COMBERTON PARISH COUNCIL

Wednesday 12 April 2006 in the Old Village Hall at 7.30pm

 

Members present:

Councillors:

Mrs D Morison

Mr D Charge

Mr D Coulson

Mrs S Hyde

Mr R Rowlands

Mrs A Webb

Miss C Westgarth (Chairman)

Mr A Bailey

Mr A Hollick

Dr J McCabe

Dr H Roscoe

Mr D Ellis

In attendance: Cllr S Harangozo (District Cllr), Mrs G Stoehr (Clerk) and 7 members of the public including Mr Harvey (item 7.10).

 

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

1.0.1    Apologies were received from Dr C Chambers (work) and Cllr D Baldwin (County Cllr).

1.0.2    Declarations of interest were received as follows:

·        Dr H Roscoe – item 6.3 – customer of Neal’s Property Services.

·        Mrs Morison – items 3.8 – lives in The Valley

·        Plus members by virtue of information on their register of interests.

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

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

            Dr J McCabe arrived.

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

3.1       (3.2) Tree adj. 2 The Valley – to consider the reports

The quote from Peter Oakes dated 31 March 2006[1] to carry out work on the maple trees along and his advice and also that from the Tree Warden[2] was considered.   Without prejudice or admission of liability the Parish Council approved the quotation from Peter Oakes to fell and remove four trees in ‘The Valley’ with one amendment to chemically treat the stump rather than grind it out.  It was further agreed to accept the kind offer from Mr Lambert to contribute towards the cost of replacement plantings and that instead trees rose bushes should be ordered and planted instead.

3.2       (3.3) Footway lighting – to consider the correspondence from SCDC and the report from the Chairman on the meeting with Cllr Mrs Spink

The Chairman reported on the meeting that she and Dr McCabe had had with Cllr Mrs Spink.  Despite best efforts Cllr Mrs Spink refused to change her mind and insisted that if the Parish Council did not take on the lighting in the sheltered accommodation it would be turned off.  She had also insisted that the Parish Council took over the lights by 1 April or they would be turned off.

Correspondence from Paul Quigley, SCDC[3] was noted.

The Chairman and the Clerk reported on their use of delegated powers and that they had already indicated to SCDC ‘So the Parish Council does not occur the further costs of having to turn seven footway lights back on Comberton Parish Council will take on the maintenance and running costs of the seven lights in Swaynes Lane and Nursery Way.  Thus bringing the number of lights that the Parish Council will run and maintain in Comberton to a total of eight.  The Parish Council note that the ownership of the lights their renewal and replacement remains with SCDC but that as a general principal SCDC will have no objection to the Parish Council switching off any light if it takes over that the Parish Council subsequently considers is no longer necessary.

The Parish Council supported this action but remained dissatisfied with the position that SCDC had adopted. Given the flaws in their argument particularly with regard to their response on 'duty of care' and that it appeared not to have followed aspects of the landlords and tenants act it was agreed t write to SCDC to pursue this further.

3.3       (3.4) Recreation ground extension purchase – report from the District Valuer & the Chairman

It was agreed to carry forward items: 3.3 + 6.6 towards the end of the meeting.

3.4       (3.5) Cricket Club boundary meeting with CCC

It was noted that the meeting was proving difficult to arrange it was therefore agreed to carry this item forward to the next meeting to allow more time.

3.5       (3.6) Licensing – to consider correspondence from the Minister

Consideration was given to:

·        A letter dated 20 March 2006 from Andrew Lansley MP[4].

·        A copy of a letter dated 23 February 2006 from James Purnell MP, Minister for Creative Industries and Tourism, to Andrew Lansley [5] which stated it is for licensing authorities to decide whether they wish to undertake additional activity beyond that required in the Act and the regulations to inform individuals or organisations such as a Parish Council about licence applications.

In absence of a reply to the previous letter to SCDC and in light of this new information it was agreed to write again to SCDC asking that it reconsidered its licensing policy.

3.6       (8.5) South Cambs Area Joint Committee meeting – CVC traffic calming

Further to the last meeting the reply dated 24 March 2006 from Michelle Rowe, Committee Clerk[6] stating that no further funding was available and the provision of the traffic island at this stage was not considered necessary or value for money and that the County Council currently has no plans for any further traffic calming measures in this area was noted along with the minutes from the meeting. Cllr Harangozo was asked to pursue this as the draft minute from the meeting was not as recollected by the Parish Council member who had attended the meeting.

3.7       (8.6) Barton Road traffic calming, roundabout etc – carry forward

It was agreed to carry this item forward to the next meeting as no reply had been as yet received from Ms Reynolds.

