MINUTES OF RICHARDS CASTLE (SHROPSHIRE) PARISH COUNCIL ANNUAL MEETING HELD ONLINE AT 7.30 PM ON THURSDAY 14 MAY 2020
PRESENT: Cllr. H Salwey (Chairman); Cllr. D Ayres (Vice Chairman); Cllr. A Cowell; Cllr. R Smith; Cllr. C Giles; and Cllr. A Hall.
IN ATTENDANCE: Ward Cllr. V Parry; Mr R Hewitt, Clerk. There were four (4) members of the public present.
20/1 Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman – Mr H Salwey was elected Chairman unanimously and accepted the office. Mr D Ayres was elected Vice Chairman unanimously and accepted the office.
20/2 Apologies – Cllr. A Wright.
20/3 Declarations of Members Interest and Written Requests for Dispensation – None.
20/4 Minutes of the previous meeting – Minutes of the meeting held on 28 January 2020 were approved as a correct record.
20/5 Ward Councillor Report – Cllr. Parry made a brief report and highlighted grants to support parish councils with the Covid 19 situation.
20/6 To invite views and discussion from members of the parish – The applicant spoke about planning application 20/01482/FUL Leighs Field Cottage. A further three members of the public were concerned at the sight lines shown on drawings for planning application 19/02958/TDC Proposed Residential Development Land To The North Of Richards Castle: They said that the sight line to the south appears to run through the hedge of the neighbouring landowner(s), and sight lines in either direction along the B4361 were reported to be 100 metres, less than the 120 metres stipulated in national highway guidance for junctions in a 30-40mph zone.
(Cllr. Cowell joined the meeting.)
20/01482/FUL Leighs Field Cottage, Richards Castle, SY8 4EQ – Erection of a single storey rear extension. The planning application was supported.
19/02958/TDC Proposed Residential Development Land To The North Of Richards Castle – Application for Technical Details Consent pursuant of 18/04076/PIP for the residential development of nine dwellings. To review the comment agreed on 30 July 2019 and consider whether to amend, modify or withdraw the previous representation.
It was agreed to submit a further comment on planning application 19/02958/TDC, Proposed Residential Development Land To The North Of Richards Castle: The parish council is extremely concerned that material road safety issues have not been given sufficient weight to date. It is understood that national highway guidance for junctions in a 30-40mph zone stipulates a sight line of 120 metres in both directions. However, the drawings submitted in the application show a sight line of just 100 metres in each direction.
Furthermore, the sight line in the direction of Herefordshire is shown in the submitted plans to run through the hedge of the neighbouring landowner(s). In other words, the sight line relies on a private landowner which effectively means it cannot be delivered in either the short or long term with any assurance. There will be a step in the hedge on the boundary between the areas of land, negating the visibility towards Herefordshire.
The B4361 in both directions has significant bends, including a nearby junction, and in the direction of Herefordshire, a blind dip in the road, which makes it all the more important for the national highway guidance to be implemented properly. The future safety and well-being of drivers and pedestrians in the future will depend on this.
The parish council urges that the road safety issue is given the full weight required, and the planning application REFUSED for the reasons set out above.
Shropshire Council has granted planning permission for 20/00472/FUL Gosford Cottage and 20/00657/FUL Comberton Poultry Farm. Prior approval is not required for 20/00423/AGR Overton Grange Farm.
20/8 Clerk’s Report
Shropshire Council has acknowledged the request for a reduced speed limit along the Overton Road from Ludford through to the junction with the A49. It has been included on the list for consideration as part of Shropshire Council’s Traffic Management Minor Works Programme where it will be subject to a detailed assessment and prioritisation.
The precept for 2020-21 (£4,500.00) has been paid by Shropshire Council along with an additional £1,789.82 payable under Shropshire Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy. The Environmental Maintenance Grant 2020-21 (£415.00) has been received from Shropshire Council.
20/9 Traffic regulation order for a 30mph speed limit on B4361 by the village hall – It was agreed to ask the highways authority, Shropshire Council, to implement a traffic regulation order to reduce the speed limit on the B4361 from 40 to 30mph from the county boundary towards the village hall.
20/10 Report from Councillors who have attended meetings of other Organisations on behalf of the Parish Council – None.
20/11 Financial items
a) Annual insurance renewal: It was agreed to renew the insurance policy with Came and Company.
b) The following payments were agreed: Came & Co, parish council insurance (£338.40); Hitrees, maintenance of footpath to village hall (£86.40); Eyelid Productions, annual website support (£100.00); and the Clerk, wages January-March 2020 (£410.45).
c) Payments made by the Clerk under delegated powers: None.
d) External Audit: The external auditor will be asked to extend the deadline for submission of the 2019-20 annual return.
20/12 Highway Items/ Amenity Items/ Footpath Items
a) Highway / Amenity and Footpath items: Deep potholes on B4361 by entrance to Moor Park School, and on B4361 towards Richards Castle village have been reported to the highway authority, Shropshire Council. Ward Cllr. Parry kindly offered to raise potholes on Park Lane with highways.
b) Freedom of information request to Highways England to obtain details of expenditure used to widen the A49 by Ashford Bowdler: No action required. Ward Cllr. Parry said the cost has already been obtained and published in the Ludlow Advertiser.
20/13 Shropshire Council Small Grants Programme – Noted.
20/14 Police and Crime Commissioner funding to support local community groups during Covid 19 – Noted.
20/15 Website accessibility regulations
The requirement for local authority websites to meet new accessibility guidelines by September 2020 was noted. A budget of up to £50.00 was agreed for the website contractor to implement this for the parish council website.
20/16 Draft Local Economic Growth Strategy for Ludlow
Members will consider responding to the consultation individually.
20/17 Clerk’s delegated powers
The following delegated powers were agreed provided that actions implemented under delegated powers are reported and recorded in the minutes of the next parish council meeting:
a) Delegated powers to spend up to £1,000 between meetings when unforeseen circumstances occur;
b) Delegated powers to spend against specific items in the annual budget e.g. for environmental maintenance, hall hire, clerk’s salary, as identified in the budget when setting the precept; and
c) Delegated powers to comment on planning applications between meetings when unforeseen circumstances occur.
20/18 Matters raised for next meeting – None.
20/19 Next Meeting – Due to the Covid 19 situation it was agreed not to set a date for the next meeting and leave the decision on when to call the next meeting to the Chairman.
The meeting closed at 8.47 pm.