Minutes 27/07/2011

A meeting of the parish council was held on Wednesday 27 July 2011 at Diddlebury Village Hall. 

Present:  Councillors Hedgley, Bellamy, Mrs Fowler, Linton, Povall, Thomas, Mrs Worthington, and five members of the public. Apologies had been received from Councillor Longmore

Apart from matters mentioned in para 13 below there were no declarations of interest.

In the public forum the Chairman said that  the parish council would be considering a motion asking Shropshire Council to remove any references to Diddlebury being a hub or part of a cluster, and that any future decisions would be based on forthcoming consultations (see paras 7 and 8 below for further details).

Minutes of previous meetings

1         Draft minutes of the meeting held on 22 June 2011 and the Annual General Meeting held on 25 May 2011 had already been circulated. In the list of attendees at the latter meeting Councillor Linton’s name appeared twice and this was corrected. Subject to this both sets of minutes were approved as being correct and were signed by the Chairman.

Matters arising

2         Minutes of the meeting held on 22 June: Public forum: Chris Jackson was not very optimistic about the chances of getting SC to provide a footbridge on the B4368 but the clerk will write formally to request such a bridge: if (as expected) this is turned down the council might then ask for the upgrading of the footpath which runs to the rear of the houses in Mill Lane. Such a scheme had been proposed in 2005-2006 but it had been abandoned  because of lack of support. Para 2 (Emergency planning): the clerk had requested legible copies from SC. Para 3(brown signs etc): this had been overtaken by events. Para 4 (Corvedale School history): Councillor Mrs Fowler said a plan was being prepared and a meeting would be held shortly. Para 6 ( additional members for the PPSG): the Chairman had found volunteers from Peaton, Bouldon and Peddlers Rest and Councillor Linton thought he could get someone from Sutton. There was concern that there were no representatives from the Westhope area. Para 9 (profile of the parish council): this was discussed briefly. More use might be made of the Corvedale News and assistance might be sought from SC. The council might also consider having its own website. Para 18 (Rural Watch etc): the Chairman had met a policeman who would come to talk to the council in the autumn.


Chairman’s Update

3         The Chairman reported that Mrs Jayne Husband had resigned as a member of the council and also from the PPSG. This also meant that the council was without a vice –Chair. He had approached Councillor Mrs Fowler who had expressed her willingness to undertake this rôle.

4         A motion to elect Councillor Mrs Fowler as vice-Chair was proposed by Councillor Bellamy, seconded by Councillor Mrs Worthington and carried unanimously.

5         The clerk explained the procedure for recruiting a new member to the council. Initially there would be an opportunity for electors to ask for an election. If no such valid request was made then a new member would be co-opted. Although an election would cost somewhere in the region of £2,000 some members felt that it might not be a bad thing if such an election were held.

6         There had been an exchange of emails between Mr Tony Bennett and Jake Berriman of Shropshire Council and the Chairman had been copied into these.

7         The Chairman had sent a letter to all councillors about SAMDev and any future development within the parish. He proposed the following motion, which relates to material published by SC:

Any reference to Diddlebury Parish Council making a decision to engage with any of the options available in SAMDev must not be made in any future documents and instead references made to “Diddlebury Parish Council awaiting the results of a Parish Consultation regarding the Parish Plan before any decision can be made on future housing needs.”

8         This motion was seconded by Councillor Bellamy and carried unanimously. The clerk will write to SC accordingly.

9         The Chairman, Shropshire Councillor Mrs Motley and Councillor Bellamy had drafted a flyer to go out with the August edition of the Corvedale News bringing members of the public up-to-date with the current position regarding SAMDev and related matters.

10     Parish council representatives had been asked to give a three-minute talk at the Local Joint Committee meeting held in Diddlebury on 20 July. The chairman had taken the opportunity to explain the flyer (see previous paragraph) and how SC must allow time for local consultation when asking parish councils to comment on such matters in the future.

11     The Chairman also reported that the Clerk had tendered his resignation but would continue in post until the end of September. An advertisement for a new clerk would appear in the August edition of the Corvedale News. The chairman expressed his thanks for the excellent job the clerk had done during his tenure of office and his support in finding a replacement.



12     The adjusted balance at the bank as at 18 June was £7,737.19 (adjusted balance £7,658.19).


13     Members considered an application to erect a general purpose and livestock agricultural building west of Goosefoot at Corfton (11/03047/FUL). It would appear from the details provided that the new building would be screened from Corvedale by the existing building and because its site would be levelled. If this assumption were correct then members had no objection to the proposal. The clerk will report to SC accordingly.

