MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING OF ABERDYFI COMMUNITY COUNCIL HELD IN THE OFFICE IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, LITERARY INSTITUTE, ABERDYFI ON MONDAY, 23RD SEPTEMBER 2019
Councillors Present :-
Cllr D Williams – Chairman
Cllr Dewi Owen
Cllr Bryn Lloyd
Cllr Brian Kelly
Cllr Bob Tyrrell
Cllr Megan Reynolds
Cllr G Jones
Cllr M Richards
AGENDA ITEM 1 – APOLOGIES
Cllrs J Bradbury Willis, S Bradbury Willis, and Dai Owens
AGENDA ITEM 2 – CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
Cllr Williams noted that the village had experienced, by and large, good weather for the season and that he understood that local businesses had experienced brisk trading as a result.
He pointed out that it was already ‘that’ time of year and the Council Xmas dinner venue needed to be agreed and booked in plenty of time. Adopting the usual protocol of sharing favours equally, it was agreed that it was the turn of the Penhelig Arms. The Clerk is to book the venue and advise of details in due course.
Cllr Richards noted that the guests at Cartref over the summer had praised both the food and service at the Penhelig Arms.
It was agreed that Thursday 19th would be the best option.
AGENDA ITEM 3 – RECEIVE AND CONFIRM MINUTES OF ORDINARY MEETING 15TH JULY
It was agreed that the minutes were a true and accurate record of the ordinary meeting of 15th July.
Proposed: Cllr B Tyrrell Seconded: Cllr M Reynolds
AGENDA ITEM 4 – MATTERS ARISING
M/172 Toilets Revenue
Our contact at Gwynedd Council with regard to public toilet issues is no longer Bethan Roberts. Her position at Public Toilet Partnership Scheme matters has been filled by Amanda Murray. The Clerk has contacted her office to introduce her to Aberdyfi matters. She was out of the office – a message has been left. The Clerk is to pursue the matter of toilet revenue issues from season ticket holders, raised by Cllr Tyrrell.
Cllr Owen felt that Gwynedd should have pressure applied regarding investment in the toilets in the light of the large numbers of users that have been recorded in the year 2018/19. In view of Welsh Governments stance on how important they feel that public toilets are in the economic and social well-being of Wales, further discussions with Gwynedd regarding the future of our toilets would be in order. Cllr Jones noted that the toilets at Traesfynedd have been closed for some time and that it was unacceptable when a public concert was being held in the vicinity.
The Clerk will continue to note the counter readings this year.
The Clerk has costings for the cleaning and decorating of the public toilets at the Neuadd Dyfi and liaised with Alun Wynn Jones at Gwynedd. He has given permission to proceed and suggested some time after 3rd November. The keys can be accessed via Cai Rhys Jones at Dolgellau.
M/176 Aberdyfi Welcome Signs
The signs have been detached and are in the storeroom downstairs. The Clerk will shortly be dispatching to Leander Signs in Buxton. It was agreed that the Clerk will deliver the signs to Buxton for fuel expenses.
M/21 Cliffside Shelter
The Clerk still awaits Alan’s working practice details. With the season end the matter will be pursued.
M/29 Poo Bins
It is understood that the extra poo bin at Pont y Brics has been effective and is being emptied by Gwynedd, as arranged. The poo bin at the Cemetery car park is in adequate, another is required.
M/53 Greener Tywyn
Greener Tywyn used the Playing Field and marquee on the Sunday after the Food Festival, free of charge. After the event no thanks were offered but they did complain about the lack of hay bales. They were removed by Tom Jones, quite correctly, as they were damaged and he had supplied them free of charge to the Festival. Should the community pursue this policy for the future, and if so, make the offer only to the people of the village. Cllr Tyrrell felt that some nominal charge should be levied and that protocols should be applied. Cllr Kelly felt that perhaps it would be prudent not to make hasty judgments at this stage.
M/56 Picnic Island Bridge
The Clerk is meeting with Network Rail on Thursday 26th September, at Picnic Island Bridge to discuss the bridge renewal. The Clerk had, in the meantime, liaised with a civil engineer acquaintance who confirmed that a prefabricated structure could be easily be dropped in place over a number of hours, reducing considerable the cost of installation. The meeting on
26th September, on site, with Network Rail’s James O’Gorman and a bridge engineer, together with Al Crisp from Outward Bound will assess the problem with a view to finding an equitable solution for all concerned. It was agreed that the bridge closure was impacting very negatively for all concerned, with the safety issues of paramount interest. It was also noted that the closure was also creating Network Rail problems regarding access for their maintenance teams.
