Parish Council Minutes May 2013

Minutes of the Great Staughton Parish Council

held on 16th May 2013 in the Village Hall

Present:

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

R Jewell (RJ) W Mumford (WM) A Withers (AW)

P Willmer (PW) M Young (MY) D Palmer (DP) (Clerk)

a) Residents Forum

None present.

1. Apologies for absence were received from F Backhouse (FB) District Councillor Jonathan Gray (JG) and County Councillor Peter Downes (PD).

2. Election of Officers & Sub-committees:

The following persons were elected:

Chair H Duberly, proposed by P Willmer, seconded by W Mumford

Vice Chair – R Jewell, proposed by P Willmer, seconded by H Duberly

Parish Charities G Gilbert & A Withers, proposed by R Jewell, seconded by J Bowen

Planning – all Councillors

Playing Field Committee J Bowen, G Gilbert,  R Jewell, W Mumford, F. Backhouse,  & M Young,

proposed by A Withers, seconded by P Willmer

Village Hall M Young, R Jewell & G Gilbert, proposed by A Withers, seconded by W Mumford

Life magazine R Jewell, proposed by P Willmer, seconded by M Young

Footpaths A Withers & R Jewell, proposed by M Young, seconded by W Mumford

Finance Officer R Jewell, proposed by J Bowen, seconded by A Withers

West Hunts Friendship Club P Willmer proposed by H Duberly, seconded by J Bowen

Highway Warden R Jewell proposed by H Duberly, seconded by P Willmer

Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator F Backhouse, proposed by M Young, seconded by A Withers

All nominations were carried unanimously.

3. Minutes of the meeting held on 14th March 2013 were amended to reflect that under Matters Arising J Gray reported that District Councillors allowances would be increased by 2%. and were then signed as a true record.

4. Matters Arising

Highways

– to date a response has not been received following the request submitted to PD for Cage Lane, Vicarage Walk and Green Close to be considered for highway repairs. Action: PD

5. Parish Assembly

A suggestion was made that, in view of the increase in attendees at the Parish Assembly, the same format be retained and this was agreed. AW suggested that residents be invited to submit questions prior to the meeting and that this could be advertised in Life and on notice boards agreed. Action: DP

6. Attendance at other meetings

GG attended the Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) meeting arranged by FB. 8 coordinators have been recruited together with 5 deputies. 15 NHW signs have been ordered at an approx cost of 180.00. It is hoped to obtain a contribution towards the purchase of these. The Parish Council will underwrite the cost. Action: FB

7. Planning Applications

1300245FUL The Manor Addition of conservatory Agreed

1300296FUL Cherry Blossom, Moor Rd Building for agricultural use Agreed

1300364FUL 22 The Highway Dropped kerb Agreed

1300491LBC 7 The Town Rebuilding chimney Agreed

1300579FUL 83 The Highway Single storey extension to rear Agreed

1300591 Barns at Manor Farm Change of use to office In circulation

HD read an invitation for 2 Councillors to attend a meeting at Hunts DC to discuss Town/Parish Council Planning Forums. RJ and AW will represent Great Staughton. Action: RJ/AW

8. Highways

Funding application for the Highway Improvement scheme Cambs CC will inform applicants following their AGM. It was agreed to contact PD for further information. Action: DP

JB mentioned that a resident on Lauras Close had experienced similar problems to Mr Wilson with inconsiderate parking blocking access and a letter had been received asking for road marking to discourage this. RJ suggested that the Highways Department at Cambs CC be contacted again and also a request be submitted for general maintenance and road markings. WM asked whether anything could be done about the road marking outside the new houses on The Highway. HD asked about the signage in the village. The Highway Warden will liaise with Cambs CC and copy PD. Action: RJ

Correspondence was circulated prior to the meeting informing the Councillors of Cambs CC response to the proposed tree planting in the village. It is understood that, if the Parish Council is willing to accept responsibility for the maintenance of any trees planted, the CC will give permission for the planting. RJ recommended that the Parish Council should inform Cambs CC whenever trees are to be planted and obtain their authority to go ahead.

