Minutes – 28 November 2017


PRESENT Cllr. H Salwey (Chairman); Cllr. A Hall; Cllr. D Ayres (Vice Chairman); Cllr. A Cowell
and Cllr. C Giles.

IN ATTENDANCE Shropshire Cllr. V Parry; and R Hewitt, Clerk. Two members of the public were present.

17/71 Apologies – Cllr. A Wright.

17/72 Co-opt new member of the parish council – Postponed to the next meeting.

17/73 Declarations of Members Interest and requests for Dispensation – None.

17/74 To approve the Minutes of the previous meeting – Minutes of the meeting held on 19 September 2017 were approved and signed as a correct record.

17/75 To invite views and discussion from members of the parish – Two members of the public were concerned at the speed of traffic on the B4361 through Richards Castle. One member of the public said they have experience in measures that can be taken to address speeding, and asked the parish council to support a reduction of the speed limit on the B4361 to 30 mph, to be consistent with the speed limit in Herefordshire, and to support more double white lines in the middle of the road. The parish council agreed to look at speeding at the next meeting.

17/76 County Councillor Report – Shropshire Cllr. Parry said residents on Wheatcommon Lane want a new sign. A member of the highways team at Shropshire Council is due to leave in March 2018, and will be missed. There is likely to be no more maintenance grants for smaller towns. The decision on maintenance grants will be made by cabinet. The decision on the proposal by the Police and Crime Commissioner to include the fire service will be made by government. The Local Joint Committees are due to go, however they may be replaced by something else. The parish council asked Cllr. Parry to support having some form of local committee. Scrutiny committees are to be replaced by a ‘Task and Finish Group’ which will review proposals before they go to cabinet for decision.

17/77 Reports of noise and smell pollution from biodigester, Park Lane – The meeting noted that the concerns reported by local residents at the last meeting have been passed to Environmental Health, Shropshire Council and that the company operating the biodigester has been informed of this as well. Environmental Health and the company operating the biodigester have both informed the parish council that the facility is operated under an environmental permit regulated by the Environment Agency.

A letter from the company operating the biodigester was noted, and it was agreed to support the request to “encourage members of the parish to contact [the Compliance Officer] directly… The Environment Agency officer would prefer complaints to be handled in this way as they can be immediately investigated, sources identified and solutions implemented where necessary. Without any detailed timely information it is very difficult to identify the actual source of the issue”.

Because the minutes are published in Castle News, it was agreed to include contact details of the operator and Environment Agency in the minutes to aid the timely reporting of incidents as requested by the operator:

Compliance Officer
Marches Biogas
Tel. 03332 079991, extension 2 (available 24 hours)

Environment Agency
Permit # AB3906XX/A001
24 hour incident hotline 0800 807060

The parish council also considered a letter from a local business to Shropshire Cllr. Parry about the biodigester, and agreed to provide the company with the contact details of the operator and Environment Agency to enable the timely reporting of concerns in the future.

17/78 Report from Councillors who have attended meetings of other Organisations on behalf of the Parish Council – None.

17/79 Financial items
a) The following payments were approved: Boy Thorne Garden Services, churchyard maintenance (£144.50); Clerk, wages October-December 2017 (£326.61); Clerk, expenses April-November 2017 (£170.11); and HMRC, PAYE Q3, 2017-18 (£71.60).
b) Review accounts to date and consider draft precept for 2018-19 – The current financial year 2017-18 was reviewed. It was noted that Herefordshire Council has yet to request the financial donation offered in support of the bus service in 2016-17 or so far in 2017-18. The precept for 2018-19 was considered. It is proposed to hold the precept at £5,000.00. Budgets have been allocated for parish maintenance (£750.00), grass cutting (£450.00) and to help prepare for new data protection regulations which come into force in May 2018 (£500.00). The budget and precept will be decided at the next meeting.

17/80 Clerk’s Report – Richards Castle (Herefordshire) Parish Council has requested that the cost of a new battery for the community defibrillator at the village hall is split equally between the parishes. It was agreed to consider this at the next meeting. Shropshire Council has written to advise that the cost of administering the parish council election in May 2017 is £100.00 and will be charged in April 2018. The transparency grant application has been successful, and a cheque for £140.04 will be sent by SALC shortly. The General Data Protection Regulations briefing on 8 November 2017 was informative. Advice from SALC afterwards was to allocate funding to help prepare for the new regulations. Guidance for smaller organisations and parish councils is expected to be issued soon. The local county associations are planning to work together to help parish councils fulfil the new General Data Protection Regulations. HMRC will no longer accept PAYE payments via the Post Office from 15 December 2017. The Community Tree Scheme is fully subscribed.

17/81 Highway Items/ Amenity Items/ Footpath Items
a) Highway improvements, Park Lane – The date for the start of the work to improve the passing points on Park Lane is still unknown. There has been no further information from the approach to Shropshire Council made by the Member of Parliament. It was agreed to ask for an update, and Shropshire Cllr. Parry kindly offered to take this forward with highways.
b) Pavement from county boundary to village hall – A request from a member of Herefordshire parish council to clear the pavement of weeds growing out from the bottom of the adjacent hedge was considered. The meeting agreed to review the matter in spring 2018.
c) To report Highway / Amenity and Footpath items – A defective stile reported by Cllr. Giles will be fixed by the landowner, the Chairman.

17/82 Planning
17/04188/FUL and 17/04189/LBC Moor Park School, Richards Castle, SY8 4DZ – Construction of a temporary building from storage containers to house changing rooms, shower facilities, toilets and a covered link to the existing swimming pool following demoliton of existing building. The applications for planning and listed building consent were supported by the parish council.

Update on Shropshire Council planning decisions/ enforcement – Planning permission has been granted re: 17/02907/FUL Woofferton Court Farm. A letter from planning enforcement in respect of 16/02937/FUL School Cottage states that “Enforcement action should be proportionate to the breach of planning control to which it relates and only taken when it is expedient to do so”. The final decision on a technical breach of planning control is that “as no significant harm has been identified [Shropshire Council] will not be taking any formal action in this instance”.

17/83 Future of rural bus services in Shropshire – The parish council considered two requests for information on local bus services in the parish. It was agreed to respond to both enquiries explaining the recent cut backs to the 492 and financial support offered by local parish and town councils through which the route passes, to sustain the middle day service to Ludlow. With regard to the future of the service, the parish council would like to see the frequency of the service improved, particularly on a Saturday, and requested a copy of the report into the future of rural bus services in Shropshire once it is published. An offer to discuss bus services with a Shropshire Councillor who is working on a project to improve bus services in Ludlow and the surrounding area was declined for the time being.

17/84 Consider 2017 Place Plan Review: ‘Preferred Scale and Distribution of Development’ Consultation – The information in the Place Plan for the parish was confirmed as correct. With regard to infrastructure priorities, the parish council believes the following are critical: bus services (a donation has been offered to support the local service), a fibre network which offers high speed broadband to all properties and businesses in the parish, and improvement/ maintenance of roads.

The meeting noted that Ludlow Town Council is developing a new Community Led-Plan.

17/85 Matters raised for next meeting – There were no matters raised.

17/86 Next Meeting – The next meeting will be at 7.30pm on Tuesday 30 January 2018.

The meeting closed at 8.48 pm.