ICKLETON PARISH COUNCIL


Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 15 September 2010 at 7.30 pm in the Meeting Room, Ickleton Village Hall.


Present: Terry Sadler (Chairman), Jane Hurst, Liz Goddard, Peter Wombwell, Lewis Duke, Sheila Birch, Tim Pavelin, Liz Gibson, Jocelyn Flitton (Parish Clerk) and Cllr John Williams (District)


The Chairman offered on behalf of the Parish Council their condolences to Lewis Duke and family on the loss of his father Geoffrey Duke, who had made an immense contribution to Ickleton over the years, not least through serving on the Parish Council.


154/10 Apologies for absence: Mark Stone-Wigg, Cllr Timothy Stone (County)


155/10 To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 18 August 2010: The minutes were approved and signed by the Chairman.


156/10 Adjournment for questions from members of the public: None


157/10 Matters Arising:

028/07 Tennis Courts – The Clerk had written to the Valuation Office to try to ascertain whether rates would be payable and if so to obtain an approximate cost. The Chairman commented that it was up to the Tennis Court Committee to inject fresh impetus into the project. Action: Clerk/M S-W

116/09 Trimming back of trees by Owner Mr A Fleet – The Chairman had received no response to his letter sent to Mr Fleet. The Chairman will check with the tenant that the letter was forwarded to the owner. The Clerk was asked to contact CCC (Mike Cooper) to explain the situation and to ask what was the best way forward. As this footpath is used by school children and with the darker days now approaching, it was felt this needed to be addressed. Action: TS/Clerk

064/10 Heydon Grange Wind Farm – a request for copy of the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd August has not prompted a response, despite a second reminder being sent. Action: Clerk

073/10 Gritting of roads (letter from CCC 26/7/10) – The Parish Council were disappointed that Cllr Stone was not present to further this discussion. They feel that time is passing and would like this to be resolved before the winter starts. The Clerk is to ask Cllr Stone when the meeting at Gt Chrishall is taking place, so that someone could attend from Ickleton Parish Council. Action: Clerk

074/10 Adoption of Model Standing Orders for Local Councils - The Chairman had done some work on this item and will put a copy in the circulation file and send to the Councillors via e-mail. These proposals can then be reviewed at next month’s meeting. This item is being covered on the courses being attended by Liz Gibson. Action: ALL

094/10 Grass cutting protected grass verges - The Clerk will send the comments to CCC. Action: Clerk

106/10 Footpath from Hinxton crossing towards Duxford – Lewis Duke reported that he had heard nothing further and it was agreed to take the item off the Agenda.

143/10 Water cover missing near Priory Close – this had been reported to CCC who in turn had reported it to Cambridge Water.

Repair slats on Picnic bench – this repair was still outstanding with C Frankau. Action: Clerk

Catch on Play Area gate – this had been replaced.

Strimming of Footpath 6 – this work had been done.

Letter to CCC re. Signage for Allotments – The Chairman had sent an e-mail to CCC (D Lines) requesting signage leading to the Allotments in Coploe Road. Action: TS

152/10 Stop Stansted Expansion – The Chairman had sent a letter to The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP in response to a letter from Stop Stansted Expansion dated 04/08/10.


158/10 Youth Representation: None


159/10 Reports from District and County Councillors:

Appendix 1 - District Councillor - No written report this month. Cllr Williams reported that SCDC are issuing a consultation paper on Climate Change. He will forward details which will include how this can be viewed on the website. Cllr Williams has compiled some questions in response. The deadline to respond is 15 October.


Appendix II - County Councillor – Report received after the meeting.


160/10 Correspondence received:

SCDC (Conservation) - Cemetery Chapel

SCDC (L Browne) - Parish Liaison Meeting 18 October

SCDC (H Wass) - Proposed revision of Local Validation List

SCDC (K Human) - Community Facility Addresses

CCC (E Huckstep) - Winter Service Review

CCC (Charlotte Black) - Integrated Youth Support Service (IYSS)

