STEEPLE MORDEN PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the Village Hall on

Monday 12th February 2018 at 7.30pm

Present:                     Councillors: J Brocklehurst (Chairman),  A Drew, S Wheatley, J Clayton, C Whittington, K Austin, G Belson

County Cllr Kindersley, District Cllr Murfitt

In attendance:               Mrs S Walmesley (Clerk) and 2 members of the public.

PARISH COUNCIL MEETING 7.30 PM

 

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND DECLARATIONS UNDER THE CODE OF CONDUCT AND REQUESTS FOR DISPENSATIONS

Apologies were received from Mrs Upchurch and Mrs Norton.

There were no interests declared.

 

 

2.

COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS FROM PARISHIONERS AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

2.1 Planning –Local Development Plan

Councillors were made aware of a Supreme Court decision which stated that the existing policies relating to the village envelope were still valid reasons to make an objection to a planning application. It was then down to South Cambridgeshire District Council Planners to carry out a balancing exercise as the decision regarding the application was with them.  Councillors were urged to look at the impact any planning application would have on the village itself in future.

Cllr Kindersley advised that the District Council had instructed that the Supreme Court Judgement did allow certain policies but paragraph 14 of the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) still applied. The balancing exercise referred to was as a tilted balance. Cllr Kindersley had looked at a number of planning non sustainable applications which had been refused which the Appeal Inspector had agreed with. District Councillors had also been instructed that until the Inspector had concluded the  Local Development Plan it could not be acted upon. There was however a move now to refuse applications relating to the five year land supply as it was anticipated that by the time of an appeal the LDP would be in place. Attendees were reminded that the Inspector had asked that work on the next combined LDP start in 2019.

A discussion then took place on the planning application for the orchard on Station Road. Cllr Murfitt reported that she had been advised by the Planners that the application was in limbo due to the lack of planning officers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

COUNTY AND DISTRICT COUNCILLOR REPORTS

3.1 District Council

Cllr  Murfitt referred to a report in the local press regarding the A505 and the lack of action by Cambridgeshire County Council. She reminded Councillors that county council funding was used to upgrade the signage at the Odsey junction and reiterated that the road was in Hertfordshire. Cllr Kindersley had written to the editor concerned.

The South Cambridgeshire District Council planning department was still having problems. During 2017 there had been over 2000 planning applications and officers were enormously overworked.

Cllr Murfitt was investigating requests for District Council housing. She questioned the affordable housing in the village and the waiting list. It was stated that there had not been a Housing Needs Survey for a long time but it was believed there could be 12-13 dwellings needed.

The next edition of the South Cambs News would contain a lot of information relating to recycling. Dr Belson had forwarded photographs of the litter picks and these will be included in a future edition. There was also information included on the council elections and boundary changes. 

3.2 County Council

Cllr Kindersley had forwarded a  report which the Clerk would circulate. Cllr Kindersley reported that he had attended a site meeting at the recycling centre in Waterbeach where they wanted to build an incinerator to burn rubbish which could not be recycled. This would take around 96% away from landfill and would provide electricity to a lot of homes. The proposed chimney would be 83 metres high but due to the site being near Denny Abbey there were some concerns. A planning application would go before the Planning Committee at some point. Mr Whittington added that the site was also next to proposed development land.

The trees were still in front of the property on Litlington Road. The Highway Officer had been asked to push their removal.

The Planning Officer had been reminded about the Odsey scrap yard requested application. The Chairman added that he had also expressed his concerns over a six car transporter parked across the bridleway.

Cllr Kindersley had been in conversation with an officer from Network Rail over the proposed east/west rail link. There were two Government departments involved with nothing much happening at the present time. Cllr Kindersley had been told that until the Government knew the local authority proposal for housing in the next LDP they could not comment. But he was also told that an indication of the preferred route could be released within the next 12 months.

Councillors were waiting to progress the proposed footpath between Steeple Morden and Guilden Morden and were awaiting feedback from Guilden Morden Parish Council on a meeting. Cllr Murfitt advised that the Parish Council was not interested in a footpath. It was agreed that this Parish Council would pursue its investigations and the Clerk was asked to find out from those interested, including Cllr Kindersley, the preferred date for a site meeting to look at options.

The Chairman thanked Cllr Murfitt and Cllr Kindersley for their update.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Clerk

4.

 

TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF

4.1 The Parish Council  Meeting held on 8th January 2018

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

 

 

5.

MATTERS ARISING AND CARRIED FORWARD

5.1 A505 Junction

There was no further update from Hertfordshire County Council.

5.2Update on request for Litter/Dog waste bins

Dr Belson advised that the Refuse Collection Supervisor had asked her to send photographs of the requested locations which she agreed to do.

