COMBERTON PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the Old Village Hall
on Wednesday 8 May 2002

Members present:

Councillors:

Mr M Bennett.

Mrs R Bratt

Mrs S Hyde

Mr R James

Mrs D Morison

Mr C Pettit

Mr G Saunders

Mr W Watts

Miss C Westgarth.

Dr M Wright (Chairman)

In attendance: County Councillor R Martlew, District Councillor S Harangozo, 4 members of the public and Mrs G Stoehr (Clerk).

1. Elections

    1. Chairman
    2. The proposal by Mr Watts, seconded by Mrs Hyde that Dr Malcolm Wright be elected as Chairman was carried unanimously. Dr Wright signed the declaration of acceptance of office. The Chairman was thanked by the meeting for 'keeping order and for the success of the Parish Council over the last year'.

    3. Vice-Chair
    4. The proposal by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mrs Bratt that Miss Chris Westgarth be elected as Vice-Chair was carried unanimously.

      The next two items were taken together.

    5. Committees and working groups, membership and terms of reference and
    6. Representation on outside bodies

Planning committee: membership: Ms Wakelin, Mrs Morison, Miss Westgarth, Mrs Bratt (Chair) and Dr McCabe. Terms of reference: no change, as proposed by Mr James, seconded by Mrs Morison, and carried unanimously. The election of the Planning Committee's chair should take place at its first meeting.

Recreation Ground Group: Mrs Hyde, Mr Pettit, Dr Wright, Mr Saunders, Mr Abraham (Convenor), as proposed by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mr James and carried unanimously.

Focus Group: Miss Westgarth (Convenor), Mr Pettit, Mr Bennett, Dr McCabe and Dr Wright as proposed by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mr Saunders and carried unanimously. The proposal by Mr James, seconded by Mrs Morison that the group as before make recommendations for consideration to the parish council but that Group have the delegated power to decide and spend its part of the budget was carried with nine votes in favour and one vote against.

Tree Group: Mrs Morison, Ms Wakelin, Mr Watts (Convenor and Tree Warden) as proposed Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Bratt and carried unanimously.

CALC representatives: Mr James and Mrs Morison as proposed by Dr Wright, seconded by Mr Watts and carried unanimously.

Financial overseer: Mr Saunders as proposed by Mr James, seconded by Dr Wright and carried unanimously.

Village Hall Steering Committee members: As Mrs Bratt had kindly represented the Council for longer than she previously agreed it was agreed to re-appoint Mrs Bratt for a further four months only or until a replacement can be found which ever is the sooner. Dr McCabe was also re-appointed.

Village Hall Representative: Again Mrs Bratt for a maximum of four months or until a replacement can be found whichever is the sooner. It was also agreed that 'Village hall and steering committee representative' should be an agenda item until her replacement is agreed'.

Parish Paths Co-ordinator: Miss Westgarth as proposed by Dr Wright, seconded by Mrs Bratt and carried unanimously.

Neighbourhood Watch and Countryside Watch: Mrs Hyde as proposed by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mr Saunders and carried unanimously.

Minor Authorities Appointed Governor: No change until autumn 2004 - Mrs Morison.

Village Action Plan Group membership and terms of reference no changes.

As previously agreed the Chairman ex-officio on all committees.

1.5 Trustees to the Herringfield Charity

On a proposition by Dr Wright, seconded by Mrs Morison the following Trustees were re-appointed for a further four years: Mr K Banyard, Mrs R Chapman, Mrs J Chivers, Mrs D Morison, Mrs J Roberts, Mr W Watts and Dr AJ Hoskins. It was agreed that the Charity be asked to submit a copy of its accounts to the Parish Council each year when published.

2. Apologies

Dr J McCabe (holiday), Ms Wakelin (work) and Mr Abraham,

3. To approve the minutes of the previous meeting

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mrs Bratt the minutes were approved as a true record with the following amendments: under item 12 Mrs Hyde -Neighbourhood Watch and Countryside Watch; Mr Watts and Ms Wakelin - Tree Report. The Chair signed the minutes.

4. Matters arising from the meeting

4.1 Request for a 'ducks in the road sign'

In response to the request from the lady from the United News shop the proposition by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Mr James that Councillor Martlew be asked to ask the County Council to put up four warning signs was carried unopposed.

