Minutes 24/11/10



A meeting of the parish council was held on Wednesday 24 November 2010 at Diddlebury Village Hall. 

Present:  Councillors Linton, Bellamy, Mrs Fowler, Hedgley, Mrs Husband, Longmore, Povall, Thomas, Mrs Worthington, and three members of the public.

There were no declarations of interest.

The question of Diddlebury as a “hub” was raised in the public forum. The Chairman reaffirmed that the parish council had not given any consideration as to where additional housing might go within the parish, although it was thought that there might be some very limited development in some of the outlying villages. Although the parish council had opted for 50-100 houses – the lowest option available to them – to be built in the parish during the period up to 2026 there would clearly be no development if landowners and developers thought there was insufficient demand. If Shropshire Council did ultimately decide that Diddlebury should be a “hub” then developers and/or landowners would have to make planning applications in the usual way but it was unlikely that the parish council would get to know about such proposals before the applications were made. Should any such applications come before the parish council they would be included on meetings agendas in the normal way. These agendas were, of course, posted on the Village Hall notice board and could also be seen on line.

Apart from this it was likely that there would be a “rural toolkit” meeting in the New Year which could consider some of these questions.  These sessions were run by SC and would be public meetings.

The council then moved to the formal agenda.

Minutes of the previous meeting

1         Draft minutes of the previous meeting had already been circulated. In para 12 “Peaton” should read “Bouldon” and “Bouldon” should read “Peaton”. Subject to this correction they were approved as being correct and were signed by the Chairman.

Matters arising

2         Para 7: the proposed Charter made reference to a snow warden.  One of the difficulties with appointing a single person to do this was that conditions varied widely across the parish (Mrs Motley said that in some parishes all members of the parish council undertook this rôle and liaised through the chairman or clerk). The chairman, though, said the ideal person would be Mr Colin Lane and he had approached him about this. . However before making a decision Mr Lane would wish to see the duties and responsibilities of a snow warden as defined by Shropshire Council (AP – clerk).

The charter also referred to training for councillors. The clerk explained that such training was not mandatory. Mrs Motley said that SC occasionally provided training sessions for councillors which were free. The ALC also provided training days but they were not free.

Para 11: the clerk had replied to Severn Trent, Shropshire Council (about the street cleaning) and Mr Mason; para 12: he had reminded Mr Weaver about this work; para 13: Shropshire Council Highways department had been asked to provide the sign; para 14: the Chairman said this had been done.



Unitary Council Report

3         Mrs Motley told members that the whole staffing structure and numbers of staff were under review at Shropshire Council. There were to be three Area Directors (North, Central and South) and two had so far been appointed. The schools review was still ongoing.


4         The balance at the bank as at 14 November was £6,209.72 (no adjustment required).

5         Members approved payment of an invoice for £58.75 for the external auditing of the 2009/2010 accounts.


6         No objections were raised to applications for consent for internal and external alterations, the demolition of a conservatory, and the erection of a two-storey extension and alterations to porches at Blacksmith’s Cottage, Corfton (10/04787/FUL and 10/04788/LBC.) Members also had no objections to a proposal to change the use of the garage and erect a single storey link to the main dwelling at The Beeches, Corfton (10/04731/FUL).

7         The clerk reported that planning permission had been given for the erection of a replacement house at Cornfield Bank Cottage, Westhope (10/03520/FUL) and for the amendment of conditions at “Oaklands” and Middle Westhope Farm at Westhope (10/03906/VAR and 10/03908/VAR). The parish council had objected to the latter application and the clerk had spoken against it at the planning committee meeting held the previous day.

Environment and Highways

8         Members were concerned about the speed of vehicles on the B4368 within the new 30mph zone, and the number of accidents and near-misses which occurred near the junctions with side roads.

9         Members wondered whether SC would provide a Vehicle Activated Sign similar to the one recently erected at Aston Munslow. The clerk explained that if such a sign were provided the parish council might have to bear at least a part of the cost. He would find out what was involved (AP – clerk). He would also find out whether SC had any other ideas for dealing with the problems at these junctions (AP – clerk).

10     Councillor Bellamy was concerned that the bridge over the brook at Diddlebury was showing signs of spreading and wondered whether it was adequate for current loads. The clerk will take this up with SC Highways (AP – clerk).

11     Councillor Mrs Fowler said there had been some ponding in Mill Lane just before the bridge after recent heavy rain. It was thought that the drain recently installed was working satisfactorily and that the problem had been caused by blockage caused by leaves which had been cleared by a nearby resident.

Other Reports

12     Councillor Bellamy gave a report on the Parish Plan Steering Group progress.  They had data on housing needs covering Church Stretton, Corvedale and Craven Arms which suggested that there was a shortage of affordable housing.  There would be open sessions in the Spring which might be connected with the Rural Toolkit event (see above).

13     Councillor Mrs Worthington said that the building works at the village hall were still in progress. She also said that the “Buzzard” was very short of drivers and there would be a notice about this in the Corvedale News.   



14     The following correspondence has been received:

  • The annual report of the Shropshire Hills AONB
    • A letter from HSBC asking for financial information about the council
  • An email from SC about training for members in the use of the internet at meetings when planning applications were being considered. The clerk would reply appropriately (AP – clerk).
  • A letter about Short Community Health Walks
    • Notification of meetings to discuss fuel poverty (at Craven Arms on 30 November) and Affordable Energy (at Church Stretton on 8 December).
  • “Clerks and Councils Direct”
  • “Countryside Voice”
    • An invitation to all members from the Pearce family to attend a party at the Sun Inn on 4 December to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their being at the pub


Other matters

15     Councillor Thomas asked about the “Diversion” signs on the B4368 which have been up for several weeks. Some of these have been displaced and are a hazard to traffic. It is thought that the A49 is closed at times for work on level crossings. He was also concerned about potholes and a raised manhole in Mill Lane Diddlebury. Councillor Mrs Husband said there was displaced manhole cover near Larkfield Farm. Councillor Mrs Worthington pointed out that a large pothole had appeared at the front of the Village Hall.

16     The clerk will contact Shropshire Council Highways about the above issues (APs – clerk).

17     The clerk had been contacted by Mr David Francis who wished to know who had replaced Ms Bownes as parish council representative on the Diddlebury Charities Committee. No nomination had been made to date: Councillor Mrs Husband volunteered to take this on and members were happy for her so to do. The clerk will contact Mr Francis about this (AP – clerk).

18     Next meeting

19     There will be no meeting in December unless urgent matters arise which cannot wait until the January meeting, in which case the Chairman will call an extraordinary meeting. The next scheduled ordinary meeting will take place on Wednesday

26 January 2011 at Diddlebury Village Hall. The public forum will be at 7 30pm and will be followed by the formal meeting.

As there was no further business the Chairman wished members a Happy Christmas and declared the meeting closed at 9 20pm.