ICKLETON PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 21 November 2007 at 7.30 pm in Ickleton Village Hall
Present: Robin Driver (Chairman), Lewis Duke, Sheila Birch, Terry Sadler, Tim Pavelin, Jane Hurst, Liz Goddard, Mark Stone-Wigg, Jocelyn Flitton (Parish Clerk). Tim Stone (County Councillor), Richard Herbert (Chairman Ickleton United Charities) and Roger Shaw (representing Stop Linton Wind Farm)
146/07 Apologies for absence: John Williams (District Councillor), Peter Wombwell (previous engagements)
147/07 To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2007: Amendment to 141/07 Minor Highway Improvement Schemes 2008/09 Bids. The second sentence should read: “Terry Sadler will speak to County Council Officers prior to our…….”. Following this amendment the minutes of the meeting were approved and signed by the Chairman.
148/07 Adjournment for questions from members of the public:
The Chairman invited Roger Shaw to speak. Mr Shaw mentioned that all the Councillors had received an invitation to an open meeting on 3 December at Gt Chesterford at 7.30 pm. He gave a resume of the proposal, which he said would affect this area. Mr Shaw then left the meeting.
The Chairman then invited Richard Herbert to speak about the Renovation project for the Gertrude Homes. The Chairman thanked Mr Herbert and said that a possible donation would be discussed later under Finance on the Agenda.
277/05 Village parking – Terry Sadler had nothing to report. Action: TS
028/06 Village seats – This work is still outstanding with C Frankau Action: Clerk
053/06 Land Registry inc.Coploe pit - Two letters had been received from Mr Marris (Adams & Harrison). Coploe Pit – He had produced a draft Statutory Declaration for consideration by the Parish Council to be signed by Mrs Birch. The Parish Council passed a resolution authorising Mrs Birch to swear the Declaration subject to any amendments. The Parish Council authorised the payment of the fee proposed in Mr Marris’s letter dated 19 November 2007, 2 ½ hours times at £185.00 per hour, plus a Land Registration fee of £40. The Recreation Ground and Cemetery have been registered at HM Land Registry with freehold title absolute. There is a restriction in that the land that it is to be used only as a Recreation Ground. The Parish Council passed a resolution authorising Mr Driver to swear a declaration relating to the land/Village Hall. Mr Marris recommended that the Parish Council take no further steps to seek to register the Village Green. Action: RD/ SB/ Clerk
071/06 Cemetery – retaining board - C Frankau has now completed this work
154/06 Allotments – Lewis Duke declared an interest and did not take place in the discussion. The Chairman reported that as the original preferred site for the allotments was in abeyance, he had now been offered the use of a field behind the Cemetery, as a possibility. Entry would be via the Bridle Path or Foothpaths. This will be mentioned in Icene and interested parties in using this site will be asked to contact the Clerk. Action: Clerk
Liz Goddard proposed that 10 feet was taken off the end of Recreation Ground behind the Football Pitch. Tim Pavelin was asked to look into the feasibility of this, bearing in mind the comment made by Mr Marris on the restriction. Action: TP
190/06 Coploe Pit – grazing – Green Belt had cleared some more from the pit and lit their own bonfire. A letter of thanks will be written. No sheep had yet been moved into the pit due to current restrictions.
028/07 Tennis Courts – Nothing further to report at the moment. Action: RD
073/07 Gypsy Corner – The planting of the hedge is due to take place shortly. Action: LD/TS
089/07 Churchyard – A meeting between Sheila Birch, Ron Coulson and the Clerk has yet to be arranged.
123/07 Seat outside Chapel – A letter had been received from Rev. Trevor Sands outlining the concerns of the Church Council. The costs of purchasing a seat were also discussed. It was agreed to carry this item forward to the next meeting. Action: Clerk
Gift to Lilleys – Two glass photo frames had been presented to the Lilley family in appreciation of their service to the village.
137/07 M11 resurfacing – Nothing further to report.
Overgrowing trees – No response had been received to the two letters sent. The Clerk was asked to write again. Action: Clerk
Removal of dead trees - Owen McGuire had responded quickly and the dead trees had now been removed.
Hinxton Road – Mike Cooper (CCC) had replied: “I have had a look at Cemetery Corner. We have not sided out or widened the road but it looks like the landowner on the north side has flailed the hedge. This has “opened up” the area and gives the impression that the road is wider.”
