Wednesday 13 December 2006 in the Comberton Village Hall at 7.30pm


Members present:





Dr C Chambers

Mr Coulson

Mr A Hollick

Mrs D Morison

Dr R Rintoul

Mr R Rowlands


Mr D Charge

Mr D Ellis

Mrs S Hyde

Dr J McCabe

Dr H Roscoe

Miss C Westgarth (Chairman)

In attendance: PCSOs John Bunyan and Sue Envil Mrs G Stoehr (Clerk) and 7 members of the public.

Comments and observations from members of the public

The Chairman welcomed everybody to the first meeting in the new Village Hall’s committee room.


1.         To approve apologies for absence and declarations of interest

1.0       Apologies were received from: Mrs A Webb (ill)

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

1.2       Dr Chambers declared an interest in item 5.1 Finance as he will receive a re-imbursement of out of pocket expenses for electrical supplies.

2.         To approve the minutes of the meeting on 8 November 2006

2.0       On a proposition by Dr McCabe, seconded by Mrs Morison the minutes of the previous meeting of 8 November 2006 were approved as a true record after the following comments/amendments:

·        Item: 3.2.1 ‘Mrs Morrison’ should be spelt ‘Mrs Morison’.

·        Item: 5.1 the word’s ‘as it’ should be deleted from ‘Land Registry as it has expired’.

·        Item: 6.1Connection Bus’ should be spelt ‘Connections Bus’.

·        Item 3.5 Complaint to the Police –‘The Parish Council noted that the record of poor response and communication from the police has had a track record going back over approximately 4 years before the appointment of the recent PCSOs. In particular incidents from the Summer of 2005. The community beat officer from that time gave the Parish Council certain commitments at a public meeting which he subsequently misrepresented in communication to Cambridge Police. Commitments given at that time were not carried through. Inspector Ormerod gave a list of the incidents that had noted in the previous month. This list did not include some items that were known to have been reported by the clerk. The reason for this difference in reported statistics was not known -- but it was noted as a cause for concern if these determine police prioritisation of resources.’

The Chairman signed the minutes as a true record.

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

3.1       (3.5) Police and youth problems

PCSOs John Bunyan and Sue Envil were welcomed to the meeting.  Following the last meeting it was noted that an action plan was put in place which ran from 2 November to 2 December 2006. It was reported that there were 40 incidents of which 20 were crimes and 20 were non crimes which included 8 incidents of rowdy nuisance/behaviour and 2 vehicle collisions. The Parish Council expressed their thanks to both PCSO’s for attending/reporting to tonight’s meeting. 

3.2       (3.3) Affordable housing survey questionnaire

As negotiations on the draft questionnaire were progressing with Ms Ravell it was agreed to carry this item forward to the February meeting.

3.3       (3.4) Advertising in the conservation area

It was agreed to carry this item forward to the February meeting to allow time for the meeting with Mr Gretch to take place.

3.4       (3.2.1) Parking in The Valley – appropriation of land out of POS inc advice from NALC & CALC

            The following was noted:

·        E-mail from CALC dated 22 November 2006 offering advice on setting a precedent and encroachments on POS[1].

·        Copy of letter dated 20 November sent to CALC from NALC offering advice on advertising and stating that under the Road Traffic Act 1984 it states ‘shall not exceed one-eight of its total’[2].

·        Verbal advice from the Open Spaces Society which was inline with CALC’s advice that the Parish Council should protect its open spaces.

Given this there was a consensus that the Parish Council could not grant permission to park on the grassed public open space and that an article should be put in Contact explaining this. Discussions are to take place with CCC to see if a dropped kerb could be installed on the corner to enable vehicle to park at right angles thus reducing the congestion in The Valley.

3.5       (6.5) Postal Services

Following residents’ concerns it was noted that parcel post have in one area of the village -‘Harbour Avenue’ estate, been putting cards through the door despite/irrespective of residents being in and also that the post has been arriving late between 4 – 4.30 pm.  It was agreed that a letter should be sent to the local Post Office highlighting these concerns. It was also noted that Royal Mail had promised to publish leaflets on the new postcode changes to CB23 but these have yet to be seen.

3.6       (5.3) Letter from Mr Catley, District Valuer

The letter form Mr Catley, District Valuer dated 30 November 2006[3] regarding payment was noted and considered.  Also considered was the advice from CALC that the Council could consider informal arbitration. On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Dr McCabe it was agreed that Comberton Parish Council should invite Mr Catley to resolve this via informal arbitration with both parties agreeing to stand by the outcome. It was noted that the Chairman stated categorically that Mr Catley did not notify her that he was unable to contain his activities within the time constraints agreed in the original letter and that she had not approved any additional terms.  

3.7       (3.6) Meeting with Richard Preston

            It was noted that details of the meeting with Richard Preston were contained within the TWG report to the meeting. Section 7 & 8 of the report was taken as read.   It was noted that the white line has been done/positioned in the same position and that regrettably the opportunity had now been lost.  Mr Preston is to be thanked for attending the meeting and urged to complete the installation of the interactive sign and the signage alterations without delay.

4.         County Councillor and District Councillor reports & questions

4.0       County Councillor

The County Councillor was not present and it was noted that no report had  again been received.

