Minutes 19/06/2017

Minutes of the Sesswick Community Council meeting held at Marchwiel Village Hall on Monday 19th June 2017 at 6.30pm



Cllr John Hurst                         Chairman

Cllr S. Heather Rowland           Vice- Chairman

Cllr Christine Stead

Cllr Elizabeth Griffiths

Cllr Fern Williams

Cllr John Pritchard                   County councillor                                 Co-opted from 17/31.2

Cllr David Williams                                                                              Co-opted from 17/31.2

Ian Griffiths                             Clerk/ responsible financial officer

No members of the public


Declarations of interest

No declarations were made


17/29   Apologies of absence

Apologies had been submitted from the two volunteers serving on the play project working party


17/30   Play Sufficiency Assessment Project

A         To receive an update from the play assessment working party on how it considers the grant funding received could be best utilised to improve recreational opportunities in Sesswick, and to take any resulting questions from councillors

1          Cllr Stead presented a verbal report from the working party meeting held on 22nd May

A         A list of play equipment had been compiled, comprising of items such as giant Jenga, giant ludo, a badminton set, swing- ball and dressing- up clothes. Football- related items that have a greater risk of inadvertently causing damage to property would not be purchased.

B          Guidance would need to be sought from the county council youth and play team to see from where these items would best be sourced.

C          A booking system has been devised where residents can request items from the working party volunteers, who would also book the items back into stock for future use

D         One of the volunteers has agreed to store the equipment at her property. Once booked, residents would approach her directly for the play items

E          It is envisaged that a community event will be organised at the start of the school summer holidays, so residents can view the items available and interest for future use be elicited

2          The clerk stated that the council’s insurance provider had confirmed that its £10million public liability cover should be ample to cover this venture. The council would need to insure the equipment once purchased

3          When approached for advice, the Society of Local Council Clerks had raised no concerns over the project overview, but counselled the following actions be taken:

A         a robust booking system be devised, to demonstrate how equipment would be loaned out and returned. This written procedure needs to be approved by the council before the process is implemented

B          The play items be inspected on an annual basis for health and safety purposes. This would then feed into the council’s annual risk assessment

C          Should be working party be empowered to drive the project forward, then minutes of their meetings need to be taken and presented to the full council for ratification


B          To vote on whether to proceed with the project as presented, or to return the £650 grant to Wrexham County Borough Council

1          With five votes in favour and none against, it was resolved that the project proceed. The £650 therefore will not be returned to the county council


C          To set timelines and responsibilities for the project’s execution (should it be decided to continue)

1          The clerk was instructed to undertake the following steps

A         ask the working party for the definitive list of play equipment to be purchased, as agreed at their 22nd May meeting

B          Request an extension to the project deadline from the county council youth and play team, as the initial 30th June date will not be met.

C          Once the list of items to buy has been received, approach the county council youth and play team to see if they can advise from where these items should be purchased

D         Send the list of items and prices to councillors for their final review, before purchase is made

E          Enquire with Robinwood Activity Centre to ask if one of their lawns at the site of the former Cross Lanes Hotel can be used for the community open event

F          arrange the additional insurance cover with Zurich Municipal once the play equipment is purchased


17/31   Co-option of new community councillors

1          Two expressions of interest had been received for the two remaining vacancies.

2          It was resolved that the following be co-opted to Sesswick Community Council:

A         John Derrick Pritchard of 21 Elwyn Drive, Marchwiel, Wrexham LL13 0RD

B          David Williams of 7 Taunton Way, Llwyn Onn Park, Wrexham LL13 0PJ

3          In terms of the satisfying the eligibility criteria, both new councillors live within three miles of the community of Sesswick. Furthermore, Cllr Williams owns land off Bedwell Lane and Cllr Pritchard is the county councillor for the Marchwiel ward (including Sesswick)

4          The council received both members’ declaration of acceptance of office

5          The clerk furnished Cllr Williams with copies of the following current council documentation

A         The code of coduct

B          The financial regulations

C          Standing orders

D         The 2017/ 2018 budget

E          Minutes from the March 2017 and all paperwork from the May 2017 annual meeting

6          Having served previously on Sesswick Community Council and being county councillor, Cllr Prichard is already in possession of this information.

7          The clerk was instructed to inform the county council electoral office of these two co-options, and that the community council now has its full complement of members.

8          The clerk will also update councillors’ contact details for display on the notice boards


17/32   Liaison with HMP Berwyn

1          The clerk was instructed to invite a member of the prison’s management team to address and take questions from members for around thirty minutes at the July 2017 council meeting

2          This will allow councillors to gain a greater understanding of the site’s operations and its impact/ relations with the surrounding communities.


17/33   State of the area around the Jubilee Stone

1          Councillors commented upon the overgrown vegetation surrounding the stone at the entrance to Cross Lanes.

A         Cllr Pritchard volunteered to approach the relevant department within the county council to see where responsibility falls for attending to this area, and would report back to the next meeting. It was not clear whether maintenance still lies with the link road contractors, the county council, or whether the community council would need to assume the role.

B          So as to enhance the stone’s presence and visibility, it was suggested that a stoned area be placed around the memorial. A proportion of the budget that had been ring- fenced for an envisaged contested election (which did not happen) could be re-allocated for this purpose


17/34   2016/ 2017 Accounts

A         To receive the internal auditor’s report (enclosed)

1          Having conducted the audit, JDH Business Services Limited had concluded there were “no issues arising. A robust set of books and records had been maintained throughout the financial and all internal control objectives had been made”. No recommendations for performance amelioration had been put forward and the issues arising from the 2015/ 2016 had been fully addressed.

2          The council accepted the above report without comment.


B          To receive the RFO’s certification of the accounts

1          The responsible financial officer duly certified the accounts

2          The clerk advised that there were no litigation, liabilities or commitments, events or transactions occurring either during or after the year end which have a financial impact on the council and would need to be included on the accounting statements


C          To approve the Annual Return for the year ended 31st March 2017 (enclosed)

1a        The RFO explained apologetically that the manual correction to the 2017 fixed asset figure (from £18,238 to £18,718) was due to a formula error in the 2016 asset history sheet, where one asset had been inadvertently excluded from the sum function. £18,718 was the correct figure for both years, there having been no acquisitions or disposals.

1b        Members noted this explanation and the Chairman and RFO initialled the Annual Return as acknowledgement of the amendment

2          The council subsequently approved the 2016/ 2017 accounting statements, annual governance statements (parts 1 and 2) and the statements of significant variations


D         To receive a report from the RFO on the next steps to be taken

1          The RFO confirmed that the accounts and related files remain open for public inspection until 2nd July. No date, no member of the public has requested to inspect the council’s books

2          The external audit will start on 3rd July. The RFO awaits some further information from the payroll administration to provide to the auditor, but would follow this up with Wrexham County Borough Council.


17/35   Finance

A         To approve payments due

1          The following was approved

  Cheque number Recipient Purpose Amount Empowering legislation
1 000655 JDH Business Services Ltd 2016/ 2017 internal audit £129.60 Section 7, Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations 2014

2          The £650.00 return of the play sufficient grant to Wrexham County Borough Council was not required as the project will now proceed (17/30.B1)



17/36   Date of next meeting

Monday 24th July 2017



The meeting ended at 7.45pm