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PC Meeting April 2021

posted 8 Apr 2021, 01:24 by N Day   [ updated 14 Apr 2021, 11:28 ]

Clerk's call and minutes for the Parish Council meeting on April 12, 2021

click here to get a copy of the agenda in PDF form, and the Clerk's notes are available via this link. The minutes can also be downloaded in PDF form, and a copy of the minutes (with layout amended for online reading) follow below.

From Catherine Fox, Parish Clerk:

The Next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held at 7:30 on Monday 1st March 2021 via remote conferencing on Zoom (Meeting ID 313 378 5045, Password 941083 or via this link) with Andrew Pett in the chair.

Please Note: Due to restrictions currently in place around COVID-19, there will be no physical meeting. Those who wish to comment on any item on the agenda are invited to join the Parish Council via ‘Zoom’. Councillors will not be making decisions about items not on the agenda. Any personal information given will be dealt with in line with the Parish Councils General Privacy Notice, full details of which can be found on the website.


Those present (by remote conference) were:

  • Andrew Pett, Chairman;
  • Jeff Gorton, Parish Councillor;
  • Giles Scott, Vice Chairman;
  • James Catmur, Parish Councillor;
  • Catherine Fox, Clerk;
  • Nigel Day, Parish Councillor;
  • Michael Capps, Parish Councillor;
  • Peter King, Parish Councillor;
  • Nick Ginn, Parish Councillor;
  • Lisbeth Ricciardi, Parish Councillor;
  • District Councillor Richard West;
and 6 members of the public .

1. The meeting was opened at 7:30 pm with a silent prayer.

2. Apologies. No apologies were received.

3. Declarations of Interest. There were no declarations of interest.

4. Minutes of the previous monthly meeting held on 1st March 2021 which had been circulated, were approved and will be signed accordingly by the Chairman.

5. OPEN FORUM. The meeting was closed for 16 minutes.

District Councillor West expressed his continuing frustrations with HDCs responses to residents regarding Dutton Gardens. In response to concerns raised by residents, the planning authority have decided that the compound lighting is positioned in such a way that it offers no nuisance or pollution. The lighting consists of use of 60w white light and is in line with the number and position confirmed on site which was subject to the written agreement of the local planning authority.

Councillor West confirmed that, following difficulties experienced by residents and customers in contacting the district council by telephone, the council is investing in a better technical solution which is expected to go live this week.

The Task Finish Flooding Group have met via Zoom with representatives from Anglian Water, Cambridgeshire County Council and the Environmental Agency. These discussions were positive with actions to be agreed on a flooding migration strategy.

Four residents wished to make the Parish Council aware of their concerns around the proposed handrail that will run from the “Potton” development to Fox Street. Residents felt that the design was not in keeping with the village; nor was it appropriate for one of the main entrances to the village. It was strongly felt that no other options had been duly considered and that suggested alternatives had not been acknowledged. It was noted that the Parish Council had made previous comment in 2018 around this. Residents wished to know what part the Parish Council could play at this stage. This item will be considered further at item 15.3 on the agenda.

6. Matters Arising

6.1 Neighbourhood Development Plan. The end of grant report is being prepared for the period April 20 – March 21.The amount originally awarded was £5050 but due to COVID restrictions only £300 has been spent on support from Cambridgeshire ACRE. The balance of £4750 will have to be repaid to Locality and then a new application made for the period 2021-22. It is expected that this will allow the plan to be completed through to examination and referendum, aiming for Q4 2021.

The NDP Steering Group continue to meet virtually by Zoom, with the next meeting being scheduled for Wednesday 12 May at 7pm. It is hoped that face to face meetings will be able to resume after the planned easing of restrictions in June.

The Societies Fair, postponed from last year, is planned for the afternoon of Saturday July 10th in the Reading Room and garden. This will include a display on the NDP and is an opportunity for specific consultations

Two more draft sections are available on the NDP website for public comment. Section 3 lists the key issues that have been identified through community engagements. Section 4 expresses an overall vision for Great Gransden into the future, and then defines the objectives that need to be covered by the plan, grouped by theme. Any comments and suggestions would be welcome and residents are strongly encouraged to engage wherever possible.

