COMBERTON PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held in
the Old Village Hall on Wednesday 13 October 2004 at 7.30pm
Mr A Bailey
Mr D Charge
Dr C Chambers
Mr A Hollick
Mrs S Hyde
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, Mrs G Stoehr (Clerk) and 5 members of the public including Mr C Anderson of Highcliffe Properties.
The meeting began with one minute’s silence a sign of respect for Mr Robert James, ex-Chairman of Comberton Parish Council who had died last week.
1. To approve apologies for absence
Mr M Bennett (ill) Dr F Hughes and County Councillor R Martlew.
2. To approve the minutes of the last meeting on 8 September
On a proposition by Mr Charge seconded by Mrs Morison, the both the minutes and also the confidential minutes were approved as true records and were signed by the Chairman after the following amendments to the main meeting minutes:
· Item 3 to show approval of the July minutes
· Item 6.2 insert the wording ‘Dr Chambers arrived at this point in the meeting’
3. Matters arising or carried forward from the meeting
3.1 (5.2) RPG14 additional 18,000 homes in the Cambridge Sub Region – report1
The report from Cllr Keith Howard of Caxton Parish Council who had attended the meeting was received and noted.
3.2 (5.3) Webster Associates – land off Milner Road – update
The reply from Webster Associates was noted.
3.3 (4) Committee & working group membership
On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Webb, Mrs Hyde was elected to the recreation ground working Group and also the youth Working Group.
3.4 (9.3) 43 Long Road application – update
It was noted that the Parish Council had been served a certificate for proposed development on its land. A reply detailing the Parish Council’s ownership of the verge adjacent to the property and opposing any such development had been sent to the District Council in accordance with requirement.
3.5 (9.6) NHW Co-ordinator for the Sawston Sector – Youth Neighbourhood Watch – update
It was agreed that Dr Hughes should be asked to comment on this and that the NHW Co-ordinator for the Sawston Sector – Youth Neighbourhood Watch should be invited to attend the next meeting which would therefore start at 7pm.
3.6 (9.7) SCDC Community Access Point in Comberton – update
As nothing further had been received Cllr Harangozo kindly offered to take this matter up.
On a proposition by the Chairman it was agreed to vary the order of business to take item 8 at this point in the meeting.
8. Drive way access across Parish Council land - Highcliffe Properties – Land to the rear of 111 Barton Road
The letter from the NALC Solicitor in reply to the Parish Council’s questions was received and considered. On a proposition by Mr Charge, seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed that a public meeting be held to seek the views of the parishioners. It was agreed that the meeting would be arranged by the Planning Committee and that Mr Anderson of Highcliffe Properties should be invited to attend.
4. County Councillor and District Councillor reports
Cllr Harangozo gave the County Councillor’s report in Cllr Martlew’s absence.
4.1 A letter of complaint from Mr Munns asking for double yellow lines to be painted in Barton Road near the shop was considered. The Parish Council expressed its concern that any such lines were unlikely to be enforced and agreed that it would only support such action if the County Council could assure it that the restriction would be actively enforced.
4.2 District Councillor’s report
· Reported that Mr Patel had withdrawn his planning application
· Asked the Parish Council to support the Local Development Framework (LDF) and give positive endorsement
· Explained the pressures on the District Council’s budget and the results and implications of the consultation on the council tax increase. It was noted that Cllr Harangozo expected that community funding support would be seriously decreased in the next financial year.
5. Parish Plan
5.1 Youth shelter
Dr Hughes’ report2 was received and considered in her absence. It was noted that the items mentioned had already been ordered. On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Dr McCabe it was agreed to purchase the youth shelter from Rekk which met the grant requirements if after further consultation with the youth it was agreed by them that they liked the design.
5.2 Connections Youth Bus
It was noted that one letter of support had been received for the continuation of the Connections Bus funding. It was also noted that the youth budget had now been spent and that any further visits of the Connections Bus would have to come out of the general reserves.
On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Morison it was resolved to contract the bus for a further period up to Christmas.
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 Dr Chambers, seconded by Mrs Morison, the expenditure as listed in the financial report and monthly financial statement were approved following correction to the amount shown for the Ridgeons invoice
SCDC (pavilion rates)
Herald Contact Services
Herald Contract Services
Greenham (Groundsman’s materials)
Comberton FC (reimburse tea urn)
LG Stoehr (salary)
Inland Revenue (PAYE & NI)
LGS Services (clerking support & expenses)
It was noted that
· A second hand filing cabinet had been purchased instead of a new one.
· The Alliance & Leicester mandate would be returned to the Clerk as soon as possible.
· A complaint had been made regarding two sets of bank charges and the Bank Manager had agreed to reimburse these.
6.2 Budget review(appended 2 to these minutes)
The budget report showing receipts and payments v the approved budget to the end of September was noted.
6.3 Report for financial support – Comberton Mobile Warden Scheme3
Dr McCabe declared an interest in this matter and left the meeting while the matter was discussed.
