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GENERAL INFORMATION ON BLAH COMMUNITY COUNCIL

The Council was established on 1 April 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972. Councillors are elected serving a four year period which would normally have expired in May 2016. This is to be extended to May 2017 by the Welsh Government to avoid a clash with their elections due in 2016. There are 14 Councillors in total, 8 serving the Blah ward and 6 serving the Blah ward. The Blah ward covers the whole of Blah village, Blah, Blah and part of Blah. The Other ward covers the villages of Blah and Blah. Funding for the Council is met by a precept on the County Council which is shown as a separate charge on Council tax bills and is collected by the County Council on the Community Council’s behalf. All income and expenditure is subject to annual internal and external audit and copies of the audited accounts are available for public inspection by contacting the Clerk of the Council.

Council meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month (except in August when there is a recess) and commence at 6.30pm. All meetings are held at the Blah Close Community Centre Blah. The public and press are welcome to attend.

STATUTORY AND OTHER POWERS EXERCISED BY BLAH COMMUNITY COUNCIL

1. Bus Shelters

Repair and maintenance of Community Council bus shelters located on the main bus routes through the area.

2. Blah Castle and Castle Hill

The Council owns the area of land known as Castle Hill on which stands the ruin of Blah Castle construction of which began in 1277. This ruin is managed and maintained by CADW. Castle Hill is currently leased to and managed by Flintshire County Council.

3. Christmas Lighting

The Council arranges for Christmas lighting to be erected on lighting columns and commercial premises along the main roads through Blah Blah and Blah. These normally go up at the beginning of December and are taken down in early January.

4. Consultation

The Council is regularly consulted by the Welsh Government, national and regional agencies, Flintshire County Council and public utilities on a wide range of matters and comments and observations are requested on any changes which may affect the area.

5. Environmental

The Council enters the Flintshire ‘Best kept village’ competition each year and has sponsored some road side planters in conjunction with local volunteers and youth groups.

6. Financial Assistance

The Council makes annual donations to local organisations within agreed criteria. Applications from such groups are considered by the Council at the November meeting. Application forms are available from the Clerk of the Council.

7. Footpaths

Public footpaths are the responsibility of the County Council but the Community Council draws the County’s attention any issues such as obstruction and the need for better signposting and improved stiles etc. The Community Council is also consulted on footpath diversions and applications for footpaths to be included on the definitive map.

8. Lighting (Footway)

The Community Council owns and meets the cost of operating 175 footway/ street lights supplementing the highway lights provided by the County Council. The County Council manages these lights on behalf of the Community Council. Any street lighting fault in the area should therefore be reported to Flintshire County Council Street Scene on 01352 701234.

9. Miscellaneous

The Council acts as a ‘pressure group’ with other local authorities, health and police authorities and public utilities to ensure that local services are not diminished, bringing deficiencies to their notice and suggesting improvements. The police community beat manager/local PCSO regularly attend Council meetings.

10. Newsletter (Council)

A monthly newsletter summarising what has been discussed at Council meetings is available on this website.

11. Notice Boards

The Council has two public notice boards one outside the Parish Church Hawarden Road Blah and one on the High Street car park in Blah village.

12. Planning

The Council receives copies of all planning applications affecting the community and has the right to make comments, including objections which need to be taken into account by the Planning Authority (Flintshire County Council). Planning matters are discussed at Community Council meetings and the public are welcome to attend.

13. Play Areas/Play Schemes

The Council has for some years now contributed in the form of match funding towards the improvement of County Council play areas in the community. Currently the Council is working with the County to carry out major improvements to facilities on the Willow playingfield in Hope. The Community Council also maintains the Queensway play area which it leases from the County Council. The Council also contributes financially towards the County run summer play scheme which operates during the summer holidays.

14. Public Benches

The Council provides and maintains a number of public benches throughout the area.

15. War Memorial

The War Memorial located at the bottom of Castle Hill Caergwrle was erected after the First World War by public donation. The Community Council has from time to time met the cost of cleaning and repairing the lettering on the memorial.

16. Website

This Council website was established in 2013. In addition to information about the Council and contacts it also has copies of minutes of Council and Committee meetings.