MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING OF ABERDYFI COMMUNITY COUNCIL HELD IN THE OFFICE IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, LITERARY INSTITUTE, ABERDYFI ON MONDAY,
20th NOVEMBER 2017
Present were :- Cllr B Lloyd Chairman
Councillors :- J Bradbury Willis
AGENDA ITEM 1 – APOLOGIES
Apologies received from Cllr Pugh
AGENDA ITEM 2 – CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
Chairman Cllr Lloyd declared an interest as General Manager of the Trefeddion Hotel, but felt that the Trefeddion Hotel’s Caroline Cave should be sent a letter of congratulation on the hotel’s recent award by Best Loved Hotels as best hotel in Wales. Council agreed that it was appropriate to acknowledge this prestigious award and that the Clerk should write a letter accordingly.
AGENDA ITEM 3 – RECEIVE AND CONFIRM MINUTES OF ORDINARY MEETING 16th OCTOBER
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. No response as yet.
- CL/75/(25.09.17) Dyfi Bridge
The Clerk has written to the Dyfi Bridge Engineers and Liz Saville Roberts has responded to her copy of this correspondence. As has the Welsh Government – see response in ‘correspondence’.
- CL/77/17.07.16 Cyclepath
The Clerk met with Lawrence Manley from Welsh Government Tourism last Thursday to discuss and walk the cyclepath project. He complimented this council on the quality of the proposal and now sees the project in a different context. He recommends that when the opportunity arises, we should re-apply. The Clerk is ascertaining the cost of a planning application because if planning can be obtained, it would help our case, as would written support from NRW, Snowdonia, those with grazing’ rights and Gwynedd Council. The clerk has had further confirmation regarding the lease availability for the land between the gas works project and the railway crossing by the cemetery, between gasworks and cemetery car park. A discussion followed whether or not the old tip, beyond the railway crossing would be an appropriate land purchase. Because of the lack of recorded information regarding what may be now buried on the site, the consensus view was that this land offer from Gwynedd Council was not one that this council should take up in the context of potential future liabilities. Cllr Owen said that Gwynedd had been carrying out regular water inspections. Cllr Tyrrell had previous experience of councils pursuing landowners for reparation of contaminated land and advised against such a purchase. Cllr Williams agreed that it represented a problem which was best avoided.
- CL/85/(29.07.17) Cemetery
The Clerk has discussed the remaining space for plaques at the cemetery with Phil Cousins at Gwynedd and the matter is being looked at.
- CL/85/(29.07.17) Village map
The project is underway, the clerk having had confirmation of costings, which are under the initial budget agreed. Avril Richards has already confirmed that the money is available from AA&I as and when required. The Clerk is liaising with the village businesses to organise copy. Cllr Bradbury-Willis will liaise with the Clerk regarding using the new map in the forthcoming village brochure.
- CL/85/(29.07.17) Car Park Signing
In the context of current negotiations, the clerk will write to Gwynedd on the state of the car park, including signage, after the public meeting on Thursday and when there is agreement on how ACC and Gwynedd are to work together.
- CL/99/(29.07.17) Public meeting
- See agenda item 6
AGENDA ITEM 5 – WHARF TOILETS
Cllr Lloyd noted that Gwynedd’s response to this Council’s contract amendments was less than helpful, but thanked Cllr Tyrrell for his valued work on this matter. He felt that the original contracts forwarded by Gwynedd fell well short of what was required. Cllr Lloyd suggested that, in order to avoid toilet closure, this Council should pay Gwynedd £6,000.00 for the year 2017/18, and negotiate with Gwynedd a two year deal for 2018/19 and 2019/20. Cllr Jones asked about Dwr Cymru and the Clerk said that it was his understanding that they held a lease in that part of the building to house the sewage pumping facility. Cllr Kelly felt that the short term idea as presented was sensible but care should be taken with regard to the long term future. Cllr O’Reilly agreed that care should be taken.
