Minutes of the Great Staughton Parish Council – 15 September 2011

Minutes of the Great Staughton Parish Council – 15 September 2011

Held at the Snooty Tavern


H Duberly (HD) (Chair)                 J Bowen (JB)                               G Gilbert (GG)

J Hitchin (JH)                               R Jewell (RJ)                                W Mumfod (WM)

P Willmer (PW)                            A Withers (AW)                            M Young (MY)

D Palmer (DP) (Clerk)

Also in attendance:

District Councillor Jonathan Gray (JG)

County Councillor Peter Downes (PD)

a)    Residents’ Forum

No one present

1.   Apologies:  


2.   Minutes of Meeting held on 7th July 2011 were agreed as a true record and signed.

HD welcomed both Councillors to the meeting and invited PD to present his report as he had another meeting to attend.   Cambridgeshire County Council’s budget is decreasing and Parish Councils can now undertake highway works by submitting ideas to the County Council Officers.   PD recommended that if there are improvements that the Parish Council wish to implement the proposals should be submitted to the Officer for approval and costings.   The Parish Council would need to display legal notices, which can be expensive, and find funding for the work but this does not have to be done through the County Council.   Discussed further under item 6.

There is now a new Leader of the County Council.   There is funding available for better Broadband access for all parishes and PD had received a note from the Officer in charge of this which he passed to the meeting for contact details and information.   Discussed further under item 10.

WM asked whether any further information was available about componentising property.   PD said that a valuation will be carried out of all public assets in the county.   HD mentioned that there are new accounting regulations relating to depreciation.

3.   Matters Arising.

1)         PCSO Carol Corn contacted JH regarding the Dillington theft.

3)         Land Registry paperwork for the Village Hall to be carried forward. Action: HD/RJ/DP

3)         Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge application has been submitted and JB is waiting for a visit from the representative. Action: JB

3)         East Anglia Children’s Hospice bottle collection carried forward. Action: PW

3)         Post Office/Blades – a letter had been received stating it will be opening on 7th October.

9)         A meeting was held with the farmer and he has agreed to remove the damaged wire fence.

9)         Blades planning situation.  HD declared an interest, discussed at the end of the meeting.

4.   Attendance at other meetings

JB met with the new Headmistress,  Claire Matthews (CM), and established that she is hugely supportive of the work to be done in the playing fields.   The school children will be canvassed to determine what they would like to have on the playing field in order to meet the funding criteria.    CM has agreed to become a Trustee on the Playing Field Committee.   JB is also looking at an all-weather surface and would need to prove usage in order to be suitable for a specific fund.   CM said that the primary school would use this facility every afternoon.

5.   Planning Applications from 7th July

1101058FUL – 56 Beachampstead Rd – Hut in garden – approved

1100929FUL – 10 The Highway – Erection of single detached dwelling – approved

1101230S73 – 4 dwellings/O’Dell’s garage site – Removal of conditions 8 & 9 – objections

1101306FUL – 92 Little Staughton Airfield – change of use and refurbishment – approved

1101307LBC – 92 Little Staughton Airfield – Listed building refurbishment – approved

RJ declared an interest in no 10 The Highway property and did not take part in the planning process or discussion.

JG mentioned he had been contacted by parishioners in relation to O’Dell’s garage site and he had registered the concerns with the Planning Department.   The Planning Officer is away at present so a decision has not been made.    Those present felt that the conditions upon which planning was granted need to be met.   These were that a provision was made for affordable housing and that a contribution of approximately £10,000 would be made towards education.   It was understood that these types of conditions are normal when negotiating with developers.   HD confirmed with JG that the new planning rules were not yet in operation.   RJ made a formal proposal that Hunts District Council be asked to refute this removal of conditions and this was carried unanimously.   AW pointed out that one of the action points in the Village Plan was for affordable housing.

JG said that the wind farm at Bicton is still under review and should be heard by the Planning Department in December 2011 after a site visit.   The result of this could have an effect on other proposals in the area such as Perry and Woolly Hill.

6.   Highways

The Clerk reported the items in the July minutes to the Highway department via the Hunts DC website and was informed that appropriate action had been taken.