SCDC - Litter and Dog Bins – Result of Consultation
SCDC - The Naming or Re-Naming of Streets within the District
SCDC - Public Consultations
SCDC - SCDC’s Parish Plan Statement
CCC - Minor Highways Improvement Schemes
CCC - Street Lighting Maintenance and Energy 2007/2008
CCC - Contracted Bus Services
CCC - Consultation on the Introduction of the Nat. Std. Planning App. Form
CCC - Hinxton Road
Cambridge City - Consultation on the North West Cambridge Area Action Plan
Ickleton Village Hall - Proposed tree planting in village hall car park
Ickleton Village Hall - Village Hall Security
Owen McGuire - Tree cuttings in Back Lane
Rev T Sands - Possibility of placing a seat on land in front of Methodist Chapel
Youth Bank - Youth Bank Funding Workshop
Mandy Jeffery - Flint wall – Church Street
Highways Agency - M11 Junctions 6-8 Improvements
Sheila Elliott - Proposed Wind Farm at Linton
CALC - Various brochures
Go East - Consultation on the Appropriate Assessment (2)
Andrew Lansley MP - Copy of letters received from Hexcel
Andrew Lansley MP - Copy of letters (ALansley and Information Commissioner’s Office)
Andrew Lansley MP - Westminster Report
Buchans - Request to tender for 2008
Duxford Airfield - Management Liaison Committee Agenda/Minutes
Imp War Museum - Parachute Regiment & Airborne Forces Museum
Stop Stansted - Public Inquiry Ends
Cambs. Acre - Cambs. & Peterborough Rural Services Survey 2007
CPRE - Countryside Voice
Cambridge Council - Voluntary Service
NALC - LCR magazine
Cope - Magazine
NTS - National Training Strategy Booklet
Local Councils - Clerks & Councils Direct
Mr A Marris - Land Registry
Mrs S Parker - Lights in Alleyway between Abbey Street and Back Lane
Mr & Mrs A Fleet - Lights in Alleyway between Abbey Street and Back Lane
Elaine Culling - 30mph speed sign
Phillips Profile - Advertising in the Icene
Eastern Tree Surgery - Acceptance of quotation to cut tree down in Recreation Ground
E-cops - Community Speed watch
152/07 Planning applications received from SCDC:
S/1981/07/F – Dormer Windows – 50 Frogge Street – Mr & Mrs N Malone - Approve
S/1914/07/F- Amendment: Parking area enlarged to provide 2 spaces, Gates added to access and design of pedestrian gate & trellis altered - 53 Street – Keith Mitchell Building Consultancy Ltd. Comments sent to SCDC: “Ickleton Parish Council’s reservations were caused by the plan going for a minimum size of parking bay when there is scope for the parking area to be a little wider. The plans indicate a 1.5m border at the side. If some of this were given up for parking space this would allow a critical amount of room. It is a question of squeezing two cars in or being able to park them (and get in and out of them) more easily.”
S/1852/07/LB – Alterations-refurbishment of cottage and conversion of coach house, stable, tackroom to residential use – 53 Abbey Street – Keith Mitchell Building Consultancy Ltd. Information only.
Planning application granted by SCDC:
S/1781/07/F – Wall (Retrospective Application) – 10 Butchers Hill – Mr and Mrs KD Worthing.
S/1211/07/LB – Conversion of Offices to 3 Bed roomed dwelling – 18 Abbey Street – Dalesville Holdings Ltd.
Tree Preservation Order or situated within a Conservation Area:
C/11/40/054 – Reduce crown of self-set Sycamore tree – 19 Brookhampton Street – Mr R Turrell – No Comment.
C/11/40/054 – Reduce crown in 2 Silver Birch/Cut overhanging branches from neighbours Walnut Tree – Mr & Mrs H Willmott. Terry Sadler declared an interest. No objections were raised to reducing the Silver Birch trees. The point was made however, that it was believed that Walnut trees should only be pruned when in leaf.
Cambridgeshire County Council - Application No. S/00908/07/CW – The importation of topsoil to raise levels by approx. 1 metre – Application has been withdrawn on 4 October 2007.
153/07 Reports from Councillors:
Tim Pavelin – Following information received, Tim felt we should put up No Smoking signs in our bus shelters. This was agreed and the Clerk will purchase the signs. Action: Clerk
Terry Sadler – Fly tipping had taken place along Coploe Road, on the left hand side just past Coploe Pit and a bit further on. The Clerk will report this to SCDC. Action: Clerk
Sheila Birch – following an incident with a bonfire earlier in the week, when the fire brigade were called, some guidelines will be put in Icene. Action: Clerk
Complaints had been received about the new galvanised gates that had been installed on the footpaths. Kevin Green (CCC) has said he might be able to get them painted. Sheila Birch asked Tim Stone if he could find out how much it cost to replace the gates and install a new bridge. Action: TS
Sheila also asked that if someone is on the Council Housing list, do they automatically qualify to go on the Housing Association list. She asked if John Williams could clarify this situation. Action: JW
Jane Hurst – reported that fireworks were let off (by unknown persons) in the Recreation Ground on November 3rd.
