GOWERTON COMMUNITY COUNCIL

CYNGOR CYMUNEDOL TREGŴYR

Minutes of the Meeting of Council held at 7pm on Wednesday 3 June 2020

 

Due to Coronavirus and social distancing restrictions, this meeting was held via a telephone conference call.

 

 

PRESENT:  Councillors: Gareth Evans, Paul Emmerton, Susan Jones, Ann Guard, Linda Bolchover, Ros Holt, Lyneth Howells, Barbara Small.  Clerk to the Council:  Allison James.

 

Mr Elwyn Gedrych has expressed an interest in becoming a Community Councillor and listened in to the meeting. Mr Gedrych did not engage in any discussion of council matters.

 

 

11.       APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Cllr Viv Davies

 

12.      DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST FROM MEMBERS:  Cllr Jones – Meeting ref 18A.4.

Cllr Emmerton – Meeting ref 19.10

 

13.       MEETINGS WITH: None held due to Covid-19 restrictions.

 

14.   TO RECEIVE ANY PUBLIC REPRESENTATION – None received.

 

15.  COUNCIL MINUTES: 29th April 2020.

a)  The Minutes were accepted as a true record.

b)  Matters Arising: The written report of the Clerk regarding matters arising and subsequent actions taken were noted.

 

16. TO RECEIVE THE REPORT BY THE WARD MEMBER:

 

Cllr Jones gave the following report:

 

1. I continue to coordinate the volunteers in the village.  To date, Nomad have provided 291 meals for isolated and vulnerable people who have been delivered by the Rugby and Cricket volunteers.  I continue to give people calls to check they are ok, and to continue to inform the village of issues through Facebook.

 

2. I have written an email to support the new pharmacy’s planning application.

 

3. The commencement of the construction of the new Ysgol Gyfyn Gwyr building is due to start in June 2020.  Pupil capacity will be increased by 200.

 

4. Swansea Sound has been taken over by another Radio Station which will no longer be the local radio station that we know.  This is a sad situation at a time when the local station is needed more than ever.

 

5. Contact tracing commenced on Monday 1st June, with testing for key workers and care homes

Contact tracing is being rolled out across Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, starting initially with testing for key workers and care homes.

 

 

 

 

6. Corona testing unit:

Swansea and Neath Port Talbot councils are redeploying staff to support Swansea Bay University Health Board, to deliver the Welsh Government's Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) program which will assist the lockdown easing in Wales.

 

Contact tracing means testing people for coronavirus, tracking the spread of the virus and then tracing the people an infected person has come into contact with.

 

People who have come into close contact with someone who's tested positive for the virus will be asked to self-isolate.

 

Swansea Bay UHB has two testing units at Liberty Stadium and Longlands Lane Playing Fields in Port Talbot. Tests will implement the first stage of the strategy being introduced across Wales.

 

A phased approach, beginning the program with key workers and care homes, before extending to other sectors and the general public over the coming weeks.

 

There are already established testing and tracing teams who will be ready to go and will be getting to work from Monday. Their focus initially will be on the key workers and those living and working in care homes because their needs are a priority.

 

The testing units are equipped to help our keyworkers first. When we are ready to test other groups and the general public, they will be informed.

 

In the meantime, we urge people to continue to follow the Welsh Government coronavirus guidance and maintain the two-metre distancing rule to help protect the NHS and keep each other safe.

 

6. The Recycling Centre have been opened and the public have been praised in the orderly manner they have responded to them.  We continue to see dog waste bins being overloaded and would appeal to the public to take their dog waste home and put into their black general waste bags.

 

7.  I have managed to get some volunteers to water the square.

 

 

17.  TO RECEIVE THE REPORT OF THE CHAIRPERSON

 

Cllr Gareth Evans gave the following report:

 

As we cannot arrange an Audio meeting before Wednesday 3rd June, I would like to give you a report on the meeting with Martin Bignall and Dave Bivens at Brynymor Road, that you can all digest before our meeting.

I examined the tree from the Councils land and found it to be close to a deep culvert where apparently the old railway used to run. I joined Martin and Mr Bivens in his garden where he explained his concerns. Martin stated that the tree was in his view a healthy tree and was in the top 10% of quality grading.

