Council News Round Up

Council News Round Up

March 2024

Mayor and Deputy Mayor Elect for 2024/25At the Council meeting on 7th March Councillor Marcus Themans was nominated as Mayor and Councillor Dan Thomas as Deputy Mayor for the civic year 2024/25.  The official Mayor Making ceremony will take place on 9th May when Councillor David Fenwick’s term of office as Mayor will come to an end.

Neighbourhood Plan ReviewThe launch of the Much Wenlock Neighbourhood Plan review was held on Saturday, 9th March at the Priory Hall and we were pleased so many were able to attend.  Participants had the opportunity to learn about the current Plan and to put forward their views on where the content might be updated or extended.  All of the comments will be collated and used to inform the review.

It is important that the Plan reflects the views of the community and we really want to know what you think.  If you were not able to attend the launch but would like to know more about the Plan and its review, there is information on the Town Council’s website: www.muchwenlock-tc.gov.uk   You can comment by completing the online survey via the link on our website, or here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MuchWenlock1, or by scanning the QR code:

You could also send an email to: mwnplan@muchwenlock-tc.gov.uk or deliver your comments in writing to us at the Town Council office.  We will continue to engage with the community and hope to arrange another consultation event soon.

If you would like to volunteer to become more closely involved with the review, please contact us via the email address above or at the Town Council office.

Windmill Hill declared a Local Nature Reserve

The Town Council has resolved to formally declare Windmill Hill a Local Nature Reserve and a public notice of the declaration has been issued and displayed at the entrances to Windmill Hill.  Windmill Hill will continue to be open to the public and to be managed for both conservation and recreational purposes.  As previously, the Much Wenlock Windmill Trust will be responsible for managing the area on a day to day basis.  An event will be arranged in the summer to celebrate the new designation and to encourage all to care for and enjoy this valued green space.

Annual Town Meeting

This year’s Annual Town Meeting will be held on Thursday, 18th April at 7.00pm at the Priory Hall.  This is a public meeting for electors of the parish and provides an opportunity for residents to hear about the activities of the Town Council and to raise matters of interest and concern to the community.  It is hoped that a member of the local policing team will be present.  Light refreshments will be served after the formal part of the meeting.

HSBC ‘Pop-up’ Banking Session

HSBC will be holding a ‘pop-up’ banking session on Friday, 12th April, 10.00am – 1.00pm, under the Corn Exchange in the High Street.  Advice will be available on HSBC products and services, online / mobile banking, reducing the risk of fraud, and more.

‘Made in Shropshire’ Markets

The first ‘Made in Shropshire’ artisan market of this year will be held on Saturday, 20th April in the High Street.  The stalls will feature a range of food, goods and produce from local, independent makers and producers.

Guildhall Exhibitions

The April exhibition at the Guildhall will be mixed media from the Broseley Art Group.  Admission to the Guildhall and the exhibitions is free, although donations are very welcome.  The Guildhall is open Friday to Monday, 11 am to 4 pm. Further information is available on the Town Council’s website and the notice board under the Guildhall.

Council Surgeries

The next Town Council surgery will be held on Saturday, 13th April 2024 between 10.30 am and 12 noon at Much Wenlock Museum.  Members of the community will have the opportunity to raise matters of concern with a Town Councillor, Shropshire Councillor and member of our local policing team.  No appointment is necessary.

Town Council Meetings

Forthcoming Town Council meetings will be held on Thursday, 11th April and Thursday, 16th May at 7pm at the Guildhall.  Meetings are open to the public.  Other meeting dates and agendas can be found on the Town Council’s website and notice board.

February 2024

Neighbourhood Plan Review

Work on the review of the Much Wenlock Neighbourhood Plan has been continuing behind the scenes.  The first public event will be a launch of the review on Saturday, 9th March at the Priory Hall, Much Wenlock, between 10am and 4pm.  This will be a drop-in event where members of the community will have the opportunity to find out about the review of the current Plan: essential updates due to national policy changes and areas where the community might wish to update or extend the content.  We will be looking for volunteers to become directly involved in the review process, especially those with a particular interest or expertise in relevant areas.

