Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held in

the Old Village Hall on Wednesday 14 January 2004 at 7.30pm


Members present:


Mr A Bailey

Mr M Bennett

Dr C Chambers

Mr D Charge

Mr A Hollick

Dr F Hughes)

Dr J McCabe (Chairman)

Mrs D Morison,

Mr R Rowlands

Dr H Roscoe

Mrs A Webb


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


1.         Apologies for absence

Miss C Westgarth (work) and Mrs S Brookfield.


On a proposition by Dr McCabe the it was agreed to vary the order of business to take item 4 at this point to enable Cllr Martlew to leave the meeting early.


4.         County Councillor and District Councillor reports

4.1       County Councillor

Concerns were expressed at the problems experienced with the current Barton Road works and closure. These included:

·       Lack of notice and change to anticipated dates.

·       Cyclist and pedestrian access.

·       Full closure v part closure.

·       Bus service only serving part of the village.

·       Diversion route.

·       Traffic using South Street, Royston Lane and Green End.

In brief it was noted that:

·       The timescale for the closure had been changed from the anticipated eight weeks partial closure to four weeks full closure to enable the works to be completed earlier and because heavy vehicles were required to carry out the ditch work.

·       Access had improved as a result of complaints to the site office and a resident serving an injunction.

·       One pedestrian and her pram had almost hit by a vehicle in Royston Lane.

·       The responsibility for displaying advance notices and informing residents of impending road works and closures lay with the applicant in this case Leach Homes.

·       Mr Gary Wesley Streetworks Co-ordinator had the power to stop the works until the proper notices had been displayed.

·       Compensation claims could be pursued by members of the public affected by the works.

On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed that the Police should be asked for its support in this matter, particularly traffic using unsuitable roads and also letter be sent to Leach Homes and Gary Wesley expressing the parish council’s dissatisfaction about how these works had been handled by both parties and seeking some contribution (in part or in total towards the interactive sign), for the resulting problems experienced by the village.

As the Clerk had already given a brief report to Contact it was agreed that Cllr Martlew should also write a piece for Contact.

4.1.1    Grass verges in Kentings

Mike Cooper had admitted that there appeared to be an administrative error on the verges plans supplied to the Parish Council which showed that the verges in the Kentings area belonged to Highway Division. On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mr Charge it was agreed that a letter be sent to Mike Cooper saying that this matter should be resolved.

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

On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Mr Hollick, the minutes were approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

3.         Matters arising from the meeting and Clerk’s report

The Clerk’s report(1) on matters arising since the last meeting was noted.

3.1       (8) Focus Group

On a proposition by Mr Hollick, seconded by Dr McCabe it was resolved that a Focus Group be formed with the following terms of reference:

·       Brief: A group to consider and respond to new ideas and initiatives and to make recommendations to full council for its consideration.

·       Administrative matters: No formal agenda, minutes or meeting room required etc as group not committee

·       Financial matters: No budget in first year – this will be considered further when the budget for FY 2005-2006 is drafted.

·       Membership: all members to be invited to attend and participate. Miss Westgarth Mr Hollick (convenors)


4.2       District Councillor

Councillor Harangozo’s report(2) was received and considered. In response to Cllr Harangozo’s enquiry about the ownership of the verges in the Janes’ Estate it was agreed that the Groundsman should be asked to trim back the grass from the pavements in Harbour Avenue.

4.2.2    The District Council’s consultation on open spaces was noted and it was agreed that this should be on the next agenda. It was noted that the District Council had grants available for litter bins.

5.         Parish Plan

5.1       Mr Bennett's report(3) was considered This included a progress reports on:

·       recreation ground matters including the pavilion refurbishment, disability survey, future management and anti- litter campaign

·       transport matters including pavement parking, the traffic calming scheme near the Meridian School, which appeared now to be in some doubt following reduction in the ‘Safer Routes to School’ budget,

5.2       New decisions/actions noted included:

·       following the successful youth consultations the ‘Connections’ Youth Bus would be visiting the village and would offer youth club facilities (with 3 trained youth workers on board) with specific objectives in mind. The proposal is that this will initially visit on one night per week (probably Tuesday) for 4 weeks with a hope that this can be extended to 8 weeks if it proves successful. The cost was £100 per week. The PPIC has approved this spending, 50% of the cost has been covered by a grant that was received from SCDC specifically for youth meetings and consultations.

