Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held in

the Old Village Hall on Wednesday 9 July 2003


Members present:


Mr M Bennett

Mrs S Brookfield

Dr C Chambers

Dr F Hughes

Dr J McCabe

Dr H Roscoe

Miss C Westgarth (Chairman)

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


1.         Apologies for absence

Mr A Bailey, Mrs D Morison, Mr D Charge and Mr R Rowlands.

2.         To approve the minutes of the last meeting on 11 June

On a proposition by Mrs Brookfield, seconded by Dr Chambers, following an amendment to show ‘Mrs Brookfield’ the minutes were approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

3.         Co-option of new members - two vacancies

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr McCabe, it was unanimously resolved to advertise the two vacancies both in Contact and on the parish notice boards and to carry this matter forward to the next meeting.

4.         Matters arising from the meeting not included elsewhere on this agenda

4.1       (4.1) Recreation ground extension/Topham and Banks land

Nothing new to report.

4.2       (4.2) Barton Road traffic calming - reply from Sue Reynolds

The recent letter from Ms Reynolds was considered. Councillor Martlew advised that the Parish Council may still be able to negotiate this matter and it was agreed that Mr Bennett and representatives of the Transport group should meet with Mr Mark Kemp of the Highway Division to discuss this further.

4.3       (4.6) Green End Telephone kiosk

It was noted that the kiosk had now been removed and replaced with one of modern design despite the recent planning refusal. An email from Mr Morgan, planning Officer confirmed that British Telecom (BT) had been asked to remove the kiosk and find another location outside the conservation area. Details of the costs of the two types of kiosk are to be obtained from BT.

4.4       (10.3) South Street speeding and closure of United News – letter from a concerned resident

PC Bradley had written to apologise for the delays in carrying out the requested speed checks in South Street and Royston Lane and to say that the checks would still be done. It was agreed that the Transport Group should liaise with PC Bradley about this and keep Mrs Barnard informed of the outcome.

It was noted that some enquiries as to the future of the shop had been made. On a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Dr McCabe it was agreed to find out who now owned the premises, via Land Registry, at the appropriate charge if necessary and to write to remind them that the premises are in a conservation area and need attention.

5.         County Councillor and District Councillor reports

5.1       County Councillor

Councillor Martlew reported on the kerbs for the sensory garden, the County’s involvement with the Memorial site hedge problems, S106 provisions for education, the proposed guided bus and the reorganisation of the county’s boundaries.

5.2       District Councillor

Councillor Harangozo reported on the forthcoming changes to the refuse collection day, weed spraying arrangements and the Local Strategic Partnership.

It was noted that the area around village trees and hydrants had been sprayed and it was agreed to find out if Herald Contract Services had been responsible and if so to ask them not to do this again.

6.         Parish Plan

Mr Bennett's report(1) was considered. This covered the formation of the two sub groups, meetings held with Phil Sharp of Cambridgeshire County Council, concerning traffic calming schemes for the village, and with Marianne Coleby of ACRE concerning various funds that are available for transport schemes and the main tasks to be undertaken within 2003 in relation to the Parish Plan.

On a proposition by Mr Bennett seconded by Miss Westgarth, it was resolved that the parish clerk’s hours be increased by 3 hours per calendar month to provide clerking to the committee at a rate of £11ph and that LGS Services be contracted to provide secretarial support of up to 7 hours per month to the Clerk at an hourly rate of £11ph.

It was noted that Section 10.2 Transport of the Parish Plan was being redrafted.

7.         Finance

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

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr Chambers, the expenditure as listed in the financial report and monthly financial statement was approved:

Playground Management Ltd

RoSPA report



Leader Builders

Pavilion guttering



LGS Services

VAP Support



LGS Services




LG Stoehr




South Cambs District Council

Pavilion rates x 2



Herald Contract Services




The proposal by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mr Bennett that in accordance with its powers under Section 137 of the Local Government Act, 1972, the Council donate the following

St Mary's Church



Contact Magazine



Comberton Self-Help Group



Comberton Scouts



which, in the opinion of the Council is in the interests of the area and its inhabitants, was carried unanimously.

