Parish Council 26 October, 2009


Minutes of a Parish Council Meeting held on Monday, 26th October at All Saint’s Community Hall at 7.15pm.
Present: Cllrs. D. Mowatt (Chairman), V. Barrett, A. Brett, R. Gatward,
J. Hales, M. Linnette, C. Purbrook, J. Robson, M. Sherwen, C. Stead, M. Townsend and R. Wakerley.
In attendance: The Clerk, D. Cllr. Guest and six members of public.
351/09      Apologies for absence:  C. Cllr. van de Ven and Cllr. Bloomfield
352/09 Declarations of Interest: Cllr. Stead declared a Personal Interest in Item 360/09 (b) and Cllr. Sherwen declared a Personal Interest in Item 359/09.
At this point in the meeting Mr Travis was invited to address the Council.  He introduced himself as Chairman of the Melbourn Village Plan Steering Committee and thanked the Council for inviting him to the meeting and for sponsoring the plan.  He thought it would be very successful for Melbourn as a whole and thanks were given to Cllr. Robson for starting this plan.  The Steering Committee had 10 members but there had been loses and gains along the way there. There had been 11 members of whom 4 had resigned and 3 had joined.  People who had signed up originally had not realised the amount of work involved.  There was a good mix of ages and gender, but there were no teenagers or any of the very elderly on the committee.  The main issue now is the need for more volunteers.  The Steering Committee had been divided into working groups and the aim was to lead up to a wider questionnaire, the responses to which would form the core of the village plan.  It was hoped that this questionnaire would be delivered in Spring next year and then it would take another year to complete the action plan.
Communication was the main thing that underpins what the village wants.  It was really important to achieve this communication.
The steering group had met with representatives from Swavesey and Bassingbourn Parish Councils who had been involved with their Parish Plans.  They had stressed the importance of the Parish Council being involoved right at the beginning.  There is a need to have a process in place to receive and accept by the Parish Council what was happening in the plan.
Cllr. Barrett enquired if teenagers had been left out of the group on purpose.  Mr Travis said this was not the case.
Cllr. Purbrook enquired how the information that was gathered would be dealt with.  He was told that this was a huge task.  Cllr. Mowatt enquired if the size of the village had any effect on this analysis.  He was told that problems in the village are not equally distributed.  It would be very hard to have to tell a group that their problems cannot be dealt with.
Mr Travis was thanked by Cllr. Mowatt for taking up the chair of the steering group.
353/09 Minutes of the meeting held on 28th September 2009:
It was proposed by Cllr. Gatward and seconded by Cllr. Sherwen that the minutes of 28th September 2009 be signed as a true record.
354/09      Matters arising:
Item 301/09 (Urgent Matters) Cllr. Barrett reported that Mrs Joy Hyde – Senior Housing Officer for Vicarage Close had spoken to Cllr. Barrett with reference to the letter received from the Parish Council regarding them no longer using the centre monthly on a Monday evening. A further letter will be sent to say thank you for the many years that the Council has enjoyed the use of the centre.
Item 293/09 (New Road Cemetery) Cllr. Sherwen reported that there was to be a working party to deal with the return of the Saxon remains. This working party will consist of Cllrs. Hales, Sherwen, Stead and Townsend and will meet this week on Thursday morning in the Parish Office.
Item 291/09 (Report from C. Cllr. van de Ven) Cllr. Stead reportedthat he would contacted the Rail Press with a request that Meldreth station goes back to its original name of Meldreth and Melbourn Railway Station.
355/09      Minutes of the Planning Committee:
5th October: No comments
19th October: Cllr. Sherwen reported that White House Farm has now been demolished
(a) Informal discussion held with Hundred Houses Chief and development partner for affordable housing. Cllr. Sherwen talked the Council through the report. Cllr. Purbrook enquired if there were any details given on what form the public participation would take.  Cllr. Purbrook wanted to know if Hundred Houses Society could be held to this public participation.  The Clerk was asked to write to Mr Jackson asking when and where this meeting will take place.
Cllr. Robson wanted the council to make up its mind about what it would like to see on this site.
