Minutes 19/09/2016

Minutes of the Sesswick Community Council meeting held in the Stage Room of Marchwiel Village Hall on Monday 19th September 2016 at 6.30pm


Cllr John Hurst                         Chairman

Cllr S. Heather Rowland           Vice- Chairman

Cllr John Pritchard                   County Councillor

Cllr Christine Stead

Cllr Jennifer Williams

Cllr Elizabeth Griffiths

P.C.S.O. Lynn Maurice             North Wales Police

Howard Jones                          Planning Consultant for Welsh Water

Jill Roberts                               Regional Communications Officer, Welsh Water

Ian Griffiths                             Clerk and responsible financial officer

Two members of the public


16/64   Apologies of absence

Cllr Patricia Jones                     Prior engagement


16/65   Declarations of interest

Councillor Agenda   point Nature Reason
J. D.   Pritchard 16/66 Personal County   councillor sitting on planning committee
E. P.   Griffiths 16/68 Personal   and prejudicial Councillor   is a close associate of one of the candidates for co-option
J.   Williams 16/68 Personal   and prejudicial Councillor   is a close associate of one of the candidates for co-option
E. P.   Griffiths 16/72A   & B Personal   and prejudicial Councillor   is a close associate of the clerk
J. D.   Pritchard 16/78 Personal County   councillor sitting on planning committee


It was agreed to temporarily suspend standing order 70, to permit public participation


16/66   Five Fords

1          Welsh Water representatives Jill Roberts and Howard Jones gave a presentation on planning application P/2016/0709, which was out for public consultation at the time of the meeting. They also took questions from councillors and members of the public present.

A         This submission involves the change of use of elements of the former construction compound at the Five Fords Water Treatment Works on Cefn Road. The plans also envisage the construction of an advanced anaerobic digestion plant, modifications of the internal site access roads and the screening bund.

B          Currently, the sewage sludge is stored in digester tanks, built around 4- 5 years ago. The gas generated from this process is injected into the National Grid. The cake by- product is spread on land as fertiliser.

C          The addition of an advanced anaerobic digester will allow the sludge to be treated before it enters the digester tanks. This will result in a considerable increase in the volume of gas that can be extracted. Through this well- tried- and- tested process, the resulting cake is inert, pasteurised and ready for agricultural use. This will have an earthly aroma when spread, and the product meets all safety and hygiene standards.

D         Any residual liquid waste, as now, would be fed back into the treatment works. At no time will any waster matter be placed into the river Clywedog.

E          Some of the existing tanks and buildings at the complex will need to be demolished and replaced. The new structures would be lower than the existing two tanks. There would be little discernible difference in the overall view. It would be visible to users of the public footpath near Five Fords and road users on the route to the Wrexham Industrial Estate. Some residents living on Bedwell road would be able to see the complex, but the planting of two- metre- high screening should mitigate this.

Fi         There should be no differences in noise emitted from the complex should the new process come into operation. Similarly, there would be no increases in odours emanating from the complex, as the substance being treated under the process is not exposed to the atmosphere.

Fii        It was commented that, for several years, there is occasionally an intermittent piscine smell, dependant on wind directions, which one suspected originates from Five Fords. In such instances, the Welsh Water representatives encouraged affected residents to contact the plant manager so this can be investigated. The counter- argument was also lodged that in several cases such pungency was linked to other sources and had no connection to the site.

G         There would be an average of eight additional tankers at Five Fords each day under the new process. However, this is not considered an issue by the operators given the works to be executed to improve access at the site to Cefn Road and the recent imposition of the 40mph limit. Concerns were voiced that a significant proportion of road users flout this speed restriction and this will therefore need to be closely monitored by the traffic authorities should the application be permitted.


Mr Jones and Ms Roberts left the meeting


16/67   Police update

1          PCSO Maurice reported there had been two instances of criminal activity since the July meeting

A         One case of arson, where a car had been set ablaze in a field. The vehicle was traced back to a motor stolen in Marchwiel, and investigations into this theft were continuing.

B          An example of anti- social behaviour where there had been malicious correspondence sent to neighbours. The case remains open with the crime scene investigation unit.

