Minutes of Meeting November 2nd, 2016

CYNGOR CYMUNED   LLANFAIR DYFFRYN CLWYD   COMMUNITY COUNCIL

Minutes of a Community Council Meeting held at Neuadd Eleanor, Llanfair D C on Wednesday 2 November 2016 at 7.00 pm.

PRESENT – Councillors John Pugh [Chair], Steve Whipp [Vice-Chair], David Baker, Dennis Edwards, Tim Faire, Rosanne Jarvis, Jayne Mayers and Keith Moulsdale.  Eirwen Godden, Clerk.

IN ATTENDANCE – Residents Tim Cook, A Edwards and David Greenhalgh

Part 1

 APOLOGIES –   Councillors Wini Davies and Medwen Roberts

263  DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST     None

264  MINUTES

 Minutes of Community Council Meetings held at Neuadd Eleanor on 7 September and 25 October 2016.

RESOLVED – The minutes were approved and signed by the Chair.

265  MATTERS ARISING

 243.2  Caravan at Erw Fair Llanfair D C

Adam Turner, DCC’s Planning and Compliance Officer advised that no retrospective planning application had been made to date and that he proposed to give the alleged contravener an extension of 14 days. If no application was received by 27 October then consideration would be given to serving an enforcement notice which would demand the removal of the caravan from the land.

253.1  Council Vacancy

It was confirmed that Councillor Rosanne Jarvis had signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office form and received copies of Standing Orders, Financial Regulations & Risk Assessment and Members’ Code of Conduct.

 253.2  DCC Focus Group Meeting held on 22 September 2016

Councillor Keith Moulsdale reported that the meeting was interesting and centred on improving matters generally in various communities.  The Clerk reported that an email had been sent by DCC’s Strategic Planning Team on 26 October 2016 thanking all participants for their contributions.  A report will be produced and circulated in due course.  A good range of themes had emerged, including the environment, housing and the importance of communicating well with communities.  This information will be used to agree options for priorities for Denbighshire’s next Corporate Plan.

253.3  Commuted Funding

Councillor John Pugh reported that the Neuadd Eleanor Management Committee would be submitting an application for funding.  Ysgol Pentrecelyn has also expressed an interest in applying.

266  CORRESPONDENCE

266.1  Council Elections – Letter from DCC’s Returning Officer giving notice of Town and Community Council Elections to be held on 4 May 2017 [same day as County Council Elections] together with guidance on estimated costs for precept purposes [communities with up to 1,000 electors – £1700].

266.2  Comic Relief – E-mail from DCC’s Community Projects Officer regarding Comic Relief Funding Opportunities – Denbighshire

266.3  Informal Meeting with the County Council – Invitation from the Vice-Chairman of DCC for Mayors, Chairs and Clerks of all Town & Community Councils to attend an informal meeting on Wednesday 16 November 2016.

266.4  Christmas Service – Invitation from the Chairman of DCC to attend a Christmas Celebration Service at St Mary’s Parish Church, Rhuddlan on Tuesday 6 December 2016.

RESOLVED  that

[a]   the correspondence be noted

[b]   266.2  a copy of the email be forwarded to Ysgol Pentrecelyn and Ysgol Llanfair D C

[c]  266.3 Councillor Keith Moulsdale and the Clerk to attend on 16 November 2016.

[d]  266.4  any Councillor wishing to attend the Christmas Service on 6 December 2016 should contact the Clerk.

267  PLANNING

267.1  Consultation – Supplementary Planning Guidance

The County Council has produced a draft Supplementary Planning Guidance [SPG] note on Planning for Community Safety.  A copy of the notice had already been sent to Members earlier in October. The public consultation period extends from 3 October to 28 November 2016.  SPG notes provide guidance on various topics to planning applicants, communities and the Council.  Once they have been formally approved by the Council they will be used in determining applications for planning permission.

This policy applies to all development proposals and states that development must ‘Take account of personal and community safety and security in the design and layout of development and public/private spaces and has regard to implications for crime and disorder’.

RESOLVED  that the Clerk writes to Angela Loftus, DCC’s Strategic Planning and Housing Manager, to inform her that the Council welcomes this approach and supports the content of the document.  A copy to be forwarded to PURE Residential and Commercial Ltd with particular reference to the proposed housing development at Llanfair D C.

 267.2  Applications

267.2.1  Application 20/2016/0868 – Erection of Extensions to Dwelling – Faenol, Pentrecelyn –  considered by Councillors Jayne Mayers, Keith Moulsdale and Steve Whipp who fully supported the application.

