Minutes of the Council Meeting/ Projects meeting held on Wednesday 27th July 2017 at 7pm in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Abergavenny.
Present: Cllr D Simcock (Mayor)
Cllrs T Davies, S Dodd, M Harris, R Harris, M Hickman, G Jones, T Konieczny, F Morgan, P Simcock, N Tatam, T Thomas.
In attendance: Town Clerk – Jacqueline Humphries, Katrina Gass, David Holman, Martha Musonza Holman.
Apologies – Councillors M Groucutt, S Head, L Van de Vyver.
Declarations of Interest. – None
A presentation was made by Katrina Gass, David & Martha Holman on the subject of Fairtrade – the Town Council has supported the organisation since 2006. Monmouthshire has 4 groups Usk Monmouth, Chepstow and Abergavenny. Fairtrade guarantees workers a minimum wage, safe working conditions, the right to join unions and equal rights for women.
There are 60 organisations in Abergavenny that currently support Fairtrade, the organisation wants to continue to grow the public understanding and asked for encouragement and support from the council to allow banners to be erected within the town – councillors agreed.
Nick Ramsey AM is now also a member of the Abergavenny Fairtrade Forum.
There is a Fairtrade fair being held in the first week of October when a march will be undertaking to raise money for new and on-going projects.
The Mayor thanked the presenters for the presentation and informed them that the town Council is more than happy to continue its support of the organisation.
Wellbeing and Future Generations Plan
Sharron Lloyd and Debbie McCarty gave a presentation on the Wellbeing and Future Generation Act.
It will a challenging time ahead for all local authorities dealing with many issues including:-
Climate change and globalisation, wellbeing goals will be based around sustainable development. Town Council will need to produce a Local Community Action Plan. A draft plan for Monmouthshire County council is currently being produced, Councillor enquired if they would be consulted on the plan and it was confirmed that they would be as close collaboration would be required between both councils.
The plan once produced will last for 5 years and run alongside the election cycle. All plans will be checked by the Audit Office and commissioner. Only 4 towns in Monmouthshire will be required to produce a town plan, those with over £200,000 precept, Abergavenny is one of these.
The Mayor invited the presenters back to see the council once the MCC draft plans goes out to consultation – all agreed this would be a good idea.
The Mayor thanks Sharron and Debbie for the presentation and stated the council look forward to seeing the draft plan.
Roger Hoggins gave a brief background of the toilet situation in Abergavenny to enable new councillors to understand where the council is at present. MCC has to provide a public convenience strategy for the Welsh Government – MCC will only keep one of the toilets in the town open so council must either continue to pay MCC to look after them or take them on itself.
Douglas Edwards outlines cost for all the different permutation that had been looked at in his report in June and went over all the figures for councillors.
Councillors felt that the town council need to ensure that any buildings it takes over the running of must be put in the best possible condition first and any remedial work would have to be carried out by MCC, the audit office would not look favourably on the council taking on any buildings in a poor state of repair.
The Council had set a final decision date for August / September of 2017.
Douglas Edwards stated that a local contactor has quoted £28,000 to clean and maintain all the toilets; compared to the current £58,000 we pay MCC it’s a lot lower. Some councillors were dubious as to the sustainability of a contractor doing it for the said price as the cost to replenish the toilets could run into thousands. The council would also have to take into account the electricity charges and water rates.
The three main quotes are for 1. MCC to continue, 3. Local Contractor. 3. Healthmatic.
MCC is happy to provide the cleaning services on going for the set costs of £58,000 until a decision is made. If we opt out of the MCC cleaning contract then current staff have the right to transfer with the service to the new employer.
The Mayor thanked both presenters for their input and reminded council that a final decision needs to be made by the council in order to move the project forward.
Permanent Cycle Pumps
Cllr Morgan informed all that it was on the agenda in error and he would bring it back to council at a later date.
Full Council meeting was now opened.
2025. To receive and if appropriate to adopt the minutes of the Finance Committee held on 5th July 2017
Y Fenni Business community – could we change the wording to ‘initial run of the brochure’
Grants – Abergavenny Eisteddod – Grant proposed to be passed, seconded and passed by all.
Homemakers Community Recycling – Councillor discussed grant and agreed it was a worthwhile cause. It was proposed to award the grant, seconded and passed by all. (Cllrs Hickman, R Harris and Tatam declared an interest and took no part in this)
Incredible Edible – Clerk has written to applicant to request they put in a new application under the Incredible Edible umbrella. All agreed this was the best action at present.
Abergavenny Food Festival – the clerk confirmed that the most that the council can give in grants to one organisation it set at £3,000 at present and this is in our financial regulations at present. Concern was expressed by councillors regarding the owning of the Arts Alive work, some councillors felt that we could be taking on a lot if we become owners and would then be responsible for selling them, it was felt it would not be in the best interest of the Council. The Food Festival is a worthwhile event for the town and we should continue to support it in any way we can. The money normally given to the Festival by the town council is £2000 for the summer festival and £1000 for the winter festival and it was proposed that the council should continue with that this year and look at awarding some more next year. It was proposed to award the £3,000 this was seconded then passed by council.
Councillors asked could the clerk please include an outline of the grant in the minutes in future –clerk agreed
The meeting closed at 8.45pm