·       Plans to set up a permanent (informal) youth club, with a professional youth worker, are also under way and have met with a positive response from CVC and it is likely that funding will be found for this.

·       Francine Hughes had been appointed to the ‘Community Committee’ at CVC in order to provide a formal liaison channel between the Parish Council and the College.

·       Work on the Village Design Statement will be undertaken by the Council planning committee.

5.3       The report(4) prepared by Mr Rowlands titled ‘Notes from Comberton Recreation Ground/ Park Users committee’ was noted.

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 Bennett, the expenditure as listed in the financial report and monthly financial statement was approved:




RBS Commercial Services (Xmas lights)



Allianz Cornhill (VH premium)



Francine Hughes (reimburse youth expenses)



Ridgeons (handyman materials)



Peter Oakes (tree works)



Chris Westgarth (reimburse Xmas event)



LGS Services (expenses)



Caldecote Parish Council (litter picking tool)



Comberton Village Hall Committee



N Gristwood



Cambridgeshire Countryside Watch



LG Stoehr (salary)



Inland Revenue (PAYE)



6.1.1    It was noted that:

·       The Groundsman had asked that the Parish Council consider the security of the pavilion which continues to pose a problem. Although new keys have been purchased and will be allocated by Neal someone was gaining access through the roller shutter as the inside sliding door cannot be locked. On a proposition by Mr Rowlands, seconded by Mr Bennett it was agreed to install a lock on the sliding door.

·       The Groundsman’s hours during December exceeded the 15 hours per week budgeted. It was agreed that this would be discussed at his review

·       A replacement answer phone would be purchased for the pavilion office by the Clerk.

6.1.2    On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed that Mrs Pauline Wright should be encouraged to attend the training seminar for internal auditors to be held in March and that the Parish Council would cover the cost of the seminar at a cost of £45 and her out of pocket travelling expenses.

6.2       To consider a budget recommendation and to approve the Budget for FY 2004-2005 including S137 payments

The budget recommendation(appended 2 to these minutes) was considered and suggestions that the staff salaries budget be increased by £1,000 and £250 be placed in the S137 payments budget to cover the request for financial support from The Old School House.

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mr Bennett the budget for FY 2004-2005(appended 3 to these minutes) was approved

In summary this showed:




Agency Expenses (Grass cutting verges)


General Administration


S137 Grants (including Sport & Rec Trustees)


Village & Assets Running Costs


Capital Schemes/Special projects including:


Village Events


Community Christmas lights events


Parish Plan proposals


Other - (2004 & 2005 dog bins)


Contingency fund


Total Expenditure








Other Income (gen admin, tree donations & recycling credits)


Agency Services parish paths and CCC verges




It was also agreed that:

Releases from/changes to reserves

Land purchase fund      £35,980 changed to two separate funds £30,980 land purchase and £5,000 recreation ground extension establishment/improvements.

All other named reserves are expected to be spent in FY 2004-2005.

Unallocated/general reserves if not spent in this financial year will be considered at the end of the year with the general carry forward.

To balance the budget £43,449 additional funding is required.


The Friendly Society’s allotments in South Street and Mr Winney’s correspondence on this matter is to be an agenda item for the next meeting.

6.3       To approve the Precept for FY 2004-2005 and consider the timing of the payments

6.3.1    On a proposition by Dr McCabe, seconded by Mr Bennett it was unanimously resolved that a Precept of £43,450 (forty-three thousand four hundred and fifty pounds) should be issued to balance the budget.

6.3.2    In response to the consultation letter from the District Council(5) proposing a change to the timing of the second payment which would be made in September rather than in June as previously on a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Mr Hollick it was unanimously resolved to reply that there should be no change to the present timings.

