Minutes 20/01/10


A meeting of the parish council was held on Wednesday 20 January 2010 at Diddlebury Village Hall.
Present: Councillors Linton, Bellamy, Ms Bownes, Hedgley, Longmore, Povall, Thomas and Mrs Worthington and a member of the public Apologies had been received from Shropshire Councillor Mrs Motley.

Save for matters described in para 12 below there were no declarations of interest.

Mrs C Smout wished to discuss the provision of boxes of grit: the chairman pointed out that this was an agenda item and would be discussed later.

Minutes of the previous meeting
1 Draft minutes of the previous meeting had already been circulated. The end of paragraph 10 should read”…two new routes, one of which will be a monthly run to the market at Bridgnorth”. Subject to this amendment they were approved as being correct and were signed by the Chairman.

Matters arising
2 Public forum: the clerk had contacted the council’s insurers. The cost of insuring the boards against vandalism and similar damage would be £25 for the first year and then around £5.42 each annually. Members agreed by 4 votes to 2 to accept this proposal the clerk is to take the necessary action (AP – clerk). Para 2: the clerk had failed to make contact with the manager at Severn Trent but will keep trying. He had told BT that the council may be interested in “adopting” the phone box at Westhope and had also contacted SC and Miss Dyer about this. He was waiting for a response from the last two parties. The chairman had had difficulty in contacting the occupier of Patch Cottage but would keep trying (AP – chairman). Para 11: SC had been informed about the collapsed wall by the bridge over the brook at Diddlebury and remedial work had how been done. Para 12: the clerk had written to Diddlebury Village Hall Committee as requested. There should be no difficulties over including council minutes on the Corvedale.com website and the clerk will make the necessary arrangements (AP – clerk).

3 The bank balance as at 14 January 2010 was £5,694.41 (adjusted figure £5,636.91)
4 The clerk had received a request from SC for details of the required precept for 2010/2011 and had responded accordingly.
5 Members approved the payment of £6.00 to Diddlebury PCC for the hire of the Community Room for the council’s November 2009 meeting.

6 Several planning applications had been received since the last meeting and in view of time constraints they had been dealt with by Chairman’s Action. They were:
• 09/03330/TPO – felling of a copper beech and a lime tree at the Old Vicarage Diddlebury
• 09/03334/TCA – felling of a sycamore at the Old Vicarage Diddlebury
• 09/03320/FUL – demolition of a dilapidated stable block and erection of a carriage barn and workshop at Lower Middlehope Barn Middlehope
• 09/03333/LBC – Re-roofing, new windows, doors and internal alterations to Corfton Manor, Corfton
• 09/03633/FUL – new outdoor classroom at Corvedale Primary School, Diddlebury
The members who had been consulted in respect of these applications had not raised any objections.
7 The clerk told members that SC had given consent for the change of use and surfacing of the land adjoining Diddlebury Village Hall (09/02812/COU), the erection of a bridge and formation of a new drive at Church Cottage, Diddlebury (09/03164/FUL), and for the first three of the applications mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Other reports
8 Councillor Bellamy told members about the last LJC meeting, and the recent flood forum. There was still about £25,000 unallocated but it was hoped that any unspent monies could be carried forward to the following year. Included in the grants was one of £5,000 to Diddlebury Village Hall for improvement works. Other matters which had arisen were the proposed involvement of young people in the LJC and a rise in the incidence of horse stealing. He also told members about the PPSG meeting on 18 February which would be about creating renewable energy. The PPSG was still having problems with insurance for its activities and he and the clerk will investigate further.
9 The following correspondence has been received:
• A letter from SC about Rural Community Engagement
• Notification of the Emergency Planning Briefing at Shirehall on 2 February (Councillor Hedgley will attend this meeting)
• A reminder from SC that members must declare new personal interests within 28 days
• A draft new charter for more effective local government in Shropshire
• An agenda for the Local Joint Committee meeting to be held on 11 February
• Consultation papers from West Mercia Police
• A review by SC of public conveniences
• Correspondence relating to Diddlebury Village Hall and adjoining lands from the council’s solicitors (see also para 12 below)
• An agenda for the SALC meeting to be held on 15 February
• “Clerks and Councils Direct”
• “Fieldwork” and “Landscapes” (journals from the CPRE)

Adverse weather conditions
10 The chairman had prepared a document which summarised the Shropshire (County) Council Winter Maintenance Policies from 1999 to 2009/2010. Members agreed that the thrust of the changes in policy had been to take away any local discretion as to when action was required. They thought this was a retrograde step, especially in a large rural county like Shropshire where conditions could vary widely from area to area. Even within parishes there could be large differences in conditions and the idea of a parish Snow Warden was not considered to be practicable. Members felt that, subject to generalised central guidance, much more discretion should be left to farmers and others who had been supplied with snow ploughs. The current provision of salt and grit on minor roads and lanes was inadequate.
Councillor Bellamy promised to raise this matter at the LJC.

11 The clerk informed members that several people had raised the question of the systematic taking of salt and grit from boxes. This had been discussed at the last parish council meeting at Munslow and he (as clerk to that council) had been asked to put a short item in the Corvedale News about it. Members wished Diddlebury parish council to be associated with this action and an item will appear in the February edition, with a further reminder next November (AP – clerk).
Other matters
12 The chairman reported that discussions were still continuing about the details of the transfer of the land to the east of Diddlebury Village Hall to the parish council as Custodial Trustees (see minutes of the meeting held on 26 August 2009 at para 17).
With the exception of Councillors Thomas and Mrs Worthington (who declared personal interests and abstained from voting) members agreed unanimously that the chairman and vice-chairman be authorised to sign the document relating to this transfer on behalf of the council when this was ready.

Next meeting
13 The next ordinary meeting of the council will be on Wednesday 24 February 2010 at Diddlebury Village Hall. The Public Forum will start at 7 30pm and be followed by the formal meeting.

As there was no further business the chairman declared the meeting closed at 9 00pm.