May 9, 2023
MINUTES OF HARLECH COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETING HELD AT THE OLD LIBRARY, HARLECH AT 7.30 P.M. ON 09.01.23
Cllr. Thomas Mort, Mark Armstrong, Emma Howie.
Cllrs. Edwina Evans (Chairman), Christopher Braithwaite (Vice Chairman), Huw Jones, Tegid John, Rhian Corps, Gordon Howie, Ceri Griffiths, Wendy Williams, Martin Hughes, and Cllrs. Annwen Hughes and Gwynfor Owen (Gwynedd Council).
On behalf of the Council the Chairman sympathised with Mrs. Bet Roberts and family following the death of Mr. Caerwyn Roberts who had been an active member of this Council for over 40 years.
The minutes of the meeting held on December 5th 2022 were found to be correct.
DECLARATION OF INTEREST
Nobody declared an interest on any matters.
GWYNEDD COUNCIL MATTERS
The following report was received from Cllrs. Gwynfor Owen and Annwen Hughes – Cllr. Annwen Hughes reported
that since the last meeting that she had been dealing with a few different matters in the Ward, but overall the last month had been fairly quiet due to the christmas holidays. It was reported that she had received several complaints that the salt bins around the area had been emptied and she had contacted the Highways Department to ask them to refill the salt bins following the recent cold weather and that these works had now been carried out. She also informed the Members that the Officer from the Area Tidy Towns Teams had been in contact asking if it would be possible for her to let him know which area in Harlech needs attention. She reminded everyone of the open day that Grwp Cynefin, Williams Homes (Bala) and Tai Teg will be holding in the memorial hall on Thursday the 12th between 2.30 and 6pm so people have the opportunity to discuss the development of building 21 affordable homes on a piece of land on Morfa Road.
Cllr. Gwynfor Owen reported he had been told by the Maritime Officers following the last meeting that they were looking for a defibrillator running without electricity to install on the beach, also that he had photographed the water that was on the road of the various estates in the town following the recent heavy rains. He also reminded everyone about Thursday's meeting in the memorial hall.
It was reported that the Council had spent £69,362.06 (which included bank charges) since the start of the new financial year and this was £3,809.70 less expenditure than what was earmarked in the budget for the year.
Council’s Budget for 2023/24
The Treasurer gave each member a copy of the Council’s accounts up to the year ending 31st December 2022 so that they could see what the financial situation was like. A discussion took place and it was decided that an estimate of the following costs were going to be with the Council during the next financial year - Council’s insurance £2,000, Clerk’s wages £2,200, Clerk’s expenses £1,800 , office expenses £500, tax on Clerk’s wages £440, Clerk’s Accountant £204, donations £5,000, Harlech & Ardudwy Leisure £21,543.62, Memorial Hall committee £2,000, Old Library committee £2,000, cemetery costs £3,500, grass cutting of the cemetery £2,000, grass cutting of the footpaths £2,500, grass cutting King George playing field £1,500, Bron y Graig Nature Trail £2,000, Welsh Water £800, salt bins £400, christmas lights £2,000, benches £1,000, emptying litter bins in playing fields £1,000, run and upkeep of toilets
by Memorial Hall £8,000, contribution to keep public toilets open £10,000, One Voice Wales £300, rent meeting room £200, up keep of both play parks £10,000, inspection of play parks £300, Council’s website £120, tennis court
rates £120, auditors £600, sundries £1,000, upkeep of various items £500, bank charges £150.
Council’s Precept for 2023/24
A letter was received from Gwynedd Council with regard to the above. After disgussing the budget and foreseeing what the Council’s expenditure will be for the forthcoming financial year, it was decided to keep the precept at £70,000.
Council’s Risk Assessment
Copies of the above was given to each member that was present and every item on it was discussed individually. It was decided to accept this policy. It was agreed to add the toilets near the memorial hall and fraud to this assessment.
Efficient Internal Control
The above was discussed in lenght again this year and it was agreed that the present arrangement is acceptable where the Treasurer gives a financial report along with a copy of the Council’s bank reconciliation to the Members every month and also minutes the payment and receipts that are made together with the financial situation every month.
Independant Renumeration Panel
The Clerk reported that a form had to be signed by every Councillor again this year with regard to the above. There is a need to list every rule that is been adopted in the Council minutes and if a payment rule regarding costs is been adopted the Councillors that DO NOT claim expenses sign the form declaring this. After a discussion it was agreed to adopt the payments rule regarding costs again this year and it was agreed that everybody that wanted to claim costs would do so but it was important that everybody return the form back to the Clerk once it was completed.
