COMBERTON PARISH COUNCIL

 

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held in

the Old Village Hall on Wednesday 8 September 2004 at 7pm

 

Members present:

Councillors:

Mr A Bailey

Mr D Charge

Dr C Chambers

Dr F Hughes

Mrs D Morison

Mrs A Webb

Miss C Westgarth (Chairman)

In attendance: District Councillor S Harangozo, County Councillor R Martlew, Ms D Cook, Deputy Principal at Comberton Village College with special responsibility for community education (item 1 only), Mrs G Stoehr (Clerk) and 3 members of the public.

 

1.         CVC Liaison

The Chairman welcomed Ms Cook to the meeting to discuss ways which liaison between the College and the Parish Council could be further strengthened. Aspects discussed included the proposed use of the College’s minibuses and also youth support.

It was noted that:

·       Currently approximately 1200 pupils attend the school and that the maximum capacity is 1300

·       The school had no plans for additional growth to take in more pupils

·       The school had received excellent GCSE results and was in the top ten in the country

·       The sport and leisure centre functions to serve the needs of the community

·       The community minibuses should be available for use if appropriate insurance and  a qualified driver was used

·       The school buses are the responsibility of the County Council not the school

·       Ms Cook or perhaps the Chair of Governors or the CB3 manager were willing to attend a future meeting.

Mr Hollick arrived at this point in the meeting.

Concern was expressed that school buses continued to speed in the village. Cllr Martlew offered to take this matter up with Education Transport at the County Council.

2.            Apologies for absence

Mr M Bennett, Dr J McCabe, Dr H Roscoe and Mr R Rowlands

3.         To approve the minutes of the last meeting on 9 June

On a proposition by Mrs Webb seconded by Dr Hughes, the minutes were approved as a true record and were signed by the Chairman.

4.         Co-option of member

On a proposition by Mr Bailey, seconded by Mr Charge, Mrs Sandra Hyde of Long Road was co-opted on to the Parish Council.

5.            Matters arising from the meeting to note

5.1       (4.2) ‘Contact’

It was noted that Mr Peter Wolfers had been appointed the new ‘Contact’ Editor and that a request for financial support for desktop publishing software might be received in the near future.

5.2       RPG14 18,000 additional housing in the Cambridge Sub-region – invitation from Mr Lansley to attend a meeting.

It was noted that a meeting would be held on 24 September to discuss the implications of the Buchanan report.

5.3       (4.1) Webster Associates – land off Milner Road – S106 Agreement

Disappointment was expressed that nothing further had been received formally from Webster Associates and it was agreed to write again.

6.            County Councillor and District Councillor reports

6.1       County Councillor

Cllr Martlew reported that Mr Phil Sharp was leaving the County Council and that Mr David Lions would be taking over his workload. It was also noted that the problems with the chicanes in Barton Road, the possible removal of the small lay-by were under all discussion at the County Council. Concern was expressed that it was not so much the lay-by causing problems but the parked cars near the roundabout. It was agreed that the Transport Working Group should draft a letter detailing the problem and requesting yellow lines; the Clerk would send this. Concern was also expressed that the cycleway surface near Leach Homes was poor.

6.2       District Councillor

Cllr Harangozo reported on anticipated rise in council tax and urged the Parish Council to respond giving its view on the priorities.

It was noted that the plastics recycling had not as yet been installed. It was also noted there had been problems with the consultation process regarding the new bus timetables, the lateness of the South Cambs magazine delivery and also a recent travellers consultative meeting. Cllr Harangozo was asked to:

·       inform residents of the District Council’s proposals

·       Clarify the rules to establish effective consultation

·       Note that the consultation process had failed on this and on previous occasions

7.         Parish Plan

It was noted that the Committee had not met however the skateboard equipment apart from one piece was now installed and that problems with the surface had been resolved. Positive feedback from the youth had been received.

Dr Chambers kindly offered to help source a suitable youth shelter.

7.1       The Connections Bus Report

The report from the team was received and considered. It was agreed that the village had benefited and that there was evidence that youth vandalism and other incidents had declined. On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mr Hollick it was agreed to fund four more weeks of the bus and that an article be put in contact seeking the views of residents as to whether any further sessions should be obtained.

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. On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mr Hollick, the expenditure as listed in the financial report and monthly financial statement were approved:                        £

SCDC

176.00

LGS Services (admin expenses)

281.87

Kidde Fire Protection (pavilion alarm)

121.37

N Gristwood (handyman)

630.00

C Orme (grasscutting)

156.00

Ridgeons (Handyman materials)

65.96

Signworks (skateboard safety signs)

183.30

Cambridge Water (recreation ground bill)

145.80

Scotsdales (plants)

185.00

Herald Contract Services (grass cutting)

822.50

Powergen (electricity)

259.57

Powergen (electricity)

35.11

BT (pavilion phone line)

131.34

Nulite Leisure (skateboard equipment balance)

9223.75

T+S Groundworks (skateboard ground works)

7399.15

LG Stoehr (salary)

572.92

7.2            Clerking v administration support – to consider the request from the Clerk that her contract be revised

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

7.3       Friends of CVC – request for financial support

The proposal by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mr Bailey that in accordance with its powers under Section 137 of the Local Government Act, 1972, the Council donate £100 to Friends of CVC for its event which, in the opinion of the Council is in the interests of the area and its inhabitants and commensurate with its expenditure was carried with 3 votes in favour and 5 abstaining.

