The Blaengwrach Community Council met via Zoom at 6.30pm on Thursday 16th July 2020. The DRAFT minutes are as follows:
PRESENT: Councillor Carolyn Edwards (Chair); Councillor Philippa Richards; Councillor Rhian Watts & Councillor Rhian Williams.
Also Present: Clive Baker – Clerk to the Council.
There were no members of the public present.
105/19 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: The following Councillors had sent their apologies – Councillor Andrew Hippsley; Councillor Julia Hippsley; Councillor Menna Mortimore; Councillor Chris Kelly & Councillor Amanda Doherty;
106/19 DECLARATION(S) OF INTEREST: Councillor Carolyn Edwards declared her interest as a County Councillor of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council;
107/19 CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING AS A TRUE RECORD: The minutes of the meeting held, via Zoom, on 18th June 2020 were accepted as a true record;
108/19 MATTERS ARISING & AGENDA ITEMS:
a) Parking in Heol Y Felin – There has been no update on this item since the last meeting;
b) The Reopening of the Parish Road – The Ward County Councillor has attended a meeting with NPTCBC, RCTCBC, Ward Councillors presenting Rhigos, RCT and representatives of Selar relating to the options for the road. The options discussed were: a full tarmac road between the two villages; a partially tarmac road or improvements to the existing road without tarmacking the whole road. Preferences were discussed but no firm decision was made at the meeting. The engineers of NPT & RCT will consider all preferences and report back to all interested parties in due course with their recommendations;
c) The Pedestrian Crossing near the Health Centre – the “switch-on” by Western Power is still awaited and as soon as this is done the lights will be in working order;
d) Council Leases – This has not been progressed due to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic;
e) Use of an Area of the Park by the Bistro (The Mine) – A request has been received from the owners of The Mine to “rent” space in a shed within the park to store picnic style benches. The request was agreed in principle and the Chair and the Clerk will meet with the Bistro owners to discuss the exact terms etc;
f) The Local Democracy & Boundary Commission for Wales`s Recommendation to Reduce the Number of Councillors for Blaengwrach/Glynneath from three (3) to two (2) – No update has been received on this item;
g) 2020 Christmas Celebrations – Although some “easing of the guidelines” relating to the Pandemic in Wales have been received, there has been no easing of meetings/mass gatherings inside buildings. It has been decided NOT to hold the show/party in the Hall but to continue with Santa`s Sleigh through the streets. The children`s “gifts” will be delivered to the local school for distribution;
h) Update on Senedd Guidelines on Coronavirus/Covid-19 in Wales – All updates received since the last meeting have been examined by the Clerk & the Councillors. The children`s play ground, MUGA & 3G Pitch will reopen on Monday 20th July 2020. However, because there has been NO relaxation on the guidelines relating to gatherings indoors, the Hall will remain closed until further guidelines are received. VISITORS TO THE PARK ARE REMINDED OF THE PRESENT “SOCIAL DISTANCING” GUIDELINES;
i) The Damaged Bridge near Chain Road – The repair to the bridge has started and the temporary route is open for use;
j) Issue of Keys to the Park to a Councillor – The keys have been delivered to the Councillor. THIS ITEM IS NOW CLOSED;
k) Agenda Items a & b – Requests by Councillors Andrew Hippsley & Julia Hippsley for a Dispensation to “step down” from Councillor duties for the next few months – The requests were agreed with a review to take place in December 2020. THIS ITEM IS NOW CLOSED;
l) Agenda Item c – The Contract of the Dedicated Telephone Line used for Council Business – The existing contract for telephone number 01639 720731 expires on 7th January 2021. It was decided NOT to renew the contract but to purchase a “pay as you go” mobile to use as the Dedicated Council Telephone Number to be used with effect from Monday 4th January 2021. The contact number will be changed on the Council Website & on headed paper etc. in late December 2020;
m) Agenda Item d – The Bandstand in the Welfare Park – Several reports of children/youths climbing on the roof of the bandstand have been received. It was decided NOT to erect formal signs asking them NOT to climb but to speak to the local PCSOs to inform them of potential damage etc. to the same. THIS ITEM IS NOW CLOSED.
110/19 PLANNING – 10th July 2020 – Notification from BT that they intend removing numerous public telephone boxes in NPT area that are not being used. NOTE: The telephone box in Cwmgwrach/Blaengwrach was NOT on the list;
111/19 CRIME & POLICING: The South Wales Police have suspended all reports on their website (Local Crime Figures & PACT Meetings) until further notice;
112/19 FINANCE: for the period 19th June 2020 to 16th July 2020:
Staff Pension Scheme (4 weeks) – £48.84;
NPTCBC – General Rates on Hall – £428.00;
NPTCBC – General Rates on Cemetery – £46.00;
Welsh Water – Water Rates (Hall) – £104.00;
Welsh Water – Water Rates (Cemetery) – £17.00;
HMRC – Tax & NI (6.6.20 to 5.7.20) – £83.76;
Viking Direct – Cleaning Materials for “Deep Clean” of Hall – £172.15;
Amazon UK – Sanitiser & Other Equipment for Spraying of Play Equipment – £115.44;
1st Choice Distributors – Face Masks for Staff – £7.44;
Safetyshop UK – PPE (Disposable Aprons) – £9.99;
Medisave UK – PPE (coveralls, visors) – £70.84;
The Safety Supply Co – PPE (Goggles to use when “spraying”) – £15.54;
Screwfix – Pressure Sprayers to use for “spraying” play equipment) – £38.98;
3 x Councillor Allowances for 2020/2021 – £450.00;
Euro-Garages – Petrol for Council Machines – £41.68;
Amazon UK – Weed Killer & Locks for Park – £86.48;
Monthly Interest on Reserve (Saver) Account – £9.57;
Burial Fees – £525.00;
Various updates from Senedd Cymru, NPTCBC & One Voice Wales relating to Coronavirus/Covid-19 Guidelines;
SECTION 137 REQUESTS: There were no Section 137 requests received between 19th June 2020 & 16th July 2020;
114/19 MATTERS RAISED BY COUNCILLORS: There were no other matters raised by Councillors at this meeting;
115/19 SET DATE, TIME, VENUE & PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS FOR THE NEXT MEETING: It was decided NOT to set a specific date for the next meeting but to hold a meeting to present the 2019-2020 Annual Return in mid to late August 2020 and that this short meeting will be followed by the 2020 AGM. The venue of these meetings will depend on further Coronavirus/Covid-19 Guidelines received from Senedd Cymru. Notices for the meetings will be posted on this website at least three working days before they are due to take place.
The meeting closed at 7.07pm.