COMBERTON PARISH COUNCIL

Wednesday 12 October 2005 in the Old Village Hall at 7.30pm.

 

Members present:

Councillors:

Dr B Burton

Mr D Charge

Mr A Hollick

Dr C Chambers

Dr J McCabe

Dr H Roscoe

Mrs D Morison

Mr R Rowlands

Miss C Westgarth (Chairman)

Mrs A Webb

Mrs S Hyde

 

In attendance: Cllr S Harangozo, 8 members of the public, P.C Chris Bradley (part of the meeting) and Mrs G Stoehr (Clerk).

 

1.         To approve apologies for absence

Mr M Bennett (overseas), Mr A Bailey (ill) and Dr C Chambers (late)

2.         To approve the minutes of the last meeting on 14 September 2005

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

3.         Matters arising or carried forward from the meeting for discussion/decision

3.1       To note the Clerk’s report[1]

3.0.1    (3.1) Interactive Sign as no reply had been received from Ms Sue Reynolds this matter is to be carried forward to a future meeting.

3.0.2    (3.3.1) A reply from the new Secretary to Comberton FC, Mr Andy Marsh, dated 11 October 2005[2] was noted.

3.0.3    (5.1) A letter from the Connections Bus[3] thanking the Parish Council for its kind words and the Parish Plan Implementation Committee’s extension of its contract until after Christmas was noted.

3.0.4    (6.1) Further to the Parish Council’s decision at the last meeting Mr Gristwood had written to the Parish Council[4]. To be discussed under item 6.5

3.0.5    (7.0.1) A reply had been received from Ms Tindale, Planning Officer regarding Church Farmhouse[5]. S/0386/00/F. To be discussed under item 7.1

3.0.6    (9.1) Mr Addy[6] thanked the Parish Council for its donation.

3.0.7    Rev. Joyce[7] had sent the Parish Council a copy of his letter of objection to the Parish Council’s planning application for the proposed recreation ground extension change of use from agricultural to recreational use.

3.0.8    Recreation ground extension – A letter dated 12 October from the Parish Council’s solicitor Ms Surroop[8], detailing the searches and out come of the preliminary enquiries. It was noted that some matters are still outstanding as further information being requested by the Solicitor including the finer details of an overage provision which is being included in preference to a covenant restricting selling the land for purposes.

3.2       (8.2) Residents of Hines Lane complaints & request that the plastics recycling is relocated

The letter from Mrs Waters dated 6 October 2005[9] was noted,

It was agreed to seek the views of the village on the suggested relocation to a different, as yet undecided location and also to ask the Groundsman for further information regarding the number of vehicles using the recycling facilities. The matter was carried forward to the next meeting.

3.3       (7.4) Review of work carried out in Comberton (by the PC, local authorities and the water authority) since the last great flood in order to prevent a recurrence

Replies from Anglian Water[10] detailing measures that they had initiated and Dennis Vacher[11] saying he was unable to change the drains for grills.  As no reply had been received from Pat Matthews at SCDC it was agreed to carry this matter forward to the next meeting. .

3.4       Tree removal near path to the recreation ground

As no report had been received from Cllr Baldwin it was agreed to escalate this to the county council itself for a reply and that a letter should be sent to Cllr Baldwin expressing the Parish Council’s disappointment that he had only attended two meetings since his election and had not replied to the Council’s recent letter.

It was noted that the bat boxes which had been in the trees had disappeared. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr McCabe it was resolved that they be removed from the Parish Council’s assets list.

4.         County Councillor and District Councillor reports

Cllr Harangozo’s report[12] included:

·        the possible implications of the capping including redundancies, applications for capital grants, recycling credits

·        A request that the Parish Council come to a decision on resolving parking and road safety issues in The Valley.

·        The proposed new timetable for the bus service from 23 October and the renaming of the services to the 18 /18A was noted. The information is to be put into contact.

In response to a request from Cllr Harangozo, on a proposition by Mr Charge seconded by Dr Roscoe it was agreed that the Parish Council should promote and encourage residents to use the new service by awarding a free £9.50 Megarider ticket to the first 5 residents who can provide 3 return tickets on the new service in any one week.

It was agreed to carry forward discussion of the parking issues in The Valley until the transport working group had had an opportunity to meet to discuss this further.

