CYNGOR CYMUNED LLANFAIR DYFFRYN CLWYD COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Minutes of a Community Council Meeting held at Neuadd Eleanor, Llanfair D C on Tuesday 2 May 2017 at 7.00 pm.
PRESENT – Councillors John Pugh [Chair], David Baker, Wini Davies, Jayne Mayers, Keith Moulsdale and Steve Whipp, together with the Clerk, Eirwen Godden.
IN ATTENDANCE – Councillor Hugh H Evans, OBE, Leader, Denbighshire County Council, together with 12 members of the public.
APOLOGIES – Councillors Tim Faire and Medwen Roberts
306 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – Councillors John Pugh and Keith Moulsdale with regard to matters in connection with the Neuadd Eleanor Management Committee. Both Councillors are trustees.
Minutes of a Community Council Meeting held at Neuadd Eleanor, Llanfair DC on 1 March 2017.
RESOLVED – The minutes were approved and signed by the Chair.
308 MATTERS ARISING
308.1 Minute Reference 289.1 Planning Application 20/2016/1137 Proposed Development of 63 Houses at Llanfair D C Reported – that a meeting had been held on 10 April 2017 between Community Council representatives and the developer. The Chair also met with the Planning Officer, Education and Property Division on 13 April when the Community Council’s concerns over pedestrian access and the open amenity were discussed. The County Council is in agreement that the pedestrian access through the existing village will be via the existing space between the lowest bungalow and the house in the south of the site. It was also felt that the original open space allocation was not accessible to the whole of the village. An option would be to split the present open space to allow the water attenuation tanks to remain at the north of the site and to provide a further open space at the new pedestrian access. This would necessitate the repositioning of Block A to the north.
The Chairman presented a sketch plan at the Community Council meeting showing a new layout option. Some members of the public present commented that some residents living near the proposed footpath would be affected. All issues raised have been forwarded to the Planning Authority, officers are still having dialogue with regard to issues, but Pure has given the Authority a deadline and intends to go to appeal if it is not met. The Leader of DCC stated the Community Council will have to have a position on the application; DCC officers will be deciding how to advise the Planning Committee; if Pure go to appeal, the grounds against approving the application need to be very positive and strong. A balance and compromise is needed otherwise the community will lose out. He added that if the matter goes to appeal the developer has the right to compensation.
RESOLVED – That follow up action be taken to press the Planning Authority for the latest consultation details as soon as possible.
Minute Reference 299.1 Llanfair D C Village Matters – The Clerk had contacted the County Council with regard to additional general waste bins for Bron y Clwyd, the crossroads towards Pwllglas, Graigfechan village and Pentrecelyn. Waste bins are no longer provided free of charge but the County Council can purchase and install new bins at a cost of approximately £500 each but the cost will have to be borne by the Community Council. There is also a charge of £25 per month per bin for emptying. There is no provision in the Community Council’s budget for the financial year 2017/18. Should the Council decide to go ahead then provision would have to be included in the precept budget for 2018/19.
RESOLVED – The Clerk to contact the County Council again on the matter and to invite Simon Billington, Highway Operations & Streetscene Manager [South], DCC to a future meeting.
Minute Reference 301.3 Cenotaph Llanfair D C – Due to workload pressures a second stage application has not been completed for submission to the War Memorials Trust. It was proposed that a task and finish group be formed to undertake the work. Members will have to decide what is needed, such as railings or bollards and chains. Research is also needed before more names can be added to the cenotaph.
Minute Reference 300.3 Planning Application 20/2016/1224 Change of Use of Agricultural Land to Form an Extension to the Residential Curtilage of Erw Fair, Llanfair D C Reported – that the application had been turned down and that the County Council will serve an enforcement notice to remove the caravan in due course.
309.1 Accessible Venue for Community Council Meetings – Email dated 28 April 2017 from a member of the public about access. It was explained that, for the most part, the main hall at Neuadd Eleanor is booked most evenings from Monday to Thursday. There are plans for making improvements to the hall but these are subject to funding becoming available. Suggestions were put forward ranging from changing the time to say 5 pm, to conducting the first part in the main hall and then retiring to the room behind the stage for the second part. However, a meeting earlier than 7 pm could make it difficult for working people to attend.
RESOLVED – That in future Council meetings are held in other accessible venues across the community on a rotational basis [for example, Pentrecelyn, Llanfair, Genus Centre, Llysfasi]. The Clerk was asked to make enquiries locally starting with finding a suitable alternative venue in Llanfair for the forthcoming meeting to be held on 17 May.
