Minutes of the Great Staughton Annual Parish Assembly
held on 3rd May 2012 in the Village Hall
Present: Councillors – Hugh Duberly (Chairman), Janet Bowen, Geoff Gilbert, Bob Jewell, Will Mumford, Peter Willmer, Anthony Withers, Mervyn Young, Dianne Palmer (Clerk)
Parishioners: Sandra Allen, John Allen, Barbara Bishop, Roy Benford, Dave Cope, Doris Dainty, Len Dainty, Margery Dawkes, Vic Dawkes, Bob Eaton, Helen Glanville, Vicky Goldsmith, Roger Harding, Olive Hynes, Paddy Hynes, Norman Hardy, David Palmer, Lorna McGoldrick, Emma Mumford, Tricia Richards, Dr David Roberts, Justin Waldock, Liz Wetzel, & Rob Young,
Jonathan Gray (District Councillor), and PCSO Alan Newman were also present.
1. Apologies:, Peter Downes (County Councillor), Howard Chalkley, Rev Judi Clarke, Valerie Downs, George Emeleus, Derek Fitzgibbon, Eileen Gilbert, John Hitchin, Claire Matthews, Jenny O’Dell, Janet Perrett, Margaret Sare, & Sophie Thompson
Chairman’s Address: The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and mentioned items of special interest since the last Annual Parish Assembly:
- some aspects of the localism bill will give more power to local people
- the new village Post Office is open at Blades and villagers were asked to give their support.
- work has begun on some of the items mentioned in the village plan.
- the new website is up and running at www.greatstaughton.com.
- the playing field has been registered as part of the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee celebrations. This means that it will remain as a playing field and cannot be used for anything else such as a housing development.
- plans to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee are in progress.
- the Parish Council is hoping to progress improving the Broadband service locally.
- the village looks extremely attractive at this time of year and thanks were given to the village handyman for maintaining the verges and grassy areas to such a high standard.
- thanks to all of the Parish Councillors for their support during the year and to the Clerk.
2. Minutes of the last Parish Assembly Held on 28th April 2011 were agreed as a true record and signed. Proposed by Peter Willmer and seconded by Janet Bowen.
3. Matters Arising – none
4. Parish Accounts
Playing Field – Bob Jewell presented the accounts mentioning that expenditure was higher than income by £452. This was partly due to a repairs bill following the attempted break-in and a high water bill for one period. Janet Bowen proposed that the accounts be accepted and Geoff Gilbert seconded the motion.
Parish Charities – Hugh Duberly presented the accounts saying that the income from land rent and investments was approx £4,000 and expenditure was approx £2,770 leaving a bank balance of £5,300. Mervyn Young recommended that the accounts be approved, seconded by Bob Jewell.
Village Hall – Helen Glanville presented the audited accounts for 2011 mentioning that there was deficit of £1,758 with a bank balance of £1,574. Maintenance work has been carried out including redecoration and new curtains. Helen thanked those organisations that made donations for this work. Bob Jewell recommended that the accounts be approved and Anthony Withers seconded the motion. Hugh Duberly asked everyone present to promote the use of the village hall.
Life Magazine – Helen Glanville presented the audited accounts for 2011 which ended with a deficit for the year of £719. Some advertisers had been lost during the year and new ones had been found. The bank balance was still healthy at £4,724. Mervyn Young recommended that the accounts be approved, seconded by Geoff Gilbert. Helen asked people to use Life to advertise and also to mention when responding to an advert in Life.
Hugh Duberly thanked everyone for presenting the Parish accounts.
5. Village Plan
The final version of the Village Plan was published in summer 2011 and Great Staughton is being used as an example of good practice by ACRE. A short video about this can be viewed at http://www.cambsacre.org.uk, click on ‘Parish Planning with Cambridgeshire ACRE’.
