MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING OF THE SAID COUNCIL HELD IN THE OFFICE IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, LITERARY INSTITUTE, ABERDYFI ON MONDAY, 20th FEBRUARY 2017
Present were :- Cllr B Lloyd Chairman
Councillors :- D Richardson
AGENDA ITEM 1- APOLOGIES
Apologies received from Cllrs. M Richards, G Pugh & M Reynolds
AGENDA ITEM 2 – CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
Cllr Lloyd wished to thank the Aberdyfi Players for the superb pantomime, considered to be possibly their best yet. The Clerk is to write a letter of congratulations.
The St Peter’s Church service and blessing, conducted by the Bishop of Bangor, was attended by a number of Councillors and was well received by parishioners.
AGENDA ITEM 3 – ORDINARY MEETING 12TH DECEMBER
It was agreed that the amended minutes were a true and accurate record of the ordinary meeting.
PROPOSED by Cllr Owen and SECONDED by Cllr Fowles
AGENDA ITEM 4 – ORDINARY MEETING 23RD JANUARY
It was agreed that the minutes were a true and accurate record of the ordinary meeting.
PROPOSED by Cllr Richardson and SECONDED by Cllr Bates
AGENDA ITEM 5 – MATTERS ARISING
- CL/71/(19.09.16) Public toilets
The Clerk has spoken with Alun Wynn Jones regarding the future of the public toilets. He has implied that the closure plans have not been shelved, as understood, but only been postponed. The Clerk has asked about this Council investing funds towards cleaning. There is no problem as long as any contractor has the appropriate health and safety certification. Louis Hiatt has been approached by the Clerk and he is in the process of forwarding necessary paperwork in order that negotiations can proceed.
Cllr Richardson felt that that Louis Hiatt should be commissioned to carry out a thorough clean pre-season. In the context of a pre-season ‘super clean’ of the toilets, Cllr Jones observed that the toilets were as clean as any other in the area. Cllr Richardson felt that there was room for improvement and that Aberdyfi’s toilets should be better than, not as good as, other toilets.
Proposed Cllr Richardson Seconded Cllr Williams
The motion was carried unanimously and that AA&I should fund the project.
- CL/99/(21.11.16) School Building
The Clerk visited the school building two weeks ago to find the building empty and that Willmot Dixon appear to have vacated without notice.
After enquiries by the Clerk it was discovered that Willmot Dixon no longer has any contract in Wales and their entire Welsh operation has closed down. They also now trade under a different company name – Fortem.
Outstanding invoices will be settled after discussions with their Operations Manager John Tucker in Swansea. The Clerk confirmed that he had agreed with Fortem that they would settle the three invoices for November, December and January.
- CL/102/(21.11.16) Storm drains
The Clerk has had a meeting with local inspector Euan Richards of Gwynedd Highways to discuss the problem of the storm drains. Once again promises have been made that they will all be sorted ‘soon’.
Cllr Jones observed that the storm drain on Balkan Hill was still causing problems. Cllr Richardson also commented on Church Street storm drains.
The Clerk reported that he had suggested to Gwynedd that pre-planning would pay dividends. Cllr Owen had spoken with Euan Richards at Dolgellau about the matter. The Clerk will take photographs and forward to Gwynedd.
- CL/102/(21.11.16) Aberdyfi car park
The Clerk has forwarded photographs of both car parks to Gwynedd’s Colin Jones clearly showing the neglected state of both. A request was made to address the situation without delay. There was general agreement that Gwynedd were not giving credence to this Council’s concerns.
- CL/128/(23.01.16) Budget/Precept
The 2017/18precept request – £31,510 – has been lodged with Gwynedd Head of Finance
- CL/129/(21.11.16) Appointment of Internal Auditor
The Clerk has advised John Roberts of his re-appointment as internal auditor.
Cllrs Lloyd and Williams conducted an internal review of the accounts on 3rd February. The accounts were found to be 100% accurate.
- CL/134/(23.01.16) Gwelfor Road
The Clerk has advised highways of the Gwelfor Road surface problems
- CL/140/(23.01.16) Business rates
The Clerk will prepare an article/letter to highlight the threat posed to our business/retail community by the new business rates, which take no account of seasonality. Nandora, Costcutter and the Dovey Marine businesses will be used to illustrate the enormity of the problem. Given the swell of opinion against the new rates, it is hoped that our efforts will prove helpful. Neil and Christine Hamilton have given their support and visited the village on Saturday 4th February for a photocall and try to gain a greater understanding of the problem.
Cllr Owen had spoken with many businesses regarding the problem and met with Liz Saville Roberts at a meeting in Penrhydeudraeth to discuss how best to combat the problems which will result from such excessive increases. There was particular concern regarding the impact on farmers who have been encouraged to diversify and are now being hit by the imposition of business rates.
Cllr Lloyd also expressed his concern over the lack of understanding of the seasonal nature of businesses such as those on Aberdyfi.
