Parisish Council minutes July

Minutes of the Great Staughton Parish Council

held on 5th July 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)                            D Palmer (DP) (Clerk)

Also in attendance:                       District Councillor Jonathan Gray (JG)

                                                  County Councillor Peter Downes (PD) from 9.00pm onwards

                                                  Mrs Michelle Johnson (MJ)

                                                  Representatives from TCI Renewables led by Hazel Ide

                                                  Representatives from Southoe village led by Mr Lendrum


a)      Residents’ Forum

Following the presentation from TCI Renewables relating to the proposed wind farm at Southoe and a presentation from Southoe residents opposed to the proposal, HD opened the meeting inviting questions and feedback.   The majority of questions were posed to TCI Renewables and related to output from the turbines, income for the developer and the allocation of funds to the community.   Although wind speed tests had taken place the data was not available to the general public.   Concern was expressed at the proximity to the cycle path and 3 Shires Way which is a footpath and bridleway.   It was recommended that Councillors consider this application from the prospect of amenities and impact on highways.   Therefore it was agreed that the Parish Council would recommend refusal on amenity grounds/the adverse visual impact and due to the difficulties the contractor’s vehicles will cause on the A1 – which is already an area where accidents occur.

TCI Renewables, Southoe villagers and Michelle Johnson then left the meeting.



1.   Apologies

Apologies were received from: J Hitchin (JH) and M Young (MY).



2.   Minutes of the meeting held on 17th May 2012 were agreed as a true record and signed.


3.   Matters Arising

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

3.3)      Land Registry – Form almost complete c/f                                                                        Action: HD/DP

3.3)      Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge – the commemorative plaque was unveiled on Gala Day

5)         Broadband – an e-mail from Roger Harding had been received with a copy of an e-mail from Connecting Cambridgeshire.   This information had also been sent to PD who offered his support.    At present there are only 27 registrations from Great Staughton which represents 6.4% of premises.   RJ suggested that villagers be encouraged to join the campaign by completing the form on the Broadband Demand Register at and another notice be placed in Life.                                  Action: PD/RJ

5)         Speeding – figures obtained from Cambs Police stated that during the first 5 months of the year 5 visits had been made with the speed camera van.   34 vehicles were stopped for speeding, 1 ticket was issued and 32 people were eligible for Speed Awareness retraining.

5)         Speeding – the Highways Department informed the Parish Council that there is insufficient room to build a traffic island to make access to the playing field safer.

9)         Correspondence – parking on the grass verge.   Clerk wrote to Luminus and subsequently had a conversation with the resident.   The vehicle in question has now kindly been moved from the grass verge.

11)       Parish Matters – the Clerk has received further information about the current insurance policies and will circulate the sheet listing activities excluded to Councillors.   At present there is cover for up to 4 events per year and this can be increased for an additional premium.

12)       The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – on behalf of all those who attended the hog roast HD expressed thanks to everyone involved for such a successful event.   RJ presented the income and expenditure for the event and mentioned that the Parish Council had spent approximately £320.00 out of the £500.00 agreed.

HD took the opportunity to congratulate PW who was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s birthday honours for services to Great Staughton and to other organisations.

12)       The Causeway railings project – now painted.



4.   Attendance at other meetings

HD, AW and MY attended the Housing Plan for Huntingdonshire to 2036 meeting held on 22nd May.   HD read a letter drafted by MY, to be sent in response to the meeting, in which concern was expressed that the housing plan will concentrate on 3 airfields, Alconbury, Wyton and Brampton.   This seemed to preclude development in villages.  