7.2       Risk assessment

It was noted that this now forms a substantial part of the annual audit and that the Parish Council already undertake a full annual review of it assets, and insurance policy and other risks as appropriate. On a proposition by Dr McCabe, seconded by Mr Bennett it was agreed that the Parish Council should formalise its policy/approach to risk assessment place and that this then form part of the Council's standing orders to be reviewed/undertaken twice per year. It was further resolved to purchase CALC’s risk assessment guidance book (£10-20) and the new edition of the Charles Arnold Baker (£40).

7.3       To consider and approve the accounts for FY ending 31 March 2003, the Supporting Statement and the Statement of Assurance

The accounts and the Internal Auditor’s report, which had indicated that everything was in order, both of which had been circulated were received and considered. On a proposition by Dr Roscoe, seconded by Dr Chambers the Income and Expenditure Accounts, Bank Reconciliation, Balance Sheet and Supporting Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2003 was approved by resolution of Comberton Parish Council was carried unanimously.

Following consideration of all the questions asked in the Statement of Assurance on a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr Chambers it was resolved that the Statement of Assurance could be signed with all sections showing 'Yes'.

7.4       Bank signatories

Following a review of the signatories for the National Savings Account on a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Dr McCabe it was resolved that the signatories for the account should be Mrs Morison, Miss Westgarth and Dr McCabe and that the signatories for the Lloyds account be considered at a future meeting once the co-options of new members had been completed.

8.         To receive reports and consider matters arising from the reports

8.1       Tree Group including delegated responsibilities. The Group’s report(2) was received and considered. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr Hughes it was resolved that

·        Mrs Morison and the Clerk be authorised to approve, with due regard to Council's standing orders and financial regulations any urgent tree works and agreed maintenance works identified by the Tree Group within the approved budget for tree works

·        The Tree Group be asked to bring each year a detailed recommendation for any works, plantings etc with estimated costs for consideration by the Council at its budget meeting

·        As an interim measure the cleared zone to the north of the pond be cut by Clive Orme as for the existing grass area to encourage grass regrowth and inhibit nettles, elder and other scrub

·        The Tree Group be asked to draw up a detailed development plan for Watts Wood for consideration by the Parish Council at a future meeting

8.2       Planning including the Churchyard extension application

8.2.1    The Committee’s report(3) was received.

8.2.2    It was noted that in 1997 the Parish Council had submitted and planning application for the graveyard extension at the church (change of use from agricultural to graveyard) and that permission had been granted. The District Council had now indicated that the permission had lapsed because no one had been buried and that a new application would now have to be submitted. On a proposition by Dr Hughes, seconded by Dr Chambers it was agreed to write to the Planning Director to point out that there had been a very clear change of use, the work had begun before the expiration of 5 years and that the Parish Council had understood the submission of the boundary details before use commences to mean before a burial had taken place and therefore the conditions had been met. Councillor Harangozo was asked to support the Parish Council in this matter.

8.2.3    It was noted that the Planning Committee had also considered a request to divert part of footpath 5 and after due consideration had decided to oppose the diversion on historical grounds and increased length of journey time.

8.3       Village Hall Steering Group representatives

The draft minutes from the Steering Group’s meeting held on 26 June and ‘Notes From Meeting With Community Fund Grant Reviewer – At Community Fund Offices, Chesterton, Cambridge, On 18th June 2003’ and a letter from Mr Brian Cook, dated 8 July were received and considered(4,5&6). On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Mrs Brookfield it was agreed that Dr McCabe, Dr Hughes, Mrs Morison, Mr Bennett and Dr Chambers should meet to firstly establish what is acceptable to the Lottery funders and the principles the Parish Council might seek to impose on the Trustees in the required heads of terms and secondly following a meeting with the Trustees to negotiate these report to the Parish Council with a firm recommendation. It was agreed that Dr Chambers should act as convenor for the meetings.

8.4       Groundsman/handyman appointment including required equipment

Miss Westgarth reported that the applicant had now withdrawn his interest in the vacancy. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr Chambers an advertisement in the Cambridge Evening News was authorised.

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

Minor correspondence for information is to be circulated.

9.1       Letter from the Bowls Club

A letter from the Bowls Club dated 23 June regarding water charges and problems with the water pipes was received and considered. As there was not enough background information to hand it was agreed to carry this matter forward to the next meeting.

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


There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9.57pm.



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