Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the Old Village Hall
on Wednesday 10 July 2002

Members present:


Mr R Abraham

Mr M Bennett

Mrs R Bratt

Mr R James

Dr J McCabe

Mrs D Morison

Mr C Pettit

Mr G Saunders

Ms J Wakelin

Miss C Westgarth.

Dr M Wright (Chairman)

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

1. Apologies

Mrs S Hyde.

2. To approve the minutes of the previous meeting on 13 June

On a proposition by Ms Wakelin, seconded by Miss Westgarth the minutes were approved as a true record with two amendments: item 11.2 to read 'it was too time consuming for the group alone' and item 14.2 to read 'contractors chippings were used to form a drive in Swaynes Lane and excavated soil was left on the Drift. Claret are to be asked to move this'. The Chair signed the minutes.

3. Matters arising from the meeting

3.1 Meeting with Topham and Banks

A meeting had been arranged for Monday and on a proposition by Mr Abraham, seconded by Mr James it was agreed that the negotiations should be for the field bounded by the awarded watercourse nearest to the recreation ground i.e. approximately 7.5 acres.

3.2 Street lighting and removal of obsolete lamp posts update

A letter of apology had been received from the County Council and it was noted that the three remaining obsolete lights should be removed within the week.

3.3 Village of the Year competition

The Chairman reported on the village's display at Haddenham and thanked Miss Westgarth for both arranging the display and for also attending the presentation with him.

3.4 Grasscutting

It was noted that there were still problems with the contract. The Chairman reported that he had met with Mr Newitt of Herald Contract Services who had agreed to do an extra cut free of charge. In response to the suggestion that grass clippings were cleared rather than left lying on the verges on a proposition by Mr James, seconded by Dr Wright it was agreed that the Chairman should approach Mr Kingshott to ask if the clippings could be composed at the allotments.

3.5 Skateboard facility music event

In response to the request from Dr Hughes seeking permission to change the date to 13 September to allow time for a liquor licence application the proposition by Dr Wright, seconded by Mrs Bratt, it was agreed that the change in date be approved but that Dr Hughes be informed that the Parish Council object to a liquor licence application.

3.6 Hubert Leach Ltd S106 Agreement update

Nothing further had been heard as Chris Taylor was on holiday.

3.7 Disability work update

Two quotations had now been received. As agreed at the last meeting no further action was required for the time being.

3.8 (5.5) Safety rail

Morley Manufacturing had been unable to secure the rail as requested as it was now missing. The County Council had agreed to replace it and make sure that it was secure.

3.9 (14.2) It was noted that the chippings on the Drift had been removed.

4. Finance

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

On a proposition by Ms Wakelin, seconded by Mr Abraham, the expenditure as listed in the financial report and monthly financial statement plus Mission Computers 100.01 for printing was unanimously approved. It was noted that the financial statement should be adjusted by 10p as Scotsdales read as 141.85 that this should be 141.75.

4.2 To approve the Income & Expenditure Accounts and Supporting Statement for FY ending 2002

The proposal by Mr Saunders, seconded by Mrs Bratt that the Income and Expenditure Account, Balance Sheet and Supporting Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2002, as prepared by the Responsible Financial Officer, be approved by resolution of Comberton Parish Council was carried unanimously.

4.3 Statement of Assurance

The report prepared by Mr James and Mr Saunders was received and considered. Its recommendation that the Clerk show petty cash on the financial report had already been implemented and it was noted that the petty cash claim and receipts were checked each month by Mr Saunders, or in his absence another member, along with all other invoices however any member could also check the accounts books at anytime.

The review of the assessment of risks included regular checking of play equipment, employer, public liability fidelity and item insurance, a review of any outstanding insurance issues e.g. tree claims against the Council. It was noted that the fidelity insurance was currently 100,000 and it was agreed that this was satisfactory.

In response to the question as to who audits the Herringland and Warden Scheme it was noted that the Warden Scheme always send the Council a copy of their annual accounts. On a proposition by Mr James, seconded by Mrs Bratt it was agreed that the Herringland Charity should be asked for a copy of its accounts each year.

On a proposition by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Mr James it was agreed that any group receiving a donation of 500 or over from the Parish Council should provide evidence via its annual accounts that the money had been spent as per the terms of the grant.

4.4 Appointment of Internal Auditor

Mr James reported that he and Mr Saunders had met and interviewed the one applicant for the position, Mrs Pauline Wright of Woottens Close. Mrs Wright had a financial background having worked as a financial officer with the Red Cross and as treasurer to several charities. On a proposition by Mr James, seconded by Mr Saunders, Mrs Wright was appointed as Internal Auditor. Mrs Wright had been invited to the September meeting to do a half-yearly check on the accounts.

It was also agreed that the Statement of Assurance on the Annual Return could be completed in the affirmative and the Chairman could sign the Return when received from the Auditor.

4.5 To consider quotations received

4.5.1 The Causeway

One quotation/estimate was to hand from Mr Beamiss. It was noted that this was a difficult contract given the nature of the work and that Mr Beamiss had already undertaken work for the Council on The Causeway. The proposal from Mr James, seconded by Mrs Bratt, that Mr Beamiss' estimate of 4,000-4,500 be approved was carried unopposed with the expectation that all the work would be completed for this price. Mr James was appointed overseer of the contract.

