Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held in

the Old Village Hall on Wednesday 11 February 2004 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)

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 C Anderson, Highcliffe Properties, Mr Walsh and Mr Pettit from Fox’s Way and 2 members of the public.


1.         Apologies for absence


2.         To approve the minutes of the last meeting on 14 January and also the confidential minutes

On a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Dr McCabe, both sets of minutes were approved as a true record and were signed by the Chairman.


On a proposition by the Chairman it was agreed to vary the order of business to take items 9 and 8.1 at this point.

9.         B/F Highcliffe Properties

The letter from Mr Anderson asking the Parish Council to consider the sale of a small area of public open space in Harbour Avenue to enable access to the rear of 111 Barton Road. Mr Anderson was welcomed to the meeting invited to expand on his letter.

The Parish Council considered various aspects relating to this matter including:

·       A report considered by the Parish Council in the 1990’s when it was in a similar situation on how public open space (POS) may be converted for open sale.

·       The benefit to the parish as a whole

·       The implications of this sale of POS on the PC’s proposal to obtain either by free sale or by a compulsory purchase a piece of additional land used as recreation grounds.

·       Minor points including restrictions and covenants.

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Dr Chambers it was resolved that the Parish Council did not wish to sell the land. The vote was recorded as 10 votes in favour and two abstentions.

8.1       Long Road allotments

The Chairman reported on the meeting she had had with Mr Pat Matthews and the Clerk to look at the surface water problems at the Long Road allotments and the run off on to the gardens in Fox’s Way. Photographs of the problem were available and also considered and various options suggested by Mr Mathews that ranged from opening a ditch to full drainage of the allotments and the financial implications of these were considered.

On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Dr Roscoe it was agreed to ask Mr Chapman if he would kindly open the ditch to the north of the allotments and to monitor the situation to see what improvement this brought before considering if further measures were required.

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       (4.1.1) Grass verges in Kentings

Mike Cooper has replied saying ‘Whilst the ownership of the wide grass verge areas in Kentings is unclear I am pleased to confirm that Cambridgeshire County Council will continue to include these areas as part of our grass-cutting schedule. Comberton Parish Council will thus continue to receive payment by this Authority.’

3.2       (6.1.2) Mrs Pauline Wright has accepted the invitation to attend the training seminar for internal auditors to be held in March

3.3       (8.) Barrier on the M11 Jct12 bridge – stabilising the embankment

Dr Roscoe advised that ‘Mike Cooper has now secured a meeting date with the Highways Agency and so asks that we delay putting pressure on them until after his meeting.’

4.         County Councillor and District Councillor reports

4.1       County Councillor

Councillor Martlew reported on County grants including that for the Mobile Warden Scheme and matters concerning Barton Road traffic calming programme of works and problems to date. It was noted that Michael Oakman had been asked to write an article for Contact. It was also reported that the County Council rates had been referred to Parliament.

4.2       District Councillor(2)

Councillor Harangozo reported on the District Council’s Chairman’s delegation meeting to consider the illuminated signs at CVC.

The Chairman asked Cllr Harangozo if he would kindly find out the results from parish councils on the recent precept consultation.

5.         Parish Plan

The Parish Plan Implementation Committee’s report(3) on progress to date was considered.

5.1       PCSO

Mr Bennett’s report(4) on the meeting with Supt. John Rain and a representative from Caldecote Parish Council was considered.

5.1.1    On a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Dr McCabe it was resolved that Comberton Parish Council should, as per the remit of the Parish Plan, undertake to fund half the cost of a PCSO, on the assumption that matched funding is supplied by the District Council, Central Government or other body and that the Council commits to this over the required 3 year period at an approximate cost of £7,000pa. The vote was recorded as 8 votes in favour, 4 votes against and one abstention.

5.1.2    On a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Dr McCabe it was resolved that the pavilion office could be used as premises for the PCSO. The vote was 12 votes in favour and 1 abstention.

5.1.3    It was agreed once the funding was in place that Supt Raine should be invited to attend a meeting.

5.2       Recreation & Pavilion users meeting

The report(5) prepared by Mrs Web on the recent recreation ground users meeting was considered. It was noted that there had not as yet been any agreement to change the current pavilion management arrangements as the club members found it difficult to find time to take on the management responsibilities.

5.3       Recreation ground extension

It was noted that Mr Banks had contacted the Chairman to arrange a meeting and had asked that Cllr Harangozo and a Planning Officer be present. This was agreed and Miss Westgarth and Mrs Morison were asked to report to the next meeting.