The current Neighbourhood Plan was adopted in 2014 and covers the period 2013 – 2026.  The Plan includes objectives relating to the following topics:  housing; the economy and jobs; reducing flood risk; traffic management and accessibility; community well being; good quality design; green and open spaces; the local landscape and wildlife; sustainability and climate change.

It is envisaged that a great deal of the current Neighbourhood Plan will remain unchanged.  We are not re-writing the Plan but bringing it up to date and incorporating changes to take account of current conditions and aspirations for the town.  All members of the community are invited to come along on 9th March and contribute their views.  There will be further opportunities for public engagement as the review progresses.

Drainage Works on Stretton Road

New dates have been announced for the capital drainage work on Stretton Road to connect the highway drains to the attenuation pond.  It is now expected that the work will commence in mid-July and will be completed in mid-September.  The work will necessitate a complete road closure of part of the Stretton Road along Wenlock Edge.  Further details will be announced once the arrangements have been finalised.

HSBC ‘Pop-up’ Banking Sessions

HSBC are holding a series of ‘pop-up’ banking sessions in the town.  Advisors will be available on Friday, 8th March between 10.00am and 1.00pm at Holy Trinity Church and on Friday, 12th April 10.00am to 1.00pm under the Corn Exchange in the High Street.   The advisors will be able to provide information on HSBC products and services, online and mobile banking, reducing the risk of fraud, and more.

Guildhall Summer Season

The Guildhall will re-open to the public over the Easter weekend, from Friday, 29th March.  The first exhibition, running through April, will be mixed media from the Broseley Art Group.  A programme of exhibitions is already scheduled for 2024, with something different each month.  Further information is available on the Town Council’s website and the notice board under the Guildhall.  The Guildhall is open Friday to Monday, 11 am to 4 pm and admission is free, although donations are very welcome.

Council Surgeries

The next Town Council surgery will be held on Saturday, 9th March 2024 between 10.30 am and 12 noon at Much Wenlock Museum.  Members of the community will have the opportunity to raise matters of concern with a Town Councillor, Shropshire Councillor and member of our local policing team.  No appointment is necessary.

Town Council Meetings

Forthcoming Town Council meetings will be held on Thursday, 7th March and Thursday, 11th April at 7pm at the Guildhall.  Meetings are open to the public.  Other meeting dates and agendas can be found on the Town Council’s website and notice board.

January 2024

Town Council 2024/25 Budget

At the Council meeting held on 11th January the Town Council agreed its budget and precept for 2024/25.  The total budget will be £349,488 with a precept of £275,287.  This is an increase of 7.5%, which takes into account the prevailing rate of inflation.  Based on information received from Shropshire Council, this increase will result in an additional charge to householders of £1.26 per month for a Band D property (Town Council portion only).

St Mary’s Public Toilets

We are delighted to announce that the public toilets in the car park at St Mary’s Lane have been reconfigured and upgraded.  The automatic doors have been replaced with manually operated doors and new wallgates for hand washing have been installed.  A card payment facility has been added and the charge for use remains at 20p.  There had been ongoing problems with the operation of the facilities, largely due to issues with the automatic doors and vandalism.  It is hoped that the changes to the facilities will improve the means and speed of access and reduce maintenance issues.  Alternative public toilets are also available at Queen Street, opposite the bus stop.

National Grid Work in the High Street

Work to upgrade the electrical connections in the High Street was scheduled to take place between 15th January and 7th February, with the road being closed to traffic for the duration of the work.  Whilst causing some temporary disruption, this essential work will ensure the future reliability of the electrical supply to residents and businesses in the town centre.

Drainage Works on Stretton Road

Drainage work scheduled for Stretton Road has been postponed.  Capital drainage works to connect the highway to the attenuation pond were to have commenced on 22nd January and taken three months, with a complete road closure and diversion in place.  The road closure will have a significant impact on businesses along Wenlock Edge and the delay will enable additional measures to be put in place to manage the disruption.  The works are now expected to commence later in the year.

Windmill Hill – Local Nature Reserve

We are pleased to report that the required consultation with Natural England on the designation of Windmill Hill as a Local Nature Reserve has been completed.  Natural England has issued a letter of support for the designation and the Council will make the necessary arrangements for the formal declaration of the reserve in the coming months.  A celebratory event for the community will be held in due course.

