Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the Old Village Hall
on Wednesday 8 January 2003 at 7.30pm

Members present:


Mr M Bennett

Mrs R Bratt

Dr C Chambers

Mrs S Hyde

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: District Councillor S Harangozo, Mrs G Stoehr (Clerk) and four members of the public

1. Apologies fro absence

Members: Mr R Abraham and County Councillor R Martlew.

Miss Westgarth sent her apologies that she would be late and arrived at the start of item 3.2.

2. To approve the minutes of 11 December

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mrs Bratt the minutes were approved as a true record and were signed by the Chairman after the following amendments:

3.1 to read 'up to and including'

3.3 'a) to install new junction 'on a bend' sign to indicate Swaynes Lane/South Street junction south of junction

b) to move farm tractor sign by Shepherds Allotments to south of Church Lane'.

6.3 to read 'recreation ground courts or CVC and recreation ground courts'

3. Finance

3.1 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 as follows was unanimously approved:

C Orme

grass cutting and rec wire fencing


Herald Contract Services



M Wright

Reimbursement Christmas Lights Event


LG Stoehr



LGS Services



S Hyde

reimbursement to WI for Lights event


Countryside Watch

Affiliation fees


3.2 To consider the first draft of the budget for FY 2003-2004 including requests for financial support

The budget report (appended 2 to these minutes) was reconsidered. The sub totals for each of the budget headings for recurring items of expenditure for example village and assets maintenance, general administration including items such as insurance and salaries (including the new recreation grounds man) and the Parish Council's support of village groups and organisations were considered and it was noted that to meet the minimum anticipated expenditure and produce a balanced budget before any consideration of special projects the Precept would need to be set at £37,000.

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mrs Bratt the baseline figures were approved for anticipated expenditure to cover Agency Services, General Administration, S137 donations to support requests for financial support from village groups and a contingency fund of £3000 as shown in the draft budget.

A first draft of the Parish Plan had been circulated as a discussion document to all members of the Council(reports 1) and Mr Bennett's report titled Parish Plan: Current Status and Budget Considerations (reports 2) was received and considered.

The recent request from the Comberton Village Institute Trustees asking for financial support of £60,000 towards the proposed new village hall was reconsidered

The Clerk outlined an option for raising large amounts of capital via loans and gave an example of current interest rates and loan repayments via the Public Works Loan Board for both five and ten year periods(appended 3 to these minutes).

On a proposition by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Mrs Morison it was unanimously agreed to budget £10,000 as seed funding to implement the parish plan in the forthcoming financial year and that in principle that the Parish Council would seek loan arrangements to help finance items of capital expenditure.

On a proposition by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Ms Wakelin it was agreed to write to the Village Institute Trustees agreeing to contribute £60,000 towards the proposed new village hall as requested in their recent letter. This was carried with one abstention.

On a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Mrs Bratt it was agreed that £7,000 be budgeted to cover a first loan payment if necessary in the forthcoming financial year. The result of the voting for this was nine in favour, one against and two abstentions.

3.3 To approve the Precept request for FY 2003-2004

On a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Mr Chambers it was agreed that the Precept be set at £54,000. The result of the vote on this was ten votes in favour and two abstentions.

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

4.1 An email from Mr Walsh, 38 Fox's Way regarding surface water run off from the Long Road allotments was received and considered. It was agreed that the Allotments Society be contacted and asked for their support and the Chairman and Clerk should carry out a site visit to see if the problem could be speedily and easily resolved.

4.2 Several complaints had been received from residents regarding flooding and problems with drains and gullies. It was agreed that all the village drains need clearing and the Chairman reported that he had already contacted Mike Cooper to arrange a site meeting to discuss this and other highway matters.

4.3 In response to Anglian Waters reply to the Parish Council's letter from the last meeting and Mr Bacon's letter of complaint o Anglian Water it was agreed to invite them to attend a site meeting to discuss the numerous complaints. It was noted that there were sandbags in the ditch in Swaynes Lane. Mr Bacon is to be invited to attend the meeting with Anglian Water if he is available.

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

5.1 Meeting with District Council conservation Officer and Planning Officer to discuss the plans for the proposed new village hall. It was noted that a meeting had been arranged for Friday 10 January. It was agreed that representatives of the Parish Council should attend.

5.2 It was noted that the Tree Group would be meeting to look at the village trees on 25 January. Any trees of concern should be reported to the Tree Group before the meeting.

5.3 It was noted that the applicant for the handyperson vacancy had withdrawn their application and that the Group meet to re-advertise the vacancy.

5.4 Recreation Ground report. Mr Abraham's report was considered in his absence. On a proposition by Mrs Bratt, seconded by Dr Chambers, it was agreed that Mr Abraham and Mr Saunders be delegated powers to rope off areas and/or put up a notice preventing use by either clubs or the public of the recreation ground and/or areas of the recreation ground when the ground is unsuitable.

5.5 Meeting to discuss the draft Parish Plan. It was agreed that a meeting should be held on Saturday 8 February at 9am in the Baptist Chapel and would be open to any interested members of the public.

5.6 The Chairman reported on the success of the Christmas Lights event and thanked all those involved in setting it up and running it. It was noted that a collection made raised £179.49 towards Salvation Army good causes. The band also played at Nursery Way and were served coffee there by the residents.

5.7 The Chairman reported that several sandbags had been used during the recent floods and that more had been ordered and requested that a supply of sandbags be already filled in the event of flood and asked that a dry place be found to store them to prevent rotting of the bags.



There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9.50pm.


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