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 Cox’s Close Communal Room on 11 April 2018 at 7.30 pm.

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

                         Anne Rudge – Clerk & RFO

                         Louise Morgan – Assistant Clerk


In attendance: Mr Peter Fane – Chair of Great Shelford & Stapleford Neighbourhood Plan Group

Ms Miranda Fyfe

Mr Nicholas Robinson

Mr Jonathan Young

Mr John King

Mr Colin Greenhalgh

Mr N Sample


185.2017         Apologies

No apologies received.


186.2017         Declarations of Interests



187.2017         The minutes of the meeting held on 14 March 2018 were approved and signed.


188.2017         Matters arising

a. Fingerposts – The Clerk will speak to the supplier about the length of entries on each fingerpost and whether a logo can be included.  Councillor Berridge asked the Chair for a response to her e-mail regarding additional ‘fingers’. He agreed to respond outside the meeting.

b. Parish Office – The Clerk reported that the office was now in use and the hours are shown on the website.  The information will also go in the Stapleford Messenger.

c. Grass verge corner of Bar Lane – Councillor Pett informed the meeting that although some work has been carried out he still considers it is in breach of planning conditions..  Councillor Pett reiterated that he has been back to South Cambridgeshire District Council to ask for enforcement of the planning regulations without success. Councillor Berridge highlighted the access issue for people with disabilities and wheelchair users and Councillors agreed to contact Charles Swain and our County Councillors to raise the issues of safety and disabled access. 

Councillor Beresford-Knox commented that the white lines at this location need to be addressed.  Councillors considered white lining throughout the village is a high priority.

d. Ranger – Councillor Pett confirmed that the Ranger is no longer contracted to the Council.  Councillor Bow reported that the moss in the snicket is a safety hazard. The Clerk will investigate other gardeners who could take on this work.

e. The Tree – Over 70 people attended the Public meeting to discuss The Tree. Two District Councillors plus the leader of the District Council also attended.  Councillor Pett confirmed that in order for the Compulsory Purchase Order to be passed the District Council must be unanimous at their June meeting.  If it is awarded the Parish Council will consider providing £25K for legal fees.  Councillor Pett emphasised that if The Tree Action group were unable to pay the money back the Parish Council would have to repay the money to S106 funds thus expending £50K.  Councillor Elsbury said it would be good to get residents’ views at the Annual Parish Meeting.

f.  Dernford Quarry – removal of temporary access and reverting to the old access

Councillor Pett reminded Councillors that the Parish Council had voiced their disapproval for this action some time ago.  Unfortunately on this occasion the planning application was only sent to Sawston Parish Council so SPC were not given the opportunity to comment.  Sawston PC recommended refusal of the application.  Councillor Pepperell expressed the view that the old access road was full of potholes and not usable.  Councillor Beresford-Knox recalled that the temporary access was not constructed to be used permanently. Councillors agreed that Stapleford Parish Council should write to SCDC Planning in the strongest terms voicing their disapproval of this proposal. 


189.2017         The meeting was called off at 7.50 pm to take matters of public interest.

Mr John King addressed the meeting about the possibility of a Village Warden Scheme for Stapleford.  He asked the Parish Council if it would be prepared to provide £8K each year to help fund the scheme.  The scheme would be run by AgeUK; they would take responsibility for employing the Warden. A Parish Council representative would be on the Steering Committee for the scheme.  Residents would be expected to contribute £6 per week towards the scheme.  Councillor Sayer asked Mr King why he thought this scheme would succeed as the previous scheme closed down.  Mr King said that times had moved on and the population was ageing.  Mr King responded to a question from Councillor Elsbury confirming that the £8K represented one quarter of the total cost of the scheme. Councillors agreed that this would be a precept issue.


Ms Miranda Fyfe addressed the meeting as Treasurer of the Tennis Club asking the Parish Council to decide how to address the current state of the tennis courts.  The Club has obtained a quote for repairing a portion of the fence and to pressure wash the court making it ready to play this season. The Chairman (Councillor Pett) and the Assistant Clerk will contact other contractors as a matter of urgency for quotations to replace the whole fence including new uprights which have not been included in the quotation obtained by the Tennis Club.


Mr Jonathan Young, resident at Bridge End Cottage addressed the meeting regarding the change of access at Dernford Quarry (discussed at 173f).  Mr Young is pleased the Parish Council is against the change as he and other residents are concerned about safety of cyclists and pedestrians if the access road is moved.  He reported that all residents have written to Planning asking for access to be left as it is.  Councillor Pett asked Mr Young to send copies of all correspondence to the Parish Council.  Mr Young also reported that Planning said their hand had been forced as the applicant has not supplied any detailed drawings.   Residents have been asked to give evidence of any accidents.


