Wednesday 8 November 2006 in the old Village Hall at 7.30pm


Members present:





Dr C Chambers

Mr A Hollick

Dr J McCabe

Dr H Roscoe

Dr R Rintoul


Mr D Ellis

Mrs S Hyde

Mrs D Morison

Mr R Rowlands

Mrs A Webb

Miss C Westgarth (Chairman)

In attendance: Inspector Paul Ormerod and John Bunyan (PCSO), Susannah Harris (SCDC), Cllr S Harangozo (District Cllr) Mrs G Stoehr (Clerk) and 6 members of the public.

Comments and observations from members of the public

The following was raised/noted:

  • There is broken glass at the Crossroads. Cllr S Harangozo is to pursue this matter further.
  • The Valley trees – Mr Caine expanded on his letter to the Council and suggested that the replacement trees should be White Beam and Rowan.  He also urged the Council to reach a decision this evening and plant the new trees ASAP.
  • Concern was expressed that the PCSO Carly English had not responded to the Neighbour Hood Watch (NHW) Co-ordinator.
  • Old shop at the corner of South Street and West Street – It was noted that the sale has been agreed but nothing further is known about the buyer or further proposals .


1.         To approve apologies for absence and declarations of interest

1.0       Apologies were received from Mr Coulson (family commitment) and Mr Charge (out of parish).  Apologies were also received from Mr Rowlands (late).

1.1       Mrs Morison declared a personal interest in item 3.2.1 Parking in The Valley as a resident.

2.         To approve the minutes of the meeting on 11 October 2006

2.0       On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Mr Ellis the minutes of the meeting of 11 October 2006 were approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman with following one amendment: the page numbering was amended to 418 – 421.

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

3.1       Co-option of member to fill the casual vacancy

Following the advert only one expression of interest had been received.  On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Miss Westgarth it was resolved to co-opt Dr Robert Rintoul to fill the casual vacancy on Comberton Parish Council.  Dr Rintoul signed his declaration of acceptance of office and has 28 days to complete his Register of Members Interests and return it to the Clerk.

On a proposition by the Chairman it was agreed to vary the order of business to take item 3.5 at this point in the meeting.

3.5       (6.1.1) Complaint to the Police

In response to the letter of complaint to the Police Inspector Ormerod and John Bunyan (PCSO) were welcomed to the meeting.  The Comberton Police Report for October from Carly English[1] (PCSO) and the update via e-mail from Carly English dated 7 November 2006[2] both listing youth incidents in the village were noted and considered.  The grading of incidents from A – D was explained to the Parish Council.  Inspector Ormerod apologised for the poor response by the Police with regards to the School incident.  Neighbourhood Officers will now vary their shifts to accommodate incidents in the village.

Mr Rowlands arrived.

Inspector Ormerod acknowledged that the Police had given poor communication and feed back and promised to update the Parish Council via E-Cops. He urged everyone to let local Officers aware of problems.  The proposed ‘Neighbourhood Panels’ was welcomed by all. The Parish Council indicated that Police attendance at the next meeting to provide an update on situations would be welcomed.  It was noted that Anti Social Behaviour Order’s (ASBO’s) are rare in South Cambridgeshire.

The Police representatives were thanked for attending.

On a proposition by the Chairman it was agreed to vary the order of business and take item 6.1 here.

6.1       Parish Plan including Youth work – to consider how to proceed

Susannah Harris was welcomed to the meeting.  It was noted that PARC had not attended as their training session is only free of charge to those Councils involved in their project. Ms Harris stated that the discussion with the Police had been useful to her also. She outlined her previous involvement with the Parish Plan and the Parish Council's earlier youth consultation work with Melanie Baker, Acre and Connections Bus. She suggested that the Connection Bus should be considered a stop gap provision rather than a long term option and briefly touched upon was that she could support the Council with a youth consultation or starting a Youth Partnership Project similar to that at Hardwick which would lead to the youngsters seeking their own funding for youth workers and projects and perhaps becoming a registered Charity. The group should consist of one fully qualified member and also volunteers including perhaps 17–18 year olds.

