COMBERTON PARISH COUNCIL

 

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held in

the Old Village Hall on Wednesday 13 April 2005 at 7.30pm

 

Members present:

Councillors:

Mr A Bailey

Mr D Charge

Dr C Chambers

Mr A Hollick

Mrs S Hyde

Dr J McCabe,

Mrs D Morison

Mr R Rowlands

Mrs A Webb

Miss C Westgarth (Chairman)

In attendance: Cllr S Harangozo, Cllr R Martlew, Mrs G Stoehr (Clerk) and 5 members of the public.

 

1.         To approve apologies for absence and resignation of member

Apologies were received from, Mr M Bennett and Dr H Roscoe. Dr F Hughes’ resignation from the Council was received and noted. The meeting recorded its thanks to Dr Hughes for all her efforts with the skateboard park, youth shelter and support of the village youth generally. It was noted that the District Council had been informed of the vacancy and that the statutory notice had been put up on the notice board.

2.         To approve the minutes of the last meeting on

2.1       9 March

2.2       23 March

On a proposition by Dr McCabe seconded by Mrs Morison the minutes of both meetings and also the confidential minutes from 9 March were approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

Messrs Rowlands and Charge arrived at this point in the meeting.

3.         Matters arising from the meeting

3.1       (3.1 ) CCC highway matters including the Valley pavements and damage to the POS

3.1.1    The Valley footways

A letter from Mike Cooper dated 22 March[1], confirming that a project to replace all footways in The Valley would be completed by 24 March was received and considered.

It was agreed that a letter should be sent to Mr Cooper informing him that:

·        Not all the footways were replaced - just sections.

·        The Parish Council has noted tyre marks on the new sections these were attributed to the contractors parking and driving across the new sections. In time water will pool on the paths.

·        The contractors have damaged the adjacent grassed areas (and newly planted roses) in sections that belong to the Parish Council and the Parish Council request that these sections of grass are reinstated.

·        The Parish Council would like to be given advance notice of any works which are planned for the village that way when questions are asked by residents the Parish Council are better informed to answer.

3.1.2    CVC Traffic calming

Further to the Parish Council’s request that representatives from the Council meet with the County Council to discuss the traffic calming outside the village college Mrs Morison reported on her discussion with Mr Lines and his aggressive response that no further work would take place and that there would be no further discussions on the matter. It was noted that he had made untrue allegations. It was noted that improvements to the Long Road/St Neots Road junction were still outstanding as was a reply from Mark Kemp. Mr Lansley’s letter dated 5 April[2] saying he would take account the Council’s concerns with Mr Kemp was noted.

Cllr Martlew reported that the County’s budget cuts and staff cuts were responsible for recent problems and asked the Parish Council’s indulgence. The Parish Council expressed disappointment, concern and it frustration with the County Council and it was noted lack of funding was no excuse for poor communications and that this was not the first time that the Parish Council had been dissatisfied with the County Council’s work and or response and it was unanimous that it should have been kept better informed and would need to more closely monitor any future works in the parish.

3.1.3    Bus shelter consultation

The report ‘Bus shelter junction of Kentings and West Street[3] from Miss Westgarth and Dr Chambers was received and considered. It was noted that Mr Cooper had advised on and approved the location of the shelter and had also kindly agreed to tarmacing and kerbing works in line with disability legislation.

3.2       (3.4.1) Leach Homes landscaping[4]

The report on the inspection on areas due to be transferred to the Parish Council had identified that Leach Homes needed to undertake further works and that clarification was required on the ownership of the southern boundary hedge and also on the ownership and maintenance of the open ditch adjacent to the Herringfield Drift.

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr McCabe it was agreed that these matters should be clarified with Land Registry if necessary.

3.3       (8.1) Petition for improvements to parking provision in the north end of The Valley

The report from the Transport Working Group[5] and their seven suggestions were considered. It was agreed that the Transport Working Group, Cllr Harangozo should meet with a County Council officer to discuss the options further and bring a recommendation to a future Parish Council meeting.

