Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held in

the Old Village Hall on Wednesday 10 December at 7.30pm


Members present:


Mr A Bailey

Mr M Bennett

Mrs S Brookfield

Dr C Chambers

Mr D Charge

Mr A Hollick

Dr F Hughes (arrived during item 6.2)

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, Mrs G Stoehr (Clerk), Mr N Gristwood, Groundsman and 2 members of the public.


1.         Apologies for absence


2.         To approve the minutes of the last meeting on 12 November 2003

On a proposition by Mr Hollick, seconded by Mr Bennett, 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       Members were reminded to complete the signatory forms and to take their passport or other picture identity into Lloyds Bank for verification.

3.2       (3.2.1) Topham and Banks – recreation ground extension

The email from Mr Catley was noted.

3.3       (3.2.2) United News shop appearance

It was noted that no response had been received as yet from the District Council and Councillor Harangozo was asked to pursue this on the Parish Council’s behalf. A letter was also to be sent to Andrew Lansley MP seeking his support.

3.4       (9.1) Members allowances

The findings of the recent Allowances Panel indicating that no parish council had wanted at this time to pay its members allowances and giving details of mileage rates was noted.

4.         County Councillor and District Councillor reports

4.1       District Councillor

Councillor Harangozo apologised for not having provided a written report and reported on the District Council’s proposals for the timing of the parish precepts and the recent District Council consultation and the Funding Toolkit meetings both of which were held at the local village college. He also reported on the lack of response from BT in response to the complaints about the removal of the telephone kiosk in Green End and requested that puddles in the recreation ground car park and at the entrance to the primary school be attended to by the groundsman.

4.2       County Councillor

As Councillor Martlew was not present it was agreed to take this item later in the meeting.

5.         Parish Plan

5.0.1    Mr Bennett's report(1) was considered. It was noted that the recent recreation ground users meeting had discussed a draft constitution which was accepted in principle by the various clubs’ representatives but would have also to be considered by the clubs themselves.

5.0.2    The recreation ground users meeting had also discussed the three suggested locations for the skateboard park and considered a site for the proposed youth shelter. Letters received from Dr and Mrs Wright(2&3) in response to the consultation in Contact were considered. It was agreed that a site meeting be arranged on the recreation ground with the police present to consider the possible locations for both the skateboard facility and the youth shelter so that a decision could be reached by the Parish Council at its meeting in January.

5.0.3    It was noted that Dr Roscoe had met with Mr Philip Sharp to discuss the introduction of ‘quiet lanes’ as detailed in the Parish Plan.

5.0.4    It was noted that changes were proposed to the village website to include a bulletin board. Suggestions for topics and moderators were now required.

5.1       Barton Road traffic calming scheme costs

Further to recent negotiations it was reported that the revised scheme would cost in the region of £4,000 -6,000 extra and that Leach Homes were not willing to contribute further financially. On a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Dr McCabe it was resolved that the Parish Council would underwrite the costs from its Parish Plan Implementation Committee budget and attempt to find grants to recover the costs.

6.         Finance

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

The invoices and statements were checked. On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mr Bailey, the expenditure as listed in the financial report and monthly financial statement was approved:




SLCC (membership fees)



ESPO (syringe kit fire blanket first aid box)



CALC (manual audit inserts)



SCDC (pavilion rates)



Dents (padlocks)



Royal Mail



Herald Contract Services



Ridgeons (Groundsman materials)



LG Stoehr (salary)



LGS Services (expenses)



N Gristwood (Groundsman)



Alliance Cornhill (VH insurance premium)



Wicksteed Leisure (play equipment repairs)



6.2       It was noted that:

·     Wicksteed Leisure had removed two swings because repairs to them were required. A quotation had been received. It was agreed to carry this matter forward to the next meeting.

·     A cheque had been received from the countryside agency for £1568.24 as the final payment for the VAP grant this will appear on the next financial statement.