- CL/140/(23.01.16) Neuadd Dyfi
Cllr Lloyd circulated Des George’s three page document outlining the current state of play regarding the Neuadd Dyfi and more importantly, its future. Cllr Lloyd commended Des for his report and now was the time to plan for the future of the Neuadd Dyfi, without Des George, who at some stage will retire from his leadership role. Cllr Williams concurred and observed that the longer the issue was ignored the greater the potential problem and that planning for the future was a matter of some urgency. Cllr Owen agreed and that perhaps a financial ‘safety net’ might be considered, if only in the short term in the case of Des’s indisposal.
- CL/140/(23.01.16) TIC
Cllr Richardson voiced his concern regarding the tendering process for the vacant TIC building and asked how the tender had been advertised. The Clerk informed the meeting that he had made enquiries, of Snowdonia national Park, given the concerns of a number of Aberdyfi residents. He had been informed that the tender had been advertised only in the Daily Post. This Council has been led to believe that the Ice Cream shop was to take it over, from 2018, the delay due to the installation of appropriate utility provision.
AGENDA ITEM 6 – ALLOTMENT TENANCY RULES
The issue of whether applications for Gwelfor Road Allotments should be eligible only from Aberdyfi residents was raised at the last Council meeting. The Clerk has checked the allotments application form regarding the question regarding whether allotment holders have to be residents of Aberdyfi. The wording is somewhat ambiguous, stating:
“Name of applicant (see note above) (please print) ……………………………………………..
Address of applicant: ………………………………………………………………………….…….
Tel. Number(s) ………………….e-mail…..……………………………
Period of Residency in Aberdyfi…………………………………………
Do you have the tenancy of any other allotment gardens in Aberdyfi or elsewhere? YES/NO
If Yes please give details (including whether you intend to surrender this if allocated an allotment garden at Gwelfor Road)………………………….………
After some discussion, Council agreed with Cllr Williams’ suggestion that ‘priority will be given to residents of Aberdyfi’. The revised application form wording will be presented at the next Council meeting, as an agenda item, for approval/amendment as appropriate.
AGENDA ITEM 7 – PRE ELECTION PUBLIC MEETING
The date for the pre election meeting is Tuesday 28th February, 6.30 to 8.30 and the Neuadd Dyfi has been booked. Cllr Lloyd requested Councillors to make every effort to attend. Avril Richards will be asked if she could attend in the context of her extensive knowledge of the electoral process.
Cllr Owen is under the impression that by 18th March all Councillors will cease to be in office. The Clerk is to check this matter.
AGENDA ITEM 8 – COPPERHILL STREET TREE REMOVAL
Cllr Lloyd confirmed that the Clerk has been advised by Cae Argoed’s Marian Billingham that the tenants and owners have agreed to fund the removal of the Macra Carpa trees on Copperhill Street. The tenants and owners (16 in total) have agreed to donate 245.00 each towards the removal cost. This will be supplemented by 245.00 each from Bob Hall and their two neighbours, and the four garage owners have also agreed to give 245.00 each.
The cost has been quoted at 4575.00 + VAT, not including the cost of chipping and cut logs removal. The work has been estimated to take 5 days and can be completed without road closure. Possible date for the work is sometime in March.
The Clerk confirmed that no work will be instigated until all monies are in place and that there is no cost implication for this Council.
AGENDA ITEM 9 – GWYNEDD COUNCIL REPORT
Cllr Owen noted that the 2nd March full Gwynedd Council meeting would be the last until after the elections.
He commented on the fact that there could well be some far-reaching changes over the coming Gwynedd County Council term, particularly in respect of the planned boundary changes and the probability of ‘cloistering’ for small Community Councils.
Although the re-surfacing work on the Aberdyfi to Machynlleth was welcome, it had caused some commuting problems. Network Rail had largely completed the cutting clearance, which had exposed the poor state of large sections of stone walling, with clear implications regarding safety. It is understood that the financial responsibility for this work was with Network Rail, but Gwynedd Highways would be responsible for the build.
Cllr Richardson raised three issues for Cllr Owen.
- An ambulance was called, by a Richardson family member, at 07.15 to attend Bryn Crug and take a patient to Bronglais Hospital. The ambulance arrived from the ambulance station in Tywyn, after 40 minutes. When Councillor Richardson enquired why such a long delay, the response was that the ambulance crew had been on breakfast break. He felt that this was unacceptable.
- The green waste bin at Bwtri Blasus, which is now under new ownership, is stored on the pavement, which has resulted in complaints from some people. The question is, where else could the bin be kept, as space in Aberdyfi is at a premium?
- Cllr Richardson expressed his concern at the A493 in the village, largely without pavement for pedestrians, which is now having to cope with larger and faster vehicles, both commercial and non-commercial vehicles. He feels that the speed limits should be reviewed and that formal application should be made to Gwynedd.
Motion proposed by Cllr Richardson & seconded by Cllr Fowles.
Cllr Owen was aware that the residents in the vicinity of the Neuadd Dyfi had jointly forwarded a letter of complaint to the authorities regarding speeding and that the matter must not be allowed to rest.
