MELBOURN PARISH COUNCIL MINUTES
Draft Minutes subject to formal ratification at the next Parish Council Meeting
Minutes of a Parish Council Meeting held on
Monday, 23rd, July 2012 at All Saints’ Community Hall at 7.15pm.
Present: Cllrs. M.Townsend (Vice-Chairman), R. Gatward, J. Hales, P. Simmonett, C. Stead, M.Linnette, V.Barrett, A. Mulcock, I.Bloomfield, M.Sherwen and K.Crosby
In attendance: The Clerk, and 2 members of the public
PC35/12: Apologies for absence: Cllrs D.Mowatt and R.Wakerley. CCllr Susan van de Ven.
PC36/12: Declarations of Interest: Cllr Barrett declared an interest in PC40 and 41 as a member of the Planning Committee of SCDC.
PC37/12: Minutes of the meeting held on 25th June, 2012:
It was proposed by Cllr Gatward and seconded by Cllr Hales that the minutes of 25th June, 2012 be signed as a true record. This was carried.
PC38/12: Matters arising:
(a) PC31/12: Cllr Gatward asked about the progress made towards appointing a Grant Finder. The Clerk reported that Cambridgeshire County Council had advised the council to join CVS as an Associate Member and sent an application form. Cllr Hales reported that this would give the council access to the database but the council would be expected to carry out its own research for grants/grant finder.
(b) PC26/12: Cllr Hales reported on the Bike Bank project: four young people had been involved in it and on completion were given the bikes they had been working on.
Everyone was full of praise for the project and the success of the young people concerned.
ACTION: The Clerk
PC39/12: To receive a report from C. Cllr van de Ven:
In the absence of C.Cllr van de Ven, the report was received by the Parish Council.
1. Armingford Crescent/Hale Close track: I’ve had a reply now from John Macmillan, County Estates officer, to all the queries raised and documented at our April 24 meeting with residents. The outcome is mostly good and I hope people will be mainly content. Because it is satisfied that its legal access has been re-established through work already done, the county has agreed not do any more clearance work to the track. Among other things, this means that natural vegetation remains in place as a barrier to a potential new venue for ASB.
However, the county will not take responsibility for providing boundary fencing on the area it has cleared. Also, it has been advised that it should take care to re-establish its boundary line along the whole of the track, though this is ‘non-urgent’ and will take place some months down the line. I have written to affected residents.
2. The Old Police Site: I submitted a written representation on county-related aspects of the planning application, to the July 4th meeting of the SCDC Planning Committee. I will be away for the August 1st meeting so will be unable to attend, though my representation stands. It is copied below.
3. Flooding concerns: As reported previously, the county council now has an overseeing responsibility for flood risk, so I hope people will report any flood incidents to add to the data base and use the website which has been set up to help:http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/environment/floodandwater/.
4.Speed reduction measures – information sharing: I’m working with other parish councils including Great and Little Chishill to address speeding problems. We are acquiring a shopping list of speed reduction measure paraphernalia and this will be shared out with all neighbouring parish councils.
5. PSG website: A young person living in Melbourn doing volunteer admin work for the Rail User Group has agreed to help with redesigning the PSG page on the Melbourn Village Website, for which many thanks.
6. Youth activities:
- The Bike Bank bicycle maintenance course pilot project, sponsored by district and county councils at Melbourn Village College, has now concluded and by all accounts was a great success.
- It has been impressive to see so many parish councillors from Melbourn and other neighbouring villages working very hard to help organize summer activities, and to plan ahead for next September’s re-launch of Tuesday evening youth club.
- Basketball Club is set to reconvene in September. Thanks to Val Barrett and Peter Simmonett for providing the necessary back up on the adult rota list.
The Old Police Site, Melbourn S/0571/12/FL – MELBOURN County Councillor comments
Interests: I am a member of the following groups:
1. Melbourn and District Assocation (Melbourn Library Access Point)
2. Melbourn Practical Solutions Group (Chairman). The PSG supports community infrastructure and socially beneficial activities for Melbourn and is comprised of parish, district and county councillors, a Melbourn Village Plan Implementation Group representative, a Melbourn Village College representative, Police, county council Locality Manager and youth workers, District Council anti-social behaviour case worker and licensing officers.
3. Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Rail User Group (Chairman), dedicated to protecting and enhancing access to local rail service. Melbourn is served by Meldreth Station.
The Old Police Site planning application
Thank you for the opportunity to make comments on county council related aspects of the application. I will focus on the social aspects of housing and community centre, the library service, and transport.
The officer’s report sets out in detail concerns relating to the conservation site upon which the proposed development would sit. I understand these concerns and recognize that decision-makers have to make a judgment on the balance of a variety of considerations.
The report also makes reference to the social benefits of the proposed development, including the 100% provision of affordable housing at a time of undisputed housing need in our district, and a new community centre which would house a parish office, a Citizen’s Advice Bureau outlet, and the Melbourn Library Access Point – and providing an environment for it to exist and flourish. In my view the social needs that would be addressed by the proposed development comprise an overwhelming case in support of the application.
There is no underestimating the fact that contributing to housing solutions for residents in a district with a pronounced affordable housing deficit is a fundamental consideration that cannot be dismissed.
Community Building It was not inevitable that there should be a community building on the site and this would be a significant bonus to the scheme.
It has been noted that Melbourn has a number of buildings available for public meetings, including church halls and Melbourn Village College. However, there is no dedicated public building for community use. This is a noticeable missing piece, especially in a village of Melbourn’s size and importance as the major employment and public service centre in the county division.
The proposed hub would perform several important community services: Parish office: Situating a parish office in a prominent High Street location, and particularly, within a community hub, would greatly enhance the public accessibility to the parish council and all of its work on behalf of Melbourn.
Citizen’s Advice Bureau outlet: This would be a welcome presence in Melbourn at a time when nearest CAB has had to close due to funding cuts and at a time when the CAB’s resources are badly needed.
Library Access Point: Nearly ten years ago the county council made the regrettable decision to downgrade ten of its libraries, including Melbourn’s, to Library Access Points. All ten have survived due to the tenacious dedication of volunteer teams working for the benefit of their communities. Every LAP is different and Melbourn’s particular challenge could not be more basic, as it is housed in a portable cabin which has reached the end of its life and which will have no more stays of execution. There is no prospect of a county council-funded building. Without a new and permanent site the library will cease to exist.
That the Melbourn LAP has increased its rate of lending and scores above average in LAP book loans, while situated in a condemned building, is testament to community interest in the library service. The new era of library service means a public information service alongside the traditional components of a library. This includes free public IT access service, and this provision through the LAP is the only one of its kind in Melbourn.
Access to IT resources are undeniably central to modern life and local authorities are among those institutions pushing services to a remote format. Indeed district and county councils are investing in Superfast Broadband partially as a reflection of this reality. Melbourn is a village with marked pockets of deprivation (see Cambridgeshire Ward Profiles) and access to a public information service is fundamentally important.
Discussions were held several years ago with the Village College about sharing space to accommodate the Library
Access Point, but this was simply not viable and the discussion came to a conclusion. There has been speculation that this option is still on the table. I spoke to the MVC warden today to double-check the current situation; he confirmed that there is no on-site LAP provision under current consideration and reaffirmed the college’s wish for the LAP’s portable cabin to be removed.
The consistent advice from county Library service, based on experience elsewhere, has been that a High Street location is the best location for a LAP, due to public accessibility. Housing a library access point within a community hub has been tried and tested at Gamlingay, where book lending rates have multiplied.
It should be noted that the LAP volunteers and users come not only Melbourn but its surrounding villages. All of these villages have made financial contributions to the operation of the LAP. The LAP is widely supported.
Community development and the Village Plan: The social functions of the community building would be important in the on-going community development of Melbourn Village, and would support the implementation of the recently published Village Plan. Whereas parish plans have always been regarded as desirable village guides for future development, now in the era of devolved public services they are indispensible, and their implementation is critical.
Melbourn is a major employment centre and the main village within its county division. As such it has a special responsibility for responding to the devolution of local authority services to the most local level. The parish council has accepted this challenge through the development of detailed plans for a community centre. It does not have a blank slate in terms of where such centre could be situated and realistically must work within parameters of what is available. This involves an inevitable element of compromise.
Access to parking
Most villages do not have a public car park and often High Street car parking is problematic. The fact that Melbourn has a good sized public car park so close to the proposed hub is very opportune. There is an excellent signalcontrolled pedestrian crossing at the main crossroads very nearby.