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

8.1            Planning(1)

Taken as read

8.2       Village Hall representative and Steering Group representatives

It was with deep regret that the Parish Council received the news about that the Community Fund bid had been turned down.

It was noted that some time ago the Parish Council had begun looking into the implications of the disability discriminations act and had begun to compile a list of things that would need to be done on the hall. It was agreed that a letter be sent to the Trustees assuring them of the Council’s continued support in all matters relating to the Village Hall.

8.3            Recreation Ground / Groundsman’s report

It was agreed to carry this forward to the next meeting. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr Hughes it was agreed that additional bins could be purchased for the recreation ground.

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

9.1            Queen’s Award for Volunteers – to consider a nomination

On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Mrs Morison it was resolved to nominate Comberton Village Institute Trustees, members both past and present who had since the 1920’s run the hall and made long term commitment to the village. It was agreed that Dr Chambers should draft the nomination on the Parish Council’s behalf.

9.2       Jointly Funded Minor Improvements Scheme Bid

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mr Charge it was resolved to submit a bid for the removal/modification to the Long Road traffic calming scheme and noted that the Parish Council would pay the £1 per elector if its bid was successful.

It was agreed that a letter be sent to the County Council asking when it would complete the scheme outside the Village College.

It was noted that the interactive sign near Bennell Court was once again working but that it had dubious positioning. It was also noted that repeated requests had been made for the re-erection of the Comberton Twinning Sign in Barton Road (near Horizon Park).

9.3            Requests for drive way access across Parish Land - Highcliffe Properties – Land to the rear of 111 Barton Road and Tucker Gardner Partnership re. 43 Long Road

On a proposition by Dr Chambers seconded by Miss Westgarth it was agreed to take this matter at the end of the meeting after item 10.

9.4            University of Cambridge – notice of short term road closures

Noted.

9.5       County Council Speed Management Review

Noted. It was also noted that speed monitoring equipment was currently in the village and agreed to write again to the Police asking for the results of the survey undertaken earlier in the year and also requesting speed checks be undertaken at the other four entrances to the village.

9.6       NHW Co-ordinator for the Sawston Sector – Youth Neighbourhood Watch

It was agreed that Mr Charge should contact the Police to find out more about this initiative and to decide if this matter should be progressed.

9.7       SCDC Community Access Point in Comberton

An invitation to a meeting to discuss a proposed community access pint was received. Unfortunately no-one was free to attend so it was agreed to write asking for further information.

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

None.

10.            Topham and Banks - Recreation Ground extension

7.2            Clerking v administration support – to consider the request from the Clerk that her contract be revised

At 9.30pm 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, that is negotiations for land acquisition, and also employees contracts the public were temporarily excluded from the meeting and were instructed to withdraw. The Clerk was invited to remain for both items and Cllr Harangozo was invited to remain for item 10 only.

At 10pm the meeting was declared re-opened to the public.

9.3            Requests for drive way access across Parish Land - Highcliffe Properties – Land to the rear of 111 Barton Road and Tucker Gardner Partnership re. 43 Long Road

The letter from Tucker Gardner Partnership seeking right of access across the parish land in Harbour Avenue to enable a dwelling to be built to the rear of 43 Long Road was considered. Given the response by the Planning Committee recommending refusal of the application on a proposition by Mrs Webb, seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed that a letter be sent to Tucker Gardner Partnership saying that the Parish Council is very disappointed that they submitted a planning application without first seeking its permission on access. Given that the Parish Council Planning Committee has already made it views on the planning application as a whole known to the District Council in response to the planning consultation the Parish Council see no need to comment further on the access.

The letter from Highcliffe Properties was received and considered. On a proposition by Dr Hughes, seconded by Dr Chambers it was agreed that more information was required so that the following questions could be answered before a decision could be reached and therefore the matter should be carried forward to the next meeting. The vote on this matter was 5 votes in favour, 2 votes against and 1 abstaining.

·       If the Parish Council agree to the request will this set a precedence so all other similar requests will have to also be granted in the future?

·       Can the applicant force the Parish Council to grant right of access or to sell the land (compulsory purchase)?

·       What is the amount that the Parish Council could negotiate as 'enhanced value'? How can it find out what is realistic?

·       Will the Parish Council still have to follow the procedure in the previous Clerk's advice for ‘right of access’ rather than ‘sale’?

·       If the Parish Council is considering compulsory purchase of land to enable a recreation ground extension and allow this right of access to proceed will it be detrimental to the proposed compulsory purchase that the Parish Council has 'given away' public open space land despite it being such a small piece of verge?

 

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 10.14pm.

 

 

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