June 26, 2023
MINUTES OF HARLECH COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETING HELD AT THE OLD LIBRARY, HARLECH AT 7.30 P.M. ON 05.06.23
Cllr. Emma Howie, Thomas Mort.
Cllrs. Edwina Evans (Chairman), Christopher Braithwaite (Vice Chairman), Ceri Griffiths, Tegid John, Rhian Corps, Gordon Howie, Huw Jones, Mark Armstrong, Martin Hughes, Wendy Williams, and Cllrs. Annwen Hughes and Gwynfor Owen (Gwynedd Council).
The Chairman welcomed Mr. Geraint Williams to the meeting to provide an update to Members on the arrangements of the Mop Fair which will be held at the end of next month. Concern was voiced that there was a Balsarn Himalayan growing along the footpath near the Church and it was agreed to contact Gwynedd Council about this and ask them to dispose of it. It was agreed that the Council would contribute to the hosting of the Mop Fair up to £2,000 as agreed in a letter to Mr. Williams in November 2022.
The minutes of the meeting held on May 8th 2023 were found to be correct.
DECLARATION OF INTEREST
Nobody declared an interest on any matters.
GWYNEDD COUNCIL MATTERS
The following report was received from Cllr. Annwen Hughes – Cllr. Annwen Hughes reported that since that last meeting that she had contacted the Officers to voice concern that the charger points were not working in Bron y Graig Uchaf car park and she had been told that they were waiting for Scottish Power to connect these points so she had asked them in the meantime to put a note or cover on these points stating this as some were trying to use them. The Officers had submitted a further written complaint to Welsh Water about the problem of water pressure in the toilets near the Queens and they had received further information that the burst was under the railway line and that Welsh Water were expecting Network Rail to come back to them. She had contacted the Highways Department about the dip in the road near Morfa Garage getting worse and she had received a reply stating that the Inspector had been in contact with Welsh Water and had asked them to investigate the site as the Highways Department believed that is was a Welsh Water pipethat was leaking and was washing out onto the land. She had received a number of concerns from various businesses in the town that the Twtil road was going to be closed from the 31st of last month to the 2nd of this month and she had approached the relevant Officer asking them to postpone this work and they had agreed to this.
Cllr. Gwynfor Owen reported that he had contacted Natural Resources Wales following an enquiry asking them to clear the entrance to the beach and they had agreed to do this, it was reported that walkers were being prevented from accessing the public footpath under the College and it was declared that this has always been a public footpath and it was agreed that he contact Gwynedd Council about this. He had received complaints that the horse trough opposite the Old Library was blocked and it was declared that this had recently been cleaned up by the Our Area Tidying Team. He had received a number of concerns from various businesses in the town that Twntil road was going to be closed from the 31st of last month to the 2nd of this month as she had contacted the relevant Officer asking them to postpone the carry-out of this work as they had agreed to this.
It was reported that the Council had spent £6,556.84 (which included bank charges) since the start of the new financial year and this was £28,471.16 less expenditure than what was earmarked in the budget for the year.
Ty Canol Signs
The Clerk reported that these signs had now been erected.
King George V Playing Field
Cllr. Christopher Braithwaite informed the Members that that he was meeting a representative from MacVenture next week about the zip wire to see if a single side ramp can be installed to make the equipment work better. He also informed the Members that he was waiting for a price for a new fence along the side of the road, the development of a path from the road to the play area and also new mats.
It has been reported that Members have agreed to put this issue on the agenda because some of the public have asked if it could be tidied up. It was agreed that Members carry on with this work and Cllr. Wendy Williams agreed to invite the person that wants to carry out this work to the next meeting of the Council on the 3rd July at 7.30 p.m..
Cllr. Christopher Braithwaite reported that he had received prices for new bus shelters and had also found a company that sells some that have been refurbished . It was stated that it was necessary to move the bus shelter from the current location near the toilets by the Queens to the nearby layby and it was agreed to wait and see what sort of bus shelter get prices for new bus shelters as also found a company that sells some have been renovated. It was declared necessary to move the bus shelter from the current location near the Queens toilets to the nearby layby and it was agreed to wait and see what sort of bus shelter the Council would purchase.
