Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the Old Village Hall
on Wednesday 12 September 2001

Members present:


Mr R Abraham

Mrs R Bratt

Mr G Saunders

Mr R James

Mr C Pettit

Miss C Westgarth

Dr M Wright (Chairman)

Ms J Wakelin

In attendance: District Councillor S Harangozo, County Councillor R Martlew and Mrs G Stoehr (Clerk) and by special invitation Ms Teresa Jones, Cambridgeshire ACRE's Village Hall Advisor.

  1. Apologies
    Mr M Bennett, Dr J McCabe, Mrs D Morison (out of the country) Mr W Watts (ill) Mr R Abraham (lateness) and Mrs S Hyde.

2. To approve the minutes of the previous meeting on 11 July

On a proposition by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Miss Westgarth the minutes were approved as a true record with the attachment of the slightly amended financial report. The Chairman then signed the minutes.

On a proposition by the Chairman it was agreed vary the order of the agenda to carry forward item 3 Village Hall until Teresa Jones arrived.

4. Matters arising from the meeting including

4.1 Litter picking for West Street update.

The Chairman reported that Mrs Smith unfortunately would not now be employed as a litter picker but that the District Council had agreed to increase the frequency along West Street to weekly. Clarification is to be sought on the litter picking referred to on the District Council's schedule as 'Barton Road Lay-by outside Cambridge'.

4.2 Policy Parking Policy - Green End.

It was noted that the Stuart Hilton had drafted a policy parking policy for Green End.

A letter from the Church Wardens asking if the staff of the Old School House could par in the village hall car park was considered. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr Wright it was agreed to write to the Village Hall Management Committee to ask if they had any objections.

At 7.28pm the Chairman proposed that the meeting be adjourned to members of the public present to raise their concerns regarding Green End parking. The Chairman reopened the meeting at 7.32pm.

4.3 Oak posts installation - to approve a contractor

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Ms Wakelin the quotation from Clive Orme for £137.50 was approved.

3. Village Hall

The Chairman welcomed Teresa Jones to the meeting to discuss the content of her letter titled 'A new village hall - what next' sent to both the Parish Council and Village Hall Management Committee (1).

At 7.40pm the Chairman proposed that the meeting be adjourned to allow public participation. He declared the meeting reopened at 8.10pm.

The proposal by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Dr Wright that the Parish Council indicates to the Management Committee its support for the formation of a steering committee (sub-committee of the Village Hall Management Committee) and is willing to nominate up to two Parish Council representatives as and when formed was carried unopposed.

On a proposition by Mr James, seconded by Mrs Bratt, Mrs Bratt was elected as one of the representatives ready for when the steering committee was formed. It was agreed that a second representative should be an agenda item at the next meeting.

3.1 Car park marking

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr Wright, approval was given to the purchase of some paint to mark out parking spaces in the village hall car park if the Management Committee was agreeable.

5. To receive the financial report and to approve expenditure(appended 1 to these minutes)
On a proposition by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Miss Westgarth the expenditure as listed in the financial report and monthly financial statement plus
£43.90 M Wright (out of pocket expenses)

£88 C Orme (grasscutting and flowerbed weeding)

£1,101.90 Wicksteed Leisure (play equipment repairs)

£68.15 Leader Builders (repairs to gatepost)

£998 Mobile Warden Scheme (S137 donation) was approved unanimously.

6. To receive and consider the Planning Committee report(r2)
Mrs Bratt gave the planning report and update which was received and considered by the meeting.(r3)

6.1 Village Design Statement

Miss Westgarth reported on Village Design Statements and their use as supplementary planning guidance for a parish. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Bratt it was agreed that the Planning Committee should look into the formulation of a Village Deign Statement further.

6.2 S106 Agreement - Hubert Leach, Barton Road/Swaynes Lane

Mrs Bratt and the Clerk reported that the draft S106 Agreement had been received however most of the relevant sections regarding the public open space (POS) and its transfer were still to be resolved.

The email from Malcolm Folbigg offering equipment for the POS or £4,000 for an alternative project was briefly considered. It was agreed that further consideration, now the offer was to hand, both by the Planning Committee and the Focus Group was required.

A letter of advice from Herald Contract Services regarding maintenance for both the POS and trees and hedging along the Herringfield Drift in years 1-5 and beyond had been received. Advice from Eastern Tree Surgery was outstanding.

7. To receive reports from

7.1 County Councillor

Councillor Martlew reported that the white line marking outside 27 Fox's Way should take place within 28 days and on the Structure Plan and the appeal by Abington to stop a new town being located there. He also agreed to find out about an educational contribution by Leech Homes and the outstanding financial contribution for Comberton Village College from the Cambourne S106.

7.2 District Councillor

Councillor Harangozo explained different ways the Parish Council could influence District Council planning decisions, and reported: that the off-road parking in Swaynes Lane is now on hold due to the resident moving house; that a repeat weed spaying was required in Harbour Avenue. It was agreed that the eastern border of Harbour Avenue should be an agenda item for the next meeting and that Councillor Harangozo should request a surplus can bank for the recreation ground (to be sited by the concrete litter bin with the metal lid).