5.3 Feedback from LHI 2018/19 Panel Meeting

Mr Whittington had attended the panel meeting in support of the application submitted. He reported that even though he was only allowed three minutes for his presentation the session went well. The outcome would be known in March.

5.4 Dog Fouling Penalties

The Clerk advised that the penalties advertised by  South Cambridgeshire District Council were for £50. It was noted that the change could be up to £1000 and this was being advertised.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-GB

6.

FINANCES

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

The invoices were checked by Mrs Wheatley. On a proposition by Mr Clayton, seconded by Mr Brocklehurst,  the following payments as listed in the monthly financial report were approved:

E-ON

Reading Room electricity January 2018 DD                                                                                     £  34.00

IN & OUT

Disabled toilet clean January   2018                                                                                                   £  14.00

HALES PRINTER

Newsletters January 2018-02-12                                                                                         £  42.00

MRS A DREW

Reimburse for storage box (inc. £19.16VAT)                                                                    £114.95

TOTAL                                                                                                                                      £204.95

6.2 Agreement of Budget 2018/19

The draft figures were discussed.  The Clerk confirmed that a Demand had been made to South Cambridgeshire District Council for a precept of £30,000 for 2018/19. A discussion took place on the draft budget. It was agreed that the excess carried forward from the current financial year should cover the cost of the £6,000 estimated tree work. The car park resurfacing costs, which would be over £20,000, could be paid for with earmarked Section 106 money if needed. The resurfacing would still be listed as a Parish Council Project for future Section 106 funding.

6.3 Update on Anglian Water Sewage Charge

The Clerk reported that the case was still under investigation with ‘WAVE’ following up with their wholesaler. The account had been frozen until the issue was resolved.

 

 

7.

RECREATION GROUND/CONSERVATION AREA

7.1 Recreation Ground Maintenance –working group update

Mrs Drew reported that there had been increased dog fouling incidents between the dog bin and flood lights. She was investigating florescent signage.

7.2 Play Area

A quotation had now been received for a replacement fence and play equipment for the Section 106 project list.

7.3 Reading Room Gutters

As requested the football club had cleared the gutters of the Pavilion and Reading Room.

7.4 Football Pitch Grasscutting

The football club had now advised that the junior pitches, which were used for cricket outfield, could be cut shorter during the cricket season. All other times of the year the club would like the cutting height as 35-45mm. This would help with the long term strength and coverage of the grass on the recreation ground overall. Cutting of the pitch every other week did not help if the cutting height was set too low. The club were looking into options around reseeding, fertilising and weed killing to sustain the work they carried out previously.

The Clerk confirmed that the existing maintenance contract was for another two years. It was suggested that if the contractor could not meet the demands of the club then the club could arrange for the grasscutting themselves until the end of the current contract. The specification for the next tender could then include the requirements for the future.

It was advised that the club was using the recreation ground for football training which was evident through the condition of the grass caused by the football boot studs.  Mr Whittington referred to a previous issue regarding the marking of the pitches with a grass inhibiter. He believed that there would be some complaints from the cricket club once the season began and suggested that the club be asked to review their policy and reinstate the grass. It was stated that the grass should grow back and it was agreed that no action would be taken at this stage unless there was a complaint made.

 

 

8.

MAINTENANCE

8.1 Footpaths/Footways

8.1.1 Footpath 10 –Minor Highway Improvement Scheme 2017/18 Application

The Clerk had asked  a member of the current LHI team to investigate progress. She had supplied details of the original bid made.

8.1.2 Footpath 12

The Chairman reported that UK Power Networks was going to carry out some tree cutting on the footpath which was likely to be closed during the next six to eight weeks. He assumed that notices would be erected to advertise this.

8.2 Litter Picking

Dr Belson had prepared documents which she asked the Clerk to circulate. She had also prepared a list of dates for 2018 which would be advertised through the newsletter.  There would be eleven litter picks and, as a response to a survey she had circulated to volunteers, zones had been increased. Zones would also be litter picked twice.  Dr Belson reported that on the whole the response to her survey was very good with most people stating that they would be happy to be involved again. She was still investigating the ‘tween’ village picks and how these could take place. There was some funding left from the grant awarded in March 2017 and Dr  Belson intended to purchase some more cones with this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Clerk

9.

REFURBISHMENT AND  USE OF THE GREEN TELEPHONE KIOSK

The Parish Council had been advised that a group of volunteers were prepared to strip back the existing paintwork and repaint. The use of the kiosk was still to be decided.

 

 

10.

