MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF FOWLMERE PARISH COUNCIL

HELD AT SCHOOL ROOM, UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

ON TUESDAY, 17 JANUARY 2006 AT 7.30 PM

 

PRESENT: Cllr M Bates – Vice Chairman

Cllr D Roberts

Cllr P Flynn

Cllr B Hawkins

APOLOGIES – Apologies were received from Cllr D Woods, Cllr A Newby, Cllr A Lucas, Cllr T Stone and

Mrs J Fletcher

 

In the absence of the Clerk, the minutes were noted by Cllr Roberts and subsequently edited by the Clerk for distribution.

Action

1.

MINUTES OF MEETING OF 20 DECEMBER 2005

 
 

The minutes were agreed and signed as a true record.

 

2.

MATTERS ARISING

 
 

Archiving

Cllr Roberts advised that the clerk should contact Mr GM Roberts who may be able to help.

Tree Issues/Work

St Mary’s Prospect - SCDC Tree Officer advised that no action will be taken even though the plot is within a conservation area as the trees in question were Leylandii and therefore not a welcome type of tree planting.

Rectory Lane/Long Lane

The halogen light has still not been shaded to remove light pollution. Cllr Roberts will speak to the Housing Association again.

 

Clerk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cllr Roberts

3.

COUNTY COUNCIL AFFAIRS.

 

 

 

As Cllr Stone was unable to attend the meeting he had sent the following report to the Clerk. The report and Cllr Stone’s apologies were not available for the current meeting.

2006/2007 Budget

Cambridgeshire County Council is still in the throes of trying to set its budget for next year. The Council is engaged in a consultation exercise which gives examples of those service cuts which would be inevitable if Council Tax rose by 4, 5 or 6%.

In practice the Council is budgeting for an increase of 5% because the Government says that if the collectivity of councils increases council tax by more than 5% they will be capped. This is another "consultation" which could be criticised as being a con trick.

There are a number of Budget Surgeries taking place around the county. The nearest to us is to be held in Cambridge Central Library on Saturday 21st January between 10 am and 12 noon. On 24th January the Cabinet will decide on the budget it would like to set.

Cambridgeshire currently has the third lowest council tax of all counties, a position which the current administration has deliberately sought to maintain. This means that percentage increases yield less than they do in counties with higher council tax rates.

Transport Innovation Fund

The County Council has received a grant of £385k from the Government's new Transport Innovation Fund. This will fund a study to explore a package of measures with three main components:

a. Transport improvements, including public transport services, infrastructure and walking/cycling facilities.

b. The road network, tackling current and anticipated congestion points.

c. Demand management, both building on historically successful measures and examining the possibility of new demand management approaches including road user charging. The form of road user charging to be explored is proposed as 'broadly fiscally neutral', i.e. one which does not materially change costs for the average motorist.

Police Authority

The Home Secretary gave police forces up to 23rd December to present merger proposals aimed at securing efficiencies and creating forces able to cover the whole range of crime fighting services. Of the 43 forces involved, 13 said they wanted to remain as they were and less than a third produced full proposals; none of the proposals submitted had the full agreement of the forces involved.

In our part of the world Bedfordshire said it would like to merge with Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire; Hertfordshire would prefer to merge with Bedfordshire but not Cambridgeshire; Norfolk wanted to join Cambridgeshire and Suffolk while Suffolk wanted to go with Essex and Norfolk. Both Essex and Cambridgeshire were inclined towards a federal model with neighbourhood policing remaining with the existing forces while "protective services" such as fraud, drugs and international vice would be run jointly.

Street Lights

Really a matter between the District Council and Parish Councils but I have been watching carefully as Parish Councils reach a decision as to whether to take over footway lights from the District Council on 1st April 2006 or have them permanently turned off. It is worth remembering that the proposal restores the situation to its 1984 position, when the District Council took over Parish Council lights.

Most Parish Councils appear to be prepared to take over all the lights in their villages which, of course, has an impact on the Parish Precept for next year. I have heard of no lights which qualify as street lights and could be adopted by the County Council.