The Rationale for Development Boundary and proposals for the designation of Local Green Spaces has been discussed pending further consultation with landowners who may be affected before finalising the proposals.

Finally, in response to consultation comments, further discussions have been held with two possible suppliers of superfast broadband. The steering group will facilitate discussions with residents and businesses but do not plan to make a specific recommendation.

6.2 Update on Meeting with Highways (Meadow Road signage). Councillor King confirmed that he had met with Les Middleton from Highways to discuss the dangers of Meadow Road. Previously, in response to concerns raised by residents, the Parish Council had agreed to fund the installation of new signage on Meadow Road warning motorists of the possibility of pedestrians and horses in the road. Les Middleton had agreed at the site visit that the road was dangerous and would require more substantial safety measures; forwarding his concerns to Matt Staton (road safety partnership development) and also the Accident Investigation Team. Unfortunately, this was not progressed any further with Highways suggesting an LHI Bid application instead. As previous applications have already been made, Councillors did not feel that this was a viable option instead opting to continue to investigate the possibility of installing additional signage as originally requested. Clerk to follow up on this.

6.3 Update on Cemetery Land Transfer. All outstanding paperwork relating to the Transfer had been completed and returned to Adlams by the Parish Council. Once the transfer has been returned by Mr and Mrs Foster duly executed, registration of the title can be finalised.

6.4 Feedback from Community Warden Meeting. Councillor Ricciardi had attended the presentation by Age UK around the possibility of joining a Community Warden Scheme. Little Gransden Parish Council had suggested that due to the costs involved it would be a jointly funded initiative. The details of the scheme are such that one person would be employed for 15 hours per week spending approximately 1 hour with each client and only being able to offer relatively limited support. The overall costs were expected to be in the region of £11,000 per parish.

Councillors felt that the costs for the scheme were too high and that it did not offer any extra benefits not currently being met by Bluebell-19. It was agreed that in future, if additional needs were identified, more cost-effective solutions should be investigated.

6.5 Update from GSRA Meeting. Councillor Ginn reported on the GSRA AGM held on 31st March 2021. Nancy Kyle has stepped down as Chair following the end of her 4-year term. No replacement had been appointed; instead members of the committee have agreed to Chair the meetings on a rotational basis. Jon Smith has been re-elected as Treasurer and Chris Butterworth will take on the role of Secretary. There have been no further changes to the committee, though new members are always welcomed.

The GSRA had given rent holidays to those groups/users of the facilities during the COVID period. Despite this, the committee remains in a healthy financial position; retaining a fund that covers all expected expenditure over a two-year period. This is in addition to the £10,000 ear-marked for the new Tennis Club toilet facilities.

Development remains ongoing at the sports field. The condition of the car park is being monitored although the cost of resurfacing is estimated to be around £50,000. Temporary repairs will be done.

Finally, the GSRA have agreed to charge anyone using the Sportsfield for commercial purposes. Questions were raised around the charging policy at the MUGA (which is addressed at item 15.4)

6.6 Return to Face-to-face meetings. Revised Government legislation states that face-to-face meetings must resume on the 7th May 2021. This causes some logistical problems for the Parish Council who are still not permitted to meet indoors. In light of this, it was agreed that the next meeting date of Monday 10th May be moved to Tuesday 4th May at 7:30pm so that it can be held via zoom.

7. Financial Statement for March 2021. The sheet filed as Appendix No. 1 had been circulated. The statement was unanimously approved and signed by the Chairman. Councillors also noted the budget review as at the end of March 2021.

8. Payments for approval. The following payments were approved:

Proposed Councillor Pett, seconded by Councillor Scott.

