Minutes 23/01/2017

Minutes of the Sesswick Community Council meeting held at Marchwiel Village Hall on Monday 23rd January 2017 at 6.30 pm


Name Position Attendance
Cllr John Hurst Chairman All items
Cllr S. Heather Rowland Vice- Chairman All items
Cllr John Pritchard County Councillor From item 16/111
Cllr Christine Stead   All items
Cllr Patricia Jones   All items
Cllr Raymond Jones   All items
Ian Griffiths Clerk and responsible financial officer All items
P.C.S.O. Michael Simister North Wales Police 16/108- 16/110
Michael Barclay Wrexham County Borough Council Play Development team 16/108- 16/111
Theresa Burling Wrexham County Borough Council Play Development team 16/108- 16/111

No members of the public


16/108 Apologies for absence

Cllr Jennifer Williams

Cllr Elizabeth Griffiths


16/109 Declarations of interest

Member Agenda item Nature Explanation
Cllr P. Jones 16/111 Personal Councillor has professional dealings with the county council play development team
Cllr Pritchard 16/121 Personal Councillor sits on county council planning committee


It was resolved that standing order 70 be temporarily suspended to allow public participation


16/110 Police update

1          The following had taken place since the 21st November 2016 meeting:

A         A van parked in a layby on Kiln Lane had been broken into and tools and equipment stolen from the vehicle. This was owned by Wrexham County Borough Council and used by the on- call electrician. There were currently no lines of enquiry.

B          One non- injury road- traffic- collision on the A525/ Wrexham Industrial Estate southern link road roundabout. due to driver carelessness. The lamppost damaged in the incident had been reported for repair

C          During the festive season, one non- local driver was arrested for failing a drug swipe test and not stopping when requested to do so by the police. Prosecution is continuing.

D         There continues to be occasional reports of loose sheep on Bedwell road.

2          Six instances of speed monitoring have taken place on Holt Road.

a          The average speed is 30 mph, with most drivers travelling at between 30mph and 33mph.

b          One car was caught at 35mph and has been reported to Go- Safe, who will issue advisory letters at the first instance to the driver. Prosecution will follow if further such reports are received

c          Alarmingly, one other vehicle was speeding so quickly that the registration number could not be obtained.

3          Area controls are continuing in Cross Lanes, specifically covering Bedwell Road and Holt Road around Transco. Nothing of significance had been detected.


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

Cllr Pritchard arrived at the meeting

16/111 Play Sufficiency Assessment

A         To receive a presentation from the county council play development team on their findings and recommendations

1          Ms Burling and Mr Barclay presented the “Sesswick Play Sufficiency Assessment: January 2017” report to councillors

2          Copies were also given to each individual member. The clerk will forward the report to the two absent councillors

3          The clerk will publish details on how the report can be accessed on the council notice boards and website, so interested residents can digest the findings.

B          To agree any follow- up actions and timelines, as appropriate

1          The play development team agreed to forward their report to the county planning office, for this to be taken into when applications affecting Sesswick are being considered.

2          It was agreed that a meeting be convened to arrange payment for the work performed should the billing document be presented before the next scheduled meeting of 20th March 2017. The council’s response to this report could also be agreed at this session.


Mr Barclay and Ms Burling left the meeting

Standing order 70 was reinstated


16/112 Confirmation of minutes from 21st November 2016 meeting (enclosed)

Subject to “appeared for payment” being amended to “approved for payment” in 16/103.A (page 1048) the said minutes were taken as a true record. Proposed: Cllr P. Jones; seconded: Cllr Rowland.


16/113 Matters arising

1          16/91.7: the county council electoral office had been informed of Cllr R. Jones’ co-option. All other members’ details had been communicated to them.

2          16.94.1: the consultation regarding the placing of double- yellow lines around the former Tetra Pak complex will be starting later in January.

3          16.94.2: the replacement bus shelters are now in- situ

4          16.97.A: the organiser of the Wrexham Town and Community Council forum had requested more details on the community council’s comments on the 22nd September meeting. Cllr. Hurst advised that the presenters’ absences had been disclosed in the minutes and subsequent documentation had been circulated. He therefore considered the matter closed with no follow- up required

5          16/97.D: no date has yet been set for the community agent development day event

6          16.98.E: the clerk was instructed to forward the “Sesswick Play Sufficiency Assessment” report to the planning office in relation to application P/2016/0953 (change of use at the former Cross Lanes Hotel to a children’s activity centre), with the following observations.

A         the last paragraph on page 19 of the document reiterates that there is no meeting place in Cross Lanes for villagers to convene. During the assessment consultation exercise, it was commented that many children in the community did not know each other as the opportunities to meet and socialise independently in a safe environment are extremely limited.