JG said that this is a good time to put forward development plans for the village particularly as a great deal of work has already taken place via the Village Plan requesting development for people who work in the village or whose family lives in the village.   AW will liaise with MY and send the letter.                                                            Action: AW/MY


AW, MY and Philip Peacock also held a meeting in the village hall with Paul Bland and Paul Mumford from Hunts DC Planning Department to ascertain their views on the request for affordable housing.   Although the Localism Bill does give some flexibility, JG said that the development will still have to conform to planning policies.   Hunts DC requested a report on the meeting.   This had been circulated and would be sent to Hunts DC for further comment.                                                                                                                                                                Action: AW


RJ expressed a desire for the village to be a more sustainable environment, for example the need to attract young families to keep the school viable.   AW said that the use of the charity fields for a small development is important as it would reduce the cost of building and increase monies available to be distributed locally.   RJ said there is a need for a planning framework that allows building in the village.    JG will send further information and give some feedback to the Planning Department at Hunts DC.                                                                  Action: JG



GG asked whether other sites had been identified and what were the objections to the Charity Fields.   The Planners said that a) it would set a precedent for in-fill building on the Perry Road and b) it is outside the village curtilage.   HD said there is a need to inform Hunts DC that Great Staughton is unhappy that the policy does not allow building in the village until 2036 and asked RJ to write a letter.                                                                             Action: RJ


WM attended a Cambs Countryside Watch meeting and said that the PCSOs are now going to be front line rural officers.


RJ attended a meeting at Cambs CC which was a briefing about street lighting.   Full report under ‘Parish Matters’ when Peter Downes arrived.



5.   Planning Applications from 17th May.

1200649REM – 81 The Highway               – Access, landscaping, layout & scale       – agreed

1101802FUL – 8 The Highway                  – Extension, loft conversion & garage       – refused

1200773FUL – 4 Smiths Yard                   – Single storey front extension                 – agreed

1200803FUL} – Land nr Church Farm Southoe      – Wind farm with 3 turbines         – refused



6.   Highways

b/f – situation regarding snow clearing.   Peter Downes gave feedback at end of meeting


b/f – plans to create an emergency reservoir near to the prison at Perry.   Anglian Water replied to the letter from the Parish Council and said that the scheme will not start until 2014.   They offered to attend a Parish Council meeting if required.


WM complimented the contractors who repaired the road from Dillington to Perry.   Clerk to write to Highways Department.                                                                                                                            Action: DP


WM suggested that Dennis Clarke be approached to act as a Highways Warden.                              Action: HD


GG has received several complaints from Beachampstead residents about the resurfacing that has recently taken place.   He has now been informed that the signs will be removed and remedial work will take place in August.


HD understood that there had been an accident within the last few days where a vehicle driving from Kimbolton skidded on the bend into Great Staughton and hit the village hall and the house next door.   Clerk to contact the Highways Department to ask for additional protection outside the village hall.   A discussion followed relating to speeding vehicles and how to slow down the traffic through the village.   A ‘pinch point’ was suggested to be placed near to the access to the playing field or possibly just before the bend when approaching the village from Kimbolton.                                                                                                                                               Action: PD/DP


JB said a resident whose vehicular access to their house is actually Council property, has asked her whether the Council will repair the large pothole on this access drive.   It was suggested that the resident writes to Hunts DC with a copy to JG.                                                                                                                                Action: JB

JB has been approached by residents asking whether resurfacing will take place on Green Close, Vicarage Walk and Causeway Close.                                                                                                               Action: DP

JB also mentioned the potholes along Cage Lane – already reported.

JB reported a problem with parking on Green Close with one property having several vehicles.   It was suggested that the problem be reported to PCSO Carol Corn to check out.                                                       Action: DP


RJ has received complaints about residents parking on the grass verges as this damages the verges.   Notice to go in Life about the concerns and inform readers that further action will be considered if this continues.             Action: DP



7.   Correspondence

Letters sent to:

                        Mr Dennis Clarke – thank you for help with the Diamond Jubilee

                        Mr Robert Hamilton – ditto

                        Mr & Mrs Edmunds – for kindly hosting the Diamond Jubilee party


Letters received from:

Marsh Hammond & Partners LLP to inform the Parish Council that MHB Services are in liquidation.   A maintenance contract was held with MHB for the street lights.   Another contractor was recommended and will service the contract for the third and final year at the same rate.


