Minutes 21/9/2018

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Minutes of the Sesswick Community Council meeting, held in the Robinwood Activity Centre on Friday 21st September 2018 at 6pm

 

Present

  Name Comments Attendance
1 Cllr J. F. Hurst Chair All items
2 Cllr S. H. Rowland Vice- Chair 18/53-B- end
3 Cllr E. P. Griffiths   All items bar 18/62
4 Cllr R. J. Jones   18/53-B- end
5 Cllr J. D. Pritchard County Councillor All items
6 Cllr D. Williams   All items
7 I. M. Griffiths Clerk & Responsible Financial Officer All items
8 A Police Community Support Officer covering Sesswick Name not given for reasons of confidentiality 18/50- 18/52

No members of the public

 

18/50   Apologies for absence

1          Cllr C. A. Stead

2          Cllr F. A. Williams

 

18/51   Declarations of interest

  Member Agenda item Nature Explanation
1 Cllr J. D. Pritchard 18/56.A-D Personal Member is a county councillor sitting on the local authority planning committee
2 Cllr E. P. Griffiths 18/62.A & B Personal and prejudicial Member has a close association with the clerk

 

It was resolved to temporarily suspending standing order 70 for the next agenda item, so as to allow public participation

 

18/52   Policing matters

1          The following incidents had occurred since the 20th July 2018 meeting

A         Two traveller encampments, the first on the public footpath by the former Cross Lanes Hotel and the subsequent trespass on private land off Bedwell Lane. The occupants had moved on after eviction enforcement notices had been issued. Entrance to the footpath has now been secured by robust steel barriers blocking unauthorised motorised access.

B          Reports of a dog owned by one of the aforementioned travellers attacking a person, where no injuries were sustained. Police officers attended the site, but were not able to identify the terrier from the information provided

C          One work/ employee related assault at a workplace

D         A non- local driver being arrested in Cross Lanes having failed a drug swipe test.

2          There continues to be cases of high- value cars and pickups being targeted by thieves in North- East Wales, with recent nocturnal cases in Marchwiel, Ridleywood, and Bangor- on- Dee. A special police unit is currently investigating such incidents. Residents are urged to lock vehicles and store car keys upstairs at night as a precaution.

3          The P.C.S.O. commented on the increasing prevalence of cars parking on Bedwell Lane, close to the T- junction with Holt Road. When such cases are witnessed, he has been requesting that drivers park further away, leaving the statutory minimum of 10 metres distance from the junction to guarantee visibility. The officers will also continue to monitor the area going forward.

 

The P.C.S.O. left the meeting at 6.25 pm

Standing order 70 was reinstated

 

18/53   Councillor leave of absence

A         To approve a six- month leave of absence request from Cllr Stead

1          The said request, submitted due to personal reasons, was approved.

2          The leave will commence as of the date of this meeting and will cease with the March 2019 community council forum.

 

Cllr Jones arrived at 6.28pm

Cllr Rowland arrived at 6.29pm

 

3          Cllr Rowland volunteered to send a card and flowers to Cllr Stead on behalf of the community council

 

B          To nominate replacements (as appropriate) for the bodies on which Cllr Stead sits

1          Dame Dorothy Jeffreys Trust: it was agreed that no substitute be appointed, given only a maximum of two charity meetings would be missed in the above six- month period.

2          Play working party: no replacement was nominated. The two other members of the working party had already been informed of the leave of absence, and had been advised to contact the clerk in case any issues arise.

 

18/54   Confirmation of minutes from 20th July 2018 meeting

The minutes, as presented, were taken as an accurate representation of proceedings

 

18/55   Matters arising

1          18/36 (community agents programme)- it was agreed that a community agent representative covering Sesswick be invited to all future council meetings, should they be available to attend and update members on the initiative.

2          18/38.4 (Review of Town and Community Councils consultation)- the Independent Review Panel’s recommendations to the Welsh Government have been published. These include:

A         A comprehensive boundary review be commissioned without delay to ensure areas fit the future role envisaged

B          Every council should perform the same functions, becoming responsible (after a transition period) to deliver place- based services, encompassing (mainly discretionary) services that help the social, cultural, economic and environmental and physical wellbeing of their communities. Councils would have the scope to execute that role differently; either delivering services themselves, grouping together with others to deliver, or commissioning service from other bodies

C          Every town and community council should be expected to meet the criteria for exercising the General Power of Competence within the next three years. (Currently, this applies to councils with a total income or expenditure of £200,000.)