309.2 Denbighshire County Council – details of the following documents had been sent to Members before the meeting:
[a] Consultation: Denbighshire’s Learner Transport Policy [13 March to 30 April] – Relevant documents available on www.denbighshire.gov.uk/consultations
[c] Email from Tom Booty Re New Asset Management Strategy to replace the Corporate Management Strategy – https://www.denbighshire.gov.uk/en/yourcouncil/strategies-plans-and-policies/asset-management/asset-management-strategy.aspx
[d] Active Travel Act – Integrated Network Map [INM] – The County Council is consulting on future provision for walking and cycling routes in the County – responses are required by 28 May. https://www.denbighshire.gov.uk/en/resident/parking-roads-and-travel/cycling-and-walking/active-travel/active-travel-act-integrated-network-map-inm.aspx
RESOLVED – That the documents be received and Members of the Council as well as the community at large respond direct.
309.3 Conwy & Denbighshire Public Services Board – Invitation to a Series of Events 8, 13, 20 June – Optic Centre, St Asaph Business Park – Re Well-Being Themes – Environment, Social, Economic & Culture and Community Resilience – www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/digwyddiadau-dewch-ach-syniad-bring-your-idea-events
RESOLVED – As this is an important opportunity to feed into the process of integrating community plans with other plans put forward, coupled with the requirements of the Future Generations Act, approval was given for Mr Steve Whipp to attend on behalf of the Community Council.
310.1 Feedback from Pre-Application Community Consultation Event held on 28 March 2017 at Llandudno – Councillor Keith Moulsdale attended the event but felt that even though the new pre-application process is meant to speed up planning applications, it has not helped matters at Llanfair D C over the proposed development to build new houses. The process has been ongoing for twelve months but it was acknowledged that the developer had done more than was required during the consultation period. For future reference the whole community, not just a notice and notifying immediate neighbours, should be informed right from the beginning of any pre-application process.
310.2 Planning Applications – Details of the following applications had been sent to Councillors to enable agreed responses to be made by the required deadlines:
Application 20/2016/1095 Bryn Rhedyn, Bryneglwys, Corwen – The Council’s response sent on 29 March 2017 raised questions about the validity of policies quoted and confusion over the contents of the design and access statement in the application. Members, however, supported the application to save an existing old building in the countryside, but the application had to be correct. Mr Paul Griffin, Planning Officer, wrote on 25 April 2017 to say that he had been advised that the building had been demolished prior to the application being determined, the applicant has not gained anything from the accidental demolition and that the County Council must consider whether the loss of the structure in this way represents an abandonment of the site or not. The applicant had purchased the dwelling on the understanding that there was a lawful residential use and planning permission to renovate. His intention was to live on site in a caravan while undertaking the work leading to an opinion that there was a lawful dwelling until its accidental demolition. In conclusion, it appears that the building that was demolished was not structurally sound and neither was it efficient in terms of energy and water.
RESOLVED – Members still supported the proposal for a replacement dwelling in principle subject to the application complying with current design and access requirements, the Chair speaking with Planners and production of the proposed dwelling.
Application 20/2016/1242 Land adjacent to Paradwys, Graigfechan – Members concluded that the Community Council’s original comments still stood [minute reference 280.2] together with the following additional comments on the amended plans:
– adoption of comments raised by the AONB [new path, hedge reinforced with new planting not timber panels]
– confirmation that the end of the cul de sac is a ransom strip into the other piece of land and that the width is good enough for the final estate
– the plans are inadequate to assess the height of houses against the existing ground
– DCC’s Housing Needs Assessment should be taken into consideration in relation to the types of housing proposed, that is, a mix of housing types and affordable housing which reflect the need in the area. Also, that the Planners should look at the whole site to assess the affordable housing process.
RESOLVED – The Clerk to contact the Planning Authority regarding outstanding queries raised in the Community Council’s response.
Application 20/2017/0234 Caravan Park, Llanbenwch, Llanfair D C – Members welcomed the opportunity to visit the site on 9 February 2017 following which detailed comments were sent to the agent [minute reference 300.1]. A response on the full application was sent on 5 April 2017. Members noted that their suggestions/concerns had been addressed in the main with regard to access and site arrangements; dog walking area [but connection to existing footpaths should be considered]; and lighting details had been provided. Other considerations to be looked at include – a further survey to provide optimum layout, hook ups for caravans are not shown for all pitches; ensuring that chemical toilet waste disposal arrangements are kept separate to the septic tank; no music unless through licensing; and maximum stay durations as well as stated times of the year when no touring vans will be present.
311 HIGHWAYS & ENVIRONMENT
311.1 Traffic on the A525 at Llanfair Village – Reported – That traffic is a growing issue and reference was made to a copy of the traffic census for the area, that the site has been assessed by the Police for Go Safe purposes and the local speed watch group will organise a visit/checks. It was noted that Mr Mark Musgrave, Planning and Protection Services, DCC, had proposed white lines on the road from the Wrexham direction. A suggestion had been put forward to improve lighting and to move a bollard in the middle of the village to widen the pavement to make it safer for pedestrians – these measures have been actioned.
