Stapleford Parish Council minutes

These are the minutes of the most recent Stapleford Parish Council meeting

To access the archive of the minutes of other meetings of Stapleford Parish Council, click here


Minutes of the Meeting of Stapleford Parish Council

held at Jubilee Pavilion on 13 June 2018 at 7.30 pm

Present:            Councillors Sayer (Chair), Kettel, Nightingale, Pepperell

                         Anne Rudge – Clerk & RFO

                                   

In attendance: District Councillors Fane

Ms M Fyfe

Mr & Mrs James

Mr J King

Mr E Rose

Mr A Garden

                         .

20.2018           Apologies

Councillor Pett

District Councillor N Sample

 

21.2018           Declarations of Interest

None

 

22.2018           The minutes of the meeting held on 17 May were approved and signed.

 

23.2018           Matters arising from the minutes of meetings held on 11 April and 17 May 2018 (only new information to be considered)

a. Comments received from resident re minutes – It was noted that a representative from the Tennis Club had provided feedback on the minutes of the April meeting.

b. Co-option – update on applicants – 7 residents have expressed an interest in being co-opted onto the Council.  The Chair provided details of a letter to be sent to all applicants which includes a request for a short précis of their life and interests and what they believe they can bring to the Council.  Following receipt of this information a vote will be taken at the July meeting. All and any conflicts of interest will be addressed accordingly in the voting.

c. Dernford Quarry – the Chair informed the meeting of a document submitted by Councillor Pett to be considered as the Council’s response to the latest application S/1699/18/FL. The main points are:

·         The original highway junction is exceptionally dangerous.

·         Contrast this with the excellent visibility at the temporary concrete entrance/exit.

·         The posts at the Cottage were recently demolished by a traffic accident and the narrowness of the path at this point prevents two cyclists passing

·         There has been an increase in traffic movements including to and from the farm due to the workers’ hostel and campsite.

·         There will be more movements once the reservoir is completed.

·         To seek a site visit

·         Finally the benefits of retaining this access will far out-weigh the loss of a few square metres of green belt and allow for the safety of all to be secured

                    

The Chair invited District Councillor Fane to comment.  He reported that the GCP had released funds for a programme of ‘Quick Wins’ and a decision will be made shortly on whether funds will be made available to widen and re-surface the footpath from Stapleford to Sawston. 

Councillor Kettel commented that cyclists would have to use the bridge during the re-surfacing work and she asked DC Fane about reducing the speed limit over the bridge and other interim safety arrangements that could be put in place during this work.

 

Councillors agreed to send the above comments to Planning.

 

 

24.2018           The meeting was called off at 7.45 pm to take matters of public interest

Ms M Fyfe asked why the e-mail she sent regarding the minutes had not been actioned.  The Chair stated that only Councillors are able to change minutes and they are not a verbatim record of meetings. The Chair stated that to satisfy the auditors the minute could have been reduced to state only what action was to be taken. The two points Ms Fyfe mentioned; that the quotation she had received did not include the pressure washing and that she had highlighted the need for assistance with the running of open sessions were noted.

With regard to the latter Ms Fyfe informed Councillors that the courts are now open on Tuesday afternoons for juniors. 

Councillor Sayer suggested that the situation with the Council and the Tennis Club had reached an impasse; the Council wanting more public access and Tennis Club requiring a longer lease before investing any money.  Ms Fyfe said that more public sessions would require someone to lock and unlock the courts; some villages have removed the locks altogether to allow access at any time.  Tennis Club members would have to agree before this type of access could be implemented.

It was suggested that open access with Club members taking absolute precedence be taken to the Tennis Club members and Ms Fyfe to come back with an update.

Councillor Sayer asked Ms Fyfe if she would prepare a one-page document of bullet points capturing all the issues to include how to facilitate increased public access balanced with protection for Club members to put before the July meeting.  Ms Fyfe agreed.

Councillor Kettel sought clarification regarding the Tennis Club’s position on providing any funding.  Ms Fyfe said that this would only be considered if they had a longer lease. The current lease expires in July 2019.

Councillor Pepperell suggested Councillors may be happy to agree a longer lease with a break clause after 5 years for review. Increased public access was a shared goal and it was agreed that the focus should be on collaboration to achieve this to provide more positive outcomes for both tennis club members and the public.

 

Mr Ed Rose from Stapleford Messenger wanted to clarify the situation relating to the publication of Parish Council information in the Messenger.  He stated that he is more than happy to publish items received before the set deadline.  If the Parish Council meeting is after the deadline space will not be reserved.  Instead the Messenger will refer readers to the website.  Councillor Sayer stated that she is disappointed that there is not always Parish Council information in the Parish magazine as this is some people’s only route to the information but noted the Messenger’s position.

