MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF FOWLMERE PARISH COUNCIL

HELD AT SCHOOL ROOM, UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

ON TUESDAY, 20th November 2007 AT 7.30 PM

PRESENT: Cllr M Bates (Chairman)

Cllr D Woods

Cllr B Hawkins

Cllr P Flynn

Cllr P Cook

Cllr A Eades

Mrs J Fletcher (Clerk)

 

1.

APOLOGIES – Apologies were received from Cllr Tim Stone, Cllr D Roberts, Cllr W Kohler and Cllr P Mullock.

Actions

2.

NEW COUNCILLORS

 
 

Co-opted Councillors, Mr Anthony Eades and Mrs Peggy Cook, were welcomed and submitted their completed Register of Members Interests forms. The Declaration of Acceptance of Office form was signed by both Councillors in the presence of the Proper Officer.

 

3.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST - There were no declarations of interest in agenda items

 

4.

MINUTES OF MEETING OF 16th October 2007 - were agreed and signed as a true record

 

5.

MATTERS ARISING

 
 

Round Moat

MB had spoken to Mr A Lucas who will return the funding application papers as soon as possible.

Post Office Closures

Letter had been sent to SCDC, Scrutiny Committee requesting support and information regarding Fowlmere. A reply is still awaited.

 

6.

COUNTY COUNCIL AFFAIRS

 
 

Cllr T Stone had sent the following report:

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.

Drugs busts

Last Tuesday I received a message from PC Iain Perry, who covers a large part of our area (but not Fowlmere) as follows:

Just a very quick message to update you. Over the last couple of months

myself and two other officers have been proactive in the village and

surrounding area. As a result of this we have seized vast amounts of

cannabis and cocaine and dealt with a number of offenders as a result.

I would urge any e-coppers who have information about drug misuse or

dealing to contact either myself or crimestoppers.

PC 1118 Iain Perry, South Cambs NPC

For those of you not signed up to e-cops this is an example of the messages you get.

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.

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, groundkeeping 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.

 

2008/2009 Budget

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.

Congestion Charge

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.

Light baffle

You may have noticed that there is now a deflector on the light near the bus shelter at the war memorial to prevent the light shining into the neighbour's bedroom window. You may remember this matter was raised some months ago. There is no cost to the Parish Council.

Cassander Close

There is little progress evident on repairing the pavement on Long Lane and the corner of Rectory Lane. The County is in negotiation on a number of fronts as this should have been at the expense of the developers of Cassander Close. The County still has hopes of retrieving some money and coming to an agreement with the owners of the houses so all the work inside and outside Cassander Close can be done at the same time.

I can't see why residents of the village should continue to be inconvenienced by the state of the Long Lane footpath as they have nothing to do with the dispute. I continue to press for speedy action.

 

7.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

 

 

 

Letter had been received from Circle Anglia regarding a possible site in Fowlmere for affordable housing. The meeting agreed that a presentation by Circle Anglia would be desirable and they will be invited to attend the December meeting. The letter and attachment will be circulated to all Councillors.

 

 

Clerk

8.

PLANNING

 

8/A

MINUTES OF MEETING OF FOWLMERE PARISH COUNCIL PLANNING COMMITTEE

HELD AT SCHOOL ROOM, UNITED REFORMED CHAPEL on TUESDAY 20 November 2007 at 7.00 pm

PRESENT: Cllr P Flynn, Cllr D Woods, Cllr M Bates, Mrs J Fletcher (Clerk)

APOLOGIES: Apologies received from Cllr D Roberts, P Mullock and W Kohler

1. Declaration of interest - There were no declarations of interest.

2. S/1987/07/F – Extension and alterations – 32 Chapel Lane – Mr & Mrs Wright

The meeting recommended approval of this application as there would be no impact on neighbouring properties.

3. S/1983/07/F – Conservatory, Butts Lane – C Wise

The meeting recommended approval of the application as there will be no impact on neighbouring properties.

4. Alterations – removal of ceiling, joists and collars in kitchen and bathroom, installation of additional rafters and three rooflights. Remove wall in bathroom to incorporate adjacent cupboard and relocate boiler with new external flue. Replace window in dining room with a pair of French doors – 2 Maltings Cottages, Rectory Lane – Mr D Oglesby

The meeting recommended approval of the application but will defer to the view of SCDC Conservation Officer with regard to this listed building.

5. OTHER MATTERS and UPDATES

Lanacre, Chishall Road – Proposed Development

SCDC letter dated 26 September 2007 advising that appeal reference APP/W0530/C/07/ 2035074 will be decided by way of an inquiry to commence on 23 October 2007.

Lanacre, Chishall Road

SCDC letter dated 18 October 2007 advising that the appeal has been withdrawn and the inquiry for 23 October 2007 cancelled.

Planning permission

Permission granted for application S/0191/07/F – The Swan House Inn, additional A5 usage to existing A3 and A4. This will be for a temporary period of one year from 31st October 2007.

The meeting closed at 7.15pm

 

8/B

Matters discussed at current meeting

 
 

Cllr Hawkins advised that the Chequers Inn is now advertising a bed and breakfast service on the Internet. Cllr Roberts will be asked to investigate and the matter will be raised with SCDC should this information be correct.

 

 

Cllr Roberts

9.

BURIAL BOARD

 
 

Cllr Woods advised that Les Thurley has been contacted regarding the renovation of the lectern and bier.

Extension area has now been cleared.

Leaf clearing at the cemetery will probably take place after Christmas.

 

 

 

ALL

10.

TREES, GRASS AND HEDGES

 
 

Cllr Woods had received three quotes for village grass cutting. A decision will be made at the December PC meeting.

