Minutes 21/11/2016

Minutes of the Sesswick Community Council meeting, held in Marchwiel Village Hall’s Stage Room on Monday 21st November 2016 at 6.30pm



Cllr John Hurst                         Chairman

Cllr S. Heather Rowland           Vice- Chairman

Cllr John Pritchard                   County Councillor

Cllr Christine Stead

Cllr Patricia Jones

Cllr Jennifer Williams

Cllr Elizabeth Griffiths

Cllr Raymond Jones                 From 16/91 when co-opted

Ian Griffiths                             Clerk and responsible financial officer

P.C.S.O. Michael Simister        North Wales Police

One member of the public


16/88   Apologies of absence

Not applicable. All members present


16/89   Declarations of interest

Member Item Nature of interest Explanation
Cllr Williams 16/91 Personal and prejudicial Member has a close association with one of the co-option candidates
Cllr Griffiths 16/91 Personal and prejudicial Member has a close association with one of the co-option candidates
Cllr P. Jones 16/96 Personal Member has professional connections with the team undertaking the work
Cllr Pritchard 16/98 Personal Member sits on county council planning committee
Cllr Hurst 16/98.E, 16/100 Personal Member’s property is adjacent to the proposed development
Cllr Griffiths 16/102 Personal and prejudicial Member has a close association with the clerk


It was agreed at this point to temporarily suspend standing order 70, to allow public participation


16/90   Police update

1          P.C.S.O. Simister presented the incident report covering the period 19th September- 21st November 2016.

A         No incidents of major crime had taken place during that period

B          A road traffic collision had occurred on Bedwell Road, where an injured dog was found. It was not known who the driver was or who owned the dog as the animal had not been identity- chipped. The canine had been taken to the veterinary surgeon due to the extensive injuries sustained

C          A minor- injury, two- vehicle, road traffic collision had happened on the junction of Bedwell Road and the Wrexham Industrial Estate link road.

D         Some low- value items had been stolen from an unsecured shared- stables block.

E          A slanging match between two individuals was witnessed at the Cooperative store, treated as an advice- only matter. This remains ongoing as new reports have been lodged with a police constable.

F          A case of anti- social behaviour involving a disagreement over parking issues. The road involved has no parking restrictions, so this is a highway rather than a police matter

G         A male was reported sleeping in a disused building on the edge of the Sesswick boundary. This represented no concern to the public and the case was closed.

2          The police officer confirmed that regular area controls are being conducted, with particular attention to Bedwell Road and around Transco on Holt Road. Nothing of significance has transpired following such patrols.

3          P.C.S.O. Simister counselled members that there had been recent burglaries in Penley, Bangor- Isycoed and Marchwiel, where high- value plant, machinery, gardening equipment and vehicles had been stolen. Access to properties and garden sheds had been acquired by smashing back windows. He recommended that residents take appropriate action to secure valuables from theft. If advised beforehand, the police can check premises if homeowners are away, as part of their routine patrols.

4          Councillors again voiced residents’ trepidation regarding the frequency of speeding drivers though Cross Lanes. They requested that traffic checks be carried out, especially during rush hour on Holt Road and the A525 highway. P.C.S.O Simister advised that this can be done for the B5130 road but not for Bangor road as the latter is too dangerous for personnel to conduct the review. The issue of speeding vehicles is a concern expressed by all community councils, and the police unfortunately have extremely limited resources to devote to tackling this matter and meeting community expectations


P.C.S.O. Simister left the meeting


16/91   Co-option

1          Expressions of interest for the one remaining councillor vacancy had been received from two members of the public, both present at the meeting.

2          They had both submitted summaries detailing their background and their suitability for the role. These had been circulated among members prior to this meeting

3          Each individual gave a short presentation to council, followed by a window where members could pose any follow- up questions. This process lasted five minutes per candidate.


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


4          Cllrs Hurst, Rowland, Pritchard, Stead and P. Jones then voted on their preferred candidate by secret ballot.

5          In full view of the five councillors present, the clerk counted the votes cast. The winning candidate received four votes; the other candidate polled one vote.


The two candidates and Cllrs Williams and Griffiths returned to the meeting


6          The clerk declared that Mr Raymond John Jones of Freshfield, Holt Road, Cross Lanes, Wrexham LL13 0TY had been selected to fill the one vacancy on the council.