 

Mr Rose also stated that the Stapleford website was not user friendly and some information is out of date.  This feedback was taken on board and it was noted that the website is currently being updated.

 

Mr Simon James of 12 Church Street presented his objections to the planning application for a two storey house in the garden of 14 Church Street (S/2104/18/FL which appears later on the agenda).  Mr James stated that they will be directly affected by the building; that it will be overbearing.  There will be a loss of trees and the height of the velux would allow a direct view into their house.  The plans are also inaccurate and their conservatory is not shown.

 

Mr John King spoke in respect of the new warden service.  A public meeting was held on 22 May.  He considers there is a need and asked for financial support from the Parish Council.  Four residents have already expressed an interest.  Parish Council requested and obtained data from Mr King as to what level of usage would be needed to make the scheme viable as it noted the wind up of the previous scheme in the last couple of years.

 

25.2018           To receive reports from County Councillors and District Councillors

No County Councillors present. 

DC Fane stated that he appreciated the input and guidance he had received from outgoing District Councillor Nightingale.  He presented his report shown here:

 

Combined Authority

The political landscape in Cambridgeshire is getting more complex. As well as the County Council (responsible for education, health and social care) and the District Councils (responsible for planning, housing and waste management) we have the Greater Cambridge Partnership (formerly The City Deal) attempting to deliver transport improvements in South Cambs/Cambridge and now the Combined Authority and the Mayor doing transport, housing and skills throughout the whole county and Peterborough. There are inevitably significant overlaps and differences of view which lead to delays and confusion.

 

The Mayor has recently taken over responsibility for the Local Enterprise Partnership which was responsible for the Economic Development Strategy for the whole of Cambridgeshire. He has now put a pause on the plans of the GCP to build some new park and rides and Busways along some corridors including the A1307. The Local Liaison Forum last week was able to discuss phase 1 proposals but not the three strategies on which they recently consulted parishes and others.

 

It is becoming clear that the Mayor and the CA would like to subsume the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) much as they did the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). At the most recent meeting, CA laid out its 4 year plan which encompasses several ambitious transport schemes (including the CAM metro and an extension of the M11 northwards to Wisbech). However, with five levels of government in the county and Peterborough it’s clear that some reform is needed.

 

Parklife 2018

South Cambs DC will be supporting Parklife 2018 at Milton Country Park between 10am and 5pm on July 1st. There will be a host of water based activities as well as cycling, football, archery, den building and climbing. Full details and advance bookings can be found at www.scambs.uk/parklife

 

South Cambs DC News

One of the Lib Dem group’s first actions upon taking control of SCDC has been to establish two new committees and one new working group. The Climate and Environment Committee will be looking at all the ways in which the Council can positively influence matters both in its own and its partners’ operations to reduce damage to the climate and improve our environment.

 

The new Grants Committee is reviewing all the grants currently administered by the Council to make sure that they are providing maximum benefit where it is most needed. Money is very short these days and so no council can be as generous as it was 10 years ago. We are spending your money and so need to be able to be confident that we are spending it well and to best effect.

 

The Brexit Working Group is investigating ways in which the Council can help businesses in and around S Cambs to cope with any anticipated or actual consequences of Brexit. One issue is the reliance of the health service and care sectors on workers from other EU countries. This covers all professions from our top consultants to the physios, emergency responders, nurses and cleaners.

 

Housing Land Supply

South Cambridgeshire District Council has not been able to demonstrate that it had a rolling five year land supply for housebuilding. As a result, any policies that sought to restrict residential development were suspended and in particular our village frameworks. We accept we need houses and quickly, but the development must be planned and delivered properly making sure provision is made for GPs, schools, roads, and infrastructure.

 

As of the 21st May SCDC can now demonstrate a five year housing land supply of 5.0 years for the period 2018-2023 using the stricter calculation required by Government (the Sedgefield method) and applying a 20% buffer. The Local Plan Inspector still has not released her final report, and indeed the Local Inquiry may shortly overtake Sellafield as the longest ever held. We are still not able to give a date for the new Local Plans to come into force.

 

Councillor Pepperell asked if DC Fane could investigate the sweeping of Vicarage Lane which the District Council used to carry out monthly.  DC Fane agreed to look into it.

 

The meeting was called back on to consider planning matters.