Ty Canol Signs
The Clerk reported that since the last meeting she had had a telephone conversation with Iwan Ap Trefor of Gwynedd Council about the above signs and he had apologised that this matter was taking so long and this was because there had been some confusion with the signs. He has now designed signs that would currently designate the area as an informal 20mph zone until this was formalised with the Welsh Government's plan in September this year and also included a symbol of children playing to clarify purpose of the zone designation. The Clerk showed pictures of the proposed signs to the Members. Hopefully the signs will be installed by the end of this month.
King George V Playing Field
Cllr. Christopher Braithwaite reported that he had put an order in with the MacVenture Playground company Llangefni and that he was waiting for the start date of the work and also that he was going to meet them on site. Want to pay 30% deposit for the equipment and work and it was agreed to do this immediately the invoice will be received. It was reported that the grant money from the Harlech and Ardudwy Cycle Group had been received.
It was made known that Mr. Meirion Evans had installed the new noticeboard on the piece of land near the Morfa Stores and Cllr. Braithwaite also stated that he will be ordering the bollards to place near Llyn y Felin playing field this week.
Demolition of existing buildings and construction of a new detached two storey rural enterprise dwelling - Ty'n y Gwater, Harlech (NP5/61/647)
Support this appication
Construction of a new parking area, raised terrace, steps and retaining wall - Llys Maelor, Stryd Fawr, Harlech (NP5/61/639)
Support this appication
External alterations - Hafod y Bryn, Harlech (NP5/61/365B)
Support this appication 740............................................Chairman
The Treasurer reported that there was £78,825.61 in the current account and £31,140.06 in the reserve account.
Invoices needing payment since last meeting
Customs & Excise – £110.00 – tax on Clerk’s wages
Mr. M. J. Kerr - £540.00 - opening grave re the late Mr. Norman John Povey
Brown and Wolfe - £165.00 – website hosting
Mr. Meirion Evans - £600.00 – prepare site and put new noticeboard up
Macventure playgrounds - £11,826.00 – 30% deposit for new play equipment
Monies received since last meeting
Customs & Excise - £1,416.84 – V.A.T repayment
Clwb Beicio - £4,800.00 - grant towards play equipment
Gwynedd Council - £990.35 – repayment for cutting grass on public footpaths
The Treasurer reported that unfortunately the Council had been scammed out of £9,000 by a person called Oluwafeni Odunuga stating that he was going to carry out consultative work for the Council and an advance payment would be required. The Treasurer stated further that she had telephoned the bank's fraud department and the matter is currently being dealt with by them. The Treasurer reported further that she had received a letter from HSBC bank stating that its looks like the Council has been a victim of an " authorised push payment" scam and they were now looking into this and contacting the fraudster's bank. HSBC bank will contact the Treasurer within the next 15 working days to provide an update on this matter.
The Treasurer reported that the Council had under spent £3,809.70 since the beginning of this financial year up to 31st December 2022 and that she was forseen that £107,250.17 would be carried forward on the 31st March 2023. It must also be remembered that at least £4,478.00 expenditure needs to be done by the end of March 2023 and only £1,726.50 to come in (at the moment) and the Council will have substantial expenditure to do during the next financial year 2023/24 because £21,543.62 has been earmarked for Harlech and Ardudwy Leisure and £10,000 has been earmarked for Gwynedd Council as the Council’s contribution to keep the public toilets open and £8,000 for the running and upkeep of the toilets by the Memorial Hall when they open making a total of £39,543.62 without including no other expenditure the Council will be doing. Therefore by remembering that maybe £107,250.17 will be carried over and the precept has been left at £70,000 (£107,250.17 + £70,000 = £177,250.17 - £39,543.62 = £137,706.55) maybe the Council will be fine with their expenditure for the financial year 2023/24. The Members will have a better financial forecast for the year to come at the end of March 2023.
Received a letter from the above informing the Council that the appropriate sum under Section 137(4)(a) of Local Government Act 1972, Section 137 Expenditure Limit for 2023/24 will be £9.93 per elector. The Clerk reported that the latest number of electors she has is 1,136 and therefore the Council have the right to contribute up to £11,280.48 to outside bodies.
Gwynedd Council – Highways Department
Received a letter from the above department informing the Council that the Tidy Team Our Area will be in the area from the 9th until the 20th of this month. Also that the department is going to repair a handrail and re-build a wall on public footpath number 37.
ANY OTHER MATTER
Send a letter of thanks to Mr. Geraint Williams (Benji) for all his hard work with the christmas lights in the town.
Great concern was voiced at the state of the football field once again due to crows digging it up.
HAL on next month’s ageda.