DPC CHAIRMANS REPORT 2011/12

Chairman’s Report 23rd May 2012
Personnel
At the 2011 AGM Cllrs Linton and Povall stood down as Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively. They were thanked for the hard work, skills and knowledge that they had brought to the council. In their places Cllrs Hedgley and Fowler were elected as Chairman and Vice Chairwoman respectively.
In July 2011 Cllr Husband resigned from the council and an election was called for the October where Cllr O’Boyle was duly elected.
In July 2011 the Clerk to the Council Mr Jones indicated that he wished to relinquish his post but agreed to stay until a replacement could be found. He was replaced in November by Mrs Watts as Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer. Whilst Mr Jones was a sad loss we have been fortunate in being able to appoint a well qualified and experienced Clerk in his place.
Main issues.
There have been a number of issues which have run as a thread throughout the year’s business.
• SAMDev. The major issue arising has been centred on SAMDev and a revised Place Plan. As a result of concerns expressed by a number of parishioners over the councils initial response to Shropshire Councils (SC) consultation regarding SAMDev, which centred on Diddlebury as a Community Hub, with up to 100 houses possibly being developed, the council decided to withdraw from this response and asked SC documentation to be changed to reflect that. Until the views of the whole parish could be ascertained, Diddlebury Parish was to remain as open countryside with no planned development. In order to do this the council asked the Parish Plan Steering Group (PPSG) to hold a parish wide consultation based on a questionnaire to include the housing issue as part of an overall redrafting of the Parish Place Plan. A timetable for this was agreed and work has proceeded on the production of the questionnaire which is due out in July 2012. In November 2011 we submitted an interim updated Place Plan and Partnership Agreement to SC so that the revised Craven Arms Place Plan more accurately reflected the present situation and removed from documents reference to Diddlebury as a Community Hub. This is due out any day.

• Broad place
In September 2011 Mr Pearce requested council support for relocating two laptops from the Broad place to The Sun Inn to improve community facilities. The council agreed to investigate this and Cllr Motley ear marked two laptops from SC to assist this. Due to difficulties over time, linkage and monitoring Mr Pearce obtained his own laptops.
Following this the Broad place has become involved in a county wide review of the cost effectiveness of Broad place sites which is ongoing. The council has requested that SC make no decision on Diddlebury’s site until after the PPSG questionnaire.
• Broadband BDUK
This is a county wide initiative to raise broad band speed to a minimum of 2 mega bytes across the whole of Shropshire. Information on this was provided via a pre council meeting presentation and at public meeting held on Saturday 12th May 2012 at Diddlebury Village Hall. SC welcomes comment and support on this issue via their web site.

• Bache Bridge
The safety of people especially school children crossing Bache Bridge has become a major concern. Discussions are ongoing with SC on how best to remedy this situation. Work is due to start on improving the pathway over the bridge as an initial measure.
e)Communications
One of the main concerns this year has been to improve the communications between the council and parishioners. Draft minutes of meetings are now put out as soon after a meeting as possible and issues posted on the Corvedale web site have now been requested to be directed straight to the clerk. We have made much more use of the Corvedale News to pass on information received by us. An improved agenda layout has increased opportunities for parishioners to comment on agenda items. Similarly the chairman reports back on activities he has undertaken between meetings. Having registered with Shrop.net we are now in the process of developing an improved web site which will serve the needs of all organisations in the parish and ensure the speedy passage of information. We are also involved with a rolling programme to replace or upgrade notice boards across the parish.
Cllr Motley continues to provide excellent links and support between us and SC whose officers have provided exceptional support.
Planning
15 planning applications have been dealt with.
2 emergency meetings have been held to deal with planning issues.
2 enquiries instigated re possible breaches of planning rules.
Charities
We have continued to support local charities and this year made extra donations to the Jubilee Celebrations and Ale in the Dale.
Speakers
There have been two presentations this year open to the public on Broad band BDUK and ANOB planning ethos.
Other topics
This year we have dealt with other issues ranging from solar panel planning, tree felling, potholes, snow wardens, cardboard recycling and hedgerow removals to name a few.
Hopefully next year we can carry on improving communications between the council and its parishioners in regards to the passage of information, consultations and actions.
D. Hedgley. Chairman. 23-05-12

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