Minutes 4th September 2012


Held at the School on Tuesday, 4th September 2012. Starting at 7.30pm

Present: Margaret Chadwick-Chairman(MC), Bert Collins(BC), James Hardwicke(JH) Lynn Reed(LR), Sharyn Robinson(SR), Sue Romero(SRo), Mary Smith(MS) and Ian Woodroffe(IW).

Members of the Public: None.

In attendance:
Karen King – Clerk

3085: Apologies for Absence:
CCC – Cllr David Brown – conflicting commitments
ECDC – Cllr Allen Alderson – unwell
Parish Councillor – Brian Ambrose – unwell

3086: To Approve & Sign the Minutes of Meeting Number 378, 7th August 2012:
The minutes were agreed and signed as a correct record. Proposed: Lynn Reed. Seconded: Mary Smith.

3087: Matters Arising from Previous Minutes (for information only):
Min.ref.378/3081: SR confirmed two volunteer drivers willing to take people to the Burwell Health Centre.
Min.ref.376/3053: SR reported that a resident had suggested locating a pedestrian crossing at the south end of the lay-by on the High Street. SR to discuss further with Kevin Hall – CCC Highways. Action: SR
Min.ref.376/2053: The Clerk received an email expressing some concern about the idea of a hump in the road suggesting that this would mean more signage, obstruction and bunching of traffic and asking whether a crossing between the cemetery and the shop would be used by people walking from the High Street (on the Downing Court side) as this would mean walking further and crossing three roads instead of two. There followed some discussion on the points raised.
Min.ref.378/3081: IW confirmed that it would be possible for the PC to use the Church for meetings during the summer months.
Min.ref.378/3083: Paul Butcher of CCC confirmed that he had spoken with the Pub about removing the advertising sign from the War Memorial triangle but noted that the grass area is registered as a village green and as such there is a limited amount of highway land. This meant that it was possible the sign was actually on parish land and not highway. It was noted that the Clerk would deal direct with any future problems.

3088: Members’ Declaration of Interest for Items on the Agenda:

3089: County Councillor’s Report:
There was no CCC report.

3090: District Councillor’s Report:
MC read out to meeting written report received from Cllr Alderson. There were no questions.

3091: Correspondence for Circulation/Consideration:
CCC – Land at Lordship Farm/Recreation Ground, Swaffham Bulbeck. Letter received from CCC’s Network Asset Engineer, Barry Wylie, detailing the extensive investigation carried out into the status of an area of land at this location as quoted below:-
“Following significant investigations, the following records have been obtained that assist in bringing this matter to a conclusion.
I enclose a copy of two plans. The first plan is an extract from the definitive copy of the 1910 Land Value Duties map that is held in the National Archives in Kew, London. These plans were coloured and marked up to identify areas of different ownership, showing the extent and rateable value of each property. As the area in question was uncoloured, this indicates that it was not land capable of being taxed for productive purposes. This is typical of land that was considered to be vehicular highway maintainable at public expense.
The second plan is an extract from our legal highway record based on the Ordnance Survey 1926 edition, coloured up to indicate the extent of highway maintainable at public expense. The area of land in question is clearly shown coloured, and completes the connectivity to public footpath no.5 as recorded on the first Definitive Map & Statement of 1952 (the legal record of public rights of way).
A Land Registry search has also been carried out and the area of land has not been included within any registration. Although by no means definitive on its own, this evidence would also lean towards the area not being privately owned, and forming part of the public highway”
The Clerk was asked to copy this letter to all interested parties. A copy was also to be sent to Taylor Vinters with a request that this was added to the file on this matter. IW asked that a letter of thanks be sent in reply. MC noted that this letter was originally sent to the Clerk and consequently copied to Parish Councillors and due asked that members be mindful of the sensitive nature of this matter when discussed. Action: Clerk
ECDC – Community Right to Challenge Protocol: To be circulated and carried forward to October meeting.
ECDC ¬– Questionnaire of Play Provision: Incomplete detail. Clerk to follow up. Action: Clerk
ECDC – Gambling Act 2005 – Review of Statement of Principles: Noted.
Balfour Beatty – Renewal of Street Lighting Maintenance Contract: 1 year contract agreed. Clerk to confirm.

3092: Adoption of New Code of Conduct:
MC had emailed ECDC’s Monitoring Officer, Jeannette Thompson confirming that the adoption of the new Code of Conduct by the Parish Council had been delayed as Parish Councillors felt they did not fully understand the new code and wished to receive some form of training so that they could be clear on the detail before adopting particularly with reference to the delegation of dispensations to the Clerk. MC asked what the implications of this decision might be. JT replied referring to the PC’s legal duty under the Localism Act to adopt a Code of Conduct on or after the 1st July 2012 and noting that most other Councils had adopted the ECDC version or NALC version to comply with their duty and would attend training after that. With reference to the delegation of dispensations to the Clerk, JT noted the wording was from the Localism Act and if the PC does not delegate this decision, then effectively the PC would not be able to avail itself of any dispensations – a decision for the Parish Council.
The Clerk confirmed that there was to be a training session on the 26th September. LR, MS, SR, SRo and the Clerk would attend. MC was hopeful of attending a separate session on the 13th.
It was agreed to wait until after training before considering further the adoption of the new code. Unanimously agreed.

