Wolverley & Cookley Parish Council Meeting – Tuesday 5th April 2022

Wolverley & Cookley Parish Council Meeting – Tuesday 5th April 2022




  1. To consider the acceptance of apologies for absence from Councillors and approve reasons for absence.
  1. Declarations of Councillors Interests
  2. Register of Interests: Councillors are reminded to complete and need to regularly update their register of interests.
  3. To declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests in items on the agenda and their nature.
  4. To declare any Other Disclosable Interests (Pecuniary or Non-Pecuniary) in items on the agenda and their nature.

Councillors who have declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest or Other Disclosable (Pecuniary or Non-Pecuniary) Interest which falls within the Code of Conduct (para 12 (4) (b) must leave the room for the relevant items. Failure to register or declare a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest may result in the commission of a criminal offence.

The meeting will now be adjourned for PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

Members of the public are invited to give their views and question the Council on items on the agenda or raise issues for future consideration at the discretion of the Chairman. Members of the public may not take part in the Council Meeting itself. The time allocated is at the discretion of the Chairman.

The meeting now reconvened to conduct the items of business listed below.

  1. To consider the adoption of the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 1st March 2022 at 7.00pm (minutes previously circulated).

Matters for Discussion / Decision.

  1. To discuss submission of further information in respect of the Environmental Statement relating to planning application 19/000053/CM – Proposed sand and gravel quarry.
  1. Police Report.
  1. County / District Councillor Reports. Reports circulated prior to the meeting, any questions on items in the report to be e mailed directly to the Councillors.
  1. Financial Matters:
    1. External Audit 2021/2022.
    2. Clerks Pay Review.
    3. To agree the schedule of cheques to be signed.
  1. Localism Proposal from Wyre Forest District Council regarding Cookley Allotments.
  1. To appoint representative to Sebright Educational Foundation.
  1. To report following meeting held regarding action on Street Lighting Columns.
  1. To discuss bin review in the Parish.
  1. New Homes Welcome Card.
  1. Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – Events.
  1. Planning Applications for Consideration: –

PC No            WFDC No/Details

3607               Re-Consultation: 22/0066/FUL: Continuation of the use of the site as a commercial equestrian facility at Spring Paddock, Horseley Hill Farm, Horseley Hills Lane, Wolverley.

3609               22/0161/HOU: Single storey rear extension with garage conversion at 5 Woodlands Road, Cookley,

3610               22/0169/FUL: Replacement of temporary agricultural workers dwelling with a permanent agricultural workers dwelling at Orchard Cottage, Blakeshall Lane, Wolverley,

3611               22/0179/HOU: Existing flat roof to be replaced with a pitched, hopped roof at 30 Westhead Road North, Cookley,

3612               22/0188/CLP: Single storey side extension at Sebright House, Gipsy Lane, Blakeshall,

3613               22/0190/PNH: Single storey rear extension at Sebright House, Gipsy Lane, Blakeshall,

3614               22/0192/HOU: Construction of single storey rear extension at Horsbrook Cottage, Church Bank, Wolverley,

3615               22/0194/PNH: First floor extension at Sebright House, Gipsy Lane, Blakeshall,

3616               22/0235/PIP: Erection of 4 residential dwellings (resubmission of 18/0748/PIP) at Wolverley Lodge, Lea Lane, Wolverley,

3617               22/0260/HOU: Single storey rear extension with balcony above at The Coach House, 124A Castle Road, Cookley.

Parish Matters for Update Only – no decisions required.

  1. Clerks Report. (Clerk) Local Plan, Road Closure, Decision Notices.
  2. Update on Lengthsman. (RD/WS)
  3. Village Projects. (RD/DJ)
  4. Austcliffe Footbridge. (DJ/RD)
  5. Lea Castle Village Wider Site Update. (DJ/RD/VB)
  6. New Issues / Items for Next Meeting. (All)
  7. Date of Next Meeting – to confirm the date of the next meeting which is scheduled for Tuesday 3rd May 2022.

Minutes Of Last Meeting


Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council

Held on Tuesday 1st March 2022,7.00pm at Cookley School


Mr D Jones (Chairman)

Mrs V Bordewich

Mr D Cox

Mr R Drew

Mr J Hart

Mrs L Jones

Mr B McFarland

Mr W Southam

Mr J Wood

County Councillor:                     Ian Hardiman

District Councillors:                 Ian Hardiman, Lisa Jones

West Mercia Police:                 PCSO Kate Easthope

  1. Apologies.

Cllr A Carloss due to family commitments, Cllr C Nicholls due to holiday, Cllr M Hart due to other commitments and Cllr C Sherrey and S Sherrey due to Memorial Service in London.

