Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the Sports Pavilion on

Monday 13 June 2016 at 7.30pm

Present:                     Councillors: J Clayton (Chairman),   A Drew, S Martin, S Wheatley, V Belson

District Cllr Murfitt, County Cllr Dent

In attendance:               Mrs S Walmesley (Clerk) and 5 members of the public.



In the absence of Mr Brocklhurst, the Vice Chairman Mrs Wheatley invited Mr Clayton to chair the meeting.




Apologies were received from Mr Brocklehurst and Mr Whittington. The Chairman and Mrs Wheatley declared a non pecuniary interest under Item 3.1. The Chairman as the landowner and Mrs Wheatley as an associate of Magpies.





There were no applications for co-option. The vacancy would be advertised.





3.1 Football Club Update

The Chairman invited Mr Karl Parr, Football Club Chairman, to speak to Councillors.

Mr Parr advised that it had been a very successful season for both the senior football teams and also the Magpies youth teams where there would be eight age groups next season which was very encouraging. He referred to the previous consultation with the Parish Council regarding a grant application but this had been unsuccessful due to the number of applications for funding. The football club were now going to concentrate on tidying the Reading Room.

Mr Parr thanked the Parish Council for leaving the cutting of the senior pitch so that improvements to the grass could be worked on. The club were working with the cricket club and asked the Parish Council for permission to carry out the improvement work. The clubs were also looking at putting a shingle drain along the boundary of the recreation ground to stop the football pitch becoming waterlogged.

Mr Parr advised that on the 10th September 2016 there was a fund raising event and permission was sought for the club to erect marquees on the recreation ground to maximise space.

Mr Parr then advised that with the success of the teams they were running out of areas on the recreation ground to use. The teams preferred to play in the village rather than use the facilities of other villages. Mr Holt added that the Magpies also played on different sized pitches. The Club had approached a neighbouring landowner, regarding land behind the primary school and the recreation ground, where a pitch could be created to help satisfy the space requirement for both the senior teams and the Magpies. There was a public footpath around this land which could be fenced off. To enable the use of this land to progress the support of the Parish Council would be needed as it would involve a change of use for the land.

The Chairman thanked the Football Club for the update and congratulated them on their success. The issues raised were then discussed by Councillors.

  • Improvements to the Grass –Mrs Drew expressed concern over the use of fertiliser which young children and dogs could come into contact with. Mr Parr advised that a professional groundwork company would be used for the work that would be using appropriate chemicals. It was suggested that to make people aware the club should display signage giving notice a few days before the work was to take place
  • Drainage –Mrs Belson asked how wide and deep the drain would be. It was explained that it would be similar to a French drain and once it was installed it would not be seen. Mrs Wheatley expressed concern over the end house getting all the water. The football club agreed that the drain should be channelled the opposite way. They agreed to provide the Parish Council with a drawing for the next meeting. It was noted that ideally the work would be carried out before the winter months.
  • Marquees for Fund Raising Event –Councillors agreed that there were no issues with the erection of marquees for the event.
  • New Pitch –The Parish Council needed to show their support for a pitch outside the village envelope. Access and the possibility of additional parking on the site were highlighted as a requirement. The footballers were urged to liaise with the landowner, addressing concerns raised, and report back to the Parish Council at the September meeting. In the meantime the Club asked to be notified of any issues raised.

3.2 Other

Councillors were advised that the Village Hall AGM would be held on the 14th July 2016.










4.1 County Council

 Cllr Dent had circulated a report. He referred to the conversation at the AGM regarding the proposal to divert footpaths 37 and 38 stating that he had not been formally approached. The only contact he was aware of was from the landowner to Steeple Morden Parish Council.

4.2 District Council

Cllr Murfitt apologised for missing the AGM and Annual Parish Meeting. She then reported that over the past weeks she had been dealing with various issues regarding the overgrown grass bank on Cheyney Street which had previously been cut by the South Cambridgeshire District Council contractors. A cut had now been carried out by local residents.  A fence was down in Jubilee End which had been reported.  Cllr Murfitt advised that the South Cambs News had been sent out. It was noted that there were still properties in the village who were not receiving a copy.  The Boundary Review of South Cambridgeshire District Council proposed that The Mordens would join with Gamlingay which was a concern for Cllr Murfitt.  Devolution now looked as if Cambridgeshire would be linked to Peterborough. There was an article in the South Cambs News explaining this. Cllr Dent added that he had prepared a paper on why they should not be joined. It was noted that there was a lot of opposition within the District and County Councils. Cllr Murfitt concluded her report by advising that the Community Chest Fund, with grants for funding up to £1500, had reopened. Steeple Morden had done very well with grants in 2015. She was aware that the First Responder Scheme, based in Guilden Morden, were applying for a grant.

