Parish Council minutes September

Minutes of the Great Staughton Parish Council meeting

held on 11th September 2014 in the Pavilion



H Duberly (HD) (Chair)                 F Backhouse (FB)                         R Jewell (RJ)

W Mumford (WM)                        P Willmer (PW)                            M Young (MY)

D Palmer (DP) (Clerk)

Also present were County Councillor Peter Downes (PD) and District Councillor Jonathan Gray (JG).



  • Residents’ Forum  2.   Minutes of the meeting held on 17th July 2014 3.   Matters Arising


  2. The minutes were agreed as a true record and signed.
  4. 1.   Apologies for absence were received from J Bowen (JB), G Gilbert (GG) and A Withers (AW).
  5. None 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 sent to Councillor Ablewhite at Hunts DC pointing out that Jonathan Djanogly suggested they could offer 100% relief.

b/f – Installing a community defibrillator in the village.   FB will follow up with the surgery.            Action: FB

Item 14 – a letter has been received from Lawrence Smith, the Footpath Officer at Cambs CC stating changes to Footpath 29 are still being considered.

Item 6 – no response has been received from Hunts DC in relation to the request for assurance that when Anglian Water begin their construction work no heavy lorries will pass through Great Staughton.   Clerk to copy correspondence to Hunts DC to JG and he will follow up.                                                                                                  Action: JG/DP



  1. Attendance at other meetings

FB reported that he had attended the ‘Communities First’ workshop and circulated a report prior to the meeting.


RJ attended a Cambridgeshire Future Transport meeting and said that he thought the draft final report suggested that the 400 service will be retained and he thought that a daily 401 service will be implemented to Huntingdon.   A Saturday bus service will also be available.   RJ asked that a letter be sent to Stacey Miller offering the full support of the Parish Council.                                                                                                                                              Action: RJ/DP

MY mentioned that Robinsons will be running a free service through the local villages on a 3 month trial basis.   The clerk to write to Robinsons to support this service.                                                                              Action: DP



  1. Planning

Planning Applications received after 17th July 2104:

1401449FUL                    85 The Highway – Redesign of garden room scheme – agreed



  1. Highways

Discussion followed relating to the new street lights.   FB asked whether Balfour Beatty have completed the work as he thought 1 light on The Green and 1 on Cage Lane had still not been replaced.                               Action: JB/FB

HD asked PD whether he was aware of other towns and villages experiencing difficulties with the new street lights being installed.   PD has asked Cambs CC for information about the contract and what is in the contract about the time lapse between putting in the posts and filling in the holes; have Balfour Beatty met the deadlines and, if not, what compensation will be paid?   PD will keep the Parish Council informed.                                                              Action: PD


HD suggested that 2 Parish Councillors be nominated to follow up any matters relating to street lights in the village.   JB will be asked and FB volunteered to work with JB.                                                                      Action: JB/FB


Parish Street Light contract – this is still not in place.   It was agreed that the Clerk would write to Balfour Beatty expressing the disappointment of the Parish Council and asking for the contract to be completed.    Action: DP


A request has been received from the Horticultural Society to place a bench outside number 22 The Highway.   Cambs CC do not have any objections as long as it is correctly installed.   WM mentioned that the highways exemption is for up to 4.5 meters wide from the edge of the bench to the concrete kerb on the road.                                    Action: DP


WM has received complaints about parking at the junction of Cage Lane with The Highway making it dangerous for other vehicles.


WM said that some hedges on Staughton Moor on the north side of Moor Road at the sharp bend to the right were overhanging the road and obscuring visibility.   Clerk to contact the land owner.                            Action: DP


MY has received comments that the new chicane at the Kimbolton Road end of the village appears to be the wrong way round and does not slow down traffic coming into the village but does slow down traffic leaving the village.   PD has also been made aware of this and will follow it up.                                                                            Action: PD


Highways Improvement Grant scheme 2014/15 – AW and DP held a site meeting with a Highways engineer from Cambs CC and are waiting for a report together with a detailed plan of the work to take place at the junction of The Highway and The Causeway on the sharp bend.


Highways Improvement Grant scheme 2015/16 – the overwhelming request from villagers was to apply for a crossing over the B645 and this is the application that has been submitted.   Other suggestions were – a) to move the flashing ‘30mph’ sign towards the junction of Green Lane and The Green and b) to continue the footpath from The Green to Dillington to improve safety for walkers.   These could be considered for future applications.   FB suggested that a thank you note should be sent to all of those who put forward suggestions.                                            Action: DP


It is understood that major highway work will be completed in the village later in the year or early 2015.   The clerk to write to Cambs CC and let them know that building work is still taking place in several areas in the village and to offer to meet with the Highways Department to discuss the improvements.                                              Action: DP


WM asked about the culvert near to the car park at The Tavern and what action is taking place.    Action:DP


RJ mentioned that footpaths 3 and 28 are heavily overgrown and a letter has been sent asking for them to be cleared.   Bridleway 37 has been obstructed and Cambs CC have been informed.



