Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held in

the Old Village Hall on Wednesday 9 February 2005 at 7.30pm


Members present:


Mr A Bailey

Mr M Bennett

Mr D Charge

Dr C Chambers

Mr A Hollick

Mrs S Hyde


Dr J McCabe,

Mrs D Morison

Dr H Roscoe

Mr R Rowlands

Mrs A Webb

Miss C Westgarth (Chairman)

In attendance:       Cllr R Martlew, Cllr S Harangozo, Mrs G Stoehr (Clerk) and 4 members of the public.


1.         To approve apologies for absence

Apologies were received from, Dr F Hughes (ill).

2.         To approve the minutes of the last meeting on 12 January 2005

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mr Bennett, the minutes were approved as a true record and were signed by the Chairman.

3.         Matters arising from the meeting

3.1       Interactive sign & Barton Road highway matters- update

Mr Charge reported on the meeting with Mr Lines on 8 February and that Mr Lines had indicated that he was unable to do anything about the traffic calming in Long Road or the roundabout in Barton Road due to lack of funding and/or fatalities.

On a more positive note Mr Lines had said that the interactive sign was not necessary.

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mr Bennett it was agreed to write to Mr Lines requesting

·        written confirmation that the interactive sign was not now required.

·        a meeting to discuss firstly the traffic calming outside Comberton Village College and secondly the roundabout at the Barton Road/Long Road junction and the overall layout of the scheme, cars parking in Barton Road, yellow lines etc. Mrs Morison was asked to represent the Parish Council at the meeting to discuss the former and Mrs Hyde to discuss the latter. Mr Wright is to be invited to attend the meeting to discuss the scheme by the village college.

Gated entrances were briefly considered and it was noted that Barton had obtained theirs as a result of the A603 scheme.

3.2       CCC outstanding matters – reply M Oakman

The reply dated 26 January from Mr Oakman[1] was received and considered. It was agreed to write again regarding the blocked drains in West Street which had been misunderstood by Mr Oakman.

It was agreed that a letter from residents in Long Road[2] complaining that yet another car had hit the telegraph pole and asking that the traffic calming scheme in Long Road is removed should be passed to Mr Oakman for reply.

A letter from Mr Lansley[3] to the Secretary of State dated 20 January complaining about the delays to the proposed A428 dualling were noted.

It was noted that pavements in the Valley had been dug up and the grass damaged. It agreed to find out why this work was necessary.

3.3       Website and community access point

Miss Westgarth and Mr Bennett reported on the recent meeting to discuss the website and also their visit to the community access point. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mr Bennett it was agreed to accept Miss Westgarth’s kind offer to transfer all the material on the website to the new software on offer to the Parish Council free of charge from Mr Crichton. Once completed a public meeting and training would then be arranged.

It was reported that the new community access points had not been so easy to use. In particular although there is a high speed ADSL link the access points are restricted so that the home page is very slow to load up. This had led to confusion about what was happening and how the site could be accessed. It was also suggested that there could be quick links to other public service sites such as the citizen’s advice bureau, Parish Council's web site etc. It was agreed to write to Mr Caerns at the District Council letting him know.

3.4       Equity share housing Barton Road

Concern was expressed at the high value of the properties and the very basic fixtures and fittings therein. Also at that the properties had been advertised and allocated to those outside the village before the Parish Council had been contacted. Given that there would be future housing in the village and so that the Parish Council could learn more about affordable housing and to also help to negotiate suitable housing for the village it was agreed to invite a representative from a housing society and from Shire Homes to a future meeting.

3.5       East of England Regional Plan recommendation from Planning Committee & letter from CALC

The letter from CALC[4] urging parish councils to respond highlighting a need for a commitment to infrastructure was noted. It was agreed that the Planning Committee would consider this further when it next met.

4.         County Councillor and District Councillor reports

Cllr Harangozo’s report on street cleaning[5] was noted as was the letter from Cllr Harangozo to Mr Lansley MP[6] regarding the future bus service. On a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Mr Charge it was agreed that the Parish Council supported wholeheartedly the sentiments expressed.

5.         Parish Plan

Mr Bennett’s report[7] was considered. This reported on the Connections bus visits, the proposed recruitment of two youth workers, use of the skateboard park and damage to the recreation ground car park by the additional traffic generated by the plastics recycling facility. It was noted that the Connections Bus had kindly made two visits at no cost to the Council and that Ms Di Cook had kindly offered to assist with the recruitment of two youth workers.