[As the time was approaching 8.00pm the Chairman suspended Standing Orders to allow for Public Participation]
[The Chairman resumed  Standing Orders  at 8.10pm]
356/09      Installation of seat at United Reformed Church:
[Cllr. Gatward declared a Personal Interest in the next item]
357/09      Restoration of All Saint’s Churchyard gates:
358/09      Financial Report as at 30th September:   The Clerk is to request the bank to open a new bank account for the Village Plan funds.
359/09      Cheques to be signed:  Cheque list for October 09
The Clerk recommended the transfer of  £7,000 from the Business No Notice Account to the Current Account
It was proposed by Cllr. Robson that the cheques be approved and signed, seconded by Cllr. Purbrook and carried.
Cllr Sherwen did not vote on this matter as he was a cheque recipient.
360/09      Correspondence:
(a) Letter from Mr and Mrs Ives – Problem with thistles.  Noted
(b) Letter from Mrs Maureen Moody – Funding available for Daffodil bulbs.
The Clerk is to write to Mrs Moody explaining that when funds allow the council will help with matters such as this.  On this occasion a quantity of bulbs will be contributed.
(c) Letter from Melbourn Bowling Club – Overhanging Trees and Rabbits.
Cllr. Gatward, along with a tree surgeon, will inspect these trees.  Cllr Gatward will also report back to the Council on what steps should be taken with regard to the boundary fence.
(d) Letter from Melbourn Bowling Club – future plans for addition of changing room facilities and possibility of gaining financial grant assistance from Melbourn Parish Council.  Noted
(e) Letter from Andrew Lansley CBE MP – Meldreth Railway Station. Noted
(f) E-mail from Chris Blows – required formal letter of consent from PC for work for renovation project to comply with funding application to The Donarbon Community Fund.
The Clerk is to write to the Donarbon Community Fund informing it that the Council has no objections to the work to the bowling green ditches being carried out.
(g) E-mail from Maureen Brierley – Winners of the Wild Trout Conservation Award 2009 (amateur Category) + Permission to take sedge from Stockbridge Meadows.
The Clerk is to offer congratulations to the group on behalf of the Council and to inform Mrs Brierley that it gives its permission for the group to take sedge from Stockbridge Meadows.
(h) E-mail from Mary Flinders Constituency Secretary to Andrew Lansley CBE MP for South Cambridgeshire.
The Clerk it contact Mary and request the meeting.  This will be held at the Parish Office on November 19th commencing at 7.00pm and she is to say that at the moment 8 Councillors will be attending.
(i) E-mail from Brian Stinton – 20mph Speed Limit In Melbourn.
The Clerk is to e-mail Mr Stinton requesting an early morning meeting on 2nd November which will be attended by 7 Councillors.
(j) E-mail from Anne Field – Church Secretary to United Reformed Church. – Request to place Christmas Bazaar banner or large poster on The Cross.
(k) Letter from CALC – Informing the Council that it’s AGM will be held on 21st November 2009.  Noted
(l) No further correspondence was received.
[Cllr. Stead left the meeting at this point the time being 9.06pm]
361/09      Report from County Cllr. Susan van de Ven:
As C. Cllr. van de Ven was absent from the meeting Cllr. Townsend read out the report received from C. Cllr van de Ven.
1.  20MPH Scheme: I’ve been given some suggested dates for an initial meeting with Highways next week, which I’ve circulated to the Clerk.  I continue to receive regular concerns from residents regarding speeding traffic in many parts of the village and it is well known that money is scarce and getting scarcer.  The County Council has announced that it will have to cut its budget by 35%.  I do hope that the pilot scheme can be supported; as a trial it is an opportunity to test the waters.  Lower speed limits enable other measures to come forward, for example road crossing points, so it could open the way for other good opportunities to improve road safety in the village.
2. Safer Routes to School funding: Melbourn Primary School has been given the go-ahead for ‘Safer Routes to School’ funding.  SRTS is not about major infrastructure changes, but rather small, resourceful and thoughtful initiatives.   Like many funding schemes, it’s all about playing the system in order to access and make the best use of limited resources. Meanwhile, Melbourn Village College has initiated its ‘Safer Walking’ Travel Plan, which is a prerequisite for Safer Routes to School funding. This stage of work is about collecting information on how students and staff travel to and from school in order to ascertain where safety or access work is needed. I am in touch with officers and have asked to be kept informed on both projects.