The Clerk advised Councillors that Mr Brocklehurst had been approached by the Chairman of Guilden Morden Parish Council concerned over the Boundary Review proposal. He suggested that the Mordens ward should be extended to include Litlington, reflecting the churches which were banded together, rather than the proposal to link to Gamlingay.  Councillors also agreed with this proposal and the Clerk was asked to respond to the consultation.

The Clerk asked about the grasscutting which was previously carried out by South Cambs which she was told is a County Council responsibility. The District Council Housing Officer had advised of this stating that the County Council were aware. The Clerk explained that the County Council gave a grant towards village grasscutting and at present the Cheyney Street grass bank was not included. After further discussion it was agreed that the Clerk would obtain a quotation for cutting the bank, from the Parish Council contractors, in preparation for the area being added to the specification.

The Chairman thanked Cllr Murfitt for her report.







































5.1 The Parish Council  Annual General Meeting held on 9th May 2016

On a proposition by Mrs Wheatley seconded by Mrs Drew the minutes as circulated were taken as read and then approved as a true record.






6.1 A505 Junction

6.1.Update on HCC agreed work at Junction

The Clerk had received an update from County Officer, Tony Hunter, who advised that the work

on the A505 between Baldock and Royston should commence in July 2016. The first trance was

signage, white lining and vegetation which included the scheme as agreed by the police at all

junctions. The central reservation work at Odsey would follow on as funding was now available

to improve sight lines. Mr Hunter agreed to forward a timetable once dates were known.

6.1.2 Update on CCC Agreed Signage at Junction

The Clerk was awaiting an update. It was suggested that the signage was now in place. This

would be investigated.

6.2. Update on  Community Speedwatch

The plan was for four Parish Councils to purchase the equipment at a cost of £600 each.

Litlington Parish Council was to approve the expenditure at their meeting the following evening.

The other councils were Meldreth and Whaddon. Once Litlington had agreed the expenditure the

Clerk would arrange the purchase. The equipment would be included on the Parish Council

insurance schedule with contributions from the other three parishes.

An agreement on the use of the equipment had been circulated and everyone involved agreed in

principle to the wording.

6.3 Update on the removal of tree by Woodland Grange

The tree had been removed by the residents because of the length of time this had taken for the County Council to arrange. The residents had also repaired the fence. Mrs Wheatley expressed her dissatisfaction at the delay. It was agreed that she would express this by writing to Cllr Dent to follow up.

6.4 Proposal for Diversion of part of Footpath 37 and 38

Copies of further correspondence from concerned residents had been copied to Councillors. It was noted that there was also a petition against the diversion in the newsletter and the shop. As stated in the County Council report a formal application had not yet been made to Cambridgeshire County Council for the diversion.

























7.1 Standing Orders

These had been circulated to Councillors. On a proposal by Mrs Wheatley, seconded by Mrs Belson the Standing Orders were adopted by Steeple Morden Parish Council.

7.2 Financial Regulations

These had been circulated to Councillors. On a proposal by Mrs Drew seconded by Mrs Wheatley the Financial Regulations were adopted by Steeple Morden Parish Council.

7.3 Review and update of Risk Assessment

This would be updated and a draft circulated by the Clerk for approval at the next meeting.

7.4 Review of Freedom of Information Schedule

This would be reviewed and circulated for approval at the next meeting.















9.1 PLANNING –Mr Martin, would oversee the applications. All Councillors would continue to be involved in the recommendation process.

9.2 RECREATION GROUND AND SAFER ROUTES TO SCHOOL CAR PARK BOOKINGS Mrs Drew and the Recreation Ground working group.

9.3 ENVIRONMENTAL. Mrs Wheatley and Mrs Belson.

9.4 VILLAGE HALL REPRESENTATIVE –Mrs Wheatley –until the time there was a full complement of Councillors


9.5.1 Mobile Warden Scheme Amendment to Constitution

9.6  POLICE PANEL MEETINGS –It was agreed that there would not be a nominated member. Information relating to the planning meetings would be circulated to all Councillors.