B          Should planning permission be granted, this council feels most strongly that the applicant needs to offer far more to the parish than what is currently being put forward. Given the already- acknowledged open spaces deficit, the loss of the hotel as the last meeting place in the village, and Wrexham Unitary Development Plan policy S9 (“loss of local facilities”), it is reasonable for one of the planning conditions to be the provision of a permanent facility for community use, readily and freely accessible by all sections of the village.

7          16/105: the clerk apologised for missing the deadline for submitting the council’s views into the Westminster- elections constituency boundary review consultation, where no extension

could be negotiated. The next stage where public views will be canvassed should take place in early 2017, so members’ comments can be submitted at that juncture

8          16/106.item 44: the council’s policy for handling complaints will be added to the March agenda


16/114 Location of Wrexham- bound A525 bus shelters

No response to- date had has been received to the council’s enquiry whether the shelter for Wrexham- bound travellers could be re-positioned.


16/115 146 bus service

1          Marchwiel Community Council was in the process of contacting other parishes affected by the reduction in services to see if a meeting can be arranged. The clerk at Marchwiel was researching information for a service what could be of benefit.

2          Members recorded their wish to participate in such a session, and the clerk will cascade any details once received.


16/116 Street lighting maintenance for 2017 /2018

The council resolved to accept the service level agreement as presented by Wrexham County Borough Council.


16/117 Environmental issues

A         To evaluate if any further action is needed relating to concerns over the condition of property in Cross Lanes, as discussed in the November meeting

1          Members concurred that no intervention is required at this point, but will continue to assess the tidiness of the vicinity should this change.

B          To discuss the untidy and litter- strewn state of the grass verges along the lanes and main roads in the community, and to agree a response

1          Cllr Pritchard advised that individuals liaise directly with Wrexham County Borough Council’s contact centre regarding rubbish accumulated especially around the A525 highway, Holt Road and the area by the former First Milk site. He had also requested that an environmental officer inspect the vicinity.

2          The contact centre should be approached in cases where hedges have been cut but the associated debris on the pavement is not swept up. The county council will then raise this with the relevant landowner.

3          Councillors also raised the possibility of a community litter- picking event


16/118 Public Rights of Way Improvement Plan initial consultation

1          The clerk was instructed to submit the following comments to the three- part general questionnaire:

A         The current rights of way network do not meet the present needs of the public.

I           Footpaths may be signposted from the highway, but it is very difficult to actually locate the footpaths, stiles being overgrown or poorly maintained.

II          There is little knowledge of the public rights of way in the community

B          In terms of improving or developing the rights of way network to make it more accessible for blind or partially- sighted persons or others with mobility issues:

I           access to footpaths would need to be widened to accommodate wheelchair users and mobility scooters

II          Improved and appropriate signage would be required for partially- sighted persons

C          For any other comments:

I           there needs to be far better orientation signage for footpath users, to help direct walkers. This could include arrows placed at regular intervals to show the way to traverse the right- of- way.


16/119 County Councillor feedback

1          HMP Berwyn will be opening during week commencing 27th February. In this initial stage, one envisages around forty new inmates each week being incarcerated in Wrexham.


16/120 Reports from other meetings

A         Wrexham Town and Community Council Forum 8th December

1          Cllr Hurst reported the following principal matters were discussed

A         the county council “difficult decisions” consultation on the best deployment of increasingly limited resources

B          Improved broadband access coming to some parts of the county borough

C          The work of the Public Service Boards

2          The clerk was instructed to contact the forum secretary:

A         to raise whether the minutes from these meetings can be circulated sooner after the event, rather than with the agenda for the next triannual meeting

B          to receive more information on the public service board committees and the types of committee volunteering roles available

B          Wrexham Community Liaison meeting 19th December

Cllr Hurst advised the following issues were raised

1          The general performance of the different recycling centres (no major concerns)

2          There were some changes in the household recycling requirements. Waste food now needs to be bagged and placed in the grey receptacle. The green bins are no longer to be used for this purpose

3          A tour of the Bryn Lane depot should be arranged during the summer

C          Any other meetings attended

No other meetings had taken place


16/121 Planning applications

A         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          To receive notice of the council’s submission made under standing order 76.3

A         The following response had been submitted

i           Sesswick Community Council objects to this application.

ii          Public open spaces are an important part of the health and recreational benefits to all living nearby. They do not need to be used as play areas to be of worth to the community. These greens have ecological value and are an important part of the landscape and amenity.

iii         Cross Lanes has an acknowledged deficit of open spaces. In that context, it is imperative that current provision is protected, rather than eroded even further.

iv         There has already been an instance on Bedwell Crescent where community land has been sold off to a private owner, without the knowledge of the community council and against county council policy. This council have been assured by the planning department that this will not happen again in the future.

v          Granting this application would set an unacceptable precedent for other residents to enlarge their gardens by purchasing plots of land adjoining their properties.