DP informed the meeting of a request from Hugh Stewart to plant 4 trees in the village. 2 of these are replacement trees for some planted at the time of the coronation and 2 new trees. RJ will liaise with Mr Stewart. Action: RJ

9. Street Lights

JB reported that a plan will be circulated with proposals that had been put together with MY after they had reviewed the current position of the County Council street lights. A questionnaire will be circulated to every household prior to the work being carried out by Balfour Beatty. It was agreed that residents would be invited to a meeting to discuss this matter when a date was known for the work to be carried out. Action: JB/MY/DP

The contract for maintenance of the street lights owned by the Parish Council has now been in operation for a year and HD asked whether the Councillors wished to continue with Westcotec, the current contractor agreed. Action: DP

RJ suggested that Westcotec are asked to give feedback on the condition of the lights and whether they felt any might need replacing as it may be an opportunity to take advantage when the Cambs CC lights are being replaced.

Action: DP

10. Correspondence

Hunts District Council a request for information on Local Infrastructure Needs. It was agreed to include the ambition for a new village hall incorporating a Surgery. Action: DP

St Neots Museum a request for a donation. It was agreed to give 50.00 which will entitle all villagers to visit the museum free of charge. Advertise this opportunity in Life. Action: DP

Great Staughton Primary School in response to the letter sent from the Parish Council in September. Also asking for support for a crossing from Beachampstead Road and the playing field. It is understood that Cambs CC will continue to support the morning crossing patrol at present and discussion followed as to whether the Parish Council could help. It was agreed to reply to the school inviting them to send a representative to the next Parish Council meeting to discuss this further. Action: DP

CH Brown & Sons for footpath maintenance. Following discussion, it was agreed to settle the invoice for 2012/13. RJ to liaise with Mr Brown regarding work for the current year. Action: RJ

Mike Keeble HD read the letter from Mr Keeble regarding the land on The Green opposite his driveway. Particular concern was expressed about the unattractive outlook and asking for the area to be reinstated. WM mentioned that work will be completed later in the year.

Cambs CC email warning of reductions in local bus services. RJ expressed concern that some local services will be reduced or removed. RJ suggested that other local parishes, such as Perry and Grafham, be contacted to ask whether they are interested in submitting a joint protest in the hope that some of the facilities can be retained. Also copy PD any relevant correspondence. Action: RJ

11. Cheques in and out since March 2013

Income:

Hunts DC Textile Bank 36.90

Hunts DC 471.00

Hunts DC – Precept 6,515.00

Total income 7,022.90

Expenditure:

E-on electricity 400.63

Peter Round 117.60

Suffolk ACRE – insurance 219.87

Fields in Trust Membership 25.00

CAPALC membership 292.42

Playsafety Ltd RoSPA 174.00

Peter Round 277.20

D Palmer (April & May) 416.28

Petty Cash 107.17

Kathy Wilson 156.00

Westcotec 107.02

Playing Field – grant 500.00

Total expenditure 2,793.19

Balance in Community account = 11,358.53

Payments were unanimously approved by the Councillors. HD and RJ confirmed that they had seen a copy of the reconciled cash book up to the 16th May 2013 and approved it.

The Annual Return for the year ended 31st March 2013 had been approved by the Internal Auditor, KE Wilson & Co, The meeting also recorded that they approved the accounting statements prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Accounts and Audit Regulations and proper practices. It was agreed that the Annual Return should be signed by HD, RJ and DP and submitted to the External Auditors. Action: DP

12. Report from the Village Hall Committee

MY reported that the facility was being advertised on the ACRE website and in Life. It was requested that the notice board outside the village hall receive attention as it is leaking. GG will ask D Hoenig to check. Action: GG

13. Report from the Playing Field Committee

JB mentioned that she is liaising with the Tennis Club so that the courts can be open to the general public. The football club is in abeyance and the Playing Field Committee would welcome any suggestions for another club.

New Trustees are still needed. It was agreed to place a notice in Life. Action: JB

JB said that the exterior of the Pavilion is in need of redecoration and asked whether the Parish Council would be prepared to contribute towards this work from the reserves held to replace the playing field equipment. At present JB is submitting applications to fund the new equipment. It was felt that this was acceptable.

14. Parish Matters

MY asked whether any feedback had been received about the Housing Needs Survey. Not expected for a few weeks.

WM asked whether there could be a baby changing area in the village hall. MY to refer to the Village Hall Committee. Action: MY

15. Date of meetings for 2013

11th July

5th September

7th November

HD thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed at 9.00pm.

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