Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held in

the Old Village Hall on Wednesday 8 October at 7.30pm


Members present:



Mr M Bennett

Dr C Chambers (arrived during item 4)

Mr D Charge

Mr A Hollick


Dr J McCabe

Mrs D Morison,

Mr R Rowlands

Dr H Roscoe

Mrs A Webb

Miss C Westgarth (Chairman)

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


1.         Apologies for absence

Mrs S Brookfield, Dr F Hughes and Mr A Bailey

2.         To approve the minutes of the last meeting on 10 September 2003

On a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Mr Charge, the minutes were approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

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

3.1       (5.1) Recreation ground extension/Topham and Banks land

The Chairman reported that Mr Mark Catley had spoken to Mr W Topham who was keen to have a meeting to discuss the matter further. On a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Mr Charge it was agreed that Miss Westgarth and Mrs Morison and Mr Catley should meet with Mr Topham and report to a future meeting.

3.2       (5.4) Groundsman/Handyman

Mr Neal Gristwood of Neals Garden and Property Maintenance had expressed an interest in the vacancy on a contract basis rather than as an employee. The selection committee had met with Mr & Mrs Gristwood to discuss the vacancy and recommended that Mr Gristwood be contracted. On a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Mr Charge it was agreed to offer Mr Gristwood a contract as Groundsman/Handyman:

·        The contract commencing on 20 October 2003 is for 15 hours per week (flexible) at £10 per hour. This is initially for a period of three calendar months.

·        The contract is on a continuing basis subject to the satisfactory delivery of the contract and the outcome of a full review at three months which will determine if the initial three month contract period is to be extended and if so the terms and conditions for a further twelve month period

3.3       Other

3.1       Ex- United News shop

The application to Land Registry had been returned requesting Ordnance Survey mapping reference for the address.

4.         County Councillor and District Councillor reports

4.1       County Councillor

Councillor Martlew had no report but answered questions from members on the following matters:

4.1.1    Long Road trees – maintenance responsibility

A letter received some time ago from Mike Cooper, Highway’s Supervisor explaining that it was the Parish Council’s responsibility having planted the trees, with permission was noted. It was agreed to contact Countryside Services Team to clarify who had the maintenance responsibility for trees and hedging planted on the highway verge.

4.1.2    A428 Inquiry

It was noted that Councillor Martlew could put before the Inspector any concerns that the Parish Council might have and that Dr Roscoe and Mr Charge would discuss this matter with Councillor Martlew.

4.1.3    Granchester Road A603 improvements

Concern was expressed that funds form the Jointly Funded Minor improvements Scheme budget were being used for these improvements instead of the funds being directed to parishes.

4.1.4    It was noted that the two of the four dropped kerbs at the Sensory Garden still had not been done despite having been marked and that pot holes in Hines Lane still required attention.

Dr Chambers arrived at this point in the meeting.

4.2       District Councillor

Councillor Harangozo apologised for not having a written report and reported on the recent meeting at Cottenham to discuss the introduction of Police Community Safety Officers (PCSOS).

4.2.1    It was noted that many residents were still putting out black bin bags for collection. Councillor Harangozo offered to take this matter up with the District Council.

5.         Parish Plan

5.1       Mr Bennett's report(1) was considered. This covered thirteen actions either being undertaken or having been achieved since the last meeting. It was noted that the Parish Plan had now been printed and that information would be published on the parish website.

5.2       It was also reported that the campaign to bring broadband ADSL Internet access to the village had been successful with over 80 registrations taking place since the last meeting. The trigger level of 250 had been exceeded and the exchange was likely to be upgraded in early February 2004.

5.3       The Parish Council reiterated its opposition to the now approved traffic-calming scheme in Barton Road. It was agreed that a meeting should be arranged with Sue Reynolds and other County Council officers to get the scheme changed.

5.4       It was noted that the Police Bulletin would be available each month on the website and that the use of Police Community Support Officers in the village was being considered by the Committee.

6.         Finance

6.1       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:



SCDC (pavilion rates)


M Wright (expenses)


Herald Contract Services


HK Roscoe (expenses)


C Orme (bins, hedges & grass)


S&J Cleaning (pavilion)


A MARSH (pavilion cleaning)


LGS Services (expenses)


LGS Services (printing Parish Plan)


LG Stoehr (salary)


Inland Revenue (PAYE)


6.2       To consider requests for S137 payments

Letters from Comberton Help Scheme(2) and The Old School House(3) both accompanied by the Charities accounts and report were received and considered. Dr McCabe declared an interest in the following item and withdrew from the discussion and the decision.

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Webb it was resolved that in accordance with its powers under Section 137 of the Local Government Act, 1972, the Council donate the following which, in the opinion of the Council is in the interests of the area and its inhabitants,

Comberton Help Scheme



The Old School House



6.3       Risk assessment

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr McCabe the Clerk was asked to draw up a list of current practice for further consideration and addition at future meetings and agreed that a sharps box be purchased for use at the recreation ground if and when required.