Bench in Victoria Road

Towards the end of last year the bench opposite the bus shelter in Victoria Road was vandalised.  After investigation, It was unclear who owned the bench.  However, the seat was valued by residents and in order to bring it back into use the Town Council has replaced the broken slats.  The seat has now been restored for use by the community.

Planning Applications

Shropshire Council is the Planning Authority for the county and Planning applications can be found on the Shropshire Council website: https://pa.shropshire.gov.uk/online-applications/  Comments on planning applications can also be submitted via the website.  The Town Council also gives notice of planning applications for Much Wenlock on its website, for information only.  The Shropshire Council website is the authoritative source of information with regard to local planning matters.

Council Surgeries

The next Town Council surgery will be held on Saturday, 8th February 2024 between 10.30 am and 12 noon at Much Wenlock Museum.  Members of the community will have the opportunity to raise matters of concern with a Town Councillor, Shropshire Councillor and member of our local policing team.  No appointment is necessary.

Town Council Meetings

Forthcoming Town Council meetings will be held on Thursday, 8th February and Thursday, 7th March at 7pm at the Guildhall.  Meetings are open to the public.  Other meeting dates and agendas can be found on the Town Council’s website and notice board.

DECEMBER 2023

Flooding

The town has recently seen further severe flooding events affecting the Gaskell corner, the High Street, Oakfield Park and other areas of the town. The Council would like to thank all those volunteers who came out to help with drain clearing, traffic management and resident support, as well as the emergency services and Shropshire Council, who responded promptly to deal with the problems. Town Councillors are well aware of the difficulties and distress that flooding causes to the community and they continue to engage with the relevant authorities, including Shropshire Council, the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water, to develop long-term solutions to the flooding problems suffered in the town. Proposed work includes additional connections for surface water run-off into attenuation ponds, better maintenance and improvements to existsing drainage systems as well as nature-based solutions.

The Guildhall Project

Town Councillors are delighted to have received a grant of £25,250 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and an Architectural Heritage Fund grant of £12,000 to produce a viability study for the Guildhall.Made possible by National Lottery players, the project focuses on identifying the restoration work needed on the building, as well as engaging the local community to find out how they would like their beautiful building to be celebrated and used to ensure its future sustainability. The viability study will help the Town Council find new ways to make the Guildhall more accessible and open to the public on a more regular basis.

The Town Council has appointed Latham Architects to manage the viability study and Focus Consultants to deliver a community based consultation about how to use the building. The Town Council are keen to engage with as many people as possible to gain a real sense of what everyone wants. Over the coming months there will be further opportunities for people to share their thoughts at events and meetings run by the council.

Much Wenlock Neighbourhood Development Plan

The desk-based study of the Neighbourhood Plan has been completed and Councillors are moving forward with next steps in the review of the Plan. As part of the review, the Council has been awarded technical support from the consultancy AECOM for design codes and housing needs assessment. In due course, the Council will be inviting members of the community to become involved in the review.

Car Park at the Rear of the Corn Exchange

The Council has recently reviewed parking arrangements for its car park at the rear of the Corn Exchange and agreed to change the times for public parking. The one-hour parking restriction for pop-and-shop will apply on one side of the car park from 8am until 3pm, Monday to Saturday. There are no restrictions on parking outside of these hours. One side of the car park is reserved for permit holders, who are occupants of the Corn Exchange. These spaces are reserved for permit holders between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Saturday. Spaces in this area are available to the general public outside of the restricted hours.Parking is free. Members of the public are asked to respect the parking arrangements for the benefit of all users.

Grant Awards

Members of the Town Council’s Finance & Asset Management Committee were pleased to approve grant awards to the following local groups at their meeting in October: The Friendly Transport Service, Wenlock Olympian Live Arts Festival, Much Wenlock First Responders, Much Wenlock Windmill Trust, Holy Trinity Church Bellringers, Much Wenlock Festival, Northgate Swimming Club, Shropshire Roots Brotherhood and the Royal British Legion. The grants awarded totalled £3,000.