  1. Electoral Revision Review

PD informed the meeting the Boundary Commission review takes place every 12 years.   It is anticipated that the number of Cambridgeshire County Councillors will be reduced from 69 to 63 but the number of residents is increasing considerably.   There is also a proposal to realign the parishes which will have an impact on the ward Great Staughton belongs to.



  1.  Report from County Councillor

PD asked for approval to insert an article in Life informing parents to register if they are eligible for free school meals even though they are going to be provided free of charge for children.   This will ensure that the school receives the pupil premium to which it is entitled.   HD suggested that the Parish Council and school should jointly insert the notice.   PD will email it.                                                                                                                                  Action: PD/DP


PD forewarned the Councillors of more cuts being considered to services provided by the County Council.   Cuts being considered are to close several libraries, closing household recycling centres and reducing home to school transport.   HD thanked PD for attending the meeting.


JG has done some research regarding the Pavilion rates and looked at other facilities in the area.   JG and RJ will discuss in detail separately.   JG reported that the senior management at Hunts DC is now up to full strength with fewer numbers of senior staff than before even though there are several new people.



  1. Correspondence


July – Cambs ACRE – invitation to the AGM

04 Aug – Roy Benford – Concern about straw bales to the rear of 23 The Highway.   Email copied to farmer

15 Aug – Cambs CC – Household recycling consultation

28 Aug – St Neots Museum – thank you letter for donation

03 Sept – Rural Cambs CAB – Request for financial support – donation of £50 agreed

03 Sept – Cambs CC – invitation to Future Transport meeting – RJ attending.

05 Sept – Roy Benford – expressing concern about proposal to install a bench on The Highway.

08 Sept – Horticultural Society – request to install a bench on The Highway – see Item 6.

09 Sept – Cambs CC – Parish Paths meeting – AW & RJ attending.

10 Sept – Hunts Flood Forum – Invitation to meeting – RJ attending.

11 Sept – National Community Land Trust – offer of grant for consultation day – see item 11



28 July – Balfour Beatty – signed street light contract sent again.

30 July – Mr & Mrs Edmunds – thank you letter

30 July – Cambs CC – reminder re blocked drain on The Green – work to be done later in year

29 Aug – National Community Land Trust – request for financial support to discuss Affordable Housing proposal.

10 Sept – Cambs CC – Application for Highways Improvement grant for a crossing.


RJ asked about the gulley cleaning – what exactly will this be?                                                     Action: DP



  1. Cheques in and out since July 2014:





St Neots Museum                     £50.00

PT Round                              £165.50

Pavilion redecorating           £1,200.00

PT Round                              £235.20

Clerk (Aug & Sept)                 £387.86

HMRC (PAYE)                          £75.60

Petty Cash                              £14.04

Total                                 £2,128.20                            Balance in Community account = £8,443.02

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 9th September and approved it.



  1. Affordable Housing

Funding has now been agreed to run the scoping day to discuss whether to form a Community Land Trust(CLT) to progress the affordable housing proposal and this will probably take place in October with support from CLT East.   National CLT have suggested that 2 further members be sought to be part of the steering group.   Suggestions were received and HD said he would welcome any other proposals.



  1. Report from:

Village Hall Committee

MY reported that the Youth Club was officially starting today. Their thanks had been received for Parish Council support.   The U3A has a regular booking for ballroom dancing.   A village hall meeting had been arranged for Thursday, 18th September.   The visit from Hunts DC Environmental Health resulted in minor works being needed and not a major refit as had been expected.


RJ asked what was going to be done in response to the energy saving report received as the hall is below average for energy performance.   He felt that a number of the recommendations could be put in place at a relatively small cost.   MY said this would be discussed at the meeting next week and possibly a working group could be formed to look into the matter further.                                                                                                                         Action: MY


Playing Field Committee

A report from JB was circulated prior to the meeting.   The redecorating was completed and it was felt that the Pavilion looked much better.   The cost was £1,200.00 and the Parish Council agreed to contribute £700.00 towards this.   A new cleaner had been appointed.

Discussion followed relating to the new lease for Piglets. HD wished to reassure Piglets that the Parish Council would be flexible when discussing the new lease and are pleased to support the group.


Neighbourhood Watch

FB reported that another deputy had been recruited and it had been agreed that, although there were still vacancies, there were enough volunteers to cover anyone on holiday.


Speed Watch will be discussed at the next NHW meeting.



  1. Parish Matters

RJ raised the point that the Parish Council no longer owns equipment used by the Clerk and recommended that a laptop and printer be purchased and that a specific email address be used solely for Parish Council purposes.   HD proposed the purchases, seconded by RJ and carried with one dissention.                                                        Action: RJ


RJ mentioned that Life magazine is still trying to recruit a new Editor.


RJ said that a number of trees have fallen in the River Kym.   He expressed concern that if there was a heavy rain fall the trees could block the flow of the river and cause flooding.   This has been reported to the Environment Agency.   Clerk to follow up.                                                                                                                                Action: DP


FB said the triathlon which was due to take place on Sunday, 14th September has been moved to St Neots.


HD informed the meeting that he has been contacted by Anglian Water as they are going to connect Dillington to the mains sewerage system in 2015.



  1. Date of meetings for 2014

Final meeting for 2014 – 6th November.


HD thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed at 9.10pm.


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