Minutes of the Great Staughton Annual Parish Assembly – 28 April 2011

Minutes of the Great Staughton Annual Parish Assembly

April 2011  – Great Staughton Village Hall

Present:   Councillors – Hugh Duberly (Chairman), Roy Benford, Janet Bowen, Simon Clarke, John Hitchin, Bob Jewell, Will Mumford, Peter Willmer, Anthony Withers, Mervyn Young, Dianne Palmer (Clerk)

Parishioners:   Frank Backhouse, Mysia Benford, Pat Backhouse, Janet Perrett, David Giddings, Helen Glanville, Olive Hynes, Paddy Hynes, Hugh Stewart, Norman Hardy, David Palmer, Hazel Bell, Eileen Gilbert, Jean Philpott, Bob Eaton, Rob Young, George Emeleus, Rev Judi Clarke, Dennis Clarke, Justin Waldock, Vicky Goldsmith, Dr David Roberts,

Also Present:   Peter Downes (County Councillor), Jonathan Gray (District Councillor), PCSO Carol Corn

1.   Apologies: Geoff Gilbert, Liz Wetzel, Jenny O’Dell, Valerie Downs

Chairman’s Address: The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and mentioned items of special interest since the last Annual Parish Assembly:

  • a new village Post Office will be opened soon at Blades and villagers were asked to give their support.
  • thanks were given to all those who gave their time to the village plan.
  • maintenance work had been completed on the village hall.
  • thanks to the village handyman for maintaining the verges and grassy areas to such a high standard.
  • the litter pick had once again been well supported and excellent work achieved to keep the village looking tidy, special thanks to Will Mumford, Anthony Withers and their team of volunteers.

2.   Minutes of the last Parish Assembly Held on 22nd April 2010 were agreed as a true record and signed.

3.   Matters Arising – none

4.   Parish Accounts

Playing Field – Bob Jewell presented the accounts mentioning that there was a significant reduction in the invoice from Anglian Water.   During the year a surplus of £247.42 had been made and the bank balance was £563.37.  The accounts were approved.

Parish Charities – Eileen Gilbert said there were 2 parcels of agricultural land and 2 fields that provided income for the Parish Charities.   A bank balance of £3,981.57 was carried forward at the end of the year.  The Trustees meet twice a year and supported children’s activities in the village.   Applications for grants were invited.   The accounts were approved.

Village Hall – Helen Glanville presented the audited accounts for 2010 which were approved by the meeting.  At present the village hall is struggling as expenditure is greater than income leading to a loss of £1,247.   A balance is held in the bank, but more bookings are needed.   Bob Jewell has now resigned as chair of the village hall after many years service and Mervyn Young has taken on the role.   A question was raised as to whether the Noise Limiter had an impact on bookings.   This had to be installed following a complaint and enforcement notice.   Helen Glanville thanked the Parish Council for their grant towards new drains.

Life Magazine – Helen Glanville presented the audited accounts for 2010 which were approved by the meeting.  A loss of £531 was made for the year and the balanceof £5,443 was carried forward.   Advertising has been lost and people were asked to use Life to advertise.

5.   Village Plan

David Giddings and Frank Backhouse gave a comprehensive report on the progress of the village plan and action points all of which can be accessed via the village website http://www.greatstaughton-pc.gov.uk.   It was hoped that the Parish Council would adopt the proposals.   Thanks were expressed to all of the volunteers who helped with the questionnaire and the steering group who pulled together the results.   To date no financial help had been needed from the Parish Council as support had been received from Cambridgeshire ACRE, Rural Action, The Snooty Tavern, Geoff Gilbert and Blades.   A further grant had now been received from Luminus and consultancy support had just been offered through Trailblazer.

A Parish Association will be formed to implement the plan.   The main proposals are:

A youth shelter – a covered area where youngsters can sit and talk.

A suitable place for a youth club in the pavilion

Adults wanted more village activities

Better use of existing facilities eg the village hall

A feasibility exercise to determine whether a new village hall is needed which could incorporate a health centre

Possibility of fibre optic supply for the village

Questions were invited and it was suggested that another survey would be required that was not anonymous in order to identify those willing to volunteer and also what specific needs would be in some areas.   Eileen Gilbert asked where the money would come from to support the work needed and David Giddings thought it would be mostly grants.   The Trailblazer support that had just been awarded through ACRE could help identify routes to fundraising.   The Chairman thanked the team and their volunteers for their outstanding work.

