Minutes of the Great Staughton Parish Council
held on 8th March 2012 in the Village Hall
H Duberly (HD) (Chair) J Bowen (JB) R Jewell (RJ)
W Mumford (WM) A Withers (AW) D Palmer (DP) (Clerk)
Also in attendance: County Councillor Peter Downes (PD)
a) Residents’ Forum
No one present.
Apologies were received from: G Gilbert (GG), J Hitchin (JH), P Willmer (PW), M Young (MY) and District Councillor Jonathan Gray (JG).
2. Minutes of Meeting held on 5th January 2012 were agreed as a true record and signed.
3. Matters Arising
3.3) Land Registry – Deeds still being sought. Action: HD/RJ/DP
3.3) Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge – the final paperwork is in the post and will need to be
signed and returned.
3.3) the damaged wire fence has been removed.
3.5) O’Dells garage site new properties – the developer is in discussion with Luminus to deliver 1
affordable house on the site.
3.11) Neighbourhood Watch – WM will place a Cambs Countryside Watch sign on the Pavilion.
10) JG will be informed of the unauthorised development on the approach to Hail Weston
and asked to check the situation. Action: DP/JG
10) Broadband – AW had circulated an e-mail from Roger Harding relating to problems with his Broadband connection. The Clerk has received a response from Cambridgeshire County Council to the effect that at present they are unsure which areas will be upgraded but Great Staughton will be kept informed as the need has been registered. PD understood that 95% of Cambridgeshire will receive at least 25mbps. PD said it is important that local businesses and residents register an interest so that the cost of laying fibre optics can be justified. AW requested that ‘Broadband’ be included on the Agenda going forward and also on the Parish Assembly Agenda. Action: DP
Footpath 29: The proposed change to footpath 29 has been sent to Cambridgeshire County Council and is being considered. Item to be carried forward to next meeting. Action: DP
4. Attendance at other meetings
AW and WM attended a recent meeting of St Neots Neighbourhood Forum together with an interested parishioner. Concern was expressed about the number of burglaries recently. The forum tends to concentrate on St Neots and the organisers suggested a separate meeting be held to consider village concerns. The next meeting takes place on Monday, 26th March and is open to all. It was agreed that AW would write to the Chairman requesting a village focus. Action: AW
AW attended a meeting in February at the police headquarters in Huntingdon chaired by the new Hunts Area Commander, Chief Inspector Chris Mead. The re-organisation was discussed and a website address was given to check area crime www.police.co.uk then use the search option for ‘crime in Great Staughton’.
It was agreed that only the Huntingdonshire information from Cambs Countryside Watch would be circulated to Councillors. Action: DP
MY and AW attended a meeting with Paul Bland and Paul Mumford of the Planning Department at Hunts DC and Philip Peacock of Cambs ACRE to discuss where affordable housing could be built in the village and also the proposal for a new combined village hall and medical centre. Both of these items were regarded as priority action points in the Village Plan.
The land proposed for affordable housing in the village is considered by Hunts DC to be “outside the built up area of the village settlement” although there are several houses further along the Perry Road going out of the village. AW pointed out that the CountyPlan mentions 4 areas which are potentially suitable for development but these do not include the Parish Charities fields. Questions to be answered include – How feasible is it to build on the Charity Fields? Could the planning criteria be amended? HD understood that, if the housing is for special requirements/needs, it would fall outside the planning restrictions. A charitable Trust would need to be formed to manage the development. With regard to the current planning restrictions, RJ thought there was a 10 year plan and it was agreed to check with the District Council when the plan will be revised. Action: DP/JG
Contact Mr Bland to ask specifically if it would be possible to develop the land owned by the Parish Charities. Action: DP/JG
MY reported that, at the same meeting, no objections were raised to the new medical centre and village hall. He is waiting for some indication as to what would be required for the medical centre. Once he has this information he will arrange a meeting with Cambs ACRE to progress the work. Residents will be asked for further input. Action: MY
5. Planning Applications from 15th September
1200105FUL – 6 The Green – 2 first floor extensions – agreed
1200153FUL – Garden Farm, The Town – Change of use from class B8 to B2 – agreed
1200278REM – 81 The Highway
– Approval of access, appearance, etc for erection of dwelling and garage – agreed
b/f – Speed limit at the school – a letter has been received from Cambs County Council stating that an advisory limit of 20mph could be implemented but it would not be enforceable. There would be a cost of approx £4,500 for an interactive sign and the Parish Council would be responsible for all maintenance costs. RJ and AW suggested that at this stage the school and parents should be consulted to determine whether they feel that this work is needed. Clerk to liaise with the Headmistress and school governors Action: DP
In the meantime a reminder to be placed in Life magazine asking drivers to take extra care near the school. Action: DP
PD said that GodmanchesterPrimary School had a flashing sign that came on twice a day warning drivers of ‘School Ahead’ and Brampton had a similar sign that was switched on by the school crossing patrol person.