 

26.2018           Planning

S/1985/18/FL 67 Gog Magog Way Pitched roof to rear extension (replacing existing flat roof) for Mr D Trigg. Councillors recommended approval

S/2104/18/OL Outline Planning for Construction of single dwelling with associated access and parking at 14 Church Street for Mr & Mrs Tait

Councillor Sayer acknowledged the objections made by Mr & Mrs James during the Public Interest session and it was pointed out that a precedent had been set on the other side of the Community building.

Councillor Kettel had visited the site and commented that the height of the roof would be oppressive for the neighbours and the building is too close to their garden which would be unpleasant. Councillor Pepperell said that perhaps a bungalow would be more appropriate if neighbours were happy to accept it.  He also commented that access to the new property is contentious and over SCDC property and could be costly to resolve/formalise.

Following discussion Councillors recommended refusal based on overdevelopment and the building being overbearing on the neighbours. The unsatisfactory access issue was also noted as unless it is dealt with now it would only lead to problems in the futureThe Clerk was also asked to comment that the plans are incorrect and the statutory notice has not been displayed. In addition a request for a site visit should be made and for the plan to go to Committee.  Mention of the concerns over access should also be mentioned.

DC Fane said that he would look at the development.

Tree Application

S/2031/18/TP 9 Collier Way T26 Crown reduce by 2-3m back to previous pruning points T27 Remove to just above ground level, replacing with a tree species more suitable to the limited site and proximity to the house. This to be agreed at a later date as required.

Councillors recommended approval however asked that a replacement tree is agreed and planted within 6 months and the Council to be informed.

                     No Planning Decisions to report.

                    

                     Councillors unanimously agreed to bring forward item 34

 

34.2018           Village Matters

a. Hedges including complaint re hedge on Gog Magog Way – It was reported that the offending hedge on Gog Magog Way has been dealt with satisfactorily.

Councillor Pepperell raised the issue of the hedge at 19 Church opposite Basil’s Piece.  The hedge has not been cut back leading to poor visibility for vehicles when exiting the property. The resident has put a mirror on the tree on Basil’s Piece which is Parish Council property.  No permission has been sought. Councillor Nightingale said that if there were an accident the Parish Council could be culpable as no guidance had been sought.

Councillors agreed that a letter should be sent to the resident giving them 7 days to remove the mirror from the tree and pointing out that the visibility splay could be improved by cutting back their hedge.  Mention should also be made that the Parish Council is happy to work with County Council Highways team to get advice on appropriate measures to improve their access.  Councillor Kettel commented that the sun’s reflection on the mirror could be dangerous.  Councillors asked that a professional view on this and the potential damage to the tree be sought.

Councillor Pepperell stated that he felt the village was not looking good at the moment and suggested the Council considers the grass-cutting regime. Following discussion Councillors unanimously agreed to increase the spending on grass cutting and ask the contractors to increase the number of cuts to once per fortnight.

b. Warden Scheme – Report from meeting 21 May – Councillor Pepperell reported on this meeting which was attended by 21 members of the public and was presented by AgeUK.  Four people expressed interest in the service.  To provide a warden service overseen by AgeUK would cost £11K per annum; £3K to be received from the weekly charge of £6 per participant.  Grants are available from other organisations for the remaining £8K. If the Parish Council agrees to provide financial support the scheme can be advertised to encourage uptake. 

Councillor Sayer expressed concern as the previous scheme was wound up because of lack of take-up.

Mr King confirmed it would need 12 people to get it going and said if they did not attract this number the scheme would not be viable.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Pepperell and seconded by Councillor Nightingale and unanimously agreed that the Parish Council would provide £4K per year to a Stapleford Warden Scheme for a minimum of 3 years subject to a circular being sent and a minimum acceptance rate of 12 people.

 

Councillors unanimously agreed to bring forward item 32

        

32.2018           Pavilion and Recreation Ground

a. Consideration of quotation for hearing loop and pa system for the Pavilion – Councillors asked for two more quotes.to be brought to the next meeting.

Councillors asked what was happening regarding broadband in the Pavilion. The Clerk explained that there is no phone line into the building and BT cannot provide a cost for doing it.  The Clerk is tasked with obtaining a ‘ball park’ figure from BT.

b. Feedback from user – Councillor Pepperell expressed disappointment that this class which provided a service to people in the village has been lost.  He said that this must have seriously reduced income for the PC and expressed the view that increases to rates need to be put before the Council before users are informed.  While he agrees that there has to be a difference in rates between commercial and non-commercial users he did not think this was a commercial user.