267.2.2  Application 20/2016/0943 – Erection of Two Storey Rear Extension & Extension to Front Porch – Coed Talwrn, Pentrecelyn – considered by Councillors Dennis Edwards, John Pugh, Jayne Mayers, Keith Moulsdale and Steve Whipp who fully supported the application.

267.2.3  Application 20/2016/0951 – Erection of Replacement Shed to Store Cars, Tractors, Machinery/Tools for Domestic & Agricultural Use – Melin y Coed, Llanfair D C – considered by Councillors Dennis Edwards, Jayne Mayers, Keith Moulsdale and Steve Whipp who fully supported the application.

RESOLVED – the action taken by Councillors on 267.2.1, 267.2.2 and 267.2.3 was confirmed.

267.2.4  Application 20/2016/0979 – Division of Dwelling into 2 No Dwellings together with associated alterations, provision of new driveway and parking/turning area and associated works – Eyarth Hall, Llanfair D C.

RESOLVED – Members raised no objections and fully supported the application, which was considered to be thorough and met the necessary criteria.  The reports from the conservation consultant are concise and relevant.  It was felt that this proposal could save an important historic feature in the locality.

267.3  Pre-Applications

267.3.1  Pre-Application – Proposed Development – Extension to Tan y Graig, Graigfechan –  details of which had been forwarded to Councillors for comment.  Councillors Dennis Edwards, Rosanne Jarvis, Jayne Mayers, Keith Moulsdale, John Pugh, Medwen Roberts and Steve Whipp had indicated their support to the proposal together with the suggestion that the extension should be made larger to accommodate a bathroom for a disabled person.  The applicant has, however, decided not to proceed with the scheme.

RESOLVED – the action taken by Councillors was confirmed.

267.3.2  Pre-Application – Proposed Development – 63 dwellings together with open spaces and infrastructure works including sewers and new roads on land off Wrexham Road, Llanfair D C.  Pure Residential and Commercial Ltd had given notification of its intention to apply for planning permission stating that the information was available to view at Ruthin Library and also online on the website.  Arrangements had also been made to provide the owners and/or occupiers of adjoining land and community consultees with an opportunity to meet with Pure representatives to find out more about the proposal between 2 and 6 pm on Tuesday 25 October 2016 at Neuadd Eleanor, Llanfair D C.  Copies of plans and supporting documents had been made available for prior viewing at the Neuadd also.  A special meeting of the Community Council had also been convened to take place on 25 October 2016 to consider the Council’s response to the proposed development.

Since the meeting a Council response had been drafted and circulated to all Councillors for comment and input.  Main issues for concern are:

[i]  The lack of integration with the existing village – the proposed development is separate with its own vehicle and pedestrian access point

[ii]  The proposed pedestrian exit is seen as not only divisive in causing an “us and them” situation but as extremely dangerous.  Pedestrians would have to cross the A525 twice to go into the village.

[iii]  Concerns about wildlife, fencing and the loss of protected trees

[iv]  Surface drainage will not be allowed to be connected to the sewer network

[v]  Plans for the six properties designated as affordable housing is unclear.

RESOLVED – that

[a]  the draft response submitted at the Meeting be approved and emailed to the developers’ agent by the 3rd November 2016 deadline

[b]  copies of letters received by the Council from local residents [A Edwards, P Bennett-Lloyd and Councillor Steve Whipp] be forwarded to the agent at the same time

[c]  a copy of the Council’s response, together with written responses from local residents, be forwarded to Mr Graham Boase, DCC’s Head of Planning and Public Protection drawing attention about the prime concerns expressed

[d]  a press release be sent to the Denbighshire Free Press highlighting concerns referred to above.

268  HIGHWAYS & ENVIRONMENT

268.1  Cenotaph Llanfair D C – Remedial Work

The Chairman reported that plans had been drawn up and three quotations for two schemes are awaited, one with railings and one with bollards and chains.  Grant details had been received from the War Memorial Trust which may award 75% of the cost up to a maximum of £30,000.  A sum towards the cost would also have to be included in the precept budget for 2017/18.

 RESOLVED – that

[a]  steps be taken to apply for a grant from the War Memorial Trust

[b]  a sum of £10,000 be included in the precept budget for 2017/18 and

[c]  consideration be given to applying for a loan for the full amount of cost from Welsh Government.

