Minutes of the Great Staughton Parish Council
held on 10th January 2013 in the Village Hall
H Duberly (HD) (Chair) F Backhouse (FB) J Bowen (JB)
G Gilbert (GG) R Jewell (RJ) W Mumford (WM)
A Withers (AW) M Young (MY) D Palmer (DP) (Clerk)
County Councillor Peter Downes (PD) Members of the public – approx 28.
HD welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked RJ to chair the Residents’ Forum as his family had an interest in the matter under discussion.
a) Residents’ Forum
All residents of the Parish had been invited to attend an open meeting at 7.00pm to discuss the proposal for additional affordable housing in the Parish and, in particular, the utilisation of one of the charity fields for this purpose. RJ gave an outline of the proposal which would be managed by a housing association and make affordable houses available for rent and purchase by people with a connection to the village such as work or family. This project would also contribute funds to the Parish Charity which supports local projects, particularly involving children and education.
Following discussion, the general opinion of the meeting was in agreement with the proposal and RJ said that the Parish Council would continue to progress the idea and keep villagers informed. The next stage would be to work in partnership with a housing association and to circulate a questionnaire to every household to determine whether affordable housing was needed/wanted. Members of the public left the meeting at 7.40pm.
HD took the chair and thanked RJ for managing the meeting.
RJ requested that thanks be minuted to Roger Harding for all of the work he did to bring Great Staughton into second place in those villages registering an interest in Broadband.
Two representatives from Stop Common Barn Wind Farm Action Group attended the meeting and papers were circulated to Councillors together with a request for a contribution towards the funds needed to object to the wind farm.
1. Apologies for absence were received from P Willmer (PW) and District Councillor Jonathan Gray (JG).
2. Minutes of the meeting held on 8th November 2012 were agreed as a true record and signed.
3. Matters Arising
Brought forward from item 3:
Highway Warden & Speed Watch – RJ has volunteered to be a Highway Warden.
Land Registry for the Village Hall – the Village Hall is now registered. A signed affidavit is required to prove ownership for 2 small areas of adjacent land. Action: HD
A further appeal to HDC not to increase the Pavilion rates – a letter has been sent to Councillor Ablewhite.
Hunts DC changes to council tax benefits – information received from Ian Sims, Hunts DC Revenue Services, and Jonathan Gray. Further clarification sought to determine whether inflationary increases will happen in future. Action: DP
Citizens Advice Bureau – Jonathan Gray’s written report to the meeting said that Hunts DC will fund Rural Cambs CAB.
Trees for the playing field – JB said agreement had been reached, the fruit trees will be planted on the playing field. Item 5 – Huntingdon Housing structure plan – a letter was sent referring to the proposal for affordable housing.
Item 6: Highways
– a bid has been submitted to apply for funding to build a chicane on the Kimbolton Road.
— Balfour Beatty anticipate that the street lighting maintenance will take place in March 2014. Site visits to take place within the next 2 months and an open meeting to discuss changes in September 2013. Action: All
Item 7 – Correspondence – Parking on the verges still a problem. HD read a letter from Luminus and it was agreed to invite them to a meeting to discuss the Street Representative Scheme. Action: DP
Item 14 – Parish Matters – Village Archive: AW will contact Hunts DC. Action: AW
4. Attendance at other meetings
5. Planning Applications from 8th November
1201571FUL – 27 The Highway Replacement of extension to rear. Agreed
1201753S73 – Highfields Day Nursery Retention of modular classroom. Agreed
1201840FUL – 4 Vicarage Walk Single storey extension & conversion of outbuilding. Agreed
120194LBC – 7 The Town. Alteration to outbuildings. Agreed
Following a discussion about Hunts District Council policies on house extensions it was agreed to ask Councillor Jonathan Gray to update the Parish Council at its’ next meeting. Action: JG
A letter has been received from planning consultants relating to the vicarage. HD declared an interest and RJ took the chair for the discussion. The Planning Consultants would like to work with the Parish Council so that the proposal put forward meets with their approval. The consultants will be invited to meet a number of Councillors to discuss the matter. Action: DP
6. Kimbolton Wind Farm
The appeal was not allowed but another application is anticipated. Parish Councillors expressed dismay at the prominence in the landscape of the new wind farm at Graveley.