7.3 Village Action Plan(r4)

A written report was received by the meeting and the Parish Council gave its support to the name change from Action Plan to Parish Plan, a condition for the £2,740 grant received from the Countryside Agency.

7.4 Focus Group(r5&6)

The two reports from meetings in July and September, which included youth shelters and other facilities, Brainstorming (the 'open space'), Public Arts Project, Village Map, litter and dog waste bins, way markers and new footpaths and possible sources of funding were considered by the meeting.

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Bratt approval was given for the allocation of the unallocated Focus Group Budget as follows; planting areas £1000; waymarking £1,500; youth equipment £5,000; Causeway restoration - an additional £3,000 plus some of the P3 grant.

On a proposition by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Mr Saunders approval was given to a funding application to Wren for a 'circular' village walk.

Mrs Longuet-Higgins had kindly offered to donate to the village a Christmas tree. On a proposition by the Chairman approval was given, (subject to advice from Peter Oakes regarding the satisfactory transplanting of a rooted tree) to the acceptance of the gift, the purchase of appropriate lighting and the siting of the tree near the pond bus shelter.

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr Wright approval was given to the litter bin locations as listed in the report dated 06/09/01.

7.5 Village Hall representative(r7)

Mrs Bratt's report was received and considered by the meeting. On a proposition by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Miss Westgarth approval was given to the Clerk enabling all necessary village hall site maintenance without the prior approval of the Council.

7.6 Neighbourhood and Countryside Watch

No report.

7.7 Tree Group

Ms Wakelin reported on the recent Tree Group meeting and the deliberations for additional tree planting. It was agreed that the quotations for the outstanding tree work identified in the Tree Survey should be carried forward until a future meeting.

7.8 Chairman

The Chairman reported on: the traffic calming proposals outside the Village College; his, and the Vice-Chair's, attendance at a Village of the Year presentation; that Miss Westgarth was looking into sources of external funding; and summarised the £36,700 grants and external funding secured by the Parish Council this financial year.

8. Recreation Ground

Concern was expressed at the extensive graffiti, which had appeared on both the pavilion and the recreation ground garage. On a proposition by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Mr James the power to contract a company to urgently to remove the graffiti, up to the value of £750 was delegated to Mr Abraham, the Chairman and the Clerk

8.1 Skateboard Park including screening, ongoing maintenance, grant applications and funding

Mr Abraham reported on the skateboard park progress and a letter from Dr Birch, Vice-Chair Comberton Skateboard Park.

8.1.1 On a proposition by Mr Abraham, seconded by Mrs Bratt it was agreed that no screening was not now required for the proposed skateboard park.

8.1.2 On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Bratt it was agreed that whilst it supported groups taking the initiative the Parish Council would not set a precedence and apply for external funding for the group.

8.1.3 On a proposition by Mr James, seconded by Mrs Bratt it was agreed that a letter be sent in reply to Dr Birch saying that whilst sympathetic to doing the requested groundwork a firm decision could not be reached until the Group's other funding was in place.

8.2 Car park pot holes - to consider quotations to hand
Two quotations had been received, Herald Contract Services £333 and Mr C Orme £48. On a proposition by Mr Abraham, seconded by Dr Wright the quotation from Mr Orme was approved.

8.3 Land to the north of the recreation ground - open discussion

The discussion paper prepared by Miss Westgarth was received and considered by the meeting. On a proposition by Mr James, seconded by Mrs Bratt it was agreed to wait until the Local Plan Inspector's findings were published and then this should be an agenda item.

9. Urgent matters brought forward with the Chairman’s consent


10. To consider matters arising out of correspondence received since the last meeting including

10.1 Stop Abington New Town. It was agreed that no action was required.

10.2 Crime and Disorder Act meeting. To be passed to Mrs Hyde.

10.3 Mobile Warden Scheme invitation to AGM.

11. Annual review of employee terms and conditions of employment

11.1 Carol Watson, Litter Picker. The Clerk reported that Mrs Watson did not have a written contract for litter picking on the recreation ground, nor was there any minuted agreement to those extra hours, only for her hours for Barton Road and that this should be rectified. On a proposition by Mr Abraham, seconded by Dr Wright it was agreed to carry this item forward to the next meeting to allow Mr Abraham to review the hours required for the recreation ground.

11.2 Gail Stoehr, Clerk. The proposal by Ms Wakelin, seconded by Mrs Bratt that ‘as recommended by NALC the Clerk’s salary is increased by 3.5% back dated to 1st April 2001 with incremental point awarded (point 20). The annual salary now being £3728.40 for 10 hours per week' was agreed unanimously The Clerk extended her thanks to the Council.

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 10.25pm.

Copies of all reports mentioned in these minutes may be viewed at Comberton Library or by contacting the parish clerk