Venue: Virtual Meeting - Zoom
Contact: Eirian Roberts 01286 679018
To receive any apologies for absence
Councillors:- Alan Jones Evans, Annwen Hughes, Peredur Jenkins, Eric Merfyn Jones, Linda A.W.Jones, Dilwyn Lloyd, Dafydd Owen, Jason Parry, Gareth A.Roberts and Mair Rowlands.
DECLARATION OF PERSONAL INTEREST
To receive any declaration of personal interest.
No declarations of personal interest were received.
THE CHAIR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS
To receive any Chair’s announcements.
Condolences were extended to the following:-
· Councillor Peredur Jenkins and his family on the recent loss of his wife.
· The family of Gerald Williams, Yr Ysgwrn, Trawsfynydd – who looked after Hedd Wyn's home over the years.
· The family of Sian Rhys Elis, Social Worker in the Children Department.
It was also noted that the Council wished to sympathise with everyone in the county’s communities who had recently lost loved ones.
The Council stood in silence as a mark of respect and remembrance.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery were extended to Councillors Louise Hughes, Alan Jones-Evans and Beth Lawton.
The Welsh Football Team was congratulated on their success in the Euros Competition, and best wishes were extended to the Danish team for the rest of the competiton.
To note any items which are urgent business in the opinion of the Chair so they may be considered.
None to note.
(a) To note that, in accordance with section 4.12.1 (d) of the Constitution, a letter was received from Cllr. Gruffydd Williams, which was signed by five other councillors, asking for a meeting of the Council to discuss the following in the context of the existing housing crisis within the county:-
“That this Council looks urgently at the Local Development Plan (passed on 28.7.2017) with a view to reviewing and updating it in terms of planning policies and the Welsh language. It would be desirable to give particular priority to this, going past what is noted as the usual monitoring period within the Plan itself and to submit proposals which correspond to Dr. Simon Brooks’ report “Second Homes – Developing New Policies in Wales” which was commissioned by the Welsh Government.
Following the Pandemic and the fact that there will be no Wylfa B, such meeting is expected to address the changes needed to comply with the Wales Well-being Act, a more equal Wales and a Wales of vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language.”
(b) Information Pack
(i) Report outlining the statutory process for reviewing the Local Development Plan.
(ii) Dr. Simon Brooks’ report – “Second Homes – Developing New Policies in Wales”.
(iii) Response to the report in (ii) above – report to the Cabinet on 15th June, 2021.
That this Council urgently addresses the Local Development Plan (approved 28.7.2017) with a view to review and update in relation to planning policies and the Welsh language. It would be desirable to give this particular priority, beyond what was noted as the normal monitoring period within the Plan itself, and introduce proposals that correspond to the report of Dr Simon Brooks "Second Homes - Developing New Policies in Wales", commissioned by Welsh Government.
Following the Pandemic, and the fact that Wylfa B will not be developed, it is expected that such a meeting will address the necessary changes required to comply with the Wales Well-being Act, a More Equal Wales and a Wales with a vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language.
Therefore, in light of the housing crisis and the requirements of the Well-being of Future Generations Act, there is a need to move urgently to review the Local Development Plan; that this process takes full attention of the views of members and the community, and that the Council proceeds as soon as possible to prepare the Review Report, and submit a Delivery Agreement before the Council. Also, that the Council writes to the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, to press for the right to act within a shorter timeframe.
It was noted, that in accordance with section 4.12.1 (d) of the Constitution, a letter had been received from Cllr Gruffydd Williams, signed by five other councillors, requesting this extraordinary meeting of the Council to discuss, review and update the Joint Local Development Plan in terms of planning policies and the Welsh language in the context of the housing crisis that exists within the county.
Councillor Gruffydd Williams was invited to explain the matter being submitted before the meeting. He noted:-
· That he wished to thank everyone involved in facilitating this extraordinary meeting of the Council.
· That the reason for convening this meeting was highlighted daily in the newspapers and in all types of media, as well as being currently the subject of conversations throughout the county, namely the housing crisis for local people in our communities.
· That there were plenty of houses in the county, but the prices were beyond the reach of local people and this in turn deprived those people of their basic right to live in their community.
· That nobody, not even this Council, had managed to seriously address this emergency. There had been recognised reports over the years that offered a solution to the problem, but nothing had been done, and there was concern that nothing would come from the recent reports and recommendations either, unless this Council demanded change.
· When the Joint Local Development Plan was adopted four years ago, following the Chair's casting vote, concerns were voiced about the impact of the Plan on our communities where the Welsh language continues to be a viable language. Unfortunately, the shortcomings highlighted at that time have become more evident, if not totally realised by now.
· Although the work of reviewing the policies would commence next month as is required in accordance with the procedure, it will be a shock for many to realise how lengthy the time-frame is to hold such a review.
· During the meeting when the Plan was adopted in 2017, the Cabinet Member vowed at the time that any harm to the Welsh language could be reduced by strengthening the Supplementary Planning Guidance on the Welsh Language, and that the Cabinet would establish a special scrutiny committee to get to grips with the matter. Following 15 meetings and more with the officers, the concerns were confirmed that the Supplementary Guidance was pointless, unless it was used for windfall applications.
· The Cabinet Member also vowed at that meeting that the Plan would be monitored annually, and that it would be possible to change the policies within 4 years, if it was seen that they were not working. However, the Council was misled in 2017, as there would be an additional period of 3.5 years before any changes would be realised.
· The Plan is a dead document, and the Welsh language will also die, unless this Council undertakes radical and far reaching decisions.
· The Cabinet's recommendation to the Council in December 2020 was to retain the council tax premium on second homes at ... view the full minutes text for item 5.