MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING OF THE SAID COUNCIL HELD IN THE OFFICE IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, LITERARY INSTITUTE, ABERDYFI ON MONDAY, 25TH JULY 2016
Present were :- Cllr B Lloyd Chairman
Councillors :- B Bates
AGENDA ITEM 1- APOLOGIES
Apologies received from Cllrs. G Jones, D Richardson, G Pugh, C Fowles and G Davies
AGENDA ITEM 2 – CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
Cllr Lloyd observed that village communications were inadequate, especially in light of the recent demise of the ATC, and that some events were being missed by visitors and villagers alike. Perhaps the solution to this problem was a matter which could be driven by the Community Council.
Baroness Morgan of Ely had visited Aberdyfi to discuss the initiatives within the village which had been brought to her attention. In particular she had expressed her enthusiasm to help with the Aberdyfi enterprise Trust Big Lottery application.
AGENDA ITEM 3 – ORDINARY MEETING 27TH JUNE
It was agreed that the minutes were a true and accurate record of the ordinary meeting.
PROPOSED by Cllr Bates and SECONDED by Cllr Williams
AGENDA ITEM 4 – MATTERS ARISING
Cllr Reynolds suggested that a notice by the bin on car park might be a good place for a ‘do not feed the gulls’ sign.
The Clerk had spoken to Mark Mortimer regarding the Pont y Brics dog poo bin and a new one has since been installed, which will be emptied on a fortnightly basis.
C/M155/(21.03.16) Dogs on the Playing Field
The ‘dogs prohibited’ signs have finally arrived from Gwynedd Streetscene and the Clerk will arrange for their installation on the playing field.
D/M155/(21.03.16) RNLI Safety Issues and Beach Safety
Cllr Williams informed Council that temporary rip tide warning signs are to be installed by Harbourmaster Will Stockford at a number of beach locations for this summer season. Permanent signs will be installed in time for the 2017 season.
E/M28/(16.05.16) Storm Drains
Cllr Richardson reported that the drains in the village had not been cleared by the gully team the last time they were in the village, as they were not allowed to do so during the tourist season! Ieuan Richards for Gwynedd Highways has promised to address the issue by the mid September.
F/M43/(27.06.16) Annual Return
The Clerk has been asked by the auditors to address a few questions regarding the audit. They want a copy of last year’s return as they did not receive one from the previous auditor, why have staff costs decreased by 12% since last year, could we provide a trial balance, provide a full set of minutes for the month in which the precept application was agreed, and forward a risk assessment.
Cllr Owen observed that Council will need to create budgets for the next year’s audit, which the Clerk agreed was an acceptable proposal and will be addressed.
The Clerk expressed his concern that these queries would impact on auditor’s costs. Cllr Owen suggested that the Clerk speak to One Voice Wales for advice. Cllr Richards recognised the process as one he had been involved with in his career. The Clerk will respond to these queries by the end of the week.
G/M44/(27.06.16) Code of Conduct
Cllr Richards asked whether the Clerk had a copy of the latest Code of Conduct for him to peruse. The Clerk had a hard copy which he was to photocopy for Cllr Richards as he had been unable to source from the Gwynedd Council web site.
AGENDA ITEM 5 – OMBUDSMAN CORRESPONDENCE
The Clerk has responded to the Ombudsman’s first letter of reference to the letter of complaint about the Clerk from Mr Iwan Edgar of Pwllheli and asks Council for guidance regarding the next response (as per e-mails circulated to all Councillors).
The Chairman read the Ombudsman’s response, which suggested that the Clerk should make apologies to the gentleman involved, as per the guidance provided and that the matter can be closed.
Cllr Reynolds felt that if the matter can be settled as per instructed it would be a good idea to do so. The Clerk indicated his annoyance at the manner in which the Ombudsman had handled the complaint but accepted that he should respond accordingly in the interests of this Council’s reputation.
Council agreed unanimously to address the main points raised but also to express frustration at Mr Edgar’s reluctance to communicate with the Clerk in English in order that the communication process could have progressed more quickly and efficiently.
AGENDA ITEM 6 – ABERDYFI PUBLIC TOILETS
The Chairman outlined the current situation regarding the public toilet closure programme.
Gwynedd Council want a £6000.00 contribution, from Aberdyfi Community Council in order that the toilets in Aberdyfi may be kept open for 2017. Cllr Williams asked whether there was a definitive list of closures, which there is not at this moment. Cllr Lloyd noted that if the Council was to pay the £6000.00, it would have to come from precept increase or other sources. Cllr Williams also observed that the issue was a political issue of significant proportions. The Clerk informed the meeting that he was meeting architect Dafyff Tomos at the toilets with a view to submitting a capital plan and designs which could then submitted for grant funding. There was some question over the real costs of running the toilets, as opposed to those provided.