On a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Mrs Morison it was resolved that the Connections bus should be contracted for a further six week period, reviewable at the next meeting to enable continuity and increase the chances of success of the youth project.

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 Miss Westgarth, the expenditure as listed in the financial report and monthly financial statement plus Ridgeons £46.41, Greenham £41.19, P Oakes £669.75, BT £130.40 and Comberton WI £25 was approved in accordance with the Councils powers:

Cambs Countryside Watch (affiliation fee)


Information Commissioner (Data Protection Act)


Scotsdales (roses)


Connections Bus


LG Stoehr (salary)


LGS Services (clerking support & expenses)


N Gristwood (groundsman)


6.2       To approve the P3 Grant application

Miss Westgarth’s report was noted[8]. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr McCabe it was resolved that a grant application be made to the Parish Paths Partnership for proposed work including the care and maintenance of Footpath 5 (between Barton Road and Swaynes Lane), The Causeway (F8) Herringfield Drift (BW7) and sign maintenance. It was noted that if outstanding works could not be completed before the end of March they would be carried forward.

6.3       Annual review of Groundsman and Clerk’s terms and conditions

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mr Bennett it was resolved that the following members should meet to discuss this matter and bring a recommendation to a future meeting:

·        Groundsman’s review – Dr Chambers, Miss Westgarth and Mr Rowlands

·        Clerk’s review – Dr McCabe, Mrs Webb and Mrs Morison

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

7.1       Planning including to consider the recommendation for the road name within the Webster development

7.1.1    Mr Charge’s report[9] was received and noted. It was noted that on many occasions the District Council did not uphold the Parish Council’s recommendations and that this was being monitored and if necessary would be taken to the District Council’s Scrutiny Committee.

7.1.2    On a proposition by Mr Charge, seconded by Miss Westgarth it was resolved that the Parish Council wished to exercise its right to name the road within the Webster Development ‘The Hawtreys’.

7.2       Village Hall representative and Steering Group representatives

7.2.1    Mr Hollick’s report and background notes on the ownership of the old village hall[10] taken from the Council’s files were noted. It was noted that the proposed new hall (minus a staircase to the upper floor at this stage) was estimated to cost in the region of £250,000 to £260,000 and that the committee were now proceeding to the next stage of seeking planning permission and obtaining firm tender costs.

7.2.2    A letter dated 3 February from Mr Cook[11] was received and considered. It was noted that:

·        he had not been able to find out information regarding the heads of terms from the Lottery,

·        the Trustees had agreed to spend the sum of £5,00.00 for the preparation of specifications and working drawings

·        and asking if the Parish Council had any objections or comments to make on the new plan

7.2.3    It was noted that The Parish Council had had an opportunity to see the plans for the proposed new hall last November however it would welcome an opportunity to take one more look at the next planning meeting which was scheduled for 23 February.

7.2.4    Mr Hollick asked if the Lease could be progressed now. It was agreed that the Parish Council wanted to reassure the Trustees that as per its letter of intention dated 13 November 2003 it would have no hesitation in entering into an agreement for the lease when the terms set out in the mutually agreed Heads of Terms have been satisfied:

'2.c       Process to establish a formal lease

                                                   i.      An agreement for lease will be entered into when all conditions identified in 2.b. have been satisfied


                                                   i.      the Leaseholder has obtained all necessary consents and funding necessary to build the Proposed New Village Hall; and,

                                                 ii.      the Leaseholder has established a contract to build the proposed New Village Hall; and,

                                                iii.      the Leaseholder has provided evidence that the Charity Commission are satisfied that the Leaseholder is permitted to build and construct the proposed New Village Hall (if the Leaseholder is a registered charity); and,

                                               iv.      the Leaseholder has satisfied the Landlord that the Leaseholder’s organisation and management structure are able to manage and operate a new building over the duration of the lease.'

7.3       Tree Group

7.3.1    It was noted that an offer of horse chestnut trees from a parishioner had been received. In noting that the Tree group were drawing up a planting plan and would write an article in Contact indicating the type of trees that could be used within the village it was agreed to write to the parishioner thanking him for the offer and explaining that regrettably the trees could not be used.

7.3.2    A letter from a resident complaining about the southern boundary hedge on the Leach Homes development was noted. It was agreed that it should be established clearly who would have the long term ownership and maintenance responsibility for the hedge.

8.         Recreation ground including

8.1       Recreation ground extension and fees

The reply dated 3 February from Bidwells[12] indicating that unless the Parish Council paid the vendors fees the sale would not progress was considered. It was noted that a letter had already been sent to Bidwells asking for a detailed breakdown of what the fees were and how much however a reply had not as yet been received. It was noted from the letter received from Mills and Reeve dated 1 February[13] that the Council’s fees would be approximately £300 for a simple transfer and £1800 with full searches.