CCC (S McGee) - Closure of Duxford Road

CCC (D Marchant) - List of all Protected Road Verges

CCC (Mike Cooper) - Copy of correspondence with Mr C Cope

Mr C Cope - Copy of correspondence with Mr M Cooper

Adams Harrison (Mr Marris) - Query re. Land Registry

CPRE (S Fieldhouse) - Litter Pick/ Affordable Housing Keeps Villages Alive

CPALC - Opening all the Gates (Gardens)/Newsletter 23/8 & 9/09

CPALC - Agenda, Accounts & Resolutions for AGM

CofE Churchcare - Article from website www.churchcare.co.uk

Caring for God’s Acre - Action Pack for Churchyard & Burial Ground

Conservation

SureStart - Programme between September & December 2010

Tom Bristowe - Queries regarding dead Beech Tree and Wooden Fence

Brien Walker - Confirmation of meeting at Ickleton Riverside Barns 7/9

Kompan - Playgrounds Catalogue

Clerks & Councils Direct - Issue 71 – September 2010

Wicksteed - Playground Inspection & Maintenance Services

Cambs. Police Shrievalty Trust - Donation towards The Bobby Scheme

Cambs. Police - Opening hours of Sawston office

NALC - Local Government Pay 2010/11 & 2011/2012

Open University in the East of England - Open day 2 October 2010 in Grand Arcade, Cambridge

Stop Stansted Expansion - New NATS Airspace Consultation/2010 Runway Ramble

Countryside Training Services - Interpretation Skills course on 22/9/10

Various e-mails - Forwarded to the Parish Council

Correspondence sent:

CCC (D Lines) - Signage on Coploe Road – Allotments

SCDC (Conservation) - Cemetery Chapel

SCDC (Roz Richardson) - Query re. Trees in Churchyard

Rt.Hon. Theresa Villiers MP - Stansted Airport – Airport/Aviation Policy Reviews

Adams Harrison (Mr Marris) - Query re. Land Registry

Mr C Frankau - Skate Park and Play Area/Crocus Football Club

Communities & Local Government - Response to questionnaire from CPALC

161/10 Planning application(s) received from SCDC: Declarations of Interest to be declared.

None

Planning application(s) granted by SCDC: S/0783/10/F – Extension and Conversion of Agricultural buildings to offices (use class B1) – revision to design of application S/0119/09/F – Abbey Farm – Mr L Duke

Planning application(s) refused by SCDC: S/0784/10/LB – Alter, Extend & Convert 2 Outbuildings to offices with attached Wall & Gates (revised design) – Abbey Farm – Mr L Duke.

Lewis Duke declared an interest and reported following the two decisions by SCDC, the position is still unclear.

Applications to carry out tree works subject to a tree preservation order or situated within a Conservation Area: C/11/40/054 – Fell Ash Tree on front north boundary – 29cm diameter trunk at 1.5m above ground. Tree believed to be unsafe since no roots in a northerly direction due to previously being immediately adjacent to a now demolished building – Bluebell Cottage, Frogge Street – Mr S Wentzell – Approve if the Tree Officer considers the tree to be unsafe. The Parish Council will recommend another tree be planted. Action: Clerk


162/10 Reports from Councillors:

Lewis Duke reported that he is unable to attend the next meeting at Imperial War Museum on 20 October at 3pm. He felt it important that someone attends in his absence. Terry Sadler agreed to attend in his place.

Action: TS

Sheila Birch asked if The Ickleton Society were interested in the old Planning Applications. The Clerk reported that they were and she would be meeting with Rachel Radford.

Terry Sadler wished to express the thanks and gratitude of the Parish Council to the Summer Sizzler Committee for organising a successful event again this year.

He asked the Clerk to rearrange the next Wellcome Trust Liaison meeting from 1 October to the end of October/beginning of November. Action: Clerk


163/10 Finance (Bank Balances) including payments to:

Harts (July Icene) - £68.91

Receipts – SCDC (Refund Cemetery Rates) - £39.73.