 

5.         Parish Plan including use of professional fundraiser/project manager

Dr Chambers arrived at this point in the meeting.

A brief verbal report on PPIC’s exploration of a professional fundraiser /project manager for a youth project was considered. It was agreed that the Parish Council would like an opportunity to consider this further and therefore the matter was deferred until PPIC have had another opportunity to meet and consider the gentleman’s references,the full scope of the project and its implications.

6.         Finance & procedural matters

6.1       To receive the financial report and to approve the payment of bills[13]

The financial report was received and considered and checked by a member against the invoices. On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Dr Chambers it was agreed that the payments as listed in the financial report plus payment to Camtile for £213.85 should be paid.

SCDC

Rates

£78.00

Comberton & Dist. Ex-Servicemen’s Club

S137

£15.00

Mills and Reeve

Rec extension

£1633.91

LGS Services

Admin support etc

£764.04

N Gristwood

Groundsman

£661.00

Ridgeons

Padlock

£143.59

Kiddie Fire Protection Services

Fire Alarm

£328.13

LG Stoehr

Salary

£257.48

6.1.2    It was noted that the loan repayments are due on 16 March and 16 September for five years. On a proposition by Dr McCabe, seconded by Dr Chambers it was resolved to set up a direct debit for the payments.

6.1.3    As notification had been received from Alliance and Leicester that bank statements would only be received quarterly it was agreed to explore access to the statements on the internet or via telephone banking.

6.1.4    The risk implications of keeping the Council's land deeds in the County Records Office's archives were considered. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr Chambers it was resolved that the Council's land deeds, leases and other title deeds should all be placed with either the solicitor or bank for safe keeping and that photocopies returned to the County Records Office.

6.2       Internal audit for FY ending 2006

Further to the last meeting, on a proposition by Dr Chambers seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed to ask Mrs Wright if she would be willing to undertake the half yearly internal audit and to appoint Money Matters to undertake the end of year internal audit at an approximate cost of £50-£100.

6.3       Budget review[14]

The income & expenditure to date v the budget was received and considered. It was noted that the council was broadly in line with the anticipated position at this point in the financial year.

6.4       To consider the quotations for the repairs to the tennis court fencing and work to the oak tree

Four companies had been invited to quote for the tennis court fencing two quotes have been received.

Universal fencing - £1817.50 (net)

Bradgate fencing - £2148.52 (net)

On a proposition by Mrs Hyde, seconded by Mr Charge, it was agreed that in accordance with its Standing Orders the Parish Council had tried to secure three quotations and that no further quotations were required and resolved that the quotation from Universal Fencing be approved. It was also agreed that the cost be taken from the contingency budget.

Three companies had been invited to quote for the work to the oak tree on the recreation ground however to date only one quotation had been received.

It was agreed that the Tree Group at its next meeting should decide if the tree required a 40% or less crown reduction and then three quotations for the work be sought for consideration by the Parish Council at a future meeting.

6.5       Review of village/recreation ground maintenance arrangements

As the contract with Kiddie Fire Protection Services had expired, on a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded Mr Rowlands, it was agreed that the Parish Council should contract Alarm Maintenance of Barton to maintain the fire alarm if following the site meeting its price is less than that of Kiddie and providing the service is not diminished. It was also agreed that if contracted they should be the first key holder for Cambs Fire & Rescue to save having to call out the Groundsman, Clerk or Chairman.

Having reviewed the Parish Council’s budget for village/recreation grounds maintenance, on a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Dr McCabe it was agreed:

·        to formally add Coulsons to the current list of approved contractors.

·        to amend the financial regulations to extend the existing delegated powers to the Clerk and Chairman having the power chose between the Groundsman and contractors from the Council’s approved contractors list based on the scope of the work and its complexity.

·        to apportion the budget/works between the Groundsman and other contractors initially as a trial during the forthcoming autumn/winter period reducing the core hours. For the groundsman to a structured 10-12 hours per week to accommodate other contractors picking up jobs the more complex and outstanding works so that the Parish Council does not further exceed its budget.

·        to note that additional hours could be bought in from the Groundsman if the need arises.

