Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the Old Village Hall
on Wednesday 13 November 2002 at 7.30pm

Members present:


Mr R Abraham

Mrs R Bratt

Dr C Chambers

Mrs S Hyde

Mr R James

Dr J McCabe

Mrs D Morison

Mr G Saunders

Ms J Wakelin

Miss C Westgarth

Dr M Wright (Chairman)

In attendance: Mrs G Stoehr (Clerk) and four members of the public.

1. Apologies

Members: Mr M Bennett (work) Mr C Pettit (work) and District Councillor S Harangozo,

2. To approve the minutes of
2.1 The last meeting on 9 October

On a proposition by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Ms Wakelin the minutes were approved as a true record and were signed by the Chairman.

2.2 The extra-ordinary meeting on 6 November

On a proposition by Ms Wakelin, seconded by Miss Westgarth the minutes were approved as a true record following one amendment to show that Dr McCabe was also present at the meeting. The Chairman signed the minutes.

3. Matters arising from the meeting not included elsewhere on this agenda
3.1 Watts Wood ongoing maintenance and management

The Clerk apologised that this had not been done due to her holiday and it was agreed to carry this item forward to the next meeting.

3.2 Annual Review of the Clerk's terms and conditions

Miss Westgarth reported that the Group had met and it was agreed to carry this item forward to the next meeting.

3.3 To agree the date of the Annual Parish Meeting

As the Village Hall is already booked on the chosen date it was agreed that the Annual Parish Meeting wll be held on Tuesday 15 April 2003. The choice of a speaker will be discussed at a future meeting.

3.4 Preferred suppliers list

It was agreed to discuss this under item 8.3 later in the meeting.

3.5 Freedom of Information Act

The Model for Parish Councils had now been received and this is to be circulated so that this matter may be decided at the next meeting.

3.6 Hubert Leach development, Barton Road, S106

Mrs Bratt reported that the S106 was being held up by the County Council's negotiations for an educational contribution and also by drainage details.

3.7 Costs for moving the signs to Horizon Park

It was noted that the cost to the parish would be £238.60. As the sign will probably be taken down and moved when the roundabout is installed it was agreed to monitor this and see if it could be moved free of charge then.

3.8 Review of plans for the traffic calming and roundabout near the Barton Road development

The Chairman's report(reports1) on his discussion with Mr Pat Matthews was received and considered and it was noted that the Parish Council would be consulted on the proposed piping after being looked at by the Environment Agency.

3.9 It was noted that Mr Pettit had missed several meetings recently and the Chairman was asked to enquire if he was able to continue with his Council duties.

3.10 Mrs Hyde reported that the WI had planted bulbs throughout the village including at the corner of Harbour Avenue where they had also planted wallflowers. It was noted that over 16,000 bulbs were now planted, including those near Highfields Farm, which should give a spectacular show in future years.

Members of the Council were asked to volunteer to help plant the Parish Council's bulbs. Mrs Hyde also reported that the drain in Harbour Avenue had been covered with leaves and that she had cleared these.

The Parish Council formally recorded its thanks to the WI for all their time and contribution to the village.

3.11 Water coming up out of the manhole in Swaynes Lane is to be reported to Anglian Water and Highway Division. It appears that the work carried out earlier in the year has not totally solved the problem.

3.12 The new village maps had now been ordered and these have a twenty year guarantee against fading

5. Finance

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

It was noted that there had been problems with Herald Contract Services' invoicing which were being sorted out.

Mr Oakes had been contracted between meetings to undertake urgent work to a tree on the recreation ground and that his invoice was included for approval for payment. Mr Oakes had also advised that additional work to the tree was required and the Tree Group was asked to look in to this.

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Morison, the expenditure as listed in the financial report and monthly financial statement excluding the payment to South Cambridgeshire District Council for pavilion rates, was unanimously approved.

It was agreed to discuss the payment of the rates under item 8.3 later in the meeting.

A letter requesting financial support had been received from the Old School House. No amount had been specified in the letter. It was noted that only £63 remains in the S137 budget after keeping £100 promised to the British Legion in reserve. The proposal by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Miss Westgarth that in accordance with its powers under Section 137 of the Local Government Act, 1972, the Council donate £50 to The Old School House which, in the opinion of the Council is in the interests of the area and its inhabitants, was carried unanimously.

