Minutes of a meeting of Stourport-on-Severn Town Council

Held on TUESDAY 20TH JULY 2021 6.30PM at ELIZABETH MILLS CENTRE, STOURPORT-ON-SEVERN

Present

In the chair The Town Mayor Councillor D C Russell

Councillors C Barnett, T Berry, B S Dawes, M C Freeman, J Griffiths, P Harrison, K Henderson, V Higgs, B Jones, D Little, R Lloyd, N Martin, C Rogers, D Sheppard, G M Talbot, J Thomas and H Williams.

Minutes

It was RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 8th June 2021 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

14. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

There were no apologies for absence.

15. MINUTES

It was RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 8th June 2021 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

16. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Councillor Little declared an Other Disclosable Interest in Agenda Item No. 7 – WF.21/0597/FUL, Chichester Caravans, Vale Road, Stourport-on-Severn, DY13 8YL as he had a close connection with the land owner.

17. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

Two members of the public (Jim Farebrother & Pam Davis) attended the meeting and presented their information as follows: “There is a street trader who sells ice cream on Stagborough Way. He visits our location every year from April through to July and through September every weekday when both schools adjacent to us are open. He always parks outside 58, 56, or 54 Stagborough Way and has been doing so for some years. He has been exclusively parking on the end of Birchfield Drive by the side of 58 Stagborough Way since April after being politely asked not to routinely park outside 54. The occupier of 58 Stagborough Way is in her 80s and her and her daughter have been greatly upset by the trader’s persistent presence outside their home. He is currently allowed to trade unrestrictedly. He has been approached informally to vary his location. This has not happened. We are not opposed to street trading if it is done considerately. However, we believe that he is causing us a nuisance in how the business is being conducted. The nuisance is diesel fumes from the idling engine, noise from the engine, queues of customers forming across the house front and difficulty and anxiety for school students at 52 Stagborough Way getting past queuing customers as they came home during the COVID pandemic. These four houses include three that are link detached and all have open fronts on to the street and stand about 10 yards from the kerbside. The distance from where the vehicle is parked to the house is less than this outside 58 Stagborough Way. The prevailing wind is from the west. Our houses are east of the road. The nuisance means windows have to be shut, we have the noise of the engine running, and at 58 the householders cannot sit in the garden peacefully for nearly two hours every weekday afternoon in good weather for five months of the year during school terms. Leaving the house, for example to go shopping, when the school run is on and the trader is outside is even less feasible. There is a short burst of high level vehicle exhaust pollution during both daily school runs. The ice cream van relies on engine idling to keep the products sufficiently refrigerated. It is an old vehicle that is properly maintained according to the owner, but runs for around 50 minutes per session and expels an additional level of exhaust fumes. Some of this is always prior to the school run starting. On at least two recent occasions the engine has been recorded as running for over an hour in total. There are possible safety concerns about street trading through the afternoon school run because of children and parents returning to their vehicles or walking home whilst vehicles are coming and going on Stagborough Way and adjacent roads. Street trading with a diesel engined ice cream van causes the most nuisance to the individual outside whose house the trader chooses to locate. So it becomes a problem for that individual. It only appears to affect a few people because of the location chosen. We have all patiently put up with the trader being outside our homes for a number of years believing that there was nothing we could do about it. We have discovered that there is a condition in the district council street trading licence that requires the trader not to cause a nuisance to neighbours. Wendy Hopkins at 52 Stagborough Way contacted the district council by phone in April this year in connection with this trader. She received a reference number for her complaint but has heard nothing since. Jim Farebrother was ready to contact councillors if required once there was a result from Mrs Hopkins’ issue. Pam Davies has made considerable efforts to get a satisfactory resolution of the issue which is affecting her mother and herself and has been told that the trader is operating within the terms of his street trading licence. There does not seem to be provision for others to comment on the provision of a street trading licence even though the licence states that the trader should not cause a nuisance or annoyance to persons using the street or to occupiers in the vicinity. Our question for this meeting is. Will town councillors please inform WFDC about this issue to review the street trading arrangements and licensing arrangements so that this recurrent nuisance can be resolved to the satisfaction of the residents affected and the trader?”

Members asked the public speakers if they had contacted Worcestershire Regulatory Services or the school to resolve the issues. The response was no. Accordingly, Councillor Martin asked for information detailing timings/documentation and once received would forward the details on.

18. MAYORS COMMUNICATIONS

The Mayor engagements were circulated and noted.

19. TOM MOORE – RIVERSIDE PARKING

The Mayor welcomed Tom Moore, proprietor of the River King Steamer Boat. Mr Moore thanked Council for letting him put across his views regarding the problem with coach parking in Stourport following his attendance at the Town Council in October 2019. He explained that coaching bays had been installed on Severn Meadows 3 car park but had been informed by Wyre Forest District Council (WFDC) that he could not use these between the months of June and September. He was also informed that coaches could drop off their passengers at the top of the hill outside the Civic Centre in New Street but this caused some problems for elderly/less mobile people with having to access the hill to the riverside. A discussion ensued and Councillor Martin agreed to contact WFDC and explore further. Councillor Little left the meeting at this point, 6.56pm.

