MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING OF THE SAID COUNCIL HELD IN THE OFFICE IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, LITERARY INSTITUTE, ABERDYFI ON MONDAY, 23rd JANUARY 2017
Present were :- Cllr B Lloyd Chairman
Councillors :- D Richardson
Before the meeting commenced, Cllr Lloyd paid a warm tribute to the passing, on Boxing Day, of Pam Williams, wife of Cllr Dave Williams. She immersed herself in so many aspects of village life and will be sorely missed by our community.
AGENDA ITEM 1- APOLOGIES
Apologies received from Cllrs. D Owen, G Davies, G Pugh, M Richards & C Fowles
AGENDA ITEM 2 – CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
Cllr Lloyd thanked Cllr Richards for taking the chair at the December Community Council meeting. He noted how busy the village had been over the Christmas and New Year holiday break and how impressive was, once again, the firework display. Cllr Lloyd also said was looking forward to ‘Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs’, this year’s pantomime.
AGENDA ITEM 3 – MINUTES OF ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING 12th DECEMBER
It was agreed that the minutes were a true and accurate record of the ordinary meeting, December 12th December. (subject to an correction from Cllr Richardson, reference minute CL/119/12.12.16 Neuadd Dyfi Committee Report, ‘Cllr Owen’ not ‘Cllr Richardson’.)
The amended minutes to be approved at the February Council meeting
AGENDA ITEM 4 – MATTERS ARISING
The Clerk wrote to Gareth Thomas about the tenancy of Plot Two and had a meeting on Wednesday 11th January. Since the last Council meeting Mr Thomas has started work on his allotment for the forthcoming year. The gentleman of whom Mr Thomas had enquired regarding a joint tenancy is Matthew Watts of Tywyn, who is currently next in line on the official waiting list. It was agreed with the Clerk that no joint tenancy agreement would be drawn up, which may contravene the ‘rules’ and that Mr Watts will be assisting Mr Thomas as a friend on an unofficial basis.
The Clerk was requested to clarify, after an observation from Cllr Reynolds, whether prospective allotment tenants had to be Aberdyfi residents and will report to Council at the next meeting. Cllr Williams felt that if imposing such a rule would impact in such a way that allotments might end up unused it could be viewed as counterproductive.
Cllr Lloyd noted that the allotments had already been tidied considerably after the allotment holders had received the Clerk’s letter reminding them all of their contractual obligations as tenants.
B/M71/(19.09.16) Public Toilets
Cllr Owen has confirmed with the Clerk that the public toilet closure programme has, for the time being, been shelved by Gwynedd Council. The Chairman felt that perhaps the questions raised by this Council had swayed the argument somewhat.
Cllr Jones felt that some sort of record could be kept of how many coaches and buses were using the facility during the year.
Cllr Richardson asked whether or not the toilets were going to be upgraded by Gwynedd Council and whether this Council was planning to supplement the current cleaning programme by the provision of extra funding. The Clerk responded by noting that the possibility of any upgrading was remote and that there was budgetary provision for extra cleaning in the holiday season. Cllr Richardson suggested that this Council fund a pre-season thorough cleaning via the AA&I. The Clerk will make appropriate enquiries and report back on the possibilities of any upgrade and permission to invest some AA&I money. It must be made clear to Gwynedd that any such investment should be ‘in addition to’, and not ‘instead of’ Gwynedd’s normal spend on maintenance. Louis Hiatt will be approached for a quote on a thorough clean.
C/M99/(21.11.16) School Building
After further discussions between the Clerk and Huw Evans from CCG, it has been confirmed that Gwynedd Council’s Strategic Housing Team have included the proposed scheme on the social housing grant programme as a reserve scheme, which is a positive 1st step.
CCG has also corresponded with Gwynedd Council’s Property Department with a view of expressing an interest in a possible purchase of the site for affordable homes. To date we have had no written response to our emails so we are unsure if the Property Department are totally supportive of working with a Housing Association on this scheme. The Clerk has however discussed, by phone, the matter with Meilir Hughes who has confirmed that project is now officially being assessed for eventual ratification by Cabinet, subject to a financial and ‘need’ analysis.
The Clerk met with Huw Evans on on site to move the matter forward. Huw confirmed that Snowdonia were very enthusiastic and support the initiative. If approval is a granted, the project can proceed with a view to commencing work in perhaps 2018/19.
