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 the Jubilee Pavilion on 14 February 2018 at 7.30 pm.

Present:            Councillors Pett (Chairman), Beresford-Knox, Bow, Elsbury, Nightingale, Pepperell, Sayer and Shelton

                         Anne Rudge – Clerk & RFO


In attendance: Mr Bill French – Chair of Save the Tree Group


154.2017         Apologies

Apologies received from Councillor Berridge and County Councillors Hickford & Cuffley.

155.2017         Declarations of Interests

Councillor Pett is a payee included in the authorised payments and he also sits on the Neighbourhood Plan committee.          

156.2017         To confirm the minutes of the meetings held on 10 January and 24 January 2018

         Minutes of 10 January

Councillor Elsbury asked that item 140 be amended and following these changes the minutes were approved and signed.

Minutes of 24 January

These minutes were approved and signed.

157.2017         Matters arising

a. Fingerposts – it was agreed that the Clerk and the Chair would finalise the wording on the fingerposts as soon as possible.

b. Parish office update – Councillor Pett confirmed that the office at Cox’s Close will be used by the Clerk and Assistant Clerk for 10 hours per week at a cost of £5 per hour.  Specific days and hours have yet to be decided. Councillor Elsbury said that once the days and hours are agreed this should be advertised to residents. Councillors gave the Clerk authority to purchase furniture and equipment as required keeping expenditure at a reasonable level.  Councillor Pett informed Councillors that he had purchased two noticeboards, one of which will go outside Cox’s Close. Councillors confirmed that the APM should still be held in the Pavilion.  Councillor Bow said that the Council must ensure it has an up to date Lone Worker Policy. The Clerk will action.

c. Grass verge corner of Bar Lane – Councillors expressed concern that there could be an accident at this location.  Councillor Pett expressed the view that planning requirements had not been met resulting in the current problems.  Councillor Nightingale in his capacity as a District Councillor agreed to investigate the matter and inform the Chairman and the Clerk of the outcome.  If no satisfactory answer is forthcoming, Councillors agreed that a complaint should be raised with the Highways department.  Councillor Sayer said that there were no yellow lines on the corner and no instructions on the traffic order.

d. A1307 progress report – Councillor Pett confirmed that the original 3 routes are still under consideration and the Council should consider them carefully before responding.  Councillor Shelton stated that Option A is the favoured route and it will have a significant effect on Stapleford and Shelford. Councillor Pett said that all the routes raise issues for the village. Councillor Sayer asked if opening the Haverhill railway line is being considered.  Councillor Pett confirmed that the current consultation deals solely with road transport.

158.2017         To call the meeting off and take matters of public interest

The meeting was called off at 7.50 pm to take matters of public interest. It was agreed to invite Mr Bill French (BF) to update Councillors on The Tree and to bring forward Item 168 on the agenda to allow discussion.

BF briefed Councillors on the current situation.  The request for a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) will be considered by Full Council at South Cambridgeshire District Council.  The Tree Action Group (TAG) have offered the owner £350K to purchase the premises however their figure for purchase is £500K.  TAG have requested justification for this price. An alternative option offered was that TAG could have the main building for £350K with the owner building a house on the remaining site.  The owner has declined to seek another valuation.  BF had come to the meeting to request a grant from the Parish Council towards the purchase price or if this is not agreed for the Parish Council to contribute to the costs of refurbishment once the premises have been obtained.  BF informed the meeting that he had arranged a public meeting on 04 April at the Pavilion.  Councillors Pepperell and Elsbury suggested a change to this date as a number of residents will be away from the village.  Week commencing 09 April was suggested and BF agreed to change the date.

Councillor Pett asked BF specifically what he wanted from the Parish Council.  BF responded by requesting the following:

·         a grant/loan for refurbishment of the premises after purchase


·         to underwrite the legal costs.


Councillor Sayer asked BF if TAG had checked that Parish Councils are permitted to support this project financially.  BF confirmed this.

Some Councillors expressed the view that this request should be put to residents while others felt that Councillors, by being elected, have a mandate to make decisions on behalf of residents.  After much discussion Councillor Ben Shelton put forward the following  proposal:

‘That the Parish Council, subject to further clarification on legal fees, grants £25K to The Tree Action Group which is within the Council’s remit to act.’ This was seconded by Councillor Nightingale.

Councillor Pett raised concerns about Parish Councillors who are also District Councillors proposing and seconding the motion.  After discussion Councillor Shelton withdrew his proposal subject to investigation and clarification.  Councillors agreed to hold this item over to the next meeting.

BF left the meeting at 8.25 pm.

159.2017         To receive reports from County Councillors and District Councillors

No County Councillors were present although a brief message had been received informing Council of a 2.9% increase in Council Tax plus 2% for Adult Social Care.

Councillor Pepperell reported that he had been informed about consultation relating to the Number 7 bus route to which Stapleford Parish Council had not been invited and County Councillors have not provided any information.  It was agreed that the Clerk should write to County Councillors in the first instance requesting that Stapleford Parish Council is included in any future meetings on this topic.

District Councillor Nightingale reported on the work in Great Shelford being carried out by Highways.  Councillor Pepperell asked why the District Council is employing Consultants and not carrying out the work in house.

District Councillor Shelton informed Councillors that information tours of the recycling plant at Waterbeach are available to Councillors and residents. 

