Great Shelford Parish Council
Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held in the Pavilion
Woollards Lane, Great Shelford at 7:30 pm on 21 January 2015.
Present: Cllrs Nightingale (Chairman, and as District Cllr), Hodge, Chittenden, Coggins, Fane, Harwood, Milson, Poskitt, Shelton (also as District Cllr), Smith, Watson and Winter. Apologies from Cllr Ashurst, (medical emergency), Nettleton (holiday) and Rev Talbott (church meeting). Also present, County Councillors Dr Kenney and Orgee (the latter from 8.40 pm), and the Clerk. No members of the public were present. There were no Declarations of Interest.
1. Public Session: PCSO Gary Kendall spoke on changes to local arrangements. Nothing had been announced officially, but it seemed likely that his colleague, PCSO Chris Wiseman, would be moving to Linton leaving him to cover Sawston and neighbouring parishes. “Hot Spot Policing” could involve him being called away without notice to other areas where problems were happening or expected. If circumstances required, this could bring more PCSOs into Great Shelford, but it was more likely he would be spending less time locally. Agile working using laptops and local wi-fi availability might mean he could do more in the community. He urged residents to report everything using the non-emergency 101, or calling him personally on 07525 227384. Using 101 ensured all incidents were logged. This would help justify scarce resources. Cllr Winter said he had written to Sergeant Davidson requesting details of the changes and what had prompted these. It was regretted that there had been no consultation.
2. Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 19 November 2014 were received, confirmed and signed. The following new issues were identified:
· Railway Tavern: some trees had been cleared, otherwise, no application as yet;
· distribution of S106 Funds from the Welch’s site not finalised;
· Fish and Chip Van proposal was still pending; it was thought that SCDC was close to giving approval; the Parish Council had not been approached by SCDC;
· prolonged parking on streets at High Green by Post Office vans could not be prevented unless existing parking restrictions were changed.
3. Minutes of the Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting of 15 January 2015 were received, confirmed and signed. There was no new information other than a 24-hour postponement of the site meeting. Cllr Winter would attend for the Parish Council.
4. Minutes of the F & G P Committee Meeting of 16 December 2014 were received.
5. Precept 2015-16: the Clerk summarised the overall position as set out in detail in the briefing papers; the Council had exhausted all its reserves on the Sports Pavilion and could meet the retention payments on the construction only as a result of underspends elsewhere. There was a need to rebuild reserves and to include sufficient contingency monies. The F & G P Committee had agreed to recommend a Precept of £115,000 for 2015-16. Cllr Watson said that since the F & G P Meeting, further thought had been given and he believed it necessary to add £5,000 towards costs for completing the Pavilion, and another £5,000 in the wages subhead. He was now proposing a total Precept of £125,000.
6. Subsequent discussion included the following points:
· very careful thought was needed by the Council, especially in the current financial climate, before agreeing any increase to the Precept beyond that which was absolutely necessary;
· the new Pavilion must cover its costs, if not immediately, then as soon as possible; anything less would leave the Council open to considerable criticism;
· whilst there was understanding of the need for an increase as set out originally by the Clerk, it was very difficult to justify a further addition;
· a habit of underspends being carried forward was not ideal and had led, in part, to the difficult situation now faced; in future, such arrangements could be stopped and increases capped, which would make the position even worse especially if reserves were minimal;
· compared with other parishes in South Cambridgeshire, Great Shelford’s Precept was in the lowest third alongside mainly rural and much smaller communities with minimal amenities;
· our Precept was much lower and historically too low as compared to parishes of our size;
· there was too little public space in Great Shelford; acquisition of the Grange Field would make a difference, but would require reserves.
7. A Precept of £125,000 for 2015-16 was proposed by Cllr Watson and seconded by Cllr Harwood. This was agreed with 10 votes in favour, one against and one abstention. Action: Clerk to inform SCDC.
8. Reports from Elected and Nominative Representatives. County Cllr Dr Kenney presented her report (attached). She highlighted developments concerning Hinchingbrooke Hospital, road gritting, the need for further cuts of £1.8 million over two years in respect of library funding, and various public health issues.
9. County Cllr Orgee presented his Report (attached). In respect of parking at High Green and a complaint from one resident that access to/from his lane was difficult, there was no enthusiasm for losing parking places. Parking at High Green (both sides) including signage, permitted duration and road markings, was passed to the PC Highways Committee for review. Action: Cllr (and District Cllr) Shelton.
10. County Cllr Orgee thought most traffic appeared to be observing the reduced speed limits on Hinton Way and Cambridge Road. Others agreed with this.
11. Cllr (and District Cllr) Shelton said he had tabled questions for a forthcoming SCDC meeting on safeguarding pubs and garbage bin collections over the Christmas/New Year Period; he had requested a report on the latter. In respect of broadband, he had convened a meeting in November with Connecting Cambridgeshire; after a slow start they appeared to be on track. He said that when the project had been drawn up, they had omitted a number of new build developments; also, many residents who were supposedly cabled by Virgin had not been included. He had asked Steve Rayment, Head of ICT at SCDC, to investigate further.
