Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held in

the Old Village Hall on Wednesday 12 January 2005 at 7.30pm


Members present:


Mr A Bailey

Mr M Bennett

Mr D Charge

Dr C Chambers

Mr A Hollick

Dr F Hughes

Mrs D Morison

Mr R Rowlands

Mrs A Webb

Miss C Westgarth (Chairman)

In attendance:       Cllr R Martlew, Mrs G Stoehr (Clerk) and 2 members of the public.


1.         To approve apologies for absence

Apologies were received from Mrs S Hyde, Dr J McCabe, Dr H Roscoe also from and Cllr S Harangozo.

2.         To approve the minutes of the last meeting on 11 November 2004

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mr Rowlands, the minutes were approved as true records and were signed by the Chairman with the following the inclusion of Mr Bennett in those present at the meeting and in item 6.2 to show Mrs Morison.

3.         Matters arising from the last meeting

3.1       Interactive sign and Barton Road highway matters – update

It was noted that a site meeting had been arranged for 8 February and agreed to carry this matter forward to the next meeting.

3.2              CCC outstanding matters

3.3              The email reply from Mr Oakman was considered and whilst noting that some of the matters eg kerbing at the sensory garden had now been resolved other items had not. It was agreed to write listing the items as follows so that they could be monitored at the next meeting:

·        The Parish Council is aware that the kerbing has been completed. It is however very disappointed that this was done without consultation with the Parish Council

·        A large and deep (6-8 inches) pothole is still outstanding in Royston Lane close to the bridge and needs a repair

·        traffic calming lighting issue in West Street - The Parish Council Chairman is in discussion with Tony Hull regarding this matter

·        Traffic calming at Comberton Village College - It was agreed that Dr Wright should be invited to join the site meeting on 8 February.

·        The Parish Council understands from Mr Cooper that work to the roadside drains in West Street was prevented some time back when a resident prevented the workman from undertaking the work. The Parish Council wishes to request once again that the problems with the roadside drains are rectified and finds it incomprehensible that one resident can stop work which is to the benefit of all residents, pedestrians and road users

·        It was noted that a email from a resident had been received highlighting an accident involving a vehicle and a telegraph pole in Long Road. It was agreed that this should be sent to Mr Oakman to raise his awareness yet again of the problems surrounding the traffic calming scheme in Long Road and also asking him to reply.

3.4              NVHSG representative

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Webb, Mr Hollick was appointed the Parish Council’s representative on the NVHSG.

3.5              Website

It was agreed to carry this forward to the next meeting.

4.         County Councillor and District Councillor reports

4.1       Cllr Harangozo’s report[1] was noted in his absence including:

·        the new 18/18A bus service replacing the 118/119 have been sent out by the County Council. The aim is to start a new hourly bus service to Cambourne.

·        the second plastics bank at the recreation ground

·        black bin collections

4.2       Cllr Martlew reported on the County Council’s budget deliberations and the delays to the A428 & A14 improvements scheme.

5.         Parish Plan

It was reported that the youth shelter was due to be installed in February and agreed that either a spare litter bin or a relocated one should be installed near the shelter.

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 Mrs Morison, seconded by Mr Rowlands, the expenditure as listed in the financial report and monthly financial statement was approved in accordance with its powers:

Connections Bus Project


Five Star Pest Control


Moore Stephens


Herald Contract Services






N Gristwood


C Westgarth


LG Stoehr (salary)


LGS Services


It was noted that Inland Revenue had agreed to an annual payment of PAYE & NI if contribution was due.

6.2       To consider the tenders received and to award the grasscutting and village maintenance contracts

The tenders as received were considered for both completeness and price against the tender specification.

The cost implications of cutting the parish verges was considered. On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Miss Westgarth it was resolved that the verges be handed back to the County Council unless it agreed to substantially increase its grant to cover the full cost of cutting.

It was also resolved that MD Landscapes be offered the three year contract for all areas detailed in the specification except the village verges as this represented best value. This was on the following conditions otherwise the contract would be awarded to Herald Contract Services:

·        Two satisfactory commercial references are received

·        Satisfactory insurance cover, licences, risk assessment policy etc are received

It was noted that the contract would include conditions relating to performance whilst under contract and early termination criteria if aspects of the contract are not completed satisfactorily.

6.3       To consider the recommendations from the working group and to approve the Budget for FY ending 2006 including S137 payments (requests for donations)

The report from the working group and accompanying draft budget[2] were received and considered.

6.3.1    On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mr Charge it was resolved that now the land purchase negotiations had been concluded that the matter now be placed in the public domain and the cost implications of the land purchase be considered whilst the budget was being discussed.

6.3.2    Noting the high running costs of the recreation ground and the pavilion and in order to try to solve the problems still relating to the management of the pavilion and the fees it was agreed that Miss Morison, Miss Westgarth, Mrs Webb and Mr Rowlands should meet to consider the implications for a recreation ground trust being set up and to bring a recommendation to the next meeting.

