DRAFT Minutes of the Blaengwrach Community Council held in the Welfare Hall, Heol Y Felin, Cwmgwrach on Thursday 16th June 2022 which commenced at 6.30 p.m.
PRESENT: Councillor Carolyn Edwards; Councillor Menna Mortimore; Councillor Jennifer Bulman; Councillor Rhian Williams; Councillor Peter Rudd; Councillor David Jones & Councillor Alan Edwards.
Also Present: Clive Baker – Clerk to Blaengwrach Community Council.
Members of the Public Present: Mr. John Westwood & Mrs. Alison Westwood of Baobob Bach CIC (both Mr. & Mrs. Westwood left the meeting at 7.10 p.m.).
11/22: APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillor Amanda Doherty, Councillor Rhian A Williams & Councillor Andrew Hippsley had given/sent their apologies;
12/22: DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST: There were no declarations of interest made at this meeting;
13/22: COUNTY COUNCILLOR`S REPORT: Councillor Hayley Davies had given her apologies as she was unable to attend;
14/22: CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING AS A TRUE RECORD: The minutes of the 2022 Annual General Meeting and the May 2022 Monthly Meeting, both held on 19th May 2022, were accepted as True Records of those meetings;
15/22: MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES OF 19th MAY 2022 AND AGENDA ITEMS:
a) Installation of WiFi at the Welfare Hall – The grant monies towards the installation was received on 12th May 2022. Details of the preferred installer were received from the ex-project manager of the Upper Neath Valley Cluster Group on 31st May 2022 and FastWIFI Wales were emailed on the same date to request a price of and date for possible installation. Their reply was received on 7th June 2022 and after examination by the Council, it was decided to instruct FastWIFI Wales to carry out the installation;
b) The Flat Roof and Kitchen Ceiling of the Welfare Hall – The claim for the NPTCBC Minor Repair Grant was sent to NPTCBC on 11th May 2022 and the grant monies received on 17th May 2022. Quotes for the repair to the internal ceiling are STILL being sought;
c) Christmas 2022 Celebrations – The lighting contractors were contacted on the 26th May 2022 and confirmed that the work needed (i.e. new posts to support the “cross street banner”) will be carried out, staring August 2022, in readiness for November 2022 and they will order and “dress” the tree by the November date to be given to them as soon as possible (the Christmas tree will remain “in-situ” on the green space adjacent to KFC). The lamp-post lights purchased by the Council in 2021 were delivered, by the Clerk, to the contractors on 30th May 2022 so that they can be put in place in November 2022. It was then decided that the proposed date for the “switch-on” of the 2022 lights will be either Friday 25th November 2022 or Saturday 26th November 2022, depending on the availability of the lighting contractor. Any discussion relating to a Christmas party will be held at a later meeting;
d) The Governance & Financial Toolkit Pilot for Town & Community Councils in Wales – The Chair & the Clerk took part in the pilot and the Statutory Guidelines adopted by the Welsh Government were received on 15th June 2022 together with a letter of thanks for the part played by this Council in the “pilot”. The statutory guidelines included a time-table for the “kit” to be adopted by each Council in Wales and the documents will be examined further and put into effect over the next few months;
e) Renewal of Leases for Council Owned Land – The remaining Lessee has been handed another copy of the lease and has “promised” to return a signed copy within the next fortnight;
f) The Possible Employ of an Administrative Assistant – The item will be discussed in “CLOSED SESSION” later in this meeting. THE ITEM WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE “OPEN MINUTES” UNTIL THE COUNCIL IS READY TO PUBLISH THE RELEVANT JOB ADVERTS NEEDED TO FULFILL THE COUNCIL`S NEEDS;
g) Update on the Winter Programme of Works – The next ROSPA Report is due soon (the ROSPA Inspector visited on Monday 8th June 2022) and a “new programme of work” will be drawn up after it has been received. The quotes for the new goal posts are being obtained;
h) Fallen Tree in the Welfare Park – Special Branch (W R & R Lloyd Timber) were instructed to carry out the work on 20th May 2022. The work was completed on Monday 13th June 2022. THIS ITEM IS NOW CLOSED;
i) 13th Neath Scout Group Cwmgwrach`s Request for a Section 137 Grant of £100.00 – The Councillors wanted more information as to the proposed activities and equipment mentioned in the request. Councillor Rhian Williams has contacted the Scout Leader giving details of “Mindfulness Grants” that are available to young people`s organisations within the NPT area;