·        to arrange a meeting with the Groundsman to discuss the modification to the contract and his recent letter about petrol charges and that Miss Westgarth, Mr Rowlands and Dr Chambers be the members to undertake this meeting.

On a proposition by the Chairman it was agreed to vary the order of business to take item 9.1 at this point in the meeting.

9.1       Kebab Van, Green End –Letters of complaint[15]

Consideration was given to letters from Stuart Tunstall, Comberton Antiques & Interiors - 25 September,  Mrs J Caine, Secretary, W J Brown and Son - 28 September, N R Faulkner, Cross Farm - 25 September and a e-mail dated 12 September from Juli Stallabrass, Licensing Officer who had received complaints from Mr & Mrs Cetin the kebab van owners.

The Chairman welcomed the authors of some of the letters, other residents and P.C. Chris Bradley to the meeting and invited the residents to express their concerns.

It was noted that there were two issues:

·        The problems with the kebab van noise nuisance, horns, loud music, and also litter & smells arising from the van’s presence.

·        The problems with antisocial behaviour of youths congregating in green end near the van and also in other areas of the village e.g. the church car park, the recreation ground etc. also a black BMW allegedly distributing drugs to the youth.

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Hyde it was agreed that the Parish Council and residents were disappointed by P.C. Bradley’s response and that a letter be sent to the Chief Constable, with copies to Inspector Ormerod and Andrew Lansley MP demanding that the police deal with the antisocial behaviour problems and the drug dealing without delay by targeted policing for the village.

It was also resolved that a letter be sent to the District Council’s Licensing Officer noting that the license had expired in march 2005 and asking that the District Council insist that the kebab van ceases to trade in the village. It was noted that P.C Bradley indicated that he would be prepared to write to the Licensing Officer to saying he was not prepared to support the furtherance of the license.

7.         To receive reports and members proposals and to consider recommendations

7.1       Planning[16]

The Planning Committee’s report was taken as read.

The reply from Miss Tindale dated 11 October 2005 regarding Church Farmhouse ref S/0386/00/F was received and considered. It was agreed to reply that the Parish Council was not satisfied with the reply as did not make sense. In particular condition 7 was contradictory and copies of supporting letters/evidence had not as yet been received. It was agreed that this information should be re-requested.

7.2       Recreation Ground Group

7.2.1    It was noted that The Recreation Ground Group had met to continue to pursue the setting up of the recreation ground trust and to look at the layout and potential of the proposed recreation ground extension. It was agreed to carry this forward to a future meeting due to the lateness of the hour.

7.2.2    It was noted that Mr Oxer allegedly had a deed confirming rights of play on the recreation ground pitch and agreed that he should be asked to provide the evidence for this. Carry forward.

7.2.3    Watts Wood – it was noted that the solicitor had telephone to say that the transfer documents had been posted to the council and that as previously agreed they would be signed by two members, the chairman and vice-chairman in the first instance if available, and witnessed by the proper officer

7.3       Assets Review – to arrange a date

Agreed to take place on Saturday 12 November following or prior to the skateboard opening.

8.         Village Hall

8.1       To consider the report from the Village Hall representatives and Project Group representatives

There was no written report but Mr Burton urged the Parish Council to look favourably on Mr Cook’s requests to be considered under item 8.2.

It was noted that:

·        the VIT’s Project Group were applying to defra for the full £107,000 projected shortfall and that the business plan was being amended to detail the enhanced use, provision for the vulnerable and disadvantaged before the application was submitted in November.

·        the VIT should hear the outcome of the application by March 2006

·        it was hoped to issue the contract for the first stage of build by end Nov.

8.2       To consider correspondence from VIT’s re. parking spaces and funding[17]

Consideration was given to correspondence from Mr B Cook, VIT Chairman dated 1 October 2005 requesting:

·        That the Parish Council would consider reviewing car parking requirements after the new hall is built and in the meantime not define how many spaces they require in the 40 year lease. 

·        A commitment from the Parish Council that if all else fails and if requested to by the VITs, they will agree to raise the necessary outstanding capital.

·        That whilst the new hall is being built that the recreation ground car park is made available.

Car Parking - The proposal by Dr Chambers seconded by Mrs Morison that the Parish Council does not change its decision, resolved at the last meeting that it requires 10 unallocated parking spaces, was defeated. The vote was recorded as five votes in favour, five votes against. One member did not vote. The Chairman used her casting vote to defeat the motion.

