MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING OF ABERDYFI COMMUNITY COUNCIL HELD IN THE OFFICE IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, LITERARY INSTITUTE, ABERDYFI ON MONDAY, 20TH JANUARY 2020
Councillors Present :-
Cllr D Williams – Chairman
Cllr Brian Kelly
Cllr Dewi Owen
Cllr Megan Reynolds
Cllr Gareth Jones
Cllr James Bradbury-Willis
Cllr Sara Bradbury-Willis
Cllr Dai Owens
Cllr Mike Richards
AGENDA ITEM 1 – APOLOGIES
Cllrs Bob Tyrrell and James Bradbury-Willis
AGENDA ITEM 2 – CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
Aled Evans, Pennal Garden Services has obtained the appropriate NRW (Natural Resources Wales) licence and is now able to address the problem of garden rubbish disposal, enabling him to re-commence his work for Council.
Cllr Mike Richards confirmed that will stand down from Aberdyfi Community Council, effective April 30th, as he and Linda will not be in the village for large parts of the year as they are spending 4/5 months travelling around Europe.
The Chair reflected on a very successful Christmas for the village, with high visitor numbers, and took the opportunity to thank Cllr Kelly for all his work organising the New Year fireworks.
AGENDA ITEM 3 – RECEIVE AND CONFIRM THE MINUTES OF ORDINARY MEETING 16TH DECEMBER
Receive and confirm minutes of the ordinary Council meeting 16th December.
Proposed: Cllr B Kelly Seconded: Cllr S Bradbury Willis
AGENDA ITEM 4 – MATTERS ARISING
M/100 Clerk Vacancy
The clerk has prepared fresh copy for the vacancy which will appear in Rushlight and appropriate social media. The assistance from those who know better will be sought, perhaps Cllr James Bradbury Willis might consider assisting.
M/101 Penhelig Park Events
Good progress, the final straight and it is anticipated that the third week in February, if not before, will see the website ready for launch. Any councillors who would like to see the draft please feel free to pop in to see the Clerk.
M/72 Storage Unit
The Clerk spoke with Barry Davies last Thursday and he seems agreeable to the proposition. The Clerk informed him that we would be unable to proceed installation without his written permission. Costing approval an agenda item – see following.
Barry has since followed up with written approval.
M/107 Childrens’ Playground
Lisa Gardner has discussed the project with the Clerk, who has informed her that she needs to organise a committee, as representative of the community, to put together a fully costed proposal for submission to The National Lottery Community Fund. The Community Council can assist but not lead the application. Lisa was happy with that and we await the next stage. Cllr Sara Bradbury Willis asked that Lisa get in touch with her regarding the project. M/108 Picnic Island bridge.
The Clerk has discussed the matter with Barry Davies, Gwynedd Maritime, who is fully supportive of the initiative, having been given a full summary of the situation. He has indicated that there are funds available on a support basis. He is aware that Outward Bound have 30k and that Aberdyfi will also contribute. We still await the engineering and cost report from Network Rail. Clerk will pursue the matter.
M/111 Coastal Path Footpath
The clerk met with Rob Jones on 18th December and the steps will be rebuilt/repaired in the new financial year (2020/21) and he promised to cut the buddleia at the earliest opportunity. The blocked culvert repair is a matter of possible dispute between Highways and Coastal path. In the meantime remedial temporary repairs have been carried out by Rob Jones and his team.
M/117 Annual Public Meeting
The date for the village public meeting is confirmed for February 13th. See agenda item 5 for further discussion.
M/108 Lobster Pots
Cllr Richards wished to note that there will, in his view, fat too many lobster pots on the wharf. The Chair confirmed the Harbourmaster was still discussing the matter with the fishermen. Once again, the meeting was reminded by the Chair that Aberdyfi was still a working harbour. Cllr Owen noted that they will have to be moved once the wharf reconstruction work starts.
M/119 Planning Ty Bach
The Clerk has discussed this application with the architects and Snowdonia Planning. The understanding, after talking to Dafydd Tomos, is that the application has been approved subject to Planning Committee approval, possibly in March. He confirmed that this Council’s written objection has been lodged.
M/121 Village Welcome Signs
Cllr Kelly enquired about progress on the village welcome signs. The Clerk confirmed that the sigh had been refurbished and Leander are now working on the hoops. It is anticipated that the signs will be with us for installation by Geri Davies in the next few weeks.
M/123 Fencing on Corner of Station Road
Cllr Kelly requested that Aled Evans be thanked for clearing the weed growth from the fencing on the corner of Station Road, by the old telephone box.
