Annual Parish Meeting reports 2017

DRAFT Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting for Stapleford held on Wednesday 12 April 2017 at

7.30 pm in the Jubilee Pavilion.

In attendance: Cllrs Bow, Elsbury, Nightingale Sayer, Shelton, Pett, CCCllr Orgee, the Clerk and 50 members of the public.

The Chairman welcomed all to the meeting.

Item 1. Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Beresford-Knox, Berridge and Pepperell all for personal reasons.

Item 2 The Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Wednesday 20 April 2016 were agreed and signed.

Item 3. There were no matters arising.

Item 4. The Chairman presented his annual report which had also been circulated amongst the attendees. The work of the previous year was summarised, the issues of planning highlighted, residents were invited to consider becoming Councillors in the future, to attend council meetings and the Village Weekend. He finished by thanking all the councilors for their support, the clerk, the county and district councillors and also others who work in the village.

Item 5. The Clerk as the Responsible Financial Officer gave the Financial Report for the year 2016-17. The opening a new account to protect the council from financial risk was mentioned and the support given to the village Weekend and that accounts have not yet been approved by the Council.

Item 6. The Parish Council reports. The Recreation Ground, Jubilee Play Ground and Jubilee pavilion were given by Cllrs Beresford-Knox, Bow and the Clerk. The Slaughter House by Cllr Elsbury, Basils Piece and Clerks Piece by the Clerk, Cemetery by Cllr Pett, the Parish Pit by Mary Cooper on behalf of the council.

.Item7. Reports on the Local Authorities were given by CCllr Orgee for Cambridgeshire County Council. The SCDC report was brought to the meeting by SCDCllr Shelton. They answered a number of questions regarding budgets and finances.

Item 8. School reports were sent in by Mrs Christine Spain for Stapleford Community Primary School and Mr Jonathin Culpin for Sawston Village College.

Item 9. The Charity Reports were issued by Kathleen Foreman for The Stapleford Feoffees report (including the Charity of Lettice Martin, Stapleford War Memorial ConvalescentFund Charity, The Clerk’s Piece Charity) and by Nick Pett for The Village Hall Estates Fund and taken as read.

Item 10. A range of Village Organisation reports were received. These Included The Stapleford Twinning Association, The Magog Trust, St Andrew’s PCC, The Shelford and Stapleford Youth Initiative and Strikers Football Club.

Item 11. Any other business

A question was raised about the organisations asked to send in reports. The Chairman responded that the list is historical but that in the future other groups can be included. The Clerk also added that getting the reports takes some effort on her part and that if other groups would like to send reports she would welcome that,

Miranda Fyfe requested that the PC meet with the tennis club to consider the future of the tennis courts.

Further questions were raised about the proposed 20mph speed limit within the village and the affects this might have on the outside roads such as Haverhill Road. CCCllr Orgee highlighted that there would be further investigations carried out and a chance for residents to respond before the change would be made.

Presentations were made by Bill French for the Save The Tree Group, Lesley Ford for the History Society, Miranda Fyfe for the Neighbourhood Plan and Cllr Pett about the planned future development and infrastructure in the South Cambs area.

The meeting closed at 9pm

Agenda and Reports For The Annual Parish Meeting on Wednesday 20th April 2016

1. Apologies for absence

2. Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 23rd April 2015

3 Matters arising from the Minutes.

4. Report by the Chairman of the Parish Council

It is again a great pleasure to welcome you all this evening and thank you for your interest in our village and your overall support. We now have a full council in that Sophi Berridge has been co-opted to fill the causal vacancy. We are very pleased to welcome her.

What activity can I report on? The flier highlights some aspects but I emphasize first the Neighbourhood Plan. This is our link with Great Shelford to look at shaping the future – not just housing but every aspect of our infrastructure – medical facilities, education, transport amongst others. We have several spotlight groups of which you will hear more about in due course. Second, the funding known as S106 is slowly coming into our coffers from the Welch Development and this will be used to enhance our resources. Third, you will see the impact already in the additional play equipment and refurbished surfaces, not only on the recreation ground but in Villedômer Gardens behind the Slaughterhouse. Fourth, the recreation ground and pavilion are very well used by a wide range of activities; and this is really good. We are well into our fifth year of paying for the building through the PWL . Five more years to go! But worthwhile and a very big thank you to all who are involved in using and running the facilities and teams.