The Clerk reported that she had received an email from one of the Board Directors asking if it would be possible for the Council to pay the monthly payment on the 28th of each month for the following month's payment. A further e-mail was received from the Board inviting one member of the Community Council to become a non executive member of the Board and also inviting one member to a meeting on the 29th of this month. The Clerk had informed them that this request would have to be discussed at the next Council meeting before no payment was made. The Clerk reported further that she had received an email from Talsarnau Community Council voicing concerns about HAL's accounts. The Clerk reported that she had forwarded both emails to Members. After a detailed discussion it was agreed that HAL accounts need to be audited and to pay the monthly amount this month and to re-discuss the situation if a copy of the accounts and a monthly report have not been received by the next Council meeting. The Chairman agreed to attend the meeting with HAL on the 29th of this month and Cllr. Martin Hughes agreed to represent the Council as a non-executive member of the Board. It was also agreed not to pay the monthly contribution on the 28th of every month as one of the Directors of the Board had asked but to wait and pay it at every Council meeting apart from August when it will be paid on the first Monday of that month.
Variation of Condition 2 (approved plans) and Condition 8 (biodiversity enhancements) of planning permission NP5/61/637 to allow for alterations to the ground level and positioning of dwelling, alterations to land levels to the rear of dwelling to facilitate associated drainage systems, and submission of details on biodiversity enhancements - Beaumont, Old Llanfair Road, Harlech (NP5/61/637D)
Support this application.
The Treasurer reported that there was £83,654.82 in the current account and £31,278.67 in the reserve account.
Invoices needing payment since last meeting
Mr. G. J. Williams - £250.00 - cut grass on football field and King George playing field
Mr. M. J. Kerr - £480.00 - opening grave re the late Ms Dawn Foulkes.
Mr. M. J. Kerr - £440.00 - opening grave re the late Mrs Eifiona Williams.
Llais Ardudwy - £20.00 - grass cutting advert
Monies received since last meeting
Mrs Stephanie Evans - £40.00 - allotment rent nos. 5 & 10
Ms Paula Ireland - £30.00 - allotment rent no. 7
Mr. Gareth Jones - £40.00 - allotment rent no. 15
Mrs Sue Grooms - £25.00 - allotment rent no. 9
Applications for financial contributions
Harlech & Ardudwy Leisure - £1,750.00 –precept proposal (monthly payment).
The Treasurer reported that the Internal Audit had been completed and there were no significant matters arising apart from the following -
Assurances can be stated in Harlech Town Council's governance arrangements and accounting statements for the financial year 2022-23 based on the tests carried out but there are some elements that can be tightened to mitigate identified risks. It is recommended that the Council commit to addressing and taking appropriate steps to mitigate the following risks:
Failure to review financial regulations and standing orders on an annual basis.
Financial loss resulting from a lack of involuntary scrutiny and receipt of approval prior to the creation of payment.
Failure to comply with the Council's Financial Rules in introducing unfunded payments and failure to seek value for money when procuring goods of a certain value.
A flaw in the controls for setting up and approving online payments.
Failure to maintain reconciliation for the funds in the reserve account.
Snowdonia National Park
Received a letter from the above together with the relevant documents with regards to the Tree Preservation Order that has been served on the owner of Brig y Don, Old Llanfair Road, Harlech.
Received an email from Nia Rees, a youth support worker asking for permission to use the football pitch on King George playing field every Wednesday evening from now until the start of the summer holidays. It was agreed to grant permission but to state that the condition of the football pitch was not very good because badgers and leather jacks had been damaging it.
Received an email along with photos from Mr. Phil Caldwell, Harlech Crossing Manager showing the risk assessment work that has been carried out by him on the path that crosses the line between the tennis courts and the golf and asking if the Council had any comments to make on this work. It was agreed that good work had been done.
ANY OTHER MATTER
The Clerk stated that she had received a request asking if it would be possible to clear around the allotments in the top and it was agreed that this should be done and for her to ask Mr. Meirion Griffiths to do this work.
A report was received from Cllr. Martin Hughes about the Our Area meeting which was held at Dyffryn Ardudwy on the 24th of last month. It was agreed that Harlech's strategic plan needed to be revisited and a sub-committee created and to have further discussion at next month's meeting.
It was reported that a tree needed to be felled near Plas Owain and it was agreed to contact the Highways Department about this.
Concern was voiced about stones falling from the wall along the A496 after coming through the 30 m.p.a sign