 268.2  Llanfair and Graigfechan Community Speed Watch Group

Councillor Steve Whipp circulated a report on the group’s activities during October 2016, namely, that ten residents have received training to carry out road surveys; ten surveys were carried out; warning letters were issued to all offenders by North Wales Police.  North Wales Police has confirmed that Special Constables will accompany community speed watch teams in future which means that summonses for speeding will be issued rather than warning letters.

RESOLVED – that the report be received and a copy placed on the Council’s website.

 Part 2 – Confidential Items – Exclusion of Press and Public

269  EMPLOYMENT MATTERS

269.1  Clerk’s Contract – Probationary Period

 Members were informed that the Clerk had been in post for four months thereby completing her probationary period.

RESOLVED – that the Clerk’s continued employment be confirmed.

269.2  Clerk’s Contract – Review of Contracted Hours of Work

Members were informed that the Clerk keeps a detailed work log which shows that she had worked 123 hours between 1 July and 31 October 2016.  This is 35 hours in addition to the contracted 88 hours [22 per month] due to setting up new systems/files after commencing her post and work associated with convening two additional unscheduled Council meetings during this period.

The Clerk requested that members gave consideration to changing the contract hours from 264 to 300 hours per annum [25 per month].

Reference was made to a Council resolution which was passed in March 2016 to remunerate the Clerk’s predecessor for working 300 hours per annum as members were in agreement that his workload had increased significantly since his appointment.

The total cost based on 25 hours per month and payment for the additional 35 hours worked [1 July – 31 October] for the period 1 July 2016 to 31 March 2017 is estimated to be £3023.80 plus a payroll service charge   The current hourly rate of pay is £11.63 per hour.

RESOLVED that

[a]   the Clerk’s working hours be changed from 264 to 300 per annum

[b]  payment for the 35 additional hours worked between 1 July and 31October 2016 be approved [£407.05]

[c]  the total salary budget be adjusted accordingly, that is, £3023.80 [1 July 2016 – 31 March 2017]

269.3  Pension and Auto-Enrolment

Members were informed that each Council will have to take some action in respect of every employee aged between 16 and 75 in 2020.  Noted.

270  FINANCE MATTERS

270.1  Audit – Conclusion of Audit for the year ending 31 March 2016

Reported – that BDO, on behalf of the Auditor General for Wales, had completed the above audit.  Copies of the annual return and issues arising report had been forwarded to Councillors together with papers for the meeting.  The Clerk confirmed that she had arranged for the notice of conclusion of audit to be on display on the Council’s website and notice boards for 14 days.  This was done before 30 September 2016.  The Clerk has obtained an up to date copy of the Practitioners’ Guide [Governance and accountability for local Councils] [Wales].  This publication is a guide to the accounting practices local councils should follow and sets out the appropriate standard of financial reporting for all local councils in Wales.

The audit focus for 2016/17 will be:  [a]  Payroll/HMRC – As Clerks are officers, Councils must operate a PAYE system and produce evidence of registration and PAYE returns for 2016-17.  [b]  Councils must show that a Code of Conduct has been adopted and that there is evidence that Members have signed up to it.

Members confirmed that the accounting statements and annual government statement were approved on 3 August 2016 [minute reference 246].  Members noted the seven issues highlighted by the external auditor and

RESOLVED  that the following action be taken as necessary by the Council and the Clerk to address the issues raised..

The Council to ensure that

[1]  an adequate budget is prepared to support its decision-making process and to assist the financial management process during the year.  Consideration of the level of reserves held should be made making sure accounting statements add up.

[2]  a regular review of the precept budget against actual income and expenditure is carried out and minuted to reduce the risk of overspending.  The Clerk to prepare bi-monthly financial statements in accordance with good practice guidance.

[3]  the internal auditor fully documents work undertaken so that it can assess adequacy and effectiveness of internal audit as part of its internal control procedures.  The Clerk to produce engagement letter for internal auditor as set out in [6] below.

[4]  the annual accounts are certified by the Members, meeting as a whole before 30 June, immediately following the end of the year.  An additional meeting in early June 2017 has already been factored in, in case it is required.

[5]  all assets held are at cost.  The fixed assets had previously been shown at insurance value rather than purchase cost.  The cost value of assets is not expected to change unless an asset is ever disposed of or scrapped.

[6]  the engagement letter with the internal auditor includes further detail.  The engagement letter should agree expectations of the two parties prior to commencement of the appointment for the coming year, to include:

[a]  roles and responsibilities

[b]  audit planning, scope and timing

[c]  reporting requirements

[d]  assurance around independence and competence

[e]  access to information, Members and officers

[f]  remuneration.

