COMBERTON PARISH COUNCIL

Wednesday 13 September 2006 in the old Village Hall at 7.00pm

 

Members present:

Councillors:

 

 

 

Mrs A Webb

Mr A Hollick

Mr D Ellis

Dr J McCabe

Mr D Coulson

Miss C Westgarth (Chairman)

Dr H Roscoe

Mrs D Morison

Dr C Chambers

In attendance: Mrs G Stoehr (Clerk), Cllr S Harangozo (District Cllr) and 8 members of the public.

Comments and observations from members of the public

In response to the agenda item expecting representatives from CCC to be present to discuss the Barton Road scheme the following questions were raised/discussed/noted:

  • Are there any proposals for Barton Road?

·        The Transport Working Group (TWG) report was summarised.

  • Is there anything that can be done about the HGV’s travelling along Barton Road as it is dangerous due to the road not being wide enough by the bollards in the middle of the road?
  • Concern was expressed that the mini roundabout adds to the confusion over priority.
  • From experience i.e.; living adjacent to one 6/10 times the interactive sign flashes thus indicating excessive speed. Are the interactive signs much use? 

·        There was a near accident between a speeding HGV and a bus which was pulling out around parked cars resulting in the HGV mounting the pavement.

·        There are no interactive signs or surface traffic calming in Cornwall.

·        Need to re-design the speed management etc throughout the village.

·        When the A428 is completed this may take the pressure off however it may increase housing traffic etc.

·        Traffic density at school times.

·        Funding responsibilities plus options including SRTS and Jointly Funded Minor Improvement Scheme.

·        Have the views of residents changed since the public meeting 4 years ago?  Is there another need for a consultation.

·        If bumps are being considered then thought must be given to those living adjacent.

·        Proposal for 40mph at Horizon Park.  It is certain that the effect will need to have other calming measures to slow traffic in addition to signs.

·        The criteria for 20mph areas e.g. by schools? 

Mr Coulson arrived at this point.

1.         To approve apologies for absence including resignation of member and declarations of interest

Satisfactory apologies were received from Cllrs: Mrs S Hyde and D Charge (out of parish).  A Bailey’s resignation was noted.  The notice of casual vacancy has been advertised and the District Council has been informed.

2.         To approve the minutes of the meeting on 12 July

On a proposition by Mrs Hollick, seconded by Mr Coulson the minutes of the meeting were approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman with the following amendments:

·        The page numbering to start at 407

·        Item 7.4 ‘Bridleway 10’ should read ‘Byway 10’.

·        Item 9 ‘Charing’ should read ‘Chairing’.

The minutes of the public meeting were accepted as a true record.

3.         CCC matters including Barton Road, The Valley including TWG report

The report from the Transport Working Group[1] about the interactive sign for Barton Road was noted.  Disappointment was expressed at the lack of representation by Cambridge County Council (CCC) and Cllr Baldwin and an inability to resolve this long standing issue without an opportunity to discuss further..  On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr McCabe it was agreed that a formal letter of complaint be sent to the Chief Executive of CCC.

The report from the Transport Working Group[2] on The Valley was considered.  It was agreed to seek advice from CALC on the legal implications of the recommendations and carry this item forward to the next meeting to allow time for advice to be sought.

4.         Matters arising or carried forward from the meeting including

4.1       (7.6) Parking problems by the pond and offer of voluntary installation of bollards

It was noted that no responses had been received to the article place in Contact seeking residents’ views. On a proposition by Mr Hollick, seconded by Mrs Webb it was agreed to wait until the car park is open and then revisit the this item if necessary. It was also agreed to inform the gentleman who kindly offered to help of the decision made.

Mrs Morison arrived at this point in the meeting.

4.2       (3.1) To consider the affordable housing survey questionnaire to be undertaken by ACRE and letter from Tim Scott

            The following were noted:

·        Letter from Laura Razzell, Rural Housing Enabler[3] enclosing the following:

o       NHS parish housing needs questionnaire[4].

o       DEFRA parish housing needs questionnaire[5]. 

·        A letter from Mr Tim Scott[6] expressing disappointment and annoyance at finding out at a public meeting about the proposal for housing when he will be reasonably affected and disappointment that Cllr Harangozo (District Cllr) did not inform him. 

·        The response by Cllr S Harangozo that he did not know who the owner/tenant farmer was was noted.

·        The Parish Council asked Cllr S Harangozo to contact Mr Scott in person.