Whitehead & Day (Memorial Headstone Marion Baynes) - £65.00

Bank Balances:

Community Account - £1,087.01

Business Base Rate Tracker Account - £16,641.73


Donation Request – Cambridgeshire Police – The Bobby Scheme for the elderly & vulnerable people. After discussion, it was proposed by Sheila Birch and seconded by Lewis Duke that a donation of £50 should be made. Following a majority vote in favour, a donation of £50 will be made. Action: Clerk


164/10 Recreation Field and Play Area

Aerial Runway - The outstanding repair due to be fixed w/c 23 August by Trevor Silk was not carried out due to wet weather. He was hoping to do the repair this week. Action: Clerk

Skate Park – Lewis Duke had been unable to approach possible donors at the moment. Action: Clerk

165/10 Cemetery - Chapel – Condition to be kept under Review

Quotation to repair roof – The Clerk had obtained a quotation and had forwarded this to the Conservation Team at SCDC with the view of obtaining a grant for the work. The following reply was received from Shona Smith: I refer to your e-mail below and write to advise you that the work to the roof of the Chapel could be eligible for grant aid. However, I have some concerns with the estimate that you have supplied, it is not very detailed and does not appear to be based on a proper specification and schedule of work.  It is unclear whether the tiles need to be replaced on a specific area or whether these are failed tiles on several areas of roof.  In addition, the estimate does not specify what tiles will be used as replacements.  It is also unclear what other work may be found which may substantially increase the costs.

If you wish to apply for a grant a second competitive estimate is required.  I enclose a list of roofing contractors who may be able to supply this.  Application forms can be downloaded from the website: http://www.scambs.gov.uk/Environment/Conservation/HistoricBuildings/buildingGrants.htm

It was agreed to go back to the builder who gave the first quotation asking him to clarify as requested by SCDC also to obtain another quotation after looking to see who we previously asked to quote for the work.

Action: Clerk


166/10 Churchyard Wall – The Clerk was asked to contact Gt Chishill and Littlebury regarding the repair of their church walls. Action: Clerk


Quinquennial Inspection Report – Trees – The Clerk had sent an e-mail to Roz Richardson at SCDC asking for her advice (when she is next in the area) regarding the various trees in the Churchyard.

Action: Clerk

Various documents (‘Action Pack for Churchyard & Burial Ground Conservation’ & ‘Churchcare – Your Churchyard’) had been received which would be circulated.


167/10 Flooding

Land adj. Stumps Cross – SEEARO Group/Monthly Site Visits – The Chairman will contact Gt Chesterford to arrange a suitable date for a site meeting with Mr Clive Onslow. Action: TS/LD

Drain top of Mill Lane – Mr Mike Cooper (CCC) was responding to the letter from Mr John Eccles of Network Rail. Nothing further has been heard. Action: Clerk

Abbey Street opp. Methodist Chapel + copy of correspondence between Mr Cope & Mr Cooper – Lewis Duke will visit Mr Cope some time in the future and felt that it was unfortunate that Mr Cope had not contacted him first as it has already been established that Mr Cope is responsible for the ditch in Grange Road and not CCC Highways. Action: Clerk


168/10 Ickleton Riverside Barns - A site meeting was held on 7 September and was attended by Terry Sadler, Sheila Birch, Liz Goddard, Hayden Miles and Brien Walker. The Chairman reported that he felt it was a positive meeting. It is likely that Brien Walker could become the managing agent for the site in the future. The Clerk will send a letter to Brien Walker following the meeting. Action: Clerk


169/10 Proposals for retirement gift for Robin Driver – The proposal of a wooden seat, situated on the path in front of the entrance to the Church was proposed. Peter Wombwell had spoken to Simon Casement (Churchwarden) who had no objections. The Clerk had obtained some rough estimates of cost and had received confirmation from CCC (Mike Cooper) that the seat could be situated there. Peter Wombwell will ask Vili Mila for a quotation to make the bench, which would have a suitable acknowledgement on it.

Action: PW/Clerk


170/10 Remembrance Sunday - it was agreed that the Clerk should order the wreath from Malcolm Hall.

Action: Clerk


171/10 Date and time of next meeting - 20 October 2010 at 7.30 pm.


There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.15pm



Chairman



Date


Appendix 11 County Councillor

Report to Ickleton Parish Council 15th September 2010


Local Enterprise Partnerships

After the abolition of regional planning and the Regional Development Agency the government has introduced the concept of Local Enterprise Partnerships. The issue is fairly complicated because these partnerships are more or less voluntary bodies, which are likely to vary considerably in size and activity across the country.

In its invitation the government says, “We anticipate that Local Enterprise Partnerships will wish to provide the strategic leadership in their areas to set out local economic priorities. A clear vision is vital if local economic renewal is to be achieved.” Their main aim seems to be to promote growth, which in our part of the world seems to look after itself, though is a real need in other parts of Cambridgeshire.

