MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING OF ABERDYFI COMMUNITY COUNCIL HELD IN THE OFFICE IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, LITERARY INSTITUTE, ABERDYFI
ON MONDAY, 21st JANUARY 2019
Present were Councillors: :-
Cllr D Williams Chairman
Cllr J Bradbury Willis
Cllr Dewi Owen
Cllr B Kelly
Cllr David Owens
Cllr G Jones
Cllr B Lloyd
Cllr M Reynolds
Cllr M Richards
AGENDA ITEM 1- APOLOGIES
Cllrs S Bradbury-Willis & Tyrrell
AGENDA ITEM 2- CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
Cllr Williams made special mention of the high quality of this year’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display, which many visitors to the village had passed very positive comments. He wished to thank the volunteer organisers, organised by Cllr Kelly, who informed the meeting that over £500 was raised during the event, which was watched by hundreds of visitors to Aberdyfi as well as locals. Cllr James Bradbury-Willis confirmed that over 2000 people had watched the display on Facebook.
It was confirmed that the construction contract for the affordable housing project had been awarded to Chesworths of Tywyn. The appointment was good news for local business and local jobs and the work will commence in March and will complete within 12 to 15 months.
AGENDA ITEM 3 – RECEIVE AND CONFIRM MINUTES OF ORDINARY MEETING 17th DECEMBER
It was agreed that the minutes were a true and accurate record of ordinary meeting of 17th December.
PROPOSED by Cllr Megan Reynolds and SECONDED by Cllr Dewi Owen
AGENDA ITEM 4 – MATTERS ARISING
M/55 Speeding in the village
The Clerk has spoken with Iwan ap Trefor from Gwynedd Highways Safety. He declined an invitation to present to this council as he did not have the resources to do so and he was very busy. Not a very helpful or positive conversation, especially with regard to this council’s concerns in the vicinity of the post office.
However, it was agreed that the pressure must be maintained with regard to traffic speeding issues throughout the village. Cllr Williams suggested that Gwynedd be approached in March to re-assess the situation during a busy holiday period.
M/75 Dog poo bins
The Clerk has met with Alun Hughes from Gwynedd Streetscene who confirmed that the new bin (donated by a visitor to Aberdyfi) will be located at Pont y Brics – installation to be conducted by ACC. Alun Hughes will empty the new bin as part of the normal round.
M/82 Picnic Island bridge.
Barry Davies’ e-mail regarding the bridge closure indicated the preference to install a new bridge. However there was no budget for this work and that other funding options would be examined. In the meantime there was still concern regarding the increased pedestrian traffic along the main road between Outward Bound and the village. The next step is a meeting with Barry Davies. Cllr Lloyd suggested that an article in Rushlight would be helpful.
M/81 Aberdyfi Community Council website
The tender documents will be discussed at February Council meeting, pending outcome of the discussion of One Voice Wales directives, see Agenda item 7.
M/111 Cyclepath Planning
George & Tomos of Machynlleth have been instructed to proceed with the application. Cllr Lloyd suggested that a letter be submitted to AA&I to request funding support.
The leases for the Neuadd Dyfi car park and the Playing Field have both been received and forwarded to Cllr Richards for examination. The matter will be discussed at the February Council meeting.
AGENDA ITEM 5
BUDGET & PRECEPT 2019/20
The Budget for 2019/20 has been prepared by the Clerk and discussed and agreed with Finance Committee meeting of 1st November 2018, in line with the following statement
“To date, and up to January 2019, Council’s expenditure is marginally below budget and should prove acceptable to the external Auditors, BDO.”
What is unclear at the moment is the net income resulting from our agreement with Gwynedd Council regarding our 10% of the net main car park fees. This will not be confirmed until May or June, after Gwynedd’s audit.
The precept for 2019/20 has been calculated on the basis of an increase over last year’s precept (£34,955) by the forecasted rate of inflation for January 2018, 21/2%.
Therefore the precept for 2019/20 will be set at £35,829.00, an increase of £874.00. The precept request will be confirmed with Dafydd Edwards, Gwynedd Head of Finance, by this Friday January 25th.
The Council agreed to donate 50% of the net car park revenues to the Neuadd Dyfi. The clerk suggests this payment should be made at the end of the financial year, March 31st. To date the gross revenues for 2018 were £5600.95 and the costs for 2018 were £921.60, hence there is a net balance at this date of £4679.35, indicating a donation to the Neuadd Dyfi, at this time, of £2339.67.
PROPOSED Cllr Gareth Jones SECONDED Cllr Richards
AGENDA ITEM 6
APPOINTMENT OF INTERNAL AUDITOR
Steve Lister has been instrumental in helping to achieve a clean audit for 2018/19. Is Council happy to confirm his re-appointment.
