MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING OF THE SAID COUNCIL HELD IN THE OFFICE IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, LITERARY INSTITUTE, ABERDYFI ON MONDAY, 21ST NOVEMBER 2016
Present were :- Cllr B Lloyd Chairman
Councillors :- D Owen
The Chairman noted the recent passing of ex Aberdyfi Community Councillor David Menhinick and a minute’s silence was observed as a mark of respect.
AGENDA ITEM 1- APOLOGIES
Apologies received from Cllrs. G Pugh, C Fowles, M Richards and G Davies
AGENDA ITEM 2 – CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
Cllr Lloyd thanked Councillors for attending the Remembrance Day Service on 6th November at St Peter’s Church and Penhelig Parc.
AGENDA ITEM 3 – ORDINARY MEETING 17TH OCTOBER
It was agreed that the minutes were a true and accurate record of the ordinary meeting, October 17th.
PROPOSED by Cllr Owen and SECONDED by Cllr Williams
AGENDA ITEM 4 – MATTERS ARISING
Cllr Jones confirmed that the number of speeding drivers on the 30mph approach to Aberdyfi from Tywyn appeared to be on the increase and that pressure should be maintained on the police to monitor and take whatever action necessary to alleviate the problem.
B/M71/(19.09.16) Public Toilets
This matter was discussed under Agenda item 5, Public meeting.
C/M73/(19.09.16) Dyfi Bridge
This matter was discussed under Agenda item 5, Public meeting.
The Clerk has written to all allotment holders reminding them of their contractual responsibilities regarding appropriate and regular maintenance of their allotments. No response as yet has been received.
E/M85/(17.10.16) Christmas Dinner
Marj has confirmed the menu for the Council Christmas dinner and is ready for circulation. The Clerk had invited Iestyn Pritchard to join us, in recognition of his efforts on our behalf regarding the Lottery application. He was very pleased to have been invited but the will be in New Zealand with his family for three weeks before Christmas.
F/M87/(17.10.16) BDO Audit
The Clerk informed the meeting that he had responded to a request from One Voice Wales regarding the way the new auditors were conducting the external audit process, in the context of the large number of complaints from many Gwynedd community councils. The Clerk’s response had been objective and hopefully constructive.
Cllr Richardson noted the work referred to with regard to application NP5/50/220B, 32 Terrace Road, Aberdyfi, had commenced in May this year.
H/M98/(17.10.16) Footpath Maintenance
The Clerk is meeting with Tom Jones, Aled Evans and Michael Barnes to discuss the footpaths maintenance programme for 2017. Given the positive response from those who attended the public meeting, the Clerk can now budget a programme from increased funds from the precept for 2017/18
J/M90/(17.10.16) Seaview Terrace
The Harbourmaster has removed the old steps totally, replaced by stonework.
The Clerk sent the agreed letter of response to Iwan Edgar and copied the same to the Ombudsman. The only response has been an e-mail from Mr Edgar, in Welsh only, which the Clerk copied to the Ombudsman.
AGENDA ITEM 5 – NEUADD DYFI PUBLIC MEETING 10th NOVEMBER
Cllr Lloyd understands that Aberdyfi was the only council in Gwynedd to hold a public meeting to discuss, amongst other matters, the issue of the proposed increase of £10,000 in precept for 2017/18. He noted how positively the community had responded to the proposed increase and had understood, in the context of severe Gwynedd Council budget cuts, the reasons for the budget increase. Cllr Lloyd also observed how important the meeting had been as part of the process of local democracy and openness.
Alun Griffith Engineers gave a presentation, at our invitation, at the well attended Public Meeting. . It appears that we are, jointly with Pennal, Tywyn and now Machynlleth Councils, in agreement regarding the issue of a traffic island instead of the proposed T junction. The engineers appeared to adopt a position of intransigence and that the designers had stipulated that a ‘T’ junction was adequate in the context of the theoretical analysis that had been carried out. If the community was to apply pressure there might need to a Public Enquiry. If this is followed through it was implied that a delay of 12 months might ensue regarding the build.
Although acknowledging this, there was a general and strongly held feeling that the T junction would at some stage be the cause of a serious road accident.
We achieved a high level of media exposure in the Cambrian News, presenting a united front with our own Cllr Lloyd , Cllr Stevens form Tywyn and Cllr Roberts from Pennal appearing together in a photograph on the front page, supporting the case for a roundabout.
Cllr Owen requested that the Clerk keep Arwen Jones the Police Commissioner for North Wales ‘in the loop’ as he appeared to agree with the safety issues regarding the ‘T’ junction.
Cllr Richardson noted with some irritation that there appeared to be a veiled threat of delay in the construction of the bridge if the community was to force through this issue resulting in a public enquiry.
Cllr Jones raised once again the issue of the flood water under the railway bridge.
Cllr Owen also noted that a member of the community had asked whether the problem of the Llanwrin Road being used as a ‘by pass’ to avoid Machynlleth, had been considered.
