MINUTES OF A COUNCIL MEETING TO BE HELD ON THURSDAY 29th NOVEMBER 2022 AT 7.30PM VIA ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND AT THE VILLAGE HALL.
Present: Mr David Williams (Chairperson), Mrs Jane Dawkins, Mr David Filsell, Mrs Jan Sharpless, Mrs Beth Carpenter, Mr David Mantle and Mr Harry Duff.
In Attendance: County Councillor Jackie Charlton, Jenny Cowley of RWE Renewables and Lydia Godden of Cadno Communications Ltd, S Dale (Clerk)
Description of the Pen March Turbine Project. Six wind turbines are proposed to be built in the Pen March area of the Merthyr Common – approximately 2 km North of the Asda Supermarket at Dowlais Top. A small triangular strip of the common there is within the ward boundary of Llangynidr and for this reason the Community Council is a statutory consultee. The strip contains an approximately 150m length of access lane for the one of the turbines.
The developer is keen to pass on community benefits as appropriate and after planning permission has been granted. See also item 6 for Council discussion.
1 Report from the County Councillor
Empty Council properties, the County Council (PCC) is resolving but these cases are taking more time. Clearly it is not in the interest of the County Council for the properties to be empty. Both have been empty for a while (up to 2 years) and both need considerable renovations before new tenants can move in. There are people on the waiting list and JC will raise the issue.
The Mountain road traffic was measured over 10 days in October, on average the speed was below the limit on the road (60mph) but with a small proportion of drivers travelling in well excess of the speed limit. JC will wait for feedback from other Commons.
Speeding on trunk roads and other important roads will be the subject of a meeting between The Police and Crime Commissioner, Lee Waters and other members of the Senedd. It is hoped that this will lead to all political leaders in Powys to look at the issue of speed on major roads.
There is to be a meeting for commoners and Powys Community Council.
The Corporate Plan is on the PCC website , there is a “have your say” opportunity.
JC has enquired about the possibility of the community council charging parking fees in the village car park. It seems that the legislation does not allow Community Councils to charge for parking. They can and in Llangynidr's case do ask for a donation.
MB, GT, and LS
3 Declarations of interest:
4 Signing of the minutes:
25th October 2022, proposer: JS, seconder:JD. Approved
5 Clerks Report.
We might need some volunteers to help remove some tarmac from the biodiversity area and re-site the picnic table.
Broadband connections in the village will be discussed in the January meeting (24th January 2023) as a Director of Beacons Broadband has offered to come and talk to the Council.
Shared space signs have been costed (about £83 each plus fixings plus carriage).
6 Planning Applications.
22/21539/CPL, 37, Pencommin, preparatory to application.
22/21543/FUL, Pen Y Garn, Duffryn Road. Change of use to 2 bed holiday let.
No objections to be reported.
Pen March Wind Turbines. The Community Council wishes to seek benefits for the community. Clerk to write to the developers to suggest some projects, such as the track in the recreation ground and the new toilet block (not the public toilets) for example. Decision to be adjourned.
Budget information and bank reconciliation for October 2022.
Some cost centres (public toilets and other projects) will be over budget by the end of the year if action is not taken. Elections will be underspent so overall the Community Council is forecast to be slightly overspent at the end of the financial year.
The bank reconciliation balances and the anticipated expenditure estimates a balance of some £7000 in the bank account at the end of December, when the precept is due in.
Cheques to be approved in November 2022.
Cleaning the car park (Nov) £40.00
Clerk’s wages and stationery allowance (Nov so) £478.60
Cleaning the public conveniences (Nov) £280.00
British gas (elec. for the public toilets Nov) £20.00
Car Park non-domestic rates (Nov dd) £80.00
Election costs £508.52
Room hire £92.00
Water for the public toilets £317.20
Zurich Insurance £431.68 (see item 16)
Cheques approved in October 2022.
Cleaning the car park (Oct) £40.00
Clerk’s wages and stationery allowance (Oct so) £478.60
Cleaning the public conveniences (Oct) £280.00
British gas (elec. for the public toilets Oct) £20.00
Car Park non-domestic rates (Oct dd) £80.00
Hedge trimming at Persondy Field £70.00
Hedge trimming at the car park £300.00
Fly tipping in the car park, several emails with residents looking out for the problems. PCC have tasked one of their employees with picking it up on his rounds, but more is coming all the time and some items appear to be difficult to pick up.
Council tax and second home premiums – Likely to be up to 300% of council tax next year. Some exceptions are being considered. To be put on the agenda at the next meeting.
Statement from PCC : Future of local services. Libraries and Leisure centres are being reluctantly considered for cuts but will be saved if at all possible.
S137 spending limit, the so-called free-resource which is useful for any expenditure without a specific power, like expenditure on the Remembrance wreath for example. Donations can be another example.
Llangattock Green Valleys have offered to collaborate with the 5 councils on projects, such as the home energy efficiency reports.
Reserves for smaller councils are set at 12 months expenditure.
9 Statutory Training Analysis Results.
Urgent training requirements reported were individual and need to be addressed individually in the coming year.
10 Report of the analysis of comments made by participants in the village conversation the 8th October and a further conversation in January.
The date for the next village conversation has been set as Saturday 21st January. The results of the 8th October event will be displayed and the outcomes to that point shown. The analysis showed that about 60% of all 167 comments concerned Forge Road and Cwmcrawnon Road and speeding. The bridge was mentioned in about a fifth of comments. The full results are available from the clerk on request.
11 Representative to be confirmed for a meeting with the Village Hall Committee after a draft lease has been returned to both parties.
David Mantle and Harry Duff volunteered.
12 The remaining bins in the car park should be removed as they offer little facility for residents and encourage fly tipping. To be discussed and action agreed.
There was concern for those who do not have boxes. JC to take forward.
13 Representatives to attend a 5 councils meeting with the Police and Crime Commissioner.
JD, JS and DW.
14 Street lights which don't dim at all can disturb residents late at night. There are two such in Clos Castell (corrected from Castle Close/Road).
A councillor observed that the bulbs need changing. It was also observed that the car park is very dark at night.
15 Parking review. Powys County Council have suggested adding double yellow lines to ; Duffryn Road from the junction with Cwm Crawnon Road to the War memorial, from Wesley House to the boundary of Persondy field also on Duffryn Road, Forge Road (Bwlch side of the river) from the house to the start of the bridge and Forge Road again from the bridge to the junction with the lane going past the URC Sardis Chapel. Theses amendments were displayed at the recent village conversation about transport. To be discussed and action agreed.
The Bwlch side from Green Lodge to the bridge, not needed.
The bit on the pre-school side of the road by the telephone box, where the zigzags used to be. Needs doing.
Forge Road to the brow of the hill needs double yellow lines on the telephone box side.
With these small amendments the scheme was approved by most Councillors with 1 abstention.
16 Insurance renewal with Zurich £431.68?
17 A pre-Christmas litter picking event is suggested on Saturday 10th December at 10.45am in the car park.
18 Crickhowell walking festival asks for permission to use the car park for 4 walks this year (same as last year). They are happy to make a donation towards it's upkeep.
19 Reports from other meetings?
5 Councils which has been covered.
20 Any agenda items for the next meeting?
Room rent to village hall.
Parking charge companies.
The verge from the Cycle shop to Can y Gwynt has narrowed the pavement there.
Date of next meeting :Tuesday January 24th, 2023
: Finance Committee meeting Wednesday18th January 2023.
There being no further business to discuss the Chairperson closed
the meeting at 8.45pm.