PROPOSAL FOR PATH BETWEEN STEEPLE MORDEN AND GUILDEN MORDEN

As discussed under Item 3.2 the Clerk would find out a suitable date for Cllr Kindersley and Councillors to meet and look at the possibilities.

 

 

-Clerk

11.

PLANNING APPLICATIONS

11.1 Local Development Plan and modifications consultations 5th January -16th February 2018

The Chairman reported that he had attempted to look through the documents which were very technical with a lot of cross referencing. Councillors agreed that there were no comments to make on the modifications consultation.

11.2 Update on The Jester Planning Application

The planning application had been refused by South Cambridgeshire District Council. It was noted that questions were being raised as to whether Odsey was classed as a Hamlet or village. Cllr Murfitt advised that if it can be proven that the hotel was not viable then any further planning application would be more likely to succeed. It was noted that the Hotel had been on the market for the past eight months.

11.3 Section 106 Project List

The Clerk had advise the Section 106 Officer, James Fisher, of the proposed projects and that the Parish Council was awaiting details of the cost. A quote had now been received for the car park resurfacing, play equipment, replacement play area fence and a picnic table.  The resurfacing of the car park and traffic calming speed signs would also be added. Mr Austin was pursuing a cost for a replacement heating system for the village hall.  The Clerk to update the Section 106 forms provided by Mr Fisher.

It was suggested that the costs for a Housing Needs Survey could be included. The Clerk was asked to find out if this was possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Clerk

 

 

 

-Clerk

 

 

12.

TO CONSIDER CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED INCLUDING:

12.1 Formal Complaint Against Parish Council relating to planning application recommendation

A resident had been very frustrated by a recommendation to support a planning application when her own  similar application had been rejected on several grounds in 2012. There were only three members of the existing Parish Council involved at that time. The Chairman advised that because of the position regarding the lack of a Local Development Plan Councillors understood that there was no argument to be made about the proposed site being outside of the village envelope. He added that there were no parishioners at the meeting opposing the application. The resident had been invited to this meeting to discuss with Councillors.

The Clerk advised that she had sought advice from CAPALC who referred her to the standing orders where a decision could not be revisited within six months unless a written request was made by three Councillors. A discussion took place on this process where it was agreed that the decision made was on evidence at the time and the application would not be revisited.

The Chairman would reiterate this decision in a letter to the resident.

12.2 General Data Protection Regulations –CAPALC Proposal to investigation and training dates

An update had been provided on the position regarding the new legislation which would come into force in May 2018. NALC was actively campaigning with Government on some of the more difficult parts of the legislation which applied to Parish Council. CAPALC were looking at providing a service that would cover the county and asked interested Council’s to let them know. This would be a county wide chargeable scheme to meet the burdens placed on Councils by the new legislation without the need for some of the additional expense of having to employ a Data Protection Officer.

CAPALC would be holding workshops on the 15th and 16th March for Clerks and Councillors. Dr Belson and Mrs Drew agreed to attend. Clerk to arrange.

12.3 Oil Theft warning

A resident of Cheyney Close reported that he had found two medium sized plastic drums carefully placed over his garden fence. The drums were empty but had a residue of fuel oil in them. The resident felt that there might have been people looking for opportunities to steal fuel.

The Chairman asked Councillors to be aware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-JB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Clerk

 

 

 

 

13.

PARISH COUNCIL ELECTIONS 3RD MAY 2018/ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Election packs were now available. The deadline for the receipt of nominations was the 6th April 2018. Cllr Wheatley advised that the profile of the Parish Council had been helped by the village Facebook page and suggested that the election be advertised there. The Clerk to forward details to the Newsletter editor to arrange publication.

The Clerk advised that the 2018 AGM had to be held within two weeks of the election date of 3rd May 2018. It was agreed that the meeting would be held on Thursday 10th  May with the Annual Parish Meeting being held on the same evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Clerk

14.

COUNCILLORS’ ITEMS FOR INFORMATION AND REQUIRING THE URGENT ATTENTION OF THE CLERK

14.1 Dog waste and litter bin

It was noted that bins around the village had been marked excluding two just inside the recreation ground gate which had also not been emptied. South Cambridgeshire District Council had in the past always emptied these. The Clerk was asked to find out the reason which she would do through the District Council website.

14.2 Conifer trees by Village Hall

Mr Austin expressed concern over the height of the trees and the lack of ownership knowledge. Mrs Drew advised that the tree work quotation she had sourced did not include these trees. It was suggested that a professional inspection of the trees take place to ascertain their condition. These trees would be an agenda item for the next meeting so that a way forward could be agreed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Clerk

15.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING Monday 12th March   2018.

 

 

 

There was no further business and the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.10 pm

 

 

 

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Chairman                                                                                                                      Date