  1. Declarations of Councillors Interests
  2. Register of Interests: Councillors are reminded to complete and need to regularly update their register of interests.
  3. To declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests in items on the agenda and their nature.
  4. To declare any Other Disclosable Interests (Pecuniary or Non-Pecuniary) in items on the agenda and their nature.

Cllr D Cox in PC3605 as known to the applicant.

The meeting will now be adjourned for PUBLIC QUESTION TIME:

A parishioner asked if there was any news on the opening of Austcliffe footbridge.  It was advised delays were due to a shortage of steel, but this has now been sourced.  Opening anticipated in approximately 6 weeks.

  1. To consider the adoption of the minutes of the meeting held on 1st February 2022 at 7.00pm.

These having previously been circulated, it was resolved unanimously to receive and adopt the minutes as a true record of the meeting.

Matters for Discussion / Decision.

  1. Police Report

                  Written Report Circulated;

We have had reports of residents being scammed or attempted scam, whereby a caller is impersonating a police officer and stating that their bank cards have been used to make payments without their knowledge. Another similar scam was that they had to click on a text link stating they had omicron covid virus

Theft of catalytic convertors have started to increase again. Not in Wolverley or Cookley just yet, but for people to be on their guard for and take appropriate precautions for

We have started to teach Tag rugby training to our primary schools, unfortunately Cookley Primary did not want to take part in the competition this year.


Suspicious Males –Kimberlee Avenue – Police Ref 00632_I_27022022 – Reports received of males inside the compound of a building site, possibly going through a skip. Later another report further in the village near to The Eagle of a male wearing a face mask going through a skip. A van parked in this location has recently been entered and items stolen

Lea Castle building site has had items stolen – these include big items such as whacker plates etc

Reports of a male sleeping rough in the woods at the rear of woodlands road. Evidence of a fire etc and a male seen in the back garden of a resident. Homeless team have been contacted, but we have not had any further calls


Reports of a male trying the door to a house – captured on cctv – enquiries have been made, and it seems the male went to the wrong address by mistake

We always urge anyone to contact us with anything them deem to be suspicious

Cllr R Drew queried whether there had been a change in law regarding parking on double yellow lines.  Kate/Ian are not aware of any changes. Cllr Hardiman asked if the police have got cameras that can do enforcement at night.  Kate confirmed Nicky and Becky are trained on a new camera that has night vision.

Policing Priorities were agreed as;

  1. Speeding
  2. Antisocial Motorbike Riding
  3. Parking around Schools,


  1. County / District Councillor Reports.

County Cllr Ian Hardiman’s Report;


Lea Castle Farm Quarry Application:  Since my Report in February, I have still not received a further update from the County Council’s Planning & Development Manager as to when this application will be considered.

Lea Lane Landslip:  Still, I am unaware of when the restoration works will commence.

I have been chasing the County Council’s Legal Department asking them to bring their negotiations to a conclusion.

Wolverley, Highlow Bank Pavement Issues: Having reported last month that the District Council had carried out cleansing and sweeping of this pavement, I have now received further complaints that following the recent bad weather the pavement is again mudded and debris-covered, and difficult for pedestrians.

I have reported this again to the District Council and have discussed this with Highways Engineer Paul Green who has requested a priority siding-out project to correct the overgrowth that is narrowing the pavement creating walking difficulties for pedestrians.

Cookley, Zebra-Crossing Lines Faded:  I have requested repainting of the zebra crossing lines in the   interest of safety.

Wolverley, Highway Safety Improvements, for Secondary School pupils:  In addition to the recently installed railings and crossing point to improve safety for pupils when leaving school, a dozen bollards have now been installed in the pavement opposite the school entrance and two bollards necessarily to prevent vehicle parking near to the dropped kerbs now present. In addition, necessary tarmac resurfacing has been carried out in the entrance to the Shortyard.

Blakeshall, Snake Lane Large Potholes Rubble and Road Flooding: The ongoing issues here have again caused concerns; indeed I drove my car into this lane and found that the surface water was so deep that I had some difficulty in proceeding along here.  Highways Engineer Paul Green was with me at the time and so gained experience of the recurring issues which he has now promised will be fully investigated.  I have informed the local residents who brought this to my attention.

Wolverley, Gully outside Hardwicks business:  I have again emphasised to the Highways Department that this gully is just not performing satisfactorily and is allowing flooding to occur frequently at this point creating a serious hazard for motorists.

Cllr D Cox commented again on the Lea Lane landslip.  Cllr Ian Hardiman advised that WCC has been ready for 6 months to undertake restoration works however one party is still not agreeing.  This may well be referred to Solicitors.  The fallen wall is being dealt with by the houseowner. Cllr L Jones advised there are no TPO’s where the wall needs replacing so the owner can fell if needed.

Drains on Castle Road – still not been done.

