MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 25th November 2020 VIA THE MEDIA PLATFORM “Zoom” (NOTE: THE MEETING WAS ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR THE 19th NOVEMBER 2020 BUT A QUORUM WAS NOT REACHED ON THAT DATE).
PRESENT: Councillors Carolyn Edwards (Chair); Amanda Doherty (Vice Chair); Philippa Richards; Menna Mortimore; Rhian Williams.
ALSO PRESENT: Clive Baker – Clerk to Blaengwrach Community Council.
THERE WERE NO MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC PRESENT.
24/10: APOLOGIES: Councillors Rhain Watts; Bethan Parry & Chris Kelly had sent their apologies;
25/10: DECLARATION(S) OF INTEREST: Councillor Carolyn Edwards declared her interest as a County Councillor of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council;
26/10: CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 15th OCTOBER 2020 AS A TRUE RECORD OF THAT MEETING: The minutes of the meeting held on 15th October 2020 were accepted as a true record of that meeting;
27/10: MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 15th OCTOBER 2020 & AGENDA ITEMS:
a) The Local Democracy & Boundary Commission for Wales`s Recommendation to Reduce the County Councillors for Blaengwrach/Glynneath from three (3) to two (2) – There has been no update received on this item;
b) Christmas Celebrations 2020 – NOTE: On the 23rd November 2020 the owners of Santa`s Sleigh contacted the Council to say that due to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic, the Sleigh WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR THIS YEAR. The Christmas tree will be lit but will be moved from the Welfare Park to the grass verge adjacent to KFC and a quote of £1,505.00 plus £301.00 VAT (total £1,806.00) was accepted from Centregreat Ltd to carry out the work for the tree to be moved to the above mentioned location (this includes supply & lighting of the tree (£640.00 plus VAT of £128.00 – total £768.00. This cost is met by the Council each year for supply & lighting of the tree; installation of a new tree pit & connections for the tree lighting from nearby streetlights/witch light). The children`s gifts will be delivered to the Blaengwrach School for distribution to the children attending the school. NOTE: Due to the Pandemic NO Christmas Celebrations will be held in the Welfare Hall this year. THIS IS THE FINAL MINUTE ON CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS 2020 & ANY DISCUSSIONS ON CHRISTMAS 2021 WILL COMMENCE IN THE JANUARY 2021 MEETING. THIS ITEM IS NOW CLOSED;
c) Updates from the Wales Government on the Coronavorus/Covid-19 Guidelines – All updates since the October meeting have been examined by the Council and acted upon where necessary.
d) Damage to the Bridge near Chain Road – The new bridge was scheduled to be put in place on Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th October 2020. However, it was not possible to do the work on those dates. The bridge will now be put in place on the 27th, 28th & 29th November 2020;
e) Possible Future Development of the Welfare Park – The Council decided to postpone further discussion on this item until the February 2021 meeting (it will appear as an agenda item). THIS ITEM IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED & REMOVED FROM THE MINUTES;
f) Age Connect Nail Cutting Service in the Welfare Hall – Age Connect NPT have NOT received enough “bookings” for the first scheduled date (Monday 7th December 2020, 10am to 3pm) and therefore have cancelled the booking. However, they hope to start the service at the same time on Monday 1st February 2021. They will review the service as updated Pandemic guidelines are received from the Wales Government; THIS ITEM IS NOW CLOSED;
g) Purchase of a Mower for the Cemetery – The Clerk & Grounds-Man will visit suppliers in January 2021 to obtain a “best fit” mower;
h) On-Going Vandalism in the Welfare Park – The Local Police are continually monitoring the area;
i) The “Entrance to the Village” – As the resident who requested to discuss this has NOT responded to Councillor Edwards`s request for any ideas they have for this area (NPTCBC, who own the land asked for “specifics”) it has been decided to close this item. THIS ITEM IS NOW CLOSED;
j) The Council Lap-Top – The existing lap-top is NOT allowing applications, e.g. Basic PAYE Tools, On-Line Banking etc, to be loaded/updated, then it has been decided to obtain a new lap-top in January 2021. The existing lap-top has been in use since 2013. The purchase will be covered from the Council`s Reserve;
k) Agenda Item 5a – The Council`s 2021-2022 Budget – After examining the Income & Expenditure of the Council for the period 1st October 2019 to 30th September 2020 (the last FULL twelve month period available) & a prepared Projected Income & Expenditure (the projected expenditure was for “essential expenditure only”) the Council decided to set the prepared projected budget for the Financial Year (1st April 2021 to 31st March 2022) without amendment. The Clerk informed the Council that if it was decided by the Council that any items NOT in the projected budget needed “a spend” then they would either need to be “covered” by obtaining grants or would need to be paid from the Council Reserves. The proposed discussion on the 2021-2022 Precept (to be scheduled for the December 2020 Meeting) will take into consideration the Projected Budget when the Precept figure is set. THE BUDGET ITEM IS NOW CLOSED;
l) AGENDA ITEM 5b – Possible Use of Star Leaf Media for Future Council Meetings – After obtaining quotes, which were discussed, it was decided NOT to proceed with using Star Leaf at this time (also see Minute 33/20 below). THIS ITEM IS NOW CLOSED;
m) Agenda Item 5c – Discussion on Clun Y Bont Property in High Street – NPTCBC Officers have visited the property, which has been empty for some time, and carried out a general review. They have reported that there is NOT a problem with the property at this time. It was reported that the owner of the property still intends to improve it but no Planning Application has been received by NPTCBC, Planning Department to date. THIS ITEM IS NOW CLOSED.