7          The clerk was instructed to inform the county council electoral office of this decision, and that the council now has its full composition of members

8          Cllr R. Jones duly signed his declaration of acceptance of office.

9          The clerk supplied the newly co-opted member with the council’s standing orders, financial regulations and 2016/ 2017 budget.

10        The council was extremely impressed with the outstanding calibre of both candidates. It was felt that both individuals would have been excellent councillors and a genuine asset to the community, so having to choose one individual over the other was especially unpleasant. It was hoped that the other candidate would consider standing in the community council elections taking place in May 2017


It was resolved at this point to reinstate standing order 70


16/92   Confirmation of minutes from previous meetings

A         19th September 2016

1          The minutes, as presented, were taken as a true record of proceedings.

B          10th October 2016

1          The minutes, as given, were accepted as an accurate representation.


16/93   Rescission of previous resolutions

A         Setting of one year of budgeted expenditure as optimum reserves level (September 2016 minute 16/73.H)

1          As permitted under standing order 36, and as put forward by Cllrs Hurst, Rowland and Griffiths, all eight members resolved to rescind the above minute.

2          This motion was tabled so that the precept is not obliged to rise to excessive amounts.

B          Inclusion of £1,500 in the 2017/ 2018 budget for landscaping work around the Jubilee Stone (September 2016 minute 16/77.1)

1          As permitted under standing order 36, and as put forward by Cllrs Hurst, Rowland and Griffiths, all eight members resolved to rescind the above minute.

2          This motion was put forward so that the precept is not forced to increase to insupportable levels


16/94   Matters arising

1          16/67.6B (placing of double- yellow lines around the area of the former Tetra Pak complex)- Cllr Pritchard advised this will be submitted imminently for public consultation

2          16/70.2 (new A525 bus shelters)- Cllr Pritchard counselled that these should be acquired in January 2017

3          16/70.3 (position of Wrexham- bound bus shelter)- the clerk was instructed to raise the issue of the dangerously- located shelter to the county council environmental department, to enquire if the shelter could be relocated if the necessary land became available

4          16/71 (pot- holes at entrance to Nant- Clwyd Park)- Cllr Pritchard stated this had been reported for remediation


16/95   County Councillor feedback

1          Cllr Pritchard had been contacted regarding a street light on Bedwell Road whose illumination was reflecting into a property on Nant Clwyd Park. This has been escalated to the relevant body for rectification.

2          Cllr Pritchard had also received a query over planning application P/2016/1025 (see below), and had visited the site for clarification.


16/96   Play Sufficiency Assessment

1          The clerk had received the following update from the county council play development team:

A         The desk top audit has been completed

B          Two environmental audits have been conducted

C          Consultation events with pupils at Ysgolion Deiniol in Marchwiel, Sant Dunawd in Bangor- Isycoed and Maelor in Penley have taken place, involving 26 children and young people

D         A community consultation event and play project occurred on Nant Clwyd Park, accessed by 14 adults and 14 playing children

E          Significant amounts of data relating to the experiences of children, young people and adults living in Cross Lanes have been collected.

F          Work is now beginning on the final report, which will be ready for the council’s January 2017 meeting.

2          The clerk was instructed to invite members of the play development team to the next community council meeting, so they can present to members and take any resulting questions.


16/97   Reports from other meetings

A         Wrexham Town and Community Council Forum 22nd September

1          The Chairman, who was present at this event, expressed his and other representatives’ disappointment as several agenda item points had to be skipped due to presenters’ absences.

2          County Councillor Pritchard stated he would raise these comments within the Guildhall.

3          The topics that were to be debated included:

A         Play Sufficiency Assessment

B          Role of P.C.S.O’s

C          Littering enforcement by third party body Kingdom. Some at the meeting felt tickets were being unjustly issued

D         “Your Voice Wrexham” consultation hub, where all data will be publicly available

E          “Difficult decisions” budget consultation

4          The clerk had forwarded meeting agendas and supporting documentation to all councillors for information.


B          “Making Effective Grant Applications” One Voice Wales training 10th November

The clerk explained this session involved a summary of points to consider when making grant applications. The training concluded by a group exercise in submitting a practice application under the National Lottery “Awards for All” scheme for a given fictitious scenario.