RESOLVED – The Clerk to write to DCC to enquire whether more detailed traffic census data was available.
311.2 Obstruction on Public Footpath – Councillor Wini Davies reported that she had been informed by a member of the public that an electric fence was obstructing a public footpath on land owned by Llysfasi College in the proximity of Pentrecelyn Hall.
RESOLVED – The Clerk to contact Llysfasi College to voice the Council’s concerns.
311.3 Eyarth Bridge – A member of the public reported that Eyarth Bridge had been damaged, possibly by a heavy goods vehicle. Questions were raised about when the weight restriction will be applied.
RESOLVED – The Clerk to contact Denbighshire County Council to enquire about the weight restriction.
311.4 Speed Restriction Signs – Reported – That the 30 mph sign in Pentrecelyn is to be extended further down the road.
312 COMMUNITY MATTERS – All matters were dealt with under other headings.
PART 2 – Confidential Items – Exclusion of Press and Public
313 FINANCIAL MATTERS
313.1 Review of Standing Orders – Reported – That even though the Council should meet bimonthly, additional meetings had to be convened during the last twelve months [10 instead of the usual 6] to deal with an increasing number of items for consultation/decision. It was noted that this had had a knock on effect on both Councillors’ and the Clerk’s workload.
RESOLVED – [a] The general consensus was to change to meeting every month on the first Monday of the month at 7 pm and [b] the decision stands adjourned without discussion to the next meeting.
313.2 Update on Internal and External Audit Process – A copy of a letter dated 20 April 2017 from the Wales Audit Office was distributed at the meeting, the content of which was noted. The Auditor General for Wales has published an annual report setting out the overall findings from the audits of all town and community councils in Wales. These reports highlighted systemic weaknesses in community councils’ financial management and governance arrangements. http://www.audit.wales/publication/financial-management-and-governance-community-councils-2015-16
Following consultation and extensive publicity over the last three to four years, the Auditor General changed the audit approach for community councils for 2015-16 to assist in addressing weaknesses. This approach applies to all councils regardless of income and expenditure. Furthermore, the Auditor General’s future governance themes for community councils will broadly follow a four year plan to include, inter alia, effectiveness of internal audit, use of reserves, compliance with standing orders, use of s137 LGA 1972 arrangements for making payments, employment of staff and well-being of future generations.
The Clerk reported that the 2016/17accounts and other documents were taken to the internal auditor on 27 April and will be ready for picking up again on 11 May. As part of this process the Community Council is required to provide electors with the opportunity to inspect the accounts and other documents before the external audit and this must be advertised prior to the availability period. The notice must be displayed from 15 May to 28 May 2017. The accounts must then be made available for 20 working days from 30 May to 26 June. The annual return and supporting documentation approved by full Council must be submitted to the external auditor by 27 June.
313.3 Summary of Income & Expenditure for the period
[a] 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 [b] Summary of Accounts for the year
The Clerk submitted a financial statement for the Community and Business Accounts covering this period. Members were advised that the balance in the Community Account as at 31 March 2017 was £620,96 and £1022.49 in the Business Account.
RESOLVED – That the 2016/2017 accounts be approved and a summary placed on the Community Council website along with the minutes for the meeting in due course.
313.4 Payment of Accounts/Invoices
RESOLVED – That payment be made as follows:
Renewal of Data Protection Registration Fee – £35.00
313.5 Requests for Financial Aid – Ysgol Pentrecelyn – towards the cost of swimming, a defibrillator, and travelling to the National Urdd Eisteddfod in May to compete as a Dawnsio Gwerin group. It was reported that local schools are in the process of arranging a cluster meeting to discuss fundraising towards the cost of defibrillators.
RESOLVED – That a decision be deferred until after the Council elections and that money for defibrillators in schools be dealt with as a separate item to general funding requests.
314 ASSET REGISTER & RISK MANAGEMENT
Copies of the Asset Register and Risk Management Report was distributed to Members for updating. Exact details with reference to the length of churchyard wall for which the Council is responsible for maintenance is to be added as follows: ‘The length of wall from the public house to the bottom of the village hall; the wall from the public house, including the railings, to Church Mews; the wall adjacent to Church Mews towards the Bro Gynan Council Houses and a short section along the Council House gardens towards the village hall.’ The Council is also responsible for the cost of grass cutting around the Church. It was agreed that the two speed guns purchased with grant funding during the year be donated to the Llanfair and Graigfechan Speedwatch Group [Messrs Steve Whipp and M Ingham].
315 DATE OF NEXT MEETING – WEDNESDAY 17 MAY 2017 AT 7 PM
[Venue to be confirmed].