Wednesday 8 March 2006 in the Old Village Hall at 7.30pm


Members present:


Mr A Bailey

Dr C Chambers

Mr D Charge

Mr D Coulson

Mr A Hollick

Mrs S Hyde

Dr J McCabe

Mrs D Morison

Dr H Roscoe

Mr R Rowlands

Miss C Westgarth (Chairman)

In attendance: Cllr S Harangozo (District Cllr), Cllr D Baldwin (County Cllr), Mrs G Stoehr (Clerk) and six members of the public.


1.         To approve apologies for absence and to receive declarations of interest from members

1.01     Satisfactory apologies were received from Mrs A Webb(work) and Mr Bennett(overseas). Mr Bennett’s resignation was noted.

1.0.2    Declarations of interest were received as follows:

·        Dr H Roscoe - item 8.3 Groundsman -contracts N Gristwood.

·        Miss Westgarth and Mrs Morison – Governors at the School

·        Mrs Morison – item 3.2 – lives in The Valley.

·        Dr C Chambers – item 3.4, Recreation Ground Extension - lives adjacent to the Recreation Ground.

1.1       To consider the comments of the Monitoring Officer on personal and prejudicial interests

Consideration was given to an email from Colin Tucker, Monitoring Officer to another parish council on personal and prejudicial interests. In brief the guidance was that a member has a personal and prejudicial interest in any matter in their road/street and should leave the meeting. It was agreed to progress this matter to the Standards Board.

2.         To approve the minutes of the last meeting on 8 February 2006

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Dr J McCabe the minutes of the meeting were approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman after the one amendment on page 378 – item 7.1, paragraph 2 should read “Miss Westgarth is to contact”.

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

3.1       (7.2) Co-option of member to fill the casual vacancy and declaration of acceptance of office

There were two candidates for the casual vacancy:

·        Mr David Coulson, West Street

·        Mr David Ellis, Baker Close.

As a result of the secret ballot held Mr David Coulson of West Street was co-opted on to the Comberton Parish Council.

Mr Coulson, present, signed his declaration of acceptance of office and joined the meeting.

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr McCabe it was resolved, having noted the resignation of Mr Bennett, to co-opt Mr Ellis on to the Parish Council if no election is called and the Parish Council is notified that they may fill the vacancy by co-option.

3.2       (3.1) Tree adj. 2 The Valley – to consider the Tree Warden’s report[1]

The Tree Warden’s report was considered and Mrs Winney, a member of the Tree Group was invited to address the meeting. She reiterated the Group’s views. It was agreed to seek Robert Cook’s advice on root and crown pruning and if appropriate obtain quotes from Peter Oakes.  It was agreed that this matter should be carried forward to the next meeting and that Mr Lambert should be informed.

3.3       (3.3) Footway lighting – to consider the correspondence from SCDC

The following items of correspondence were noted:

·        E-mail dated 17 February 2006 from Mr P Quigley[2]

·        Email dated 27 February 2006 between Mr P Quigley, Cllr Mrs D Spink, Environmental Health Portfolio Holder and Cllr Harangozo[3]

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Dr Chambers it was agreed that:

·        The Parish Council will take over the running and maintenance costs of the one light in Church Lane with the proviso that should it wish to turn it off at any time in the future the District Council will not raise objection.

·        Given the current new building hall work the two lights in Green End will no longer be required and therefore the Parish Council will not take these on.

·        The Parish Council will defer its decision on the remaining seven lights on sheltered housing areas in Nursery Way and Swaynes Lane until it has received a reply to its previous letter regarding 'duty of care'.

·        Paul Quigley is to be asked if the Parish Council could install if it chose solar power lighting on the sheltered housing land

·        Cllr Mrs Spink is to be invited to meet with the Parish Council Chairman.

3.4       (3.4) Recreation ground extension purchase – sports fields

A recent e-mail from David Stead, Mills & Reeve[4] confirming the current position was noted.  As Mr Catley had not as yet prepared his report it was agreed to carry this item forward to the next meeting.

3.5       (6.2) Cricket Club boundary – reply from Mel Pooley, ECB Cricket Advisor

A reply from Mel Pooley detailing boundary lengths was noted[5].  A meeting is being arranged.

3.6       (8) Kebab van licensing – to consider letters received

A letter dated 6 March 2006 from Miss Stallabrass at SCDC[6] and from residents and the Commercial Centre tenants[7] were considered. Generally the current two days trading appeared to be working reasonably well although this has been during the colder months. The Commercial Centre tenants still had concerns about the van’s positioning by their premises. On a proposition by agreed that it would recommend that:

·        The trading is to be two days (Wednesday’s and Friday’s only).