3.8       (8.4) The Valley Parking

It was agreed to carry this item forward to the next meeting as Mr Vacher had not been in contact with the Parish Council's representatives.

3.9       (1.1) Code of Conduct – reply from the Standards Board

Consideration was given to the reply dated 23 March 2006 from Bianca Garwood, Policy Advisor[7] in response to the Parish Council’s previous letter.

4.         County Councillor and District Councillor reports

4.1       District Cllr – Illegal signs & concession fares

4.1.0    Cllr Harangozo reported on the proposed meeting at the Village College to discussed their bus shelter application.  It was noted that no invitation had been received for the Parish Council to attend.

4.1.1    Concession fares

The e-mail dated 6 April 2006 from Cllr Harangozo[8] on concession fares was noted. He reported the false economy and the problems arising from the money being given to district council instead of the county council. Residents' concerns that the Government had promised that all pensioners would receive free travel were acknowledged.  It was agreed to write to Andrew Lansley MP asking if he will take up the case. Cllr Harangozo was urged to pursue this on behalf of all Comberton residents.

4.1.2    Illegal Signs

An email dated 15/23/24 March 2006[9] from Cllr Harangozo on illegal signs was noted.

Concern was expressed that some residents received their rates bills very late.

5.         Parish Plan

5.1       Contract – youth work project - update

A contract has been issued to Mr Candlin for the youth work and the first detailed report expected in either May or June.

6.         Finance & procedural matters

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

The financial report was received and considered and checked by a member against the invoices. On a proposition by Mrs Webb, seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed that the payments as listed in the financial report should be paid.

 

N Gristwood (groundsman)

£331.00

Coulson Building Group

£73.19

CPRE (affiliation fee)

£26.00

Ridgeons (Groundsman materials)

£7.21

South Cambs District Council (rates two months)

£221.85

MD Landscapes (grass cutting contract)

£622.75

South Cambs District Council

£222.85

LG Stoehr (salary)

£128.74

LGS Services (admin supprt)

£870.38

A Marsh (pavilion cleaning)

£40.00

The following were noted:

·        A new vacuum will need to be purchased at approximately £70, cleaning materials and a new mop etc.

·        As Mr Gristwood left without working his notice LGS Services cleaned the

Pavilion for two weeks (fee included in the invoice listed above and Mr Marsh for two weeks (£20pw)

·        LGS Services invoice includes £5 reimbursement for £5 rates paid on the Parish Council's behalf to SCDC before 31 March.

·        At the financial year end there are no payments to Inland Revenue due for PAYE or NI as the Parish Council hold the clerk's personal allowance. However Inland Revenue owe the Parish Council £250 from FY 05 for online returns.

·        Connections Bus are seeking donations towards the summer holidays sessions.  It was agreed to find out how much they were seeking. £150 had been donated last year.

·        The passbook for the savings account has been sent to National Savings to be made up for the outstanding interest.

 

6.2       Release of the S137 donations

As considered when the budget was drafted in response to letters requesting financial support from Comberton Village Help Scheme and St. Mary’s Church the proposal by Mrs Webb, seconded by Mrs Morison that in accordance with its powers under Section 137 of the Local Government Act, 1972, the Council donate £1,000 to Comberton Village Help Scheme and £750 to St. Mary’s Church which, in the opinion of the Council is in the interests of the area and its inhabitants, was carried unanimously. Dr McCabe as a trustee of the Charity, declared an interest in this item took no part in the decision.

6.3       Groundsman – termination of contract & alternative provision

Letter dated 11 March 2006[11] received from Mr Gristwood terminating his contract without notice and the alternative provision put in place during the last month was noted. On a proposal by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mr Hollick it was agreed to pay his invoice as detailed under item 6.1.

On a proposition by Mrs Webb, seconded by Mrs Morison to contract Mr A Marsh on a labour only basis to clean the pavilion, litter pick and undertake play inspections all weekly at a cost of £30pw.  The Contract period will initially be for one year with a joint review before the end of April 2007.

6.4       Library Services - Request for financial support – Summer Reading Challenge

In response to letter recent letter from Richard Young, Library Services the proposal by Mrs Webb, seconded by Mrs Morison that in accordance with its powers under Section 137 of the Local Government Act, 1972, the Council donate £25.00 to CCC Library Services which, in the opinion of the Council is in the interests of the area and its inhabitants, was carried unanimously.

6.5       Agenda procedure

An e-mail dated 5 April 2006 from Dr C Chambers[12] on agenda items and reports for meeting was noted.  The procedures were outlined.

