Minutes of the Great Staughton Parish Council meeting
held on 17th July 2014 in the Village Hall
H Duberly (HD) (Chair) F Backhouse (FB) J Bowen (JB)
G Gilbert (GG) R Jewell (RJ) P Willmer (PW)
A Withers (AW) M Young (MY)
County Councillor Peter Downes (PD) D Palmer (DP) (Clerk)
Also present were Sue Cowley, Claire Harris and Andy Moulds (AM).
- Residents’ Forum FB thought that the village Golf Society also had funds available. AM thanked the Parish Council for their support and left the meeting at 7.50pm. 2. Revised Code of Conduct 3. Minutes of the meeting held on 15th May 2014 4. Matters Arising
- FB said that under Item 13 Neighbourhood Watch, 6 deputies were needed and not 4 as reported. HD amended the minute book and the minutes were agreed as a true record and signed.
- RJ proposed that the revised Code of Conduct proposed by Huntingdonshire District Council be adopted, seconded by JB and agreed unanimously. Councillors returned their completed forms for display on Hunts DC website and the Great Staughton website at http://www.greatstaughton.com.
- 1. Apologies for absence were received from W Mumford (WM) and District Councillor Jonathan Gray (JG).
- Research has taken place via the age group resident in the village and 15 people expressed an interest in joining a Youth Club. Volunteers have already come forward to help with the project. AM asked the Parish Council if they would be willing to offer support to the Youth Club and the Councillors wholeheartedly offered their support. HD recommended that the group apply to the Parish Charities for a grant. RJ mentioned that the Parish Council was holding a small amount of money which was transferred when the previous Youth Club’s bank account was closed. He suggested that this be given to the new Committee. Action: DP
- AM introduced the residents present and informed the meeting that they wanted to set up a Youth Club for 11 to 18 year olds resident in Great Staughton, Kimbolton and Perry. A Committee has already been formed and they would hope to offer a range of activities on a weekly basis throughout term times. Patrick Harris was also a member of the Committee but was unable to be present.
b/f – RJ asked PD for further information on the definition of “a building is used for public meetings on a regular basis” and whether the Village Hall and Pavilion could be considered to be exempt from the tax for waste disposal on this basis. PD said the new Highways & Community infrastructure Committee will meet in September and he will keep RJ informed. Action: PD
b/f – Rate Relief for Charities & Small Businesses – the response received from Jonathan Djanogly was discussed. It was agreed to send a copy to Hunts DC pointing out that Jonathan Djanogly suggested they could offer 100% relief.
b/f – Installing a community defibrillator in the village. FB has spoken to Dr Roberts, the surgery already have a defibrillator which they plan to install outside the surgery.
Item 14 – the letter to Lawrence Smith, the Footpath Officer at Cambs CC is still outstanding. Action: DP
- Attendance at other meetings
RJ reported that he had attended meetings to discuss the changes to the local bus services. Great Staughton is under 2 service areas, Huntingdon and St Neots. RJ understands that some of the under-used services provided by Huntingdon may be withdrawn but he is hopeful that a reasonable service will still be provided. The St Neots (150) service is still under discussion but he feels it is progressing well.
Planning Applications received after 15th May 2104:
1400902LBC 23 The Highway – Rebuild chimney – agreed
1401007FUL Gaynes Lodge Farm – Erection of grain store and remove barn –agreed
1401062FUL Gaynes Lodge Farm – Extend cattle building & replace calf building – in circulation
1400849FUL The Manor – Partition wall, bathroom & rewiring – in circulation
1400850LBC The Manor – Partition wall, bathroom & rewiring – in circulation
The Clerk wrote to Hunts DC regarding planning application 1400314FUL from Anglian Water asking for confirmation that contractors’ heavy lorries will not pass through Great Staughton. As a reply has not been received and the comment is not included on the Planning website, the clerk has again asked for assurance from Hunts DC.
Discussion followed relating to the new street lights. GG pointed out that it is extremely difficult for people with pushchairs or wheelchairs to travel on the pavement where Balfour Beatty has been working. PD felt that the process has improved but mentioned he has received some major complaints: One resident said the light is too close to their bedroom window, this can be resolved with baffles. A further complaint is that on The Highway the street lights have all been moved to one side of the road even though this has meant installing electricity, whereas where they were originally sited there was electricity. PD has been asked to provide a technical explanation. One resident said they had not received any information. However, it was understood that a letter was sent to every household in the village from Balfour Beatty informing them of the plan. The Parish Council also had the item on the Agenda for meetings and subsequently in the minutes. Residents were invited via Life magazine to open discussions and it was discussed at the Annual Parish Assembly where the plans were available. The clerk was asked to contact Balfour Beatty to try to get the pavements accessible again. Action: DP
PD asked whether the Parish Council has received an invitation to apply for a Highway Improvement grant. Roger Harding has suggested that Parishioners could be involved with proposals for the grant. Clerk to place a notice in Life – the deadline for applications to be submitted is 12th September. Action: DP
- Report from County Councillor
PD referred to the minutes for the Parish Assembly stating the disappointment of JB that so few villagers attended the meeting. He mentioned that he has now attended all Parish Assemblies of the villages in his area and reaffirmed that Great Staughton had the best attendance.
