DRAFT Minutes of the Meeting Held, via Zoom, at 6.30pm on Thursday 21st January 2021.
NOTE: IT WAS INTENDED TO HOLD THIS MEETING IN THE WELFARE HALL, CWMGWRACH TO ALLOW SOME MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO ATTEND BUT THIS WAS NOT POSSIBLE DUE TO A CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 LOCKDOWN.
PRESENT: Councillors: Carolyn Edwards (Chair); Amanda Doherty (Vice-Chair); Menna Mortimore; Rhian Watts; Philippa Richards & Rhian Williams;
ALSO PRESENT: Clive Baker – Clerk to Blaengwrach Community Council;
MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC: See above note.
44/20 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillors Chris Kelly & Bethan Parry had sent their apologies;
45/20 DECLARATION(S) OF INTEREST: Councillor Carolyn Edwards made her declaration as a County Councillor of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council and Councillor Amanda Doherty made her declaration of interest in respect of Minute 47/20(h) below (Agenda Item 5c);
46/20 CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING AS A TRUE RECORD: The minutes of the meeting held on 10th December 2020 were accepted as a true record of that meeting;
47/20 MATTERS ARISING & AGENDA ITEMS:
a) Town & Community Council Guidelines Received During the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic – Various updates & amended guidelines have been received from the Wales Government since the last meeting and these have been examined and acted upon, where necessary, by the Council;
b) Damage to the Bridge near Chain Road – The “underpass” has been reopened but there is other work needed to complete the repairs (resurfacing of the bridge). Councillor Edwards has spoken to the NPTCBC Engineers earlier today and had been informed that they hoped that the outstanding work would be completed by 29th January 2021;
c) Purchase of a Mower for the Cemetery – Prices/specifications are still being sought. However, IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT A MOWER IS NOT CLASSED AS AN ESSENTIAL ITEM DURING THIS LOCKDOWN so the purchase may have to take place in the next financial year (after 31st March 2021);
d) On-Going Vandalism in the Welfare Park – The Local Police are continuing to monitor the area;
e) The Council Lap-Top – The required number of quotes have been obtained to replace the existing lap-top which has been in use since 2013. At present there are no lap-tops, with the required storage, available for either collection or delivery within the South Wales Area as a lap-top IS NOT CLASSED AS AN ESSENTIAL ITEM DURING THIS LOCKDOWN; The Clerk will revisit as soon as the present lockdown is lifted;
f) Agenda Item 5a – Christmas 2021 Celebrations – It was decided to seek alternative suppliers for a Christmas tree for 2021 (larger than the 2020 tree) and that the site of the tree will be in the same place as 2020 (on land adjacent to KFC at the entrance to the village). Councillor Doherty agreed that she would look for and liaise with possible suppliers and the contractors who store & erect the tree lights.
It is intended to approach Blaengwrach Primary School to see if the children would like to make decorations to be placed on the tree.
Quotes are being sought for a “Cross Street LED Lit Banner” (these quotes include erection, removal, storage & maintenance) and will be discussed when the required number of quotes are received. As soon as they are received a discussion will take place on where the “banner” (if one of the quotes is accepted) will/can be erected and the County Council will need to be approached for permission to use their street lighting columns.
The sum of £500.00 (five hundred pounds) has been received from Energybuild Limited as a donation to the Cwmgwrach/Blaengwrach 2021 Christmas Celebrations and a thank you letter has been sent to the donor. (The Council gave their thanks to Councillor Edwards for securing the donation.).
THIS ITEM WILL CONTINUE TO BE DISCUSSED THROUGHOUT 2021;
g) Agenda Item 5b – Review of the Council`s Fees (both for Hall Hire & Burial Fees) – NOTE: THE PRESENT FEES HAVE NOT BEEN REVIEWED SINCE 2015 FOR THE HALL & 2017 FOR THE CEMETERY – The present fees were examined and the following was decided:
CEMETERY – LOCAL RESIDENTS:
The fee for a New Burial Plot/Grave (including the erection of a headstone) will rise to £300.00 (three hundred pounds);
The fee for the re-opening of a Plot/Grave for a burial will rise to £200.00 (two hundred pounds);
The fee for a New Cremation Plot will rise to £150.00 (one hundred & fifty pounds);
The fee for the re-opening of a Cremation Plot for Ashes will rise to £125.00 (one hundred & twenty-five pounds);
Addition of an Inscription to a Headstone (both Burial Plot & Cremation Plot) will remain at £30.00 (thirty pounds);
CEMETERY – NON-RESIDENTS:
The fee for a New Burial Plot/Grave (including the erection of a headstone) will rise to £500.00 (five hundred pounds);
The fee for re-opening of a Plot/Grave for burial will rise to £350.00 (three hundred & fifty pounds);
The fee for a New Cremation Plot (including the erection of a headstone) will rise to £250.00 (two hundred & fifty pounds);
The fee for re-opening of a Cremation Plot for Ashes will rise to £225.00 (two hundred & twenty-five pounds);
Additional Inscriptions to Headstones will remain at £60.00 (sixty pounds);
WELFARE HALL HIRE FEES – LOCAL RESIDENTS & GROUPS BASED IN CWMGWRACH/BLAENGWRACH:
Monday to Friday – £10.00 (ten pounds) per hour;
Monday to Friday – £25.00 (twenty-five pounds) for a half day (four hours);
Monday to Friday – £50.00 (fifty pounds) for a full day (four to eight hours+;
Saturday & Sunday – £12.00 (twelve pounds) per hour;
Saturday & Sunday – £30.00 (thirty pounds) for a half day (four hours);
Saturday & Sunday – £60.00 (sixty pounds) for a full day (four to eight hours+);
WELFARE HALL HIRE FEES – NON-RESIDENTS 7 GROUPS BASED OUTSIDE CWMGWRACH/BLAENGWRACH:
Monday to Friday – £12.00 (twelve pounds) per hour;
Monday to Friday – £36.00 (thirty-six pounds) for a half day (four hours);
Monday to Friday – £60.00 (sixty pounds) for a full day (four to eight hours+);
Saturday & Sunday – £17.50 (seventeen pounds 50p) per hour;
Saturday & Sunday – £40.00 (forty pounds) for a half day (four hours);
Saturday & Sunday – £80.00 (eighty pounds) for a full day (four to eight hours+);
It was decided to revisit the fees for the Welfare Hall when the Pandemic is over.
