Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 21 January 2004

In the Village Hall at 7.30 pm


Present: James Macdonald (Chairman), Sheila Birch, Terry Sadler, Jane Hurst, Robin Driver, Lewis Duke and three members of the public.


101/04            Apologies

Apologies for absence were received from Tim Pavelin, Mark Stone-Wigg and Peter Wombwell.


102/04            Minutes of the previous meeting

The Clerk apologised for omitting an item under 277/03 Finance.  “Councillor’s Travelling expenses.  It was proposed by Lewis Duke, seconded by Peter Wombwell that the Parish Council adopt the policy laid down by the Local Government Association on reimbursement of travelling expenses.”  The minutes were then approved and signed by the Chairman.


103/04 Adjournment for questions from members of the public

Gordon Woolhouse presented the Parish Council with copies of the Village Hall accounts.  The Chairman congratulated Gordon on the strong position of the village hall’s finances.


Charles Frankau raised the issue of maintenance of the football pitch and removal of the mound of soil remaining beside the skate park.  It was agreed this should be redistributed around the recreation field, filling in dips and re-seeded.  The necessary re-seeding of the football pitch ought to be carried out in late March/early April.  This will depend on club fixtures.  The Clerk to research and obtain quotes for the work..


104/04 Matters Arising

272/03 Matters Arising, Cemetery Chapel.  The chairman reported visiting the chapel.  Although it seems in a fairly good state of repair as a listed building it is worrying responsibility for the Parish Council.  It was suggested that professional advice would be advisable. 

256/03 Skate Park.  The Chairman reported that Jane Lampshire, SCDC, had visited the site and approved the installation.  The grant money will be released shortly.  She suggested that the mound of earth should be removed, the edges tidied up and a litter bin installed.

259/03 Highways. A date in early February has been arranged to walk round, looking especially at the junction of Frogge Street and Church Street.


105/04 Youth Representation

There was no one present.


106/04            Correspondence received

CCC Proposed minor change to Sunday bus service within annual tendering process

CCC Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 re common land and open country

CCC County Council Budget for 2004/05 and leaflets

CCC Highways, further holding letter re traffic in the village

CCC Highways, Mr Cooper re minor maintenance matters

CCC re Duxford Liaison meeting dates and minutes

SCDC Development Services re adoption of modifications to Local Plan no. 2

SCDC Finance & Resources Dept, Maintenance of Open Spaces in S Cambs villages

Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Sawston Newsbeat, Local Consultation Group, notes of meeting,

Cambridgeshire Police Authority, information on future funding and questionnaire

CALC, Bulletin, information notes and details of training

ACRE, Harvest magazine

Stop Stansted Expansion, request for donation and offer of presentation to PC

CPRE re a planning application workshop

McDonalds (Pampisford), re local litter pick

Network Rail, letters re ditch clearance

Flood Action, leaflet

Cambridgeshire Local Access Forum, update

ROSPA re annual play area inspection

Steve Jenkins, Ickleton Football Club and match fees

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority, guide to Integrated Risk Management Plan


107/04 Planning

Decision received from South Cambridgeshire DC

S/1898/03/F, 10 Mill Lane, extensions, permission granted

Applications received from SCDC for comment

S/2503/03/LB and S/2504/03/F, replacement of collapsed flint wall by close boarded fence 2 metres high, rear of Norman Hall, Church Street.  Recommend approval.  (This plan discussed by Councillors in early January)

S/0025/04/LB, Internal alterations, Abbey Barns, Duxford Road.  Recommend approval.

(Lewis Duke signed the book registering an interest and left the room while this was discussed).

The Chairman suggested that one or more councillors might like to take a specialised interest in Planning and attend a course (run by CALC or CPRE); it is always good to enhance knowledge.


108/03 Reports from Councillors

Robin Driver reported on that the problem of the blocked drain in Abbey Street, causing flooding, is now in the hands of the County Council legal department.  He also commented on the problems of County Council finance, affecting Council Tax, which is at present being taken to Government level.

Jane Hurst mentioned that she is no longer a Governor of Duxford School. 

James Macdonald mentioned that he is thinking to applying for a Licence to Cultivate the verge beside his property in Abbey Street from Highways and plant shrubs rather than install posts.

James also mentioned that the 200th edition of Icene under the Lilleys was coming up.  To be mentioned and thanked in Icene.

James also mentioned a reported delay in the arrival of an ambulance to an emergency in December.  Research shows that the driver had no idea where Ickleton was nor was The Stackyard on the database of information.  The Clerk to write to the Ambulance Service.

Lewis Duke reported on the Village Hall AGM.  Gordon Woolhouse continues as Chairman, but is looking for help with the work of bookings etc. Miranda Stone-Wigg is to be treasurer.  Gordon was congratulated by all present for all his work in striving to get the new hall built, in caring for it and for the present high level of use and benefit to the community and for its current healthy financial position.

