Minutes of the Great Staughton Parish Council – 17 March 2011

Minutes of Great Staughton Parish Council

17 March 2011 in the village hall

Present:

H Duberly (HD) (Chair)              J Bowen (JB)                                J Hitchin (JH)

W Mumford (WM)                        A Withers (AW)                           P Willmer (PW)

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

Also in attendance:   

Frank Backhouse (FB)                   Dave Giddings (DG)

Cambridgeshire County Councillor P Downes (PD)

District Councillor J Gray (JG)

1.   Apologies:                           R Benford (RB),  S Clarke (SC),  G Gilbert (GG),  R Jewell (RJ)

As the District Councillor and the County Councillor wished to attend another meeting they were invited to open the meeting.

PD gave a brief overview of the proposed County Council savings.   This will mean a reduced level of services to the public.   Areas affected will include maintenance of roads and youth services.   The ‘Your Cambridgeshire’ magazine will no longer be distributed.   However, it will continue on the website www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk. There is detailed information in the current issue about the cuts.

Councillor Downes was asked about cuts that will affect Great Staughton.   He mentioned reduced bus services and that older people will be affected.    Salaries are negotiated within a national scheme and some salaries have been frozen.   Councillors’ allowances have been frozen by the County Council and reduced by 10% by the District Council.   Staff reductions would mostly be through voluntary redundancy.   Parishioners can access information about the County Council on Councillor Downes website at http://www.peterdownes.mycouncillor.org.uk.

The District Council have not increased council tax for 2011/12.   There will be a bus service provided by Nene & Ouse Community transport and this will offer services to Huntingdon, Peterborough, Cambridge, Cambourne and St Neots.   45 staff at the District Council are taking early retirement.   AW asked whether the staff savings had been calculated and JG said that the entire redundancy package was thought to be £1.8 million.   HD asked what the impact would be on services in Great Staughton such as refuse collection.   Proposals are being considered as to whether other items could be collected so that Parishes continue to receive some funding in place of the money received via the bottle banks.   Textile banks could be an option.    PD & JG left the meeting at 7.50pm.

 a)      Residents’ Forum

            No one present

b)      Village Plan

A Draft Final Report & Action Plan had been circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting and Frank Backhouse and Dave Giddings were present to discuss this in further detail.

The Village Plan committee will recommend that a Community Association be formed to take over and implement action points from the summary that has come out of the questionnaire.   Some items were highlighted at the meeting such as the concern about parking within the village, suggestions that any new development should have space for 2 cars to park off the road and traffic calming.   It was felt that some of the ideas needed further consideration but some things could be done immediately.   There were some really good ideas in the plan although money may be an issue.  Discussion followed regarding a second play area near Beachampstead and Manor Close.   It could be a problem for Piglets if the equipment for the younger children was further away.    It was noted that the Parish Council had limited powers to influence planning and could only make recommendations to Huntingdonshire District Council.   The need for social housing within the village will require further research.

The Village Plan will be presented at the Parish Assembly.   HD thanked FB and DG and their team for the work put into the report and he also thanked MY and AW for representing the Parish Council at the village plan meetings.

2.   Minutes of the meeting held on 13th January 2011 were agreed as a true record and duly signed.

3.   Matters Arising

3)  Land Registry paperwork is being processed.
Action: HD/DP

3)  Anglian Water marker posts have now been removed.

11)  AW and WM said that support for the litter pick had been good, both before and on the day, and they would like to extend their thanks to everyone who helped.

12)  With regard to the suggestion at the last meeting that a floodlit area be provided on the playing field, JB thought that the playing field was out of bounds after dark.

4.   Attendance at other meetings

MY and RB attended the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Association of Local Councils AGM on 16th February.   RB was elected to the Highways Committee.

WM has joined the Cambridgeshire Countryside Watch Management Committee which meets 4 times a year to discuss rural policing.   The police have requested that every criminal activity or suspicious incident be reported to the police incident room on 0345 456 4564.

5.   Planning

Planning Applications from 13th  January

Ref No Address Changes
1100043FUL The Vicarage The Causeway Objections Erection of new vicarage
1100145FUL Birdsfield House The Town OK Provision of tennis court
1100165FUL 24 The Highway OK Change of use from shop to dwelling
1100060FUL 10 The Highway Objections Erection of detached dwelling following
demolition of commercial building
1100061FUL 10 The Highway Objections Erection of pair of semi-detached dwellings
following demolition of commercial building
1100308FUL Garden Farm The Town OK Change of use for agricultural storage
& new access to highway & Garden cottage

10.   Post Office

Post Office Ltd has confirmed that they will trial a ‘Post Office local’ service for 12 months at Blades Motorcycles and this will come into effect during the next few weeks.

11.   Parish Matters

Dog fouling seems to be prevalent at present.   There has not been anyone emptying the dog waste bin for some time and this was adding to the problem.   It was proposed by PW that the waste bin be removed.  Seconded by JB, carried unanimously.

The Chestnut trees in Beachampstead/Moory Croft Close appear to be dying.  AW to contact the Tree Warden.                      Action: AW

The Village Hall committee has applied to Huntingdonshire District Council for a grant to repair the floor in the main hall.  MY asked whether the Parish Council would be willing to support this work with a grant.   It was agreed to await quotations.
Action: MY

13.   Date of next meeting:

Parish Assembly 28th April, 2011

AGM 12th May, 2011.

HD thanked everyone for attending and for their support during the last year.   The meeting closed at 9.15pm.

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