Minutes of the Committee Meeting of the
Albrighton & District Civic Society
held at 31/32 High St, Albrighton,
on Monday 7th March 2016 at 2pm

Present :       
Peter Woodman - Chairman
Rod Smith – Secretary
Mike Pitchford - Treasurer
John Bulmer
Bob Hickson
Peter Illes
Ron Kidson  

1. Apologies received from David Beechey, David Thomas and Peter Leigh. Michael Ward (ex-officio representing Albrighton PC) did not attend.
The committee welcomed Peter Illes who was formally co-opted as a member of the committee.

2. Minutes of Meeting of 8th February 2016 were approved.

3. Treasurer’s Report.– MP reported that £175 had been paid for the grass cutting at Kingswood Rd/A41 Entrance and rose cutting at Patshull Lane/A464 Entrances (David Marshall).At the recruiting stall on 5th March we gained three new members, renewed one and received a donation – cold weather kept the High St nearly empty which affected the numbers recruited. The bank balance stood at £2,406.75
Planters RK reported that START had advised that they could provide a £500 grant towards the cost of a planter and waited for our application. ACTION: RK would now send in the application.
MP reported that Alb PC had agreed to provide a grant of £150 this year for plants and compost etc for the planters. The committee expressed thanks to Alb PC.
ACTION: PW would ask Frederiques if a new planter could be installed on the corner of the footpath outside their restaurant without preventing access for their deliveries etc.
MP reported that the planters set up costs about £775 each incl delivery and VAT.
MP reported that the Society has received a letter from the RAF Fund offering funds for a suitable project. The Society expressed thanks for that and the committee would review what project would benefit the villages and an application would be made in due course.

4. To consider progress in regard to following main issues

a) Entrances Scheme. PW reported that the cutting of the roses at Patshull Lane/A464 had been rather harsh and some may not recover. JB said he would take some cuttings and  which would be ready for planting next year so we don’t lose any roses.
PI wondered if a public exercise machine could be sited on the wide area of the village green – this would need to be discussed with Alb PC.

b) Eyesores. BH said he would issue each month the Schedule of Eyesores, updated with any progress.
PW reported that the Chairman of Alb PC had confirmed that she would also write to the owner of ex-Barclays Bank to urge action to re-commence the building work. ACTION: PW to check when the planning consent expires.
JB wondered if some publicity of the eyesores would get some action – perhaps could include ex-Barclays Bank, Lea Manor Hotel, Perkins Land at Stn Approach? Possible Headline suggested “Why does development take so long?”. It could also mention the good news such as the development at the Old Smithy and new barn conversions behind Lea House? ACTION: PW to prepare a draft.
PW noted that it appeared that “travellers” had set up caravans and had horses grazing on land behind Shaw Lane Development and near the railway. PW had brought it to the attention of Mark Yeoman of Boningale Homes Ltd who would check it out.

c) Library. PW reported that the legal agreement is now being prepared for Alb PC to move into the building.
RS had been told by the mobile library staff that the work now underway was for a fixed wall rather than the flexible wall as suggested by the Society in the Response to SC’s public consultation. It was felt that this would mean a severe lack of flexibility in the use of both the meeting room and library and was not what in line with what SC offered initially.  ACTION: PW would ask Michael Ward for information

d) Future of the Swimming Pool. RS reported that he had visited the Club’s drop-in session and spoken to the Chairman and also David Williams (past chairman). They had received some offers of help but no volunteers for the committee. David Williams said that he believed the costs provided by the School were not correct eg the £4000 heating cost was for the pool and the school; the maintenance figure seemed to be double what he estimated from his previous experience running the pool. He had written, as a Donington Parish Councillor, to the school and others for an explanation and he would send RS a copy.

