Minera Community Council Meeting held on Wednesday 21st July 2021
Commencing at 7.15 pm and conducted by Zoom videoconference
Present: Cllrs: J Edwards (Chair), H Field (Vice-Chair), W Blaze, A Roberts, T Grundy, A Fisher
Cllr D Kelly joined the meeting at 8.05pm
Clerk: Mr D Hinchliffe
Apologies: Cllrs H Eustace, J Marsh, N Jones, W Ollerhead, J Belton
Two residents of the community were present as observers, who were welcomed by the Chair and thanked for their interest in Community Council activities.
41/21 Declarations of interest
41/21.1 There were no declarations of interest.
42/21 Ratification of the minutes of the previous meeting
42.1/21 The minutes of the meeting held on 16 June 2021 were proposed as a correct record by Cllr H Field and seconded by Cllr W Blaze.
43/21 Matters arising
43.1/21 The Clerk advised the meeting that no interest had yet been shown in the rocking horse head advertised on Ebay. If by the time of the next Council meeting there was still no interest arising, a price reduction could be considered.
43.2/21 As noted at the previous meeting, the Clerk had still had no notice of installation of a new bin at the quarry, although pressure on the smaller bin had apparently lessened in recent weeks due to lower visitor numbers.
43.3/21 The Clerk had requested a Police Report ahead of Council meetings, and had enquired if attendance once per quarter was the North Wales Police standard for Community Council meeting attendance. A brief report had been received for the current meeting, while the specific question regarding attendance was still being addressed within NWP.
43.4/21 The Clerk had contacted WCBC concerning the state of pathways at Min y Grug. WCBC had responded by sending an inspection team to site by return.
43.5/21 The Clerk had liaised with the WCBC Youth Service to pursue the establishment of a programme for the Minera Ward. A proposal had now been received, and would be mobilised subject to recruitment of the necessary individuals.
43.6/21 Monthly play area inspection reports were now being received from WCBC, and where pertinent, would be shared on receipt with Councillors. The Chair asked the Clerk to take up the issue of damage to the multiplay unit, as detailed on the most recent report received, with the supplier to effect a prompt resolution, and then notify WCBC when the work was completed.
44/21 Attenuation ditches at Eversley Court
This issue was discussed in outline prior to the delayed arrival in the meeting of Cllr D Kelly, and then revisited in detail, as recorded below, once he was present.
44.1/21 Cllr D Kelly had continued to engage in dialogue with the relevant WCBC officers on this issue. He summarised the latest position for the benefit of the meeting.
44.2/21 Work had now been done to address the initial construction faults. The facility should now be left to settle, and performance in future wet conditions noted.
44.3/21 Cllr D Kelly also reiterated his view that residents ought to contact the management company who would be responsible for the maintenance of the attenuation scheme should further issues arise. He was aware that the chief residual concern of residents was the nature of the fencing which had been installed, but as fencing had not been a planning condition, enforcement was not possible.
The Chair invited the attending residents to add any comments of their own. Cllr Kelly’s point concerning the fencing was acknowledged, but concerns as to the potential dangers to young children were still valid.
45/21 Police report
45.1/21 The Clerk advised the meeting that no PCSO was available to attend the meeting, but a short report had been submitted, which had been circulated to Councillors ahead of the meeting. Cllr W Blaze asked the Clerk to contact PCSO Holly Jones, who had submitted the report, to clarify a reference to a legal snare on open land, since Cllr W Blaze’s understanding was that snares could not legally be set on open land.
46/21 Minera Community Council Chair’s report
The Chair had not circulated a report ahead of the meeting, but commented on two issues which had come to his attention:
46.1/21 A ewe and two lambs which had been wandering around Gwynfryn had been moved to the play area football pitch to reduce the chance of an accident being caused. Attempts to contact the police to deal with the issue had proven very long-winded. The lambs had entangled themselves several times in the goal nets and needed releasing. The nets were in a poor state in any event, and the Chair asked the Clerk to research a price to replace the goals which could be tabled at the next Projects Meeting.
46.2/21 It was evident that there was little maintenance currently being done in Minera churchyard, and the Chair asked what level of historic support had been provided for upkeep of the churchyard by Minera Community Council. The Clerk advised the meeting that assistance of £500 had been provided in 2020/21, but nothing as yet in the current year.
47/21 School Governor’s report
47.1/21 In the absence of Cllr W Ollerhead, and no further meeting of Governors having taken place since he circulated his last report, the only issue of concern related to the possible appointment by Minera Community Council of a second Governor. The report noted that candidates had been identified for vacant positions, and were being approached, implying that no availability for a second nominee by Minera Community Council currently existed.
