COMBERTON PARISH COUNCIL

 

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held in

the Old Village Hall on Wednesday 12 May 2004 at 7.30pm

 

Members present:

Councillors:

Mr A Bailey

Mr M Bennett

Dr C Chambers

Mr D Charge

Mr A Hollick

Dr F Hughes

Dr J McCabe

Mrs D Morison

Dr H Roscoe

Mr R Rowlands

Mrs A Webb

Miss C Westgarth (Chairman)

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

 

1.            Elections

1.1            Chairman

The proposal by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mrs Webb that Miss C Westgarth be elected Chairman was carried unanimously. Miss Westgarth signed the declaration of acceptance of office.

1.2            Vice-Chairman

The proposal by Mrs Morison, seconded by Dr Roscoe, that Dr Janet McCabe be elected as Vice-Chair was carried unanimously.

Dr Hughes and Mr Rowlands arrived at this point in the meeting.

1.3            Committees and working groups, membership and terms of reference

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mr Bennett the following was agreed:

1.3.1            Planning Committee

Terms of Reference - Comberton Parish Council Planning Committee (The Planning Committee for short) is delegated:

·       To consider and determine, on the Parish Council's behalf, all matters relating to residential planning and development control in the parish (up to 2 dwellings per plot and all associated planning applications e.g. walls, extensions etc).

·       To consider and make recommendation on all matters in the adjacent parishes having impact on Comberton parish and to make recommendation to the Parish Council.

·       To hold public meetings to gauge residents' views as appropriate

·       To respond to communications relating to planning matters.

·       To consider and respond to all matters relating to previous applications (e.g. amendments, enforcements, appeals etc).

·       To discuss all matters relating to planning matters with officers at the local authorities.

·       To attend and represent the Parish Council at SCDC Development Control Committee meetings.

·       To consider all matters relating to the conservation area and to make recommendation to the Parish Council.

·       To consider and draw up a draft village design statement and to make recommendation for its adoption to the Parish Council.

·       To consider all matters relating to commercial applications and other non-residential development within the village and to make recommendation to the Parish Council.

·       To consider all matters relating to development of 3 plus dwellings and to make recommendation for the approval or otherwise to the parish council and where appropriate make recommendation for the terms of any S106 agreement.

·       To consider any recommendation by the Tree Group and/or Tree Warden on tree applications within the conservation area and to respond to the District Council.

·       To consider all matters relating to any landscape or character assessment and to make recommendation.

The Planning Committee:

·       Must have due regard to the Parish Council's Standing Orders at all times. In particular that meetings must be held in a public place, properly convened and decisions clearly minuted. It must act as a corporate body.

·       Must also respond to any direction given by the Parish Council.

·       Membership shall be six members with a quorum of three. These members shall be Miss Westgarth, Mrs Morison, Mr Charge, Dr Rowlands, Mr Bailey and Mrs Webb.

·       Should elect from amongst its members every six months a Chairman who is authorised to sign all correspondence and planning responses during their term of office.

·       May set up sub groups (working parties) that may meet informally to discuss aspects of the Planning Committee's work and to prepare recommendations for the Committee’s consideration. The working parties may contain persons not on the Parish Council.

·       May invite individuals, groups and organisations and/or officials to attend its meetings as appropriate and public participation at the meetings is at the Committee’s discretion.

·       May seek free advice or information from the District or County Councils and/or other body to enable it to understand or carry out its duties more effectively or to bring recommendation to the Parish Council if there is a cost implication to the Parish Council.

1.3.2    Parish Plan Implementation Committee

Terms of Reference - Comberton Parish Plan Implementation Committee (PPIC for short) is delegated:

·       To implement the Comberton Parish Plan and to proactively drive it forward.

·       to apply for grants and other funding on behalf of the Parish Council and to spend, with due regard to Council's standing orders and financial regulations:

- Funding carried forward from the initial £10,000 agreed in the Council's budget for FY ending 2003 for the Plan's implementation

- the £2,000 agreed for the Village Design Statement

- The £10,000 in the Council's reserves for youth initiatives and facilities (NB some of this has been allocated towards supporting the skateboard facility) plus the youth fund from Leach Homes - £8,000

- specific grant and other funding received for the Parish Plan projects.