4.2 Village hall and quotations for disability work

Dr McCabe's Steering Committee report(report 1) was received by the meeting. The Clerk reported that Mr Abraham had drawn up the disability work specification and a floor plan of the hall and that these were being prepared to be sent out to contractors for tender.

(7.4) Extracts from the New Village Hall Lease Tenant's Covenants 2.3 Repairing Covenant and Landlord's covenant 3 Landlord's repairing Covenant were considered.

Mr James proposed that the Parish Council should reverse its previous decision and refuse to fund the disability upgrade to the NVH on the grounds that the money could be better used on the new hall. He then withdrew the proposal in support of a proposal by Mr Bennett, seconded by Mr James that 'in the light of the fact that the Village Hall Steering Committee was reported to have recently agreed on a target date of autumn 2004 for the completion of the new hall, and noting the likely high costs for upgrading the existing hall to cope with the needs of the new disability act, the Chairman should meet with Mr Gadney and Mr Fisher with a view to ascertaining how realistic the proposed target date was and, if it was felt to be attainable, whether the Institute would feel able to support the deferral of the work on the upgrade (with a view to possibly using the monies on the new hall) or whether it would be appropriate to continue with the existing plans' which was carried.

The Chairman was asked to report back to the next meeting.

It was agreed that in the meantime the Clerk should proceed with the tender requests.

4.3 Traffic calming measures Barton Road

The Chairman reported on his discussions with Pat Matthews, the District Council's Land Drainage Manager and the outstanding consent for drain piping by the Environment Agency. County Councillor Martlew was asked to find out the current position with the proposed traffic calming and to report to the next meeting.

On a proposition by the Chairman it was agreed to bring forward item 7.

7. Recreation ground matters including

7.1 Pavilion management

7.2 Draft priority agreement for Sports Clubs and

7.3 To consider the commissioning of a formal management study on the recreation ground and pavilion were taken together.

The recreation ground Group indicated its willingness to carry on managing the pavilion until a longer-term solution was agreed.

The Clerk reported on the recent enquiries made to other villages with a recreation ground and pavilion on their management and fees structure. Usually a committee made up of the user groups and representatives of the parish council via an Agreement (as previously the case in Comberton) or a Lease. In Milton for example this had gone one step further with the formation of a Trust. In Hardwick the saving of the recreation ground and the pavilion had been down to its becoming a 'social club' for part of the week; again Leased to the users.

The average fees for recreation ground and pavilion use by clubs were approximately £500 per annum but information was still outstanding from Jill Hill of the Football Association and Russell Dole of the Cricket Association.

It was noted that at the recent Comberton Tennis Club EGM it had been agreed that if the Village College was successful in its bid to the Lawn Tennis Association Comberton Tennis Club would move the Club to Comberton Village College so that they could use their changing room and social facilities.

The Clerk reported that she had provided as much information regarding the management and charging structure for the recreation ground and pavilion use as she was able but advised that this still required a decision by the Council. On a proposition by Mr James, seconded by Dr Wright it was agreed that the Village Action Plan Group be asked to look into this further and drive this forward.

7.4 Recreation ground extension

In response to the letter from Messrs. Topham and Banks agreeing to open negotiations on a proposition Mrs Morison, seconded by Mr James it was unanimously agreed that the Chairman and Vice-Chair should represent the Council at the first meeting/meetings and report back to the Parish Council.

4.4 Queen's Golden Jubilee

The Chairman reported on the arrangements for the celebrations and on a proposition by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Mrs Hyde it was agreed that an application should be made to the District Council for funding.

Letters requesting sponsorship towards the £300 fireworks had been sent out. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr Wright it was agreed that the Parish Council underwrite any short fall to enable the firework display to go ahead as planned.

On a proposition by Mrs Hyde, seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed that the Parish Council was supportive of the Village Hall Steering Committee's involvement at the Jubilee event.

4.5 Vandalism in Fox's Way

A letter from Mr Jones disagreeing that children had been responsible for the damage to the sub-station was considered.

4.5 Memorial

As the response to the request for wording for the Memorial had been so poor it was agreed to carry the decision forward to a future meeting to allow time for further consultation.