Cllr V Bordewich reported pavement going into The Shortyard is full of leaves and very slippy.  Cllr Hardiman advised to report this on the WFDC website, it is not County Council.

                  District Councillors Report

Cllr L Jones reported;

Local Issues

We have been dealing with the usual routine casework, fly tipping and litter picking on the main A roads and along the country lanes.  Fly Tipping which was garden waste in black bags was removed from Lea Lane.  The pavement at the bottom of Bridge Road into Caunsall is to be cleaned as its quite muddy, unfortunately this has been delayed due to the operatives assisting with the flooding, however, we have chased this with Green Street who have scheduled the area to be cleaned as soon as possible.

We have an online Teams meeting this Wednesday with the Development Team on the Lea Castle Village development for an update on Phases One and Two.  We will update the council in due course.

Regarding the Red Lion Planning Application, this is continuing to be processed by Officers, we will keep you updated.

Enforcement Issues

The Old Post Office, Cookley – This is ongoing, we are continuing to work closely with officers to restore the shopfront to its original design. We will update you in due course.

Land off Drakelow Lane K9 Pawfection – This came to the Planning Committee meeting in February and an Enforcement Notice has been issued.

Drakelow Tunnels Fencing, Kingsford Lane – V Mesh fencing has been fitted, this has been decided by officers to be best option as it is a chain-link fence and will prevent the requirement to remove additional trees which was required to abide by the original landscaping plan.  The fencing cannot be put any further back as it would also require the removal of more trees.

Lowe Lane, Wolverley – The officer has again spoken to the landowner regarding the bricks on the track and have advised that an enforcement notice will be issued if this continues.  They maybe using them to re-establish a track, but this may need a planning application, she will advise them accordingly.

Local Issues – Enforcement Issues – Continued

Lowe Lane, Wolverley – The officer has also spoken to the Leaseholder regarding the wood and believes that this is being used on the land, unless we have evidence that this is not the case, they cannot pursue any further action.

The Retreat, Wolverley – The Officer has spoken to the owner who has confirmed that the property has not been let out for the last two years but is used by him and his wife for holidays.  She has checked the conditions and they are not in any breach of conditions as long as the property is empty for the equivalent of one month of the year.  We will update you with any further information that arises from this investigation.

Wyre Forest District Issues

Wyre Forest House is still closed to the public as is the Green Street Hub save for dealing with housing and homelessness applications.

Members approved the Council tax for 2022-2023.  This includes the 2.23% increase £5 on a Band D property at £229.34 in the District Council’s element of Council Tax, as recommended by Cabinet on 8 February 2022, the precepts and council tax increases in the elements of Council Tax set by the following bodies :-

Worcestershire County Council 3.94% (of which 3% is being ringfenced to fund adult social care) £52.95.

West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner 3.94% – £9.47.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority 1.96% – £1.72

With the rising energy bills the Government has announced support with a one-off payment of £150 rebate for Council Taxpayers in bands A-D.  The Council is urging residents to sign up to the scheme and pay their bill by Direct Debit.

The Councils Budget for 2022-2025 was approved and Capital Strategy for 2022-2032.  The Progressive Alliance Budget includes the closing of the Small Business Grant scheme, to end the support of sport and leisure facilities from April 2023 phasing out involvement in Bewdley Leisure Centre and Stourport Sports Club.  This was approved by 17 votes to 16!

Members Community funding will be reduced from £1,000 per annum to £500 in the financial year 2022-2023 and Nil thereafter.

The Parliamentary Boundary Commission consultation for 2023 in underway, proposals for the district include changing the constituency name from Wyre Forest to Kidderminster, residents have until Monday 4 April to send in their comments.  The website for this is:- bcereviews.org.uk

Cllr R Drew reported that the fencing at Drakelow Tunnels is still a solid wooden fence, not chain link.  Cllr L Jones and I Hardiman will query this with the Planning Case Officer and report back.

Cllr R Drew also queried the K9 Pawfection Enforcement – is the enforcement to stop it or just to curtail activities? Cllr I Hardiman will report back.

  1. To discuss proposed renovations to telephone box, New Road, Caunsall.

Councillors Unanimously approved renovations proposed to Telephone Box in Caunsall by New Road residents up to a limit of £500.00.

                  Cllr D Cox has a contact for a Plaque.  Clerk to liaise.

  1. Financial Matters:
  2. a) To agree recommendations from Grants Committee.

The Grants Committee recently met to discuss the Parish Council providing Grants to each village for Platinum Jubilee activities and suggested to Full Council £250.00 for each village.  This was unanimously agreed.

  1. b) To agree the schedule of cheques to be signed.

