Minutes of a Council Meeting held via electronic media on Tuesday 27th April 2021 at 7.30pm.
Public participation. None
Present: Mr Mark Brian (Chair), Mrs Margaret Price, Mr David Williams, Mrs Elizabeth Gibbs, Mr Alan James, Mr David Filsell, Mr Gene Taylor and Mr Paul Lindoewood (Mr D Filsell had difficulties with the electronic media Zoom).
In attendance: S.Dale (Clerk). 1 member of the public who is a councillor's helper.
1. Apologies: Mr David Williams and Mr David Mantle.
2. Declaration of interest in items of business listed below: None
3. Signing of the minutes;
30th March 2021: Approved, proposed AJ and seconded EG.
4. Correspondence: Powys Teaching Health Board - covid update. On circulation. Vaccination programme id progressing steadily.
Brecon Beacon National Park Authority (BBNPA) Management Plan Review (see item 15). EG and Pl attended the discussion arranged by BBNPA.
5. Clerk's Report.
Letter from Fay Jones MP hoping to meet up in the future. The Clerk sent a letter back about the bridge.
Kiosk public liability – the kiosk itself can be covered but not material damages. We need to notify the insurers when we take possession. There may be an increase in premium.
Litter pick was attended by 9 volunteers who picked 4 large bags of rubbish, 2 traffic cones and some wire fence.
Completed a Freedom of Information request about budget v expenditure (2019 to 2021) for a resident.
British Gas figures need checking next month.
a) Statement of accounts and bank reconciliation for year end 2021.
b) Cheques to be approved in April 2021.
Cleaning the car park (Apr) £40.00
Clerk’s wages and stationery allowance (Apr so) £471.00
Cleaning the public conveniences ( Apr) £280.00
Flower and path contract (Mar & Apr ) £120.00
S Dale reimbursement (item 19) £2000.00
Cheques approved in March 2021.
Cleaning the car park (Mar) £40.00
Clerk’s wages and stationery allowance (Mar so) £471.00
Cleaning the public conveniences (Mar) £280.00
Viking supplies for the public toilets £54.55
One Voice Wales renewal (item 16) £102.00
S Dale Society of Local Council Clerks (item 17) £83.00
7. Report from the County Councillor. The County Councillor has had reports of cars being parked on Forge Road near the canal. Highways is not likely to recommend double yellow lines as the village is so rural. Councillors wondered if no parking traffic cones could be used, or referral to the police, if the practice contravenes the highway code. It has occurred in the past as well, RH will take it forward. A lorry was seen to have to back across the bridge when the driver realised the lorry would not clear the Llangynidr side. RH will have the gap measured. Councillors have witnessed many similar incidents. It is not a signage problem. Some residents and drivers ask for traffic lights, but this will lead to standing traffic outside the care home and Cadw have consistency opposed their installation.
The County Council's Highways Department is at work on an annual program of improving ditches and gullies and will begin grass cutting June and July.
The County Council has appointed a Diversity Officer, RH would like to hear of any related projects.
The county recycling target for this year is 64%, in 2024 it will be 70%.
The Community Council was asked to consider, for discussion in the future, a charging point for electric cars in the village. It would be part of a Powys wide strategy. Some councillors indicated their support. One wondered if the charging point could be part of the village car park scheme to get visitors to pay for the amenities they use while visiting the village.
The hall will open for the Senedd election (6th May), covid restrictions will be complied with, there will be a one-way system through the main hall.
The County Councillor wishes to have another look at Cyffredin Lane and the drain that keeps getting blocked.
8. Planning Applications: 21/19833/FUL, Old Workhouses, garden store.
9. Is there any report the Community Council would like to make to the Independent Remuneration Panel about the allowances Councillors are entitled to claim. There is little expenditure attending a zoom meeting but it is right for a system to exist to encourage a range of people to apply. The County Council view is that all councillors get the allowances, which they then decide what to do with. But would this be appropriate for smaller councils? A councillor had calculated that claiming the allowances would put £4000 on the precept. Councillors feel that the allowances may be valid and important if they enable people to become community councillors. SD
10. The Village Hall Committee have asked for help reconditioning the tennis courts. To be discussed and action agreed. The Community Council and the Village Hall Committee need to establish the legalities of their relationship before any cautious discussion about any further financial obligations. A councillor pointed out that Llangynidr Tennis Club had transferred it's capital funds to the Village Hall (VH) for the provision and upkeep of the tennis courts. Another Councillor was concerned that the play equipment is not up to regulation.