3093: Amendment to Parish Council Standing Orders to comply with item 8:
This was to be considered in partnership with min.ref.379/3092 and was carried forward to next meeting. MC was to prepare a draft amendment for Standing Orders.

3094: Consideration of Draft Complaints Policy:
This was to be considered in partnership with min.ref.378/3092 and was carried forward to next meeting.

3095: Review of Land Rents:
Item carried forward from August meeting. Referring to Ben Rayner’s offer to pay £150/acre from Michaelmas 2012 (Min.ref.377/3066), SR reiterated her view that the setting of all land rents should be kept on a formal basis as required by current legislation. The Clerk confirmed that Redmayne Arnold and Harris had been instructed to carry out a review of land rents from Michaelmas 2013 and that land rents for 2012/13 would remain the same. The Clerk was to write and thank Ben Rayner for his kind offer and continuing support for the village and its residents with the suggestion that should he still wish to go ahead then perhaps this could be in the form of a donation rather than a direct payment for land rent. Action: Clerk

3096: Parish Council Insurance Renewal with 3-Year Long-Term Option:
Following discussion the Clerk was asked to obtain additional quotations for consideration at an extraordinary meeting on the 18th September 2012. The Clerk was also to clarify with insurers whether there would be a reduction in premium if minor items under the excess value were taken off the insurance schedule.
Action: Clerk
3097: Clerk’s Reports:
• Min.ref.378/3081: Road manhole cover – cemetery corner: Re-inspected and repaired.
• Min.ref.378/3081: Fly-tipping: Removed by ECDC.
• Grasscutting – Commercial End: Followed up complaint about cutting of verges with contractor who confirmed verges were due to be cut the following week.
• Spiking of Recreation Ground: Grass cutting contractor to be asked to provide an estimate for this work.
• Phone Box – Commercial End: Following a report of damage to the phone box and its general condition, BT to be asked to repair and paint the box.
• Litter bin outside School: It was noticed that the bin was not emptied on a regular basis. Follow up with ECDC/Veolia.
• Cemetery: Memorial ornaments had been taken from the cemetery. This was reported to the Police and the local PCSO’s.

3098: Finances including Approval of Payment of Outstanding Accounts:
a) Karen King – Clerk’s salary, August 2012 £ 210-29
b) Inland Revenue – Clerk’s PAYE £ 52-60
c) Herts & Cambs Ground Maintenance – grasscutting services £ 394-80
Total: £657-69

d) Broker Network Ltd – annual insurance premium £ 825-00 (carried forward – min.ref.379/3096)

The above payments were agreed. Proposed: Lynn Reed. Seconded: Mary Smith.

a) BIAA Bank Interest (August) £0.94

3099: Parish Councillors’ Reports:
Car park sign – play area: The sign had been damaged and knocked over. James Hardwicke offered to look at repairs and what was needed to make the sign more secure. It was suggested that a small earth bank be built at the edge of the car parking area to stop cars from parking too close to the sign but it was considered better to relocate the sign to the side of the parking area nearer the hedge.
Resignation of Parish Councillor: MC reported that a letter of resignation from James Hardwicke was handed to the Clerk at the beginning of the meeting. Everyone thanked James for his support during his time as Parish Councillor. James said he had reluctantly taken this decision due to family commitments.
Play area inspections: Mary Smith carried out the August inspections and noted minor items of repair including the lifting of the matting under the zip wire.
Church Reordering Group: Sue Romero reported on meeting held.
Overgrown hedges – High Street: Ian Woodroffe offered to contact Sanctuary Hereward and ask that the hedges be cut back. Clerk to provide contact details. Action: IW/Clerk

Meeting closed at 9.24pm

3100: Dates of Next Meetings:
2nd October
6th November
20th November (Precept meeting)
4th December

Appendix 1
Barry Wylie, Network Asset Engineer – Land at Lordship Farm/Recreation Ground, Swaffham Bulbeck
Michaela Headland – Ely Cycle Map
Chairman’s Weekly Highlights
Julie Cornwell, Partnerships Officer – Community Right to Challenge Protocol
Lewis Bage, Project Officer (Community Services) – Questionnaire of Play Provision
Lin Bagwell – Gambling Act 2005 – Review of Statement of Principles
James Nairn – Neighbourhood Panel Meeting Dates
Oliver Cook – draft strategy tenancy consultation
Balfour Beatty – Renewal of Street Lighting Maintenance Contract
Came & Company – annual insurance renewal
Moore Stephens – audit queries