AGENDA ITEM 5 – VILLAGE STORAGE UNIT
The Clerk confirmed that three quotes had been sought for the unit and after due consideration it was agree that the quote from S. Jones in Aldridge was the most cost effective and the Clerk is to liaise with all parties reference to unit siting and installation. Cllr Williams suggested installation of battery powered lighting, and Cllr Kelly offered to donate solar units to provide 12 volt charging on any such installation.
Proposed: Cllr B Kelly Seconded: Cllr S Bradbury Willis
AGENDA ITEM 6 – VILLAGE MAP
The Clerk advised Council that, if costs were approved, the village map could be updated for 2020. Cllr Richards suggested that the words ‘Village Map’ should be added to the from Cover. The cost of artwork amendments are quoted at 450.00, printing to be confirmed.
Proposed: Cllr M Richards Seconded: Cllr M Reynolds
AGENDA ITEM 7 – DYFI BRIDGE
The Chair noted that the long awaited New Dyfi Bridge project has been given the green light, regardless of a large percentage of local opinion having grave reservations regarding some aspects of the plans. Cllr Richards also wished to note that the costs are significantly greater than the originally indicated.
AGENDA ITEM 8 – BUDGET AND PRECEPT
The Budget for 2020/21 has been prepared by the Clerk and will be discussed and agreed with Finance Committee meeting in February 2020, in line with the following statement
‘To date, and up to January 2020, Council’s expenditure is marginally below budget and should prove acceptable to the external Auditors, BDO.’
The net income emanating from Gwynedd Council resulting from this Council’s 10% ‘commission’ from the main car park (£8662.12) will enable the Clerk to calculate an appropriate amount for permanent deposit to the reserve account for any ‘extraordinary’ future event.
The precept for 2020/21 has been calculated on the basis of an increase over last year’s precept (£34,955) by the forecasted rate of inflation for the year to January 2020, 2.7%. Therefore the precept for 2020/21 will be set at £36,796.00, an increase of £967.00.
The precept request will be confirmed with Dafydd Edwards, Gwynedd Head of Finance, by this Friday January 24th.
Proposed: Cllr G Jones Seconded: Cllr B Kelly
AGENDA ITEM 9 – 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 M Richards Seconded: Cllr M Reynolds
AGENDA ITEM 10 – RISK ASSESSMENT / CODE OF CONDUCT / REGISTER OF INTERESTS
The Risk Assessment, Code of Conduct and Register of Interests were formally adopted, unanimously, by Council. The Clerk issued an open invitation to view these documents at any time in the Council office.
AGENDA ITEM 11 – COUNCILLOR VACANCIES
The Clerk outlined the processes involved in advertising vacancies on Council and how the co-option process operates. The two vacancies, resulting from Cllr Richards standing down on April 30th, and Bryn Lloyd standing down during the Autumn will be advertised in Rushlight. Interested parties will be invited to contact the Clerk in the first instance for an informal discussion, followed by the forwarding of full CVs and invitation to attend interviews by full Council at the earliest feasible Council meeting.
The Chairman noted that if any member of the community wished for a full election process to be conducted then the Clerk will liaise with the Registration Officer Raymond Harvey. The Clerk will advise Council as and when applications are made.
AGENDA ITEM 12 – CLERK VACANCY
The Clerk outlined his fresh copy suggestions in light of the appalling (zero) response to the official copy style used in the Cambrian News. The new copy will be utilised in Rushlight and local social media (Facebook)
The Council approved the copy draft and the Clerk will proceed accordingly.
AGENDA ITEM 13 – DONATION REQUESTS
There have been two written requests for donations from the regular beneficiaries.
It is suggested that the following be considered, in line with 2019, bearing in mind that there is no request for brochure funding this year:
Wales Air Ambulance £200.00
Dail Dysynni £50.00
Meirionydd Young Farmers £100.00 see email in correspondence
This year’s Urdd £50.00 see email in correspondence
Is Council happy to donate £100 to Cancer Research, as last year, given Meiriona Davis’s continued support for the Food Festival, and that the Air Ambulance donation should be increased to £200.00.
Proposed: Cllr B Kelly Seconded: Cllr D Owen
AGENDA ITEM 14 – GWYNEDD COUNCIL REPORT
Cllr Dewi Owen attended a full Gwynedd Council meeting on 19th December 2029 and was pleased to confirm that there would be no change in Council Tax for the forthcoming financial year. Holiday homes will continue to be impacted by the 50% charge on holiday homes. However, with many registered as businesses, therefore exempt, the net gain is minimal (approximately £700,000).