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

7.1       Tree group

The Group’s report(4) was received and considered. As Dr Hughes had commented on aspects of the report it was agreed that she should meet with the Group to discuss these before the report was considered further.

7.2       Planning report

Miss Westgarth’s report(5) was received and noted. A letter from Charmain Hawkins, Conservation Officer(6) regarding the recent non-authorised work to the church yard wall was also noted.

7.2.1    Following the recent public meeting to discuss the proposed development of housing at land off Milner Road the planning application had been refused by the Planning Committee. A letter had been sent to the District Council reserving the Parish Council’s rights to negotiate a S106 Agreement and name the roads should the application be approved by the District Council.

7.3       Village Hall Steering Group representatives

Village Hall Steering Group report(7) is to be circulated to all members. Dr McCabe reported on the matters concerning the meeting with the architect, and the stage design changes.

7.4       Village of the Year Competition

Miss Westgarth reported that the village was the joint winner of the Cambridgeshire Environment Award and that the Judges had been particularly expressed with Watts Wood and the Sensory Garden. £50 prize money had been received and it was agreed to give further thought to how this money should be spent.

7.5       Other

7.5.1    School Governor report(8)

7.5.2    Area Joint Transport Committee – to be circulated

8.         Sustainable village initiative

Dr Roscoe reported on the information from GoEast that had been circulated on sustainable village initiatives. It was agreed that Dr Roscoe should look into the matter further and bring a report and suggestions to a future meeting for more consideration.

9.         Use of the tennis courts

As nothing further had been heard from the Tennis Club since Mrs Collins email dated June on a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed to both promote the availability of the courts for public use on a Saturday morning between 9am and 12 noon and also to consult with the recreation ground users on alternative locations for the proposed skateboard facility(9).

The future of the grass courts was also briefly considered in light of the suggestion that the skateboard facility could be located on the grass courts. It was agreed that a final decision on the site of the skateboard facility and the future of the grass courts would be deferred until after the recreation ground users had been consulted on 16 October.

On a proposition by the Chairman it was agreed to vary the order of business to take item 10 at the end of the meeting.

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

Minor correspondence for information is to be circulated.

11.1     Invitation from the Royal British Legion to attend the Remembrance Day Service

An invitation had been received to attend the Service at which the commemorative plaque would be dedicated.

11.2     Street trading consent application Mr Isti of 126 Rowley Gardens, London to sell kebabs and burgers in Green End, Tues to Sunday 5pm to 11.30pm

It was reported that the application had already been approved, with conditions, by the District Council as the consultation period had ended.

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Morison a complaint is to be sent to the Licensing Officer for not having waited to take the Parish Council’s comments into account which would have included comments objecting to the number of days, the length of trading hours, the proposed site adjacent to the pond and also requesting a condition be imposed regarding litter.

11.3     Other

11.3.1  A Waller, Safer Routes to School Path

A letter from Mr Waller on behalf of the Cricket Club requesting information on the Safer Routes to School proposal was read. It was noted that a formal planning application was expected and then the details regarding the precise route and the path’s materials would be considered in more detail. It was agreed that Mr Waller should be invited to discuss the matter with either Miss Westgarth or Dr Hughes.

11.3.2  A letter from residents at 51 and 53 The Valley regarding problems with children playing ball games in The Valley was considered.

It was noted that the ‘greens’ on the Jane’s Estate are public open spaces and therefore accessible to anyone. It had always been the Parish Council’s view that children are therefore welcome to play all reasonable games on them but should take care not to cause damage to the surface, landscaping, trees etc and should try not to upset other residents with noise, stray balls etc. Some time ago another complaint was received and Mr Ian Rigg, an ex teacher at Comberton Village College kindly offered to talk with any children causing a nuisance. It was agreed that Mr Rigg should be asked to mediate in this case also.

11.3.3  A letter from Mrs Sandra Hyde, dated 8 October. It was unanimously agreed that The Parish Council was delighted to accept Mrs Hyde’s very kind offer to plant more daffodil bulbs in the village.

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

Dr McCabe, as Vice-Chairman is to schedule the annual assets review and all members were encouraged to attend.

10.       Village Hall Lease and Heads of Terms

At 9.32pm on a proposition by the Chairman, carried unopposed, in accordance with S1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 in view of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted i.e. the Parish Council considering legal advice from its solicitor, the public should be temporarily excluded from the meeting and were instructed to withdraw.

At 10.10pm the Chairman declared the meeting reopened.

Having considered the verbal advice from Mr Richard Noble on the recent letter and supporting documents the Parish Council asked Dr McCabe, Dr Chambers and Mr Hollick to meet with the Trustees to continue negotiations on the Village Hall lease and Heads of Terms and report to a future meeting.

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 10.12pm.



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