9.7 TOWNLANDS CHARITY TRUSTEES –Mr Clayton and Mr Brocklehurst

9.8 FINANCE WORKING GROUP –Mr Clayton, Mrs Wheatley and Mrs Belson.


It was proposed by Mrs Wheatley seconded by Mrs Belson that the above allocation be approved and would be reviewed once a full complement of Councillors had been appointed.

It was also agreed that the constitution for the Mobile Warden Scheme, Item 9.5.1, could be changed to include Bassingbourn members and the power to co-opt members of the committee.















9.1 To receive the financial statement and to approve the payment of bills

On a proposition by Mr Martin , seconded by Mrs Belson,  the following payments as listed in the monthly financial report were approved:


Newsletters June 2016                                                                                                              £  48.00


Disabled toilet clean May 2016                                                                                               £  12.72


Website hosting 5/6/16-4/6/17 (inc. £14.80VAT)                                                                £  88.80


SCDC Election cost 2016                                                                                                                        £135.00


Internal Audit 2015/16 (inc. £19.00VAT)                                                                             £114.00


Reimburse for fence panels (inc. £1.19VAT)                                                                                       £    7.12

TOTAL                                                                                                                                         £405.64

9.2 Internal Audit Report 2015/16

The report had been circulated to Councillors. The following issues were raised by the Internal Auditors –

·        Cheque stubs for cheques 2617 -2628 were only initialled by one signatory. The Clerk confirmed that the cheques were checked and signed by the second Councillor

·        Member’s interests were not shown on the village website. The Clerk advised that the current site could not accommodate this. The previous Parish Council had considered an upgrade to their website but agreed at the time to leave it for the new Council to arrange. The Clerk was asked to obtain costings for a new site for discussion at the next meeting.

·   The print quality was poor on the minutes. The printer needed to be replaced.

·        The Auditor had stated that actions in response to the points raised in the 2015 audit were not minuted.  The Clerk had confirmed to the Auditor that the points were discussed and addressed with Councillors.

9.3 Car Park Resurfacing –Agreement of Quotation and Expenditure

Three quotations had been received for the work. Mrs Drew explained the area concerned. After discussion it was proposed by Mrs Wheatley, seconded by Mrs Drew, to accept the cheapest quotation which was from North Herts Surfacing at a cost of £7245 plus VAT.   The Clerk was asked to advise the contractors and ask that they roll the planings which they agreed to put in the potholes. The Village Hall committee would need to be involved with the timing of the work as the car park access would be restricted.





































10.1 Recreation Ground Maintenance –working group update

Mrs Drew reported that the committee had cut back the branches interfering with the cable run. Some of the potholes in the car park had also been filled. As much of the work as possible, on recommendations from the RoSPA report, had been carried out. The remaining work needed professional repair. The gate into the play area was raised as a medium risk because of the condition and also because of the risk of finger entrapment. The Chairman asked the working group to compile a list of work required, with costings, so that the Parish Council could decide how to proceed.

10.1.1. Cutting Back of Lime Tree Suckers

Mrs Drew advised that the suckers were too thick to cut back and needed to be cut with a chain saw. It was agreed that an appeal for a volunteer, with a chain saw licence, be put in the newsletter.

10.2  Recreation Ground Sign –Agreement of Expenditure

The lifespan of a vinyl aluminium sign (£510.35 plus VAT) and powder coated sign (£720.64 plus VAT) needed to be established from Greenbarnes. The Clerk would then calculate the cost per year and order whichever was the cheapest.

10.3 Contract for Emptying Dog/Litter Bins

The Clerk had asked local groups if they were interested in the contract as a form of fund raising for their group. She had not had any interest. She added that there was a contractor from outside the village who was interested. Mrs Drew reported that the Recreation Ground Working Group were currently carrying out the emptying and suggested that this continue. Money saved could be used towards other recreation ground tasks.

10.4 Planting of Bluebells in Whitepond Wood

Mrs Wheatley reported that she had been speaking to residents about the planting and been advised that they must be English bluebells. It was agreed that as the wood was managed by the Woodland Trust the Clerk would request their permission to plant.

10.5 Play Area RoSPA Inspection 2016

Work identified was discussed under Item 10.1.




