Cllr Lloyd had recently heard that Llys Cadfan was due to close. Cllr Owen was able to confirm that this was incorrect information and that the facility was going to benefit from considerable investment, including the addition of five new bedrooms. The money was coming from the Welsh Government and Gwynedd Council.
Cllr Owen informed the meeting that he understood that there was going to be a public enquiry regarding the issue of the construction of a roundabout on the new Dyfi Bridge development. Cllr Lloyd was able to confirm that a response from the Police Commissioner regarding this Council’s concern over the roundabout had confirmed that he would support our demand for a roundabout. NB See further the letter from Ken Skates to Lord Dafydd Ellis Thomos under correspondence.
AGENDA ITEM 10 – PLANNING
NP5/50/75U Panteidal Farmhouse, Aberdyfi
Allow use of white render and amend finish of doors and windows
AGENDA ITEM 11 – TREASURER’S REPORT
The Treasurer’s report for January was accepted and minuted as a true record
PROPOSED by Cllr Owen SECONDED by Cllr Jones
AGENDA ITEM 12 – COMMITTEE REPORTS
Cllr Owen reminded the meeting that if anyone had any matters to raise for the next Harbour Consultative Committee meeting next Tuesday 28th February, to advise accordingly.
In response to a question from Cllr Davies regarding the Wharf repair project, Cllr Lloyd was able to read an e-mail from Gwynedd’s Hannah Joyce to the Clerk asking for assistance regarding the identification of potential match funders, as £500,000 is required.
Cllr Williams pointed out that the wharf was a flood defence as well as a community and commercial asset, which might impact the financing of the project. He also pointed out that the sacrificial anodes had proved successful in stemming some of the steelwork rusting.
Cllr Williams had attended the opening of Aberdovey Gold Club 12th Green on behalf of the Council. The event was deemed a great success and the Welsh Government Minister Ken Skates proved to be widely regarded as a worthy and enthusiastic guest.
AGENDA ITEM 13 – CORRESPONDENCE
Advice Mid Wales Request for funding
Kidney Wales Request for funding
Gwynedd Council Advice of work to commence resurfacing of pavements on Treflan
Gwynedd Council Harbour Consultative meeting next Tuesday 28th February, 10.30 at the Neuadd Dyfi
Literary Institute Letter advising no rent increase on either Council office or storage area on ground floor.
One Voice Wales Meirionydd Area Committee meeting to be held on 23rd February, 7.00, Free Library Dolgellau
Electoral Commission Advising of review consultation period, 10th February to 31 May
Arfon Jones, Letter of support for the roundabout on the new Dyfi
Police Commissioner Bridge project, at the junction of the Machynlleth Dolgellau Road and the Aberdyfi road
Meirionydd Young Farmers Request for funding
Ken Skates/ DyfiBridge progress report
Teach Outdoors Proposal from Jo Clanfield for Beach Ranger Aberdyfi, addressed to Community Council and AA&I.
Cllr Davies expressed reservations supporting a commercial event. Cllr Fowles felt that the event would benefit the community during the season. Cllr Owen felt that the idea should be supported. Cllr Davies suggested that perhaps the charging element might be removed and make it an event sponsored by the community. Cllr Williams accepted the premise but that care should be taken. The matter would be discussed at AA&I.
Community Health Council Events planned for north Wales regarding older persons’ mental health care
Gwynedd Council e-mail from Hannah Joyce regarding match funding for Aberdfi wharf redevelopment
DEWIS Cymru Introduction to a new wellbeing director and questionnaire
One Voice Wales One Voice Wales/SLCC event 12th July, Ewloe Flintshiire.
Boundary Commission Wales Consultation period 28 February to 27 March.
Children’s Therapy Centre Cerebral Palsy request for funding
One Voice Wales e-mail advising of webinar on Governance in Community and Town Councils
AGENDA ITEM 14 – PUBLICATIONS
AGENDA ITEM 15
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Cllr Richardson wished to note what good job the new footpath maintenance team were doing in the village, with special mention regarding the Penhelig path.
Cllr Fowles asked for confirmation that this Council would support the National Eisteddfod in Anglesey by donating £100.00. Clerk will arrange payment.
Cllr Williams asked about the insured liability issues regarding the Copperhill Street trees removal programme. The Clerk confirmed that he had liaised with all parties and that he would in turn discuss the matter with AON Insurance to seek clarification.
Cllr Davies asked about the road by Rhowniar being in poor condition, and whether it was temporary. Cllr Owen said that it was a matter of which Highways were aware.
Cllr Jones suggested that enquiries should made regarding the asbestos content of the old water mains piping along the Tywyn Road.
Cllr Lloyd suggested that the next Council meeting should take place on Monday 24th April, as 17th April is Monday Bank Holiday. This was agreed.
AGENDA ITEM 16
ITEMS FOR PRESS RELEASE
- Pantomime thank you
- Pre-Election open evening 28th February
- 125 years of Golf Club
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.45pm