Access to public transport
The proposed affordable housing is within ideal walking distance of the best commercial bus service in the area, and also, an excellent established rail service (Meldreth Station sits on the edge of Meldreth and the edge of Melbourn).
There is no better access to public transport in the Melbourn County Division. This is fundamentally enhances the attractiveness of these prospective affordable homes. Similarly, it enhances accessibility to the hub.
This is without a doubt a critical juncture for Melbourn. The myriad social benefits of the proposed development are in my view of overwhelming importance in the balance of considerations, and I strongly support the application.
Susan van de Ven Melbourn County Councillor June 28, 2012
PC40/12: To review the proposed Parish Council Statement Concerning the Planning Application for the Development of the Old Police Site: The Clerk stated that the legal advice on all matters relating to the Old Police Site still stood and, as a result, the council refrained from discussion on this item and passed on to the next item on the agenda.
PC41/12: To consider the composition of the Holding Trust in the light of councillor resignations:
[Cllr Barrett withdrew from the meeting at this point]
Cllr Simmonett said that the council should maintain its 50/50 representation on the Holding Trust and there was general agreement for this. It was proposed by Cllr Simmonett and seconded by Cllr Crosby THAT THE COUNCIL WISHES TO MAINTAIN 50% OF THE
MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMUNITY HUB HOLDING TRUST. This was CARRIED.
Any volunteer should contact the Clerk in the first instance. Cllr Mulcock asked the Clerk to ensure that absent members were informed of this.
ACTION: The Clerk
[Cllr Barrett returned to the meeting at this point].
PC42/12: To consider the Briefing Notes to Parish Councillors on Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and the Completion of the Register of Parish Members Financial and Other Interests: The Clerk clearly stated the position with regard to the above for all councillors and requested that the councillors send their completed forms to the Monitoring Officer with a copy to the Clerk and a personal one for each councillor.
Cllr Hales said that the council should adopt the SCDC Code of Conduct when it is agreed and implemented.
PC43/12: To receive the Financial Report dated 30th June, 2012
The Clerk apologised for the report not being ready and that he would endeavour to e-mail it to councillors in the next few days.
PC44/12: To receive details of cheques to be drawn on the Parish Council’s account as detailed or amended by late payments. To approve payment and agree the amount to be transferred from the Business ‘No Notice Account’.
Cheque number Tn. no Gross Vat Net Cttee Supplier
103419 131 £2,262.80 £290.72 £1,972.08 F&GP Limbach Banham Solicitors Fees for Clear crescent & Haggars Close
103420 115 £480.00 £80.00 £400.00 Plan Gill Associates Quantity surveying services
103421 116 £25.00 £4.17 £20.83 F&GP Wrights Mower Centre nylon line
103422 117 £550.00 £0.00 £550.00 F&GP Melbourn Village College Rent June 2012
103423 118 £160.00 £0.00 £160.00 Con Meadow Nursery work on High Street, Armingford, Elm & Chalkhill
103423 119 £210.00 £0.00 £210.00 Con Meadow Nursery Work: may 2012
103423 £370.00 £0.00 £370.00
103424 130 £267.60 £44.60 £223.00 Play PAS Building Services works to Little Hands Nursery
103424 149 £252.00 £42.00 £210.00 cem PAS Building Services Coping stone All Saints’ Churchyard
103424 £519.60 £86.60 £433.00
103425 140 £834.48 £0.00 £834.48 F&GP P. Andrews wages
103426 141 £465.20 £0.00 £465.20 F&GP K. Rudge wages
103426 142 £41.40 £0.00 £41.40 F&GP K. Rudge Mileage allowance 69 x 0.60
103426 £506.60 £0.00 £506.60
103427 143 £272.23 £0.00 £272.23 F&GP G.D. Squires wages
103427 144 £16.20 £0.00 £16.20 F&GP G.D. Squires Mileage allowance 27 x 0.60
103427 £288.43 £0.00 £288.43
103428 145 £1,346.41 £0.00 £1,346.41 F&GP Peter Horley Clerk’s salary
103429 146 £794.26 £0.00 £794.26 F&GP HM Revenue & Customs Tax & NI
103430 147 £100.00 £0.00 £100.00 F&GP Petty Cash Cash
103431 148 £80.64 £3.44 £77.20 F&GP Sally Arnott Melbourn Village Plan expenses
103432 150 £375.10 £62.52 £312.58 Play Bannold Boulders for plaques
103433 151 £14.00 £0.00 £14.00 F&GP Alison Cockburn office clean
103434 152 £10.00 £0.00 £10.00 F&GP CAPS Deduction from wages
Total £8,557.32 £527.45 £8,029.87
Page Sub Total £8,557.32 £527.45 £8,029.87
Running Sub Total £8,557.32 £527.45 £8,029.87
The Clerk recommended the transfer of £10,000 from the Business ‘No Notice’ Account to the Current Account. It was proposed by Cllr Sherwen and seconded by Cllr Bloomfield that the cheques and transfer of money be accepted. This was carried.