It was noted that the rent from the Churchlands (approximately 12acres) was specifically for the upkeep of the church and a causeway leading to it. Mr Fisher, Treasurer to the Parochial Church Charity reported that in past years this money had gone towards the restoration of the church.

4.5.2 Tree work

The quotation from Peter Oakes was considered and on a proposition by Ms Wakelin, seconded by Mrs Morrison the quotation for 580 including grinding was approved.

4.5.3 Pavilion shutters

Briar Securities quotation of 1,175 excluding VAT was received and considered. It was noted that from the literature provided this type of shutter was not insurance approved. It was agreed that Cornhill be contacted for advice and that Briar Securities be asked to provide a quotation for insurance approved type shutters. Other quotations are also to be obtained.

5. Reports

5.1 To consider matters from circulated reports

5.1.1 Youth and Play Conference

Mr Abraham and Mr Saunders report was received and considered. Mr Abraham reported his concern at the proposed skateboard facility given his discussions with other councils and officials at the conference. On a proposal by Mr Abraham seconded by Mr Saunders it was agreed that a logbook for equipment checks and an accident book be purchased.

5.1.2 Environment and Transport meeting

Mrs Morison's report is to be circulated.

5.4 VAP report on meeting with Tim Wall and recreation ground users

Mr Bennett reported on the Village Action Plan progress and the attendance of ACRE and the District Council at the recent meetings. It was noted that the Group had applied for additional funding; firstly to the District Council and secondly to the Countryside Agency.

The report on the meeting with Tim Wall, Sport and Leisure Consultant and the recreation ground users(3) was received and considered. Mr Wall's outline as to his services and his fees was also received and considered(4).On a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Mrs Morison Tim Wall was contracted with an agreement that the Parish Council underwriting any shortfall in his funding.

5.6 Questions from the VH Steering Group - replies

Mrs Bratt reported that some questions were easily answered and that some may need professional advice if necessary in the future. It was noted that this was not urgent and could be carried forward. The minutes from the recent Steering Group meetings(5&6) were received and considered. It was noted that the quotations from the architects may be ready before the next Parish Council meeting in September and on a proposition by Mr James seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed that the chairman and a quorum of members could consider and approve the quotations if necessary before the next meeting so as not to delay the new village hall process.

5.2 County Councillor

Councillor Martlew reported on the proposed use of speed cameras by parish councils and their members for the purpose of surveys only. The inequalities in grant funding for village warden schemes was noted.

5.3 District Councillor

Councillor Harangozo reported on the A428/A421 consultation including proposals for improvements to public transport. It was noted that Comberton had not officially received information from the Highway Agency consultants or the County Council and Councillor Martlew was asked to let the clerk have some information for circulating.

5.4 Planning update(7)

Mrs Bratt reported on the applications considered by the Planning Committee since the last Council meeting and it was noted that one member had declared a personal interest in the Orange mast application at Highfields Park.

6. Football club financial support

In response to the request for financial support by the Football Club on a proposition by Ms Wakelin, seconded by Mr Pettit it was agreed that the Parish Council purchase the items as listed (354.28) from ESPO for use on the recreation ground.

7. To consider nominations for the village hall representative

Mr Saunders kindly agreed to stand. On a proposition by the Chairman, seconded by Mrs Bratt it was agreed that Mr Saunders should be the Parish Council village hall representative when Mrs Bratt retired.

8. Vacancies

8.1 Parish Councillor

The District Council had written that the Parish Council may co-opt to fill the vacancy. It was agreed that the vacancy should be advertised in Contact and on the parish notice board and that this would be an agenda item for the next meeting.

8.2 Tree Warden

It was agreed that the vacancy should be advertised in Contact and on the parish notice board.

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

Minor correspondence for information or a future meeting will be circulated between members.

9.1 Planning decisions

On a proposition by the Chairman it was agreed to carry this item forward to the end of the meeting.

9.2 Housing need survey

It was noted that the District Council would be carrying out a district wide survey.

9.3 Herringfield Charity Trustee vacancy

The letter from Dr Hoskins was received and considered. It was agreed to carry this item forward the next meeting in September.

9.4 In response to the request from the Baptist Church to hold an open-air service on the recreation ground using the pavilion for the amplification system on a proposition by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Mrs Morison this was approved with the proviso that the applicant consults with the nearby residents.

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

10.1 The Chairman reported that he had been approached by the New Village Hall Steering Committee and had agreed to the request to hold a fundraising cake stall near the pond.

10.2 The Chairman proposed that the petition received before the meeting from 32 residents objecting to the siting of the sensory garden on the large green in Harbour Avenue be discussed. It was noted that a letter and plan had been sent to all resident overlooking the green in March and that the Clerk had not received any response. On a proposition by Mr Abraham, seconded by Mr Pettit it was agreed that the Clerk should write to all the signatories on the petition addressing the concerns expressed and also sending a colour version of the latest proposal.

9.1 Planning decisions

Ms Wakelin declared a prejudicial interest in this matter and left the meeting.

Mr Gordon's letter had been read by all members and was considered. Following a review of the Planning Committee's practice in determining all planning applications and the Committee's reasoning behind its responses to both 41 and 26 Swaynes Lane, on a proposition by Mr James, seconded by Mr Abraham, it was agreed that the Parish Council was satisfied that both applications were treated equally and that no further action is required by the Council.

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 10.07pm.