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

7.1       CVC – swimming pool

An e-mail dated 26 March 2006 from Dan Birch, Fitness Manager, Comberton Leisure[13] requesting to meet with the Parish Council to discuss CVC swimming pool was noted and considered. It was agreed to invite Dan Birch to attend a meeting in July starting at 7.00pm.

7.2       Tim Scott – illegal activity in his wood

An e-mail dated 17 March 2006 from Tim Scott[14] regarding illegal activity in his wood was noted and considered.  Problems of illegal activities taking place were noted.

Mrs Hyde reported that Neighbour Hood Watch were highlighting a cold calling parcel collection scam.  It was also highlighted that there have been garage and shed thefts.

7.3       SCDC Public consultation on proposals to change the local elections system

            Noted.

7.4       Defra Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005[15]

It was agreed that the free guides offering further detailed information should be obtained for reference.

7.5       CCC Park & Ride Consultation

This is to be circulated for members to personally complete.

 

7.6       Consultation on Public Path Order Applications

            Noted.

7.7       SCDC Exception site & housing

The email request from Christine Adlam to attend a meeting to discuss an exception site and affordable housing was considered. It was noted that the Chairman had invited her to attend the APM as this had been something raised by the parishioners last year.

7.8       SCDC Biodiversity Strategy

Noted members are to let the clerk have any comments on the strategy.

7.9       CCC Statement of Community Involvement

            It was agreed that the Parish Council would like to be involved on everything.

7.10     Request for access to the rear of 14 Green End from the recreation round

A letter dated 7 April 2006 from Mr Harvey[16] requesting access to the rear of 14 Green End was noted and considered.  Whilst members appreciated that a present near the recreation ground would be useful to help monitor and hopefully alleviate security problems it was agreed that further information should be sought on the implications and that CALC should be consulted before a decision was reached.  It was noted that the situation was similar to the recent requests to access properties over the public open spaces in the Janes Estate and that the value of the land would be enhanced.

8.         To receive reports and members proposals

8.1       Planning including email from Mr Patel [17]

Mr Patel’s email on the discussions with the planning committee was considered. It was noted that the land registration procedure had already started with the Parish Council’s Solicitor and agreed to delay a reply to Mr Patel until the information had been received from Solicitors.

8.2       Village Hall

            Mr Hollick reported on the fundraising and the lack of initiative from the village groups to undertake fundraising. He also reported on the progress of the build and that the total monies required had been increased due to the contractor’s diligence keeping costs low.  £10,000 had been raised from village fundraising and £9,000 from other sources.

 

6.6       Clerk’s terms and conditions including gratuity scheme

3.3       (3.4) Recreation ground extension purchase – report from the District Valuer & the Chairman

            At 9.38pm on a proposition by the Chairman, carried unopposed, in accordance with S1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 in view of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, that is the Council considering the Clerks terms and conditions and a confidential letter from the District Valuer the public were temporarily excluded from the meeting and were instructed to withdraw. The Clerk was invited to remain for both items and Cllr Harangozo was invited to remain for the discussion on the proposed extension to the recreation ground.

The meeting was reopened at 10.05pm.

Closure of meeting

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

 

 

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

 



These papers are listed for information and ease of reference only

[1] Quote from Peter Oakes dated 31/3/06 re: Maple Tress, The Valley.

[2] Tree Warden report on The Valley tree

[3] Emails from Paul Quigley re lighting and reply to 'duty of care'

[4] Letter dated 20/03/06 from Andrew Lansley MP.

[5] Copy of a letter dated 23/02/06 from James Purnell MP to Andrew Lansley MP re: facility for PC’s to respond on Street Trading Licenses.

[6] Reply dated 24/03/06 from Michelle Rowe, Area Joint Committee re: CVC traffic calming.

[7] Code of Conduct – reply from the Standards Board

[8] E-mail dated 6 /04/06 from Cllr Harangozo on concession fares

[9] E-mails dated 15/23/24 March 2006 from Cllr Harangozo on illegal signs.

[10] Financial Report.

[11] Letter dated 11/3/06 from Grounds man re: termination of contract.

[12] E-mail dated 5/04/06 from Dr C Chambers on agenda items and reports for meeting.

[13] E-mail from Dan Birch, Fitness Manager, Comberton Leisure re: CVC swimming pool.

[14] E-mail dated 17/03/06 from Tim Scott re: illegal activity in his wood.

[15] Defra Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005

[16] Request for access to the rear of 14 Green End from the recreation round.

[17] E-mail from Mr Patel