The calculation as to the cost of the exercise is first to discover the number of lights involved. That number needs to be multiplied by £15.35 being the indicated cost of power for each light. Then the same number needs to be multiplied by £17.32, being the annual maintenance cost. Third, the cost of insurance needs to be added. This is likely to be in the region of £10 per column if the replacement value is taken as £700.

When those three items are added up it would be prudent to add an amount for administration and perhaps a safety margin in case energy costs go mad and the County adds a supplement onto the electricity bill.

Roads

Mike Cooper tells me that the bollard question is complicated by the fact that the plans of the buildings on the corner (before the new building) seem to be out of line with what is actually visible on the ground. He cannot therefore say whether the bollards are on the verges of the highway or on private ground. As such he is not willing to risk going to court to get the posts removed.

As to the "knotweed fence," he has been told that the County Council is not prepared to install a fence because it has no statutory obligation to do so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.

PLANNING

 

4/A

 

 

 

 

MINUTES OF MEETING OF FOWLMERE PARISH COUNCIL PLANNING COMMITTEE

HELD AT DOROTHY PLUCK ROOM, ST. MARY’S CHURCH on TUESDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2006 at 7.30pm

PRESENT: Cllr D Woods (Chairman Parish Council), Cllr P Flynn (Vice Chairman Planning Committee), Cllr A Newby, Mrs J Fletcher (Clerk)

Apologies were received from Cllr D Roberts, Cllr A Lucas and Cllr M Bates

1. S/2445/05/PNA – Agricultural Building, land at Long Lane – A Deans

As the application is submitted by an ex Parish Councillor, the meeting declared an interest and will therefore abide by the decision of SCDC Planning Officer.

2. Tree Application – Beechwood House, Rectory Lane – C Neild

The meeting had no objection to this application and will be guided by the decision of the Tree Officer.

3. Updates - 2 Champions Close - Permission granted

4. Other Matters

a) Cllr Newby mentioned that ten dwellings had now been completed and sold on the Rectory Lane/Long Lane development.

The meeting agreed that a letter be sent to SCDC regarding the 106 Agreement payment to the Parish Council from the contractor.

b) Cllr Newby had noted that on one dwelling a room had been built above the garage and a window included in the gable end.

The plans will be checked before any action is taken.

The planning meeting closed at 7.45 pm

5. Local Development Framework – South Cambridgeshire Submission

Due to time constraints, the South Cambridgeshire Local Development Framework Submission documents were discussed after Planning business had been concluded. Documents can be viewed at www.scambs.gov.uk Non Planning committee Councillors were invited to attend - Cllr B Hawkins arrived at 8.45 pm

The meeting unanimously agreed that representation or comment on the documents was not applicable to Fowlmere. A letter will be sent to this effect.

 

 

5.

BURIAL BOARD

 
 

Cemetery Extension

Bidewells had been contacted for a copy of the necessary scaled map of the half-acre site. This map will now be forwarded to SCDC Planning Officer.

Chapel Electricity

A funding application has yet to be completed.

 

Clerk

 

 

Cllr Bates

6.

ROUND MOAT - There was no report.

 

 

7.

VILLAGE HISTORIAN

 
 

A 15-page Local Heritage Initiative questionnaire has been received from the Countryside Agency which needs to be completed by April 2006.

 

Cllr Hawkins

8.

CO-OPTION

 
 

One formal application has been received. An interview date will be identified at the February meeting.

 

 

 

9.

FINANCE

 

9/A

Minutes of the meeting of Fowlmere Parish Council - Finance Committee held at the Dorothy Pluck Room, St Mary’s Church on Tuesday 10th January, 2006 at 7-30 p.m.

1) Present: Cllr Andrew Newby (Chair), Cllr Patricia Flynn, Cllr Philip Mullock, Cllr Michael Bates

2) Apologies for Absence: Cllr Dorothy Woods, Cllr Deborah Roberts, Cllr Alun Lucas, Cllr Barrie Hawkins and Mrs Julie Fletcher (Clerk to the Council)

3) Minutes of the previous meeting:

Were approved as a true record of the meeting

4) Matters arising:

There were no matters arising other than that documentation for the purpose of signatory arrangements for the proposed new account was still required from Cllr Roberts and Cllr Bates.