12. Standing Committee Reports.
Recreation and Pavilion: Minutes of their recent Meeting had been circulated. Cllr Smith went through these in detail:
· replacement litterbins on the Recreation Ground: nobody liked plastic bins; agreed that two new wooden bins should be procured. Action: Clerk and Cllr Smith;
· Cllr Smith explained the difficulty in getting users to close the gates into the children’s play area. Agreed that the Recreation Committee should investigate some kind of self-closing mechanism. Action: Cllr Smith;
· replacing the worn out climbing net and its associated equipment: the Clerk was asked to find out who had advised neighbouring parishes. Action: Clerk;
· the issue concerning storage of the GS Football Club shelters had been resolved;
· Cllr Winter was drawing up a Pavilion booking diary to include sports club bookings and which would be viewable by everyone. Action: Cllr Winter;
· Cllr Smith had attended, with Cllr Rev Talbott, a defibrillator training session; he had taken delivery of the new defibrillator, now the property of the Parish Council, which would be stored in the Pavilion where it could be readily accessed; he would liaise with Cllr Winter regarding arrangements; Cllr Smith said he would organise a session to brief potential users. Action: Cllrs Smith and Winter.
13. Planning: Cllr Hodge said that recent SCDC decisions had been circulated. Since then, the application for 31 Granta Terrace had been approved at SCDC Committee.
· Cllr (and District Cllr) Shelton said he had been in touch with Cambridge County Council Highways in respect of the poor state of the Village. In particular he had raised parking at High Green where he was seeking more of the existing bays to be restricted to 30 minutes, and the need to have all the road markings refreshed. Highways had assured him that this was booked-in, but he did not have dates for when the work would be completed;
· he had asked Highways to look at Woollards Lane traffic congestion, parking, waiting and deliveries. They were preparing a report;
· the Roads and Pavements Survey had identified over 100 issues which he had passed to Mike Cooper at Highways; Gavin Wiseman, who had taken over from Mike Cooper ,was now dealing with these;
· County Cllrs Dr Kenney and Orgee said they had been approached by Mr Wiseman and were meeting him in Great Shelford on 26 January; they asked Councillors to inform them before then of the worst flooding areas;
· Cllr Coggins reminded Cllr (and District Cllr) Shelton that there was a Parish Council Highways Committee which was ready to help.
15. Approval of Quotes: Recommendations agreed at the recent Recreation and Pavilion Committee Meeting concerning works in the goal post storage area adjacent to the Sports Pavilion, and tree and associated works on the Recreation Ground behind Barclays Bank were approved. Action: Clerk.
16. Street Lighting: The Chairman reported on progress which had been fully documented and circulated. This was welcomed and those involved thanked for their efforts.
17. Risk Assessment/Management: the up-dated matrix circulated by the Clerk was considered. The importance of regular re-assessment of risk and financial arrangements was emphasised and noted. The Clerk had registered the Parish Council as required by the Data Protection Act. The Clerk asked that two Councillors take on up-dating the Assets Register and carry out an inventory check. Cllr Poskitt agreed to do this. Cllr Ashurst should also be approached. Action: Clerk.
18. Finance: payments of £8,201.51 and receipts of £5,380.77 as presented by the Clerk were noted. Payments of £1,064 were approved and 6 cheques signed.
19. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman signed an up-dated Banking Arrangements Schedule. This reflected Mr Fegan’s pay increase. The Clerk informed the meeting that a full reconciliation of the bank accounts had been completed successfully on 20 January 2015 and circulated the paperwork.
20. Publicising Planning Applications: it was agreed that when applications were received from SCDC these should henceforth be forwarded to all Parish Counsellors (not just the Planning Committee). The possibility of the Village website reproducing the Clerk’s rolling register should be considered. Otherwise it was felt that present arrangements, whereby applications could be viewed on the SCDC website and on Great Shelford online, were publicised locally by SCDC, and posted on all four Parish Notice Boards prior to consideration by the Parish Council Planning Committee, were considered adequate.
21. Bus Stops Close to Scotsdales: presently, the nearest stops were at 82 and 95 Cambridge Road (where there were shelters), and 161 (with an electronic indicator) and 166 Cambridge Road. There had been a stop close by Scotsdales, but this was removed when the central division was marked on the road. The Chairman was aware that Scotsdales was ready to fund costs involved in locating new stops, but difficulties included identifying and preparing suitable stopping points; additionally, Stagecoach had said they would only consider moving a stop rather than add new stops. It was agreed that the stops at 161 and 166 should not be moved as they were close to the care home under construction. This was a new factor which should be put to Mr Campbell of Stagecoach. Action: Chairman.
22. Correspondence: this was reviewed and the following points made:
· Awards: Cllr Chittenden suggested a person who might be considered for a SCDC Award. This was welcomed enthusiastically. He would draft an application.
· Network Rail Plans and Shelford Level Crossing: this was an opportune time to press Network Rail to reconsider a footbridge. Action: Clerk to draft letter;
· Sterling Gardens planting in front of Memorial Hall: their readiness to continue was welcomed. An application by the Parish Council to the SCDC Tree Officer to trim the low hanging tree branches would be made. Action: Cllr Hodge.
23. Matters for Future Consideration. The Neighbourhood/Village Plan Meeting anticipated for January will slip to February.
There being no other business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.33 pm.