·        Trading hours to be 11pm on both days

·        All other current conditions to apply.

·        To monitor the antisocial behaviour by others and involve the police where appropriate

Miss Stallabrass is to be asked to get the unauthorised sign near the cross roads removed.

3.7       (9.2) 2nd Parish Council Village Hall representative – to fill the vacancy

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mr Hollick it was agreed that either Mr Coulson or Mr Ellis (if co-opted) should represent the Parish Council as its second representative and that the gentlemen should decide between them which of them it would be.

It was agreed to vary the order of the agenda and take items: 8.4 and 8.5 here.

8.4       The Valley Parking

A report from the Transport Working Group (TWG) regarding parking in The Valley parking was considered[8].  The following options were considered:

1.      Do nothing.

2.      Park on Public Open Space.

3.      Remove the pavement.

It was agreed that a letter should be sent to Mr Vacher inviting him to meet with the Transport Working Group representatives on site to explore the options and the cost implications.  It was also agreed to include the problems in Hillfield Road in the deliberations.

8.5              South Cambs Area Joint Committee meeting – CVC traffic calming

Mrs Morison reported on the meeting that she and Dr Wright had attended. It was noted that the matter had been deferred to the next meeting pending a speed check being arranged.

It was agreed that Mrs Morison, or Dr Wright in her absence is to attend the next AJC meeting.

4.         County Councillor and District Councillor reports

4.1       Cllr Baldwin reported on the Council’s budget and also that Cemex had postponed its proposed application and this was supported by a letter which the Parish Council had received[9]. The Parish Council has requested that written reports are provided for future meetings.

4.2       Cllr Harangozo requested patience and forbearance in any dealings with the District Council and its officers during this transition time due to the restructuring of the Council.

5.         Parish Plan

As previously agreed in December 2005 (item 5.1) Mr Candlin is to be issued a contract for the youth work. This is to be broken down into three stages. The first being a desk top study with full breakdown of timescales and costs and funding opportunities which would be presented to the Parish Council for approval before the second (the appointment of youth workers and the provision of facilities) and third stages (youth council and plan of future youth work) were started. It was noted that the contract for Mr Candlin’s time is not to exceed £2000 for all three stages and that Mr Candlin is to find match funding for his time from grants i.e. £2000 minimum.

6.         Finance & procedural matters

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr McCabe it was agreed that the Clerk could carry forward ten days from her unused holiday entitlement from period 9 October 2000 to 9 October 2005.

6.1       To receive the financial report and to approve the payment of bills[10]

The financial report was received and considered by the Council and checked by a member against the invoices.

6.1.1    N Gristwood’s invoice and accompanying time sheet were considered. The Council was not satisfied that the breakdown provided for the recreation routine maintenance and equipment maintenance adequately supported the hours claimed and was unwilling to pay for Mr. Gristwood to show an apprentice how to do his work. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr Chambers it was agreed that four hours meeting with contractors would not be paid and to seek a more detailed breakdown of the 20 hours recreation ground and equipment maintenance before those hours were paid. It was also agreed if the Chairman and Clerk were satisfied with any breakdown supplied a cheque could be released before the next meeting. The vote was recorded as unanimous.

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed that the following payments be paid:

Cambridge Water

Water rates


Alarm Maintenance

Intruder alarm repair


Connections Bus project

Youth bus


N Gristwood

Grounds man


LGS Services

Admin support & expenses


LG Stoehr




Loan repayments


It was noted that a VAT claim had been submitted and paid by HMCE.  This will appear on the next statement.


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

7.1       43 Long Rd - application for permission to construct an entrance & driveway from Harbour Ave

Consideration was given to a letter dated 28 February 2006 from A.W.J Macroff[11]. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs. Morison it was agreed that as nothing had changed the Parish Council stood by its previous decision that it will not sell lease or grant right of access across its public open space. The vote was recorded as 9 votes in favour of the motion and one abstention.

7.2       Mr Patel – 3 West Street (Ex-United News)

An e-mail dated 28 February 2006[12] from Mr Patel informing the Parish Council that he has been looking to renovate the above property for some time and requesting a meeting. It was agreed that he should attend a Planning Committee meeting on 22 March.

7.3       Cambs County Council – Rights of Way Improvement Plan

            It was noted that this document is to be circulated.

7.4       Cambs ACRE – Calor Village of the Year Competition

An e-mail dated 23 February 2006 from Julie Weeks, ACRE[13] including details of Calor Village of the year 2006 competition was noted.  It was agreed to put details of the competition in ‘Contact’ inviting groups and organisations to enter.