The June weekend which includes the Village Show is now a central activity in the Village Calendar. Your Council subsidizes the event as it is allowed to do under what is called Section 137 funds – part of taxation set aside for the benefit of the community. But it only happens because of the commitment of many people and we are truly indebted to them. This coming year will see even more events and I will thank Vicky Linzell as the key player!

I also report on the many planning applications your Council considers. We cannot give permission to build – SCDC do this but we are asked to comment – and we do! There have been 39 applications this year in relation to buildings and 10 tree applications. We have experienced several inspections when applications have been refused and also enforcement when people do not follow the guidelines. Additionally permission has been granted for Dernford reservoir work to continue. Your council will soon submit an application – to extend the Slaughterhouse to provide a museum facility, meeting room and clerk’s office – a village hub!

Last year I said that ‘The village will grow in the next 4 years but we will do our best to keep you informed’. That is what the extension can do – provide a communication centre for the village. There are many activities which will influence our growth and indeed our lives which we need to know about. Watch the refurbished web site which came into action this year. I attend the Local Liaison Forum for the City Deal and its impact on the A3107 (road to Haverhill) but it is the whole arc from the A10, through the A1301 (Sawston Road), A505, M11 and A11 where there are numerous planning ideas. Housing leads to people, leads to transport demands and thus congestion!

Let me again thank the people who carry out essential tasks. We said farewell to Mike Allen and his wife who had looked after the cemetery at the end of December. Bill and James French continue to work on our general maintenance including Clerk’s Piece, Kevin Diver has a role in the pavilion management, Cambs and Herts Ground Maintenance undertake the grass cutting in the village, not assigned to SCDC or CCC, and their efforts on the Recreation Ground, in particular, are much appreciated. We have used Acacia for our tree work and NB Horticulture for the cemetery. My thanks – and those of us all – must be extended to the Councillors and our Clerk for their hard work and support. We have some good debates – heated at times - Thanks go to our District Councillors – although 2 of them have already been thanked as they also sit as Parish Councillors – and to our County Councillors. Tony Orgee and Gail Kenney who are both stepping down. I cannot stress adequately the support that they have given to our community and particularly Tony who has been a CC and SCDC for decades! He will still be seen at SCDC and at Sawston PC but Gail is taking to full time retirement – again as she relinquished her GP role some years ago.

2018 will be a crucial year. As Kitchener said – YOU are needed. Your Council has an interesting age range – from 30+ to nearly 80. Average age is in the lower 60s; well I think that is accurate. Several members will be retiring and not stand again at the May 2018 elections. Please do get involved and keep in touch with your Council and you are most welcome to attend meetings.

5. Financial Report by the Responsible Financial Officer for the year 2016-7 please see separate sheets

The following reports taken as read but with question time:

6. Parish Council reports Parish Properties

The Jubilee Pavilion and Recreation Ground:

The Jubilee Pavilion continues to be well-used with an income from lettings of £ 8986.5 this year. There are weekly bookings for the Magog Singers, two Pilates Groups, yoga and children’s Capoeira. Additionally there are regular bookings for parties, the History Society, The Village Cafe, the Parish Council and other social gatherings.

Highlight of the year has been the new apparatus installed at the north end of the recreation ground replacing equipment that was around 40 years old.

The recreation ground continues to be well used with children’s football and adults cricket being played on a regular basis.

The hedge at the top end of the tennis courts has been removed.

The council is currently in discussion with Shelford Cricket Club to play a number of additional fixtures throughout the summer including youth cricket and with the Stapleford Tennis Club to renew their lease on the courts.

The storage shed in the south west corner of the ground is in need of repair or replacement and the council will be looking at possible options in the coming year.

The Cemetery

The main change this year is that Mike Allen, who has maintained the cemetery so well, with the support of his wife, retired in December 2016. A local company has been contracted for the first 6 months of this year and Council is looking at the overall needs to consider the best way forward. This is very important as the new sector is about to be used. Council has voted to consecrate the sector and if you have any views about this action please let Council know. Fees for 2016-17 are being increased by £5 to simply keep abreast of increase in maintenance costs. Several gravestones are in a poor state and some action will be required in the near future to ensure that there is no danger from collapsing stonework. New regulations for the cemetery are being drafted to ensure that we do not have any conflicts with those who wish to have members of their family buried in our very attractive cemetery.

Slaughterhouse and land including the Villedômer Garden.