j) Agenda Item 5a – Mr. John Westwood of Baobob Bach CIC Presentation on the Activities and Possible Implementation of a Community Pantry in Cwmgwrach – Mr & Mrs Westwood gave an in-depth address on the activities of Baobob Bach & what is required to set up a Community Pantry e.g. a venue with a fridge and storage for “dry goods”; someone to be present at “The Pantry” with a Level 2 Food Hygiene Certificate; that local volunteers are needed to run “the pantry” and those volunteers would be responsible for ordering and monitoring “stock” and keep ALL the financial records and other required records up to date. All food for the pantry is supplied by Fair Share Cymru. It was stressed that Baobob Bach is a registered charity. The Council thanked Mr & Mrs Westwood for attending and the presentation and will revisit this item at the next scheduled meeting;
k) Agenda Item 5b – The Examination & Agreement of the Council`s 2021-2022 Annual Financial Return – Copies of the “Return”, the Annual Governance Statements, Audit Bank Reconciliation, Explanation of Variances and the Internal Auditor`s Report had been sent to ALL Councillors. These had been examined and were accepted. The RFO (Responsible Financial Officer) and the Chair signed the “Return” where required and it will now be sent to the External Auditor to await their reply/observations;
l) Agenda Item 5c – Review of Council Fees for both the Welfare Hall & the Cemetery – The existing fees were discussed and it was decided to look at corresponding fees charged by other Town & Community Councils in the NPT area and progress this item when the information has been received;
m) Agenda Item 5d – The Distribution of “Dog Bags” in the Village – The Council`s thanks were extended to Mr Anthony Daniels who had supplied, without charge, several metal dog bag holders to be placed throughout the village. At present the bags within these holders are supplied by this Council. The Clerk also issued his thanks to Mr Daniels who had made and fitted metal covers for the electrical outlets in the path at the Welfare Park. THIS ITEM IS NOW CLOSED;
16/22 PLANNING: 26th May 2022 – Ref: P2022/0424 – Applicant: Mr & Mrs J Henry, 16 Edward Street, Cwmgwrach, Neath SA11 5PW – Single storey rear extension at the same address; & 8th June 2022 – Ref: P2022/0230 – Applicant: Mr & Mrs C Griffiths, 35 Parish Road, Blaengwrach, Neath SA11 5SW – Proposed construction of two (2) domestic dwellings and the demolition of an existing bungalow at the same address;
17/22 CRIME & DISORDER: The reported crime figures for the Blaengwrach/Glynneath West Ward for April 2022 were 11. These were broken down as follows: Anti-Social Behaviour -2; Burglary -1; Public Disorder – 2; Shoplifting -1 & Violent & Sexual Offences – 5. HOWEVER, from the “Crime Map” the reported crime figures for Blaengwrach/Cwmgwrach are 5. They were: Anti-Social Behaviour -1; Burglary -1; Public Disorder – 1; Shoplifting – 1 & Violent & Sexual Offences – 1.
For the Period 20th May 2022 to 16th June 2022:
Staff Pension Scheme (4 weeks) – £53.32;
Welsh Water (Water rates for the Cemetery) – £10.50;
Welsh Water (Water rates for the Welfare Hall) – £136.00;
NPTCBC (General rates for the Cemetery) – £46.00;
NPTCBC (General rates for the Welfare Hall) – £428.00;
HMRC (Tax & NI Payable on Staff Wages/Salaries) – £97.00;
Utility Warehouse (electricity at the Welfare Hall) – £107.68;
British Gas (gas at the Welfare Hall) – £414.94;
Viking Direct (2 printer cartridges for the office) – £44.92;
Ridgewood Associates (Internal Auditor`s Fee) – £325.00;
Eurogarages (petrol for park/cemetery machinery) – £57.84;
Amazon UK (Jubilee Celebration Union Jack Flag) – £9.98;
Zurich Municipal Insurance (Council`s General Insurance) – £2,931.69;
Hall Hire & Other Rental Fees – £240.00;
Burial Fees – £425.00;
Monthly Interest on “Reserve Account” – £3.44;
NPTCBC (Minor Project Repair Grant) – £10,850.00;
British Gas Commercial (Refund relating to Annual Heating System Contract paid on 24th January 2022) – £693.49;
7th June 2022 from NPTCVS – Notice that the NPT Youth Fund is now open (Applications for funding can be made by organisations who provide activities and support to people aged between 14 & 25);
7th June 2022 from NPTCBC Play Development Officer – Notice that the
Bi-lingual “Activity” Boards for the children`s play ground were available for collection from the Gnoll Park;
8th June 2022 from the Dunraven Arms – Enquiry about the responsibility for repairing the wall between the public house & the Welfare Park;
SECTION 137 REQUESTS: There were no Section 137 Requests received between the 20th May 2022 and the 16th June 2022;
20/22 SET DATE, TIME, VENUE & PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS FOR THE NEXT MEETING:
The next meeting is scheduled for 6.30pm on Thursday, 21st July 2022 to be held in the Welfare Hall, Heol Y Felin, Cwmgwrach, Neath SA11 5TB. There were NO proposed agenda items at this time.
NOTE: NOTICES/AGENDA OF THE MEETING WILL BE POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE AND ON THE COUNCIL NOTICE BOARDS AT LEAST THREE WORKING DAYS BEFORE IT IS DUE TO TAKE PLACE.
The meeting closed at 8.40 p.m.