The Clerk also confirmed that James O’Gorman will also advise on how best to address the issue of access to the proposed cyclepath project, in a manner acceptable to Network Rail.
The Clerk has issued an invitation to Huw Evans to speak at a Council meeting. He has responded with appreciation but he lives a 2 hour drive away and has a young family. He has declined the invitation but extends his thanks. He suggest that it there are any questions regarding the project, which currently is well ahead of schedule, please forward accordingly and he would be happy to respond. Also note, CCG is to be renamed ‘ADRA’
(home) from 8th October.
Cllr Richards noted that the hedge alongside the main road adjacent to the development required cutting back, the Clerk is to organise.
Cllr Richards noted that the litter bin adjacent to the bus stop opposite the ADRA housing development seemed to have been removed, following the Food Festival weekend.
M/61 Snowdonia National Park
A reminder that the annual meeting in the Neuadd Dyfi is to be held on Thursday 3rd October. The Clerk needs to know tonight how many Councillors will be able to attend to confirm numbers with Snowdonia tomorrow.
AGENDA ITEM 5 – CLERK VACANCY
Discussion and approval for job advert. The recommended hourly rate, after Clerk’s consultation with One Voice Wales, was agreed at £14.20. Hours 10.00 to 14.00 three days a week. Tuesday to Thursday, plus attendance at Council meetings on Mondays.
The Clerk is to book the advertisement accordingly.
AGENDA ITEM 6 – INSTALLATION OF GOALPOST ON VILLAGE PLAYING FIELD
Cllr Lloyd confirmed that option 2 of the suggested list was the best – the 3.66m x 1.22m ‘Junior’ Goalpost, without a net. There are a pair in the package, one to be kept as a backup. It was agreed that the Clerk should proceed with the purchase of the equipment as discussed.
Proposed: Cllr Owen Seconded: Cllr Kelly
AGENDA ITEM 7 – PENHELIG PARK EVENTS – THE FUTURE
Cllr Tyrrell declared an interest, living adjacent to the park.
The Council is to agree a protocol for all events to be held on Penhelig Park and then to be forwarded to Barry Davies. The Clerk and Cllr Lloyd had an impromptu meeting with Barry Davies in Aberdyfi and he indicated he was happy for this Council to provide a draft proposal which would then form the basis of a new contract for Gwynedd to adopt.
The matter was discussed at length and the Clerk will draft a proposal for Gwynedd in accordance with Council’s recommendations, for full approval before forwarding.
19.53 – Councillor Lloyd joined the meeting.
It was agreed that the Clerk should draft a proposal for consideration and clearance by all Council, via email.
AGENDA ITEM 8 – STORAGE UNIT
Discuss and approve details of cost and specification for village storage container for placing on the fishermens’ compound, subject to official permission from Gwynedd Council. The Clerk outlined the potential costs by using Lyon Containers from Cannock, to be used as part of a tender process seeking prices from three suppliers. It was also suggested that any chosen container, 20ft x 10ft, should be lined to prevent condensation damage to any archive paperwork. The Clerk to ensure that any containers chose should include appropriate feet for standings.
Proposed: Cllr Jones Seconded: Cllr Kelly
AGENDA ITEM 9 – PLAYING FIELD TREE FELLING / CARVING
There is a suggestion that the trees to be felled on the playing fields, after recommendation on health and safety grounds from Snowdonia Tree specialist Rhydion Roberts, could possibly be made into tree carvings, featuring either an osprey or an otter as the subject, as an amenity and tourist attraction for the community.
The Clerk outlined the costs for felling, and carving. It was felt by Cllr Richards that using both trees for this purpose may be excessive, from both a cost point of view and perhaps being seen as ‘over the top’. It was agreed that this was a sensible suggestion, Cllr Lloyd felt that the idea would add something different to that end of the village, especially in the context of the increasing use of the playing field. Cllr Kelly was concerned about how such carvings might deteriorate. The Clerk said that carvings in Macra Carpa should be treated just once a year with Dane Oil preservative.
Another aspect of such an installation would be the planting of five hardwood trees on the playing field, as an avenue, along the Station Road boundary. Such plantings have been promised as a donation from Snowdonia.
The Clerk will request photographs from the artist and revised costs.
AGENDA ITEM 10 – VILLAGE BROCHURE 2020
The Chairman noted that the matter was difficult to discuss in the absence of Cllr James Bradbury Willis. There will be an AA&I meeting however in early October, to discuss the matter, and what lessons are to be learned from the entire production process.
Cllr Richardson had reservations about the matter of free advertisements, which he felt was not a great idea.
