MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF FOWLMERE PARISH COUNCIL

HELD AT SCHOOL ROOM, UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

ON TUESDAY, 20 February 2007 AT 7.30 PM

PRESENT: Cllr M Bates (Chairman)

Cllr B Hawkins

Cllr D Woods

Cllr P Flynn

Cllr P Mullock

Cllr A Lucas (from 7.450 pm)

Mrs J Fletcher (Clerk)

IN ATTENDANCE: Cllr T Stone

Two residents

 

1.

APOLOGIES – Apologies were received from Cllr D Roberts and Cllr W Kohler

Actions

2.

MINUTES OF MEETING OF 16 January 2006 - The minutes were agreed and signed as a true record.

 

3.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST - There were no declarations of interest.

 

4.

MATTERS ARISING

 
 

Royal British Legion

Chris Wall will advise on the species of tree and location on the Butts.

 

 

5.

COUNTY COUNCIL AFFAIRS

 

 

 

Budget 2007/08

The County Council's budget was set in a mammoth meeting today.

The Conservative Cabinet proposed a budget which is much clearer than last year's and very well presented. But the upshot is the need to save £10.3 million and cuts in service provision.

The Liberal Democrats proposed an alternative budget which sought to reduce the cuts in service provision by £1.4 million this year, including setting up a climate change fund to allow the council to lead the country in reducing the council's impact on the environment. To fund increased service provision, the Liberal Democrat alternative budget proposed greater savings in internal costs in a number of areas and these could have been quite painful - particularly in press and public relations where the council's current performance is extremely polished.

Full Council is seldom a pleasant place to be in and today was no exception. The Liberal Democrat amendment was defeated and the Conservative budget adopted.

I spoke against the Conservative proposal to axe the Discretionary Traffic Management budget, which you may remember was frozen last October in the face of budget over-spends. Although some of the Conservatives were sympathetic to my plea their party discipline is such that there was no chance of saving the budget.

For the time being that makes small schemes in our villages much more difficult to adopt. I shall be working with Highways to see how we can best get round the problem and meanwhile have got myself appointed to the South Cambridgeshire Traffic Management Area Joint Committee to see if I can do some useful work there.

Mill Road

Mike Cooper says he will attend to the break-up of the road surface on the corner and will try to make more substantial improvements later on in the year - budget permitting.

The meeting requested Cllr Stone to investigate further the possibility of having the posts removed from the side of the road.

Mobile Library

Village residents have been worried by notices in mobile libraries that services may be cut. The mobile library stops in two places in Fowlmere on alternate Fridays. The next visit is on 2nd March.

As part of the approved county council budget there is indeed a proposal to withdraw two of the eight mobile library vehicles.

The Liberal Democrat alternative budget proposed reinstating £40,000 of the cuts to maintain all the library vehicles but the motion was defeated.

It seems exceedingly unlikely that the service to Fowlmere will be cancelled. In any event it is recognised that there will have to be community consultation, route review and general re-planning before any changes are made. Of course the best thing would be to increase usage of the mobile library to demonstrate how important it is to the village. That would encourage the planners not to curtail services.

You may like to keep your written intervention until the public consultation is announced. But you could start now to increase interest in using the mobile library in the village, just to make sure.

East of England Plan

I reported last month on the revision to the East of England plan. There are several bits to it which are worth considering, notably the exclusion of discussion about a second runway at Stansted. The government tells us this is a national question and may not be dealt with in a Regional plan. What the region may discuss is questions of transport and access! Cambridgeshire County Council remains united in its opposition to the second runway.

The other matter that you may want to comment on is the proposal that no further new towns should be built in the Region during the period of the plan. Thus no Hanley Grange. The Parish Council may wish to comment in support of this recommendation.

Road Pricing

Many Parish Councils have been brought into the debate on road pricing. The campaign by the Association of British Drivers assures us (almost like Mr O'Leary) that the UK's 33million cars have "no measurable impact" on global CO2 levels. The Association also tells us that each car will need a £200 tracker, which will have Big Brother implications.

There are clearly concerns that a national road pricing system could allow routine surveillance of citizens. There is also the question of whether the money raised will be in addition to or instead of current taxes on motorists.