The last year has seen the new flower beds flourish and mature. After some initial losses of shrubs the beds are an attractive asset to our public spaces in the village. Three pieces of play equipment for toddlers are well used and there are new smart litter bins. Three benches have been installed. One is a gift from the Barker family who used the slaughterhouse for its original purpose in years gone by. This bench was made by local craftsman David Fox.

Thanks are due to volunteers who keep the area neat and tidy.

Council is trying to get a street light re-instated on the footpath from Church Street to Cox’s Close which was removed in error.

Your Council is in the early stages of considering plans to build an extension on the Slaughterhouse for a Clerks Office, storage for Parish records and a small meeting room. This needs to be a sympathetic design as the slaughterhouse is Grade II listed. In future this could be a true village hub and could be the home of our village archives which the History Society members are currently collecting and cataloguing.

Plans for a History Clock, or other development around the Millennium stone and time capsule, are on hold.

Stapleford Parish Pit

Recently Stapleford Pit, the former chalk quarry on Haverhill Road, was visited by Laura Osborne, Living Landscapes Manager (Cambridgeshire), The Wildlife Trust. She writes that she has been working with volunteers for a few years on enhancing the pit for wildlife and people. The site supports a wonderful fragment of chalk grassland that was once widespread across Cambridgeshire. She did a botanical survey to help guide future management work. At present the Pit does not quite qualify for County Wildlife Site status but Laura is confident that, with continued management of the site, the species will increase in frequency. Already there are clear signs of the grassland spreading and benefitting from the increased management.

Laura explains the significance of Stapleford Pit in the wider landscape. The pit is one of many former chalk quarries in villages across the county, that are now a network of chalk grassland fragments. Closer to home are the Cherry Hinton Chalk Pits nature reserve, Roman Road SSSI, Magog Down, Wandlebury Country Park and Fleam Dyke SSSI. Together these grassland sites form a series of stepping stones to enable species to move freely across the landscape. As climate change has an effect on our wildlife, these pathways are becoming ever important to maintaining robust wild populations.

A team of volunteers has met monthly throughout the year to manage the pit. A wildflower walk was held in the early summer, led by Ray Hackett and a picnic and wildflower walk in September.

Thank you to the Parish Council for their financial support and to all the volunteers. If you would like to join a work party, we’d love to see you. For more information, please email Mary Cooper:

Basils Piece - the Parish Council have leased this piece of land from SCDC. During late summer and the autumn NB Horticulture have tidied and replanted shrubs.

Clerk’s Piece – this piece of land is maintained with help from Bill French. In a storm during the summer a willow fell and Acacia Tree Surgery, who carry out tree work in the parish removed the debris.

Policing in Stapleford – no report

7. Reports on the Local Authorities

Cambridge County Council. Since the county council election in 2013, no one political party has been in control at Shire Hall and no party has a majority on any of the council’s committees.

County Council Budget 2017-18At the Full County Council meeting held on 14 February, four different budgetary amendments were put forward – these were based on:

    1. no increase in Council Tax and no Social Care precept;

    2. no increase in Council Tax and 2% Social Care precept;

    3. 2% increase in Council Tax and 2% Social Care precept;

    4. 2% increase in Council Tax and 3% Social Care precept.

      1. Amendments (b), (c) and (d) would have resulted in the County Council’s portion of Council Tax being increased by approximately £24, £48 and £60 respectively for a Band D property, with proportional increases for other Council Tax bands. All the amendments were voted down, most by fairly clear margins but amendment (b) by only a single vote. After a little further discussion, amendment (b) was put to a further vote and this time passed by a single vote.

      2. To put things in context, a 1% rise in the County Council’s portion of Council Tax raises an additional £2.4 million whereas a 1% rise in the District Council’s portion of Council Tax raises an additional £70,000.

      3. Social Care budgets all over the country are under great strain, and further financial support for Social Care was announced in the national budget. Cambridgeshire County Council will get an extra £8.33 million for Social Care in 2017-18. This is over and above what the County Council is precepting.