7.5       Jan Lupton - Farmers Market

In response to the e-mail dated 23 February 2006 from Jan Lupton[14] providing details of Farmers Market which are to be held monthly at the Village College it was agreed that this would be a nice amenity to have in the village and to provide contact details of the primary School and Horizon Park who may be able to help with a suitable venue when the Village College was not available.

7.6       Standards Board – appointment of parish council members


7.7       Connections bus

An e-mail dated 1 March 2006 from Alan Webb, project manager of the Connection Bus[15] detailed that due to numbers the age range would have to be restricted to over 12 years.  On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed to contract the bus to the beginning of the summer holidays while Mr Candlin (fund raiser) is sorting out the youth project.

It was agreed to take item 8.8 here.

8.8       The Chairman reported on her attendance at the recent new Connections Bus launch.

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

8.1       Planning[16]

The planning report was taken as read.

It was noted that the Village Design Statement draft for consultation is proceeding and will be ready after Easter. 

The Planning Committees response on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Waste Minerals Consultation response was supported by the Parish Council.

8.2       Village Hall

Mr Hollick reported that:

·        The village fundraising gift day is due to take place on Saturday.

·        The Trustees were considering provision for a stair lift for wheelchairs.

8.3       Groundsman meeting

The Chairman and Vice-Chairman reported on their meeting with Mr Gristwood to discuss the new contract and Mr Gristwood’s letter in response to the contract offered requesting an increased hourly rate which would include petrol and use of his equipment and its wear and tear were considered. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr McCabe the Parish Council resolved that as already agreed, because of the budget restrictions that it currently faces and also because it believes that the contract that has been issued for reduced hours and supporting receipts is the right one for the village if Mr. Gristwood wished to continue with the Groundsman/Handyman work for the Council when the existing contract ends on 2 May, that he should sign the contract not later than Wednesday 22 March.

It was also agreed that if Mr. Gristwood did not renew his contract the Clerk in consultation with the Chairman, as previously agreed last October, could allocate the work to other contractors within the approved budget.

8.6              Further action about the exit from the new estate to Comberton’s mini roundabout

Recent correspondence between Dr Roscoe and Mr Lines regarding the above was noted[17]. It was agreed that the Council still maintained that the junction was unsafe and that this should be addressed by the County Council without further delay. It was agreed that a letter should be sent to Sue Reynolds pointing out the dangers of the roundabout and to request that she responds to previous letters sent to her from the Parish Council.

8.7       Report from TWG of Comberton Parish Plan Implementation Committee[18]


8.9              Mrs Meek land in Green End adjacent to the Commercial Centre[19]

In response to the email from Mrs Meek dated 6 March explaining that Browns Garage had been sold and that she was seeking to discuss the future use and development of the land adjacent to the Commercial Centre with the Parish Council it was agreed to delegate this to the Planning Committee to discuss with her in the first instance.

8.10     Race Equality Scheme Consultation[20]


9.         Annual Parish Meeting – to agree a date and topic

The APM is to be held on 16 May 2006 at 8.00 pm. As in previous years reports from members and from village groups and organisations are to be included on the agenda.

Closure of meeting

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 10.20 pm.




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



[1] Tree Wardens Report.

[2] E-mail dated 17/2/06 from Mr P Quigley to Mrs G Stoehr re: Footway lightning.

[3] Correspondence dated 27/2/06 between Mr P Quigley and Cllr Mrs D Spink re: Footway lightning.

[4] E-mail from David Stead, Mills & Reeve providing update on position.

[5] Reply from Mel Pooley detailing boundary lengths.

[6] A letter dated 6/3/06 from Miss Stallibrass - Kebab Van licensing.

[7] S Tunstall, Browns Garage, Jefferys, Houghton & Co, I Spence -Kebab Van licensing.

[8] Report from (TWG) - Parking in The Valley.

[9] Letter from Cemex

[10] Financial Report

[11] Letter dated 28/2/06 from A.W.J Macroff re: 43 Long Rd - application for permission to construct an entrance & driveway from Harbour Ave.

[12]E-mail dated 28/2/06 from  Mr Patel re: Renovation of 3 West Street (Ex-United News)

[13] Cambs ACRE – Calor Village of the Year Competition

[14] E-mail dated 23/2/06 from Jan Lupton re: Farmers Market

[15] E-mail dated 1/3/06 from Alan Webb, Connection Bus.

[16] The planning report

[17] Correspondence between Dr H Roscoe and Mr D Lines re: exit from the new estate to Comberton’s mini roundabout

[18] Report from TWG of Comberton Parish Plan Implementation Committee

[19] Mrs Meek land in Green End adjacent to the Commercial Centre

[20] Race Equality Scheme Consultation