Venue: Virtual Meeting
Contact: Ryan James
Welcome and Apologies
The Chair, Cllr Richard Searl, welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Apologies were received from Cllr Helen Thomas, Cllr Ian Thomas and Cllr Vanessa Matthews.
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
Taf Bargoed Catchment Restoration Scheme
Rachel Morton of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council (MTCBC), was unable to present to Council due to technical issues. Ms Morton will be invited to a future meeting.
The Police provided the following email report:
Please see below the police PACT figures for Bedlinog and Trelewis from 01/06/20- 09/07/2020:
22/06/20- Aggressive male making threats, Grove Terrace
02/07/20- Threatening letters received, Bedw Road
08/07/20- Fraud relating to hacked mobile phone contract, Grove Terrace
13/06/20- Covid breach, Mount Pleasant
20/06/20- Covid breach, Mount Pleasant
02/07/20- Neighbour related ASB, Mount Pleasant
02/06/20- Burglary to Rock UK climbing Centre. Suspects still unknown.
02/06/20- Stolen fence panels, River Avenue
03/06/20- Fishing without permit, Taff Bargoed Park lakes
12/06/20- Car broken into, Upland Drive
12/06/20- Car broken into, Foxglove Close
20/06/20- Theft of number plate from vehicle, River Avenue
13/06/20- Off road motorbike, Manor View
15/06/20- Covid breach, Maen Gilfach
20/06/20- Covid breach, Beechcroft
20/06/20- Vehicles driving anti-socially, Gelligaer Road
23/06/20- Off road motorbike nuisance on land near Brondeg
27/06/20- Same as above call
02/07/20- Off road motorbike, Taff Bargoed Park
03/07/20- Covid breach, Ivy Close
Minutes of Previous Meeting
Cllr Richard Searl proposed that the minutes of the previous meeting be approved as a true reflection of the meeting.
This was seconded by Cllr Jeff Beard.
Council resolved that the minutes of the previous meeting be approved.
The replacement bench for Graig Road has been ordered. The bench is being manufactured to order so will take approximately 4-6 weeks. Robert Barnett, MTCBC Parks Department, has confirmed that they will install the bench on behalf of the Community Council.
A lock has been purchased for the gate at Bedlinog Community Centre, six keys will need to be cut. Cllr Sherelle Jago advised that she would pass these on to the garage holders.
RJ advised that MTCBC are still trying to determine the landowner where fly-tipping has taken place on the mountain road. Waste Services will update the Community Council as soon as they have more information.
Emails were sent to Stagecoach, Dawn Bowden MS and Gerald Jones MP regarding the limited bus service in Bedlinog. The response from Stagecoach was that the service is running at a loss at the moment across Wales with social distancing measures in place, and they cannot promise additional resource or service changes without assurance from Welsh Government that there will be some funding to cover the social distancing costs. Stagecoach are concerned that as lockdown eases with more and more facilities opening that this is going to have an even bigger impact as more and more people will want to use the bus service but they are restricted to how many people they can allow on board.
Dawn Bowden MS advised that she had a meeting with Stagecoach last week to discuss various issues about local bus services including concerns raised re: Bedlinog. Ms Bowden has also written to the Welsh Transport Minister about increasing capacity on local buses during a recovery phase which must have an increase in seating capacity as a key objective.
The Welsh Government has of course taken action to sustain bus operators after the recent severe reduction in customers and income. In the next phase Ms Boden hopes more buses can return to local routes, and with the request to use face coverings that more people might be allowed on to the buses which operate. Some companies have made face coverings a condition of travel.
Ms Bowden will of course update the community council when responses are received to the representations made and she is very conscious that this can only become a bigger issue as and when the restrictions are eased and more people return to daily activities.
Gerald Jones MP wrote to the Welsh Minister for Transport about the issue – the response from Ken Skates MS, stated the following:
“We have already provided a £29m package of support for bus operators, including community transport, to allow them to continue to deliver services. This has allowed bus operators to maintain a core network of services to help key workers get to work, with NHS staff able to travel free of charge.