      4. Local Highways Improvement (LHI) Bid by Stapleford Parish Council. Stapleford Parish Council was one of many parish councils that submitted LHI bids to the County Council. The Stapleford bid was for a 20 mph speed limit to be introduced in Church Street and Mingle Lane. However, at the Panel meeting an alternative was discussed, namely introducing a 20 mph speed zone within the area bounded by London Road, Haverhill and Bury Roads, and Hinton Way. Tony informed the Panel that he and Gail Kenney fully supported what Stapleford Parish Council were trying to achieve. The County Council’s Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee has now confirmed a grant of £2,000 from the County Council together with £500 from the Parish Council for the Stapleford bid.

      5. The City Deal and the A1307 Local Liaison Forum (LLF). At last year’s APM we reported that the City Deal Executive Board decided to prioritise two specific routes to/from Cambridge, the A428 to Cambourne and the A1307 Cambridge – Linton – Haverhill route, and that prior to last year’s meeting there had been a consultation on high level transport concepts that had emerged from initial study work undertaken regarding the A1307 corridor.

      6. The recently set up A1307 Local Liaison Forum is an opportunity for local residents and parish councils to consider proposals before they go to the City Deal’s Joint Assembly and Executive Board for decision. Tony was ratified as Chair at the first meeting of the A1307 Local Liaison Forum held on 20 February. The Forum considered a number of proposals were put forward relating to various parts of the A1307 between Haverhill and Addenbrooke’s. In particular, the proposals included a revised road junction where Haverhill Road meets the A1307 and adjacent access to the Gogs Farm Shop, a bus-only lane from the Gogs to the roundabout at Shelford Bottom, and an on-highway or off-highway link to the Biomedical Campus from the Babraham Park and Ride site.

      7. The agenda papers had recommended that more detailed proposals should come to the Executive Boiard before the summer, but the Executive Board decided to the delay so that the Local Liaison Forum could consider all the proposals in the agenda papers and other proposals..

      8. Cambridge Sporting Village. Tony attended a briefing on the Cambridge Sporting Village on 2 February. The Cambridge Sporting Village is a proposal to build sporting facilities and several hundred houses on land south of the Trumpington Meadows development, though with some facilities on the Hauxton side of the M11. It is associated with the Cambridge Community Stadium proposal, which seeks to develop Cambridge United’s Newmarket Road Stadium and immediate surroundings.

      9. It would appear that the main issues relating to the Cambridge Sporting Village application are the special circumstances put forward by the applicants weighed against issues such as loss of Green Belt, loss of high grade agricultural land and the appropriateness of any proposed traffic mitigation measures.

      10. Local Government Boundary Commission – electoral review of the County Council. At last year’s APM we reported that the Local Government Boundary Commission for England had carried out a review of County Council divisions and would be making recommendations in September 2016. In the recommendations Stapleford remains in a two-member Sawstion and Shelford division, that is enlarged by the addition of Babraham and Haslingfield. The first elections on the new county divisions will take place next month. Tony Orgee &Gail Kenney, County Councillors for Stapleford

      11. South Cambs District Council – no report

      12. 8. School reports

      13. Stapleford Community Primary School.

      14. Stapleford Community Primary School has enjoyed a successful year and we currently have over 190 pupils on role, with a waiting list for several classes. The increased demand for both breakfast and after school care has resulted in the school and the current SOOSC working together to find a solution for the currently cramped club, ideally in a space that continues to give independence but ideally can expand to cater for nearer 40 pupils rather than 20.

      15. Highlights for the past year must include the Shakespeare week, which saw even the youngest pupils introduced to The Tempest, a maths trail that saw pupils completing maths tasks in every area of the school, the choir singing opera at the music festival at West Road, a visit from the ‘phonic fairy’, our new ‘chromebooks’ and many sporting successes both on a local and county level.

      16. The constant squeeze on finances is a horrid distraction, but we are blessed with an enthusiastic and hardworking PTA and much support from many members of the community, to whom we are very grateful. Christine Spain Head Teacher.

      17. Sunnyside Pre-School – no report

      18. Sawston Village College

      19. On behalf of Sawston Village College, I am delighted to present a brief summary of our work over the past 12 months.

      20. It has certainly been a very busy 12 months. Perhaps the most significant development was the decision of the College to join forces with Bassingbourn Village College, Bottisham Village College and Netherhall School to form one organisation. The purpose of such a multi academy trust, known as Anglian Learning, is to share best practice, promote collaboration, and support and challenge each other to drive up standards. It is also the case that each school faces huge challenges financially and it is our goal that a larger organisation can drive down costs, so that finite resources can be directed to supporting teaching and learning. At the same time we are committed to retaining the individual identity of each school, something which is paramount at a school like Sawston Village College with its unique history.

