Minutes of the Great Staughton Annual Parish Assembly held on 19th April 2018 in the Village Hall
Present: Parish Councillors – Bob Jewell (RJ) (Chairman), Janet Bowen (JB), Sir Hugh Duberly (HD), Geoff Gilbert (GG), David Moore (DM), Anthony Withers (AW) and Nicole Yates (NY). County Councillor Ian Gardener Parishioners: Hazel Aincough, Mick Askew, Mrs Elaine Bell, Rev Nicki Bland, Brenda Blignaut, Judy Chalkley, Sue Cowley, James Duberly, Mr & Mrs Duddman, Renee Ellis, Eileen Gilbert, Guy Freeman, Helen Glanville, Steve Glanville, Vicky Goldsmith, Lorraine Goddy, Patrick Harris, Allan Hills, Olive Hynes, Paddy Hynes, Jacky Jenkins, Laura May, Charlotte May, Ray May, Shirley Mockford, Mike Mockford, Martin Morley, Andy Moulds, Emma Mumford, Audrey Newman, David Palmer, Dianne Palmer, Janet Perrett, Les Rant, Tricia Richards, Susanne Sontag, Alex Turner, Darren Tysoe, Sheila Wells, Phil Yates, Mervyn Young, Judy York, and Peter York.
RJ opened the meeting by welcoming everyone present and added his thanks to JB for the refreshments. The Annual Parish Assembly is an opportunity for the Parish Council to tell everyone what they have been doing and for everyone to report their news to the meeting.
1. Apologies for absence: received from Kevin Fisk (KF), Will Mumford (WM), Jo Russel (Clerk to the Parish Council), District Councillor Jonathan Gray, PCSO Richard Braddick, Margaret Sare, Martin Bowen, Andrea Gilbert, and Ivy Sturgeon.
2. Chairman’s Welcome and Review of the Year RJ said he had the honour of being elected as Chair to the Parish Council in May 2017 and AW was elected as Vice Chair. Support is given by Jo Russel who is an exceptionally good Clerk and RJ asked for his thanks to be recorded to Jo for the good job she is doing supporting the Parish Councillors.
Some successful grant applications have meant that the Village Hall has had some major improvements, the Playing Field had major improvements and the junction at The Highway and Causeway has been improved. The Community Land Trust has been formed with the prospect of moving the affordable housing provision forward. Speed Watch is managed by David Moore, thanks to John Harrison for keeping on top of the village maintenance and also to Norman Hardy and John Bashford the Tree Wardens. RJ also expressed his thanks to all those people who took part in the Annual Litter Pick which proved to be a very successful day.
3. Parish Councillors 2017/18 and Parish Council 2018/19 Parish Councils throughout the whole of Huntingdonshire are changing because it is election year. Sadly, Great Staughton is losing approximately 100 years of Councillor experience: Kevin Fisk has moved out of the village and was the Chair of the Village Hall Committee. Geoff Gilbert has been a Councillor for approx 25 years and has always been a useful conduit for public opinion. Anthony Withers has been a Councillor for 27 years and was one of the most constructive Parish Councillors. Sir Hugh Duberly has been the Chair for over 30 years and has served for approx 40 years and has made an immense contribution to the village. RJ felt a huge debt of gratitude was owed to HD for his leadership and commitment and RJ presented HD with a small gift as a token of thanks for everything he has done. HD said Great Staughton is a very special village and it has been a pleasure to work for the village.
RJ was pleased to welcome Andrea Gilbert, Lorraine Goody and Helen Glanville to the Parish Council. He also mentioned that there are 2 vacancies on the Parish Council, these will be discussed at the next meeting but if anyone is interested in the role please contact either the Parish Clerk or RJ.