71              Mrs B J Drew                                                                                                    1067.71

                  (Salary February 2022)

72             Mrs B J Drew                                                                                                    20.19                                                                                                                    (Ink/Stamps)

73             Lorraine Neal                                                                                                     300.00

                  (Lengthsman February 22 plus fuel for strimmer)                                    8.15

74             Worcestershire County Council                                                                    11305.51

                  (Street Lighting Initiative 20/21)

75             Glasdon UK Limited                                                                                          3715.93


76             RXM                                                                                                                     450.00

                  (Gateway Installation)

77             Amberol   Limited                                                                                              875.40


78             Westcotec                                                                                                          4710.00

                  (Speed Sign)

79             Boston Seeds                                                                                                     304.50

(Platinum Jubilee Wildflower Seed/Grass Seed)

80             Hire It                                                                                                                 136.48

                  (Rotivator / Fuel / Weedkiller)

81              Gardens4Less                                                                                                    840.00

                  (2 x Oak Benches)

82             Queens Platinum Jubilee Grant                                                                     250.00


83             Queens Platinum Jubilee Grant                                                                     250.00


  1. Localism Proposals from Wyre Forest District Council.

Wolverley & Cookley Parish Council unanimously agreed to accept the Localism deal for Bin Emptying/Litter Picking on the following basis –

 A 5 year deal.

Year 2022/2023 – 60% of the current grant.

4 years commencing 2023/2024 – 40% of the current grant for each year.

WFDC would continue to deal with the A roads (parts of A442 / A449) and to remove the collected litter from the bins at Tim Dale’s property.

A meeting will need to be scheduled for 6 months prior to the end of this agreement to negotiate a deal for the next 5 years.

  1. Contracts:
  2. a) Grass Cutting
  3. b) Bin Emptying/Litter Picking
  4. c) Lengthsman

Following meetings with contractors new Contracts have been prepared and will be signed before the 1st April 2022.

  1. To discuss condition of bins in the Parish.

                  Cllr R Drew/C Sherrey/S Sherrey will review Wolverley and Cllr W Southam Cookley and report back at next meeting.

  1. To discuss Lea Castle Village Wider Site Update following meeting 28th February.

                  Cllr R Drew gave an update following meeting held on 28th April.  No Planning application has yet been submitted.

Concerns were raised over the excessive number of non-material amendments that had been received following the last planning application, the road improvement works have not yet commenced despite over 100 properties being occupied, the footpath from the site does not meet the public footpath thus safety concerns especially for children, concern over additional accesses, speed of traffic and the fact the school is not planned to be built until 2026.  The Parish Council again strongly stressed concerns over the infrastructure.

Home England advised they are in discussions regarding building a multipurpose sports pitch at Brown Westhead Park.

They also asked if the Parish Council would consider taking on any assets but it was advised much more information and firm suggestions would be needed before this could be discussed.

Cllr D Jones said it had been a very positive meeting and they very receptive to comments made.

Cllr I Hardiman will try and get a specific date when road improvement works will commence.

  1. To discuss action on Street Lighting Columns.

Clerk to chase James Douglas, WCC for meeting to discuss.

  1. Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – Events/Tree Planting.

                  Cllr J Wood advised 126 trees have been planted at Cookley Playing Fields.

                  Wolverley Committee have a meeting tonight and Cookley shortly.  Both will be very grateful for the Grant.

  1. Planning Applications for Consideration: –

PC No       WFDC No/Details

3604        22/0087/TCA: Yew (T1) Remove deadwood.  Oak (T2) Reduce height of tree by 2/3 metres, shortening back side limbs that have over extended beyond rest of crown. Yew (T3) Tip reduction by 1m.  Yew (T4) Remove deadwood. Yew (T5) Remove. 3 x Yew (G1) Remove and replace at West Wing, Wolverley Village.

                                    Recommend Approval subject to Arboricultural Officer.

3605        22/0105/HOU: Proposed relocation of an existing bedroom from the existing house into a refurbished garage/annex building.  To be used solely by the existing dwelling as an annexed dwelling at Rose Cottage, Wolverhampton Road, Island Pool, Cookley.

                                    Recommend Refusal. Inappropriate change of use in green belt and concern over future use as a separate dwelling.

3606        21/1065/HOU: Ground floor side extension to form sunroom and tv lounge at Hillcrest, Wolverhampton Road, Island Pool, Cookley.

                                    Recommend Approval.

3607        22/0066/FUL: Continuation of the use of the site as a commercial equestrian facility at Spring Paddock, Horseley Hill Farm, Horseley Hills Lane, Wolverley.

The Parish Council note that the application is retrospective, and the proposed development will result in a commercial equestrian use on this site. There are concerns over future expansion of the facility which would impact on access and parking. The Parish Council recommend deferral, in line with Highway Authority comments for more detailed information to be provided.