      21. Alongside the formation of the Trust, the work of the College continues at pace. In the summer 2016, our examination results placed us just outside the top 10% of state schools in the country. What is especially pleasing is that pupils coming from disadvantaged backgrounds made the same level of progress as all pupils nationally, something that is a key driver of social mobility. The number of pupils achieving A*/A grades also remained very high, and many pupils progressed to Hills Road and the other sixth form colleges. At a time when there is a debate about the creation of new grammar schools, it is a source of pride to us that Sawston Village College enables all pupils regardless of background or ability, to achieve their potential and support each other.

      22. However, we very firmly believe that school is about much more than simply examination results and we have been proud to develop our opportunities for young people. Residential trips have taken place to France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Iceland; we were one of only eight organisations nationally to be chosen to contribute arts-related projects to the national Holocaust Memorial Day (with generous support from our friends in SCDFAS); one of our pupil made films was a winner in a national competition and shown to astronaut Tim Peake on board the International Space Station; our under-14 boys are national champions in trampolining, and so on, much more than I have space to record here. In all areas of the curriculum, in all subjects, through more than 70 lunchtime and after school clubs, there is truly something for everyone at the College.

      23. And we do not forget our community responsibilities either. The Sawston Community Hub, to be built next to the Marven Centre, looks set to start construction in late spring, providing a much needed local library and children’s centre for the village. The Sports Centre has added additional capacity through an enlarged AstroTurf and community orientated classes such as a Cancer Rehabilitation Group, while Adult Learning retains a vibrant and diverse programme. The College also remains committed to supporting other schools and was extremely pleased to be awarded National Support School status in recognition of its academic achievement and success in school improvement.

      24. There are challenges ahead. There are huge changes in GCSE, the recruitment of teachers at a time of a national shortage (exacerbated by the high costs of living in and around Cambridge), and a decline in real terms funding of about 8% are just some of the pressures we find ourselves under. But we have a great team of staff, engaged and enthusiastic pupils, and a supportive community, and we are determined to keep improving and broadening the opportunities for our young people. Jonathan Culpin Principal

      25. 9. Charity Reports

      26. THE STAPLEFORD FEOFFEE CHARITY (including the Charity of Lettice Martin, Stapleford War Memorial Convalescent Fund Charity, The Clerk’s Piece Charity). The charity, in 1885, was an amalgamation of at least three separate feoffments dating back to 1620 or probably earlier. A feoffment is similar to a deed of gift, recording the sale of real property (land or buildings). It developed in the Middle Ages.

      27. Its assets consisted of two cottages, 12/14 Church St and 15.5 acres of land off Haverhill Road. 100 years later, in 1985, the then Trustees decided to sell the cottages due to the poor return on their investment, and under Charity Commission rules, the sale had to return the highest income, hence they were sold for demolition and redevelopment.

      28. The income of the charity, from share holdings and rent of land, totalled £8,819.74 in the last financial year.

      29. Under the terms of the charity, after expenses, this is distributed so that ⅗ is given to the Parochial Church Council. The remaining ⅖ is available for residents of Stapleford, who are in need, hardship or distress by making grants, but not to supplement assistance from public funds £2,810 was dispersed there having been little call on the funds of the Charity in grant applications throughout the year. £4,897 was paid to the Parochial Church Council for the maintenance and repair of the Church, the maintenance of services in the Church and for furthering the religious and charitable work of the Church of England in the Parish.

      30. The Trustees comprise: three ex officio – the Vicar and Churchwardens of St Andrew’s Church, Stapleford; two nominative – appointed by Stapleford Parish Council and four others appointed by these Trustees. Kathleen Foreman

      31. The Village Hall Estate Fund. Basically, I repeat what I had to say last year. We are very consistent. The Fund Trustees are Chairman Colin White, Margaret French, Trevor Goodsall, Keith Oakes and Nigel Pett. They regularly seek applications for funds but there are very few! The trustees are restricted in that grants cannot be awarded to individuals but must be for the benefit of the community at large. Recipients are not normally named but we feel it is important to let you know that the fund has supported football and cricket provision plus the elderly social side of life. The major source of income is from the Charifund holdings and this amount to a capital of over £12000. The income rests in the Cambridge Building Society where there is a balance of c£3000. The trust holds gift aid status and thus we can gain even more from any donation. Please do ask if we can help. Nigel Pett Secretary/Treasurer

10. Villager Organisations:

Stapleford Twinning Association This year it was our turn to entertain our visitors from Villedômer for the Twinning Weekend, so there was plenty of work for the Stapleford Committee. The hard work paid off and the 28 French visitors, their hosts and other members took part in a French/English quiz compèred by Erica Dawes on the first evening. A delicious supper was provided by Jean Hore and her team of chefs. We had a very successful visit to Hampton Court and dinner at Madingley Hall, which our visitors enjoyed very much.

