Wednesday 14 February 2007 in the Comberton Village Hall at 7.30pm


Members present:





Dr C Chambers

Mr A Hollick

Mrs D Morison

Dr R Rintoul

Mr R Rowlands

Dr M Wright

Mr D Charge

Mrs S Hyde

Dr J McCabe

Dr H Roscoe

Miss C Westgarth (Chairman)


In attendance: Cllr S Harangozo (District Councillor), 2 members of the public and Mrs G Stoehr (Clerk).


Comments and observations from members of the public

Mr Peter Durrant explained that a group of interested people have been discussing options for the corner shop. The plans, drawn up by M Catley, have been discussed with South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) and Cambridgeshire Housing Society.  The proposal is for a shop and an affordable housing scheme.   He confirmed that EEDA funding is available. He was seeking support from Comberton Parish Council.

It was noted that the pond water is high.  A new key is to be obtained to let out the excess water. 

It was also reported that Dr Francine Hughes had kindly offered to dredge the pond for all the litter.


1.         To approve apologies for absence and declarations of interest

1.0       Satisfactory apologies were received from: Mr Ellis (out of parish) and Mr Coulson (late).

1.1       The following declarations of interest were noted:

·        Mr Hollick declared a personal interest in item: 5.2 - Village Hall insurance as the Parish Council's representative and trustee.

·        Mrs Morison and Miss Westgarth both declared personal interests in item: 7.4 Meridian Primary School as School governors.

2.         To approve the minutes of the meeting on 10 December 2006

2.0       On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Dr Roscoe the minutes of the previous meeting of 10 December 2006 were approved as a true record after the following amendments:

·        Item: 5.4 ‘and recreation ground’ should be deleted from both bullet points. 

·        Item: 5.4 the following bullet point should be deleted ‘There should be strategic benefit’.


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

The Clerk's report was noted[1].

3.1       (1.2) Casual vacancy – co-option of member to fill the vacancy

It was noted that the District Council has notified the Parish Council that it may co-opt if it so wishes but that the Parish council does not have to co-opt. It may choose to leave the position unfilled.  It was noted that in response to a notice being placed on the notice board  Dr Malcolm Wright had put himself forward for consideration.  On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Miss Westgarth it was agreed to suspend the Council's policy that the vacancy should be advertised both on the notice board and also in Contact and undertake co-option now instead of waiting for the next election on 3 May 2007.  The vote was recorded as 6 for, 2 against and 1 abstention.

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Hyde it was unanimously agreed to co-opt Dr M Wright onto the Parish Council with immediate effect.  Dr Wright signed the declaration of acceptance of office.

3.2       (b/f Dec 06) Reply CCC Highways Safer Routes to School Path

The reply from Brian Stinton, Cambridge County Council dated 26 January 2007[2] indicating that CCC no longer had any responsibility for the path was noted and considered.

3.3       ( Request for S137 grant from Comberton United

Comberton United's request[3] for funds towards the purchase of a new Spray Line Marker at £470 plus VAT and also the Club's accounts[4] were considered.

On a proposition by Mrs Morison, seconded by Dr Charge  the request was refused as the Parish Council already contributes a large amount towards provisions at the Pavilion. The vote was recorded as 8 for and 1 abstention.  It was agreed to reply explaining that, in the near future,  the Parish Council will be supporting alternative sources of funding as part of the development of the Recreation Ground Trust.

3.4       (b/f Dec 06) Affordable housing survey questionnaire

The meeting minutes of the meeting held on 17 January 2007 to discuss affordable housing with ACRE and Housing Association (Flagship) was considered. It was agreed the Parish Council required the following basic information from the questionnaire:

·        Is there a need?

·        How many residents and members of their family are there, what size and type of dwelling (house bungalow etc and how many bedrooms?

·        What type of accommodation will there be i.e., shared equity or rental?

·        How many want to trade down in size?

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Mrs Morison it was agreed that Dr McCabe, Dr Chambers and the Clerk should finalise a questionnaire that captures these principles and to work with Laura Razell to send the questionnaire out.

4.         County Councillor and District Councillor reports & questions

4.0       County Councillor

            No report had been received.

4.1              District Councillor

The District Councillor’s report[5] was noted.

            Mr Coulson arrived.

5.         Finance, procedure & risk assessment

5.1       To receive the financial report and to approve the payment of bills[6]

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

Cambs Countryside Watch

Affiliation fee


Connections Bus Project

Youth bus



Street lights



Affiliation fee


Information Commissioner

Data protection


Cambs City Council

Graffiti removal


Wicksteed Leisure

Swing parts


LG Stoehr



LGS Services

Admin support


Cambs City Council

Graffiti removal


A Marsh

Pavilion cleaning


Comberton Village Hall




The following was noted:

·        Cheque No:278 was under paid by the Bank.  It should have been £136.76 only £136.70 was deducted from the bank account.

·        The cheque for Wicksteed for £47.03 is shared with Hemingford Grey Parish Council who has already been invoiced and has settled. (Part for swing repair)

·        The Probationary Service is offering a free graffiti removal service to Parish Council.  They will be contracted for any future work.

·        Land Registry has acknowledged and is processing the Council's claim for adverse possession of the notice board site at South Street.