3608        22/0130/AG: Extension to existing agricultural building to be used for storage of fodder and machinery at land at Highlow Nurseries, Franche Road, Wolverley.

Recommend refusal. The site is located adjacent to the Honey Brook in a known area of flooding. The proposed extension is closer to the brook and therefore at higher flood risk.

The Parish Council concur with comments made by North Worcestershire Water Management.

Parish Matters for Update Only – no decisions required.

  1. Clerks Report. (Clerk) Appeal Decision Wyre Mill Cottage, Wolverley, Decision Notices – 21/1026, 21/0990/S73, 21/1125, 22/0017, Extension Notice – Footpath WC-602 (part) Wolverley & Cookley.
  2. Update on Lengthsman. (RD/WS) Noted.
  3. Update on Cookley/Caunsall Neighbourhood Plan. (DJ) – There is currently no progress.The team are waiting for local plan to be approved to judge way the forward, Cllr D Jones will report back in due course.
  4. New Issues / Items for Next Meeting. (All)
  5. Date of Next Meeting – to confirm the date of the next meeting which is scheduled for Tuesday 5th April 2022.

Meeting closed 8.10 pm

Chairman Review : 2021-2022

Chairman Review 2021/2022

Good Evening fellow Councillors, Clerk and Members of the Public,

As we slowly emerged from the sadness of the Grim Global Pandemic there seemed to be a seamless slide into the tragedy which is currently facing the people of Ukraine, the thoughts of us all are now with them.
It’s been a great relief to be able to move away from on line meetings and back into traditional system of Parish Meetings.I would like to take this opportunity to all my fellow Parish, District and County Councillors for all of your help during the last year, you are truly a credit to our Communities, I would particularly like to thank the Clerk for her diligent and kind support which has made this year so much easier for me.

Sadly, at the end of last year, Carol Lewis, a long standing Parish Councillor and stalwart for the residents of Caunsall passed away. Her contribution will be remembered.

As with last year we continue to take duties offloaded from the District Council due to their ongoing programme of cost cutting, this of course, has meant us increasing our precept to accommodate.We are, however, still below most Parish Councils in this and our policy of setting aside a small portion for Community Events has been both well spent and received.
It has financed the replacement of damaged swings in Cookley Play area and the Ever Popular Cookley Christmas Tree, of course there’s lots more planned for this year.
The Neighbourhood Plan has reached it’s first plateau and the organisers now await the release of WFDC Local Plan before deciding how to proceed.

The Lea Castle Hospital housing development has continued and the Parish Council has scrutinised and rejected several requests to change materials, contentious plans for a further 800 adjoining houses have also been discussed on the adjoining Green Belt.This awaits approval from WFDC as part of their Local Plan.I’ve no doubt strong opinion will be voiced when the application is submitted

Directly across the A449 lies the proposed Quarry on Strongs Farm, this is awaiting approval or otherwise from Worcestershire County Council.If anything this project is even more contentious and has seen as many years of strong opinion at Parish meetings.Cookley councillors were unable to vote having already indicated their opposition, the remainder unanimously voted against this previously, little has changed to make the current application remotely palatable.

Cookley in Bloom have now sprung into Spring and I’m sure their tireless efforts will lift spirits as we hopefully move into post Pandemic Summer.The Vice Chairman has been busy in Wolverley with areas of Wild Flowering and gateway planters.

Councillor Robin Drew has taken the lead on Wolverleys project,

1. Three areas of verges have now been prepared and seeded with a special mixture of Wild Meadow Seed aimed to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The mixture will provide a Red/White/Purple splash of colour to our village and encourage Bees and other pollinators to the areas.
2. Mill Race, this is a man made waterway off the River Stour dug to feed the Lower Mill in Wyre Mill Lane. We have cleared the banks to provide access and a seating area whilst improving the habitat for wildlife. We will be shortly installing a visitor information panel to explain the history of the waterway/mill and the wildlife living there.
3. On the banks of the Mill Race we are installing an oak bench with a plaque celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Another bench/plaque will also be positioned on Sebright Rd.
4. My most exciting project… we are going to have a tree trunk carving done on the entrance to the village… We have chosen to have a Swan carving to represent the Legend of the Swan and Knight of Wolverley.
5. Our new circula planter will be placed on the Wolverley Island when we start our summer planting, again in colours to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
6. End of May we will be replanting the Gateways in Wolverley and Blakeshall, again with the same theme with colours
7. Only last week 3 more Gateways were installed located on the Stourbridge Rd (Weavers Chase new development) and Sion Hill for the new development there. (You may want to mention the two in Caunsall)
8. Our new VAS sign is due any time now, and I will be moving this between the two villages in the hope of discouraging speeding.