28/20: PLANNING APPLICATIONS: There were no planning applications received for the Blaengwrach/Cwmgwrach area between 16th October 2020 & 19th November 2020;
29/20: Crime & Policing: During the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic the South Wales Police have suspended publication of reported crime figures & PACT Meetings until further notice;
30/20: FINANCE: For the period 16th October 2020 to 19th November 2020:
Staff Pension Scheme (5 weeks) – £61.05;
NPTCBC – General Rates (Hall) – £428.00;
NPTCBC – General Rates (Cemetery) – £46.00;
Welsh Water – Water Rates (Hall) – £104.00;
Welsh Water – Water Rates (Cemetery) – £17.00;
Welsh Water – Outstanding water Rates for Cemetery (1.5.20 to 31.10.20) – £12.33;
Amazon UK – Printer Cartridges for Office – £53.88;
Utility Warehouse – Electricity @ Hall (September 2020) – £60.76;
Tesco Stores – 150 Selection Boxes (Children`s Christmas Gifts) – £150.00;
O2 – Council Mobile Top-Up – £30.00;
LIDL – 120 Black Refuse Sacks for Hall – £17.94;
NPTCBC – Trade Waste Collections (Hall & Cemetery) (for period 22.6.20 to 31.3.2021) – £399.40;
Royal British Legion – Donation to 2020 Poppy Appeal – £50.00.
Hall Hire & Other Rental fees – £30.00;
Monthly Interest on Reserve Account – £5.84;
Various Updates from the Wales Government Relating to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic;
12/11/2020 from One Voice Wales – Details received from Dyfed Powys & South Wales Police of a “Courier Fraud Alert – Fake Police Calls” within the area;
13/11/2020 from One Voice Wales – Details of the Wales Government update on Changes to TAN 15 (Flooding in Wales);
15/11/2020 from Swansea Bay Community Health Council – Details of a Survey – “Ask my GP, an Experience Survey”;
18/11/2020 from TSB Business Banking – Notice of Closure of the Glynneath TSB Branch (Thursday 11th February 2021);
SECTION 137 REQUESTS: There were NO Section 137 Requests Received between 16th October & 19th November 2020;
32/20: County Councillor`s Report: There were no further reports from the ward County Councillor;
33/20: Set Date, Time, Venue & Proposed Agenda Items for the Next Meeting:
It was decided that the next meeting will take place via Zoom at 6.30pm on Thursday 10th December 2020 (meeting was scheduled for 17th December but not enough Councillors are available for the 17th). It is proposed that the venue for future meetings commencing January 2021 will be the Welfare Hall which will allow four (4) members of the public to attend if they so wish. The four will be on a “first come” basis and those wishing to attend will need to email the Clerk (email@example.com) to confirm. However, this will depend on future Coronavirus/Covid-19 Guidelines received from the Wales Government. Notices for future meetings will be posted on this website & the Council`s notice boards at least three working days before the meeting takes place. The first agenda item for the December 2020 will be “The Setting of the 2021-2022 Precept (Local Rates).
The meeting closed at 8.10pm