What is entirely clear to Cambridgeshire planners is that we need either a massive increase in road building to stave off gridlock (amongst other places on the A505 between Junction 10 and the Sawston roundabout) or we need to encourage vehicles off the roads at peak times. It is likely that a congestion charge scheme will be considered for Cambridge before long, not least because of Park & Ride opffers a genuine alternative to driving into the city. But is clear that better alternative means of transport need to be vigorously promoted.

The tunnel

Fowlmere's tunnel is now in the hands of the county's bridges section, where Gareth Guest is dealing with the question. We do seem to be making rather heavy weather of this, so I rang Nottinghamshire County Council to see if I could get an answer from them. That's because of their experience in coal mining. They told me that the National Coal Board's successors always pay for repairs when subsidence is involved but they had more problems with Network Rail because under the provisions of the Railways Act, roads above railways are only expected to bear a weight of 24 tons. The basic answer appears to be that if the highway existed before the tunnel then the tunnel's owner is responsible for its maintenance so that vehicles may pass over it.

We still await a definitive answer in the case of Fowlmere's tunnel.

31 Bus

I have been following the 31 bus saga. The good news it that the route was not considered for closure. The new contract will incorporate the new timetable. I am not allowed to have details of the tendering process but I am given to understand that bus operators are not clamouring to take on the route. I notice that the 31 bus is now in South Gloucestershire livery!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cllr Stone

6.

TREES, GRASS AND HEDGES

 
 

Cllr Woods advised that the latest tree work in the village has been completed.

CCC has advised that their contribution to Fowlmere grass cutting will be £1094.63 which is a slight reduction on 2006. The meeting agreed that this is acceptable.

Cllr Flynn pointed out that the trees on the corner of Ryecroft Lane and Long Close require attention. Cllr Woods will speak to Chris Wall regarding this work.

Cllr Bates stated that grass on the Green has been cut too close to the ground producing bare patches. Cllr Woods has mentioned this to the contractor and more care will be taken with future cuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cllr Woods

7.

PLANNING

 

7/A

MINUTES OF MEETING OF FOWLMERE PARISH COUNCIL PLANNING COMMITTEE HELD AT DOROTHY PLUCK ROOM, ST. MARY’S CHURCH on TUESDAY 23 JANUARY 2007 at 7.30 pm

PRESENT: Cllr M Bates (Chairman, PC), Cllr B Hawkins (Vice Chairman, PC), Cllr D Woods, Cllr A Lucas, Cllr W Kohler, Mrs J Fletcher (Clerk)

APOLOGIES: Apologies received from Cllr D Roberts and Cllr P Flynn

1. Declaration of interest (if any) - There were no declarations of interest

2. S/2377/06/F – Garage, 3 New Farm Close – Mr & Mrs Care

The meeting had no objection to this application as there will be no material effect on neighbours.

3. S/1547/06/F – Removal of 4 stores and replacement by 5 staff bedrooms with shower rooms and staff sitting room/kitchen. New kitchen stores, bin storage area and covered area with pitched roof. New 2.1m high picket fence inserts – The Chequers Inn, High Street – Beaumont Pubs Limited

The amendment to replace windows on the west elevation with access hatches was noted. It was also noted that subject to consultation with neighbours, the existing timber boundary fence may be retained and the picket fence shown on the plans omitted. The PC expects that SCDC will comply with this consultation.

A letter will be sent to SCDC requesting a reply to previous Council comments requesting adequate sound-proofing to protect neighbour’s interests.

4. OTHER MATTERS and UPDATES

The Swan

A response to the PC letter of 12 January had been received from Green King plc and advised that The Swan has not been sold. Greene King could not confirm plans for the site but assured the PC that they are working towards a resolution of the matter in the near future.

Tunnel under High Street

Cllr Hawkins advised that Mrs Crawshaw felt their property could be affected by responsibility issues as a blocked-off branch of the tunnel led to their house.

A letter will be sent.