·        In response to the email from Comberton United that 'the shutters’ that protect the kitchen window no longer have attachments on the wall to attach the shutters to when open. This has proved hazardous in windy conditions, with the danger of them swinging shut with someone in the way – Morley Manufacturing has been asked to fix them.

·        Internal Auditor - Caxton Consulting, two ex-bank managers are willing to undertake the internal audit work for £20ph, estimated 2-3 hours. As the half yearly internal audit has not been carried out.  On a proposition by Dr Chambers, seconded by Dr McCabe it was agreed to contract Caxton Consulting to undertake the interim internal audit to test their service.

5.2              Village Hall insurance – letter from B Burton[7]

The letter from B Burton informing the Parish Council that he has identified a much cheaper insurance policy for the Village Hall with Suffolk ACRE and requesting that the cover starts from 1 April.

On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr Chambers it was unanimously agreed to accept the offer if it is comparative like for like cover. 

It was noted that the official opening of the village hall has been set for 7 June 2007.

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

6.1       Planning report[8]

Taken as read.  It was agreed that the issue of advertising signs in conservation area should be an agenda item for the next meeting.

6.2       Transport Working Group[9]

            The on report on traffic on Barton Road between Green End & Swaynes Lane was noted along with the Transport Working Group report.

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

7.1       Resident - verges Hines Lane

In response to the complaint about  hedge clipping and damage to the verge in Hines Lane it was agreed to inform Cambridge County Council (CCC) or South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) as the appropriate authority.

7.2       Mrs I Sims –request for crane to be parked inside the recreation ground[10]

The letter from Mrs Sims was noted and considered.  It was agreed to allow the request for a crane to be parked inside the recreation ground as long as it is not on a day the Connection Bus is there or at the weekend when the recreation ground is used by the Sports Clubs.   It was also agreed to notify the owners of the Anglian Water vans that they would no have access on that day. 

7.3       Mr Peter Durrant - Corner shop

In response to the email and the discussion earlier it was agreed that the Parish Council would be interested in hearing any plans as they formulate and that this should be in the first instance via the planning committee.

7.4       Meridian Primary School – request for use of recreation ground on 9 June

Miss Westgarth and Mrs Morison had already declared a personal interest in this item.  

The letter from ‘The Meridian School’ dated 5 February 2007[11] requesting permission to rent part of the recreation ground on 9 June 2007 to be used to display vintage classic cars was considered. 

On a proposition by Mrs Hyde, seconded by Dr R Rintoul it was agreed to grant permission for the event on the recreation ground and also to waiver the normal fee on the proviso of full reinstatement of grounds, permissions, licences, public liability insurance etc. It was agreed to also write to the Cricket Club informing them of the event and suggesting that they might like to rope off the cricket square.

7.5       SCDC Protocol for Consultations on Housing[12] – before 31 March

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

7.6       SCDC Lettings Policy consultation[13]

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

7.7       Postwatch Consultation[14]

It was noted that the hours at Toft Post Office are being reduced.  There was a consensus that the Parish Council and also the residents should support local Post Offices as they are a vital service for people with limited mobility and older people as the distances to travel to the main Post Offices are too far and also that in rural communities public transport is poorer. If the option is closure or reduced hours the Parish Council prefers the reduced hours option.   It was agreed to find out if Comberton Post Office is in the 10% of Post Offices that are making a profit.

7.8       Anglian Water – Barton Road closure[15]

The proposal from Anglia Water was noted. No information had been received on traffic management while the works were being undertaken. It was agreed that the Parish Council would actively oppose a full road closure should it be suggested.

7.9       Neighbourhood Policing proposals[16]

The Police's proposals to form neighbourhood areas and the change in officer for Carly English to Kevin Murphy was considered. The Parish Council was in full support for the proposed neighbourhood meeting and it was agreed that the Parish Council should aim to attend these.  It was agreed to carry forward this matter to the next meeting to decide which member should attend.

7.10     EDF Lease – letter from Council's solicitor

The confidential letter from the Council's solicitor, Mills & Reeve dated 15 January 2007[17] regarding the lease to EDF Energy was noted and considered.  On a proposition by Miss Westgarth, seconded by Dr Charge it was unanimously agreed that Mills and Reeve should send the letter as drafted to Messr Topham and Banks' solicitor about the proposed lease with EDF.

8.         Closure of meeting

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9.30 pm.




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


NB The reports and papers listed below are listed for ease of reference and do not form part of the minutes.


[1] Clerk's report

[2] Reply Brian Stinton CCC Highways re: Safer Routes to School Path

[3] Comberton United request for financial support

[4] Comberton United FC financial report

[5] District Councillors’ report

[6] Financial Report

[7] Village Hall insurance – letter from B Burton

[8] Planning report

[9] Transport Working Group report

[10] Mrs I Sims –request for crane to be parked inside the recreation ground

[11] Meridian Primary School – request for use of recreation ground on 9 June

[12] SCDC Protocol for Consultations on Housing

[13] SCDC Lettings Policy consultation

[14] Postwatch Consultation

[15] Anglian Water – Barton Road closure

[16] Neighbourhood Policing proposals

[17] Confidential letter from Mills & Reeve dated 15 January 2007 regarding the lease to EDF Energy