D         All clerks to hold a professional qualification (CILCA minimum)

E          Clerks be appointed from an approved national list, to ensure appropriate accreditation and support

F          Mandatory training is given to councillors during every election term

G         County councillors do not also sit as community councillors, but rather attend meetings in an ex- officio capacity.

H         Councillors cannot be co-opted for more than one consecutive term

3          18/41.2 (grass- cutting around the A525 roundabout and Sesswick Way): Cllr Pritchard will follow up again at the county council as to why this area was missed from the earlier biannual verge cutting.

4          18/42.2 (possibility of Tree Preservation Orders on the oaks by the Pickhill Lane/ Bangor Road junction): noting that the various Maelor Feeds planning applications (recommended for approval by the local authority) would be placed before the county council at its 1st October meeting, members consented that Cllr Rowland approach the North Wales Wildlife Trust, to help put in motion efforts needed to protect any valuable trees that may be impacted by any splay modifications in that area.

5          18/44.3 (potholes on Bangor Road): these had been filled, but repair is again required. Cllr Pritchard has raised the matter with the county council.

 

18/56   Planning applications and related matters

A          P/2018/0380: new extension in rear yard to form a new bakery enclosure, installation of two new AC units in new plant area, one new compressor and one compressor in garden area, two new compressors in external yard area, two new steel frame walkways with polycarbonate roofs from warehouse to chilled and freezer areas and decoration of shopfront frames. Cooperative retail store, Bedwell Road, Cross Lanes, Wrexham LL13 0TR

1          To receive notice that permission has been granted by the local planning authority

Members noted the three conditions underlying the decision.

 

B          P/2018/0591: Change of use from transport logistics depot (sui generis) to use ancillary to established neighbouring poultry processing facility. Lloyd Fraser Transport, Pickhill Lane, Cross Lanes, Wrexham LL13 0UE

1          To receive the community council’s objections to the proposal, submitted under standing order 76.3

A         This application has to be viewed in conjunction with the three other permissions (P/2017/1032, P/2017/1037 and P/2017/1038) being sought to increase production to 1 million chickens per week, where Sesswick Community Council have already raised objections.

B          The complex is located on a countryside lane within a small rural village. The surrounding road network is not of sufficient quality to absorb the increase in HGV traffic flows to the site. For instance, the quickest access to Maelor Foods from the A483 highway is Eyton and Kiln Lane, both narrow thoroughfares and not built for lorry traffic to the projections given. Coming to the site by the A525 from Wrexham involves driving on undulating 30mph & 40mph routes through residential areas.

C          The applicant’s assertions that the net vehicular movements will be less than the figures for the former First Milk and Lloyd Fraser sites must be questioned. Members consider the modern trucks operated by Maelor Foods to be larger and slower. This has the potential to cause serious incidents as the vehicles exit Pickhill Lane on to the A525, even with improved visibility splays. Most road users already float the 40mph limit imposed there, so a speed restriction offers scant reassurance.

D         This council is gravely troubled and feels let- down by the way in which the applications into this site have been submitted. The original permission was for a maximum weekly 400,000 bird output, so as to protect the amenities of the occupiers of nearby properties. It was members’ understanding that all parties willingly and knowingly concurred this would be the maximum limit and would respect that figure. It then transpires that the site was actually built to accommodate 1 million birds and it is this new level where environmental permits were sought and granted by Natural Resources Wales. The application states it is an economic necessity for Maelor Foods to be granted these planning permissions, and that the previous limit was unreasonable and burdensome to the organisation. The five- year projection is to have production at 2 million birds a week, making it one of the largest such complexes in the UK. Councillors are stunned that a proposal such as this has the potential to quintuple in size so rapidly from what was agreed and feel utterly powerless to curtail what is being presented as an establishment- backed fait- accompli. The site has been used for over eighty years by Cadburys and as milk- related businesses, a logical set- up given the prevalence of dairy farming in the Maelor. To suggest a rapidly- expanding chicken slaughterhouse and processing site is a natural and uncontroversial continuation of such enterprise is disingenuous as they are totally different business genres.

E          Residential amenity, one of the key considerations of the original permission seems now to be the least important aspect of this debate and which can be fobbed off with a promise of a “service management plan”. Several residents have escalated to Natural Resources Wales cases of unpleasant odours emanating from the site in recent months, worrying for a complex praised for its technology and best- in – class processes. Furthermore, there have been reports of work commencing at Maelor Foods at 5am, disrupting the sleep of those living nearby (including young children). The proposed increase in output will result in a near- constant flow of vehicular traffic in the vicinity, inevitably encroaching into evenings and nights and further impacting on our community’s quality of life.