Cllr Jones took the opportunity to note how shabby the seaward side of the Rhos Dyfi houses were looking and that this should be brought to the attention of the housing association. Cllr Lloyd agreed to contact the housing association, on his mother’s behalf, and will also point out that the issue has been discussed at Council as matter of concern.
D/M102/(21.11.16) Storm drains The problem of the storm drains is ongoing as we have now had three visits from the gully team who still seem unable to comprehend that it would be cost effective to clear all drains at once rather than operating on a piecemeal basis. The Clerk is continuing in his efforts to sort the problem.
Cllr Richardson shared the frustration and the Clerk will write to Highways and Cllr Jones pointed out that the drain at Balkan Hill is still blocked, even though the offending blockage has been identified with yellow marker.
F/M102/(12.12.16) Nantiesin car park
The Clerk has been unable to speak with Colin Jones to date but will continue to pursue the matter, particularly in respect of the white lining. Cllr Richardson had spoken with the parking machine warden who had reported the concerns. He also expressed concern about the white lining which was now very badly worn and totally inadequate in terms of giving clear indication of the traffic flow, and was an accident waiting to happen. Cllr Williams concurred and also pointed out that the stone wall structure was going to deteriorate unless the creeper was sorted out.
The Clerk will report progress at the next Council meeting.
G/114/(12.12.16) Morgan Vaughan chairs/Literary Institute
This matter has not progressed and still no correspondence has been received from Morgan Vaughn.
AGENDA ITEM 5 – ACC BUDGET 2017/18
The Budget for 2017 has been prepared by the Clerk and discussed and agreed with Finance Committee.
The precept for 2017/18 has been set at £31,510, an increase of £7941.88. The increase will cover items such as extra costs for footpath maintenance, Clerk’s remuneration, keeping the village in a tidier condition, election costs, web site, training, sand management etc. This is an increase of approximately 30%, within the limits discussed at the public meeting in November. The precept request will need to be confirmed with Dafydd Edwards, Gwynedd Head of Finance, by January 27th.
Proposed Cllr Richardson Seconded Cllr Reynolds
AGENDA ITEM 6 – APPOINTMENT OF INTERNAL AUDITOR
The Chairman, with the agreement of the Clerk, recommends the appointment of John Roberts as internal auditor.
Proposed Cllr Richardson Seconded Cllr Williams
The Chairman invited two Councillors to conduct and brief internal review of the accounts, conducted as usual (10 minutes or so) one day later this week or next week. Those who agree to do so to contact the Clerk to arrange a suitable day and time.
Cllrs Lloyd and Cllr Williams to conduct the check.
AGENDA ITEM 7 – DONATION REQUESTS
In the absence this year of written requests for support, is suggested that the following causes should be supported.
- Wales Air Ambulance Charity £150.00
- Aberdyfi Brochure £1500.00
- Dail Dysynni £50.00
- Meirionydd Access Committee £50.00
Unanimous approval for the above and further decisions at next Council meeting with regard to the Eisteddfod and the County Show
AGENDA ITEM 8 – RUNNING TRACK
The Clerk can confirm that the lease currently held by Aberdyfi Community Council for the Running Track is valid for 28 years from 1996 and can be renewed as appropriate.
Perhaps Council might care to think about possible uses for the site, in the context of objections to development raised in 1996 because of conservation issues. The Clerk has spoken with Dr Libby Andrews, who has expressed concerns in the past, who has agreed to discuss any ideas as long as the conservation issues are observed.
Cllr Richardson commented on a National Trust report on how brambles strangle healthy flora and this might act as a guide for how the area might be used for the future, alongside a motorhome parking facility perhaps.
AGENDA ITEM 9 – CHRISTMAS 2017
Given the widespread disappointment with the Christmas tree this Christmas, it is proposed that Aberdyfi Community Council take over the project management for next year, funded by AA&I. If the Council agrees, the team responsible for the Food Festival are happy to take the project on board. Cllr Lloyd felt that more effort would reap rewards. Perhaps the shops would stay open if there was more going on in the village.
The Clerk outlined the team’s provisional thoughts regarding the concentration of effort on the wharf area (team would comprise Rhian Cooper, Eirlys Stoddart and Jane Storkey).