Councillor Povall declared an interest in this item and did not take part in the discussion.

14     The clerk reported that consent had been given for the erection of an extension to the side of Penley Green Bache Mill (11/02397/FUL). Permission had been given for the works to Corvedale School (11/02125/FUL) subject to a bat survey. The application for consent to erect ancillary domestic accommodation at Shepherd’s Barn, Corfton (11/02355/FUL) had been withdrawn.

15     Councillor Linton enquired about a suggestion made to SC about involving the AONB when the parish council’s views differed from those of the planning officer. The clerk will investigate (AP – clerk).

Environment and Highways

16     The Chairman reported that there was a lot of patching of roads being carried out at present. He outlined problems with the width of lanes etc both where hedges had been allowed to spread and, conversely, where verges had been narrowed by wide or heavy vehicles.  SC would be asked to provide some guidance on this, as well as with the perennial question of maintenance of ditches.

17     Councillor Thomas referred to a willow tree at Mill Lane Diddlebury which was overhanging the footpath. The clerk will contact Chris Jackson about this.

Other Reports

18     Councillor Bellamy gave a report on the recent Local Joint Committee meeting which had been held at Diddlebury. Mr Chris Edwards, the SC Director for the south of Shropshire, gave a talk including reference to the new Town and Parish Council charter, the rôle of the parish council in “Localism” and the new, flatter, management structure at SC.

19     Forty eight speeding tickets had been issued on the B4368 in the last three months – all to drivers of cars. The police were also checking on the condition of motorcycles using this road.

20      A project to send cricket playing youngsters from Craven Arms to Gambia had been very successful.

21     The LJC had a budget of £18,500. So far £11,703 had been allocated. The maximum grant was £2,500 which could be no more than 60% of the cost of any particular project. There was also a fund for small grants of up to £350.

22     The Parish Plan Steering Group had had a talk from Sara Botham of Shropshire Community Council about first steps in preparing a parish plan. She and Lisa Bedford from SC will help in the preparation of the plan.

23     Members asked when the feedback from the recent toolkit meeting would be received. Apparently SC is still working on this.

24     Correspondence

The following correspondence has been received:

  • An email from SC about a scheme for giving trees to local people where they would be of benefit to the community. A copy was sent to the Corvedale News so that an article could be prepared
  • An email from Much Wenlock and Cressage Patients’ Voice
  • Details of events to publicise adult social care provision
  • A request for comments from SC about the provision of polling places and polling stations. The only polling station in the parish is at Diddlebury Village Hall. Members considered this was adequate. They also considered that the facilities there were adequate. The clerk will report accordingly (AP – clerk).
  • Details of a guide to the workings of Citizens’ Advice
  • A letter from a local resident who would like to become a parish councillor should a vacancy occur. The clerk will reply to her appropriately (AP – clerk).

Other matters

25     The Chairman had been in contact with the Association of Local Councils and wondered if the council should join. The annual subscription would be about £235. Councillor Mrs Worthington pointed out that Munslow parish council had recently decided to leave the Association. It was agreed that further discussion be deferred to a future meeting when Shropshire Councillor Mrs Motley could be present.

26     Most –if not all – households had received a letter from Severn Trent about connection of drains to sewers. It was thought that this was of no relevance to this area where there was no main drainage, except, perhaps, in parts of Diddlebury village.

27     Councillor Mrs Worthington said that some black recycling boxes had disappeared, but the problem did not appear to be widespread.

28     Councillor Povall said there had been an article in the Shropshire Star about the fatal accident at Wheeler’s Oak in October 2010. The clerk was asked to see whether he could obtain a copy of the coroner’s report to see whether any action should be taken (AP – clerk).

29     The Chairman had received a request from South Shropshire Housing Association for assistance in deciding whether some applicants for a house in Diddlebury had local connections. Before this item Councillor Linton proposed, and the Chairman seconded, a motion that the public be excluded from the meeting for the consideration of this item as it would involve discussion of individuals. The motion was carried unanimously.

30     Members then discussed the three applicants. One did not claim any local connections: the other two were not known to members of the council. Members commented (as they had previously) that it would have helped if married ladies had given their maiden names  as councillors may well have been able to identify them had they had that information. The clerk also said that some trouble had arisen relating to a previous letting by the Association. Consequently it had been agreed that a member of staff of the Association would attend any council meeting when such matters were to be considered.

Next meeting

31     The next Ordinary meeting of the council will be held on Wednesday 24 August 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 declared the meeting closed at 9 25pm.