·     To date Guilden Morden Parish Council and Caldecote Parish Council had agreed to contribute towards the Society Of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) membership fees.

·     The VH building and contents insurance has been added to the main insurance policy. The Trustees hold the liability insurance.

·     Other PC's had offered to contribute to the CALC invoice for the new inserts for the accounting regulations guidelines.

6.2       Draft budget(4)

Dr Hughes arrived during this item.

6.2.1    Suggestions for inclusion in the budget were a replacement pump for the end of public footpath No. 5, three new dog bins, Tree Group suggestions and funding for the Parish Plan projects. Lighting for the parish notice board and litter bins for Swaynes Lane and Branch Road are also to be considered.

6.2.2    The draft budget was again considered. On a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Dr Chambers it was agreed that Miss Westgarth, Mrs Morison and Mr Bennett should meet to bring a recommendation to the next meeting on funding required to support the Parish Plan for the forthcoming year.

6.3       Assets Review

The assets list and valuations(5) detailing which items were insured was received and considered. On a proposition by Dr McCabe, seconded by Miss Westgarth it was resolved that the hedge trimmer should be removed from the assets list. It was agreed that the valuations on the assets list and the insurance implications be considered further at the next meeting.


The Chairman introduced Mr Neal Gristwood, Groundsman who was present.

6.4       Standing orders including financial standing orders(6)

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mrs Brookfield it was resolved to update Comberton Parish Council’s Standing Orders to incorporate the new clauses included in Model Standing Orders and Chairmanship from NALC dated July 2003 which had been circulated as follows:

·       To amend section 76 Planning applications to mirror the current practice of the planning committee and note that the Clerk is not involved with planning matters unless specifically directed by the Parish Council.

·       To update the sections on Complaints and the Code of Conduct.

Standing orders on contracts and expenditure:

·       To show that every contract made by the Council or by a Committee or by a delegated person in conjunction with the Clerk as Proper Officer.

·       (ex)74b change to read ‘The Clerk shall be allowed to spend up to £100 on Council business without the prior approval of the Council on orders or items. In addition the Clerk shall be allowed to spend the general administration budget on stationery and office cost etc that are essential for the smooth running of the Council. This shall be reimbursed to the Clerk each month.’

·       Renumber the sections to merge into one document with the main Standing Orders

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

7.1       Tree group

It was agreed to ask Mr Robert James for details of the cost of the last pond wall.

7.2       Village Hall Steering Group representatives

Village Hall Steering Group report(7) was received.

7.2.1    It was noted that both the Trustees and the Steering Group required a Chairman.

7.2.2    A letter accepting the Heads of Terms was received and noted.

7.2.3    On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Dr McCabe it was resolved that the funds promised to the village hall be released at the next meeting.

7.3       Planning report

The Committee’s report(8) was received. Notification had been received that an application refused by the Planning Committee had been recommended for approval and would be determined at the Chairman’s Delegation Meeting. Councillor Harangozo was asked to put forward any application refused by the Parish Council in future to the District Council Development Control Committee so that the Parish Council could exercise its rights to speak to the Committee on the application. It was agreed that the Planning Committee could also mention this on any application it refused.

7.4       Other

7.4.1    Groundsman’s report(9)

Mr Gristwood’s report was received and noted and he was thanked for all his work to date which had made a noticeable improvement to the village.

8.         To consider the formation, terms of reference and membership of a Focus Group

A suggestion to form a Group to look at new areas and initiatives not specifically covered by the Parish Plan was considered. It was discussed whether this should be a new group or a sub-group of PPIC.

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

Minor correspondence for information is to be circulated.

Miss Westgarth and Mrs Brookfield as school governors and Mrs Webb as a member of the School staff all declared an interest in the following item.

9.1       A letter from the Chairman of the Governor at the Meridian School regarding the school fencing was received and considered. On a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Dr McCabe it was agreed that more information was required before a decision could be reached and Miss Westgarth was asked to discuss this further with the School.

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


There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9.32pm.



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