C          Dame Dorothy Jeffreys Trustees meetings

1          Cllr Stead had attended two meetings.

2          She commented that the body’s work and grant availability needs to be publicised as only one application was received for the latest meeting in November 2016.

3          The charity currently has a £325,000 fund to assist with suitable educational projects for eligible young people and youth groups.

4          The clerk was instructed to post details of the scheme and how to apply on the council notice boards. This information was already published on the council website

5a        The board of trustees had been approached by a local builder to sell for development some of the charity’s land held in Bangor- Isycoed. Cllr Stead sought members’ opinions for her to take into account when reaching a decision herself.

5b        Councillors opined it would advisable for the board to retain the land for the moment. This green space is used by local residents and the rent from the football pitch provides a source of income. The situation can be reassessed should the charity’s financial situation changes in the future.


D         Community Agent Development Day 21st November

1          Cllr P. Jones had been due to attend this event. However, the seminar was cancelled at the last minute as the presenters could not attend and there had been insufficient community councils take- up

2          The aim of scheme is to support at- risk individuals and their families to improve their quality of life. Agents (locally- based, paid staff) would assist with housing problems, forms

completion, health care, transport needs and money matters. This session was asking community council to formally express an interest in adopting the initiative in their local area alongside the local authority, local health board and GP cluster groups

3          The clerk was instructed to inform Cllr P. Jones when this seminar is rescheduled, so she can attend (if available) and report back to the full council. A formal decision on this matter can then be taken.


16/98   Planning applications

A         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

1          This application, where the community council was not a consultee, had been granted by the county council


B          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

1          This application, where the community council was not a consultee, was granted by the county council


C          P/2016/0873: Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of replacement dwelling. Dove Cottage, Bangor Road, Cross Lanes, Wrexham LL13 0TN

1          As the deadline for making comments to this application passed before the council’s next meeting, a submission was made under standing order 76.3

2          Four members had supported the application, two councillors supported with reservations. Due to his declaration of interest, Cllr Pritchard did not participate in this process.

3          The following comments had therefore been forwarded to the county council planning office

A         Sesswick Community Council supports this application. The new building will enhance the immediate area

B          Some members did comments that it would be preferable for the dwelling to be built further away from the A525 road

C          There was no indication in the documentation received in terms of sewage disposal. The assumption is that this will be handled by septic tank.



D         P/2016/0882: Application for approval of details reserved by condition imposed under planning permission P/2014/0658. Conditions 2 (contamination remediation strategy), 3 (verification report submission timetable), 4, (monitoring) 7 (ecological report). Maelor Works, Marchwiel, Wrexham LL13 0UW

1          The above pending application, where the council is not a formal consultee, was noted


E          P/ 2016/0953: change of use of Cross Lanes Country Hotel (use class C1) and the Lodge (use class C3) to children’s activity centre (use class C2), to include extension to existing hotel building, erection of buildings and equipment for children’s activities with associated car parking, coach parking, landscaping and railings. Former Cross Lanes Hotel, Bangor Road, Cross Lanes, Wrexham LL13 0TF

1          As the deadline for making comments to this application passed before the council’s next meeting, a submission was made under standing order 76.3

2          Four members had supported the application, two councillors supported with reservations. Due to his declaration of interest, Cllr Pritchard did not participate in this process.

3          The following comments were therefore issued to the county council planning office

A         Sesswick Community Council supports this application, which has the potential to be a great asset for Cross Lanes. The proposal represents a far better use of the land than if the site had been used for housing.

B          The development will, one hopes, provide employment opportunities for local people and encourage children to be more active

C          It is currently not known whether the site will be connected to the mains drainage, which is a considerable distance away from the A525 road. It was understood that the applicant intended to continue using the present septic tank, which appeared to be a closed system at one time emptied weekly. It is uncertain whether this arrangement would be sufficient to accommodate the proposed complex, with its increased number of visitors.

D         Land drainage is a problem in that area of heavy clay, particular during the winter and in periods of heavy rain. Any overview from the septic tank system could seep into Bedwell brook on the boundary of the site. Furthermore, any possible overflow from the envisaged lake would need an acceptable means of escape other than across the highway.

