Parish Council Minutes – 6 September 2012

Minutes of the Great Staughton Parish Council

6th September 2012 in the Village Hall


H Duberly (HD) (Chair)                  J Bowen (JB)                                G Gilbert (GG)

R Jewell (RJ)                                W Mumford (WM)                        P Willmer (PW)

A Withers (AW)                            M Young (MY)                              D Palmer (DP) (Clerk)

a)      New Code of Conduct & Disclosure form

HD proposed that the Parish Council adopt the Huntingdonshire District Council form, RJ seconded the motion which was carried unanimously.   Completed forms were handed to the Clerk for submission to HDC.


b)      Residents’ Forum

No one present.

1.   New Parish Councillor

Frank Backhouse was co-opted to fill the vacancy occurring on the Parish Council but was unable to attend the meeting due to a previous commitment.

HD asked that sincere thanks be recorded to John Hitchin for his many years of service as a Parish Councillor.

JB raised the point that many people do not fully understand the way a Parish Council operates.   It was agreed that it would be useful to circulate information and hopefully attract young/new Councillors.   To be brought forward at the Parish Assembly and also include information in Life.                                                    Action: DP/HD

2.   Apologies for absence

Apologies were received from District Councillor Jonathan Gray (JG) and County Councillor Peter Downes (PD).

3.   Minutes of the meeting held on 5th July 2012 were agreed as a true record and signed.


4.   Matters Arising

3.2)      Highway Warden & Speed Watch – 2 parishioners will be approached – in hand                  Action: HD

3.3)      Land Registry – Application form posted for the registration of the village hall.

3.5)      Broadband – the Councillors asked for their thanks to be recorded to Roger Harding for all the work he has done to try to get residents to register with    JB pointed out that, although people may not have a computer, it is still important to register an interest as the school children and local businesses will benefit from an improved broadband speed.   Thanks to Roger’s efforts the number of people in the village who have registered an interest has increased.   Peter Downes has also been liaising with Roger Harding on this issue.     RJ recommended that all Parish Councillors continue with the campaign.                                        Action: ALL

9)         It is understood that the number of Parish Councillors will remain the same at the next election.

9)         RJ said that his appeal to HDC to keep the Pavilion rates at the same level has been refused.   It was suggested that another letter be sent from the Clerk.                                                                   Action: DP

9)         Street Lights – carried forward                                                                                        Action: DP

5.   Attendance at other meetings

AW reported on the meeting held with ACRE to discuss affordable housing.   Present were Mark Deas & Philip Peacock from ACRE, AW, RJ, MY & DP from the Parish Council and Dr Heinz Van Raemdonck from the Doctors’ Surgery.   The proposal is to build affordable houses on one of the parish fields to provide discounted housing for people with a local connection via family or work.   ACRE have been extremely helpful with this process and suggested that ‘rural exception’ site status will need to be obtained.   It may be best to progress the project in partnership with a housing association who would meet the costs of the ‘housing needs survey’ which will have to be conducted.   An alternative would be to sell the land to a housing association and safeguard the money available for the village charities.   The Clerk to write to the Parish Charities to keep them informed of the current situation.                        Action: DP

Other sites in the village would be considered by the housing association for suitability but it is anticipated that these would not be cost effective to develop for this purpose.      RJ made a formal resolution as follows:

The Great Staughton Parish Council having adopted the village plan in 2011 is now minded to consider how the action plan with regard to housing issues can be pursued.  It therefore resolves to open a dialogue with Cambridgeshire ACRE, and Huntingdonshire District Council to determine if a site for affordable housing can be found in the village. It further resolves to investigate whether land owned by the Parish Charities could be considered as suitable for such housing. To commence this task the Parish Council will ask Cambridgeshire ACRE to open a dialogue with a Housing Association so that a full housing needs assessment can be completed in the village.”

Resolution carried unanimously.   PW thanked those who attended the meeting for the work done to date.

MY said the meeting went on to discuss the new village hall and Dr Heinz Van Raemdonck was brought into the discussion to inform the meeting of the potential to incorporate the surgery in the village hall.   Possibly the facilities could be rented by the National Health.   Philip Peacock from ACRE gave advice on the way forward to build a new village hall with a surgery attached.   The surgery would need to provide information relating to their usage such as number of patients, how many arrive by car and rooms needed   The current village hall would have to be sold to help fund the project.   A Valuer has been invited to look at the site and recommend how to obtain planning permission for the best value of the site.                                                                                               Action: DP

6.   Planning Applications from 5th July.

1200970FUL – Hawthorne Lodge  – Extensions                                                       – agreed

1201090FUL – 28 Dillington                     – Alteration to barn                                             – agreed

1201177FUL – 10 Green Lane                  – Extensions, alterations, new vehicular access      – refused

The meeting was informed that work had already started on 10 Green Close.   It is understood that a revised application will be submitted.