1. Clerk’s expenses for March 2021 £33.56

2. SSE – Street Lighting Feb/March 2021 £209.69

3. HMRC - PAYE (period ending 5th May) £55.00

4. CAPALC Affiliation Fee 2021/22 £417.68

(As in previous years, to include Data protection Officer Membership Scheme)

5. Algar Signcraft (Playing field car park sign) £153.60

6. South Cambs DC - Dole Field Rates 2021/22 £154.69

7. Cambridgeshire ACRE Invoice no 7172 £360.00

(Support with NDP)

8. The Mower Shed (Grass Cutting Cemetery - March) £120.00

9. R McIntosh – Garden of Remembrance £7.50

Automated Payments payable April 2021:

1. DD BT – Broadband Reading Rooms £30.17*

(13th April 2021)

2. SO Caretaker Salary – April 2021 £653.78**

(28th April 2021)

3. SO Clerk’s Salary – April 2021 £704.45

(28th April 2021)

*Increase of £0.18 p/m due to an adjustment to the plan by BT. This increase is determined according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation as announced in January 2021, plus an additional 3.9%. Changes effective 31st March 2021.

**Pay amount adjusted to reflect increase in National Living wage to £8.91 p/hr effective 1st April 2021.

9. Review of cemetery charges, contribution towards churchyard maintenance, ‘Roundabout’costs,review of clerk’s core hours.

9.1 Cemetery charges. It was proposed by Councillor Pett, seconded by Councillor Gorton and carried unanimously to keep the charges unchanged so that:-
  • Purchase of grave space for burial to stay at £70.
  • Purchase of grave space for cremation to stay at £70.
  • Purchase of cremated remains space to stay at £30.
  • Interment of still born child to stay at £25.
  • Interment of a body more than 1 month old to stay at £42.
  • Interment of cremated remains from to stay at £33.
  • Approval of headstone and inscription to stay at £42.
  • Approval of inscription on tablet in ashes area to stay at £27.
  • Approval of an additional inscription to stay at £21.
  • Searching burial records remains at a minimum charge of £15 plus £15 per hour of clerk’s time over 1 hour.
Charges will continue to be increased by 100% for those residing outside of the village.

9.2 Payment for Churchyard Maintenance. The Parish Council is responsible for this closed churchyard and pays the PCC for maintaining it. The PCC organises volunteers to carry out the work. It was unanimously agreed that the payments for the churchyard should remain at £1,600pa.

9.3 Payment for Old Chapel Graveyard Maintenance. The Parish Council is responsible for this closed burial ground. It was unanimously agreed that the payments made for this should remain at £130pa.

9.4 Contribution to Roundabout Costs. This was last increased in 2016 from £100 to £125. Councillors unanimously agreed that the contribution should be increased to £140.

9.5 Review of Clerk’s Core Hours. At the Clerks request, there will be no changes to the current core hours.

10. Review of Risk Management Policy, asset check and risk assessment. The policy document had been circulated and councillors agreed that no changes were necessary. The Risk assessment forms had also been circulated by the Clerk. Risk assessments will be undertaken prior to the next meeting in May.

11. Review of Internal Control and Appointment of Internal Auditor. Councillors reviewed the internal controls considering them to be adequate and effective taking into account, cheque signing, quarterly verification of bank reconciliations by a council member who is not a cheque signatory, consideration of the internal auditor’s report and any matters raised and reviewing financial regulations. Councillors agreed to appoint LGS Services as internal auditor. Approval was proposed by Councillor Pett, seconded by Councillor Scott and unanimously agreed.

12. Approval of the Annual Governance Statement 2020/21 – Section 1. Councillors considered the Annual Governance Statement in Section 1, page 4 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2020/21. Each of the 9 statements were read out and unanimously approved by councillors, answering yes, to those numbered 1-9. Approval was proposed by Councillor Pett, seconded by Councillor Scott and unanimously agreed.

13. Highways

13.1 There is a pot hole half way up Crow Tree Street. Clerk to report to Highways.

13.2 There is a loose dropped kerb on Middle Street (outside Apple Tree Cottage). Clerk to report to Highways.

13.3 The drain cover on the corner of Fox Street and Caxton Road still remains unstable and is being replaced regularly by residents so that it does not cause injury. The locking mechanism is broken and will need to be replaced completely to ensure a permanent fix. Clerk to contact Highways.

13.4 The grass area at the end of the layby on Middle Street has been damaged, possibly by HGVs. The Parish Council will continue to monitor its condition and may seek to take remedial action in the future.

