Minutes of the Committee Meeting of the
Albrighton & District Civic Society
held at 31/32 High St, Albrighton,
on Monday 7th October 2015 at 2pm

Present :       
Peter Woodman - Chairman
Rod Smith – Secretary
Bob Hickson
Ron Kidson
Mike Pitchford
David Beechey (ex-officio representing Donington-with-Boscobel PC)

1. Apologies received from Peter Leigh, John Bulmer and David Thomas (ex-officio representing Boningale PC). Michael Ward (ex-officio representing Albrighton PC) did not attend.

2. Minutes of Meeting of 7th September 2015 were approved.

3. Treasurer’s Report.– MP reported a balance at 30 Sept 2015 of £2197.20
Access Road Scheme in the audit report is more properly called Village Entrances Scheme – for future audit reports. It was agreed to allocate 90% of the insurance costs and 25% of the website costs against the Village Entrances Scheme.

4. To consider progress in regard to following main issues

a) Pedestrian Access Ramp. RS reported that a meeting of the Ramp Team on 7th October had found the latest drawing from Alice Dilly SC to be broadly acceptable and had asked RS as Secretary of the Ramp Team to send a few comments to Alice. Most comments were minor except one significant comment – a need for a drain to be installed in the verge near the foot of the ramp to collect the considerable volume of surface run-off water from the embankment verge which flows across into the road during heavy rain.
PW suggested the proposed sign in Stn Rd should state W’ton rather than B’ham but would ask this question at the forthcoming public consultation.

b) ADCS/APC Liaison. ACTION: PW would try to set up a meeting of ADCS officers and PC representatives.

c) AAHF. RK reported that at their recent committee meeting, the future of the Forum had been discussed but no decision taken.

d) Eyesores.
PW reported that Michael Ward had agreed that ADCS could work jointly with MW and would obtain quotations for painting/refurbishment of benches and street furniture etc. This task will be carried out by a sub-committee of BH, PW and DB. MW would then put these forward for agreement by Alb PC and then, after agreement from Steve Brown SC, the work would be undertaken by sub-contractors under the supervision of Alb PC and their invoices sent for payment by SC.
ACTION: PW to request Anne Breakwell SC to ask their Contractor to mow the overgrown verge at the 4th corner of the A464/Patshull Rd junction.
Old Barclays Bank Building. ACTION: PW  will write again to the owners saying the Society has now contacted SC to seek their involvement.. PW to write to Steve Brown SC to see if they are able to contact the owners to press for action, perhaps under H&S issues.

e) Promotional File. BH had updated the file and it was agreed to remove the AAHF page.

f) School Awards Scheme.PW reported that the schools had now agreed the topic for 2016 to be “Local Sport and Recreation”.

g) Community Fund (George Evans). It was agreed that an application for £500 towards the cost of a 5th Planter probably to be sited outside Frederique’s would be made. ACTION: RK to obtain the Forms and apply

h) Development East of Shaw Lane
The PC had accepted the scheme but further discussion on details were to be had

5. Matters arising
a) Future of the Swimming Pool. RS, as the Civic Society representative, had attended the meeting of interested parties on 6th October called by Cllr Malcolm Pate. Documents handed out at the meeting were tabled. Cllr Pate reported that SC had recently spent about £1 million on updating the sporting facilities at the school including the pool and changing rooms and not to now use the pool was unacceptable. Cllr Pate asked RS to recall the origin/history  of the pool. RS said that about 35 years ago the then Head (Mr Matthias) and PTA and residents had raised funds to build the pool which had been presented to the school as a gift. One year later they had then raised enough funds for the first changing rooms to be built. Mr Matthias had then suggested that parents/residents may wish to use the pool in the evening and weekends in summer term time and every day in the summer holidays – the Swimming Club was formed and rented the pool back for a small nominal sum.
Chris Edwards SC said that SC was not able to provide the level of revenue funds as before but that access to funds for capital work was possible.  All agreed that the pool should continue for use by the school(s) and the Swimming Club. Cllr Pate had obtained some provisional costs for the running the pool which was approx £9k/annum. The Swimming Club did not yet have firm figures for their operation this year. As the funds provided by SC to the school to run the pool were to be dramatically reduced there would be a need to obtain some funds from elsewhere. It was suggested that the two parish councils may consider providing this. Cllr Pledger pointed out that Alb PC usually made a grant of £1500 each year to the Swimming Club but that this year the Club had not applied for it. The Chairman of the Swimming Club said that St Mary’s Primary school used to come to use the pool but last year went to Codsall Pool. RS asked about the pool use in term time and the Head reported that the school used the pool every afternoon (2 hrs). RS suggested that perhaps other primary schools or Idsall (the School specialises in sports) may be interested in using it during the mornings which would bring additional funds. The Head said the school could be flexible about the times/days they use the pool if others also wish to use it. Cllr Pledger noted that Alb PC was seeking funds from the promoters of the Solar Farm and that may help if successful. Cllr Pate suggested that the possibility of asking the promoter to provide solar panels to provide the heating for the pool should be considered.
The question of whether residents were aware of the threat to close the pool was raised. RS said that the Civic Society had commented on the situation in the September and October editions of the Parish Magazine and that the forthcoming Public  Meeting/AGM on 12th October had the future of the Library and Pool as the two main topics for discussion and that some 50 posters advertising this were displayed in all four villages.
It was agreed that:-
i) Another meeting of this same group would be held at 4.30pm on Tuesday 3rd November at the school
ii)  the school would firm up the running costs prior to and ready for that meeting
iii) the Swimming Club would firm up their costs and accounts prior to and ready for that meeting
iv) the Head said she would contact other local schools to see if they were interested in using the pool on a shared basis

RS reported that he would be pleased to continue as the Civic Society representative on this Pool Group, especially as he had some experience and knowledge of the pool having been chairman of the Swimming Club in its early years. However as RS would be on holiday on 3rd November PW would stand in for that meeting.

b) Future of the Library. It was agreed that RK would be the Society’s representative on the newly formed Work Group.
DB suggested that IF the PCs agreed to run the Library they would need to recover the running costs by an increase in the Council Tax which would be approx £7 per year. DB tabled the calculation for this and a slide would be shown at the Public Meeting to illustrate this option.

c)  Public Meeting and AGM 12th October 2015.
The arrangement for the meeting were discussed and would be similar to last year. MP and RS would check the Red House’s PA system on Friday 8th Oct.

6. AOB

Next  meeting:  2p.m. Monday 2nd November at 31/32 High St. (Peter Woodman’s house).
(Post Meeting Note: Subsequently changed to 2.30pm Fri 30th October)

Following Meeting will be at 2pm on Monday 7th December 2015

All future AGMs are on the second Monday of October

Public Meeting & AGM is at 7.00pm on Monday 12th October 2016