PPIC

·       Must have due regard to the Parish Council's Standing Orders at all times. In particular that meetings must be held in a public place, properly convened and decisions clearly minuted. It must act as a corporate body.

·       Must also respond to any direction given by the Parish Council.

·       Membership shall be six members with a quorum of three. Because of its delegated powers relating to finance the PPIC Committee membership shall be restricted to members of the Parish Council. These members shall be - Mr Bennett, Dr McCabe, Dr Roscoe, Mr Rowlands (as proxy for Dr Hughes), Dr Hughes Mr Charge and Miss Westgarth.

·       May set up sub-committees as required and may co-opt non-members of the Council to the sub-committees. Two sub-committees will continue in the first instance and these shall be one for sport and recreation, including youth and one for highways and transport.

·       Should elect from amongst its members at its annual meeting a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman.

·       May invite individuals, groups and organisations and/or officials to attend its meetings as appropriate and public participation at the meetings is at the Committee’s discretion.

·       May seek advice or information from the District or County Councils and/or other body to enable it to understand or carry out its duties more effectively.

·       Should liaise with other Parish Council committees as appropriate.

Dr McCabe arrived at this point in the meeting.

1.3.3    Focus Group

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)

The Focus Group

·       Must have due regard for the Parish Council’s Standing Orders.

·       May seek advice or information from the District or County Councils and/or other body to enable it to understand or carry out its duties more effectively.

·       Should liaise with other Parish Council committees as appropriate.

1.3.4    Tree Group

Terms of Reference:

·       Brief: A group to consider and monitor all matters relating to trees and hedging in the public areas of the parish and on land owned or managed by the Parish Council.

The Group is asked to:

- Monitor all trees owned by the Parish Council as detailed in the Tree Survey report dated January 2001 and to make recommendations to full council for its consideration.

- To consider all matters relating to trees in private ownership where they impact on the public areas and to make recommendation to the appropriate authority.

- Consider all tree applications for work within a conservation area and to make recommendation to the Planning Committee for a response.

- Consider all implications relating to trees and hedging as part of planning applications and S106 Agreements.

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

·       Financial matters: The Clerk and Mrs Morison are delegated to spend the budget allocated each year tree maintenance.

·       Membership: Mrs Morison, Ms Wakelin, Mr Robert Cook (Tree Warden) It was agreed to ask Ms Wakelin and Mr Cook if they would be willing to accept the nomination to continue on the group. The Chairman, as detailed in Standing Orders, is ex-officio on the Group.

On a proposition by the Chairman the Parish Council recorded its appreciation for all the work undertaken by the Tree Group during the last twelve months.

1.3.5            Recreation Ground: it was noted that until matters regarding the pavilion and recreation ground are resolved with the clubs the day to day management of the recreation ground and all its facilities and any usage rests with the Groundsman and the Clerk as detailed in their contracts. It was agreed that Mr Bailey, Mrs Webb and Mr Rowlands should support the Groundsman and the Clerk in their duties by giving advice as and when requested.

1.3.6            Financial overseer: Dr Chambers.

1.3.7            Internal Auditor: Mr Pauline Wright of Wootens Close

1.4            Representation on outside bodies

On a proposition by Dr Hughes, seconded by Mrs Morison the following brief and responsibilities were agreed:

Brief: Members named below are asked to research and attend meetings relating to their area of representation and to report regularly to the Parish Council. Members are also asked to make clear recommendation for action to the Parish Council as and when appropriate. Members should have due regard for the Parish Council’s Standing Orders at all times.

1.4.1            CALC: Mrs Morison.

1.4.2    Village Hall Representatives (x2): Mr Hollick.

1.4.3    New Village Hall Steering Group (NVHSG): Dr McCabe and Dr Chambers.

1.4.4    CVC Liaison: Dr Hughes – reporting via the PPIC.

1.4.5            Neighbourhood Watch: Mr Charge. Mr Charge was also asked to put up the police reports on the parish website.