I’m sure you will agree he has certainly not let the grass grow beneath his feet, a huge effort, many thanks to all involved.

Lea Lane remains closed due to the, now historical, land slip into the Canal, progress to restore it has been stalled by legal wrangling amongst the five stakeholders.Since it’s closure to through motor vehicles, it has been well and truly reclaimed by Pedestrians, Tourists from the Caravan Park and cyclists alike, it really is quite remarkable to see as a regular walker.Also, it now provides a quick safe corridor for School Children to walk to the High School.Such is the unexpected benefit of this and the need to see it preserved, Parish Council has agreed to request County Council restore it in a manner which promotes the safety and continued access and enjoyment of the current users.

Perhaps the happiest moment for me, as a Councillor, was the announcement that Worcestershire County Council were going to significantly invest in the repair and restoration of the Historic Iron Footbridge, Caunsall.My initial request was for a coat of paint, however, further investigation revealed severe structural and embankment issues, which at one point was going to see it replaced by a wooden structure.Thanks to continued emails and intervention of County Councillor Ian Hardiman the County Council accepted the value of this wonderful structure to our Community.Particular thanks to Phil Coulson and his team who’s knowledgeable communication steered it to the best possible conclusion.Yes, it was my idea to paint it, but it took cooperation, communication and no small amount of money to achieve for future generations to enjoy as we have.The icing on the Cake being it’s now, also, been made mobility friendly.

C&W PC continue to give grants to Wolverley Memorial Hall and Cookley Playing Fields.

As Chairman, I can’t deny struggling with this last year, I do feel deeply disillusioned by the direction of travel WFDC is taking with our Green Belt and I really hope that nobody is hurt or worse by the apparent lack of road planning for our expanding communities, it’s not like we didn’t protest or say anything.As for the Quarry and for one time only, I agree with our MP “it’s a daft idea”.If anyone asks why nobody said anything at the time, I know that I can now say “I did, they didn’t listen”

To you all, thanks once again, it has been an honour to represent our community as Chairman of the Parish Council.I hope that our villages continue to thrive and the Sun Shines strongest on our world again soon.


District Councillors Report

Local Issues


We have been dealing with the usual routine casework, fly tipping and litter picking on the main A roads and along the country lanes.  We have reported a number of Fly Tipping items which have now been collected including 30 plus car tyres in Axborough Lane.

We have scheduled the Road Name Plates for The Shortyard and Brown Westhead Park to be refurbished and restored, the operatives may be able to be carry this out insitu but they may need to be removed, there will not be replacement signs put in its place whilst they are being restored.

We have also scheduled the Drakelow Lane Name Plate to refurbished, restored and re-sited into a better position as its currently in a bush.  This has been programmed into Green Street’s schedule of works.

The new Defibrillator in Caunsall has been delivered to The Anchor Public House, the unit has been marked by smart water and permanent marker by the police team, there will be free training available for residents of Caunsall, a poster stating the date and time will be put up in the pub and notice board.

There was a complaint regarding parking at the corner of New Road, Caunsall outside the Public House, there are now larger No Parking signs that have been erected to alleviate the issue.

Regarding the Red Lion Planning Application, we are continuing to liaise with the Planning Officer and Conservation Officer.  No decision has been made as yet.

Enforcement Issues 

The Old Post Office, Cookley – This is continuing to be in Planning Enforcement until June, we are continuing to work closely with officers to restore the shopfront to its original design.

The Retreat, Lowe Lane, Wolverley –   The Enforcement Officer is still in talks with the owners in relation to conditions and breaches in conditions.

Six Acres, Castle Hill Lane, Wolverley – Officers are aware of the issue and are investigating this at the moment.  We will update you in due course.





Enforcement Issues – Continued


Land off Drakelow Lane K9 Pawfection – This application will be going back to the Planning Committee Meeting for a revised Enforcement Notice due to additional items that have been observed on the site.

Moto X, Wolverley – There has been a complaint raised regarding the number of occasions this has taken place, the enforcement officer is to contact the leaseholder to obtain an updated list of dates for events/official practice sessions for this year so far.


Wyre Forest District Issues

Wyre Forest House is still closed to the public as is the Green Street Hub save for dealing with housing and homelessness applications.

The District Council owned units that were being constructed in Unity Park, off Silverwoods Way in Kidderminster are now complete, there are nine unts in total and four are under offer, the remaining five are being viewed by perspective companies.  The District Council will benefit from the rental income from the units.

Visa applications from Ukrainians who will be living with sponsors in Wyre Forest have been approved by the District Council, this number is increasing daily as further sponsor applications are being approved.