2          The following issues had also occurred since July:

A         a non- injurious road- traffic collision, resulting in one car overturning on to its roof and blocking Holt Road

B          a road- traffic incident by the roundabout at the former Cross Lanes Hotel, due to excessive speed. No injuries had been sustained.

C          Horses loose on the B5130 road near the Transco’ entrance. The fencing has since been renewed and no subsequent reports have been received

D         Late one evening, four males had been witnessed in a vehicle with no windscreen, revving the engine and travelling towards Wrexham from the area by the Cooperative store. No further sightings were made when officers attended the scene and the police national computer database had no data for the car’s registration number

3          As mentioned in July 2016 meeting minute 16/42.8, there had been no further cases witnessed of bikes on private land off Bedwell Road. However, this area will remain an area of police attention.

4          Following from July 2016 meeting minute 16/62.2, officers had been to the premises near to the roundabout for Cefn road and the Southern Access link road to the Wrexham Industrial Estate. No issues were detected that merited a closer inspection, but this area will continue to be patrolled

5i         PCSO’s Maurice and Simister were requested to prioritise the issue of speeding, with particular attention to:

A         the Southern Access Link road from the Wrexham Industrial Estate and through Cross Lanes on the A525, on Sunday afternoons between 1pm and 4pm,

B          Bedwell Lane at lunch times and between 7pm and 8pm, especially around the road bend by Cartref.

5ii        Members opined that a visible police presence was required to act as a deterrence to dangerous and inconsiderate driving. In spite of the recently- enacted 30mph speed limit in this area, this restriction is being consistently disregarded by the vast majority of road users.

6          Cllr Pritchard had attended a site meeting with county council environmental services personnel at a property near to the Mainetti complex.

A         Continuing from March 2016 minute 16/06, there has been an exacerbation in public health issues at the area. The home-owner is now obliged to collect waste (including bottles full of urine, excrement- laden containers and used contraceptives) on a daily basis. Such detritus has also been seen thrown on the verges on the new Southern Access link road to the Industrial Estate

B          Wrexham County Borough Council will be consulting on the feasibility of placing double- yellow- lines in this area around the former Tetra- Pak site. The authorities will consequently be able to enforce no- parking in the vicinity. It was agreed that Sesswick Community Council would strongly support such an imposition.

C          The absence of a suitable overnight HGV parking and associated facilities was again highlighted.  It was felt such a provision would help prevent these issues happening in the surrounding villages.

PCSO Maurice left the meeting


16/68   Co-option

1          Two members of the public, both present at the meeting, had expressed an interest in being co-opted to fill the one vacant position.

2          Both candidates gave a short presentation to members, detailing their backgrounds and their suitability to serve as community councillors.

The two members of the public, along with Cllrs Williams and Griffiths, left the meeting


3          There ensued a discussion between Cllrs Hurst, Rowland, Pritchard and Stead on the co-option process.


The candidates and Cllrs Williams and Griffiths returned


4          The candidates’ expression of interest for co-option at this meeting had been withdrawn

5          Notice of the vacancy will therefore remain advertised on the community council notice boards and on the website.


Standing order 70 was reinstated


16/69   Confirmation of minutes from previous meetings

A         23rd May 2016

The minutes were approved as an accurate representation, subject to the following modification

I           In the title at the top of minute book page 984, “Monday 23rd March 2016” was changed to “Monday 23rd May 2016”

B          18th July 2016

Conditional on the below changes being made, the minutes were taken as a true record:

1          16/58.A1 (minute book page 1011) amended from “Councillors agreed to accept the revised Code” to “Councillors agreed to accept and abide by the new Code”

2          16/50.A1 (minute book page 1014): “paid with cheque number 627” added


16/70   Matters arising from the minutes not covered elsewhere on this agenda

1          16/21.4 (employer pensions obligation): the clerk has confirmed to the regulator that the council’s responsibilities in this regard have been met. This has been acknowledged by the authority.

2          16/52.A (cleaning of bus shelters on A525): Cllr Pritchard confirmed that the grime on the panels cannot be removed. The tendering process for the acquisition of new shelters is currently underway by the county council

3          16/52.B (improving position of the Wrexham- bound bus shelter): The Vice- Chairman had raised the possibility of relocating the shelter back from the highway with the landowner of the adjacent field. The gentleman concerned was not agreeable to such a proposition, citing drain blockages as a result of previous county council activities at the cross roads and not wishing to see further encroachment into his field. Members concurred that further discussions from the community council on this matter would be counter- productive at the current time. It was though mooted if this could be taken up by the county council, possibly as a site visit with the landowner.