E          There will be the need to monitor noise levels across the complex, to ensure these do not become a nuisance to those living nearby. It is taken that this venture will operate during school term times, with only the very occasional weekend use.

F          There is the potential for up to five coaches to be arriving at/ departing from the site when there are only spaces to handle three such vehicles. The applicant has planned for staggered drop- off/ pick- up times, but this may become an issue if timelines become out of sync

G         Considering that Cross Lanes no longer has any facilities since the closure of the former hotel, it is hoped the applicant can make greater provisions for community use.

4          The clerk was now instructed to make the following comments to the county planning office, elaborating on point 16/98.E.3H above:

A         Since the Cross Lanes Hotel has closed, there are no community facilities within Sesswick. Villagers are therefore obliged to travel further afield for recreational purposes. Given the much- reduced bus service and distances between neighbouring communities, private transport is the only option. This is not feasible for all residents.

B          Members strongly believe it is critical for a community’s continued vitality and vibrancy that there is an accessible hub within the parish where villagers can gather and socialise. This hold especially true for a settlement such as Cross Lanes, where the vast majority of its inhabitants work or are educated outside the area and would not otherwise get together. It was hoped that the application would make provisions to address this deficit following the losses of the hotel and Kiln Inn.

C          The applicant has verbally stated that, if passed, a room in the proposed development could be made available for groups’ use for a couple of hours on a Friday evening when the centre is in use. Such an offer would be insufficient to accommodate the many organisations that used to convene at the Cross Lanes Hotel, and is inconsistent with the current Wrexham Unitary Development Plan policy S9 (“loss of local facilities”)

D         Should permission be granted, Sesswick Community Council calls on the planning authority to meaningfully take the need to provide facilities for the village into account in the development conditions. For instance, the applicant could construct a building as part of the complex, readily accessible and dedicated exclusively for community use.


F          P/2016/1025: Incorporation of land into residential curtilage (part of public open space adjacent to property). 2 Greenfield View, Cross Lanes, Wrexham LL13 0QA

1          It was agreed that a submission to this consultation be made per standing order 76.3, to give all councillors the opportunity to consider the proposal


16/99   Environmental issues

1          In late September, a councillor had received complaints regarding the dishevelled condition of a property and garden within the community, along with activity that had evoked some suspicion.

2          It was noted that there have since been marked improvements to the site in the following six weeks.

3          Councillors agreed that the appropriate bodies would need to be notified should these ameliorations cease and the appearance of general unkemptness rematerialize.


16/100 Proposed development at the former Cross Lanes Hotel

1          Following on from the October 2016 meeting, the applicant at the proposed activity centre has put forward an offer for local schools.

A         Key- stage- two children attending Ysgol Deiniol in Marchwiel, Ysgol Dunawd in Bangor- Isycoed and St. Pauls’ school in Isycoed could participate in a course on a three- day, non- residential basis (9am- 4.20pm) at a token price of £15 per child. For comparison, the average residential cost would be in excess of £180. These would cover the same activities as normal visitors

B          This offer would be on suitable dates, probably Mondays and Tuesdays during February 2018 subject to the projected opening date being met

C          If the council wishes to accept this offer, the applicant would liaise with the schools to confirm participation.

2          The applicant’s previous proposal to hold activity sessions each Friday evening over seven weeks is independent of this new offer. The Friday evening slots would be allocated to those youngsters who had not attended before, and covering an older age group of up to 13 years old

3a        The clerk was instructed to notify the applicant that the community council will respond to him in due course.

3b        It was felt prudent to defer making a decision while the planning application P/2016/0953 and the community council’s comments vis à vis additional community facilities were still under consideration.


16/101 Charity

It was agreed to consider whether to make any additional charitable donations at the March 2017 meeting, when the council’s financial position prior to year- end will be clearer.


Cllr Griffiths left the meeting


16/102 Clerk timesheet

1          The clerk’s timesheet for 31 worked between 19th September and 20th November 2016 was approved.

3          This covers nine weeks at three hours per week as contracted, with an additional four hours linked to the additional 10th October 2016 meeting.