An item is to be put in Contact about the timing of requests for donations.

The estimation from Leader Builders for a repair to the Village Hall roof was considered. On a proposition by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed to contract Leader Builders to carry out the necessary repair.

A transfer of £7000 from the savings to the current account was also approved.

4.2 The budget report (appended 2 to these minutes) showing income and expenditure against budget to date was received. Members were asked to let the Clerk have items for the forthcoming budget before the next meeting. With large items of expenditure being considered for example the recreation ground extension, items arising from the Parish Plan and also the proposed new village hall consideration is to be given to a budget to cover a three year period.

5. To consider matters arising from reports

5.1 County Councillor

Not present

5.2 District Councillor

Not present.

5.3 Planning update(2)

Mrs Bratt's report on the applications considered by the Planning Committee since the last Council meeting was received and considered.

Ms Wakelin reported on a breach to the planning approval at 8 West Street. Mrs Bratt declared an interest in this as the neighbour and withdrew from the discussion and the decision. On a proposition by Mr James, seconded by Dr Wright it was agreed that a letter of complaint be sent to David Hussell, Planning Director regarding the breach and the District Council's attitude that a retrospective amendment will be acceptable rather than planning enforcement. Councillor Harangozo is to be asked for his support with this matter.

It was noted that the Enforcement Officer had visited Home Farm, Barton Road and said that planning permission is not required for alterations currently taking place.

5.4 Assets Review(3)

Miss Westgarth's report was received and considered. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed that the items marked as urgent should be carried out without delay i.e. a couple of drainage holes drilling on the lower foot plate, the removal of graffiti from the Watts Wood notice board and at the Village Hall render falling off the western wall and the window frame needs to be replaced.

It was also agreed that quotations should be obtained for the following items marked for attention to be included in the draft budget for the forthcoming financial year:

Recreation ground

Village Halls site -


The Recreation Ground Committee was asked to take a proper inventory and note the ownership of equipment in the garage.

5.5 Focus Group

The Groups report(4) which included community warden, youth shelter, memorial, he Causeway, new footpaths, Sensory Garden, Christmas lights event, traffic calming at CVC and draft budget ideas was received and noted.

5.5.1 Hines Lane. It was noted that Hines Lane is scheduled to be resurfaced in the spring and that a parishioner had written requesting traffic calming be considered. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Ms Wakelin it was agreed that all the residents in Hines Lane be consulted as to their views and that it no reply is received members of the Parish Council would follow this up.

5.5.2 Proposed bus shelter in West Street. On a proposition by Dr Wright, seconded by Mrs Bratt it was agreed that residents adjacent to the bus shelter near 66 West Street be consulted as to their views on a bus shelter at this location.

5.5.3 Christmas lights event. The WI had kindly agreed to bake some mince pies for the Christmas lights event. It was noted that they would be reimbursed for the ingredients from the budget. To ensure safety on the day it was agreed that the Chairman should approach Mrs Kingshott to ask if the event could be held in the school car park.

5.5.4 The Causeway. Mr James reported that the work was progressing well and only two short lengths remained to be done.

5.6 Tree Group

Ms Wakelin reported that the Group had met to begin to discuss its terms of reference and that it would report to the next meeting. A walk round the village to look at the trees is scheduled for 23 November.

5.7 Parish Plan

Mr Bennett's report(6) was received and considered in his absence.

6. Village Halls including

6.1 Reports(7&8)

Copies of the recent approved minutes from the Village Hall Steering Committee meetings dated 9 September and 4 October were received and noted. Dr McCabe and Dr Chambers reported that the Committee was impressed with the architect and his approach to the design brief. Sources of funding are currently being explored and after the plans are discussed with the District Council's planning department the village will be consulted. It was noted that village fundraising was underway and that a business plan was being drawn up for the project.

6.2 New Lease

Further to the last meeting the letter of intent had been sent to the trustees.

7. Village Memorial schedule and words

The report(9) from Miss Westgarth and Dr Wright on their meeting with the District Council and Commissions East and the letter from Ms Fraser, Memorial Artist were received and considered.

On a proposition by Ms Wakelin, seconded by Mrs Morison the Parish Council agreed, on compassionate grounds, to an extension to the timescales in the contract with completion of the project by 31 March 2003 at the latest.