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr Chambers it was agreed that neither questionnaires were acceptable to the Parish Council.  It was agreed that Dr McCabe and Dr Chambers should form a working party to meet with Laura Razell to draft an acceptable questionnaire that meets the Parish Council’s needs and bring a recommendation to the next meeting.  The vote was recorded as 8 in favour and 1 against the proposal.

4.3       Advertising in the conservation area including comments from residents

Further to the last meeting and comments from businesses a letter and personal representation from Mr S Tunstall, Comberton Antiques[7] was noted.  On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mr Coulson it was agreed that the Planning Committee should discuss this matter with South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Planning Conservation Officer and find out what is acceptable then meet with the village business’s to discuss further and bring a recommendation to the next meeting.

4.4       (3.5) Clerk’s new contract

On a proposition by the Chairman it was agreed to carry this item forward to the end of the meeting.

5.         County Councillor and District Councillor reports & questions

The report from Cllr S Harangozo (District Cllr)[8] regarding affordable housing a renewable energy technologies exhibition, the recreation ground extension article in the SC News, a request for a regularly updated 3 month forward programme & grass cutting in Swaynes Lane was noted.

6.         Finance

6.1       To receive the financial report and to approve the payment of bills [9]

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

SCDC

£111.00

BT

£130.30

MD Landscapes

£816.63

Powergen

£89.53

LGS Services

£774.67

Connections Bus Project

£975.00

Michael Hall

£132.82

LGS Services

£711.27

Cambridge Water

£206.71

Public Works Loan Board

£8432.72

MD Landscapes

£1369.50

LG Stoehr

£136.76

Solitech

£293.75

On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed that as the Valuation Office Agency’s invoice is not in line with the written contract that Comberton Parish Council should only pay £300 plus VAT and not £1116.25 as invoiced.

6.2       To consider the quotation for the tennis court repair - £385.53 Universal Fencing

            It was agreed that members would try to repair the fencing themselves.

            It was agreed to take items; 6.3 & 7.6 at this point together.

7.6       Old village shop at the corner of South St/West St

6.3       Notice board land registration – adverse possession

It was noted that the land had already been registered to the adjacent premises in 1990.  On a proposition by Dr Roscoe, seconded by Mrs Morison it was unanimously agreed to pursue a claim for adverse possession with Land Registry up to £1,000 maximum.

6.4       Damage to the bench at the sensory garden

Damage to the bench at the sensory garden and its report to the Police were noted. The bench has been removed from the site. Its replacement will be considered when the budget is drafted.

6.5       EDF cables lease

It was noted that the estimated cost of the solicitor’s work had risen from £500 to £2000 with no explanation.  It was agreed to seek a quote from another Solicitor if required and proceed only if the costs are within £500.

7.         To receive reports and members items and consider recommendations there in

7.1       Parish Plan including Youth work & Connections Bus report

Mr Bob Candlin’s request that he be released from the contract due to ill health was unanimously agreed by the Parish Council.

The report from the Connections Bus[10] was noted.  It was agreed to explore alternatives to deliver youth work contract and carry this matter forward to another meeting.

7.2       Planning[11]

            The planning report was taken as read.

7.3       Focus Group – summer event[12]

The Picnic in the Park which was held at the beginning of September report was noted.

7.4       New Police Officer 

In response to the letter of introduction from the new police officer, Carly English[13] it was agreed that there would be benefit in meeting her but not for her to spend a long time at the Parish Council meeting as her time would be better spent out in the community.  She is to be invited to report on matters either raised by the Parish Council, on village incidents or on her presence in the village to each meeting.

7.5       Post services

It was noted that there are still problems occurring with post not being delivered or being delivered late.  It was agreed to put an article in Contact to find out the extent of the problem.

7.6       Old village shop at the corner of South St/West St

This item was taken earlier under item: 6.3.

7.7       Maintenance of the flower beds at the cross roads

It was agreed to seek a contractor or volunteer to weed the flowerbeds (monthly) and to undertake a quick sweep of the bus shelters (weekly).

The order of business was varied to discuss the next two items together.

7.8       Village Hall representative and Steering Group representatives

8.1       Village Hall business Plan[14] & meeting room – Village Hall Trustees

The business plan from Mr Catlin and the recent letter from B Cook[15] and the enquiry from Mr Burton about buildings insurance were considered and it was noted that:

·        The expected completion date in October.

·        Disabled access/chair lift costs.  It was confirmed that the possibility of grants was being explored.

·        The Trustees were dovetailing the demolition of one hall and moving to the other.

