Minutes of the Projects Committee held on Wednesday 27th March 2019 at 7pm in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Abergavenny

Present:

Chair –            Cllr T Davies  

Cllr M Harris

Cllr R Harris

Cllr T Konieczny

Cllr G Jones

Cllr Van de Vyver (for part of the meeting)

In attendance:

J Lee (Town Clerk)

Apologies

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs M Hickman, P Simcock, D Simcock, T Thomas †
Declarations of Interest

None †
Presentation from Ian Bakewell, Housing & Communities Manager, MCC on homelessness and wider housing issues.

Ian Bakewell & Jo Taylor from MCC attended to provide information to members on the issue of homelessness in Abergavenny. The following points were covered: †

MCC has a legal responsibility to take steps to prevent homelessness and if they canít prevent homelessness they have a legal duty to certain households such as families, disabled etc. †

It is a challenge finding suitable accommodation. MCC have over 60 units of shared housing mainly in Chepstow, 5 bed hostel in Monmouth and hostel for young people in Abergavenny (Woodstock House) and in Chepstow. Thereís B&B accommodation in Caerwent and in Newport. †

To date, there hasnít been a rise in homelessness as a result of Universal Credit (UC) as many organisations have supported UC tenants. However, rent arrears are rising, with UC tenants twice the norm at 6%. MCC have a dedicated UC worker. †

3,000 on social housing list in Monmouthshire †

New scheme launched to promote lodgings. Payment made for people to open spare room. Comprehensive checks and reviews are in place. †

Social housing stock low, difficulties with building new as lack of funding available and land values. † The Mayor thanked Ian & Jo for attending. †
Summer Playscheme 2019

£17,000 has been allocated in 2019/20 and two options were discussed. These are all the funding for the summer playscheme for 5-11year olds or allocate £5000 of the funding to activities for the older age group arranged by MCC Youth Service. †

It is recommended that £5000 is used for activities for 12+ age group. †

It is also recommended that the Town Clerk discusses with MCC Youth Service about approaching Rotary & Round Table for a contribution † †
Public Toilets in Abergavenny

A detailed report was presented which sets out four options for future arrangements for managing the public toilets. After much discussion it is recommended (vote 5 in favour 1 against) that the Town Council pursues the transfer of the assets of Bus Station, Castle Street and Brewery Yard toilets when acceptable transfer terms have been negotiated. The Town Council will contract with MCC for the cleaning and contract with a private company for the maintenance †

That the Town Council agrees to the following implementation arrangements: That negotiations re the terms for the transfer of the assets continues between the Town Clerk and MCC officials and the Ďbest dealí is subject to a further report to Council. Terms to be discussed include clawback, capital lump sum and level of refurbishment.The financial year 2019/20 will be considered a transition year for the changes to be made and for MCC to undertake the works identified and agreed by the Town Clerk and MCC. Until the time that the assets are transferred, the Town Council will continue to contribute to keep the four blocks of toilets open. However, if MCC, on the advice of Gwent Police, decide to close WHL the Town Council would not oppose this decision and ATCís contribution would be reduced to reflect this. The arrangements for Bailey Park toilets will continue until new arrangements come into place as part of the construction of a new pavilion † That the Town Council writes to MCC Chief Executive suggesting that the PSB considers the issue of drug taking affecting White Horse Lane toilets and a number of other toilet blocks across the County. This is an issue that requires a strategic, multi-agency response. † †
Website Redesign

The Town Clerk provided details of features that the new Town Council could have. One suggestion that the website should have a page for the Mayorís activities. Other suggestions to be sent to the Clerk. Members requested that the Town Clerk progresses the website redesign. †
Dog Fouling Awareness Day

MCC is holding its next Dog Fouling Awareness Day on 11th April focussing efforts in Goytre and Gilwern. Community & Town Councils are encouraged to organise their own actions on this day. †

It was agreed that the Town Council would focus on Castle Meadows and would meet on 11th April from 9-11am to highlight the problem with chalk paint and new posters. Friends groups encouraged to get involved, putting up new posters. Press release to be issued. †

Meeting closed at 8.50pm

RECOMMENDATIONS

It is recommended that £5000 is used for activities for 12+ age group & Town Clerk to liaise with MCC Youth Service  JL
It is also recommended that the Town Clerk discusses with MCC Youth Service about approaching Rotary & Round Table for a contribution  JL
That the Town Council pursues the transfer of the assets of Bus Station, Castle Street and Brewery Yard toilets when acceptable transfer terms have been negotiated. The Town Council will contract with MCC for the cleaning and contract with a private company for the maintenance  JL
That the Town Council agrees to the following implementation arrangements:That negotiations re the terms for the transfer of the assets continues between the Town Clerk and MCC officials and the Ďbest dealí is subject to a further report to Council. Terms to be discussed include clawback, capital lump sum and level of refurbishment.The financial year 2019/20 will be considered a transition year for the changes to be made and for MCC to undertake the works identified and agreed by the Town Clerk and MCC. Until the time that the assets are transferred, the Town Council will continue to contribute to keep the four blocks of toilets open. However, if MCC, on the advice of Gwent Police, decide to close WHL the Town Council would not oppose this decision and ATCís contribution would be reduced to reflect this. The arrangements for Bailey Park toilets will continue until new arrangements come into place as part of the construction of a new pavilion  JL
That the Town Council writes to MCC Chief Executive suggesting that the PSB considers the issue of drug taking affecting White Horse Lane toilets and a number of other toilet blocks across the County. This is an issue that requires a strategic, multi-agency response.  JL
Councillors take part in the Dog Fouling Awareness Day on Thursday 11th April from 9-11am at Castle Meadows. The scale of problem will be highlighted using chalk paint and new posters will be designed. Friends groups encouraged to get involved, putting up new posters. Press release to be issued.  All