Proposed Cllr Dewi Owen Seconded Cllr Lloyd
By a majority vote 6/2 Steve Lister was re-appointed
AGENDA ITEM 7
The Clerk sought clarity from One Voice Wales regarding the tendering process for the website, in the context of Cllr James Bradbury-Willis’ wish to tender. The message, to the Clerk, was clear. Not to be recommended. See e-mail from One Voice Wales.
Discuss and minute this Council’s decision regarding future policy regarding any Councillor carrying out fee paid work for ACC.
Cllr Richards agreed with the One Voice Wales standpoint and Cllr Lloyd noted that this was the first time that the issue had been brought to the forefront. In the interests of transparency and impartiality, he also felt that One Voice Wales recommendation should be adopted in this instant and also for the future – councillors should not be employed to carry out paid work for the council. Cllr Jones agreed with this position. Cllr James Bradbury-Willis understood the position and also agreed it was an appropriate way forward. Cllr David Owens felt that the matter being discussed at his time was an opportunity to set the ground rules for the future. Cllr Kelly felt that the essence was that councillors should not benefit financially from working for the community and that the rule should be noted and minuted as a policy for the future.
Cllr Williams was gratified that there was a consensus within council regarding the matter but also noted that One Voice Wales stopped short of saying ‘under no circumstances should councillors be employed’. This suggested that there was some leeway in extenuating circumstances, but great care must be taken with a variance regarding such a diversion from policy. If such a situation arises, the Clerk suggested that One Voice Wales guidance should be sought, as a matter of course.
Cllr Sara Bradbury-Willis, via an e-mail, had brought up the role played by the Finance Committee in viewing the website tenders in advance of the council meeting. Cllr Williams clarified the position by stating that levels of relatively high expenditure would always be discussed, in advance, by the Finance Committee which would seek to make positive observations at the full council meeting as a means of assisting the decision-making progress.
In response to Cllr Reynolds question regarding printed hard copies of the tender documents, Cllr Williams confirmed that the Clerk would ensure that they would be distributed to all councillors in plenty of time for the 18th February meeting, at which it is hoped a decision can be made regarding the appointment of a suitable contractor.
Given the process outlined by Cllr Williams, it is anticipated that the process of selection should be reasonably smooth and that a satisfactory outcome will result.
Cllr James Bradbury-Willis offered his assistance, in the selection process, as an experienced website developer.
Proposed Cllr James Bradbury-Willis Seconded Cllr Brian Kelly
AGENDA ITEM 8
RISK ASSESSMENT/CODE OF CONDUCT/REGISTER OF INTERESTS
The Risk Assessment, Code of Conduct and Register of Interests were formally adopted by Council. The Clerk issued an open invitation to view these documents at any time in the Council office.
Proposed Cllr Bryn Lloyd Seconded Cllr Megan Reynolds
AGENDA ITEM 9
There have been no written requests for donations from the regular beneficiaries. It is suggested that the following be considered, in line with 2018:
Wales Air Ambulance 150.00
Dail Dysynni 50.00
AA&I brochure 1500.00
Meirionydd Young Farmers 100.00
This year’s Urdd 50.00
Proposed Cllr James Bradbury-Willis Seconded Cllr Brian Kelly
AGENDA ITEM 10
TOILETS STEAM CLEANING AND DECORATING
Cllr Tyrrell has obtained a joint estimate, from Scrubadub and Furneaux Decorators, to clean and decorate the Wharf public toilets for 500.00. Should council commit to this idea? Cllr Lloyd suggested that perhaps AA&I should be approached to fund the exercise, and council to commission the project.
The Clerk suggested that perhaps that the gable wood cladding could also benefit from re-finishing and that the estimate could take this into account.
Proposed Cllr Bryn Lloyd Seconded Cllr Mike Richards
AGENDA ITEM 11– GWYNEDD COUNCIL REPORT
Cllr Owen confirmed that rates would be going up this coming year, by 5.5% in Gwynedd. Gwynedd will also be seeking an increase in the financial support paid by Town and Community councils. Perhaps it could be argued that our contribution of £6000.00 could be capped in light of the commitment to clean and decorate the wharf toilets, as indicated in minute CL 127. Cllr Jones asked what Dwr Cymru’s financial relationship with Gwynedd was, as a tenant.
Cllr Richards asked how much revenue has been raised by Gwynedd on the council tax second home surcharge. Cllr Owen has asked the question and will follow-up.
Cllr Jones also expressed his frustration with regard to the taxing of second homes, regarding it as damaging to Wales’ economy.
AGENDA ITEM 12– GWYNEDD BUDGET CUTS
The e-mail from Gwynedd regarding the budget cuts had a link problem and hence was not working well.
However, councillors were encouraged to work around the problem and try to respond in due course.
