Parish Council minutes November

Minutes of the Great Staughton Parish Council

held on 7th November 2013 in the Pavilion

Present:

H Duberly (HD) (Chair) F Backhouse (FB) J Bowen (JB)

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

M Young (MY) D Palmer (DP) (Clerk)

Also present were members of the public Mrs J Perrett, Mr & Mrs P Hynes, Mr D Palmer, Mr R Harding, Mr R Benford and County Councillor Peter Downes (PD).

a) Street Lighting

HD welcomed everyone to the meeting and invited JB to give an outline of Cambridgeshire County Councils plan to update/remove some street lights in the village. JB said that there is an opportunity for the village to have some input. Cambs CC have contracted Balfour Beatty to remove approx 10% of the total street lights in the village but only from minor roads, therefore the B645 will not be affected. This means that actually more than 10% will be removed from the other roads. MY & JB have reviewed the lights owned by Cambs CC and put forward some suggestions taking in to consideration that the new lights will comprise white light which will be focussed downwards in order to reduce light pollution. The suggestions were discussed with those present and further information will be displayed on the village notice boards, in Life, on the website and available from the clerk. Action: JB/RJ/DP

Mr Hynes asked whether the light on their driveway could be moved and JB said this will be requested together with another one on a driveway. Mrs Perrett informed the meeting that she would be willing for the light outside no 38 to be removed as long as the large tree is removed. Mr Palmer asked whether the removal of street lights in a cul-de-sac would have a detrimental effect on criminal activity. MY said that where lights are reduced or go out overnight, the instances of burglaries have gone down by approx 34%. Mr Harding, on behalf of the residents of Moorycroft Close, requested that any lights in the cul-de-sac have baffles fitted. Action: JB

It is anticipated that the work will take place from March to June 2014. PD said that he felt the Parish Council was taking the right action in looking into the matter and making proposals at this stage. He also said that when the work was done in Brampton, Balfour Beatty were very flexible. The new lights are more effective and there may be a possibility of additional lights if the request is submitted early enough. PD pointed out that if a new light is placed near a tree a deep trench may be needed which can affect the tree.

HD suggested that Balfour Beatty be contacted to discuss the suggestions and invite them to a meeting in the village. RJ thought further consultation would be useful when more details are available. JB will contact householders near to the affected lights. Action: RJ/JB

The new lights have already been installed in Brampton and Perry should anyone would like to see them.

The street lights owned by the Parish will not be affected at this time.

b) Residents Forum

Mr Benford mentioned that the ditch on The Highway needed further work. Action: HD

Mr Benford said that he had received information relating to tree planting in the village and that he wished to object to the one near his property as he felt it would obscure his vision when driving. Action: RJ

1. Apologies for absence were received from G Gilbert (GG), P Willmer (PW) and District Councillor Jonathan Gray (JG).

2. Minutes of the meeting held on 5th September 2013 were agreed as a true record and signed.

3. Matters Arising

b/f – HACT (Hunts & Cambs Transport) have been invited to the January Parish Council meeting to inform the public of their services. Action: DP

RJ will attend a consultation with Cambs CC relating to transport services. Action: RJ

Item 4 the Primary School consultation is taking place. PD mentioned that the relationship with the school and the managing body is critical. A letter of support to be sent to the school and to ask for reassurance that there will be representation from the village on the governing body. Action: DP

4. Attendance at other meetings

AW attended a public meeting given by the Highways Agency to inform people of the new A14 scheme. The main issues are what charge will be made on the toll road and the Huntingdon flyover which is to be dismantled and could cause access problems and congestion locally if the A14 was closed at any time. Following discussion it was agreed to write to the Highways Agency with copies to PD and CCC. Action: RJ/DP

WM attended the meeting called by Anglian Water to clarify the situation when the chlorine leak had occurred. Anglain Water felt that the leak had been contained within the building but that the system for dealing with emergencies needed improving. WM said the main problem was that the information relating to the leak was not circulated efficiently. The process will be reviewed and suggestions will be circulated to local organisations. A suggestion was put forward that local villages form a Resilience Plan which contained contact details of local people, such as Doctors, Nurses and Police, who could offer support in an emergency. JB thought the school already had such a list and would contact them. Action: JB

JB went to the Piglets Extraordinary meeting which had been called because there were insufficient volunteers to form a committee to manage Piglets in accordance with their constitution. JB was happy to report that, following the meeting, a full committee was formed.