Twinners held a stall at both the Village Show and at the Shelford Feast. The ‘treasure hunt’ proved to be a great success.

A small team of croupiers ran a casino for the Sawston Village College Leavers’ ball.

In the October half-term 8 French youngsters and 2 leaders from Villedômer visited us in Stapleford. It was a very successful few days due to the hard work of Jill Gardner to whom I am very much indebted. We had so few Stapleford youngsters able and/or interested in going to France either in the Summer or in half-term that there was no return visit.

Some of the committee attended the Shelford Feast disbursement Evening and were delighted to receive a generous donation towards the Youth Visit.

Members have enjoyed a number of social events including a film evening where we watched the film ’La Famille Bélier’ and enjoyed a bring and share supper, and an afternoon tea event entitled ‘Let them eat cake’, where we ate a wonderful selection of French patisserie and learnt about the origins of these delicious morsels.

Thoughts are being given to the Twinning Weekend which will take place 28 April – 1 May 2017. This will be our 38th year of Twinning, when it will be our turn to visit France. Later in May we are planning to hold a Progressive Lunch.

The Magog Trust. Managing a piece of land with mixed use, is not always straightforward. We are often at the vagaries of the weather and contractors and so it proved last year. The meadow on North Down was cut late into the year but, on the plus side, this benefitted some flora and insects.

Guelder rose and wayfaring tree form important habitats for Orange-tailed Clearwing Synanthedon andrenaeformis,both of which have been recorded on the Down and care is taken in any management scheme to retain the habitats.

The chalky slope of Little Trees Hill towards Jane’s Piece now gives uninterrupted views of Stapleford after the boundary hedge, which had become smothered in ivy, has been removed. This now gives us the opportunity to re-establish the chalk flora which flourished along the path edge. This permissive path becomes particularly muddy in wet weather. Depositing wood chips here is not an option as the substructure of the soil would be changed. Hence we took the decision to lay boardwalk from recycled material. This is an expensive but long lasting solution, so we can only achieve to cover a small section at a time. A sponsorship drive has been launched to raise funds so that we can cover continue the project.

Jon Gibbs, contracted by the Trust as our Conservation Ranger, continues to be a welcome presence on Magog Down, and in addition to interacting with the public, carries out many conservation tasks as well as working with our Wednesday volunteer group. He has carried out much coppicing, both in the woods and along the hedgerows. This type of management is of huge importance to the health and wellbeing of birds, insects and small mammals as well as the woods and hedgerows themselves. Additionally, a continuing task is to cut back encroaching shrub growth, which would envelop the grassland if not controlled.

We continue to strive for visitors to support the work of the Trust by enrolling as Friends and many have done so over the past year. Sadly, only a small proportion of visitors make this commitment. Many visitors are dog walkers. The rules of dog walking on Magog Down are simple and clear following the guidelines of the Countryside Code. Some dog owners continue to ignore these to the inconvenience of other visitors, through dog dirt not picked up, as well as uncontrolled dogs. Dog faeces left lying are a health hazard.

Now we face, in the months ahead, the prospect of a bus lane on the A1307 adjacent to the site along our boundary, and the perimeter path. We will be working with other bodies to try to have its effects minimized, should the plans of City Deal be carried through.

Now the skylarks are singing high above the Down, sheep are back grazing and a joy to look forward to are the cowslips, which turn the hillside yellow. This is a precious corner of the village. Please help us look after it by becoming a Friend of Magog Down. Kathleen Foreman , Chairman.

St Andrew’s PCC is home to a thriving church community in the heart of the village, led by the Revd Dr Simon Taylor and a lay team, and with links into the village as whole, not just through the congregation but by involvement in many village activities.