AW will attend the meeting on 10th September to discuss HDC planning proposals to 2036.   Action: AW

7.   Highways

JB asked for it to be made clear that the parking problem on Green Close was due to residents of Smiths Yard parking on Green Close.   PCSO Carol Corn visited the site and recommended that, when there is a problem, the police should be contacted on 101 and someone will attend.   JB was also informed that, even if there are obstructions on the road, the emergency vehicles will get through if the need arises.

Roger Harding has contacted Cambs County Council Highways Department to report the poor condition of the road on Beachampstead following the resurfacing and also the number of weeds at the kerb edge.   Clerk to write to the department.                                                                                                                         Action: DP

b/f   The Clerk has contacted Cambs CC Highways Department to discuss whether a ‘pinch point’ could be placed just before the bend when approaching the village from Kimbolton and was informed that it could be considered.

b/f   There are no plans to resurface Green Close, Vicarage Walk and Causeway Close.

8.   Correspondence

Letters received from:

The Audit Commission – confirming the appointment of Littlejohn LLP as external auditor for 5 years from 2012/13.

The Citizens Advice Bureau – would like to make their services more accessible in rural locations to provide an outreach service in community premises and asked whether there are premises available without charge that would suit their needs.   Following discussion it was agreed that they village hall may be suitable.       Action: DP

Cambridge & Peterborough Association of Local Councils training programme – the Clerk asked to attend a training session.   Agreed.                                                                                                             Action: DP

Hunts DC – regarding changes to council tax benefits.  RJ pointed out that these changes could be a serious issue which could affect the Parish Council.   The Government will reduce the amount given to the District Council by 10% and the effect of this may be that the rates could go up by 10%.   It was decided to write to Hunts DC to clarify the situation.                                                                                                                            Action: RJ/DP

9.   Cheques in and out since May 2012


  Income       Expenditure    
Date Name Amount Date Name Amount Cheque No
06 Jul H Duberly 500.00 6 Jul Village Handyman 173.94 1412
Mugs x 2 10.00 P Round 117.60 1413
11 Jul Mr Edmunds 500.00 CRD Decorating 2,032.00 1414
12 Jul Hunts DC recycling 9.60 Arthur Ibbett 216.00 1415
30 Aug Mugs x 2 10.00 14 Aug GS Village Hall 92.00 1416
Donation 85.39 P Round 234.20 1417
  DJ Hoenig 128.50 1418
  Land Registry(Playing Field) 100.00 1419
  20 Aug Land Registry(Village Hall) 210.00 1420
  Village Handyman 212.20 1421
  6 Sept Westcotec 107.05 1422
  SuffolkACRE 381.06 1423
  Peter Round 235.20 1424
  D Palmer 361.40 1425
  Petty Cash 40.83 1427
Total 1,114.99 Total 4,641.98  
  Balance in    
Community account £5,695.20  

RJ confirmed that he had seen a copy of the reconciled cash book up to the end of August 2012 and approved it.

WM suggested a salary review and it was agreed that this would be discussed at January meetings in future.


10.  Local Joint Committees

HD read an extract from Jonathan Gray relating to Local Joint Committees.   A 1 year pilot was taking place.   Great Staughton will not be involved at present.   JG feels the Neighbourhood Forum should be retained in some form.

11.  Parish Matters

GG mentioned that John Bashford had requested that he be officially confirmed as Assistant Tree Warden to support Norman Hardy.   Agreed.

JB said that Norman Hardy has ordered 4 trees for the Playing Field which has now achieved QEII status.   An Oak sapling has also been offered and JB asked for suggestions as to where this could be planted, bearing in mind the potential size it could grow.

AW reported that the footpath at the end of Vicarage Walk was overgrown.

MY had received comments about the information on the website.   A meeting has been arranged and it is hoped that someone will take on the maintenance of the site.                                                               Action: MY/RJ

RJ said that the footpath through the charity field needs attention.                                      Action: DP

RJ had reported to the Clerk that two of the keep left signs were not working several weeks ago.   They have now been replaced but still do not appear to be working properly.                                                       Action: RJ

WM made a request that Councillors be informed prior to the event if there is a possibility that they could be disqualified through non-attendance.

12.  Date of meetings for 2012

8th November.

HD thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed at 9.15pm.


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