MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, TOWN HALL, ABERGAVENNY ON WEDNESDAY 13th FEBRUARY 2019 AT 7.00PM
Chairman – Cllr T Davies (Mayor)
Cllr M Hickman
Cllr G Jones
Cllr N Tatam
Cllr D Simcock
Cllr P Simcock
Cllr R Harris
Cllr T Konieczny
Cllr M Groucutt
Cllr T Thomas
Cllr F Morgan
Cllr M Lewis
Cllr Van de Vyver
J Lee (Town Clerk)
Apologies received from Cllrs M Harris and S Dodd
|Declarations of Interest
To be declared during the meeting.
|Minutes of Council held on Wednesday 9th January
The Minutes of Council held on 9th January were received and adopted as a correct record. Proposed by Cllr Hickman, seconded Cllr Tatam
Cllr Tatam informed Councillors that all town & community councils receive an individual letter from MCC with the Band D base to assist with the precept calculations. The change in the base from 2018/19 to 2019/20 would have the effect of increasing the precept by 0.9% even with a decision not to increase the precept. Councillors noted Cllr Tatam’s comments.
The action on continuing discussions with MCC re evidence gathering on air pollution along the A40 through the town is to be carried forward
Town Clerk is awaiting information from MCC prior to the preparation of a report on the closure of White Horse Lane toilets
A letter has been sent to KHS and Deri View Primary School to thank them for their work with refugee children
The Town Clerk has had initial discussions with MCC Planning regarding the issues of planning applications being determined before the Town Council has submitted comments. An update will be provided at the next Council.
The action to arrange another Policy Committee is to be carried forwardA letter has been sent to MCC re homelessness and a reply received. This matter is on the agendaA letter has been sent to NRW re the Flood Risk Activity Permit and a reply received. This matter is on the agenda.
|Minutes of Planning Committee held on Wednesday 9th January 2019
The Minutes of the Planning Committee held on Wednesday 9th January were received and adopted as a correct record. Proposed Cllr Tatam, seconded Cllr Thomas.
No matters arising
| Minutes of the Projects Committee held on Wednesday 23rd January 2019
The minutes of the Projects Committee held on Wednesday 23rd January were received and adopted as a correct record Proposed Cllr P Simcock, seconded Cllr Konieczny.
A meeting has taken place between the Town Clerk and Aine Morris from Abergavenny Food Festival to discuss moving towards an agreement of partnership working. A draft agreement will be tabled at the March Projects Committee
Amendments have been made to the agreement with Abergavenny Community Trust and these are being discussed with Trustees and will be circulated to Councillors shortly
Abergavenny Carnival will resubmit their application to the February Projects Committee
An email has been sent to Estates at Gwent Police regarding the re-siting of the WWI plaque in the new police station. A response has not been received.
|Minutes of the Events Committee held on Tuesday 29th January 2019
The minutes of the Events Committee held on Tuesday 29th January were received and adopted as a correct record. Proposed by Cllr P Simcock, seconded by Cllr Konieczny.
The Town Clerk reported that arrangements were underway regarding the Community Choir concert and play event in north Abergavenny.A request was made that a local band was given the opportunity to perform instead of Monmouth Big Band.
The Council has passed a resolution regarding reducing single use plastics so the proposal for the Round Table to sell glowsticks etc (which are single use plastic items) at the Christmas Light Switch-On event should not be taken forward
Council received a report on the requirement to pay backdated pension contributions (employee & employer) for the Admin Assistant since the date of joining plus a salary underpayment in May 2018. Cllr Konieczny proposed that the three recommendations regarding employer, employee backpayments and salary backpay were taken together, Cllr P Simcock seconded, vote carried unanimously.
The following payments were authorised
Office Costs (January) £4615.68
HMRC Outstanding Payment * £1254.73
Viking (Flasks & Display board) £196.78
MCC (CCTV Q4) £3264.00
Ricoh (final payment) £82.38
Viking (Office Chair) £59.99
Sarah Price Landscapes (Plants Phase 1) £250.00
City Illuminations (Christmas Lights 2018) £27000.00
Cable News (Library Papers Dec) £53.60
Cable News (Library Papers Jan) £57.75
Merlin Waste (dog bins February) £510.00
Aber Crafty Women ** £135.00
MCC (Summer Playscheme) £12000.00
Office Costs (February)*** £5100.10
Travel Expenses J Lee £72.90
* An Employers allowance was wrongly applied for a number of months by the company carrying out the Town Council’s payroll function which had the effect of reducing the employers NI paid to HMRC. This has been corrected but resulted in an underpayment to HMRC. This amount is the amount owed to HMRC.
** William Griffiths gave a personal donation and sold poppies removed from the netting, This is where the netting had sagged leaving poppies lying on the ground. £405 was raised. Following discussions with Friends of Abergavenny Library and Aber Crafty Women it was agreed to split the sum three ways with the Town Council receiving £135. This contributes towards the cost of the camouflage netting.
*** Includes backdated pension contributions
Month 10 report was accepted. Cllr D Simcock requested clarification on the payment to R Fury on the list of outstanding cheques.Council received a summary report (together with links to the full reports) regarding two recent Wales Audit Office reports on Financial Management and Governance and Internal Audit Arrangements. The report on the Internal Audit Arrangements highlighted poor practice around the engagement of the internal auditor and independence of the auditor. Abergavenny Town Council internal auditor is appointed following a Council decision and has terms of reference. Town Clerk also reported that our internal auditor is doing a thorough job and has ensured that we have sound financial management and governance arrangements in place and are not on the ‘name and shame’ lists within the WAO report. Current and future governance themes were highlighted. The report was noted.
|To approve the Risk Register
Council considered the Risk Register 2019/20. The Town Clerk highlighted two new risks; one a temporary risk to ensure business as usual during the works on the Town Hall and the other related to resilience of the Town Clerk’s office.