3. You’ll have heard in the news about the County’s decision to bid for the Transport Innovation Fund, which is about developing public transport infrastructure to help reduce congestion in and around Cambridge.  There will be many months of preparation of fine detail and it is vital that our own local transport needs are fed into the process – every area will have its own wish list.
4. County Council Education Transport has not disseminated in a timely or clear manner the transport options for students in our area to reach their designated sixth form college.  Many students in the Melbourn area have spent about £200 more than necessary on rail passes.  I stumbled on anomalies in fares issued by First Capital Connect and Education Transport only because a resourceful resident took the initiative to get in touch.  The situation continues to unfold.
Problem Solving Group:  I will try and anticipate some of your questions and concerns in my summary.  The group has now had two meetings with its new membership, and the next is November 3rd.  As a newcomer I am developing an understanding of the various elements at play – both in terms of problems experienced by residents and the range of ideas for approaching these.
The Neighbourhood Police Panel meeting October 20th reported a significant increase in the number of Anti-social behaviour complaints in Melbourn in the last quarter and agreed to continue giving priority attention to Melbourn – this meaning more patrols and other police work than would normally be the case.
At our next meeting we will be receiving proposals from district council officers on various possibilities for community work; the possibility of ‘detached youth work’ by the police; and practical proposals from residents.  Please bear with us; specifics on these need to be discussed and explored and then we can bring you information in a more developed form.  For some residents and parish councillors, this may seem a protracted and unsolved subject; I can only say that as a new county councillor asked to chair this group, I feel we are at an information gathering stage and at the moment there are more questions than answers.
For what it’s worth, the police are dealing with similar problems in Shepreth and Meldreth and they are exceedingly difficult to tackle.  When the Police were asked at the Panel meeting last week why more problem-solving groups are not being set up across the district, the answer was that the purpose is to have a few which may come up with ideas that can be shared.  I think it goes without saying this is never going to be an acceptable substitute for local dedicated policemen – bobbies-on-the-beat – but as with everything, we have to work as creatively as possible to get the best out of scant resources.
As for the County Council’s role in this endeavour, which I believe has been queried in the past, CCC has seats on the Police Authority so there is an institutional connection and hence a responsibility;  the County Council also chairs the Crime and Disorder Partnership.
362/09      Cemetery and Churchyard Inspection Record:
Cllr. Hales had done the inspection and took away the book to fill in his report.
He reported that New Road Cemetery looked nice and tidy but that Orchard Road needed much more work carrying out.
The Clerk reported that it was not possible for the Council to clean the war graves themselves due to the chemicals used.  She is to contact the war grave cemetery at Maddingley and ask what they use to clean the headstones.
363/09      New Road Cemetery:
Cllr. Gatward reported that the gate at the end of Victoria Way has dropped and is very difficult to open.  Cllr. Sherwen will check this.
Cllr. Townsend reported that the working party will meet in the Parish Office on Thursday 29th October at 11.30am.
364/09      Further Developments to Village Car Park:
Cllr. Sherwen reported that this matter is with the Council’s Solicitor at the moment.  He pointed out that the land that the garages stand on is not included in the lease.  He wondered what would happened if the garages were taken down.  Cllr. Brett said that if the Council were to buy the freehold of the land it would have a strip of land at the end which belonged to SCDC.
Cllr. Mowatt would like to tidy up the area and make it less of an anti-social area.
365/09      Update on BMX Trails:
Cllrs. Barrett and Linnette attended a meeting on the 12th of October at SCDC
The conditions of the planning application were discussed.  These include taking samples from different locations on the site, which will then be subject to a lab analysis.  This will cost in the region of £1,650.  The existing planting is to be maintained.   The Clerk was asked to make this an agenda Item for the next Planning Committee meeting.
Cllr. Linnette said that the site needed to be a surveyed so that the boundaries can be set.
Cllr. Mowatt said that little or no effort had been made to take the jumps down in the little wood off Royston Road.  It seems that the youth will do this when the new site is up and running.