20. PLANNING COMMITTEE MINUTES OF 6TH JULY 2021

The Chairman of the Planning Committee informed Council of the planning application recommendations to be made to the District Council. The minutes of the meeting held on 6th July 2021 were approved, subject to:

  • Planning Application WF.21/0597/FUL had been recommended for deferral as it was perceived that water management issues existed and a contribution to speed control was required. Councillor Little came back to the meeting at this point, 6.58pm.
  • The decision on Planning Application WF.21/0473/HOU (Two Storey Side and Single Storey Rear Extensions at 4 Martley Road, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire DY13 0NH) to change from “Deferred” to “Recommend Approval” as further information had been obtained.
  • The decision on Planning Application WF.21/0475/HOU (Construction of Outbuilding in Rear Garden at 84 Areley Common, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire DY13 0NP) change from “Deferred” to “Recommend Approval” as agreement with the neighbours had been reached.
  • Planning application WF.21/0030/FUL had been refused but it was believed that discussions were underway with regard to the exit onto Kingsway.
  • Planning Application WF.21/0031/FUL had been refused due to insufficient information coming forward.

21. UPDATE FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF THE LOCALISM WORKING PARTY

The Chairman of the Localism Working Party provided the Council with updates on the following: Britannia Gardens Play Area – The snakes and ladders had been taken up and replaced with turf. Wyre Forest District Council (WFDC) had agreed to pay the cost of repairing the “Springy Elephant” and “Spinner” and a purchase order had been received for the cost. Elizabeth Mills Centre – Information on the boundary wall was still awaited from WFDC. MUGA (Areley Kings Recreational Ground) – The ownership had now been transferred to the town council. Riverside Toilets – Some roof shingles had been replaced and silver tape placed over some of the Velux windows which was not suitable. An urgent meeting was called for with the Leader of the Council and Cabinet members at WFDC and the Town Clerk was asked to arrange this. Riverside Paddling Pool – The ownership of the paddling pool was now with the town council. There were issues with the chlorine levels and a press release would be issued soon. In response to a member question, the Town Clerk stated that the pool would be open as soon as all health and safety measures had been carried out.

22. UPDATE FROM THE TOWN CLERK ON THE WELCOME BACK FUND

The Town Clerk advised Council that the Town Council were working with Bewdley Town Council to run free vintage bus trips from Stourport to Bewdley (return) throughout Sundays in August 2021. It was also hoped that the purchase of benches would be made for Lloyds Meadow and working with Bewdley Town Council and Kidderminster Town Council, it was hoped that Christmas celebrations would be included. The Town Clerk would keep Council updated.

23. FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR THE CAR PARK ON BRIDGE STREET

Councillor Barnett informed Council that she had had a meeting with WFDC and Stourport Forward to see if anything could be done on a feasibility study for the car park on Bridge Street, Stourport-on-Severn. A discussion ensued and it was agreed that costs for a feasibility study be obtained and this could also possibly include a bigger picture of Stourport-on-Severn.

24. BOUNDARY COMMISSION PROPOSAL FOR NEW PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUENCY BOUNDARIES FOR THE WEST MIDLANDS

Members had a discussion on the proposed change of name to “Kidderminster” from “Wyre Forest” for the constituency boundary. Members strongly opposed the proposal and asked the Town Clerk to respond on behalf of the town council that the name “Wyre Forest” be retained as this represented the three towns in the district.

25. UPDATE FROM COUNCILLOR B DAWES ON SAFER NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

Councillor Dawes informed Council there was nothing to report from Safer Neighbourhood Watch. She had attended a zoom meeting with the Mayor regarding the new Police Charter for town/parish councils. A community speed watch was hopefully to be set up in Wilden Lane and Lickhill Road in Stourport. It would involve a three hour training session. The Town Clerk informed members that trees on the edge of the memorial park/Lickhill Road had been cut back around the street lights. Councillor Dawes was agreed to ask PC Mayer to attend a future Council meeting.

26. UPDATE FROM COUNCILLORS N MARTIN AND J THOMAS (CABINET MEMBERS FOR WYRE FOREST DISTRICT COUNCIL) AND COUNCILLORS P HARRISON AND C ROGERS (STOURPORT COUNTY COUNCIL COUNCILLOR)

There was nothing to report this meeting. However, Councillor Rogers was asked to follow up on some small units in Sandy Lane, Stourport-on-Severn where a lot of rubbish and excrement had been left by the units.

27. ACCOUNTS

The Town Clerk reported that Accounts for June totalling £35,425.71 had been paid since the last meeting and it was RESOLVED that the report be noted and approved. A Schedule of the Accounts paid was appended at the end of these Minutes, in the Council’s Minute Book, and was available for general inspection.

28. EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

Decision: "Under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of "exempt information" as defined in paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.

29. UPDATE FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF THE LOCALISM WORKING PARTY

The Chairman of the Localism Working Party advised Council that quotations had been received for works to the Riverside Toilets and talks were underway with regard to the town council taking ownership of the Stourport Community Centre. A discussion ensued and it was resolved for the Town Clerk and the Chairman of the Localism Working Party to continue talks with interested parties.

The meeting closed at 8.01PM