[7]  all relevant boxes are fully complete before submitting the annual return by 30 June including the minute reference and date for approval of accounting statements and annual governance statement.

270.2  Engagement of Internal Auditor

RESOLVED – that the Clerk obtains quotations from Mr Gwyn Davies, JPH Business Services Ltd and S P Kell, Chartered Accountants, for the provision of an internal auditor service.

270.3  Summary of Income & Expenditure for the period 1 April to 31 October 2016

The Clerk submitted a financial statement for the General and Business Accounts covering this period.  The statement format had been prepared in line with recommendations from the external auditor, that is, so that the Council can regularly review its precept budget against actual income and expenditure in order to reduce exposure to the risk of overspending.

Members were advised that

[a]  Several items of expenditure, although approved in 2015/16, had not been included in the precept budget 2016/17

[b]  Some cost centre items are likely to be insufficient such as salary and translation costs

[c]  Balance at the bank as at 31 October is £1669.16 in the current account and £1022.34 in the business account making a total of £2691.50 of available funds as at 31 October 2016.  Out of this £1600 should be earmarked for Council elections in May 2017, and the receipt of the last precept payment of £2667.00 for the year due in December would leave enough funds to meet existing commitments.

RESOLVED  that

[a]   the financial statement be received and the Clerk’s observations be noted

[b]  future financial statements  include an additional column for estimated expenditure at year end.

270.4  Precept 2017/2018

Submitted – draft precept budget for discussion and decision.  The table includes comparisons with precept budgets set during the last 3 years.  The main additional item is provision for finance towards the cost of repairs to the war memorial at Llanfair D C – £10,000 [loan payments].  Members carefully scrutinised every item and

RESOLVED to

[a]  approve a precept budget of £18,934 for the financial year 2016/17 and

[b]  apply for a loan from Welsh Government to cover the entire cost of repairs to the war memorial in Llanfair D C.

270.5  Payment of Accounts/Invoices

270.5.1  AVOW – Clerk’s October salary and payroll charges, £255.86 and £2.00 respectively.

270.5.2  SLCC – Risk Management booklet priced £5.91.

270.5.3  Sandra Williams – Translation Service – Minutes of meeting held on 3 August 2016

RESOLVED – that payments be made as follows:

270.5.1  £257.86

270.5.2  £5.91

270.5.3  £125.58

270.6  Requests for Financial Aid

The following applications had been received:

270.6.1  Community Speed Watch Group2 speed guns  at a cost of £198.00

270.6.2  Urdd Gobaith Cymru – financial support to help the organisation in its work with young people in Denbighshire.

270.6.3  Ruthin Branch Royal British Legion – Poppy Appeal [£200 last year]

270.6.4  Nightingale House Hospice – towards provision of palliative care for people and  support for their families and carers

270.6.5  Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod – towards staging the festival in 2017

2706.6.  Marie Curie Nurses – to support a local service.

RESOLVED that

[a] requests should normally only be considered once a year in November – schools excepted.

[b]  payments be made as follows:

270.6.1  £198.00

270.6.2  decision deferred until January 2017

270.6.3  £200.00

270.6.4  decision deferred until January 2017

270.6.5  decision deferred until January 2017

270.6.6  decision deferred until January 2017

271  Asset Register and Risk Assessments

Members were informed that the Asset Register required updating.  Current details are as follows:

Description Cost Insurance Location
War Memorial £47,744.08 Llanfair D C
Street Furniture:

Bus Stop

3 Noticeboards

£  7,503.01  

Llanfair D C & Graigfechan

Llanfair D C, Graigfechan &

Pentrecelyn

Gates & Fences £  7,087.26 Churchyard Wall, Llanfair D C
Computer & Printer Clerk’s Home
Metal Cupboard £114.00 Neuadd Eleanor, Llanfair D C
2 Speed Guns £198.00 Councillor Steve Whipp

 RESOLVED – that

[a]  steps be taken to identify and update key risks facing the Council including a review of regular maintenance arrangements for physical assets

 [b] all Councillors  assist in carrying out a risk assessment to be co-ordinated by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman.  The Chairman agreed to circulate a template that would be appropriate for Council use.

272  ANY OTHER BUSINESS

272.1  Remembrance Sunday

RESOLVED – The Clerk to arrange for a community police officer to be present to control the traffic during the service on Sunday 13 November 2016 at Llanfair D C.

There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 10 pm.

273  DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS –

WEDNESDAY 4 JANUARY 2017

WEDNESDAY 1 MARCH 2017