Negotiations are ongoing with Gwynedd Council. No firm proposals as yet but the idea of social housing was discussed at the public meeting after a suggestion by Tony Bowron. This had been accepted as a sound proposal by the Council and should be supported. Cllr Owen noted that CCG had already been in touch with Gwynedd estates Department. CCG observed that the need for social housing would need to be identified, and that the market potential should be researched. In the meantime the clerk has been advised of more rental prospects (boats and trailers) to help with the financing of ongoing maintenance. In this context the Aberdyfi Enterprise Trust is in course to break even for the financial year 2016. The Charity Commission Return will confirm as such.
Gwynedd Council have not yet taken any decision regarding toilet closures. However, Aberdyfi has been earmarked for discussions regarding how best to fund the future maintenance and development of one of the village’s most important assets, in the context of Aberdyfi being recognised as one of Gwynedd’s leading tourist destinations.
Cllr Jones noted that the disabled toilet facility, and the use of the toilets as a coach stop service. Cllr Richardson also noted that in the event of closure what would the shop-owners do?
Cllr Owen said that he had given the impression that the paid for facilities in Barmouth had been abused by people blocking doors open etc. However the feeling was that the public would get used to it, particularly if the facilities were of a high quality.
The Clerk has been advised that Barmouth have been discussing with Gwynedd the idea of putting a 10% tariff on the main car park which would then be handed over to Barmouth Council to enable the development and maintenance of their facilities. The Clerk is awaiting further detail.
Cllr Richardson asked about who owned the building – Dwr Cymru?
Cllr Williams, although he had been unable to attend the public meeting, had received positive reaction from those he had spoken with, and suggested that the process of public consultation should be a regular part of the community calendar.
Cllr Lloyd noted that the public meeting had endorsed and supported the Community Council’s plans to increase the precept by £10,000 2017/18. Councillors on the whole were gratified with the reaction to the meeting.
AGENDA ITEM 6 – BDO ANNUAL RETURN
The Clerk presented Council the amendments, as indicated by BDO, to the annual return for their approval.
The amendments were approved unanimously.
The Clerk informed the meeting that he had been requested by One Voice Wales, in the context of the large number of complaints about the manner in which BDO had conducted the audit process, to report on Aberdyfi’s experiences regarding the matter. He had responded objectively and had pointed out in his correspondence that he had to deal with three different individuals in the course of the audit and had suggested that this was not conducive to effective communications.
AGENDA ITEM 7 – LITERARY INSTITUTE STORAGE
It has been suggested we take over the storage facility below the Clerk’s office, shared with AA&I at a shared annual rental of £600.00.
Cllrs Jones and Williams declared an interest. The rest of Council agreed unanimously to proceed as indicated.
AGENDA ITEM 8 – GWYNEDD COUNCIL REPORT
Cllr Owen had little to report.
Cllr Jones asked Cllr Owen to request Gwynedd to check on the state of the new tarmac on the promenade as it had sunk and represented safety hazard.
Cllr Jones also noted that the rock face between Gogarth and Fron Goch looked in poor condition. Cllr Owen said that Gwynedd were in the process of getting it netted.
The Clerk took the opportunity to raise the fact that he had requested Gwynedd to clear the blocked drains in the village on a number of occasions, even to the extent of personally asking the gully team whilst in the village to sort the problem – but to no avail.
Cllr Williams asked the Clerk to request that Nantiesin car park be maintained over the winter.
Cllr Jones raised the matter of the school steps that were now in need of attention, after last year’s work by Gwynedd. The Clerk said that in the context of precept budget increase, he was meeting with Tom Jones, Aled Evans and Michael Barnes to agree a plan for footpath maintenance programme for next year.
AGENDA ITEM 9 – PLANNING
NP5/50/212B 4,5 & 6 Nantiesin, Aberdyfi
Retrospective application to retain raised patio area
See attached objections to this proposal.
NP5/50/707 1 – 16, Cae Argoed, Aberdyfi
Replacement cladding to east elevation
NP5/50/31G 4 Bodfor Terrace, Aberdyfi
Alterations to dormer windows
NP5/50/120B The Coach House, Plas Penhelyg, Aberdyfi
Construction of dormer and balcony
NP5/50/147H Panteidal, Aberdyfi
Erection of owner/management accommodation
NP5/50/T528 1 Bryniau Ichaf, Aberdyfi
Retrospective application for demolition of chimney
NP5/50/220/B 32 Terrace Road, Aberdyfi
Replacement stairs and creation of patio area
AGENDA ITEM 10 – TREASURER’S REPORT
The Treasurer’s report for November was accepted and minuted as a true record
PROPOSED by Cllr Owen SECONDED by Cllr Jones
AGENDA ITEM 11 – COMMITTEE REPORTS
Harbour Liaison Committee
Cllr Williams was pleased to report on a pragmatic, positive harbour meeting. However, the question of sand ingress, in bad weather, into the village was still unresolved and Cllr Williams noted that the Lifeboat Station construction team had created a windbreak last winter and had seemed to work quite well. Cllr Owen suggested that the Clerk discuss the issue with Will Rees to see whether we could replicate the structure this coming year.