AGENDA ITEM 13 – PLANNING
NP5/50/1A 6 Tyddyn Isaf, Aberdyfi
Demolish garage and erect rear extension and balcony
NP5/50/477D Flat 3, Compton House, Aberdyfi
Replace dormer with larger flat-roofed extension and installation of rooflight (revised scheme)
Cllr Kelly noted that the Snowdonia planning portal was not up to date.
AGENDA ITEM 14 – TREASURER’S REPORT
PROPOSED by Cllr Bryn Lloyd SECONDED by Cllr Gareth Jones
AGENDA ITEM 15 – COMMITTEE REPORTS
AGENDA ITEM 16 – CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED
Gwynedd Maritime Confirmation that wedding ceremonies will no longer be permitted on Penhelig Gardens, but that existing bookings will be honoured.
Bill Lister Development of family land adjacent to railway bridge. A letter of suggested changes to original plans regarding vehicle access.
Gwynedd Council Public transport questionnaire
Gwynedd Council Financial survey
AGENDA ITEM 17 – PUBLICATIONS
AGENDA ITEM 18 – ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Cllr Richards/1 Cllr Richards asked whether the contractors for the gas works in the vicinity of the Running Track and on the Running Track had requested permission for access from the leaseholders (ACC) and work carried out. Cllr Richards noted that under the protection order they are restricted with regard to their activities.
The Clerk confirmed that he had not been notified of work to be carried out. Cllr Richards felt it important to follow up this matter.
Cllr James Bradbury-Willis felt that the lack of communication was an issue with regard to this project.
Cllr Richards/2 Cllr Richards also wished to know why there was no action on the clearing of the fishermen’s storage area. He was informed that confirmation of the clearing programme had been received from Gwynedd maritime during his recent vacation. Work, including installation of a security fence, was due to commence in March.
Cllr Richards/3 Cllr Richards wanted to know whether there was any ongoing discussion at the Harbour Committee meetings regarding the future of the wharf and the re-construction of the steel piling. Cllr Owen was able to confirm that the matter was in hand and discussed at every maritime meeting as a live project and that the finalised plans had been submitted to Snowdonia.
Cllr Richards/4 Cllr Richards asked for progress report on Penhelyg Park shelter. Cllr Lloyd had spoken with Mike Searle and that plans had been prepared, funding was in hand and the project was live with a view to commencing work without delay. With regard to funding, the Clerk informed the meeting that the residual balance in the Aberdyfi Enterprise Trust could be utilised by transfer to the Richard Roberts Trust. Advice had been sought from Peter Brunton Solicitors.
Cllr Richards/5 Cllr Richards expressed concern over the restricted access at the end of the main car park, caused by a build-up of sand. He as concerned over disabled access.
Cllr Reynolds Cllr Reynolds expressed concern over the wooden structure/seating that has been erected at the front of Seabreeze Restaurant and whether it represented pedestrian obstruction. Was it a planning issue – the Clerk will check.
The issue of lobster pot storage on the wharf was again brought up. The Harbourmaster will be informed.
Cllr Reynolds expressed ongoing concern with regard to motorhomes on the main car park and being used for overnight stays.
Cllr Jones Cllr Jones brought up the matter of recent thefts and how the CCTV operation was working. The Clerk expressed some frustration with the situation because the police still have not installed equipment and still expect the Clerk to trawl through footage in Council’s PC.
The last time the window of opportunity was 90 minutes.
The Clerk does not have time to do this. Cllr Bradbury-Willis concurred with the Clerk and suggested that the council possibly provide a PC dedicated to the police, either in council office or at Police base in Tywyn.
Cllr Bradbury-Willis Cllr James Bradbury-Willis brought up the matter of naming the new affordable housing project. The matter has already been promoted through Rushlight and will continue to be so as the building work progresses.
Cllr Bradbury-Willis also expressed concern over the village caravan site, which he felt was looking somewhat shabby. This was noted by the three members of the caravan committee in attendance.
He also asked whether people using litter bins for unsuitable refuse should be approached or not. The general feeling was that it was not a good idea to make direct approach as this might be seen as confrontational.
Clerk The Clerk has discussed the matter of memorial public benches, maintained by Gwynedd, with Gwynedd Phil Cousins. He felt it was a good idea for ACC to pursue the idea and replace benches, memorial benches in this instance, with high quality sustainable teak products. The Clerk is to discuss with Alun Wynn-Jones as there were three memorial benches pending and needed action.
AGENDA ITEM 15 ITEMS FOR RUSHLIGHT
ITEMS FOR PRESS RELEASE
Volunteers to join the garden committee
Pantomime Treasure Island
Gwynedd bus service questionnaire
Picnic Island bridge
Gwynedd spending link
Meeting closed at 21.30