 

C          P/2018/0636: Application for a non- material amendment to planning permission P/2016/0953 to amend garage conversion from toilet block to an indoor group meeting area. Former Cross Lanes Hotel, Bangor Road, Cross Lanes, Wrexham LL13 0TF

1          To receive notice that the application has been granted by the planning authority

The said decision, on an application where the community council was not a consultee, was noted

 

D         P/2018/0683: Extension to existing building. Mainetti UK Ltd, Cross Lanes, Wrexham LL13 0UT

1          To receive confirmation that the community council submitted a response of “no objections” to the proposal, authorised under standing order 76.3

1          The clerk confirmed the above comments had been forwarded to the local planning authority,

2          To receive note that the application has been granted by the planning authority

Members noted the four conditions behind the decision.

 

18/57   Environmental work

1          It was agreed to accept the North Wales Wildlife Trust’s offer for them to plant c. 500 Welsh daffodil bulbs three metres from the kerb on the A525/ Sesswick Way roundabout

2          Cllr Rowland will contact the management of the Bedwell Road Cooperative Store to see when would be the most convenient day for their staff to participate in a litter- pick in Cross Lanes while the store is closed for refurbishment in October. The Vice- Chair will also speak to those residents who had expressed an interest previously in participating in this event

3          Cllr Pritchard will liaise with Keep Wales Tidy to acquire their services and advice for that day.

 

18/58   Unpleasant odours in the community

A         To receive an update from the clerk on correspondence received, further to minute 18/39.4

1          Natural Resources Wales (NRW) had provided the following information

A         The initial odour dispersion model drawn up when the Environment Permit was issued in August 2017 had predicted that emissions would be within the acceptable benchmark vis a vis the prevention and minimisation of odour omissions. However, per standard practice, operator validations are required once the complex becomes operational to ensure such expectations are met.

B          The operator’s report submitted in June 2018 identified that the odour emissions from the onsite effluent treatment plant on Pickhill Lane could be giving rise to an unacceptable offsite odour impact. This was also in line with NRW officers’ findings who had investigated and substantiated several odour complaints received from residents.

C          The operator will address this issue by installing covers and an odour control system on two effluent tanks, anticipated to be completed by 31st August 2018

D         NRW also identified issues with the control measures in place to contain and treat odours within the building that houses the offal trailers. While these controls are generally acceptable, additional work would be required to optimise odour control. NRW is working with the site operators to ensure the appropriate measures are taken to prevent and minimise emissions from the complex, in accordance with the requirements of their Environmental Permit.

E          Odour complaints will continue to be investigated. Local residents can report issues on NRW’s 24- hour incident telephone hotline, which will be investigated by local officers. Feedback will be provided to those logging concerns upon request.

 

B          To agree any resulting actions

1          The clerk confirmed that the details of the aforementioned Natural Resources Wales hotline were already displayed on the community council website and notice boards, where they would remain published for the present. Residents contacting members on this matter are to be advised to lodge their concerns with NRW as the policing authority.

2          Members concurred that the situation had improved, and there had been no recent reoccurrences of olfactory pollution

3          The clerk was instructed to contact Natural Resources Wales to seek reassurance that residents are being kept abreast of developments subsequent to their calls. The council was aware of al least two individuals who had telephoned NRW and specifically requested follow- up contact, but none had been received.

 

18/59   Reports from other meetings

A         Wrexham and Flintshire One Voice Wales Area Committee meeting on 18th September (clerk)

1          Due to other commitments, the clerk had been unable to attend. The invitation had been widened to all councillors, but no- one was available that evening.

2          Minutes of that meeting can be circulated to members upon request, once received

B          Maelor South Community Wellbeing Service Stakeholder meeting on 19th September (Cllr Jones)

1          More volunteers had been trained to drive the mini- bus. For £2 cost (booked in advance), a door- to- door service to a supermarket in Saint Martins is now operational every Friday and is proving very popular. There are also plans to provide trips to nearby shopping centres and garden centres.

C          Wrexham Town and Community Council Forum on 20th September (Cllr Hurst)

1          Due to a late- minute matter arising, Cllr Hurst had been unable to attend

D         Clwyd Branch of the Society of Local Council Clerks on 20th September (clerk)

1          The clerk was not free to attend

E          Any other meetings attended

1          No further comments were made

 

18/60   County councillor report

1          Visibility for motorists exiting The Paddocks was perilously restricted due to vehicles parking on either side of the entrance. With community councillors’ concurrence, Cllr Pritchard will enquire with the county council’s highways office concerning the feasibility of placing parking restrictions in this vicinity. It was commented that there would be far less of an issue if cars stopped on the opposite side of the B5130 road, rather than mounting the pavement by the Paddock

2          Worries had also been expressed regarding the school bus pick- up for the Maelor School, currently by the junction between Bedwell Road and Holt Road. This was considered a dangerous area for pupils to negotiate, given the volume of cars and trucks in the area and limited views of oncoming traffic. It was agreed that an alternative location, involving a lay- by, would be preferable but such a resolution would not be speedily identified and enacted.