PD sent an email informing Councillors that funds may be available from Cambs County Council for highway repairs. It was agreed that a request would be submitted for Cage Lane, Vicarage Walk and Green Close. Action: DP/PD
GG said that water is constantly running on the pavement outside 9 The Highway. Action: DP
The poor visibility of the bollards on the chicane on the St Neots end of the village has been reported. Follow up and ask PD for support. Action: DP
HD expressed concern at the number of signs being installed. Ask PD to look into this. Action: PD
RJ had received a phone call from the new Footpath Officer, Simeon Carroll, at Cambs CC. Some waymarkers are missing from footpaths. Cambs CC has a stock of waymarkers but cannot install them. RJ will liaise with the landowners and farmers to arrange installation. Action: RJ
Letters received from:
West Hunts Friendship Club seeking financial support. HD suggested that this matter be brought up at the Annual Parish Assembly. MY had met the new Chairman and they are in discussion about the costs of using the village hall. RJ suggested that it would be useful to know where the members live.
RJ raised the matter of Kym Stables being given planning permission for residential use. Surprise was expressed as this had been raised several years ago by the Parish Council.
9. Cheques in and out since September 2012
Income – nil.
Westcotec (street lighting) £107.05
D Hoenig £53.00
D Hoenig £80.00
D Palmer (Dec & Jan) £361.40
Village Hanyman £126.85
Highridge Products Ltd £108.00
Petty Cash £12.50
Total £848.80 Balance in Community account £8,438.60
Payments were unanimously approved by the Councillors. HD and RJ confirmed that he had seen a copy of the reconciled cash book up to the end of December 2012 and approved it.
10. Report from the Village Hall Committee
MY reported that there had been an increase in bookings during the Christmas period but still rather quiet. The wages bill had been reduced due to the reduced hall usage.
11. Report from the Playing Field Committee
JB mentioned the letter from the school that had been circulated prior to the meeting. A recent Ofsted report had pointed out that the reception class should have access to a grassed area for exercise purposes. The school proposed a change to the footpath, gate and fence to meet this requirement. It would appear that the proposed changes could place children accessing the playing field too close to the ‘spill off’ area from the equipment and this would not meet RoSPA requirements. JB to discuss with the school. Action: JB
12. Neighbourhood Watch
FB reported that he had a meeting with PCSO Alan Newman and was going to meet with the coordinator of Buckden NW. FB will circulate a report presently. Action: FB
HD thanked FB for his work to date. To be reported at the Parish Assembly.
13. Litter Pick
AW reminded everyone that the next litter pick will take place on 2nd February at 9.00am. New Litter pickers have been purchased to supplement those provided by Hunts DC. Clerk to also order 120 strong dustbin bags and ‘Bagos’ to hold the bags. Action: DP
14. Parish Matters
RJ reported that a street light in The Town was not working. Action: DP
RJ said that the committee were trying to make savings on the production of Life magazine as revenue has reduced. A reduced format will be introduced. RJ requested a grant of £600 from the Parish Council, MY seconded the proposal and it was carried unanimously.
RJ asked PD when the new schedule would be introduced for the bin collection. 25th February. Clerk to ask for confirmation so that the information can go in Life. Action: DP
PD mentioned the funding application that had been submitted for a chicane on Kimbolton Road and felt that there was an excellent case for this work to be carried out. He reminded the meeting that, if Great Staughton is shortlisted, it is important to attend the presentation to support the bid.
PD offered to circulate copies of the District Council monthly Digest to those interested. Action: PD/DP
15. Clerk’s Salary
DP left the meeting. It was agreed to increase the weekly hours of work for the clerk from 5 to 6 hours.
16. Date of meetings for 2013
25th April – Parish Assembly
16th May AGM
HD thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed at 9.10pm.