Minutes of the Great Staughton Parish Council
held on 5th September 2013 in the Village Hall
H Duberly (HD) (Chair) G Gilbert (GG) W Mumford (WM)
P Willmer (PW) A Withers (AW) M Young (MY)
D Palmer (DP) (Clerk)
Also present was Hazel Bell (HB) & Caroline Taylor (CT) representing the Primary School Governors and County Councillor Peter Downes (PD).
a) Residents’ Forum
1. Apologies for absence were received from F Backhouse (FB), J Bowen (JB), R Jewell (RJ) and District Councillor Jonathan Gray (JG). A written report was circulated prior to the meeting from FB and RJ.
2. Minutes of the meeting held on 11th July 2013 were agreed as a true record.
3. Matters Arising
b/f – The report from FB regarding the Neighbourhood Watch group (NHW) confirmed that Mr Sadler had made a donation which can be used to support NHW activities. Action: FB
b/f –reductions in local bus services. DP approached other local parishes and some are interested in
submitting a joint protest in the hope that some of the facilities can be retained. It has also been suggested that HACT be invited to the January Parish Council meeting to inform the public of their service. Action: DP
Item 11 – a letter of support has been received from Jonathan Djanogly and he has written to the Treasury on the issue of business rates compared with charity rates.
4. Primary School
HD warmly welcomed HB and CT to the meeting and mentioned that the Parish Council regard the Primary School as a valuable asset that is critical to the life of the village and the Councillors are keen to offer their wholehearted support.
HB thanked the Councillors for inviting them to the meeting and reported that there is an increase in the numbers of pupils to 85 this year compared with 78 last year and enquiries are still being received. Following a good Ofsted report the Governors feel that the school is in a good position. HB informed the meeting that some services previously provided by Cambs County Council free of charge, these services now have to be paid for and there is real emphasis for schools to work together. As part of their role Governors are looking at other schools in order to, share resources and best practice. If any changes are made consultation will take place with staff, parents and the wider community and the Parish Council will also receive the information. HD thanked HB and CT for attending the meeting and confirmed the Parish Council’s offer of support for the school.
5. Attendance at other meetings
Affordable Housing Proposal
A meeting had taken place between Mark Deas from Cambridgeshire ACRE and Andy Chapman from Luminus together with FB, GG. RJ, and AW to discuss the results of the questionnaire circulated to every household in the village. MY said that the outcome was that there is a need for 6 to 8 properties including bungalows. The availability in the village for this type of property was significantly below national averages. It was agreed that this proposal should progress to the next stage which is for Luminus to prepare a site plan for 6 dwellings plus 2 other dwellings for sale commercially. The scheme would be drafted in such a way that if a further need was identified some time in the future additional properties could be built but the ultimate number of properties would be limited. Action: DP
Once the site plan is available the Parish Council will meet with Hunts DC Planning Department to determine whether the plan is acceptable in principle. Following this, a public meeting will be arranged to discuss the proposal with residents. Although this suggestion has now been under discussion for more than a year, there is still a long way to go before any decision can be made.
Hunts District Council – Local Initiative Fund
Carry forward as an Agenda item for November meeting.
Planning Applications from 11th July 2013:
1300869LBC 1 The Highway – glazed roof between house and barn – agreed
1301015LBC 8 The Highway – 2 storey rear extension – agreed.
1301100FUL Little Staughton airfield – installation of solar panels – agreed.
The outcome of the meeting with the Ombudsman at The Green has not been received. c/f to next meeting.
Road Improvement Grant
The report from RJ pointed out that the document of liability for tree planting in the village had been received. The meeting agreed to confirm acceptance of the terms contained in the document. Action: DP
A request has been sent to Cambs CC to establish whether a contribution could be made towards the grass cutting in the village done by the village handyman. Awaiting paperwork. Action: DP
An email had been received from E Seymour at Cambridgeshire CC stating the estimated cost of the speed reduction measures on Stonely Road, (subject to full site survey), will be £6,468.00. The Parish Council are committed to contribute 10% or a minimum of £1,000.00 towards the work. It was agreed to progress the project. Action: DP
MY asked what could be done about the weeds on the kerbside in the village. It was suggested that the village handyman may be able to help, however this is managed by the County Council.