4          16/53 (purchase of traffic speed warning signs): Cllr Pritchard advised that such an acquisition would cost £2,500 per unit. 50% match- funding from the Wrexham County Borough Council would only be available for roads with a history of serious accidents, which would not be applicable for any highways within the Sesswick community. Such a cost was judged to be prohibitively expensive.

5          16/54.A (tidying of area around the Jubilee Stone): it was current understanding that responsibility for maintenance remains with Birse, having secured a five-year contract extension. Cllr Pritchard will raise this matter at county- council level, to help ensure this part of Cross Lanes is kept neater than presently.

6          16/56.1 (overgrown hedgerows between Cross Lanes and Bangor): these have now been cut back.

7          16/56. (overgrown foliage between Nant Clwyd Park and The Paddock): this has been rectified

8          16/58 (adoption of the new Code of Conduct): notice had been placed in the September 2016 of “Essentially Yours”. A copy of the new code has been forwarded to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales as required and acknowledged receipt.

9          16/61.2 (“Wrexham Strategic Road Network Capacity and Improvement Study 2016” consultation): no submission had been made by the community council as this appeared to have no direct impact on the area around Cross Lanes. This had been agreed with the Chairman at the time.


16/71   County Councillor feedback

Cllr Pritchard is in the process of investigating whether the uneven and pot-holed entrance to Nant Clwyd Park can be resurfaced.


Cllr Griffiths left the meeting


16/72   Clerical matters

A         To agree whether to accept SLCC’s advice to apply a 1% pay raise retrospectively from 1st          April 2016 and amend the clerk’s contract accordingly

1          This recommendation was accepted.

2          The clerk’s hourly rate (at SLCC level 22) therefore increases from £10.53 to £10.63


B          To approve the clerk’s timesheets for payment

1          23rd May- 17th July 2016

The claim for 27 hours (9 weeks x 3 hours per week per contract point 4) was approved.

2          18th July 18th September 2016

The request for 30.5 hours (8 weeks x 3 hours, and 6.5 hours’ overtime associated with the 27th June extra meeting) was authorised


C          To approve the Service Level Agreement for Wrexham County Borough Council to act as            payroll administrator for 2016/ 2017

1          The contract, at a per annum cost of £60 up to 31st March 2017, was approved.

2          Copies of the contract had been given to all members prior to the meeting.


Cllr Griffiths returned to the meeting


16/73   Finance

A         To approve new financial regulations

1          The financial regulations, as advised by One Voice Wales, were adopted by the council.

2          All members have personal copies and affirmed to adhere to the requirements contained within.


B          To record payments made since the July 2016 meeting

  Cheque   number Date   signed Recipient Nature Invoice   number Amount Empowering   legislation Authorised   by council
1 000628 25th   July 2016 Wrexham   County Borough Council Clerk’s   salary: 21st March – 22nd May 2016 (29 hours x £10.53/   hour) Inv   3341449 £305.08 1972   Local Government Act, section 112 Minute   reference 16/20
2 000629 1st   August 2016 Marchwiel   Village Hall 18th   July 2016 meeting room hire (3 hours x £7/ hour) 2154 £21.00 1972   Local Government Act, section 133 Minute   reference 16/60


C          To settle charges due

It was agreed to pay the following:

  Cheque   number Recipient Nature Amount Empowering   legislation
1 000630 Ian   Griffiths Clerk   expenses. Printer ink: £78.00 (4 cartridges), travel to internal auditor   (£8.64), postage (£7.87), printer paper (£4.00) and envelopes (£1.80) £100.31 1972   Local Government Act, section 111
2 000631 Heather   Rowland Reimbursement   for printer ink for community leaflet drop in relation to planning   application P/2016/0533 £10.00 1972   Local Government Act, section 111


D         To settle charges due where the invoice was presented after this agenda was issued

No such costs had been received


E          To approve payment of charges expected to fall due before the November 2016 meeting