The County Council has offered the VH the opportunity to apply for grants on several occasions in the past, for example for the new kitchen, the tennis court refurbishment and a hearing loop. More recently the VH has not applied for grants available. Clerk to respond to the request. SD
11. The hand driers in the public toilets are worn, it is suggested that they be replaced with new rented models eg F5 Eco hand drier from Initial (£113.36 annually) who also manage the feminine hygiene bins. Agreed.SD.
12. A BBC programme on sewage discharges in rivers revealed that the Usk is one of those rivers and has suffered such incidents in the recent past. To be discussed and action agreed. The programme was disturbing, the River's Trust have documented permitted discharges, and this is by no means unusual. 167 discharges into the Usk, equating to 55 days in a year. Much of the litter along the river is wet wipes.
Clerk is instructed to write to Welsh Water to ask for a record of the discharges into the Usk, where people come to swim and access the river. Clerk is also instructed to write to Natural Resources Wales to document the affect of the discharges on water quality. SD
13. The Primary School are looking for support from the Community Council for their scheme for providing outdoor accommodation for the school and also for community users.
Councillors were concerned that 2 school governors were unaware of the initiative. Also, how much of the open ground would be lost to the 2 new structures? Could the playing field be used instead? The community council does not wish to be obstructive – it might be able to make a modest donation when the time comes. Clerk to respond. SD.
14. Financial Regulations need to be updated. To be discussed and action agreed. AJ will study the regulations in detail and make a recommendation to Council. AJ
15. Brecon Beacon National Park Authority (BBNPA) have issued a Management Plan which is under review at the moment. To be discussed and action agreed. EG and PL attended discussions on this subject and raised the point that the BBNPA asks questions but do not allow correspondents to be involved in formulating those questions, so the agenda is always in the hands of the BBNPA. Adjourn the item to the May meeting, MB will collate ideas and comments for circulation by 16th May. MB, SD
16. The trees under the care of the Community Council need monitoring every year. To be discussed and action agreed. This should take place later in the year, when the trees are in leaf. Resolved. SD.
17. There is currently a vacancy for a Councillor on the Community Council. To be discussed and action agreed. Councillors will contact those who have declared an interest in the vacancy.
18. A resident has observed that the Bus Service is under review. He is concerned that the service should not suffer anymore cuts. To be discussed and action agreed. It seems logical that bus times should match the working day, but our bus service does not deliver passengers back to Llangynidr at the end day. They are dropped at Bwlch. There used to be a taxi service across the river to Llangynidr. Clerk instructed to write to Powys County Council to plea to keep and extend the service. SD
19. In order to avoid going overdrawn the Clerk put £2000 in the bank from her own account. She now requests repayment. Resolved. SD.
20. In order to avoid the possibility of going overdrawn, the bank can now assign automatic transfers from the reserve to the current account. To be discussed and action agreed. This would be the case if the community council were prepared to move to a premier account. Alternatively, the council could permanently increase the balance in the current account, and, or put the anticipated spending over the following month on the monthly financial sheet.
21. Update on Mill Road. The trees work has been done, and the contractor is almost ready to start, just waiting for a final agreement.
22. Reports from meetings attended. See item 15 on the BBNPA management plan review.
EG met with SD and the Built Heritage Officer from Brecon Beacons National Park Authority about the wash lanes off the Nant Glaisfer. Community involvement in the protection of these features could lead to a conservation area being established using an article 4 directive. The officer assured EG and SD that the conservation area need not be too restrictive and would benefit the wash lanes.
23. Any agenda items for the next meeting?
There being no further business to discuss, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.38pm.
Date of next meeting: Tuesday, 25th May 2021