e) Station Pedestrian Ramp. RS, Secretary Ramp Team, reported that a meeting of the Ramp Team with SC highway officers and their consulting engineer, Mouchel, and Cllr Malcolm Pate was held on 9th February to review the public consultation results and how to move forward.
The proposed footpath scheme received about 90% approval with about 10% against.
Alice Dilly’s proposal to revert back to the 2014 scheme with a pedestrian crossing at the foot of the ramp was rejected again and Cllr Pate said that the scheme as consulted on would be implemented. RK had been contacted by SC drainage staff and had discussed collecting and leading rain water from the track into the village drainage system (much of this currently leaks down the face of the brick bridge abutments.
Michael Ward had decided to ask SC to provide a risk assessment of the ramp to send to the PC’s insurance company to have cover extended to the ramp. RS had been given 10 minutes notice of a meeting on 26th February 2016 for the Ramp Team to meet the SC assessor. RS and Cllr Sylvia Pledger had met with Ian Simpson who explained that he worked for both SC and Mouchel. Ian had not received any information about the scheme, neither the ramp nor the footpath. RS had not enough notice to bring all the documents concerning the NR proposal for lighting, the reinstatement needed near drainage etc but explained the intention.
[Post Meeting note: a further meeting with Ian Simpson was proposed by Cllr Pate but then Chris Edwards, SC Area Commissioner, had got involved and his last email says
“Further to your email below I thought that it would be appropriate to clarify a few things in respect of the ramp:-
1.      The Parish Clerk and myself agreed that an independent Risk/Safety Assessment should be carried out on the ramp as the only two realistic bodies who could ultimately take on the ramp would be the Parish Council or Shropshire Council.
2.      I agreed to commission our independent consulting engineers Mouchel to carry out the assessment and that the resulting report would then be shared with Albrighton Parish Council. Please note that Mouchel do not have any conflict of interest here as they are an independent company who provide professional advice and guidance to Shropshire Council on all bridges and structures across the County.
3.      Mouchel’s Structural Engineer Ian Simpson has subsequently visited the site and carried out an initial assessment but has yet to produce the safety/risk assessment report. Ian’s brief was therefore to provide professional advice on the suitability of the ramp to be used as an access to the Station and also to highlight any health and safety issues that may exist.
4.      Ian’s assessment will therefore pick up any health and safety issues associated with the ramp. This information can then be used for discussions with Albrighton Parish Council’s Insurance Company.
5.      I understand that Network rail have already proposed to do some lighting and other repairs to the ramp and to this end Ian will need to discuss these proposals with Network Rail directly in order they can be referenced in his report. If you can therefore provide the contact details of the person at Network Rail this would be appreciated.
6.      I believe that Ian’s site visit together with any subsequent information from Network Rail will be sufficient for him to produce the necessary independent professional assessment from which future decisions can then be made.
I trust that this has clarified the position.”   ]

5. Matters Arising.
a) Shaw Lane Development . As we still have no response from Richard Fortune to our request that he come to meet us PW has written to Ian Kilby, Head of Planning, to invite him to one of our next committee meetings

b) Planters at the ‘Welcome to Albrighton’ signs.  Alb PC had asked PW if the Society could provide information about planters in general following the review we had made concerning those we had bought.

c) Shifnal Forward. ACTION: PI will ask Cllr Pate for the names of the key people involved and we would hope to have discussion with them to learn of their experience of that project

6. AOB
a) Bulmer Cup. It was agreed that the Society would run the competition as a standalone event. ACTION: RS would put articles in the parish magazine to advertise the event. Phyl Woodman had kindly offered to receive and manage the entries. A team would assist JB judging the entries. Award to be made at the AGM in October.

b) AGM speakers. PW reported that the CO RAF Cosford was not available. Other possible speakers/topics could be:- DA Roses, HL Smith, Shifnal Forward, Swimming Pool proposal (Alb PC speaker and others?)

Next  meeting: 2p.m. Monday 4th April at 31/32 High St. (Peter Woodman’s house).

Following Meeting will be at 2pm on Monday  ? 9th May? 2016. << 1st Monday is a bank holiday
(Committee Meetings are usually held on the first Monday each month)

All future AGMs are on the second Monday of October

Public Meeting & AGM is at 7.00pm on Monday 10th October 2016