The government expects that the chairman of the LEP will be a prominent local business leader rather than a figure from local government. John Bridge, OBE, CEO of the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce (covering Cambridgeshire and Peterborough) has agreed to chair the Project Board, which includes the county and district councils and a number of private enterprises.

There are still many questions to be answered; not least what are the real powers of these LEPs and who is going to pay for them. All this should be revealed when a White Paper is published in early autumn.

The indication is that there will be very little public money to support Local Enterprise Partnerships.


Outline proposal

The Project Board has drawn up a proposal for the local area, which includes Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Rutland. The proposal was submitted by the deadline of 6 September.

According to the proposal, the Greater Cambridge-Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership’s mission will be to “lead our area’s growth to 100,000 major businesses and create 160,000 new jobs by 2025 in an internationally significant low carbon, knowledge-based economy.”

Meanwhile an alternative has been proposed by Suffolk, which would include Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. Neither Norfolk nor Cambridgeshire support the Suffolk proposal. Another straw in the wind is that Essex has submitted a proposal for the county and unitary authorities but has apparently been told that the geographic area needs to be expanded to include Kent!


Next Steps

LEP proposals will be considered soon after submission and feedback on the proposals, plus guidance on the formal establishment of Local Enterprise Partnerships, will be issued shortly afterwards.

In the meantime the project will turn its attention to planning the activities required for the establishment of a formal Local Enterprise Partnership including governance, scope and a communications strategy.

While it’s about it, the LEP Project Board has written to Government bidding for some of the £1 billion Regional Growth Fund money being floated by the government. The fund is available from 2011 to 2013. The LEP Project Board’s claim is that we need the money so we can continue to grow and pull the country up by its bootstraps. Others suggest that the money would be better spent trying to help the most economically backward parts of the country.


Sawston Business Network

This network is being set up by Brian Milnes to set up opportunities for networking amongst business owners and senior managers from the 300 or so businesses in Sawston and neighbouring villages including Ickleton. The inaugural meeting took place today at the Babraham Institute. It is intended that members will meet monthly thereafter – probably over lunch.

You can find details of the Network on www.sawston.biz

Perhaps another manifestation of the Big Society and even a player in the Local Enterprise Partnership.


Children’s and Young People’s Services

After a summer of internal consultation we are now getting closer to resolving the budget crisis affecting the provision of services for Children and Young People. The crisis is brought about by the County’s decision to cut a third of the Integrated Youth Support Services budget. This has a direct impact on Duxford’s successful The Massive.


The County has launched its external consultation on its Integrated Youth Support Service. You should have a copy of the results of internal consultation. The County would like to put its spending emphasis on those children and young people regarded as vulnerable. What are known as Open Access youth clubs don’t fit easily into this category because all teenagers are welcome rather than a defined group.

In our part of the county there is no concentration of vulnerable young people as there would probably be in, say, Wisbech. We also know that those concerned would prefer not to be categorised as different from their peer group; they like to socialise with their friends. So Open Access youth clubs appear to be the best way forward.

Assuming that nothing startling transpires from the consultation the local County team will try to continue to work as much as it can with Open Access youth clubs. But it will need to look for parish council and volunteer support.

Electricity generation

In August the government announced that councils in England and Wales will be able to sell renewable energy directly to the National Grid under proposed reforms aimed at encouraging them to use their buildings and land to host projects that generate wind, solar and water power. We are told that selling to the grid could allow councils to raise up to £100m a year in income.

Such sales have been restricted since legislation was introduced to privatise the electricity industry in 1989, but the lifting of the restriction should already have taken effect. It’s just that nobody seems to have seen the details.

The Local Government Association said the new rules had the potential to cut energy bills and provide much-needed income to maintain services and keep council tax down.

The Memorial Hall is already investigating the opportunities because the south-facing roof appears to be ideal. Perhaps the pavilion, too?

Only 0.01% of electricity in England is currently generated by local authority-owned renewables, compared with around 1% in Germany. Cambridgeshire owns a wind farm and is looking for other opportunities.


Traffic on 4th September

Richard Ashton is deeply apologetic about the traffic chaos, which occurred on Saturday 4th September. I have had complaints from as far away as Northumberland, but nothing from local residents.