The meeting closed at 7.50pm

 

7/B

MINUTES OF MEETING OF FOWLMERE PARISH COUNCIL PLANNING COMMITTEE HELD AT DOROTHY PLUCK ROOM, ST. MARY’S CHURCH on TUESDAY 13 February 2007 at 7.30 pm

PRESENT: Cllr D Roberts (Chairman, Planning Committee), Cllr P Flynn, Cllr M Bates , Cllr D Woods, Cllr P Mullock, Cllr A Lucas, Cllr W Kohler, Mrs J Fletcher (Clerk)

IN ATTENDANCE: Ten residents were in attendance

APOLOGIES: There were no apologies

1. Declaration of interest (if any)

Before discussion Cllr Roberts declared that if an application is later placed before South Cambridgeshire District Council she will approach any new information afresh.

Cllrs Flynn and Bates declared a personal and prejudicial interest in item 2 and therefore left the room taking no part in the discussion.

2. S/0191/07/F – Additional A5 usage to existing A3 and A4 – The Swan house Inn – Mr Rahman

Residents were provided with an opportunity to view the plans and voice their opinions on this application. Comments were:

  • Extra noise resulting from increased traffic
  • Take-Away entrance should be located at the rear
  • Support the opening of a restaurant but Take-Away should be at the rear
  • A plan is required on how traffic on a dangerous corner will be controlled
  • Would like to see double yellow lines at front of the building
  • There have been at least two accidents due to parked cars in this location therefore it is possible Take-Away traffic could increase this danger
  • Question whether there are 25 parking spaces at the rear
  • Disposal of rubbish needs to be stipulated
  • Extraction system needs to be stipulated
  • Extra traffic control would be required at school opening and closing times

The meeting agreed that the preference is for the building to be open and therefore maintained but feel the application does not address the associated environmental issues of a Take-Away facility.

Cllr Roberts clarified that it is not mandatory for SCDC to send notification of planning applications to neighbours but would complain to SCDC that in this instance more people should have been informed.

Residents were advised they could write individually to SCDC stating their views on the application.

The conclusion was to refuse the application due to concerns that customers will take the quickest and easiest route to collecting their orders and park outside the entrance on what is already an extremely dangerous corner with approaches from 3 directions. Environmental issues have not been addressed and there are concerns about noise in a very residential High Street.

The meeting welcomed the opening of this historical building but felt the Take-Away area should be located nearer the car park at the rear of the building.

Cllrs Bates and Flynn rejoined the meeting.

3. & 4. S/0186/07/O – Retention of existing house and erection of three dwellings following demolition of outbuildings – Lynch Villa, High Street – Fowlmere Properties

S/0187/07/RM – Submission of reserved matters for the scale and appearance of three dwellings and erection of carport block following demolition of existing outbuildings (outline planning consent Ref: S/1676/03/O) – Lynch Villa, High Street – Fowlmere Properties

Cllr Lucas stated that three years after the original approval the village is more aware of drainage and flooding problems in this area.

Although not within the recognised flood plain there is a history of very serious flooding. Water run-off from extra buildings will mean this flooding is greatly increased. The present application shows no acknowledgement of the flooding problems in this area and SCDC will be asked to request the developer to implement an efficient water drainage system. SCDC will also be requested to undertake a flood risk assessment.

Contrary to what is stated in the application, the meeting considered that the width of the existing hedge would necessitate its removal prior to the erection of a building.

As previously requested, units 1 and 2 do not appear to have been moved forward to bring them into line at the back with the neighbouring property. This move is still requested.

The meeting agreed to refuse this application due to concerns that since the original approval there is now constant flooding in Lynch Lane and suggested that more investigation be carried out before the application proceeds.

4. OTHER MATTERS and UPDATES

Cassanders Close

Cllr Roberts will contact SCDC Legal Officers to arrange a meeting to discuss the 106 Agreement. Cllr Hawkins and representatives of Cassanders Close will attend.

The meeting closed at 8.35 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cllr Roberts/ Cllr Hawkins

7/C

Matters arising from Planning meetings

The Swan

Cllr Bates emphasised that close neighbours should be notified of the application. Cllr Hawkins confirmed that residents in Jackson’s Way had received advice from SCDC.

Cllr Woods suggested a letter be sent to SCDC expressing concern that all interested neighbours had not been notified.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clerk

8.