Consultancy support has been received through Trailblazer and ACRE. The Parish Council has concentrated on 2 areas:
- Road safety near the school
- Improved facilities through a combined village hall and health centre/surgery
In addition, talks are taking place with ACRE to discuss the possibility of building affordable housing on the village charities land for villagers and their families. However, difficulties have been experienced and Hunts District Council has to inform the Parish Council of the current planning situation.
Mervyn Young gave an outline of the progress made so far with the proposed new village hall and health centre. Various options are being considered following meetings with the Village Hall Committee and Dr Roberts.
Please visit the new website at www.greatstaughton.com. Mervyn asked clubs and groups to ensure that their information was included and then updated on a regular basis as he has been informed that it is being accessed frequently.
Roy Benford asked about the action points from the Village Plan that could be implemented quickly and Mervyn said that work is being done to improve the playing field. Once the Queen Elizabeth II registration has been completed, it will be easier to obtain grants to replace equipment. Hugh Duberly said the Parish Council will consider the action points from the Village Plan at the next Parish Council meeting.
6. Reports from County & District Councillors, Nene & Ouse Transport & the Police
PCSO Alan Newman attended the meeting on behalf of PCSO Carol Corn. Hugh Duberly read an extract from a report circulated to Parish Councillors. Criminal activity in Great Staughton and Dillington was down on the same period as last year and has also reduced in the St Neots sector by 12.3% up to February 2012. Dwelling burglaries have risen but 3 persons have recently been arrested. Questions were invited and Peter Willmer asked whether figures could be obtained for the number of people caught speeding through the village as a result of the recent speed checks. PCSO Newman suggested that people access the local police information website at www.cambs.police.uk. Anthony Withers asked whether information relating to criminal activity is being circulated to other police forces across county boundaries. PCSO Newman mentioned that they are now collaborating with Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. He also said that new duty rotas will come into effect with the result that there will be more officers ‘on the beat’. Alan Newman said that he is involved with the Speed Watch scheme for the St Neots sector and is looking for a minimum of 2 volunteers to form a scheme in Great Staughton. Training will be given and speed guns provided. The Chairman thanked Alan Newman for attending the meeting at short notice.
Lorna McGoldrick from Nene & Ouse Community Transport informed the meeting of the service they provide. The Charity is based at Thrapston and operates 13 mini-buses. The service from Tilbrook to St Neots has proved extremely successful and runs several times a day – Bob Jewell suggested the details could be published in Life Magazine. There is also a ‘ring & ride’ service which costs £15 a year to join and covers east Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire. Bus passes can be used on some services. A group day hire service is available and Midas training is offered.
Jonathan Gray circulated a report and mentioned specifically the key issues facing Huntingdonshire District Council such as managing the drastic cut in funding and the services HuntDC should provide in the future. Jonathan also pointed out the localisation of business rates and benefits which will be a new role for District Councils. William Mumford asked for contact details of the person responsible for dealing with fly tipping as he would like to put the information in Life magazine.
Peter Downes was unable to attend the meeting so he circulated a report prior to the meeting and the Chairman drew attention to the salient points.
The Chairman expressed his thanks for the reports and support throughout the year.
Roger Harding had been invited to give some information about telecommunications within the village. Problems had been experienced and engineers had visited the village several times in April. Generally the broadband connection within the village is poor. An upgrade has taken place at the Kimbolton exchange and this should make a small improvement to Great Staughton. Download speeds should be in the region of 2mbps now and if this is not the case Roger suggested that BT be contacted. Dr Roberts asked whether the village could install their own system but this was not thought to be feasible due to the expense. Bob Jewell said that, as this is such an important issue to villagers and businesses within the area, Cambridgeshire County Council should be contacted once again with a view to obtaining funding to improve the service. The Chairman thanked Roger for his informative presentation and said that this item would go on the Agenda for the next Parish Council meeting.
8. Reports from Clubs & Associations in the Parish
Allotments – Norman Hardy was pleased to report that the new system for gathering water had been successful. There were now only 2 allotments available to rent.