160.2017         To call the meeting back on and to consider planning matters.

         Tree application

S/0306/18/TP 55 London Road. Fell Sequoiadendron. This tree is 6m from property. On two occasions in January the tree has lost large limbs. Most recently damage was caused to the property. Client has grave concerns regarding safety of family.

Councillors recommended approval.


S/4021/17/FL 30 Haverhill Road for Mr & Mrs Bilton. Permission granted for single storey rear extension and porch roof.

S/4202/17/FL 9a Church Street for Mr C Hall. Permission granted to replace existing windows, doors & roof windows, some openings modified. New glazed porch to side. Internal alterations.

S/4043/17/FL Stapleford Cemetery, Mingle Lane for Stapleford Parish Council. Permission granted for change of use of agricultural land to burial ground.

All decisions noted.

161.2017         District Councillor engagement with Parish Councils

Councillors agreed to respond requesting a quarterly meeting with District Councillors and other Parish Councils, as well as written reports each month. The Clerk to action.




162.2017         Election, APM & Village Weekend preparation

Councillor Elsbury has prepared an item for this month’s edition of the Messenger to encourage residents to stand as Parish Councillors. She also intends to give an article to ‘Parent Mail’. Councillors agreed two fliers should be distributed to residents – one relating to the election and the second advising about the Annual Parish Meeting (APM).( Proposed JB Seconded DP Unanimous)

Councillor Nightingale suggested officers could attend the meeting to discuss traveller issues. In addition Councillors requested a representative of the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) be invited as well as James Fisher to discuss and explain S106 spending.

Village weekend – Councillor Pett reported that he is chairing the group and the marquee is ordered.

163.2017         Neighbourhood Plan to include Medical Centre feedback from recent meeting

No report on the Neighbourhood Plan available.

Councillor Pett indicated that there will still be a medical centre in Great Shelford and it will be merged with Granta Medical Practice.

164.2017         Pavilion & Recreation Ground

                     a. Pavilion report

No written report available.  Councillors agreed the inside of the pavilion needs painting. The Assistant Clerk to get quotations. It was also agreed that the Assistant Clerk should investigate wi-fi for the pavilion as well as the possibility of a hearing loop.  The latter to be implemented by the APM if possible. In addition, a projector screen and trolley for ease of movement is required. Assistant Clerk to action.                      

                     b. Maintenance of grass – issues with weevil and need for spiking.

Councillor Pett reported that support can be gained from the ECB and that he will source the contact from his contacts at the University Rugby Club.

                     c. Tennis Club – report on consultation

Councillor Elsbury suggested that the fence is mended as it is in a poor state and it was confirmed that the cost would be approximately £10K.  It was noted that in recent correspondence with club representatives the Council has been informed that the Court is fit for play.  Councillors agreed there must be no risk associated with playing.  Councillors discussed the merits of replacing the fence with Councillor Shelton expressing the view that not enough members of the public are playing.

Councillor Pepperell proposed that the fence is replaced in situ.  Councillor Pett submitted an amended proposal: that the fence is replaced in situ subject to a safety certificate being provided by an appropriate authority.  This was seconded by Councillor Elsbury. (Proposed NP Seconded WE 6 For 2 Against Passed)

                     d. Fence behind the Pavilion – nothing to report.

                     e. Mound

The mound around the Recreation Ground has been started.  Councillor Pepperell reported that the grass seed had not been raked in.

                     f. Key safe

The Clerk reported that there may not be a need for a key safe once the office at Cox’s Close is fully functioning as users could pick keys up and drop them off there.  The situation will be reviewed at a later date.

g. User Survey

Councillors agreed that a separate survey for users is not required.  The feedback questions should be incorporated into the booking process.

165.2017         Cemetery

Councillors agreed that they wanted the whole area consecrated.  Councillor Pett confirmed it would cost £1500 and take approximately 3 months to consecrate it.  It was agreed to put the cemetery on the next agenda for further discussion about layout and memorials.

166.2017         Council buildings

Slaughter House – Councillor Pett reported that the existing architect is happy to continue with the work.  The Clerk reported that the electricity plan has been extended for a further year.

The Shed – quotations for a new shed to be brought to the next meeting.

Goals – Councillor Pett asked Councillors to approve expenditure to clear the area around the shed so the new goals can be moved and stored more safely there.  Councillors agreed. Clerk to contact HCGM.

Councillor Bow asked the HCGM is reminded of the jobs the Ranger should have completed which have not been done.  Clerk to contact HCGM.

167.2017         Highways, Traffic and Transport

         a. To note progress on 20 mph initiative

A traffic order has been issued relating to 20 mph limit in Stapleford.  Councillor Pepperell pointed out that some dead end roads had been included.  The Clerk will inform Highways.

         c. Local Highways Initiative 

Councillors Elsbury, Pepperell and Pett attended an LHI grant meeting at Highways in Whittlesford to put forward the case for pinch-points on Haverhill Road.  A decision will be made on 13 March.

168.2017         The Tree – update

         Dealt with at Item 158.   .

169.2017         Finance

         a. To receive the financial report – noted.   

         b. Authorise payments

Payments of £15,030.21 authorised. An item raised regarding a requested payment was dealt with in camera at the end of the meeting.

         c. To finalise budget requirements for 2018/19

Councillors unanimously agreed to sign off the proposed budget circulated by the Clerk.(Proposed NP Seconded WE Unanimous)


The meeting closed at 9.40 pm




Signed ……………………………………………………         Date………………………………….




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