b/f – The former access to O’Dells garage – MY, GG, WM and DP attended a site meeting with PCSO Carol Corn and PCSO Alan Newman to discuss parking in the area which used to be the access to O’Dells garage. Following discussion, it was proposed that Cambs CC be requested to change the area into a lay-by to provide additional parking on The Highway. This may obscure visibility when pulling out of Beachampstead, but PCSO Alan Newman said it is the responsibility of drivers to take extra care.
b/f – Parking on The Highway from Red House Corner up to the sun dial – this item was also discussed at the above meeting. Notices have been placed nearby asking drivers to check that they have not parked near the corner where the continuous white line is in the centre of the road. WM said that possibly the road marking was from the time when The Highway was an ‘A’ road and perhaps it now needed to be determined whether the marking is appropriate for a ‘B’ road. Action: DP
b/f – Perry Road condition – Cambs CC has informed the Clerk that funding has been granted to repair this road and this will probably take place in May. The road will need to be closed.
b/f – poor road surface between Great Staughton and Hail Weston – Cambs CC has asked for further details of the accident in order to follow up the complaint. It was felt that this response was not acceptable as the condition of the road is slippery when wet and the problem needs to be addressed quickly. Action: PD/DP
b/f – the pavement adjacent to the parking at the new properties on O’Dells garage site – further reminders have been sent to Cambs CC to no avail. Clerk will chase again. Action: DP
HD reminded Councillors that the Parish no longer receives any financial support from Hunts DC for maintenance to footpaths. It was agreed that any invoices will be met for the current year. This will be reviewed again next year.
HD asked WM what the current situation is regarding snow clearing. WM cleared the B645 when there was the big snowfall. However, he had heard of some private farmers being told they would be liable if an accident occurred as a result of their voluntary work for the community. HD asked PD for clarification and he said that no one exercising good will on behalf of the community could expect to be prosecuted. PD will check the situation. Action: PD
WM said that the interactive sign was not working. Action: DP
- b/f – the letter/information about the St Neots Citizens Advice Bureau had been circulated. AW proposed a donation of £100 be made, seconded by WM and carried unanimously. Action: DP
- HD read a letter from Mrs Ellis who lives on The Highway asking what can be done about the speeding vehicles driving through the village. HD will meet to discuss the situation. Action: HD
- HD read a letter from Mr H Stewart regarding parking on The Highway and asking for the former access area to O’Dells garage to be turned into a lay-by. See Item 8. Mr Stewart also asked for hedges adjacent to the pavement to be cut back to allow sufficient room for pedestrians and people with pushchairs to walk along the pavement.
- a letter has been received from Norman Hardy, the Tree Warden, reminding the Parish Council that the tree outside the butchers shop needs to be trimmed so that it does not interfere with the power cables. Mr H Stewart has already spoken to HD and offered to have this work done in the autumn.
- AW has been asked by Norman Hardy to have the trees in Manor Close trimmed. HD will speak to Mr D Hoenig. Action: HD
8. Cheques in and out since January 2012
Village Handyman £56.00
D Hoenig £46.50
Village Handyman £36.00
Fields in Trust £20.00
Soc of LCC £72.00
Petty cash £14.31
Total £706.90 The payments were unanimously agreed.
Bank balance £7,913.15
RJ confirmed that he had received a copy of the reconciled cash book and approved it.
9. Litter Pick
WM said that it had not been an ideal day for the litter pick but he felt it had been a success. AW thanked WM for the organisation and logistics on the day. Both Councillors extended their heartfelt thanks to all of the volunteers, 21 people in all. Grateful thanks were also expressed to The Tavern for providing refreshments in the evening for the helpers. Action: DP
AW asked that it be noted that the area with the most litter was Moor Road. There also appeared to be rubbish left by the contractors who did the repairs to the B645 including the metal frames for the road signs advertising the road works. Inform the Highways Department. Action: PD/DP
Mr Brown had reported an incident of rubbish dumped on his farm and was dissatisfied with the outcome. He had evidence of who was responsible and was hoping that the matter would be taken further. To date he had not heard anything from the District Council although he thought the information had been passed on to them. DP to ask JG if he can follow up. Action: DP/JG
HD thanked all those involved with the Litter pick.
10. Parish Matters
RJ said the plans for the Jubilee celebrations are progressing and Sunday, 3rd June seemed to be the most popular day. Action: RJ/AW/JB
GG sent a report that there is a problem with a raised curb outside 4 Vicarage Walk. Action: DP
AW said that dog fouling was still a problem. PD said that it is an offence and, prosecutions had taken place in other parishes when there was proof of who was committing this antisocial behaviour. Another notice to go in Life. Action: DP
MY submitted a written report saying that the new website is now working and seems to be busier than before. Looking for a volunteer to take on the maintenance of the website. Action: MY
MY also mentioned that the hire rates for the Village Hall had been increased and the new curtains are in place. MY requested that the grant from the Parish Council be increased to £1,000.
PD informed the meeting that there will be a 2.95% County Council tax increase. He also mentioned the increase in Councillors allowances following recommendations from an independent panel.
12. Date of meetings for 2012
3rd May Annual Parish Assembly
17th May Annual General Meeting
HD thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed at 9.30pm.