It was highlighted that the Funding tool kit and/or Awards for All may be able to provide funding subject to conditions.  Ms Harris was asked to help find a project manager as it was still felt that the Parish Council did not currently have the human resources to start up such a project itself and that was why Bob Candlin had been contracted. Ms Harris was thanked for attending the meeting.

3.2       (3.1) To consider the responses to the consultations and how to proceed

3.2.1    Parking in The Valley – appropriation of land out of POS

Further to the last meeting approximately 80 letters have been hand delivered to residents in The Valley and overlooking the proposed area. The comments of the eight residents[3], all in support of the suggestion were noted.   The proposal by Mr Ellis, seconded by Mrs Morrison to take no further action on this was defeated with only 2 votes in favour, 4 against and 5 abstentions.   

The proposition by Dr Roscoe seconded by Mrs Hyde to seek costs of removal of the kerbing and installation of appropriate surfacing and to seek legal advice from CALC on the implications should the Council formally resolve to take no action against anyone who parked on the area was recorded as 6 in favour, 1 against and 4 abstentions. This is to be carried forward to the next meeting for further consideration.

3.2.2    Replacement trees in The Valley

Further to the last meeting the responses from the eight residents who had responded to the consultation were considered. On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Morison it was unanimously agreed to purchase 7 trees in total consisting of: 3 Rowan and 4 Spindle to be planted by volunteers.

3.2.3    A name for the New Village Hall

The responses[4] from the consultation were noted and considered.  On a proposition by Mrs Hyde, seconded by Dr Chambers it was agreed that the Parish Council supported the Trustees' suggestion that the new name for the village hall should be ‘Comberton Village Hall’.  The vote was recorded as 10 for and 1 abstention. 

3.3       (3.2) Affordable housing survey questionnaire[5]

            It was agreed to carry this item forward to the next meeting.

3.4       (3.3) Advertising in the conservation area

Miss Westgarth reported that Ray McMurray, Planning Officer had suggested that the Planning Committee members read ‘Advertising in Conservation Areas’ before meeting with David Gretch. It was agreed to carry this item forward to the next meeting.

3.5       (6.1.1) Complaint to the Police

            Taken earlier.

3.6       Barton Road response – letter from Mr R Preston[6]

Consideration was given to the letter from Mr Preston dated 6 November with the indication that the Parish Council would be required to also fund the installation of the sign. His email dated 8 November[7] gave an indication of anticipated costs. On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Miss Westgarth it was agreed to fund the installation. Dr Roscoe is to join those members delegated at the last meeting to meet with Mr Preston to discuss/agree the positioning and the scheme problems in general.

4.         County Councillor and District Councillor reports & questions

Cllr Harangozo reported that all outstanding issues from the last meeting are being followed up.

·        Street signs – Fox’s Way and Bush Close should be added to the list of signs needing either a repair or replacement.

·        The Inspectors approval of the LDF Core Strategy.  Comberton will remain unchanged as a Group Village..

·        The Green End objection site could not go ahead under current legislation.

The Parish Council drew to his attention that an email reporting of fly-tipping in 2005 had recently been deleted by SCDC without reading.

5.         Finance

5.1       To receive the financial report and to approve the payment of bills[8]

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 Dr McCabe it was agreed that the payments as listed in the financial report should be paid plus: Allianz Cornhill (buildings insurance Village Hall) £1915.72, A Marsh (Pavilion) £140 and Powergen (Electricity) £19.36.



Alarm Maintenance


LG Stoehr


LGS Services


Peter Oakes


It was noted that the cheque for £40 to Land Registry as it has expired and may need re-issuing.

5.0.1    Land Registry update

Title deeds which include the recreation ground, the land extension, the path to Green end, the Long Road allotments site, the village halls sites, the Janes Estate are all now registered in the name of Comberton Parish Council. 

Ongoing - The outstanding land registration of Watts Wood is now being pursued with David Stead, Mills & Reeve as James Henderson who had been dealing with this has left the company. The access road to Long Road allotments, the notice board site in South Street and the Pond Area are being pursued.