Wyre Forest District Council has received the final local plan with all the minor and main modifications made, a special cabinet has been arranged for 26th April for them to make recommendations onto Full Council.  A special Full Council meeting will take place at Wyre Forest House at 6pm on 26th April.  WFDC will have to vote on whether or not to approve the Plan and effectively to agree that it is ‘sound’ or not.  All 33 councillors have to vote on the Plan, save for any that have an interest that precludes them from doing so.

The Gainsborough House Hotel has been commissioned by the Home Office for Syrian refugees.

The local police team are holding a free Bike security marking event on Wednesday 13 April from 11-2pm outside Halfords on Crossley Retail Park Kidderminster.

There is a local Health Walk Group for residents which starts from The Lock Public House, Wolverley every Thursday evening at 6pm in the summer months.  If you are interested the email address is:- info@bff-wyreforest.co.uk

If you have any issues, you would like us to deal with, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely

Cllr. Marcus J Hart

Cllr. Ian D Hardiman

Cllr. Lisa J Jones

Wyre Forest Rural Ward Councillors

District Councillors Annual Report : April 2022

Wolverley and Cookley Annual Parish Meeting – 5th April, 2022


Please find our enclosed our report for the Annual Parish Meeting as follows:-

The three of us have been very busy dealing with numerous routine casework over the course of the last 12 months.

Despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic through the municipal year 2021-2022 there has been no abatement on casework from local residents, in fact it has gone up. Quite probably due to people having more time on their hands and working from home!

Obviously from May 2021, meetings of Parish Councils, the District Council (albeit from July) and the County Council have been back face to face.

We have tackled all issues pertaining to the district council, littering, dog fouling, fly tipping, planning applications and planning enforcement issues. In particular we have supported the Parish Council in speaking out against the Drakelow Tunnells planning application, but of course the refusal was lost on appeal. In particular here, we have ensured that WFDC tackle the landowner to ensure that the fencing that was approved is what is on site. We have got there in the end!

We wont list all of the enforcement cases in this report as some of them are ongoing and some are sensitive.

Whilst the quarry is a county council planning matter, we have kept a keen eye on this and supported a refusal response from WFDC to the application.

Since our report last year, the Progressive Alliance that run WFDC has had some further changes. There was a by-election held on 1st December 2021 due to the resignation of an ICHC councillor in the Franche and Habberley North ward which was won by the Conservatives and shortly after that, the Labour group re-joined the Progressive Alliance.

Since May 2021 Cllr. Helen Dyke has been Leader of the Council with Cllr. Graham Ballinger becoming Deputy Leader of the Council.

The Progressive Alliance continue to rigorously pursue their localism agenda and indeed Wolverley and Cookley PC have been involved in this, seeing a reduction in their grant for litter picking and bin emptying, but at least seeing a contribution from WFDC for this.

District Council meetings over the last few months have finally seen a return to ‘normality’.

The Leadership at WFDC are content with the majority of staff that are able to continue to work from home under a ‘hybrid’ model which was agreed prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Wyre Forest House has very few staff actually in it on a daily basis

We expressed our disapproval that officers presenting reports at meetings can do so virtually should they so wish.

The two strategic directors, Mike Parker and Tracey Southall had their posts deleted and were made redundant on 31st December 2021. There is now a wider CLT, made up of Deputy Chief Officers and the Chief Executive.

We have all attended all 5 meetings of Full Council and all of our relevant committee meetings, save for any Covid-19 self isolation.

We have ensured that we have attended all Parish Council meetings as a team in the last 12 months and provided a written and oral report accordingly.

With our very best wishes.

County Councillors Report

5th April 2022, County Cllr Ian Hardiman’s Report to Wolverley & Cookley Parish Council:


Lea Lane Landslip:

Frustratingly, the County Council’s Legal Office have not yet found a way forward to allow commencement of the long awaited restoration works.

Lea Lane, Property Wall Collapse:  In response to concerns by local residents regarding the bricks and debris on the road, I contacted the owner who swiftly responded and arranged for this to be cleared; the wall is due to be rebuilt but to a lower height, as agreed by the District Planning officers.

Lea Castle Farm, Quarry Application:

Owing to further necessary consultation, it seems likely that the application will not be considered by the County Planning Committee until July.

Cookley, Zebra-Crossing Faded Lines:  I have again chased County Highways to have these lines repainted.

Blakeshall, Snake Lane poor road condition:

Local residents have reported that pleasingly the road where major potholes had formed  has now been resurfaced satisfactorily; hopefully this will mean that drivers can drive along here without fear of serious damage to their vehicles. Still to be resolved however are the drainage issues which I am assured will be attended quite soon.

Cookley, Austcliffe Lane, Overgrown Bush hazard:

In response to a report that pedestrians were experiencing visual difficulties when exiting the Lane pathway, I liaised with the Highways Engineer and subsequently the Parish Clerk who arranged for the offending bush to be trimmed back suitably by the lengthsman.