It was agreed that the TWG needed to involve residents as well as council members.

3.4       (8.10) SC Transport Plan – to note that this will not be progressed[6]

The letter from Brian Human, Cambridge City Council dated 21 March which thanked the Parish Council for its response and saying that for the time being this would not be progressed further.

4.         County Councillor and District Councillor reports

Cllr Harangozo reported on the Governments threat to cap the District Council’s budget and the implications for this. He also reported that the District Council was considering the future of its housing stock.

5.         Parish Plan

5.1       Connections Bus report[7]

The report for the period January to March covering numbers, themes, activities and behaviour was noted

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 and the financial report noted. On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Dr McCabe, the expenditure as listed in the financial report and monthly financial statement was approved in accordance with the Councils powers:

CPRE (affiliation fee)

25.00

Peter Oakes (tree work)

70.50

Open Spaces Society (affiliation fee)

30.00

Ridgeons (Bowls Club Fencing)

318.13

N Gristwood (Groundsman)

641.00

Cambs & P'boro Fire Authority (pavilion alarm)

81.00

SCDC (pavilion rates)

191.62

Five Star Pest Control (VAT on 2 invoices)

17.50

LG Stoehr (salary)

123.50

LGS Services (admin support)

904.16

6.2       Clerk’s terms and conditions

As the review group had not met it was agreed to carry this forward to the next meeting.

6.3       Requests for S137 donations

In response to the request for financial support the proposal by Dr Chambers, seconded by Mr Hollick that in accordance with its powers under Section 137 of the Local Government Act, 1972, the Council donate the following

St Mary's Church

 

£750.00

Contact Magazine

 

£500.00

Comberton Help Group

 

£2000.00

Old School House

 

£100.00

Comberton Scouts

 

£150.00

which, in the opinion of the Council is in the interests of the area and its inhabitants, was carried unanimously.

It was also agreed that should the Comberton Help Scheme donation should be released in two instalments of £1000 and should the Scheme require further support later in the year this would be considered favourably.

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

7.1       Planning

Mr Charge’s report[8] was received and noted

7.2       TWG[9]

The Groups report on parking outside Costcutter was noted.

7.3       Tree Group

Mrs Morison reported on the donation of hornbeams and it was agreed that the Groundsman should be asked to help with the planting also on the proposed pond wall extension and t was agreed that the Groundsman should be asked to help draw up the specification so that quotations could be obtained.

8.         Village Hall including:

8.1       Village Hall representative and Steering Group representatives

It was noted that the group was making good progress and that events were happening quite rapidly. £225,000 funding was now in place towards the target of £260,000.

The Parish Council recorded its congratulations to the trustees and in particular to Mr Brain Cook for their efforts to date. It was noted that the trail dig had been successful and that the Trustees were looking into a loan with the Charity Bank.

8.2       Correspondence from Mr B Cook regarding use of the institute and the lease

It was noted that in response to the letter from Mr Cook, Drs McCabe and Chambers and the Clerk had met yesterday with Derek Catlin and Michael Thompson representing the Trustees and that all parties had agreed that the next steps were for the Trustees to complete the process to establish the lease as previously agreed.

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

9.1       M Hall, 12 The Valley – request to use the POS to temporarily use the POS to store building materials

On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Dr McCabe approval was given with the proviso that:

 

·        this is for the short period requested

·        the area is safety flagged

·        any damage to the green made good.

9.2       Application for Transfer of Licence, Comberton Leisure Centre, Comberton Village College

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Dr Chambers the Parish Council had no objection to the application and it was agreed that Kester Cunningham and John should be informed of the change of address for both the magistrates Court and also the District Council.

10.       Recreation ground including

10.1     Damage on the recreation ground and Policing

It was noted that recently youths had set alight the Bowls Club hedging and the fire brigade had to be called. Police Officers had attended and at least one youth was caught. At the same incident the Fire Fighters caught some youths throwing small fireworks in to the adjacent field annoying the horses.