5. Finance

5.1 To receive the financial report and to approve the payment of bills(appended 1 to these minutes)

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mrs Bratt, the expenditure as listed in the financial report and monthly financial statement plus C Morison £85 (bin emptying), Herald Contract Services - £13277.77 (grasscutting), M Wright - £29.58 (Chairman's allowance for P Hardy's gift), WJ Brink £50 (deposit for band) and £150 (to be released after the event) was unanimously approved.

5.2 Request for financial support for 'Contact'

The magazine's accounts had been received. In response to the request from 'Contact' for financial support the proposal by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Mrs Hyde that in accordance with its powers under Section 137 of the Local Government Act, 1972, the Council donates £700 to 'Contact' which, in the opinion of the Council is in the interests of the area and its inhabitants was carried unanimously. Mrs Whiting and her team were congratulated on their 'superb' production.

5.3 Request for additional bin liners

On a proposition by Dr Wright, seconded by Mr Bennett it was agreed to purchase six new bin liners from ESPO at a cost of £40 each.

5.4 New financial regulations

Mr James and the Clerk reported on the Audit Commission's new financial regulations and the requirement to appoint an Internal Auditor. It was agreed to carry this matter forward to the next meeting until after the Clerk had attended her training course. It was noted that Mr Saunders had already been appointed as the Council's financial overseer, checking the details of all receipts and payments etc. It was agreed to consider this role further at the next meeting when more information was to hand.

6. Reports

6.1 To consider matters from circulated reports

No reports had been received other than those mentioned elsewhere in these minutes.

6.2 County Councillor

Councillor Martlew reported on the replacement of streetlights in the village, his complaint to the County Council at the state of pavements in the village and gave assurance that the problems would soon be rectified.

6.3 District Councillor

Councillor Harangozo complained that Anglian Water vans were parking on the grass verges and asked that this matter be raised with the company at the Annual Parish Meeting. The reorganisation of the District Council is to be discussed at the Annual Parish Meeting. Councillor Harangozo also reported that he had received notification of a pre-application consultation by Orange for their proposed telecommunications mast at Highfields Farm. It was agreed that a special Planning Committee meeting should be convened to respond to the consultation.

5.4 Planning update(2)

Mrs Bratt reported on the applications considered by the Planning Committee since the last Council meeting and provided a brief update.

It was noted that the next Tree Group meeting had been scheduled for Saturday 11 May at 10am.

6.5 Focus Group including changes to litter bin emptying

The Focus Group's report covering litter bin locations, the Jubilee event, Youth Forum, Make the Commitment and the Causeway was received and considered by the meeting(3).

It was noted that the Focus Group had completed its review of the village bin emptying and the contract had been given to the District Council thus saving approximately £15 per week.

8. S106 Hubert Leach Development, Barton Road

Councillor Harangozo was asked to encourage Mr Taylor, Legal Director to produce the final draft of the S106 without further delay.

It was agreed to carry this matter forward to the next meeting to allow more time for discussion.

The Leach Homes application for boundary fencing and a walled entrance was considered and refused on the grounds that: it was inappropriate to a village setting; a sense of exclusivity should not be encouraged; and as maintenance will be part of the S106 Agreement a living structure e.g. a hedge is preferred.

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

9.1 Complaint regarding football games on Harbour Avenue greens

In response to the complaint from a resident in The Valley it was agreed to accept Mr Ian Rigg's offer to speak with the offenders if the problem persisted.

9.2 Request for brass memorial plaque for the church

Mr Dickinson, Chairman of the District Branch of the British Legion had written requesting a donation towards a brass war memorial plaque for the church. On a proposition by Mrs Hyde, seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed that in accordance with its powers under Section 137 of the Local Government Act, 1972, the Council donate up to £100 to Caldecote, Comberton and District Branch of the British Legion towards a brass memorial plaque which, in the opinion of the Council is in the interests of the area and its inhabitants.

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mrs Bratt it was agreed to amend the budget to show £300 for the Scouts donation.

9.3 Electoral Review

The final report had concluded that there would no change to the Comberton ward boundary.

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

Nil.

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9.30pm.

Signed ……………………………Chairman ……………………date.