Cllr Morgan enquired as to whether the Council has Critical Persons Insurance. The Town Clerk will investigate.
Cllr Konieczny proposed that the Risk Register is approved, Cllr Hickman seconded, vote carried unanimously
| To agree a Town Council response to the MCC Consultation on a Public Spaces Protection Order for all car parks in Monmouthshire.
Cllr Thomas updated Councillors on the improved situation at the Fairfield Car Park since the barrier is being locked in the evening. However as a consequence anti-social behaviour may move to other car parks and therefore a Public Spaces Protection Order for all car parks is sensible. Cllr Jones reported an increase in anti-social behaviour in Byefield Lane car park and is in discussion with MCC regarding the installation of a barrier. Cllr Konieczny proposed that the Town Council should support the proposal from MCC, seconded by Cllr Thomas, vote carried unanimously.
Cllr Thomas also highlighted the recent spate of thefts in the town in the last few weeks and proposed that the Town Council write to Police & Crime Commissioner Jeff Cuthbert to express concern about the lack of police presence in the town including no permanent police station. Seconded by Cllr Van de Vyver, vote carried.
| To consider and if appropriate agree a Town Council response to the report by the Local Democracy & Boundary Commission for Wales on the Review of Community Arrangements in the County of Monmouthshire.
Cllr R Harris declared an interest as he took part as an MCC Councillor in the review as a member of the working group. Cllr R Harris did not take part in the vote.
Councillors considered a report which set out irregularities with the review process. Councillors were informed by MCC that the Local Democracy & Boundary Commission would carry out a consultation once the final proposals from MCC had been received. This was not the case, under the terms of the legislation there is no formal consultation process.
This has in effect removed the expected opportunity for the Town Council to comment on the proposals in the report.
The Town Council can make representations to the Welsh Government and it was proposed by Cllr Konieczny that a working group is set up to draft a response to WG. This was seconded by Cllr Groucutt, vote carried unanimously.
|Election of a Mayor for 2019/20 Cllr Groucutt nominated Cllr Konieczny, seconded by Cllr Jones. No other nominations were received. Vote in favour 12, one abstention. Cllr Davies congratulated Mayor-elect Cllr Tony Konieczny
A letter has been received from NRW in response to the letter from the Town Council support the issuing of a Flood Risk Activity Permit to enable the cycle/pedestrian bridge to be constructed. The NRW letter is a generic one stating their support for the bridge but the design will increase flood levels and this is unacceptable and contrary to policy. Cllr Konieczny questioned whether planning permission should have been granted.
Cllr R Harris declared an interest as a member of MCC Planning Committee It was agreed to write to MCC Engineers to request how this impasse can be resolved and if the Town Council can assist.
A letter has been received from Cllr Sara Jones in response to the letter from Cllr Davies re homelessness in Abergavenny. The response sets out the actions being taken by MCC. It was agreed that further discussion with Cllr Jones would be beneficial, so it was agreed that an invitation be extended to attend the March Projects Committee.
|Questions from Town Councillors to County Councillors on local issues/Information from County Councillors to members
Cllr Konieczny asked for more information on when the work at KHS will commence. Cllr R Harris reported that WG has only recently reopened the 21st Century schools process and invited bids so there are no definite dates.
Cllr P Simcock asked when the safety audit on the reopening of the Lion Street/Frogmore Street after 4pm will be available. The Town Clerk reported that a meeting is to be held shortly between MCC local councillors and MCC officers to discuss.
|Members Reports from External Bodies
Cllr Groucutt – None
Cllr R Harris – None
Cllr Hickman – Dedication of the new standard, Welsh Regimental Association
Cllr T Konieczny – A4B and reported that the new Manager, Borough Theatre shared details of the Theatre refurbishment
Cllr Lewis – None
Cllr Jones – None
Cllr Tatam – Public Realm Meeting, OVW Area Committee & Larger Councils meeting, Team Abergavenny
Cllr P Simcock – Public Realm Meeting, North Monmouthshire Liaison Committee
Cllr Morgan – None
Cllr Van de Vyver – Team Abergavenny, Friends of Bailey Park
Cllr D Simcock – Public Realm meeting
Cllr Thomas – Food Forum, Ysgol Gymraeg Y Fenni Governors
Cllr Davies – Foxhunters VIP opening, Public realm meeting, A4B Awards, Plastic Free Abergavenny, Cantref governors, Young Farmers Newport, Beaupreau Twinning Meeting, Dedication of the new standard, Borough Band dinner, Scouts visit to the Town Hall, Opening of exhibition at Abergavenny Museum and drawing winner of Abergavenny Chronicle Valentine Competition
|Any Other Business None
There being no other business the meeting ended at 8.37pm
ACTION LIST FROM FEBRUARY COUNCIL MEETING
|To continue discussions with MCC re gathering evidence re air pollution along the A40 through the town
|To prepare a more detailed report on taking forward the closure of White Horse Lane toilets
|To discuss with Mark Hand the issue of planning applications being determined before the Town Council has submitted comments
|Arrange another Policy Committee
|To investigate if the Council has Critical Persons Insurance
|To respond to the MCC consultation on the Public Space Protection Order for all car parks in Monmouthshire
|To write to Jeff Cuthbert, Police & Crime Commissioner regarding the increase in thefts and lack of police presence
|To arrange a working group to agree the representation to WG on the Review of Community Arrangements in the County of Monmouthshire
|To write to MCC Engineers re next steps re the Llanfoist/Abergavenny Cycle-Pedestrian bridge
|To invite Cllr Sara Jones to the March Projects Committee