There is a proposal to invest in £465,000 to install 84 vehicle charge points in public car parks. The details have yet to be confirmed.
It has been confirmed that there will no increase in financial cuts for the forthcoming financial year. Cllr Williams noted that local business rates were crippling many businesses in Aberdyfi and the area as a whole and requested Cllr Owen to communicate this to Gwynedd Council.
Although absent from the meeting, Cllr Bradbury Willis requested, by e-mail, that the following points be raised:
1. Gwynedd Council Notice Board – The cemetery’s notice board has become illegible due to the screen becoming brittle and foggy. It needs replacing.
2. Bryn Gwylan Wall – The wall behind St. Peter’s church which forms the car park for the residence of Bryn Gwylan, Church Street, is being over run with ivy. It needs cutting back. Cllr Dewi Owen was to address these matters and report back at the next Council meeting.
3. Footpath to Hillside Village – Big thanks to the team that cut back plants and repaired the steps. It is much better. A letter to Jerry Moore (if not already sent) is required to cut back the plants overhanging his wall that cover the light on the steep steps.
The Clerk will ensure that the team responsible for the work on Hillside Village path are made aware of this Council’s appreciation of the work carried out.
AGENDA ITEM 15 – PLANNING
NP5/50/715A Golwg y Môr, Corbett Lane, Aberdyfi, Aberdyfi
Alterations and extensions together with construction single storey garage and alterations to rear access
NP5/50/361A Christ the King RC Church, Aberdyfi
This application is an amendment to the original application which was approved in 2018. The simple amendment is for an additional building – a garage.
Cllr Kelly observed that there were other significant additional alterations.
AGENDA ITEM 16 – TREASURER’S REPORT
The Clerk noted that having taken ownership of the pay & display lease ACC will need to pay business rates, which he felt was small price to pay for a valuable asset.
Proposed: Cllr M Reynolds Seconded: Cllr M Richards
AGENDA ITEM 17 – COMMITTEE REPORTS
Meirionedd Area Committee
The Clerk attended the Meirionydd Area Committee meeting in Dolgellau
Trains are still a problem. Sunday services are operated by volunteers only and the plans to extend Sunday timetables are very optimistic given this state of affairs. Still a severe shortage of drivers and the promises of new carriages have been further delayed. Confirmation of eligibility of Aberdyfi playground project.
Local Government & Elections (Wales) Bill. The electoral cycle of community and principal council will change from four to five year terms.
AGENDA ITEM 18 – CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED
Welsh Government – Details of confirmation of new Dyfi Bridge
Cletwr Business Manager – Technical details of their EV charging facility. A general discussion followed and there was general agreement that the matter needed to progress in the context of the burgeoning impact of EV and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Rhian Cooper – Confirmation that Rhian Cooper and Eirlys Stoddart will take over the organising of the annual Aberdyfi Food Festival in August, if Council approves. Council unanimously agreed that Rhian and Eirlys should organise the event for 2020.
Dr Libby Andrews – Letter of thanks for the steps repair on ‘Coronary Hill’ just above Bryn Hyfryd.
Jane Mackenzie – e-mail confirmation of memorial bench purchase.
Gwynedd Barry Davies – Letter of consent for storage unit installation.
Urdd – Request for funding.
Gwynedd Council – Network Rail Conference meeting.
Meirionydd Young Farmers – Request for funding.
One Voice Wales – Response to Consultation on the Local Government & Elections (Wales) Bill.
Community Health Council – Press release regarding the backlog regarding eyecare provision in Wales.
Linda Richards – Linda Richards emailed Council expressing her concerns regarding her concerns over the new stone wall adjacent to the Gasworks project. The Clerk will attempt to obtain details of cost and reasons for a stone structure as opposed to a steel crash barrier. Cllr Owen said he would look into the matter and report back.
AGENDA ITEM 19 – PUBLICATIONS
AGENDA ITEM 20 – ITEMS FOR CONSIDERATION AT FUTURE MEETINGS
Training The Clerk attended a training session, by invitation, in Tywyn on January 15th, for Tywyn Councillors. The main topic of interest was Code of Conduct and Planning matters.
The session was conducted by Iwan Evans, Monitoring Officer for Gwynedd Council.
The Clerk felt it was very worthwhile evening. Iwan Evans suggested that Aberdyfi Community Council might benefit from such a session. After discussion it was agreed that the Clerk should contact the Monitoring Officer and arrange for a date in June, at which time the new Clerk should be in position and two new Councillors might also be in position.