4.1              District Councillor

The District Councillors’ report[4] was noted as including:

·        The broken street signs are being done.

·        The Certificate of Lawfulness is being looked at by South Cambridgeshire District Council.

·        Weed spraying and path sweeping.

·        Paul Quigley has been asked to respond to the matter regarding unread e-mails from the Parish Council.

·        The Senior Planning Officer for Area B has resigned & Ray McMurray is transferring.

5.         Finance, procedure & risk assessment

5.1       To receive the financial report and to approve the payment of bills[5]

The financial report was received and considered and checked by a member against the invoices and statements. On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Miss Westgarth it was agreed that the payments as listed in the financial report should be paid plus P Oakes £740 repairs to slide:




Royal Mail

PO box fee



Electricity bill


Peter Oakes

Tree works


C Chambers

Electrical supplies


A Marsh

Pavilion cleaning


Mills and Reeve

Land registration


LG Stoehr



LGS Services

Admin support



Cleaning materials


MD Landscapes

Grass cutting


Peter Oakes

Tree works


It was agreed that a letter of thanks should be sent to the Women’s Institute (WI) for kindly baking the mince pies.

5.2       Budget review and to consider S137 donation requests and special projects for FY 2008

Details of receipts and payments to date versus the budget including the % variance was received and considered. 


On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Miss Westgarth it was agreed to set up a Working Group to consider the draft budget and bring a recommendation to the next meeting.  Membership of the working group was agreed as Dr Chambers, Mr Rowlands, Mr Ellis and Mrs Morison supported by the Clerk. Members are to consider any special projects which they would like considered in the draft budget and inform the Clerk.

5.3       Assets review

The Assets Review Report[6] was noted and considered. Contractors are to be invited to tender for the work. Any received will be considered further at the next meeting.

·        It was noted that the ex-United News shop has been bought by a developer from Madingley for possible re-development. It was agreed to write to Mr Heslop drawing his attention to the unsafe rendering.

5.4       Leach Homes landscaping & proposed transfer of the POS to the Parish Council

The Clerk reported on a site meeting which she had attended with the Chairman and the Tree Warden. Also present had been the Trees Officer from SCDC and representatives from Leach Homes who were keen to transfer the land to the Parish Council. It was noted that the landscaping had not been signed off by SCDC however once done Leach should transfer within one month as per the S106 Agreement. Discrepancies between the condition of the POS and the S106 were briefly discussed and it was agreed that members would take a lo0ok at the area before the next meeting.

5.5       Rates information – letter received via Cllr Harangozo[7]


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

6.1       TWG[8]

            Taken as read.

6.2       Village Hall representatives and Steering Group representative’s Inc deed of surrender signing

The letter from Mr B Cook[9] was noted and considered.  It was noted that the lease had been exchanged, the portion of the old hall had been surrendered. The Parish Council expressed its pleasure with the new hall and its thanks to everyone involved with the new hall.

6.3       Planning[10]

            This was taken as read.

6.4       Tree Planting

It was noted that The Valley trees were planted by Miss Westgarth and Mr Cook without the anticipated volunteers and also that Mrs Caine had expressed her disappointment at the smallness of the trees.

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

7.1       SCDC Licensing Policy reply[11]

The reply from SCDC dated 23 November 2006 regarding Licensing Policy was noted with some disappointment but agreed that the Parish Council had pursued this as far as it was able for the time being.. 

7.2       SCDC Mutual Exchanges & S106 Agreements

The letter from SCDC dated 27 November 2006[12] regarding Mutual Exchanges & S106 Agreements was noted and considered.  On a proposition by Mr Ellis, seconded by Mr Hollick it was agreed to respond as follows:

1                    The crux of the issue is about the development of social housing on exception sites. Use of this proposal will enable opponents of development to point out that sites will not necessarily be entirely for local needs. This would weaken the case for much needed housing and possibly deter would be benefactors from donating land.

2                    The Parish Council opposes unfettered mutual exchanges for non-qualifying families and urges the District Council to resist the proposal irrespective of the period of notice of seeking another exchange. In any event RSL's are free to arrange for a tenant to be transferred to the area of their choice through their own resources or through a National Mobility scheme.

7.3       NALC Press release – White Paper, Strong & Prosperous Communities[13]


·        NALC Media Briefing – Local Government White Paper[14].

·        Changes to the Law on Small Businesses[15].

8.         Closure of meeting

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9.35 pm.




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



[1] E-mail from CALC dated 22/11/06 offering advice on setting a precedent and encroachments on POS.

[2] Copy of letter dated 20/11/06 sent to CALC from NALC offering advice on advertising and parking.

[3] Letter from Mr Catley, District Valuer dated 30/11/06 re: payment

[4] District Councillors’ report

[5] Financial Report

[6] Assets Review Report

[7] Rates information – letter received via Cllr Harangozo

[8] TWG report

[9] Comberton Village Hall report/update

[10] Planning report

[11] SCDC Licensing Policy reply dated 23/11/06

[12] Letter from SCDC dated 27/11/06 re: Mutual Exchanges & S106 Agreements

[13] NALC Press release – White Paper, Strong & Prosperous Communities

[14] NALC Media Briefing – Local Government White Paper

[15] Changes to the Law on Small Businesses