5. Planning

Planning Applications after 5th September 2013:

1301380FUL Agden Green Farm extension to workshop building agreed

1301473FUL 8 The Highway single storey building agreed

6. Highways

Road Improvement Grant

The work to construct the new chicane at the Kimbolton end of the B645 should begin in January 2014.

Still waiting for the paperwork to apply for a contribution towards the grass cutting in the village. Action: DP

RJ has asked Anthony King from Cambs CC who is responsible for the remedial work to the bank next to the culvert near to the Snooty Tavern and was informed that it was not the CCs responsibility. HD asked PD if he could follow this up as it is understood that Cambs CC are responsible. Action: PD

PD has received several reports that the junction on the Highway and The Causeway is dangerous leading to drivers either braking suddenly so that they can drive round the corner at a safe speed, or continuing off The Highway along The Causeway at a dangerous speed. This is of particular concern as the village school is a few yards away. PD suggested that the Parish Council could apply for a road improvement grant to make the junction more obvious. It was suggested that the sign to Northampton could be removed at the same time. RJ pointed out that he was told that the white lines on The Highway would be repainted during the summer but have not yet been done. He thought that this work would make the junction more obvious. It was agreed to apply for the grant. The deadline for applications is 9th December. Action: HD/DP

Tree planting in the village to improve and enhance the verges was discussed in detail. The Tree Wardens have received a selection of trees from Hunts District Council and have put forward their proposals for planting. RJ wrote to all properties adjacent to the proposed planting inviting feedback. 2 trees are replacing old ones and 11 are in new locations. Cambs CC will be informed of the planting and details will be available on the village website and on the notice boards. The feedback received from two residents will be taken into consideration. Action: RJ/DP

RJ expressed his thanks to the Tree Wardens for their work and also to Mr Hugh Stewart who donated 2 of the trees for the benefit of the village.

7. Report from County Councillors

In the report JG circulated prior to the meeting he suggested that Andy Moffat of Hunts DC Planning Department be invited to a meeting to discuss the planning matter that is being dealt with by the Ombudsman. Action: DP

JG mentioned that the appeal against Bicton Wind Farm is likely to be held in March 2014. He also pointed out that there had been objections from Stonely residents to the proposed Solar Farm near Pertenhall.

PD has received several complaints about the Triathlon that took place during the summer. The size of the event caused problems and the fact that local people were unaware that it was going to be taking place. The markings sprayed on the roads were considered unacceptable… The clerk will contact the police to express concern, check whether they were informed of the events and how they can safely be organised in future. Action: DP

PD said that Roger Harding is still vigorously pursuing Broadband for the village .

RJ asked PD whether he could promote/support the request for small charities to be given the same tax relief as small businesses. Action: PD

8. Street Lighting

The Clerk is seeking a new contract for maintenance of the street lights owned by the Parish Council. The Clerk will also check with Balfour Beatty how much they would charge to replace any lights at the same as they are doing the work for Cambs CC. Action: DP

9. Correspondence

Received

24 Sept – a letter of complaint received relating to 24 The Highway forwarded to Environmental Health

26 Sept Victim Support – Request for financial support to be refused.

27 Sept Jonathan Djanogly reply to request for review of rate relief for charities in line with small businesses. RJ will reply informing Mr Djanogly that the District Council has already been approached. Action: RJ/DP

8 Oct Janet Perrett request re Sycamore tree in Beachampstead RJ will reveiw. Action: RJ

22 Oct Staughton Stagers request for the Parish Council to hold 1,000 for 5 years in case anyone wishes to establish another amateur dramatic group. Appreciation was expressed for the many performances given by the Stagers.