Christmas Lights

Councillors would like to thank the following local organisations which have sponsored the Christmas tree in the Square and helped with sourcing and installation of the smaller Christmas trees on the High Street and Sheinton Street: Northwood & Sons, Wenlock Fencing & Landscaping, Much More Books and Cuan Wildlife Rescue. Your support and involvement is very much appreciated.

Council Surgeries

There will be no December surgery. The next Town Council surgery will be held on Saturday, 13th January 2024 between 10.30 am and 12 noon at Much Wenlock Museum. Members of the community will have the opportunity to raise matters of concern with a Town Councillor, Shropshire Councillor and member of our local policing team. No appointment is necessary.

Town Council Meetings

Forthcoming Town Council meetings will be held on Thursday, 7th December at 7pm at the Guildhall and on Thursday, 11th January 2024. Other meeting dates and agendas can be found on the Town Council’s website and notice board.

Town Council Office Christmas Closure

Please note that the Town Council office will be closed for the festive season between 21st December and 1st January. The office will re-open on Tuesday, 2nd January 2024. In case of emergency, contact details for Councillors can be found on the Town Council’s website.

Merry Christmas!

Councillors and staff at Much Wenlock Town Council would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

 

NOVEMBER 2023

Remembrance Day

A short service of remembrance will be held under the Corn Exchange, commencing just before 11am on Saturday, 11th November 2023.  Members of the community are welcome to attend.  A small service will also be held at the cemetery for children from the primary school on the morning of Friday, 10th November.  The silent soldiers and lamp post poppies will be on display around the town.  The Poppy Appeal launches on 26th October 2023 and there will be a stall under the Corn Exchange during the appeal period.

 

Christmas Lights Switch-on

This year’s Christmas lights switch-on will take place on the evening of Thursday, 23rd November in the town centre.   There will be music and festivities in the Square from 5.30pm with opportunities for late night shopping.  We hope residents will be able to join us for the switch-on event and enjoy the display throughout the festive period.

 

The Guildhall – 2nd December 2023

There will be an opportunity to visit the Guildhall on Saturday, 2nd December, the day of the Christmas Fayre, when there will be a craft display with a selection of work by local crafts people for sale.  Visitors will also be able to view the historic court room and impressive Council chamber.  Entry is free.

The Guildhall is closed to the public during the winter and re-opens in the spring.

 

Council Surgeries

The next Town Council surgery will be held on Saturday, 11th November 2023 between 10.30 am and 12 noon at Much Wenlock Museum.  Members of the community will have the opportunity to raise matters of concern with a Town Councillor, Shropshire Councillor and member of our local policing team.  No appointment is necessary.

 

Town Council Meetings

The next Town Council meeting will be held on Thursday, 9th November at 7pm at the Guildhall and the following month’s meeting will be on Thursday, 7th December.  Other meeting dates and agendas can be found on the Town Council’s website and notice board.

 

Picnic on the Green – Celebration of the King’s Coronation

Sunday 7th May – 2pm onwards

Much Wenlock Town Council are organising for Much Wenlock residents – Picnic on the green – bring you picnic blankets, chairs, gazebos and a picnic to the Holy Trinity Church green to celebrate the Kings Coronation. There will be a bar, tea coffee and cakes available to buy along with entertainment from a DJ, Ukele band, Got2sing choir and also storytelling from Get A Word In Edgeways. There will also be an inflatable obstacle course and a climbing wall available.

Residents’ Survey on Planning & Traffic

Thank you to all residents who completed the recent survey on planning and traffic issues, either on paper or online.  We distributed 1800 questionnaires and received 329 returns, a response rate of 18.2%.  The results have now been collated into a short report, which can be viewed on the Town Council’s website: HERE

 

65% of respondents thought that future proposals for development in Much Wenlock should be shaped by a refresh of the Neighbourhood Plan and 73% thought that the town’s infrastructure was insufficient to allow development of 200 or more houses.  Traffic management was flagged as a priority for investing in the town, followed by improved health facilities.  The main transport concern was traffic delays and congestion at the Gaskell corner and drivers cutting through to avoid the corner.  The results will inform the Town Council’s preparation of its case for the Examination in Public of the Draft Local Plan as well as the development of proposals for future traffic management.