It was also reported that some hedges are overgrown, in particular at the junction of The Highway and The Causeway behind the safety barrier. Village handyman to check. Action: DP
A resident has reported that litter is a problem once again on Moor Road. Action: ???
WM raised a query relating to the previous minutes under Highways where Anthony King from Cambs CC said that the remedial work to the bank next to the culvert near to the Snooty Tavern was not the CC’s responsibility. RJ to check. Action: RJ
PD has received a price list for highways work and suggested that some of the minor works may be of interest to the Parish Council. He mentioned that he has been told that the signage can be confusing where the B645 joins The Causeway and the sharp right hand turn. He will email of copy of the list to the Clerk. Action: PD
8. Report from County Councillor
PD will email the ‘Key Issues’ information for circulation to the Council. The dispute relating to the Guided busway is now closed. PD reported a pilot scheme which is being tried by Cambs CC to attract 20 volunteers to be part of a project to improve the quality of life for people who may have become isolated from family and friends by using a tablet to keep in touch. More information is available on www.facebook.com/CambridgeshireCC or by contacting Glenn Thwaites on 01223 6999282.
Meetings are taking place to inform people of the new A14 scheme. AW will attend the presentation given by the Highways Agency at The Priory Centre to St Neots. Action: AW
9. Street Lights
It was agreed to hold an open meeting half an hour before the next Parish Council meeting to inform parishioners of the work that will take place in 2014 replacing and relocating the street lights in the village. MY and JB will put forward some suggestions for consideration so that villagers can have some input. Action: MY/JB
Incident at Grafham Water Treatment Works
WM asked for this matter to be raised as he felt there had been cause for concern about the way the situation was handled. PD gave a brief report about the chlorine leak and how it was contained. He informed the meeting that safety procedures and information procedures are being reviewed as a result of the incident. HD said that the Parish Council need to be reassured that Anglian Water have the right measures in place. PD will inform the Parish Council when a meeting is taking place in Perry to discuss this. Action: PD
11. Cheques in and out since July 2013
HMRC – vat refund £638.99
Mr Sadler – donation £250.00
St Andrews PCC £400.00
GS Village Hall £1,000.00
DJ Hoenig £218.00
Peter Round £235.20
Peter Round £159.60
Cambs ACRE £36.00
Suffolk ACRE – insurance £381.06
Clerk (Aug & Sept) £416.28
Petty cash £7.20
AH Duberly – rent x 2 £10.00
Total £4,029.74 Balance in Community account = £6,008.76
HD confirmed that he had seen a copy of the reconciled cash book up to 10th July and RJ had approved it prior to the meeting.
12. Report from the Village Hall Committee
MY reported that the Booking Clerk for the Village Hall has agreed to advertise a mobile number in conjunction with a landline number and these numbers will appear in Life.
A request has been received from Hugh Stewart to place a plaque next to the clock in the main hall to inform people of its history. Agreed. Action: DP
13. Report from the Playing Field Committee
An email report was received from JB to the effect that she is still fundraising for the replacement equipment for the playing field and will attend the fundraising seminar later in the month. Action: JB
14. Parish Matters
AW mentioned that there was a Town Ranger in Huntingdon who liaised with businesses and residents. He asked whether this would this be useful in Great Staughton? HD suggested that this should be discussed with FB as the NHW representative. Action: c/f
In the report received from RJ he requested that a letter be sent to the Leader of Hunts DC stating that the removal of the grant given last year will result in small Parishes having to either increase Council tax or make cuts in services.
15. Date of meetings for 2013
HD thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed at 9.00pm.