The following were authorised for settlement between meetings:

  Recipient Nature Estimated   cost
1 Grant   Thornton 2015/   2016 external audit fee £249.60
2 Wrexham   County Borough Council Clerk   salary: 23rd May- 18th September 2016 £630.00
3 Marchwiel   Village Hall 18th   September 2016 meeting hire £21.00
4 Scottish   Power Q3   2016 street lighting electricity £50.00
5 Wrexham   County Borough Council 2016/   2017 payroll administration costs £60.00


F          To receive the latest budget monitoring report

1          The report, prepared as at 10th September 2016, was approved, with the following observations:

A         No invoice has yet been presented from Wrexham County Borough Council since taking over the street lighting maintenance in 2012/2013. The clerk was instructed to contact again the street lighting officer to ascertain the envisaged billing strategy.

B          The level of reserves, as noted by the internal auditor in his 2015/ 2016 report, should be within recommended sector limits by 31st March 2017.


G         To receive the latest bank and petty cash reconciliations

The reconciliation. prepared as at 5th September 2016 and showing a total balance of £7,607.64, was accepted.


H         To decide upon the upper limit of council reserves to be held

It was agreed that the council aims to maintain its reserves at one year of current- year budgeted expenditure.


I           To decide whether funds need to be transferred between the current and reserve accounts

In view of the anticipated outflows in the next eight weeks, members accepted the clerk’s recommendation to transfer £700.00 from the reserve account to the current account.

J           To confirm completion of the 2015/ 2016 audit and associated matters

1          Grant Thornton had confirmed that the audit for the year ended 31st Match 2016 had concluded without any issues being raised.

2          The “Notice of Conclusion of audit” was currently displayed on the community council notice boards and on the website, and will remain until after 2nd October 2016, so the fourteen-day publication period required by statute is met.

3          The clerk was authorised the convey the council’s appreciation of how the audit had been conducted. Instructions had been issued in good time and queries had been responded to very promptly.


K         To confirm the issuance of bank statements per audit requirements

The clerk was instructed to request NatWest to issue bank statements for both the current and reserve accounts at each quarter end date (31st March, 30th June, 30th September and 31st December).


16/74   146 bus service

1          Following the ceasing of the former GHA coaches service in July, a new service from RJ’s of Wem has been operational since 6th September 2016.

2          There was disappointment that the new timetable has a much- reduced service, making the use of public transport for commuting, leisure and educational purposes far more restrictive. Rather than the previous hourly- buses that functioned into the evening, there are now just four coaches in both directions each day. The last bus leaves Wrexham at 5.15pm while the last service to Wrexham departs from Cross Lanes at 6.54pm.

3          Responding to feedback that the county council has been insufficiently active in sourcing the new operators, it was commented that the 146 route, particularly between Overton and Whitchurch, has been unprofitable and unappealing as a private, unsubsidised enterprise. The county council’s only statutory obligation is to provide a bus services for schoolchildren to their nearest place of education, and officers had been working extremely diligently to coordinate the level of service now achieved.


16/75   Reports from other meetings

A         146 bus service meeting on 9th August

1          Cllr Hurst had attended this meeting, where over one hundred people had attended to give their views on the demise of the former Wrexham- to- Whitchurch service and future provisions

2          The Chairman expressed that community councils may well be approached to make a financial contribution to future bus services provision.


B          Meeting on possible change of use for the former Cross Lanes Hotel 6th September         

1          This community event had been attended by Cllrs Hurst, Pritchard, Stead and Rowland, where information was available on plans by the Robinwood group to create a residential activity centre for up to 160 seven- to eleven year olds operating during school term time and the very occasional weekend.

2          The clerk was instructed to contact the company to arrange a meeting in Cross Lanes when the planning application is lodged in late September/ early October, so councillors can obtain more information on the design and the business and seek clarification on any matters of concern prior to making their response to the consultation.

3          With the closure of the Cross Lanes Hotel in July, there are no longer any facilities for residents in Cross Lanes. It was therefore hoped that there would be scope in this application for such a provision for the community.

C         Any other meetings attended

No other meetings had taken place since the July meeting


16/76   Play Sufficiency Assessment

A         To receive a report from the Play Sufficiency working party on progress carried out to date

1          No update was provided by the members of the working party present at the meeting. No recent status reports had been received by the county council youth and play team.