5.2       Internal Auditor

Nick Sloman[9] had written indicating that he felt he had become stale in his approach and that councils would benefit from a fresh approach and ideas.  It was agreed that the Council did not agree with him and that his service to the Council was valued.  Therefore it was agreed to write/reply asking him to reconsider and continue to undertake the internal audits.

5.3       Letter from Mr Catley, District Valuer[10]

The letter from Mr Mark Catley, District Valuer dated 13 October and marked 'in Confidence' was considered. It was noted that as a public authority the letter cannot be made an exemption to Freedom of Information Act just by the author saying it is confidential. It is the content that basically determines access. At this stage the confidentiality of the land transaction had now passed. On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Dr McCabe it was unanimously agreed that the Parish Council should stand firm on the amount to be paid and that no agreement had been made to extend the hours over the original contract.

6.         To receive reports and members items and consider recommendations therein

6.1       Parish Plan including Youth work – to consider how to proceed

            Taken earlier.

6.2       Planning[11]

            Taken as read.

6.3       Village Hall representatives and Steering Group representatives including the vesting of the OVH

            It was noted that Miss Pearson at Mills & Reeves had received a copy of the Old Village Hall's official vesting in the Official Custodian (Charity Commission). A copy has been requested for the Parish Council’s records.

It was confirmed that the Village Hall work is expected to be completed by Monday 13 November after which various inspections will take place.  The handover is anticipated to take place on Friday 17 November 2006.

Buildings insurance has been secured and will be reimbursed by the Trustees in accordance with the Agreement/Lease

6.4       Recreation ground including fires, graffiti and land preparation & progress

It was noted that there had been two fires on the Recreation ground in the last month and that the youth shelter had been covered in graffiti similar to that at the school. These incidents had been reported tot he police.

The stock fencing has been installed on the new land and a contract issued to MD Landscapes to cut the grass prior to the electricity cables being routed underground.

The draft lease had been received and was ready to be engrossed once the access plan had been agreed by EDF. Minor points relating to timings were noted. A clause regarding an insuring obligation had been struck out and the Parish Council's solicitor was trying to get this reinstated so that the Parish Council had no liability should someone be injured on the EDF facility.

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr McCabe it was agreed that the EDF Lease could be signed by any two members when ready.  Noting the terms of the conveyance it was agreed that there was no requirement to now send a plan of the cables route to Messrs Topham and Banks.

6.5       Postal Services

On a proposition by the Chairman this item is to be carried forward to the next meeting.

6.6       Village map

Thanks were expressed to Mr Hardy for kindly offering to update the village map.

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

The next three items are all being considered by the Planning Committee which will draft the Parish Council's responses as appropriate.

7.1       SCDC Gypsy & Traveller Development Plan[12]

7.2       Cambridge & Peterborough Minerals Waste Plan[13]

7.3       Cambridge NW Fringe development[14]

7.4       Standards Committee – Code of Conduct Training[15]

In response to the letter from Fiona MacMillan, Deputy Monitoring Officer it was agreed that the training should be attended and to cover the cost. It was also agreed that all members should be able to receive Code of Conduct training and to invite an in house training session at the earliest opportunity.

8.         Closure of meeting

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 10.05 pm.




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


[1] Comberton Police Report for October from Carly English (PCSO)

[2] Update/e-mail dated 7/11/06 from Carly English re: Police Report for October

[3] Letters of response to the consultations on Parking in The Valley

[4] Responses re: Consultation for new name for Village Hall

[5] Affordable housing survey questionnaire

[6] Barton Road response – letter from R Preston

[7] Richard Preston email dated 8 November costs for interactive sign

[8] Financial Report

[9] Letter from Nick Sloman Internal Auditor offering his resignation

[10] Letter from Mr Catley, District Valuer (In confidence) dated 13 October 2006.

[11] Planning Report

[12] SCDC Gypsy & Traveller Development Plan

[13] Cambridge & Peterborough Minerals Waste Plan

[14] Cambridge NW Fringe development

[15] Standards Committee – Code of Conduct Training