1.4.6            Countryside Watch: Dr Roscoe.

1.4.7            Surgery Liaison: Dr McCabe - reporting via the PPIC.

1.4.8    Parish Paths Co-ordinator: Miss Westgarth.

1.5.8    Minor Authorities Appointed Governor: Mrs Morison until autumn 2004 when new legislation will apply and the Parish Council will no longer have a right to nomination.

2.            Apologies for absence

Mrs S Brookfield and County Councillor R Martlew.

2.         To approve the minutes of the last meeting on 14 April

On a proposition by Mr Bennett seconded by Dr McCabe, both the minutes were approved as a true record and were signed by the Chairman following one amendment under item 8.2.2 to read ‘it was unanimously agreed that the logistics of making pay and play work on the recreation ground should be explored further with Dr Wright and other interested parties.’

4.            Matters arising from the meeting to note

4.1            Allotments South Street – report on meeting attended by Chairman

The Contact article on the meeting(1) was received. It was noted that the outcome had been a positive one and that Ms Wakelin and Mr Winney were now responsible for the day to day management and allocation of the allotments.

4.2       (4.2) A formal reply to the Council’s letter to the Allotments Society regarding the flooding and the possibility of a water leak is expected shortly.

4.3       (4.1.1) It was noted that the works to Barton Road had still not been completed. It was agreed to ask the County Council to write a piece for Contact giving details of the anticipated completion date. It was also agreed to find out what has happened to the village name sign.

5.            Matters carried forward from the last meeting for discussion/decision

5.1       To consider the recommendations to place a seat or shrubs between Barton Road and Milner Road.

On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Dr Roscoe the planting scheme of shrubs under-planted with heather was approved.

It was noted that Mike Cooper had written to confirm that the County Council owned the verge on the corner of Swaynes Lane which had been discussed at the last meeting and it was agreed that the Tree Group or the Chairman should meet with him to discuss the implications for posts.

5.2       Ball games in The Valley – report from the Chairman on the residents’ meeting

The Chairman reported on the residents’ meeting she had attended. It was noted that as no byelaw existed prevented ball games on the public open space it had been agreed at the meeting that residents would manage the situation between them by approaching the parents of children causing a nuisance. It was also noted that the residents would write a short piece for Contact.

 

5.3            Topham & Banks – recreation ground extension

On a proposition by the Chairman it was agreed to take this item at the end of the meeting.

On a proposition by Mr Bennett it was agreed to take item 5.4 with item 7.

6.         County Councillor and District Councillor reports

6.1       Cllr Harangozo’s report(2) on the Stagecoach 118 service was received and considered. It was noted that the Parish Council would be given an opportunity to consider this further at the next meeting.

Cllr Harangozo also reported on:

·       the £75,000 grant awarded by the District Council for the proposed new village hall subject to a successful Community Fund award within 12 months

·       the vacant land on Milner Road which had not been rented or sold to the adjacent residence as discussed last year and which still required tidying.

7.         Parish Plan(4)

The increased grant application to the District Council for the skateboard facility was noted and Cllr Harangozo was asked to support the request.

7.1       Report on the negotiations with the school about the fencing and Parish Plan related matters

It was noted that the meeting was scheduled for tomorrow and agreed that this matter be carried forward to the next meeting.

5.4       Tennis court management

It was noted that Dr Wright had now withdrawn his offer and the report and recommendation from the PPIC working party listing three alternatives for the operation of the courts was considered. On a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Dr McCabe it was agreed to delegate this to PPIC allowing the committee to try any or all of the alternatives as detailed.

It was noted that the Tennis Club hut was due to be removed shortly and would be overseen by the Groundsman.