5.4       Disability access report on the pavilion

The report(6) commissioned from Mr Brian Alden was received. It was noted that the Groundsman was considering the report and the cost implications and also which recommendations he could implement and which would need a contractor.

5.5       Tennis Club and tennis courts

The report titled PPIC Recommendations on the future of the Tennis Courts on the Recreation Ground(7) was received and considered.

On a proposition by Dr Hughes, seconded by Mrs Webb, the following points were unanimously agreed in principle:

1.           That the Tennis Club would move to CVC by the end of March 04. There would be no charges levied to the Tennis Club for recent use of the courts as their funds have been fully committed to paying for their new facilities at the College (which have been paid for with matched funding from the LTA).

2.           That the Tennis Club would leave behind the nets and any other required facilities that they own on the rec..

3.           That the tennis clubhouse needs to be demolished for reasons of safety, insurance, etc.. The groundsman’s advice is being sought on the work required to do this, and it is likely that he will be able to do some of it himself. Additional works, including disconnection of water and electricity, will be at the expense of the Tennis Club.

4.           The netting around the grass courts will be removed as it is in a poor state of repair.

5.           At this point in time the grass courts are effectively unusable due to the poor state of the ground. They will not be restored but will be kept cut low so as to provide a quiet and attractive part of the recreation ground for sitting or other informal use.

6.           The 2 hard courts will continue to be maintained, with some funding coming from the PC (through the recreation ground committee) and some coming from charges levied on users.

7.           The courts will be available for anyone to book during agreed hours of the week. Anyone will be able to book the courts (or use them unbooked if they are free), including members of the public from within the village or members of the Tennis Club who may still wish to play on the rec. A fee would be agreed, with payment being made on a trust basis for casual use, and properly charged for formal bookings made through the groundsman.

8.           The courts would be opened by the groundsman and a rota of other volunteers, noting that permanently open access cannot be provided due to the possibility of damage to either the court surface, netting, or net.

9.           The Tennis Club will seek to provide the services of a professional coach who will be able to run regular sessions (at an appropriate fee) for young people or others interested in furthering their skills.

6.         Finance

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

The invoices and bank statements were checked. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr Roscoe, the expenditure as listed in the financial report and monthly financial statement was approved:





Information Commissioner (data protection fee)


Ingrid Sims (reimbursement PPIC)


CRPE (affiliation fee)


N Gristwood (Groundsman)


Ridgeons (groundsman materials)


Mills and Reeve (VH lease negotiations)


ESPO (groundsman jacket)


Cambridge Water PLC


CALC (member & internal auditor training)


LGS Services (expenses)


LGS Services (PPIC support)


LG Stoehr (salary)


6.1.1    It was noted that:

The solicitor had agreed to reduce his fee for work on lease on the village hall from £2000 to £850 +VAT


The internal audit has been completed for April 2003 to December 2003. P Wright reported "I find nothing wrong with the accounts and if they continue in this manner there will be no problem at the end of the financial year"

6.1.1    On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Dr Roscoe it was resolved to cover the Clerk’s out of pocket mileage expenses and contribute towards the training costs of her AQA qualification.

6.2       B/F Assets review of values and insurance cover

As Cornhill had not as yet replied it was agreed that this matter should be carried forward to the next meeting.

6.3       Review of the Groundsman’s contract

As the meeting had not as yet taken place it was agreed that this should be carried forward to the next meeting.

6.3.1    It was noted that the County Council had agreed to act as the umbrella body for the Police checks and that the cost would be less than £40 not the £300+ anticipated.

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

7.1       Village Hall

The Village Hall Steering Group draft minutes from 19 January and 2 February(6&7)were received and considered.

7.2       Planning

The Planning Committee’s report(8) was noted.

7.3       Other

7.3.1    Minor Authorities Governor’s report(9)

Mrs Morison’s report which had been circulated was noted.

8.         Allotments

8.2       South Street

On a proposition by the Chairman it was agreed to carry this matter forward to the next meeting.

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

Minor correspondence for information is to be circulated.

10.1     SCDC Maintenance of public open spaces

On a proposition by the Chairman it was agreed to carry this matter forward to the next meeting.

11.       Annual Parish Meeting arrangements

On a proposition by the Chairman, seconded by Dr McCabe it was agreed that the Annual Parish Meeting should be held on Wednesday 19 May and that there should be a presentation from the Police on shed and outbuilding security and also that reports should be requested from all parochial charities ad village groups and organisations.

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


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



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