 

11.

FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES

 

11/A

Minutes of the meeting of Fowlmere Parish Council - Finance and General Purposes Committee held at the Dorothy Pluck Room, St Mary’s Church, Fowlmere Monday 22 October 2007 at 7-30 p.m.

Apologies for Absence: Cllr Hawkins, Cllr Kohler, Mrs J Fletcher (Clerk)

Present: Cllr D Woods (Chairman Finance), Cllr M Bates (PC Chairman), Cllr D Roberts, Cllr P Flynn

1 Minutes of the previous meeting
Had already been ratified at the July Parish Council meeting

2 Matters arising

There were no matters arising that had not been covered at previous Parish Council meetings.

3 Review of Income and Expenditure

A copy of the spreadsheet was circulated and Cllr Woods reported that we were within our budget.

4. Round Moat

The invoice received from BC Trust was queried as this work did not appear to have been authorised. The Clerk will be asked to write and ask for an explanation.

Following discussion on the status of the grant application, Cllr Bates will see Mr Alun Lucas to retrieve all papers so that the PC can consider what the next steps on this application should be.

5. Burial Board

5a. Chapel Repairs and renovation

Repair to crack in arch at back door of chapel. Cllr Woods will go ahead with the second grant application once a quotation has been received from The Organic Building Company

5b. Electricity cupboard

All agreed that having a cupboard built round the electrics in the chapel was a good idea. Cllrs Bates and Roberts will get separate quotes for consideration at the next finance meeting.

5c. Grass care on new land

Cllr Woods will speak to Hardy Landscapes re current status of this

5d. Hedge around new land

Cllr Roberts reported that grants for hedge planting were available. Cost £50 per pack admin charge. Need to be for at least 100 metres of hedge to qualify. Cllrs. Roberts and Kohler will measure the land to make sure the PC would qualify for this.

C Wall of Gardencare would be asked to quote for planting only

5e. Grave markings

The committee agreed that when the Clerk was on holiday she should mark up two plots in order to make identification easier in the event of a burial needing to be booked. Also two councillors should check details before allocating to the funeral directors.

6 Fire Engine Shed and proposed CCTV

The committee felt that in view of the number of projects ongoing at the moment, funds would not allow the purchase of a CCTV camera nor the laying of slabs around the fire engine shed.

Cllr Flynn felt that a plaque on the Fire Engine shed showing dates built etc. would be a good idea. The committee agreed and Cllr Flynn will look into cost of a plaque.

7 Trees and grass

Quotation received from Gardencare regarding various works required. In his absence Cllr Kohler had left a note of the items he considered needed urgent attention.

From the list the following work was agreed to be carried out:

Dead elms at the end of Jacksons Way. Cut down and clear away at a cost of £60

Rear 1 Jacksons Way/High Street Take out the large branch growing toward the wall/trellis to crown lift to give head height clearance at a cost of £30

Ryecroft Lane adjoining electricity sub station Elm tree has been dead for some time and is shrouded in ivy. This tree is dangerous and needs attention as soon as possible. Cost approximately £170.

Clerk to check if tree officer at SCDC needs to inspect and PC need to put in planning application before the work is carried out. It must however be noted that the Elm tree adjoining electricity sub station must be done as soon as possible as it is dangerous.

8 Bus Shelter, Pipers Close

The insurance form needs to be completed as soon as possible. We had received one quotation for a replacement bus shelter and Cllr Bates will now complete the claim form and send off to our insurers.

In view of the cost of a replacement shelter the committee felt that we did not need to provide seating in the shelter.

9 Village Hall

Cllr Bates reported that the VHMC were about to put in an application to SCDC for 40%. He further reported that the separate grant to the lottery fund had got through the first stage. The PC agreed to support the VHMC in principle and will add £2,500 to the parish precept.

10 Future Projects

Committee felt that the PC could not undertake any further new projects at this time.

11 Other matters - none

12 Date of next meeting – Tuesday 8 January 2008

Meeting closed at 8.26pm

 

 

11/B

Cheques signed at the current meeting

Mrs J Fletcher Oct salary £ 395.04

Hardy Landscapes Oct grass cutting £ 916.50

Hardy Landscapes Cemetery clearance £ 423.00

Gardencare March-Nov 07 £ 602.58

 

12.

CORRESPONDENCE

 

 

Mrs Jackson of Charity Hall had reported that a recurring hole in the pavement outside her property had opened up again. The clerk had passed this matter to CCC, Highways Department.

ACRE Village Survey

Cllr Flynn will assist the Clerk in the completion of this questionnaire.

 

 

 

 

Cllr Flynn

13.

OTHER MATTERS

 
 

PC Committees

It was agreed that Cllr Eades would become a member of the Planning Committee and Cllr Cook will become a member of the Finance and General Purposes Committee

Duxford Liaison

Cllr Hawkins will suggest to Cllr Mullock and Duxford that he attend Liaison Committee meetings on a temporary basis.

Document Retention

CALC has recommended that Planning Application drawings should be retained until a project was completed. The Clerk will retain all comment sheets plus drawings of contentious applications.

 

 

 

 

 

Cllr Hawkins

14.

CONFIRM DATES OF NEXT MEETINGS

PC Meeting Tuesday, 18th December 2007

Finance meeting Tuesday, 8th January 2008

PC Meeting Tuesday, 15th January 2008

PC Meeting Tuesday, 19th January 2008

 
 

 

The meeting closed at 8.20 pm

 
 

 

Clerk to the Parish Council: Julie Fletcher, 21 Ryecroft Lane, Fowlmere, SG8 7TT