Highways improvements to be submitted to Cambs County Council were discussed and the following were proposed:

  1. a reduced speed limit in the school area
  2. moving the interactive 30 mph sign from its current position to the approach to the village
  3. extending the 30mph limit on Perry Road further out of the village
  4. installing a zebra crossing where the school crossing patrol operates
  5. making Dillington Road through to Cage Lane ‘restricted access’ or ‘access only’
  6. installing a roundabout where The Green meets the B645

Action: HD/DP

WM mentioned that street lights no 3 and no 12 were not working.

Councillors have been informed that some hedges in the village are obstructing the footpath. A request to be placed in Life magazine. Action: DP

The lamp posts at 41 and 51 The Green are damaged. Inform electricity board. Action: DP

John Cooper of Cambridgeshire County Council, has updated RJ on the changes to footpaths within the parish.   The bridge near the moat by Sir Adam de Creting’s mound is going to be replaced.   The water authority have accepted responsibility for water on footpath in Perry and will deal with the problem.   The decision to divert the footpath near Poppletons will be implemented shortly.   The footpath on the crest of the Moor needs a slight alignment and John Cooper is going to talk to the land owner.   JH complimented the local farmers for keeping the footpaths in good order.

7.   Correspondence

Recommendations have been received from the Tree Wardens, Norman Hardy and Hugh Stewart.  HD will discuss with Norman Hardy. Action: HD

A request from St Neots Museum for a donation of £50 was agreed.                       Action: DP

A request from Victim Support or a donation was not felt to be suitable.                  Action: DP

An offer for a recycling bin for books and media items was discussed and placed on hold at present. Action: DP

8.  Cheques in and out


HMRC vat repayment      £245.33


E-on                              £400.63

Hunts DC                       £760.85

P Round                         £117.60

Village Handyman           £280.47

Moore Stephens              £205.20

Clerk                             £289.26

Petty cash                        £23.25

P Round                         £277.20

Total                            £2,35446

Bank balance               £6,156.66

The payments were unanimously agreed.

A letter had been received from the external auditors, Moore Stephens approving the Annual Accounts and reiterating their earlier request that the Parish Councillors maintain an adequate and effective system of auditing the council accounting records and control systems.   A copy of the reconciled cashbook for the year to date was circulated and approved at the meeting.

It was agreed that RJ, the Financial Officer, would conduct regular assessments of the accounting system.                                                                                                                Action: RJ/DP

9.   Village Plan

Cambridgeshire Acre asked for villagers to participate in a short film confirming their support for the village plan and to be shown at their AGM later in the month.   MY asked whether another Councillor could attend the Cambs Acre AGM as he has work commitments.   AW to check.   HD will be attending.

AW said that the Steering Group for the village plan will be holding their final meeting and transferring any funds.   The Parish Council will hold the funds.

10.   Parish Matters

MY has been informed of a problem where a resident regularly runs speedboat engines for long periods causing a noise nuisance.   HD suggested that the villager should contact the District Council.

AW drew attention to the recent e-mail regarding the funding being withdrawn for bus services and asked whether this could affect the service in Great Staughton?                              Action: AW

GG has received a complaint regarding a horse being exercised through Beachampstead Road and leaving deposits.

RJ mentioned problems occurring again with raw sewage leaking from the pumping station into the River Kym.   It was agreed that the Parish Council would write a formal letter asking for reassurance that the problem has been resolved and expressing concern about the 2 incidents.   Also the telemetry did not pick up the failure.  Action: DP

GG asked about the broadband and making representation to the County Council to upgrade the connection and refer to the Village Plan.  Action: HD/DP

13.   Date of next meeting:  Changed to 10th November 2011.

HD left the meeting at 8.45pm

JG mentioned that David Monks has now left Hunts District Council and further senior staff reductions had taken place.   JG’s role has now changed within the Council to a financial position.   It is anticipated that there will be a proposal from Central Government that Local authorities will be responsible for setting the business rates for their area and for setting benefits.   This could lead to a discrepancy between local areas.

JG said that it was good news that a date has been set for the official opening of the post office in the village at Blades.   However, the application for planning permission has still not been received.   It was asked to be placed on record that the Parish Councillors are in support of the venture but proper planning permission must be in place to avoid placing the project in jeopardy.    The Councillors would like Hunts DC to go forward to ensure that planning regulations are in place.  Action: DP

The meeting closed at 9.00pm.


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