The report and request for the release of the second part of the funding was received and considered. The proposal by Mr Hollick, seconded by Mrs Morison that in accordance with its powers under Section 137 of the Local Government Act, 1972, the Council donate £917 to Comberton Village Help Scheme which, in the opinion of the Council is in the interests of the area and its inhabitants, was carried unanimously.
Dr McCabe rejoined the meeting.
7. To receive reports and consider recommendations contained in the reports
Taken as read.
7.2 Village Hall representative and Steering Group representatives5
Mr Hollick, the Parish Council’s village hall representative, reported the Trustees are still considering plans for a new hall of slightly smaller size and that this had been discussed with the Chairman of the Steering Group. The draft minutes from the recent Steering Group meeting were also considered. It was agreed in principle that if this were the case it would be prudent to keep costs to a minimum whilst still complying as far as possible with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).
It was agreed to write to the Trustees asking if the Trustees could inform the Parish Council, in writing, what the Trustees’ plans and expectations are for the village hall in now both the short and longer term and what input and support the Trustees require from the Council in order that the Council may make appropriate budgetary decisions at its next meeting.
On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Morison it was resolved that in light of the successful DDA report that the Parish Council received on the pavilion, the Parish Council would commission Brain Alden to undertake a Disability Discrimination Access Report for the village hall so that it may move towards further compliance with the DDA. A notice would also be put on the parish notice board asking anyone who thinks that they might have problems attending a Parish Council meeting due to the current provision to contact the Clerk so that alternative arrangements could be made as appropriate.
7.3 Recreation Ground/Groundsman’s report6
Mr Gristwood’s report was received and considered.
It was agreed that any damage to the pavilion should be taken up with the relevant club and that they should be invoiced for any damage.
7.4 Tree Group including letter from resident regarding damage to property
A complaint from a resident alleging damage to her property due to a tree owned by the Parish Council was considered along with the Tree Group’s recommendation that the tree should be removed and some other type of planting, perhaps roses should be considered instead.
On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr Roscoe it was agreed to accept the tree group’s recommendation and that Peter Oakes should be contracted to remove the tree.
7.5 Parish Paths
The P3 Co-ordinator’s report was received and considered. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed that the Community Punishment team should be asked if they would kindly hand sweep the Causeway.
It was noted that a footpath to link Byway 7 was still being investigated.
9. Swaynes Lane kerbing and associated CCC actions
Disappointment was expressed that Cllr Martlew was not present while this item was discussed.
It was noted that kerbing had been installed in Swaynes Lane despite the Parish Council’s previous communications with Mr Mike Cooper and the proposal to install white fencing similar to that at the other end of Swaynes Lane.
A review of outstanding highway matters, some over two years, was considered. These included:
· Kerbing in Swaynes Lane
· Signage South Street/Swaynes Lane - David Lines agreed approximately a couple of years ago that there would be a bend and junction sign when approaching Swaynes Lane from Royston Lane end of South Street
· Reinstatement of the road surface (Royston Lane) following the Barton Road closure in February
· Traffic calming lighting, West Street, Comberton
· Twinning sign to be re-instated and re-located on the parish boundary near Horizon Park
· Dropped kerb at Sensory Garden/Milner Road, yellow marking still there (just)
· Installation of final piece of calming at Comberton Village College.
· Flooding effect on West Street - work scheduled years ago but stopped when a resident said it was a waste of money
· Long Road approach from St Neots Road is dangerous because of lack of light.
It was agreed that a letter of complaint be sent to the County Council seeking assurance that these will be completed without further delay.
10. To consider matters arising out of correspondence/communications received since the last meeting
10.1 South Cambs Local Development Framework
In circulation; currently with the Planning Committee.
10.2 CCC Bus consultation
It was agreed that the consultation document was poor and agreed that the Transport and Highway Working Group should put together a reply on the Parish Council’s behalf.
10.3.1 In response to a letter from Mrs Hankins regarding maintenance of the ditch behind the Village College School houses near Kentings it was agreed to reply that there is uncertainty as where the ownership and maintenance responsibilities for this ditch lies however the Parish Council is certain that it has never had the land conveyed to it. The Parish Council has cleaned it out once but its policy is not to do so again. Both the County and District Council have denied any responsibility and have suggested that the ditch is an awarded ditch with riparian ownership. In short its maintenance lies with the nearest property owner.
12. Urgent matters brought forward with the Chairman’s consent
11. Topham and Banks - Recreation Ground extension
At 9.38pm 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, the public were temporarily excluded from the meeting and were instructed to withdraw. The Clerk and Cllr Harangozo were both invited to remain.
At 9.44pm the meeting was declared re-opened to the public.
The article in a recent Cambridge Evening News by a resident was considered. The article complained about the closure of Parish Council meetings whilst the recreation ground extension was discussed. It was unanimously agreed that a letter be sent to the resident explaining the legislation and expressing disappointment that he had gone to the Cambridge Evening News rather than asking the Council for an explanation.
There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9.50pm.