4. Parish Accounts Parish Council – A copy of the budget upon which the Precept application was based was circulated prior to the meeting. RJ said the accounts were a little more complicated this year due to the additional income from grants and relevant expenditure. The Parish Council Precept application was for £17,500 for 2017/18 and £19,000 for 2018/19 this will mean the Parish Council element of the Council Tax is £59.01 for each band D household for the financial year. This is an increase of 9.3%. RJ mentioned that some of the increase is due to certain works being devolved to the Parish Council from the District Council and County Councils.
Playing Field – RJ is the Treasurer for the Playing Field and circulated the accounts prior to the meeting. Piglets, Little Paxton Football Club and Girl Guides were all regular users. In the last year removing one off expenditure and income and taking into account the grant from the Parish Council the playing field came close to breaking even.
Parish Charities – Eileen Gilbert said that the income comes to the Parish Charities from 2 parcels of agricultural land and interest. The income was £8,010 with expenditure of £11,991, including grants of £4,000 towards play equipment, £1,000 to the village school and £1,300 to Piglets. There were also other bursaries for educational purposes such as training to be a Chef and studying languages. The closing balance was £11,495. Eileen expressed her thanks to GRH Accountants for the accounts.
AW said that being on the Parish Charities committee was an excellent job. He invited anyone who was following education for a specific career to apply for a bursary either by contacting Eileen Gilbert or submitting an application on an A4 format.
Village Hall – Helen Glanville presented the audited accounts for 2017 and said the income was £8,820 and expenditure of £9,136 leaving a small loss of £511 for the year. Helen thanked Kathy Wilson for kindly auditing the accounts once again. Helen mentioned work carried to the village hall included new heating, new toilets, new doors and windows. This work will decrease the cost of running the village hall by making it more efficient and Helen expressed her thanks to Kevin Fisk for a great deal of maintenance work done prior to the improvements and also for the advice and guidance in managing the work to improve the facility.
Life Magazine – Helen Glanville presented the audited accounts for 2017 with an income of £4,929.00 and expenditure of £4,816 leaving a surplus of £113. Helen mentioned that the printing costs had reduced slightly due to smaller magazines being printed at present. She invited residents in Perry to place items in the magazine as there appeared to be more articles from Great Staughton. Helen thanked both Councils for their donations to Life. Helen also thanked Kathy Wilson for auditing the accounts and both editors, Rob and Shaun, for producing the magazine each month.
5. Reports from County & District Councillors and the Police County Councillor Ian Gardener informed the meeting he became the County Councillor for Great Staughton at the elections in May 2017 when the boundaries were changed and Great Staughton became part of in the Alconbury and Kimbolton seat.
Ian sits on the Highways & Infrastructure Committee and also the Planning Committee and he advised the meeting that he is always available to answer any queries or offer help with local matters via 07970 613498 or Ian.Gardener@cambridgshire.gov.uk. The County Council is changing some areas of childcare provision. The parking charge at all Cambridge Park & Ride sites has been removed from 1st April in the hope that more people will be encouraged to use the facility. The Library Service is going to replace its mobile library service vans as this is regarded as important for rural villages. A complete copy of the report is available on the village website – www.greatstaughton.com RJ thanked Ian for his report.
District Councillor Jonathan Gray was unable to attend the meeting but a comprehensive report was circulated at the meeting. A copy of the report is available on the village website www.greatstaughton.com. Jonathan will be standing for Kimbolton District so will no longer be the District Councillor for Great Staughton. RJ expressed thanks on behalf of the Parish Council for the 11 years of support Jonathan has given to the Parish.
PCSO Richard Braddick was unable to attend the meeting but had attended the recent Parish Council meeting and has shown significant interest in the village.
6. Reports from local societies Reverend Nicki Bland thanked everyone in the village for making her feel so welcome.
Phil Yates – Chairman of the West Hunts Friendship – Club said the club was formed in the 1990s as a group for people of retirement age and they met in the village hall on Mondays. Transport can be arranged, refreshments are provided, including a hot 2 course lunch and regular entertainment takes place. There is a small charge of £10 per person which contributes towards the costs.
