Minutes of the Committee Meeting of the
Albrighton & District Civic Society
held at 31/32 High St, Albrighton,
on Monday 4th April 2016 at 2pm

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

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

2. Minutes of Meeting of 7th March 2016 were approved.

3. Treasurer’s Report.– MP reported that a grant of £500 had been received from STAR Housing towards the cost of a 5th Planter. ACTION: MP or PW to write with our thanks. Bank Balance now stood at £2,898.36.
MP suggested that this planter could be located next to the masonry wall at the corner of the Co-op shop whose manageress was very happy to carry out the watering.

4. To consider progress in regard to following main issues

a) Entrances Scheme. JB reported that the roses at Patshull Lane/A464 were recovering well after the severe cutting. Weeding will be needed soon. The grass had been very well cut down by ADCS and it is now more manageable. ACTION: PW to ask Anne Breakwell (SC) if she is able to have their contractor regularly cut the grass at this location now that it is easy to do.

b) Eyesores. BH reported that he had discussed the maintenance of the benches who would bring it to the Alb PC on 21st April meeting.
The bus shelter near the Crown was badly in need of re-roofing. Ownership of it was not known but thought likely to be the brewery. PI suggested that the Society approach the RAF Fund to see if they could contribute for the re-roofing and then we could approach the brewery, with some funds, to see if they could organise to do the work. ACTION: PI would obtain a quotation from a roofer so we had an idea of cost before approaching anyone.
Ex- Barclays Bank. ACTION: PW to send correspondence to PI for him to ask the PC to also write to complain to the owner. PI would also find information and costs for the vinyl window covers with street scenes to make the front more presentable and less derelict.
ACTION: PW to contact E&S and SS to see if they would run a story for some publicity of the eyesores  – 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?

c) Library. The Society had responded to SC’s Public Consultation with the recommendation of a movable wall between PC Meeting room and the Library to provide for more flexible usage of both the room and the library and the PC had agreed with this. It was learnt that SC had built a fixed wall as SC said it would cost too much.

d) Future of the Swimming Pool. RS reported that the AGM of the Club was on 19th April at the PC meeting room. RS suggested that it may be helpful for representatives of the Society and the Parish Council to meet informally with the club Chairman and Treasurer together with Malcolm Pate to firstly show support to the Chairman who it was hoped would stay on until at least a new committee had been established and also to take a first look at longer term solutions which could then allow the AGM to have more positive outlook which would encourage members to join the committee and the club. ACTION: PW to email this suggestion to Malcolm and Sylvia

e) Station Pedestrian Ramp. RS, Secretary Ramp Team, reported that no news of the risk assessment arranged by Chris Edwards and Michael Ward had been received. Concern at lack of progress was expressed as time was passing and soon SC’s contractor for the footpath work would be on site (July 2016). Until this risk assessment issue was done no start could be made to draft the legal agreements.

f) Station Masters Building. PW reported that a potential tenant had contacted him and this lead to a meeting between the owner and potential tenant and it was hoped that a deal could be made. The proposal is for a real ale pub similar to that at Codsall Stn. The Society was continuing to provide support to both sides to facilitate a good result.

5. Matters Arising.
a) Shifnal Forward. ACTION: PI reported that he had had discussions with some of the people involved and it seemed that the group was likely to disband due to differences among the parties.

b) Projects/Sub-committees. Discussion led to a provisional list of projects and agreement to establish sub-committee each to focus on a specific project and to carry out the work for it. Each sub-committee would report to the main committee of the Society which would have overall responsibility for them -  see Constitution for details.
It was agreed that this topic would be developed further at a special meeting to be held at 3pm on Friday 15th April at PW’s house.

6. AOB
a) Bulmer Cup. ACTION: RS would put further announcements (with tear-off slip) in the parish magazine to advertise the Front Garden/Hanging Basket/Window Box Competition

b) Planning Application Ref 16/01223for Extension to 79/81 High St (ex-Shop4Ducks).
It is understood that the owner of the Garage & Spar Shop at Cosford, and the Spa Shop in Albrighton High St, Mr Gohill, has bought 79/81 High St. Copies of the Application and all the associated plans and drawings had been circulated to the committee prior to the meeting and these were discussed. Proposal is to extend the front of 79/81 High St to bring its frontage in line with the Spa Shop. The existing building has a more modern style and is at odds with the more historic buildings in the vicinity. The proposed extension will cover the front of the existing building.  The proposed building extension will have traditional clay roof tiles, red brick walls and wooden painted windows, all of which are more in keeping with nearby buildings.
There was an initial concern over a possible increase in the need for Parking. Mr Gohill already owns the building and it could be opened as it is to complement his existing Spa shop .....even without the proposed extension. Just re-opening the existing building as a shop will cause more traffic and a greater need for parking nearby whether the extension is built or not. Thus the extension itself is unlikely to further increase the need for parking. It was not a case of comparing the existing need for parking near an empty shop with that of an operating shop. After discussion, the committee decided to fully support this application ACTION: PW to send a letter of support from the Society to Shropshire Council’s planning portal. As this is a building right at the centre of the High St, in a prominent location and in the conservation area, RS to explain our reasons in the parish magazine as some residents may feel this is a controversial matter.

c) Development East of Shaw Lane.
PW reported that Ian Kilby, Operations Manager – Planning Services SC was expected to attend our next committee meeting on 9th May.


Next  meeting: 2pm. Monday 9th May at 31/32 High St. (Peter Woodman’s house).
(1st Monday is a bank holiday)

Following Meeting will be at 2pm on Monday 6th June 2016.
(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