vi         It is this council’s understanding that these green areas were included in the development plan when Nant Clwyd Park was built, to meet the need for open spaces amid the surrounding

housing. They are preserved public open spaces and were never designed to be used for future building or alteration. Furthermore, the green spaces have been maintained by the county council for many years, so should not be seen as being available for private purchase

vii        If this parcel of land was so sectioned off, it would compromise the area aesthetically and affect visibility when driving out of nearby Fern Close. This measures around 100 sq. metres,

and would reduce the open space by more than 50%, so it should not be considered as a minor adjustment.

viii       The applicant states that “the owner has agreed to sell [them] the land”. Members are unclear as to who possesses the land to grant such permission. When Scottish Power placed an electricity substation on that green, they were unable to locate it further back from the road as ownership of that area could not be ascertained. Similarly, Wrexham County Borough Council were not able to backcharge the costs of grass- cutting that parcel for the same reason. Title must therefore be definitively clarified before any prospect of sale can even be entertained.

2          Six members had objected to this application. One member had supported the plans. Cllr Pritchard, due to his declaration of interest on all planning matters, played no role in the formulation of the council response

2          To receive the county council planning decision

A         Wrexham County Borough Council had refused the application:

i           “The change of use of the land, its inclusion into the curtilage [into the property] and the erection of any resulting boundary treatments would result in a reduction of informal open space which is considered to have an attractive landscaped open aspect and makes a positive contribution to the overall street scene and wider aesthetics of the residential area

ii          The resulting loss of this open aspect would be contrary to policy GDP1 of the Wrexham Unitary Development Plan.


B          P/2016/1103: application for a non- material amendment to planning permission P/2015/0463 to reflect changes in the design “as built” relating to module layout, inverter positions, fence positions, combiner boxes, drainage details, dno substation, inverter cabins….. Land to the north and west of Maelor Gas Works, Parkey Lane, Marchwiel, Wrexham LL13 0UW

1          To receive notice of the county council planning decision

A         The application had been granted by Wrexham County Borough Council


16/122 Clerk timesheet

1          The clerk’s claim for 27 hours worked was approved

2          This claim covers the period from 21st November 2016 until 22nd January 2017 (9 weeks at 3 hours per week)


16/123 Finance

A         To record the payments made since the November 2016 meeting

  Cheque number Date signed Recipient Purpose Amount Minute authorisation Empowering legislation
1 000637 22/12/2016 Wrexham County Borough Council Clerk salary 23rd September- 20th November 2016 £329.53 16/103.C2 1972 Local Government Act, section 112
2 000638 9/1/2017 Marchwiel Village Hall 21st November 2016 meeting room hire £17.50 16/103.C4 1972 Local Government Act, section 133

B          To settle charges due

It was agreed that the below be paid.

  Cheque number Recipient Purpose Amount Empowering legislation
1 000639 Wales Audit Office 2015/ 2016 audit of accounts £208.00 2004 Public Audit (Wales) Act, section 20
2 000640 Scottish Power Q4 2016 street lighting electricity £48.13 1957 Parish Councils

Act, section 3


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

No such items had been received

D         To approve payment of charges expected to fall due before the March 2017 meeting

It was agreed to pay the following items prior to the next meeting, where the payment due date would elapse before the next meeting

  Recipient Purpose Estimated amount
1 Wrexham County Borough Council Clerk salary 21st November 2016- 22nd January 2017 £300.00
2 Marchwiel Village Hall 23rd January 2017 meeting room hire £21.00

E          To receive the latest budget monitoring report

The report, prepared as at 15th January 2017, was approved without comment

F          To receive the latest bank and petty cash reconciliations (enclosed)

The reconciliations, showing total balances of £7,325.92 as at 30th December 2016, were noted.

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

1          Members accepted the responsible financial officer’s recommendation that £750.00 be transferred from the reserve account to the current account.


16/124 2016/ 2017 Internal Controls Review

Cllr Rowland agreed to perform the review, and report back to the council at its March meeting on her findings and recommendations.


16/125 Standing Orders revisions

It was decided that the standing orders be accepted as they stand currently, but that a formal review take place in 2017/ 2018 following the community council elections


16/126 Correspondence

The list of items received between 13th November 2016 and 15th January 2017 were noted without discussion.


16/127 Any other business

The council were extremely shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Cllr David Jones of Marchwiel Community Council. Several members had had contact with Mr Jones in varying capacities over the years, and had always found him a very helpful, friendly and diligent individual. His many contributions to the community will undoubtedly be greatly missed.

The clerk was instructed to convey members’ condolences to Marchwiel’s clerk at this sorrowful time.


16/128 Date of next meeting

Monday 20th March 2017



The meeting ended at 9.10pm