This issue was briefly revisited when Cllr D Kelly joined the meeting, Cllr D Kelly noting that the approach taken had surprised him. The Clerk therefore undertook to clarify the situation with Cllr W Ollerhead on his return from holiday.
48/21 Community Agent’s report
Susanne was not present, but her report had been circulated and was taken as read.
48.1/21 The Clerk advised the meeting on Susanne’s behalf that a Dementia Steering Group had been set up for the Minera Ward, chaired by Rev James Harris. The participation of one or more Councillors in the Steering Group would be greatly helpful, and would involve a short meeting around four times a year. Councillors were therefore asked to contact Susanne if interested.
The Chair asked the Clerk to pass back to Susanne that he would be interested in attending a dementia support course if a suitable event or resource was available locally.
The Clerk had circulated summaries of correspondence throughout the month. A number of items were discussed at further length:
49.1/21 Welsh Government proposals currently out for consultation could result in Minera Community Council being unable to apply for the General Power of Competence (potentially available from April 2022) unless the Clerk held one of a number of specified qualifications. GPoC was potentially of limited or no practical use to Minera Community Council in any event as it stood, but the Clerk would summarise the entire proposal and the qualifying criteria in a separate paper for the benefit of Councillors.
49.2/21 One potential benefit from GPoC could be the ability to run a Post Office for the community. This would be difficult given the lack of owned premises. Cllr W Blaze undertook to enquire whether the mobile Post Office which currently served Bwlchgwyn could add an extra stop at the Tyn y Capel during the Meet up Tuesday sessions.
49.3/21 The Clerk had been contacted by warmemorialsonline.org to be advised that Minera war memorial was now listed on a public register, and may be eligible for a grant to renovate it. The Chair asked the Clerk to research this further and advise a future meeting of the details.
49.4/21 The Clerk advised the meeting that correspondence had been received just before the beginning of the meeting confirming the resignation of Cllr H Eustace. This would be acknowledged with regret.
50/21 Grants and donations
50.1/21 The Clerk advised the meeting that the only request for a donation received since the previous meeting had been from AVOW, who had set up a memorial donation fund for community defibrillators following the death of AVOW Chair John Leece-Jones. Following a brief discussion Cllr H Field proposed and Cllr W Blaze seconded a proposal that Minera Community Council should contribute £100 to this fund.
Cllr D Kelly now joined the meeting.
51/21 County Borough Councillor’s report
Cllr D Kelly briefly commented:
51.1/21 A number of environment officers had recently left WCBC, and a number of new planning officers were also in post. Some aspects of WCBC services were therefore going through something of a re-learning curve, which would be apparent to residents seeking to use the affected services. Additionally, the taking up of a great deal of annual leave accumulated during Covid was diminishing the level of personnel cover in some areas. Cllr D Kelly would assist any resident where he was able in the event of difficulty in trying to access WCBC services.
51.2/21 Welsh Government was trialling 20mph zones in residential areas across Wales. Some would inevitably be installed in Wrexham County Borough. In broad terms the Transport Minister’s policy objective would be to try and lower all residential 30mph limits to 20mph.
52/21 Social media strategy
52.1/21 The Clerk requested that Councillors allow the creation of a Facebook page in the name of ‘Minera CC Clerk’ which would be used to complement the communication channels in place of the noticeboards and website. He was aware that there had been reluctance in the past to such an idea, largely due to the adverse experiences of individual Councillors with abusive and derogatory material posted to pages which they had administered. The success of the Community Agent’s Facebook page, however, had been achieved without such activity, and the Clerk felt the time was now right to build on this and widen the reach of Minera Community Council’s message.
52.2/21 Cllr T Grundy added that Facebook provided a much more immediate news channel than the website, and would encourage dialogue with residents. The Clerk also gave assurances that the page would be taken down in the unlikely event that it attracted persistent adverse attention.
Cllr H Field proposed and Cllr W Blaze seconded a proposal that the Clerk create a Facebook page as described, reviewable in 6 months as to both public reaction, and the pressure of time it placed on the Clerk to maintain it.
53/21 Financial matters
53.1/21 Following a brief recital by the Clerk of the financial activities since the previous Council meeting, the financial report was proposed for approval by Cllr W Blaze and seconded by Cllr A Fisher.
53.2/21 The schedule of payments, listed below, was also proposed for approval by Cllr W Blaze and seconded by Cllr A Fisher.
|Clerk Salary, July||393.89|
|Clerk Home Working Allowance/phone||28.50|
|SSE June account||210.31|
|Agent salary, June||805.01|
|Clerk expenses, July||16.48|
|HMRC, NHI on Agent’s salary||10.62|
|SLCC, annual subscription||112.00|
|Agent expenses, June/July||83.80|
|Agent’s donation to Paws off Duty (therapy dogs who visited Meet up Tuesday)||50.00|
|Total to approve||1,710.61|