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

Members present:


Mr R Abraham

Mr M Bennett

Mrs R Bratt

Mrs S Hyde

Mr R James

Dr J McCabe

Mrs D Morison

Mr C Pettit

Mr G Saunders

Ms J Wakelin

Mr W Watts

Miss C Westgarth

Dr M Wright (Chairman)

In attendance: District Councillor S Harangozo, and Mrs G Stoehr (Clerk).

  1. Apologies
    County Councillor R Martlew

2. To approve the minutes of the previous meeting on 14 November

On a proposition by Ms Wakelin, seconded by Miss Westgarth the minutes were approved as a true record with the following two amendments: item 4.1 to show Miss Westgarth not Miss Morison and 250 paid to The Old School House not for alarm repair. The Chairman then signed the minutes.

3. Matters arising from the meeting including

3.1 Comberton Policing

Notification had been received that the new Comberton Community Beat Officer will be PC Chris Bradley. It was agreed to extend an invitation to him to attend the January meeting and that Community Wardens would be discussed.

3.2 Youth Forum meeting

Miss Westgarth reported on the recent special meeting of the Focus Group that had also been attended by Ms Cook, Ms Lester and Cheryl Arnold from South Cambridgeshire District Council. Ms Lester's kind offer to meet with the youth, make arrangements for a public meeting and to report to a future Parish Council meeting was gratefully accepted by the meeting. It was agreed that Jacquie Wilson from CALC who had hands on experience with a Youth Forum at Chatteris might be invited to a future meeting.

3.3 Councillor training

Members who had attended the recent CALC training session reported how interesting it had been and beneficial it was to meet and discuss matters with members from Barton and Toft Councils

On a proposition by the Chairman it was agreed to vary the order of the agenda to take item 6 at this point in the meeting.

6. To consider parishioners objections to the removal of Harbour Avenue tree

A petition signed by ten residents objecting to the removal of the tree outside 56 Harbour Avenue and a report from Peter Oakes suggesting a 50% crown reduction and a delay to its removal until replacement planting had established were considered by the meeting.

At 7.47pm the Chairman proposed that the meeting be temporarily adjourned to seek parishioners' views. The Chairman reopened the meeting at 7.52pm.

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mr James it was agreed to accept Mr Oakes recommendation to reduce the crown of the maple tree by 50% at a cost of 90, plant two new replacement trees which when established the maple tree would then be removed.

4. Finance

4.1 To receive the financial report and to approve expenditure(appended 1 to these minutes)

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Miss Westgarth the expenditure as listed in the financial report and monthly financial statement plus CALC - 69.20 (councillor training); Peter Oakes - 752 (tree work); Herald Contract Services - 70.50 (grasscutting); LGS Services 1075.25 (VAP); Clive Orme - 58 (grasscutting) was approved unanimously.

4.2 To approve the grasscutting/village maintenance tenders 2002-2005(2)

Mr Saunders and Mr Abraham reported on the tenders received from Herald Contract Services, Clive Orme, Stewart Bullard and Greens Grasscutting Services. Each area was considered separately both on price and best value. On a proposition by Mr Saunders, seconded by Mr Pettit and carried unanimously, it was agreed to award the contracts as follows:

Clive Orme - Village Hall Site and Pond Area

Herald Contract Services - Parish Verges (5 cuts per annum), Janes Estate, Recreation Ground, Additional Paths and Hedges.

Dissatisfaction was expressed with the verges cutting during this last year. On a proposition by Mr Abraham, seconded by Mr Saunders, it was greed to write to Herald and draw this to their attention and that Mr Abraham would liaise with Herald to ensure a satisfactory standard is maintained during the contract's term.

4.3 To consider /approve the tender specification for additional path maintenance

Paths throughout the Janes Estate and village not included in the approved tender specification were considered. The Clerk reported that these had not been conveyed to the Parish Council in the Janes Estate land transfer. On a proposition by Mr James, seconded by Ms Wakelin it was agreed to ask the County Council to clear these paths.

4.4 To consider items/projects for the draft budget 2002-2003(3) including Focus Group budget (4)

The Clerk reported on the expenditure to date against the agreed budget and presented a draft budget based on projected expenditure on general headings and items for inclusion requested by members and the Focus Group.

On a proposition by Ms Wakelin, seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed that the budget should be redrafted as follows, and brought to the next meeting for further consideration: exclude interactive signs 10,000; extra waymarking 1,500; heritage book 2,000 and reduce memorial area to 500 and Jubilee to 1,000.

