Minutes of the Meeting Held at 6.30pm on Wednesday 27th May 2020 via the Media Platform “Zoom”
Present: Councillors Carolyn Edwards (Chair); Menna Mortimore (Vice Chair); Amanda Doherty; Rhian Watts; Rhian Williams; Philippa Richards.
Also Present: Clive Baker – Clerk to the Council.
There were no members of the public present due to the meeting being held via Zoom.
085/19 APOLOGIES: Councillors Chris Kelly, Andrew Hippsley & Julia Hippsley had sent their apologies;
086/19 DECLARATION OF INTEREST: Councillor Carolyn Edwards declared her interest as a County Councillor of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council.
087/19 CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING AS A TRUE RECORD: The minutes of the meeting held on 20th February 2020 were accepted as a true record of that meeting.
088/19 MATTERS ARISING & AGENDA ITEMS:
a) Parking in Heol Y Felin – There has been no update received since the last meeting;
b) The Re-Opening of the Parish Road – the meeting in NPTCBC Offices on 19th February 2020 was NOT held & no firm date has been set for it to take place;
c) The Pedestrian Crossing near the Health Centre – The post are now in place & lights will be completed as soon as possible;
d) Community Council Leases – This item WILL NOT move forward until after the Lockdown has been lifted;
e) Use of an Area of the Park by the Bistro – Work is still being completed on the Premier Stores but an access gate to the park is now in place;
f) The Local Boundary Commission for Wales Recommendation on Reducing the Number of County Councillors for Blaengwrach/Glynneath – No updates have been received since the last meeting;
g) The Issue of Keys to the Hall to Blaengwrach School to Use the Hall as a “Place of Refuge” – Keys were delivered to the School on 3rd March 2020. THIS ITEM IS NOW CLOSED;
h) Purchase of A defibrillator for Blaengwrach – Following “lobbying” from a local resident, Eurogarages have installed a public defibrillator on the outside wall of Sainsbury`s Local. The Council will continue to look at the possibility of purchasing & fitting another public defibrillator in the village at the end of “lockdown”;
i) 2020 Chritmas Celebrations – Further discussions have been “put on hold” until further guidance on large gatherings has been received from Senydd Cymru;
j) VE Day 75th Anniversary Celebrations – The celebration date was Friday 8th May 2020 but did not take place due to Government Guidelines on Public Gatherings. THIS ITEM IS NOW CLOSED;
k) Change of Trustees of Council Open Spaces Charity – Wales Guidelines state that Council AGMs WILL NOT TAKE PLACE IN MAY 2020 & that the Clerk may set a date for the Council AGM after “lockdown” as been lifted (THIS ITEM WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE MINUTES AND WILL BE PLACED ON THE AGENDA OF THE AGM);
l) Agenda Item 5a/5b – Discussion on Senydd Cymru Guidelines, Wales Audit Office Guidelines & One Voice Wales Best Practice Tips in Relation to Town & Community Councils during the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic – Various updates on Guidelines & Tips have been received since the last Council meeting (20.2.2020) & these have been examined by the Clerk & the Councillors. It has been decided to comply with the guidelines and NOT OPEN the Welfare Park until notice of relaxation is received from Senydd Cymru. The gates to the Cemetery will remain open but everyone is reminded of “Social Distancing” should they visit the Cemetery. The Wales Audit Office have published guidelines to all Councils in Wales stating that they are aware that the majority of councils WILL NOT be able to have their Annual Return examined by their Internal & External Auditors and therefore be able to present it to the Council in the public domain by 30th June 2020 and have granted a dispensation as long as a Notice to this effect is published on Council websites on or around 30th June 2020.
Further guidelines etc. may be received between today & 18th June 2020 (date of next scheduled meeting) and these will e forwarded by the Clerk to every Councillor for discussion & decisions (where needed) via email.
25.2.2020 – P2020/0144 – Eurogarages Ltd – Retention & display of one (1) illuminated fascia sign, thirteen (13) illuminated signs and one (1) non-illuminated signs at site between A465 & High Streetm=, Blaengwrach. NOTE: The Council lodged an objection/gave an option on this application on the basis of “light pollution” after receiving several complaints from local residents & drivers entering the village. NOTE: THE APPLICATION SHOWS “APPLICATION WITHDRAWN” ON THE NPTCBC, PLANNING WEBSITE (19th March 2020);
23/3/2020 – P2020/0265 – Mr. & Mrs. McCarthy, 14, Empire Avenue, Cwmgwrach – Construction of a single storey shower room at 14, Empire Avenue, Cwmgwrach, Neath SA11 5ST;
18/5/2020 – P2020/0384 – Mr. Stuart James- Details pursuant to the Discharge of Condition 3 (extraction flue system) of Approved Planning Permission P2018/0306 for Bistro at Premier Stores, 24, High Street, Cwmgwrach, Neath SA11 5TA;
18/5/2020 – P2020/0388 – Mr. Alan Hubbuck, Coed Y Cymoedd Forest Office, Resolven, Neath – Prior approval for creation of stoned access track to facilitate forest operations in felling coupe 99669 in Rheola Forest between Rhigos (RCT) & Blaengwrach;
090/19 CRIME & DISORDER:
The reported crime figures for Blaengwrach/Cwmgwrach for January & February 2020 are as follows:
January – 18 – 2 Anti-Social Behaviour; 1 Burglary; 1 Criminal Damage & Arson; 5 Drug Related; 1 Other Theft & 8 Violent & Sexual Offences;
February 2020 – 16 – 6 Anti-Social Behaviour; 1 Criminal Damage & Arson; 4 Public Disorder; 1 Vehicle Crime & 4 Violent & Sexual Offences.