31 Oct Erkan Mustafa an update on his appeal to the Ombudsman. It was agreed that a copy of the report would be obtained prior to the meeting with Hunts DC. Action: DP

Sent

1 Oct letter to Jason Ablewhite/Hunts DC querying the grant which had been discontinued.

In connection to the reply received from Jonathan Djanogly and prior to the meeting two proposals by RJ were circulated as follows

Resolution 1Great Staughton Parish Council (GSPC) calls upon Cambridge and Peterborough Association of local Councils (CAPALC) to support GSPC in its campaign against unreasonable business rate demands on Charities. Charitable buildings, which include most village halls, sports pavilions, and other community facilities are subject to only 80% mandatory rate relief. A business premise of exactly the same size and type would since 2010 been in receipt of 100% rate relief. This penalises Charities. GSPC calls upon CAPALC to press local MPs to remedy this anomaly and ensure charities receive rate relief equivalent to small businesses where that exceeds the mandatory charity relief of 80%. AW seconded the proposal and approval was unanimous.

Resolution 2Great Staughton Parish Council (GSPC) calls upon Cambridge and Peterborough Association of local Councils (CAPALC) to support GSPC in its campaign against the unreasonable charges on charitable buildings imposed by Cambridgeshire County Council and the District counterparts. The County Council in conjunction with its District has a policy to charge all premises for waste collection other than those in receipt of small business rate relief. This means all charity buildings eg village halls, sports pavilions and community facilities pay the charge. This penalises charities in comparison to small businesses. GSPC calls upon CAPALC to pressurise the administration on the County Council to treat charities in the same way as businesses so that those charitable buildings which have a rateable value equivalent to a small business receive their waste collection free of charge.

MY seconded the proposal and approval was unanimous. Action: RJ/DP

10. Cheques in and out since July 2013

Income:

Staughton Stagers 1,000.00

Total 1,000.00

Expenditure:

Peter Round 117.60

PKF Littlejohn 120.00

HMRC paye 26.20

WordPress website 11.43

D Hoenig 98.00

D Palmer (Oct & Nov) 416.28

Petty cash 32.39

Peter Round 117.60

Total 939.50 Balance in Community account = 11,700.86

HD & RJ confirmed they had seen a copy of the reconciled cash book up to 5th November and approved it.

Hunts DC have requested that the Precept application be submitted by 20th December. A budged was circulated prior to the meeting and following a discussion RJ proposed a request for 14,000.00 be sent. Seconded by FB and carried unanimously. Action DP

12. Report from:

Village Hall Committee

MY reported that there had been an increase in bookings and social activities.

Playing Field Committee

JB reported that the Tree Wardens have planted a Lime tree on the playing field and have obtained a price for a plaque to commemorate the Queens Diamond Jubilee. Action: HD

A quotation has been received to repaint the exterior of the Pavilion. Further quotations will be sought by AW and MY. Action: AW/MY

Two names have been put forward as possible Trustees for the Playing Field Committee. Action: JB

At present JB has not been able to attract anyone to run or play in a local football team but she will continue with her search via various options. Action: JB

It would appear that the Tennis Club is no longer in operation and the courts have been available for general use during the year. It was suggested that the second court could be turned into a Multi User Games Area which would benefit the school and Piglets. HD requested that the Playing Field Committee consider the situation and put forward suggestions/proposals. JB will contact a Tennis Club representative to clarify the situation. Action: JB

Neighbourhood Watch

FB circulated a report prior to the meeting and added that there are coordinators in all areas of the village and most have deputies. The Steering Group is meeting with the police to discuss ways of improving communications. NHW Volunteers are holding a Carol Concert which will be open to everyone on 20th December from 6.00pm to 8.00pm in front of the Pavilion. Mulled wine and light refreshments will be provided. HD thanked FB and his team.

13. Parish Matters

JB has received a complaint relating to the dog waste bin it will be removed. Action: HD

Further complaints have been received about dog fouling in the village.

Disappointment was expressed that the tradition of Santas sleigh will no longer take place. Apparently the sleigh is still available if someone was interested in managing the operation.

AW asked about the local housing on the charity field and suggested that the Parish Council identify which type of housing should be built; rental properties or shared ownership properties. At present Frank Mastranda from Hunts DC is looking into the planning permission

RJ mentioned that Cambs CC have written to say that footpath 29 will be amended and he recommends acceptance of the proposal. HD & WM declared an interest and did not participate in the discussion. Action: DP

15. Date of meetings for 2014

9th January 6th March

10th April Parish Assembly 15th May Annual General meeting

17th July 4th September

6th November

HD thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed at 9.20pm.

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