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Ms Wakelin the Council in accordance with its powers under Section 137 of the Local Government Act, 1972 authorised the 1,500 to Learning through Landscapes, which, in the opinion of the Council is in the interests of the area and its inhabitants.

5. Reports - to consider items from reports

Reports were received from Comberton Parish Plan(5), Planning Committee(6) and Minor Authorities Governor(7).

5.1 County Councillor

In Councillor Martlew's absence the Clerk reported that the cycleway from Hardwick to Coton had been approved by the joint Environment and Transport Committee and that the Parish Council's request for lighting was noted and that Councillor Martlew would bring the County Council's budget to the next meeting for information.

5.2 District Councillor

Councillor Harangozo reported on: the forthcoming flooding seminar; street cleaning; recycling performance; out of hour environmental health service; the relocation to Cambourne; the District Council's concern at the County Council's decision to expand towards some villages and at their lack of consultation; and the Periodic Electoral Review that proposed no changes for Comberton.

7. Comberton flooding/sewerage problems - parish meeting

The Chairman's report(8) was received and considered by the meeting. On a proposition by Dr Wright, seconded by Mr James it was agreed to ask the County Council to thoroughly clear out all the village road drains and ask the District Council both to inspect and clear all awarded watercourses in the parish, and also to advise on the possibility of creating a new ditch linking Swaynes Lane with the Drift. It was also agreed to invite representatives from Anglia Water and the Environment Agency to attend the Annual Parish Meeting.

8. Emergency Planning Team

As the County Council's Civil Protection Unit would be attending the Flooding Seminar on Friday it was agreed to carry this matter forward to the next meeting.

9. To consider the assets review including the urgent removal of barbed wire(9)

Following the report by Miss Westgarth on the recent assets review her proposition, seconded by Mr Abraham that Clive Orme be contracted, in consultation with Mr Abraham, to remove the corrugated fencing and barbed wire around the Bowls Club fencing replacing with something more suitable to a maximum price of 500 was carried unopposed. It was also agreed that Clive Orme be asked to remove the barbed wire alongside the parish path between Green End and the recreation ground.

10. Village Hall

10.1 Steering Committee representative change from CW to JMcC

Due to other Miss Westgarth's many other Parish Council commitments it was agreed that Dr McCabe would replace her on the Village Hall Steering Committee. Dr McCabe's report on the first Steering Committee meeting(10) was received and considered by the meeting.

On a proposition by Dr McCabe, seconded by Mrs Bratt it was agreed that Parish Council would consider any formal requests by the Steering Committee for financial assistance with their expenses.

10.2 To consider the proposal that the Parish Council wholly or partly fund the an access control system for the NVH at an approximate cost of 650

Mrs Bratt's report(11) was received and considered by the meeting. The proposal by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Mrs Hyde that the Parish Council wholly fund an access control system for the NVH at an cost of 650 from Briar Security was rejected with 2 votes in favour and 9 votes against. Two members did not vote.

Mrs Bratt's amendment to the proposal that the Parish Council fund half of the cost of an access control system for the NVH was carried with 9 votes in favour and three votes against. One member did not vote.

11. S106 Agreement Hubert Leech development Barton Road

Mrs Bratt reported on the Leech Homes letter regarding the financial contributions requested by the Parish Council at the last meeting. On a proposition by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed that Mrs Bratt and another member of the Council should meet with Mr Folbigg and Ms Hay to discuss the outstanding matters further bringing a recommendation to a future Parish Council meeting.

12. To approve the date for the Annual Parish Meeting and suggestions for a speaker

On a proposition by Ms Wakelin, seconded by Mr James it was agreed the Annual Parish Meeting would be on Monday 13 May and that a representative from both Anglian Water and the Environment Agency would be invited to discuss flooding.

13. Village Design Statement

The Planning Committee's report(12) recommending that a group be set up with a small number of Planning Committee/Parish Council representatives and a number of interested residents was considered and it was agreed to carry this forward to a future meeting.

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

14.1 Dial a Ride extension

It was agreed to register Comberton's interest in the County Council's proposed dial a ride scheme stating a preference for Thursday as the operational day.

14.2 British Legion regarding the Memorial

On a proposition by the Chairman it was agreed to carry forward consideration of the letter from the British Legion to the next meeting. It was agreed that all members should receive a copy with their draft minutes.

14.3 South Street road closure

Notice had been received that South Street is to be closed for road repair works between 7th and 21st January 2002. It was agreed that this should be posted on all village notice boards and spread by word of mouth.

15. Urgent matters brought forward with the Chairman's consent


There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9.44pm.