14. Consultations

Councillors noted the EWR second non-statutory consultation (closing date 9th June 2021)

Councillors discussed the proposed routes, noting the information on each previously provided. In order to best represent the views of the Parish, it was agreed that a working party should be set up to collate responses from residents. This working group will act within its remit as agreed by the Parish Council to collate the information provided and itemise it into a sensible and cohesive order. A meeting of this working group will be convened at the end of May. Clerk to place notices in the Roundabout, on the notice board, on the website and on Touchbase requesting that all comments from residents be sent to the Parish Council for inclusion by the 4th May 2021.

15. Correspondence

15.1 Request for financial assistance Bluebell-19/Benefice. The Parish Council had received a request from the Bluebell -19 group for financial assistance with printing costs of a new publication for the four villages. The intention is to have a booklet containing some historical information about each parish and then current information. As it is Church led there will be details from Reverend Rachel Blanchflower regarding weddings, funerals, baptisms, etc. There will also be links to a variety of sites, (e.g each Parish Council, sports facilities and clubs, Brownies) As information around the precise costings was not available, Councillors agreed to consider the request again at a future date.

15.2 SLCC Membership Request for Clerk to join SLCC (Society of Local Council Clerks) was unanimously approved. (proposed Councillor Scott, seconded Councillor Pett). There is a £10 joining fee and an annual subscription fee of £144.00 payable by the council.

15.3 Proposed footpath – Potton Road development. Councillors thanked those residents who had commented during the open forum session. Councillor Scott clarified that, according to the plans, the railings will not run the full length of the footpath; they will only be where there is a retaining wall and therefore a need to protect users from the ditch.

The ditches are not owned by Highways but by private landowners meaning that the planning permission has been sanctioned only up to the boundaries. As Highways do not own the land, they would not be responsible for undertaking any suggested works to fill the ditches, or for incorporating piping and culverts to negate the need for a handrail at all. Councillors suggested that the private landowners could seek to unite and approach the developer to raise the question of them completing the works to fill the ditches in if the correct permissions were given. Alternatively, the landowners could request that the developer look to amend the approved plans. Councillors were keen to stress that they would support any actions by landowners.

15.4 Commercial use of the MUGA. Currently, there is ‘no booking’ policy in place meaning that users must compromise to ensure fair usage. The GSRA have taken the decision to charge for commercial usage of the Sports field (eg training bootcamps) Councillors were concerned that in the case of adverse weather, these commercial enterprises may look to move to the MUGA and, as they have paid a fee to the GSRA, would feel that this entitles them to usage of the MUGA – constituting a booking by proxy.

Councillors unanimously felt that in order to preserve the ethos of the MUGA and to ensure it remained as a facility available to everyone in the village, commercial use would no longer be permitted.

15.5 Playing Field Car Park pothole. The pot hole at the entrance to the playing field car park has worsened considerably. It was suggested that a temporary solution should be sought. This would include planings being placed in the hole with a binder to ensure that it was robust. As the Sports field Car park is also undergoing temporary repair, Councillor Ginn will make enquiries around the possibility of purchasing a larger amount and splitting the cost so that both car parks can be dealt with. Councillor Capps will also make separate enquiries around contractors and suppliers.

15.6 War Memorial Graves Sign Placement. Following a meeting with the GGPCC, it was unanimously agreed to approve the location of the War Memorial Graves sign as proposed.

16. Planning


Raise existing garage roof to 1.5 storey to form an office. Loft conversion to provide additional bedroom and en-suite bathroom.
38 Winchfield Great Gransden Sandy SG19 3AN.

Councillors had no objections to the above application, voting unanimously to submit no further comments.


Erection of 1.2m fencing around boundary.
9 Fox Street Great Gransden Sandy SG19 3AA.

Councillors had no objections to the above application, voting unanimously to submit no further comments.

14. The Next Meeting has been arranged for Tuesday 4th May 2021 at 7:30pm.

The Annual Parish Meeting will be held on Thursday 22nd April at 7:30pm.

This meeting closed at 9:28pm.