few months and have another discussion before Christmas.
Nigel Upton (who designed the website) has offered to upload & format council documents, and maintain the website for £75 a month. Cllr S. Bradbury-Willis pointed out that she thought this had been discussed at a previous meeting and it had been agreed that the Clerk would upload the documents and add events etc. to the website as and when required, which would mean no on-going costs for the Council. Cllr J. Bradbury-Willis offered to show the Clerk how to do this, if Sandy was willing.
Action: Cllr Bradbury-Willis to show the Clerk how to upload documents and do simple changes to the website. Monitor how much time this adds to the Clerk’s role and if the Clerk is finding it takes longer than their allocated hours, the matter can be discussed again with the Council.
AGENDA ITEM 9 – Picnic Island Bridge
Neil Storkey attended a video meeting with Outward Bound, Gwynedd Maritime and Network Rail on 11th May, which was very positive. Funding of £100K is in place and £25K is being applied for from FLAG. The anonymous benefactor has also confirmed the underwriting offer still stands and will stay in place until the project is completed or the financial situation alters. Cllr Reynolds asked if the funding from the Council has been ring-fenced and Neil Storkey assured her that there is enough money in the ACC budget for at least £10K as a contribution and he suggested that if we fall short, we could always ask the community for donations.
Network Rail confirmed that they will not be charging for maintenance assets for this project and are keen to move the project along. Neil explained that the bridge is likely to be plastic and work will hopefully start in the Autumn.
AGENDA ITEM 10 – Wharf Reconstruction Project
Tenders should have gone out in January this year and returned by the end of March, so the Chair rang Gywnedd Council recently to check progress, only to find that tenders had not yet gone out. Since then, he has been assured by Gwynedd that the money is still there and that tenders have now gone out, but that the deadline will probably be delayed by approximately a month.
Cllr Williams voiced concern that we need to keep on top of the situation, for if the work is delayed by a significant amount of time, it would have a large impact on next season, which would not be welcome as this season is likely to be severely affected by the Covid-19 situation.
Action: Neil Storkey to email planning reference to all Councillors
Action: Chair to update Council on progress at the next meeting
AGENDA ITEM 11 – Cancellation of Food Festival
Neil informed the Council that the Food Festival has now been cancelled and J. Bradbury-Willis added that Race the Train has also been cancelled.
Action: Add these cancellations to the website
AGENDA ITEM 12 – Coronavirus Update
Cllr S. Bradbury-Willis recommended that we continue to encourage people to visit Aberdyfi later and not at the moment, as Gwynedd still hasn’t reached it’s peak. She also warned that they are expecting a second peak on October-time, so we will need to remain cautious for some time to come. She is keen to encourage everyone to seek medical help if they need it.
She also wanted to thank the local police for their help and response to calls from the public, saying they were very supportive and helpful.
All councillors agreed.
Cllr Williams suggested that the Council needs to start thinking about how to manage the village amenities etc. when lockdown starts to ease, as we need to be prepared ahead of time. Cllr Jones suggested Coronavirus Update is a rolling agenda item.
Action: Add Coronavirus Update as a rolling Agenda item.
Action: Chair to contact Gwynedd Council about managing the re-opening of village amenities such toilets
(The chair lost internet connection at this point and could not continue so Cllr Williams resumed the role of Chair for the remainder of the meeting)
AGENDA ITEM 13 – Gwynedd Council Report
The Chair was unable to give his report due to loss of internet connection
Action: Postponed to next meeting
AGENDA ITEM 14 – Planning
NP5/50/681B Bodwennol, Aberdyfi
Demolish existing building and construct new dwelling
Application via email.
AGENDA ITEM 15 – Treasurer’s Report
Proposed: Cllr Reynolds Seconded: Cllr Kelly
After discussions with Steve Lister, Neil Storkey informed the meeting that there will be some additional money to come from VAT that will be reclaimed from items which were previously thought to be 0% rated, which Steve found when doing the internal audit. He also reminded the Council that the budget will need to be adjusted for next year, due to the anticipated reduction in income due to Covid-19.
AGENDA ITEM 16 – Committee reports
No meetings, no reports.
AGENDA ITEM 17 – Correspondence
Gwynedd Council – Precept payment advice of £18398.00.
One Voice Wales – Information on the next round of ‘Local Places for Nature’ applications. We were successful with our earlier application and now await further instructions.
Gwynedd Rights of Way – Closure of Public Footpath 9 from 18th May for a further 6 months.
Keep Wales Tidy – Confirmation that provisionally we will be able to work on our wildlife garden some time in June, Covid-19 permitting and with controlled conditions.
Tarian Cymru – Request for support funding for the supply of PPE for health workers in Wales.
Community Health Council – A new Chair has been appointed to the North Wales Community Health Council, Mr Peter Rendle.
Catrin O’Neill – Email regarding the new Council / Community website
Playsafety – Confirmation of playground safety inspection.
This normally happens mid-end of June.
Action: Add request from Tarian Cymru to agenda for next meeting
AGENDA ITEM 18 – Items for Consideration at Future Meetings / Urgent Business
• Cllr Tyrrell Considerations for reopening of the village after easing of lockdown, eg. toilets.
• Cllr O’Neill is concerned about a large tree root sliding down the bank and into the road just beyond Braich-y-Celyn Hall.
Action: Clerk to talk to Sean Wilkes
• Cllr Jones Ongoing Coronavirus updates
• Cllr Kelly noticed that 2 lamposts on the wharf area had had part of the light painted over, he suspects to stop the light from going into surrounding houses. He informed the Council that Gwynedd Council are obliged to put a screen on lights if they cause a problem.
Action: Cllr Kelly to talk Aberdyfi harbourmaster, as the lights are on their land.
AGENDA ITEM 19 – Items for Rushlight / Website
• Cancellation of Food Festival
• Cancellation of DoveyFest
• Cancellation of Race the Train
• Thank you to volunteers who look after the planting and maintenance of Sea View Terrace planters
• Thank you to whoever put up the ‘thank you’ banners
• Thank you to the frontline workers in the village for all their hard work
• Thank you to everyone in the village working to support frontline staff, such as Dave Bowen 3D printing Face Shields.
• Thank you to whoever is painting pebbles and leaving them for people to find!
• Book swop available in front of Aberdyfi Village Store – drop off or take books
• A reminder not to be discouraged from seeking medical help if you need it.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.20pm