Jackie Jenkins – Co-ordinator of the Highwayman Community Car Scheme – which offers transportation to people to make essential and social journeys. At present there are only 9 drivers so Jackie is desperately looking for drivers. The scheme is supported by Cambs County Council and drivers receive reimbursement on a mileage basis. The Council also covers insurance for drivers. Mrs Bell said she has found the scheme extremely valuable. Please contact Jackie on 07786 520540 either for transport or to volunteer to be a driver.
David Moore – Treasurer of Piglets – said a new committee is in place and offered his thanks to the previous committee for the work they have done. Thanks were expressed to the Parish Charities, Hunts CC Community Chest and Tesco Bags of Help for grants given to Piglets. Further fundraising has taken place in the village and David thanked all the organisations involved for their support. RJ thanked David and mentioned he felt it was important for the village to have an active preschool.
7. Village Hall Improvements RJ – Village Hall Committee – expressed thanks to Amey Cespa and Cambs County Council for grants to enable the work to go ahead on the village hall. Some work is still needed where damp needs to dry out.
Unfortunately no one was present to represent the school.
8. Playing Field Improvements Nicole Yates – Chair of the Playing Field Committee – reported new equipment has been installed on the playing field and is already being used, this includes two new pieces of equipment and refurbishment of other items. Nicole mentioned that Wickstead (suppliers of play equipment) were extremely helpful in assessing what needed replacing and what could be refurbished. Grants were received from the National Lottery, Tescos, and the Parish Council and Nicole expressed her thanks for this support. Nicole asked for her thanks to be recorded to Will Mumford for removing the old equipment from the playing field and disposing of it.
Further work is still needed so fundraising will begin again. Nicole invited everyone to Gala Day on 21st July from midday onwards. Money raised will go towards the next tranche of work. RJ thanked everyone who helped to obtain grants.
9. Affordable Housing There are 80 fully paid up members of the Community Land Trust (CLT) and the new Board recently held a meeting and has been constituted. Luminus will be contacted to further discuss the plans going forward. It is anticipate that building work could begin in 2019. Murray Morley asked if Luminus is going to finance the build? RJ said a number of units will be sold to contribute towards the cost of the build. David Moore asked whether non-residents could be members of the CLT? RJ said only those on the electoral roll for Great Staughton were eligible. However, this does not preclude non-residents from applying for a property as long as they meet the terms agreed of having a connection to the village.
10. Parish Matters Parking Issues – David Moore reported that the Council has been asked to have double yellow lines installed on the Highway to deter people from parking between the bend and the White Hart. However, where there are double white lines in the centre of the road, the Highway Code rule 240 states you must not park there. David is currently investigating with County Councillor Ian Gardener all options available together with the costs and implications. Following a discussion during which reservations to yellow lines were expressed, David invited feedback on the issue to the Parish Clerk or to himself.
Speed Limits – David Moore explained that the Parish Council has been approached to discuss the possibility of reducing the speed through the Town from 40 mph to 30 mph. Initial discussions have taken place and proposals have been put forward that either: the street lighting be increased in the area or, garner police support to confirm that there is systemic speeding in the area.
RJ mentioned that the street lights in the Town are actually owned by the Parish Council rather than Cambs County Council so changing them could prove expensive for the village. Sleeping Policemen were discussed but are known to be noisy for residents, particularly when lorries pass over. Help was offered with this problem going forward by Murray Morley and Geoff Gilbert. David would welcome any feedback to him or the Clerk can be contacted.
Margaret Dudman said the corner between Green Close and the Highway was dangerous for pedestrians. Janet Perrett said there are potholes at the entrance to Beachampstead Road from Green Lane and RJ asked villagers to notify the Clerk of any further issues. Ian Gardener mentioned that the County Council now has one Dragon Pot Hole filler vehicle on the road and is in the process of purchasing another two vehicles. Ian also said that the County Council will be trialling a new system of filling potholes with plastic waste.
RJ thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed at 9.00pm.