Guides – Liz Wetzel said that the group was still active.
Horticultural Society – Bob Eaton said the society is celebrating its’ 47th year. Maurice Brittain had retired as President after more than 17 years and Hugh Stewart had taken on the role. Annual events include a plant sale in May, the Horticultural Show in August and a talk in the Autumn. Events are open to all and new members would be made welcome.
Life Magazine – Rob Young said that they are planning to produce a commemorative issue of 12 pages later in the year containing photographs taken during the last 60 years in Great Staughton and Perry. Bob Jewell took the opportunity to thank Rob Young, Valerie Downes, Helen Glanville and volunteers for all of their work.
Womens’ Institute – Tricia Richards said that they were well supported with 38 members. Activities included speakers, an outing and a Christmas meal. The WI supported local activities and the Shoe Box scheme.
Gt Staughton Surgery – Dr Roberts said that he is supportive of the bill before parliament as he felt that GPs are in the best position to determine the needs of patients. In the past hospitals have offered services to Doctors but these have not always matched the needs of surgeries.
Tennis Club – Justin Waldock reported that the second court had been resurfaced and the club had been promoted to division 8. However membership is falling and he would welcome some new members.
West Hunts Friendship Club – Barbara Bishop said that the club is thriving at present but they do have a few vacancies. They provide a social club for the elderly where lots of activities take place in a friendly environment. Transport is provided within a six mile radius of Great Staughton. Funding is difficult at present and Barbara asked if anyone knew of any route to funds to please let her know.
St Andrews Bell Ringers – Dave Cope reported that they are down to five members and they are seeking new members including people without any experience who would like to learn. The Bell Ringers meet on Mondays from 7.30 to 9.00pm.
St Andrew’s Church – a written report was received from Rev Judi Clarke saying that, following suggestions in the Village Plan, the Church was being used more for village activities. A new leaflet has been circulated locally with information about the Church. Rev Clarke also asked that people please let her know if they hear of anyone needing her support.
School – Claire Matthews, (Head teacher), sent a written report saying that there are currently 4 classes at the school with a total of 79 pupils. A recent visit from the School Inspectors acknowledged the school had improved during the last year.
Piglets – Sophie Thompson sent a written report thanking the local community, the Parish Charities and the Playing Field Committee for their continue support. Piglets is a registered charity run by a voluntary committee of parents and a dedicated team of staff and Sophie thanked everyone who has supported them.
Jubilee Celebrations – Bob Jewell reported that Mr & Mrs Edmunds at the Old Vicarage have offered to host the Jubilee celebrations and to provide a hog roast. Everyone in the village is invited on Sunday, 3rd June from 1.00pm to 4.00pm. There will be children’s tea party with games. In addition every child at the school, Piglets and Spice and every other child in the village under 11 years of age will receive a china mug that has been specially commissioned.
The Chairman thanked everyone for their input.
9. Parish Matters
A letter received from Jenny O’Dell mentioned that the Parish notice boards are being used by private companies for advertising. It was requested that everyone be reminded that the boards are only for village activities.
A letter had been received from Fiona Ellis who was concerned about speeding vehicles in the village. The Parish Council have tried to push forward some initiatives to reduce speeding in the village without success.
Hugh Duberly reported that Valerie Fordham has been successful in getting Anglian Water to provide main sewerage facilities in Dillington. Although this will not happen immediately, Mr Duberly felt that perseverance had paid off.
The meeting was informed that the road to Perry will be closed from 14th May for 2 weeks. Doris Dainty, who lives in Perry, said that the road closure will mean that a journey to Great Staughton will be 10 miles at that time. Doctor Roberts was concerned about access during an emergency. Liz Wetzel suggested that this matter be brought up at the next Parish Council meeting.
Anglian Water are putting in an emergency reservoir near to the prison and it was requested that the construction traffic should not go through the village.
Hugh Duberly thanked everyone for their attendance and participation.
The meeting closed at 9.15pm.