Cllr Griffiths returned to the meeting


16/103 Finance

A         To record the payments made since the September 2016 meeting


Minute book page 1048


Page 8 (of 9)


The following items, approved for payment at the September meeting, had been approved and signed by the Chairman and Vice- Chairman

  Date signed Cheque number Recipient Purpose Amount Empowering legislation Council authorisation
1 26/9/ 2016 000632 Marchwiel Village Hall 19/9/2016 small meeting room hire (3 hours x £7) £21.00 1972 Local Government Act, section 133 Minute 16/73.E3
2 16/10/ 2016 000633 Marchwiel Village Hall 10/10/2016 large hall meeting room hire (2 hours x £12) £24.00 1972 Local Government Act, section 133 Minute 16/82.2
3 16/10/ 2016 000634 Scottish Power Q3 2016 street lighting electricity charges £48.13 1957 Parish Councils Act, section 3 Minute 16/73.E4
4 30/10/ 2016 000635 Wrexham County Borough Council Clerk salary costs 23/5- 18/9 £614.42 1972 Local Government Act, section 112 Minute 16/73.E2


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

The below item was approved for payment

  Cheque number Recipient Purpose Amount Empowering legislation
1 000636 One Voice Wales “Effective Grant Applications” training held on 10th November (attended by the clerk) £35.00 1972 Local Government Act, section 111



C          To approve payment of charges expected to fall due before the January 2017 meeting

Recipient Purpose Expected amount
1 Scottish Power Q4 2016 street lighting electricity £50.00
2 Wrexham County Borough Council Clerk salary costs 19/9- 20/11/2016 £350.00
3 Wrexham County Borough Council 2016/ 2017 street lighting maintenance £120.00
4 Marchwiel Village Hall 21/11/2016 meeting room costs £21.00


D         To receive the latest budget monitoring report

1          The report, prepared as at 15th November 2016, was approved

2          It was noted that no invoice has been presented for the street lighting maintenance costs. Having chased billing documentation from the county council for some time without success, it was agreed not to pursue this any further. Provision has been made in the budget for settlement when it is requested.

E          To receive the latest bank and petty cash reconciliations

1          The form, showing total balances of £7,476.60 as at 30th September 2016, was accepted

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

1          It was not considered necessary for any transfer to be made 

G         To agree the 2016/ 2017 budget

1          With eight votes in favour and none against, the budget for the year ended 31st March 2018 was approved.

H         To set the precept for the year ended 31st March 2017

1          With eight members voting in favour and no votes against, it was resolved to set the 2017/ 2018 precept at £3,000.00. This represents an 11% increase from the current £2,700, or a rise of 95p for the average property.


16/104 North Wales Fire and Rescue Service Consultation

1          The clerk was instructed to convey the council’s strong objections to the proposal that one wholetime fire engine be removed from Wrexham fire station

A         Wrexham is the largest settlement in North Wales. The nearby Wrexham Industrial Estate is one of the most extensive in Europe, housing several complex 24/7 manufacturing units. Furthermore, 2017 will see the opening of HMP Berwyn, set to be the biggest prison in the United Kingdom.

B          In that context, unique in North Wales, this council considers that just one wholetime unit serving the town and surrounding area would be totally inadequate. The travel time involved for a second unit to attend from Johnstown, Chirk, Deeside or Rhyl would be impracticable and would potentially put lives at risk

C          Many incidents, especially in the industrial sector, require a rapid response. Continuing to have two wholetime units based in Wrexham is the only way this can be guaranteed.

D         Sesswick Community Council therefore urges that alternative measures be sought to address any funding gaps.


16/105 Constituency boundary review consultation for Westminster elections

1          The clerk was instructed to communicate the council’s support for Sesswick to be included in the proposed Wrexham Maelor Westminster parliamentary constituency:

A         Cross Lanes is situated three miles from Wrexham. This council welcomes being grouped with our nearest town rather than the more geographically distant Llangollen and Corwen

B          The inclusion of “Maelor” in the proposed name is also appreciated, as this recognises that the new constituency will include not just the town of Wrexham but also the rural villages within the Maelor.


16/106 Correspondence

The 177 items of correspondence received between 11th September and 12th November 2016, details of which had been passed to members before the meeting, were noted without comment.


16/107 Any other business

No matters were raised


16/108 Date of next meeting

Monday 23rd January 2017


The meeting ended at 8.50pm