11.1 Odsey War Memorial

11.1.2Offer of Contribution

The Clerk confirmed that the residents had agreed for the £500 donation to go into a ring fenced Memorial maintenance fund for future use.

11.2 Ashwell Road Birch Trees

Mrs Wheatley advised that a resident had asked that the Birch trees in front of the new houses on Ashwell Road be replanted as they were no longer there. The Chairman queried where they were as this area used to be an entrance to a field before the homes were built. If they were planted by the developers they would have been part of a landscaping plan. Mrs Wheatley agreed to investigate.












Mrs Wheatley reported that the Village Hall Committee had discussed the responsibility of looking after the CCTV. The bowls club representative had shown an interest and he had been liaising with the installer over visibility for the club camera. Mrs Drew stated that she felt the CCTV should be under the control of the Parish Council which was agreed by Councillors. It was suggested that Terms of Reference, laying out the responsibilities, would be prepared for agreement at the next meeting.








13.1 Planning Ref S/0730/16/LB

42 Hay Street –Listed Building Repairs

(Mr H Haws)

13.2 Planning Ref S/0594/16/FL (Amended)

63 Hay Street –Two storey, two bed cottage

(Mrs D Noble)

13.3 Planning Ref S/1078/16/LD

Low Field House, 16 Station Road –Certificate of Lawful Development for a single storey rear extension with a two storey infill extension and addition of side windows

(Mr & Mrs Boyt)

Details of the planning applications had been circulated to all Councillors. There were no issues raised.





14.1 Maintenance of Parish Paths

It had been suggested that the paths were upgraded. It was noted that Parish Paths were the responsibility of Cambridgeshire County Council and the landowners to maintain.

14.2 Whiteponds Wood path

A request for a path to allow disabled access was made. The wood was under the management of the Woodland Trust.  Councillors agreed that they did not want a made up path through the wood and would suggest that the parishioner, that had made the request, approach the Woodland Trust directly.

14.3.Planting of Bulbs at Entrance to Village

There were flower boxes, which included shrubs, at the entrance to Guilden Morden which looked attractive. It was noted that permission would need to be sought from County Highways if the Parish Council went ahead with a similar scheme. The Clerk was asked to get a quotation on the cost of a planted box per entrance to the village.

14.4. Access onto Meadow from Recreation Ground

The parishioner had been asked to provide a plan. This had not been forthcoming.

14.5 Play Area Fence Upgrade

The fencing and gate was being dealt with under Item 10.

















The Clerk was asked to arrange for an advertisement, requesting names by mid July, for the shop and notice board. There would also be a request in the newsletter. Suggestions would then be circulated to Councillors for their agreement of the recipient.







16.1 Local Government Boundary Commission –Electoral Review of South Cambs/New Draft Recommendations for Cambridgeshire

These were discussed under the District Council report.

16.2 Concerns Over Mobile Phone Mast

It was advised that the proposals for the Church had been shelved.

16.3 Web Maps for Steeple Morden

Mr Brocklehurst had asked for this as an agenda item.  He had discussed with the website co-ordinator who had agreed to put a link to the SCDC maps from the website after obtaining the necessary permissions. Mrs Murfitt advised that the maps were very good and the maps of Steeple Morden were the first to be compiled. It was agreed that the link would be circulated to Councillors for discussion at the next meeting.

16.4 Defibrillator Training

Concern had been expressed by parishioners wanting to be trained on the equipment. Previous Parish Councillor, Mark Crankshaw, had been liaising with the East of England Ambulance Service and had agreed to follow up training with them. The Clerk was asked to urge for the next meeting.

16.5 Hay Street Flooding

The County Highway Officer had copied the Parish Council in on a response to a resident of Hay Street, regarding drainage work on Hay Street/Bogs Gap Lane, for information.





















17.1 Steeple Morden School Fete

Mrs Belson advised that the primary school wanted to put out some cones to stop parking outside the school during their fete on the 2nd July. The Clerk suggested that the school contact the PCSO for advice.

17.2 Keys for Recreation Ground Poles

The whereabouts of a key for the poles to gain access onto the recreation ground was queried. It was advised that the previous Parish Council Chairman had handed all keys over to Mr Brocklehurst. This would be investigated.




DATE OF NEXT MEETING Monday 11th July 2016



There was no further business and the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.40 pm



-----------------------------------------------                                                                 ------------------------

Chairman                                                                                                                      Date