On 2 July the Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport announced that Wales’ bus industry will be funded through a new Bus Emergency Scheme. The scheme was announced as the previous short-term support ... view the full minutes text for item 19.
Cllr Sherelle Jago advised that from a Social Services perspective, safeguarding referrals have increased across the County Borough as children are accessing schools and childcare settings again. There is also an increase in domestic violence and support to carers.
MTCBC does not have any current issues with PPE – staff are all comfortable using the equipment that they have.
Regarding Education, all schools will reopen from the 1st September. There will be a phased return over two weeks and all children ill be back in school full-time from the 14th September. The initial two weeks will allow schools to meet new expectations in line with Government guidance.
The average school attendance across the County Borough has been 52.7% during the catch-up sessions within the small bubbles of pupils.
From a Neighbourhood Services perspective, all children’s playgrounds can re-open from the 20th July, all playgrounds in Merthyr Tydfil will be ready to re-open from the 27th July. This date is in line with most of our neighbouring authorities.
MTCBC is continuing to work with Welsh Government (WG) to deliver food parcels to those who have been told to shield until the 16th August. If residents are not entitled to the WG food packages, then County Councillors are organising food parcels for them.
MTCBC has been working on the response to the Kepak COVID-19 outbreak with Public Health Wales and Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board. The outbreak has been contained and managed.
Full Council meetings have not resumed yet, but formal Cabinet meetings have taken place virtually, and recording of these meetings will begin from the 15th July.
County Councillor Malcolm Colbran provided the following email report:
“Since 1st June 2020 I’ve attended three physical meetings of Greenfield School Governors where I’m Vice Chair.
I attended a virtual meeting of the MTCBC Licencing Committee and a briefing for Councillors on Schools reopening. As Vice Chair of the Planning Committee I’ve given input regarding Planning Applications being determined by the Chief Executive under temporary delegated powers granted to him in light of the Covid-19 situation.
As the MTCBC representative I’ve attended virtual meetings of the Glamorgan Archives Joint Management Committee, the Llywdcoed Crematorium Joint Management Committee. three meetings of the South Wales Fire & Rescue Authority and four of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.
I have regular virtual meetings with the Independent Councillor Group to keep updated with any Borough wide issues.
I’ve dealt with numerous issues raised by residents including reports of anti-social behaviour, off-road biking, fly-tipping, grass cutting, blocked culverts, rat infestation, pot holes, a Disabled Facilities Grant application and responded to requests from parents asking for information regarding the schools reopening.
I’ve engaged with local businesses to inform them of the financial support on offer during the current crisis including one unaware they were entitled to a £10,000 grant which they have now successfully applied for.
On Fridays I collect the FareShare food delivery, which BTCC are funding, from the Fir Tree Centre ... view the full minutes text for item 20.
One planning application is for consideration:
P/20/0135 – New garden wall with adjoining shed, log store and coal store, 28 Commercial Street, Bedlinog.
The wall and outbuilding is already in place and this is a retrospective planning application. Residents have raised issues regarding issues with the wall affecting light in surrounding properties. Residents feel that the blocking of light and large wall will de-value their properties.
Cllr Richard Searl proposed that the Community Council advise the Planning department at MTCBC of residents’ concerns and object to this application. This as seconded by Cllr Sherelle Jago. Council resolved to object to this planning application on behalf of residents.
Bedlinog Miners Welfare Association (BMWA) have been in contact with the Community Council to enquire if we would be interested in becoming the Custodian Trustee for the land around Bedlinog Community Centre. The Charity Commission would issue a charity scheme for BTCC, the land would still be charitable land which must be used for recreational use. BMWA have had initial discussions with RJ and Cllr Richard Searl.
Cllr Sherelle Jago proposed that we make further enquiries in to ongoing maintenance costs for the buildings involved to determine if there would be an ongoing cost to BTCC.