NOTE: THE ABOVE FEES WILL BE WITH EFFECT FROM 1st APRIL 2021;
h) Agenda Item 5c – The Wall between the Welfare Park & Tudor Lodge, High Street, Cwmgwrach – NOTE: COUNCILLOR AMANDA DOHERTY SPOKE IN THE DISCUSSION BUT DID NOT VOTE ON THE OUTCOME (see minute45/20 above) – The owners of Tudor Lodge requested that the Council allow them to build up the wall with more bricks which will replace the existing wooden fencing on the top of the wall as they are worried that children climbing on the wall will hurt themselves as the drop on the Tudor Lodge side of the wall is over nine feet. The owners offered to carry out the work at NO cost to the Council. THIS REQUEST WAS AGREED.
48/20 PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
17/12/2020 – Ref: P2020/1131 – Mr. Eric Nye, 23 Tan Yr Allt, Abercrave, Powys, SA9 1FX – Amended plans for construction of one (1) detached dwelling (house) on plot adjacent to 15 Fothergill Road, Cwmgwrach. Neath SA11 5HP;
12/1/2021 – Ref: P2021/0019 – Mr. Darren L Chattington, 24 Cedar Street, Cwmgwrach, Neath SA11 5PF – Detached dwelling, with parking (Outline Application with Matters Reserved) @ 37 Parish Road, Blaengwrach, Neath SA11 5SW;
49/20 CRIME & POLICING: There has been no change to the South Wales Police`s reporting of area crime figures or holding PACT meetings since March 2020;
50/20 FINANCE: For the Period 10/12/2020 to 21/1/2021:
Staff Pension Scheme (6 (six) weeks) – £73.26;
NPTCBC – Monthly General Rates for the Cemetery – £46.00;
NPTCBC – Monthly General Rates for the Welfare Hall – £428.00;
Welsh Water – Monthly Water Rates for the Cemetery – £17.00;
Welsh Water – Monthly Water Rates for the Welfare Hall – £104.00;
HMRC – Tax & NI Payable (6.12.20 to 5.1.2021) – £83.76;
Utility Warehouse – Electricity at Welfare Hall (November 2020) – £45.59;
British Gas – Gas at Welfare Hall (17.11.20 to 16.12.2020 – £217.19;
Viking Direct – Stationery for the Office – £53.65;
Hall Hire & Other Rental Fees – £30.00;
Burial Fees – £450.00;
Monthly Interest on Reserve Account – £6.64;
Energybuild Limited – Donation towards Christmas Celebrations – £500.00;
NPTCBC – Final Precept Payment for 2020-2021 – £12,907.00;
Various updates/changes to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Guidelines from the Welsh Government;
23.12.2020 from the Wales Audit Office – Notice that the Blaengwrach Community Council has been chosen as one of numerous Community Councils in Wales who will undergoing a “Full Audit” for 2020-2021 (NOTE: Charges to the Town/Community Council Annual Audit Guidelines state that “All Town & Community Councils will undergo a “Full Audit” within the next three years);
SECTION 137 Requests: A request for a donation was received on 24th December 2020 from the Wales Air Ambulance Charity Emergency Appeal – This request was NOT agreed;
52/20 COUNTY COUNCILLOR`S REPORTS:
There were no further reports to this meeting by the Ward County Councillor;
53/20 SET DATE, TIME, VENUE & PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS FOR THE NEXT MEETING: The next scheduled meeting will take place at 6.30pm on Thursday 18th February 2021. It is proposed, that if the Welsh Government Coronavirus/Covid-19 Guidelines allow, to hold the meeting in the Welfare Hall, Cwmgwrach (the prevailing “Social Distancing” Guidelines WILL apply) which will allow up to four (4) members of the public to attend. The four will be on a “first come basis” and those wishing to attend (Guidelines Permitting) will need to email the Clerk to confirm. Notices for the meeting will be posted at least three working days before the meeting is due to take place.
The meeting closed at 7.10pm.