Minutes of the Great Staughton Annual Parish Assembly
held on 2 May 2019 in the Village Hall – 7.30pm
Parish Councillors – Bob Jewell (RJ) (Chairman), Janet Bowen (JB), David Moore (DM), Nicole Yates (NY) Vice Chair, Giles Brittain (GB), Will Mumford (WM), Andrea Gilbert (AG), Helen Glanville (HG), Lorraine Goody, (LG), Jo Russel – Clerk
County Councillor Ian Gardener
Parishioners: see attached list
- Apologies for absence: received from Liz Wetzel, Suzi Whiting, Roger Harding, District Councillor, Darren Tysoe and PCSO Richard Braddick.
- Chairman’s Welcome and Review of the Year 2018/19
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. He is pleased to welcome WM as a councillor and NY as Vice Chair. The PC has been very busy this year with the affordable housing project, gala day, parking issues, Orchard Farm planning. GS is no longer a LSA under the Local Plan, but we do not know the reason for this yet. The footpath bridge has been fixed and the website is now up and running and we thank Dianne for maintaining this. We may also receive a financial benefit form the Solar Farm which is very positive. There has been lots of community involvement in the litter pick and we also thank the tree warden and Mr Harrison for the village maintenance. RJ also expressed his thanks to the Clerk.
- Community Heat Scheme – Emma Fetcher from Swaffham Prior CLT
EF gave a talk about her scheme in Swaffham. They are trying to find an alternative to oil. Her village is very similar to GS in size and layout. They also have an aging population; it’s a historic conservation area and fuel poverty is a concern. They have raised funding to compete a feasibility funding to look at various renewable heat options. They have formed a CLT to be the legal entity. They are well on the way to providing a self-sustaining and low carbon fuel system, the Community Heat Program, which will hopefully ensure that the community will not be vulnerable to current fluctuating oil prices. This will mean greater fuel security and the removal of large oil tanks from gardens. EF discussed the First Community Engagement evening where the project was explained to local residents. Their initial work looking at the various heat options has suggested that a district heat network with an energy centre, which has a combination of open loop water source and mains gas, would be the most viable option for Swaffham. RJ explained that we have a CLT already set up for the affordable housing project and asked for a show of hands from people if they thought a similar scheme would be good for GS. It was a resounding ‘yes’ from those in the room.
- Parish Accounts
Parish Council – A copy of the budget upon which the Precept application was based was circulated prior to the meeting showing what the PC spend the Precept on. RJ explained that the Precept received this year was £19,000. For a band D property this works out at £57.93 p.a. The PC’s main expenditure is village maintenance, Clerk, insurances, grants, streetlights. As mentioned previously we will hopefully receive a £20k grant from the Solar Farm.
Playing Field – RJ is the Treasurer for the Playing Field and circulated the accounts prior to the meeting. Received much less money than we pay out. Unfortunately, the football team are not using the field this year and obviously the outgoings still remain which are electricity, rates, waste and cleaning. We have £2.5k in the account – £1300 of which is from Gala day for the play equipment.
Parish Charities – Eileen Gilbert said that the income comes to the Parish Charities from 2 parcels of agricultural land and interest. The income was £7862.53 with expenditure of £6971.72, including payment of grants. The closing balance was £12,555.00. EG said that if anyone would like to apply for a grant for equipment, furthering a career then they should seriously consider applying. Applications are welcome from residents of GS and Perry.
Village Hall – Helen Glanville presented the audited accounts for the last financial year and said there was a £3500 deficit. Helen thanked Kathy Wilson for kindly auditing the accounts once again. Helen mentioned work carried out to the village hall and thanked the PC for their grant. Oil is a great cost.
Life Magazine – Helen Glanville presented the audited accounts – made a loss of £1000. Helen thanked both Councils – GS and Perry – 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.
- Blueline Security System
Tracey Stokes presented about this topic. There is s trial going ahead for private security in the area. The group is called 3 Shires and they employ Blueline to provide the security. Some believe that the night-time closures due to the A14 work has increased opportunistic crime in this area. Blueline patrol the area in two cars with dogs and respond promptly to residents reporting incidents. 3 Shires are seeking villages to sign up to deal with the lack of police presence. TS was therefore trying to ascertain whether this is something the people in GS would like to see set up. There are 3 suggestions at present as to how to fund this:
- Individual houses pay a monthly subscription – they then get a hotline number and the promise of patrols
- Village enrolment model with rebates for the elderly and vulnerable/low income
TS will put a notice in Life and prepare a flyer so people can consider this scheme.
- Reports from County Councillor
County Councillor Ian Gardener
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. A complete copy of the report is attached. RJ thanked Ian for his report.
- Reports from local societies
Reverend Nicki Bland thanked everyone in the village for supporting the church activities. There has been lots of weddings, coffee mornings and the Piglets Family Run. The summer camp at Graham Water was very successful as was the annual summer fete. The church needs a refurbishment of the kitchen, toilet, lighting and heating systems and the tower needs repointing.
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.
David Moore – Treasurer of Piglets – offered his thanks to the committee for the work they have done. Thanks, were expressed to the Parish Charities, church, Parish Council for their financial help. Further fundraising has taken place in the village and David thanked all the organisations involved for their support.
Lorraine Goody mentioned the Kimbolton Rotary club who meet on Thursday evenings if anyone would like to join.
- Time banking
This potential scheme could involve some expenditure from the PC. Essentially it works as ‘time as currency’ and there is a scheme already set up in St Neots. Every hour is equal so for example RJ explained that he could give one hour of his time to help someone with a computer issue and then someone could do some DIY for him. We will approach HW and Perry to see if they are interested in potentially joining forces. Grants are available to help set up the scheme. Kimbolton PC were approached but they declined to join.
- Affordable Housing
There are 80+ fully paid up members of the Community Land Trust (CLT) which is now incorporated and fully registered with the FCA. The Allocation Policy is being formulated. Lease terms are agreed, and will l hopefully be signed soon. The planning process will take three months and we are hopeful that building will start later this year.
- Parish Matters
Parking Issues –
Janet Perret said that parking was difficult in Beachampstead. Up to the yellow lines people can park there though but obviously if they are blocking the road this is dangerous and illegal. It was also mentioned that the traffic on the Highway was increasing and people parking at the doctor’s surgery are making matters worse. RJ informed everyone that the doctor’s staff had been asked to park elsewhere if at all possible and the police and PC have told people not to park illegally. The PC at all times has taken advice from CCC Highways but yellow lines do not always solve the problem. There is currently planning application at 69 The Highway and as part of that the PC have asked for the development to include additional parking.
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 about a potential LHI bid. We are also looking at flashing speed signs.
RJ thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed at 9.00pm.