2          The clerk was instructed to contact the project manager to confirm progress to- date and next steps.

3          While appreciating that the overwhelming majority of young people in Cross Lanes demonstrate excellent comportment, a second resident on Nant Clwyd Park had lodged her concerns over any plans to create a gathering place on the estate and queried the council’s pursuance in this venture. She again recalled previous unpleasant experiences of anti- social behaviour in the area around the bench that used to be positioned on one of the greens. The clerk had informed her on the raison d’etre of the project and that no decisions in terms of follow- up have yet been taken.


B          To discuss efforts to obtain grants for the venture

1          As approaches to the Cooperative and HMP Berwyn had proved unfruitful, the clerk had contacted One Voice Wales for advice in this area and they had suggested National Lottery funding as a possibility.

2          Given the up- to- four- month lead- time between submitting such an application and receiving the decision, and the fact that the council had already committed itself to this project which is due to be completed in November, it was concluded that the time for seeking funding had now passed.


C          To formally allocate the level of funds from council reserves to finance the assessment

1          The council resolved to ring- fence a maximum of £1,500.00 from general reserves for this initiative.

2          This is to cover the £1,177.00 cost initially quoted by the county council Youth- and- Play team and any miscellaneous ancillary costs directly linked to the research.


16/77   Community improvement projects for consideration

1          It was determined that £1,500.00 be provided in the 2017/ 2018 budget for landscaping work around the Jubilee Stone

2          No other requests for made for items to be budgeted either in the next financial year or the subsequent three years (up to 2020 /2021).


16/78   Planning applications

A         To receive notice of the submission made to the county council planning department made           under standing order 76.3

1          P/ 2016/0709: change of use of former construction compound and construction of an advanced anaerobic digestion plant together with associated internal site access roads and screening bund. Five Fords Waste Water Treatment Works, Cefn Road, Cross Lanes, Wrexham LL13 0PA

A         Not being within the community of Sesswick, the community council did not automatically receive          the planning documentation by post.

B          The clerk had downloaded all the files from the county council planning website and forwarded these to members for comment by email.

C          As no response had been received, the clerk had responded to the county planning office that Sesswick Community Council has no comments to make.

B          To receive an update on the following

1          P/2015/0951: Application for non- material amendment to planning permission P/2015/0287        to replace the proposed inverter in the north- west corner, with brick enclosure containing         Scottish Power RMU and metering and proposed customer switch room. Land north- west of            Pickhill Bridge Farm, B5130 from Pickhill Bridge to Parkey Lane, Pickhill, Wrexham            LL13 0UH

The above has been withdrawn by the applicant


C          To receive the following applications

1          P/2016/0829: application for a non- material amendment to planning permission P/2015/0287      to allow amendment to the site layout following detailed site survey including erection of CCTV cameras and amendment to PV layout resulting in 3.64416 MWP, replacement of the     four original inverters in the corners of the site with two inverters to the west of the site, erection of brick enclosure for combined RMU and metering unit. Land at Pickhill Bridge Farm, B5130 from Pickhill Bridge to Parkey Lane, Pickhill, Wrexham LL13 0UH

The above, where the community council is not a consultee, was noted

2          P/2016/0830: Application for approval of details reserved by condition imposed under     planning permission P/2015/0287. Condition 4: submission of detailed decommissioning        plan. Land at Pickhill Bridge Farm, B5130 from Pickhill Bridge to Parkey Lane, Pickhill,    Wrexham LL13 0UH

The above, where the community council is not a consultee, was noted


D         To receive the planning decision from Wrexham County Borough Council

1          P/2016/0358:  Outline planning application for the installation of an underground            pipeline of up to 400mm nominal bore set at least 1.1m below ground level and extending approximately 3500m from the vicinity of the Maelor Gas Works to Wrexham Industrial          Estate. The erection of an above ground installation (46m by 47m) on land immediately          adjacent to the existing Maelor Gas Works; installation of surface markers and marker    posts to identify the location of the gas pipeline. Use of the existing Maelor Gas Works            access road, including its junction with B5130. Underground gas pipeline running for        approximately 3500m south from Kingsmoor Park South, Bryn Lane, Wrexham Industrial Estate to above ground installation adjacent to the Maelor Gas Works off the B5130 connecting to the gas national transmission system approximately 175m south east of the above ground installation