5) Precept and Review of Income and Expenditure:

Councillor Newby presented the spreadsheet forecast for the Council’s expenditure for 2005/2006 for review – copy appended.

The meeting reviewed the figures comparing actual spend against projected expenditure showing an expected under-spend of £819.00.

It was noted that bills for certain expenditure were not yet received – the CCTV bill for the Village Hall site for example.

The meeting further reviewed provisional proposals for Expenditure and Maintenance costs for 2006/2007, prepared by Councillor Newby, taking account of necessary inflation costs where required, otherwise maintaining costs at the level known to be required, based on 2005/2006 costs.

It was noted that South Cambs District Council had given notice that they would no longer fund street lighting, because of their financial position and that the Council would have to make provision for this, if it was decided to maintain street lighting. The likely costs were not yet known as that information would have to be supplied by District and or County, nevertheless a provisional allocation was necessary in anticipation of a decision by the Parish Council.

It was also agreed in the light of CALC advice about necessary insurance costs for volunteers contributing to council projects that quotes be obtained for work on the Butts footpath.

The proposal for Precept for 2006/2007 was for a 9% increase (including provision for street lighting to which the proposed increase above 3.5% was cost of living was attributed).

Having reviewed and considered the projected precept, it was moved by Councillor Flynn and seconded by Councillor Bates that the proposals be recommended to the Parish Council, this was carried by vote of those councillors present.

The projects which the Council will wish to consider for the coming year include the proposed extension to the cemetery for which no costs had yet been incurred. Other possible projects included installing electricity to the cemetery chapel and exploring the practicalities of extending the footpath in Long Lane beyond Rayners Close.

6) Trees and Grass

Provision had been made in the precept proposals.

7) Other Matters - There was no other business

8) Date of Next Meeting Tuesday 4th April 2006

The meeting closed at 20.15 p.m.

 

 

9/B

Precept

The proposed precept figure of £21,447 was proposed by Cllr Roberts and seconded by Cllr Mullock - the meeting agreed unanimously.

Building Society

Identification documents are still awaited.

Online banking

Information is to be collected.

URC Grass cutting

Cllr Newby will speak to Mr Shaw to clear any misunderstandings he may have regarding his contract.

Projects

The meeting agreed to undertake the following projects:

  1. work to the cemetery chapel (including lighting)
  2. Necessary tree work and grass cutting
  3. Short extension to the footpath at Rayners Close

Should laying of a mains supply for lighting to the cemetery chapel be prohibitive an alternative means of power will be considered, e.g. installation of a generator.

 

 

 

 

Cllrs Roberts/ Bates

 

Clerk

 

Cllr Newby

9/A

Cheques signed at the current meeting:

Mrs J Fletcher Salary (December) £ 383.52

Just CCTV Village hall work £ 188.00

BT Telephone bill £ 49.77

 

10.

TRESS, GRASS, HEDGES

 
 

Elm Gardens tree work

As the plot is not in the Conservation area the excessive lopping work is not a matter for SCDC Tree Officer.

 

11.

CORRESPONDENCE

 

 

Letter from CALC regarding footway lighting - Cllr Roberts (as District Councillor) advised that there are 36 lights in Fowlmere which will require an annual provision of £17.32 for maintenance plus £15.35 for power. This cost has been taken into account within the precept total for 2006/07.

 

 

 

12.

OTHER MATTERS

 
 

Mill Road

The bollards are still in position and Cllr Stone will be asked at the February meeting for an update on this matter.

13.

CONFIRM DATES OF NEXT MEETINGS

Parish Council Tuesday, 21 February 2006

Parish Council Tuesday, 21 March 2006

Finance Tuesday, 4 April 2006

Parish Council Tuesday, 18 April 2006

 
 

Clerk to the Parish Council: Julie Fletcher, 21 Ryecroft Lane, Fowlmere, SG8 7TT