In addition the Parish Council had received numerous complaints regarding youngsters with ball baring guns firing at property and intimidating residents. It was agreed that a letter of concern should be sent to PC Bradley and that he should also be invited to a meeting to discuss what action the Police were taking to deal with these youths and youth problems more generally and what else could be done.

It was also agreed that an article should be put in Contact.

10.2     Safer Routes to School Path

Mrs Morison reported on the meeting with David Lines and Claire o’Neil attended by Messrs Rowlands, Bailey, Hollick, Miss Westgarth and Mrs Webb, the Clerk and herself on Friday 8 April.

A rough emailed plan and emailed specification was considered.

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mr Hollick Comberton Parish Council gave its approval for the Safer Routes to School Path to go ahead with on condition that:

·        It is a no dig path to be installed from the western side of the recreation ground, as far as the youth shelter then a dug path to the school gate as discussed at the meeting.

·        Deviation of route around the youth shelter.

·        Specification as per the email and plan from the County Council dated 4 February 2005.

·        Sides of path seeded.

·        Start date autumn.

·        Advance notice of start date must be given to the Clerk.

·        Safely cordoned off whilst construction work is undertaken.

·        Cambridgeshire County Council will assume responsibility for the path for 12 months following installation.

10.3     Byelaws

The recreation ground byelaws dated November 1977 were consider particularly the sections relating to wheeled bicycle and cycling.

On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Mrs Morison it was resolved that the byelaws did not prohibit pushchairs or the riding of self-propelled cycles on the proposed new path and that those doing so should give way to pedestrians. An article is to be put in Contact later in the year and a couple of simple signs are to be purchased and erected near the path once the path was almost completed.

10.4     Proposed Recreation Trust – model trusts

Examples of trusts from Milton and also form Histon and Impington[10] were received and considered. The Parish Council supported these as a basis for the proposed Trust and the Group were asked to draft a constitution for consideration at a future meeting.

10.5     Recreation ground extension – terms of reference

The letter and accompanying terms of reference[11] dated 11 April from Jim Bryant of Bidwells were received and considered.

On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed that the Parish Council would make its first response as follows:

·        The area has been reduced by 0.1 Acres - why is this?

·        It is not clear where 'A' is or where the 8m wide right of way is. Clarification is sought on this.

·        18: Restrictive covenant: the Parish Council wish to broaden the proposed scope - to allow it to be used as "parkland, or general recreation area for the use of the community".

·        19: Retention of strip - this is likely to significantly reduce the utility of the recreation extension land as this is where bins, etc should be placed.

·        20: The Parish Council do not understand this - are you suggesting that your client continue to get grants etc, even though the land is not in his possession - or does it just refer to historical payments?

·        21: Drainage and services:

-         Drainage is OK, but the Parish Council wish to ensure that any sports fields don't get used as a drainage swamp to clear water off the adjoining field.

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr McCabeit was resolved that Mills and Reeve Solicitors be appointed to act for the Parish Council in this matter that the fees would be approximately £1,800.00 plus VAT and disbursements and that a copy be sent to them for advice. Once replies had been received the heads of terms would be considered again by the Parish Council.

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

Members were reminded that reports were required for the Annual Parish Meeting on 25 April.

An article is to be put in Contact about fly tipping in Long Road near Fox’s Way.

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 10.02pm

 

 

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



[1] M Cooper, 22 March -The Valley footways

[2] A Lansley, 5 April – reply to M Kemp

[3] Report ‘Bus shelter junction of Kentings and West Street

[4] Notes on meeting with Leech Homes 14 March

[5] Transport Working Group report 21 March – Parking in the north end of The Valley

[6] B Human City Council, 21 March - SC Transport Plan

[7] Connections Bus report

[8] Planning report

[9] TWG report

[10] Examples of trusts from Milton and also form Histon and Impington

[11] Bidwells, 11 April - letter and accompanying terms of reference