366/09 Open Meeting:
Cllr. Mowatt said that out of this meeting came the knowledge that everyone is working towards the yellow lines being placed in the best possible location.  CCC are to re-visit the proposed plan.
367/09      ASB High Street Panel:
This matter was covered by C. Cllr. van de Ven’s report (Item 361/09).
368/09 Village Plan:
Cllr. Robson reported there had been a lot of work done, particularly with the young and old, by the Community Liaison Officer, who had been talking to them on a one to one basis.
The meeting held on the 17th October had 20 volunteers attending
There is to be an article in the magazine.  The drop boxes are to be taken down at the end of October and so far there have been 300 plus replies.
The group now has a formal constitution in place and is now sending out applications for funding.  There is an opportunity for people to have their say via a Blog site, which can be accessed from the village web-site.
Cllr. Mowatt said that the committee need to be congratulated.  He is very impressed with the standards set.
It needs to be made clear that the Village Plan is led by the residents not the Parish Council.  This plan, in geographical terms, covers all the Parish.
369/09 Neighbourhood Panel:
This matter was covered by C. Cllr. van de Ven’s report (Item 361/09).
370/09 Section 106 monies:
Cllr Gatward explained to the meeting that this money was received from Camstead Homes, who wished it to be used for “Art” in the village.
Cllr. Mowatt said that the Council should be concerned what the money was to be used for.  He felt it was the Council who should make the decision on what it would like this money to be spent on not the builder.
The Clerk is to contact SCDC and ask why the money has to be used for an Art project.
371/09      Committees:
(a) Play Area, Recreation and Youth:  Cllr. Purbrook enquired about Item 320/09 (Litter picking in the village) and was told that this is to be discussed under Staffing Issues at the Finance and General Purpose meeting at the end of November.
(b) Cemetery: Item 288/09 D. Cllr. Guest reported that Cllr. Stead had said the area round the War Memorial needed tidying up.  He had also looked to see if there was room to add any names to it if necessary.
[As the time was approaching 10.00pm it was proposed by Cllr. Robson and seconded by Cllr. Hales that the meeting continue till 10.15pm]
It was reported that one of the fence posts on The Cross had been snapped.  Cllr. Hales will take a look at it to see if he can repair it.
(c) Urgent reports from Committee Chairmen: There were no urgent reports.
372/09      Future Meetings.
(a)  2nd November – Planning
(b)            9th November – Highways and Rural Footpaths + Conservation
(c)            16th November – Planning
(d)            23rd November – Parish Council
(e)            30th November – Finance and General Purpose
373/09 Urgent Matters.
Cllr. Townsend was concerned by the amount of leaves on The Cross and hoped that these would be cleared for Remembrance Day.
The leaves from the Chestnut Tree need to be removed and burned to help stop the infestation next year caused by the leaf miner larvae.
The Clerk enquired if the Chairman would be holding a reception this year. She was told that he would and this will be held on 7th December at All Saint’s Community Hall.  The Clerk will organise the drinks and the matter of the food will be discussed by the Councillors.
There being no other business the chairman closed the meeting at 10.10pm
Addendum to the Parish Council Meeting of 26th October 2009
A member of Melbourn Bowls Club addressed the meeting.  He explained that the club had 60 plus members and was now playing at County level.  The Club was under pressure to go forward to the next century.  The ditches had fallen below standard.  There were problems with rabbits and overhanging trees which were situated on the Parish Council ground.  There was also a need for the renewal of the chain link fence. There were plans to build changing facilities for both male and female players.
The gentleman who owns the Orchard that backs on to the proposed BMX track addressed the meeting.  He understood that there were some problems with the planning application.  He was worried that if he planted the orchard out with new trees these could get damaged unless the Parish Council fenced the boundary.
A resident of the village addressed the meeting and explained that fields by her house were full of thistles whose seed are blown by the wind into her garden and house.  For two months of the year she is unable to use her garden as everything in the garden and in the house, if the doors or windows were left open, gets covered in thistle seeds.  The Clerk was asked to write to the farmer in question and ask him if he could address this matter.

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