In order to progress this on a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Mr Hollick it was agreed the Parish Council would welcome an opportunity for its Chairman, Miss Chris Westgarth and also Mrs Morison to meet with both Messrs Topham and Banks to discuss the proposed purchase, drainage, leveling and associated costs further. Cllr Harangozo was asked to also attend as he had been involved in the earlier meetings. It was also agreed that the Parish Council would not be responsible for Bidwells’ fees if Mr Bryant attended the meeting.

8.2       Proposal for recreation Trust[14]

Further to the last meeting the Group’s report was received and considered. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Morison it was resolved in principle that a charitable trust should be formed along the lines of the trusts at Histon and Milton to co-ordinate the development of recreational provision in Comberton. The members selected at the last meeting were asked to progress this matter and to bring a report to the next meeting.

9.         To consider matters arising out of correspondence/communications received including

Minor correspondence for information is to be circulated.

9.1       West Street proposed bus shelter – responses on the consultation[15] and quotations for the shelter[16]

A second consultation had now been undertaken and a letter sent to homes in West St (nos.59 - 70) and Kentings (no.37). Four responses had been received and were noted. The Parish Council considered carefully all replies to the consultation and to comments specifically about the design and also concerns about the location and also about lack of visibility.

On a proposition by Mr Bennett, seconded by Mrs Morison in recognition that the proposed bus shelter came about as a result of the Comberton Parish Plan and requests from residents it was resolved that the Parish Council would install a bus shelter in West Street as proposed and was hopeful concerns about the proposed site could be overcome by fine tuning the final location of the shelter.

It was agreed that the residents who had raised concerns should be invite to attend a site meeting with the Chairman, and a representative from the County Council to check visibility splays and to see if a suitable location can be achieved.

Quotations for the bus shelter and Dr Wright’s letter regarding the design were considered. On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Mr Bennett it was agreed to accept the quotation from Phil Smith Carpentry for £2500 for design 2 and that a base should be installed at a cost of up to £500 maximum.

9.2       AJC speed reduction scheme Barton Road – results of the petition

It was noted that approximately seventy-five signatures supporting the petition had been obtained and that some residents had contacted the Council to say that they thought that thirty miles per hour was too low. The petition would now be sent to the South Cambs Environment and Transport Area Joint Committee meeting on 7 March. Cllrs Harangozo and Martlew were both asked for their support.

9.3       SCDC – Comberton Bowls Club grant application

The Bowls Club’s application to the District Council[17] was received and considered. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mr Bailey it was agreed that the Parish Council supported the grant application for funding to aerate the green.

9.4       CALC & Haslingfield – invitation to meeting on Quality Councils etc[18]

Details of proposed meetings to discuss the quality council initiative were noted. It was agreed that any member who wished to attend could do so.

9.5       Guilden Morden Parish Council – Operation Ancona[19]


9.6       Russell Residential dated 3 February[20] – complaint about the boundary fencing. It was noted that the wooden fencing was the other side of the boundary marking posts and therefore agreed that this was the responsibility of Russell Residential’s client. It was agreed that the chain link fencing should be repaired by the Groundsman and that the hedge should be trimmed.

9.7       Cambs Fire and Rescue – sticky posters for the parish bins. It was agreed that these should not be put on the parish bins.

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



There was no further business and the meeting closed at 10.11pm


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

[1] Letter dated 26 Jan from M Oakman

[2] Letter from residents in Long Road

[3] Letter from Andrew Lansley MP to Sec State for Transport

[4] CALC letter dated 24 January re. East of England consultation

[5] Cllr Harangozo’s report on street cleaning

[6] Cllr Harangozo to Mr Lansley MP regarding the future bus service

[7] Parish Plan report

[8] P3 report

[9] Planning report

[10] Village Hall representative and Steering Group representatives’ report

[11] Letter from B Cook dated 3 February

[12] Letter dated 3 February from Bidwells

[13] Mills and Reeve dated 1 February

[14] Proposal for Recreation Trust

[15] Responses on the proposed bus shelter in West Street consultation

[16] Bus shelter quotations

[17] The Bowls Club’s application to the District Council

[18] CALC & Haslingfield – invitation to meeting on Quality Councils etc

[19] Guilden Morden Parish Council – Operation Ancona

[20] Russell Residential dated 3 February re VH fencing