A meeting was held on October 6th 2015 at Llanfechain Memorial Hall


PRESENT

Cllr P Williams (Chairman)  Cllr S Chaloner (Vice Chair)  Cllr H Morris  

Members of the public 7

APOLOGIES

Cllr J Humphreys, Cllr B Ellis and County Cllr Thomas had all sent their apologies.

MINUTES FROM PREVIOUS MEETING

The minutes of the September meeting were accepted as correct.

MATTERS ARISING

1. The Chair had obtained a copy of the Church Accounts, which included the maintenance costs of the churchyard. They will be circulated before a discussion at the next meeting, about the request for a donation from St Garmon’s Church towards their grass cutting.

2. The proposal had been to write a letter to Powys CC and other interested parties, with a view to applying for the Recreation Field to be included in the Fields in Trust – Centenary Fields green memorial spaces protection. It was agreed that joining would give some future protection and safeguards to the recreation area and maybe even some funding towards the play area. The Chair said that LCC is already paying more than it should for the lease and the community needs a sense of security about its green space. The Chair requested that a letter be sent to Powys CC asking them to clarify ownership and maintenance costs, and seek their approval to go ahead with the application. Both Cllrs Chaloner and Morris approved the application and letters.

3. The Proposal to donate £100 to the Playground Project Committee to cover their meeting and administration costs was approved, on the understanding that all their costs would be accounted for.


REPORT FROM POWYS COUNTY COUNCIL

County Councillor Gwynfor Thomas was not present at the meeting but he had sent an email about clustering. He stated that he was concerned that there was no clear direction that the community delivery/clustering, is progressing and that Powys CC would be reconsidering services that local communities will receive.

The Chair related that he had attended a Forum meeting which Llanfyllin Town Council (TC) had been expected to attend, to give a report on the progress of clustering, but no-one had turned up.  However, LCC had received a letter from their Clerk explaining that the TC is considering forming a not for Profit Company, to be known as a “Community Interest Company” (CIC), in order to overcome the restrictions of the expected VAT threshold. After further research, the proposed idea will be presented firstly to Llanfyllin TC and then to the Cluster group. The next meeting of which is to be confirmed.

The Chair stressed that we need to be kept informed, as clustering could affect the Council’s budget and hence the precept. Initially there should be enough money to cover services, but in later years reductions in funding could affect the amount of precept required by LCC.

REPORT FROM THE CLERK TO THE COUNCIL

Recreation Field

Inspection report for October had been received

The winner of the “Smoke-free” poster design had been announced which will eventually be placed in the play area by Powys CC.

Information on how the VAT on the new play equipment can be reclaimed, had been acquired from HMRC, but clarification was still needed to fully explain the process.

ROW

The ROW officer had contacted the owners of one side of FP83, the FP from the recreation field to the main road, about their proposed re-instatement of the boundary. He had approved their plans and had answered their queries.

The Circular trail which had been reported as blocked and unfit for walking in parts, due partly to no pathways having been cut through one field of maze; the ROW officer reported that the problems had now been identified by him.

AUDIT

The auditors reported that the accounts were satisfactory and there had been no issues.

The Wales Audit Office informed LCC that there will be a change of both audit and auditors next year.

CO-OPTION

An application to join the Council had been received by a member of the community. Those Councillors present provisionally voted in favour of the application; however it was decided to confirm that those Councillors who were absent had no objections, before confirming the appointment.

FINANCE

The Clerk had prepared an estimated set of accounts for 2016/17 to be used as a basis for considering a budget in order to set the precept for next year. Note was made that the reserve was still in excess of 3/5th the precept.

The Chair asked Cllrs to consider approaching the setting of the precept for 2016/17 by first agreeing a budget; he noted that this had to be an estimate based on past experience and decisions about what and who to support with donations. To meet unforeseen costs etc. there was also the need to have a reserve which was currently set at ⅗ of the precept.  Having agreed a budget he recommended that any excess of monies over expenditure for the past Financial Year be taken into account because it was wrong in principle to hold money in excess of the stated budget and reserve; it was the people’s money that they should have back to spend as they saw fit.  Consequently he promoted the method: estimated spending (a budget) - £4400 for the forthcoming Financial Year plus ⅗ of it as a reserve - £3300 minus any money held in excess of that total should be the precept.  On this logic, given the current predicted holding of over £5,000 at the end of this Financial Year the precept could be reduced to £2700.  That said, it may be prudent to not balance ‘the books’ quite so radically as although there was no apparent intent to require the community to pay for services divested from PCC this year there remained some uncertainty. He presented the Council with a proposed budget and consequent precept of £4,000 (it had been £5500 for the current Financial Year) for discussion at the next meeting.

REPORTS FROM ANY MEETINGS ATTENDED/GUIDANCE FOR FUTURE MEETINGS.

Montgomeryshire Local Forum had been attended by the Chair.

PPG meeting had been attended by the Vice Chair. She reported on the many changes that are being considered to services at Shrewsbury and Telford. Further information can be found on the website www.nhsfuturefit.org.  Any changes decided upon though, will take 5 years to be fully implemented.

Also the proposed temporary changes to Obstetric led care in Wrexham Hospital had been discussed and the 4 options being considered. Further information at www.wales.nhs.uk

Councillors were asked to let the Clerk know in future if they are unable to attend a meeting which they normally attended as the Council’s representative.

There will be a Llanfechain Show Committee on 9/11/2015. Cllr Ellis will be asked if he can attend.


CONSULTATIONS

Welsh Government - Consultation on Statutory Guidance for the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, Deadline on 16/11/2015

Welsh Government – Draft Directions to the Local Democracy & boundary Commission for Wales. Deadline 9/11/2015 Powys is not included.


CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED

Society of Local Council Clerks – invitation to membership

Russell George – September newsletter

Invitation received to attend the launch of the “Best Kept Village in Montgomeryshire” Competition on 16/10/2015 at Welshpool Livestock Market at 6pm

Powys Teaching Health Board – invitation to a public meeting on 30/9/2015 at 7pm, in Welshpool, concerning proposed temporary changes to Obstetric led care in Wrexham Maelor Hospital


FINANCE

A. Invoice for grass cutting by C Heaton in August £33.60 Inc. VAT, payment was proposed by the Vice Chair, seconded by Cllr Morris

B. Invoice for grass cutting by P&W in April £42.00 inc. VAT was not agreed.

C. Clerk’s quarterly invoice for July, August and September. Wages £315.21 including holiday leave. Office expenses 32.46. Payment was proposed by Cllr Morris and seconded by the Vice Chair

D. Audit fees to BDO £210.00 inc. VAT Payment was proposed by Cllr Williams and seconded by the Vice Chair.

E. Donation of £100 to Llanfechain Playground Project for administrative costs. Payment was proposed by Cllr Morris and seconded by the Vice Chair.


The meeting ended at 8.45pm


Date of next meeting 3rd November 2015