Robin Driver – Local farmers had recently had low flying helicopters flying over their land looking for mythical targets, which had been organised by the Imperial War Museum. These had caused distress to animals. The Chairman asked Tim Stone if he could find out why the Parish Council or landowners were not informed beforehand. Action: TS
District Councillor – see Appendix I
County Councillor – see Appendix II
Lewis Duke queried the viability of the proposed congestion charge.
155/07 Finance (Bank Balances) including payments to:
R Coulson £2150.00 Harts £65.42 Eastern Tree Surgery £370.13
C Frankau £2702.51 Royal British Legion £50.00 (including donation)
S Birch £ 34.08
Community Account - £1,449.51
Business Base Rate Tracker Account - £12,956.75 (these figures shown are following the transfer of £5,000 to the Community Account)
Bank Mandate - still outstanding
Lewis Duke, Jocelyn Flitton and Tim Stone left the meeting.
Donations: Ickleton United Charities. The Parish Council agreed to donate £2,500 to the Gertrude Homes Renovation Fund this financial year, and another £2,500 next financial year. They would also look into the VAT situation to see if they could help in any way. The Parish Council agreed that the renovation of these cottages is a very worthwhile cause. Action: Clerk
Victim Support/Stop Stansted Expansion) – it was agreed that no donations would be made.
Clerk’s salary review: This was discussed again and a revised rate per hour was agreed and would be backdated to 1 April 2007. Action: RD/Clerk
Lewis Duke, Jocelyn Flitton and Tim Stone rejoined the meeting.
Three new trees had been planted today. The Clerk was asked to contact Ron Coulson regarding the regular watering of the trees via the land drain tubes. G Birch had put some pea shingle down the tubes as recommended. The Clerk will arrange for the clearing of the remaining topsoil and roots, ready for re-seeding. Action: Clerk
It was also recommended that we put small fences around the trees to protect them.
157/07 Minor Highway Improvement Schemes 2008/09 Bids: It was agreed that it was difficult to make a suggestion for this year but we will concentrate on suggestions for next year.
158/07 Wellcome Trust:
Sheila Birch and Terry Sadler met with Duncan Parsley on 14 November 2007. They are currently planting more trees on site. Next year they intend to expand the Conference Centre and Lecture Theatre. The workers repairing the M11 have used the buildings, which are currently near Stumps Cross. The planning application for Phase 2 Southfield extension has 2 years to run. Duncan Parsley is currently writing a report on the Energy requirements of the Campus for Wellcome. They also handed over a letter from Ickleton United Charities.
159/07 Speeding – Frogge Street: this item has been deferred until December. Agenda: Clerk
160/07 Adjournment for questions by members of the public: None
161/07 Date and time of next meeting and date for December meeting: Wednesday 12 December 2007 at 7.30 pm in Village Hall.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.20pm
Report from John Williams, District Councillor 19 November 2007
Planning application – 53 Abbey Street
This application was due for Chairman’s delegation decision 2 weeks ago, but because of Ickleton PC’s and my view on the poverty of parking space, I asked officers to put it back to the applicant to come up with an improvement to allow a good 2 spaces. This new plan has been provided but it really does not allow enough room for 2 comfortable spaces for full-size vehicles to be parked adequately off the street. So both you and I have bounced it back to officers to re-discuss. Below is the reply to my E-mail (which I copied to Jos/Robin/Terry). Frankly I cannot follow the reasoning…….what do you think?
Dear Councillor Williams,
I've looked further into this and discussed the issue with Barbara Clarke in Conservation and David Rush. If the parking area was made 1.5m larger, vehicles would not be able to manoeuvre in and out of the narrow 3 metre wide access, and the Conservation section has made it clear that a wider access could not be supported due to the harmful impact this would have upon the setting of the listed house. The spaces each measure 2.4m x 4.8m, as per the minimum highways requirement, and I'll therefore be aiming to refer the application to the Chairman’s Delegation meeting on 12th December with a recommendation of approval as it stands.