It was also noted that:

·        The Solicitor had been instructed to complete the preparation of the lease so that it is ready for signing by both parties.

·        In respect to 25.1 of the agreement to lease:

o       The lease will only be completed when the certificate of practical completion is issued. 

o       The demolition of the Old Village Hall and the construction of the car parking spaces form part of the works so the certificate of practical completion should only be issued when these works have been done as well.

o       The Parish Council will take out buildings insurance once the Trustees have provided the estimated value of the new hall the cost of which will be reimbursed in full by the Trustees. The Trustees must insure for public and employers liability and also contents. 

o       The demolition of the old hall does not automatically cancel the 1989 lease. The Parish Council's Solicitor’s feeling at the time of the agreement was that deeds of surrender would be needed. She had been asked to consider this point further and let the trustees have draft deeds if she thinks this is required.

o       The Trustees' copy of the 1989 lease should be sent to the Clerk so that it can then be forward to the Council's Solicitor.

On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Miss Westgarth that the Lease could be signed on receipt of the certificate of practical completion which should include the demolition of the Horsa Hut and the completed work to the car park.

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

8.2       Reception year admissions – Mrs Huntington[16]

Miss Westgarth, and Mrs Morison declared a personal interest in this matter as governors at the school. Mrs Webb declared an interest as an employee at the school. In response to the email received from Mrs Huntingdon the Council did not consider this to be a matter for it and that the appropriate guidance to contact the LEA had already been given.

8.3       Andy Marsh - Request for shelving in the pavilion store room[17]

In response to the request for shelving in the pavilion store room on a proposition by Mr Hollick, seconded by Miss Westgarth approval was given for the purchase of shelving to the maximum value of £100 maximum of £100 to be installed by others.

8.4       Contact Editor – letter from Mr Banyard[18] – PC response

In response to the letter from the ‘Contact’ editor offering the Parish Council an opportunity to respond to Mr Banyard's letter to the editor it was agreed to respond as follows:

1.      Firstly whilst everyone is entitled to their opinion the Parish Council find Mr Banyard's comments egregious and ill informed. The Parish Council cannot be accused of dishonesty.  All decisions are minuted and the minutes are available for public inspection and are available on the parish website and on request from the Parish Clerk.

2.      Secondly the issue of the proposed land purchase had been dragging on for many years.  In the 1980's the Parish minutes record the negotiations between the Parish Council and the land owners. These recent negotiations were not easy and there was a point where the Council had to decide if it was to continue with the purchase. Guided by the Parish Plan which was undertaken in 2003 which clearly identified the desire of the parishioners for the Parish Council to pursue the land purchase the purchase was finally completed.

3.      Lastly the Parish Council does regret the decision that was made to remove the trees in the valley and this decision was not taken lightly and the Parish Council has already apologised in person to the adjacent residents who attended a meeting to voice their concerns. The Parish Council's Tree Group is looking into replacement trees of which will be both mature and of a more suitable root stock.

8.5       SCDC's draft Gambling Policy[19]

Noted.

8.6       SCDC Race Relations Policy[20]

Noted.

4.4       (3.5) Clerk’s new contract

At 10.20 pm 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 new contract the public were temporarily excluded from the meeting and were instructed to withdraw. The Clerk left the meeting and did not return.

 

The meeting was reopened at 10.30pm.

9.         Closure of meeting

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 10.31 pm.

 

 

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



The reports and supporting papers are listed below for ease of reference only

 

[1] Report from ‘Comberton Parish Council’s Transport Working Group’ on Barton Road

[2] Report from ‘Comberton Parish Council’s Transport Working Group’ on The Valley

[3] Housing Needs survey conducted by Laura Razzell, Rural Housing Enabler

[4] NHS parish housing needs questionnaire.

[5] DEFRA parish housing needs questionnaire

[6] Letter from Tim Scott

[7] Letter from S Tunstall

[8] Cllr S Harangozo’s Report

[9] Financial Report

[10] Connection Bus Report

[11] Planning report

[12] Focus Group – summer event

[13] Letter of introduction from the new police officer, Carly English

[14] Village Hall Business Plan

[15] Letter – B Cook

[16] Letter from Mrs Huntington re: Reception year admissions

[17] Andy Marsh - Request for shelving in the pavilion store room

[18] Letter from ‘Contact’ Editor re: letter received from Mr Banyard  

[19] SCDC's draft Gambling Policy

[20] SCDC Race Relations Policy