The Clerk reported that the Direct Debits are not shown on the Cheque List and these ought to be noted by the council. Cllr Mulcock asked that it be made an agenda item for the next F&GP meeting.
ACTION: The Clerk
(a) Letter from Cllr John Poley re: resignation was received and noted;
(b) Letter from Cllr Alan Brett re: resignation was noted; With reference to (a) & (b), Cllr Hales expressed his regret at the loss of 2 very good people and councillors. There was general agreement with these sentiments. The Clerk to write to both to express the appreciation of the Council.
(c) Letter from the Audit Commission re: new External Auditors was read out and noted;
(d) Letter from All Saints’ Community Hall re: grant was received and noted;
(e) Letter from Cambridgeshire County Council re; New Transport Strategy was received and noted;
(f) Letter from Melbourn & Meldreth Self Help Group re: thanks was received and noted.
PC46/12: Cemetery and Churchyard Inspection Record:
The reports for June and July were received by the council. Cllr Sherwen highlighted two areas he believed the reports revealed: firstly, not enough man-hours are spent in the cemeteries and cannot be successfully scheduled with the existing manpower; secondly, the need for the cemeteries to be properly maintained in the longer term when the contracts are up for renewal and renegotiation.
There was general agreement as to the need for the cemeteries to be better maintained. A discussion followed about the type, extent and use of weedkiller in areas such as car parks, footpaths and grave edges. Cllr Sherwen to consult MD Landscapes on this as they were already taking responsibility for the mound and car parking area in New Road Cemetery. Cllr Sherwen to talk to the Ranger about work to be undertaken in New Road Cemetery. The Clerk reminded the council that a programme of work was being undertaken in Orchard Road Cemetery but was now awaiting a decision by the Cemetery Committee about the type of gravel to be used. The Clerk is to talk to the team about continuing the stalled work in Orchard Road Cemetery. Cllr Mulcock expressed a belief that there should be a spraying schedule, properly costed, for the cemeteries. The Clerk is to write to grave holders concerning the rules and regulations of New Road Cemetery.
ACTION: The Clerk, Cllr Sherwen
[At this point Standing Orders were suspended to
allow members of the public to speak. See Addendum]
PC47/12: To receive the minutes from the following committees as information only and consider proposals by the Committee and consider any further action
(a) Planning Committee, 2nd & 16th July, 2012: These were noted.
(b) Highways Committee, 9th July, 2012: Cllr Gatward said she could supply a contact address for the Ramblers Association.
(c) Play Areas & Recreation, 9th July, 2012: Cllr Simmonett reported on PLY6/12 to the effect that Worcester Way open space is owned by Granta Housing Association and that a meeting has been arranged with the Area Manager for 30th July. He also reported that 3 sites; New Recreation Ground, Stockbridge Meadows and Clear Crescent Play Area were new dedicated as Queen Elizabeth II’s Fields in Trust.
Cllr Townsend thanked all those who have worked so hard in bringing this about.
PC48/12: Urgent Matters: (a) Cllr Gatward raised the question about renaming the station Meldreth and Melbourn.
There being no other business the Vice-Chairman closed the meeting at 8.15p.m.
Mr Clive Purbrook addressed the meeting and asked, with regard to PC40/12, if the Parish
Council would be making a statement to the SCDC Planning Committee Meeting to be held on 1st August, 2012 with regard to the Old Police Site. He was answered in the affirmative. Mr Purbrook further asked, what the position would have been if the statement in PC40/12 had been discussed in the meeting: he was informed that it would have been discussed ‘in camera’ with the press and public excluded.