MINUTES OF JOINT ANNUAL PARISH MEETING OF RICHARDS CASTLE (SHROPSHIRE) AND RICHARDS CASTLE (HEREFORDSHIRE) PARISHES HELD AT 7.00 PM ON TUESDAY 28 MAY 2019 AT THE VILLAGE HALL
Richards Castle (Shropshire) Parish Council: Mr H Salwey (Chairman); Mr A Hall; Mr C Giles, Mr R Smith and Mr A Wright.
Richards Castle (Herefordshire) Parish Council: Cllr. R Alden (Chairman); Ms L Munn; and Herefordshire Ward Cllr. S Bowen.
IN ATTENDANCE: Shropshire County Cllr. V Parry and Mr R Hewitt, Clerk. There were no members of the public present.
Cllr. H. Salwey chaired the joint annual parish meeting.
1. Apologies – Ms L Allwright and Mr S Greetham (Herefordshire). Cllrs. D Ayres and A Cowell (Shropshire).
2. Minutes of the Joint Annual Parish Meeting held on 22 May 2018 – The minutes of the meeting were agreed and signed as a correct record.
3. Annual Report from Richards Castle (Shropshire) Parish Council
Cllr. H Salwey, chairman, reviewed the past year. Key planning decisions were noted. The parish council agreed to support the bus service in 2018-19 and has placed £750 in earmarked reserves for this purpose and reduced the precept for 2019-20 to £4,500.
The parish council obtained an Environmental Maintenance Grant in 2018-19 to help with the cost of minor highway work such as the maintenance of the pavement opposite village hall to the county boundary. A further application has been made for an environmental maintenance grant in 2019-20, match funded by the parish council. The Vice Chairman attended a meeting to discuss ongoing safety issues along the A49 where Highways England said they will re-consider replacing the Salwey Arms junction with a roundabout.
Several initiatives were supported, including: The PCC’s initiative to hold more events at the church and support for the Good Neighbour Scheme for which the parish council has committed £250. Also, the parishes took part in the national WW1 Beacons of Light event on 11 November 2018 to mark 100 years since the end of the war, with a bonfire on Hanway Common for local people and businesses.
Cllr. Salwey thanked members of the parish council, Shropshire Cllr. Parry, the Clerk, and most importantly, members of the local community who have attended meetings from time to time and “let us know what is important to you”.
4. Annual Report from Richards Castle (Herefordshire) Parish Council
Cllr. R Alden, chairman, thanked Mr P Owen the outgoing chairman for his hard work and dedication to supporting the community, and welcomed two new councillors Ms L Allwright and Ward Cllr. S Bowen. Cllrs. Allwright and Munn were thanked for their work in establishing a Good Neighbour Scheme in Richards Castle.
Key planning applications and decisions were noted. The condition of local roads remains poor, and the parish council will continue to push for them to be improved by the highway authority. Footpaths and bridleways have been much improved. Speeding traffic though the village remains a key issue. The parish council is talking with neighbouring parishes about sharing speed indicator devices (SIDs). The parish council supports speed enforcement. The bus service was supported in 2018-19 – the frequency of the service should be increased.
Cllr. Alden said there are two vacancies on the parish council and invited members of the public to join the parish council.
5. Report from the Shropshire County Councillor
Shropshire Cllr. V Parry reported on highways and has raised the condition of Station Road with the highway authority. The environmental maintenance grant will continue for smaller parishes. Highways England has gone quiet since the site meeting held to look at a roundabout at the Salwey Arms junction at Woofferton. Some recycling banks have been closed by the county council.
Ward Cllr. Parry expressed strong support for the Good Neighbour Scheme, and thanked members of the public, councillors, and the Clerk.
6. Report from the Bircher Ward Councillor, Herefordshire Council
Ward Cllr. S Bowen reported on the May 2019 election and has been elected to Chairman of Herefordshire Council. The bus service is seen as a key route by the county council including to Ludlow. Ward Cllr. Bowen commented on the smell from digestate when spread on fields and suggested the carbon footprint from biodigesters should be reviewed.
Roads in the parish are in the highway authority’s annual plan but the timing of the work is not yet known. Maintenance is improved though use of velocity patchers to fix potholes, and the plan is to increase the number of patchers operating in the county. Defects on the road to Hanway Common should be repaired in time for the Soap Box Derby. Fixing every road in the county would cost £100 million. Ward Cllr. Bowen has proposed that the county council borrow to help bring roads up to an appropriate standard, which should then save on maintenance. The pothole review chaired by Ward Cllr. Bowen recommended a long-term management plan which if implemented has the potential to achieve a lot.
A fast broadband network is to be installed under the Fastershire initiative. Waste management is able to benefit from the recycling facility at Norton and waste to power plant at Hartlebury which can deliver up to 20 megawatts.
7. Items from Members of the Public – Cllr. Munn asked about a bridleway on Wheatcommon Lane and asked for drainage to be improved. The different approaches to footpath maintenance in Shropshire and Herefordshire were discussed.
The meeting closed at 8 pm.