This application was granted by the county council subject to 18 conditions

A         approval for the buildings layout, scale, means of access and landscaping needs to be acquired prior to development commencing

B          Particulars for the above reserved matters need to be submitted before 4th September 2021. Development must strictly conform to such approved details

C          Development must start by the later of 4th September 2021 or within two years from the date of approval of the last reserved matter

D         Construction work cannot take place outside the hours of 7.30am- 7pm Monday to Friday and 7.30am- 1pm on Saturdays and Bank Holidays, unless agreed with the county council

Ei         A phased site inspection to gauge the nature of extent of contamination must be approved before work can start.

Eii        Should any issues be found, work must cease and a scheme specifying the measures to be taken to render the site suitable for development be submitted and approved.

Eiii       If any previously- undetected contamination is found, development is to be halted and an additional scheme of remediation must be submitted and approved.

F          Any part of the site subject to remediation must not be occupied until a validation report for that area has been approved

G         A Construction Environmental Management Plan must be approved before work can start.

H         A scheme for the watching brief of areas of archaeological interest needs to be approved before development can start

I           A Construction Phase Surface Water Management Plan needs to be approved before work can begin. This will detail the possible risks of surface water flooding during construction and the mitigation steps to be put in place. This plan must be followed while the works are executed.

J           No work can commence until bat assessments have been carried out by a qualified ecologist

K         No vegetation clearance is to start until the county council has seen detailed plans on the exact location of the work and lengths of hedgerows and trees proposed for removal. Directional drilling must be considered for some locations to maintain habitat connectivity.

L          A detailed scheme of great crested newt mitigation has to be approved beforehand, to show the measures to be taken to reduce the long- term impact of short- term habitat severance.

M         A short- term Ecological Management Plan and Ecological Method Statement must be approved before work can begin. This will demonstrate how existing features of wildlife/ ecological interest will be protected, identify areas of compensation and management in the short- term. Development must be done in compliance with the plan and statement

N         A construction traffic management plan must be approved prior to development commencing. The plan, to include the following, needs to be implemented as approved:

1          details of a plan to encourage construction workers to car- share

2          construction vehicle routing plans

3          details of a HGV booking management system

4          site access plans and 24-hour access arrangements

5          proposals to manage the junctions to and the crossings of highways & public rights of way

6          proposals for the scheduling and timing of delivery vehicle movements. This will consider abnormal indivisible loads (and if pre- notification and an authorised vehicle escort would be needed) and the staggering of construction workers’ start and finish times

7          proposals for temporary warning signs, banksmen and escort details

8          measures to ensure the protection of footpath users within the area of the planning permission

9          details on the on- street parking arrangements for construction plant vehicles

10        proposals for traffic management controls (e.g. temporary signs), diversion routes and signage required during construction

O         Permission cannot be implemented prior to The Wrexham (Gas Fire Power Station) Order (Planning Inspectorate reference EN010055)

P          A long- term monitoring and maintenance plan report must be submitted, to include also any contingency action carried out. Upon completion of the monitoring programme, a final report, demonstrating that all the long- term site remediation criteria have been met and documenting the decision to cease monitoring, must be approved.

Q         Details of pollution prevention plans vis à vis water crossings must be approved and adhered to before work can begin

R          A detailed ecological compliance scheme, showing key perform indicators for all affected species and habitats, must be implemented and approved prior to work starting


16/79   Correspondence

The listing of the 149 items received between 13th July and 11th September had been distributed to councillors prior to this meeting. No pieces elicited further comment.


16/80 One Voice Wales training

Having reviewed the training schedule, the clerk was nominated to attend the “Making Effective Grant Applications” seminar on 10th November. 


16/81   Any other business

No items had been submitted the Chairman


16/82   Date of next meeting

1          Monday 21st November 2016.

2          An extraordinary meeting will be arranged before this, to receive a presentation from Robinwood Activity Centres for their planning application at the former Cross Lanes Hotel


The meeting ended at 9.30pm