Mr Colin Greenhalgh thanked the Parish Council in the strongest terms for the work they had done over the last year and before.  He felt members had demonstrated strong leadership when it was required.


The Liberal Democrat representative spoke in support of Mr Young (see above) and said they were gathering signatures from parents with children who travel to Sawston Village College along the footpath each day. Councillor Sayer suggested a letter is sent voicing the Parish Council’s strong opposition to the change in access to the site stating that we would be sending a letter before action i.e. requesting a judicial review of the decision. Councillor Sayer will draft a suitable letter.


         8.05 pm Liberal Democrat representative left the meeting.


The Chairman called the meeting back on at 8.07 pm and asked for Councillors agreement to bring forward item 195 in order to allow input from attendees.  Councillors agreed.


195.2017         Pavilion & Recreation Ground

a. To receive a report on income & expenditure plus equipment issues.  The Assistant Clerk reported that there had been an increase in income due in part to a repeat advertisement on the Stapleford Online Face Book page every two weeks.  Income: £16,189.57 Expenditure: £11,117 this includes two new glass panels for the doors and maintenance of the outside.  Unexpected expenditure of £11,070 which includes the clean-up in August and the installation of the mound.  Balance: -£5997.43.

b. To agree quotation for interior painting and start date.  Councillors agreed to accept the quotation from Butlers as follows:

To apply 3mm clear acrylic cladding to walls to height of approximately 1.1M up to window and also remove current skirting boards and fit PVC primed to entire perimeter of room. Decorate walls above wall panelling to height of 2M in main hall and side hall for the sum of £3,957.94 excluding VAT

Councillor Beresford-Knox reported that the gate to the playground is not shutting properly.  The Clerk will investigate and follow up with the supplier.

c. Tennis Club

The Tennis Club have a quotation for £2,550 plus VAT to repair one side of the fence and to pressure wash the court.  The Company quoting can complete the work by the end of May. Councillor Pett expressed concern that the quotation did not include replacement of the upright and it was agreed that Ms Fyfe would request a quotation that included the cost of replacement uprights. 

Councillor Elsbury asked Councillors to resolve who would be paying for the repairs.

The Chairman (Councillor Pett) and the Assistant Clerk will contact other contractors as a matter of urgency for quotations to replace the whole fence including new uprights which have not been included in the quotation obtained by the Tennis Club.

ACTION: Chairman & Assistant Clerk

Councillor Pepperell said the work would have to dovetail with the pressure washing of the court.

Councillor Pett stated that if this is agreed then it is resolved the Tennis Club keeps control of the Courts. Councillors agreed. Ms Fyfe stated that the intention is to offer more open sessions.

d. Ground Maintenance

Councillor Pett informed the meeting that the weevil area of the ground is improving however the outfield is still in poor condition although the cricket square is in good condition following work approved by the Council. The Cricket Club had requested that they carry out their own work.  Councillor Pett asked what Councillors thought of the suggestion. Councillor Elsbury was keen to maintain good relations with all users with Councillor Beresford-Knox stating that the Council needs to retain control of the Recreation Ground with the cost of renting reflecting usage and costs of work required.  Councillor Pett reported that it currently does not cover these costs.  Councillor Bow asked if our contractor can increase the frequency of cuts.  Councillors agreed that the Cricket Club needs to keep the Assistant Clerk informed and if there is a cost involved; it has to go to Council.

Councillor Elsbury raised Health & Safety at the Pavilion – has the vacuum cleaner been PAT tested and another mop and bucket is required.  ACTION: Assistant Clerk


190.2017         To receive reports from County Councillors and District Councillors

Councillor Pett expressed his concern that once again there were no County Councillors present and no report had been submitted. Councillor Beresford-Knox suggested the Council should write to the political leaders expressing our concern and disappointment.

District Councillor Nightingale informed the meeting that the District Council has won its appeal against Hill Trees and has also been awarded costs.


191.2017         Planning

S/2246/17/FL 33 Bar Lane – Amendment to application. Buildings moved 3 metres away from drainage ditch – noted and Council have responded.

S/0450/18/FL 11 Gog Magog Way Construction of garage for Mr A Taylor. Council recommended approval with the appropriate comments made about working conditions and traffic.

S/0985/18/PN Agricultural Land, Meadow Farm, Sawston Road. Application for Prior Notification of agricultural or forestry development for a steel portal frame agricultural  building for David Reed. Councillor Pett commented that it is possible for the use of such buildings to be converted from agricultural to residential. Councillors recommended refusal as it would be a gradual deterioration of the Green Belt and could cause disruption to the potential new route into Cambridge.