Together with the local community the church runs a Link Committee with the church of St Andrew’s in Nachingwea, Tanzania. This is of 35 years’ standing and is thought to be the longest running successful link committee in the UK. Fundraising events are held each year, including an annual autumn fair (a total of £8,526 raised in 2016). Amongst other activities in 2016 the Link Committee and St Andrew’s hosted a visit from the Bishop of Masasi Diocese, supported 16 girls in secondary education, the training of a Special Needs teacher and an agricultural trainee; further supported development of the NIAB and NARI Agriculture project, sending two members of the committee to Nachingwea to report on the Innovation Farm and Seed Multiplication Project.

In November the church formed a partnership with The Children’s Society (TCS) in order to support the work of the Society, promoting their campaigns and projects on behalf of vulnerable young people in the UK. St Andrew’s is the first Partnership Church in the UK and we were delighted to be joined at the launch of the scheme by Matthew Reed, CEO of TCS, and our MP, Heidi Allen.

Within the village the church is a resource for the community in a range of different ways. It is unusual in being open each day, providing a quiet space for prayer and reflection. It is also a well-used venue for music concerts and drama. Many weddings and funerals take place in the church, serving people from Stapleford and beyond. Baptisms take place at Sunday services, and again families are welcomed from the village and beyond for this special service. Pastoral care is offered to anyone from the community in need.

The church owns and runs the Stapleford Messenger, which provides news and reports of events in the village. It includes comment, reflection, and the opportunity to contribute as well as a wealth of local information about the Parish Council, local tradespeople and services.

The PCC owns and manages the Johnson Hall. Use of this valuable community resource has been sustained over the last years. The Verger’s Cottage is also owned and managed by the PCC and is used by the church, the SSYI, Cambridge Joint Playschemes and the Magog Trust. It is also the base for the growing children’s and youth work, the latter ably led by our new youth worker, Zac Britton.

The church continues to be supported by the Friends of St Andrew’s, which is a separate charity, established for the sole purpose for maintaining the church building. Anyone can become a Friend for a modest annual donation, and be part of supporting the heritage of our village. Another way in which village residents can be involved in maintaining part of the conservation area in Stapleford is to participate in the occasional work parties organised to keep the churchyard in a good state. Many people have relations whose ashes are interred there, and it is particularly beautiful part of our village environment.

We are very sad to have bid farewell in the past year to two much missed members of the congregation, Len Baynes and George Elsbury, who are sadly mourned, and we supported others in the congregation through the death of their loved ones.The website for St Andrew’s allows everyone to keep in touch, with a constantly updated events section. News and activities from St Andrew’s can be readily accessed via while immediate news updates can be had from our Facebook page at or our Twitter feed @standrewstaplfd. Felicity Cooke Churchwarden

The Friends of St Andrews

Phoenix Cricket Club.

Stapleford Tennis Club- no reports

Shelford and Stapleford Strikers Football Club

Shelford and Stapleford Strikers (SASS) FC have used Stapleford Rec as the venue of choice for our smaller sided Mini-league and Colts league teams, with 3 pitches being used on most Saturdays from September through to April. In real terms this means approximately 100 players and supporters use the recreation ground every week. SASS FC is the largest youth football club in Cambridgeshire, with 22 teams playing at 5 venues, including 8 teams at Stapleford Rec (2 x U7s, 3 x U9s, 2 X U11 and 1 x U12). We have just under 300 players registered across the different age groups, and many age groups have multiple teams, which demonstrates how the club is flourishing at present.

The club would like to thank the Parish Council for the use of the pavilion facilities from which we are able to operate a small catering function offering drinks and snacks at the weekends. This facility helps to raise much needed funds for the club.

Shelford and Stapleford Youth Initiative

SSYI has had a good year, engaging with over 115 young people. We now have three professional youth workers, enabling us to not only spend more face to face hours with young people, but to do more work with social care and secondary school teams, creating a more joined up approach in supporting our young people

We wish to say a massive thank you to all of you who continue to support SSYI financially. Your investment in SSYI and the young people just shows how much you truly care about the local young people and wish to see them flourish as individuals. We see your financial support as a partnership in delivering effective youth work. We wish to thank the local parish councils, churches, businesses, organisations and generous individuals who have given us financial support either directly or indirectly. We feel incredibly blessed.

All details are on our website

11. Any other matters raised by members of the public.

12. Presentations from the Stapleford History Society, The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, The Save the Tree Action Group and on local development and infrastructure.