Agenda and minutes

Council - Tuesday, 23rd January, 2024 2.00 pm

Venue: Hybrid - Neuadd Cyngor Ceredigion, Penmorfa, Aberaeron / remotely via video conference

Contact: Nia Jones 

No. Item




Councillors Elaine Evans and Ceris Jones apologised for their inability to attend the meeting;

Mr Barry Rees apologised for his inability to attend the meeting due to being on other Council duties.


Disclosure of personal / prejudicial interests


There were no disclosures of interest.


Chair Announcements


Councillor Maldwyn Lewis, Chair of the Council congratulated the following:

a)   Professor Sir John Edmunds OBE, on being named a knight bachelor for services to epidemiology;

b)   Shann Jones, on receiving a MBE for services to charity and innovation;

c)   Robin Varley, on receiving an OBE for services to cricket in Wales;

d)   Steve Williams on winning the final stage to seal overall victory in the ‘Tour Down Under’;

e)   Siwan Owen, Coleg Gelli Aur on winning the LANTRA pupil of the year;

f)    Congratulations to all the small businesses that have established in Ceredigion, and best wishes to them for the future.


To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 14 December 2023 and the Minutes of the Special Meeting of Council held on 14 December 2023 pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Additional documents:


It was RESOLVED to confirm as a true record the Minutes of the Council meeting held at 10.00am on 14 December 2023, and the Special Meeting of Council which was hold at 200pm on 14 December 2023.


There were no matters arising.


To consider the Report of the Corporate Lead Officer for Finance and Procurement upon the Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 86 KB


Councillor Gareth Davies, Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement presented the report noting that, in accordance with the Council Tax Reduction Schemes and Prescribed Requirements (Wales) Regulation 2013 there is a statutory obligation for a report to be presented to full council on an annual basis, even if there has been no change in the scheme since the previous year.


He noted that since the abolition of Council Tax Benefit in April 2013, the responsibility for arranging Council Tax support to those on low incomes transferred from the Department for Work and Pensions to local authorities, and that the Welsh Government approved two sets of regulations that prescriptive the main features of the scheme to be adopted by all Councils in Wales.  The majority of the costs of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme payments is met by Welsh Government, however there is still a significant requirement for Councils to meet the costs of payments that exceeds their contribution. With 23/24 estimated costs of c£6.5m, there is circa £1.3m of costs that are not being recognised by Welsh Government in the Local Government Finance Settlement.


 Following a vote, it was RESOLVED to:


1.  Note the making of the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements and Default Scheme) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2024;

2.  Adopt the provisions of the Prescribed Requirement Regulations (2013) as the Council’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2024/25, subject to the local discretions that the Council is able to exercise as set out below:

(i)        Continue to apply a 100% disregard beyond the statutory £10 disregard for War Disablement Pensions, War Widows’ Pensions and War Widowers’ Pensions, for both pensioners and working age claimants.


(ii)       Not to increase the extended payment periods for pensioners and working age claimants from the standard 4 weeks currently contained within the Prescribed Scheme.


(iii)      Not to increase the backdate period for pensioners and working age claimants from the standard 3 months contained within the Prescribed Scheme.


To consider the report of the Corporate Lead Officer for Democratic Services upon the Polling District, Places and Polling Stations Review 2023 pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Bryan Davies, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Democratic Services, Policy, Performance and People and Organisation presented the report to Council noting that The Electoral Administration Act 2006, as amended, introduces a duty on all local authorities to review their polling districts and polling places at least once every five years. He noted that a report was presented to Cabinet on 5 September 2023, where it was agreed to commence the compulsory review on 2 October 2023, with consultation ending on 10 November 2023.


He noted that a preliminary review was conducted within the Ceredigion area with a view to establishing their suitability, and identify any potential alternatives, where considered appropriate, taking into consideration the location, size, availability and accessibility of polling places and stations. 16 responses were received as part of the formal consultation which can be viewed in Appendix A, together with the (Acting) Returning Officer’s comments and proposals.


Councillor Bryan Davies noted that after publishing the agenda, a late response was received from the Llwyncelyn Village Hall noting that they would be willing to give exclusive use as a polling station on polling day. Having considered this late response, he proposed that should the amended recommendation be approved, the recommendation to move the polling station from the Church Hall in Llanarth to the Ysgubor on Bargoed Farm would be completely removed from the recommendations at the end of the report.


Eifion Evans, Chief Executive and (Acting) Returning Officer explained that the Llwyncelyn Chapel Vestry had been deemed unsuitable as a Polling Station, as the Village Hall Committee had insisted upon continuing with other activities at the Hall on the day of election and not been able to guarantee exclusive use on polling day.  Councillor Marc Davies stated that a guarantee from the Llwyncelyn Village Hall Committee that there would be exclusive use for the polling station and that no other activities would be held in the Hall during elections had been sent; and this was confirmed by Lowri Edwards, Corporate Lead Officer of Democratic Services.


Councillor John Roberts queried whether the building alongside Commins Coch School would be available, as it is now closed.  Eifion Evans, confirmed that the building is owned by Ceredigion County council, therefore would not be affected by the closure. 


Councillor Euros Davies noted that he was aware of the consultation but he and the Community Council had failed to provide a response.  He noted that concerns had been raised in terms of transferring the Polling Station from Llanwnnen Church Hall to Ysgol Cwrtnewydd, which could impact upon turnout as the voters in Llanwnnen normally walk to vote.  He asked whether the ’Y Granell’ could be considered as an alternative location.


Eifion Evans explained that the Polling Station in Llanwnnen Church Hall is unsatisfactory and does not meet with the requirements of the Election Act 2022.  It is proposed that the Polling Station is relocated to Ysgol Cwrtnewydd due to the lack of options in Llanwnnen.  ‘Y  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Membership of the Council and the Committees of Council pdf icon PDF 104 KB


It was RESOLVED to confirm the Membership of the Council’s Committees as presented at the meeting.