6.   CORRESPONDENCE – no correspondence

7.   Reports from County & District Councillors & the Police

PCSO Carol Corn circulated a report which demonstrated that crimes in the parish were down from 28 reported in 2009-10 to 19 reported in 2010-11.   PC Martin Drury is no longer responsible for rural villages such as Great Staughton and now there are 4 Neighbourhood Policing Constables that cover the four areas but without personal responsibility for a specific area.   The PCSO’s will maintain community contact.   It was felt that more criminal activity took place than was actually included in the reports presented to the Parish Council.   Carol Corn requested that all criminal acts be reported.   The Chairman thanked Carol Corn for attending the meeting.

Peter Downes circulated a report on the impact of the Localism Bill although, at present, he could not give details of specific cuts and the impact it would have.   He felt that the key issues would be a shortage of funds, turbulence in education and health and uncertainty with the implementation of ‘Localism’ and the ‘Big Society’.   The Localism bill will give councils the right to run local services and could utilise volunteer groups.   Further information can be found on the website http://www.peterdownes.mycouncillor.org.uk.

Jonathan Gray circulated a report and mentioned specifically planning policy including national planning policy, regional planning policy and district council policy.   There will be more opportunity for Parish Councils to have a say in neighbourhood plans, this is to enable development to take place.   Planning would still have to comply with national planning policy.

The Chairman thanked both Councillors for their really useful input.

8.   Reports from Clubs & Associations in the Parish

St Andrew’s Church -Rev Judi Clarke said the Church community is doing very well although more help would be useful with the children’s activities.   The Church building is in good condition and is used for community events.  A planning application has been submitted for a new rectory as the current one is not ideal for the purpose.   Rev Clarke said she is always willing to visit and help villagers but may need to be informed when a need arises.

Gt Staughton Surgery – Doctor Roberts said that GP services had improved with different options to access services now in place.    The surgery will host a register of volunteers willing to help carers.   Costs were being analysed and ways to save money, in particular in relation to hospital visits and working more efficiently.

Life Magazine – Rob Young reported that the cost of printing is increasing so the editors are trying to keep the magazine to 44 pages per month.   Ideas on how to compress some pages came from the community awards evening.

Horticultural Society – Bob Eaton said the society is celebrating its’ 46th year.   They continue to provide horticultural events for the community such as the plant sale and annual horticultural show.   The society also contributes support to the school garden and plants daffodils in the village.

Highwayman Social Car Service – George Emeleus said that the service continues to be well used.   Drivers receive 40p per mile petrol allowance.   More drivers are needed.  Please contact 07786 520540 between 1600 and 1900 hours to use the service or to volunteer.

School – Hazel Bell of the school governors reported that the head, Mrs Claire Matthews, was now in her third term at the school.   Improvements include a new library and a new outside covered play area for the foundation children.   Links with the village community continue with events such as the Gala day.

West Hunts Friendship Club – Olive Hynes reported that they are full at present and do not have any vacancies for new members.   Volunteers were thanked for their time, help and donations to the club.

Tennis Club – Justin Waldock would like to see some new members joining the club and in particular some younger members.   The club recently came second in the Cambridgeshire Tennis League.   Information can be obtained from their website, www.greatstaughtontennisclub.com .   Resurfacing will need to be done within the next few years.

Patients Participation Group – Pat Backhouse said the group looks after the interest of the patients and hold social fundraising events to help provide equipment for the surgery.   More volunteers would be welcome.

Cricket Club – Bob Jewell mentioned that the club has matches organised throughout the summer and that they would like to attract some new members.

The Chairman thanked everyone for their input.

9.   Parish Matters

Anthony Withers thought the new bus service, Nene & Ouse Community Transport, for those without transport was going well.   The company offers a wide service and will collect from home.    More information is available from www.neneouse.co.uk.

Mervyn Young reminded the meeting of the village website at http://www.greatstaughton-pc.gov.uk   and said it was available for everyone to advertise village activities.

Hugh Duberly thanked everyone for their attendance and participation.

The meeting closed at 9.35pm.

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