ACTION: RJ to make further enquiries with BMWA regarding ongoing maintenance costs.
The Community Council has been successful in obtaining a grant via Keep Wales Tidy. A butterfly garden will be created on the grass verge in front of Bedlinog Community Primary School with a raised bed, wildflowers, bulbs and shrubs. A variety of trees will be planted on the road that leads to Trelewis Primary School. At Bedlinog Community Centre, the path at the side of the Workies building will be cleared and a selection of wildflowers and native fruit trees will be planted. Near the Community Centre patio, there will be raised beds built with benches, and pollinator plants and shrubs will be planted. BTCC will be provided with hand tools to maintain the garden and a storage container for the tools.
A resident has been in contact regarding the and at the end of Colly Row and the mountain opposite the fishing pond there. Along the walk to Sandy Bay, a car was spotted with a trailer and dumped a lot of rubbish down the side of the mountain. It is private land, so it is unknown if it is the landowner or fly-tippers. There is also some metal fencing that has been dumped in the river.
Cllr Sherelle Jago advised that she has reported the fence in the river to MTCBC and will chase that up. Cllr Jago will share details of the next meeting with the landowner as he has enquired if he can attend a Council meeting.
ACTION: Cllr Sherelle Jago to chase MTCBC on clearing the metal fence from the river and share details of next meeting with the owner of the land at the end of Colly Row.
Cllr Gillian Preston asked if we could chase MTCBC on the report of the tree growing out of the wall on Bedlinog High Street which is making it difficult for busses to pass.
ACTION: RJ to chase MTCBC Highways department on the previous report made.
Cllr Sherelle Jago advised that 173 food parcels have been delivered over the last month. Some of the younger volunteers are doing shopping trips and delivering food parcels at their own expense. Cllr Jago asked if the Community Council would be prepared to pay mileage costs for them at the standard HMRC rate of 45p per mile. Cllr Gillian Preston proposed that the Community Council did this and it was seconded by Cllr Chris Frayne.
ACTION: Cllr Sherelle Jago to ask volunteers to complete mileage claim forms and submit to RJ for payment.
Cllr Richard Searl stated that there is a lot of overgrown grass in the Stormtown area and he had met with residents. Cllr Jago advised that MTCBC are currently only cutting grass in priority areas where overgrown grass is restricting visibility at roundabouts / road signs etc. but they are starting to increase resource now.
ACTION: RJ to report the need for grass cutting in Stormtown to MTCBC.
Cllr Chris Frayne added that there is a lot of overgrown grass at Bedlinog Tennis Courts and asked if we could arrange for this to be cut back. Cllr Gillian Preston proposed that we ask a local company who had previously done some work cutting back grass and hedging at the Community Centre to provide a quote for this work. This as seconded by Cllr Richard Searl.
ACTION: Cllr Gillian Preston to obtain quote for cutting grass around the Tennis Courts in Bedlinog.
Cllr Chris Frayne advised that there are parking issues on Cwm Hill, there is inappropriate parking on the corner of a blind spot which is dangerous as it blocks visibility.
ACTION: RJ to report the parking issues to MTCBC.
Cllr Chris Frayne asked if the Community Council could investigate cost of repairs to the wall on Taf Road at the entrance to Bedlinog. The wall is falling and breaking off into the road.
ACTION: RJ to arrange quote for cost of repair.
RJ presented the financial report to Council covering the dates 1st April 2020 to 1st June 2020.
Cllr Sherelle Jago suggested that we have a spreadsheet created specifically to show what grant money has been spent so it is separate from the Community Council budget.
Cllr Richard Searl proposed that Council accept the financial report, and this was seconded by Cllr Jeff Beard.
Council resolved to accept the financial report.
Date of Next Meeting
The date of the next virtual Council meeting is Monday 10th August 2020 at 6.15pm.
Cllr Sherelle Jago requested to record her apologies for the next meeting.