Cllr Lloyd felt that the plan as outlined gave this Council breathing space to negotiate a long term future for the toilets, more under the control of this Council. Cllr Kelly noted that such a commitment for this financial year would have an impact on the precept. Cllr Tyrrell noted that the building was currently in poor repair but agreed that we should do as Cllr Lloyd suggests and try to move forward, clarifying the specific details. For example, how long should expect to receive the annual 10% of car park net revenues. He also suggested that perhaps we should suggest that we, as a goodwill gesture, offer to decorate the toilets in the short term. Cllr Owen concurred with Cllrs Lloyd and Tyrrell. He had met with Gwyn Morris Jones who felt that the idea of ACC taking over the toilets in their entirety, at some stage in the future, was appropriate. He also was aware of the fact that the Welsh Government was unhappy with the whole programme of toilets closure.
Cllr Bradbury-Willis said that he was fundamentally unhappy at the idea of increasing the car park tariffs as he felt that the charges were already very high.
Cllr Richards noted that if this Council was to enter into an agreement to take over the toilets at some stage, the matter of this Council receiving support funding from the car parks should comprise part of the lease agreement as this would make it more difficult for Gwynedd Council to renege on the deal at any stage in the future.
Cllr Williams felt that the two matters, the car park agreement and the toilets ownership and maintenance are separate and should be discussed as such. He also noted that, to his knowledge, all public toilets lose money and that caution must be taken. He agreed that the proposal from the Chair to take this initial step of agreeing to paying £6k to Gwynedd, annually, in order to keep the toilets open, and then to examine all possibilities over the next 18 months or so to ascertain the best way forward. Cllr O’Reilly suggested that we discuss other councils’ experience of running public toilets.
Cllr Owen was able to outline the existing cost base, as supplied by Gwynedd.
The Clerk has spoken with Bethan Davies at Gwynedd. She has been informed that the matter of the toilets is an agenda item at tonight’s meeting, and that we have a public meeting on Thursday 23rd November to get the opinion of the community. We are to report back after the meeting with our response to their recent correspondence.
AGENDA ITEM 6 – NEUADD DYFI PUBLIC MEETING NOVEMBER 23rd
Cllr Lloyd asked that Councillors try to attend the meeting if at all possible. The meeting will be chaired by himself as Council Chairman, and will address the meeting with support from Vice Chairman Cllr Williams, Cllr Owen, and the Clerk Neil Storkey.
The items for discussion will be as follows:
- The future of the Public toilets
- The future of the Food Festival. Divided opinion on whether it is of benefit to local traders, particularly in light of adverse weather re-locating the event to playing field at short notice
- Network Rail repairs and disruption – Penhelig Halt
- The future of the old school building
- Blood donor sessions at the Neuadd Dyfi
AGENDA ITEM 7 – NETWORK RAIL – PENHELIG HALT REPAIRS
Cllr Owen had attended a meeting in Caernarfon with Network Rail and confirmed that Penhelig Halt station was to undergo extensive repairs and will be closed January, February and March 2018. This comprised part of an extensive programme of investment in the Cambrian Coast Railway which also included £1.5m being spent on the main line between Machynlleth and Aberdyfi.
Cllr Owen was able to clarify with Network Rail some issues regarding access for deliveries of materials to the site. A public consultation was planned for the public on Monday 11th December at the Penhelig Arms, from 3.00pm to 7.pm. Traffic lights will be installed for the duration of the work, in the vicinity of the station.
AGENDA ITEM 8 – GWYNEDD COUNCIL REPORT
Cllr Owen had nothing further to report regarding Gwynedd Council matters.
AGENDA ITEM 9 – PLANNING
NP5/50/544A The Toft, Philip Avenue, Aberdyfi
Demolish existing conservatory and replace with single storey extension and removal of two chimneys
NP5/50/719 Arfryn, Gwelfor Road, Aberdyfi
Construction of first floor extension
NP5/50/147K Nyth Robin, Aberdyfi
Additional touring caravan pitches (five) and extend season from 8 months to 11 months
Cllr Bradbury-Willis noted that he felt he was not qualified to comment on planning applications, and Cllr Tyrrell concurred. The Clerk pointed out that if they wanted clarification on planning procedures, they should contact Jane Jones at Snowdonia planning department.