Cllr Richardson noted that the assistant harbourmaster was still currently employed and observed that the harbour team had been very proactive this year and that not only had the footpath at Picnic Island been repaired but that the boardwalk was also being worked on. He also informed the meeting that the wharf renovation programme was still ongoing but with no positive idea of when the project will commence.
Cllr Owen had been re-elected Chair of the Harbour Consultative Committee.
The problem of the flytipping on the fishermens’ storage area was still unresolved and the rubbish was going to be costly to remove because of the amount of asbestos it contained. Cllr Owen suggested that perhaps a community clearance initiative might be a good idea, involving boat owners, yacht club and fishermen. Cllr Williams did remind the meeting that technically the maintenance of the area was still the responsibility of the Harbour Authority.
Cllr Williams noted that the Penhelig Parc shelter was shortly going to be in dire need of serious renovation. Cllr Llloyd felt that a refurbishment fund might be set up to facilitate a sound renovation.
The Clerk suggested that we source a costing from experienced contractors in advance of any discussions with Gwynedd Harbour – Barry Davies.
Cambrian Coast Initiative
The Owen was concerned to report that driver shortages had shut down part of the rail service because of driver retirements. He noted that for a 4 day week drivers were paid from £44k per annum. In this context, there had been over 600 applications for driver vacancies.
The Barmouth Bridge Viaduct fire had been caused by a stray spark and that the structure is now 150 years old. Given its age there was serious maintenance to be carried out and that the process could take up to three years.
Car parking at Machynlleth station had been a matter of concern because of illegal parking. There was also a plan to extend the size of the car park. Cllr Lloyd pointed out that there were systems in place to control unauthorised parking at other stations. Cllr Jones wanted to know why access and parking at Dovey Junction was so poor.
Cllr Owen said that there was no plan to bring the team engines back to the Cambrian Coast Line. Some stations had been adopted by local Community Councils to maintain their appearance, including flower planting etc. The consensus was that although a good idea in theory, would be threatened by youngsters alighting at Aberdyfi station on their return from the pubs.
AGENDA ITEM 12 – CORRESPONDENCE
Willmott Dixon Letter with cheque for £500.00 enclosed for community project financing
House of Commons Letter from Liz Saville Roberts MP, notification that she has written to Big Lottery and Gwynedd regarding our failed attempt to obtain funding
Gwynedd Council Footpath maintenance costs re-structuring
One Voice wales One Voice Wales Meirionydd meeting minutes
One Voice Wales Area Committee meeting 23rd November 2017
Steve Myatt Confirmation of transfer of funds (3184.35) to Community Council Reserve Account
One Voice Wales E-mail requesting brief report of our experiences of working with BDO Auditors
Mid Wales Health care Notification of November meetings
Gwynedd Council Confirmation of £33.00 annual charges for garden waste collection
Cllr Owen wanted to know how the charges would be working as they are introduced at the three months of this year, following into 12 months of the following year. Clerk to write to Gwynedd for a response.
Ombudsman Confirmation of receipt of my letter of response to Iwan Edgar
One Voice Wales Confirmation of Council training on Thursday 24th November
North Wales Police Invitation to attend the Emergency Services carol service in Bangor on 12th December
Discovering Old Welsh Houses Request to view any printed material housed at the Literary Institute (Clerk will forward to Avril Richards)
Cardiff University Confirmation of meeting with Clerk on 1st December for research purposes
Willmott Dixon Letter with cheque for £500.00 enclosed for community project financing
Avril Richards Confirmation of offer of storage space in Literary Institute
Crime Prevention Confirmation that the lease for the CCTV on the Council office has now been paid in full and that we can take over ownership of the equipment, on the basis of an annual maintenance fee of £259.71
Returning Officer Letter confirming Community Council elections 4th May 2017. Estimated cost to this Council £1250.00
Gwynedd Council Cost of filling salt bins this winter – if required
Richard Wyatt Request for this Council to support his planning application at 60 Maesnewydd.
Council agreed to support the application
AGENDA ITEM 13
SLCC September issue
AGENDA ITEM 14
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Copperhill Street trees The Clerk updated Council on the condition of the Copperhill Street trees. He has spoken to Linda at Morris Marshall and Poole who has spoken in turn to the management committee of Cae Argoed. They are now aware of the seriousness of the situation and the project is ongoing with a view to felling in the new year.
Fire Brigade Cllr Richardson expressed his concern at the difficulty of replacing recently retired fire officers in Aberdyfi. The problem will be highlighted in Rushlight.
Fireworks display Cllr Owen had been advised that there was some disquiet at the nails that had been left behind after the burning of old pallets on bonfire night. Barry Davies had expressed his displeasure.
Trefeddian Hotel Cllr Richardson noted that the Trefeddian had been the recipient of national service awards and that Caroline Cave must be sent a letter of congratulation.
New lifeboat “Hugh Miles” Cllr Williams confirmed that the new lifeboat was being delivered this coming Sunday 27th November.
AGENDA ITEM 15
ITEMS FOR PRESS RELEASE
- Fire brigade vacancies
- Congratulations to Trefeddian
- New lifeboat
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.50pm