NOTE: THE SOUTH WALES POLICE HAVE SUSPENDED REPORTING CRIME FIGURES ON THEIR WEBSITE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. THEY HAVE ALSO SUSPENDED ALL PACT MEETINGS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. THESE DECISIONS HAVE BEEN MADE DUE TO REGULATIONS WITH REGARDS TO THE CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 PANDEMIC.
For Period 21st February 2020 to 31st May 2020.
HMRC – Tax & NI on Salaries/Wages – £249.08 (12 weeks);
Welsh Water – Monthly Water Rates (Hall) – £312.00 (3 months);
Welsh Water – Monthly Water Rates (Cemetery) – £114.00 (3 months);
NPTCBC – General rates (Hall) – £856.00 (2 months);
NPTCBC – General Rates (Cemetery) – £92.10 (2 months);
Staff Pension Scheme – £166.52 (12 weeks);
Tesco – Printer Cartridges for Office – £32.00;
British Gas – Gas at Hall (7.1.20 to 19.2.20) – £408.50;
British Gas – Gas at Hall (20.2.20 to 19.5.20) – £735.33;
Aberdare Shoe Repairs – Hall Keys Cut for School to use Hall as a “Place of Refuge” – £18.10;
Stationery Items (Ring Binders for End of Year Returns) – £12.07;
C Baker – Clerk`s Mileage (1/10/19 to 31/3.20) – £26.55;
C Baker – Reimbursement of Telephone Charges for calls made on behalf of the Council (May 2019 to February 2020) – £52.20;
Tesco – Printer Cartridge for Office – £16.50;
E.ON – Electricity foe “Witch Spotlight” (14/4/2019 to 31/3/2020) – £16.81;
Welsh Water – Outstanding Water Rates for Cemetery for 15.10.19 to 20.4.20) – £17.20;
NPTCBC – 1st 2020/2021 Precept Payment) – £12,907.00;
Hall Hire – £140.00;
Burial Fees – £200.00;
Monthly Interest on Reserve Account – £33.67 (3 months).
Various updates from NPTCBC, One Voice Wales, Wales Audit Office & Senydd Cymru relating to Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic.
SECTION 137 REQUESTS:
4.3.2020 from Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod – Request for Donation towards the 2020 Eisteddfod – THE FESTIVAL HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE PANDEMIC;
21.5.2020 from Tarian Cymru – Request for donation – Request not agreed.
093/19 MATTERS RAISED BY COUNCILLORS:
The Damage to the Bridge near Chain Road – The Council has written to,emailed & telephoned NPTCBC on several occasions since February 2020 with regards to their proposals relating to the damaged bridge/setting up a alternative footpath etc. However, although the bridge itself is in the Blaengwrach Ward of NPTCBC no acknowledgements have been received (the Clerk of Glynneath Town Council has received acknowledgement to her correspondence). The Blaengwrach Community Council are very concerned that the proposed alternative footpath may be dangerous to pedestrians. The Council will continue to “lobby” the County Council to repair the bridge as soon as possible.
094/19 SET DATE, TIME, VENUE & PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS FOR THE NEXT MEETING:
The next meeting will be held on Thursday 18th June 2020 at 6.30pm. The venue of the meeting will be subject on further guidelines being received in relation to the Pandemic and therefore cannot be stated at this time.
The following agenda items were requested:
a) Discussion on Obtaining a Grant for New Stage Curtains at the Welfare Hall;
b) “Local Honours” (The Council “honouring” individuals for their work in the Community);
c) Discussion on “Promoting” the Vale of Neath Health Centre`s Information Leaflet;
d) Request by a Local Resident to Use the Welfare Park as a small camp for tents for people attending a proposed charity event at the Dunraven (all proceeds to be donated to Local Charities);
e) Issue of Duplicate Keys to the Park Gates to a Councillor to be used in Case of Emergency.
The Meeting Closed at 7.07pm.