 

Draft Shropshire Local Plan (2016 – 2038)

Dates have now been set for the Examination in Public of the Draft Shropshire Local Plan, with the first hearings being held in July.  The Town Council is continuing to prepare a case to present to the Inspectors and has held useful meetings with other objectors.  Residents can follow the progress of the Plan on the Shropshire Council website:

https://shropshire.gov.uk/planning-policy/local-planning/local-plan-review/

 

Car Parking in Much Wenlock – Proposed Increase in Charges

Shropshire Council is consulting on proposed changes to the car parking charges across the county.  Increases in all charges are proposed for the car parks in Much Wenlock. For example, for St Mary’s car park the hourly rate will increase from 50p to 60p, the one month season ticket from £58 to £70 and the 12 month residents’ permit from £320 to £384.  The Town Council has agreed to object to the increases as well as urging Shropshire Council to promote the availability of season tickets and residents’ permits.  Residents are encouraged to comment on the proposals by 20thMay 2022 via the Shropshire Council website: https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved/changes-to-car-park-charges-and-restrictions/

 

The proposals do not affect the Town Council owned car park at the rear of the Corn Exchange in Back Lane.  This is for the use of occupants of the Corn Exchange (permit holders) and for short stay parking for one hour only, aimed at those wishing to shop in the High Street.  Please note this is not a long stay car park for all day parking.

 

Visit from Philip Dunne MP and Councillor Lezley Picton, Leader of Shropshire Council

Councillors have been pleased to welcome two recent visitors: Philip Dunne MP met Councillors to discuss issues of concern to the town and its community and Councillor Lezley Picton, Leader of Shropshire Council, attended the April Town Council meeting.  Councillor Picton gave an overview of Shropshire Council activities and answered questions from Councillors.

 

Local Policing

The Town Council has recently confirmed that its priorities for local policing for the next six months continue to be theft, especially from outbuildings, drugs and speeding and our local policing team will focus particularly on these concerns. Residents are encouraged to sign up to Neighbourhood Matters, an easy tool which allows residents to be receive updates on crimes, latest information about on-going incidents and learn more about what the policing team is doing in our community.  You can sign up by following the link: www.neighbourhoodmatters.co.uk

 

Town Council Administration

The Town Council aims to operate in a transparent way and to keep members of the community informed about its activities. Much information is available on the Town Council’s website and Council meetings are open to the public.  If you have questions or concerns about the Council’s operations, please contact the Council office directly and staff will do their best to help.  The Town Council is subject to both internal and external audit every year, when Council finances and procedures are independently checked.  Please note that we do not monitor individual Facebook pages and are unable to respond to queries raised in this way.

 

Mayoral Service of Thanksgiving

A Mayoral Service of Thanksgiving and presentation of St Milburga Awards will be held on Sunday, 1stMay at 6.30 pm at Holy Trinity Church.  All are welcome to attend.

 

Guildhall Exhibition

The Guildhall is open to the public during the summer, Friday to Monday, 11.00 am to 4.00 pm and entry is free, although donations are welcome.  The exhibition for May is by Elena Cassidy-Smith, an interdisciplinary visual artist.  Her current work is focused on the ontology of time: can we touch the past like it never really went away?  What does it feel like?

 

Council Surgeries

The next Town Council surgery will be held on Saturday, 14thMay between 10.30am and 12 noon at Much Wenlock Museum.  Members of the community will have the opportunity to raise matters of concern with a Town Councillor, Shropshire Councillor and member of our local policing team.  No appointment is necessary.

 

Town Council Meetings

The formal Mayor Making ceremony will be held on Thursday, 5thMay, with the business of the Annual Town Council Meeting on Thursday, 12thMay at 7pm at the Guildhall.  Other meeting dates and agendas can be found on the Town Council’s website and notice board.

 

Issued by Trudi Barrett (Town Clerk) 01952 727509 townclerk@muchwenlock-tc.gov.uk www.muchwenlock-tc.gov.uk

Contact details for Town Councillors can be found on our notice boards and website at: https://www.muchwenlock-tc.gov.uk/council-members/

Much Wenlock Neighbourhood Plan Review

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