Tree Application

S/1081/18/TP Fairlawn, Haverhill Road (Symonds).

Councillors recommended approval.

Planning Decisions.

S/0133/18/FL East House Gog Magog Hills Estate Permission refused for installation of 4No. conservation roof windows and internal access ladder for Mr & Mrs Jonas

S/0134/18/LB East House Gog Magog Hills Estate Permission refused for installation of 4No. conservation roof windows and internal access ladder for Mr & Mrs Jonas

For information only

S/0934/18/DC 10 Bury Road Discharge of conditions 14 (Lighting) and 118 (Landscaping) of planning permission S/2431/15/VC for the Ace Foundation


192.2017         APM & Village Weekend preparation


The Chairman asked the Clerk to check if the leaflet distributors covered the whole of Hinton Way that is included in Stapleford and to investigate how much it would cost for an individual delivery.

The speakers for the APM are confirmed as:

-       James Fisher – S106

-       Alex Munro – Greater Cambridge Partnership

-       Traveller Liaison representative

-       Bill French – The Tree Action Group

Village Weekend arrangements are similar to last year.


193.2017         Agreement to combine insurance policies so all assets are under one policy

         After considering the figures Councillors agreed to combine the policies.

The pro rata additional premium to add the building onto the Parish Council policy would be £690.59 (including Insurance Premium tax & commission). Cover from 01 April to 30 September 2018.  Additional cost on an annual basis is £1,381.00 with the stand alone policy costing £1,600.78. ACTION: The Clerk


The Chairman called off the meeting at 8.50 pm to allow Mr Peter Fane Chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan group to speak.


194.2017         Neighbourhood Plan

Mr Fane reported that progress had been made in the last month with the next meeting scheduled for May.  The main problem for the group is attracting volunteers.  The Spotlight Groups are being drawn together.  The aim is still to have a draft plan available by October 2018.

Councillor Pett informed Councillors that there may be a requirement for further funding from the Council.


Councillor Pett called the meeting back on at 8.55 pm.


195.2017         Pavilion and Recreation ground

Dealt with above.


196.2017         Cemetery

The deeds of the old section are being sourced so that Council can proceed with the arrangements with the Diocesan Chancellor for the consecration of the new area.  It was also agreed that HCGM would continue to maintain the grounds..


197.2017         Village Matters

         a. Tree audit – Councillors agreed to accept the quote for £550 from Acacia Tree Surgery.

b. Tree work including hedge

Councillors asked the Clerk to find out if Bill French would be interested in carrying out work at the Cemetery and on Basil’s Piece.  ACTION: The Clerk.

c. Village Mobile Warden Scheme

Councillor Bow is not in favour of this service questioning the demand for it as it had been tried before and did not see it as good use of Precept money.  She also asked if the scheme could be joined with Shelford.

The meeting was called off to ask Mr John King for his view on whether there is demand.

He informed the meeting that Great Shelford have taken on the whole scheme i.e. recruitment and employment of staff together with the associated costs.  With the scheme he is proposing AgeUK take on everything although the PC and Committee would choose the Warden.  He emphasised that the group need money to get started and can then ascertain need.

Councillor Pett called the meeting back on.

Councillor Pett said the Council could give tacit support at this stage and suggested Mr King gets someone from AgeUK to come along and speak to the Council and anyone else who is interested in the proposal.


9.10 pm Mr John King left the meeting


d. Council communications strategy to include Stapleford Messenger, website, social media and quarterly information sheet. 

Councillor Elsbury is keen to improve relations between the Messenger and the Council.  Councillor Pepperell said that in the past the publication always kept a space for Parish Council information and cannot see why this cannot continue. It was resolved to ask the editorial to keep two pages for Council matters.  Councillor Bow agreed that she would continue managing Facebook entries. ACTION: The Clerk


9.20 pm Mr Peter Fane left the meeting.


e. Slaughter House extension – nothing to report

f. Grass cutting tender – it was agreed to continue with HCGM for another year.

The Clerk was asked to investigate local gardeners to take on the up-keep of Basil’s Piece, Villedomer Gardens and Slaughter House beds. ACTION: The Clerk


198.2017         Staff Matters

         Dealt with in camera.


199.2017         Finance

         a. To receive the financial report – noted.   

         b. Authorise payments

Payments of £3,702.30 authorised.


The Chair closed the meeting by thanking all the Councillors for their hard work over the past year.


The meeting closed at 9.25 pm




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



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