Tennis courts etc
During the year there was apparently a climate of uncertainty over the possibility of grants for community and sports development projects, with a perception that there would not be any money, so why bother applying. As a result there have been fewer applications coming forward. Meanwhile it has been seen that this perception was false, and with the word being spread, applications have been coming in. The present financial year is nearly full. I would therefore advise that if the Parish Council wants to make an application, that no time is now lost in doing so, with next year in mind at least. The procedure is still the same as that which you discussed with Jane Lampshire nearly a year ago.
County Councillor’s Report November 2007
Local Highways matters
I have been to see Richard Preston about a follow-up to our Whittlesford meeting last month. He thinks that the next step will be to give Parish Councils more information about what Highways is doing and more effective feedback. He is asking for one volunteer from any interested Parish Council to put him or herself forward as Parish Council liaison person and see how it goes. Not all Parish Councils will be involved during the trial phase so that the role can be more closely defined before the concept is extended further.
I already have three parish council volunteers, which should be enough for the trial phase. Meanwhile Richard Preston has to clear the project through the political process, so we may have to wait a bit.
County Council meeting 30th October
The meeting on 30th October was rather painful - again. There have been accurate stories in the Cambridge Evening News about failure to obtain a new Chief Executive. The Leader has now resigned as a result of the fiasco. Conservatives clearly feel very uncomfortable about the whole sorry business and the opposition is not overjoyed either, as it leaves the Council with and interim leader and no chief executive at a crucial time. Today it was announced that a further cabinet member had resigned.
Meanwhile the council is already in budget difficulties. Audit and Accounts met last week and we expressed our concerns. There is very little on paper because any plan to turn things around will first have to go to cabinet before entering the public domain. I am particularly concerned about Trading Units, which include things such as catering, ground keeping and the instrumental music. They are already £2.3 million in the red with a predicted cumulative loss of £2.2 million by the end of March. I raised a question in full council but frankly didn't get much of an answer.
Next year's budget is going to be extremely difficult as the broad outlines were announced in the run-up to the phoney general election - much earlier than usual. While the political parties are agreed that we need the maximum council tax increase possible to avoid yet more cuts, the settlement from Westminster is going to be very poor. The Local Government Association has now taken up the case of migrant workers who don't appear in the government's population figures yet have special needs in areas where they are present. Part of the trouble is that the benefits which these workers bring to the local economy increase tax and rates paid by business and increase the income tax take but do very little to increase the County's income, which is based on the council tax.
Work on invalid-friendly gates on footpath 5 has been completed. I have received complaints that the new galvanised gates are ugly and that nobody in a wheelchair is going to use the footpath anyway. Before bringing this up with the County I should welcome your reaction.
The County is now going out to consultation on the Transport Innovation Fund bid. Another "have your say." There is still much argument about the principles, not helped by contradictory press releases.
240,000 leaflets are to be delivered throughout the county, which clearly articulate the reason for the bid. But it is still inconsistent. In one place it says that the package of improvements and the congestion charge "must go hand in hand" and in another it says that a congestion charge is not necessary and would only be considered as a last resort. The fact is that if there is no congestion charge there is no funding. If there is no funding then Cambridge gums up because there is no Plan B.
The Conservatives on the Council are split about the bid, with a large number wanting nothing to do with it. This made the front page of the Cambridge Evening News last week. Liberal Democrats are generally sympathetic to the idea of getting £500million from the government to be used for much-needed improvements in public transport and access to Cambridge. The environmental aspect of reducing car travel is also much favoured. But we want to know more about the options before we throw our weight behind any particular scheme.
Unless the Conservatives decide to withdraw the bid the series of road shows will continue between now and next February, including one at Sawston Village College on Wednesday 23rd January between 3 and 9 pm.
New school building
I've also had a go at the council about its new school building programme. The council says a decision whether fire sprinklers would be included or not "would be taken on a case-by-case basis following a rigorous risk assessment in consultation with the Fire Authority." To my mind new schools should be built only if they are safe. All this "rigorous risk assessment" is just a way of getting out of including sprinklers. And I just wonder how you factor in the number of arsonists around. So I am asking for sprinklers as a matter of course. I have very little hope of changing this sloppy thinking.
A505 lights, Heathfield
The new traffic lights at Heathfield are still being monitored and adjusted to improve the capacity and reduce the delay wherever possible. Many drivers are still adjusting to the new lights, driving slower and leaving longer gaps than normal, which increases the delay to others. This will improve over the next few weeks, and a new system is to be switched on and commissioned on Monday 26th November. This will count the number of vehicles on each approach and prioritise the green time better than the current system.