MINUTES OF RICHARDS CASTLE (SHROPSHIRE) PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL AT 7.30 PM ON WEDNESDAY 18 JULY 2018
PRESENT Cllr. H Salwey (Chairman); Cllr. D Ayres (Vice Chairman); Cllr. A Cowell; Cllr. C Giles; Cllr. A Hall; and Cllr. A Wright.
IN ATTENDANCE Shropshire Cllr. V Parry; and R Hewitt, Clerk. Representatives of the Parochial Church Council (x2) and four (4) members of the public were present.
18/44 Apologies – Mr R Smith.
18/45 Declarations of Members Interest and Written Requests for Dispensation – None.
18/46 To approve the Minutes of the previous meetings – Minutes of the meetings held on 15 May and 19 June 2018 were approved and signed as a correct record.
18/47 Proposal by the PCC to increase the secular use of the Church of All Saints – The parish council agreed to support the PCC’s initiative to hold more events at the church and asked that the position of members of the public who ‘purchased’ pews to help raise funds for the church is clarified. In other words, what will happen to the pews they ‘bought’ if they are removed to make way for events.
18/48 To invite views and discussion from members of the parish – A member of the public spoke against planning application 18/02935/FUL Woofferton Wharf. Another member of the public asked the parish council for a letter in support of a petition for a new variable speed limit from the A49 to Ludlow. The petition would be presented to Shropshire Council.
18/02935/FUL Woofferton Wharf, Woofferton, SY8 4AL – Erection of a petrol filling station with ancillary retail element (sui generis use) and associated landscaping, parking and access, following demolition of existing building.
The parish council decided to object to the proposed plans on the grounds of highway safety and drainage.
• Highway safety: the Salwey junction on the A49, which will be used by most visitors to access the service station, has a poor safety record. According to police records, since 2010 there have been 18 recorded deaths or injuries as a result of accidents, and 34 incidents of damage to vehicles. It is acknowledged that Highways England redesigned the junction earlier in 2018 to try and reduce the frequency of accidents, however since this redesign there has been one record of death or injury and two incidents of damage to vehicles.
There are likely to be increased vehicle movements across the hazardous Salwey junction should the proposed service station be built. For example, traffic from the direction of Tenbury visiting the petrol station is likely to cross the junction and then rejoin the A49 to head north or south.
• Drainage: There is a complicated drainage system under the site which takes a fast-flowing spring from Old Station Yard and diverts it to the river. The installation of fuel tanks as part of the proposed facility is an unacceptable risk for local habitats and wildlife sustained by this spring.
The parish council notes that there are petrol stations nearby on the A49 at Leominster, and on the A49 at Ludlow, and does not believe the proposed 24-hour petrol station is required to meet local needs. The issues of highway safety and drainage are too significant and far outweigh any perceived benefits. For this reason, Richards Castle Parish Council urges the planning authority to refuse the application.
18/50 County Councillor Report – Shropshire Cllr. Parry said the task and finish group is looking at flood risk management. There are ongoing cut backs and charges, including: the introduction of new charges for community buses; and a proposed reduction in the number of community officers.
The meeting offered congratulations on the presentation of Ludlow in Bloom in 2018.
18/51 Report from Councillors who have attended meetings of other Organisations on behalf of the Parish Council – None.
18/52 Financial items
a) The following payments were approved: Hitrees, strimming splays at Wheatcommon Lane (£48.00); Shropshire Council, elections recharge (£100.00); The Clerk, wages April-June 2018 (£333.16); and HMRC, PAYE Q1, 2018-18 (£83.20).
b) Support for the 490 bus service in 2018-19 – It was agreed to provide £750.00 to support the service in 2018-19.
18/53 Highway Items/ Amenity Items/ Footpath Items
a) Speeding on the B4361 – The meeting agreed to report the concerns regarding speeding traffic on the B4361 by the village hall and by Policeman’s Corner to the Safer Roads Partnership. The parish council agreed to organise the petition and will review the variable speed limit proposed by a member of the public at the next meeting. Advice will be obtained from SALC on petition ‘best practice’ in light of the new data protection regulations.
b) Junction at Policeman’s Corner – A request to ask the highways authority to improve the safety of the junction received from a member of the public was noted. Action is being taken to address the issue (see 18/53a) above).
e) To report Highway / Amenity and Footpath items – The blocked drains on Station Road, Woofferton reported previously are still causing localised flooding on the road. The defect will be re-reported to Highways.
18/54 Good Neighbour Scheme – The meeting agreed to support the proposal to have a scheme in the parish.
18/55 Smartwater village scheme – The parish council supports the initiative to be a Smartwater village under the scheme operated by West Mercia Police. A notice will be placed in Castle News to encourage residents to register their interest via the Clerk.
18/56 Shropshire Council Consultations
a) Business rates discretionary relief policy review – Noted.
b) Available burial capacity – The questions were reviewed.
18/57 WW1 Beacons of Light, 11 November 2018 – The event planned on Hanway Common is to be very informal. Open to local people and businesses only, a bonfire will be organised by the Chairman, and any refreshments will be on a ‘bring your own’ basis. A notice will be submitted to Castle News and posted on the noticeboard in early autumn.
18/58 Clerk’s Report – Shropshire Council has confirmed receipt of Cllr. Smith’s disclosable pecuniary interests form. The local community officer has been asked when an application can be made for the environmental maintenance programme in 2018-19. Shropshire Council is consulting on its Statement of Licensing Policy 2019-24, and Great Outdoors Strategy 2018-28. Both consultations are available on Shropshire council’s website.
18/59 Matters raised for next meeting – None.
18/60 Next Meeting – The next meeting will be at 7.30pm on Tuesday 18 September 2018.
The meeting closed at 8.51 pm.