It was agreed that the Clerk should send a reply to the user informing them that their feedback had been discussed and in the light of their comments the Council is reviewing its contract arrangements and maintenance of the pavilion. The Clerk will make this an agenda item for the July meeting.

c. User meeting update – Councillors agreed that 3 dates should be selected and sent out to users for them to respond and the most popular selected for a meeting.  

Councillor Sayer suggested that once the Council is at full strength with nine members, a Pavilion User Group is set up to improve communication with users, contribute to the Council’s decision-making in relation to the Pavilion and grounds and agree a certain amount of pre-authorised business expenditure e.g. routine purchasing of toilet rolls and detergents does not need to come to the Parish Council’s attention and minor issues could be dealt with by the sub-group.

Tennis Club - Further to the discussion in the public forum Councillor Sayer confirmed that the Tennis Club should provide a summary of the issues affecting the Club to put before Councillors at the July meeting.

 

26.2018           Annual Governance & Accountability Return (AGAR) 2017-18

Councillors unanimously agreed to this submission and the document was duly signed by Councillor Sayer as Chair and the Clerk/RFO.

                    

27.2018           AGAR – Approval of Accounting Statements

       Councillors unanimously agreed the Accounting Statements and the document was duly signed by Councillor Sayer as Chair and the Clerk/RFO.

 

28.2018           Internal Audit Report

The Internal Audit highlighted the fact the staff have not been offered pensions in line with the legislation.  The Clerk will bring information to the July meeting.

 

29.2018           Review Financial Regulations/Standing Orders and other Council policies

Deferred to the July meeting.

 

30.2018           Neighbourhood Plan Grant

         Councillor Kettel presented a report as follows:

 

At the meeting held on 12th June 2018 it was reported that the Stapleford and Great Shelford Neighbourhood Plan has been awarded a grant from Locality towards the costs of a Landscape Character Assessment of the land within the NP area. This will identify issues such as significant views within the parishes and across open spaces and areas that could benefit from landscape enhancement. It will NOT identify sites for development although it would be expected to point to areas in the green belt where development might be actively discouraged.  Monies from the grant have to be accepted in the Stapleford Parish Council accounts to ensure that VAT is not paid on the grants.

 

In addition to this grant the NP group have been offered technical assistance from AECOM. This is a free service and will help towards updating the Village Design Plan that was undertaken in Great Shelford in 2004 and extending this to cover Stapleford. This support is only available to the NP process and not available to Parish Councils. The Clerk to receive copy of the old village design statement to feed into the process.

 

The Neighbourhood Plan group are expecting to obtain more residents views during the Stapleford Village Weekend and the Shelford Feast as public consultation must be the foundation of the NP considerations.

 

31.2018           Village Weekend preparation

Councillors stated that the information on the website is incomplete.  The Clerk will investigate urgently so the full programme and timings are displayed.

 

33.2018           Cemetery

Councillors discussed recent incidents at the cemetery; anti-social behaviour involving youths on mopeds and drug use.  With regard to the moped users, registration numbers have not been noted although it has been reported to the police. Parishioners should be encouraged in a notice at the Cemetery and on the website to note registration numbers. Councillors discussed at length whether to lock the entrance gate on Mingle Lane and other measures eventually agreeing that they did not want to restrict access for genuine visitors.  Councillor Sayer said the Council has a duty of care and that parishioners should be notified of the issues so that they can make an informed decision as to whether and when to visit.  Councillors agreed that the Stapleford PCSO should be contacted and asked to visit the cemetery at prime times.  Wording for a notice on the entrance gate and at the actual cemetery entrance was agreed.

 

35.2018           Local Highways Improvement Grant

         Deferred to July meeting.

 

36.2018           GDPR – Parish Council e-mail addresses

         Clerk to obtain quote to establish Councillor e-mail addresses.

 

37.2018           Correspondence – none to report

 

38.2018           Cambridge & Peterborough Minerals and Waste Local Plan Preliminary draft Consultation – no comments.

 

39.2018           Finance

         a. Bank reconciliation and budget up to 24 May received.

b. Authorise payments –The amount of the invoice for painting and decorating the Pavilion was questioned as it is more than the quotation agreed by Council.  Councillors agreed that any significant extra work has to be agreed by Council as stated in the Financial Regulations

         Payments of £9,512.08 were authorised.

          

Two Councillors are unavailable on the date of the next meeting.  Councillors agreed to change the date to 25 July.  Appointing a full Council imminently should mean that we can keep to usual dates.

The meeting closed at 9.40 pm

 

 

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