Cllr Richardson observed that the matter should be discussed at the next AA&I meeting, but agreed that if the team was happy to organise the project then it was a good idea.
The motion was carried unanimously.
AGENDA ITEM 10 – PRE-ELECTION PUBLIC MEETING
It is suggested that a pre-election informal evening, for anyone to attend, is held to explain the process of voting works, how being a Councillor benefits the community, and perhaps to encourage younger people to consider putting their names forward for the forthcoming elections this coming May.
The date of February 28th was agreed, 6.30pm to 8.30pm, at the Neuadd Dyfi. Light refreshments would be provided.
The motion was carried unanimously.
AGENDA ITEM 11 – GWYNEDD COUNCIL REPORT
Cllr Owen is attending a meeting in Cardiff tonight and in his absence a couple of issues were raised as follows:
Cllr Jones has been asked to point out, by retired PC Davies, that the bottom of Gwelfor Road was very slippery and needed attention. The clerk will inform Highways.
Cllr Richardson requested that the main car park was in sore need of a thorough spring clean. Nantiesin car park was also in desperate need of attention. The Clerk will speak with Colin Jones.
AGENDA ITEM 12 – PLANNING
NP5/50/L507B 44 Copperhill Street, Aberdyfi
To allow use of white render (variation of condition of planning consent NP50/50/7Q)
NP5/50/75U Panteidal Farmhouse, Aberdyfi
Two storey rear extension and decking
NP5/50/L230A 2 Cliffside, Aberdyfi
Insertion of rooflights to South and North facing roofs
NP5/50/120/B The Coach House, Plas Penhelig, Aberdyfi
Construction dormer and balcony
NP5/50/T528 1 Bryniau Uchaf, Aberdyfi
Part retrospective demolition of chimney and construction of smaller chimney
NP5/50/31/G 4 Bodfor Terrace, Aberdyfi
New dormer to rear
NP5/50/371/A 5 Treflan, Aberdyfi
Single storey front extension
AGENDA ITEM 13 – TREASURER’S REPORT
The Treasurer’s report for December was accepted and minuted as a true record
PROPOSED by Cllr Reynolds SECONDED by Cllr Jones
AGENDA ITEM 14 – COMMITTEE REPORTS
There were no committee reports
AGENDA ITEM 15 – CORRESPONDENCE
Police and Crime
Commissioner for Wales Acknowledgement of letter of concern regarding the lack of traffic island on proposed new road by-passing Dyfi Bridge at Machynlleth
Ombudsman Confirmation of receipt from the Clerk of 36 page written complaints procedure
Invitation to Chairman Opening of 12th hole on Aberdyfi Golf Course on Monday 6th February
Invitation to Clerk Opening of 12th hole on Aberdyfi Golf Course on Monday 6th February
Welsh Government e-mail Invitation for volunteers to become new members of Snowdonia National Park Authorities
National Assembly for Wales Invitation to contribute to enquiry into Trade Union (Wales) Bill
AGENDA ITEM 16 – PUBLICATIONS
Clerks and Council Direct January issue
The Clerk Magazine January issue
AGENDA ITEM 17
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Tourist Information Centre
Cllr Richardson expressed his concern regarding the whereabouts of the artefacts that were on show in the TIC before the building work commenced. Council had not been notified in advance of their removal. Cllr Williams noted that the exhibition had originally been installed by Snowdonia. Cllr Lloyd expressed his disappointment at the manner in which the process had been managed. He also noted that there was now a lack of space in the village in which to display memorabilia.
Cllr Lloyd has been approached by a couple of businesses in the village who intimated that if the proposed business rate increase are imposed they might be forced to close down. Cllr Richardson had also been approached and emphasised the matter cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.
Cllr Lloyd raised the issue of whether the Community Council should be offering long term financial support to ensure its future as a community asset. He suggested that he raised the matter as a topic for reflection and future discussion.
Aberdyfi Gasworks Conservation Project
The Clerk informed Council that the Trefeddion Terrace culvert project was taking longer than planned but that the widening and step construction into the conservation area was still part of the plan. The project will be featured in the Aberdyfi brochure for 2017
AGENDA ITEM 14
ITEMS FOR PRESS RELEASE
- Election open evening 28th February
- Allotment waiting list
- Thanks to Des
- Institute membership if space allows
- Expression of appreciation from Dave Williams and family
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.30pm