The Audit Commission regarding a consultation on appointment of external auditor for the future.



8.   Cheques in and out since May 2012


  Income       Expenditure    
Date Name Amount   Date Name Amount Cheque No


  28 May Playsafe Ltd










    Playing Field (bal)





  31 May St Andrews PCC





    KE Wilson





    GS Village Hall



21 Jun Village Charities


  15 Jun Village Handyman



29 Jun Jubilee Income


    Peter Round



  Bal from Village Plan


    E Edmunds





  5 Jul Clerk





    Petty cash





    CH Brown





    Village Handyman





    Peter Round





    CRD Decorating





    Arthur Ibbett Ltd










    Balance in



          Community account £5,256.11



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



9.  Parish Matters

New rules will apply relating to transparency and Councillors will be required to make a fuller declaration of interest.   This may come into effect by the end of July 2012.


GG expressed concern that the Parish Council had to reduce its numbers by 2 Councillors at the last election and will be expected to reduce by another 2 at the next election.   With more decisions being given to local councils through the localism bill will there be sufficient Councillors to do the work?   JG offered to do some research on this matter.   The Clerk to check the situation.                                                                                                    Action: JG/PD/DP


AW asked for more details to be included in the minutes of Councillors attendance at Parish Council meetings. 

7 meetings took place from July 2011 to May 2012 = J Bowen 7, H Duberly 7, G Gilbert 5, J Hitchin 4, R Jewell 7,

W Mumford 6, P Willmer 4, A Withers 7, & M Young 6.


It came to the attention of the meeting that one Councillor has not attended a meeting for more than 6 months and it was though that this leads to automatic disqualification.    Clerk to check the situation with the monitoring Officer at Hunts DC.                                                                                                                              Action: DP


RJ informed the meeting that the rates for the Playing Field might be increased by more than 100% from £225.00 to £476.00.   He has submitted an appeal which is being considered and JG will also look into the situation.                                                                                                                                                                Action: RJ/JG


Peter Downes arrived at the meeting and was able to answer some points discussed earlier.


Street Lights – RJ reported on the meeting called by Cambs CC to discuss the replacement of street lights throughout the County.   Two lights will replace three in many cases and current electricity points will be used.   Each parish will be consulted and asked how they wish to deal with the situation and it may be useful to consult with residents at this time.   It was suggested that a letter be sent to Cambs CC and asked about the time scale.        Action: DP


There is the possibility of paying for some of the lights that the Parish maintain to be transferred to the County Council.   Letters will be sent to residents and Councils before the work starts.   There will be an overall reduction in street lights of 10% but more will be retained on main roads with a greater reduction on side roads.   The lights will be dimmed from 10.00pmto 6.00am.   AW expressed concern at high maintenance costs for the street lights.   RJ suggested that the Parish lights be checked to determine whether any maintenance is needed or any need replacing.


WM pointed out that some of the footpaths are overgrown.   Clerk to contact the farmer.                 Action: DP


Matters arising from the last meeting – snow clearance and insurance.   WM was concerned about damage to the road if he did snow clearance in the village and if there was an accident.   PD said there was cover for these activities.


PD said there will be a revised format to Neighbourhood Panels and it is important for Councils to be involved.   In future they will be Local Joint Committees, (LJC) and decision making will be delegated.   There will be a 12 month trial and it is hoped it will bring together County, District and Parish Councillors.   To go on Agenda for the next meeting.                                                                                                                              Action: DP


An e-mail had been received from Perry Parish Council asking for support with their village plan.   MY hopes to attend their meeting on 14th July and David Gidding will also be asked.                                                  Action: DP


RJ submitted the final audited accounts for the Playing Field.


10.  Date of meetings for 2012

6th September

8th November


HD thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed at 9.30pm.


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