 

At this time there were no leaves on the tree, Martin said he would return to assess the situation in 6 months. Mr Bivens added that if any remedial work was agreed by Council, he would be happy to contribute to the cost.

 

 

After the visit Martin and I discussed the situation at some length, I enquired about the rooting system of Ash trees and was surprised that they were quite shallow (a couple of feet), and due to the position of the tree close to the culvert was concerned of the viability of it remaining stable in high wind. I did say that we didn’t want to lose the tree and asked about reducing the crown and he replied it was up to us. We have to consider tree preservation but also consider our duty of care to the public as we could not guarantee the safety of this tree long term. My recommendation is to consider a crown reduction to ensure the long term safety of the tree and at the same time be seen to be a responsible Council. 

 

 

 

18. REPORT OF THE CLERK

 

18(a)      Miscellaneous

 

  1. Welcome Elwyn Gedrych to the meeting. Mr Gedrych has expressed an interest in the vacancy for councillor.

Noted

 

2.  Sage payments cancelled. Allison to manually calculate salary payments and deductions, potentially saving around £100 per annum.

 

Action – Sage has been cancelled but to report directly to HMRC and produce the necessary records, the Clerk has purchased an alternative package.

 

3.  Discuss action to be taken regarding Redwood Court building site following a letter from a concerned resident nearby that the site had no railings in place after the working day to prevent members of the public from entering the building site.

 

Action – A letter was sent to the contractor and subsequently, safety railings have now been erected.

 

4.   Agree on distribution of grant funds from Western Power Ltd awarded to help with volunteer work during the Covid 19 epidemic.

 

Action – Cheques for the amount of £300 each have been sent and received to Nomad Bar and Kitchen, Co Op Food Store in Gowerton, St Johns Church, Gowerton Comprehensive School, Gowerton Rugby Club and Gowerton Cricket club. Cllr Jones took no part in this discussion as she declared an interest as Governor of Gowerton Comprehensive School.

 

5.   Bank signatories have been updated, online banking has been set up and we have been issued with a debit card. Noted.

 

6.  Rail travel tickets – Cllr Holt to contact rail company to request extension of the rail tickets which were due to expire in July, awarded to the Sewing Guild.

 

Action – Cllr Holt has contacted the rail company who have agreed to extend the rail tickets until January. Clerk has sent a letter to the Sewing Guild to inform them.

 

7.  A new PC has been purchased for the Clerk as the previous one was around 10 years old, and not functioning properly. Noted.

 

 

 

18 (b) Financial Matters

The following items for payment are for authorization/ratification:

 

 

 

Creditor

Item

£ Amount

 

VAT

 inc

1)

Sky

Telephone Adv. Charges

38.99

 

yes

2)

Bay Landscapes

Monthly Cutting Charge

243.50

 

yes

3)

Sage One

Online payroll system

8.40

 

yes

4)

HP

Monthly Printer ink

7.99

 

yes

5)

M Edmunds

Provisions for village square

55.90

 

no

6)

Blooming Belles Florist

Flowers for a residents 100th birthday

35.00

 

no

7)

RNLI

Donation of Christmas 2019 raffle money

269.01

 

   no

 

8)

 

 

HP

New IT equipment

759.99

 

 yes

9)

Clerks Salary

Month of May

766.28

 

no

10)

Salary adjustments

Incorrect payments made previously for April and May.

170.76

 

no

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18(c) CORRESPONDENCE

 

 

Gwyneth Stewart

Query re rail travel tickets

Reply sent.

 

Gowerton resident

Donation of framed photograph

Reply sent. Clr Bolchover has spoken to the resident who is most pleased with the outcome of putting the photograph in the Rechabite Hall.

 

Email from RNLI

Confirmation of receipt of donation

No action needed.

 

The Co Op Bank

Confirmation of authorized account user and debit card

 

No action needed

Keep Wales Tidy

Local places for nature application

Cllr Bolchover has already applied.