In response to the Artist's request for an early release of the final payment the proposal by Mr James, seconded by Ms Wakelin that the Parish Council refuse the request and no funding be released until the project is completed satisfactorily was carried with ten votes in favour and one vote against.

Dr Wright reported that the choice of words for the Memorial had been narrowed down to the following two:

It was agreed to put these in Contact and consult with the parishioners.

8. Recreation ground and pavilion report including

8.1 Recreation ground report(10)

8.3 Tim Wall's 'A Review of the Management of Comberton Pavilion and Recreation Ground'(11)

8.4 Pavilion Management

These items were taken together.

Mr Abraham's report included the large oak tree near the bowls club, the pavilion fire alarm problems and the City Council's maintenance service.

Mr Wall's report(11) had been circulated and was received and considered.

Mr Bennett's recommendations regarding Tim Wall's report(12) as circulated was received and considered.

On a proposition by Mrs Hyde, seconded by Mrs Bratt it was agreed that Mrs Hyde, Mr Abraham, Mr Sunders, Mr Chambers and Mrs Bratt (until 5th December and then Miss Westgarth) form a new Recreation Ground Committee to in the first instance appoint a part-time grounds person/village handy person as soon as practicable, following the guidelines in section 6.1 of Mr Wall's report.

In response to the rates demand for the pavilion which is payable now the pavilion is no longer leased on a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Bratt it was agreed that the pavilion management and finances should be handed back to the Parish Council with the Clerk taking on the responsibility until the new grounds person is appointed.

On a proposition by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Dr McCabe it was agreed to make a payment of £841 i.e. six months to the District Council towards the rates on the pavilion.

8.2 Extension

It was agreed that this should be carried forward again to the next meeting, as the District Valuer's report had not yet arrived.

8.5 Tennis Club

It was noted that the Village College had been successful in its bid and it was anticipated that the Tennis Club would move in September 2003. On a proposition by the Chairman an invitation was extended to the Chair of the Tennis Club to attend the next meeting

8.6 Skateboard ramps - letter from Dr Francine Hughes

The letter from Dr Hughes(13) dated 26 October was considered. Miss Westgarth reported that the Focus Group had been looking at temporary ramps and mobile facilities. It was noted that Bedfordshire Police currently is offering a 'taster session' using mobile ramps and the group were asked to investigate this further and bring more information to the next meeting.

9. Youth Council/Forum and youth consultation

Mr Bennett's report(14) titled 'recommendations regarding Youth Council and Youth Forum Consultation was received and considered. On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Miss Westgarth it was agreed that

i) The Parish Council proceed with a structured youth consultation as soon as funding can be obtained

ii) The Parish Council consider providing some funding for continued work with the young people including the provision to finance a portion of the cost of a part-time youth worker when the funding for i) has been secured and

iii) A steering Committee be established to take this work forward once funding is place.

The voting on this was recorded as nine votes in favour and one member abstaining.

10. Grasscutting and village maintenance specification review

Carried forward to the next meeting.

11. Consultation on Regional Planning Guidance and South East Airport Study

The contents of the consultation were noted and Councillor Harangozo is to be asked to put an item in Contact.

12. To consider matters arising out of correspondence/communications received since the last meeting

12.1 Local Plan No.2

Mrs Bratt reported that the Inspector's comments, the District Council's formal reply and associated papers had been received and were available to members to read.

12.2 Damage to the footpath outside the Three Horseshoes Public House

The letter from the County Council, dated 8 October regarding the damage to the footpath outside the public house was considered and it was agreed that the damage was being caused by 'pub traffic' in particular by the heavily loaded dray visiting each week and that the County Council should pursue a contribution from the public house.

12.3 Dial-a-Ride Sprinter Bus. Notification had been received that a new service is to start in Comberton and run on a Tuesday each week. This would be by membership and collect residents from their door and stop directly outside the shops in the centre of Cambridge. Details of the scheme are to be sent to Contact.

13. Urgent matters brought forward with the Chairmanís consent

In response to the continued problems with inappropriate parking in the village it was agreed that some 'Polite' notices be made for members to put under car wipers.

Peculiar silver paint markings on the pavement in the centre of the village were noted.


There was no further business and the meeting closed at 10.11pm.