Terry Sadler mentioned incorrect information on the village website – to be corrected shortly. Terry also asked about a date for the AGM in May.  It was finally agreed that the Parish Meeting be held on Thursday13 May.  Details to be discussed later.

Terry lastly mentioned gaps in the hedge along Back Lane; the annual quota of free hedging from the County Council is discontinued after this year.

Sheila Birch mentioned a pothole in Frogge Street; repaired that afternoon.

Several Councillors mentioned the poor state of the verge in Abbey Street, where a van parks.

The Clerk to ask the Police to ask the driver to park on the road and not opposite a dropped kerb.


Robin Driver left the meeting at this point to attend to other work.


109/04 Finance

Precept. After some discussion and studying the figures provided by the Chairman, it was agreed that having held the precept at the same level of £9,700.00 for four years, it was necessary to ask for an increase.  The level of increase to reflect future capital projects such as extending grass mat in the play area and restoration work in Coploe Pit.  It was proposed by Sheila Birch, seconded by Lewis Duke and all agreed to ask for £11,000.00 for the year 2004/05.  The clerk to obtain quotes for grass mat in the play area and for topping up the bark in the meantime.


The following cheques were signed

First Signs and Labels, for sign on skate park                           £115.15

W Hart & Sons, for January Icene                                                   £51.94

J Casement, 3 months salary and expenses                                        £480.77

The following monies have been received since the last meeting

VAT Returned                                                                                      £3,519.45

Ickleton Football Club, match fees                                                        £45.70

Monies in hand.  Following the above transactions the Community Account stands at £401.29 and the Business Base Rate Tracker Account at £4,509.22.  The grant from SCDC towards the skate park is expected shortly.


Two quotes for trimming field maple trees on the recreation field and a small oak by a seat had been received.  It was proposed by Lewis Duke, seconded by Sheila Birch and all agreed to accept the lower quote from Eastern Tree Surgery for £90.00.


It was considered desirable to install a new litter bin by the skate park but that the skate park fund raising committee should raise the £200 necessary.


The £195.00 cost provided by Charles Frankau of planting the new hedgerow on Gypsy Corner was proposed accepted by Sheila Birch, seconded by Jane Hurst and all agreed.  The preparation work has yet to be completed.


110/04 Recreation Field

Matters concerning maintenance of football pitch, mound of earth by skate park and future plans for the play area had already been discussed.


111/04 Flooding

Lewis Duke reported that progress is slow.  Network Rail have cleared the undergrowth in the ditch beside the railway but have not dug out the silt.  The Clerk is in the process of chasing this up.  When completed the other landowners will be chased up to clear their respective sections of the ditch.  This will probably not be until next summer now as there is so much water in the ditch.  The same applies to the ditch by Coploe Road.

Progress on the project of reducing the flow in extreme conditions shows that a survey to study the possibilities and advise will cost £1,800.00.  Lewis is waiting for a date from Highways to look at the possible effect on the motorway.


112/04 Wellcome Trust

Work progresses on the site, ahead of schedule.  The next liaison meeting is on 28 January, to be attended by James and Sheila.  A tour of the site to be requested.


113/04 Coploe Pit

Sheila Birch reported that the advice from the Wildlife Trust is for a five year plan to scrape the sides of the pit to encourage regeneration of the chalk grassland.  Doing the work slowly is less likely to damage the rare plants and the roman snails.  Sheila felt a three year plan would be more sensible.  Research into how to dispose of the spoil is needed.  If it is scattered on the adjoining field, a licence may be needed, and the landowner’s permission. Meanwhile the Conservation Trust volunteers are coming on Sunday 25 January to do some more work.


114/04 Broadband

James reported that having joined forces with Great Chesterford plans are well advanced and access should be available within 2/3 months.  Item due in Icene with details of a training workshop to be run in Great Chesterford.


115/04 Parish Paths Partnership

The Ramblers Association has complained that the new hedge planted beside footpath 9 (beyond Southfield) has restricted the footpath.  The Clerk to speak to the owner of the field and see what can be done.  Sheila Birch reported that all footpaths in the village are now well maintained and equipped with kissing gates and there was no project for which we could ask for a grant.  Lewis Duke commented on the boggy state of footpath 5 (Tin Alley towards Duxford) beside the bridge of the Brookhampton ditch.  The Clerk to enquire as to whether anything can be done.


116/04 Date and time of next meeting

Wednesday 18 February 04 in the village hall, with a speaker from the District Council Arts Stategy.  The Clerk left the meeting at this point (11.00 pm) so that her salary could be discussed by Councillors.