The Clerk pointed out that the village map already had all businesses to hand.
The Chairman concluded the matter by referring Councillors to the forthcoming AA&I meeting to discuss the matter further and in greater detail.
AGENDA ITEM 11 – GWYNEDD COUNCIL REPORT
Cllr Owen had nothing to report as Gwynedd Council had been in summer recess.
There was some work to be conducted by Network Rail on Copperhill Street. Cllr Owen confirmed that the main road from Aberdyfi to Machynlleth, for a stretch of about one mile or so, was to be resurfaced. The work may take up to 30 days. Delays are to be expected.
Cllr Jones asked whether the community gang is still working as the footpath and steps opposite to Literary Institute needs attention, as the buddleia is blocking the right of way.
Cllr Kelly noted that the Station Road corner needs clearing of weeds to improve the sighting line for vehicles exiting Station road. Clerk to instruct Tom Trefeddian.
The Chairman noted that the Nantiesin car park needs swift attention, as the Ivy and Buddleia is taking over. The Clerk to instruct Gwynedd accordingly.
Cllr Richards enquired about the SSSI area adjacent to the children’s playground, which he feels is suffering from an invasive plant taking over. He feels the problem needs registering with the appropriate authority. Cllr Owen said he would raise the matter at the next Harbour meeting at the Neuadd Dyfi.
To indicate an alternative view regarding the condition of the car park, Cllr Williams read an email, from a visitor hailing from St Dogmaels, praising this Council for the imaginative way the car park is presented.
Cllr Owen took the opportunity to say much the planting initiative has been praised by visitors to Aberdyfi and also the local community.
AGENDA ITEM 12 – PLANNING
Discussion of Craig y Lanch development.
No re-application has been lodged and once again Council is being asked to support the project.
The Clerk confirmed that he had advised the applicants that this Council cannot pass comment or support the application until such time that the application to Snowdonia has been made and forwarded to this Council for discussion as matter of procedure.
AGENDA ITEM 13 – TREASURER’S REPORT
The current finances are in fine fettle and a combination of revenue income from the main car park, Neuadd Dyfi car park, and various other sources, and precept has resulted in the Council being cash rich.
The Clerk is in the process of liaising with BDO Auditors over a number of small matters but it has been a clean audit overall.
Proposed: Cllr Lloyd Seconded: Cllr Kelly
AGENDA ITEM 14 – ONLINE BANKING
Clerk confirmed that he had created a protocol which would ensure that strict procedures are now in place, enabling payments only to made by attendance in the office for payments by Clerk in the presence of Chairman and/or Vice Chairman, depending on the amount to be paid.
Proposed: Cllr Lloyd Seconded: Cllr Reynolds
AGENDA ITEM 15 – COMMITTEE REPORTS
Cllr Kelly confirmed that the Caravan Committee meeting is to to be held tomorrow, Tuesday 24th September. Cllr Richards noted that in his opinion some areas of the caravan site needed attention, some signs were dilapidated and that the site perhaps might benefit from some investment.
AGENDA ITEM 16 – CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED
Modern Government Conference – Effective Responses to Complaints in the Public Sector 28th November.
Dr Libby Andrews – Thank you letter to Cllrs Lloyd and Tyrrell.
Cllr Richards – Email observing the use of inappropriate areas of the village for parking.
Gwynedd Council – Invitation to anyone who may be interested in being and Electoral canvasser for this year’s annual canvass.
One Voice Wales – The Meirionydd Area Committee meeting has been deferred from 11th September to 15th October.
Meirionydd Young Farmers – Thank you letter for the Council’s donation.
Snowdonia Nat. Park Town and Community Council Meeting – Thursday 3rd October, Neuadd Dydi, Aberdyfi 6.30 to 8.30.
Eluned Morgan – Eluned Morgan newsletter, directed to all Councillors.
Mike Searle – Letter of complaint about the Neuadd Dyfi car park.
Gwynedd Council – Barry Davies Penhelig Park events.
Gourmet Eggs – Letter of thanks and appreciation – Food Festival.
Dyfi Dogs – Poo bags payment.
Marian Rainbow – Thank you letter.
AGENDA ITEM 17 – PUBLICATIONS
Clerks & Council Direct
The Clerk magazine
AGENDA ITEM 18 – ITEMS FOR CONSIDERATION AT FUTURE MEETINGS
The maintenance of the rose bushes adjacent to the Neuadd Dyfi toilets
Gwynedd’s Alun Wyn Jones has given this council permission to carry on. We just need to organise a team to carry out the work.
AGENDA ITEM 19 – ITEMS FOR RUSHLIGHT