6.4       B/F Assets review of values and insurance cover

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded Mr Hollick by it was agreed that there should be no change to the uninsured values shown and that Cornhill be asked to provide a detailed quote for each asset that is currently uninsured. It was also agreed that this matter should be considered further at the next meeting.

On a proposition by the Chairman it was agreed that item 6.6 be taken at the end of the meeting.

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

7.1       Village Hall

The Village Hall Steering Group report(6) and a report from Dr Chambers(7) titled ‘Brief Village Hall Report – for PC mtg Jan 14 2004’ were received and considered.

7.1.1    It was agreed that Dr Hughes should talk to the new Steering Group Chairman, Colin Walker about use of the proposed new hall by youth.

7.1.2    It was noted that the draft minutes did not refer to the French Conversation Group and Dr Chambers said he would take this matter up with the committee.

On a proposition by the Chairman it was agreed to vary the order of business to take item 9 at this point in the meeting. PC Bradley was welcomed to the meeting.

9.         To consider and approve the location for the skateboard facility, youth shelter and goals

Following the recent site meeting which had been attended by both members and PC Bradley the consultation both in Contact and from the Recreation Ground Users Meetings and the views of the Police the locations(8) were reconsidered.

On a proposition by Dr Hughes, seconded by Mrs Morison it was unanimously resolved that the following sites be adopted:

Skateboard facility               site 1 on the northern boundary of the recreation ground as previously agreed

Youth shelter                        Site 3 near the southern boundary (an experimental site)

Goal post with net                as a number of sites around the recreation ground were possible the facility would be moved to prevent excess wear in any one area.

On a proposition by Dr Hughes, seconded by Mr Bennett it was agreed that as soon as the grant funding was in place and the type of equipment agreed by the Parish Plan Implementation Committee the equipment could be ordered.

PC Bradley suggestion that a robust bin be installed near the youth shelter was noted.

Item 6.5 was taken at this point in the meeting.

6.5       B/F Wicksteed Leisure quotation for repairs to the swing and report from Groundsman.

Mr Gristwood’s report(10) that he was unable to undertake the repairs himself was noted. On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Mr Hollick it was agreed that the quotation(9) for £484 from Wicksteed Leisure for repairs to their equipment be approved.


PC Bradley was questioned on the problems resulting both from the Barton Road closure, taken earlier and the speed of traffic and the frustration of drivers using South Street and Royston Lane. PC Bradley agreed to request cameras and speed checks for Royston Lane and South Street, to consider some temporary Police Slow signage and to visit the site.

7.2       Planning report

The Committee’s report(11) was received. And it was noted that the District Council had approved the application for 76 Green End.

8.         Barrier on the M11 Jct12 bridge – stabilising the embankment

On a proposition by Dr Roscoe, seconded by Mr Charge it was agreed that a letter of support be sent to Mike Cooper and the County Council to strengthen the case with the Highway Agency.

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

Minor correspondence for information is to be circulated.

10.1     Eltisley Parish Council – Data Protection Registration(12)

The request from Eltisley Parish Council for support to campaign to get Parish Councils listed as exempt as non-profit making organisations was considered. On a proposition by Dr McCabe, seconded by Dr Chambers it was agreed to write to the MP and CALC in support.

10.2     Audit Commission – Audit of South Cambridgeshire District Council(13)

On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Mr Hollick it was agreed that the questionnaire be completed by Dr McCabe and Miss Westgarth.

10.4     South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Comberton Housing Needs Survey – noted.

10.5     A letter from Highcliffe Properties asking to purchase a small piece of verge/public open space in the Janes Estate owned by the Parish Council was noted. On a proposition by the Chairman it was agreed to carry this matter forward to the next meeting.

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


6.6       Annual review of the Clerk’s terms and conditions and 3 monthly review of the Groundsman’s contract

At 9.53pm 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 its employees contracts, the public and the Clerk were temporarily excluded from the meeting and were instructed to withdraw.

At 10.05pm the meeting was declared reopened and the Clerk and public invited back into the meeting. On a proposition by Dr McCabe, seconded by it was agreed that the decisions taken under this item should be recorded as confidential.

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 10.10pm.



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