AGENDA ITEM 10 – TREASURER’S REPORT
The Treasurer’s report for was accepted and minuted as a true record.
PROPOSED by Cllr O’Reilly SECONDED by Cllr Richards
AGENDA ITEM 11 – COMMITTEE REPORTS
Cllr Williams reported that Neuadd Dyfi ground source heating system was up and running and was already proving to be very effective and efficient.
The Cambrian Coast line had proved once again this year to be financially very successful. However, Arriva Trains were withdrawing from the bidding process and anew contractor will be taking over in 2018. The three candidate organisations were from China, France and Holland. The new company will take over the existing running stock and staff.
Cllr Owen also noted that Network Rail wanted to liaise and work with the community and Clare Williams from Cambrian Coast is moving into the area and she will be invited to an Aberdyfi Community Council meeting at the earliest opportunity.
An initiative to assist people with disabilities has also been launched.
AGENDA ITEM 12 – CORRESPONDENCE
Gwynedd Council Response to our letter regarding road safety issues
Welsh Government Acknowledgement of receipt of our letter expressing, once again, our reservations on Dyfi Bridge ‘T’ junction on new road
Liz Saville Roberts Acknowledgement of receipt of our letter expressing, once again, our reservations on Dyfi Bridge ‘T’ junction on new road. Liz wishes to kept informed of how things develop.
Telemat Sales letter regarding digital.
Mari Curie Donation request
Coast Deli e-mail confirming that recent works have been carried out and approved by Snowdonia Planning.
Bill Lister Letters requesting permission to present planning idea for Craig y Lonch, to Community Council
Katherine Owen SLCC Letter offering the services of Luned Fon Jones of Caernarfon as internal auditor on the retirement of John Roberts.
Cllr Lloyd expressed a view that Steve Lister, as a local qualified accountant, should be considered, and it was agreed that his possible appointment should be discussed officially as an agenda item in January.
Grwp Cynefin Letter responding to Clerk’s observations, on Cllr Jones behalf, regarding the condition of the cladding at Rhos Dyfi
One Voice Wales Meirionydd Area Committee meeting 28th November
NPower Electric bill for the school. E-mail from Clerk to NPower, of 7th October, advising them of change of ownership. Clerk to follow up.
Community Health Council Questionnaire to complete regarding CHC performance (Cllr Reynolds to oversee perhaps)
Gwynhedd Road closure Copperhill Street road closure November 7th (any observations)
Welsh blood donor sessions No letter, a reminder ofnext blood donor session, Neuadd Dyfi 15th November. Should we take the opportunity to promote the scheme in general on Thursday night
AGENDA ITEM 13 – PUBLICATIONS
Play for Wales
The Clerk Magazine
Clerks and Councils Direct
AGENDA ITEM 14 – ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Cllr Williams Harbour consultative meeting this coming Thursday 23rd November.
There are draft plans for a local sculptor install a giant steel oak tree in the vicinity of the petrified forest at Ynyslas.
Cllr Kelly The double yellow lines by the Trefeddian Hotel allow parking to take place.
Cllr Owen Cllr Owen was gratified with the turnout on Remembrance Sunday, despite the poor weather, and wished to thank all those who helped organise and present the service.
He also took the opportunity to update Council on the Aberdyfi Enterprise Trust and the decision to seek advice from the Charity Commission on the best way forward with regard to the cash in hand balance and the possibility of changing the object of the charity.
Lord Dafdd Elis Thomas is the Welsh Governments Labour Cabinet with responsibilities for tourism.
Cllr Lloyd Cllr Lloyd has received a letter from Mennha Pugh from Pen y Bryn school in Tywyn inviting him to become a governor. He is to turn the offer down but asked whether any of the councillors present tonight might consider taking on the role.
AGENDA ITEM 15 – ITEMS FOR RUSHLIGHT
- Public meeting poster
ITEMS FOR PRESS RELEASE
- Wharf Quay Wall
- Dyfi Bridge
- Aberdyfi Food Festival
- Old school building
- Penhelig Halt
The meeting closed at 9.00