Cookley, Blocked Gullies, Castle Road & Bridge Road:  I have again chased attention to the drainage here which needs clearing.

Caunsall, HGV Signage missing: I have referred to the Highways Engineer the fact that the 7.5 tonnes limit signage has strangely been removed; new signage will be installed as soon as possible.

Caunsall, Railings Damage:  Noticing that the railings by the River Bridge had again been damaged, I reported this to the Highways Engineer and was told to expect repairs shortly.

County Councillors Annual Report: April 2022

 County Cllr Ian Hardiman’s Annual Report, April 2022, for Wolverley & Cookley Parish Council: 

In the fifth year, following my election as your County Councillor ( for Cookley, Wolverley & Wribbenhall), I have again be very busy dealing with a wide range of issues; this I have done to the best of my ability. 

Most of my casework refers to Highways issues and owing to the Pandemic which has incurred absenteeism problems for County Highways, often delays have been experienced on some subjects. Good news is that following recruitment recently, our complement of Liaison Engineers is fully restored. 

During this year, the District has again suffered terrible flooding especially in Wribbenhall where defences were unfortunately breached again. Thankfully, Wolverley escaped serious flooding on this occasion. Wribbenhall’s Beales Corner Flood Barrier project is progressing well and it is hoped that completion of the barrier construction will occur during 2024. 

I am pleased that we have seen again much needed road resurfacing and similarly so for deserving pavements. 

Vehicle Speeding continues to be a major issue; I recently was happy to agree a £1,500 contribution from my Divisional Fund towards a new VAS sign being purchased by the Parish Council, to be used around the parish. 

The Lea Lane Landslip restoration works, three years on have still not commenced; I have asked the County Council’s Legal officers to treat this matter with urgency and if necessary, take legal action to allow this long-awaited works to be completed. 

The Lea Castle Farm Quarry Application has been delayed by necessary further consultation; it is likely this application will not be considered by the County Planning Committee until July. 

During this year, I have attended all WCC Full Council meetings held and have stayed for the duration of each meeting. 

I continue to serve on the County Council’s Planning Committee and in May 2021 was appointed Chairman of this committee. 

I continue to be a member of the Hereford & Worcester Fire Authority and serve on their Audit Committee. 

I continue to serve on the County Council’s Appeals Panel. 

I am the County Council’s representative on the Kidderminster Educational Special Benefits Trust. 

During this year I have utilised my Divisional Fund of £10,000 to allocate grants to 21 various good causes and organisations which provide support to the residents of my Division. 

Together with my District Councillor colleagues, Marcus Hart and Lisa Jones, I always endeavour to provide the best possible support to Wolverley & Cookley Parish Council and all the residents it serves. 

Ian Hardiman, County Councillor for Cookley, Wolverley & Wribbenhall. 

Kidderminster SNT Crime Report

Please find below our parish council report for April

Police Parish Council Report


Attempt Theft of vehicle – Castle Road, Cookley– Police Ref 00028_I_08032022

At approx. 0300hrs on 8th March, 4 unknown persons have attempted to steal a Yamaha motorbike from the driveway of a property on Castle Road, Cookley. The suspects arrived on 2 motorbikes and left the location when disturbed by the occupants.


Theft of Motor Vehicle – Beeston Road, Cookley

Sometime between 20:30hrs 26/03/2022 and 08:30hrs 27/03/2022 a Silver Land Rover Discovery has been stolen from Beeston Road.  Registration Similar to BO**D**. (another has been stolen from Bewdley hill area, so these vehicles are in high demand)




Theft of catalytic convertor – Wolverley police Ref 00163_I_28032022  Sometime between Friday evening and Saturday night a Mazda Mx has had the catalytic convertor stolen.



ASB Wolverley Village

we have received reports of some of the school children causing issues within the village notably when finishing school.  A parasol from the Queens Head PH has been damaged and they have been verbally abusive to residents, including kicking someone’s door.  The school have been notified and asked to provide a presence and for letters to be sent to all parents.  We are also looking into any CCTV that may have captured the incidents.


Lea Caste Site

We are starting to get increased reports of break in’s and thefts from the building site at lea castle – at this time its equipment belonging to the various building contractors on site not residential properties

Parish Council Accounts






83             Mrs B J Drew: 1067.71 (Salary March 2022)

84             Inland Revenue : 415.80 (Tax and NI – Jan – March 2022)

85             Mrs B J Drew:  20.19  (Ink/Stamps)

                  (Seeds/Sand)  28.72

                  (Clerks Expenses to 31st March) 141.00

86             Lorraine Neal: 570.00 (Lengthsman March 22)         


Tuesday 3rd May


Cookley Sebright Primary School

Andrea Holmes
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