Albrighton & District Civic Society

held at APC Office, 82B High St, Albrighton,

on Monday 4th November 2013 at 2pm

Present :

Rod Smith - Secretary
Mike Pitchford – Membership Secretary and Acting Treasurer
Sarah Baker
John Bulmer
Ron Kidson
Peter Leigh
David Thomas (ex-officio representing Boningale PC) - part
Michael Ward (ex-officio representing Albrighton PC) - part

RS took the chair in PW’s absence. The committee was pleased to welcome David Milledge to participate in the meeting and he would be co-opted as a member. As there is a full complement of committee members DM will be a “co-opted committee member” as provided for in the Constitution.

1. Apologies received from Peter Woodman, Alan Wilmot, David Beechey & David Hughes

2. Minutes of Meeting of 7th October 2013 were approved.

3. Main Issues
a) Treasurer’s Report.

MP had provided a copy of the accounts. Balance stood at £2,570.25. MP reported that the Auditor, Gerard Paris, had asked that, before the next AGM, the amount of money held for the Entrance Scheme should be identified and ring fenced. MP had spent time with JB and a list of related purchases had been identified and a check is now being made for any other related items.

b) Planters.

MP had written to Alb PC to see if they would assist by providing some funds for ongoing maintenance (for top up of compost and replacement plants was estimated at approx £150 for the year). It was agreed that the Society, as the instigator of the Planter Scheme, should arrange ongoing maintenance, potentially funded in part by Albrighton Parish Council.

c) Entrance Scheme

JB had a work group organised for 7 December for Kingswood Rd/A41 Entrance – this has been shown on the website for some months.

ACTION RS to ask webmaster to highlight this date on the home page.

MP reported that 2000 bulbs had been planted on the roundabout at the junction of Loak Rd/Elm Rd/Bowling Green Lane and thanked all the volunteers for their help

d) Albrighton Station

Temporary Access Ramp to Platform 1

MP reported that he had custody of the petition while Phyl and PW were on holiday and there were now 1697 signatures. RS reported that discussions with “Orange” were ongoing and that today the names of the CEO and MD of EE and MBNL respectively had been identified and it was hoped that a meeting in week/commencing 25/11 would be arranged at Albrighton (or if they pleaded too busy to come, we would go to their office Amersham). ACTION: If this week the meeting was not arranged then RS would send a report to Mark Pritchard MP and ask him to contact the heads of MBNL and EE.

RS had spoken to London Midland who had promised to raise it up to a higher level and RS had asked them to meet us on site –a reply was awaited ACTION: RS would chase up LMidland this week before RS goes on holiday (8th to 22nd Nov). RS to put article in Parish Magazine to update residents and to confirm that the campaign goes on.

4. Matters arising

a) Arts & Heritage Forum (AAHF). SB reported that a committee had now been established with Chairman: Sarah Baker

Secretary: post shared by Kate Fletcher and Lorraine Moore

Treasurer: Mike Pitchford

plus 8 committee members.

SB reported that the following events would be held:-

28 Nov 2013 - a stall at the Trader’s Extravaganza night.

1 March 2014 – first Arts & Crafts Fayre in the Red House

29 Nov 2014 first AGM (7.30pm Wesley Hall)

b) Notices on Trees.

A letter had been received from APC complaining that notices for the Society’s Public Meeting and AGM had been attached to trees in the conservation area. A reply had been sent.

APC’s letter also suggested that a second notice board may be installed on the village green and asked for comments – ADCS’s reply welcomed the initiative but said it would be tabled at the ADCS committee meeting and a further reply sent. After some discussion the preliminary view was that a location on the green was not in a prime spot passed by enough pedestrians and hence not much use and that it was likely that residents would just put the same notice in both notice boards if a second one was installed, in which case a greater area of notice board space would not have been created. It was felt that a second notice board was not needed and that a better solution was for the board near the Red House to be made larger and without doors. It was felt that the locked doors and the need to hand notices to the clerk to display were impeding use by the public (it was noted that it was only 2/3 full compared with the previous board which was usually overflowing). The glass of the cover was now starting to mist up and making viewing of some notices difficult. It was expected that in due course residents were likely to complain about this new public notice board. It was decided that further discussion would be deferred until next meeting when the Chairman would be present.

5. AOB

a) RK had heard that there was now some doubt if the public WC in the Crown Car park would be retained. MW joined the meeting and reported that there had been agreement that Healthmatic Ltd would now remove their equipment (and pay APC for it) and would make good the concrete floor etc. APC had written to restaurants and pubs to ask if they would allow the public to use their WC in return for a payment from APC – no replies had been received. APC would discuss this matter at their next council meeting on 7th November and may decide to close the facility. The committee said that there was a 95% show of hands to retain the WC at a recent public meeting of more than 160 attendees and that the Society felt strongly that the WC should be retained as a village asset. The recent signage scheme by the Traders Association had been carried out to bring visitors into Albrighton and a WC was needed. MW noted that only about 300 visits per year to the WC were recorded – RS noted that this was not surprising as there were neither signs on the High St or Station Rd pointing to the WC nor was there any sign on the building indicating that it was a WC. All a person could see was a slot machine with no indication whether a coin would provide a chocolate bar or open a WC door. One member of the committee who had lived in Albrighton for 3 years, and who frequently used the car park bottle banks, said he was not even aware that there was a WC in Albrighton – many others residents have made the same comment. Of course visitors would not be aware of the WC. We understand that the Red House organisers are very wary of leasing their premises on Fayre day as many visitors try to walk in to use the lavatories.

This low usage record should not be taken as a sign of no need. The brown signs newly erected on the A41 and A464 at the entrances to Albrighton as part of the Trader’s signage scheme were designed to invite visitors/tourists to come into the village (with amenities and services shown on the sign to entice them to do so) and to turn off and then not find a lavatory seems counterproductive and some who come once may not come again.

MW said that an alternative use would be as the APC’s store. The Society felt that a single cubicle WC for use of both males and females would be sufficient and two separate ones were unnecessary. A single cubicle would still allow the rest of the building to be used for storage.

In summary the Society supports the efforts of all the organisations and individuals to attract more visitors and trade to the village and not retaining the WC cuts right against that.

ACTION: RK would send a letter making the points above to APC prior to their council meeting on 7th November 2013

Next meeting: 2 p.m. Monday 2nd December 2013.

Following Meeting will be at 2pm on Monday 6th January 2014

All Committee Meetings, unless otherwise noted, are on the first Monday of each month at

Alb PC Offices, 82B High Street, Albrighton WV7 3JA (T: 375455).

All future AGMs are on the second Monday of October


Public Meeting & AGM is at 7.00pm on Monday 13th October 2014