PD mentioned that there is a proposal to reduce the number of Cambs CC Councillors from 69 to 63 with a review of the boundaries. With the population in the area growing, this would mean that each Councillor was responsible for a larger area with more people. He also felt that some of the groupings were unsatisfactory. HD asked whether the Parish Council will be consulted on the ward changes. PD thought the discussion will take place in September and said he will keep the Parish Council informed. Action: PD
2 June – Cambs CC – invitation to apply for Highway Improvement Grant Action: DP
6 June – Martin Gowler, Cambs CC – Surface dressing programme = Moor Road will be closed for a day in July.
26 June – St Neots Museum – request for local information relating to WWI. Action: AW
27 June – Hunts DC – Communities First Workshop – FB booked in
28 June – St Neots Museum – request a donation to enable villagers to visit free of charge. Agreed £50. Action: DP
2 July – Debbie Wildridge, CLT East – proposing a scoping/discussion day paid for by the National CLT Network.
27 May – Clara Kerr, Planning Dept, Hunts DC – Concern relating to Anglian Water Application.
27 May – Littlejohn – Annual Accounts to external auditors.
1 June – Alison Morgan – reply to email suggestion of a traffic mirror opposite Vicarage Walk. Cambs CC Highways Dept do not allow this as it is considered dangerous. Can only be done on private land.
- Cheques in and out since May 2014:
K E Wilson £156.00
Playing Field Grant £500.00
Life Magazine Grant £600.00
St Andrew’s Church £400.00
PT Round £352.80
DJ Hoenig £53.50
PT Round £352.80
Petty Cash £33.21
HMRC – PAYE £75.40
D Palmer (June & July) £387.86
DJ Hoenig £216.00
Total £3,548.79 Balance in Community account = £10,571.22
All Councillors received a copy of the cashbook prior to the meeting. HD & RJ confirmed they had seen a copy of the reconciled cash book up to 30th June and approved it.
- Affordable Housing
AW attended an information day arranged by South Cambs DC and visited 7 other schemes in the area and he recommended that other Councillors attend if the opportunity arises again. AW said that the terms of the Rural Exception Site, which is the way the Planning Application would be accepted by Hunts DC, ensure that the houses can only go to people with a local connection. It has been established through the questionnaire last year there is a need for 8 to 10 houses by local people, but it appears that once people learn these houses are about to be built more applications are received from local people who may have thought there was no point going on the housing list. AW felt that the houses were really well designed and built, and people stayed in residence to form a stable community. PW thanked AW for all of the work he has put into the project.
A meeting had been held with Debbie Wildridge (DW) of the Community Land Trust, HD & AW from the Parish Charities, RJ, GG, FB & DP from the Parish Council. Notes from the meeting had been circulated to all Councillors. Subsequent correspondence and research by DW suggested that a new charity would need to be established in order to ensure that the village retains control. It was agreed to accept the invitation by DW to join CLT East in order to take advantage of funded support to hold a ‘scoping’/discussion day to move to the next stage. The fee will be £49.00. Action: DP
- Report from:
Village Hall Committee
MY reported a new regular booking from the University of the Third Age and he hoped the Youth Club would also be a regular booking. Quotations had been received for work on the kitchen and this is being checked at present.
An approach had been made by Oakleaf Technical Services Ltd to do a survey of the building for energy management strategy. They had given a quotation of £5,200.00 for the installation of solar panels and this included quite positive payback terms. Following discussion GG offered to check out the quotation and it was agreed to carry this forward for further consideration. Action: GG/ c/f
Playing Field Committee
JB reported the AGM had taken place and the Committee remained unchanged. Margaret Sare volunteered to join the Trustees. The external redecoration of the Pavilion will take place during the week commencing 11th August. The Tennis Courts appear to be well used and it is hoped that a new committee will be formed. Advertisements will be placed for a new cleaner. Repairs were needed to make the slide safe, David Hoenig and Mr L Rant volunteered to do this repair work at no charge. JB extended the thanks of the committee.
Piglets have expressed a wish to extend their outside play area and this has implications on the terms of their lease which will due for renewal in 2017. Following discussion it was agreed RJ, HD and JB would meet with Piglets to discuss the matter further. Action: DP
FB attended the Police NHW forum in June where they were informed that crime detection rates continue to improve. The focus of the Police is concentrating on keeping people safe in the community. Volunteers are still needed for NHW deputies, any suggestions would be welcome. FB is experiencing difficulty in finding out about any future cycling events as the District Council control this, not the Police.
Speed Watch will be holding a meeting within the next few weeks and have 2 volunteers, Andy Smith and David Moor.
- Parish Matters
GG has been asked by a resident in Vicarage Walk about what can be done about the wire ties to a utility pole being sited in their garden. The resident will need to write to the utility concerned.
RJ mentioned that one of the Editors of Life is retiring. He said how grateful he was for the time and effort put in over the years. Anyone who might be interested to contact RJ.
PW asked whether the Parish should be represented on the committee at Littlehey Prison. HD and FB to follow up.
HD mentioned the Village Day at the Old Vicarage and asked for a letter to go to thank Mr & Mrs Edmunds.
- Date of meetings for 2014
As at least 3 Councillors could not attend on 4th September, the clerk was asked to rearrange the meeting to 11th September.
Final meeting for 2014 – 6th November.
HD thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed at 9.05pm.