3          Cllr Pritchard would escalate comments communicated to him concerning the area around Black Rock Farm between Sesswick Way and Bedwell Road. The ecologically- significant hedgerows between Bedwell Bridge and Tyddyn Daniel and on the link road to the Wrexham Industrial Estate had been severely cut- back, exposing the two broiler rearing sheds. This was considered as contravening the planning permission granted whereby the site was to be obscured from public view with appropriate and approved landscaping.

4          Similarly, Cllr Pritchard will discuss with the planning department concerns over the development on Porthygan Lane. When planning permission was initially given, it was members’ recollection that there needed to be improvements to the Lane and the splays adjoining Bangor Road. However, it appears that such amelioration has yet to be carried out.

5          Some potholes in the area had been repaired, and Cllr Pritchard was requesting the remaining items be repaired as soon as possible.

 

18/61   Status on the 146 Wrexham- Cross Lanes- Whitchurch bus service

1          A resident had been in communication with the Chair, Vice- Chair and clerk over the following matters, where she has been in contact with the bus company and local authorities

A         The 13.10 bus from Wrexham departs too early for it to be of maximum benefit. A delay of one hour would be far more appropriate

B          The last service from Wrexham leaves the bus station at 17.00, which is again too early as it fails to accommodate the needs of those finishing work at 5pm or later. The previous timing of 5.45pm would be a more agreeable scheduling

2          Given that timetabling is dictated by the traffic commissioner and this is a privately- run operation with no public- sector involvement, it is not clear whether there will be much scope for negotiation. Nevertheless, councillors thanked the resident for her efforts and for keeping them informed of her discussions

 

Cllr Griffiths temporarily left the meeting

 

18/62   Presentation and approval of clerical timesheets

A         July 2018

The claim for twelve hours was authorised for settlement

B          August 2018

The submission for two- and- a- half hours work was accepted

 

Cllr Griffiths returned to the meeting

 

18/63   Finance

A         To note items paid since the 20th July 2018 meeting

  Cheque Date Recipient Purpose Amount (gross) Empowering legislation Prior council authorisation
1 000696 21/7/2018 Wrexham County Borough Council Quarterly community street lighting maintenance 1/4/2018- 30/6/2018 £32.41 Section 3, 1957 Parish Councils Act 18/46.B1

 

B          To approve items for payment where the invoice was received after the agenda was issued

No such items had been received

 

C          To approve items for payment where it is anticipated settlement will fall due before the next meeting

It was agreed to settle the below:

  Recipient Purpose Estimated amount Empowering legislation
1 Wrexham County Borough Council Community street lighting maintenance 1/7/2018- 30/9/ 2018 £35.00 Section 3, 1957 Parish Councils Act
2 Scottish Power Community street lighting electricity 1/7/2018- 30/9/2018 £50.00 Section 3, 1957 Parish Councils Act
3 AVOW Clerk salary 1/5/2018- 31/7/2018 £250.00 Section 112, 1972 Local Government Act
4 AVOW Clerical salary administration costs £15.00 Section 112, 1972 Local Government Act
5

 

Wales Audit Office External audit fee for the year ended 31/3/2018 £225.00 Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations 2014, section 7

 

D         To decide whether any funds need to be transferred between the bank current and reserve accounts

The council agreed with the Responsible Financial Officer’s recommendation that there be no transfer at this time.

 

18/64   Accounts for the year ended 31st March 2018

1          No communication had been received from Grant Thornton, acting for the Auditor General for Wales, since the Annual Return had been submitted in July 2018

2          Considering that the deadline for the audit completion is 30th September 2018 and that notification was expected imminently, the clerk was instructed to take all necessary measures to meet the council’s reporting obligations prior to the November 2018 meeting

 

18/65   One Voice Wales Training sessions

1          The schedule of events was distributed to members

2          It was agreed that the clerk attend the “Information Management and General Data Protection Regulations” course in Gresford on 11th October

 

18/66   Date of next meeting

Friday 23rd November 2018

 

 

The meeting ended at 8.15pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Approved by council: 23rd November 2018 (minute 18/73).