Cllr Owen felt strongly that this Council should not agree at this stage to pay the £6000.00, under duress. He noted that the Pwllheli toilets had been taken over and the revenues generated more than covered the costs to run the facility.
The Council agreed to correspond with Gwynedd and that the time scales did not allow this Council to discuss with the community the prospect of increased precept cost.
AGENDA ITEM 7 – GWYNEDD COUNCIL REPORT
Cllr Owen requested that the Clerk write a letter of congratulation and thanks to Brighter Foods in Tywyn on their continuing success and the benefit to our community.
Cllr Owen had met, at the Royal Welsh Show, Sophie Howe, Regeneration Officer for the Welsh Assembly, and had a brief to examine the problems of the elderly in wales. When informed of Aberdyfi’s plans with regard to the old school building, through the Aberdyfi Enterprise Trust, she expressed great interest and requested to be kept informed of progress, particularly in light of the imminent Big Lottery decision.
The dominant topic of interest at the Royal Welsh Show was the impact of the decision to leave the EU. It was generally agreed that the exit will be completed by 2019. The main concern was how Brexit would impact on EU funded projects, such as the Aberdyfi Wharf project.
Cllr Richards noted that there had been discussions in the press, driven by Ken Skates AM, who represents the constituency of Clwyd South and is Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, about how this part of Wales could best connect with the Midlands ‘Powerhouse’, and posed the question of how we can plan to take advantage of this opportunity. It was agreed that this was an important strategic issue and one which should be given much thought, and that we should open and maintain ongoing discussions with Ken Skates. If the Lottery application is successful it would offer an opportunity to raise the profile of Aberdyfi, in the context of trade and commerce for the future.
Cllr Williams expressed his despondence, in the context of the cutbacks, at the prospect of having to raise taxes in just a different manner, by raising precepts to pay for local services.
Cllr Bates asked Cllr Owen whether anything can be done about the overhanging trees on the stretch of road by Rhowniar. Cllr Owen had raised the issue with Tywyn Town Council.
AGENDA ITEM 8 – PLANNING
Appeal The Old Tannery, Aberdyfi
Shepherd’s Hut change of use to holiday let
APPEAL AGAINST SNOWDONIA NATIONAL PARK DECISION IS ALLOWED
AGENDA ITEM 9 – TREASURER’S REPORT
The Treasurer’s report for June was accepted and minuted as a true record
PROPOSED by Cllr Richards SECONDED by Cllr Reynolds
It was agreed that the £13.86 raised at the May Fun Run should be lodged in the Commando account.
AGENDA ITEM 10 – COMMITTEE REPORTS
There no committee reports this month
It was noted that no one attended the Snowdonia meeting at the Neuadd Dyfi.
AGENDA ITEM 11 – CORRESPONDENCE
Gwynedd Streetscene Salt bins proposal – charges for forthcoming winter
Snowdonia National Park Eryri Development Plan Revision Review Report. Reminder that any responses to the report must be lodged by 4.30pm on 30th September
NatWest Bank Advising that with the very low interest rates we may be charged interest on credit balances on our Council accounts
AGENDA ITEM 12
AGENDA ITEM 13
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Willmot Dixon Cllr Lloyd outlined Willmot Dixon plans to fund some regeneration projects around the village, in addition to paying rental to base their CCG stock maintenance project at the old school. Candidate projects include Penhelyg shelter, finger posts, goalposts and sign for the playing fields, playground installation, donation to Arts Society and financial assistance with school maintenance programme.
There is an e-mail from GL Jones regarding possible picnic table choices. Council agreed that the toadstools installation was the most appropriate.
Beach Slipway Cllr Reynolds had stopped someone removing slate from the derelict slipway from the slipway opposite St Peter’s Church. The incident was reported to the harbourmaster.
Bank holiday promotion Cllr Williams asked whether the Bank Holiday events were to be promoted. Cllr Lloyd said he would check with Avril Richards what the situation was.
Beach fireworks Cllr Richards asked whether the recent fireworks on the beach had been set up with or without permission. He had been approached by a number of local people who felt that at least notice of such activity should be given, particularly for people with dogs.
Speeding Cllr Richards again pointed out the speeding along the stretch of road between the post office and the Trefeddian was becoming a serious, ongoing issue.
It was agreed that further discussions with the police were required
Re-cycling Cllr Richards expressed concern about the lack of nearby re-cycling facility.
Community Investment Fund Confirmation that funding up to £2000 is available for local groups, (not Community Councils) such as charities or event organisers. Clerk has the document as forwarded by Iestyn Pritchard
Devolved powers In the absence of a Council meeting in August, Council agreed that the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Clerk were given powers to act on Council’s behalf over the next eight weeks.
AGENDA ITEM 17 – ITEMS FOR THE PRESS/RUSHLIGHT
- Bank Holiday
- Food Festival
- Speeding – Take care
- Willmot Dixon
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.45pm