6.3.3    Each of the earmarked reserves and also the general reserves were reviewed and it was agreed that:

·        The project for the bus shelter in West Street (£3000) be started and possibly completed by 31 March 2005 subject to satisfactory consultation

·        the funds earmarked for Waymarking (additional) £1500 should be released to the general fund

·        Village Design Statement (£2000 earmarked) It was agreed that this project should be achieved with a fund of £1000. Released to the general fund £1000

·        £5,000 of the money which had previously been earmarked for the PCSOS funding which had been released to the general fund at the last meeting be used to fund the youth workers project identified in the Parish Plan

6.3.4    It was noted that the following S137 requests had already been received from:

·        St Mary's Church (maintenance of the Church yard) £750

·        Comberton Contact - £700

·        Comberton Mobile Warden & Self Help Scheme - £3000 (full accounts have already been circulated last autumn)

·        The Old School House (no accounts or amount specified)

6.3.5    The working group had suggested other beneficiaries in its report. On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Miss Westgarth it was agreed that £4600 be included for S137 payments in the budget but be considered and allocated early in the forthcoming financial year. The Parish Council reaffirmed its policy that all applications for grants and donations should be fully justified by the applicant and supported by detailed accounts.

6.3.6    A request from the bowls club that the Parish Council purchase materials for replacement fencing and offering to install the fencing themselves was considered. On a proposition by Mr Rowlands, seconded by Miss Westgarth it was agreed that the materials should be purchased this financial year and that the kind offer from the Bowls Club be gratefully accepted with the Groundsman overseeing the work.

6.3.7    On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mr Bennett the draft budget was amended to include an extra £1,000 in the contingency. It was then resolved unanimously the at the Budget(appended 2 to these minutes) be approved.

6.4       To set the Precept for FY ending 2006

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Morison and carried unanimously it was resolved that the Precept be set at £50,560.

6.5              Audit conclusion

It was noted that the Audit had been concluded and that Moore Stephens had found everything in order. The end of audit notice and a copy of the annual return had been placed on the notice board as required by legislation.

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

7.1       Planning[3]

Taken as read.

7.2       Village Hall representative and Steering Group Representatives

Mr Hollick reported that the meeting regarding the queens Award for Voluntary Service had gone well and that the trustees were not meeting again until the new village hall proposal had been costed.

7.3       Christmas lights event

It was noted that had been excellent with approximately 200-225 people attending. Thanks were expressed to the WI and the Salvation Army band.

8.         Vandalism to the Memorial

Vandalism on 6 January to the memorial and the visit by PC Chris Bradley to the Chairman were noted. Concern was expressed that the belated response and attitude of the Police to the incident had been poor. It was agreed to write to the Police, place an article in Contact asking parents if they knew where their children were in the evenings and also to see how the memorial could best be repaired.

It was noted that PC Bradley was moving to police in Cambourne and a new officer would be appointed to cover Comberton and surrounding villages.

The implications of the Crime and Disorder Act and parish councils’ ability to fine would be clarified with CALC.

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

9.1       Mr Banyard

Two letters from Mr Banyard were received and considered. The Parish Council invited Mr Banyard to address the Council so that it could respond to his questions. It was agreed that the Clerk would also formally write.

9.2       East of England Regional Plan

This had been received and passed to the Planning Committee to make recommendation if and as necessary to the Parish Council at the next meeting.

9.3       SCDC Access Point

Information on the access point was noted. It was still unclear if the Parish Council was required to do anything.

9.4       Barton Road equity share

Correspondence from the District Council indicating that criteria for the equity share housing in Barton Road had been reduced to 25% to enable those satisfying the S106 Agreement criteria to have housing was considered. It was noted that an open day had been arranged and that unless Comberton people came forward the housing would be allocated to others. It was agreed that information be placed in the next parish newsletter encouraging anyone interested in the housing to contact the Clerk ASAP.

10.       Recreation Ground extension – T&B negotiations

The letter from Bidwells, acting as agents for Messrs Topham and banks in the negotiations was considered. On a proposition by Mr Bennett seconded by Miss Westgarth it was resolved that the Parish Council was unable to agree to the suggestion that it pays Bidwells’ fees of £150/hr and also other professional fees such as the vendor’s solicitors costs in respect of this transaction. As the Parish Council had increased its offer for the purchase of the field to that asked by your client this would be at considerable cost to the parishioners and given limited public money available it considers that Messrs Topham and Banks should meet their costs themselves and the Parish Council will meet its own legal costs.

It was further resolved that Mills and Reeve Solicitors be instructed to act on the Council’s behalf in the purchase of the land.

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



There was no further business and the meeting closed at 10.06pm



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

[1] District Cllr report

[2] Report from the budget working group and accompanying draft budget

[3] Planning report