8. Finance

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

The invoices and bank statements were checked by the Financial Overseer. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Morison, the expenditure as listed in the financial report and monthly financial statement were approved:

SCDC (rates)

£176.00

Open Spaces Society (affiliation fees)

£30.00

Dents (pavilion keys)

£65.80

The Connections Bus Project (youth bus)

£300.00

AK & JK Farms (Causeway drainage)

£546.38

Cambridge Mobility (pavilion disability compliance)

£124.39

Allianz Cornhill

£1651.29

CALC (affiliation fee)

£503.88

LG Stoehr (salary)

£461.26

N Gristwood (groundsman)

£630.00

Ridgeons (Groundsman’s materials)

£52.17

Plus

LGS Services £176.02

BT       £130.87

Herald Contract Services £399.50

Herald Contract Services £793.15

Powergen   £69.74

It was noted that:

·       The Groundsman had been asked to look at the mowers kept in the garage and a report would be brought to the meeting on the outcome v the assets inventory including insurance cover for the tennis courts nets.

·       Once during the month the pavilion shutter and patio doors were left open, with heating, lighting and emersion heating left on and the alarm not set. This has been raised with the club responsible.

·       The draft ‘Internal Financial Controls and Risk Assessment’ is to be circulated and considered at the next meeting.

8.1.1    On a proposition by the Chairman, seconded by Mrs Morison the monitor for the Parish Councils computer at a value of approximately £70 was written off and removed from the assets list.

8.1.2    Using the formula year-end balance plus half the precept = £97629+£2172 = £108354; cover is currently £100,000. Given the order for the skateboard facility would reduce the bank balance substantially on a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr Chambers it was agreed that the level was satisfactory.

8.2       Audit timetable and to approve the accounts and supporting statement for FY ending 2004

It was noted that the audit had been called for 1 July and that the public inspection would start on 1 June.

The accounts and supporting financial papers as drafted by the Responsible Financial Officer was received and considered. On a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Mr Bailey it was resolved that the Annual Return Section 1 be approved by resolution of Comberton Parish Council and that Section 2 Statement of Assurance be filled in at the next meeting once the Internal Audit had been completed.

9.         To receive reports and consider recommendations contained in the reports

The following reports were all taken as read.

9.1            Planning(5)

9.2       Village Hall representative and Steering Group representatives(6)

9.3       Focus Group report including event arrangements and installation of a Parish Pump(7)

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mr Hollick it was agreed that a replacement pump could be purchased up to a maximum of £150.

9.4            Recreation ground and pavilion

No report taken earlier under item 7 Parish Plan.

9.5       Tree Group(8)

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

10.1            Highcliffe Properties – Land to the rear of 111 Barton Road

The letter dated 10 May showing an indicative sketch plan was received. On a proposition Mrs Morison, seconded by Miss Westgarth it was agreed that the letter contained nothing substantially new to make the Council revisit its previous decision. The vote was recorded as five votes in favour and five abstentions.

10.2            Webster Associates – land off Milner Road – upgrading of footpath to cycleway

In response to the letter from Webster Associates the Parish Council The Parish Council was slightly surprised to read of this matter having not discussed this previously at one of its meetings. It was noted that unfortunately it did not have the match funding to enable the suggested cycle path at this time as several other key village projects had been considered a higher priority in the Parish Plan.

The Parish Council had no desire to hold up the signing of the S106 agreement in anyway and having kindly offered this sum of £5,000 on a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Mr Bennett it was agreed that a letter be sent in reply asking if Webster Associates would be willing to contribute the funding instead, as community benefit in the S106, to be spent on a project of the Parish Council's choice.

10.3     SCDC Character Assessment

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Morison this was delegated to the Planning Committee to consider.

10.4     CCC – school governors changes in legislation

Noted.

10.5     CCC – survey of Highway and Engineering Division Services, Environment & Transport

Noted.

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

11.1     It was noted that Mrs Whiting had retired as Contact Editor and that this edition would be her last. An advertisement was being placed in Contact seeking a new editor. The Parish Council recorded its gratitude to Mrs Whiting for all her hard work and efforts as Editor over the years and a letter thanking her is to be sent.

11.2     It was noted that Mrs Ruby Prior would be celebrating her 100th birthday shortly and unanimously agreed that a card should be sent and signed by members.

 

5.3            Topham and Banks - Recreation Ground extension

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 an offer for purchase of land the public were temporarily excluded from the meeting and were instructed to withdraw. The Clerk and Cllr Harangozo were invited to remain.

At 10.28pm the meeting was declared re-opened to the public.

 

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 10.30pm.

 

 

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