 

Gowerton Resident

Email expressing interest in council vacancy

Reply sent

 

Deryck Evans

Audit update - email

Noted

 

Grounds and Graves

Email Enquiry about grounds maintenance tender

Reply sent

 

HP Store

Email confirming order of equipment

Noted

 

Bay Landscapes

Invoice

Paid

 

The Co Op Bank

Request for information re signatory (Cllr Jones)

Information sent

 

One Voice Wales

The principles relating to the Reimbursement of Costs of Care.

Noted

 

Cllr Jones - Email

A letter of complaint re Redwood Court building site

Letter sent. Matter closed.

 

One Voice Wales - Email

NDEPENDENT REMUNERATION PANEL FOR WALES – ANNUAL RETURN

Noted

Paul Emmerton

Email regarding trees at 13 Woodlands

CCOS contacted. Matter closed.

 

Stella Hayward, Western Power

Email asking about volunteer opportunities

Sent on to J Edwards LAC

 

Gowerton Resident

Tree concerns at Bishwell Road

Contacted CCOS

 

Email from Gareth Evans, Chairman

Distribution of grant money

Cheques sent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19 QUESTIONS FOR BUSINESS

 

  1. Village square – volunteers have been recruited to water the garden. Cllr Holt asked for a breakdown of the amount of £55.90 paid out for supplies.

 

Action – 10 plants x 3.99 = £39.90, 3 x compost = £12.00, 2 x Growmore = £4.00.Total of £55.90

 

  1. Heart of Wales line payment – can this be made next year as we missed this year due to Covid 19 restrictions. Noted.

 

 

  1. Cllr Small mentioned the pavement from Hill Street to Mount Street has been resurfaced and is very uneven.

 

Action – Clerk has reported this to CCOS.

 

  1. The large Ash tree on Brynymor Road as discussed in the Chairmans report – was agreed by all that the best course of action is to arrange for the tree to be trimmed back and crowned.  Clerk to check on TPO’s and whether planning is needed.  Clerk to get three prices in accordance with Best Value.

 

Action – Clerk has notified the resident of the outcome and contacted CCOS. No TPO is in place and no planning application is needed. Clerk to get quotes for the work which will be carried out in the dormant season.

 

 

  1. Cllr Evans has been in touch with Gowerton Comprehensive who have made 20,000 visors. If anyone needs them in the next few weeks, please get in touch. Noted

 

  1. Complaint about the lack of safety railings Redwood Court building site. It was decided by all to send a letter to Mr Linsey who is the contractor, requesting the site be made safe.

 

Action – letter has been sent. Railings have now been erected.

 

 

  1. Floral displays in the village.  Have they been ordered?

 

Action – Clerk contacted Alan Hughes who confirmed they had not been ordered by the previous clerk. Mr Hughes kindly sourced some arrangements for us despite this, and plans have been put in place to ensure this does not happen again.

 

  1. Local Places For Nature – Cllr Bolchover has put in an application for this project.

 

Action – this has since been awarded much to our delight.

 

 

  1. It is will great sadness that Cllr Evans reported the passing of Mr Mike Nicholls, who has previously served as a Community Council for Gowerton.  Our thoughts are with his family. Noted
  2. Cllr Jones said that planning permission has been submitted once again for the provision of a pharmacy on the corner of Elba Street.  Cllr Jones said she has sent a letter in support of planning. All Cllrs agreed with this. Cllr Emmerton was omitted as he made a disclosure of interest as he lives near the site. He took no part in this discussion. Noted

 

  1. The Clerk stated the audit file will be collected from the Internal Auditor on the 6 June 2020 and a copy will be sent out to all Councillors for discussion via an audio call. 

 

Action – The audio call to discuss the audit return took place on Wednesday 16th June 2020. All Councillors were in agreement with the information given.The Chairman will sign the Annual Return and the Clerk will send the file to the external auditors within the deadline of 10 July 2020.

 

 

 

  1. PLANNING MATTERS

    None submitted.

 

 

Meeting closed at 7.50pm                                                                                               Chairperson

                                                                              

………………………………

We are located at:

Gowerton Community Council

31 Clos Bevan

Brynymor Park

Gowerton

Swansea

SA4 3GY

Contact us today!

If you have any queries or wish to make an appointment, please contact us:

 

Clerk:

Allison James

0754 5251945

Gowertoncommunitycouncil4@gmail.com