VILLAGE HALL

 
 

Cllr Bates read a summary of funding proposals received from the Village Hall Committee.

Cllr Woods advised that the VH committee had been requested to submit budget details prior to finalisation of the Parish Precept. The precept was sent to SCDC in February and therefore financial help for the village hall would have to be included in the 2008 precept. Cllr Hawkins had also stressed this timing at village hall meetings. Cllr Woods also mentioned that sources of funding had been given to the VH committee on numerous occasions.

Cllr Bates stated that the village hall must continue and be updated to include a wider range of uses. The village hall will be included on the March agenda and Peter Lake will be asked to provide detailed financial information.

The meeting agreed that the PC will support the village hall and the matter will be discussed at the Finance meeting to be held on 3 April following the VH presentation in March. Cllr Woods stated that the PC would of course support the VH with any Health & Safety issues.

Cllr Bates read a letter from Tamsin Goodfellow setting out preliminary discussions regarding lottery funding.

Cllr Bates advised the meeting that the village hall had been built prior to registration coming on stream and therefore it is unlikely that the building is registered. Cllr Bates will investigate this.

Should legal advice be required this will be requested from CALC.

Matter will be discussed at the next Planning meeting – copies of correspondence will be circulated to committee members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cllr Bates

 

Clerk

 

The meeting was opened to the public

 
 

Mr Rahman, the applicant for change of use at The Swan, handed a letter to the Chairman and stated that he would like to introduce himself to the Parish Council as he would like to become part of the village by establishing a relationship of solidarity and goodwill

Mrs May thanked the Parish Council for arranging to have the tree trimmed that was touching the roof of her house. Mrs May also mentioned that the village is very well looked after.

The meeting was closed to the public

 

9.

BURIAL BOARD

 
 

Small Business Rate Relief

Cllr Bates stated that the cemetery should be zero rated and therefore be eligible for small business rate relief.

Cemetery Extension

Sellers had written to the solicitors requesting a member of the Parish Council be present when two stakes, marking the new boundary and hedge position, are put in place. The Seller has also requested a PC representative be present to assist with the placing of a line of stakes when the hedge is to be planted. The meeting agreed to send a Councillor to both these meetings. The new land will be included with the cemetery grass cutting contract.

The solicitor is hoping to complete by March/April 2007.

 

10.

FINANCE

 
 

Fire Engine Shed

Cllr Woods has received a further quotation in the sum of £1200. The meeting agreed to accept this quotation and Cllr Woods should proceed accordingly.

Cemetery Chapel Bell Tower

The Conservation Officer at SCDC had advised that funds will be available for this work. Cllr Woods has arranged to meet a contractor on site. The meeting agreed that as soon as a quotation has been received a grant application should be completed.

External Auditor

Moore Stevens has been appointed as external auditor for 2007/2008.

 

 

Cllr Woods

 

 

Cllr Woods

10/A

Cheques signed at the meeting

Mrs J Fletcher January salary £ 395.04

CCC Footway lighting maintenance £1173.96

SeniorLink August to December 2006 £ 521.75

SeniorLink January to March 2007 £ 308.31

 

11.

ROUND MOAT

 
 

Cllr Lucas has still to contact Mr & Mrs Price. The current situation is as follows:

  • A quotation is awaited from Care for Trees
  • Two volunteers are available
  • Letter will be sent to concerned residents
  • A meeting will be arranged with Cllr Hawkins to discuss the history paragraph for inclusion in the application.

Cllr Bates asked if Cllr Lucas would like help with this work and offered his services if required.

A letter of support is required from the Parish Council to be included with the application – Cllr Bates will produce this.

 

 

 

 

Cllr Lucas

Cllr Lucas/ Cllr Hawkins

 

Cllr Bates

12.

CORRESPONDENCE – There was no correspondence to discuss

 

13.

OTHER MATTERS

 
 

Cllr Woods gave her apologies for the March 2007 PC meeting.

 

14.

CONFIRM DATES OF NEXT MEETINGS

Parish Council Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Finance Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Parish Council Tuesday, 17 April 2007

 
 

 

The meeting closed at 9.00 pm

 
 

 

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