The brief facts are that the IWM was overwhelmed by a much greater than expected number of visitors, who all seemed to want to arrive at the same time. Some people with tickets were turned away because all the car parks were full.

A meeting was scheduled today between the IWM and the police to see how such a mess can be avoided in future. I don’t know the outcome.

Everything seems to have worked perfectly on the Sunday.


Council Tax and the Parish Precept

Last month the government launched a consultation on abolition of capping. You should have received notification of this from CPALC. The consultation is now closed, though you may still possibly be able to find it on:

www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/vetocounciltaxincreasesconsult

The proposed alternative regime involves the government issuing a percentage figure, which is the maximum council tax increase it will allow to go through unchallenged. Any increase above that figure will be subject to a local referendum, the result of which will be binding. If a council proposes a percentage-busting tax, then it also has to produce a “shadow” budget, which will be applied if its proposals are defeated in the referendum.

One major innovation in all this is that the rules would apply to parish precepts as well.

I am not at all happy with this additional provision. I am also very concerned that the consultation took place at a time when many councils are inactive. I have sent in my personal response, which I append to this report. The main points are that in low precept parishes the cost of a referendum could be as much as the amount of additional money, which would need to be raised. Also that parishes are closest to the people and, with the statutory Annual Parish Meeting, are more sensitive to residents’ views than any other part of government. Why not just abolish capping and have done with it?


I am responding as a County Councillor, in which capacity I also attend parish council meetings in 10 parishes.
a. These proposals represent a major change for parish councils and yet the period allowed for consultation covers the month of August when most parish councils do not meet. This is entirely unsatisfactory.
b. I welcome the abolition of capping

c. The proposal to introduce referenda for vetoing 'excessive' council tax increases is seriously flawed. It runs counter to other government policies promoting Localism and the Big Society. Central government rightly wishes to increase the role of local communities and it can best do this by leaving the setting of Council Tax to the judgement of locally elected bodies who are directly answerable to local communities through the democratic process

d. Local councils have many means at their disposal for involving local residents in establishing priorities - questionnaires, public consultations and meetings. In particular all parish councils are required to hold an Annual Parish Meeting. From these processes councils can make a judgement on what services people want and what they are prepared to pay. No council is deliberately going to set an excessive council tax when it knows that it will be subject to electoral disapproval.

e. The proposals are particularly unhelpful for parish councils. Their role is likely to increase as the pressures on the statutory services provided by higher tier authorities mount. Parish and town councils are served by unremunerated volunteers who are closely in touch with the wishes of their local communities. From time to time such councils may need to set an 'excessive' increase because of a specific development supported by the local community. Bearing in mind that the parish precepts in the 10 villages referred to above vary between £22.18 and £82.98, setting a percentage for a ‘normal’ increase is perverse. It would allow, for instance, a parish with a high precept being used to finance an unusual capital project the possibility of increasing its precept to a far greater extent than a parish with no such exceptional funding need. A parish faced with an exceptional need would have to go through the unnecessarily expensive route of conducting a referendum.

f. The proposed process for running a referendum is bureaucratic and costly. Indeed, in some cases it could be that the cost of the referendum is greater than the increase proposed in council tax. The administration of re-billing or refunding adds a further expense.

g. If the Secretary of State is going to set principles based on the tax levels of every council in every tier for every year that adds an enormous administrative burden to central government at a time when central costs are supposed to be reduced.

h. The prospect of one referendum covering excessive increases in a range of different authorities is simply mind-boggling.
i. The timing of the process is wrong because it requires a council to start collecting the Council Tax in the fiscal year starting in April one month before the outcome of the referendum is known. If you insist on keeping to the first Thursday in May for the referendum, it would be better to start the fiscal year later e.g. September (which would also make more sense for the funding of schools).

Conclusion: This consultation and the Impact Assessment underpinning it have all the hallmarks of rushed legislation. Legislation passed in a hurry is usually bad and almost always more expensive in the long run. The simplest, most democratic and most cost-effective way forward would be to repeal Chapter 4A of Part 1 of the 1992 Act which was inserted by the Local Government Act 1999.

I have received an acknowledgement from the Department for Communities and Local Government.



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