On a proposal by Miss Westgarth seconded by Dr McCabe it was resolved to seek a modification to the clause regarding the number of parking spaces so as not be so specific about the number of parking places whilst still providing the access to the village hall car park that the Parish Council requires while using a form of wording acceptable to the Trustees. The Parish Council’s Solicitor to advise on appropriate wording.

Use of recreation ground car park – On a proposal by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr Burton it was agreed in principle that the Parish Council  has no objection to the trustees using the recreation ground  car park as an overflow car park when there are lettings. This is with the proviso that it is managed with the users respecting the feelings of homes in Hines Lane/Green End with respect to noise etc.

Shortfall in funding – proposed Dr McCabe seconded by Dr Burton that the Parish Council  give its commitment that it will work together with the VIT’s if it there is a shortfall in the funding to explore all avenues.

8.3       Agreement to Lease[18]

Noted correspondence dated 27 & 28 September 2005 from Katharine Pearson the Parish Council’s solicitor (confidential under Freedom of Info Act) and the first draft of the Agreement to Lease & Lease

On a proposition by Dr Burton seconded by Mrs Hyde it was resolved that the principle of "Re-instatement" in the Agreement to Lease was not required and that a form of words should be used such that, in the event of difficulties in completing the construction of the new village hall, the Trustees and the Parish Council would meet to agree the best means of resolving the matter. Dr Chambers vote against this motion was recorded.

In view of the extremely tight timescale to get the two documents agreed and signed on a proposition by Dr Chambers seconded by Dr Burton, it was resolved that Mrs Hyde, Dr Chambers, Dr McCabe, Mrs Morison and Miss Westgarth be delegated to meet with the Trustees to iron out any problems of principle encountered during the agreement of the wording of the two documents and that once achieved the agreement to lease could be formally signed by two members of the Parish Council & witnessed by the Proper Officer without the need for referral back to the Parish Council. The Group was instructed to be mindful of the Solicitor’s advice on any further changes.

The Parish Council once again reaffirmed its commitment to the project and its support to the VIT’s in achieving a new village hall for Comberton.

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

9.1       Taken earlier.

9.2       Invitation to AGM of the Comberton Help Scheme[19]

Dr McCabe declared an interest in this item.

It was noted that the Parish Council had received an invitation to AGM on Wednesday October 26th at 8pm in the Old Village Hall and members were encouraged to attend.

9.3       Contact – Editor required

Miss Westgarth declared an interest in this item.

The Parish Council was pleased to note that an editorial team was being put together to ensure the future of Contact.

9.4       Comberton Library proposals[20]

Consideration was given to a letter dated 28 September 2005 from Diane Wilson, Acting Customer Service Manager regarding proposed changes to the opening times and days of Comberton Library. It was agreed that the Parish Council had no objection to the new times.

Closure of meeting

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 10.34pm

 

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

 



[1] Clerk’s report

[2] A reply from the new Secretary to Comberton FC, Mr Andy Marsh, dated 11 October 2005

[3] A letter from the Connections Bus

[4] Letter from N Gristwood re petrol charges

[5] A reply from Ms Tindale, Planning Officer regarding Church Farmhouse

[6] Letter of thanks from Mr Addy

[7] Rev. Joyce’s letter of objection to the Parish Council’s planning application

[8] Letter dated 12 October from Mills & Reeve regarding proposed recreation ground extention

[9] letter from Mrs Waters dated 6 October 2005

[10] Letter from Anglian Water

[11] Letter from Dennis Vacher CCC

[12] Cllr Harangozo’s reports

[13] Financial report and to approve the payment of bills

[14] Budget review

[15] Letters of complaint from residents regarding the kebab van and an email from J Stallibrass at SCDC

[16] Planning report

[17] Correspondence from VIT’s re. parking spaces and funding

[18] correspondence dated 27 & 28 September 2005 from Katharine Pearson the Parish Council’s solicitor (confidential under Freedom of Info Act) and the first draft of the Agreement to Lease & Lease

[19] Invitation to AGM of the Comberton Help Scheme

[20] Comberton Library proposals